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Vic Wertz

Vic Wertz's page

Chief Technical Officer. 18,920 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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As many others have pointed out, it's an uneven series, with the highlights being Stackpole, Allston, and Stover... but for me, the biggest flaw was that it was just far too long. The story would have had better effect if it had been half as many books, or maybe a quarter as many.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The description has been corrected. Thanks!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

See the Community Use Policy for the full answer. The short version is you can make your own versions of our maps and—if you follow all of the rules set forth in the policy—redistribute them, but you can't redistribute ours (unless they're part of the Community Use Package, and the ones you are talking about are not).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

I've downloaded it. It is definitely adventure 4. It has the following scenarios:

0-4A: A Tale of Two Alchemists
0-4B: DINOSAURS!
0-4C: By Rum and Thunder
0-4D: The Impossible Bottle

I'll get that fixed.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

isaic16 wrote:
On an entirely unrelated note that just came to me, and now I'm curious: how much creative freedom do you have with the ACG stories? Is there anyone from the RPG team that guides you or gives advice/approval on the changes/summarizations of the story, or do they pretty much let you do what you need with no interference?

I can take that one...

Keep in mind that in each set, chapters 1 through 6 are adapted from an existing RPG Adventure Path, while the B scenarios are not, so the answer for B may not be the same as the answer for 1–6. I'll come back to that later; until then, when I use the term "Adventure Path," I'm talking about the content from 1–6 only.

At Paizo, we have two people acting as lead developers for the RPG Adventure Paths—James Jacobs ran all of the Adventure Paths through Jade Regent, and Rob McCreary and James have alternated APs since then.

One of the first things that happens in the PACG process is that Lone Shark goes through all of the RPG adventures and comes up with a tentative card list. They figure out which encounters will become scenarios, and which villains and henchmen will feature in each, and which monsters and items and other things will fill out the set. At this point, they don't need to know what cards *do*—just that they think they will exist.

Once they have that list, we run it past the lead developer for that AP—James for Rise of the Runelords and Wrath of the Righteous, and Rob for Skull & Shackles. At this point, they're mostly looking to confirm that Lone Shark is hitting all the key story points, and aren't leaving out encounters that are important to the plot (or encounters that were just really popular with RPG players). This is probably the most important thing the RPG developers do for the card game. Once the card list is settled on, those developers will also work with the art team to develop art orders for things that weren't illustrated in the RPG version of the AP, and they'll look at the new art to make sure it's what they wanted. Much later in the process, they'll also look at all the flavor text and make sure it accurately portrays the events, locations, and characters.

But when it comes to story, the RPG developers are focused on the storyline, not on the details of execution. For example, they'll want to make sure that the Free Captain's Regatta appears in chapter 3 of Skull & Shackles, but how the regatta is actually translated into the card game universe is largely up to Lone Shark. They'll want to make sure that Isabella Locke is a villain in chapter 2, but what the powers on her card actually do is Lone Shark's call. (Of course, they'll want to make sure that they've given her appropriate traits, and didn't mistakenly turn her into an Elf Wizard instead of a Human Sorcerer, and that sort of thing.)

For B scenarios, RPG developer involvement varies depending on the source of the story elements. Let's look at the three Rise of the Runelords scenarios for example.

Brigandoom! came almost entirely from Mike. Mike wanted an introductory scenario with bandits, and James suggested that he use Jubrayl Vhiski as the villain—Jubrayl was a completely minor character in the actual AP; he mainly featured in an appendix of local characters. The story for the Poison Pill is similar—Mike came up with the scenario, and James told him who the villain should be. Black Fang's Dungeon, though, was actually an adaptation of an RPG scenario in the Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box, so it was treated much like the rest of Runelords.

Skull & Shackles actually went the other way—we didn't have any story elements sitting around that we wanted to use, so Lone Shark basically made up their own story, and then the RPG team took those concepts as inspiration for the RPG module Plunder & Peril.

For Wrath, our B scenarios were loosely adapted from some Pathfinder Society Scenarios that tied in to Wrath; since John Compton developed those scenarios, he helped us with that process.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

So...

Deck Construction Game: Before the actual game you select the cards that will be your deck for that game. Example: Magic, The Gathering.

Deck Building Game: During the actual game play you add cards to your deck to enable you to do more things with your deck than you could at the start of the game. Example: Dominion

I agree PACG is neither of those two exactly. Living Card Game is, I believe, a copyrighted term. So how about a new term? Maybe "Living Deck Game" or "Deck Growing Game" or "Deck Improvement Game", something that would mean, "you play multiple times and during game play your deck is changed by interacting with the game, resulting in a new deck for the next time you play the game."

