Can't wait to see this. I liked the first deck, but wanted a couple of changes - both of which are incorporated in this one. :)
Thanks for listening, Paizo.
I'm not one of the ones you list, but I don't like the PF base assumption of lots of magic items purely on aesthetic grounds. The fantay stories I've read and enjoyed are predominantly about the characters triumphs with access to only very rare, very powerful magic items. As a consequence, those are the stories I like to tell.
I think there'd be a concomitant adjustment to the foes a PC would be expected to meet at various levels, were one concerned with preserving balance.
I don't think it's cheating on the face of it, but now you know the DM thinks of it like that, I don't think you should do it again in his game.
Although i dont find such things particularly troubling, i think its worth acknowledging that learning how your character works in a general sense is quite a different thing from specifically searching the Internet for a solution to one particular scenario.
Presumably there are alternative strategies to playing a wizard though? My position is peculiar (in that I don't care about optimisation or balance so don't have much of a view about what's "best") but I'm nonetheless interested. From general principles, it seems like "optimisation" only makes sense in the context of achieving some predetermined goal.
I can accept that if your strategy is to maximise your chance at neutralising things in round one whilst the enemy followed the same strategy (I'm presuming that's what results in the term "rocket tag"), you'd want to ensure you had a decent chance at going first. I don't accept that there's no trade off though. Surely the stat allocation/feat expenditure/items or whatever that you're spending on going first could instead be spent on surviving those times when you don't win initiative. In a campaign against super fast things, the balance is likely to tip (or against super slow things, for that matter - if your DM typically plays enemies you can beat easily, there's not such value in ensuring you beat them by twenty plus, is there?)
Pumping initiative is optimal on casters because if you do your first round right, you might not need another one. When your playing the class with the rockets for rocket tag, being able to shoot before your enemies is critical. This factor is more valuable then pretty much anything else.
I guess I'm imagining someone who prefers a different strategy than playing rocket tag (or who plays in a campaign where that is deemphasised). If the DM (or story) happens to favour very high initiative monsters (for example), wont the tactic of pumping initiative be less advantageous? You're going to spend the same resources but not win the same proportion of initiative contests. Beefing up survivability or otherwise improving yourself will be more beneficial in those games, won't it?
Matt Thomason wrote:
I didnt assume, I took it as self-evident.
Any more of this nonsense and I shall quote wikipedia.
I think it's vitally important we clarify exactly what terminology we should use to describe what everyone agrees they did.
I feel like we went off topic.
Probably. My point is that there is a subset of Pathfinder fans who like mechanical imbalance (or rather who favor including flavor choices in the balance metric). That's part of the problem - Paizo are designing for a very wide class of players. I'm not going to get entirely what I want and you're not going to get what you want..
(Probably even the designers arent going to get exactly the game they want, either).
They don't have a strict, legalistic code that guides their moderation practises. It's more a "you'll know it when you see it" thing.
A couple of the common things that trip people up are:
1. mentioning copyright circumvention (in any form) - you don't have to actively advocate it to have your post deleted
2. quoting a post which is subsequently deleted - they generally try and delete all replies to an objectionable post as well
The "don't be a jerk" rule is both the most important and the most obviously subjective. Strangely, jerks don't seem to consider themselves jerks. (I'm not saying this was what triggered your posts' deletions - I didn't see them).
If there's no bad choices then there's not really any choices. I like the fact that I can choose from amongst a variety of weapons, some of which are better than others and some of which are only good in specific situations. There are other inclusions in the game I don't like.
Paizo have to make lots of groups happy. When we discuss how to improve the game we only have a constituency of our group.
An idea occurred to me that I wanted to sound out with this community. How many people here would be willing to pay money to encourage Paizo to release an official ruling on a specific question?
I'd be happy to pay more to give paizo more resources to devote to development. I don't really like your bounty idea though - I think the game will improve more rapidly if Paizo focus on the fixes they feel are important, not the fixes the richest of their fans think are important.
We vary this based on different games and the feel we're going for. Some games we track encumbrance to the 0.1 pound, roleplay out purchase of all supplies, track ammunition, convey information via notes between player and DM and generally assume that if it wasnt explicitly said, it didnt happen. Other games we've played, these sorts of things are all in the background (for some campaings we even skip over identifying items for instance - so we'll just flat out state what magical item has been found, what its properties/charges are and so forth - learning that is all assumed to occur "off camera"). In these latter campaigns, a knowledge check by one player is just going to be assumed to be shared unless the roller specifically says otherwise.
I think the line is based around where you want the focus of the game to be - if you insist on everything being spelled out then there's going to be a lot of "we stop and check for traps", lots of pauses in the climactic action to tidy up details - lots of time spent describing the order of the watch, camping precautions, and things like that. I personally quite enjoy that level of minutiae but many of our players dont and I think it does detract somewhat from an epic "save the world" storyline.
