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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber. 10,064 posts (11,511 including aliases). 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 aliases.


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M1k31 wrote:
I could see them simultaneously releasing a "Second Edition" that is essentially the same as first edition, maybe starting with a CRB that serves the same purpose as the current beginner box, and then mostly is just a reorganizing and streamlining of first edition rules, like releasing books for specific classes that get updated like encyclopedia entries(so you could have books including the entirety of Fighter archetypes and things like their advanced training), then new players could buy what they want to play and not worry about their class being under or over powered because they don't possess book x or book y and the GM doesn't need to figure out what they need to fact check, while Paizo releases "new" content in "first edition" while releasing re-organized content in "second edition" only after it sufficiently amassed to sell in a more organized fashion, allowing interplay for both while the later provides a better platform for new players to join and the former supplies more regular content.

That....is a long sentence. :p


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memorax wrote:
So saying that Starfinder will be compared to Pathfinder is a baiting post and it was removed. Well that's news to me.

I suspect that wasn't considered baiting.

If you want to query a moderator call, Paizo are pretty good about giving further explanation. They prefer it not be in the thread that the post was removed from but rather in the website feedback forum or via email at community@paizo.com.


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Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
I have liked the dugeon dressing in concept but i have to say getting one chair or one bed is not really all that useful. I for one would like to see the common dressing in a common slot or baring that a set of only dressing. The secondary market isnt very cost friendly either. I think the idae of dressing was presented as a experimernt and it has been seeminly well recieved but now it needs to be given the treatment it deserves. Just my 2 cents.

I'd agree with your dressing-specific set idea although for different reasons (I think they're proving popular, but I have zero interest in them).

Giving them their own line would mean people who want them can get them at a reasonable price whereas those of us who aren't interested don't face the choice of having to buy a dozen niche sculpts as part of collecting more traditional miniatures.


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Awesome, I can't wait. One of the best things about APs in new areas is all the new world-lore stuff that comes along with them. :)


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Nohwear wrote:
Well, if a subscription would let one get the pdf early, that would be a definite benefit.

I could understand that being seen as a perk, however my guess would be that the PDF would come available on street date anyway.

"Getting it early" is not a true benefit of subscribing currently - it's not promised and it doesn't always happen that way. Subscribers nearly always do get their PDFs before the street date, but that's an accidental artefact of paizo's systems rather than a goal - they try to have your book arrive as near as practicable to the day it's available in shops. Given the lag of shipping and the fact your PDF access is linked to the purchase of the hard copy, the net effect is subscribers generally get access early.


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bugleyman wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

err, no it's not true of the printed product (it gets delivered without having to download it). I get my subs and never need to visit the website at all.

However, I don't think many people list "not having to go and get it" as the advantage of the subscription anyway. They list things like "getting it early" and "free PDF".

I can see that there might be an advantage offered with a digital subscription, but "not having to go and get it" doesn't seem to be much of one to me.

Yeah, I guess I don't understand what you mean, then.

If you don't have a book and want it, without a subscription you would have to spend the same 15 seconds to order it as you would a PDF. Shipping, while a delay, requires zero effort on your part. I think that's the point of wanting a PDF subscription option...not having to order things.

But maybe I just don't get what you're saying?

It was a query really. It seemed to me that Melkiador was saying that the desirable thing about a possible PDF subscription is that it's less effort (you don't have to "go and get it").

My thinking is that, with PDFs, your effort is not really reduced much at all - you still have to come to the site and go through the howevermanyclicksandsecondsitis process of downloading your PDF - adding the ordering clicks to that each month isn't actually much extra.

You said it was the same with physical products and although I don't think that's true, I don't really see the relevance because I don't think minimal effort is put forth as a reason for choosing the subscription anyhow (people generally want to get things early, to get the PDF for nothing and to help out Paizo).

Note that my post was deliberately phrased as "I don't understand" not "that's wrong". I may well have misunderstood Melkiador's original passing comment. I wasn't arguing, I just don't see how a PDF subscription saves you any meaningful effort (given you want a PDF). Melkiador may have meant something else (or may highly value the additional fifteen seconds a month a subscription would save).


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err, no it's not true of the printed product (it gets delivered without having to download it). I get my subs and never need to visit the website at all.

However, I don't think many people list "not having to go and get it" as the advantage of the subscription anyway. They list things like "getting it early" and "free PDF".

I can see that there might be an advantage offered with a digital subscription, but "not having to go and get it" doesn't seem to be much of one to me.


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Melkiador wrote:
thunderspirit wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Paizo doesn't exactly "cater" to the digital set though,
On the contrary — they offer it, whereas WotC, it seems, does not.
That's less like catering and more like takeout. Sure I don't have to cook the food myself, but I still have to go and get it.

