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Ross Byers

Ross Byers's page

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32. RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 9,202 posts (9,829 including aliases). 3 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 8 aliases.


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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
I'd remove all the terrible feats and spells that are just there to take up page count and use the additional 1-3 pages completing the archetype section.

Okay. Which classes get an extra page, out of the 10 new and 18 old in the book? Or are you going to give them a paragraph each, letting that information dangle off to the next page and making header placement awkward? The publishing industry calls those things 'orphans' and they are considered to be bad.

And which feats and spells are there 'just to take up page count'? There are way easier and less error-prone ways to fill space than developing rules text. Perhaps you meant spells that are developed to fill a specific space on a page (i.e. "We need a spell of about 250 words, and the title has to be alphabetized between 'Pe' and 'Pr'")? I have no idea how many of those are actually created, but I'd like to give the developers enough credits that they try to create a spell that is interesting and useful within those constrainsts, because if they just want something no one would read twice they could just use Lorem Ipsum. Or perhaps you just like to assume any option that you don't personally think is worthwhile must have been created for bad reasons?

Also, you'll note that if something is created to fill a space, it is because that space needed to be filled. The feats chapter can't just end halfway down a page, for instance. Well, it could, if you filled that space with a half-page art, but that still doesn't let you start the next chapter a half-page earlier.

Insain Dragoon wrote:
I'd also not rush a product through development so fast that it became a sub par product just because I want to sell it at Gencon.

Do you know how important Christmas (and the associated season) is to the American retail economy? 'Black Friday' is called such because for many retailers it is the day of the year where they become profitable (i.e. out of the red and into the black.) Video game studios can live or die based on if their product reaches stores in time for Christmas.

Gen Con is a big deal for tabletop RPGs. And Paizo, among may other things, is a business. You might prefer that they ship mid-september or something, but showing up to Gen Con with that year's release is a big deal.

They can't finish later - the only alternative is to start earlier. But I think you can agree that running another year in advance of the release schedule is unfeasible. Perhaps they should havecut one of the rounds of playtesting to get more development time. Would that have been better?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Justin Sane wrote:
Make sure the product doesn't hit layout until all text is complete; don't set the pagecount until it leaves layout. Really, for a book of this scope, it just doesn't make sense not to work with some kind of extra space margins.

That's a terrible idea. To use my earlier analogy of time management, you're saying not to make a schedule until the day is over, or not to make a budget until you're out of money. It doesn't work that way. Obviously, a budget can be adjusted, and a schedule deviated from, but you need to have one in the first place to get anything done.

You can't order text until you know roughly how long a section is going to be, either in pages or it's approximation in word count. (Nor can you add 'just one more page' to a book - A signature is 32 pages. It is possible to add 16 or 8 pages, but that costs more on a per-page basis than the 32 page signature. This is why Player Companions are 32 pages, Campaign Setting books are 64 pages, and AP volumes are 96 pages.) You know why paperback books have an irregular number of pages of advertising in the back? It isn't just to push the next book in the series. Those are pages that would otherwise be blank.

And it still doesn't address basic layout problems like I outlined above, where a chapter or major section would end partway through a page. You can't divide up one extra page between classes of archetypes, because the header needs to be at the top of the page. You can't add just one page to a chapter because the chapter opener is a spread, which means specifically that it needs to start on the left page. You can't give the Arcanist (for example) an extra page of archetypes, because it means every subsequent class in the chapter becomes front-and-back of a page instead a left-and-right spread.

Those kinds of things are why pagefitting and layout are jobs that require a skilled human.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Unfortunately, that can have pagefitting problems too. Say I've allocated a page for cleric archetypes. I have an archetype (A) that would fill three-quarters of the page, and another (B) that would fill half.

I can cut archetype A by 33%, or I can cut B by 50%. Or I can cut B entirely and pad the page by enlarging the art and expanding the flavor text, but filling that much of the page in that way is noticeable too.

Even worse, it's certainly possible that I already ordered art, and it happened to be for archetype B. Which means if I cut B entirely, the art doesn't really belong on the page anymore.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
The idea of taking away abilities from archetypes to save print space is really making me wince.

What alternative would you propose, exactly? The book has a certain number of pages in it, each of a certain size. All the wishing and/or wincing in the world doesn't let you print beyond the size of the page.

It makes me wince when there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do too, but that won't make the day 30 hours long, either.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Now that takes me back.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Will she be their Granny?

