|Dale McCoy Jr President, Jon Brazer Enterprises|
Jim Groves wrote:
I admit to be attracted to the idea, but is the lack of "words" the primary issue with the system.
From what I've seen, the biggest complaint about WoP boils down to, "that is not how I would have made it." I was certainly guilty of that and I've talked with others that, when it comes down to it, have a similar complaint.
Then I actually played the system. I love it now. When I compare what is actually there to what I would have come up with, I prefer WoP. It really is a well developed system. Mind you, I don't believe it is perfect, but I'll take it over Vancian magic any day.
After having actually played it for a few months, there are, IMO, two main problems with the system as it stands right now. 1) the sum total of the spell words available don't even let you do the full breadth of spells in the core rulebook, let alone the APG, UM, UC, etc. This is easily fixed with additional support, such as Book of Magic: 10 Undead Spell Words. I'm not saying that every spell needs an equivalent spell word, but when you can't create an undead creature with the system, you're missing something. And 2) the damage spell words don't work well with the condition words. [technical] The duration of any word spell is equal to the lowest duration of any one spell word. So if you mix a spell word that has duration rounds/level and hours/level, the duration is rounds/level (sorry hours/level spell word, your spell got shortened). So when you mix an instantaneous damage spell word (like the equivalent of fireball) with a longer duration spell word (like the equivalent of slow), what happens? Slow becomes useless because it is an instantaneous duration wordspell. There are a few damage spells with duration in the rules, but no where near where it should be to really make it useful. Fixing this would actually require some of the spell words to be rewritten. Hence the longer project I am discussing. [/technical]
Do you enjoy the Words of Power system? Have you been interested in it but have been disappointed that no one has been supporting it? Do you like the idea of an on-the-fly magic system but were not happy with all the design choices behind Words of Power. Well your prayers have been answered. Jon Brazer Enterprises will be releasing Book of Magic: 10 Undead Spell Words on May 21st. And we have more coming in the future ... if this one does well.
That's the catch. No one really knows right now how many people are interested in expansions to the Words of Power system or even if there is any interest at all in the system. This is where you come in. We need you to download Book of Magic: 10 Undead Spell Words from either d20PFSRD, Paizo.com or DriveThruRPG/RPGNow once it is released if you want to see more of it.
So tell your friends at your Pathfinder game, on social media, at your local game store, everywhere about it. Show us your interest. And please tell us what other spell words you would like to see.
Today we posted the full list of new animals that, as a cavalier, you can ride. These new mounts include:
Riding Ant (Medium)
All the mounts are Large except those marked Medium. Ride something extraordinary in your game.
Today we posted the full list of new animals that, as a cavalier, you can ride. These new mounts include:
Riding Ant (Medium)
All the mounts are Large except those marked Medium. Ride something extraordinary in your game.
My own take of each of these books:
A good start, but not quite there. An average of 10 pages per city.
Taste book. Not a real "sit back and read" book. With some places detailed in 1 page, it is less than a magazine article. Its a reference book, in that, if the GM says that you are going to Hymbria, you read the 1 page on Hymbria. Barely an overview.
My kind of book. First one on this list that I'd call a real "sit back and delve into" book.
Reference book. No need to read the rest of the book if the GM is only interested in running a game in Ustalav. 4 pages per country. Not a "sit back and delve into" book.
I haven't read it so I can't say for sure, but I suspect that it is a "sit back and delve into" book since it focuses on 1 city. Although the "Stat blocks for a wide variety of Magnimar’s denizens" leads me to believe it has a substantial amount of crunch in it.
, which it sounds like it is, it is just a reference book, with a taste of the flavor.
So my opinion of that list of 6, 1 gets a "recommended", 1 gets a "maybe" since I haven't read it and the other 4 are a "not what I am looking for."
If I understand the OP correctly, he is asking for more campaign setting flavor. Something that you can just sit down and read and get a sense of the area, the people, the odd quick in this corner of the city, the butcher that no one trusts because of a crime years ago that is only talked about in rumors. You really can't do that with a book of prestige classes or archetypes or NPCs or monsters or ...
I can totally see what he is saying. My two favorite books published by Paizo are (in order of preference) the Guide to the Darkmoon Vale and the City of Strangers (excellent work on that one, James). Reason being is that the GttDV has exactly 1 page of crunch in it. One. CoS has 4 pages plus 2 magic items and a city stat block. Aside from that, the rest of those books are nothing but pure "sit back on a couch reading and planning your next campaign, even if it never happens" joy.
