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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber. 7,382 posts (8,350 including aliases). 12 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 aliases.


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Linked, for convenience.


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You can get cover if there are intervening entities (friendly or enemy).

We've said you can move through an ally's space (five feet square isn't that crowded, in our view) I don't know if there's a rule about it though.


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Personally, I'm quite happy to receive 200 pounds of miniatures. Sounds like a bargain to me. :)


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I think another problem with skill challenges is that they seem like a good fit for social encounters, but they're really not - since at the end of a failed skill challenge it's very hard, as a player, not to try and role play learning the missing information or persuading the reluctant ally.

Most of the really bad skill challenges in wotc modules were social, in my opinion.


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Has anyone given much thought to this? I'm looking for something quick and easy - currently I'm using "half the DC plus four" which seems to give me a ballpark decent figure.

I wondered if someone had worked out something a little more rigorously though.


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You could make him a few levels weaker than the PCs. Then he'd be a trusty companion who needed their protection rather than a superhero in a group of heroes.

One of the advantages of a DMPC is that you can pick on them or cripple them relative to the others without the player getting upset.


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bugleyman wrote:
In the case of 5E, though, my frustration goes beyond missing the utility offered by PDFs. The mishandling of 4E still rankles. I just don't have the heart to watch another edition of a game I have played for thirty years get mismanaged into oblivion by clueless, MBA-toting Thurston Howell-alikes.

Although I dont get the reference, I share the concern.

In my case I'm less pessimistic, since they keep saying there's going to be some form of digital support and some form of Licensing (and I dont share the antipathy to the DDI model that many did - it seems to me you got much better value on a $/page basis, it's just they didnt store the PDFs for you so it was different to the usual method of purchasing PDFs).

It does seem odd that they dont have a clearly articulated position though. Maybe it's an attempt to drive sales of the print books early and then shift to electronic sales as the product matures. Or maybe it's an attempt to foster goodwill with Brick-and-mortar stores - that's one area where WotC presumably have the upper hand in comparison to Paizo (given the latter's subscription model).

Then again, maybe it's just not a big deal to the market overall - the paizo forums are presumably not a representative sample of 5E's intended audience.


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bugleyman wrote:

My rebuttal to that would be: You aren't going to live forever. Both of my teenage boys, for example, greatly prefer to read on their Kindles. And while it's true that anecdotes aren't data, I do think there is a generational factor at play here...a factor that will probably get stronger over time. After all, it's hard to fall in love with books if you've never seen one. That might sound crazy, but I've actually had a nephew fail to recognize the purpose and nature of a rotary phone.

But some good points have been raised. Although I believe the demise of print is a foregone conclusion, I may well be wrong.

Yeah, I dont pretend to know which way it's going to go - but I dont particularly care about the market once I'm dead. :)

I just think the cost analysis of print-vs-digital misses a significant element of the economics question.

I had a 3PP argue with me at length once because he couldnt understand my view that a PDF is not a substitute for a book (not even a poor substitue). His view was "I'm giving you all the same information" and I couldnt explain that when I buy a book, I'm not assigning significant value to the information. That's almost an incidental consideration to me (not quite, in that I'll buy an RPG book over a book about fishing, but it doesnt factor in much more than that).


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bugleyman wrote:

Ok...so for those of you without a grounding in economics (seriously, not a dig):

Paper is expensive. Ink is expensive. Every copy printed carries a marginal cost. Printed books are heavy and bulky. They cost money to store, distribute, and sell. Modern printed books are printed on paper that is chemically unstable.

Conversely, digital copies are free. Displays are getting smaller, cheaper and more ubiquitous every day. In the not so distant-future, we will do away with physical displays altogether with projection or holograms, or possibly by going straight onto the retina.

The simple fact is that printing isn't going to make sense from a resource allocation point-of-view for very much longer.

I think you're missing the demand side of the equation. It's understandable (I can't fathom people's desire for electronic books, for example) but in my case at least, I'm happy to keep paying for books - even though digital is going to be much cheaper.