A bit of a ramble, but my answer is basically that it depends on the storyline and the scope of the campaign/adventure rather than on the specific action involved. Obviously, it requires everyone to be on the same page.
No worries. I can understand the frustration (you should hear some of the saga surrounding the Appendix N Adventures kickstarter for DCC by Brave Halfling Publishing, or John Adams). That's gone on so long I just don't care any more - I won't even be reading them when they finally arrive, I suspect. :/
Its just I've seen the Frog God Games crew bend over backwards to help me (and others) out to make things happen. I find it amazing they can make such high quality books basically in their spare time. No doubt as they get bigger, admin stuff will become more streamlined - the new forums should help with that, even though the changeover appears to be throwing up some challenges.
I'll second the offer of a gift certificate. Get him to open a paizo.com account so we can direct gaming funds his way and he can order what he needs to get his collection restarted.
I really appreciate the citation of where the monsters are, Erik. Thanks. Especially for those from the first Bestiary.
I wonder if part of the extended timeline is to allow for the older races. After all, if everything happened in the last thousand years (taking a 'divide by ten' solution, I've seen advocated) then some elves are going to be able to refer to their parents' firsthand accounts - kind of negating the 'information lost in the mists of time' trope that is often useful in terms of motivating PCs to go visit ancient ruins.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Whether you roll 1000 dice in a single post, or roll 1 die in each of 1000 posts in one day, or 1 die in 1 post per day for 1000 days, you should see a similar amount of randomness.
Now there's a challenge to the endurance of HangarFlying's nerdiness.
Personally, I'd find a group first and see what they're playing rather than picking a game and then looking for a group.
I think it's far more important to like the people you're playing with than to like the system.
We play the same way you do and it works fine provided the players are of the same mindset. In our case, if I say an NPC casts fireball, nobody is going to know what level they "must be" without looking up the book. As such, making stuff up as you do works fine for us - any inconsistency with what would have happened as-per-the-rules will be invisible so wont get in anyone's way of picturing the world (if I later on decide the NPC only has three hit points or something, nobody is going to cry foul).
I think the problem you'll have is if one or more of your players develop solid system mastery. Then they might start noticing inconsistencies and (worse) bringing them up or asking questions to understand what's going on. With a player who thinks of the rules as the physics of the gameworld (rather than as a tool for telling a story with randomly determined elements), I think winging it is going to damage their immersion in the game.
The closest thing so far is page 204 of the Inner Sea World Guide.
Matt Thomason wrote:
The thing I struggle with is "why would anyone actually want $1000+ of books to be put aside and start over from scratch with a whole new version?" Once you invalidate everything that's been published, the only feeling I have is one that I've wasted far too much money on the previous version because you're now asking me to start collecting the very same material over again, with new stat blocks to fit a new set of rules.
As something of a completionist, one of the things I like about a game "finishing" is that I know I can have a complete set without stressing about keeping up with press releases. We didnt start playing 3.5 until 4E was just about to come out - part of what attracted me to jumping in at that point was that I knew exactly what I needed to get and wasnt worried about missing some obscure, poorly publicised release or having to keep up with another game system's new releases.
Granted that's not going to be a common perspective, but it is a reason. :p
I thin that eventually the sales on APs may reach a saturation point. How many APs does one truly need. After awhile one imo does become less reliant on APS. That being said though from the looks of it and imo they are doing well. Myself nto a fan of them though.
Yeah, I think this is a case of extrapolating your own preferences to the market (almost impossible to avoid, in my experience - I struggle to understand how anyone can want yet another rulebook :p)..
I dont know how finely calibrated the list is (or whether it captures every avenue of sale), but each month when Paizo lists the 'top selling Paizo products for the month' the AP ranks higher than the rulebook (when a rulebook is released concurrently). Granted the rulebooks probably have a longer 'tail' but then again there are four times the number of AP volumes released as rulebooks. No doubt the CRB has outsold any specific AP volume many times over, but I suspect the "AP-Profit" is greater than the "rulebook-profit" based on bestselling numbers plus a presumption of lower margins for the hardovers.
The rather flimsy evidence appears to suggest (to me at least) that APs are still the key to Paizo's success.
Free speech is also a weird thing to try to invoke on a privately owned and moderated forum. There's nothing compelling any company to allow expression to all points of view on their forums.
Nobody has a right to post here that isn't granted by the site's owners.
Okay. If Paizo were to include such discrimination and not identify it as evil, then they'd be making an equally blatant political point. Just not one you'd notice.
I am 100% certain that your version of events didn't happen. Honestly, you've misunderstood a whole bunch of stuff, which is fine, but does make claims of lies and corporate scheming somewhat silly.