Despite how much I love the River Kingdoms (and let me tell you, I DO), IMO, the Guide to the River Kingdoms falls short of what I wanted it to be. Why, because I want more. I don't want 1 page on Hymbria. I want 10-15. I don't want 3 pages on Gralton, I want 30. I wanted to pour over pages and pages of the raiding groups similar to the Stag Lord. I wanted to details on nomadic towns that moved around from place to place when raiders or monsters came. I wanted more than a paragraph on the hamlet of Saad or two sentences on the Nameless Secret society of Gralton. I know I am being unrealistically greedy in my desire for RK material, but that book just gives me a taste. I don't want a taste. I want a 7-course meal.
I had a freelancer working on something similar to these for Shadowsfall but the freelancer went quiet about 4 months ago.
Liz Courts wrote:
4th. Developing a drinking habit can't hurt.
Fight the Dark Side
The brave and noble (er, I mean cowardly and underhanded) umbral kobold survives the Plane of Shadows through stealth and guile—and, with this race guide, so can you. This supplement provides an exciting look into the life of everyone’s favorite miniscule draconic creature, along with full stats that are balanced to play seamlessly alongside the races from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. In this player supplement, you will find all-new alternate racial traits, character traits, archetypes, feats, spells, deities and much more for your umbral kobold PC. Play the kobold race that you always wanted to play—grab the Shadowsfall: Guide to Umbral Kobolds today!
What Stories Will They Tell of Your Character?
This 16 page PDF details the umbral kobold race, their place in Shadowsfall and gives players racial options such as feats, spells, alternate class and racial choices and more. Download Shadowsfall: Guide to Umbral Kobolds today at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo.com and d20PFSRD today.
JBE's Shadowsfall: Favored Class Options details favored class options for 11 different races. The classes covered are the Paizo Base classes, TPK Games' The Malefactor, all the psionic classes in Dreamscarred Press' Psionics Unleashed and Super Genius Games' Time Thief and Time Warden classes.
Coming this GenCon from Jon Brazer Enterprises is the Ultimate High Level monster book for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes is the book your Mythic game needs to keep up with your players. Every single monster in this book is CR 15 or above. That's right, this beautifully designed, full color tome focuses on an area of the game that no other Bestiary has focused on before.
If that were not enough, we included high level NPCs as well. We are not talking a single-classed, core book race. We are talking about a ratfolk diviner oracle mystic theurge. Or a ghost cyclops rogue. We are making the NPCs that you do not have the time to design so you can be the master GM you always wanted to be in the high level campaign you always wanted to play in.
Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes. Coming this GenCon to local game stores, your favorite gaming website, and all the best Gaming eBook retails. Follow us at JonBrazer.com for previews.
Avast me hearties, for there be new pirate ships here! If ye be looking for new vessels to sail the seven seas, look no farther. For inside this electronic book, ye will find four new sailing ships and six different modifications to them ships, complete with captain’s name and why they be famous. These new ships will help in yer search for buried treasure, the best of spirits and a life of adventure, har har har!
My own take on this monster:
Flavor: I'm bored. "a mundane plant" "when threatened" "Druids ... harvest" Something like this belongs in the "Slimes, Molds and Fungi" section of the core book, not the Bestiary. I can't give this a grade.
Crunch Considering your first mistake is on the first line XP 1000 when it should be 800, it doesn't bode well.
To save time I'm just going to list the technical errors I am noticing.
Mistakes happen, but the quantity of mistakes and the kinds of mistakes made lead me to believe you are a novice at monster design. Keep practicing. Again, I can't give this a grade.
[b]Conclusion: Like I said, you're still a novice at monster design. Keep practicing and you'll get it. This monster, however, is not superstar.
WOOT!!! A shout out for the Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building from Jon Brazer Enterprises (my company).
That's a mix of personal taste and your own goals, IMO. Compare 1st and 2nd ed Mutants and Masterminds. 1st ed used basic D&D chargen info but departed from there. It had a d20 logo on it. 2nd ed had its own character generation system. The d20 license forbid that so they took the logo off.
No one will argue that M&M should be used in a standard D&D game, but it did have the logo on there because because Green Ronin wanted people to know that it was a very similar game to D&D so the rules would be relatively familiar to a D&D player. But by the time 2nd ed rolled out, it made enough changes (plus it had an established enough market presence) that it made sense to take the logo off.