As an indication of the strength of my feelings, I've spent several thousand dollars a year on RPG products over many years (though that includes miniatures which distorts the picture significantly). If there were only digital offerings, I'm confident I'd have spent nothing.

Whether there are enough people like me to keeps books viable or enough people like you to swing the balance to the point where a mainstream publisher can safely ignore printed media is something of a moot point.

I certainly agree with you that we're both entitled to say what we want, which is probably the most important point from your recent posts. :)


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lorenlord wrote:
bugleyman wrote:

The game isn't a "complete disaster;" but it is a complete non-starter for those who REQUIRE electronic support. While you may not fall into that group, but you may want to consider the possibility that other people do (though admittedly that's not as entertaining as just mocking them instead).

Question: How does one REQUIRE electronic support? There's a whopping 2 books out (not including adventures). So do you REQUIRE it, or is it that the digital age has jaded people and you WANT it? And a follow-up: are you also saying that there's no way you physically possibly couldve played D&D 1e or 2e, because there was no electronic support? I'm just wondering, because the REQUIRE part has me vexed.

I think he means they "require it" in order to play the way they like.

I'm happy to list running water and electricity as requirements for any home I'm going to live in, even though it's perfectly possible to live in a house without them.


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memorax wrote:
Publish whatever you want. Well within reason and good taste. While I make so money off it. Why should others make money off someone else and not receive some form of compensation. If one can't afford the royalty well too bad. If a aspiring OGL can't afford to pay a 500$ fee in a year they have no business starting a business. Maybe I'm greedy I admit yet I see no reason why Wotc should not make a profit with a newer form of OGL for 5E. If you think those interested won't pay guess again they will.

I think you're making the same mistake wotc did when they tried to "effectively cancel" the ogl during 4E's run.

The primary publisher makes money from the OGL as the existence of a robust 3PP community drives sales of the core game. There were many people who called that out as one of the strengths of PF over 4E.


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Sissyl wrote:
But if they intend what seems to be the case here (wringing what money they can out of well-known brands with no intention of supporting them after the initial two or three books)...

I didnt read it the same way (although I actually think it would make sense to take this approach with the less popular settings).

I thought they were speaking about the adventure theme being supported by a sourcebook for players and a sourcebook for DMs - so as the stories you were interested in came out, you could gradually build up a library of those sourcebooks/splatbooks which interested you.

I thought the comment about settings was a separate strand of the conversation, rather than being an example of the kind of story they're talking about.

It remains to be seen though - they may well follow their 4E approach (of limited hardcopy releases with digital support going forward), which would be annoying. I suspect they dont really have the staff levels for that though.


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Me too. I'm not sure whether there's going to be an issue 7, a new series beginning at issue 1 again or whether the whole thing has been put on hold.

The comic industry is frustrating in its inability to publish and stick to a release schedule. Presumably a function of tiny margins and volatile markets.


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I like the sound of tying adventures to sourcebooks - I was a big fan when paizo shifted to that approach and I hope WotC have similar success. I get much more value out of sourcebooks which tie in to other concurrent releases rather than just standalone books of options (which I tend to flip through and then put on the shelf).


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thejeff wrote:

With the OGL, what's the point in waiting? That's why I'd be surprised to see one even at this point and even more the longer they delay.

There could be an internal divide about it, but I don't see the point in deliberately waiting.

They did make a comment about this as I recall - it was essentially a side effect of the slow release of the core rules. They wanted to be sure the rules had been out for a while before 3PP began releasing support products.

It's possible to take that as a cover story for some deeper, machiavellian strategy, but my inclination is to take them at their word (after all, they didnt need to give a reason so lying about it would be a pretty risky strategy).


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I dont think you should apply if you dont want to, but I dont think "I probably wont get it" should ever factor into anyone's decision to apply for a job they can do and that they want*.

Let's face it, nobody will be considered if they dont apply - everyone will be considered (to some degree) if they do.

