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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Tales Subscriber. 8,576 posts (9,733 including aliases). 14 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 10 aliases.


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Yeah, I wasnt comparing RPG budgets with computer game budgets. I was asking about the budgets of previous D&D movies and how they compare to this one. Looks like it was 45m, 12m and 12m. I'll be interested to see if they go for a similarly low budget this time around or if they shoot for something more in line with their big budget movies.


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The first instalment of Aged of Worms AP has a puzzle which worked surprisingly well at our table (given they didn't get it out without me basically solving it for them). It took most of a session and the group all enjoyed it - I think that should be the barometer though. If you run a puzzle, you need to be prepared for what to do if they get stuck or otherwise lose momentum. Don't be fooled by "they're so close!" if they start looking bored. By the time they're looking bored, it's gone on too long.


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Icyshadow wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
I am vehemently against that idea. The dissolution of open discourse is a horrible idea.
Would you notice? It doesn't seem like it would impact on anyone any more than just ignoring a poster (as we can do now). Or is it more a matter of principle?
For me, it's a bit of both.

So you think you would notice? I can't see how it impacts on anyone else if StarMartyr365 has the option of not seeing some of our posts. (Even more so, given BigNorseWolf's link to that option already existing).

I can understand opposition to the idea on principle, just not on pragmatic grounds.


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Cheers


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Insain Dragoon wrote:
I am vehemently against that idea. The dissolution of open discourse is a horrible idea.

Would you notice? It doesn't seem like it would impact on anyone any more than just ignoring a poster (as we can do now). Or is it more a matter of principle?


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John Kretzer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Do you know if any of them were funded at a high level? I don't think I've ever seen them, but my impression was they were very much low budget, B-grade movies - I think that could be a significant difference this time around (if my impression is correct). Hasbro are better placed to produce and market a high budget movie than TSR ever were.

The first one had a budget and even had a theatrical release...it also in my opinion happened to be the worst of the bunch.

I'm sure they all had a budget (Have I missed the point?)

What's a "theatrical release" mean?

EDIT: Is the first one the 2000 release? That seems to have had a budget of $40-$50m and a worldwide box office receipts of $33m. The revenue figures are telling - close to half of the U.S. Box office was taken in the first three days.


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LazarX wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think it's the biggest Roleplaying Game Brand. Without any kind of research, I'd put Game of Thrones ahead of it in terms of "fantasy story telling" (whatever that is). I'd only exclude Lord of the Rings as it's no longer current.
It's kind of like saying it's the tallest midget in the room. D+D as a brand is far behind the lowest of any signficant size board game that's selling. It's far behind in branding than any other Hasbro-themed movie ever made.

I'm not so sure (although I still don't have any reliable data). I think there's many people who have heard of D&D and have some, admittedly inaccurate, idea of what it means. Whether they have much attachment or actual engagement with the brand is another matter.

Quote:
It's also a fact that every single D+D movie has been a waste of the celluloid that it was made on, even when the brand wasn't owned by Hasbro.

Do you know if any of them were funded at a high level? I don't think I've ever seen them, but my impression was they were very much low budget, B-grade movies - I think that could be a significant difference this time around (if my impression is correct). Hasbro are better placed to produce and market a high budget movie than TSR ever were.


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JamZilla wrote:

This link talks about the official announcement of a big budget movie based on the D&D brand. Which is an interesting move in itself.

The article says that D&D is "by far and away" the biggest brand in fantasy story telling. Is that still true? 10, even 5 years ago I would have agreed but now...? Not so sure.

I think it's the biggest Roleplaying Game Brand. Without any kind of research, I'd put Game of Thrones ahead of it in terms of "fantasy story telling" (whatever that is). I'd only exclude Lord of the Rings as it's no longer current.

Quote:
Are these different types of media an area Paizo could also expand? Should they?

Yes and not yet would be my (again pretty clueless) answers. You're not going to make money out of a movie selling it to gamers and nobody who isn't a gamer (or close to one) has heard of Pathfinder or Paizo.

Quote:
For some reason I'm feeling like it's a little bit of a desperation move from Wizards to raise their brand identity again. I don't know why I think that, but that's what ny gut is telling me.

