A giant yes to more epic stuff IF:
You publish adventures that give us the opportunity to see and handle the rules in actual encounters.. I know adventures don't usually sell as well as rules material (only the GM needs to buy a copy) but having an adventure, written by the authors of the rules, that showcases all the cool legendary monsters, feats, magic items, etc makes ALL the difference in the world. Otherwise it starts to feel like DnD 3.5 Epic where there was this one book and then....nothing.
Ideally, if there was a linked series of adventures that a) took characters from 20 level to their transformation to legendary levels and then b) took those characters up through the lofty heights of 21-???....well you would accomplish something that has NEVER been done (to my knowledge) for the PF system EVER.
So, that's my two bits. Epic adventures. Give us a reason to play epic characters and use all of those cool rules!
I might bust Skeeter and FGG's coconuts occasionally, almost always about Hero Lab files, but make no mistake, they are, in my opinion, the finest overall producer of RPG material in the business with the exception of Paizo itself. When I think about the level of effort required to run their business, it's pretty incredible.
Half a dozen or less people are performing content creation, play testing, art procurement, editing, layout, project and schedule management, order packing and product distribution, customer support, advertising, invoicing and financials and probably fifty other things that we'll never know about.
...and they do it in their spare time.
In the future, if something does slip through the cracks, either from scheduling problems or less communication about an issue than I'd like to see, or whatever, I think I'm gonna remind myself about all the really great things that they have accomplished, and just either send a private message to Chuck, Skeeter or Bill about my problem or use the support link on their website, instead of going all board warrior with it.
But, that's just me.
Skeets, your point is understandable.
...but it's also a matter of perspective. Offer the HL files as a for sure thing and I'll do my part of the heavy lifting, right here. Right now. At an increased cost to cover your risk of adding the HL files up front as a given. Maybe the 110$ tier goes up... Maybe it doesn't but the HL files are added as an add-on for separate purchase.
I'm certainly not holding out on the KS out of spite...the literally thousands of dollars that I've spent on NG and FGG products over the years will attest that I'll put my money where I see something that I want and can use.
The hard lesson that I've learned over the years is that my group ends up not using content that we don't have HL stuff for because we're located between Texas and Michigan so everything we do is virtual. Myself and the other GM are husbands and fathers so, time being limited, we don't run content that we don't ready have HL files for.
Slumbering Tsar was a particularly expensive learning lesson for us. We kept thinking 'somebody will eventually have to create HL files for this thing, right?' Well, it never happened, we never ran it and now we're gun shy of it happening again.
So, let me propose what I think what would be a solution...remove Hero Lab from the KS concept altogether from Sword of Air and everything else FGG does or will do and make it a part of the core business model.
Is the content proof read? Check.
At this point, check the hours spent at cost for HL file creation, markup with your desired profit percentage, and post for purchase on the website.
Here's another option: build the original PF content using HL from the start. You have enough experience with it to know it speeds up the process anyway...build the encounters with it at the beginning and there is no additional effort beyond the content creation that had to happen regardless.
Anyway, I've traded enough posts and emails with you over the past couple years that I'm not gonna take personally your idea that I somehow want others to shoulder a burden I don't want to bear.
What I want is Hero Lab files for everything that ever has been or ever will be written for the Pathfinder system, by any company. Since I'll never quite achieve that goal, the task on my part is to spend my really finite funds on investments that have the highest chance of meeting both of my requirements (SoA adventure and SoA HL files) while at the same time minimizing the risk of the money being spent (the KS funds successfully) but it doesn't meet my requirements (HL files not created).
Anyway hoss I hope you know I have nothing but good intentions towards FGG and it's future. This isn't the first time you and I have gone a couple rounds over HL files and I don't suspect it'll be the last.
Que tenga buen dia, mi amigo
Since FGG is pretty much my favorite adventure creation RPG company (even edging out Paizo for fun adventures, and tied with Fire Mountain Games, but FMG has a pretty rotten track record for sticking to promised release dates, a subject for a different thread...) I found myself recently thinking about the sorts of content I'd like to see from FGG over the next 12-24 months.
