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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. 9,659 posts (11,068 including aliases). 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 aliases.


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Bluenose wrote:


And also, 5e is newbie friendly? Compared to what? It fairly solidly runs into similar, if less extreme, problems as 3e in that it's really very easy to make a character that looks like what the player imagines and fails to deliver on it.

Really? We haven't noticed that. It seems to us that you really have to work at being lousy at your chosen schtick. In general we've found it easy to find mechanical ways to portray the character we want without noticing any blind alleys.

Do you have any specific examples in mind?


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I guess it depends on your viewpoint. I consider all 5E DMs to be new. My point was that he may well have leapt to something which happened in previous editions without thinking through that 'loss of level' isn't really a thing in 5E.

I appreciate he's not an inexperienced DM.

Pathfinder doesn't have any way to lose a level either. Negative levels aren't actually the same thing at all.

I meant AD&D - the OP referred to him as a grognard.

Irrespective, I'm just hypothesising - without being able to ask him, who knows? I just really struggle to believe there are such blatantly malicious DMs around (there are far more subtle and unchallengable ways to mess with a PC). I have no trouble believing there are DMs around who mistakenly think this kind of thing is a good idea.


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SmiloDan wrote:

There has been no "out of session" conversation.

And there probably won't be.

I don't see him changing his mind.

I probably wouldn't bother at such a late stage in the campaign with a soon-to-be-ex-DM (especially given the obvious bad taste it left in your mouth).

I'd nonetheless encourage you to see this as a poor DM decision, not a decision by a jerk. I think there are lots of benefits and very little downside in giving people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to motivations.

If he continues with behaviour which makes you think he's out to get you in some sense (like starts sabotaging your upcoming campaign or something) then I'd definitely confront him about it and I'd recommend doing so away from the table and from the other members of the group.


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SmiloDan wrote:

In our current game, religion has not been that big of an issue. None of the other characters have a patron deity except for the rogue. None of the NPCs have ever mentioned a religious affiliation except for the temple in Sandpoint. It's just never come up. None of the villains have be clerics or anything either, as far as I could tell.

So blaming the cleric or goddess role play stuff came out of nowhere.

Yeah - I could maybe see things like this having a place in a campaign where everyone was 'faith based' in some way. Or at least where the gods/religions were a significant part of the plot.

I can picture someone thinking it would be a good idea. But such crippling penalties are best left to players to impose on themselves, in my view.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The losing a level with no way to get it back for a dodgy reason is an easy mistake for a new DM to make when playing a new system, in my opinion.
Sure...but as has been noted since this post, he's not new. I'd already gotten that impression from previous posts, too.

I guess it depends on your viewpoint. I consider all 5E DMs to be new. My point was that he may well have leapt to something which happened in previous editions without thinking through that 'loss of level' isn't really a thing in 5E.

I appreciate he's not an inexperienced DM.

Quote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I should stress, the DM may well be being a jerk - I don't rule it out, I just think it's worth an out-of-session conversation with the DM (which the OP didn't mention) before leaping to that conclusion.
Uh...he specifically already noted that he had to 'talk him into' letting him have the level loss instead of the loss of all powers. So...there's been at least some of this.

I didn't see (until Smilodan's most recent post) the OP say that. I saw "concession" which I guess you've inferred an out-of-session conversation (?)

Regardless - if that's happened and the DM is insisting on imposing a penalty the player has declared to be "unfun" then I don't have any issue with labelling him jerkish (or poor, or whatever your terminology is).

If that out-of-session chat hasn't happened, then I think it should.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

This isn't entirely unfair in general, but in this case the behavior provoking it is pretty egregious.

I mean, making you lose a level, without any way to recover it, because you refused to do something stupid your God shouldn't demand that you do anyway, and then lying and trying to blame it on the pre-written adventure when it's not in there?

Unless the OP is actively lying (which is a pretty big and unwarranted assumption), that sounds pretty clearly into 'this guy is being a giant dick' territory.

