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Vic Wertz

Vic Wertz's page

Chief Technical Officer. 18,534 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

One today.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

One today.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Unfortunately, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Class Decks, which are required for playing in the Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild Organized Play program, have been delayed yet again, and the new retail release date for the Class Decks will be October 1. As a result, the Adventure Card Guild retail launch is delayed to the same date. Additionally, delays with Adventure Deck 2 have caused it, and all future Skull & Shackles decks, to be delayed by a month, so we'll be spacing out releases a bit differently than we had previously planned.

The first adventure in Season of the Shackles consists of 6 separate scenarios, while future adventures will be composed of 4 scenarios each. Here's the current release schedule [pardon the formatting]:

Date Release
October 1 Adventure 1 Scenarios 1–4
October 8 Adventure 1 Scenario 5
October 15 Adventure 1 Scenario 6
October 22 Adventure 2 Scenario 1
October 29 Adventure 2 Scenario 2
November 5 Adventure 2 Scenario 3
November 12 Adventure 2 Scenario 4
November 19 Adventure 3 Scenario 1
November 26 Adventure 3 Scenario 2
December 3 Adventure 3 Scenario 3
December 10 Adventure 3 Scenario 4
December 17 Adventure 4 Scenario 1
December 24 HOLIDAY
December 31 HOLIDAY
January 7 Adventure 4 Scenario 2
January 14 Adventure 4 Scenario 3
January 21 Adventure 4 Scenario 4
January 28 Adventure 5 Scenario 1
February 4 Adventure 5 Scenario 2
February 11 Adventure 5 Scenario 3
February 18 Adventure 5 Scenario 4
February 25 Adventure 6 Scenario 1
March 4 Adventure 6 Scenario 2
March 11 Adventure 6 Scenario 3
March 18 Adventure 6 Scenario 4

Retailers who are in the PFSACG program and PFS Venture-Officers should already have access to the PDF for the special preview scenario, Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild Scenario 0-0A: On the Horizon, which does not require Class Decks, so may be played at any time.

If you haven't already done so, make sure you download the <a href="/products/btpy98no/">Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild Guide to Organized Play</a> as soon as you get a chance to learn everything you need to know about running and playing in a PFSACG event.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

One today.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The release date for the Class Decks is September 24, which is the same day that the OP launches. The OP scenarios will initially be exclusive to participating stores and PFS Venture Officers, we'll release them for general purchase soon after.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Characters at the same location as the party's ship are always on the ship, anchored or not.

You may not choose to move an anchored ship. (The door is open for the possibility of something *else* choosing to move your anchored ship, whether you like it or not...)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Tinkergoth wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

How does it work, exactly? Do you just upload a PDF and they post you a printed copy?

Or do you need to tinker with the file(s) a bit?
From what I understand, the files given to the company are the same ones that would go to the printer when ordering a batch of books. They just keep them on file and print as required. I could be over simplifying it, but that's the way it was explained to me. So whatever format normal printers would want the files in, it'd be the same deal.

I can't speak for service bureaus that print one-shot PDFs for customers, but on a professional level, all printers, including PoD printers, require you to provide files made specifically for them, taking into account their particular printer's requirements for things like trim, bleed, creep, dot gain, total ink coverage, and the like.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
rules wrote:
Any paragraph in the power section of a boon that doesn’t involve playing the card for a particular effect is not itself a power—it’s a mandatory action you must take when you play the card.
It's possible a similar concept might need to exist for things other than boons.
Back to the original topic, so this basically means you do "scale up" the veterans that you summon, making Summon Monster more useful. Right? I mean, I know it isn't official and all, but in the intermediary time between the question being raised and an official ruling or FAQ, I'd say play it by scaling them up.

We don't know the answer yet; if I picked one, there's a 50% chance I'll have to reverse it. I will say that I don't think anyone thinks it's too powerful if you scale up the veterans, though.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The scenario they're talking about is called On the Horizon—it's a sort of "preseason" PFSACG scenario that you can play before you select a Class Deck, since it uses regular S&S characters. Retailers in the PFSACG program received it as a PDF download earlier this week. (We will eventually make it available for general download.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Throknor wrote:

Actually, virtually every company will give you notice when the system prints a shipping label. But as they ship every day it is pretty much the same day it leaves their facility. The difference here is that Paizo does hundreds of picks and shipment labels in one day, but their shippers probably simply grab from the pile whatever they can fit on the truck for one day.