So it depends on what you want to do with it. Do you want to communicate to potential players that it uses the base pathfinder system, even if rules are altered to suit the feel of what you are doing? Or do you feel that the changes are so significant that it you need to alter fundamental parts of the game to accomplish what you are doing? At the end of the day, only you can decide that.
Liz is right. But to help with a bit more detail:
The OGL and the d20 licenses are two completely separate licenses that were designed to work together. The OGL allowed you to use the base system (mostly found in the PHB, DMG, MM1, Psionics and Epic Level Handbook) but forbid its uses to say that uses the same system as D&D. The d20 license allowed the publisher to say, "See the Spells section of the Player's Handbook," and gave a logo for the cover that let people know that it used the same system.
The OGL states that it never expires. It will still be valid during the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire and beyond the end of the human race. The d20 license already expired.
Pathfinder uses the OGL and a license similar to the d20 license called the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License (or PFRPGCL, for short). As a publisher comparing the two, the PFRPGCL is far better. While the two licenses are—for all tense and purposes—equal, the PFRPGCL has more books that I can reference. So far it has 11 books that I can use compared to the 5 that D&D ever placed section from in a separate document that we were allowed to use. The other better part is the logo on the cover. Pathfinder Compatible books have the name "Pathfinder" right on them, compared to the logo that said "d20 system." If you didn't know that D&D was the d20 system, you would never look at the books with the d20 system logo on the cover.
So from a publisher's prospective, its just like before, only better.
nick pater wrote:
Nick, I feel your pain. As a Christian and a game designer, I have quite a collection of esoteric games. One time I was referencing the Witchcraft RPG when my parents came over to visit. My dad literally thought I was joining satanism. *sigh* Not one of my more fun evenings.
There are two basic strategies that work well: education or stealth. Of the two, I recommend education. Stealth (aka, keeping those that would react badly out of the loop) is a well used short term solution that avoids putting yourself out there. I've used that one myself quite a bit back in the day. However, it has a tendency to backfire. When those that would you kept role playing from discover that you and others play it, they feel you have been keeping secrets from them, because, well, you have. (That happened to me once. Not what I'd call fun.)
The alternative is education. Start off my explaining what they already know. Compare it to monopoly. Everyone knows that you do not actually become a landowning tycoon when you play monopoly. You just pretend you are. From there, you explain it to them that D&D/Pathfinder is the same way. You don't become a battle-hardened dwarf or an elf that hides in the shadows. You explain that you just pretend you are, just like in monopoly.
Keep your analogies coming back to games they know. The more they see how it is like a game, the more it gets translated in their mind from cult-icon to game. Show them a battle mat and the minis and explain that instead of having one game board that you play over and over again, you draw the board so you can play the same game over and over again.
Two questions always come up because these are the two "dangers" of playing D&D: Magic and Death. When they ask about magic, don't back away from it. Acknowledge there is magic in the game. But then go right onto say that if it was a science fiction game you would use the same rules but you would call it technology. Make sure to mention that magic does not influence the world around you but the pretend world of the game. Use a fly spell as an example. Show them how the mini flies by lifting the mini higher. Maybe even make a whoshing noise when he is flying. More than once, I've seen someone laugh when I did that. Its typically the last connection they need to know that this literally is a game and not something dangerous.
Death also tends to come up. Again, acknowledge that character death happens in the game, but stress that all that means is that you make a new character. If they ask about how they've heard about people committing suicide over losing a character, acknowledge that there was a kid back in the 80's that did have mental issues and committed suicide and his mother blamed D&D for it. Tragic as it was, it could have been prevented if his mother has paid more attention to him and gotten him the help he needed.
You might want to also counter it by mentioning that studies have shown that the suicide rate for role players is massively lower than the population as a whole. This is because you are gaming regularly with the same group of people, getting to know them, making close friends that can help should someone in the group be in that vulnerable time in their life.
As others have said, invite them to sit in on a game.
All in all, best of luck (and God be with you) when you explain it to them.
Jon Brazer Enterprises is committed to bring you our books in a fashion that you want to see them. That especially includes print. As such, we are making our newly released Book of Heroic Races: Seedlings available for Print from DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.com. This book, written by Marie Small is the first in our Book of Heroic Races series, giving players new balanced races they can play alongside a human, elf or other core book races. Seedlings are a plant-like humanoid race that possess a special connection to nature and the natural world around them. As always, you receive the PDF for free when you purchase one of our print books.
