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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. 9,863 posts (11,293 including aliases). 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 aliases.


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Although I was surprised by the vote (and disappointed), I probably shouldn't have been. The world is swinging back towards an "us and them" mentality, so rising isolationism and nationalism are probably inevitable in coming years.

Nigel Farage has a lot to answer for, in my view - fear and paranoia are the easy answers. :(


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The trouble is that we each have our own level of granularity (I'd love to be able to get two of the map folios and only one of the campaign sourcebooks, for example. I'd also like to be able to double-up on some categories of the player companions but not others and to pick up AP pawn sets but not the big boxes).

Paizo don't have the luxury of catering to just one set of needs though and have to provide a 'one size fits all' approach that they judge will be most appropriate for the market - the fact they allow such easy opt-in-opt-out process (it's really not that bad - one phonecall or one email and it's done) really mitigates any 'gotcha' moment.

They telegraph out of the ordinary items several months in advance, plus they email you a personal we're-about-to-ship-you-this-item warning a few days before it's actually finalised, so you can always get onto them and say "Actually, not that one thanks".

The current setup invites you to stick with the line and perhaps pick up the occasional thing you wouldn't otherwise have selected - but doesnt actually force you to buy anything that you really don't want. If it was ultimately customisable as you suggest, it would be less of a subscription and more a case of 'click these buttons and we'll give you a discount and a free PDF with no ongoing obligation'.

Ultimately, the advantage of the subscription model for paizo is that they get a good idea of the number of people interested in particular products and, over time, can judge print runs accordingly, secure in the knowledge that they have a reasonably stable base-line of sales on release. That would become less useful to them if everyone (even casual purchasers just looking to buy one thing) were able to effortlessly 'subscribe', get the thing and then pause their subscription for some indefinite time. Suddenly, the number of map subscribers doesn't really indicate much at all about how many are likely to buy next year's releases but rather how many have ever bought something direct from paizo with a subscriber discount at any time in the past.


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quibblemuch wrote:

Starships and androids

and ratfolk with lasers,
zero g gunfights
(but not trademarked phasers),
deep space horror beasties
on gossamer wings,
these are a few of the Starfinder things...

When the engines fail,
when the radar pings,
when I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember these Starfinder things
and then I don't feel so bad!

Alien foreheads
all furrowed and ragey,
xenodrug smugglers
so shifty and cagey,
theremin orchestras
lacking all strings,
these are a few of the Starfinder things...

When the vacuum sucks,
when the mi-go stings,
when I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember these Starfinder things
and then I don't feel so bad!

There's a good chance that will do it. Thanks. :)


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Kertack is done - wild magic sorceror (I'll enter the wild magic table if I'm accepted - don't really want to type it all out otherwise!)

I've reused an alias, so there's a few posts in existence that should be ignored.

Background:
“This isn’t right! Fetch me Orlen’s treatise on Fiends: ‘Once More Into The Abyss’. The gate should be stabilising,” called Kertack’s master from his laboratory.

Kertack sighed, making his way through the wizard’s tower that had come to be home in the last few years. He’d begun to doubt he’d ever learn anything truly wizardly. His master had agreed to take him on as an apprentice, but the initial excitement had been gradually eroded as he spent his days polishing implements, fetching tomes and buying supplies for his master’s ever more adventurous research. Kertack had unrestricted access to the library, so had spent his days reading and learning what he could. But whenever he broached the idea of instruction in actual spellcasting his master deflected his enquiry.

Retrieving the requested book, Kertack was hurrying back to the laboratory when he felt a sudden shudder rock the tower: a muted detonation, as if from miles away. Reaching the doorway, he saw his master reaching both hands out towards a violent, swirling portal that had formed above the mystic symbols Kertack had spent hours marking out on the floor. As he looked on, he saw his master’s eyes suddenly widen in shock as the portal collapsed in on itself, suddenly shrinking to a point in the blink of an eye.

As the portal closed, everything in the room was sucked into the vortex, Kertack watched first as implements, books, spell components and his master all tumbled headlong into the impossibly small portal. Suddenly swept off his feet, he felt himself tumbling through the air, hurtling into the swirling, nebulous cloud of magical force as a powerful blast of magic overwhelmed him...

