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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber. 7,242 posts (8,210 including aliases). 13 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 aliases.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I think that's more the fact that we tend to forget that tenth level characters aren't representative of real world people.

After all, in their universe, the tenth level hero can take on twenty of the city watch and expect to walk away with barely a scratch - they should act accordingly, shouldn't they? I don't think that's a "mechanics strategy" nor a "real world strategy" - I think it's a "pathfinder world strategy".

Although its a peculiar claim, I think if a pathfinder character were to act as if they were bound by our real world human limitations, it would be quite unrealistic. :o


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Cort Odekirk wrote:
leave out one little verb.....

...and you have the makings of a great "overheard" post.


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Cheers.


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Err. It doesn't look like its been cancelled..


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thejeff wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

The reason they make it harder sometimes is that you're less likely to get a one. 1s are invaluable in hitting the target numbers. (I don't mind the system personally, but think it should have been D12s or even D20s).

Try it with d20s or d100s even and you'll quickly convince yourself that the bigger range is a curse, not a blessing. (Granted there'll be a lower bound as to what is optimal too).

But you can easily get ones (or zeros which are also useful, but pairing numbers up.

Theoretically, I see your point, but it seems so easy to me that I doubt it would make a practical difference. d100s would. Even d20s.

** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

Still pretty trivial. 20 would probably be more difficult with smaller numbers of dice.

** spoiler omitted **
Harder with less numbers to work with, but I could still get one in couple of minutes.

Yeah, it's not much harder with bigger sized die, but it is harder (making the feat peculiar).

The main factor is undoubtedly the number of dice.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

The reason they make it harder sometimes is that you're less likely to get a one. 1s are invaluable in hitting the target numbers. (I don't mind the system personally, but think it should have been D12s or even D20s).

Try it with d20s or d100s even and you'll quickly convince yourself that the bigger range is a curse, not a blessing. (Granted there'll be a lower bound as to what is optimal too).


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Ah no worries then. :)


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Is being close to (or far from) the convention a significant factor? I didn't pay that any mind when I booked (I've never been to a convention before).


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Hi paizo

I'm pretty sure this is a well known issue, but just in case (or as a datapoint for investigation)...

The above preorder was placed to ship priority mail. During the checkout process, the site told me it would be added to my sidecart to be shipped with a future subscription shipment. The confirmation page, however said it would ship by standard mail.

My preference would be priority mail (either on its own or with a subscription shipment). I'm 100% sure that was showing as the shipping method before I placed the order.

Cheers
Steve


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I don't know if this points to a bigger problem, but this is listed as a preorder and you've already sent me a copy (it arrived yesterday).


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ParagonDireRacoon is pointing out that some people optimise with little regard for roleplaying (which is true) and that when those people do that, it breaks immersion for him (her? Damn English...)

A further observation is that, since pathfinder rewards system mastery, it is possible to play the game as a character building exercise, rather than as a deep roleplaying experience.

He isn't saying that optimisers can't roleplay, nor that if you focus on optimisation you must put less effort into roleplaying.


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DrDeth wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

Umm, no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons_rulebooks

DragonLance, Dungeoneers survival, Wilderness Survival, Greyhawk, MoftP, OA, and UA. Not to mention that for all intents and purposes 2nd Ed was a splatbook for 1st ed and that had about TWENTY splatbooks.

I tend to ignore the setting specific ones (Dragonlance, Greyhawk, OA) unless I'm playing in those settings, though I had forgotten about the Survival Guides. As for 2E basically being "a splat book for 1st ed"...not exactly sure what you're trying to imply with that, but I don't consider a new edition a splat book for the prior edition.
2nd Edition was in no way a "edition" like the change between AD&D and 3rd or 3rd & 4th. We who played 1st and 2nd edition just called the whole thing "AD&D" and 1st ed characters could happily play in 2nd Ed games.

We quit D&D when they released 2E. It felt like an edition change to us.


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Tacticslion wrote:

For those who don't care about delving too deeply into the full weight of things, PF can easily be short and sweet, regardless of what you do.

Character generation can be swift, easy, and not painful.

I'd be curious to know how to do this. I think it might be true if you know the system well, or if you've already built dozens of characters.

