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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, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber. 9,374 posts (10,708 including aliases). 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 aliases.


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WormysQueue wrote:

And I guess that's my main problem with all those C/MD discussions. That most often it's combined with suggestions how to make the martial classes better instead of heavily nerfing the caster classes (what I'd actually prefer).

I also happen to think that a bit of disparity should stay in the game no matter what. That doesn't mean that it must be as pronounced as it is today.

I hadn't appreciated this before, but I agree. I'd also prefer reducing caster effectivness, rather than boosting martials.


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baja1000 wrote:
I still don't even get why one HAS to be better than the other. How does it have to be a "myth" to say this is a team game? It is. Its about the story. This whole thread in and of itself is kind of a way to stir the pot. Wizards can do great and powerful s~@$ when their stuff works. Fighters can do some amazing s*!! when their combo's go off. Does it really have to matter which one can do it better?

I know you've just bowed out, but I'm a little late and figured I'd answer anyway.

The existence of the C/MD is not necessarily important - I'm someone who prefers games where casters are better than martials and that's rarely an issue in discussing it with people who do care about it (even though most in these discussions don't share the preference).

The point of jiggy's post was that a lot of the "rebuttals" to the existence of the disparity don't really address its existence (though they claim to). They rather make a claim that the disparity doesn't have material impact - generally boiling down to houerule, playstyle or whatever.

I think the value in the OP is to help move the discussion on to what matters - namely our response to it. That response can include "do nothing" - it would just be helpful to argue that position based on why a disparity is desired or tolerable, rather than assertions that it doesn't exist.


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All done (hopefully).

FWIW, I didn't really see the $10 discount being applied, but I did get pathfinder advantage (was I supposed to get that?) so maybe it was swallowed up by the 15%.

If I look at last year's program will that give me a rough idea of when seminars are and so forth? Like is the rough outline the same each year even though the specifics change? (Is it even possible to find last year's program still?)


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I've never done any editing, although I've done a reasonable amount of proofreading. It seems to me that, no matter how many passes you do, whatever remains will contain some error you can't believe you missed.

I think it would be a terribly frustrating job.


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memorax wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


This is something I'm going to be very interested in watching play out if 2.0 is ever announced.
To be honest I'm not sure if the word interesting really applies. If anything I'm not sure if it's really something that would be healthy to the hobby imo. Too often some in the hobby want to draw a line in the sand and start something. WHile not offering anything productive to the situation.

The word interesting does apply (to me).

I tend to hope people are able to be grownups. In my view, the negatives associated with the 4E/PF schism was a function of bad behaviour, not actually a result of differences in design philosophy. I think the level of negativity associated with any potential PF/PF2 schism will be up to us.


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Tormsskull wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Granted I think the "roleplay=talking in character" definition is common on the boards, I just don't think it's terribly useful.
It's incredibly useful in setting expectations. If I'm recruiting for players and I intend on a heavy in-character dialogue component to the campaign, stating RP required helps prospective players know what the campaign entails.

I don't see any advantage to using the term "roleplay required" over "talking in character required".

One reason I think the former approach is unhelpful is because it's imprecise and used in different ways by different people. I think if you advertised your game as expecting a lot of in-character dialogue - everyone in the "roleplay=talking in character" camp knows what you mean and those of us who think differently also know what you mean. Isn't a less ambiguous term strictly better to one with multiple interpretations?

There's not a lot of value (to me) in identifying the talky bits from the other bits, but I do sometimes want to distinguish between what I consider roleplaying from "the rest" (essentially metagaming).


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Me personally? I don't have a strong opinion. Mechanics don't have much impact on me. I'm more concerned about happens with Golarion - I'd like them to keep adding to that (rather than "updating" what they've done already) or alternatively to start a new campaign setting entirely.

If the choice of "revision vs revolution" impacts on how they treat Golarion material, I'd happily accept whichever choice meant I continued to get new setting/flavor material.


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bookrat wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
The question of "How important is a +1 bonus?" has a different answer depending on the context of the question.

The context was that I saw someone with all 14s for stats (except one 11), and someone else claimed that they were effectively dead weight because they didn't have a 16+ in their primary stat.

And it made me think: does an extra +1 modifier really matter that much? Especially when the trade off is that you don't have any other weaknesses. So far, the universal answer I've seen to that is "yes - it really does matter because a +1 means a lot more in this edition."