---------------------------------------------------------

That was six months ago and Kertack had found his life changed forever. He’d come too in a back alley of the strange city Sigil. There was no sign of his master, nor any way back to the tower he’d come from. Armed with a little knowledge from his researches, he’d managed to find a place for himself working as a freelance scribe, researcher and assistant.

He had also found himself gifted with unpredictable magical talents. Although still unable to control them very well, when confronted with highly stressful situations, he often finds an inner power welling up inside him, manifesting as odd, unpredictable bursts of elemental energy.

Theorising that his magical awakening is a side effect of the magical explosion which brought him here, Kertack has spent the last few months struggling to learn to control his newfound abilities. The glee and excitement at finally achieving some magical affinity tempered by his realisation that none of his training and learning seems to have any relation to the way magic works for him.


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My apologies for the lack of clarity. I wasn't explaining what books were, I was agreeing with 137ben.

My only point of disagreement in this thread is that it doesn't cost money to access the information when a reprint comes out. Other than that, I'm not disagreeing with anyone (nor glossing over anything).


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137ben wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah, the auto-update thing is a definite advantage of PDFs over hard copies. Not really any way around that though (other than to not update either, which seems perverse).

I just wanted to point out that it doesn't cost any money to keep abreast of changes, that's all. The information is provided free of charge. (The cost of reprinting the book is a function of the medium, not a result of paizo policy).

It costs time, convenience, and energy. Moreover, if someone is already comfortable referencing all the rules from Paizo's website, then they have no reason to buy the rulebooks at all. In some sense, everyone who buys Paizo's rulebooks is doing it for convenience. Referencing a hardcover book alongside a poorly-formatted errata PDF is not convenient, negating one of the primary reasons for buying the book in the first place.

Sure.

I can't imagine any plausible counter to the claim that hardcovers do worse than PDFs when it comes to reprints/updates. The fact the rules get updated is a definite downside of buying hardcovers, if you care about having the most up-to-date printing.


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Sundakan wrote:

But as things stand, things really aren't that convenient for hardcover purchasers, which is kind of the point. A book like the original print ACG that is changed almost beyond recognition may as well BE a doorstop for all the good it does you having to cross reference a 20 page errata document every time you read the book. As opposed to buying the product that is 1/4 the price and can be updated automatically so you have both printings for the price of one.

That kind of inconvenience dis-incentivizes someone to buy a first printing, and shaming them into doing so because they might prevent one from being made at all is not cool.

Maybe I misinterpreted Vic's tone, but that's what it sounded like.

I agree with you that it's a definite downside of using hardcopies over PDFs. Furthermore, the more large-scale and significant the errata/FAQs are the more of a problem it is.

FWIW, I feel like the reason the changes are so significant of late is a function of the growing complexity of Pathfinder - each new gadget introduced to the system has thousands of class features, feats and other gizmos to interact with, written by dozens of authors over ten-plus years. It doesn't surprise me that it is common for a book to be released and for the designers to notice unintended consequences more than used to be the case (I seem to remember Paizo's errata policy of updating the printings being lauded as visionary back when the CRB was first reprinted. No doubt, there would have been similar complaints if they were as far-reaching as some of the latest FAQs/errata changes have been). If I'm right about that then the chance of the Starfinder core rules being substantially revised soon after release is probably slimmer.

I do think you misinterpreted Vic's tone - I think he was providing information for prospective purchases as to Paizo's policies rather than trying to shame people into buying copies of books they will regret. That's partly based on the many, many statements from him and other Paizonians over the years to the effect that they are comfortable with people accessing the rules in any of the various ways that is possible - hardcovers from Paizo, from FLGS, from amazon or via PDF. They do after all make the rules available online pretty promptly and the PDFs of the rulebooks are very, very cheap. So I don't think they're in the business of driving up revenues at every opportunity.


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Yeah, the auto-update thing is a definite advantage of PDFs over hard copies. Not really any way around that though (other than to not update either, which seems perverse).

I just wanted to point out that it doesn't cost any money to keep abreast of changes, that's all. The information is provided free of charge. (The cost of reprinting the book is a function of the medium, not a result of paizo policy).


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Sundakan wrote:

Besides which, asking someone to buy a certain (more expensive) version of your product in the hopes that the hypothetical next version (that they will then have to repurchase to easily access the changed information) will be better is an odd sentiment.