When we use our usual style of character generation (ie making whatever choices seem best at the time) it really seems to fall apart a few levels later (I'm including 3.5 and pathfinder characters here as we dont have much experience at all with PF-exclusive characters). We either havent got the right stats or the right prerequisite feats to get what we want - so we end up being forced to take a broader approach rather than specialising and eventually end up dying between levels six and eight, since none of us are as good as 'the game expects'.

I'm really hoping the Strategy Guide is going to solve this problem for us. At the moment though, character generation takes ages - the trouble with the plethora of options in Pathfinder (even if there's an obvious choice as to what I 'should' take) is that I dont know which are the obvious ones and which ones to ignore.

Personally, I think the disconnect here is that those who think it's easy are undervaluing their expertise and perhaps underestimating how much effort acquiring that expertise takes for those of us with no interest in the character building side of games.


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Hit points and xp/levels bug me. I can't think of anything better though. :(


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I agree that PF character generation is quicker if you ignore most of the possible options (or if you've done it so many times that you've discounted most of them before you even start). I don't really want to play a game with lots of options that I shouldn't consider. I'd rather play a game with less options.

What's happened to me several times in pathfinder (though ive only made half a dozen characters or so) is I just pick some stuff, then by level six I start seeing feats and things I want which I can't have because I didn't choose the right stats or the right "prerequisite" feats. That's why character creation takes me a long time - I have to keep an eye on what I'm going to choose next level, not just the things I'm choosing now.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Fwiw, I wouldn't plan on having a PF character done in less than half an hour (if I rushed) and more likely an hour. There's just too many options to consider.

Personally, it depends on what I'm looking to build and what level I was planning on starting at. If I'm going out of my way to build a character with options that I'm already somewhat familiar with, I could have a 1st-level build mentally figured out in 10 minutes, with maybe another 20 or 30 to actually write it down on paper.

If I'm working with options I'm not familiar with or specifically trying to build something new or weird, then it would easily take me two or three hours to get stuff together.

But then again, I like building characters and because of the Guidance blog, I regularly build the outline for one new 20-level build a week. The more you work with the rules, the faster you get.

Yeah, I have no doubt if I did it more often I'd be quicker at it. It's just not something I want to get better at - I'd rather play a simpler game.

That aside was just explication - nathaneal seemed to think ten minutes was a usual amount of time to make a PF character. From that perspective I'd also be puzzled at people asking for it to be quicker. I think those who find pathfinder too complicated (or too slow) are probably closer to my timeframe than his.


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Drogon wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Why do you think it's important for paizo to be the worlds leading game company?

I wish them all the success they want, but its irrelevant to me whether they sell more or less books than WotC. I consider them great because of who they are and how they do things, not because ICv2 declared them the winner for a few quarters in a row.

I have no idea how to reply to this, beyond saying that I can't imagine not trying to be the best at what I do. No way did Paizo set out wanting to be "okay" at making their game. If they had, it would have been exactly that.
I think his point is that there are different perspectives on what 'successful' is. I have no doubt that Paizo wants to do well financially, for instance, just as I have no doubt that there are certain things they'd never do, even if doing those things would reap greater financial rewards... their definition of being successful, great and even 'world-leading' may well be different from another company.

Fair points, for both of you. I will admit that my own definition of success greatly colors my view of others' successes.

I just don't think their own view of success would include allowing all the issues that have become commonplace. At the risk of sounding like a motivational speaker, "The World's Leading <insert widget here> Company" is how you present yourself, not necessarily what you are.

I definitely agree with you that they'd be disappointed in the ACG issues. More so than any fan, I'd bet.

I think I just misunderstood what you wrote initially - I read it more as "paizo should try and outsell other publishers" rather than "paizo should strive to make their books better". Best to ignore me, I suspect. :p


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Drogon wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Why do you think it's important for paizo to be the worlds leading game company?

I wish them all the success they want, but its irrelevant to me whether they sell more or less books than WotC. I consider them great because of who they are and how they do things, not because ICv2 declared them the winner for a few quarters in a row.

I have no idea how to reply to this, beyond saying that I can't imagine not trying to be the best at what I do. No way did Paizo set out wanting to be "okay" at making their game. If they had, it would have been exactly that.

I suspect some equivocation on "best" there. To hopefully clarify:

I think it's a good idea to do the best you can. That doesn't have anything to do with how well other people do it though.

I agree paizo should strive to be the best they can. Why do you think they should strive to be better than WotC. That was my question. Maybe I just misunderstood your first post.