This seems very much in keeping with their 5E strategy - they've deliberately kept their product releases low (like two or three books a year low) and have instead been pushing licensing of side-products and cross-promotion (I wouldn't mind betting that the AP which releases around the time of this movie will be thematically very close and in the same general area). It seems pretty clear to me that they've given up on the RPG market as a source of income and are instead hoping to make the money they want out of movies and computer games.

I don't know the economics of the blockbuster movie industry (if that's where this is going to be pitched, as opposed to the B-Grade, low budget earlier attempts). Hopefully they make enough money with the first one to keep dipping their toe in the water - I think the whole RPG industry can only benefit from that.


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Yeah, I agree something needs to be done. Also, I believe there are things in train (certainly it appears that the countermeasures are evolving along with the spammers behaviour) - I don't think they're not trying.

It's just that making things slightly more difficult for new users doesn't seem like the right strategy to me (since the illegitimate users are already putting up with a huge inconvenience for marginal benefit, making it huge+a little bit probably won't drive them away but probably will be too much for some potential customers).


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These spammers appear to be happy to sit there for hours at a time creating an account, making a couple of posts and then creating a new account (when the first is deleted). I don't really understand what value they're deriving from it (apparently the high volume of paizo.com counterbalances the fact the spam rarely remains for more than a few minutes). Nonetheless, given the amount of effort they're already devoting for minimal benefit is an email confirmation really going to slow them down at all?

As I understand it, there is already software available which is as accurate as humans at deciphering Captcha (though that's not backed up by anything more reliable than pub talk).


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Matthew Downie wrote:
If the weakest classes (Rogue) are made obsolete by newer, better ones (Unchained Rogue, Slayer), but the new ones still aren't more powerful than the stronger classes (Druid, etc.), that's not power creep - at least, not in terms of, for example, GMs having to make harder adventures just to cope.

Ah, I see. Thanks.


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I think it's something worth handling with care - if the group aren't all into it, puzzles and riddles can easily become one or two guys monopolising the spotlight with the rest of the players not even caring enough to be onlookers.

If everyone is on board, I've seen them work well. In our group our most memorable moments over the years have been the resolution of puzzles. However, we've also spent a couple of hours failing to answer a riddle - although we enjoy that potential loss, many would find it decidedly in-fun.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Some options have been surpassed by new classes admittedly... by more balanced classes. That's not power creep, that's just leveling the playing field.

Isn't it? I mean, it may be desirable but if older options are being surpassed by newer ones isn't that the definition of power creep?


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Although I've only skimmed it so far, I'm prepared to go out on a limb and declare that this book is awesome. I loved the fact it was a little looser in structure - not six factions or six Devils or six cults or whatever but rather a whole bunch of devil-related stuff. Can't wait to give it a proper read.

I've really loved what Paizo have done with the evil outsiders. This is yet another stellar contribution to that body of work. Nice one Wes, Jerome and everyone else involved. :)


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Well, that was a short argument. We're just not in the GenCon spirit. :p


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Samy wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Beyond that, I would rather the details were posted here, rather than being directed to a podcast I have no interest in being exposed to.

If you can't be bothered to click on a link to read the information, and instead demand that Paizo write again the same information on their blog, then you deserve to be without the information. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. "This company must release their information in the way that I choose, or I won't read their information!" Well, uh, have a ball there sport. Meanwhile the rest of us will discuss the Strange Aeons AP.

I swear to god, this world has no nope when people are too lazy to click on a single link. Or worse, demanding that they can dictate where and how companies should release their announcements.

Like Oceanshieldwolf, I don't "demand" it, but I'd also prefer it.

I generally don't trust the Internet (or more accurately, don't trust myself to spot dodgy parts of it) and don't go blindly wandering off to sites I don't know well. That's not lazy and I don't expect Paizo to do it my way - I'd still like them to, what's wrong with that?


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The Thing That Should Not Be wrote:

Paizo isn't a miniatures company either, but their logo is slapped alongside Wizkids' on the boxes of miniatures that many thousands of us purchase with regularity. It seems a little presumptuous to discard the notion out of hand, just because they're not a software company.

Apps are big, big business and they are not going away anytime soon.

That said, as stated by Steve Geddes, if "Vic" has stated they're not interested, then that is that. I'm just one voice among a million, so maybe I'm overestimating the potential. It is entirely possible that Paizo has already conducted surveys/studies to gauge interest and have acted according the results.