Hopefully as they grow their next building will include a proper dock and they can just call up FedEx or USPS and say 'Hey, next Tuesday bring a real truck'. But for now we can just hope their printer doesn't screw up immediately before GenCon again.

We have a large warehouse with multiple "proper" docks—that's not the issue here. The main issue is optimizing throughput, so we split things into two groups—a "label run", which covers all of the shipments that many people have in common, and a "pick and pack" run, which involves all of the unusual orders that don't benefit from bulk processing. So in one part of the warehouse we have workers assembling the latter group package by package, while in another part of the warehouse we have machines cranking out thousands and thousands of labels while workers pack thousands and thousands of identical boxes or envelopes, place labels on them, and put them into shipping bins for those trucks. Labels come out far faster than boxes can be packed—it takes a day or two to generate the labels, but it takes many days to process them, meaning a package could actually take a few days to leave the building after the system has processed the shipment, so we provide a wide shipping window to cover that range. It's a worst-case estimate—most packages will actually leave the building well before that window closes.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

That's correct—as long as he played it for his power, and he would be banishing it, it doesn't matter if those things happen consecutively or not.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Lissa Guillet wrote:
I also feel bad for kids that didn't get steak fingers grown' up.

Someone has misled you terribly on the topic of bovine anatomy.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Make that three.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Resolved in FAQ.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

One new item today.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Resolved in FAQ.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Desant wrote:
In our situation I had Merisiel and my friend had Harsk. If I would have failed the check she would then be by herself and Harsk would have stayed there. Would she then be able to use her recharge for a 1D6 and would Harsk be able to help with her check now that she is away or is the combat still at his location?

Well, Merisiel seems pretty clear: "If you are the only character at your location [do her thing]. Her power cares where she is, not where the card she's encountering is.

Unfortunately, Harsk says he adds "to a combat check at another location." After RotR came out, I realized that *checks* shouldn't be at locations, *characters* should, and whenever I caught those sort of things, I'd expand them to (in this example) "to a combat check by a character at another location." So that's how I'd rule that one.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Added two today.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We are discussing. Can anybody tell me why think that moving a character ends that character's encounter?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

rules wrote:

Any paragraph in the power section of a boon that doesn’t

involve playing the card for a particular effect is not itself a power—it’s a
mandatory action you must take when you play the card.

It's possible a similar concept might need to exist for things other than boons.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

You don't need to report demos. They keep the mini-Chronicle sheet, just like they keep regular chronicle sheets. And the instructions for using it are at the end of the demo.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

There's a big update coming to the community use packages, but I'm not sure exactly when that's going to happen.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Captain Bulldozer wrote:
I'm not entirely sure I understand your meaning Vic. After all, things like "7", or "2" are symbols. It's not as if I'm suggesting some Race-for-the-Galaxy type use of symbols, all I'm suggesting is that in this particular instance, if the check to defeat were listed as something like "9+A" rather than having listed as just 9 which a POWER to increase the difficulty by "A" then the original question wouldn't have existed, as it would have been clear that the veteran power is always active (it would also save card space, and presumably printing costs).

(re: That last sentence: Cards cost the same no matter what's printed on them.)

If you're going to argue that "7" is a symbol, we're going to be talking past each other, so I need you to step back on that and stick with the definition of "symbol" that I know you know is what I'm talking about: things like the "tap" or "mana" symbols on Magic cards.

In games, I think symbols work best when the entire universe of symbols is in heavy use, meaning you usually see *all* of them several times per game, which reinforces you mapping them to whatever it is that they're a symbol for. As the use of any particular symbol decreases, the odds that you'll need to look it up in the rulebook increase, and that stops the fun. (I would also argue that it makes the game harder to learn for many people.) This is why many games that do use symbols, such as Magic: The Gathering, usually don't use symbols for less common concepts such as "flying," "first strike," or "trample," which is pretty similar to the concept you're asking about.