That's not my answer - I think a +1 means a little bit more in 5E than PF but not much more.

In terms of "Does playing a crap character matter so much?", I think the answer is no but I don't think it's the significance of the +1 which matters. I think classes in 5E have a lot of their power built in via class features (the fighter is the obvious example here - their proficiency bonus isn't any better than other classes, but they are nonetheless better at putting on armor, picking up a sword and just having at it).

As such, I think all classes derive a higher (relative) power level before the modifiers are included and then increase by less based on stats/items/development. Any +1 forgone crimps the increase between two otherwise identical characters, but not the 'raw power' of a class (which is what you tend to notice at the table - it doesnt matter if your fighter isnt as good as he could be - as long as he's better at fighting than the cleric, the magicuser or the thief).

I routinely make suboptimal choices in PC creation - what we've found in 5E is that I'm noticably less effective than the other PCs but, unlike prior editions, I'm still able to do something - I'm weaker but not a total waste of space.

The only way I've really successfully been crap is when I made ludicrous stat assignments (a caster with a very weak casting stat is severely hampered - obvious stuff like that).


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KenderKin wrote:
KenderKin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Which leads to the philosophical question "Are you playing a game at that point?"

Yes a roleplaying game! I can't imagine the dullness of a game that was all rolls and checks, then your just playing a miniatures war game....or hero quest.

If your character is going to insult the local sheriff in order to play his or her role the character needs to voice an insult not just this:

"I insult the sheriff."
[dice=insulting skill] 1d20+8

Combat is part of the roll play, what if anything your character says during combat is roleplay.

The way you do it.

I used to play with a guy who wouldn't have come if he'd had to make a speech beyond "I make a diplomacy check". He considered himself roleplaying and enjoyed taking on the role of a fantasy character on a quest - he just doesn't do improvisation very well and doesn't like it, so he uses the rules to sort that out, same as he uses the rules to resolve combat.


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Male Human Bard (5) 21/33 HP |+2 Init|13AC|+9 Perc|+2Str +5Dex +1Con +1Int +3Wis +8Cha|Insp [Y]

For future social interactions we should obviously follow Spidre's lead.


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Yeah, I daresay someone has got Paizo-the-retailer confused with Paizo-the-publisher.


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The interview with the WotC CEO was interesting - he stated that they are earning more revenue from fewer releases than in previous editions.

I wouldn't have been surprised at making a higher profit, but higher revenue wasn't what I expected (though it's possible he was just speaking sloppily - later the interviewer switches to talk about 'net revenue').


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Norman Osborne wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
A more interesting test will be how well the updated WotC Ravenloft is received compared to the Paizo/FGG Borderland Provinces product suite.
I'm not sure what Paizo has to do with Frog God Games' Borderland Provinces, other than the fact that it's going to be released for the Pathfinder system (as well as for FGG's own Swords & Wizardry system AND WotC's D&D 5E).

I think he was referring to this article on ICv2 which (erroneously, I believe) suggests the Borderlands is some kind of joint project.


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Mantic Games' Dungeon Furniture Pack.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Steve, I would agree that parts of the game are a carefully crafted makeover. From the CRB I would say that feats, races, classes, and PrCs got the amount of attention they needed. But other sections were square pegs beaten through a round hole with a sledgehammer. Spells, for example is an atrocious mess. Inconsistent terminology mostly due to verbatim legacy carryover. And I mean legacy from AD&D, not just 3.5. It is a mess. The combat chapter removed all the examples about how things work because they weren't in the SRD. So you wind up with situations where people argue that a character can't stand up from prone, 5ft shift, and cast a spell all in the same round even though that was a specific example given in the 3.5 players guide.

My first response would be that just because there are imperfections, it doesn't follow that it wasn't done carefully. I was disputing the idea that PF was a "rehash" or "a bunch of houserules" - I think it was far more than that and done more thoughtfully, carefully and deliberately. I didn't mean to imply it was flawless or that it couldn't be improved.

I definitely think the rules could use a significant rewrite similar to the beginner box - in my view, they suffer from the implicit assumption that everyone who is reading them already knows how to play 3.5.

