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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber. 9,407 posts (10,743 including aliases). 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 aliases.


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I mentioned this in the other thread, but I think a campsite would be a good candidate based on utility (or just a general 'on the road' set).

Campfire, bedrolls, pile of provisions...that kind of thing.


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RDM42 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
And you guys honestly dont do at least that amount of customization to any setting you use anyway...?
I prefer my customisation to be additive - I try not to change canonical things (in case a player reads a sourcebook and gets fired up about some piece of lore that I decided to change or omit).
But if its not in print, it isnt cannon, whatever they say about 'knowing' the answer.
It impacts on the stuff they do put out. That's the whole point of them having an answer - to maintain consistency. Because of their secret squirrel policy around his death, that's not something the rest of us can do.
But in practical terms what difference does it really make to you?

I don't know that any of my gaming preferences count as "practical" issues - I just enjoy Golarion less than I otherwise would if they hadn't decided to have a 'publicised secret' (especially one so central to the campaign theme).

In terms of setting games there - it means I avoid any mention of Aroden's faith and avoid running any modules where any mention of Aroden might come up.

I'm also not looking forward to a character concept from a player in which Aroden's faith features prominently. Not sure what I'll do if that happens.

However, my main 'objection' is just that I don't like it. I've mentioned upthread that I think my view is a minority position. It's nonetheless my view.


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RDM42 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
And you guys honestly dont do at least that amount of customization to any setting you use anyway...?
I prefer my customisation to be additive - I try not to change canonical things (in case a player reads a sourcebook and gets fired up about some piece of lore that I decided to change or omit).
But if its not in print, it isnt cannon, whatever they say about 'knowing' the answer.

It impacts on the stuff they do put out. That's the whole point of them having an answer - to maintain consistency. Because of their secret squirrel policy around his death, that's not something the rest of us can do.


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RDM42 wrote:
And you guys honestly dont do at least that amount of customization to any setting you use anyway...?

I prefer my customisation to be additive - I try not to change canonical things (in case a player reads a sourcebook and gets fired up about some piece of lore that I decided to change or omit).


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RDM42 wrote:
If you do that much anyway then the problem is ... What exactly?

The only "problem" is mine (and people who share my view) - it's just something I don't like about Paizo's choices with Golarion. Because of the decision they've made, I enjoy Golarion less than I otherwise would.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I think I remember you saying you like the alignment system (is that right?)

If so, are you able to articulate any specific reasons why you like it?

** spoiler omitted **

I like it because it allows me to use two letters to sum up a LOT about a creature, deity, spell, NPC, faith, nation, philosophy, planet, or anything else. And I like it because of its tradition. I really don't care that it doesn't model reality; that's not it's job, and applying it to reality is, I think, as silly as trying to decide how many Hit Dice the Hulk has or how many ranks in Knowledge (nature) Les "Surviviorman" Stroud has and so on.

Cheers. I hadn't really considered the efficiency aspect.


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They'll drop in and tidy things up at some point, based on past experience. Not a fun way to spend a weekend. :(


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I think I remember you saying you like the alignment system (is that right?)

If so, are you able to articulate any specific reasons why you like it?

Full Disclosure:
In the interests of context, I think it's a great feature of RPGs, even though I think it's a lousy model of real-world morality.


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I wonder if they've returned having got cleverer or if the paizo site somehow 'rolled back' to a previous iteration and they've been there all along? (I'm hoping for the latter).


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I think the rules read strictly as saying that you use whichever you got first. From page 164 of the PH:

"UNARMORED DEFENSE
If you already have the Unarmored Defense feature, you can't gain it again from another class."

Personally, I'd allow the player to use whichever was higher (or the barbarian one only, if they used a shield). One of the comments the D&D designers often use is "It's not going to break anything" and I think that applies here - as a general guiding principle, I try to maximise access to PCs' class features.


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Urath DM wrote:
CotCT is clearly the leading candidate as it meets the three main criteria discussed.. lack of availability of the printed copies, being pre-Pathfinder rules, and being popular. Legacy of Fire and Second Darkness meet only one, but SD has more lore elements and setting themes that need to be addressed, I think.

