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All this shows is that even eight months later, this is still an issue on both sides of the argument. And it's better to actually resolve this with a reasonable dialogue than with telling people that they just don't understand. We're capable of comprehending the reasoning behind it. We just think it was poorly done and reflects negatively on a goddess characterized as Good. And I'd rather have a meaningful conversation about it than seeing potshots taken at our criticism every time Iomedae is mentioned.
So actual question time. What type of sources and inspirations are there going to be for Occult Adventures?
Reread the second questions. It has no skill check. Rather it is based on how the party reacts to the question, rather than the answer. And if they do it too quickly, or take too long bickering, Iomedae summons her Choir to "awaken the heroes" again and blast them. And that's the issue people are having with this. The fact that a lawful good goddess summons a Choir to damage you if you don't answer her questions right isn't exactly good. I get she's supposed to be stern, but this is on the extreme of stern. It's kind of psychotic.
And that's why I don't appreciate our criticism being misrepresented and belittled with derisive comments from JJ every time it is brought up. I mean, why even give any negative feedback if we're just going to have it thrown back in our face? I don't give criticism because I have a bone to pick with Paizo, or because I hate them. Rather, when there is an issue, I want them to know that something they did is something we don't like. Whether it's with Iomedae, or Erastil, or the whole "atheists are tortured" thing, if something feels like it just doesn't work for an adventure or setting, I let it be known as reasonably as I can. But every time Part 5 of WotR is brought up, it's pretty much "we don't understand that good doesn't mean friendly". We get that, we really do. But we understand what being stern is. And what Iomedae is is an extreme version of stern. One that we feel does not represent a good deity. And I'd rather that we be met with the same dialogue that was met during the issues with Torag and Erastil, rather this almost patronizing and insulting comments about how we just "don't get it".
That's the part that disappoints me most. I had a huge respect for JJ as a GM, setting & rules designer, and all around person. But how he's treated criticism for Iomedae since Part 5 came out has really been disappointing. I genuinely liked having these dialogues about issues in the rules or settings because overall, he'd provide a reasonable dialogue to critics and fans alike. And even if I disagreed with him, there was still a respect there I had for someone taking the time out to reasonably talk about the game. Except, apparently, for Iomedae.
James Jacobs wrote:
Actually, as written, anyone that doesn't answer her questions the way she wants gets attacked, in addition to attacking trouble makers. I ran that encounter unchanged and my players failed the second question. The game ground to a halt when they were attacked by, to their understanding, a lawful good god asking for help. I ended up retconning it because no one liked the idea of a lawful good god attacking the people she asked for help, especially since they were all cooperative with her and respectful of her. But it was ten minutes of "Why is a lawful good goddess attacking us, the people who she asked to help, when we answer a question wrong?"
I wouldn't have written this, but honestly I am frustrated with the fact that our issues and feedback with Iomedae keep getting misunderstood or dismissed as "not getting it" by you. We didn't get this much push back about Erastil's misogyny or Torag's genocidal paladin code. Makes it feel like our feedback isn't being taken seriously or is just worthless. It's why I've generally dropped it till now, since it was obvious that no one was going to take our criticism seriously.
No one is asking for a Disney princess paladin goddess. We just think that the idea that a good god attacking her allies when they get a question wrong is not a good thing to do, both from a story stand point and from a GM/Player relationship standpoint.
I'd tell him what you think would make you feel better about the playtest.
I think on the wake of the ACG, it's hard to be excited about anything Pathfinder. But, couldn't hurt to tell him what you think it needs to get you excited.
I think it's the aftermath of ACG. It's still upon us so it's hard to be excited for a new book when a current one is still receiving negative reviews.