While it is "cute" actually watching you finally learn what was told to you almost 200 posts ago, you still have a considerable number of questions that you are only now beginning to realize that you have. And it is not Clark's responsibility, or anybody else's responsibility on this thread to help you. Its your responsibility. And the best person to help you out with that is a lawyer. I know you don't want to do that, but if you want to be a publisher, get use to doing things that you don't want to do. Like reediting something 100 times to make it right. Or going an accountant to figure out your taxes. Or signing contracts that put you under certain obligations to do/not do certain things. That comes with the territory. Get use to it.
While it is fun to publish material, being a publisher is a business and it is serious business. And as a serious business, you have to do the serious things, and understand the serious implications of your actions.
I hope you don't read my words as harsh. They are not. They are matter-of-fact. Its is a serious business and you have to do serious things if you want to be in this business.
R. Hyrum Savage wrote:
if you violate the OGL, it's WotC you'll be dealing with. Will they go after you? Probably not. But I buy car insurance even though I don't plan on getting into an accident today, because not everything is under my complete control.
Even more than that, citing someone incorrectly opens you up to a plagiarism lawsuit. For example, if I cite one of LPJ Design's works incorrectly. I could hear from his lawyers. It doesn't matter that he and I have have helped each other in the past. If I cited his work incorrectly, I would be leaving myself open to a law suit and he would be perfectly within in his rights to sue me. Because outright copying someone else's work and reproducing it in your own is plagiarism. Correct use of the OGL is the only thing that stops those kinds of law suits from happening. (That and Louis is a good guy who would never sue me. Right Louis?)
The OGL makes plagiarism legal when used with other OGL works. It was designed to prevent another T$R situation when TSR was suing companies for making material compatible with AD&D 2E. Its a safe harbor as long as you play within its mildly constrained waters. Leave those waters and you can end up in a hurricane.
10. Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of this License with every copy of the Open Game Content You distribute.
Black letter law. Failing to do so means you are in violation of that.
Like I said, Paizo have set a precedent for distributing a PDF product using many files only one of which has the OGL in it.
If it ever came to a court battle between Wizards and Paizo, Paizo would argue that the print product is the primary and that it appears within. The PDF is merely a way of presenting that information in a more easy to use fashion.
You, however, your product is primarily PDF. As such if the OGL does not appear in your product. You are opening yourself up to law suits from everyone you reference.
Even if you are successful in winning your case, how much are you going to spend on lawyers to defend yourself? How much time are you going to spend working on that that you could otherwise be creating game material.
If you go ahead with this and are sued, more than likely, you will be forced to settle out of court or outright lose. But by going to court, you are risking losing everyong. Are you really willing to risk your house, car, wife's wedding ring, saving accounts, kid's college funds, retirement, everything you have based on "you are right" and betting against "the other guy hired a better lawyer"? This thread could very well be used against you as evidence of being told how to comply with the law and you choosing to do otherwise.
Isn't it ALOT easier to just comply with the OGL?
Perception is very important. A good example of this is compare any Pathfinder playtest doc to D&D 5E playtest documents. Wizards obviously has enough art resources where they can recycle their artwork from any of the previous editions. But they didn't. To get a bit technical, they went straight from Word to Adobe without any layout (for example: the background file, when you dig into the document itself [the one I have on my thumb drive which isn't up to date] is titled "Microsoft Word - 081312_Backgrounds.docx"). IMO, the D&DNext playtest almost looks and feels like it was generated by a homebrewer on their home computer. If it were not for the quality of the material itself, I would say there is no way to tell them apart. Sending it the layout guys and adding in some artwork they have hanging around would go a long way into making it more eye catching (and thus inspiring).
Paizo, by comparison, makes the document look nice, even when they are giving it away for free. Little things like that make a big difference in making it look professional.
(this isn't a slam on Wizards, just an observation)
Only if you use them. So if you don't use Ultimate Equipment, you don't have to have what's in its OGL in there. But if you do use UE, then you must copy everything in its section 15 into your section 15. Everything. So if you use them all ... that's going to be a LOOOOOONG section 15. Just see my Shadowsfall books to know what I mean.
Also, be sure to check out Book of Heroic Races: Seedlings. Just released this morning, this 26 page PDF gives you everything you need to play a character that is truly one with nature, who is part of the forest.
This is the first in our Book of Heroic Races series. Be sure to catch everyone in this series of highly creative and innovative races. Each of these are written by some of the best game designers in Pathfinder today. Seedlings, for example, is written by Marie Small. She was one of the top 16 of RPG SuperStar 2011. Her Verdant Vine is one of my favorite magic items to come out of that year. If you thought her design was excellent then, you will LOVE what she did with Seedlings.