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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber. 7,483 posts (8,451 including aliases). 12 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 aliases.


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They're great. I'd share a coffee, beer or whiskey with any of them.

It doesnt really matter whether people who work at other companies are also great or not.


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Logan1138 wrote:

The discussion over monster "building" has puzzled me because, outside of one session of 3.5 about 10 years ago and 1 session of Pathfinder 2 years ago, I have only played Moldvay Basic (aka B/X) and 1st Edition AD&D, so the idea of "building" monsters is totally foreign to me.

The only monsters I ever encountered in my playing days were the "standard" ones listed in the rulebooks. Do other posters here find it boring to fight the non-modified monsters listed in Monster Manuals/Bestiaries? Is your enjoyment of the game predicated on fighting non-standard monsters?

Honestly curious about this point...

In my case, it's more about toning things down. Our group is pretty poor at playing pathfinder - I don't think we've ever made it past level eight before running into a TPK where we basically just couldn't meaningfully hurt the enemy or couldn't avoid being decimated. We generally play prewritten adventures and the toughest things have often been modified from the standard entry (ie they've had templates added or class levels).

Trying to scale back a monster in pathfinder very much feels like I'm fighting the system, given there's a whole bunch of calculations that went into creating the "official" statblock. I wing it okay, but there's no guidelines within the system for simply dialling things back a notch (the way the 4E monster builder has, for example where you can essentially scale any monster to any level in a snap).

The 5E DMG discussion on adventure building, encounter design and monsters is much more suited to me. I'm hard up at the "DM fiat" end of the spectrum anyhow, so a loose set of guidelines rather than a codified process is what I'm looking for, pretty much across the board.


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David Bowles wrote:

I don't think I ever said 5th is "wrong", just gutted, simplistic, and more arbitrary vs formulaic. People have made it very clear that they like the simplicity, whereas I like formulas.

I personally think they could have done a much better job of dropping some clunky things, but not stripping it down as much as they did. For example, I love buffs, and what they did with them, to me, is horrible. They could have thrown players like me a bone, but they didn't. Full-on gutting mode.

It's certainly true they weren't trying to cater to your tastes, but I don't think throwing bones willy billy is a good strategy.

It seems that most of what you like in a game are the things I don't and most of what I like are the things you call weaknesses. I think trying to build a game both you and I would like is likely to result in one nobody would. To make the point from the other direction as it were:

One of my least favourite things about pathfinder is that monsters are built using the same rules as PCs. I've never liked games which follow that approach, I find it needlessly complicated with the end result of apparently greater "verisimilitude" that, in my view, doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Do you think it would be good strategy for paizo to include some rules for building and running monsters differently from PCs to "throw players like me a bone" and thus broaden the market they appeal to? Because I think it would fail miserably and leave everyone disappointed. Far better, in my opinion, for paizo to stick to producing a complicated system with lots of subsystems, options and interacting parts rather than try and be all things to all people.

I feel exactly the same with 5E - WotC have decided to go for a simple, loose rule system that focuses on speed of resolution over nuanced mechanics. Complicating it a little bit would still not appeal to players who like a complicated game and would betray WotC's chosen, underlying design principles.


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David Bowles wrote:
Monsters built like PCs level the playing field for both the players and GM. It also gives the GM opportunity to build some really cool monsters!

I was wrong about this before, by the way having now got the DMG.

Contrary to what I said earlier, although many monsters are not built using PC rules, it is expected that DMs will sometimes use the players handbook rules to construct enemies. (So you can beef up the Orc that way, if you wish, though you don't have to - you can just use a monster ability from the monster manual, all of which are listed in the DMG).


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David Bowles wrote:
Diffan wrote:

Creature abilities in 4E and D&D:Next sort of replace the need for feats IMO. An Orc doesn't need Power Attack, he could simply have a line that says "-5 to Attack, add an additional +10 to the damage roll" or to illustrate Lightning Reflexes "The Orc has advantage when making Dexterity saving throws."

An endless list of feats based on HD isn't required (and good riddance).

Except for those of us who find "advantage" and "disadvantage" limiting and boring as watching paint dry.

I don't think those people should play 5E. Nor should 5E designers put much thought into catering to those peoples preferences.