Note: My group runs campaigns totally online using d20Pro and Hero Lab files, so a lot of this revolves around electronic HL and d20Pro product support, which FGG has done better than any other RPG IMHO.
1. Pathfinder conversion of the City of Brass using the new Mythic rules: I recently started another thread on this topic here. 'Nuff said.
2. Slumbering Tsar Hero Lab files: I was HUGELY disappointed to see that the recent MindGene d20Pro Kickstarter for adding FGG content didn't include Slumbering Tsar somewhere (base reward, stretch goal, etc). Guys, I get it. ST is a MASSIVE adventure requiring a MASSIVE amount of effort to generate d20Pro maps and HL files. That's exactly why we need it. I'd pay 20$-25$ for the ST HL files, approximately twice what I paid for the Stoneheart Valley files. PLEASE figure out some way to do this. It's just too big for individual GMs to tackle ourselves. The dang book is gathering dust on my bookshelf until I can find some HL files for it.
...as a bonus, I'd love to see some more high level stuff added to ST to help fill out the level 16-20 range content...maybe some Mythic stuff here too? Which leads me to #3...
3. A high level campaign, like for levels 11 - 20. Between City of Brass, Rappan Athuk and Slumbering Tsar, FGG has proven it has the chops to create some high quality high level content. A campaign based based around high level play would be the cat's meow. I didn't include Fane of the Fallen in that list because, even though it is listed as being for levels 13 - 18, it is probably my least favorite FGG product. Sorry, but there it is. Not every product is going to be everyone's cup of tea, and that one just left me cold.
4. The Sword of Air: You've already announced this one is in the works and I couldn't be happier about it. I'll be pledging on day 1 of the Kickstarter. All I ask, and you'll see a consistent theme here, please include a significant amount of high level content....trying to fill in gaps in content for levels 16-20 can be a *!%#^.
5. Conversions of 3.5 material: I already mentioned City of Brass but there are still some real classics to tackle after Crucible of Freya and Tomb of Abysthor (and hopefully CoB). My personal choices would be Lost City of Barakus, Trouble at Durbenford and Bard's Gate. I'm a big believer in a nice balance of new material from FGG and Pathfinder touch ups of the 3.5 classics.
Anyhoo, I'll end this like I started it: with praise. FGG is my favorite RPG company because a) you guys make great adventures that really do feel old school and b) you provide excellent electronic product support in the form of HL and d20Pro files. Whether or not you do indeed produce any of the products mentioned above (although at least the SoA is a done deal it sounds like) I am sure I will greatly enjoy whatever you guys do end up releasing!
I'm really just trying to butter Skeeter up so that he'll sweet talk Bill into green lighting a PF conversion of City of Brass now that Paizo has released Mythic rules ;-)
I've purchased all of WotW and they are some of the finest adventures I've seen in a LONG time. I will most certainly be signing up for the ToD Kickstarter shortly. However, I do have one comment/request that I think will help Fire Mountain Games in the short and long run, and it will most definitely help out a lot of your customers.
Hero Lab files. Almost all of the PnP RPG Kickstarter projects that I've seen lately have offered Hero Lab files for the encounters. I'm going to guess that since FMG didn't offer these for WotW (d20pfsrd.com does have HL files for the first 3 adventures created by outstanding community members and ShadowChemosh) and HL files aren't listed as a reward at any pledge level for ToD, that you don't use HL when you build the encounters in the adventure.
I can't recommend strongly enough that you start using HL to build your encounters. I don't say this only from the selfish perspective of a customer who would dearly love access to those files, but also from the perspective of a fellow GM who wants to make your life a LOT easier. Building Pathfinder encounters, especially for level 12+ becomes so much easier than doing it by hand, it is like night and day.
I can tell you that for myself and other busy GMs that live and die by Hero Lab support for the adventures that we are considering for our home campaigns, available Hero Lab support can be a deal breaker.
Regardless, I'm looking forward to everything that FMG produces with an enthusiasm that has previously been reserved only for products from Frog God Games and Paizo. Keep up the great work sir!