I don't think you're right to diagnose it as a time-pressure issue. Were you here for the playtest? They worked on the rules, then released them into an open, alpha playtest, then reworked them into the beta (which was even printed out as well as provided via PDF) and both the alpha and beta periods seemed quite extensive to me. I'm sure they didn't have unlimited time, but it certainly didn't feel to me that they were rushing it. In passing, I'd mention that the concept of the open playtest itself was an innovative approach - it's easy to forget now, given how common it's become, but it was quite exciting and new back then.

If my memory serves correctly, the mood at the time was extremely conservative - I think there was so much discussion about what should change, how compatible with 3.5 it was going to be and so forth. That's where the effort was warranted as that's where the heat in the community was.

In hindsight, I think you're probably right that there were things which were omitted which should have been in there (and that a really thorough tidying up of language should have been undertaken). No doubt neglecting that in favor of arguing endlessly over grappling, vancian casting or the other 'hot button' topics of the day was exacerbated by the culture in which it was being discussed and playtested - it was very much a way to keep playing 3.5. Nobody was approaching it from "How is this going to appear to the newcomer, who has had no experience with 3.5?"


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memorax wrote:
I am bearing that in mind.

Do you agree that the design goal of backwards compatibility with 3.5 put a severe crimp in just how "innovative" the Pathfinder designers could be? It was desirable that you could pick up a 3.5 module and run it, converting on the fly. If the mechanics of PF had diverged too much that would have been lost.

Labelling it 'a rehash' or 'a bunch of houserules' and so forth always seems to be missing the point to me. Those labels always read to me as suggesting a casual or haphazard approach. It was in fact a carefully crafted game within some quite awkward constraints.

Quote:
It just seems in my experience that not many people at least in my neck of the woods wang to use or convert 3.5 material. Even with backwards compabilty as a goal they also need to offer something new and fresh. The current edition already offered backwards compabilty. Give me something new. Not necessarily a new edition. More than a rehash with better production values and art.

I think you're conflating two things. Nowadays, when people say PF2 should be "backwards compatible", I don't think they generally mean compatible with 3.5 - they mean compatible with Pathfinder.

How much 3.5 material is in use isn't really relevant - those people want to keep using the Advanced Class Guide, Pathfinder Unchained, the Player Companions, the Adventure Paths.


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memorax wrote:

Next edition if the market research shows that at least 5 out of 10 gamers use older material them make it backwards compabilty. If not and only very few do make use of 3.5. Material why bother.

So far since PF was released I have been in one campaign where 3.5. Material was allowed. More often not it's been a polite and/or firm no way. Then being told " no 3.5. Or third party...only Pathfinder.

The issue next time won't be compatibility with 3.5 (or only indirectly, anyhow). The issue will be the fans who want to keep using their PF1.0 material.

Skeld is right. It's easy to forget now given so many are comfortable with only PF material, but during its design, backwards compatibility with 3.5 was a huge deal. You can't meaningfully analyse the changes from 3.5 to PF without bearing that in mind.


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So we don't use a grid in 5E (that's explicitly the 'default' as I understand it) but we use figures kind of plonked around the table to indicate relative positions, who's clumped with who and so forth. Is that 'theatre of the mind', 'gridless', something else?

I'm struggling to understand the various points being made here. I would say that 3.5, PF and 4E all require* a grid and that it's helpful (but slower) for the other editions of D&D. Is theatre of the mind and grid-based a true dichotomy?

* "require" as in you can play without them but it's an effort.


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Erik Mona wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:

...there are way too many gargantuans that need doing, I could list 15-20 I desperately want to see in plastic without resorting to books.

PLEASE DO.

The Neothelid for sure.

I also think a Linnorm would be well received (though, to be honest I'm fine substituting a dragon).

A roc would be good too (though again, it's substitutable without too much trouble).

Returning to non-dragonny monsters:

Perhaps a gargantuan insect-thing - the giant emperor scorpion from Bestiary 4 would be a good choice (though the artwork there is perhaps not ideal.

I'm personally quite taken by the riftcreeper from Bestiary 5 (though again, the artwork is unfortunately vertical and maybe not very useful for replicating in a mini).

It wasnt in my mind, but I just went looking for some 'fiendish' things and the Olethrodaemon (p71 Bestiary 2) would be cool.

I'm not sure how canonical you need to be size-wise, but another humanoid to go along with the rune giant (like a titan or something) would be useful.


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Ah. I hadn't really appreciated that. (I use them as solitary things).