Very good for the company making the product, but not very good for the consumer who just paid 8 times as much (hardcovers generally being at least $40 versus $10, times 2) for the same product.

Whether the errata are usually good or bad is a matter of opinion. However, it's worth noting that you don't need to repurchase a hardcover you've bought to find out what the changes are. You can get access to the changed information for zero cost (especially if you consider the PDF and the hardcover to be the "same product"). They make a download available for each historical printing listing changes in the most recent printing.

You just don't get your hardcover updated when a new printing is released, which is the nature of the medium - if you like hardcovers over PDFs you give up on the auto-update feature but can hold doors ajar with it.


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We've needed a giant crab figure for a long, long time. Nice work, Erik!

(Like I'd say anything negative when you're in that mood.)


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Marcus Ewert wrote:

I for one will deffo be buying from *both* product lines at least initially. I may drop off on Starfinder after awhile, as I'm way more of a fantasy guy, but SF can count on me buying *at least* its first AP, in full. And if I go nuttsballs for Starfinder, I'll follow it to AP #2 and beyond... While still buying as much Pathfinder as I currently do.

I.e. - I will be an exemplar of Vic's Situation 3, above. Overlap.

Interesting sidenote?: i'm one of those happy Paizo customers (I'm sure there's more than just me) who doesn't even *play* RPGs anymore. I just love reading the good words and ogling the pretty pictures. I buy Paizo stuff purely to read (and gawk at).

I still play a bit, but the reading material is my main motivator also.

I'm definitely going to subscribe to Starfinder for the forseeable future (at least the first two years) and I have zero expectation my group will ever actually use it.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

I pointed out before, the thought that TSR went bankrupt because it had several different lines is about as flawed as stating Coca Cola has been going bankrupt since the 70s since it sells other drinks besides Coke.

It had NOTHING to do really with it's competing lines, that was a misconception put out by Dancey, most likely due to trying to promote D20 and WotC D&D over TSR AD&D in the long run (IMO).

I don't know if he said it also, but for what it's worth Lisa Stevens was the person at WotC responsible for going over TSR's records and working out what went wrong.

It's correct to say that there were lots of bad decisions in TSR's later years. However the fact is that the existence of "market splitting" product lines (as opposed to what they are hoping for with Starfinder/Pathfinder) was a major factor. I'm pretty sure Lisa or Vic once stated it was THE most significant factor in TSR's downfall.


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Pan wrote:

There is plenty more to see. Not sure the twin cities is a huge destination for your future trip planning but you'll find a big midwestern welcome if you decide to visit!

Take care thanks for letting folks know its not an all out war zone in the U.S.!

We'll get there eventually. Our goal is to visit every state. We've only ticked off about ten so far. :)


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We arrived back in Australia last week after yet another amazing visit to the US.

It began in Seattle at my first ever Paizocon. Although it was much anticipated, the convention managed to be even better than I expected. I got to finally meet a large number of the staff (my goal was to say hello to all of them, but that turned out to be beyond me) and they were universally friendly, approachable and incredibly generous with their time. I attended all those seminars I've always been so jealous about missing, got to go to the banquet and hear the big news and updates direct from the staff, rather than waiting for snippets on the messageboards. I also played in a couple of games, met some 3PP guys I'd only ever spoken to via email and even survived being the canary in a trap-laden Bill Webb dungeon. :) If you've never been to Paizocon - you should make it a priority. It was a lovely feeling to be amongst such friendly and happy people.

After that we spent a week driving down the west coast to San Francisco, spent a couple of days there and finally flew to New Orleans for the final week. As usual we were struck by a sense of community and welcoming friendliness everywhere we went. The side of America we love and wish we could explain to our friends back home.

It was whilst we were in New Orleans that Orlando happened - displaying the other side of the US and the bit that gets all the airplay here at home. When I tell people about our trip, their response is always "You weren't anywhere near Orlando, I hope?" It's such a shame that the violent side of America is what makes the news - not the welcoming, generous people we see and meet every time we visit.

The attack in Orlando was tragic and awful. Made even worse by the stupidity of hating someone else just for who they are and how they live. I can't imagine what it's like to be targeted in that way and the fact people still manage to express themselves and live their lives in the face of such violence and loathing is quite inspirational.

