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My understanding of http://pathfinder.wikia.com/wiki/Mwangi vs Garundi is like the distinction between someone who is Korean vs. Asian. The nationality for Pharasma is "Garundi" from what I recall reading.
While "Garundi" can mean "somebody from the continent of Garund," it *also* refers to people of a specific ethnicity—see page 14 of the Inner Sea World Guide. Quinn's ethnicity is Mwangi, not Garundi... and since he's actually from Galt, he's not Garundi in the *regional* sense either—he's Avistani.
(At least, unless James Jacobs or James Sutter correct me....)
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Most of the descriptions that I receive regarding the Iconic characters are fairly brief. Occasionally, they'll specify an element or item that they'd like to see in the illustration. Otherwise I consider myself fortunate that they allow me a degree of artistic freedom in the depiction.
I have always found that the less you limit an artist the better the results—at least, when you have an artist you trust. (When I write an art order for a piece—even something as important as the cover of a product—I try to limit myself to 3 or 4 sentences.)
Here are two examples of the art orders we gave Wayne for iconics (both from the Advanced Class Guide):
The most specific ACG art order was for Quinn the Investigator: "Male, Human (Mwangi, graying hair), wearing refined clothing, with a leather overcoat (also of fine make), sword cane for a weapon. A cross between the alchemist and the rogue, the investigator uses alchemy and his skills to solve problems and defeat foes, but is not above physical violence if the needs call for it. Think Sherlock Holmes, but with a dose of alchemy tossed in (well, a bigger dose than the character anyway)."
The least specific was for Enora the Arcanist: "Female, Halfling, no armor, armed with a dagger. This class is a blend of sorcerer and wizard, using the magic in her blood and arcane study to cast spells."
(Note that when we assign iconic art, we don't name the characters—the staff always wants to see the finished art and come up with a name they think suits what Wayne has done.)
Partway through the process, we get sketches and give feedback on them... though the feedback I end up providing on Wayne's stuff is usually limited to the single word "awesome!" Really, all the magic happens at his end.
Lord Snow wrote:
...and if it's a sticky thread, the beginning of the discussion will go more and more out of date and become less and less useful. Imagine if we'd done this a few years ago, and these people out to choose their first AP are presented with several pages of opinion that doesn't include anything newer than, say, Legacy of Fire...
Restarting this discussion a couple times per year is actually a *good* thing.
So...I think Pathfinder will once again pass D&D as of the next report. D&D's sparse release schedule -- as much as I personally love it -- almost guarantees that D&D won't hold the top spot.
So I'm told that in Wizards' Q&A session at the GAMA Trade Show this past week, they said that they won't be releasing any splatbooks for the current edition, just adventures. Has anybody seen a transcript of that anywhere?
James left out a few steps, added in bold below.
James Sutter wrote:
I would just like to say that this is not a democratic process (and I'm also under no illusion that this thread is directly representative of our entire customer base), but I *am* nevertheless listening. (I am also not the least bit surprised by what I'm hearing.)
On the topic of players skipping APs, I would like to point out that we have had the exact same issue in our RPG Adventure Path line since we released the first issue of the second AP 7 years ago. Very few people can play through a full RPG AP in 6 months, and many people can't afford to buy the ones they can't play (6 volumes at MSRP come to $137.94, and that's assuming you're not buying any of the many complimentary products we produce for each AP). This has not prevented the RPG Adventure Path line from being very, very successful, and indeed, a cornerstone of Paizo's business.
Midnight Anarch wrote:
I think what you'll see is that the characters in the deck can actually be a little *more* diverse.
