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Speaking totally personally, as in "not in any way officially as a Paizo employee," I sympathize with some of the perspective of the OP, even though as a player I often benefit from and greatly appreciate haste being cast upon me.
I don't really have a problem with the "visuals" of it. The game has always been pretty crazy and high-octane in terms of weird magical effects, so I'm not sure people moving fast is more reality-breaking than huge exploding balls of fire.
But it is _VERY POWERFUL_. As a force-multiplier it's difficult for me to think of a better spell.
The part of me that has been playing for a very long time, and who values weird little Gygaxian subsystems more than he probably should, I do sort of long for the days when having haste cast upon you would age you a year of your life. By a careful read of the old AD&D rules, any magical aging also triggered a system shock check, which involved a very small chance that your character would die outright.
That kind of atmospheric drawback made haste not quite the "one size fits all" solution that it became as the game system developed over the years. While I'm fine with the spell as it is now, a do long for the days when people thought twice about casting this spell, or casting it on the entire party in every fight, anyway.
This made me laugh out loud.
We are really lucky to have Mark. There's no question that the ACG suffered a bit due to some staffing changes that happened in the middle of it, and I'm pleased to report that the rules team is operating more efficiently and enthusiastically than ever at the moment. I think Occult Adventures is going to kick some serious ass.
Howzabout making an exception to the rule and releasing ACG errata despite not having to reprint the book yet? While I adore much of the content, it could certainly do with an update, not the least to make sure one can read a thread about ACG without having to wade through "I felt sexually assaulted by this book" comments from our resident, erm, "passionate gamers"?
We'll have an ACG errata sooner rather than later. The book has almost sold through its first print run, so we won't even need to do it "early."
However, in the meantime I am having the entire book re-proofed to catch as many errors as we can. I know there is an unacceptably high number of errors that involve rules elements, but the book has more typos and other sloppiness in simple running text than I'm comfortable with, and I want to make sure we fix before we reprint. Some of that stuff will reveal more errata material, I suspect.
Everybody has chakras.
Characters capable of manipulating ki will be able to goof around with their chakras to unlock cool powers and abilities.
We _might_ do a feat or something that allows non-ki users to manipulate their chakras, but I haven't quite gotten to that part yet, as I'm focused on getting the core system correct.
I don't see the point of getting into this fight in this thread, so please let's not.
It's clear that the ACG's editing fell short of a lot of people's expectations (including my own). We're addressing the root causes of these problems in-house, and I have a lot of confidence that those problems are being taken care of as best we can.
We're doing everything possible to make sure that future books like Occult Adventures not only meet players' expectations, but exceed them.
I have to say I really don't agree here at all. I do think some of the class concepts in the ACG, for example, are by definition "less iconic" than, say, a wizard, but we've continued to match interesting concepts with a variety of ethnicities and Pathfinder races, and I don't think that commitment has lessened as the line has gone on. Not at all.
I'm also not sure how having a trangendered iconic can be seen as "not progressive," but perhaps that's a discussion for a different day, and a different thread.
ALL THAT BEING SAID, we've already got male and female iconics of every core race in the game. We've already got male and female iconics of most major real world ethnicities. So when we sat down to decide what the iconics in this book would look like, we really pushed things around, and I think you'll find that at least a couple of them are very far from what you might expect.
I think you'll probably be happy to learn, then, that I am helping to write this book, and have been poking my nose into it at the slightest provocation. I'm also going to be helping to proofread the book as well, so if you think my involvement is magical fairy dust, you should be pretty pleased with this book.
We've also implemented some tighter controls editorially to prevent some of the problems that crept into the Advanced Class Guide. I apologize that that product fell short of your expectations, and I will do everything within my power to make sure that Occult Adventures is one of the best books Paizo has ever published.
You won't have to wait on the Dimension of Dreams and Astral Planes. I'm thrilled to say that I am writing little bits on BOTH of those places in this book. I'm honestly so excited (and humbled) to be writing these bits that they are the last part I will finish in my turnover, as I need to make sure everything else is perfect before I finalize them!
1) Yes. There's a whole section on incorporating occult themes into your campaigns and using the material in this book in your games.
2) There will not be a lot of discussion of Golarion in this book, as it's in the core rulebook line where we tend to keep campaign setting in the background. That said, there will be books in the Player Companion and Campaign Setting lines that address these rules head on, so folks interested in how to incorporate them into Golarion will not have to wait too long!
Monster Codex is shipping now. If you've not yet received your shipping notice, it should arrive in the next day or two (it takes a few days to churn through the entire list).