*:
I can immediately think of exceptions, of course, but the sentence becomes unreadable if I try to accomodate them.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It means running a game that the players and DM call "Pathfinder". What people on the forums who arent playing the game call it doesnt really matter.

Is there any confusion in the real world when someone says "I'm running a pathfinder game and here are my house rules"? Who cares if what you mean isnt what someone else on the internet means - whether it's high magic, low magic, race-restricted, anything goes, no-3PP,.... or anything else. Provided everyone at the table knows what's going on, I'm just not seeing a problem.

If you're telling some strangers "I'm running a game of pathfinder" and then surprising them when they turn up to the first session with a whole bunch of extreme houserules then you're being silly and self-defeating - but the problem isnt one of nomenclature.

No one on the messageboard will preemptively tell you are doing it wrong. People will tell you that, however, when those DM's PPP into the advice forum with a "problem player" issue and then describe a completely reasonable character build under normal conditions; then the boards will tell them, "if you want to run gimpfinder you should advertise it that way."

Yes, as I said. The issue is one of communication.

If you're ruling out some elements of Pathfinder as "unreasonable" (or whatever bothers you about those elements) you should tell the people who are going to be playing with you in advance.

Quibbling over "what is pathfinder" with internet people you're not going to play with isnt helpful - being clear with the people you're actually going to play the game with is much more useful.


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I always play humans (in any ruleset) and usually play fighters. Having said that, if the DM decided it was "elf only" or somesuch, it wouldnt really bother me.


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It means running a game that the players and DM call "Pathfinder". What people on the forums who arent playing the game call it doesnt really matter.

Is there any confusion in the real world when someone says "I'm running a pathfinder game and here are my house rules"? Who cares if what you mean isnt what someone else on the internet means - whether it's high magic, low magic, race-restricted, anything goes, no-3PP,.... or anything else. Provided everyone at the table knows what's going on, I'm just not seeing a problem.

If you're telling some strangers "I'm running a game of pathfinder" and then surprising them when they turn up to the first session with a whole bunch of extreme houserules then you're being silly and self-defeating - but the problem isnt one of nomenclature.


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I think it's philosophically quite different from 3.5 and 4E. Now they've done away with keywords, definitions and other semilegal constructs it's harder to tell definitively what the designers meant. Personally, I think that's a great approach.


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Thanks, dariusu. I appreciate the link.


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pming wrote:
This gives you a "Level 10 Multiclassed Spellcaster" (there's a table for it in the Multiclass section that tells you how many Spell Slots you get). The level at which you cast the spell, I believe, is the actual level of the class you have (in other words, 5th for Wizard, and 4th for Cleric).

So do you think the sample character I provided would cast cantrips scaled to tenth level? Or scaled based on each class individually?


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The idea of paizo not wanting to hire opinionated people made me smile. I think if that becomes policy, theres going to be a lot of current staff updating their resumes. :)

If anyone is interested in the job, I hope they apply. Second guessing oneself about "who they probably want" is generally counter productive, in my view. (I obviously include you in that, Christina but it's intended as a more general comment).


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Suppose you had a fighter(4)/warlock(7)/wizard(5)/cleric/(4) - for the purposes of cantrip scaling what level would they be when casting warlock, wizard or cleric cantrips?

Would it change if they'd chosen the eldritch knight path as a fighter?


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Thanks for all the input. Appreciate the comments. :)


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Jiggy wrote:

I've been following this thread off-and-on, with a particular interest in the things people try to accomplish/avoid by going "low-magic". I'd like to summarize what I'm gleaning so far, and hopefully folks can comment or fill in gaps for me:

• Why the frick would [settlement of size X] have [magic item of power Y] for sale?
• It's annoying when the wizard has a scroll of magically bypassing obstacle type 34W (whether because it invalidates non-casters, or because it cheapens the obstacle).
• I want Excalibur/The One Ring/[insert plot item of choice] to feel special, rather than being just one waypoint on someone's character progression.