I don't really understand that view. Even if there was a digital subscription you'd have to "go and get it" anyway wouldn't you?

As I see it now, when a new campaign book comes out you have to click through the purchase process and then download the PDF. The initial clicks take what, fifteen seconds? That's all that would be saved by a subscription (effort wise).


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Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
The real problem with alignment is that this really isn't a rules question because alignment (even in the terms defined in the game) is very subjective mixed with a few rules-based fiats (like certain spells).

I think this is quite true.

It's also unfortunate that the game uses moral terms for concepts which clearly aren't modelling actual morality (since people get quite passionate about their moral positions).


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Kalindlara wrote:
I gave them a brief pass. ^_^

Nice choice.


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Gorbacz wrote:
I believe we won't be posting here in 5 years tops.

:(


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Strange Aeons currently, but I'm usually most excited about whichever one is next. I think it's the "You've all lost your memories...." start I'm most looking forward to. I've tried that several times over the years and never managed to pull it off. I'm keen to see a professional take on it.

Ironfang Invasion is definitely sounding good though - I like it when they try new things and I look forward to a warzone story. I'm also really keen to see Nirmathas/Molthune fleshed out a bit more, so I'm hoping for one or two campaign sourcebooks.

Ruins of Azlant hasn't grabbed me yet - partly that's because I have this nagging feeling that it's not going to answer the questions I want answered and will just raise more mysteries. Totally irrational, really as I know basically nothing about it - I'm sure I'll have got over it in a year.


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I think a good way to build some support for Tian Xia would be via the modules line. Specifically a first level adventure (both because they tend to sell better and because it helps new converts to Tian Xia get a campaign started).


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Really looking forward to it. I've always wanted to like Sci-fi games but they've just never gelled for me and my group. I have high hopes for this foray.

I reckon I'll now be right for the first dozen APs. ;)


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I used to use besser bricks and scrounged planks - but they dropped dust and bits of grit everywhere. I never tried crates - they seemed to me they'd use up too much space per foot of bookshelf.


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I like the fact someone as mechanically inept as me can put IKEA stuff together. It's not as nice as proper carpenter-made stuff, but it's much, much cheaper.

The bookcases were Billys. I also put in a couple of these - they're just the right size for a PACG base set (plus hopefully an Ultr-Pro case, once they arrive.


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Plus made some room for traveller and a few other sci-fi RPGs I haven't played in a while.

I'm ready when you are, Sutter and team. :)


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Best selling is a little misleading , IMO. Leaving aside the fact they haven't all been in the market for the same time, they don't necessarily print identical numbers of APs.

I bet they printed more of the later APs than the early ones, for example.

It also wouldn't surprise me if they made some decisions based around which were "sure fire hits" and which were more speculative (granted they're not likely to print an AP at all if they judge it comes with too high a risk).


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Jessica Price wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Hi Jessica. It's seemed to me that you've been doing more creative stuff lately (Inner Sea Faiths and the upcoming Qadira books were what I noticed in particular).

Is that a shift in direction/interests for you at the company? Or has that always been the case and I've only just noticed?

It's actually kind of a complex question, so long answer (skip to bottom for short answer):

So, yes, I'm doing more freelance writing for Paizo. But all our writing (except rewriting of material as part of the dev process) gets done out of house. So that's not a shift in my actual on-the-clock responsibilities. On the clock, I've been doing development for several years now, in cases where we didn't have sufficient dev resources to meet deadlines.

That's been a little bit of a shift from what I did when I first started at Paizo, but it's a natural and appropriate one as I integrate more with the creative team and understand their needs. It's not a new role for me, even though it's newer at Paizo.

I started my career in games as a game designer, and I've been paid to write since I was in middle school. If I had to reduce myself to one thing that I do, it's writing. It's the thing that's the least effort for me to do, the thing that I've done for the longest, the thing I've spent the most time training other people to do, etc. The pay as a video game writer/screenwriter is a lot better than anything in tabletop, but the working conditions are usually brutal; I took a PM job at Paizo for my own sanity (most game companies have pretty broken creative processes, but at least as a producer/PM you have some power to fix them, whereas as a writer, you're usually at their mercy), but I'm considerably newer/less experienced at it than I am as a writer.

Any time you come in to an established creative team--even when you come in as a creative, but especially when you don't--you have to earn trust before you get to wield any sort of creative authority.

I offered to edit a blog post...

Thanks for such a thorough reply - you even answered a whole bunch of questions I didn't know I had. :)

I hope the shift to tabletop games has been a good thing for you. It's been good for us.


