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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Legends Subscriber, Tales Subscriber. 8,662 posts (9,830 including aliases). 14 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 10 aliases.


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Mimesyne wrote:

I actually just joined a one on one PBP and I'm really excited about it. I get to hog the spotlight and explore the environment the GM has designed for me at my own pace and without worrying about holding up three-four other people. The appeal to me is just that the focus is my character and how she perceives and interact with the world. Call me selfish, but its nice to have that from time to time!

On the issue of creepiness...

Well, people online are only as creepy as you let them be. Report and ignore/block. Bam. Then there's like, 1/10 creeps (and creeps are only like, 1/100 of the general population at the MOST) who will be persistent enough to make a new account just to creep on you. Then that's more of an issue and you work with the site staff to solve it. Or ignore it because a bully/creep is only a bully/creep when there's a victim to target and ignoring things is pretty easy on the net (mixed results when you try this IRL ofc).

It also helps when you don't walk around advertising your gender. Females do generally get a bit of extra attention on the net, sure. But you can easily avoid that attention if you don't want it by simply not saying you're a female. I mean, does it matter you're a female? No. This is a roleplay site. Half the time the men are women, women are men, and the children are always FBI agents. I don't care if you're a guy, a girl, if you're straight, or if you're gay. Or any of those in-between things I'm supposed to be including to be politically correct or whatever.

I don't even know the genders of my own players of the game I DM, and I doubt they know mine. But it doesn't matter because I'm not trying to become romantic partners with any of them which is really the only time gender matters.

So, if being a female makes you wary of playing a one on one PBP, or even like it makes you a target, then just don't tell people your gender and don't add your gender to your profile.

I'm probably going to get lynched for this, but I find that the people who...

I'm not going to lynch you, but I really feel like this is giving up - "there's going to be creeps around, so don't tell anyone you're a woman".

I think it's worth putting the effort in to make the community better and it shouldn't be up to the victims to adapt, imo.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm not really sure what we're talking about now (I don't drink wine at all). I wasn't making any comment about Pathfinder or its' target market, so I didn't really understand your initial reply.

You made a comment about design aficionados and pathfinder.

I tried to use an analogy to say that you shouldn't make assumptions about what is popular among aficionados based on how pathfinder is designed, because pathfinder is a broad-appeal kitchen-sink game. It is NOT designed for aficionados.

You thought I said that the people behind pathfinder are not aficionados.

I double downed the analogy to say that you can be an aficionado and still make a product for people who aren't. I then tried to reiterate that being broad-appeal isn't bad.

So basically, I was trying to tell you that you were right in the first place.

Cheers.

It's not terribly important but I wasn't meaning to infer what is popular among afficionados based on pathfinder's design. I was meaning to express surprise that an afficionado would express a view so close to my preference.

I also didnt think you were making any statement about the design team's afficionadoness - I was struggling to clarify my first post, since I didnt understand yours.

I definitely agree that Pathfinder is designed to appeal to a wide audience.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
It seems unlikely Paizo will address it so long as their official party line remains "The martial-caster disparity is a myth propagated by people with an agenda."
Isn't that from the James Jacobs "ask" thread? That hardly counts as an official position - he puts a fair bit of effort into qualifying all his statements there (beyond Golarion canon) as personal opinion. Especially when they relate to the rules of PF.
Unfortunately the C/M disparity isn't a rules issue it is a system "feel" issue. James seems to (rightfully) have a bunch of clout when it comes to system "feel" issues. Just ask SLAs about it.

He may well have influence in office discussions around inter-class balance (and perhaps his personal views line up with those of the design team). I just think it's misleading to label it an "official party line".

I don't think Paizo have made an official statement on whether there is a disparity in power between the martial and casting classes (or at least, if they have, it's not the often-cited one liner from the "Ask JJ" thread).


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I'm very excited by that. I was disappointed when the Northlands books ceased - glad it was a hiatus rather than a death.

I'm also really looking forward to a mooted Slumbering Tsar conversion plus a mysterious "Swords and Wizardry related" kickstarter...The next couple of years is going to be a great time to be a Frog God Games fan. :)


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The short answer is that no, there isn't a guaranteed way to get an "official" answer.