One important point that you're seemingly unaware of is that Paizo don't mind if you source their product from somewhere else. You also ignore the fact that lots of subscribers got their cards before the street date, despite the glitches this month - where you are in the queue is the luck of the draw.
The fact there are still long term subscribers surprises you. Perhaps that might tip you off that you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick?
To quote part of the OP:
Nope, its not about realism, no fantasy world is realistic, every author or author group decides which parts of real world are to be included and which aren't. By deciding what to include and what to exclude one sends a message.
You pretty much answer your own question here. By your own argument they pretty much have to make political points, don't they?
Anyone who thinks paizo's customer service has been anything other than stellar in regard to this month's issues should review Sara Marie's posting history over the last month - including the information she conveyed, the tone she used and days and times that she posted.
Good customer service doesn't mean there'll never be a problem. It's about how the company responds to those (inevitable) problems.
Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
I think it's more about winning the argument than exploring the issue. After all, it's a pretty standard (and successful) rhetorical technique - politicians use it all the time. If you're defending X and I'm arguing against X it helps me win the argument if I can find something most find unacceptable and then argue it is somehow emblematic of X..
It's easy for you to fall into the trap of implicitly accepting the rhetorical move and then you end up feebly defending a position/practise you dont really support (and more to the point, that the audience doesnt support).
FWIW, I think it happens both ways. Those against these 'out there' builds often portray the players who like them as powergamers/munchkins. Those in favor often describe those opposed as control-freak/"story hour" DMs.
I don't know the specifics, of course, so i cant comment on your case. I just thought I'd mention that a charge without the product shipping is very unusual, so it would be worth getting CS involved. You're obviously way ahead of me.
With regard to singling out individual orders, I think their focus is on making the whole system as rapid as possible. No doubt there are many customers with similar arguments for prioritising their orders. Should Paizo preference people who have waited for a long time? People who have paid more? People who've been subscribed for longer? People who have longer postage times?
if there were an often-invoked exception process, I suspect each month's subscription run would be even longer. Given the recent strains on the system, I could understand them avoiding tinkering beyond what was absolutely necessary.
John W Johnson wrote:
What is really frustrating is that for my subscription, I did it to have my product by street date. I'm not saving that much money (less than 50 cents). Since my order is still pending, I'm almost guaranteed not to have it until sometime in November. After the street date. I don't get a benefit of a free PDF, I only get the benefit of getting a promo card that I woild get from my FLGS anyway. This might cause me to rethink keeping my subscription going, as it isn't giving me the benefit that it should have intended.
This is a common misconception. It's worth knowing that getting the product early isn't one of the intended benefits of a subscription (even though its a big part of why many of us sign up for them).
Paizo's goal is that subscribers will receive their product as close as possible to the street date. The only thing they guarantee though is the discount to retail, free PDFs (where that makes sense) and other specific perks (like the promo cards).
I don't think it helps that there seems to have been a big influx of subscribers with the PACG release (and issues with how the promos work). This seems to have resulted in the last couple of months being somewhat glitchy. Usually, paizo's subscription process runs very smoothly. Even as an international subscriber I generally get my stuff within a day or two of the release date (and early just as often as late). Hopefully, things will go much better in November and especially December when the next PACG subs go out.
I know the feeling. In fact its almost worse once it has shipped.
My late month, obsessive mail checking is a long established pattern of behaviour.
....and despite being blown away, I'm still going to ask for more. :)
How about an associated Map Folio (ideally done in the more recent "ink and parchment" style, but even replicas of the maps in this book would be great). Poster maps might be too much, but six A3 size maps, perhaps?
Sure. The only reason I mentioned the bestselling thing was to point out that an awful lot of people are voting with their wallets in support of the view that system mastery is a good thing. It's just not right to discount the fact that a lot of people prefer system mastery in a game. It's to counter your claim that including such is a flaw. I think Pathfinder is targetting a different market from you (and me too, for that matter - if a game's rules go over 100 pages it's too much complexity for my tastes).
Whether the market shifts as you anticipate is a separate matter - it still doesnt mean Pathfinder is 'flawed' it just means it will have moved from popular to less popular.
My solution is to play other games. I'm not advocating any position as to 'what Paizo should do with Pathfinder' because I think they are much, much more qualified to make those calls than any of us and that they will be much, much more successful than any of us would.
I'm not actually arguing against your perceptions (I think there is inherent imbalance in the system and that these imbalances are exacerbated by disparate levels of system mastery within the group). I just dont think they matter. I'm arguing against the concept of 'good RPG design' - since such a thing is inherently a subjective concept (based on what traits one thinks 'good' design is).
In my view, we're all better off if there are some games which reward system mastery (like Pathfinder) and others which dont. I want lots of substantially different game systems, not lots of very similar ones trying to emulate the same 'ideal game'.