That's another pretty good reason to give me more bunyips than I thought I needed. :)


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James Jacobs wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
wabbitking wrote:
if you could change anything about any paizo adventure path what would it be?
Second Darkness: I'd add a new adventure to ease the transition between Adventure 2 and 3, and would rewrite all of the first half of Adventure 5 so the elves feel like allies and friends you want to help rather than enemies you're forced to help.
Any plans to redo that one like your said or other 3.5 ones into the PRPG rotr-style hardcover deluxe treatment?
Should there be?

Definitely. The update to RoTRL was done really well (as were the spate of Varisia-related products around the same time).

Second Darkness would get my vote, but any of the 3.5 APs would be terrific.


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EltonJ wrote:
So, Steve, here's the question: What should you do if you can't afford legal counsel? Should you publish on your own or through the DM's Guild?

I personally wouldn't release anything under the OGL without first consulting a lawyer (not out of fear of being sued - I think that risk is very small). I guess if I was planning to begin using the OGL and couldn't afford to get a lawyer to explain the OGL to me then I'd save up for longer (or raise more capital).

I think it's worth bearing in mind that legal counsel is not as expensive as it's sometimes portrayed (especially when you're not actually in dispute).


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phantom1592 wrote:
For that matter, inner sea gods, has a list of 'dead gods' that are just as mysterious aren't they?

Mystery is inevitable (they can't provide answers for everything). This is more than just an unanswered question though.

It's the deliberate obfuscation that bugs me. This isnt actually a mysterious, unanswered question - it is a central issue of the campaign and has a canonical solution/explanation but that is being kept secret.

I appreciate I'm in a minority, but that approach bothers me a lot (more than the actually-relevant-to-gameplay things, as it happens).


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Brother Fen wrote:
What happened to Aroden and why?

The leaving this unanswered is my one major gripe with Paizo's choices around Golarion. The "preservation of mystery" is a real negative for me.

Because I'll never know the true answer, Aroden's faith will never feature significantly in my campaigns - so I always feel like I'm missing out on a real, significant part of the world history.


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In terms of dungeon dressing requests, my biggest remains splitting them off into a line more akin to the iconic heroes. I appreciate such a decision is a long way off (if it ever eventuates) so in the meantime:

1. A levitating sword - a useful standin for spiritual weapon and dancing sword but I've seen a fair number of animated weapons in modules and I think this would get a lot of use (although perhaps I'm cheating and this just shows my bias... :p).

2. A campfire - I think this could be included in a pretty useful themed set of "life on the road" dungeon pieces: bedrolls, tents, a pile of provisions, backpacks, a pig on a spit, tethered horse, a Varisian wagon...Perhaps even something like a checkpoint/border crossing/barrier of some description as the incentive.

3. A pool

4. A throne

I don't know if it's fruitful to offer "votes against", but although I'd find stairs to be very frequent, I'm struggling to picture them being able to support minis - and without that, they're probably going to lose a lot of usability. So I guess I'm requesting "stairs you can put minis on" (somehow).

In a similar vein, I really hope the inclusion of dungeon dressing incentives is a rare thing. I appreciate the bar is popular - but the number of gargantuan figures being released is very small (especially given so many of the slots get taken up with dragons).


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Shadow Demon wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Nonetheless, it is relatively common to hear people implicitly claim that what's Open Content "isn't copyright" and it's worth correcting that. The distinction between Open Content and Product Identity has nothing to do with copyright really - those are just terms used in the OGL.
All I am saying is that ignoring the OGL, copyright protection is not available for names, titles, or short phases. This also includes ideas and concepts. A "beholder" under copyright means the "whole body of work" not just the name, the concept or idea, or even a single simple sentence of description. There is even a certain amount that could be used under Fair Use. The same is true for OGL open monsters which are also still under copyright. The use of "beholder" under Product Identity is enough for most to steer way clear which I agree with in principle of actual implementation but not not necessarily in the case of hypothetical theory.

That doesn't really relate to what I was saying and I don't have any comment to make on it - you may well be right, my concern is correcting a common misconception, not providing advice as to the limits of the protections provided by copyright law.

I'm firmly of the view that anyone intending to use the OGL should consult a lawyer prior to publication. (Not because I think they're at imminent risk of being sued, I just think it's important to do things properly).


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Product Identity and Open Content are special terms of the OGL, but all of it is still subject to Copyright law (check any page of the PRD, for example and you'll see that it's copyright Paizo despite being predominantly open content).