We call it an Adventure Card Game. Note that that is *not* a trademarked term (though the proper name "Pathfinder Adventure Card Game" is).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I modified yesterday's entry, adding the word "summoned" to make sure it's clear which henchman we're talking about.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Resolved in FAQ.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

One today.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The "dealing with cards" sidebar in the rulebook says "If you’re told to do something with a certain number of cards and there aren’t that many cards available, use as many as there are."

We think that that works just fine here, and no further action is needed.

While it's true that having one or two fewer cards in location deck potentially makes closing that location easier, the card that *would* be there if you hadn't removed too many would be a low-level boon that you would probably easily acquire but would probably not actually play, aka "a free hit point." So yes, it maybe makes the location easier to close, but you're probably trading a free hit point for it. (Also, it probably doesn't *really* make the location easier to close most of the time, because you're usually going to close after defeating a henchman, not after exhausting the deck.)

If we were to find a situation where you were starting a scenario more than a handful of cards short, though, we'd reexamine this.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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The Rot Grub wrote:
If Vic is still checking this thread, I have a question: This talk about the spread of Pathfinder internationally is pretty exciting. Is there any chance that the Beginner Box will see any translations?

Sorry—just checking in occasionally. Yes, we encourage our translation partners to put out the Beginner Box as quickly as they can manage, especially in places that don't have a strong RPG tradition. It has been out in French, German, and Italian for a while, and more languages are on the way.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Marco Massoudi wrote:

What i expect in this set is:

-female Hill Giant (on the cover of Giantslayer 2)
-female Fire Giant (Giantslayer 5)
-female Ettin (Giantslayer Players Guide)
-male Cave Giant (on the cover of Giantslayer 1)
-Giant Skeleton (on the cover of Giantslayer 1)
-Ash Giant (maybe)
-Undead Frost Giant (Giantslayer 4 description)

Am i right with one of these Eric? ;-)

If you guess that many, you're bound to be right with at least one or two!

Spoiler:
...or are you?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

It's not just us (and WizKids)—it's affecting as much as a third of all US imports that arrive by boat. Frankly, we've been lucky so far.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

It's currently out of print. It will return, but it may be a while.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
So, yeah, that dockworker strike did indeed cause a delay, and it's currently set to arrive too late for February. It's now slated for March, though I will again add that since it's not in our warehouse right now, no guarantees at this point...
Wait, I'm confused. Will the strike delay any other products or only this one? If the latter, why only this one? (Other than the theory that this product is indeed cursed.)

The import delays are completely unpredictable. We've had a few shipments that weren't delayed at all. We've had a bunch of shipments delayed by a week or two, but usually not enough to push them over the line into the next month. This one was delayed by three weeks (so far). We'll never know why, but sure, yeah, let's go with "cursed."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Progress has been made, but we're not quite there yet.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

One today.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Malcolm_Reynolds wrote:
Yeah, but it seems kind of odd to make a power that might only hurt playing two cards in the set (other than the Divine difficulty increase).

Sometimes powers on a card exist simply because they translate effects from the roleplaying game, even if those translations don't have a lot of value in a particular card game AP.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Shade325 wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
Another issue I've encountered was due to the removal of Basics/Elites from the box beginning at adventure 4. The fighter in our group chose Flenta, who has an ability to recharge a random B Arcane spell from the box after playing a spell. In the home game, you have the option of keeping around Basic or Elite boons as they are banished if you so choose, however in the guild play they are always removed. This means that Flenta has exactly three spells she can get: two copies of Instant Armor and one copy of Speed. I'm not sure what the proper resolution for this is, but it is an example of where the differing guild rules once again hamper the uniqueness of a particular character.
Whoa, hold on there! You remove Basics/Elites from the GAME box, not from your character's deck box.

Whoa, hold on there! Have I been playing Flenta wrong the whole time. I assume when her ability says "...draw a random spell from the box that does not have an adventure deck number and has the Arcane trait and recharge it..." that it means the game box and not the Class Deck box.

Okay, seems more clarity is needed on my clarification.

The rule about removing Basics (and eventually Elites) applies to the game box, not your character's deck box.

The word "box" in the rulebook or on any card means "the game box" in OP. (It's probably a good idea to add that sentence to the Guide somewhere...)

So Flenta does not cull her deck box, and when she uses her power, she pulls cards from the game box.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Pyrocat wrote:
* I have completionist tendencies which really become apparent with collectible card games. I easily spent $200 on the Pirate Constructible Card Game...

You may just be a fan of things Mike Selinker designed.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Longshot11 wrote:
...I'm still rather confounded about the apparent difference between the card's intent and my understanding of its power. So, could we maybe get some ruling on it, y'all?