Still the playtest should be interesting. Thanks again for the comments Mark. I'm glad you keep on posting here on the forums for us and hope ou keep it up.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Those are fair points, but admittedly, and this is unfair to you, from here on out, it's still going to be hard to get excited for the hardcovers coming out, especially with you talking about it. Hear me out. At least from my point of view, when you got signed on, there was kind of this feeling of, idk, camaraderie, since you were a forum member before hand. Kind of like a, "Hey we got one of our own in there living the dream! Good job." So perhaps there was some unfair expectations of you from my part when I'd read your blog because you were "one of us". And with the issues of ACG (which I still contend has worse editing issues than the previous books), I kind of unfairly don't believe you any more. And I'll admit, it's s%+~ty of me, but it's a matter of "He got me super hyped and it ended up being mediocre. Better not get hyped for the next project." Which, hell, I'm sorry it's like that for me, and I'll definitely try to brush it off and not blame you. I really don't blame you, but subconsciously, it is hard to take your hype for what it is worth after the disappointment of the ACG. I want to be hyped for Occult Adventures, but in the back of my mind, it's still going "Early GenCon release! It's going to be ACG all over again!!!"
I'll endeavor in the future to simply deal with it and not blame Paizo or you for stuff that happens :)
Mark Seifter wrote:
Sad part is, I'm not unemployed, since I do work at a catering company. But they haven't called me or anyone into work for two weeks, so I may as well be unemployed. That's the part that really kills me.
As for the remarks, I get that it wasn't a gag order, but there were remarks from Jason Bulhman about certain aspects and issues with the ACG within a week of release. And given how many of the devs are active on the boards, I honestly find it difficult to comprehend how it took so long for any of the higher ups to receive word about the editorial issues. And I don't know, perhaps it's a sign that maybe there is a large disconnect between the devs and player base that I never really imagined if it takes this long to get any word about these editorial issues. I'd honestly rather there have been a blog about it (like we got for the wrong title cover of the ACG) so we could have a transparent dialogue about it, rather than it being caused because someone essentially called out the devs. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, because I genuinely like Paizo and want to support them. But the lack of communication for the ACG, even for a valid reason, was honestly something I haven't seen before in Paizo and something I never really want to again.
From day one, you all have been transparent and approachable about aspects of the business and the roleplaying game. It's been that candidness that has won me over time and again. Which is why, in the last month, when we got little word from the devs about the editing issues, it has been a cause of great concern for me. Especially with the sheer volume of complaints. To me, it felt like a sign that the company had finally "gone corporate" and didn't really feel the need to acknowledge issues with us anymore.
Which, at the end of the day, isn't true. It was good to finally see the opinions and acknowledgement about the ACG and what happened. The topic had great insight and the candidness I've come to like about Paizo. I just wish the dialogue was sooner and more public and spurred on by more than just someone calling out Paizo.
Fair enough. Wilson was certainly more compelling than George Clooney, I'll give you that :)
Guys, Gravity is not what this thread is about. Can we get back on subject, please?
Fair enough. It was really in regards to the agenda comment, but that in itself is off topic so I'll stop.
Actually, I'd find that as an example of finding a political agenda that may or may not necessarily there. I've seen the same movie, with my girlfriend, and we both though it was a provocative film about someone in a tight spot and some of the things your mind does to cope with it. We didn't see a white knight helping a defenseless damsel in distress, but a person in distress using a coping mechanism to get through a terrible time. If it would a man in an astronaut suit with a woman ghost helping him, I would have thought the same thing. Same if it was a black man getting help from a ghostly white dude, or reversed. This doesn't mean you're wrong, but it doesn't mean you're right. I just think people will take different things from different films, no matter what the intent of the director is.
And I can absolutely tell you that I'm not invested in perpetuating the stereotype of a weak woman being saved by a man.
I love the downtime rules and use them on a constant basis. Beyond that, I've gone back and forth on different rules I use. I think the only ones I haven't used are the Honor rules and the Haggling Rules.
Agreed. It was so easy moving my library compared to my girlfriend's, since I have every book I own on my Kindle.
I liked APG and ARG too. I still think Ultimate Campaign is like the pinnacle of Paizo's publishing. Which is why I have better hopes for PU than OA. It's a book that treads new ground and isn't a GenCon release.
I think I've used about 80% of UCamp since it's release. It's really good.
Considering there are many Europeans I've met that feel the same way, it isn't just a proud Merica thing. The fact LazarX thinks it is is very unusual.
