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The best commercials, IMO, for RPGs are half hour episodes of big bang theory and community. A 30 second commercial is going to ... What ... Show off the artwork? They're not demonstrate what actually makes RPGs fun. Give it a full half hour and you can show people enjoying themselves and what makes it fun.
Failing to control costs is a killer to many companies. Failing to recognize trends is another company killer. However, failing to learn from the above mistakes is the nail in the coffin.
Heck, I made the first two mistakes and they could have sunk my company. After how well the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations and the Book of the River Nations did, I believed it was because of what I did that they were that popular, when really it was the popularity of Kingmaker that sold them. I failed to recognize that at the time. As such, I grossly overprinted the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane and the shadowsfall players book. That, combined with several other costs that I failed to control could have sunk my company. But I learned from it, changed my strategy and moved on.
When it comes to Paizo, Lisa is a smart business woman. From what I have seen,I doubt there are many in the RPG industry that top her. She can hold her own.
I have a question that should be okay in this topic: does our level in Sacred Fist counts as a monk level for feat purpose? :)
That's a tricky question. And this answer would only apply for my gaming table.
If it did count as monk levels, then the archetype would have effectively removed "fighter" from the hybrid class description and replaced it with monk. This would mean that you can't multiclass with monk, so no MoMS.
The alternative being that you can multiclass with monk, but the warpriest levels do not count as monk levels.
So I'd leave that one up to the player, letting him/her have an informed choice.
If a player in a game I was running asked me if they wanted to play a warpriest/monk, I'd allow the stacking. IMO, you are still giving up some class abilities of the monk when you are taking warpriest levels and the same is true with the reverse. This archetype allows them to harmonize well, in the same way that many PrCs allow for multiclass harmonization.
But that is how I would rule it at my table. I'm not sure how the people at Paizo will decide for PFS.
It's honestly tough for me to respond to that question, as I tend to houserule away 90% of racial limits to classes, feats, and spells. Pretty much if it's not devoted to working out some aspect of the race's anatomy (such as a feat to let catfolk rend with their claws, for example, wouldn't be available to races that don't have claws) I tend to allow it for anyone.
I agree. Which is why in the Book of Heroic Races Compendium you see alot of things like feats that allow the half-faerie dragons to use their breath weapon more often and in different ways, seedling archetypes that let them use a whip they make from their own "hair" in different ways, etc.
Sure, anyone can take the faerie dragon sorcerer bloodline, cast the spell swarm of angry kobolds, or create a deity with the psychopomp subdomain, but those is more the exception rather than the rule. Even then, they are highly thematic for the specific race. There are far more options like the Bear Paw feat for the ursine that normally can use large light, one handed weapons without penalty can now use large melee and two-handed weapons without penalty. Or the melodian fighter archetype that has grants bardic performance because they are such a music-based race. Or the progeny feats that let a fosterling become an even greater Cthulian horror then they already are.
Now that is not to say that you can't do things like allow a dragon disciple to take the half-faerie dragon breath weapon feats or allow a strix to use the half-faerie dragon feats that allow it to fly better, but I like to think that what I published is deeply connected to a race.
Skinwalker. Everything else I could want appears to already be on the list =)
I'm familiar with all of them, but this one. Where is it detailed? Glad to hear that you're a fan on the non-core book races too.
Path of War
Yea, I'm really looking forward to this one. Expect to see support for it.
Edit: To save the future threadjacking over what my motives are, I hope they are obvious. If not, feel free to ask.
I gotta say, DnD 5e is pretty fun. To me it feels like what I like about 3e/pathfinder, to my gf if feels like 1e and others at the table, it feels like what they feel is their favorite edition. I should also say that 5e has my gf playing again after a number of years away, something pathfinder was never able to do. They did a really good job with it. Combined with the fact that every game store owner I've talked to, they express really good sales. I don't think Wizards is destroying the hobby at all. I really think they stepped up to the challenge and did well.
To give credit where credit is due. They did good.
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
That said spells scaling with level does sound like a pretty strong change.
