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Jason Nelson wrote:
They've talked to a number of 3PP folks about the possibilities ahead, but there is as yet no confirmation that I have seen about what shape or form a SFRD and/or compatibility license may take and how it will interact with the PRD and PF comp license.
I'll just say that, as one of the primary voices in this discussion, I'm very satisfied with what we have done in this respect with Pathfinder, and currently expect that this particular apple isn't likely to fall far from the tree.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
My opinion, it will initially split Paizo into two equal sized teams.
Not even close. Keep in mind that we release 5 to 10 products each month, so a monthly Starfinder product represents just 10-20% of our total output. Out of Paizo's 56 employees (about 20 to 25 of which are in RPG editorial, depending on how you count) only 3 are likely to spend even close to half their time on Starfinder in the next year.
I will definitely pick up the hard cover... in its second printing. i will go digital for first printing and print out the sections i most commonly need for a three ring binder. Too many wild alterations running around Paizo products as errata and revisions for me to want a physical copy of a first edition anymore.
I will just point out that each person who does that effectively delays that second printing from happening. And if a large enough number of people did that, there would never be a second printing.
I left out a noteworthy situation—Situation 3: Overlap. When people are buying product A *and* product B from you, that's obviously pretty good for business.
I expect that there will be some pretty good overlap between the Pathfinder and Starfinder audiences. And Starfinder's leanness helps keep that feasible—adding a single AP volume every month is something people might do. (Adding every Dragonlance, Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, and Al-Qadim product to your regular Greyhawk purchases... not so many people would or could do that. And yes, those really were all supported simultaneously!)
The big problem that TSR created with multiple campaign settings is that it caused a majority of D&D players to identify solely with one of those campaign settings to the exclusion of the others. So when they put out a book with a Greyhawk logo on the cover, Forgotten Realms players wouldn't buy it, and vice versa. And because they were frequently supporting several active campaign settings simultaneously, that meant that each book they released under a campaign setting banner would be purchased by a minority fraction of the potential D&D buying audience. And the more settings they supported, the smaller those fractions would be. And those products cost the same to write, edit, and illustrate whether they were selling to a huge number or a small number, so fewer unit sales mean less profitability.
Let's call this Situation #1: Cannibalism. If people are choosing your product A in preference to your product B, and those people would have purchased product B if product A didn't exist, you have created an inefficiency. And when you expand the choices to A, B, C, and D, you have an even bigger inefficiency.
That's the down side. On the plus side, each campaign setting *should* also appeal to some number of people who simply wouldn't be playing D&D at all if that campaign setting didn't exist.
Let's call this Situation #2: Acquisition. When people are choosing your product A in preference to not buying any product from you, that's just a straight-up win.
Of course, in real life, it's not one or the other—it's a mixture of both. And that ratio is key—if you are acquiring more people than you are cannibalizing, maybe it's worth the inefficiency. But if you are cannibalizing without significant acquisition, you're probably making a mistake.
So let's say you're publishing a fantasy-dominant setting like Greyhawk. Maybe supporting a horror-themed setting like Ravenloft alongside it provides more acquisition than cannibalization. But I'd bet that supporting a setting like Birthright alongside Greyhawk probably led to significantly more cannibalization than acquisition.
The introduction of Starfinder will cause some cannibalization, as some players stop buying Pathfinder books to buy only Starfinder books. But I believe that it's going to be relatively small. (Frankly, I expect the number of Pathfinder players we'll lose to Starfinder will be way smaller than the number of Pathfinder players we've lost to D&D 5th Edition.) Thematically, the Starfinder setting is more of a departure from the Pathfinder setting than say, Forgotten Realms is from Greyhawk. So we hope that a lot of people who aren't currently buying Pathfinder—likely people that prefer SF to fantasy—start buying Starfinder.
But another key to all of this is that we're not expecting Starfinder to be as big as Pathfinder. It's got a much smaller team producing a much smaller number of products, and that has two huge effects: first, it limits our exposure to cannibalism; and second, it means that we don't need to achieve a Pathfinder-like level of success for the line to be worthwhile. It's lean and mean, and it's going to stay that way, at least until we are able to see the effect that it has on Pathfinder and on Paizo.
The NPC wrote:
A three-hour tour... a three-hour tour.