If the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game encompassed a small set of frequently used concepts, symbols would make sense, but we are very much the opposite of that game—we have a large set of infrequently used concepts, and that argues for avoiding symbols.

There is a middle position to the "symbols/no symbols" philosophy, though, which is that you can take a specific category of commonly used things and convert them to symbols, like Magic: The Gathering does for activation costs. On one hand, they're not creating symbols for "flying," but on the other hand, they're not spelling out "Spend two blue mana and tap this card to do a thing," which would be more like what we're doing.

If we were that kind of game, the appropriate design space for symbols would be replacing common card actions like "reveal," "display," "discard," and so on... but that actually limits what you can do in that design space. Using words rather than symbols gives us the flexibility to do things like this:

•Discard this card to...
•On your turn, discard this card to...
•For your combat check, discard this card to...
•For your combat check to defeat a monster, discard this card to...
•When a weapon is played on a combat check, discard this card to...
•Discard this card and another card to...

This flexibility is really hard to implement with symbols, at least without turning the game into something that looks more like a 747 flight simulator.

So we're not a game that uses symbols. (You might point out the set symbol on the upper left corner of every card is a symbol, and you'd be right, but it has no actual use in gameplay, so it's beside the point. You might also point out that color-coding the card types is a sort of symbol, but it's also an irrelevant one, because it's merely an aid that backs up the card type that's still spelled out in words on every card.)

Interestingly, the prototype of the Obsidian PACG app *does* use symbols for card types, but the fact that they have to put a user interface on top of our mechanics gives them different requirements where these things make sense. But even then, it's just UI, and the text boxes on the cards are text.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

This is actually a much more important rule than it may seem. It's possible for you to seize a ship that may be required by a later scenario, and if you're using it as "your ship," you're going to have a problem.

For example, you add all of the ships from Adventure Deck 1 to the box when you begin that adventure, which means it's possible that something could* allow you to seize the ship Man's Promise in Press Ganged!, the first scenario of that adventure. But it very clearly can't be your ship in the next scenario, Cat & Mouse, which has you encountering the Man's Promise all over the place. But when you complete that scenario, you get a Class 1 ship feat, so *then* you can take the Man's Promise as your ship...

*In practice, Press Ganged! doesn't actually allow you any opportunities to seize ships, but there will be other situations like this illustration later. Let's just say there's more than one reason that there are some ships higher than Class 0 in the Base Set...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Andrew K is correct that the demo is not primarily a PFSACG tool—it's primarily a demo for Skull & Shackles. We needed it to use only cards from the Skull & Shackles Base Set, so that limited our choices to 7 characters. From those, we wanted to provide a mix of characters that debuted in S&S (because they're new!) and characters that were returning from RotR (so that if you'd played one before, you'd see that they're a bit different in the new set).

It's actually impossible to give you a 4-player demo that uses only characters from the S&S Base Set that are *also* currently legal characters in PFSACG Org Play—Lem, Merisiel, and Valeros are the only 3 that fit that description.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Johnny Chronicle wrote:

Day made. Thanks to the stalwart crew that put this together!

I noticed a couple discrepancies:

1. The 3 Hammerhead Shark Henchmen on the Demo Card List doesn't jibe with the "Threat Stack" description under "Setup." (It should just be 2 Sharks, plus the Enemy Ship and Adaro Barbarian for a 4-card stack, correct?)

2. There's an additional Hammerhead Shark and a Sailor listed as "set aside" on the Demo Card List, but I can't find where it tells you what to do with them in the guide. (Mike's post above suggests they should go in the Shark Island and Lonely Island location decks, respectively. But I couldn't spot that in the guide.)

Thanks again!

On page 2, under "Setup," the last bullet point went missing. It said:

• Set aside 1 Hammerhead Shark henchman (which may be summoned by the location Shark Island) and the ally Sailor (which is the reward for closing the location Lonely Island).