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Hi Jessica. It's seemed to me that you've been doing more creative stuff lately (Inner Sea Faiths and the upcoming Qadira books were what I noticed in particular).

Is that a shift in direction/interests for you at the company? Or has that always been the case and I've only just noticed?


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Squiggit wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I prefer a game with gaps in the rules because there are some people who say if it's written down it trumps everything (and they generally think rule zero doesn't "count" as RAW on the grounds that it's subjective and ill-defined). Running a game for people with those preferences and then substantially changing the way magic works or criticals work or skills work or...anything else really creates discomfort for them.

That's a player thing though, not a rules thing. I find that most groups can talk out house rules ahead of time and make sense of them. The only thing I see people really react badly to is ad hoc rules changes that are inconsistent, which feel like they'd happen more in rules light games than more structured ones.

Might just be me but I've seen a lot more rules arguing in games like 5th edition and FATE with people feeling bitter about corner cases or getting frustrated at non-rules being adjudicated differently than they're used to and I can say from experience it was pretty miserable playing a wild sorcerer in the former game while our group tried to figure out how often my abilities should work (wild magic has an activation clause of 'whenever the GM remembers it exists/feels like it')

I kind of agree that it's a player thing, but I think any "which system is better?" discussion is ultimately a player thing.

What I meant was that there are some people (at my table anyhow) who really don't enjoy houseruled Pathfinder (or any heavily codified game - they didn't like houseruled Rolemaster either). For them, if we're going to play a loose game with a lot of "that seems about right to me" rulings, they enjoy it more if the game doesn't have many rules we're ignoring but rather has rules that we have to add.

There are also many players who find it frustrating, no doubt (the wild sorceror thing is a good example). So I doubt it's just you.

I was just helping you with the head scratching. :p
For some in my group at least, no rules is better than rules-we're-ignoring.


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Squiggit wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:


I agree with your suggestions. But I still think the PF rules interfere with the DM-player relationship that I have found in other games.

In earlier (and later) editions of D&D, there are enough openings that the DM -must- interpret how things work somehow.

I hear this a lot when people laud 5e and it always makes me scratch my head.

Pathfinder has rule 0, right there in the book. As a DM I can work with my players to change things as we please to make the game better.

But if we DON'T want to do that, we actually have rules that tell us how things are going to work by Paizo's approximation and I honestly cannot fathom at all how that's supposed to be worse than a book just saying "Oh well we were too lazy to write most of the game's rules so just make it up and maybe you'll get it right eventually". Like at all.

I prefer a game with gaps in the rules because there are some people who say if it's written down it trumps everything (and they generally think rule zero doesn't "count" as RAW on the grounds that it's subjective and ill-defined). Running a game for people with those preferences and then substantially changing the way magic works or criticals work or skills work or...anything else really creates discomfort for them.

We prefer to play games with a large, codified body of rules as close as possible to RAW and to leave our "When in doubt, roll and shout" type sessions for less heavily codified systems. Everyone kind of knows what they're getting then when they roll up characters.


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Marco, your November has come early. :)


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James Jacobs wrote:
Alayern wrote:

Seeing as so much of Avistan (and even some of Garund) has been influenced by Azlant, how much did that influence your impending/ongoing involvement with Ruins of Azlant?

As the creative director it would seem to make sense for you to have a special hand in the AP about the most influential civilization in the region's history.

Pretty much not at all. Ruins of Azlant is more or less all Adam Daigle. My involvement was pretty much "Oooh, that sounds good!" and then giving Adam some feedback and advice and guidance on the outline after he wrote it.

I've really appreciated the efforts you've made to broaden the pool of creative people who get to work on the APs in recent years. Has it proved difficult personally to kind of 'let go' and see things move a little further from your control? (Even if you enjoy the resultant stories, I could imagine it being something of an unsettling experience).


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James Jacobs wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Do you have a plan to retire at a certain age?
Nope. Although the plan when I do retire is to move somewhere mellow and take up writing full-time, if I haven't done so already, which sorta means not retiring, I guess.

Cool. Your writing is amongst my favorites.


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ranmyaku262 wrote:

So I've been reading through the corruptions and i'm curious if they're even viable for a PC to use without a GM using the Useful Corruption rules.

I've been looking over each of these and the Gift/Stain system seems interesting risk reward sort of system of giving you benefits with slowly increasing penalties. I realize these are supposed to be bad, but i'm curious how viable it would even be to play a character over several levels to obtain more manifestations?