It's under discussion. We need to weigh intent versus precedent, and there's a lot of precedent to be researched.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

You people need to lay off "you"—it's a perfectly cromulent word. When referring to more than one person, just make it "you people."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

skizzerz wrote:
Another issue I've encountered was due to the removal of Basics/Elites from the box beginning at adventure 4. The fighter in our group chose Flenta, who has an ability to recharge a random B Arcane spell from the box after playing a spell. In the home game, you have the option of keeping around Basic or Elite boons as they are banished if you so choose, however in the guild play they are always removed. This means that Flenta has exactly three spells she can get: two copies of Instant Armor and one copy of Speed. I'm not sure what the proper resolution for this is, but it is an example of where the differing guild rules once again hamper the uniqueness of a particular character.

Whoa, hold on there! You remove Basics/Elites from the GAME box, not from your character's deck box.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I posted not to criticize you, but to make sure that you (and anyone else who may wish to adopt your rule) are aware that your house rule may have an impact you didn't intend. The designers place the "give a card" step where it is because placing it elsewhere has design consequences. You have said it doesn't make the game easier, but we are saying that, whether you are aware of it or not, or take advantage of it or not, it *can* make the game easier. As others have said, feel free to play with any house rules you want—I just want people to understand the potential side effects that rule can have.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

One of the balancing acts Erik had to do when selecting the mix for the sets involves spacing out the small minis. (This is complicated by the fact that many of the smalls are companions for specific iconics, and must appear in the same set as that iconic.) Lem didn't make the cut for the first two because the smalls were filled by Lini and Harsk (or more accurately, Harsk's badger), and for this set, Balazar wanted to appear with his friends from the Advanced Class Guide. (And PACG players will want him for Wrath of the Righteous!)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Vic Wertz wrote:
We do still expect to have it in time for the February shipment. There are still ongoing delays from dockworker strikes up and down the West Coast, though, so there's plenty of opportunities for us to be foiled again!

So, yeah, that dockworker strike did indeed cause a delay, and it's currently set to arrive too late for February. It's now slated for March, though I will again add that since it's not in our warehouse right now, no guarantees at this point...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Yeah, it turns out that sending a Base Set, a Character Add-On Deck, piles of promo cards, and seven Class Decks is more than our printer can efficiently add to an already busy summer workload (we are far from their only client).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Yes—they hit our warehouse this week, so it's for sure now.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Vic: You know you've typed the word "instead" very badly when it autocorrects to "Netanyahu."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I agree with Orbis too. Unless you guys find a way in which this is A) important and/or B) breaks something, in which case I reserve the right to change my mind.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Pyrocat wrote:
When a card tells you to encounter a random ship, I'm assuming your own ship isn't included in the possible ships to encounter. However, it's not so clear for ships in your fleet. If you have a ship marked off on your fleet card as one of your ship feats, can you encounter it via Enemy Ship or by any other means?

You summon that random ship from the box. Your current ship is not in the box, but the ships in your fleet are.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I will just say that I've heard a number of ideas for competitive play, and pretty much all of them incentivize behaviors that the card game does not normally incentivize.

For example, Pyrocat's suggestion rewards completing scenarios in the fewest amount of turns, so players in that structure would optimize for the maximum number of explorations in each turn, and wouldn't spend turns exploring solely for the sake of acquiring cards to improve the characters' decks. It would also change the value proposition for a lot of cards—for example, Holy Candle becomes much less valuable. Also, there are a small number of scenarios that require you to play all the way to the end of the blessings deck, and you'd have to avoid those scenarios entirely.

Another common suggestion is to assign some sort of point value for the cards you acquire, or the cards you defeat, or both. That has an effect opposite to the paragraph above, where parties avoid beating the villain until they've exhausted the potential rewards. This also changes the value proposition, as cards like Holy Candle become indispensable.

Also, I believe that a big part of the reason for the game's success is that it is cooperative and not competitive, so you have to be careful about where you insert the competitive part—if you do it wrong, you may undo the thing that brought your players to the game in the first place.

Now, that doesn't mean that there aren't valid methods for competitive play—I'm just personally hesitant to endorse something that changes the basic behaviors to that degree, and it's why we have not created official rules for competitive play thus far.