We'll put that back in and fix the card count (only 2 sharks in the threat stack is correct).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Still waiting on color-matching. Sorry!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I supported the recent legendary gamess mythic kickstarter, and the plan seems to be to send out the pdfs to us, then gather the feedback to fix every typo and only then send it to the printer.

I appreciate, that this might cause some trouble with retail, but would this be an option you would be willing to experiment with?

Crowdsourcing development and editing come with their own problems. Yes, you will probably catch and fix more mistakes, but the in-house effort spent to find each issue will be significantly higher. Let me give you a small-scale example:

Whenever we prepare to reprint a book, we have somebody—usually Jason—scan the FAQ queue and go through the main discussion threads for that product looking for things that need to be fixed. This is a process that might take a few days. Then, he and his team work on solving those problems if they haven't already been solved. During this process, they will also be investigating problem reports that are actually false positives; for example, somebody might have complained that a number in a stat block is wrong, but when we redo the math, we often find that we were right in the first place. This might take another few days. At the end of it, we have a list of changes that then go through editing, layout, and proofing, meaning more people spending more days. And the end result of that work gets summed up in an errata doc that's usually less than a page or two. In short, many man-hours of effort that result in maybe a dozen little changes.

Now image that we do that as an open call. Our days would turn into weeks, and maybe our errata doc would grow from a dozen items to two dozen, with each of the additional items very likely being far less noticeable than the previous dozen. It's the law of diminishing returns.

And crowdsourcing still won't catch everything. We're in our 6th printing of the Core Rulebook now, and in each printing, we've made corrections in response to our community identifying problems, which is a pretty similar effect to the crowdsourcing you describe. An amazingly high number of people have been using that book every day—it's referenced far more that any other book players use, for sure—yet we're *still* finding problems that nobody pointed out in the first five years the book was out.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Or even better, paizo could make a symbol to always represent the AD#, the way MtG invented the "tap" symbol, and use it as often as it needs to (which is quite a bit).
Wouldn't this idea also save quite a bit of text-space on the actual cards? Am I allowed to like my own idea? ;)

"Symbols vs. words" is a big philosophical deal, and we have elected to go for words in our version of this game.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I liked the little play. If we were making it into an audio drama, I would cast Orson Welles as The Game—or, if we're doing a British production, Valentine Dyall. (Though casting either of them has been something of a challenge these last 30 years...)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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csouth154 wrote:
Yes, but the entire reason this resolution was required in the first place is that there is something about this scenario rule that confused many people into thinking that their hand size COULD exceed the normal limit in this scenario, and the way this resolution is worded does nothing to address this.

Yes—the thing that confused people into thinking that their hand size could exceed the normal limit is because we specifically *told them* it was equal to a number that could be greater than their hand size. We're not telling them that anymore, and nothing else is.

Would putting more words on the card make it a belt-and-suspenders surety? Yep. But we don't have room for that.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Jorgenfist does *not* say "If a monster with the Giant trait is defeated, roll 1d6. On a 1, the monster is undefeated." It says "If you *would* defeat a monster with the Giant trait, roll 1d6. On a 1, the monster is undefeated."

We use "would" when we're talking about things that don't actually happen or, in this case, *may* not actually happen. (See this post for more on that.) He is neither defeated nor undefeated until you roll the die; if you roll a 1, he was never defeated, so the banishing part of Disintegrate never comes into play.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

See post 1: "This is not a rules discussion thread. Please keep this thread for updates and commentary about the FAQ itself, not about the gameplay issues that are or are not described in the FAQ."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The street date for the Class Decks was moved to September 24.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Discussion of the 1st Amendment is banned on these boards. Thread locked.

Spoiler:
Kidding! Just kidding!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Also as opposed to weapons that get worse when you have proficiency.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Fortunately, checks don't go that high. At least, not until we find the infinite loop that we accidentally designed into one of those....

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Moved to RPG homebrew forum.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

And two more.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Hawkmoon269 wrote:
So if Hirgenzosk was in a location deck and you encountered him and played Disintegrate and rolled above a 30, he'd still be undefeated. But Disintegrate would kick in and let you banish him instead of shuffling him back into the location deck.