Merry Christmas to the great gang at FGG!
Between the amazing Slumbering Tsar and Rappan Athuk hardcovers, you guys have busted your humps like no other company that I know to offer old school gaming goodness in a day and age where everything else (with maybe a couple of notable exceptions) is a homogenous, formulaic cookie-cutter plate of blah.
From filling your homes with boxes of products to ship, to packing those boxes in the wee hours of the morning, to Skeeter and Rachel ensuring solid HeroLab and d20Pro file support for RA (which is, to my knowledge, unequaled by ANY OTHER PUBLISHER to date), you guys have shown that just a few dedicated gamers, with enough passion and talent, can make a huge difference in the RPG industry (how's that for a run-on sentence!).
So again, thanks for the awesome 2012 and Merry Christmas FGG!
P.S. Now where's our Pathfinder conversions of Crucible of Freya and Tomb of Abysthor?!?
I kid, I kid, but not really :)
Your site is nothing short of amazing and is responsible for an astonishing amount of lost workplace productivity :) . In terms of the Inner Sea Bestiary, will you be adding the races from that book that can be used as PC races to the 'Other Races->Featured Races/Uncommon Races' section?
Regardless, keep up the fantastic job!
I just watched the YouTube video from your link. I have to admit I'm interested. I'm thinking about the Kickstarter, but no matter what I'm going to keep my eye on this one; it looks really nice.
It is possible to both
a) Lament the loss of (easy) access to Daemonslye's conversions
<br /><br />
b) Understand WHY Paizo did what they did.
Sigh...and there goes any hope of seeing Paladin in Hell get completed. That's just super. The sad part is, I actually got more excited for Daemonslye's stuff than I did for almost anybody else's that I was actually paying money for. I would gladly have paid money for those conversions had he been charging download fees. Instead he did what he did soley to contribute to the community. RPG companies should take a hard look at why Daemonslye's work is so popular; there's a lesson to be learned there by someone, I'm sure.
<br /><br />
I did it! I held out on asking about the pdfs until somebody else did first! I didn't think I could, I almost posted this morning, but then I didn't!
<br /><br />Whew.
<br /><br />Thanks, Wolfthulhu :P
<br /><br />Now Chuck, about those pdfs <ducks the internet brick Chucks throw at him>
<br /><br />P.S. Oh, and my players were also asking about timing for the Player's Guide pdf; any chance that'll be out by the end of August?
<br /><br /><DJF is reduced to dust particles by Chuck's maximized, heightened, empowered Disintegrate spell>
Chuck Wright wrote:
Getting psyched-up to work on the Legal Appendix now. Then off to the printer tomorrow.
Wow. Well done sir. I can only imagine what kind of a wringer you've been through this last week , since it sounded like there was a printer scheduling snafu that resulted in you having less time than originally planned.<br />
Lol and I'm guessing that the legal appendix is not exactly the most exciting part of the project to work on either, but persevere, Chuck, persevere, I say! There is light at the end of this tunnel, sir!
Of course, that light is probably just the oncoming train that is all of the other pdfs that are coming out of the RA Kickstarter, but I digress...<br /><br />
Must....resist....urge....to ask if...pdf...will be sent to Bill...for upload to...Bytes Interactive...
<I'm actually gritting my teeth with the strain, but it turns out to be really hard to find an emoticon for that>
In all seriousness though, thanks for your hard work Chuck!
This idea first crossed my mind with the kingdom building rules in Kingmaker. I thought of it again with the caravan rules from Jade Regent, and now it has risen again with the ship-to-ship combat rules for Skull and Shackles.
I'm envisioning an article detailing a game session where the GM is interacting with the PCs, asking them for their actions this round and telling them the results of those actions. In addition there would be editorial content explaining why certain numbers were added to certain checks, etc. These sorts of examples have three benefits, methinks:
1. Everyone, IMHO, learns better with a concrete example in front of them. Reading the rules is necessary, of course, but actually seeing them in use can really help to cement in a person's mind how they function.