The medium answer is to try asking Mark, one of the members of the design team who is willing to offer his thoughts on rules queries.

The longest answer is to post it in the rules sub forums and allow the community to offer their perspectives. There's a lot of people here who are very knowledgeable about the rules. If there is an explicit answer to your query somewhere in the books, websites, FAQs, erratas or message board comments from the design team - I'd bet someone will post you such a link and an explanation within twenty four hours. They're a pretty helpful bunch.

If it turns out to be a controversial question, posting a query is still the best bet, since that's more likely to lead to a clamouring for clarification, lots of similar threads debating the same question and lots of FAQ-button clicking - which could eventually lead to the official answer you're looking for (but bear in mind that takes a very long time, in general).


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Neo2151 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:

I'm totally looking forward to playing an Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil in the next PFS game I can find.

Backwards compatibility for the win!

I'm not really sure why you are mentioning PFS in regards to backwards compatibility. PFS is a set of houserules that don't even let you use the Summoner class from APG, it has no connection to backwards compatibility.

Just to point out that "sanctioned play" doesn't allow for any non-Paizo material (at least none that I can find looking through the PFS Guild Guide or the "PFS Additional Resources" link on paizo.com).

Probably because, as most people have figured out, the balance between 3.5 and PF is wildly different. If it were truly a backwards compatible game, that wouldn't be true.

I think it's much more likely that the reason is that Paizo only want to allow material in their organised play program over which they have control. Both for playability reasons but also for sales/promotion reasons.

Also, I reject the idea that "backwards compatibility" equals "the same power level". That's manifestly false - isn't there a PF Compatible product called "Stupidly Overpowered Feats" or somesuch?


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Posting anything other than a messageboard post is beyond my technical abilities... :p

If you look at an AP (or any of Paizo's 64 page sourcebooks) you'll see that there's a predefined crease on the front and back cover about 1/4 of an inch in from the spine.

I lay the book flat on its back and then carefully fold along the front cover's crease, bending the cover open a full 180 degrees and running my finger along it to make it hold. Then I flip the book to its' front and repeat the process along the back cover's crease.

I generally lay my books open flat on the table and the two covers now act as a kind of 'brace' of the other pages - they open out further than the rest of the book if you lay it open on a flat surface and the pages don't split apart as far (although I guess you could still force them apart if you tried).

Although it works for me, I've heard mixed reports from this process - some have said it makes no difference and that they still have pages falling out. However, once I started doing this I've only had the problem repeat once (and I have close to a dozen older books which have lost individual pages and/or whole 'packets' of pages).


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Grond wrote:
Joana wrote:

If I knew I could get Hell's Rebels in hardback 18 months from now versus buying it in 6 paperbacks right now, I'd drop my subscription yesterday. My group hasn't even started Giantslayer yet.

Paizo is very savvy when it comes to maintaining customers. It's why they're still in business when so many other companies aren't.

I don't know if your personal experience would translate into a demographic large enough to actually worry Paizo. Book publishers routinely release hardbacks first then wait a year (or more) for the softback just to force people into buying the more expensive option first.

Paizo is working it backwards. Which is fine but there should be an option to buy one hardback edition as opposed to booklets that literally fall apart during one campaign.

The subscription model is an absolutely key part of Paizo's business structure - it's been repeatedly described over the years as what keeps the lights on and pays the wages. The risk/reward calculation when you're dealing with something as central as that is more than just "would we gain more money than we'd lose by trying this" - if they're a little bit wrong, they go out of business (or need to find a big injection of capital).

Granted that information could well be out-of-date by now as I'm referencing conversations from several years ago. The diversification of product lines and general growth of the company probably makes things less fragile than they were when those comments were made, I suspect. Nonetheless, the stakes are also higher - there's more employees and just generally more at risk.

With regard to the fragility of the APs. I also used to have this problem until I began 'pre-folding' the crease near the spine of the AP. I can't really work out why it helps, but it definitely does - it sort of makes a 'brace' for the rest of the book and has considerably reduced the incidence of pages breaking free of the glue and falling out.