Personally, my suggestion is if you're looking to fill a bunch of hours, you should consider PFSACG Org Play, and you should consider marathons—running many scenarios in a row at tables where the *characters* continue from scenario to scenario, but the people playing them change over time.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

As others have mentioned, in this case, we're telling you to look at 1 die, so the question doesn't apply here. If we ever cared about whether your entire roll were even or odd, we would use the phrase "the result," which means the sum of all the dice and modifiers.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We are listening, but Tanis has been sick more days than not in January, and these issues can't be addressed without her.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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The set after Wrath will also be previewed at the banquet.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

One today.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Answered in FAQ.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Main PaizoCon page
PaizoCon 2015 FAQ

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Also will the dressing effect the chances of getting a full set per case? I.e will if bump out a rare?

This does not change the goal of providing a full set in each case.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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houstonderek wrote:
How long after Pathfinder was released did it take to get a stable of non-English versions on the shelf? 5e is six months old or so, if it was in that time frame, I think it would fair to bring up their lack of foreign language editions. Otherwise, not so much.

Tracking down the exact answer would take a bit, but I know that we had announced French and German even before we released the English version and I believe both of those languages had their versions of the Core Rulebook out quickly. We released in August 2009, and I'm pretty sure French was out before year end, and German was pretty close to French.

(Also, I've learned that Lisa has already revealed that Chinese and Hebrew translations are in progress, and there are still others to be announced.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Sorry—did you say something?

;-)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

They should be released with the Dungeons Deep set in June. See "And Now, the Bad News" in this blog for the full explanation.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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There's no GM in the PACG, so there are no GM credits. The system is nevertheless currently granting them to everybody who reports a session, and that will be fixed.

We'll look into the "Prestige does not count" message—there's no prestige in PFSACG play, so we shouldn't confuse you with that message. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

You could also fail your attempt to close....

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Bluenose wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

We've just learned from our German translation partners that there are now more Pathfinder products in German than there have ever been D&D products—ever, regardless of edition. And while our French translation partners haven't actually counted, they believe the same is probably true for their language.

If D&D had ever been anything but a second-string game in the fantasy RPG market in Germany that would be rather more impressive. Though it's a good time to be competing with a game where the product schedule is low due to the next edition being developed.

For those not in the know, you're speaking of Das Schwarze Auge, which has pretty much always been the most successful RPG in Germany, and is just about to release their own 5th edition. DSA is published by the same company that publishes Pathfinder in German, and I can tell you that they're expecting Pathfinder to continue to do just as well with DSA 5 in the mix—and their release schedule backs that up, as they're actually increasing production.

The pace is also increasing in French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, and there are several other languages in development. On the other hand, last I heard, there are no official translations of D&D 5th Edition in the works in any language.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

elcoderdude wrote:
Are scenario rewards optional? In RotR I thought they were automatic. I know in OP there is a Taking Reward box, but I thought that the only time that would not be checked after a victory was if you had already won the scenario in a previous session.

See this post.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I can give everybody an update... the make-good packs should be arriving any day now.

If you purchased your deck 4 from paizo.com, and you have a subscription shipment coming in February (for *any* line, not just the PACG), we'll be putting your pack into that sub shipment.

If you purchased your deck 4 from paizo.com and you do not have a February subscription shipment, we will send your pack out separately at around the same time.

We will also be sending tons of these packs through our regular distribution chain along with our February releases, which means US retailers should have them around February 25, and international retailers shortly thereafter. If you purchased your deck 4 from a retailer, we would prefer you contact that retailer and make sure they procure one for you.

If your retailer absolutely can't find a way to help you, our customer service department will.

Also, once we get them, we will be inserting them into our remaining stock of deck 4; once we've done that, it means that when we fulfill either paizo.com or distributor orders for that deck, the pack will already be included in the box.

By the way, none of the cards in this pack have any value in the game if you don't own Skull & Shackles Set 4, as they all rely on other cards in that deck to function. There's also no game value in having more than 1 pack for each copy of deck 4.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
I wonder how much of this is due to the delayed release for the guild play. Perhaps that adjusted the number of scenarios per adventure and therefore skewed some of these things.

Didn't change a thing mechanically—you might recall that it just caused us to queue up the first four and release them all at once instead of releasing them week-by-week.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Theryon Stormrune wrote:
Besides, I am not complaining about the placement of Skill and Card feat rewards. Those are in pretty good places progression-wise. It's the power feats that are skewed towards the base power feats when we really need to be able to use more towards roles (if we wish).

How do you know you won't be getting as many power feats after you get your role card in Season of the Shackles as you do after you get your role card in S&S or RotR?

(For the record, I'm not saying you do—Tanis is probably the only person who is likely to know at the moment.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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NobodysHome wrote:

Now you're just depressing me. I remember when the "You must have been born after this date" alcohol birth date passed my high school graduation date (happens when you're 39, people).

I finished my Ph.D. in the 1990's. Talking about 1990's kids is just mean.

My 21st birthday had its 21st birthday a while ago.

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