2. It gives Paizo staff a chance to clear up any confusion, errata, or other corner cases that they've seen pop up in forum threads concerning the rules as written.
3. Unless the rules for a new system were published in a player's guide for the AP (like Skull and Shackles), the only person who might have had a chance to read them is the GM. Now he or she has the additional pressure of not only creating and prepping the adventures, he now also has to teach a new system to his players. Usually this happens because GMs don't want their players perusing an issue of an AP to read up on the new system, when it also has an adventure in it that the GM wants to take them on. An online example of the new system (maybe with key portions of the new system reprinted there) would help alleviate this probelm.
I'm definitely not against Paizo adding new systems to Pathfinder; I think it's necessary to keep growing the game and making it feel organic. But having some examples of their use in a blog would be sooooooo helpful, both to GMs and players.
And, finally, you know that we totally love it when you guys show gameplay examples with the iconics :)
Matthew Morris wrote:
Dangit, now I laughed coffee all over my shirt. Thanks a lot Matt :)
As much as Paizo (and FGG) is already stretching me thin with all of their awesome products, I would definitely still manage to pull together the extra cabbage to see this product grow to 96 or 128 pages, hard or soft cover.
You know one of my favorite things about this Kickstarter (aside from all the frabjulous goodies that Bill and gang are throwing into the mix)? It's that this is a Kickstarter for a product that is almost here. I'm still hoping for a GenCon release of this monster.
Too often lately I've contributed money to KS projects that won't be released until 2013 sometime. With this one, I spend the money and the product gets here shortly thereafter.
I like that. A lot.
Meh, this is a soft rule at best. The barbarian has d12, not d10, and has full BAB.
Adding one more exception, the monk with d8 and full BAB, (IMO) doesn't seem like that much of a deal breaker.
Of course, being a huge proponent of monks, I'm all for giving monks d10 hp and full BAB. Maybe as a design trade-off they are given weak fort saves? This brings them nicely in line with other full BAB classes that have two strong save columns, like the ranger and paladin.
I'm gonna throw my copies of Slumbering Tsar and Rappan Athuk Reborn in a cage with some raw meat and see which one wins.
Has anybody completed a spreadsheet for the Wormwood crew? I was probably going to work on one this weekend, but if anyone has already got one built that would be awesome. I'm pretty sure it would be a popular download by GMs prepping for S&S vol 1.
I just downloaded Slumbering Tsar 14.
Hats off to you Mr. Vaughan for producing what I am certain will be a long-remembered and often-run extraordinary mega-adventure.
I think FGG has struck a nice balance between the two: products like Slumbering Tsar, Hex Crawl Classics, Splintered Faiths, and The Northlands Saga provide new gaming experiences, while having one or two conversion projects ongoing ensures that fantastic older products continue to sell under the Pathfinder rules.
I certainly don't want EVERYTHING NG wrote to be converted. Off the top of my head I'd say City of Brass, Tomb of Abysthor, Crucible of Freya and Bard's Gate for sure, with Trouble at Durbenford and Lost City of Barakus as possible maybes.
I'm not sure if the Judges Guild stuff is viable, but I'd shell out cash for sure for a conversion of City State of the Invincible Overlord too, come to think of it.
If I was Paizo management I would hopefully be thinking of one definition of insanity: Performing the same actions over and over but expecting different results. They (Paizo) were caught unprepared by a combination of weather and Chinese holidays. So be it; good companies will learn from this painful experience and prepare contingency plans for the next time.
If, come Dec 2012 - Feb 2013, Paizo (and by extension, us the customers) experience these same issues, my respect for Paizo's leadership would take a significant hit.
Or to look at things another way, the Chinese holiday will happen again, the same time every year. Extreme weather is not a matter of if, but when. Accounting for these occurences is not necessarily cheap in terms of time, scope and resources (re: money and people), also known as the holy triad of project management, but it has to be done.