When you release something under the OGL, you have to specify what is Product Identity and what is Open Content. Those who produce subsequent works using the OGL are entitled to use the material you've declared open - however there are also conditions they have to comply with. One of those is that they agree not to use anything which has been declared Product Identity (without a further specific license/agreement with the owner of that PI).

So both beholders and the contents of the SRD are protected by copyright laws. If you choose to use the OGL, you are entitled to use the stuff in the SRD (provided you comply with the terms of the OGL) and are agreeing to not use beholders (unless you get permission from WotC to do so, via a separate license).


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The DM's Guild would allow Paizo (or anyone else) to produce Forgotten Realms material. You have to give up distribution rights though, amongst other things (it also has to be for 5E and i don't think it can be Open Content - i believe using the DM Guild or OGL is an either/or proposition).

Im not paizo, but I'm pretty confident predicting that they won't take up the opportunity.


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silverhair2008 wrote:
I will be behind the rest of you in receiving my rewards. I pledged for the Steel cover. so I have to wait til the blacksmith finishes with the book before it can all be shipped together. Makes sense to save on shipping costs but adds to frustration.

I'm right there with you. It's worse because of my PDFobia, so I can't/won't even be able to get a sneak peek..

Did you get a steel cover for the blight too? That's the first one I've skipped. :(


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Alignment, experience points and hit points are the things that always stand out to me as poor representations of what the real world is like.
I generally prefer them to the alternatives though.


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If I had a vote on another Compilation it would be for Second Darkness and I know he also thinks it would benefit from a revisit, so....fingers crossed. :)

Having said that - I wouldn't mind a Sandpoint, Varisia or Absalom boxed set either, so i can cross my fingers for any of those too.


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WormysQueue wrote:

I think one of the reasons I hate the bloat argument so much is because that's what basically destroyed the Forgotten Realms (though I know some people claiming that everything after the grey box already had done a fine job with that; obviously I don't agree).

But letting my feelings about that aside, I think it's worth remembering that this game is played by a lot of very different people with very different tastes, so(and no matter if you call it options or bloat) not every offering is intended to be for everyone. from this point of view, I'm with Milo v3 in that not adding a new book to my pathfinder library doesn't equal cutting out anything.

I may be wrong but sometimes I'm under the impression that at least a part of the people complaining about bloat actually mean that there's too much stuff they a) cannot afford to buy, b)simply aren't interested putting up with and/or c) not like at all for whatever reason. What does irk me about that is that, while all fine and good for the person complaining, it may actually not be true for a lot of other players, who love those options. (and next time it may be the other way round that an option liked by the person formerly complaining about bloat now gets called bloat by the other ones.

To me, it has ever been the case that it's much easier not to use options available than to create those options by myself. Even if I end up not using a particular option (like say, the Mythic rules). Which makes it hard for me to understand why other people don't like those options to exist at all. I clearly don't get this feeling of "it's there so I must use it and that's a bad thing". I also didn't get this problem when referring to the Realms.

Though to be honest, the one gripe I have about the "rules bloat" is, that it may bind ressources I'd rather have the designers use to create more "setting bloat", so obviously there's bloat and then there's bloat.

This is my sole objection (I don't call it an "argument" but I definitely have a preference for no rules bloat at all). My desire for more resources devoted to setting than rules has nothing to do with stopping things I don't want - that's just an economic consequence of getting things I do want.


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I'm not a fan of either dungeon dressing (especially not dressing for somewhere-other-than-dungeons) nor not-usually-combatant figures. However, this set is clearly intended to fill those niches so I don't think anyone should be marking it down on that basis. It's not like it's some great surprise!

It seems to me this is very much a collector's set. I don't think it would be a good place to begin one's mini collection - you might open a booster to find a horse, a barrel a barkeep and a ghoul. Not the best start if you only have half a dozen minis or so but full of new things if you're a jaded mini-addict.


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Obviously the stuff I'd be looking to produce under the CUP wouldn't be uploaded to the DM's guild. However, if I were to release anything on the DMG (likely to be free or possibly "pay what you want") would that lead Paizo to think I was a publisher and therefor no longer eligible to utilise the CUP?

Would it depend on how much material was released through the DMG?
If you do reach that conclusion, is it irrevocable? (Like if I cross a line, can I walk it back and cease being thought of as "in the publishing business"?)