The ubiquitous (dis)advantage horse has bolted, don't you think?


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I blame that damn butterfly.


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Dear Paizo Powers-That-Be*

I spoke to Katina for the first time today. Unbelievably, she was just as friendly and helpful as everyone else I've ever spoken to at Paizo.

Whatever the process is that you use to select customer service representatives, I'd recommend sticking with it.

Cheers
Steve

*:
Except for Cosmo, obviously.


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I often think the designers say "open playtest" and the participants hear "collaborative design". It seems to me that quite often, both Paizo and WotC are criticised for not listening to the community where the publisher says:

"We're toying with this concept, how does it work out at the table?"

and a fan answers:

"I think you should do this instead".


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Korvosa. It remains my favourite city sourcebook. Plus Curse of the Crimson Throne is my favourite AP.


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Neal Litherland wrote:

We've all been part of at least one of these "discussions" in our times as gamers. Maybe you wanted to play a Spellslinger and your DM slapped you down hard. Maybe you wanted to be an alchemist that hunts dragons. Perhaps you were asking to bring something out of Numeria. So many players don't want any technology, even alien technology, interacting with their fantasy worlds.

Why do we do that? Where does this knee jerk reaction come from?

In my case it's from experience. I've never played in a successful sci-fantasy game (despite several efforts). After trying something a few times, I give up on the grounds that it's just not for me. (I also expect to not enjoy games based around interparty conflict, campaigns that start with "You're all on the run..." or game systems where combat is so deadly that avoiding it is always the rational choice).

I dont think there's any objective reason - it's just that mixing science fiction and fantasy is not something I enjoy.


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It certainly seems to me that 5E was designed to cater to the old school game players rather than the pathfinder players. As such, it's no surprise to me that it's skewed more heavily to the DM-fiat end of the spectrum, rather than the clear-codified-rules-for-everything end of the spectrum.

I think there's a correlation between whether one prefers Pathfinder or prefers the older style of game and where one thinks the 'power' should sit between player and DM.


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In a sense (though this isn't strictly correct terminology), his behaviour isn't really independent - if you've picked the right door, he has a choice to make. If you've picked one of the wrong doors he has no choice as to which door to show you.


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therealthom wrote:

I am serious. Assuming Monty's behavior is independent of the correctness of my initial choice, I believe that there is no advantage in switching my choice once he shows me an empty door.

I wish I could explain as clearly and elegantly as Steve Geddes explained the straw problem.

You should switch. Try this:

there are three equally likely options, presuming you've chosen door one:

D1 has the prize and he opens either D2 or D3 (you shouldn't switch).
D2 has the prize and he shows you D3 (you should switch)
D3 has the prize and he shows you D2 (you should switch).

They're indistinguishable from your perspective and in two of them, you're better off switching whereas in only one are you better off sticking with your original choice.


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bugleyman wrote:
I think the book looks fantastic, and I'd like to own it. However, WotC has gotten their last dollar from me until they actually deliver digital books (in a non-proprietary format, to boot).

That sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Which is your right, of course, but what are you gaining by not buying a book you want to own?


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In my opinion, 5E is much more of a "threat" to OSRIC games - or would be, if there were a commercially successful one.

5E and PF seem to be targeting different players. As a fan of both companies, I'm hopeful they both thrive.


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goldomark wrote:
I guess swiftness depends on your gaming opportunities. I play with close friends in one of our houses and game sessions rarely last less than 6 hours. 8-10 hours is pretty frequent. 12 hours still happens from time to time. I guess if you have two hours in a LFGS you want something simple and fast. With friends and a lot of time in front of you, this is less of an issue. We also do not have a lot of fights per night. 1-2 fights is common. 3 is a lot. Sometimes we have none.

My love of simple systems grew out of this. We struggle to play for more than three hours. Plus we have a lot of combat. Pathfinder doesn't suit us very well as it takes months to progress the story.


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high G wrote:

=

=
= Steve Geddes wins by being the first with a complete answer.
=
=

Only for four players. The general case was left as an exercise for the reader..


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Yeah. Probability is a minefield - our intuitions usually lend us astray.

A maths degree, a fascination with the game of bridge and a short lived career playing online poker helps. :p


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Jail House Rock wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

The odds are identical for all players.