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Angry's not the right response anyhow. Paizo produce creative work - you'll like some of it and you won't like bits of it. They also go back and change some stuff if it went in different directions than they intended (like the early Dragon Graveyard stuff) or if they went in one direction and then changed their mind when they fully thought through the consequences.

Although they'd no doubt prefer to never need errata nor FAQs, Paizo have never promised that nothing will ever change (flavor-wise or rules-wise). Getting angry at them for refining their work from time to time is inappropriate. They're doing what they do and doing it as well as they can (pretty much continuously for many years).


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Rational argument doesn't yield anything better than guesswork when applied to an internally inconsistent set of premises. That's the problem here - the rules are a hodgepodge collection built up by different authors over several years - there isn't a definitive answer (or there are many, depending on your viewpoint).


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Kthulhu wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Yeah, pretty much (except I also agree with you that if there is a martial-caster disparity, it shouldn't be advertised as a game where all classes are equally powerful - I just havent noticed that sort of advertising).
I'd say it's essentially advertising that as fact if it calls both Ted the Fighter and Joe the Wizard 12th level. That sort of implies that they should be on roughly the same power level.

That's not how I view levels. I think two level twelve wizards should be the same power - I don't see any inherent implication requiring a level twelve fighter and a level twelve wizard to be the same degree of power though. In my minds eye magic is better - the best wizard in the world is more powerful than the best fighter (even though they may both be twentieth level).


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Jamie Charlan wrote:

A level/class-based systems exacerbates the problem as well: The entire point of levels is balancing: Something of a given level is supposed to be similar in capability - both numerical and narrative-control - as another of the same level.

In 2e this was (partially) remedied by having different XP growth curves.
Since d20 system's inception, however, this is gone as well. By its very concept and theoretical intent, saying "Level X" is supposed to allow a quick, straightforward (if only approximate) understanding of the scope of capabilities of any given character.

When one class automatically ensures that a level 8 character of said class vastly outstrips a level 11 character of this other class, there's a grave flaw in the design of at least one of those two classes, and possibly both. The "level" indicator loses much of its value as a measuring standard.

I can appreciate that is the majority view, but it isnt how I think about it and I don't think it's a necessary component of a level based system that levels of different classes are equal in any specific respect. The measuring standard isn't something worth preserving, from my perspective.

In my mind a level 8 fighter should be more powerful than a level 4 fighter, but it doesnt matter where a level 5 wizard sits on that 'scale'. Admittedly, when I learnt to play RPGs, when you died you rolled up a new level one character, irrespective of the rest of the table's level - so there was no expectation that different PCs would be equally powerful. As such, measuring the different classes against one another just didn't come up.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:
”Steve Geddes” wrote:

Yeah, I conceptually prefer games where the magic option is strictly greater than the mundane.

I'm willing to accept the word of those who understand Pathfinder well that the martial/caster disparity exists, although I don't really notice it during play. My pet hate has nothing to do with labels - you can call me whatever you like. It irritates me more when I'm told that a game catering to my preferences is 'objectively poor design'.

I think the only part that's poorly designed are the advertisements. Pathfinder advertizes a world where Joe Mcfightington is on par with Mike McMagicton, but instead delivers a world where "magic options are strictly greater than mundane options."

I havent noticed that, but I came to Pathfinder with my preferences and expectations pretty baked in, so I doubt I'd really notice anything that could be termed an advertisement (beyond the literal).

Quote:
At least when you follow the rules as written while disallowing abuse. Even if a caster doesn't use corner case rule abuse it's obvious just how much above and beyond they are in terms of narrative power.

The way I approach an RPG, rule zero is an essential component of the rules - so there's no real distinction between what others' term a "houserule" and RAW. I don't actually think "rules as written" is a sensibly defined concept anyhow. Given the ambiguities of language and the complexity of modern RPGs, I don't think there is any objective meaning of a body of sufficiently complicated rules - I think there's what you think the rules mean, what I think the rules mean, what someone else thinks the rules mean, etcetera. Granted that's unlikely to be a popular viewpoint in the rules forum.