Cheers


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"Bloat" seems an incontrovertible fact, to me. Any system with more than just its core rules has bloat to some degree. I don't think that's inherently negative, though. Some people like bloat, some people don't - arguing how much is the "correct" amount is as silly as arguing whether an RPG should have aloof elves or not. Taste isn't a rationally derived thing.


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We'll have to wait and see, of course. My bet is that the brand power will be sufficient that a 'pseudo-D&D' website isn't going to supplant D&D as the genuine article.

Given the pushback and prejudice against 3PP products, I think such a website would damage themselves were they to stray too far from what's included in the core books (since there will inevitably be DMs who then declare such a site "overpowered", "unofficial" or "houserules" or whichever pejorative they prefer).

My guess is that we'll soon see an online resource with feats like sharpshooting instead of sharpshooter, heavy weapon expert instead of heavy weapon master, and so forth. I don't see that as bad for the game at all. (For that matter, I wouldn't be particularly concerned even if some broader website began to gain traction).

This move seems very much in line with Wizards' approach to 5E - they are effectively outsourcing the online support, just as they've outsourced the adventures, sourcebooks (via the OGL and other licensing) and now even part of the Forgotten Realms IP (via the DM's guild) - they seem to be clearly just keeping the game in print, whilst focussing on the computer games, novels and movies (where there's more chance of significant monetary return).

I'm also happy that, should Wizards decide to bring out a sixth edition, someone would now be able to replicate Paizo's efforts and put out a 5th edition clone with much more certainty.


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137ben wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Looks like the commission on Dungeon Master Guild products is 50% (split somehow between OneBookShelf and WotC). How does that compare if you want to distribute a self-published PDF through the various sites?

It's at the high end, but not completely outside the range of what other distributors charge. OBS normally charges between 20% and 35% (35% base, 25% for products sold exclusively through OBS, and the affiliate program can get you a little bit extra). Paizo is a bit wonkier in that they charge a different rate for PDFs than for print. For PDFs Paizo takes a smaller cut than OBS (according to Neil Spicer on the forums, lemme see if I can find that post....) On the other hand, Paizo charges 50% (!) for print, and requires the publisher to cover more of the expenses related to print products than OBS does. Bradley Crouch (the owner of Interjection Games) estimated that he would make three times as much of a profit from selling a hardcover on OBS as he would from selling the same hardcover for the same price on Paizo, and many other small publishers sell print products only on OBS but sell PDFs on both Paizo and OBS.

Cheers.


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I'm currently running a 'pseudo action' of a bunch of RPG books. It's five lots per week for the next five weeks - I'll send the books to whoever pledges to donate the highest amount to The Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund.

Please see this thread in the Gamer Talk subforum, if you're interested.

Even if you're not interested. Please consider making a donation to the RCRF - I think it's a good way to help out some of the freelancers and others who work for us for very little reward.


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Week One Auction

Closes 8pm Friday 22nd January (Adelaide, South Australia time) – 1 week from now. Please PM me how much you're willing to donate to the RCRF if successful - the successful bidder will be contacted within 24 hours and the books posted on Monday 25th.

Lot One
Slumbering Tsar (Pathfinder Compatible Adventures from Frog God Games) – this is the individual paperback instalments ST1 through ST12, not the hardcover which compiled them all into one massive book.

Lot Two
Cerulean Seas Hardcover (Pathfinder Compatible Undersea Campaign Setting from Alluria Publishing)

Lot Three
A collection of Swords and Wizardry Rappan Athuk books from the kickstarter a few years ago:

  • Rappan Athuk signed copy (6/300) – note this is the Swords and Wizardry version and is not PF compatible.
  • 2 Rappan Athuk Player’s Guides
  • 2 Rappan Athuk Pregenerated Character Books (Also for Swords and Wizardry)

Lot Four
A few sundry Savage World Sourcebooks (Pinnacle Entertainment)

  • Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion
  • Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion
  • Savage Worlds Horror Companion
  • Savage Worlds Oversize Action Deck

Lot Five
A few Forgotten Realms books for 1st edition AD&D and 2nd edition AD&D (TSR publishing). These are quite beat up (I bought most of them secondhand and they’ve clearly been heavily used)

  • Forgotten Realms “Grey Box” (the original, 1st edition AD&D version)
  • Volo’s Guide to the Sword Coast
  • Volo’s Guide to Waterdeep
  • Volo’s Guide to the North (I believe this was Vic Wertz’s first RPG credit – he and Lisa were two of the editors)
  • Set of four poster maps of the realms collected from various issues of Dungeon Magazine


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You may or may not have heard of The Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund. It is a charity that was set up to help those who work in the RPG industry and who suffer some kind of medical emergency or other disaster. It relies on donations from companies or individuals to provide assistance in a variety of circumstances.