I love American people and I truly hope that the compassionate, friendly, tolerant people that I've always been fortunate enough to meet can find a way to win over the violent, intolerant few who always seem to make the news.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Wolfgang Rolf wrote:

Agreed a Vigilante would make more sense.

What I am actually hoping for is more traits! I like the current traits very much, but I wish there were ones that lent themselves to more opportunistic and immoral characters.

Well, it's been a while since you asked this, and now that I'm copy fitting the introduction to the book... it looks like there's room for at least one new trait. Perhaps two! So, expect at least one that will indeed lend itself to more opportunistic or immoral characters!
Yay!

I may have spoken too soon... I might have to cut it after all if the "Book References" sidebar is too big.

Bleh. This is why I should learn not to talk about things until they're done, I guess.

FWIW, I really like the fact Paizo are willing to give us a 'behind the scenes' look at what goes on from time to time. Even if it does mean that occasionally things shift around.

I'd never have thought of "We had to drop a couple of traits because the Book Reference sidebar was too big" as a reason for the omission.


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Kalindlara wrote:
How many times have they altered release dates for that reason?

I haven't seen any official confirmation that the two lines releases impact on one another. I mean it makes sense that they would in a perfect world, but they used to move around a fair bit anyhow when PF Battles was on its own, so it doesn't seem to me that Wizkids have quite the control they'd like over that aspect of their business.

I actually suspect the delays are due to supplier problems and shipping/customs delays rather than some carefully orchestrated release schedule across the two product lines.


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Jester David wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think "comically ineffectual" is too strong: In world there's no reason to think the mystery is unsolvable.
Except it is. Because, like the death of Aroden, they explicitly never want to reveal the answer.

In world.

Nobody in the Starfinder universe knows that.


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Fallen_Mage wrote:
Duiker wrote:
Jester David wrote:

And the Starfinder Society has dedicated themselves to tracking down lost lore from the Gap, deducing what happened during the missing years, and discovering what happened to Golarion.

And where has Paizo even confirmed that there will be a Starfinder Society, let alone declared that this is its "primary purpose"?
Here. Mostly.

Cheers.


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Just finished reading this. It's right up there in my (admittedly quite long) list of absolute favourites.

Anyone looking to run a game in Cheliax should set this as prescribed reading for their players, IMO. The detail on the setting was exquisite- from Thrune to politicking to hellknights to westcrown snippets....It was an effortless way to learn some solid Cheliax lore.

The characters were interesting and complicated without being difficult to follow or confusing. I ended up wanting to know more about all three of the heroes and the villain, but still felt satisfied by the conclusion to the book. It was great to read the exploits of some truly competent characters.

Thoroughly enjoyed it. We need to move to monthly releases. :)


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Hazrond wrote:
Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Secondly, when you have a player pull this crap, you need to—~need to~—throw it right back in his or her face. Making pointedly anti-party choices is never acceptable because the they would replace the offending character as soon as possible.
Umm...
Akharus wrote:
If someone walks out after a snitfit - assume DM control of their character and use them as an NPC as close to their intended personality as you can for the rest of the adventure. Basically they become a free cohort.
That's a bit...
Rub-Eta wrote:
Talk to him a final time. Make sure that he understands that he is ruining the fun by being like this. If he can't understand that he needs to bite the bullet when he thinks that he's treated unfair: Kick him from the party (and make sure that he's aware that this is what will happen if he doesn't stop).
Don't you think you are being a bit...
Steve Geddes wrote:
This really is a playing attitude issue, not a character build issue anyhow. It doesn't really matter whether you're good or bad relative to the other PCs and relative to the campaign challenges. Storming off when you don't get your way isn't conducive to other people's fun so it shouldn't be tolerated long term (unless your group is really, really forgiving of such behaviour, but it doesn't sound like it from the aftermath).
OK. That is enough. What did the player even DO that was wrong? Refuse to follow a plan that his character believed was suicide? As a player who has been put into his situation alot of times he frankly made a perfectly valid choice. God knows i have left enough games because the party refuses to listen to reason and because the GM rules that "Since more people want to do X you are doing X". Well EX-CUSE ME SIR, i didn't realize my character's actions were the jurisdiction of a democracy. Just because the party votes to take a certain course of action does NOT mean that a person is required to follow it, and he frankly took about the LEAST disruptive...