It's all a matter of nostalgia, not nationalism. Magic School Bus and Bill Nye taught me there were nine planets and g@% d~%mit, there will always be nine planets :)
For me, at least, it's an acknowledgement of failure that's important. In that way, there can be improvement in the future. The failure someone makes generally doesn't bother me. Everyone f!&~s up and nobody is perfect. It's their reaction to it that matters. An apology and acknowledgement of doing better from a company that is known for decent products and being transparent with their customers would have alleviate some peoples concerns. Not all, of course, but you can't please everyone.
To their credit, the answers they gave us were candid and overall were the transparency I've come to expect from Paizo. I'll certainly await Paizo's next hardcover. I'm not going to stop buying their other products, since the Technology Guide was awesome. But I will be more hesitant about their GenCon hardcovers and, unfortunately, any hype for it I hear from Mark. Sorry man, that hype train derailed and took no prisoners ;)
Course, some of this frustration is from me being unemployed again so... *shrug*
If nothing else, it's a continued encouragement to stick with PDFs.
I generally do, but it's not really fair to those that prefer hardcovers. I understand that there will always be editing issues and such. But ACG was just at a really unacceptable amount of editing errors. And I feel really bad for people that spent the $40 to support Paizo, only to discover the issues inside (and outside) of the book.
Yeah I feel you. I think if we got some kind of word or apology on their own about the ACG, I'd feel a lot better. But we pretty much had to wait over a month after ACG release and then only because a topic called them out for it. And while the later apologies were great, one of the early apologies came off as essentially "Sorry that your expectations are too high." Which, in my line of work, if I said that to a customer for over cooking a meal, I'd be fired instantly. It was cleared up, but it still bothered me a bit. Considering the raving reviews I've given about previous Paizo books, I'd like to think that my standards aren't impossiblely high.
We'll have to see I guess. I have faith that Paizo will try and make things better. I just don't have faith that it'll work.
The reasons were given to dispel the notion that A) they are working on too many things and quality is slipping and B) the idea that they do less editing for GenCon releases. With only two announced books next year, there shouldn't be the same issues we've seen in the ACG. Of course, I'm still very hesitant in buying future hardcovers from Paizo. I've always been an actions will speak louder than words kind of guy, no matter how candid and open the person or people are. I'll just wait and see.
Well, to their credit, they did discuss the issues coming into the ACG, which actually wasn't rushing the book. Between losing SKR, doing the ES Kickstarter, and also doing the Strategy Guide in addition to the other main hard cover books really killed them. And sadly, gaming companies can live or die because of GenCon releases. So I do understand the issues coming in and that they won't be dealing with them next year (except for an earlier GenCon release). Still worried, but I'm in a "wait and see" kind of mode.
Honestly, my biggest issue with the ACG isn't even the editing problems, but the radio silence that the devs had a month after it released and these issues were given. No apologies, no assurances, nothing until Kthulhu made a topic about it. That's what bothers me. We got a blog post about something as small as the wrong title logo, but nothing about the FAQs we need with the ACG to make it functional in PFS.
I'm happy the devs were able to comment on it and reveal their insight. I do wish it was more public, but you can't win them all.
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Your reaction to Kirth's response of "GMs punishing the players" is the same response I have when people cry entitlement for players.
No one likes assumptions being made about their play style. If players like more magic items, it may not even be because they are entitled spoiled brats. Which seems to be the idea coming from some of the GMs here. Magic items = entitlement, you can't min/max and roleplay... all bunk ideas spread by GMs that I feel have become so far disconnected from what it's like to be a player that it somehow becomes an us vs them, instead of a cooperative gaming style.
Now, if everyone wants magic to be rare and is told ahead of time, then that's awesome. Kudos to them. Despite my poor experiences with low magic settings, I'd even run a setting like that. I'd probably do a good job because I know what NOT to do with it. But this idea that players are entitled s+## birds that want all the magic items RIGHT NOW is as absurd as saying that all GMs that want magic to be rare are ego-fueled sadists punishing their players.
One of the biggest reasons they are avoiding the DSP style of psionics is that DSP already has done it, and done it really well. There's no reason to retread over ground that's been done. Spellpoint Psionics exist for those who want it, and to be fair, if Paizo did their own version (regardless of whether it's better or worse), it could be seen as the official version and people coming into the hobby would migrate to that instead of DSP. And frankly, I've always preferred a more Vancian style psychic magic out of preference (not balance), plus of late, I've been very interested in Gnosticism and spiritualism of the late 1800s/early 1900, so I'm personally happy with the direction that Occult Adventures is taking.
