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To expand on what James is saying, White Wolf did this in the 90's with the oWoD. People loved it because it was a single story that kept advancing and getting deeper and deeper. It was also hard for White Wolf to keep doing because they kept building to a single event and, eventually, had to deliver on that (which it finally did). The next book had to have writers that were intimately familiar with everything that came before instead of a single core setting book. As time went on, that got harder and harder. Eventually, they abandoned the continuous overplot idea and go with a plotless version. It made life much simpler for them for them as a company and easier on freelance writers.
IMO, Paizo's model of static setting + overplot that last 6 months is the best compromise between the two.
I mentioned yesterday that we are making an addition to the Book of Heroic: Advanced Series. Well, we are ready to share the details. Please ignore the timing. Yes, today is April Fools, but that is pure coincidence, nothing more. Check out our preview at JonBrazer.com.
Sisterhood of the Mismatched Eyes
With a dark heritage, changelings struggle to rise above and become a hero. These women always feel the temptation to give into their darker natures, but it is the choices they make and the relationships they choose to develop that can win the day. With these new options, you can play a changeling character, far from frail and not in need of being rescued, like never before!
Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Changelings gives you everything you need to play a changeling character. This 24-page supplement features:
Be Heroic with This Advanced Race Today!
Or download the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Changelings as part of the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Subscription. Get this, Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Catfolk, Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Tengu, Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Favored Class Options today as well as the 9 other races in the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced series as they are released throughout 2015 plus the upcoming Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium when it is finished at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, d20PFSRD, and Paizo.com.
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY AND UNHOLY PLEASE PLEASE psychopomp descendants.
I really don't know how I missed this, but the Book of Heroic Races Compendium features the reapers, a half-psychopomp race. I think you will like it.
I would, if possible and ethical, like to protect these mechanics to keep them exclusive to my brand.
Well, here's the thing, you can't really protect mechanics. 2+2=4 can't be protected. All you can do is protect the phrasing of the instructions of how to add 2+2 to get 4. In the same way, you can't stop someone from making a 3rd level spell that does fire damage at a rate of 1d6 points/level to a maximum of 10d6. All you can do is stop them from calling it fireball and from plagiarizing the way you described it. My best recommendation is to declare "everything that is not already open content" as product identity.
And honestly, unless someone is bound and determined to use your mechanics (who will find a way around anyways), this is going to be good enough to keep other publishers from doing anything with it. When I see something like that, I just remove it from my mind as something to potentially reference in the future. I'll look at it again as a player, but otherwise I treat it as any other non-OGL book and don't even consider it.
Marc Radle wrote:
I think it's better to either declare the entire thing (class, item, etc) Product Identity (ie closed content) if appropriate OR make it entirely open, especially if you'd like others to refer back to your product whenever someone else uses what you created in their product.
I agree, but the question was about making it PI.
Jason Nelson wrote:
I haven't found a subscription tool that I really liked. Did you use any kind of special WordPress plug-in for managing that, or just have people sign up by email or on your site and as people bought the subscription you added them to a mailing list/dropbox?
I only sell through DriveThru/Paizo/d20pfsrd and I use their systems. i.e. email Liz for Paizo. I don't sell through my own website.
Pardon me, Liz. Can an original base class and its mechanics be considered product identity?
Here's the quick and dirty test to see if something can be declared product identity: did you come up with it?
Now your first thought is, yes, it is an original class with original mechanics so it can be declared product identity. But here's the question: did you really come up with it? It uses Base Attack Bonus, a concept you did not come up with. That part cannot be declared PI. And skills, armor, weapons. You are referencing a difference source with all of them. Those parts cannot be declared PI. Did you take any abilities and reskin them for your new class? Those abilities are not PI.
So even an original class will still have considerable parts that are open content.
In cases like this, it is safest to simply declare the name of the class product identity and the mechanics open content. This prevents anyone from referencing your class while making the open everything that legally needs to be open.
Steve Geddes wrote:
As such, your approach of lots of little releases doesn't really suit me (at least without a complete subscription model) as its too hard to stay on top of everything.