In the first wave of Class Decks, there are 97 boons supporting 4 characters. Now there will be 100 boons supporting 3 characters. Let's assume that in either case, a fixed percentage of the boons are "utility" cards that work equally well for any of the characters, and the rest are cards that work better for one character than the others. This is purely illustrative (as we don't actually have a fixed percentage), so to keep the math easy, let's call it 50/50, and assume that the non-utility cards are divided among characters equally. In the old decks, that would give you 48 utility cards and 12 cards for each character; in the new decks, that would give you 49 utility cards and 17 cards for each character, meaning each character would get a 40% increase in specialty cards. Again, not real numbers here, but you can see the point—with fewer characters, we can give each character more specialized stuff, and more specialized powers to take advantage of that stuff.
Sorry—our discussion forked from the original, so my note that I needed to respond in this thread wasn't quite right. (That is, the FAQ I just created answered a question that *we* asked while examining these cards rather than the question actually asked in this thread.)
The answer to the original question is "Sure, Heggal can do that." We're not about to change Heggal, multiple Kyras, Tarlin, Oloch, and all their roles, along with Cure, Mass Cure, Major Cure, Surgeon, and so on, all just to stop Heggal from doing (as Mike put it) "a party trick" with one card.
And on the original topic, we haven't talked much about Wrath yet because we've just finished releasing Skull & Shackles, so our focus has been there. That all changes next Tuesday, when we start talking about Wrath in the Paizo blog. Now, we're not going to answer all of your questions in a single post—we have a couple months to reveal these things, after all—but we will answer *some* of them next week.
I'm just saying that the wording for these scenarios are vague and confusing on when exactly play ends and if we have 30 turns to do something, then win conditions should be checked at the end of the turn so that all the party's efforts are meaningful toward finishing the scenario.
When you *lose* a scenario on turns, it happens when you advance the blessing deck at the beginning of a turn. Why should winning be in a different place?
Also, you seem to be really tied to the idea that 30 complete turns is some sort of magic number, but in the case of Inside Lucrehold, we're not replacing a blessing with Brinebones, we're adding him in, so you'll get your 30 turns.
A lot of people propose this, and of course, it's something we've considered, but the math just isn't there.
I while back, I did the math to figure out the minimum number of cards it takes to run a single full-size scenario of the Pathfinder ACG for 4 players
To support 4 players, that comes to exactly 200 cards. With a card organizer, rulebook, and dice, I might be able to sell you that for $30. And what you get for your 30 bones is a game with practically no replay value. You'll have seen nearly every card in the game your first time through, and you won't have had any real glimpse of the thing that makes this game special—character advancement through play. What you will have is a longer version of our convention demo scenario, and that's it.
So fine, add in another 3 scenarios to play. 3 new scenario cards (and now we can have an Adventure Path card!), a few new villains, new henchmen, new locations, maybe a loot card or two, and maybe 15–20 new banes and boons—60 more cards total—and now we've got a $40 game. There's still not a lot of variety—we've still given you no choice of characters, minimal choice of starting decks, and bare minimum number of cards to improve your deck as you explore... but now you can play it at least 4 times, maybe even 5 or 6, before you've seen it all. Or we could go the other way and add 2 scenarios and a new class, along with the banes to support that class. You'll still see it all in 3 or 4 plays, but at least somebody can have fun replaying it with a new character.
And with the minimal card selection in our 260 cards, we have two choices when it comes to flavor. We can make it all very generic (a cross section of fantasy roleplaying) or we can make it very themed. But either choice has a tremendous impact on how expansions are designed. Let's say we want to branch two stories from this box—Rise of the Runelords and Skull & Shackles. The former needs us to have lots of goblins, and not a lot of pirates. The latter needs the reverse. If we theme that box one way or the other, it doesn't serve us for the other story. And if theme it neutrally, we probably don't have *any* pirates, but we have a goblin or two. Either way, we have to do pretty much all the thematic stuff for at least one of those APs in the Adventure Decks instead of the Base Set, and that means making *them* bigger. But, hey, let's take best case, and assume that all of the cards in the new 260-card box are completely useful in the Ap we're doing, so all we need to do is expand each of the Adventure Decks to replace all the cards that we've left out of the Base Set box. (In practice, that doesn't actually work, because we actually want to front-load most of those cards to provide diversity at the start of the game.) These bigger Adventure Decks are now much harder sells at $24.99. Also, remember that in this scenario you're not getting the first Adventure Deck in the main box, which means you have to buy 6 instead of 5, and the total cost of an AP (not counting the Character Add-On Deck) has now gone *up* from $159.94 to $189.93.