In my mind, what he did wrong was to go to sleep and just refuse to play anymore despite the fact the session was still going.

I have no problem with him deciding his character wanders off from everyone else, but (from the OP's description) he stopped the game by souring the mood and ostentatiously rage-quitting.

Obviously, we've only heard one side, but to be very clear it's the Out-Of-Character antics that are an issue, in my view. Nothing to do with his character wanting to do something different from everyone else.

The fact it has happened repeatedly, with many different campaigns also suggests to me it's a problem with the group dynamic not with the specific character. (Though that doesn't mean the player has done something wrong - he just might not be a good fit for the group).


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Marco Massoudi wrote:

While you are right that i don't know the EXACT print run of an AP, your example makes little sense.

On what assumption should Paizo order a print run 5000 higher for one AP part #1, than on another?
The only possible answer to that is subscribers and pre-order numbers.

Another is that they have data about what kind of adventure sells well and which one doesn't. Also, the various "experimental" APs could easily have had smaller print runs.

Quote:

James Jacobs said, that Paizo is financing itself to a good part through AP sales, which normaly take a long time to sell out (which is wanted to keep most products in circulation).

It takes some time to analyze sales figures and to adjust print numbers up or down, especially when you consider that orders are placed roughly half a year in advance.

Taking that into account, it is very probable to say the print numbers for the first 4 APs are very similiar, if not even exactly the same.

I think that's unlikely, personally. RotRL was quite a risk and they probably had to commit to CotCT before that one had finished, so I wouldn't mind guessing that those were the same. However, given they were such a big hit, my guess would be Second Darkness had a larger print run and that possibly they scaled back Legacy of Fire since the Pathfinder Game was about to launch and there would be an inevitable reduction in demand for a compatible-but-not-the-same game.

Quote:

With the release of AP #25 (which sold out) and the change to the Pathfinder rules it is very possible that the print run numbers were changed.

It is not very likely that these numbers were changed for the following AP "Kingmaker" because it is impossible to have enough sales data by that time.

So it IS relatively save to say: "KINGMAKER sold much better than Council of Thieves."

And it is relatively save to say, that both APs had similiar print runs.

I don't think so, to be frank. I could see it going either way - there was a LOT of pre-kingmaker Hype and I would again guess that Paizo took a positive view when deciding on print sizes for that one.

Quote:

Also i think your numbers are way to high with 10000 and 15000.

2000-6000 seem like an educated guess.

Also i would like to say, that i put a lot of time into researching these numbers.

Can you say the same?

I think what you are missing is the change in mood/size of the community over the years. I have no idea on print runs, but I'd guess that each 1st instalment of the latest APs have over 10,000 copies. (The last time they released numbers there were over a thousand charter subscribers who have been there since day one getting one of each instalment, so 2000 is way to low.

I'd assume the second and third instalments to be similar to one another (but lower than the first) and that the fourth, fifth and six each drop off from the previous.

I don't mean to disparage your research, but there are an awful lot of factors. For example, the growing sales of Pathfinder CRB probably feeds into increased demand and they probably anticipate that rather than wait for sales data to confirm it or they risk leaving money on the table.

They want things to sell out, but not until a few years after release.


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Melkiador wrote:
You have an average of 4 to 5 players to every DM in a game, so printing a lot more player books than DM books just makes good sense.

Although that seems sensible, paizo have demonstrated that focusing on DM-centred materials can work (and I think WotC are now openly copying that strategy).

It's also worth noting that the release of new 5E books isn't nil. It seems to be about three a year (plus licensed products and 3PP).

I find the existence of both to be terrific. If you like games with significant DM empowerment and deliberate gaps in the rules for groups to fill or ignore as suits - 5E is great. If you prefer to have more player empowerment and a larger body of objectively codified rules then i think PF is awesome for that.

Two years into 5E's life and I'm really glad both games seem to be doing well.


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I wonder if Distant Worlds stuff is likely to be less-palatable now that Starfinder is on the horizon?


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Vic Wertz wrote:
I'll just point out he didn't say the word "California."

He must be kicking himself that we misunderstood.

Not rude if you're Australian, but possibly rude if you're not:
bastard


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It's like opening a surprise package when you ring Paizo CS and find out who you're going to get to talk to.