Spells scaling is not the right word for it. Many spells you can cast using a higher level spell slot and get a greater effect. The two best examples of this is cure wounds and magic missile. Cure wounds, if you cast it as a 1st level spell from a 20th level cleric, it heals the same amount of damage as a 1st level cleric. Compare that with Pathfinder where you heal 1 more point of damage as a 2nd level caster as opposed to a 1st level cleric. And the damage healed keeps going up until you hit 5th level. In 5e, however, you have the option of using one of your higher level spell slots. So if you want to heal more damage, you have to use a 2nd or 3rd or higher level spell slot.
Magic missile is another example. In pathfinder you automatically get additional missiles as you increase in level. In 5e, if you cast it as a 1st level spell from a 1st level wizard or a 20th level wizard, you deal the same amount of damage. However, you have the option of using a higher level spell slot to get additional missiles.
So while D&D requires less spells for the caster, I'd say it is balanced with the casters having less spells prepared. A 20th level wizard can have a maximum of 25 spells prepared, the same number as a 15th level pathfinder wizard. Mind you, that is before pathfinder adds in extra spells from school specialization and ability score bonuses. When you factor those in (using the absolute minimum ability score needed) a pathfinder wizard at 11th level can prepare more spells than a 5e D&D 20th level wizard. So pathfinder wizards win in overall versatility.
Then there's the fact that 6th level spells and beyond can only really be used once per day. The exception to this is levels 19 and 20 where a wizard can cast a 6th level spell a second time per day and at 20th level where a wizard can cast a 7th level spell a second time per day. Compare it to the 17th level pathfinder school specialized wizard that can cast 2 9th level spells/day.
So yea, like others have said, 5e spellcasters get the nerf.
Everyone gets like 30 bonus feats
You lost me with this. What are you talking about? Feats are rare since you have to choose between an ability bump or a feat. Sure you can take all feats, but do you really want your primary state to be a 15? If you're a spellcaster that means your DCs are 12. That's pretty low and easy to make the save (granted, not when you roll like me, but still).
Wahoo. I am really glad this book is available. brings together a number of balanced, playable races that I have wanted to see released for quite some time. The four main races detailed are:
Plus there are four other races detailed in this book:
All of these races have favored class options for all of Paizo's classes from the Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide, and Ultimate Magic. We also included favored class options for the four classes from Dreamscarred Press's Psionics Unleashed. These races were not the only one to get so many favored class options. We also included favored class options for the dhampir, drow, duergar, fetchling, grippli, hobgoblin, kobold, orc, ratfolk, tiefling and wayang.
And before you think that that is all, we included archetypes for the dhampir, duergar, dwarf, grippli, hobgoblin, ifrit, and wayang.
We really hope you enjoy this book.
Go beyond elves and dwarves with the Book of Heroic Races Compendium. Inside you will find eight brand new races. From the tree-kin seedlings to the wacky half-faerie dragons, these amazing races will bring something fresh and exciting to your game. Each of these new races comes complete with new class options, spells, equipment and much more. In addition, many existing races receive new favored class options, greatly expanding your enjoyment of them. Take your Pathfinder game to the next level with these exciting new races!
This 117-page supplement features:
Be heroic with these new races today!
I wrote a poem this morning in memory of Mr Williams. (Link)
Ode to Robin
Oh I long to hear “Na-nu na-nu,” from the owner of Zevo Toys.
Whether you reside in light or in dark of What Dreams May Come
Good-bye oh friend who helped us through MIT.
If I had to guess I'd say we're 3-4 years out from PFRPG 2.0 (and a year less before it is announced). Mind you, I have no direct knowledge whatsoever so take it as some guys on the internet's random guess. However, I've been pretty good at guessing so far.
2) D&D 5e. Paizo is going to put off announcing PFRPG 2.0 as long as possible for one very good reason: announcing the new edition kills off sales of the current edition. D&D 5e is proof of that. Sure, D&D 4e was outsold by PFRPG before they announced 5e, but they could have hung on with satisfactory sales (including board games) for a few more years if they really wanted to. But they announced 5e and a great playtest. Then they announced it would take 2 years to playtest it properly. D&D sales eversince have gone downhill from there. The most recent ICv2 ranking didn't even have D&D on it. An announcement of a new edition max 1 year before launch is optimal.