But the good news is that as our base expands, we can do more with fewer cards. For another $20, we can add a bunch more scenarios, more classes, and more overall diversity in generic banes and boons, creating exponentially higher replay value *and* providing enough of a foundation for our specific Adventure Path that we can tell it with 110-card Adventure Decks.
In case you're wondering, we did also look at going the other way, with an even bigger Base Set and 60-card Adventure Decks, but it made for a Base Set that was far too expensive (and even harder to ship than the one we have).
A couple things:
As Erik has already mentioned, we do have a Spanish publishing partner. The bit you quoted wasn't a complete list of our translation partners—the first paragraph of mine that you quoted was answering houstonderek's question, so I listed only the ones that released Core Rulebooks within six months of the English release. And the second paragraph you quoted was me updating the list that I'd given out earlier in the thread, which, for easy reference, is this:
Also, it's important to note that the absence of any given language on the list does not mean that Paizo is ignoring that language. We are not in the business of publishing and selling in other languages; instead, we are looking to partner with experienced local publishers who already know how to sell and support games in their native languages. If a language isn't on that list, it means that we have not yet been approached by an experience publisher that we've deemed up to the task (or perhaps that we have been, and they're one of the "TBA"s).
Howon Twothree wrote:
The location list is very much tied to the difficulty of the scenario. Changing the locations can *easily* make a scenario much easier or much more difficult than intended. I really don't recommend it.
In Skull & Shackles and Wrath of the Righteous, solo players will experience all of the locations in the game eventually. In Rise of the Runelords, solo players will miss a few, but Mike's Cult of the Dragon scenario will let you experience those too.
To the best of my knowledge, no large-scale study of the general non-gaming public's D&D brand view has been undertaken since shortly after Wizards purchased TSR. (It's very possible that Wizards has done one I don't know about, but I'd be very surprised to learn any reputable third-party has done one that I haven't heard about.)
At that time, D&D had pretty good brand recognition, but the perception of the brand among non-gamers was not without problems. Even in the late '90s, the brand was still associated by many with nerds, satanism, and people disappearing in steam tunnels. When D&D was referenced on TV, it was usually as the butt of the joke (remember the Jesse episode "The Mischevious Elf"?). Even into the 21st century, Walmart apparently wouldn't carry anything with the D&D brand. I don't know for sure, but I like to think that the increasing dominance of "nerd culture" and the decline of groups putting forth the "D&D is evil" message have improved things since then, but I can tell you that over the years, Pathfinder has certainly reaped some benefits from *not* being D&D.
Sadly, there's virtually no granularity in PDF security. The same control that would let you add bookmarks would also let you easily delete the watermarks. (I *think* Goodreader works around this by storing its bookmarks separately, but I'm not honestly sure.)
While some parties broadly define DRM to include watermarks*, DRM and watermarks are technically separate forms of content protection. In the context of PDF security, DRM essentially involves the PDF reader checking with a server to determine whether a specific user is allowed to view, edit, print, or otherwise manipulate a specific PDF**. We use watermarks, but we don't use DRM.
*There are people who define licensing agreements as DRM.
**This is a gross overview; there are DRM controls that function in other ways, including offline, but that's getting way off topic.
I have only seen Paizo publicy state that the errata packs are sold at cost. I don't know what the final card counts were, but I do know that shortly before launch Vic posted prices and card counts that worked out to around $0.11/card. I know that the economies of scale are different between printing a card and printing 185 cards, but nearly 5x the cost? I would imagine that Paizo is making a profit here and that is perfectly fine.