Sharaya, Katina and Diego are always excellent.


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The Sword wrote:

Final warning with the certain knowledge that it is not acceptable behaviour?

Just because he has done it in the past doesn't mean it was dealt with properly. In fact if he was allowed to get away with it he may think it is a viable method of persuasion.

Maybe tell him you're new to DMing this group and are happy to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he really will only get one shot and if he messes it up, he will be booted.

I'd agree with this approach.

Although I'm not optimistic he's going to change based on previous campaigns and the other DMs not being able to change his behaviour - I nonetheless think you should have at least one attempt yourself as DM. Partly that's to protect yourself from charges from him that you've 'booted him with no warning or explanation' - he sounds like a volatile person who may well leap to blame rather than self-reflection.

FWIW, I think it's a good experience as DM to learn some player-management anyhow. It won't always be this drastic, but over time you're going to need to be able to broach issues with your players that you won't really feel like raising, so you may as well get some practise in here, where it's already pretty close to being 'the end' anyhow.


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Sorry, Chris. I never intend to make things heated but there we go. Sometimes talking in text is not as easy as it could be. :/


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Devilkiller wrote:

Anyhow, it sounds like at least some people would like it if pre-errata rules were available online and or in PDF form. Maybe Paizo would consider doing something like that. If not maybe somebody else could handle it as a 3rd party (assuming that the fact the original rules were OGL makes it OK to keep posting them somewhere)

They've spoken about keeping all printings available somewhere. As I recall there were two main objections to that:

The first was the potential for confusion if multiple copies of the same rule were to be found on an "official source".

The second (and I think this is the heart of the issue, personally) is that Paizo clearly think that the errata-d version of their books are superior and the way things are meant to be. There are many who don't share the design aesthetic that Paizo have adopted to one degree or another, but the fact is - Paizo think the erratad ACG is better than the pre-erratad ACG (and the same is true for all their reprinted hardcovers).

Broadly, the people who are unhappy with any given errata have a difference of opinion with the PDT as to what the design goals of Pathfinder should be. It seems to me that the position one takes hinges on whether you think the errata-d versions of Paizo's hardcovers are usually an improvement or not.

I think it would be odd for Paizo to think "This rule needs changing but we're going to continue to reprint the inferior rule and our new customers can just make do with the poorer version and continue to purchase an incorrect rule" unless that section of the market who are expressing their frustration here are a really significant segment. My belief is that the fact they aren't changing their policy is a sign that the dropoff in sales from people like graystone and his gaming group is not so significant to affect the profitability substantially. As graystone says - if that section grows large enough, Paizo will notice and I'm sure they'll then change their practise.

That's all pure conjecture from very little evidence, of course.


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Imbicatus wrote:
I'd say Star Wars has done well over the years, although it's really four games instead of one.

Yeah, I was thinking of that too but discounted it due to (as you say) really being multiple games. I don't really know enough about it though - due to the failure to label each game clearly I've never known which is which, so I've just avoided buying any of them.

The Star Wars franchise is clearly a stayer though (and I would have virtually no doubt that Paizo would create a lasting success if they had the rights to that).


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I think thejeff and I were speaking commercially, not aesthetically. There have been very few RPGs beyond D&D with lasting commercial success (Altohugh I think he should count GURPS as well).

That isn't to say that others aren't good, just that they weren't good sellers over the long run.

My first comment was very much an off-the-cuff remark though. There may well be an SF game that has consistently sold well over time. It doesn't seem like it to me though, which is why I think there is some risk inherent in Paizo's move to produce Starfinder.


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Richard Redmane wrote:
The "general failure" of Sci-Fi RPGs is a bit of a stretch. Shadowrun is now on it's fifth edition and Traveller has gone through how many editions now? And there are others that can found if one digs deeply enough.

Well as I said, I'm not very confident in the claim and am prepared to be proved wrong, but FWIW I don't see the multiple editions of traveller and Shadowrun as a success (especially given those two, in particular have gone through multiple owners). Rather, I see it as indicative of a passionate but not very large section of the market.


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Freehold DM wrote:
It will succeed. There is no reason to believe it wouldn't.

While I agree, I think one reason to doubt is the general failure of Sci-Fi RPGs over the hobby's history. (I'm prepared to be called out for ignorance on that point!)