Yea, JBE talked to a number of people 6-ish months ago and came to a similar conclusion. This is why we decided to go with the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium being a subscription.
Liz Courts wrote:
I actually looked for Mike's avatar as a way of honoring him. But I settled on this as the closest I could find.
I don't see another thread on the forms so I guess I will start one.
Mike McArtor, formerly of Paizo Publishing, was in a car accident and passed away.
I did not know Mike personally, but I was a fan of his writing. He loved writing about dragons and it showed in his writing. It was one of the things that drew me to Pathfinder.
You will be missed, good sir.
Justin Sluder already posted a link to the whole Book of Beasts line (thank you btw). However, I would like to highlight the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane. This is one of the highest rated monster manuals and is filled with some incredibly spooky monsters, especially if you want to add a bit of dark horror to your game. There is somewhat of a focus on undead in this book, but some of my favorites are the living creatures, like the spiderbear and the darklings.
I was thinking about Open Gaming Thursday for a bit and I had a little flash of inspiration. I am hoping I will be running Expedition to Playtest Mountain on Friday. While I want to playtest running this adventure a bit before the actual playtest of the monsters. So then inspiration hit. Expedition to Playtest Mountain is not the name I really want. It brings too much connotation of barrier peaks, which I am not going for. So instead, I'm calling it:
Cabin in the Playtest Mountains
This way, the players choose their own doom, I mean adventure. You know, Cabin in the Wood-like. This way, I can run the adventure over and over again, and no one knows which adventure will be that time, not even me.
And I can run a game of it on Thursday before the con and then again Friday, getting double the playtest pleasure.
Now to send an email off to the PaizoCon people.
Matthew Koelbl wrote:
One of my favorite things about 5E is that everyone seems to be jealous of what other classes get. I think I've seen players of every single spellcasting class complain about how much better other class's spell lists are. (And that includes a bard who can pick and choose from everywhere.)
I love my warlock. Other classes can keep what they have.
I believe it is in the DMG.
The DMG has about 2 paragraphs on it but frankly it can be summed up as, "eh, good luck."
IMO, if the class levels complement the race's natural abilities (barbarian werewolf, hobgoblin fighter, vampire sorcerer) then you are looking at a +1 CR for every class level you add. This also works good on lower level creatures.
If the class does not complement the race at all (orc bard, red dragon monk, beholder shapeshifting druid) then it could be +1 CR/2 class levels to +1 CR/4 class levels. Higher level creatures also should get less of a CR boost from class levels.
Remember, the more you dilute the monster's main attack, the less of a boost it should get from class levels.
A Harbinger of Doom Descends From The Sky
Following the disappearance of personnel at a lumber camp, a mysterious sword drops from the sky, cleaving the very earth to deliver a pronouncement of doom upon all who refuse to leave the logging site. Can the adventurers ferret out the source of this ominous portent and put a stop to it before it wreaks further havoc on the loggers?
Doom of the Sky Sword is an exciting adventure module in Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Deadly Delves series, and is compatible with the best-selling Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This adventure is designed to challenge four to five 1st-level PCs like no other content has to date. Inside this volume, you’ll find:
Dangers Unknown. Treasures Untold. Adventure Awaits.
I can't just "give" the party any encounters if they just stay holed up in their super fort all day.
Nothing can wander in while they are away? no returning from a long quest to find their door kicked in and their place looted? No kobolds can tunnel up into their lair by accident? No one comes banging at their door in the middle of the night looking for someone to take them in and protect them from the horrible monster out there? No flock of owlbears on a hooting rampage pass by? No termites cause the wall to collapse (not monstrous termites, just regular old ordinary, everyday termites)? No floods? No extra planar messengers asking for their help? No cloud dwarves that dug too far down for cloud silver dropping from the sky?
Their super fort is protected from all this?
There are three books I recommend:
I should say that all three of these are 30% off right now in the GM's Day Sale so grab them now.
These are all from my company, Jon Brazer Enterprises.