3) .... I had a 3....
I thought James would become a demon lord of T-Rexes with his mortal memory intact.
Hm. You're right. I guess I was thinking of Owen.
The problem with that is that it's very, very difficult for T-Rexes to type. Big head, little arms.
He'll be a demon lord. He'll have minions to do that for him.
Graeme Lewis wrote:
#1000 will drop November 2090. Provided Paizo is still around in 2090 and still doing the Adventure Paths.
I mean come on, its so obvious that they will be. Wes will be a vampire. In a bloodlust-fuelled rage, he will tear Jason Bulmahn to shreds, (not because he intended to, naturally). Jason, in turn, will be reconstructed and become a reanimated flesh golem by Stephen Radney-MacFarland, who himself has downed so many alchemist potions that he will live forever.
Gary will have had so many parts of his body replaced by machines that he will be declared a cyborg and lose voting rights.
Both James Jacobs and Erik Mona will have had their personalities uploaded to the company servers so they can create material at the speed of computers. Liz, by comparison will simply been turned into a cyberghost and will haunt the website for all time.
Adam Daigle, Mark Moreland, and Patrick Renie will grow old and then suddenly become like Benjamin Button and begin to age in reverse. This will be a neverending cycle for them. That is, until Sara Marie figured out the appropriate countercurse.
And Lisa Stevens will simply ascend to goddesshood.
I just want to say thank you to Liz and to Paizo for this blog.
A few of Jon Brazer Enterprises PDFs on sale that I want to highlight.
Got Awesome Monsters and NPCs? Well we do, up to 80% off.
Are you a spellcasting player? At up to 67% off, you have to try these spells and class options on for size.
Before I go, I want to highlight a few releases from my fellow publishers that I feel you should check out.
I've been making a big push this year to add all of JBE's open content to d20PFSRD. Here's what I've added lately.
Favored Class Options from Shadowsfall: Favored Class Options
Still to come, favored classes for the soulknife, wilder, time thief, and the malefactor.
Book of Heroic Races: The Reapers ("Plane-touched psychopomp people". Think Ifrit and the elemental races, but for the neutral Psychopomps.)
Even more than that, he helped the:Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane and
Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes
be as amazing as these books are. He is credited in both as an editor. And he was one of the original playtesters of the Shadowsfall: Temple of Orcus adventure.
Mark has done some awesome work. Couldn't have happened to a better guy.
Return to classic fantasy in the River Nations. Whether your players are putting an stop to a bloody baron or starting their own kingdom, the River Nations series is everything you need. This $1 and $2 sale has all the resources you need, at up to 67% off the regular price. The sale lasts only one week, though, so grab these titles today!
Download the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations, Book of the River Nations Complete, and Book of Friends and Foes: Assassins in the River Nations all week at deep discounts at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and d20pfsrd today.
Steve Geddes wrote:
richard develyn wrote:
I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
What he means is that if Wizards wanted that spell to be OGL, they had the chance (twice infact, once for 3.0 and once for 3.5) to release it OGL. They didn't. You can honor their wishes and leave it alone (playing nice, as many off us publishers try to do) or you can thread the needle in the loophole in the law (and not play nice). Not playing nice tends to result in tighter restrictions like tighter licenses like the 4.0 GSL.
Actions have consequences. Some directly affect you, some directly affect everyone. I suspect that more often than not, such actions fly under the radar, but do you really want to take that chance of being the next Book of Erotic Fantasy.
richard develyn wrote:
Everyone should have the right to write.
Its like I tell my girlfriend all the time when she complains about the world. What should be and what is are two different things. Wishing doesn't change it. You can accept it the way it is or work to change it. Pretending that it is otherwise gets you nowhere.
richard develyn wrote:
This goes outside of gaming as well, of course. If you lose your free speech you pretty soon lose your freedom.