The fact that two styles of psionics will exist for people with different tastes is good for the game. I'm happy that DSP exists and produces good work with Psionics, and I am happy I'll get the psionics I've wanted from Paizo. I just really REALLY hope it avoids the editing pitfalls that the ACG suffered.
But this thread is about Pathfinder Unchained, not Occult Adventures, we should take this elsewhere.
I'm a fan of Paizo and their products, and even I'm still worried about Pathfinder Unchained being an editing mess with mediocre options. Like I could handle some minor issues here and there, like you see with normal products. But ACG was a whole new level of poor editing and it has me worried about future releases. I understand there were a lot of factors going into it (SKR leaving and them bringing in a new guy, other stuff) but I'm still worried about Pathfinder Unchained living up to its acronym, and REALLY worried about Occult Adventures suffering from GenCon coming early. In the topic, they did explain the issues going into ACG and how it won't be there with OA, but still.... it's difficult to have faith after seeing such a blunder like ACG.
Not that it matters, since it seems as though the people that played Pathfinder at my local gaming store no longer after they got their ACG hardcopies and promptly returned it for store credit.
As much as I like SKR, he doesn't handle playtests as well as I'd like. So with Occult Adventures playtest being the first without him, I feel that more of our concerns and critiques may be addressed, especially seeing how interactive Mark Seifer is with the community.
Not trying to insult the guy here, or start a dogpile on him.
While there isn't a fighter unchained, they are doing a kind of maneuver thing, where you can use certain feats as more, for lack of a better term, Charles Atlas style feats of martial prowess. It requires a feat, though they've said that there will be an option where you can simply just allow the abilities without the feat, so that is cool. That's about all we know, but considering the amount of feats and the amount of fighter only feats, the fighter will be able to benefit the most from this. It sounds interesting and I'd like to see it.
I'm still worried about Occult Adventures, but the devs did actually come into a thread recently and discussed the issues with the ACG very candidly and apologize. I'd prefer the thread was more public, like a blog post, but it is a good dialogue we have in that topic.
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Having run children characters, I can definitely tell you that the rules don't make them a drag on the party, especially if you actually follow them. Are they weaker? Yes. But the rules also tell you to keep that in mind when making encounters for them. Which I do. And each time, the kid players proved their worth.
Different preferences is fine. If you think that young children shouldn't have a mechanical difference, then that's cool. I think they do. Different strokes and such. But the idea that the GM is punishing the player when we know absolutely nothing about them and they aren't even here to defend themselves for their decision is idiotic and frankly, the standard tripe I've come to expect from people on this forum.
David knott 242 wrote:
You can do a mix, but even Ultimate Campaign suggests that the GM watches the encounters they throw at the party. Which is what I do, and things are honestly fine. I've allowed Children with NPC levels, children with Apprentice levels (using RGG book on it), and children with PC levels. And for each one, it was fine. But like the GM in question, I generally
Like with all things, I take the answer in the middle. I don't have magic marts everywhere, but I compromise and give the players the rewards they want, or sometimes the rewards they don't realize they want. A friend playing an awakened bear cleric was happy when he got a temple to his god that he could have. Never wanted it, never asked for it, but man, he was psyched to get his paws on that temple.
With shopping or crafting, I generally handwave it unless there is an adventure to be had for it. Roleplaying your first time in a certain shop is fun. Doing it each and every time would get tiresome. But I always choose fun over verisimilitude given the option.
I love how people assume the GM is being a passive aggressive douche and not just finding the rules and allowing the player to play it according to the rules. Especially without the actual GM here in question to explain their side of the story.
Always staying classy here at Paizo I see.
Personally, I like the Young Characters rules, but generally allow players to be PC classes. It's honestly been fine and I have not had terrible issues with my games with it. Honestly the penalties aren't even that bad.
But please, continuing bashing the GM. Clearly they must be a terrible person with evil intentions bent on controlling the PCs for their own amusement. Clearly, without knowing the person or hearing their side, they must be bad and punishing the player.