Jester David wrote:
I have no comment on the contextualization of this within Starfinder, but I'll just point out that there are plenty of people who like Star Trek: Voyager, The Fugitive, The Hulk, Gilligan's Island, and "will they/won't they" romance.
"We strongly recommend you use the most current version of the rulebook (which contains the most general rules), plus the rulebook for the base set you're using."
What that means is right now, if you were playing Season of the Shackles, you should be using the Wrath rulebook ("the most current version of the rulebook") plus the Wrath rulebook FAQ for the general rules, with the Skull & Shackles rulebook ("the rulebook for the base set you're using") plus the S&S rulebook FAQ for the rules that are unique to that set (ship rules, in this example).
When Mummy's Mask comes out in October, you'd switch to the MM rulebook (plus the MM rulebook FAQ) with the S&S rulebook (plus S&S rulebook FAQ).
If you haven't already played RoboRally, I am extremely confident that you'll enjoy it.
Feel free to do that for personal use, but the maps were not designed to be minis-scale battle mats, so I can't vouch for the image quality at that size.
Also, if you're using the Anniversary Edition of Rise of the Runelords—or frankly, even if you're not—you might find this product more satisfying. While it is also not designed for use as minis-scale battle mats, it includes many more maps, including some that updated some of the maps in this set.
Another series is currently in production; it's up to Big Finish to determine the timetable for announcing it. (I'm just guessing here, but since there were some delays within the schedules for the two prior Adventure Paths, they may be waiting to have production closer to completion before announcing the start date.)
Oh, man. I thought we had completed this, but it looks like we hadn't.
We will be updating the following rewards:
2-1B old: "The party draws one of each type of boon other than loot from the game box."
2-1C old: "Each character chooses a type of boon other than loot and draws a card of that type from the game box. Adventure Card Guild characters may choose a bonus deck upgrade."
2-1D old: "Each character chooses weapon, spell, or item, then draws a card of that type from the game box."
2-1E old: "Each character chooses armor, ally, or blessing, then draws a card of that type from the game box."
2-2C old: "Each character draws an ally with an adventure deck number of 1 or 2 from the game box."
Adventure 2 reward is now "Each character chooses a blessing that has an adventure deck number of 2 or lower from the box. Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild characters may use it as a bonus deck upgrade."
Folks, please don't make things up about promo cards. Not everyone is savvy enough to understand when something's a joke, and these things can take on a life of their own.
Here are the promos we currently have planned. (Nothing here will be news to anyone who's been paying attention to the blogs, and to what we've done with previous sets.)
• This Saturday, June 18, is Free RPG Day. This year's Free RPG Day PACG promo card is Tup. For those who don't get him on Free RPG Day, he will later be available for sale on paizo.com and at our Gen Con booth. He'll also go out along with subscription copies of the Mummy's Mask Base Set in October. (Tup is actually a Rise of the Runelords promo—the character was tied to Rise of the Runelords in Pathfinder Adventure Path #100, and he's being issued to promote Season of the Runelords.)
• Class Deck subscribers will be getting promo cards along with the two Goblins decks in July. Goblins Fight! comes with Goblin Lockpick and Blessing of Zogmugot (both originally Skull & Shackles promos), and Goblins Burn! comes with Fire Sneeze and Blessing of Zarongel (both originally Rise of the Runelords promos). These cards are not reprints—they are from the original print runs.
• The first Mummy's Mask promo card will be our convention promo for the next year. Just like every other AP to date, it will debut at Gen Con. Subscribers will also get it along with their Mummy's Mask Base Set in October.
• As always, we'll be sending promo cards to retailers with each monthly Mummy's Mask release, and those promos will also go out with subscription copies of those products.
• As always, we have a couple other MM promos that we'll sneak in during the run, and we'll pack them in with MM subscription shipments at the appropriate time.
(At this time, I don't have anything to report on future Iconic Heroes sets. Should further information become available, it will likely be featured in one of Erik's Friday Paizo blogs.)
The Beginner Box has sold very well, and it's really good at doing the two things it was designed for: 1) making the game easier to learn, and 2) giving you an adventure and a pile of goodies to make that adventure easy to run.
I am hopeful that we won't need to make Starfinder easier to learn. That doesn't mean we won't find a way to give you easy-to-run adventure content, but if we do, the form it takes may not necessarily be the same as a product that's meant to teach you the game.
Also, boxed sets are expensive to produce. Making a boxed set for a new, unproven RPG would be a risky proposition.