XKCD had a great comic on this, just this past Friday. Mind you, the author was talking about hateful forum commenters instead of corporate lawsuits, but the basic principle of not being shielded from consequences still applies.
richard develyn wrote:
Still a bit puzzled,
Here's the thing to remember: with few exceptions, none of us publishers can survive the time/expense of a law suit. If a publisher decided to put another publisher out of business, all they would have to do is examine all of their products, find something that is "close enough," hire a lawyer and file a law suit. The amount of money the defending publisher would have to pay a lawyer (plus travel expenses and a hundred other small expenses that will pile up fast, plus taking time off of their day job) would easily surpass the amount of sales the publisher had last year. Plus while the defending publisher is fighting the suit, they don't exactly have the time and energy to create new products to sell so the amount of money coming in is going to go down. Even if the defending publisher wins the suit, they are still out of lawyer fees and lost ... gobs of time. More than likely, the publisher will require time away from the company or might even close the doors altogether just from sheer burn out.
Now imagine the plaintiff publisher is Wizards of the Coast, a company that (comparatively speaking) has unlimited funds, can drag the law suit out until well after you declare bankruptcy and it won't cause any slow down in their production schedule since the people fighting the law suit are completely different than those making new products. At that point, it doesn't matter if you are right, or even if you win the suit (which are two completely different things, legally speaking), you're finished as a company and probably economically destroyed in the process. A good scenario would involve you closing your company (like Fast Forward Entertainment did).
So any publisher should be at minimum a little skiddish of doing something that could draw the ire of WotC. Hell, we don't even want to draw the ire of our fellow Pathfinder Compatible publishers. We all know it could happen. None of us want it to happen and to my knowledge it hasn't happened, yet. (Personally I attribute that to the fact that none of us are that big of a d*ck, but I'm sure there are other reasons as well.) But that doesn't mean it can't happen and when you're talking about using non-OGL material, it makes that standard of "close enough" just a little closer.
Can the OGL and "Rules cannot be copyrighted" exist side by side? Yes. Buuuuuuuuuut ...
richard develyn wrote:
For example, the 3.5 D&D book Ghostwalk is of type (b) above. This book contains within it a spell called "Bonerattle" which I would quite like to use in my adventure. Although written for 3.5 D&D it hardly needs any conversion. Could I include it in my adventure using the OSR-style copyright exclusion principle ...
No. Absolutely not. Not even close. This is a major no-no.
Lets start with, "What does 'rules cannot be copyrighted' mean?"
Here's what it means, roughly (a hired lawyer will be able to tell you better, I am neither hired nor a lawyer, disclaimered). It means the basic idea, the math (if you will), behind the system cannot be claimed as one's own. To break it down really far, 2 + 2 = 4 cannot be claimed by any company as their own property. To translate that into direct game terms, no company can say that "if d20 roll + modifier > target number, then success" is their own property.
But what can a company say is theirs? The presentation. So plagiarism is still plagiarism and you can get sued over that. A company might name the modifier. That name is copyrighted. The paragraph that a company types to explain how the mechanic worked is copyrighted. To use your example, the name "Bonerattle," is copyrighted and you cannot use that. Nor can you copy the text from this spell, make a few minor changes and publish it.
What you can do is this: you can take the idea and the mechanics behind the spell, write a completely new spell that uses the same idea and similar mechanics and name it something completely different.
Mind you, if you are writing for a publisher, you should tell the publisher you are doing this. Some are less comfortable than others skating that close to the thin ice area (and yes, this is thin ice). And the publisher will let you know if you should drop this or not. If, however, you are planning on publishing this yourself and making money off of it, contact a lawyer in very short order and have them explain this to you in much greater detail (because there are variations on the specifics of this that depend on where you live). The less you know, the more it can hurt you in the end.
Its not about "limiting," MMCJawa. Its about customers understanding what a book is for.