Nope. Disintegrate says "If you defeat a non-villain monster when playing this spell, banish that monster, even if it would otherwise be undefeated," but Hirgenzosk says "If Hirgenzosk would be defeated, he is undefeated," not "If Hirgenzosk is defeated, he is undefeated."

We use "would" when we're talking about things that don't actually happen. Take Greater Luckstone from RotR: "If you would fail a check by 2 or less, you may bury this card to succeed." Clearly, when you play that card, you don't fail and then succeed—you simply succeed. That's the power of would.

Since Hirgenzosk is never *actually* defeated, Disintegrate doesn't get to banish him.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

If you want more fun with this concept, consider disintegrating Jorgenfist Stone Giant in Jorgenfist.

You defeat him with Disintegrate, and:
A) the scenario says if he's defeated and you roll a 1, he's undefeated;
B) he himself says that if he's defeated, you get to attempt to close the location;
C) the spell says if he's defeated, he's banished;

A doesn't actually contradict B or C, so the golden rule is never invoked—instead, we just have Schroedinger's cat in a box, and the encounter cannot resolve until you do A. If you roll a 1, B and C no longer apply, so that's easy. And if you don't roll a 1, well, B and C don't contradict either, so you do them both, and the order doesn't matter. Meaning he's banished.

These are the kinds of discussions that your rules questions make us have on a regular basis.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Added to FAQ.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Thehigher cause wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Personally I can't honestly recommend buying the physical copy, not until a second printing with all the Erratas.
I agree 100%

Ironically, every person who takes that stance actually delays the publication of the second printing... and if enough people were to do that, there would *be* no second printing.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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We do print fewer copies of the later volumes of each AP. Also, distributors sometimes make unpredictable purchases, sometime even ordering more copies of later volumes than they did of earlier volumes.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

What you have there is a registration issue. Occasionally one or more of the 4 color printing plates doesn’t line up correctly with the others. (In your case, it was the cyan plate.) Sometimes it’s because the plate shifts, which usually means it happens on several consecutive sheets (which would mean several consecutive decks), but more commonly, it’s just because the paper moved a fraction of an inch when it shouldn’t have. In registration errors, it's fairly common for one corner of the sheet to be perfectly in registration, and the opposite corner to be out of registration, which is why it's noticeable on some cards but not others. (This isn't just a card thing—it can happen whenever you print with multiple plates.)

Sharaya will get you fixed up.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

S&S Rulebook wrote:

If a loot card is returned to the box, put it back with the other

loot cards. If a loot card ends up in a location deck, you automatically
acquire it when you encounter it.

The latter sentence was put in place because in S&S, there is actually a way that a loot card can be yanked out of your hand and shoved into a location deck, so we had to tell you how you can get it back. (We chose something easy because when that thing happens, you're already in a bad situation: you will lose that loot permanently if you don't manage to encounter it before the end of the scenario.)

But that doesn't play nicely with Cintra's house rule suggestion, as it means loot that somebody has passed up would now be the easiest thing to acquire in the game (along with Blessing of the Gods), and it really shouldn't be.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Caltrops doesn't fake-roll imaginary dice, it just toggles the universal "defeated/undefeated" switch to the "defeated" position.

Did you defeat it by more than 4? There's nothing to suggest you did, so shuffle the rats.

(Turns out that caltrops are not the best way to stop a swarm of rats.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Added one item to the FAQ.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

What we mean is this:

If you have a character promo card, you can use it right away. If you have a ship promo card, as soon as you have checked off any ships of the same class on your fleet card, you may treat the promo card as if it has been checked off as well (see Place Your Party’s Ship on page 7). You shouldn’t add other promo cards to the game until you begin the first chapter of the Adventure Path.

Added to FAQ.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Retailers didn't need to sign up for the OP program to get the pack—indeed, the whole point of the pack was to tell them they *can* sign up! They *should* have just gotten them along with their July shipment of Paizo products from their distributor.

I'll ask our sales team to investigate the situation with the two stores in IL.

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