My Goodness.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's a +5 collision dagger, as the title and description of that item property would indicate.

No one thinks it has mercury - They are comparing the collision property with the idea of having a mercurial dagger.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Xanatos has precise long term plans, loves 'fair' deals that aren't, and exploited loopholes in prophecy for profit. He's LE.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Graeme Lewis wrote:
See, it seems to me that several of the Evil gods have rather nasty clergy that people would likely fear, even if you were of evil alignment.

Isn't that how it should be? Evil doesn't play well with others, says so right on the tin.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Zhangar wrote:

Possible predictions/wishful thinking:

1) Abrogail is listed in the Inner Sea World Guide and Inner Sea Magic as as an aristocrat 2/sorcerer 16. If she's intended as the "real final boss" of the AP, she'll be upgraded to a L20 sorcerer with PC gear and a couple artifacts, putting her on par with Elvanna and Karzoug at CR 20. Bloodline is up for grabs, since Infernal is the obvious choice (and perfectly useful), but something like Destined (which is very defense focused) would be interesting.

2) If Abrogail's left as an aristocrat 2/sorcerer 16, then that shifts "real final boss" status to her CR 20 Pit Fiend "adviser," Gorthoklek.

<meme>Why not both?</meme>

Fights with more than one foe are tactically more interesting and suffer less from mismatched action economy.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Conflict of interest I guess. That just means I shouldn't talk to him right?

I'm not trying to protect my interest. Neither my livelihood nor happiness rely on Paizo.

But it does bother me when people I've worked with, who I know, who work very hard, who work long hours, trying to deliver the very best gaming content they can, accused of incompetence or malicious intent.

I don't think they are infallible. They can and do make mistakes. There are absolutely things in the ACG that I think should have been done differently.

The reason I'm fond of telling people to try to do better is because game design is hard, even before you have to deal with all the business hurdles like production budgets and schedules. Claiming that Paizo shouldn't make mistakes because they're the industry leader is like saying Michael Jordan shouldn't ever miss a free throw.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Insain Dragoon wrote:

I don't see how any of that matters when the result is a sub par book by Paizo's own standards. Any person can put out an incomplete product and try to sell it as the best thing since sliced bread, but Paizo isn't any person. They are Paizo Publishing and the current leader in the market for TRPGs and every major hardcover they release should at least be internally consistent and not feel like 4-5 books smooshed together with gum and duct tape.

I couldn't do better, but then again I am not the leading RPG book publisher am I?

My assertion is that it isn't a 'sub par book'. Every hardcover, back to the Core Rulebook has editing mistakes, development missteps, outright errors, and seams where the writing of multiple authors came together.

It's amazing that it comes out as well as it does, and that is why Paizo is the market leader.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigDTBone wrote:
Basically, how to make my own classes. That's what I wanted. Instead they gave me design goals. I wanted that section of the book to explain the "how" not just tell me the "what."

I agree that making a 'case study' out of some of the other classes/archetypes in the book could have been educational without ending up introducing an 11th class as the example in that chapter.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's spelled 'snu-snu'.

The next poster will find a way to be even more pedantic.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Majuba has the right of it. Constructive criticism is a good thing. "Your work is bad and you should feel bad" is not.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

0.0

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There are things that don't belong in PFS that are fine in home games.

For instance, the Forgepriest archetype is banned because it focuses on crafting, which isn't allowed in an organized play campaign outside of very specific limits.

Likewise, for a lot of the summoner things, it's because that is a complicated class with some abusable corner cases that in a home game your GM can work with you to resolve, but can prove to be a problem in an organized play setting. (For instance, outside of power level problems, the 'eidolon can look like anything' bit can be used to troll other players. In a home game with your friends they might be in on the joke, or they can stop playing with you. At a PFS table, with the desire for everyone to play, it can be used to make strangers uncomfortable.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Gunshoe?

(Course, that would be like actually calling the Magus a Stabracadabra.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
FormerFiend wrote:
So many of the evil gods require their worshipers to be insane. It borders on the absurd at times.

There are plenty of real-world religions and churches with practices that would appear to be insane from the point of view who someone wasn't raised with that specific set of beliefs. The terrible things done in Zon-Kuthon's name make perfect sense to the Nidalese. They're not insane. They were just taught when they were young and impressionable.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

One thing that might be worth pointing out here is that Hound Archons have animal heads too, but that doesn't make them secret 'caninal' agathions either.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I initially interpreted it to mean he went and stabbed Durkon, got dominated overboard and hauled up again, and took that as a successful test of the dagger.