I mean...can anyone think of a reasonable explanation for that series of behaviors? Because I sure can't.

The losing a level with no way to get it back for a dodgy reason is an easy mistake for a new DM to make when playing a new system, in my opinion.

In terms of lying to cover it up: I wonder whether the "it's part of the module" comment has been misinterpreted. If he's genuinely unaware that Smilodan is upset by the whole experience, he may not have been referring to the loss of powers but rather to the imprisonment of a cleric worshipping the same deity. (IE Smilodan says "That's dumb" (meaning loss of powers) and the DM says "Well it's in the book" (meaning the imprisoned cleric who just happens to worship the same deity).

OP wrote:
The GM was implying it was a plot point of the AP. He said the captured cleric would match the faith of any cleric in the party.

I should stress, the DM may well be being a jerk - I don't rule it out, I just think it's worth an out-of-session conversation with the DM (which the OP didn't mention) before leaping to that conclusion.


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Grey Lensman wrote:
Well, the GM has already lied about that part of the encounter being part of the AP - it makes the jerk conclusion easier to jump to.

Maybe - or maybe he was referring to a suggestion that the imprisoned cleric should be the same faith as a PC cleric. Or maybe there was a reference in an earlier book to "what to do if this villain escapes" and was talking about the "will seek vengeance on the PCs at a later date" bit. I agree with you if he begins making up "I don't want to do this but the book says I have to" stories, but I'm not entirely sure we're in a position to know that's what's going on.

I think there's a whole host of reasons to err on the side of "you made a mistake" rather than "you're a jerk".

As I said though - it depends on if Smilodan has sat down with the DM and explained how it's playing (rather than how the DM thought it would play). To me the DM's response to that is where any jerkishness comes in - not in just making a bad call.


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Have you spoken to him about it?

I think people are jumping to the "he's a jerk" conclusion too readily. My first thought would be that he improvised it thinking it would be a cool twist and just made a mistake. I can't count the number of times I've done something similar over the years (not specifically taking away powers, but just run with something I came up with on the fly only to realise down the track that the player didn't enjoy the "twist" at all).

I think it's only jerkish if he insists on keeping it after you point out what a harsh penalty it is, how unreasonable the logic is and most importantly how you're not having fun being one level lower than everyone else.

If you want your DM to improvise, adjust APs and run a game which isn't just a series of ever-more-difficult encounters then I think you're going to run into some poor decisions from time to time. That in itself isn't malicious.


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I've posted you my witty retort. You should get it in about a week.


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I have a bard who has started greater invisibility-ing our monk and he's suddenly very popular. Bane is a good debuff if you have other casters in the party.


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For me it's the player reactions - when I see them care I feel the most satisfaction:

When they want to keep playing past our 11pm finishing time.
When they don't bother about the treasure but want to read the cryptic clue.
When they sit back in their chairs exhausted after a tense fight.


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Cheers. I really appreciate the explanation - I've heard of GameCentre but never used it. (I'll be disabling pretty much everything if I'm ever forced to).

The lack of feedback (or feedback that doesn't make sense to the clueless, anyhow) is what bugs me really. I've tried to use apps before which tell me quite blatantly that I can't go any further without logging in to game centre. I just don't understand why that kind of thing isn't standard.

I also didn't get any 'failure to log in' notification despite multiple attempts. That would have made a big difference to my irritation. So perhaps my IPad is too old or something.


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Tormsskull wrote:
If someone rolls an 18 I feel like they earned it, if someone buys an 18 it cheapens the value of an 18 IMO.

I don't really care what other people do, but I value a rolled 18 over a selected 18 when I build my own characters. I don't consider it earned though - just lucky.

(I generally prefer 3d6, in order rather than the more high powered methods, so that probably affects my perspective significantly).


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
David Lockwood wrote:
The game creates a playfab account for you when you log in the first time. It looks at your Google Play(Android) account or your Gamecenter(iOS) account to create it for you. Double check that you are signed in to one of those.
You don't think the game should perhaps mention that?
It does. There's a a box at the top left of the main screen (just to the right of the Paizo golem) that says, 'Logged in to GameCenter' or 'Logged in to Google Play'.