Kingmaker meets two (popular and out-of-print). The kingdom building rules are also quite out-of-date so that might count as a "kind of needs updating to the current ruleset".


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EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
I could not find any rules on what alignments are allowed for clerics based on their deities. Do they have to be the same as the deity? Up to one alignment step away? Is there no longer any specific alignment choices for a cleric based on their Deity?

I don't think there's any restriction.

I remember somewhere (the flavor section in the cleric entry of the PH, probably) the possibility of a cleric being forced to serve a deity against their will - that seemed to me to be tacitly supporting the idea that a cleric needn't share much of their deity's goals/nature/alignment at all.


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Erik Mona wrote:

Eventually we will do a great big Absalom book along these simpler district divisions, and give this place the attention it deserves.

64 pages ain't enough.

Are we there yet?

Now?

How about now?


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Never mind.


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Jaçinto wrote:
I always thought it was because it uses information from books you have to pay for, and they have had to change some names of things for copyright issues.

It's not illegal - it's used under license (the OGL).


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GM Rednal wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I don't quite understand the reaction here. I didn't think the OP was all that abrasive.

The blog itself was not particularly persuasive, nor particularly revolutionary. However, I don't think there's anything wrong with saying what you don't like about a game.

I think the problem was that they were essentially saying "everything about this game is wrong".

I mean, once you cross off attributes, armor class, saves, classes, customizing characters, casting styles, equipment, and personalities, there's not a whole lot of the game left.

Hence my comment about how the original poster just doesn't want to play D&D. Not this version of it, anyway. It's one thing to think that certain things could be modified to create a smoother experience for everyone. Heck, that's what Pathfinder Unchained was all about doing. There's a difference between tweaking the system and completely eliminating it, though.

Sure - I understand the critique of the blog. I just dont understand the general level of vehemence.

The guy wrote that blog a few years ago (and didnt write it on this forum). Someone comes across it and pretty politely says "hey Paizo, here's some good ideas"....

I've seen far worse and more denigrating comments about the game made on the paizo forums with less reaction. I dont particularly care, I was just puzzled.


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I don't quite understand the reaction here. I didn't think the OP was all that abrasive.

The blog itself was not particularly persuasive, nor particularly revolutionary. However, I don't think there's anything wrong with saying what you don't like about a game.


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Thurston Hillman wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I think this is likely to be one of my favorites of the revisited line of books.

Did Thurston write all of these, or were some contributed by staff?

First off, thanks! :D

Second, while I am the sole writer for this book, I would be remiss in not giving credit to the following people:

James Jacobs - Who took time out of his hectic schedule to give me a fair bit of background and advice on the various races within.

Wes Schneider - For getting me started and giving initial descriptions on everything.

Mark Moreland - For developing my passive words.

Jessica Price & John Compton - Who listened to all my ideas and made sure I wasn't TOO crazy (or crazy enough). :)

Cheers. That's a seriously qualified sounding board you've got there. :)

It's a really impressive book - my measuring stick for these things is how badly I want to use the featured races as my next villain. 7/10 is not too shabby!


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Mind affecting magic. We're currently playing 2PC campaigns and mind affecting things can be effectively 'save or lose' in that situation.


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I think this is likely to be one of my favorites of the revisited line of books.

Did Thurston write all of these, or were some contributed by staff?


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Major_Blackhart wrote:
If anyone has seen the books, what sort of background info does it deep dive into with the Urdefhans?

I haven't done much more than skimread, since I'm waiting for the hardcopy but:

Spoiler:
Initially created by the Oinodaemon as agents/worshippers, they've now found patrons among the other horsemen who send daemons for breeding (since most males are sterile). The best word to sum them up is "genocidal".


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Sundakan wrote:
1.) You already linked the article, what was the purpose of then copy-pasting it in its entirety?

I much prefer it when people do this.

When something really interests me, I appreciate having the link available so I can follow it easily (if I want to buy something, follow the conversation, see other things from the same author or whatever...), however I don't like going to sites I don't know, so wouldn't follow a link if I didn't have the text available first.


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How on Earth is that free? :o

Is there a patreon page or way to donate or something?


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James Jacobs wrote:
I just hope that folks won't get too disappointed if their expectations go too high...