But even if we felt there was little risk, having a product like that ready at launch is really hard to pull off. Giving you an adventure that launches alongside the rules is already difficult, because unless you have the luxury of finishing the rules and then starting the adventure, you have to develop the adventure while the rules it relies on are still in process. This creates inefficiencies—extra revisions, more effort needed to catch things that rely on other things that change during the process. We've committed to doing that for the Adventure Path that we're launching alongside the rules, but that is likely as far as we can go without driving ourselves crazy.
And the adventure is actually the easier part of a box to get done quickly. A boxed sets wants stuff like maps and tokens, and it's hard to order art for those things until the adventure is written and developed (unless you handcuff the writer to a limited slate in advance, which tends to result in a less interesting adventure). This is why the map folios and pawn sets for our Adventure Paths usually come out after the AP has been completed.
So the ideal process, Finish the Rules > Write the Adventure > Create the Accessories, makes it really hard to launch with something like that, even if we believe the demand is there.
We have a couple samples; they look fine. We haven't thrown them against a wall or anything.
I think once PFS players that do a lot of in-store or convention play see these, a lot of them are going to put their hardcovers on their shelf at home, toss these into their bag without worrying too much about keeping them in good condition and just treat them as "beater reference copies" that they can just replace when they get too rough. (And once we get scratch-and-dent copies in the warehouse, people will be able to replace them even more cheaply.)
The wrong logo appearing on the first printing of the Advanced Class Guide had absolutely nothing to do with speed or deadlines. Every product we produce has a step where, right before the book goes to the printer, multiple people verify that it has the right logos, bar codes, product numbers, price, "printed in" country, OGL statement, trademark notifications, and more, and at that time, the cover had the correct logo.
But several weeks after we send files to the printer, we receive a digital proof of the press-ready files. At this point in the process, we're just doing a technical review—we shouldn't be changing content at this point. We're just making sure the fonts rendered correctly, image and text layers rendered correctly, the spine design is properly aligned with where the cover will be folded, color and contrast have been maintained, and so on. In this case, we needed to correct a technical issue on the cover that was unrelated to the logo, but when we uploaded the final corrected file, the file's link to the RPG logo had accidentally been relinked to the AP logo. This is the exact moment that our baby bird leaves the nest; once we reach this point in the process, nobody at Paizo sees the product again until we receive our firstbound samples from the printer, by which time the entire print run is already on its way to us.
It wasn't a lack of care, or a lack of time. It was a simple mistake, made during the last possible moment, during a time when this sort of thing wouldn't intentionally change, after all of the people responsible for checking these things had already done the job they were supposed to do.
Steve Geddes wrote:
PFS has a lot of very active, very knowledgeable players; those two things coupled with the fact that they can't apply house rules in PFS means that a *lot* of issues are raised via PFS. No doubt about that.
But that doesn't mean that issues they raise get higher priority. As has been mentioned above, the designers work on their own timetables, and PFS can and does make their own rulings when they need to.
And it also doesn't mean that when the designers do address an issue, they address it primarily with PFS play in mind. The designers address every issue with the game as a whole in mind. In cases where PFS has needs that supersede more global concerns, again, PFS can and does make their own rules.
So yes, a lot of the issues the design team looks are raised by PFS. But no, that doesn't mean that design deals with those issues any differently than issues raised outside of PFS.
2-2D will soon be updated with the following changes.
In During This Scenario, "when a location deck has no cards, you may close that location automatically" is changing to "when a location deck has no cards, that location automatically closes".
Also, the following will be added to the existing reward: "Each character may choose a boon from the location decks. Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild characters may use it as a deck upgrade instead of the standard deck upgrade. (Multiple PFSACG characters may choose the same boon.)"
That said, there is another possibility (and Mr. Mona might be able to shed some light on this). All figures require a certain number of paint steps. By reducing the number of paint steps for the Salamander (which really doesn't need them that badly), they may have been able to spend that time on another figure. So in exchange for this, there may be a common or uncommon that receives more than the normal level of detail/effort per figure.
That's generally accurate, but the reality isn't so precise, at least from our side. That is, we don't have a big list of minis with the exact number of paint ops for each where we horse-trade ops across the line ("if we skip the wash on Figure A, can we bump Figure B from two shades of grey on the cloak to three?")