Matt Thomason wrote:
...as the debate over the purpose of 4e could take a thread all of it's own (and likely wouldn't do much good.)
What do you mean? Every time 4E has come up on the forums, it has resulted in carefully argued, civil debate followed by the participants rationally evaluating the evidence and invariably switching their opinions. :o
WOTC is trying to sell people on the idea that they can produce Forgotten Realms supplements that'll support any era of play... whether it be pre-4e, 4e, or post-4e verions of the Realms. I don't believe for a second they can produce books that are useful for 3 different eras separated by 120something years but we'll see.
FWIW, I thought Menzoberranzan was pretty good in that regard.
Yeah, I havent heard this suggested before - it makes sense. I've certainly never pre-folded them and I've had a handful of frequently read volumes come apart a little. I'll try this.
Similarly, the fact it bothers you doesn't mean it's a flaw. There's thousands of people who disagree with you - the best selling RPG in the world today provides strong incentives to develop system mastery. That doesnt mean rewarding system mastery is the best approach.
What's wrong with it being a difference in style? Why does there have to be a "correct" approach to designing an RPG?
I'm not questioning your experience - as I said, if people are playing for different reasons then there may well be a problem with running a game which rewards system mastery (as Pathfinder does). You mention two groups of PF players - those who built power gamer characters and those who didnt and complained about those who did. Would you have had the same experience if the first group had played together and the second group didnt?.
The people satisfied with the way Pathfinder plays are not a mythical group - our table, for one, finds that Pathfinder works fine (although it's too complicated to be my game of choice). Don't you think it's really unlikely we're the only group who feel that way? It's not balanced but we dont care. For others who I've seen post on the forums, they consider it is balanced - no doubt their groups are reasonably homogenous when it comes to system mastery (or those who dont have it get help from those who do).
Some games reward system mastery and some dont. That doesnt mean the former are 'flawed systems' they just have a different philosophical approach. There's no objective standard of 'good game design' because there's no universally agreed goal. If your goal is balance then you'll find different games better than if your goal is realism. (Or any of a variety of possible things someone might look for in an RPG).
It's not important to me that people can be of significantly differing effectiveness.
I don't think it's right to characterise people who enjoy developing system mastery as "..those people that find their ability to make characters that are "more good" than players who did not sit up late at night giggling over a particularly effective feat combination..." Some people enjoy it for its' own sake and, as I mentioned, I dont think it's a problem if everyone in the group is on the same page.
It's not a gaping flaw unless balance amongst all characters is a priority for you. I also don't think it matters unless there are big discrepancies within the same group. What's wrong with some systems allowing system mastery and others not? I agree PF is at the "system mastery matters" end of the spectrum, but I don't think that's necessarily a problem. There's no ideal RPG just ROGs that different people will like.
Removing the ability to build superior characters through study/understanding would take away a lot that many people enjoy about Pathfinder.
I generally find the planar material thats published to be too broad to really be useful (though I enjoy reading it). I'd like sites, regions or encounters I can easily use at the table:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
IMO no one should be counting free actions as regular play, but a GM should have some recourse when a player seems to be taking advantage of some strange bit of the free action economy. That is the purpose of the guideline. We want you to shoot all the arrows you can. We want you to do cool things, just as long as your GM is cool with it. That's it. That is all. That is the whole point of the FAQ.
This seemed clear on my initial reading - I completely failed to anticipate the controversy which greeted the example (even though my first thought was 'It's silly to make someone shoot less for talking').
I wonder whether the FAQ would actually be improved if you just cut out the examples? That might still give the DM the 'written authority' to do whatever seemed reasonable to them - perhaps this is one area of the rules best served by the designers not appearing to be prescriptive (since it's inherently a judgement call).
That's my estimate of what a niche-sporting/hobby magazine would need to charge if they didnt have advertising.
I've also added a premium since the number of people who can produce something like a Paizo AP on a monthly basis is very small (imo). I dont think we pay RPG professionals or semiprofessionals enough given the rare nature of their skills.
Skeeter Green wrote:
I do not go to the KS originators and tell them what they should do to make me happy, however. That's just me. If I don't think something is a good value, I just don't back it. I still don't see how people justify telling a company what they have to make, or what freebies/goodies they need to include. I've watched a couple of 3pp of rpg material get slammed over what "they need to include to get my pledge". That's just arrogance and entitlement. If something doesn't look good, DON"T FIGGIN' BUY IT. The whole thing just blows my mind.
At the risk of sounding over entitled...this surprises me a bit.
I'm always happy to tell people what I'm looking for when I back a project. I figure what's the alternative? Let you run lots of kickstarters as experiments until you hit on what will get my support? I generally back projects at the higher levels which is, I dare say, where most of the profit is (provided bill doesn't foot my shipping bill, of course). I figure its doing the project originators a favour to be clear about what makes me say yes and what will be of no interest.