Saltmarsh, Red Hand of Doom, Lords of Madness, Burnt Offerings, Souls for Smugglers' Shiv, The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, a dedication to answering fan questions way beyond the call of duty...

Any risk of overly high expectations is entirely self-inflicted. :p


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thejeff wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Hitdice wrote:

Anyone who quotes my text get a free like, but TOZ is special for not quoting it. :P

I have Generica sessions vs plot driven campaigns too, I just don't feel the need to invent a new world for each.

Its not a new word for each. A new world only pops up if the campaign couldn't fit well in one of the old worlds. That is, at this point, rare.

Whereas we tend to play with one campaign per world. The world being designed for the game in question. Usually some of its unique features playing directly into the main plot arc - whether that's actually mechanical limitations like which races or even classes are available or just the political setup.

We've been doing this essentially, with various GMs and different groups since AD&D in the late 80s. Games before that were a lot sillier. The same basically holds for non-D&D games, even when the game assumes a defined world, like Shadowrun or World of Darkness or Amber, we rarely linked back to any previous continuity. A couple of times in Call of Cthulhu, there were cameos by previous characters.

Yeah, this is our approach too.

Nowadays, I run all my games (regardless of system) in Golarion. Nonetheless, I've run low-magic games, high powered games, games where arcane magic doesn't exist, games with Dragonborn, etcetera... In our way of playing, each visit to Golarion is essentially a 'fresh start' with a lot of common features but with various twists or adaptations. Paizo's practise of not progressing the timeline is really well suited to our way of using a campaign setting.


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I like the vegepygmy stuff. Personally, I never really liked them until I ran Souls for Smuggler's Shiv (is that it - the first Serpent's Skull adventure).

I really like Paizo's take on some of the classic monsters - generally more than the monsters invented specially for the Pathfinder game. Viewed in that way, I think the monster selection in this book was a good balance.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
So what are the chapter openers like are they generic shots of each creature or is it more one of the Iconics fighting and/or getting owned by them?

The latter. It's typical Revisited stuff like Valeros being enslaved by Duergar or troglodytes chasing down Kyra.

Edit: And I really second the "more svirfneblin" request. The vegepygmies are pretty pointless and the name is somewhat uncomfortable in the light of 21st Century social awareness. You could easily have cut that whole section of the book out and I wouldn't have cared.

Care to say which icoics for which chapter?

I'm not too crash hot on some of the newer iconics, but I think it's:

Spoiler:
Merisiel - Drow
Valeros - Duergar
Amiri - Gug
Sajan - Intellect Devourer (awesome picture)
Seelah - Morlock
Jirelle (I'm pretty sure) - Munavri
Ezren - Neothelid
Kyra - Troglodyte
Not sure (one of the newer iconics) - Urdefhan
Rivani - Vegepygmy


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As a player, I much prefer playing with extreme limitations - it's part of what defines individual campaigns for me. As a DM, I think it's best to tailor one's limitations to what the players are happy with - it doesn't really bother me to run an 'anything goes' game, even though I don't enjoy playing in them.

Perhaps it comes from always playing in the same group, but I don't quite get the idea that a DM is building their campaign ahead of time and then inviting players to come and visit (that's how these discussions sometimes seem to be framed). In our games the DM does a lot of the work, but it's still a pretty collaborative process - we're not going to prepare a "martial characters only" campaign if the players haven't expressed an interest in playing one.


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Have you told him that you find these 'super NPCs' frustrating? That you'd rather the story focussed on the PCs-as-heroes, not as supporting cast? He may well be concerned with providing a 'cool story' and have fallen into the trap of thinking that retaining control will lead to more elaborate and hence "better" plots (it's an easy mistake to make, in my opinion).

Don't expect him to guess what you like - the best way to give him a chance to improve is to (politely and respectfully) tell him what you enjoy about his games and what you don't.

Responding to not enjoying something by trying to come up with something he won't enjoy is unlikely to work out well (even if you succeed - it will just mean that both of you are having a miserable time). If you don't tell him about the problem, he may well just start to think of you as a 'problem player' and never realise it was a response to his DMing style.