Put yourself in my shoes for a second. Imagine you are at a convention and a conversation with a customer starts off with, "This book says River Nations on the cover. I'm playing in an adventure path in the River Kingdoms. Will this work with my game?" You explain it some. Then that person follows up with, "I don't understand. Why does it say River Nations if it can be used in the River Kingdoms?" You explain it again, in a different way. Then end it off with, "I don't know. My GM might be confused by the River Nations when we're playing in the River Kingdoms," or "I don't know. We're playing in the River Kingdoms and I don't want to use anything that is completely different from the adventure path in my game," right before they walk away, confused because "Nations" vs "Kingdoms" blew the person's mind.
Now have that conversation 100 times.
In one day.
Each day you are at the convention.
Now imagine having that conversation on forum thread after forum thread across various message boards every single time you talk about the book.
Imagine having that same conversation on a regular basis over the course of years.
Now imagine having conversations just like that for every single product you make.
All of them.
Every. Last. Product. You. Make.
"Limited" is not the word. "Frustrated" is. Frustrated to the point of walking away, like I am doing.
The above is a solution. It requires no oversight because everything is unofficial. It hardly limits anyone's creativity since it is off the official map. It curtails the number of competing campaign settings and does not invalidate products from the main campaign setting. And if the license to do so has the appropriate protections, it could be easy for the licensing company to pull the logo an individual product or the offending publisher if the license is violated.
If you think a universal campaign setting that other people can publish content for is such a money maker for the campaign creator, why don't you create it? Then everyone wins.
1) I didn't say a "universal campaign setting." I said a small, unused portion of an existing campaign setting that will (most likely) never be developed. Thank you for blowing my words out of proportion.
2) I am. Foreven Worlds: Fessor Subsector was the first of many releases that I am doing in such a case. The Foreven license says that anyone using the license can refer to someone else's material in an OGL-like fashion. It goes further then that. Another company could all but copy and paste my text and (as long as it was referenced properly) publish everything I wrote. So I am doing exactly that. I am putting my money where my mouth is.
Recently I commented that JBE is stepping away from developing for Pathfinder on a regular basis. Sure, we will be doing a Pathfinder release when we believe that there's a significant contribution to be made, but we are not going to release a Pathfinder product every two weeks just to keep our place in the market. But the single biggest reason I personally am stepping back from the game is because Pathfinder is no longer fun for me. I do this after I get home from the day job so this is what I do for fun. And when it is as enjoyable as the day job, I have to reevaluate what I am doing.
So most of my time lately has been involved in some 13th Age but mostly Traveller. JBE started out with Traveller and it is great to get back to the company's roots. But I am having far more fun these days then I have been for a long time with Pathfinder for one simple reason: I am devoting much of my Traveller design work these days to Foreven Worlds as an unofficial part of the Third Imperium setting. It is just SOOOOOO NIIIIIIICE to be able to have a Zhodani bad guy or a Vargr thief or to just say the The Third Imperium.
More than anything else, Jon Brazer Enterprises is known for the Book of the River Nations. Why did we call it the River Nations? Because we couldn't call it the River Kingdoms. We had to get as close as possible so that most people would figure that it was *nudge, nudge, wink, wink* the same place. But then we had to explain to others over and over again that we "cannot legally call it the River Kingdoms so this is as close as we could get," "are not lazy designers, are aware that it is really called the River Kingdoms but we can't call it that legally," "designed it this way on purpose so that you would know it would work in your game," and on and on. It really was a tiring, never ending battle of explaining that every product that had "River Nations" on the cover was not a mistake, not us being lazy or underhanded, or outright malicious before a person will consider looking at the release. Mind you, that is after the tiring effort of making sure there is not a single other reference to any other Pathfinder setting location is in the product to begin with.
This is not just limited to Pathfinder, mind you. We are experiencing the same issue with 13th Age. The idea of icons is OGL but the icons themselves are not. So I can't say, the High Druid. Instead I have to say the Great Druid. And again, we got called "lazy designers" for "messing up the name of the icon." As such, our releases with 13th Age have been limited.
Now, compare that with the Foreven license for Traveller. I can define the area all I want and make all the adventures in that section of space as I desire, calling a Vargr a Vargr instead of an "Uplifted Canine Alien" without getting in legal trouble. And no one has yet to call me a single name for doing so. Infact the two reviews for our first release have been glowing. The less glowing review, his chief complaint boils down to him wanting more because he really enjoyed what was there so much. Plus, setting development is just more enjoyable then system development. All of this translates to me having MUCH MORE FUN designing for this then just about anything else I have worked on for Pathfinder.