I think they'd love to get into this in the same way they've got into miniatures. If there was an established "app publisher" (is that a thing?) who approached them with a workable plan I can't see why they'd say no.

There is an app being produced for the card game (with a single player computer game hopefully down the track, as I understand it) so they're not averse to the idea.

I suspect RPGs aren't big enough to attract the attention of the big software companies. There's probably far more certain ways for them to make more money.

My hazy recollection of Vic's comment (Vic Wertz, co-owner of Paizo and chief technical officer) was all about their skill set and where they wanted to focus their resources - not about the value of the idea itself.


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Thanks, Wolfgang. That makes it much easier for me. :)


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I too am hoping for a map of Cheliax in the next folio - I suspect it fits better in that AP; this one seems tightly focussed on one city/region.


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Cheers. I'll definitely look into it when I get some time. Really appreciate the link. :)


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Thanks heaps for the link, I haven't seen it. Although...an hour and a half!? :o
Is that all interview?


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You're probably right - I don't spend much time in the rules forum, so my memory is somewhat hazy.


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Rynjin wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I wonder if one of the design team is designated as the community contact person. I remember getting that impression from Sean (back when he was the only design team member who posted a lot). Personally, I think that'd be a good thing, but I'd suggest they do it through the PDT account, to make it clear it's an official, group decision rather than an opinion from an individual who happens to work on the design team.
From what I can tell they don't "designate" any one member as community contact, or they're very god at hiding it, they just happen to have had designers that want to keep up with the community, though it's since come out that SKR was very much made to "toe the company line" whether he agreed with decisions or not.

I remember similar - although I seem to recall him also saying that when he wanted to dial back his engagement he was told it was part of his job description. I'll freely admit that could be way off though.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Steve, did you ever consider a career in diplomacy or peacekeeping ops?

Would you and kthulhu like a session? ;)


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I wonder if one of the design team is designated as the community contact person. I remember getting that impression from Sean (back when he was the only design team member who posted a lot). Personally, I think that'd be a good thing, but I'd suggest they do it through the PDT account, to make it clear it's an official, group decision rather than an opinion from an individual who happens to work on the design team.


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He may be new to the design team, maybe. I don't know, I just wondered who you meant.


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Rynjin wrote:
...the two new guys who haven't even bothered to introduce themselves...

Who do you mean? I thought the design team was Jason, Stephen, Logan and Mark. Logan's been here for like three years, hasn't he? Is there some other new designer I'm missing?

EDIT: yeah Logan's been on staff since July 2012


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Wolfgang, is there any chance that future 5E releases will be offered through Paizo? I got this from Amazon, but I'd have greatly preferred to buy it here.


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It's not really what you asked for (and requires further investment) however I think Sword Of Air would be worth a look also for this kind of campaign. Bill described it as a "campaign overlay" a kind of grand, meta-plot which could occur throughout a campaign, sometimes coming to the fore and sometimes receding. It's based around the same region as ST and Stoneheart Valley (or rather, they are small parts within SoA).

It vaulted to the top of my list of all-time favourite RPG products (granted i got the Swords and Wizardry version and generally prefer very open sandboxes/sourcebooks to more linear adventures) - joining Rappan Athuk and the Anniversary edition of Rise of the Runelords.

Although I have similar plans for such a campaign, I haven't got much actual preparatory work to share, since I'm a long way off running it. My players don't share my love of a sandbox. They much prefer straightforward Adventure Paths.


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I seem to remember this coming up before, though it was quite some time ago.

As I recall, vic gave a reasonably official answer along the lines suggested above: they're not interested in branching out into a whole new industry (he probably used the phrase "currently we have no plans for..."). He did indicate that they'd be open to licensing deals with established companies with a decent history.


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Awesome, thanks. I'm glad I asked. :)


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I'll keep an eye out. I've played more rolemaster than anything else in my life. I look forward to the next iteration. :)


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The 8th Dwarf wrote:
I am participating in the free Beta play test for RoleMaster. Because ICE has nowhere near one tenth the resources of Paizo, its a very small community and a very slow process.

How is it looking?


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Physically Unfeasible wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Oh, god. There's no escape.
Eventually, you'll have to add the Index to the Index.
I think we'd have to use Raise Dead on Bertrand Russell first. Just to check if the thread maintains the same properties.