The primary difference in pricing between the errata decks and Card Creator cards is this: the errata decks use a system that DriveThru already had in place, while the Card Creator cards use a system that DriveThru had to create for this project; the additional cost for Card Creator cards will hopefully eventually cover the cost of developing that system.
I won't say we're not making *any* money here; but I will say that I made it clear to DriveThru that Paizo's goal for the Card Creator is about encouraging the community, not about driving profit. That said, DriveThru hopes to make future use of this new system with other games that may be published by companies that *are* looking primarily for profit, and if we priced our cards exactly at cost, that would set a unprofitable price precedent that would make it hard for those publishers to follow suit. I essentially told Steve to come up with a number that he thought was workable, round it up, and basically just pass us the rounding. I *hope* that DriveThru recoups the time and effort they put into the system, and begins making a profit, and I hope that Paizo will eventually recoup the time and effort spent by the card team and the art department on it, but I don't frankly care that much about the last part—I just want it to help keep the game interesting for players.
A topic just like this comes up every year when we do our RPG Superstar contest, in which contestants are required to transfer copyrights of their entries to us. (Epic Meepo, as an RPG Superstar veteran, I think you'll find that the answers here are pretty similar to the answers there.)
We're not taking ownership because we want to make money off of your work. We're taking ownership for our own legal protection. Imagine that somebody out there creates a a card for the Card Creator, and it just happens to be very similar to a card that Mike has designed for an upcoming release. By requiring Card Creator users to assign us the rights, we don't have to worry about people trying to sue us for "stealing" their ideas.
Speaking of stealing, I'm now going to paraphrase one of Sean K Reynolds' responses from a RPG Superstar thread from 2010:
Our designers aren't going to sift through Card Creator entries looking for cards to fill a hole in an upcoming set. They're perfectly capable of designing their own cards, and can likely do so faster than it would take to find a card in the Card Creator, develop it, and note the author's name for the credits.
That said, I know that Steve had some ideas about a community design contest in the future, so I won't say that we'll *never* do anything with the cards there—but I will say that *if* we do, we will make a good faith effort to contact, credit, and compensate the designer. We have done the same for a very small number of RPG Superstar entries that we republished. (And odds are good that if we do such a contest, it will involve looking at entries crafted specifically for the contest, not just picking stuff out of the library.)
On the topic of creators getting paid for copies of their cards being sold, that was something we talked about when we originally started discussing this with DriveThru, but they determined that implementing it wasn't feasible at this time. I cannot say whether or not it will change in the future. Either way, I can tell you that nobody is going to get rich off of the content in the Card Creator. If you're troubled about it, though, the answer is simple: don't make your cards public.
It's okay to use anything in the Community Use Package (see http://paizo.com/paizo/about/communityuse) in the Card Creator, and to make your cards using that content public.
It is not okay to use card text or Paizo-owned images that are not part of the Community Use Package in the Card Creator.
I'll see if I can get Steve to create a FAQ page for the Card Creator that explains these things.
Regarding variety of scenarios: With Rise of the Runelords, we weren't sure how often we could depart from the basic "find, defeat, and corner the villain" scenario recipe. In retrospect, we could have changed it up it a lot more than we did. We do it a lot more in S&S and in Wrath, so if that's your primary issue, please check out some of the reviews posted online--I see pretty much universal agreement that we improved the diversity of gameplay with S&S.
While this book goes into detail only on Core Rulebook material, we do *briefly* discuss other books providing additional options.
"One or more characters cannot play this scenario due to being the wrong character / scenario type."
My experience has been that while I haven't maxed out on deck upgrades yet, I have somewhat maxed out on deck upgrades 1 below my adventure level (I could use more blessings). I don't think I'm the typical experience however, but it may be the experience of a party who's used to these types of games.
My gut says that's right about where we want you to be.