Take the Forgotten Realms Map for a moment (click on the link for a image). You see several continents with nothing defined on them and others with not everything defined. Even Faerun isn't fully detailed. It was first published in 1987 and is arguably the most developed RPG campaign setting in the world. Can anyone give me a single competent reason why a continent that has nothing defined on it to date cannot be opened up to other publishers on an unofficial basis? Or even just one country in the undefined parts of Faerun? Or take the Pathfinder Campaign Setting. Paizo didn't start defining the setting in a major way until 7 years ago when Rise of the Runelords was released. Even if you ignore all the D&D 4E Forgotten Realms material, that setting has 21 years of development to Pathfinder's 7. So if the Pathfinder Campaign Setting is still going strong 14 years from now (2028), will it be as defined as the Forgotten Realms is today? If you take a look at the FR map, that still leaves lots of room for Paizo to grow the Pathfinder CS if they reserve one country or even one continent for other publishers.
Now the real question would be: why on earth would a publisher want to open up part of their campaign setting, even on an unofficial basis, to other publishers? Easy answer is this: money. Lets say Paizo allowed other publishers to make material for the area just south of Geb. No country is defined there so odds are Paizo hasn't even considered planning a single product there. So it costs Paizo nothing to release if another publisher created an adventure path set there (we'll call it South of Geb to make life easy). Now compare that with someone playing in the Cross of Fire Adventure Path from LPJ Design (which I am looking forward to reading, btw). What does Paizo sell to a GM running in the two APs? Cross of Fire: more PFRPG hardcovers and that's it; South of Geb: same PFRPG hardcovers, Inner Sea Gods, if Paizo released a Geb campaign setting book, that would probably would be bought as well, plus a number of other campaign setting books/players guides to help the GM get a full understanding of the surrounding region and the organizations involved, plus some stand alone adventures of Paizo's incase the players go off the rails (since they take place in Paizo's world, they are easier to move to a different country then to a different setting). How about players? Cross of Fire: a few copies of the player focused hard covers (so no Bestiaries) that the player didn't already own and that's it. South of Geb: those same player focused hard covers plus Inner Sea Gods (possibly the full campaign setting as well), a players guide for the race the player is playing, another player's guide that covers the class, and several more. So for both players and GMs, Paizo sells more products to them.
If all of this sounds familiar, it is because it is the basic ideas behind the OGL to begin with. This, however, takes it to its next level. The campaign setting material is not invalidated because the group did not change settings. There's a reason why Wizards stopped supporting all their 2e campaign settings once they were bought by Wizards and went to 3e. If it had a Forgotten Realms label on it, gamers didn't feel it was useful in their Greyhawk game. So those gamers didn't buy it. So Wizards consolidated the number of campaign settings they supported during their 3e days: Forgotten Realms and Eberron. Paizo took that same idea and made a single setting that could encompass just about every possible style of d20 play. But now the areas that are not being developed much (like Psionics) are getting support from other publishers who, because they can't touch Paizo's setting, are making their own setting, with a corresponding adventure path (also really enjoyable and highly recommended). So a desire maintain a tight control on the number of campaign settings has actually resulted in more campaign settings, a kind-of return to the 2e days.
Now I'm sure that Wizards is not going to do this and I wonder if Paizo will. But what about 13th Age? Can Pelgrane Press honestly say that they will have the world beyond the Dragon Empire detailed as much as Golarion is today in 7 years? Or how about other settings? If we all took a lesson from Traveller and opened up part of our campaign settings for unofficial development, maybe the setting would get more development and more players.
And designers like me would have more fun.
Be sure to check out all of Jon Brazer Enterprises' downloads for Pathfinder, Traveller, and 13th Age at the d20PFSRD store today. Be sure to visit the JBE blog at d20PFSRD.com for more musings and ramblings.
Share your thoughts below.