The "entitlement" predates 3.0. It was the same way in 2nd edition and, according to my dad, the same way back in his day. Only difference is that WPL is more codified into 3.X games. Though it isn't hard to work around honestly.
Course, is it the player that is entitled because they want rewards, or the GM that is entitled for wanting less magic? ;)
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Well, I generally allow my players to and just make up for it with more money. Also, crafting does open up more money for my players to spend money on castles and forts ad such. Admittedly, that is GM fiat but I don't mind it.
Lack of meaningful progress was the largest issue. We were playing soldiers in an Imperial army and for eight levels, never got to see any progress. No rewards, no promotions, no people for us to command. Just a "fight the good fight, you scumbags" and a pat on the back for our troubles.
Oh snap. I'll have to listen to that.
I've been dormant recently. School + looking for employment (again) has kept me from this thread. Hoping to get some writing in come the weekend.
Just listened to it. I guess i had better get back on and finish my setting now :p
Like I said, one person's story-telling is another person's agenda pushing. If, for an NPC's background I wrote:
"Gary owns an inn, where he serves cool beer to patrons while his husband entertains them by playing the piano."
Some would say that is agenda pushing, while others wouldn't. I find that it reflects more on the person and less on the book. If you're always looking for agenda pushing, you're going to find it.
As I recall, Frodo really didn't want anything to do with the ring. But we was pretty much pressured into it. And didn't Robin Hood end up marrying the noble woman and getting rewarded at the end? In fact generally, most heroes in fiction get rewarded in some fashion at the end of the story. And of course there are examples of heroes who continue to fight the good fight with no progress and get weary of it. Of course, I prefer my heroes more like Conan and The Gray Mouser than Superman and Gandalf anyways so...
And you're making the same mistake that a lot of GMs make when they want to make magic items rare and unique and special snowflakes. You are thinking of the game world as a novel, in a vaccuum without the PCs in consideration. There are things that work great in novels that don't translate well into games. Granted, giving PCs great stories to latch onto and become invested in is awesome and a great thing to do. But ultimately, this is a game. And in a game, the average player likes to do cool things with their character and their character's story. The PCs will like your world and your NPCs, but ultimately want to build up their PC's story, notoriety, and legend. Because to them, it's a game. A fun one. One that combines the immersion of books with the interaction of video games. They want to make their mark on the world and make their character awesome.
In general, PCs like to see progress. Progress is, of course, an open-ended term. It could be anything, and thanks to Ultimate Campaign , there are rules for more than just magic items, levels, and money. Farmland, a bar, a temple, a fort, followers.... these are all great for progress, get PCs invested in your story world, and you have potential story hooks for your players. But if your players see no progress, then after awhile, some may just not have fun with gaming. I know if I play a game that's the same thing over again with nothing to show for it at the end, I eventually get bored. That's what I see in the "make magic special" crowd. Usually a "red flag" (so to speak) to a larger issue of building and running a world without the PCs' consideration of it. That's admittedly based on my own anecdotal evidence of playing in games where GMs wanted magic items to be rare and special.
Now, if your players are cool with no rewards and doing good for good's sake, then by all means, go for it. Different strokes and such. But I'm talking in general, and from what I've encountered of GMs and PCs.
Either way, what's one person's backstory is another person's agenda pushing. I didn't find any of the LGBT NPCs to be agenda pushing and felt that their romance backstories are no different than, say, Ameiko's about her dead boyfriend.
It's all backstory that rounds out the characters. Why do we need to know that Shalelu has an estranged step-father? Why do we need to know that Ameiko's dad is a huge douche? Why do we need to know that Koya has always wanted to travel and leave Varisia? for all the same reason. Backstory. At the end of the day, it's all unimportant. But it makes the characters relatable and more real than saying "This is Hass Delgado, the elven blacksmith that's only here to craft your items.
I remember playing in a game where we were all 8th level and the GM was trying to go for the no Magic Marts-Magic is special route. After doing a long dungeon that culimanted with a battle between us and some golems and a purple worm, all we got for our troubles were.... a silver masterwork dagger, some coins (about 100 gp) and some silver horseshoes. Oh and a "Good Job" from our commander (we were employed by the army).