I asked Godel, but he couldn't be sure.


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Have there been any yet? From Paizo, 3PPs or anyone else?


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Insain Dragoon wrote:

I have met people who literally want Fighters to be mindless full attackers and love that Wizards are gods.

Different strokes for different folks.

I don't agree or game with said people, but that's how they have fun.

Yeah, this is my preferences (as a player). Though that's perhaps a little bit too extreme for my tastes.


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Aratrok wrote:
People who desire particular (and extremely common, such that there are multiple classes just for trying to be a fantasy badass that doesn't cast spells) themes for their characters being categorically forced to be objectively inferior to other players is not a good design beat and never will be. It's indefensible.

Sure it is, if you're trying to design a game with one star and the rest being support characters (ICE's mythic Greece supplement is an example - just to show I'm not making purely hypothetical claims. In that game there were demigods, heroes and ordinary characters and the recommendation was that only one PC play a demigod). You wouldn't like that kind of game, obviously, but if that's one's goal then baking in inequities is obviously "good design" and balance between sidekicks and heroes would be a failure.

Liking that kind of game isn't bad, although forcing someone to play it who didn't share the aesthetic would be unfriendly, obviously.

EDIT: this is obviously a tangent and probably so far out of your gaming preferences as to be uninteresting and/or loopy. So I won't keep on about it. It's irrelevant to my first point anyway - kthulhu? How did I do? Can I keep my deluxe PDF membership card?


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Rynjin wrote:

Of course, the whole point is moot anyway. We know for a fact Paizo doesn't think there IS a magical/mundane disparity in power (which takes us right back to incompetent, sadly), since they've actually said as much.

"It's a myth propagated by people with agendas" after all.

So your explanation doesn't hold up very well unless they're lying about their motivations (taking us back to evil, methinks).

Sure it does - all that has to be true is that they're trying to replicate the CRB feel. It doesn't matter if they agree or not about the existence of the disparity - the result will be the same: those who see imbalance will decry the fact it is "continuing" and that fun martial options are always needed whilst casters are left untouched.


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Rynjin wrote:

Of course, the whole point is moot anyway. We know for a fact Paizo doesn't think there IS a magical/mundane disparity in power (which takes us right back to incompetent, sadly), since they've actually said as much.

"It's a myth propagated by people with agendas" after all.

So your explanation doesn't hold up very well unless they're lying about their motivations (taking us back to evil, methinks).

Where was that quote from?


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Insain Dragoon wrote:

I'm not going to go as far as to call them evil or incompetent.

If what they're going for is to maintain CRB as the baseline I don't agree with that approach in the least, but in the context of how they perform FAQs and Erratas it makes sense.

It's only a theory, of course. However, I agree - I'd personally like them to take a more "unchained" approach. I think the goal of replicating 3.5's feel is pretty unimportant now. It was an enormous issue though, and I can appreciate they might take a very conservative approach.


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Rynjin wrote:

Really all this is is an "appeal to tradition".

"It always has been this way, therefore it must always be this way."

More "this is an integral feature of this edition, so we'll keep that the same".


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Rynjin wrote:
That "fundamental principle" excuse only works as an excuse for the backwards compatibility, not going forward...and it's a flimsy excuse even then (making mundane options more powerful doesn't clash with any of the previous options regardless).

It's an explanation (hypothetical, at best) not an "excuse". I don't see anything that needs excusing but was just taking up kthulhu's challenge.


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Rynjin wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
As for characterising it as evil - backwards compatibility was a huge issue. Business is business - you don't change things like that lightly.

Emphasis on "was". The general consensus seems to be the backwards compatibility shipped sailed a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time ago.

Anybody that was going to swap from 3.5 to Pathfinder already has, and everyone who did and wants to use 3.5 stuff has already figured out how.

There is no more backwards compatibility to be held to. Hell, they released a WHOLE BOOK basically acknowledging that fact.

Sure, but what they release now has to be consistent with the CRB. That sets the rules and lays out the base assumptions. Unchained was an explicit acknowledgement that the design team would prefer it to be different, but it is what it is - if people go out and buy pathfinder, they are starting with the CRB, warts and all. The caster/martial disparity is baked in.