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Threeshades wrote:
And finally I found 5th Edition Foes by Necromancer Games, which looks pretty big but what I've seen of its contents is bothering me, and perhaps irrationally so, but the stat blocks are written more in a 3rd edition layout and some of the terminology seems like 3rd edition too, and doesn't actually mean anything in 5th edition (for example some creatures have spell-like abilities listed, rather than innate spellcasting), which in turn makes me doubt that the designers fully grasped how this edition works. If someone has perhaps used this supplement before, could you give some insight on it?

I'm an enormous FGG fan and bought this book as soon as I could, but I think this is a fair criticism.

It came out super-early and, in my opinion, it suffers in some cases from being a direct port of monsters from earlier editions to 5E without perhaps addressing some of the more subtle differences in system.

Having said that, I've used several of the monsters as-is and they've been a hit with the players. There are just some I wouldn't use and there is a little bit of translating involved (but nothing difficult).


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Lately James has seemed to be quite clear that he prefers producing story over rules (though that's perhaps a misconception). I'd be surprised if his project was more focussed on mechanics than on Golarion lore.


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If it were possible to search by author somehow, that would be useful also. (And would address the OP's issue to a significant degree).


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I think the computer game is a good guess.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Varisia hardcover.

I'd love either this or a Sandpoint hardcover.


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Defeated enemies?


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Does Psionics "count" as a way of addressing the Caster/Martial Disparity? I would have thought that was just another form of casting.


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baja1000 wrote:
I still don't even get why one HAS to be better than the other. How does it have to be a "myth" to say this is a team game? It is. Its about the story. This whole thread in and of itself is kind of a way to stir the pot. Wizards can do great and powerful s~@$ when their stuff works. Fighters can do some amazing s*!! when their combo's go off. Does it really have to matter which one can do it better?

I know you've just bowed out, but I'm a little late and figured I'd answer anyway.

The existence of the C/MD is not necessarily important - I'm someone who prefers games where casters are better than martials and that's rarely an issue in discussing it with people who do care about it (even though most in these discussions don't share the preference).

The point of jiggy's post was that a lot of the "rebuttals" to the existence of the disparity don't really address its existence (though they claim to). They rather make a claim that the disparity doesn't have material impact - generally boiling down to houerule, playstyle or whatever.

I think the value in the OP is to help move the discussion on to what matters - namely our response to it. That response can include "do nothing" - it would just be helpful to argue that position based on why a disparity is desired or tolerable, rather than assertions that it doesn't exist.


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Alex, could I suggest you go to this PBP discussion thread and participate in a duel?

I think that PBP is pretty revealing, from a combat perspective.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Thanks, Vic.

Any word on dividers? Will there be something available as an additional product to separate the cards appropriately?

I have inquired.

Cheers. I'm going to get one anyway, but the better it is the more likely I am to get one per set. :)


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Thanks, Vic.

Any word on dividers? Will there be something available as an additional product to separate the cards appropriately?


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Milo v3 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Those were just illustrative, not thought-through suggestions (so I wouldn't suggest anyone bother analysing those specific suggestions) - but in principle, is there a way to leave the classes essentially the same (in feel) and tweak the relative cost of spellcasting, so that a caster has a more significant resource-management problem?

Unchained actually has a different variant that does this sorta thing. Simplified Spellcasting.... which also makes more sense than vancian in that your memory doesn't change as you level, instead you just get better at remembering the more simple spells And it makes playing a caster easier because you don't have to deal with spending twenty minutes preparing your spells at high level

Basically you keep track of only your 3 highest levels of spells, and all the other spells are placed in a pool that you can use on the fly. Lowers the spells per day by a big amount without making it so casters can't use their high level spells, just means they're more likely to be careful with their spells.

Okay, that makes sense. Does that work do you think (in principle, I mean - perhaps the unchained system would need to be curtailed even more or loosened a bit or whatever)?

It seems to me that if magicusers were still the super-powerful but had to marshal their resources carefully it would both create a genuine need for martial companions, whilst also representing many fantasy stories a little better (it's relatively common for the wizards to be able to do almighty things but to get tired/be corrupted/attract enemies/etcetera... and hence they don't just solve everything).


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I found this set of ten cleric domains which I quite like. For the price of a coffee, it's hard to go wrong really. There's a few editting issues (some poorly worded sentences and even some fragments which aren't in English, so perhaps it's a translation) but I found several of them to be well balanced and thematically interesting.