Level 12+ DnD 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder gaming doesn't totally break down. It slows down. Combats take longer, yes. The math gets more difficult and complex, yes. Its like Vampire the Masquerade in the sense that smaller, resource-chewing combats should fall by the wayside and bigger, story driven, meaningful combats should be the norm because you're only going to get through one or two fights in a session.
My group regularly finishes campaigns at levels 17 - 19. We just finished Age of Worms at 22nd level by using the 'epic-lite' rules from the Core Rule Book. My whole group will absolutely fork over cash for anything intended for not only levels 21+, but levels 17+ also.
The challenge for Paizo should not be viewed as 'should we produce level 21+-based rules', but instead the company should be asking itself 'how can we create a ruleset that draws in people who DON'T want level 21+ rules because of reasons x,y and z?'
Those who already know that they want level 21+ rules are going to buy what Paizo produces; it's a foregone conclusion. The real challenges are to a) create a ruleset that makes people who didn't even think they would want to game at levels 21+ suddenly want to do that exact thing and b) create rules that developers (both internal to Paizo and 3rd party) can use to quickly generate new content so that support does not rest entirely on the shoulders of Paizo.
To do what I mentioned above is probably going to mean losing the little tag on Paizo's level 21+ products that says 'compatible with the world's oldest roleplaying game'. But ok, the people concerned about their level 21+ game being compatible with DnD 3.5 should probably be using the 3.0 ELH anyway...
Good gaming to all,
Personally, for a next project, I'd love to see FGG do a low level (1st-6th) 96-128 pg mega adventure along the lines of Lost City of Barakus.
Heck, even a 'Crucible of Freya Revisited' or 'Return to the Vault of Larin Karr' would work for me.
I'm not saying that FGG just needs to keep returning to the same locales and adventures from NG's past; mostly I'm just looking for cool low level adventures to serve as the appetizer in a campaign that rolls on to Slumbering Tsar....
A map booklet that had maps minus text, if you guys decide to go that route, would be awesome. I would have no issues at all paying a little more for a product that included something like that.
As a GM, and as a player who has played a Magus who went through almost all of the feats in the Dimensional Agility line, I allow both Horizon Walkers and Shadowdancers access to the Dimensional Agility line of feats. Honestly, there just isn't much reason not to. That feat line is nice but it uses up a resource (uses of Dimension Door) and costs a feat. It's a pretty balanced option in my opinion.
That may not be RAW or RAI, but really, the most important thing is that it be a balanced option for your campaign while allowing a player to explore a concept (the 'Nightcrawler' teleporter that uses teleport/dimension door in combat situations) for their character that they are interested in.
Good gaming to all,
Lol yes...and I'm very much guilty of this. I wish that talesofthefroggod dot com had its own forums, especially since I'm having problems trying to get the old NG ezboards forums right now.
Keep the AP model as-is, if that is one of the core bread-earners for Paizo (as it sounds like it is), but I would prefer that the modules line go monthly, allowing for some 'Seeds of Sehan' or 'Maure Castle' style adventure arcs (both from Dungeon Magazine) that just seem difficult to do given the current bi-monthly module releases.
Basically I would just like the modules to have more meat to them than is possible in a 32 page book. Spread it out over 64 or 96 pages (and two or three months) and now we're talking.
Also, having a monthly Paizo module that wasn't an AP might allow for (gasp) a level 18+ adventure once in a while (once a year seems like a good number). I know we had a level 17 adventure last year, but now I'm hungry for more and for a higher level as well....
If I really had my druthers I'd say that the module line simply doesn't need a static page count every month. Have a super-adventure to publish? Put all 96 glorious pages in one monthly module adventure and ship it. I realize that this makes it difficult for subscribers who are watching their wallets (and aren't we all) to know how much they are going to spend on a monthly basis, but as subscribers we already deal with this issue due to hardcovers and missed shipment dates on AP issues; we pay a little more one month a little less the next.
Good gaming to all,
<br />I was wondering this same thing myself. I can only hope that psionics and level 21-30 rules (see how I didn't say the 'E' word there?) for ultra high level gaming are somewhere in the near- to mid- future plans...