But we do go through and look at all of the proposed paint masters and make lots of comments. Sometimes, they're requirements—we won't approve the figure without that change—and sometimes they're just requests ("it would be nice if you could do this"). If we're looking at a common mini that already has a lot of paint ops, "would be nice" additions are unlikely to happen, but if we're looking at a rare that doesn't already have a ton of paint ops, they probably will happen.
We have not yet done this type of review for this set.
Unless they do it really well Starfinder risks trivializing all the Golarion lore. Even if they do do it well it'll always be hard for some people to accept that all their Golarion adventures are kinda 'meaningless' as the whole planet just ups and disappears.
Sorry, man... hate to tell you all this, but as far as your future is concerned... well, maybe it's just best to go ahead and say it: You really needed a better roll on that last save. Sorry. So, so sorry.
And that whole closing the Worldwound thing? Yeah, congrats on pulling that off, and all, but even the statues built in y'all's honor have been destroyed by now. Nothing personal—it's just time, you know? It razes even the highest mountain.
But hey, I mean, all that is with "you" in the general sense. Of course I don't mean "you" specifically. YOU are like a god, always revered, always remembered, every die roll the subject of a different song taught to children. It's all those *other* characters I was talking about before. You know—them.
Bryan MANGUM wrote:
Your first paragraph is correct with respect to contract terminology. But when people talk about "third-party publishing" in gaming, they're applying terminology from video game development rather than contract law. Under this paradigm:
• First-party developers make the platform that the game is played on as well as the game, so Microsoft is the first party for XBOX, Sony is the first party for Playstation, and so on.
So applying this paradigm to the world of the Pathfinder RPG:
• Paizo is the first party, because we make the underlying system.
This is all different from contract law. Under the Pathfinder RPG Compatibility License, Paizo is a party to it (nominally the first party) and anyone using it is a party to it (nominally the second party); there is no third party to that particular contract, as it does not provide for assignees, delegates, or third-party beneficiaries. Similarly, with the OGL, Wizards of the Coast is a party to it (nominally the first party) and anyone using it (including Paizo) is a party to it (nominally the second party).
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
I'm really, REALLY curious what Starfinder's space vehicle and zero-g combat will look like. That's been the biggest bear to wrestle with the built-for-2D Pathfinder rules, and I haven't seen anyone solve it particularly well. I haven't solved it very well, and now it looks like I won't have to (or get to).
I would just like to point out that if you don't like our system, it's very likely you'll be able to publish your own under the compatibility license.
We reevaluate the possibility of authorizing print-on-demand books on a fairly regular basis, but we're still just not satisfied with the quality level yet, especially with full-color products (which is the only kind of product we do).
Do you think it is possible that the APP version of this game will eventually have 'Season of ...' adventure paths available?
It's not impossible, but due to the complexity of the scenarios, I wouldn't look for it anytime soon. If you're familiar with RotR, you'll know that Adventure Deck 3, The Hook Mountain Massacre, contains five scenarios: four that are relatively straightforward, and one, Here Comes the Flood, that's a real departure from everything that has come before, mechanically speaking. During the Obsidian panel at PaizoCon this weekend, I asked Nathan from Obsidian what percentage of AP3 scenario development was spent on Here Comes the Flood, and I believe he estimated it as around 80% of the work. Well, PFSACG scenarios *regularly* have that kind of complexity. When Obsidian is deciding what to do next, it's hard to imagine PFSACG scenarios coming to the top until they've exhausted the regular APs, which only *occasionally* get that crazy.
Shortly after we conceived our Starfinder plan, we became aware of John's project, and we let him know what we were up to. He very graciously agreed to not use the name for his project, and he will likely be among the very first to support Starfinder under the open licenses we'll be offering for it.
Generic Villain wrote:
I wonder if they'll eventually add Starfinder Companion, Starfinder Campgaing Setting, and Starfinder Module lines.
Currently, the plan is that the Adventure Path line will provide all of the rules and campaign setting support alongside the adventures. Of course, if you all tell us you need more, that plan could be revised, but that's our starting point.
All of the art you're seeing is concept art. It's meant to provide a palette of impressions for future refinement. It's not representative of what you'll see in the finished product, but it does convey a possible sense of the design style we're contemplating. The logo is also temporary, and is likely to change, quite possibly in its entirety.
Actually, there have been several people this week who have indeed complained about the fact that we issue errata at all.