The Monster Codex will, in fact, be added to the PRD. I'm not exactly sure when, and the person to ask has gone home for the weekend, but the answer is "relatively soon."
I just spoke to the product's developer, and here's the deal.
SOME of the cleric illustrations from Inner Sea Gods are in the Inner Sea Pawn Box. The team included a male and female cleric from all 20 of the "core" gods, and several of those illustrations were taken from Inner Sea Gods. Others came from other products, while about half of them are brand new illustrations commissioned specifically for the pawn set.
Yes. We're monkeying around with the back end of our technology on the website to make something like this happen.
Stores are always supposed to have received their scenarios for free, but up to now there hasn't been a good system for it, and we've not always been good at communicating how to make it happen. We're now trying to automate it, but we're not quite there.
We have added significantly to our web team in recent months, and every day they are making progress.
Things are on the right track, and with the added capacity soon to come we are all optimistic about the team's ability to keep things stable, deal with emergencies, and make sure smaller items like this don't fall through the cracks.
I still don't understand why they are using the term "Occult" when the book is about psionics.
Because, while many of the classes featured in the book use "psychic" magic, psychics are not the end-all-be-all of occultism. This book also has material that draws inspiration from eastern mysticism, conspiracy theory, ritual magic, secret societies, and other "occult" elements of fiction and history.
Every class will not be getting significant development in this book. There's nothing in there, for example, specifically for the samurai, or the bloodrager.
There is a bunch of stuff for oracles.
There's also lots of spells, feats, and magic items that will be useful to all characters.
But I don't want to leave you with the impression that there will be something for every class, like in the Advanced Class Guide.
We're sticking mostly to thematically appropriate classes, which as it turns out is pretty close to most of them, but there will be exceptions.
So when is the Playtest going to start?
Some time in the second half of October. The preliminary classes are all done and are currently being reviewed/fiddled with by the team of talented freelancers we have working on this book. When that's done, they go to editing and layout, and then they come to you.
I'd like there to be something to make the rogue viable... Maybe something like masterpieces but called rituals for the rogue that let them use specific spells or create unique effects.
The rogue will be addressed in Pathfinder Unchained months before Occult Adventures comes out. While there _will_ be some toys for the class in the book, rebalancing the class is sort of beyond the remit of this project.
And we'll have just done it, anyway.
I predict you are going to like this book.
I have personally reached the "no more rulebooks" stage with Pathfinder. Unchained will probably be my last. I have enough rules to last a long time. I will still continue buying the APs that look interesting but I do wonder if, between 5e and people feeling like they have enough Pathfinder rules, a downturn is inevitable.
Aw, I hope that is not true. I think you'll really like Occult Adventures. I've been working on it with the freelancers and the design staff and I'm really excited by what I'm seeing.
I just became fully aware of this problem earlier this week, and have been looking into what is going on. It's currently behind a few more or less critical tasks on the hands of the web team. It's the highest on a list of PFS-related tasks, and I'm on the job now trying to advocate that it finds its place as soon as it can.
I'll make a point to come back and update you guys on the progress of this job.
I apologize that this issue has slipped through the cracks for as long as it has. It is very definitely on the agenda.
Further development of Sandpoint is on hold until James Jacobs can work up the right combination of willpower and free time to write it. Sandpoint is his baby, so as much as I'd like to publish a product like this, I won't do it without James.
Right now, at least, that means it's not happening. Who knows what the future could bring, though?
You don't ever need to apologize for posting critical comments about our books, especially if they are constructive. I don't require your contrition, and neither does anyone else. If we fell short of your expectations, we fell short of your expectations.
We shall endeavor to exceed them in the future.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
I'm sorry you had such a negative experience with the book, Dragon. While I don't agree with the premise of this thread in general, it is true that last year had a couple of significant challenges that may have contributed to some of the problems you cite.
Many of those factors (losing a core member of the design team, developing a bonus hardcover superadventure to support a huge Kickstarter campaign, and developing a book as visually complex and ambitious as the Strategy Guide) are not likely to occur in 2015, so I am personally optimistic about the future.
I am working on Occult Adventures (next year's Gen Con release) as a freelancer, and have had lots of opportunity to participate in the overall conception of the book. I've also worked closely with each member of the design team, all of whom have been uniformly terrific and on-point in every discussion I've had with them.
That book is going to be fantastic.
If we fell short of your expectations with the Advanced Class Guide, I'm confident that the books coming up will regain some of that faith you have lost. I have a lot of faith in them, and in those yet to come.