Perhaps one way to understand it is to play without looking at your draw. Everyone draws a straw in any old order, then simultaneously look at what they've picked - there's no advantage there whether you happened to be first, last or anything in between.

Not sure this sheds new light as the drawing sequence is the same as before. The guy picking last still appears to have the advantage of the situation, even if everyone waits till the end before looking.

Nope. Imagine there are four players:

Player one gets the short straw 1/4 of the time.

Player two only gets the short straw if P1 didn't AND if P2 chooses the short straw out of the remaining three. The probability of two events occurring in this situation is the probability of the first multiplied by the probability of the second.
This chance is 3/4 (chance of the first player drawing a long straw) x 1/3 (chance of the second player drawing the short straw given that P1 didn't)= 3/12 = 1/4

Player three gets the short straw if P1 didn't take it (out of the initial four straws), P2 didn't take it (out of the remaining three straws) and then P3 chooses it out of the remaining two. This chance is 3/4 x 2/3 x 1/2 = 6/24 = 1/4

Player four gets the short straw if P1, P2 and P3 all avoided it. This chance is 3/4 x2/3 x 1/2 = 6/24 = 1/4

The same calculations hold true for any number of players - it just takes longer. I suspect you're thinking of it as "the player at the end of the queue has more and more chances for someone else to get it" this is balanced out perfectly by the fact that the players at the end of the queue are choosing from far fewer straws. Thus, if nobody has picked it they are at ever increasing risk of being the loser.


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I think David was responding to my comment about the difficulty of running a stealth scenario (in pathfinder). I think he meant that I should be experiencing problems running a stealth scenario, since heavily armoured PCs aren't very stealthy.

The armor thing is not really relevant though, since they wouldn't try creeping around in platemail.


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David Bowles wrote:
I don't know how anyone can tell me that they didn't gut arcane casters.

Because they didn't start at pathfinder and build 5E from there. The whole gut/nerf/boost terminology makes no sense to me in this context.

I think high level casters are less powerful in 5E than in PF. It's the expectation that pathfinder should be treated as the "default" that I question.


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David Bowles wrote:


I did not find it substantially simpler, no. I found it stripped down, which is different. People are still moving models, rolling D20, adding modifiers and then determining what happens. Yes, the modifiers are smaller, and progress less quickly. But I don't think that's a good thing.

It's not the size of the modifiers in a PF battle that bother me, it's the number of them. That's part of where I see the simplification.


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David Bowles wrote:
Wrath wrote:

I'm DMing a game that's gone from first to sixth level so far. Just some points to counter things brought up here.

This version is dangerous for everyone, caster or martial. In other words, it's balanced that way.

Casters can cast a spell in combat and not provoke. That saves their bacon more than needing to run away. Or they can cast any of the numerous hold, slow, web etc spells that prevents the enemy pursuing them, then run away without fear.

Divine casters don't need channel, because there are other healing mechanics like second wind and short rests that does that for them. It's rare I see the situation where clerics are heal bots in 5e at all.

The entire game is designed to work well with its own mechanics. It's beautifully balanced so far. And sooooooo simple to DM it isn't funny.

Players use tactics as a group more than in Pathfinder. I also see more roleplay and more attempts at unusual ways to deal with situations because unlike pathfinder, a players imagination has more impact on what he can do in a game than the character sheet itself. Players aren't limited in things they can try because they don't have the feats for it.

It really is a different game to pathfinder completely, in how it plays at least.

Interesting. You think maybe it would be less dangerous if the clerics were adopting the heal stick role? Because maybe it's dangerous because cleric players aren't sucking it up and doing the right thing for the group.

Healing in combat faces the same arguments against in 5E as in Pathfinder, I think. Cure wounds is just not that great (and healing word is so weak as to be very situational).

I don't think giving up on doing damage and switching to healing in combat is going to be much of a good strategy, at least for a low level cleric. Maybe things change later, but the paucity of high level spell slots is going to make it a difficult choice to spend them on healing, I'd guess.


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bugleyman wrote:
Your opinion is wrong, and my opinion is right, because reasons.

In case it isn't clear, I'm not trying to change David's mind, nor persuade him he's wrong. There's not a lot of point in only responding to people who share my opinions, though.