Now that you've pointed that out, I think you're right: the dagger was showing him the future (it is psychic, and Rich made the point of telling us that instead of just treating it as magic.)

Raises the question of why Tarquin didn't see the outcome of using it before, though.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wraith, the entire printing is a misprint. Everyone with a paper book is getting one.

This was not something fixed partway through the printing.

This is not a rare computer glitch that swapped logos for a few books on a giant printing press in China (that somehow got a file from the same publisher instead of, I don't know, a cake from a cookbook printed the week before.)

This is not a simple mechanical error like having a duplicate signature (set of 32 pages), having part of your book bound upside down, or improperly trimmed pages.

This was a case of the file being sent to the printer with an error in it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
deusvult wrote:
And +1 to what LazarX observed. He's NOT a nature god.. he's a god of Putting Nature to Good Use.

I was going to phrase this as "He isn't a 'nature' god. He's a 'rural' god. There is a difference.", but your version is better.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

A favored weapon, by definition, is appropriate to hit your enemies with. Otherwise it would be blasphemy to cast spiritual weapon.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Adam B. 135 wrote:
This is an insult to all the people who argued against the original sacred weapon.

I realize that it might not work exactly the way you want, but an insult, really?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have a suspicion that attempting to retrofit gearless characters into a game like Pathfinder that allows a direct transition between wealth and power is inevitably going to have enough ripple effects as to require an adjustment of the entire game.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:

The modern Abyss can be likened to a bottomless pit - Level after level of increasingly inhospitable insanity, spewing demons and corrupting into the maelstrom. That is, it has only one endpoint.

But what was the Abyss like before it erupted into the Maelstrom?

An infinite tube? (And if so, what happened to the other 'half' when part of it because the 'top'?)

A loop or ouroboros? If so, does that mean the Abyss has a bottom somewhere from where the loop was broken?

Or has it always been a gaping maw with an infinite digestive track, consuming one plane at a time? (Meaning that it and the qlippoth digested a different multiverse before breaking through into ours.)

In Golarion's Great Beyond, there IS a bottom to the Abyss. No one knows what's down there below the qlippoth for sure though. But the thing that defines the outer planes for our game is that they're overwhelmingly vast... yet for all that vastness, finite in size.

Interesting. Now I have an image in my head of the Abyss emerging into the Maelstrom as the result of the Qlippoth equivalent to the Quest for Sky. Thanks!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sara Marie wrote:

cs erik: I'll get the rubbing alcohol.

cs erik: i mean holy water.

katina: I'll get the regular alcohol

cs erik: WAAAAY ahead of you.

[redacted]: Alcohol is a disinfectant, right? Maybe that's what I'm doing wrong.

I see the cleric is a Caydenite.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Balazar is his own haberdasher and it shows.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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He's just secretly making new hats. That's easier than mending all the holes, tears, and various stains acquired in their adventuring careers.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lemartes wrote:
I really think these I want to kill everything guys should just start with themselves. ;)

We'd all be better off. But from the daemons' point of view, some of us would still be alive and enjoying ourselves. And that's unacceptable.

Lemartes wrote:
Dicks!

You try to destroy one measly universe, all of a sudden you're the bad guy.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Morris wrote:
Edit: And amused that consuming the souls of slain creatures is still allowed, but a little bit of blood isn't.

Can I interest you in a grim lantern?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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"All of reality" is a relative term.

My understanding, which is also potentially wrong, is that the daemons are true nihilists. They have completely internalized "life is suffering" as a reason to perpetuate suffering and end life. If death is inevitable for everything, they might as well speed it along. They want to cause the end of the universe/multiverse, either through wrecking the whole thing or by breaking the cycle of creation and destruction so that creation stops and destruction/entropy eventually brings everything to a close. They can be patient. Generally speaking, they don't want to end themselves, except as an eventuality, because they need to be able to make sure creation doesn't start over again, or find if there are any free-floating planes or parallel worlds they missed in the first apocalypse. Yes, that's hypocritical, but I think we can agree that the daemons are massive hypocrites on several levels.

In contrast, qlippoth want to wipe out mortal life so that the demons stop, well, existing and they can take over the Abyss once again, and go back to how they were before the Abyss opened one end into the maelstrom. As a race, they would prefer the multiverse go back to being a universe. (Someone on these forums once described them as the grumpy old men of the planes, screaming for all of reality to get off their collective lawns.)