It doesn't tell you when you're NOT logged in (which is the actual problem). Something I think they should have mentioned (or just disabled the store if you're not logged in).

Parody wrote:
Other things that box says include "PlayFab" and "Link Social Gaming Network". The second one means "Not Logged In".

Okay. Mine says that (FWIW, I thought "Link" was the name of some social network as it had a little green icon - I didn't realise it was an instruction). Thanks for clarifying.

It also keeps warning me I'm not logged in and gives me a "log in" button which doesn't do anything. Nor does it mention which third party site I'm supposed to log in to.

Pretty poor, in my opinion. I'll come back in six months and see if it's any better.


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Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Can anyone tell me how you apply to get your money back through the appstore? Is there some standard dispute system or do I need to contact the publisher direct?

It seems to me that this wasn't ready for release. The only thing that works properly for me is the store. (It's happy to sell me the RotRL pack multiple times).

It keeps telling me I'm not logged in but the log in button does nothing. I get halfway through the beginner scenarios and then it crashes, sending me back to the tutorial again. Rather annoying experience all round.

Hey Steve. I don't know how to do that, but David Lockwood is with Obsidian. You might want to send him a PM. He might he able to help you resolve the problem, or if not tell you how to get a refund.

He posted this on the Obsidian forums. It might help you out.

Thanks. I found the process on the invoice/confirmation Apple sent me.

Cheers.


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David Lockwood wrote:
The game creates a playfab account for you when you log in the first time. It looks at your Google Play(Android) account or your Gamecenter(iOS) account to create it for you. Double check that you are signed in to one of those.

You don't think the game should perhaps mention that?


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Can anyone tell me how you apply to get your money back through the appstore? Is there some standard dispute system or do I need to contact the publisher direct?

It seems to me that this wasn't ready for release. The only thing that works properly for me is the store. (It's happy to sell me the RotRL pack multiple times).

It keeps telling me I'm not logged in but the log in button does nothing. I get halfway through the beginner scenarios and then it crashes, sending me back to the tutorial again. Rather annoying experience all round.


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Yep. Very frustrating hour. This program may be for beginners, but I can confirm it isn't idiot proof.


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Hmm. Quite frustrating. It keeps telling me to log in but the log in button doesn't do anything. I hope it's going to remember that I bought the Rise of the Runelord pack.

Computers. Who needs 'em. :(


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Looks pretty, except it keeps telling me I should open an account without telling me how to. :(


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Thanks. I never realised that picture was a link. :)


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In terms of being "visible" where do I need to go to see them?

I'm mostly interested in a program of when events are scheduled, even if they're not yet book-in-able (which is a word) - is there any such thing yet?


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Nightdrifter was talking about the case where the DR is greater than the minimum possible damage (so 2d6+4 vs DR10, to take your example).

His point was that the average damage is NOT (2*3.5 + 4) - 10 = 1 (It's actually 1.56).

If the DR is less than the minimum possible damage (so 2d6+4 vs DR5) then the quick calculation works - the average damage is 6 in that case.


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Judy Bauer wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
I have a question for women - do you want to be singled out for your gender, as in, the ad for the game says something like "Women welcome" or perhaps there's a code of conduct that says "Women will be treated with respect", or would you prefer that the prospective gender of the players is not addressed in anyway?
Personally, unless maybe the event is specifically aimed at women (e.g., Raygun Lounge's women's game night), I'd rather see a more general variant on "All gamers are welcome" and a code of conduct statement about not tolerating harassment or "harassment based on X, Y, Z."

Do you think this should spill over into how a man should deal with behaviour which isn't making women feel welcome?

What I mean is: suppose I'm running a game and some guy is making lewd suggestions regarding a woman's PC all the time (or one of the other "typical" behaviours that people talk about which would make women feel unwelcome/uncomfortable/bored-to-tears/whatever) - would you prefer I approach it from a "don't be a juvenile jerk" perspective or a "don't be a sexist jerk" perspective?