I am currently having a semi-regular purge of my RPG collection and have decided to run a “pseudo auction” here on the Paizo forums. I’ve divided the things I’m getting rid of into twenty five lots and will be giving them away over the next five weeks (five lots per week). Some are Paizo books, some are collectible books from years ago and others are more niche. Most are in good condition – I’ll identify which are “much loved” when they come up.

The way I’m selecting the recipients each week is via a secret auction of pledges to the RCRF. You can PM me your bid throughout the week the lot you’re interested in is up for auction and at the end of the week the highest bidder will win. I’ll then send you the books you bid on and you’ll make a donation to the RCRF via their webpage (they have a paypal link, but I suspect you can contact them to organise other ways to make your payment).

All bids will be confidential and I won’t reveal any winners nor any of the values of bids made.

If you are unsuccessful in your bid (or just uninterested in what’s on offer), please consider making a donation. The people who work in our industry are often doing it for the love rather than the money – when medical setbacks occur it can prove difficult to continue, given the realities of healthcare costs.

Any queries, please post them here or feel free to PM me.


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Epic Meepo wrote:

I'm speaking from the perspective of an independent publisher offering advice to would-be independent publishers. Never base your business ("build your house") on a single, revocable license to someone else's IP ("land you don't own").

That's not a value statement about WotC's DMG Program (which is much better than, say, Paizo's Adventure Card Creator). That's a suggestion that aspiring publishers read and understand the full ramifications of any license they want to use, and then develop their business model accordingly.

Excellent advice - it's not hard to imagine some disgruntled beginner publishers down the track not quite understanding what they were signing up for.


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thejeff wrote:

It's not at all clear to me that they could twist the OGL to limit use of things you normally could use freely. In any case, since they haven't it leaves that open for those who want to test the limits.

The rest can happily use the Open Content.

I agree that it's something of a non-issue here. Nonetheless, I don't think it's right to label it "twisting" if someone declares something Product Identity which would not usually be protected by copyright. The only limitation I can see on such a declaration is that you can't declare something Product Identity if it's previously been declared Open Content - I'm no expert on the OGL, but I don't recall any reference to general copyright law.

The OGL provides protection in both directions - you can safely publish under the license, provided you agree not to use anyone else's Product Identity. You can also quarantine some of your work (via a declaration of Product Identity), whilst leaving the rest of it open to others to play with.


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Ah. Yeah, I always thought Herolab needed more than just the OGL anyhow for some complicated legal reason about licenses or somesuch.


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RyanH wrote:

So, lack of full content kind of puts a big stopper in Lonewolf's plans to include D&D 5e in Hero Lab.

Don't you need a special license anyway for software?


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thejeff wrote:
The only protection they have here is copyright law. Everything else derives from that. The OGL loosens that protection, letting others use content that would otherwise be protected. But it can't go past that and limit anything beyond what would normally be allowed.

I think the point is not that Product Identity is somehow granted "extra copyright protection". It's that, in order to use the OGL, you must comply with it's terms. Clause 7 states that you agree not to use anything which has been declared Product Identity.

You might be able to reference product identity under copyright laws, but you are no longer publishing under the OGL, so you lose all the protection and security it offers.


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thejeff wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

I think the problem here is that they left a "content gap"—that is, anything that isn't in the SRD and isn't also in the statement of Product Identity is currently not covered under the OGL (as I understand it), so it is protected only inasmuch as copyright law protects it—meaning the ideas can be used, though not the actually words.

If Wizards were to include the OGL in future printings of their core rules, and state that anything in those books that isn't in the SRD is Product Identity—or just add a statement equivalent to that to the PRD—then I believe no content gap would exist; that is, anybody using the OGL would be unable to include derivations of that content. I'm not clear on whether or not "closing" that content could trigger retroactive effects, though.

