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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber. 7,363 posts (8,331 including aliases). 13 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 aliases.


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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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Sissyl wrote:

Yes, brilliant. In theory.

In practice, you have two monsters per page, so when you select monsters for a campaign, you also add in just as many monsters you don't want. Also, since these come from different "books", the alphabetical order won't work either. Then, once you have your setting compendium, the rest of the monsters become a dead weight, because you are not going to be able to make a second such setting without the ogres, ankhegs and xorn you already added to the first setting. Even if you decide to break up your setting collection, you have some serious sorting work to do.

And, you know, the pages deteriorate pretty quickly once you start using them.

Ah, I didn't realise there was more than one monster to a sheet. That would annoy me. Same with the pages tearing with use.


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What was wrong with the idea?

I didn't play 2E but I did see the various loose leaf compendiums. I kind of figured the idea was that you could pick and choose and basically design your own monster manual based on what monsters you liked. That sounded a good idea to me.


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Gambit wrote:
... its not going to change our desire for a pretty hardcover compilation book. Lisa Stevens would need to come on here and say that it will NEVER happen (with all caps), until then I will stay hopeful (and confident) that another one will be made.

I also used to hope for a compilation, until I heard James and the others talk about how much effort it was. That led me to the view that they can only reasonably produce one of these "special projects" every couple of years. THAT led me to the conclusion that I'd be giving up a lot of cool stuff to get the compilations I want.

If second darkness were to be revised and updated, I'd be pretty confident James would be the main staff member involved. However he'd also be the one who wrote the often mooted Sandpoint boxed set. I'd like to see a SD rewrite/compilation however, I don't know that I'd like my Sandpoint boxed set delayed a couple of years just to get it.

It's a tricky thing to manage given there's always appetite for pretty much anything paizo do - they are inevitably not giving someone what they want, no matter what choices they make.


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Tangent101 wrote:
There may also be rights issues concerning art; I'm not sure how Paizo does their contracts for the art, but I believe the standard operating procedure is they have one print right to the artwork and the PDF fits in that. So they may have to renegotiate art contracts and get new art to replace the art they can't use.

I'm pretty sure Paizo's general practise is to but the rights to any commissioned art, not to license it.


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Gambit wrote:
And I'd bet dollars to donuts that its paid off for them rather well, and continues to do so.

Yep, no doubt it was quite profitable.


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There's pretty much nothing I haven't liked about what I've read so far. Sounds great, Sean. :)

Definitely agree about the art, Oceanshieldwolf!


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It's a very subjective thing, obviously. Nonetheless, pathfinder never felt "retro" to me (I don't really like those terms by the way, so it's possible I'm misunderstanding what you mean by them). Nonetheless, I don't think 5E is "retro" because its new or relatively small.

To me what distinguishes "old school" games is the focus on speed/simple gameplay with a view of the DM as subjective user of the rules.

In contrast, more "complex" games strive for simulationism (or at least consistency) with a view of the DM as more an adjudicator of an objectively fixed set of rules (as much as possible, anyhow).

Pathfinder felt to me, on release, to be a reasonably consistent and complete set of rules for adjudicating different scenarios which might come up. 5E feels to me like a set of guidelines to help me quickly make something up on the spot.


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Curse of the Cromaon Throne would be my pick, too.

James Jacobs has previously expressed a desire to see second darkness revised - largely to rework some of the more problematic points in that AP.

He's also been one of the most clear about how difficult it was to work RotRLAE into Paizo's work schedule.


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Wiggz wrote:
All I can do is tell Paizo what I, as a consumer and loyal patron, would like to give them money to do. How they choose to manage their personnel is entirely their province. I can say that I'd have rather had one of those compilations than, say, the needless travesty that Mythic rules was. I'd rather have one than the upcoming Unchained. That's just me (and the majority of people I know). Its up to Paizo to decide where the demand is and how best to manage their resources to meet that demand... its up to me to make sure they have all the information necessary to make an informed decision.

I, for one, am certainly not trying to stop you doing that. I fully agree with that philosophy (and share your preferences, as it happens).

There's no point dismissing arguments put forward by Vic and others with access to better information than us though. There's benefits and costs to any course if action and the big thing here is risk mitigation. Subscriptions are Paizo's main game - anything which might have a negative impact on that may not be worth the negatives, even if its a sure fire profitable venture.

Arguments about how profitable it would be are missing the point of the objections. Running a business isn't just about doing things which make profit.


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richard develyn wrote:


I see OSR and Pathfinder as being different, and I never really thought of 4E as D&D, but I can't quite understand how 5E is going to offer anything new. There'll be differences in the details, of course, and it'll *start* simpler though doubtlessly it will follow the same power-creep course that 3rd and Pathfinder have taken.

I probably should make the point in another thread, but where I can understand "retro D&D" and "mainstream D&D" as quite different gaming concepts, I can't see how another "mainstream D&D" is going to bring anything new. All I can see is WotC and Paizo competing for the same gamers.

In my opinion, 5E is much more in your "retro" category than your "mainstream".

I think WotC are targeting people who like OSRIC games, not people who like 3.5 or Pathfinder. There's a broad sense in which they are competing with paizo for customers, but its a long way from a direct substitute - much like apples and oranges "compete" for fruit buying customers.