The latter is presumably more likely to actually educate, but it seems to me it might also create pressure/unwanted attention of its own.


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Thanks, Diego.


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Cheers. I'm thinking I might train in and taxi out. (I won't be there all day every day as I have a non-gaming spouse and we're taking the opportunity to see Seattle).


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Could anyone local give me any clue as to taxi fares? We're staying in the centre of Seattle (Grand Hyatt Central on Pine St).

Google maps says there's a short walk to Westlake station a train to Seatac/Airport station every ten minutes and then a short walk to the venue which it estimates will take 52 minutes.

By car it seems like it will take 25 mins (barring traffic). Any idea on what a typical taxi fare is from the centre of Seattle to the airport?


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Vic Wertz wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
1. Lack of dividers, as Andrew mentioned.
I have asked them about that.

Hi, Vic. Have they got around to answering yet?

I must say, the fact an answer has taken this long (for what seems a simple question) is annoying. I'm still going to buy one, but it is irritating - it kind of feels like just because they didn't think it was a big issue, they don't care that I do.

Even if it's actually a complicated question, I'd have preferred being told that and that an answer would be a long way off (three months to decide between "yes", "no" and "possibly" seems to me to be inordinately slow).

If they're going to say no I have a printer who can make me some, but I'd like to get started, since it won't be long before the case arrives.


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Hi Paizo CS people

I just checked and saw that my limited edition #5 is still in my sidecart. Can you cancel that but leave the limited edition of #6 there please?

I added it again during the April mixup, before Diego fixed everything up for me.

Cheers
Steve


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You need to wait until after issue 108 has shipped (likely to be in July, but occasionally the schedule is disrupted).


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We're meeting some friends on the Tuesday after PaizoCon to start our West Coast driving tour and they're only there for the one night. Is the Space Needle restaurant worth visiting?


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I've always found mazes a great idea conceptually that plays out terribly at the table.

My preference (as a player) is to either have it totally run as a narrative, or to have a very abstract system (a few intelligence checks or something) - failure resulting in a long time in the maze and a few wandering encounters, success being quick and/or no encounters and spectacular success being an opportunity for something good (whether treasure/place to rest/secret knowledge).

Doing it "in real time" always starts interesting and moody but ends up being tedious, in my experience.


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Would the upcoming Bard's Gate reproduction be a useful source of background information for Sword of Air?


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Trogdar wrote:
For me, its a pretty crummy morality model, But if you look at it as "icky" and "fuzzy" I guess that is better, maybe? I dont know, seems like a lot of mind labor for little payout.

Yeah, me too. I still think that, at it's heart, this is the reason people get so worked up about alignment.


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Weirdo wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I think that implication would be strong if both books were written at once. Personally, I think the alignment system was intended as a model of morality (a poor one) not that the terms were intended to "have moral implications".

It's a subtle distinction, but I think it's meaningful (and would remove a lot of the irritation people seem to experience in alignment debates where complex real-world moral views are poorly modelled by the primitive alignment system).

While I agree that it's worth recognizing the limitations of a game system to model morality, I'm not sure it diminishes my point about the alignment system having moral meaning, which makes people uncomfortable or frustrated when it conflicts with their own moral reasoning.

(It's not just alignment, either. Aside from arguments about how well the game models/should model physics, I've seen people get quite annoyed about liberties the Bestiaries take with mythological creatures eg Efreet and Ifrit being different things.)

That's a fair rejoinder.

I was nitpicking really, in that you seemed to be deducing what the intent behind the alignment system was based on an alternate system in a book released several years later (arguably several decades later) than the original.

I agree with your point, so was probably focussing on the trees not the wood. Sorry.


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It's nonetheless pretty common. In fairness, it's worth noting that moral subjectivism rests on similar a priori beliefs-without-justification, once you drill down deep enough.