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By the way, that wasn't "pouncing" on you. I'm genuinely curious. The focus on "winning" the ICv2 surveys is something I find odd.

I have no experience in publishing, but do in business. Defining your success by market share or otherwise by reference to your competitors is a poor strategy, in my view.


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Drogon wrote:

D&D will likely re-take the #1 position for RPGs. Likely. <--Important word, right there: it does not mean "absolutely." And if they do, it won't be because they "crush" PFRPG's sales. They'll just beat them.

I think Paizo could have maintained their 1st place position by growing because they should. Not because they had to, not because growing "at all costs" is what business is all about. They just should have grown. Added more staff. Taken a look at their processes to see where they were always falling behind and shore those processes up. Tell their vendors what their expectations are and make them hold to it.

I'm sure they did those things. But if the attitude they project is "Well, you know, we're a small game company, so hey! Thanks for any support," then they're going to get shuffled to the side every now and then in favor of a more insistent client. Edit: And even though they did some of these things, they only did what was absolutely necessary rather than looking toward the future and thinking, "What more do we need to really hit this stuff out of the park?" /Edit<--Forgot to tie up my opening line...

I don't think that Paizo should be a publicly traded company. I don't think they should be a BIG company, either. I certainly don't want them to look for some giant corporation to buy them out (though I'll bet they take the offer if one comes along - I'd imagine that when someone offers you the chance to be a bazillionaire you can't come up with a lot of reasons to say, "Nah."). And I don't want them to lose sight of what made them as good a company as they are.

I think they should be the World's Leading Game Company. They can be that, accomplish all these things I'm mentioning, and still retain their identity as Paizo (that company that is so good at listening to its customers and keeping in touch with its fan base).

Why do you think it's important for paizo to be the worlds leading game company?

I wish them all the success they want, but its irrelevant to me whether they sell more or less books than WotC. I consider them great because of who they are and how they do things, not because ICv2 declared them the winner for a few quarters in a row.

Quality control is obviously an issue (and I'm glad they've just moved erik into his new position, hopefully that bears fruit in the same way that hiring Jessica seems to have improved their deadline hitting). That's not related to "being the best" though and I don't think would be necessarily improved by growing.


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Wiggz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Personally, I prefer the theory that as a ruleset grows in complexity there are necessarily increased errors and fans get grumpier about those errors.

Suggesting, perhaps, that an ever-growing and increasingly-complex ruleset might not be what's needed.

Mythic Rules, the ACG, Unchained and on and on it goes... Every single quality game I've ever played - going on more than 30 years now - has always seemed follow the same path of relentless addition and reinvention until it ultimately, predictably, became to bloated to survive. I live for Pathfinder's flavor, for its AP's and modules and PFS scenarios, for its world books and its companions... there's nothing revolutionary to be done when it comes to repackaging and reorganizing a d20 ruleset, so I don't understand the need to focus on reinventing the wheel.

Well, I agree with you that it's not needed - my ideal number of pages in an RPG rule set is about a hundred, I think.

Nonetheless, there's lots of people who like systems which keep expanding - I think that's who paizo are targeting with their rule expansions. I was really just rejecting the idea that the extra licensing arrangements and so forth was likely to result in an increase in complaints and trying to suggest another reason.

As i mentioned in that post, My hypothesis at least explains why the increase in complaints is with the rule books rather than other product lines. That's hard to explain if you think the ACG's problems are due to too many product lines.


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Nathanael Love wrote:

Is faster character creation really something that's needed?

I mean, low level characters can be made in 10 minutes or less with PF as it is?

Unless you are filling out a 15th level Wizard or something its relatively easy, choose a handful of feats, follow a few charts, ect. . . are people really that lazy that the concept of having to make a few choices is too "complicated"?

Maybe you won't pick the perfect set of feats, but as long as you find one feat for your character that you find cool/interesting and grab the obvious ones outside alongside it.

I could power out six characters I'd be interested in playing in less than an hour, and can pump out DM NPCs in literal seconds in the middle of game play. . . I just don't understand the assertion that PF is too complicated I guess.

It's not an objective claim, it's just preference.

I don't think pathfinder is too complicated, since some people like complicated systems. I prefer a simpler game though, so in my case faster character creation is desired.

I don't think 5E and PF are true competitors, except in the superficial sense.

Fwiw, I wouldn't plan on having a PF character done in less than half an hour (if I rushed) and more likely an hour. There's just too many options to consider.