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Wiggz wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
The thing is, they only have so many people to work on projects at one time. Are you willing for them to put the AP subscription on hold for 6 months while the work on Second Darkness: Hardcover Edition? If the answer is yes, how many other AP subscribers do you think would also be willing?
I wasn't a subscriber when the Rise of the Runelords Collected Edition was being done - how long was the AP subscription line put on hold for it?

The staff were ground down pretty hard and there were substantial delays to all product lines (whether those are causally related or not, is impossible to say from outside, of course).


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Wiggz wrote:

The idea that anyone would say 'I really want that and I can afford it now, but I'm going to wait five years to buy it because something ~might~ happen is patently absurd. I don't necessarily even know where I'll be living, what I'll be driving or who I'll be working for in five years.

I can see some of these arguments against providing the paying customers with what they want, but that one is ridiculous in my opinion.

That's not the argument.

The argument is that some people (not all) buy single APs. If they're casting around for the next one for their group, they may well favour those that have benefitted from a Playtest, revision and second pass than the currently releasing one.

It will result in a decrease in demand, as well as an increase (from people who get brought in via a compilation and then sign up for a subscription they wouldn't otherwise have got).

Whether the benefits outweigh the costs is another matter, but the argument isn't absurd or ridiculous - even if wrong.


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Gambit wrote:
Well I used the example of not buying an AP because it lacked on specific issue because I actually witnessed this. I have a buddy who is a big Ravenloft fan and wanted to buy Carrion Crown, but was unable to get the first volume for any kind of reasonable price, so he decided to pass on the whole thing. He didnt then go "I missed out, I guess I better go subscribe", he wanted one specific AP and couldn't get its completed form, so his dollars stayed put.

Yeah, they're not going to suit everyone and they will miss sales and profit. The point at issue though is one of cash flow, not profit.

Quote:
Steve your post brings up another interesting question, I wonder what percentage of all Pathfinder players are subscribers.

Yeah, I wonder about that too - not a large proportion, I'd guess.

Although from Paizo's perspective it's perhaps less important - theyre probably more concerned with what proportion of their costs are covered by subscription sales.


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There's not much paizo can do about that. Someone who has heavily invested in another system so doesn't want to buy pathfinder isn't really their target market.

They'd be concerned with people for whom pathfinder IS their main game cutting back on rules purchases (ie technotrooper's position).

Having said that, the product line is broad enough to cater to must-have-everything collectors through to pick-and-choose-the-odd-item casual buyers. I think there's enough fans excited by occult adventures to offset those who may cease purchases when it comes out, which is what really matters.


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I don't know if there's some computer glitch but barring that, it's relatively common to split orders into multiple packages. Paizo's computer does that based on minimising shipping costs (which is what most people seem to care about).

Because shipping is weight based as well as volume based, sometimes it works out cheaper to send two packages, even though everything would fit in one box.

As I say, it might have been a glitch since things have been so screwy of late (especially with PACG items?) but as a general rule, if an order is split, it's because that has worked out as costing you less.


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Gambit wrote:

Republishing popular APs that will sell seems a far cry from TSR spitting out full lines for 8 different campaign settings.

Heres another thought, what if someone wants to buy a whole AP from Paizo, but cant get one of the installments (usually the first) because it is out of print? This is currently the case with both Carrion Crown and Skull and Shackles. That is 5 units of current product that could be shipped, but wont because its missing one piece.

But my real question, has the company suffered from the RotRL AE, or have they made a tidy profit from it? It has to be one of the highest selling non-core products they have.

I think the important point from vic's post that Joana linked is that the subscriptions are the key to their business model.

Successful business is more than just doing what's profitable - I don't have a link, but I seem to remember them being confident the compilations would sell. They're not avoiding them because they may not be profitable, but because it might affect their central source of reliable, monthly income. Making a large pile of money from one significant investment of resources is a different thing than making the same pile of money from six, smaller enterprises that are broadly the same month by month.

You mention the customer who is steered away from buying an old AP due to a missing issue 1. That has the effect of incentivising the subscription to the current AP - "buy it now and you'll get a free PDF and not have to worry about missing a thing". It's the same as the stupid prices people ask for on eBay being an incentive for the subscription. That drives home the message that the answer to "when's the best time to subscribe?" Is always "now".

They've obviously grown enormously over the last few years, but its hard to understand Paizo's business model without appreciating the central significance of the subscriptions. They keep the lights on, pay the salaries and provide a platform for expansion and side projects. Tinkering with such a core part of their business (or acting in a way which might jeopardise it) is a huge risk - even if the reward on offer is significant, it's probably not worth it for a company with plenty of scope to make profit through other avenues (we've seen them broaden heir product lines via subscription significantly in the last few years - that's much more in line with their business plan than semi regular compilations in the hope AP sales don't drop off).

In regard to the rotrlAE, that was a special event. At the time they went to inordinate lengths to stress it was a one off. It was also a 5/10 year celebration thing. Part of the reason it probably didn't have a significant effect on sales of the current APs was that it was clearly and loudly explained as a one off thing. The more they do, the more it will seem unnecessary to subscribe.


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The non mint versions of books paizo sells are not substantially damaged, in my view (ive had a couple where i couldnt pick why they were Listed as such. most just have a dinged corner or spine).

I'd try those if you're looking to fill out a collection (all but one of the kingmaker AP volumes are still available that way).


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LMPjr007 wrote:
Those numbers are just too high to be successful in this industry.

Yes. That's my point.


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What about the people who do Star Wars (fantasy flight games?) that seems to have been a hit and they seem to be churning out high quality, regular releases.

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