FWIW, I'm not really trying to persuade you that moral objectivism is correct, merely that it is consistent. I think it's a reasonable criticism to point out that practically it's moral subjectivism anyway (since we can't directly access this moral measuring stick and are left with our own subjective value judgements). As you say, it's a difficult dragon to slay - "This objective measuring stick.....how do we know anything about it?" is a fair question, leading inevitably to "What would be different if it didn't exist?"

To return to the gaming side of things - the morality modelled by pathfinder's alignment system IS objective. Those who believe morality is inherently subjective will always grapple with it. My preference, if the alignment system is important to you, is to relabel the gaming words of good and evil with something else - like purity and taint or something.

I think questions like "why should the paladin fall by casting a spell with the evil descriptor in order to save an orphanage?" would be less perplexing that way. Then at least, the profound metaphysical differences between that world and our world would be made explicit. It's easily explained then - he was doing a good deed, but he performed a tainted act and taint sticks to people and corrupts them.


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More broadly, a moral objectivist rejects the idea that judgement is implicit in morality. I consider murdering an innocent for fun to be immoral (for example) and although I've made a judgement in forming that view, a moral objectivist will say that the fact that I'm right is a function of the objective, ephemeral moral-measuring stick that they believe exists.

Moral objectivism doesn't have a lot of practical import, in my opinion - since we're all left with our subjective judgements anyhow in determining how to act. Nonetheless, there is nothing inconsistent with the metaphysical views that moral statements are capable of being true or false (another way of expressing moral objectivism). We may be incapable of determining that truth - but that's a different question from whether the truth or falsity of a moral claim exists.

Most of the world believe in an objective morality, FWIW. it's a pretty central tenet of Christianity and Islam.


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There isn't any judgement involved in a PF world (if you take good-evil to represent morality).

If a paladin casts a spell with an evil descriptor nobody makes any judgement - yet he falls. The evilness of the act is just a brute fact about the world - even if everybody in it, including the gods disagree.

That's kind of my underlying point - what the game refers to as "morality" is something a bit like, but also different from what we refer to with that word. Hence my preference for ditching alignment entirely or relabelling the words so that people don't say "that's dumb!" based on analysing the gameworld's morality as if it were ours.


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Nice technicality. I missed that. :)


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Trogdar wrote:

I'm still confused as to how you end up with objective value judgments. Even the gods are subjective within the cosmology as far as I know. They are individuals.

A value judgment is subjective by its very nature, so I think it would help if someone breaks that down for me.

Objective (meaning mind-independant) morality means the morality of an act doesn't depend on anyone's opinion. There is a fact of the matter - we may be right or wrong in our moral views because there is actually an answer.

In pathfinder there is an objective answer to "is doing X evil" (since you can test it with spells or by asking a paladin to do it and then see if he can still do his paladin-y stuff).

The set of things which are evil in the gameworld is determined subjectively by the DM - but in world it is an objective reality, no matter what anyone in that world (including gods) thinks about an act - it is actually good or actually evil.


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The point of the alignment system or the point of distinguishing between the game terms 'good/evil' and the moral terms 'good/evil'?

I'm not a huge fan of the alignment system but I think it's worth being explicit that 'being evil' in pathfinder is a fundamentally different thing than 'being evil' in the real world. (Since the morality of our actions doesnt stick to us, the way it does to our characters).


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Weirdo wrote:
Alignment in PF is written to reflect morality. It certainly would be interesting to use an alignment system in which we “replace 'good' and 'evil' with stand-ins that lack moral implications, such as 'radiant' and 'shadow',” doing so is presented as a variant rule (Unchained p 101), indicating that the moral implications of “good” and “evil” in the main rules is intentional.

I think that implication would be strong if both books were written at once. Personally, I think the alignment system was intended as a model of morality (a poor one) not that the terms were intended to "have moral implications".

It's a subtle distinction, but I think it's meaningful (and would remove a lot of the irritation people seem to experience in alignment debates where complex real-world moral views are poorly modelled by the primitive alignment system).