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Jiggy wrote:

I would amend #3 to "People who acknowledge it exists, but either don't care or actually like it".

Rare, but real.

Yeah, I conceptually prefer games where the magic option is strictly greater than the mundane.

I'm willing to accept the word of those who understand Pathfinder well that the martial/caster disparity exists, although I don't really notice it during play. My pet hate has nothing to do with labels - you can call me whatever you like. It irritates me more when I'm told that a game catering to my preferences is 'objectively poor design'.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Best I can do is to post some of them here and there in the threads when the topic comes up and I feel like my input isn't going to cause more problems than it solved... and as for this latest one... jury's still out on whether me posting in this thread was a good idea or a terrible one.

It was a good idea. I'm sure I saw you post this quite some time ago and it resolved the issue for me - the jury is unfortunately more likely to see the negative outcomes than the positive.


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Taldor stuff. I think it would dovetail nicely with Ultimate Intrigue.

And (since it's a wishlist instead of a things-you-expect-to-actually-happen-list): an Absalom boxed set.


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I go through phases but I can't deny a certain obsessiveness with RPG collections. It's not important to me that it be a large collection, but it has to be complete. Once I bought a few Dungeon magazines, I had to get all of them. I've never played Numenera, but since I began buying it I keep on top of releases - both from Monte Cook Games and third party stuff). It still bugs me that I dont quite have all the flipmats; I missed out on the first few and have to mentally tell myself they weren't really Paizo product back then, so what I have still counts. :(

I don't actually use much of it anymore as we don't skip around trying new systems and settings like we used to. However, I read a lot and plunder rules ideas from other games for the system I run. From time to time when the collection gets unwieldy I go through some serious purging. One of the hazards of being a completionist in such a small print-run industry is that it's ultimately an unachievable goal. Even knowing everything that's potentially available is a task sometimes.


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Rhedyn wrote:
You cannot have serious debates without them getting heated.

You can and the forum will be better for it.


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Although I've only skimmed it so far, I'm prepared to go out on a limb and declare that this book is awesome. I loved the fact it was a little looser in structure - not six factions or six Devils or six cults or whatever but rather a whole bunch of devil-related stuff. Can't wait to give it a proper read.

I've really loved what Paizo have done with the evil outsiders. This is yet another stellar contribution to that body of work. Nice one Wes, Jerome and everyone else involved. :)


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Gorbacz wrote:
Steve, did you ever consider a career in diplomacy or peacekeeping ops?

Would you and kthulhu like a session? ;)


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Wolfgang, is there any chance that future 5E releases will be offered through Paizo? I got this from Amazon, but I'd have greatly preferred to buy it here.


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It's not really what you asked for (and requires further investment) however I think Sword Of Air would be worth a look also for this kind of campaign. Bill described it as a "campaign overlay" a kind of grand, meta-plot which could occur throughout a campaign, sometimes coming to the fore and sometimes receding. It's based around the same region as ST and Stoneheart Valley (or rather, they are small parts within SoA).

It vaulted to the top of my list of all-time favourite RPG products (granted i got the Swords and Wizardry version and generally prefer very open sandboxes/sourcebooks to more linear adventures) - joining Rappan Athuk and the Anniversary edition of Rise of the Runelords.

Although I have similar plans for such a campaign, I haven't got much actual preparatory work to share, since I'm a long way off running it. My players don't share my love of a sandbox. They much prefer straightforward Adventure Paths.


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I'll keep an eye out. I've played more rolemaster than anything else in my life. I look forward to the next iteration. :)


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Physically Unfeasible wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Oh, god. There's no escape.
Eventually, you'll have to add the Index to the Index.
I think we'd have to use Raise Dead on Bertrand Russell first. Just to check if the thread maintains the same properties.

I asked Godel, but he couldn't be sure.


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Have there been any yet? From Paizo, 3PPs or anyone else?


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Rynjin wrote:

Really all this is is an "appeal to tradition".

"It always has been this way, therefore it must always be this way."

More "this is an integral feature of this edition, so we'll keep that the same".


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

Well, at least I made my voice heard, instead of being blind-sighted with this 9-page document fixing a rushed book.