If I'm following right, it seems like most of the goals of "low-magic" center around magic items and their screwy impacts on the setting, whereas issues with actual spells (at least in the context of why to go low-magic) is mostly restricted to the issue of being able to carry scrolls of mind-bogglingly specific anti-obstacle spells.

Does that more or less sum it up?

That's pretty much it for me. The "upgradíng" of magical items annoys me too, but that's really an aesthetic preference based on the stories I like to read. I can kind of gloss over it without much trouble.

Ultimately, I'd like magic to be rare within the world even amongst the rich and powerful and if you can easily acquire a magical solution (with sufficient wealth) it loses it's specialness to me and becomes more akin to technology.


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Danbala wrote:

It looks like D&D 5e didn't beat Pathfinder in the month that the PHB was released:

http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/29999.html

I am genuinely surprised. Are sales weaker than expected? Is that why Hasbro didn't even mention the D&D release in its earnings summary?

I believe Hasbro never mentions D&D in its earnings summary. They bought WotC for pokemon and magic, not for D&D.


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P.H. Dungeon wrote:

I'm curious what class a player is playing where he wants to have shield but isn't proficient with it from his class?

My answer would probably be to either take the feat or dip into a class like fighter. If that really isn't going to fly I would work with the player to build a new feat before starting mess with the existing ones.

I think he wanted to be a sorceror with a shield (exiled from a lightly armored, barabarian tribe). Multiclassing was another suggestion (at this stage in us playing the game, starting as a level one fighter then multiclassing into wizard/sorceror from then on seems like quite a mechanically strong option).


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Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
In 'pricing' shield proficiency, I was struck by the fact that a magicuser can get a +1 to dex/str(?) plus proficiency with light armor (which doesnt use a hand and is up to +3 to AC, from memory) for the cost of one feat. So my thought was that shield proficiency should be a considerably lower investment than that. We also discussed it being potentially worth a couple of skills (either in the skilled feat or from a custom written background which is ultimately my preferred option, I think).

My thought regarding the feat comparison would probably be to shift things in the other direction. If a feat that just gives Shield Proficiency seems lackluster (and I agree it does), the solution in my mind would be to add more abilities to the feat, to bring it up to par. Designing a custom Shield feat for non-armored characters would let it be a character designing element.

Whereas trying to create a trade-off to acquire the proficiency via other elements of the system seems dangerous, if only because the same logic could be extended to other feat elements. Why not trade in skills for an armor proficiency? Or for +1 to a stat? Those are also 'partial' elements that come from feats, after all.

All that said, I don't think it will break the system to come up with a way to harvest skills for other bonuses, or create a custom background that goes a little farther afield in the benefits it gives. But it does seem like the sort of thing that can imbalance the system, and would need to be handled with care.

Cheers. You've changed my mind, I think. Appreciate it.


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Matthew Koelbl wrote:

Shield Proficiency doesn't seem something to give away lightly, since AC has a relatively strict band in 5E. For characters who have the free hand to make use of shields - many casters, rogues, etc - getting +2 AC from a shield could be a pretty big deal.

So I think simply letting someone swap a regular skill for it would seem rather strong. A Feat seems a reasonable way to go about it (in terms of resources), and it shouldn't take much to design a custom feat for shield use for lightly armored PCs if one was so inclined.

Multiclassing also would be a way to pick up shield proficiency - and, again, seems an acceptable investment in return for such a benefit.

Of course, if you aren't using the feat or multiclassing rules, that limits options. I'd still be wary of just letting one swap a basic skill for it. Making it part of a background could be a solution. Most backgrounds give two skill proficiencies and 1-2 tool proficiencies or languages. You might consider having a background that gives up most of that for 1 shield or armor or weapon proficiency.

But honestly, that starts to go down a tricky road in terms of trading less combat relevant resources for combat relevant resources, and I personally would be awfully wary of going down that route. I'd probably only recommend it if it was supremely relevant to someone's character concept, and none of the other approaches to acquiring it are able to work, for whatever reasons.