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Weirdo wrote:
Having an objective standard for good and evil does not mean that that objective standard has to be deontological in nature.

Yeah. It seems to me there is often confusion on that point - although PF has in game objective morality, it is not necessarily an absolute morality (alignment is, by RAW, a matter of DM preference and there aren't many moral absolutists around these days).


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I think it's a function of poor terminology.

The game uses terms like good and evil to represent concepts which are not our real world moral concepts called good and evil.

If they'd used new terms completely it would be easier to discuss. 'Does killing a goblin baby count as 'black souled' or 'white souled'? Would be a less contentious topic, since it explicitly acknowledges that the game ISNT saying 'murder is evil.....except for murdering evil things'. It's saying 'murder is black souled....except for murdering black souled things' which is not a real world moral concept but is rather some strange metaphysics where one's past actions (of any moral flavor) taint you in some objectively determinable way.

I think it helps to adopt a 'dark side of the force' approach in interpreting the game term 'evil' and remind yourself that it doesnt mean what we mean by the term in real life.


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Just in passing, how do you pronounce "Foere"?


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I wonder if it's because they are pretty interchangeable. I know I'm really un-fussy when it comes to plonking down the correct demon/devil. Any old fiend will do, generally,


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Anguish wrote:

Mmmmmm. What Vic's saying in his post is basically that their system issues orders/instructions to a 3rd party. Mail Innovations, which a quick Google tells me is a part of UPS.

Now, I have a few customers who do manufacturing and they have custom UPS software/hardware. Most of them are small offices, so UPS prefers to provide a computer that has their stuff pre-installed, and the customer (equivalent to Paizo) just uses it.

The customer types/imports a shipment into the software. "X weight going to Y destination". The software prints out a label which the customer slaps on a box. End of story.

Yes, the software has the ability for the customer to import the destination information, but it doesn't link with the customer's database at all. So there's no way to get data OUT of the UPS software. So yes, a Paizo employee is holding a package with a label on it and that label has the UPS tracking number on it. Alas, there's no way to get that number back into Paizo's system to give it you, Mr. Purchaser, except for that Paizo employee zapping the barcode with a reader. That's a layer of work, on top of whatever is needed to change in Paizo's system to store said number and to make it available to you and I.

Could it be done? Yes. Can it be done trivially? No. Does UPS offer larger-scale software that integrates with their customers' software... I'm sure of it, but that likely isn't available at the small business level, where Paizo is.

Anyway, I may be off here, but given what experience I've had (as an IT guy) with shipping software, I think I'm pretty darned close.

Cheers. I knew there'd be a reason it was hard.

I've just enrolled in a diploma and got an email from them saying "Your stuff is on the way, we'll give you a tracking number later". Then a day or two later I got the number (ironically, the same day the package was delivered :p). I suppose they're just signed up for the generic mailing software you mentioned (or the Australia Post equivalent, anyhow).

It's things like that that have always made me puzzle over Paizo's lack of tracking numbers. Of course, now they have UPS, I get tracking numbers AND I get stuff quicker, so it's win-win. :)


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Ridiculon wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Presumably there's computing infrastructure costs in hosting and distribution of electronic product which isn't there for books?

Undoubtedly, but i think the profit margin still out scales those costs pretty quickly or they wouldn't be releasing new kindle products every year. When you pair the evidence of new kindle hardware with the continued free-ness of the smartphone app that does all the same things (as far as the books go anyway) it seems like a large portion of the profit has to be coming from the ebooks themselves to support it all.

I'd love to back it up with a figure for number of kindle ebooks sold in 2015 but my google fu has failed me

Yeah, I'm sure it's very profitable. I just figure it's probably not true that Electronic Books are "just like books but without printing costs". Businesses are always more complicated than they appear from the outside, in my experience.

I don't really disagree with the point, I was just hoping someone in the industry would tell me something I don't know. :)


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Presumably there's computing infrastructure costs in hosting and distribution of electronic product which isn't there for books?


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