Has anyone else found anything they'd recommend?


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Jiggy wrote:
Seannoss wrote:
How much would limited spellcasting from Unchained help?

That would help somewhat, but primarily only with combat, which was always the smaller element of the disparity. Even with limited spellcasting, overland flight still lasts longer than an American workday, endure elements is completely unaffected, wands of CLW are still relied on by martials in order to "go all day" like people keep trying to point out they can do, teleport still carries a party of four with the same consistency it's always had, plane shift still lets the caster decide that the party's gonna have breakfast in heaven today, and divination's new 77% chance of getting a useful answer from God is still infinitely superior to the martial's 0% chance.

It's a step in the right direction, but a very small one.

I don't know that unchained mechanic being referred to, but how about increasing the cost of spellcasting in some other way? (Like halving the number of spells per level you can cast, rebasing the experience point awards so that you are expected to face more encounters per day than currently, only letting casters regain half their "spent" spells per day or something?)

Those were just illustrative, not thought-through suggestions (so I wouldn't suggest anyone bother analysing those specific suggestions) - but in principle, is there a way to leave the classes essentially the same (in feel) and tweak the relative cost of spellcasting, so that a caster has a more significant resource-management problem?


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Majuba wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
If I look at last year's program will that give me a rough idea of when seminars are and so forth? Like is the rough outline the same each year even though the specifics change? (Is it even possible to find last year's program still?)
I don't recall the program being available online. I could mail you one if you want Steve (we got two after all) - PM if so.

Done, thanks. I'd appreciate a look, even if it's just a broad outline of how things run.

Cheers.


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Mine generally waits a few days and then asks "So how many of these books/boxes/little plastic men do you actually need?"

Luckily, she has embraced a certain stereotype regarding shoes.


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I really hope this one does well. Fingers crossed it will be a good basis for a more sandboxy campaign. I generally like the low level modules the best. It's also great it's set in a more out-of-the-way part of the Inner Sea too.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I've never done any editing, although I've done a reasonable amount of proofreading. It seems to me that, no matter how many passes you do, whatever remains will contain some error you can't believe you missed.
Greater skill at technical writing generally produces a draft with clearer meaning and reduced verbiage. This is typically followed by proofreading by someone who was not involved in the writing/design process, to check for inconsistencies, errors, and ambiguity creeping in. That gets you a pretty good Alpha product. Following that with destructive playtesting or the equivalent by yet another independent party (i.e., actively trying to find exploitable loopholes), and further editing in response, is the necessary next step to get to where a technical report (or game) generally needs to be. If you skip any of those things, the final copy suffers.

Yeah, I'm sure it's possible to edit well or to do it badly (no doubt it's further complicated by the competing goals of containing costs and meeting deadlines). My expectation is that, no matter what you do, the end result is going to contain errors that you can't believe you missed the first, second or third time around.

I just wouldn't be able to do a job where, even if I'd done it well, I'd end up disappointed in my own work. Editing is not the career for me.


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All done (hopefully).

FWIW, I didn't really see the $10 discount being applied, but I did get pathfinder advantage (was I supposed to get that?) so maybe it was swallowed up by the 15%.

If I look at last year's program will that give me a rough idea of when seminars are and so forth? Like is the rough outline the same each year even though the specifics change? (Is it even possible to find last year's program still?)


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I've never done any editing, although I've done a reasonable amount of proofreading. It seems to me that, no matter how many passes you do, whatever remains will contain some error you can't believe you missed.

I think it would be a terribly frustrating job.


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memorax wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


This is something I'm going to be very interested in watching play out if 2.0 is ever announced.
To be honest I'm not sure if the word interesting really applies. If anything I'm not sure if it's really something that would be healthy to the hobby imo. Too often some in the hobby want to draw a line in the sand and start something. WHile not offering anything productive to the situation.

The word interesting does apply (to me).

I tend to hope people are able to be grownups. In my view, the negatives associated with the 4E/PF schism was a function of bad behaviour, not actually a result of differences in design philosophy. I think the level of negativity associated with any potential PF/PF2 schism will be up to us.

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