Paizo's general business strategy is to sell us a game and then continually sell us regular updates/supplements/expansions/support via a subscription model. There's got to be a minimum level of takeup that they need in order for that to be viable and the fact Scifi RPGs have traditionally fizzled over time makes me worry that the support won't be there (or won't last long enough to build the market).

On balance, I think Lisa and company have the track record to bet on the product's success. Nonetheless, I don't think it's a trivial undertaking.


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graystone wrote:

Steve Geddes: For me, I was talking about the forums AND real life when I was saying I'm seeing more and more people not buying books. I can't go to our local game store and expect to find a hardcover on the shelf anymore. After the ACG debacle, most everyone here went to PDF's and the store only pick up a 2 or 3 copies when a new book comes out for the shelf. Sadly, I have a better chance finding a hardcover at BAM as they seem to carry 1 copy of everything no matter how long it sits on the shelf.

Now I'll agree I have no idea how the errata/FAQ are affecting them as a whole, but it's having a clear affect where I am. No one is pulling out books for a game anymore but are pulling out a mobile device and loading up a PDF or using an online site. I find this a sad turn of events as I sometimes LIKE looking through physical books but how can I buy one when I know it's not a question IF the book will get a radical reprint but WHEN will it get one. :P

Absolutely. I appreciate your position - my point about the limited number of posters commenting on it wasn't to suggest that the problem is only confined to messageboard regulars. I was merely pointing out that it is a subset of the market as a whole and that determining what is a significant number of customers is pretty much impossible from where we sit. I didn't mean to imply at all that you were only basing it on messageboard posts. Furthermore, I agree that it could well be a significant issue (I won't go so far as to agree that it IS a significant issue).

What makes me more sanguine about it is that the people with the best information (Paizo) are comfortable with the general thrust of their FAQ/errata procedure. I'm sure there are things they regret, things they'd like to improve and things they are planning on changing - however they don't seem (at least from my perspective) to be worried that their books are no longer selling or that there is a significant segment of their market deterred from buying physical books due to the FAQratta process. I can't really frame a defense of the process (it's unimportant to me personally as I just buy a new hardcover whenever they are reprinted so my books are always up to date) but I think there's likely to be pros and cons to pretty much anything. Some of the arguments are probably things you and I would never even have thought of.

The only thing I think I really disagree with you about is a subjective impression as to how big a problem it is now compared to previous years. I don't see it as growing problem - in my view there have always been people opposed to Paizo's reprinting strategy and changing their buying patterns accordingly. There are also people like me (who basically give Paizo incentive to continue with their current strategy) and newcomers who are oblivious to the issue. I wonder how much of the change you notice in your gaming community is due to a maturation of tastes and circumstance of that cohort and a shift in their position within the marketplace, rather than a real change in the market overall.


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graystone wrote:

Steve Geddes: The issue with doing it this way is that I'm seeing more and more people saying that they aren't going to be part of those "sold thousands and thousands of books" when the physical books become unusable as a reference after a new set of errata comes out that could have been fixed before you bought it. If they drive enough people away from the books, that "viewpoint" is going to hit them in the bottom line.

I know I'm haven't bought a hard cover in ages because of it and I've got every other D&D book publish from blackmoor to 3.5 on my shelves. I even wait on PDF's now and look at the content online first because I can't trust them anymore. I didn't used to feel that way but after the continued scorched earth errata/FAQ methods and the 'toss it out the door and we'll fix it later publishing' I can't help it.

There's clearly a group of people who are not buying books who otherwise would. However, I personally don't think it's any more now than it used to be a couple of years after PF's release. There were people predicting the end of Pathfinder for this and similar reasons back then and I think we as individuals run the risk of over-valuing our own experiences as "typical" when, in fact, we're all pretty idiosyncratic.

I certainly agree that if there are enough who respond in this way then Paizo will notice it commercially. My thesis is that they would then adapt their processes - and consequently that the fact they haven't is evidence that the "I'm not buying any more Paizo books" people are actually quite a small section of the market.

Even on the messageboards, I tend to see the same people criticising the errata process and favoriting one another's posts each time it comes up. It seems to me to be about a dozen really prolific posters who feel strongly about it and probably fifty or so who share the view but who don't post much.