In 'pricing' shield proficiency, I was struck by the fact that a magicuser can get a +1 to dex/str(?) plus proficiency with light armor (which doesnt use a hand and is up to +3 to AC, from memory) for the cost of one feat. So my thought was that shield proficiency should be a considerably lower investment than that. We also discussed it being potentially worth a couple of skills (either in the skilled feat or from a custom written background which is ultimately my preferred option, I think).

The trading combat relevant resources for non-combat resources is less of an issue in our group, but I take your point that it could become a problem if it became par for the course.


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John Robey wrote:

You could allow training in shield use, a la training in a tool proficiency (in the downtime rules).

-TG

Thanks - I havent read the downtime rules yet. I'll look into that too.


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Slaunyeh wrote:

Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with that. Skill proficiency is valuable and not easy to come by, so I'm not even sure I'd consider it a fair trade. :)

If you want to look at it mechanically, the shield proficiency makes up about a third of the Medium Armored feat (the other two being +1 stat and medium armor proficiency) while the skilled feat gives three skills (I think?). So that seems pretty even.

I'd probably allow it in my game.

Yeah, that was my initial thinking too. I told my group that I'd allow it but that id probably also talk them out of it. the rest of the group thought that was too cheap, but I think they were overvaluing shield proficiency. (There was also a school of thought that medium armor proficiency was the only way - that if the game designers didn't put a shield-without-medium-armor option in then there must have been a reason).


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Uchawi wrote:
I see it more as a precedent, in regards to letting players modify feats and how far do you take it. With feats being so broad (macro feats versus micro), you have to be careful about changes stepping on class niches. So if a feat is also covered by class ability, then do you let the class be modified as well. How do you deal with feats with ability requirements, etc.?

Cheers. That's a good point.

My instinct is to allow pretty much everything, but I dont have the problem of players trying to game the system. It could potentially lead to obscure "builds" I guess and maybe encourage a focus on eking out mechanical advantage rather than on building a preexisting character concept.


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dmchucky69 wrote:
A) I was trying to state things about PF we like, not things about 5th we don't.

It's not really PF-related love, but I'll continue to run my games in Golarion, regardless of system. I really like the thought that paizo put into their flavor material (and its modular nature and ease of ignoring stuff I dont like).


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swoosh wrote:

Yeah, part of it for me is realizing how absurdly expensive WoTC is. 50 bucks for a CRB vs... that same price three times over for a PHB, DMG and MM. And no OGL means you have to buy every single splat to keep up.

Ech, that's a lot of money.

You should probably add the price of a Bestiary to the $50 for the CRB to compare apples to apples, but 5e is definitely more expensive if you're planning on buying CRB+Bestiary vs MM/PH/DMG.


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I loved that book. :)


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Yeah, that seems like the way to do it with the rules as written.

I'm more curious what people would do - if someone said "I want to get shield proficiency without medium armor" would you just answer "tough"? Or would you allow them to swap another proficiency out? Or make a feat without the light armor proficiency which granted +1 dex/str and shield proficiency? Or something else?

One of the things happening with our group is that some have embraced the "just make stuff up, as long as it seems reasonable" approach and others are more of the view: "there's only one way to get shield proficiency until another option is made available in a splat book".

I'm curious whether other groups are finding the same culture shock - it seems to me that modern systems have trained us to take a more legalese approach to playing RPGs where the DM is an arbiter of what is intended as an objective body of rules but that 5e has shifted course back to a more "DM is adjudicator, using the rules as guidelines". For us, at least, it is making our group re-evaluate our preferred philosophy of reading RPG rules.


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Was Tuf Voyaging the one about the cat-loving guy in the massive bio-warfare spaceship?


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Malwing wrote:
I see this a lot; Someone wants advice on or is describing their house rules for a low magic campaign. In Pathfinder this is a daunting task and there is a ton of different advice on how to go about this, from not leveling past 6th level to banning all full casters. But my question is "Why?"

In my case, it's all about magical items. I dont care about casters being super-powerful (I prefer games where magic is usually strictly better than mundane).