Next session, we all levelled. So we all took leadership, got some followers, and said that we were retiring from the adventurer life and buying farmland to live our days. Because risking our lives for no money wasn't worth it and wasn't fun.
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
I thought it was funny that she posts about how she wants to live in a world where nobody cares if there is an LGBT character (assuming because it is just accepted at that point), but then complains where there are *gasp* two couples in one AP. I just assumed she'd shrug and say "Oh, two LGBT couples? No big deal."
Sounds less of a problem with Paizo and more of a problem with a person.
I generally do this as well. My players have honestly always prefer making their magic items instead of buying them. We love that customization and naming it. We don't care about, say, Sir Archibald's rapier that we find, but love the swords and stuff we create and name. Because ultimately, we are building our own legend, not so much living in the shadow of another.
The magic mart is primarily a GM problem. I rarely see players complain and have found that more often than not, you'll never make magic feel special. Fantasy is too mainstream right now, with video games and movies and books flooding the market. Generally, people of the current generation aren't going to really be wow'd by magic if you just take it away from them and make it rare. Trust me, making a bunch of 8th level adventurers beg for a +1 dagger isn't very fun.
Course, this doesn't mean I have Magi-Mart Superstores everywhere. I generally have magic items available to buy from collectors, or have items the players craft. And if there is a magic mart, I generally do cool stuff with it. Like, I once had a dimensional-floating magic mart with a mummy oracle in it that would sell items to the players. They could summon him with a special feather token that would allow any door in a city to turn into an entrance into his store. And they ended up doing some cool planar adventures with him, since he had a sarcophagus that was pretty much a TARDIS. So I don't get lazy and just remove magic marts. I make them spare, but I also make them fun and engaging for the players. Pretty much everything I do ends up being a story hook for the players.
And one thing I've noticed with the current generation of gamers is that story and making magic cool is all about engaging both their mechanical side and their roleplaying side. If you just talk about Sir Archibald's rapier, most people will shrug it off. Especially if they don't use rapiers. But if you give them a quest where they learn about him, maybe because they need his weapon, and even tailor it to one of the party member's weapons, you'll find your players much more immersed in your world and enjoying magic for more than just numbers and bonuses.
Fair enough. From what I'm understanding, they are taking a lot from esoteric magics. Things like chakra and The Seven Rays and, I'd imagine, Gnosistism. So more magic of the soul, rather than of the mind.
Also consider me someone that is a fan of psionics, but not a fan of the spell point system. Not out of balance, but out of preference. I prefer Vancian and I've wanted a Vancian form of psionics for a long time. And 15 years hasn't shown that Vancian magic is unbalanced, rather the spells themselves need work. The concept of spell slots isn't inherently unbalanced, nor do I consider it "not real magic".
I actually disagree with this. A lot of what I've seen, including my own thoughts, actually like the idea of the hybrid classes and it doesn't feel lazy to us. It's just the editing was done poorly.
I appreciate the dev comments. I understand that errors happen and nobody should expect absolute perfection. My biggest problem was (until now) little public dev comments about the editorial issues. No blog posts and little word for a month after the ACG. That's really what I wanted. Just a blog or thread that has what Lisa and Erik typed for the consumers to see, perhaps condensed down. It really helps put our nerves at ease and lets us know that you're reading our concerns. The comments here have put me at ease and while I wish this was more public for ease of finding, I'm very happy that the devs have come out to address these issues with us. Thanks for the responses.
Erik Mona wrote:
Honestly if this had been a blog post, some critics would be a lot less worried about Paizo. But the only blog we got was about the misprjnted title. When a company stays quiet about a mistake, it makes us wonder what they are doing, or if they even care. I'm glad to finally see devs weigh in on the product, but it has been a month since the ACG release. In that time, ive already seen people return their hard copies and jump ship to 5th ed or other RPGs. And when someone asks me if they should get the hardcover, i can't lie to them about its issues. It's hard to defend Paizo when, at least up until now, there weren't any public, formal statements about the ACG. So I'm glad we finally got word about this, but I really wish it was sooner and more readily available to the public.
James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate the time you guys take talking with us. :)