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David Bowles wrote:
I only seem to be moving goal posts because no one here really seems to know how the game plays when the martials have 3-4 swings on the move. Either they can do dangerous amounts of damage with those attacks or not. If not, I would find that to be strange game design.

I think they can and that casters can defend themselves from dangerous amounts of damage. I haven't played beyond fifth level though.

t's definitely fruitful to look at it as a fresh system rather than "what's different from pathfinder (or other chosen system)" though. The classes which "lose" multiple attacks "gain" other features and it's difficult to view one feature in isolation (it's not right to consider the various class features as a change - its a different approach to encapsulating a similar concept)

It's probably also worth noting that 5E doesn't follow the "same rules for building PCs and NPCs" paradigm that pathfinder does. I mention that, since your PCs aren't going to be facing creatures built using the PC rules which probably changes the analysis - you seem to be focussing on a fighter duking it out with a magicuser in your comments above, whereas I think a more useful analysis would be how the fighter compares to the magicuser from the perspective of combat effectiveness in a fight against a common foe.


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David Bowles wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
How tactically oriented is your GM? Because I'll tell you right now that if I were GMing this system, it would be incredibly hazardous for casters. I would take full advantage of this... feature as early and as often as possible. It's not screwing anyone, because its right there in black and white. I would warn people playing casters ahead of time of this feature and how it affects them in battle.
Why would you have the monsters pursue the casters if you think they're weaker opponents than the Martial characters? That doesn't seem tactically sensible to me.
Because eliminating action economy is still powerful, even if casters are inferior. They still count.

It just seems to me that, if your argument is sound, choosing to run around eliminating the weak PCs would be less "tactical" than focussing on the dangerous foes.

I'm more curious about strategy than anything else. Our tactics are generally "kill the dangerous guys as quickly as possible". That (broadly) holds for the monsters as well.


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David Bowles wrote:
How tactically oriented is your GM? Because I'll tell you right now that if I were GMing this system, it would be incredibly hazardous for casters. I would take full advantage of this... feature as early and as often as possible. It's not screwing anyone, because its right there in black and white. I would warn people playing casters ahead of time of this feature and how it affects them in battle.

Why would you have the monsters pursue the casters if you think they're weaker opponents than the Martial characters? That doesn't seem tactically sensible to me.


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Personally, I'm quite happy to receive 200 pounds of miniatures. Sounds like a bargain to me. :)


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bugleyman wrote:

My rebuttal to that would be: You aren't going to live forever. Both of my teenage boys, for example, greatly prefer to read on their Kindles. And while it's true that anecdotes aren't data, I do think there is a generational factor at play here...a factor that will probably get stronger over time. After all, it's hard to fall in love with books if you've never seen one. That might sound crazy, but I've actually had a nephew fail to recognize the purpose and nature of a rotary phone.

But some good points have been raised. Although I believe the demise of print is a foregone conclusion, I may well be wrong.

Yeah, I dont pretend to know which way it's going to go - but I dont particularly care about the market once I'm dead. :)

I just think the cost analysis of print-vs-digital misses a significant element of the economics question.

I had a 3PP argue with me at length once because he couldnt understand my view that a PDF is not a substitute for a book (not even a poor substitue). His view was "I'm giving you all the same information" and I couldnt explain that when I buy a book, I'm not assigning significant value to the information. That's almost an incidental consideration to me (not quite, in that I'll buy an RPG book over a book about fishing, but it doesnt factor in much more than that).


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lorenlord wrote:
bugleyman wrote:

The game isn't a "complete disaster;" but it is a complete non-starter for those who REQUIRE electronic support. While you may not fall into that group, but you may want to consider the possibility that other people do (though admittedly that's not as entertaining as just mocking them instead).

Question: How does one REQUIRE electronic support? There's a whopping 2 books out (not including adventures). So do you REQUIRE it, or is it that the digital age has jaded people and you WANT it? And a follow-up: are you also saying that there's no way you physically possibly couldve played D&D 1e or 2e, because there was no electronic support? I'm just wondering, because the REQUIRE part has me vexed.

I think he means they "require it" in order to play the way they like.

I'm happy to list running water and electricity as requirements for any home I'm going to live in, even though it's perfectly possible to live in a house without them.