Very few of the fantasy stories I read have characters with oodles of magical gear and none of them have the main characters "upgrading" regularly. I generally like to play in games which are like the stories I read in trashy fantasy novels.


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It seems to us that the only RAW way to get proficiency with shields is to also be proficient with medium armor. This also seems a little silly (to me at least), since the concept of a light armor wearing, shield wielding person doesnt seem outlandish.

Would you allow someone to "trade" a skill proficiency for shield proficiency (either a background proficiency or a feat-gained skill/tool proficiency)? Would you instead invent a feat (proficiency with shields plus a +1 to dex/str perhaps)? Or would you just insist they learn how to use medium armor as well and then choose not to? Or is there, in fact, a way to get shield proficiency without medium armor proficiency we havent noticed?


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I'm super happy I can enjoy both. I think 5E is great (though not my game of choice) but that has nothing to do with paizo and pathfinder. I think they're great too.


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Thanks, Sara.


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Hi again Paizo people

Thanks for so swiftly attending to my recent request and thanks to Will and his team for shipping everything out so rapidly too - you guys are the best. :)

I have one or two other 'tidying up' things, if you wouldnt mind (there's no urgency here).

Order 3277284 was for the PF Legends CD#4 and it appears to still be pending, which seems odd to me, since I thought it would go out with this month's subscriptions. Would you mind giving that a nudge if something has gone astray? Sending it on its own priority mail is fine.

Looking through my pre-orders, would you be able to cancel the following two items:

Jade Regent Dice
Art of Improvisation for Game Masters

and the PF tales subscription.

Cheers
Steve


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Zaister wrote:
Barathos wrote:
Paizo wanted $70 extra to ship here, Amazon wanted $5. You were saying?
Where do you live? That is more than it costs to ship a hardcover book AND an Adventure Card Game Base Set Box to Germany?

It costs me $62 to ship a CRB on its own to Australia. :(

Having said that, I can add about three or four AP-sized softcovers without increasing that (and usually getting a ten dollar discount on shipping for orders over a hundred dollars). So that gets the shipping down to $12-$15 per book.


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It's not really exactly what you're looking for but, if you haven't seen it already, this might be worth looking into. It's kinda, sorta along the same lines.


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I don't think you need to worry - I'm pretty confident that the chance of WotC's development team coming to this thread to gauge the market is statistically equivalent to zero.


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To be frank though, that doesn't sound like a bad idea, just bad implementation.

Irrespective, without any specific insight into WotC development processes, it doesn't seem to me to be the kind of thing they'd do now.


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My illusions are shattered. I'd always presumed she could do that. :(


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I reckon Jason does pretty decent work as an adventure writer and coming up with flavour material. I'd really like a Razmiran campaign guide and players companion.

The skill sets may be different, but that doesn't mean the actual paizo employees in question don't have a broad range of skills. Nor that the flavour material books couldn't benefit from more subspecialisation amongst the staff (getting the "rules guys" to take over the stat blocks from those happier creating stories, settings and characters.


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Alex Smith 908 wrote:

It's mostly a reaction to people who claim that somehow enjoying rules makes your enjoyment of the game somehow less "real". These people also tend to be the same people who complain the most vocally about too many books being published.

It also doesn't make sense that they're essentially saying "Paizo please stop making money and fire members of your staff responsible for the material I don't like". Either that or they don't release that removing all the rules releases would result in Paizo losing money and several people losing their jobs.

I don't think that if you like lots of rules your enjoyment isn't "real". Nonetheless, I'd like paizo to make less rule books. FWIW, the second paragraph also doesn't represent my position. I want them to make other things instead, so if my wants were representative of the broader market paizo wouldn't lose any money nor have to fire people. They'd just be working on different things.

Also, telling paizo what I like has got nothing to do with anyone else's fun. I'm just telling paizo what I like. They have a difficult judgement call as to how to meet a whole bunch of conflicting desires - but no matter what they do, someone is missing out - their current rate of rules output means I haven't yet got a Razmiran sourcebook, for example :(.

That's just opportunity cost and shouldn't be taken personally.

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