Maybe a discussion of the poll, much like what we have for the product pages? Allows a vote, and getting actual words out.

It's not a perfect solution, not sure what is, but it's a step in the right direction.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to be proven incorrect.

If it were possible to run a poll and for the Design Team to use that in making their decisions it could only help in broadening their perspective and providing useful data. My impression though is that it would do as much harm as good (people being asked and feeling they've been ignored seems more likely to upset people than not being asked at all).

People think they are being ignored NOW. It's hard to imagine polls would make that worse.

I don't find it hard to imagine, personally. Not everyone feels Paizo ignore their fan base. If we were polled and the designers went contrary to the majority vote - wouldn't it bolster the claims of those who feel the community is being ignored?

I think the existence of a poll itself isnt going to help. The only way to fix the perception of those who currently feel ignored is either better communication as to why the PDT went the other way or a shift in design direction. Neither of those things requires a poll, but a poll without either of those things gives the potential for the perception to get worse, in my opinion.


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I think a regular "What the PDT did this week/fortnight/month" blog might be useful - and could be a convenient, structured but informal place to ask what the community thinks about mooted changes.


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voideternal wrote:

I'd kinda like a thread like Ask James Jacobs, except instead of James, it's a Paizo rules developer. The James Jacobs thread is quite amazing. It explains not only Golarion setting, but also sometimes details on how things came to be, just like how Chris provided some insight on Paizo's internal process as an explanation of how the errata came to be.

But I don't recall such a thread existing, so I assume that such a thread is not possible, for whatever reason.

An "Ask the PDT all your questions here" thread would be great but probably unworkable. I suspect it would just get swamped.


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Gorbacz wrote:
graystone wrote:
And as others have said, I'd love to see some kind of poll put out for some of the more controversial changes. It would give a tangible view of how many people are for/against it before something radical gets done.
Given that the forum goers are a tiny, and hardly representative, fraction of the playerbase, that wouldn't be in the slightest indicative of anything.

Yeah - I'm very grateful for those who like analysing systems doing their bit to help make the game better. I really hope Paizo find a way to incorporate some of that feedback and a way to communicate why they've gone a different direction.

However, polling such a tightly focussed, self-selecting group is not something I could see as being useful.


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I like it as a complicated game (but don't have the time to play complicated games any more, so don't generally play it much).

I like the fact the developers keep refining it via erratas and FAQs (though I wish they had a better name for the latter) - despite the fact they cop so much grief for doing so.

The negativity has always been there, as have the people declaring that they're at the point of quitting if paizo don't lift their game. My theory is that there's a cohort of fans who like the game and see lots of potential for improvement then watch it develop in a direction they don't like until they can't bear it any more.

It's a sad fact about the world, but it seems to be much harder to make lots and lots of posts about how you think the designers are doing a good job than it is to go on about the things one doesnt like. Also, I'm an unashamed Paizo fanboy but it feels somewhat churlish to keep butting into to discussions to contradict people who don't like it. Unfortunately, it does make the rules subforums a rather unpleasant, negative place, in my view.


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Does anyone know how their business model works?

They're still merrily spamming away, despite it being (presumably) obvious that there's negligible benefit to them. I can only presume they are an outsourced IT "service" and get paid-per-post - so the fact they're not actually ranking higher on search engine results doesn't matter to them.

If I was paying them out of my marketing budget and found out they were basically charging me for meaningless activity, I think I'd consider it tantamount to fraud.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

It's not the CharOp people who get screwed by errata. Sure a build or two of theirs get's screwed, but they just go on to experiment with the altered rules or abandon that concept completely.

Its the normal people out there who just want an effective character within their concept.

I agree, although many of us won't notice and probably wouldn't care.

That's not true for everyone though, and as the rules get more complicated (which includes an issue of errata or FAQs which substantially go against the generally held view) the people most likely to suffer are those who care about character effectiveness and inter-class balance but who aren't particularly good at identifying it from a theoretical basis.