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I dont think you should apply if you dont want to, but I dont think "I probably wont get it" should ever factor into anyone's decision to apply for a job they can do and that they want*.

Let's face it, nobody will be considered if they dont apply - everyone will be considered (to some degree) if they do.

*:
I can immediately think of exceptions, of course, but the sentence becomes unreadable if I try to accomodate them.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It means running a game that the players and DM call "Pathfinder". What people on the forums who arent playing the game call it doesnt really matter.

Is there any confusion in the real world when someone says "I'm running a pathfinder game and here are my house rules"? Who cares if what you mean isnt what someone else on the internet means - whether it's high magic, low magic, race-restricted, anything goes, no-3PP,.... or anything else. Provided everyone at the table knows what's going on, I'm just not seeing a problem.

If you're telling some strangers "I'm running a game of pathfinder" and then surprising them when they turn up to the first session with a whole bunch of extreme houserules then you're being silly and self-defeating - but the problem isnt one of nomenclature.

No one on the messageboard will preemptively tell you are doing it wrong. People will tell you that, however, when those DM's PPP into the advice forum with a "problem player" issue and then describe a completely reasonable character build under normal conditions; then the boards will tell them, "if you want to run gimpfinder you should advertise it that way."

Yes, as I said. The issue is one of communication.

If you're ruling out some elements of Pathfinder as "unreasonable" (or whatever bothers you about those elements) you should tell the people who are going to be playing with you in advance.

Quibbling over "what is pathfinder" with internet people you're not going to play with isnt helpful - being clear with the people you're actually going to play the game with is much more useful.


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It means running a game that the players and DM call "Pathfinder". What people on the forums who arent playing the game call it doesnt really matter.

Is there any confusion in the real world when someone says "I'm running a pathfinder game and here are my house rules"? Who cares if what you mean isnt what someone else on the internet means - whether it's high magic, low magic, race-restricted, anything goes, no-3PP,.... or anything else. Provided everyone at the table knows what's going on, I'm just not seeing a problem.

If you're telling some strangers "I'm running a game of pathfinder" and then surprising them when they turn up to the first session with a whole bunch of extreme houserules then you're being silly and self-defeating - but the problem isnt one of nomenclature.


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The idea of paizo not wanting to hire opinionated people made me smile. I think if that becomes policy, theres going to be a lot of current staff updating their resumes. :)

If anyone is interested in the job, I hope they apply. Second guessing oneself about "who they probably want" is generally counter productive, in my view. (I obviously include you in that, Christina but it's intended as a more general comment).


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Danbala wrote:

It looks like D&D 5e didn't beat Pathfinder in the month that the PHB was released:

http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/29999.html

I am genuinely surprised. Are sales weaker than expected? Is that why Hasbro didn't even mention the D&D release in its earnings summary?

I believe Hasbro never mentions D&D in its earnings summary. They bought WotC for pokemon and magic, not for D&D.


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Malwing wrote:
I see this a lot; Someone wants advice on or is describing their house rules for a low magic campaign. In Pathfinder this is a daunting task and there is a ton of different advice on how to go about this, from not leveling past 6th level to banning all full casters. But my question is "Why?"

In my case, it's all about magical items. I dont care about casters being super-powerful (I prefer games where magic is usually strictly better than mundane).

Very few of the fantasy stories I read have characters with oodles of magical gear and none of them have the main characters "upgrading" regularly. I generally like to play in games which are like the stories I read in trashy fantasy novels.


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I'm super happy I can enjoy both. I think 5E is great (though not my game of choice) but that has nothing to do with paizo and pathfinder. I think they're great too.


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I don't think you need to worry - I'm pretty confident that the chance of WotC's development team coming to this thread to gauge the market is statistically equivalent to zero.


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My illusions are shattered. I'd always presumed she could do that. :(


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Alex Smith 908 wrote:

It's mostly a reaction to people who claim that somehow enjoying rules makes your enjoyment of the game somehow less "real". These people also tend to be the same people who complain the most vocally about too many books being published.

It also doesn't make sense that they're essentially saying "Paizo please stop making money and fire members of your staff responsible for the material I don't like". Either that or they don't release that removing all the rules releases would result in Paizo losing money and several people losing their jobs.