Rovagug is a specific, powerful, being, and might not exactly share the racial ethos. But he's most famous for his spawn. And qlippoth are often portrayed as a more primal/primitive sort of evil. I expect that Rovagug's end goal (if he has one: CE beings are not required to think past their immediate wants) is something like kill everything that isn't 'self', then spend the rest of eternity in a incestuous eat/spawn/repeat loop with his spawn and possibly the other qlippoth.

Edit: An analogy, here. The daemons are an apocalyptic force. They want to burn the world, to salt the earth, or deplete the soil so that nothing new can grow. In their wake lie nothing but bones, ashes, and dirt. In contrast, the qlippoth are more of a kudzu or a plague. They will spread to the exclusion of everything else. That's fairly academic if you're the one in their way: a tree doesn't much care about being claimed by fire or smothered by a creeping vine. But the goals ARE different.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Necromancer wrote:
Although, I'm curious what the price difference would be between a ring of add X, Y, and X to your summon monster list and a ring of summon this critter once a day.

Me too, honestly.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Rovagug is a qlippoth, not a daemon.

Daemons want to turn out the lights on the universe.

Qlippoth want to destroy that pesky 'reality' so they can go back to festering in the nice quiet hole they call the Abyss.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Tels, the gift horse. You are looking in its mouth.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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You'll be fine as long as Azathoth hasn't found you.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Cheapy wrote:
Verzen wrote:
Quote:
Imagine something called the "Divine trickster", and you have the basic idea.
Anything more concrete to give me a better general idea? Trying to prepare for PFS and I want to roll a warpriest. ;)
You're a rogue who found Jesus.

Or Satan. Cults aren't always so picky.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Set, a good GM could absolutely adapt the AP for a character like that. I was just trying to show why there is a difference between "Loyal Korvosan subject" in CotCT and "Loyal Technic League retainer" in Iron Gods.

(And it is still easier if the player of the character in question is aware that he is going to have to turn on his former patrons rather quickly.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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magnuskn wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
There is this thing labelled "Add New Thread" that you can use to create a more appropriate thread. It's like magic!
And yet, adding a new thread about a topic which has not been 100% confirmed, as pointed out by many, seems more wasteful than containing this discussion in the thread which already has most of it. Magic!

So it isn't that there isn't a more appropriate thread, but that you think it is inappropriate to create one?

Why is is more appropriate to dominate the discussion of this thread instead of spinning off another thread?

You've admitted that it isn't 100% confirmed. Why not just chill out until you have the book, or at least until a larger proportion of the audience has the book and can look for themselves, before crying out that you're being oppressed because your question has not been personally addressed by staff less than 24 hours after it was raised?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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magnuskn wrote:
There really is no more appropiate thread at this time, because the book hasn't released yet.

There is this thing labelled "Add New Thread" that you can use to create a more appropriate thread. It's like magic!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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magnuskn wrote:
Given that this discussion cannot have escaped their eyes (although I'd easily understand that they just have gotten into the office over in Seattle) and that they have written the book, they could then at least give us a heads-up that there is some non-absurd reasoning for this or that we simply have missed something so far.

Somehow I think Gen Con prep trumps answering your questions, no matter how important you think your question is.

Seriously, the book has been in a handful of people's hands for less than 24 hours. Chill out. Imagine the dark ages before the Internet when you might have to wait months, if ever, to see a mention in Dragon.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Much like the players in CotCT start out as loyal subjects of the queen, but events normally change their opinions.

The PCs don't face off against the queen or her minions in the first few issues of CotCT. They have time to learn the truth and find other motivations.

In this case, the Player's Guide is telling you that the Technic League will be a foe from the get-go. Which means that building a character at first level with a goal of joining the technic league at high level will not work in the AP, in a similar manner to making a character for WotR with a goal of "become Dreskari's right-hand man and get promoted to Nascent Demon Lord".

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Coyote is right. WotC doesn't have a direct store, so there is no real comparison to be made.

In contrast, Paizo sells a wide range of gaming products, and would be going out of their way to not sell D&D products. They have little incentive to exclude WotC, besides it being petty. I don't think anyone is going to be deterred from ordering the D&D Starter set because Paizo doesn't carry it - They'll order from Amazon or their FLGS instead. Instead, Paizo gets a few bucks every time someone DOES order one through the Paizo.com store. It's win-win.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Xavier, slow down.

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