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Rynjin wrote:

Your option seems to fall in line pretty well with "incompetent" to me.

They have this big fundamental principle they don't want to break? Fine.

They should stop f*!!ing it up so often then.

Or I could just say they're evil for holding to such an outdated design philosophy in the first place.

You think they often mess up and accidentally make martial characters as powerful as casters?

As for characterising it as evil - backwards compatibility was a huge issue (who knows how important it is now). Business is business - you don't change things like that lightly. Especially whilst still selling the CRB.


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Kthulhu wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Kobold, it is simple, since the day I even came here there has been nothing but people accusing Paizo of things.

"Paizo loves Casters and hates Martials." Being the biggest one.

Perhaps that's due to the fact that Paizo tends to start casters at a higher tier than martial characters.

And from there they nerf martial options that border on mediocre, while in general ignoring the overpowered caster options (scarred witch doctor being an exception rather than the rule).

I really only see a few options for why that seems to be such a reoccurring trend for Paizo:

1. It's purposeful. They really don't give a s@#! about martial characters, and truly want to promote Pathfinder as THE CASTER EDITION, but without actually admitting to it. This is the EVIL option.

2. It's not purposeful. They just really suck at trying to balance the game. This is the INCOMPETENT option.

...

I've tried to think of other options that paint them in a more positive light...but I'm really having a hard time coming up with anything. I'm sure some of the Paizo Defense Force members will come up with SOMETHING, no matter how ridiculously improbable.

I'll have a go at rewording your first option...

I had always assumed it was ultimately due to the imbalance present in 3.5 and the backwards compatibility:

Casters were superior there and PF was built to replicate 3.5 in feel as closely as possible. The CRB is the only true "baseline" so new releases are intended to preserve that structure. Hence, if a new class turns out to throw that fundamental principle out, it's reworked to be more in line with the underlying assumptions of the CRB (ie that magic > mundane).

Is that ridiculously improbable? I think paizo being evil (whilst providing such stellar customer service and transparency) or incompetent (and simultaneously responsible for the consistently highest selling RPG over the last few years) are much less likely, personally.


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Latest evolution appears to be posting under an alias.


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They used to produce map folios which included (nearly) every map from the AP. I personally found those great, however there were a lot of complaints each time one rolled around (many people dropped their subscriptions to skip the map folio, then resubscribed right afterwards). The feel was that such a folio was selling us material we had already bought.

The current model of a few poster maps thematically tied to the AP but not actual replicas of maps within the AP started with Serpent's Skull really (Kingmaker was a special case) and were widely seen as a big improvement.


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Yeah, I'm kind of quibbling, however I personally think it's not the poll helping there but a more collaborative design process (collaborative with the community). I doubt that's cost-effective, but that's a separate issue.

A bit like BigDTBone above - I worry that a poll might be seen as a panacaea, where it's really just papering over a deeper issue.

I'm not really against a poll in principle, but I don't think the current lack of polling is significant to the issue that people are actually objecting to. As such, I'm opposed on a practical level - I think effort would be better directed elsewhere.


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

Well, at least I made my voice heard, instead of being blind-sighted with this 9-page document fixing a rushed book.

Maybe a discussion of the poll, much like what we have for the product pages? Allows a vote, and getting actual words out.

It's not a perfect solution, not sure what is, but it's a step in the right direction.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to be proven incorrect.

If it were possible to run a poll and for the Design Team to use that in making their decisions it could only help in broadening their perspective and providing useful data. My impression though is that it would do as much harm as good (people being asked and feeling they've been ignored seems more likely to upset people than not being asked at all).

People think they are being ignored NOW. It's hard to imagine polls would make that worse.

I don't find it hard to imagine, personally. Not everyone feels Paizo ignore their fan base. If we were polled and the designers went contrary to the majority vote - wouldn't it bolster the claims of those who feel the community is being ignored?

I think the existence of a poll itself isnt going to help. The only way to fix the perception of those who currently feel ignored is either better communication as to why the PDT went the other way or a shift in design direction. Neither of those things requires a poll, but a poll without either of those things gives the potential for the perception to get worse, in my opinion.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Tales Subscriber

Thanks for taking the feedback on board, Louis.

I'll definitely back at advanced level or higher. Make sure you make a post in this forum when the kickstarter is launched. :)

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