It's not "making a few choices" that makes pathfinder complicated, it's the wealth of options you're choosing from.


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Our IT people will happily tell you that whenever there's a computer glitch, jumping immediately to "blame Steve" is generally a time saver.


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Thanks for confirming, vic. The gloom of middle age recedes for just a little while. :)


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No worries, Sara. I just happened to be looking and figured it might be early enough to do something.

Fwiw, there's still a display glitch on the my subscriptions page with PACG stuff - nothing dodgy in my sidecart or order history though.

Keep your chin up - Nearly there! :)


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Joana wrote:
Doesn't Steve just have a standing order of "one of everything?" ;)

One?


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Sara Marie wrote:
I knew it seemed smaller than it should have been.

Sorry to disappoint. I thought I ordered everything I wanted. Should I go browse the store some more? ;)


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Hi Sara. Got my authorisation email.

My order seems to not have picked up the PACG class decks. Everything else looks hunky dory.


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Thanks all, I appreciate the suggestions.

I'm interested that people seem to think strength is an obvious stat - in my mind dexterity and constitution are more gnoll-ey.


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Fingers crossed the spacing out of PaizoCon and GenCon will help with that somewhat.


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I wonder whether part of it is a matter of perception - the Core Book has had multiple revisions and each has had some corrections. Presumably that means the first printing contained a high number of errors (?)

Perhaps back then Paizo were the plucky underdog duking it out against a big corporation, now they're the tall poppy. In other words, maybe it's the expectations that have changed rather than the rate of error.


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A friend wants to play a gnoll in an upcoming game (likely to be 5E). It's a long way off, so at this stage I'm just conceptualising rather than putting hard numbers on a page. Anyone have any thoughts on how you'd create a gnoll race for 5E?

I figured dexterity and constitution bonuses and probably a penalty to Charisma.

Definitely a scent-based ability (probably equivalent to short-range darkvision and a bonus to tracking).

I was considering a bite attack as an option for a bonus action.

Anyone have any suggestions or thoughts?


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bugleyman wrote:
I actively dislike the "grow at all costs" paradigm. I've worked in enough large companies to know that once you get past a certain size, mediocrity is all but guaranteed.

I feel similarly, especially for creative endeavours.


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It's hard to know without actually seeing it.

My gut feel though is that if Vic and Lisa werent so clear about remaining small* that I wouldnt be so supportive as a customer. I'm retaining my subscriptions to all the Iron Gods stuff despite a total lack of interest in the subject - that's largely due to supporting the company's efforts to branch out, broaden and to experiment (even when the direction chosen is of no value to me).

I doubt I'd feel the same sense of loyalty to a self-declared large company. I'm a rabid paizo fanboy due in large part to how they run their business. That includes moderating their expansion during a time when they were the dominant publisher.

*:
Granted, I havent actually seen that position stated for several years. Early on though they were clear that they never wanted Paizo to grow beyond a certain number of employees. They gave various reasons for that, all of which resonated with me.


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Cosmo wrote:
Also, I'm not "new".

Maybe it was "gnu".


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I like the fact I get smiley faces and impromptu drawings of dragons on my packing invoices occasionally.


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Cthulhudrew wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
It's interesting that there aren't any of the early issues of Mummy's Mask on the list yet. Presumably paizo print more of the early instalments of each AP than they do of the later ones - I wonder whether something has changed to make the later issues more popular in this case (either the specific theme or some other issue like the existence of mythic rules increasing the demand for high power modules).
I'm not sure of the print run, but they have mentioned on the boards in various places that the later issues of the APs tend to sell less well than the early issues do, so it may very well be that they print smaller quantities of them.

I'm pretty sure they do print less numbers (I seem to remember that being stated by Vic or Lisa at some point but have to glumly concede that my memory isnt what it used to be).

However, I still remember (perhaps incorrectly again) that the lower number instalments tended to make these lists first. That makes me think that paizo perhaps experienced higher demand for the later issues of this AP than usual.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Kickstarter solves precisely zero problems here. Kickstarter provides money. Paizo doesn't need money to put new books out. It needs manpower.

"Kickstart some money and hire new permanent employees!" Well, that'll put the Kickstarter well above what's needed for this one project. I don't even think that's kosher with Kickstarter rules, asking for money that isn't related to the kickstarted project. Let alone the question of what these new people are supposed to do once the book is out.