Obviously, I don't have any insight into what proportion of the fanbase are upset, what proportion are well served by the current state-of-play and what proportion are indifferent. I just think it's worth bearing in mind that Paizo have much, much more information than we do about these things - especially when it comes to suggestions like "take longer" which is the main point I was responding to. Taking longer probably means firing some people and who would want to do that?


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I think it's going to be a great success. I don't think it will ever rival Pathfinder, but I think it will be popular enough to warrant another line alongside the APs 12-24 months after release.

A Starfinder Battles Line would be great, but I'm skeptical that the market is there, personally - I think it's one of those things people say they want but won't spend lots of money on.

I'm more optimistic about Starfinder Tales and Starfinder Comics.


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Me too. I'd be very happy if Starfinder is 'roughly compatible' with Pathfinder.

In my view, some of the more problematic issues that arise in Pathfinder came from the backwards compatibility straightjacket. Whilst I can see the reason for 3.5 compatibility in PF's case, I think there's much less of a reason to insist on cross compatibility here.


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I've often heard it said that PFS is the motivator for a lot of Paizo's errata, but that seems weird to me since PFS just openly bans or modifies things it needs to any way (so I can't see why it would be a useful measuring stick).

Has there ever been any official confirmation that a lot of the errata are from PFS feedback? Or is that purely a fan theory?


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The Liberator (Blake's Seven) - awesome Sci-Fantasy RPG material in that series.

The TARDIS (Doctor Who).

The Millenium Falcon (Star Wars).


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theheadkase wrote:

All those new avatar images to choose from for my aliases.

What are you excited for :p

Starfinder Tales, Starfinder Comics and Starfinder Legends.

I suspect there's a few intervening steps though.


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I went to a few things and then couldn't remember all the details. Would it be possible (for the 'future of...' sessions and similar) to have a one-page, bullet point summary handed out at the end (or better yet, put up on the webpage somewhere after it has finished so that people not at the con can catch up).

I wouldn't envisage anything huge - just a bullet point list of products to be announced at that seminar, highlights of the AP being revealed there - that kind of thing.

The handouts Liz, Ashley and Owen gave at the 3rd Party Publishing seminar were stellar (and way more than I'm picturing as a general rule). It meant I could browse over 'what I did today'.


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I'd like an introduction tightly directed towards the central themes of the setting.

Sci-fi RPGs have never worked out for me and I think it's largely because they're a little unfocussed. Players usually have so many choices and options, it's even harder than usual to keep ahead of them - every time I've tried, the PCs have pulled and pushed in directions I wasn't prepared for and it always slowed down and lost drive. I suspect a better adventure writer than me would help with that a lot. :)

It will also help teach us the kinds of stories Paizo are expecting to tell there - Scifi is pretty broad.


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Erik Mona wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

Actually, ERIK MONA's like or dislike of Doctor Who is what's important here.

I'm also the guy who came up with the "Golarion is missing" angle.

Make of that what you will. :)

How much fun would it be to get to write one of the first AP instalments?

Chance of a lifetime, I reckon. :o

Quiet, you.

All I'm saying is: What's the use of having ultimate power if you never get to use it?


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Opinions are very rarely facts. It was my second favorite installment of the AP and not boring or old fashioned at all, in my view.

However, my point was that people being disappointed in APs and declaring them unoriginal and/or boring isn't a new thing - that's been happening for years.


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Erik Mona wrote:

Actually, ERIK MONA's like or dislike of Doctor Who is what's important here.

I'm also the guy who came up with the "Golarion is missing" angle.

Make of that what you will. :)

How much fun would it be to get to write one of the first AP instalments?

Chance of a lifetime, I reckon. :o


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The regions accessible via AI-empowered-hyperspace could well answer that 'kitchen sink' need. If you want a system dominated by megacorporations, you can allow travel there. If you don't like it - there's no need to even mention it.


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If there's an enormous great mystery (a disappearing planet with nobody remembering what happened or indeed anything that happened over an indeterminate time period) it's likely that everyone in universe will have crazy conspiracy theories and lots of exploratory missions to find the answer.

It's going to annoy me, I'm sure (I suspect it's the new "we know the answer but we're not going to tell you" thing which just irrationally irritates me) but I would guess it allows them to portray a more mysterious universe - and hence one where a theme of exploration is more thematically appropriate.

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