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Isn't that just part of the schtick of organised play? Even the professional sporting codes have the issue of rule changes (sometimes midseason) requiring an adjustment to tactics/gamestyle. I think one should expect things to change in such a setting - hopefully there's a suitable mechanism to allow people to redesign characters which have been deeply affected (?)


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I now officially owe Skeeter another beer.


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Male Wood Elf Cleric 3 (life domain) - HP (19/21) AC 17(19) Init +3 Perc +5 Str +2 Dex +2 Con +1 Int +0 Wis +5 Cha +1

*Jealous pout*


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Physically Unfeasible wrote:

Whether those of us who enjoy CharOP engage in a mass exodus or not; a large number of groups probably just don't care. Heck, some of the stuff we've seen go (Divine Prot., now SWD) I've known a majority of GMs near me ban (GMs that bother with errata at FAQs at that). Assuming that sample is at all valid, such fixes do amount to increasing options for many people.

Now, the fact that some of these are now traps that on the flip side are still non-options, is a different query. That query being "Is there a medium button?"

I think this is quite perceptive. I quite enjoy watching you rules-knowledgeable people debate the finer points but it has very little to do with how things work at our table. It's hard to evaluate just how large the cohort is who enjoy CharOP as you put it. Probably even harder to calculate how many people like Pathfinder/Paizo but couldnt care less about the caster/martial divide nor whether things are nerfed or otherwise.

Untangling the hyperbole from the genuine complaints is difficult sometimes (people have been declaring 'the end is nigh if paizo continue like this...' for a few years now without it actually slowing the growth of the game - I suspect when the star does fade it's going to be just as much fashion as anything to do with the actual rules).

Overall, I think it's worth bearing in mind that Paizo have a broader agenda than each of us. Whatever the thing is that we each value most highly about Pathfinder/Paizo - it's not as important to Paizo, since they have to balance the needs of a large, disparate group with conflicting and even mutually inconsistent demands. The nature of compromise is that nobody gets what they want.


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RonarsCorruption wrote:
Regarding printing, people seem to be confused. As I understand it the kickstarter will be primarily to get the content produced as a PDF - with some limited rewards offering limited edition print copies. Then, afterwards when the entire project is done, there will be effort putting it into making a printed copy available.

I don't know if I'm one of "people" but if so, I'm not confused. I understand the proposal - I think limiting the funds the kickstarter can raise in this way is a bad idea.

If I can't get a full colour hardcover (for which I'll pledge a stupidly high amount for) then I won't back the kickstarter (PDFs are valueless to me and black and white versions of colour books are not of interest). So the project is less likely to reach stretch goals - for no good reason, as far as I can see.


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I dont know how useful the community flagging is (or how long we'll need to keep it up).

If it's something we're going to need to do long term, it would be a nice feature if the posts we'd already flagged could be 'greyed out' or something. I generally just watch the sidebar and it's not too hard to keep on top of them as they come in. Nonetheless, there are times I open a post to flag it and realise I've already been there.

I doubt it's worth putting lots of effort into, but if it's easy...


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SmiloDan wrote:
I guess I like how the crunch matches the fluff of my rogue.

The parkour interpretation is neat. I may steal that. :)


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I didn't realise I was signing up for a message board. I've just never got around to picking an avatar - when I do for PBPs it always takes me ages to find one I like.

What it shows about me is that I don't do the twenty first century very well.


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Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
P.S. It is not what I was talking about earlier, but just to let you know we will be releasing an S&W conversion of Slumbering Tsar shortly. I don't think it will be a KS, though. Skeeter has been working on it for some time and knows the details on it. I'm working on the foreword for it right now, so it should be popping up very soon. :-)

That is phenomenal news! Awesome. :)


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Cort Odekirk wrote:
Hopefully your shift is more exciting than mine...

The fact you guys are rostering yourselves after hours is greatly appreciate on this side of the world. I hate the fact you have to do it but am nonetheless very thankful.


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It was in the old campaign setting hardcover, (the predecessor to the ISWG) but it's obviously quite out of date now.

I'd dearly love for this to be a thing. I tried to make one myself but it was beyond my abilities. :(


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It's hard to believe, sometimes. :)


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That's official, Hawkmoon. You're hired.

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