I don't think that if you like lots of rules your enjoyment isn't "real". Nonetheless, I'd like paizo to make less rule books. FWIW, the second paragraph also doesn't represent my position. I want them to make other things instead, so if my wants were representative of the broader market paizo wouldn't lose any money nor have to fire people. They'd just be working on different things.

Also, telling paizo what I like has got nothing to do with anyone else's fun. I'm just telling paizo what I like. They have a difficult judgement call as to how to meet a whole bunch of conflicting desires - but no matter what they do, someone is missing out - their current rate of rules output means I haven't yet got a Razmiran sourcebook, for example :(.

That's just opportunity cost and shouldn't be taken personally.


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Gambit wrote:
... its not going to change our desire for a pretty hardcover compilation book. Lisa Stevens would need to come on here and say that it will NEVER happen (with all caps), until then I will stay hopeful (and confident) that another one will be made.

I also used to hope for a compilation, until I heard James and the others talk about how much effort it was. That led me to the view that they can only reasonably produce one of these "special projects" every couple of years. THAT led me to the conclusion that I'd be giving up a lot of cool stuff to get the compilations I want.

If second darkness were to be revised and updated, I'd be pretty confident James would be the main staff member involved. However he'd also be the one who wrote the often mooted Sandpoint boxed set. I'd like to see a SD rewrite/compilation however, I don't know that I'd like my Sandpoint boxed set delayed a couple of years just to get it.

It's a tricky thing to manage given there's always appetite for pretty much anything paizo do - they are inevitably not giving someone what they want, no matter what choices they make.


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It's a very subjective thing, obviously. Nonetheless, pathfinder never felt "retro" to me (I don't really like those terms by the way, so it's possible I'm misunderstanding what you mean by them). Nonetheless, I don't think 5E is "retro" because its new or relatively small.

To me what distinguishes "old school" games is the focus on speed/simple gameplay with a view of the DM as subjective user of the rules.

In contrast, more "complex" games strive for simulationism (or at least consistency) with a view of the DM as more an adjudicator of an objectively fixed set of rules (as much as possible, anyhow).

Pathfinder felt to me, on release, to be a reasonably consistent and complete set of rules for adjudicating different scenarios which might come up. 5E feels to me like a set of guidelines to help me quickly make something up on the spot.


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Curse of the Cromaon Throne would be my pick, too.

James Jacobs has previously expressed a desire to see second darkness revised - largely to rework some of the more problematic points in that AP.

He's also been one of the most clear about how difficult it was to work RotRLAE into Paizo's work schedule.


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richard develyn wrote:


I see OSR and Pathfinder as being different, and I never really thought of 4E as D&D, but I can't quite understand how 5E is going to offer anything new. There'll be differences in the details, of course, and it'll *start* simpler though doubtlessly it will follow the same power-creep course that 3rd and Pathfinder have taken.

I probably should make the point in another thread, but where I can understand "retro D&D" and "mainstream D&D" as quite different gaming concepts, I can't see how another "mainstream D&D" is going to bring anything new. All I can see is WotC and Paizo competing for the same gamers.

In my opinion, 5E is much more in your "retro" category than your "mainstream".

I think WotC are targeting people who like OSRIC games, not people who like 3.5 or Pathfinder. There's a broad sense in which they are competing with paizo for customers, but its a long way from a direct substitute - much like apples and oranges "compete" for fruit buying customers.


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Wiggz wrote:

The idea that anyone would say 'I really want that and I can afford it now, but I'm going to wait five years to buy it because something ~might~ happen is patently absurd. I don't necessarily even know where I'll be living, what I'll be driving or who I'll be working for in five years.

I can see some of these arguments against providing the paying customers with what they want, but that one is ridiculous in my opinion.

That's not the argument.

The argument is that some people (not all) buy single APs. If they're casting around for the next one for their group, they may well favour those that have benefitted from a Playtest, revision and second pass than the currently releasing one.

It will result in a decrease in demand, as well as an increase (from people who get brought in via a compilation and then sign up for a subscription they wouldn't otherwise have got).

Whether the benefits outweigh the costs is another matter, but the argument isn't absurd or ridiculous - even if wrong.


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There's not much paizo can do about that. Someone who has heavily invested in another system so doesn't want to buy pathfinder isn't really their target market.