The will save is already a bit high at a minimum of 16, meaning you'll need a decent wisdom score. So if you started at level 1 (like the book tries to suggest) and you're a cleric you might have a +6 will save, putting you at a 50/50 chance of making the saves to avoid progression. As many of these are compulsions to occur once a week or so is this even remotely sustainable? The Corruption stages seem to have no reversal system so its basically a 3 strike will save system. This was the optimistic will save as well, if the fighter gets it and assuming he just has a +0 wisdom bonus he could have a +0 will save. So now its a 25% or lower chance to make the save.

I understand there should be this ever-looming issue, but it seems like its really easy to succumb to the corruption and lose your character if you're not playing a high-wis + good will save class. But i would assume the Stains would continue to grant more and more penalties as you progress. My main concern from this is if your party is in a campaign with any travel/downtime. You could be on a boat and fall to your corruption while traveling from point A to point B. (Lich being the odd one out because its a fort save, and you can end up either constantly making saves or never making saves but many of the manifestations are working against you as you keep accruing con penalties while the DC keeps raising.)

I was curious what people's thoughts on the system were and if there's a way to work these into a character for a campaign at all.

I think broadly horror only really works when the players agree to play along with the genre's assumptions. It's difficult to truly scare the players if they approach a horror scenario as if it's a more generic fantasy adventure - especially in PF with its CR-appropriate challenges and such emphasis on rewarding carefully built characters.

It seems to me that you may be identifying this broader issue in one specific case. If you're looking for a new gizmo for a character over a long-term campaign, you may well be right that there's not much here of value. I think this sort of system would work fine though if you had buy-in from the players and although they knew their PCs would suffer longterm if they took the deal, they will take it anyway because they're playing a game of heroes gradually being corrupted by the evils they're facing.


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Do you have a plan to retire at a certain age?


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Council of thieves would work. I think kingmaker would be okay too. Perhaps a 'reverse vigilante' in skulls and shackles?


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rknop wrote:

The situation isn't entirely comparable. Because Pathfinder is under the OGL, people can already write and sell things for Pathfinder. D&D doesn't have an OGL, so the DM's Guild is their way of allowing not-explicitly-licensed things to be compatible with D&D.

Now, of course, the OGL doesn't allow you to write and sell things set in Golarion. (There are fan/community things that allow publications such as Wayfinder and the Pathfinder Chronicler to exist, but that content has to be free if online, and in print must be sold either at cost, or given away with a donation requested whose amount is at the discretion of the donor. This also allows the Pathfinder Wiki and lots of other fan web pages.) But, still, the OGL difference means that the situations are extremely different.

FWIW, D&D does allow publishing under the OGL. Many 3PPs are using it. Although, the 5E SRD has less of the rules than the 3.5 SRD does so you need to take care as to what is allowable.

Here is WotC's opinion as to the pros and cons of using the OGL vs using DMs Guild.

Personally, I think the main downside of the DMs Guild (as a publisher) is that you give up your rights to distribution of the material.


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Another visit to varisia would be fantastic. It's the heart and soul of the setting. My favourite place on golarion.


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never mind. I don't think RAW is a meaningful concept anyway.

These kinds of discussions just aren't for me.


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burkoJames wrote:
Ive discovered his motivation - Flurry of Blows discussion linked he wants to argue that there are no penalties so he can cheese a +20 bab combat manuver for a +3 bab flurry attack.

Linked.

I think he's actually the DM trying to argue against the +20 interpretation.


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Is there a need to explain unambiguous wording?

What else could +8/+3 mean?


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I'm going to take that as a challenge...


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Chris Lambertz wrote:
I still don't quite understand this thread,.

My take: we collectively realise you're an awesome person and make the messageboards a much better place to be (even though we occasionally cross the line and make you work harder cleaning up our mess).


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The Raven Black wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

There isn't really a "should", it's just a difference in approach that is valued by some and not by others.

People who prefer it probably sit near in the simulationist corner of the spectrum and regard rules as the way we represent the fantastical reality of the game world.

People who don't value it highly are probably more into the narrative side of RPGs where rules are just the way we regulate and provide objective limits on the stories we tell - they don't have direct analogs in the game world's reality.

I must be an exception, I guess :-)

Why should NPCs use rules that are unavailable to PCs who share the exact same characteristics as the NPCs, just because they are NPCs ?

It breaks my feeling of immersion in a consistent game world's reality

That's what I meant by the first group (I may well have used the wrong terms in regards to simulation vs narrative).

You regard the rules as representing the game world's reality, so you prefer the rules for PCs and NPCs be consistent.


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There isn't really a "should", it's just a difference in approach that is valued by some and not by others.

