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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.
I'll be interested to see what you think of the Strategy Guide when it comes out in December.
Had I the opportunity to do it over again, I'd probably call it something like the "Starter Guide" or "Beginner Book" or something.
Elements of it--especially VISUAL elements of it--are very similar to the Beginner Box.
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?
Not only the iconics. Even the "other" sixth figure will get a card.
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.
Darn. I was a little nervous that folks would read what I wrote in this way.
To be clear, I think we've exceeded that quality many times. With iconics alone, I think Harsk, Seoni, and Amiri easily equal or surpass the Beginner Box Heroes set.
The Beginner Box Heroes set had a very, very, very special Kyra figure with an AMAZING "tampo" of the robe details that surpassed everyone's expectations, and was probably one of the best tampos on a prepainted gaming figure up to that point. THAT's the quality I've been trying to chase ever since.
If you look at the Beginner Box Heroes set, they're great sculpts (all digital, btw), but they really lack the shading and inks that current figures get. The faces are a lot pastier as a result.
So we've moved past that set in quality in many ways (anyone miss the old foot pads? I don't). It's just… that tampo was AWESOME and I want to make something even better.
Nope. Lost Coast is all practical sculpts. The NEXT set (which we haven't announced yet) will be digital sculpts.
We are going to do everything we can to make sure this is a step forward in overall quality.
I can't speak to the D&D minis (I don't have mine yet), but I know for a fact they have fewer paint steps than Pathfinder figures and generally speaking go through a much less rigorous approval process.
As we've all seen, things outside of the licensor's control sometimes happen at the factory, but we are watching the next few sets--and especially these Iconic figures--with arcane eyes.
This particular pig is sort of a company mascot, having starred in both of the We Be Goblins free adventures we've released. When we did the We Be Goblins builder series set Squealy Nord was the most requested figure. He's something of a special case. There won't be farm animals in the next two sets.
Unless you count horses.
Or equipment-laden mules.
I have a sizable pile of different promo repaints, some of which we haven't ever told anyone about. They'll be a surprise, when they show up.
So far this convention season has gone like this:
ORIGINS: Hellfire Wisp (Will-o-Wisp Repaint)
ALL of these figures exist in huge quantities in the Paizo warehouse (I think we gave away fewer than 500 copies of the Origins figure). They will all, eventually, appear on the Paizo.com store, probably after the convention season in a few weeks.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I want to get a Gargantuan Red out there ASAP because I used to be a DDM collector too, and even though I have an eye on the business I'm always afraid things will end before I complete certain sets of things. I REALLY want a Gargantuan Red Dragon in Pathfinder Battles before we're done.
But yeah, I'll probably tone down the dragons somewhat. The D&D ones are among the best-looking pieces in those sets, so I don't need to flood the market with dragons. Many collectors already have most of them, anyway, and there's plenty of other cool things to do.
Thanks to all the players and volunteers, and especially to Mike Brock and his HQ staff. I was able to pop into the Sagamore a few times this year, and those visits were among the highlight of the convention.
I'll repeat the endorsement of the "energy" in the room Friday night. It really is special. It's hard for me to imagine a more exciting room than the ENnies with Paizo having such a strong showing, but getting to head over to the Sagamore immediately after to share in our victory with the folks who make it possible is one of my most cherished show highlights!
Been a long time since I've done much reading on it, but is the seven principles of mankind related in any way to the Seven Rays of Light or the Seven Rays of God? From memory (and we're going back at least 8 to 10 years or so here, back when I was in my mid teens), each ray represented a higher level of awareness, with each step gained resulting in the soul having a more pure spiritual nature, with the final ray being where they transcend the physical world entirely?
I'm still trying to get my head around the rays. They're often mentioned off-handedly and not really described, and each writer seems to have a different list and a different definition. It's difficult for me to imagine that they are not related, but then again the Theosophists are crazy for the number 7, and almost everything is doled out in that quantity.
I'm working my way through Besant and Leadbeater's Theosophical Manuals (100-page summaries of key points to introduce the philosophy) and they haven't really covered the rays yet. The internet is practically useless on the subject, so I'm sticking with primary sources.
What I understand about the concept seems ripe for exploitation in an RPG, but I admit I can't fully get my head around it yet.
Have you read Alice Bailey? Pretty crazy offshoot stuff.
I have three of her books in my hotel room right now. :)
I tend to think C.W. Leadbeater is a better writer and brings more of a touch of the fantastic to his books, but both of them are invaluable.
I meant the recent Showtime television series.
On Thursday I conducted a dinner meeting with the design staff and Brandon Hodge, with the topic being Occult Adventures. We discussed the book's overall theme, its general contents, and an overview of the six new classes that will be included in it.
It was one of the most exciting, productive design meetings that I've ever had during my time at Paizo (which started on Day 1).
I learned the following things:
1) Jason Bulmahn, Logan Bonner, and Stephen Radney-MacFarland are fantastic game designers filled with tons of amazing and innovative ideas about where to take the Pathfinder rules system.
2) Mark Seifter is a FANTASTIC addition to the team. He has a fundamental understanding of the Pathfinder rules that makes him invaluable, and his extensive "real world" experience as a 5-star Pathfinder Society judge and frequent player gives him a practical expertise that I think will really aid the design team in general. We are lucky to have him.
3) Brandon Hodge is a 33rd degree occult badass. (I actually already knew this.)
4) So am I. (I knew this, too.)
5) Bulmahn is willing to let me go off on digressive riffs about the seven principles of mankind, Theosophy, reincarnation, the Astral and Ethereal Plane, and auras for about 7 minutes, but after that he starts to make fun of me.
6) Occult Adventures is going to be hugely popular, even among folks who might not think it is their cup of tea at the moment. People are going to love this book.
7) Not only will this book be a fantastic resource for ALL Pathfinder players, but it will show how much "design space" is still left in the Pathfinder rules engine. Some of the mechanical discussions under discussion are tremendously exciting.
I love the Advanced Class Guide, and I'm looking forward to Pathfinder Unchained, but the design of both of those books is predicated on existing character classes. There's a ton of innovative stuff in those books, but it's all predicated on stuff that already exists. This book is going to be full of fresh, exciting ideas that have not been done before, and I couldn't be happier to be working on it