I could wrong, but I don't think they can do that. They can't just arbitrarily claim things are product identity. Fictional creations - setting, adventures, even invented monsters are protected under copyright law, not just the actual words, but the basic concept. You can't use them without permission, just like you can't sell a story set in Middle-Earth, even if you don't quote Tolkien.

Game mechanics on the other hand aren't copyrightable - beyond the actual expression. Saying something is Product Identity doesn't change that in the slightest.

The only protection they have here is copyright law. Everything else derives from that. The OGL loosens that protection, letting others use content that would otherwise be protected. But it can't go past that and limit anything beyond what would normally be allowed. As I understand it, there is no gap.

At least that's my understanding. I'm not a copyright lawyer. Standard disclaimers apply.

The benefit of the OGL isn't really that it allows you to do stuff. A lot of it you rightly point out could be done anyway.

The advantage of the OGL is that it provides a simple, clearly delineated area to play in without having to know much about copyright. What's declared Open Content is usable, what's declared product identity isn't.

You can't utilise the OGL if you don't respect that distinction (as per clause 7) - regardless of whether you are legally entitled to publish the resultant work, you aren't entitled to do so within the safety of the OGL.


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Drejk wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
You retain ownership of the content you create, but you give them "the exclusive, irrevocable license for the full term of copyright protection available (including renewals), to develop, license, reproduce, print, publish, distribute, translate, display, publicly perform and transmit your Work, in whole and in part, in each country in the world, in all languages and formats, and by all means now known or later developed, and the right to prepare derivative works of your Work."

You retain ownership of your house, you just can't live in your house, rent it out, modify it, sell it, or tear it down. Also, we can move into, rent out, modify, sell, or tear down your house whenever we want.

(Which is why you should never build a house on land you don't own.)

It's not that far from freelance writing for publishers, except in the later case you don't get to keep formal "ownership" at all... Just the money they pay/paid you and the bragging right listing your creation in CV/portfolio.

Yeah, it's worth remembering that the DM's Guild is additive. The OGL still exists and you can publish stuff using that without giving up any rights beyond what you need to to comply with the license.

It's only if you want access to the Forgotten Realms IP and the distribution network provided that you need to hand over any ownership.


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thejeff wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Irrespective, I still think leaving feats out of the SRD altogether is better than declaring them closed content.

What do you mean by "declaring them closed content"?

Is there any difference between declaring them closed content and leaving them out, that is not releasing them under the OGL?

I mean product identity - "closed content" is a bad habit of mine.

The difference is one of certainty. If you divide your work into open content and product identity, someone can reference that by publishing under the OGL and using the former whilst avoiding the latter and they know they're safe from legal action. If there's a third category, the OGL is silent on how to treat it - leaving you at the mercy of copyright law.

The reason I think it's superior, is that Wizards don't have to make a choice. They inadvertently left out Eldritch Blast (for example) however they haven't declared it Product Identity* hence they can now port it into the SRD without any conflicting declarations floating around.

*:
There's probably an OGL version of Eldritch Blast for a different edition/game, so that's a complication in this specific case, but hopefully you see what I mean...


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Vic Wertz wrote:

I think the problem here is that they left a "content gap"—that is, anything that isn't in the SRD and isn't also in the statement of Product Identity is currently not covered under the OGL (as I understand it), so it is protected only inasmuch as copyright law protects it—meaning the ideas can be used, though not the actually words.

If Wizards were to include the OGL in future printings of their core rules, and state that anything in those books that isn't in the SRD is Product Identity—or just add a statement equivalent to that to the PRD—then I believe no content gap would exist; that is, anybody using the OGL would be unable to include derivations of that content. I'm not clear on whether or not "closing" that content could trigger retroactive effects, though.

Yeah, this is what I was referring to before ( I should break the habit of using the term 'closed content'). I don't see it as a bad thing though.

What I like about the gap is that it leaves the option open for them to include it in the SRD later without the confusion of the same content being inconsistently labeled).

EDIT: So, for example, if they'd published the PH under the OGL and declared some archetype product identity, they are left with a confusing situation should they subsequently decide to include it in the SRD.

I don't see the gap as being a problem since the conservative publisher has no issue. They just treat anything not in the SRD as product identity whether it is or not - exactly the situation as if Wizards had published the core books under the OGL with a "everything but the SRD is product identity" clause. A boundary-pushing publisher can step outside the PI-Open Content dichotomy and use the "unclassified material" under usual copyright laws, but they can do that anyway.

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