"Kickstart some money and hire temp works for this book only!" Well, do you know what are the salaries in RPG gaming industry? I'll give you an expert insider insight: they're not stellar. They're actually piss poor compared to video games and board games industries, and both require similar talents. You're not going to hire anybody temporarily with such salaries, and by anybody I mean somebody that's competent enough. I won't even mention the fact that US jurisdiction has some really weird regulations concerning temp workers. And that we're talking Seattle here, with dozens of companies in need of editors, writers and developers who are into fantasy and scifi.

"Profit margins are not slimmer!" - well duh, logic and common sense, how much can you sell the same product all over again if your name isn't Steve Jobs? Not much. Sure, there's some profit, but not as much as from something else. Business are about earning money, remember? You need to prioritize. And going back to the industry size and wealth question - in such a tiny industry, you can't afford to make mistakes. Especially with WotC now back in the game.

"People won't cancel their...

All pretty true, but I like it better when you stick to funny.


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Maybe the Wayne Reynolds art book? That had mixed reviews.


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I think it's relevant that the rule books are the ones which have the largest number of complaints. I think if your theory were right there'd be much wider perceived problems (far from a decline in quality, I think they're getting better at making APs, campaign setting books, flip mats, novels, cards, modules, minis, card games...).

Personally, I prefer the theory that as a ruleset grows in complexity there are necessarily increased errors and fans get grumpier about those errors.


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Just checked. Yours definitely left (the one remaining person never replied to the "what's your address" email).

The outside estimate was mid October and yours was likely to have gone via the slow boat. :(


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I have no expectation of system mastery - if the group wants to spend ages combing through the rules to see how it's 'supposed' to work that's fine by me. Same if they want to just wing it and look it up later. I dont see anything inherently wrong with some people being super-competent at building characters next to others (like me) who pick feats, classes and abilities based on how cool they sound.

However, I think everyone at either end of any spectrum should be mindful of how the group works. If you're very skilled at building characters but the other players arent - it's bad form to criticise their characters if you're not asked for feedback. Similarly rolling one's eyes when the skilled player solos a significant monster and muttering something derogatory about rollplaying-not-roleplaying makes me cross.

I have high expectations around fitting in and making the game fun for the other players. That's more important to me than how well you do or dont know the system.


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No I'm afraid not. It all got spoken for pretty quickly.

There's one person who hasnt responded with an address (so there's three books still here) but everything else was posted a couple of months ago.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I think this is an issue for people adding a subscription, not for ongoing subscribers. People looking to sign up have been reporting an inability to complete the checkout process.


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Thanks.


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How many adventures are planned in the series?


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It's interesting that there aren't any of the early issues of Mummy's Mask on the list yet. Presumably paizo print more of the early instalments of each AP than they do of the later ones - I wonder whether something has changed to make the later issues more popular in this case (either the specific theme or some other issue like the existence of mythic rules increasing the demand for high power modules).


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I divide them up base on themes rather than product lines. I've got a bunch of magazine holders which each contain 2 APs plus the map folios. I've got one full of "monster stuff" (bestiaries plus revisited books and the lords of darkness books) one with mythic stuff, one for 'secrets of Golarion' and another for nation books (both campaign setting and player guides). I've also got a bunch of player guides sorted into two groups - those I think my group might be interested in and a second batch I think they wont.

Map packs are kept in A5 folders so I can flip through them easily at the table (also themed with 5 similar packs per folder), Flip mats in three art folios (dungeon/outdoor/urban). I store pawns in a couple of big lever arch folders filled with business card holders.


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Perhaps not, but I had no idea it was even possible until I heard a rather detailed account of the process by someone telling another poster not to.


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Sara Marie wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:

Not-Quite-Subscription-Product-Yet by other Publishers

Pathfinder Legends—Rise of the Runelords #4: Fortress of the Stone Giants

Thanks for the timely reminder. I was being so careful not to preorder three times (like the last instalment) that I ended up not preordering at all. :/

These threads have been a great innovation. (Belated recognition, I know).

I just had to remove them from September as we got word that we will not have them in time for a September release.

:(

I dont know whether things have reached normality yet, but given I have my subscriptions sent for "ship as soon as possible" will this be included in any potential "Non-Paizo" subscription shipment? (ie do they also 'clear out' anything in the sidecart).

I'm imagining there may well be a comics subscription shipment between the September and October regular subs.

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