People who prefer it probably sit near in the simulationist corner of the spectrum and regard rules as the way we represent the fantastical reality of the game world.

People who don't value it highly are probably more into the narrative side of RPGs where rules are just the way we regulate and provide objective limits on the stories we tell - they don't have direct analogs in the game world's reality.


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I think it was more about inventory management than a strategy for selling boosters. Maintaining a large and ever-expanding catalog of singles is no doubt a lot of effort for probably minimal gain.


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I'm quite enjoying Dark Matter, at the moment. That's the kind of game I'd like to be able to run, I think. (Granted the science is more prevalent and the fantasy is pretty mild).


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Cheers.

Do you have any specific examples where you think it doesn't exist (since it isn't guaranteed)?

I wonder because it seems to me that eliminating disparity is something of a fool's errand. If you have meaningful choices it seems to me there is inevitably going to be imbalance between them and hence disparity between those-with-the-good-options and those-without.

I'd be curious to hear of any actual RPGs where there's a sufficiently complicated Character-Building game-within-a-game and yet no disparity exists.

D&D 4e at launch is probably the closest I can think of, which it achieved using parallel class structure, though it also had to deal with the drawbacks of that approach.

Cheers again.

Thanks for the last few posts on this. I find it an interesting issue (although I have no great emotional investment one way or the other - I've always been struck by the fact that smart people who know the game well will often vehemently disagree when this area comes up).


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

To move away from PF (and even away from caster-martial):

Would you say that the potential for disparity becomes inevitable in any sufficiently complicated system?

Can you think of any RPGs which give a lot of character building options but where perceptions of disparity are rare?

It depends on the system. Categorically (and unsurprisingly), there isn't a class disparity in classless systems, though in those, there can be other optimization pitfalls such as cookie-cutter abilities that everyone takes regardless of concept or huge disparities based on trickier optimization (though a few pages ago I mentioned an extremely positive result from having one person make all the characters for a classless system one shot so they have a similar baseline). Highly narrative and rules-light systems, even those with classes, also don't tend to suffer this issue (as you might expect from #1 in the long post) due to the fact that generally the adjudication of an action is abstract enough that you are likely to see more of #7-style disparities towards a favored player or towards players who tap the group's social and narrative zeitgeist the best. As an aside, one Indie RPG that has an interesting mechanic to combat the "tyranny of the popular player" in a narrative RPG is Mist-Robed Gate, which does let each other group member directly vote for a favored PC, but also includes some default votes for each side and then randomly draws one of the votes to decide the outcome instead of winner takes all where the more popular/better zeitgeist-capturer might prevail every time.

If we're going to limit ourselves to class-based, rules-heavy games with lots of character-building options, a disparity still isn't guaranteed, but it depends on a variety of factors:

1) Hard Niche Protection: If a game has hard niche protection (by which I mean nobody except the class designed for that niche can perform it, as opposed to soft niche protection where the specialist class might get a bonus but...

Cheers.

Do you have any specific examples where you think it doesn't exist (since it isn't guaranteed)?

I wonder because it seems to me that eliminating disparity is something of a fool's errand. If you have meaningful choices it seems to me there is inevitably going to be imbalance between them and hence disparity between those-with-the-good-options and those-without.

I'd be curious to hear of any actual RPGs where there's a sufficiently complicated Character-Building game-within-a-game and yet no disparity exists.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What do you think about the caster-martial disparity in Pathfinder?

Do you think it's real? Is it a problem? A case of misunderstanding/miscommunication?

** spoiler omitted **...

Thanks.

(To create an axis of my own).

Which axis would that be?

The verbosity-terseness axis.


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Whilst I personally prefer the surprise, it's undeniable that most don't. Typically, Paizo are right across giving gamers what they want.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

My paizo collection is pretty complete, other than the original three flipmats :(

Some of the discounts here are like 90% - you don't need to get much out of monte cook's book of experimental might when you're paying $3.

A fellow Paizonian saw this post and dug through his collection for me. Now I'm only missing one flipmat.

How great is this community? :)


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To move away from PF (and even away from caster-martial):

Would you say that the potential for disparity becomes inevitable in any sufficiently complicated system?

Can you think of any RPGs which give a lot of character building options but where perceptions of disparity are rare?


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What do you think about the caster-martial disparity in Pathfinder?

Do you think it's real? Is it a problem? A case of misunderstanding/miscommunication?

** spoiler omitted **...

Thanks.

(To create an axis of my own).


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The dungeons underneath Korvosa.


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I'd like to be thirty again, if you can organise that Katina?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Has Pharasma always judged souls? Or did she assume that role at some point in the distant past?
It's always been her.

Cheers.

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