Good gaming to all,
Ironically, GeraintElberion, your post actually left me very confused :) .
Are you saying that the obvious, straightforward meaning is that the rage automatically ends regardless of success or failure of the will save (hence the 'automatic' word in the spell description) or that, because the save header for the spell says 'will negates', if the person raging makes their will save, they continue to rage?
I'm all for simple solutions, up to the point that they are no longer a solution.
This thread continues to warm my coccles. Maybe even the ones on my heart.
In case nobody heard, the new edition from Paizo will be called
Pathfinder 2.0: All the rules for the Synthesist in One Place!
It will use Amber diceless role playing as its core mechanic.
True story. I saw it in the stars last night.
Also, as a side note, I am a firm believer of Pathfinder over 4ed. I played D&D from 1983 (purple box Beginners set) through the first six months after 4ed released. My gaming group couldn't deal with a) the reduced focus on magic items (i.e. uses per day) b) the concept of per round, per combat and per day powers and c) the idea that monsters had very different stats than PCs did. Yes we dealt with point C in 1st and 2nd edition, but we, somewhere along the in 3/3.5 I guess, became enamoured with the idea that what the NPCs could do, the PCs should, in most cases, be able to do as well.
However, having said that, we ('we' being my gaming group) do feel that 4th edition did one thing right that Pathfinder, being based on 3.5, could not do: provide a high level to 'epic' level transition that didn't alienate most players and DMs.
4th edition was built from the ground up, at least from casual observation, to accomodate players at the highest levels of play without blinding them with 2 page stat blocks.
The scariest things about Kyuss and Dragotha (from Age of Worms) weren't their in-game abilities, it was that their stat blocks were so long and involved that very few groups wanted the aggravation of running the combat and actually facing them.
My gaming group lives for high level play, we like feeling powerful, making decisions that change entire nations in our game world (Golarion), and seeing that the time we have invested in our characters has resulted in PCs of legend. The problem is that 3.5 and, by extension, Pathfinder, make it so painful to actually run encounters at levels 16+.
Hopefully, if and when Paizo does produce ultra high level gameply (which should imo be limited to level 30 or maybe 36 for nostalgic reasons), they will take a page from 4ed's book and make it fun and cool to game at those levels....
Someone posted a few pages back that WotC, by virtue of the Dungeons & Dragons brand name, still has massive marketing and mind share in the gaming world. This is a diminishing truth. I am buying the Pathfinder Beginner's boxed set for my 9 year old son as a Christmas gift. Another person in my gaming group is also likely to do the same thing for his 8 year old son.
Those two kids' first table top RPG experience will be with Pathfinder from Paizo, not Dungeons & Dragons from WotC. Paizo has created an incredible opportunity for itself over the last 4 years due to 4ed's declining sales and popularity. It now stands to potentially seal the coffin, if you will, on a new generation's first exposure to table top RPGs with their Beginner's boxed set.
Paizo has a solid marketing machine and a development schedule that has (and I'm taking SWAGs here, no solid data to support my theories) profitable, sustainable monthly releases via their subscriptions, and what seems to be a dedicated, talented and creative leadership team.
I'm not a betting man, but if I was, I would say that Paizo's future is looking blindingly bright regardless of what WotC produces (or doesn't) in terms of D&D 5th edition.
Now, just so that my post isn't ENTIRELY off topic, I will say that, if a 5th edition of D&D is released, I would purchase the core rulebook. I owe the system that much, for nostalgia if nothing else. Of course, given my current dislike of 4ed, a 5th edition would need to really knock my socks off in order for me to even consider spending any money on it after the initial core rulebook purchase.
P.S. You know, now that I think about it, WotC lost me the minute they stopped producing print versions of Dungeon and Dragon Magazines. That, in turn, led to the creation of Pathfinder, and here we are. I do love me some irony.
P.P.S. Hmm....I guess in order to actually be 'on topic' I should have mentioned Monte Cook somewhere in here and not just 5th edition. Do we give partial credit for thread 'on-topicness?'
Good gaming to all,