They'd be concerned with people for whom pathfinder IS their main game cutting back on rules purchases (ie technotrooper's position).

Having said that, the product line is broad enough to cater to must-have-everything collectors through to pick-and-choose-the-odd-item casual buyers. I think there's enough fans excited by occult adventures to offset those who may cease purchases when it comes out, which is what really matters.


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Gambit wrote:

Republishing popular APs that will sell seems a far cry from TSR spitting out full lines for 8 different campaign settings.

Heres another thought, what if someone wants to buy a whole AP from Paizo, but cant get one of the installments (usually the first) because it is out of print? This is currently the case with both Carrion Crown and Skull and Shackles. That is 5 units of current product that could be shipped, but wont because its missing one piece.

But my real question, has the company suffered from the RotRL AE, or have they made a tidy profit from it? It has to be one of the highest selling non-core products they have.

I think the important point from vic's post that Joana linked is that the subscriptions are the key to their business model.

Successful business is more than just doing what's profitable - I don't have a link, but I seem to remember them being confident the compilations would sell. They're not avoiding them because they may not be profitable, but because it might affect their central source of reliable, monthly income. Making a large pile of money from one significant investment of resources is a different thing than making the same pile of money from six, smaller enterprises that are broadly the same month by month.

You mention the customer who is steered away from buying an old AP due to a missing issue 1. That has the effect of incentivising the subscription to the current AP - "buy it now and you'll get a free PDF and not have to worry about missing a thing". It's the same as the stupid prices people ask for on eBay being an incentive for the subscription. That drives home the message that the answer to "when's the best time to subscribe?" Is always "now".

They've obviously grown enormously over the last few years, but its hard to understand Paizo's business model without appreciating the central significance of the subscriptions. They keep the lights on, pay the salaries and provide a platform for expansion and side projects. Tinkering with such a core part of their business (or acting in a way which might jeopardise it) is a huge risk - even if the reward on offer is significant, it's probably not worth it for a company with plenty of scope to make profit through other avenues (we've seen them broaden heir product lines via subscription significantly in the last few years - that's much more in line with their business plan than semi regular compilations in the hope AP sales don't drop off).

In regard to the rotrlAE, that was a special event. At the time they went to inordinate lengths to stress it was a one off. It was also a 5/10 year celebration thing. Part of the reason it probably didn't have a significant effect on sales of the current APs was that it was clearly and loudly explained as a one off thing. The more they do, the more it will seem unnecessary to subscribe.


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MMCJawa wrote:
Basically for everyone who argues their are two many books, there are people who argue that their are not enough (or at least not enough GM options, or not enough PC options)

It's also surprisingly difficult to not extrapolate ones own experiences onto the market as a whole. I can't understand the attraction of a game as complicated as pathfinder - yet here it is as one of the best selling RPGs of all time. :)

Watch how often people say "I'm sure that paizo could..." or "it's certainly true that..." or "everyone i know thinks that..." before giving their opinion about what they think will work. Even if you regularly game with a hundred gamers, your sample size is both negligible and nonrepresentative. Nobody should be confident of analysis based on anecdotal observation.


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For me I don't expect you to do nothing but the kickstarter. I do expect you to schedule some time towards it as an ongoing thing though - not put it on the backburner while something else gets done first.

I fully expect you to have some projects beginning, some finishing up and others at various stages of completion throughout whilst fulfilling the kickstarter I helped fund. What I find irritating is when it appears that nothing is happening with the kickstarter project (that has already received money) while the project creator focuses on something else that hasn't yet been paid for. It makes me feel like I'm paying for you to work on someone else's stuff, rather than mine.

I suspect it's often about communication though - that the project hasn't really stalled but just looks like it to us backers. That goes back to the oft-repeated plea for regular, post-funding updates, even if they're a pain in the bum. I think dreamscarred press should be the model here. They're quite late, but I'm totally one with it because I've been kept in the loop all the way along.


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I understand that the market rate is low. I'm just disappointed that we (the fans) don't pay enough for RPG books to justify a higher rate.

In my view, the work required to produce 4000 creative words is worth considerably more than $120.

I'm disappointed in the world, not in any individual inhabitant of it. :)

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