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Sin Spawn

bugleyman's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter, 2014 Star Voter, 2015 Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStar RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Chandler. 7,231 posts (7,343 including aliases). 79 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters. 15 aliases.


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Lorathorn wrote:
Some Pathfinder books could benefit from allowing bookmarks, on the other hand...

Agreed! I certainly wouldn't mind having more permissions on my Pathfinder PDFs. However, I am not knowledgeable about the granularity of PDF permissions; there may be a technical reason bookmarks aren't allowed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:
Pathfinder PDFs do come with DRM. Have you not noticed the watermarks?

I have, and you're right...technically there is DRM. I should have written onerous DRM. Meaning I have no problem being unable edit PDFs, or that those PDFs are traceable to me. I meant things like being forced to deal with proprietary applications and file formats, the inability to copy files, etc.


This seems more like a flavor question than a mechanics question.

Personally, I'd say most normal people simply lack the ability/drive/talent to learn to cast any spells, even level 0 ones. Assuming that a few can learn, doing so would still take months -- if not years -- of training and study.

Putting a crossbow in someone's hand makes far more sense from a practical standpoint.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Chandler aka bugleyman

Whenever I'm trying to figure out what (I believe) is the right course of action for a paladin, I just ask WWSD (what would Superman do)?

To imprison an innocent - in a gilded cage or otherwise - is wrong. Even when it is done in the name of the greater good. You know that road to hell? The one that is paved with good intentions? This is it. The ends do not justify the means. A paladin would reject the "railroad track dilemma" as a false dichotomy, and find another way -- or die trying.

Which is a funny argument for me to be making, because I'm often accused of being a moral relativist. :P

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Chandler aka bugleyman

Laif wrote:
Logged just to say, Great Paladin, not Stupid Legal, there is hope in the PFS if there are some of these around.

And I'd say the exact opposite. "The ends justify the means" is exactly the opposite of what a paladin should believe.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Chandler aka bugleyman

kinevon wrote:
On higher tier, I am ambivalent, I would like to play more, but I don't feel confident running that stuff.

You and me both; I dislike running high tier material...too much going on, too many interactions to remember. I'm a pretty bright guy (Mensan) with multiple decades of GMing experience, but I don't think I've ever run (or played) a high-tier table without seeing at least one mechanical oversight. But I digress. :-)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bluenose wrote:
You know, every time I see this I have to wonder something. Of the games which do have PDFs and some sort of licensing scheme that allows for support, what do you play?

Pathfinder (mostly; owned in PDF) and Savage Worlds (when I can get it; also owned in PDF). I'd also like to try Dungeon World (which I own in PDF), 13th Age (also owned in PDF), FATE (owned in PDF) and Castles and Crusade (which -- spoiler alert -- I own in PDF).

In fact, there is literally no RPG I own or have any desire to play that isn't readily available in (DRM free!) PDF, coupled with liberal fan licensing...except D&D.

Even the RIAA has figured out that offering high-quality DRM free content is the way to go. The @#$@#$ RIAA!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Although the fans seem to care deeply, I dont think WotC care very much whether their TTRPG is competitive with other RPG publishers. I think they want to make sure their IP remains 'current' and is generating them some level of profit while they chase the movie/computer game windfall.

I think you must have it right. Which makes me very sad, but such is life. :)


R_Chance wrote:
I don't disagree that PDFs / e-book options are increasingly important in the niche market that is TTRPGs, but the degree is questionable. One problem / barrier that TTRPGs have in all their forms is "reading". Having to read them is a problem for many. If you want popular games look at video / computer games. Minimal time reading vs. playing...

You are absolutely correct: I can really only speak for myself. Lack of digital support in 5E is a deal-killer for me.

I also happen to believe that the way PDFs were handled in 2009 hurt 4E and generated a lot of ill-will, but I can't prove that. I can say with certainty that it pissed *me* off. :)


R_Chance wrote:
Without considering the whole consumer base and their buying habits (and we don't have access to that information) a discussion of marketing strategy / success is pretty much hypothetical...

This is not hypothetical. This is a sea change in how written content is marketed, sold, and consumed. Not having an e-book option in 2015 is foolish. In 2025, it will be a death sentence. I sincerely hope they wise up, but I've been saying that since the great PDF debacle of 2010.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

First of all, thanks for not accusing me of being a liar -- that is, that I sneak off and play 5E because it's just that good.

Yes, that is a thing that happened.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Do you think you're representative of the entire market, though?

The entire market? No. More so every day? Absolutely. I'm already 42, but I'm pretty darn sure the printed book will become a niche item -- if not a museum piece -- within my lifetime. WotC leadership is showing all the signs of clinging to a dead business model until the bitter end.

Steve Geddes wrote:
I understand that "no PDF = no buy in" for you, but does that necessarily mean that they're doomed to fail (presuming their goal is purely to keep a foot in the door, not to dominate the TTRPG market)?

It isn't so much that the lack of PDFs will kill them; it's the "we know best" hubris behind it (and the lack of a licensing process, and the C&Ds, etc.). Any number of people have been asking for a PDF/ebook option for years to no avail. Companies which ignore their customers to that extent do so at their peril. Seriously, taking nothing away from Paizo, the TTRPG market was WotC's to lose in 2008, and lose it they did. Spectacularly.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

On the two occasions that I've played it, I found D&D 5E to be a great game. But until WotC sells PDFs and offers reasonable licensing (which is the gate-keeper for all kinds of support), the quality of the game itself is beside the point -- it simply doesn't fulfill my requirements.

Thankfully, though it may be painful to watch WotC torpedo ANOTHER edition of D&D, the industry -- at least in some form -- will survive. The economics of e-books all but guarantees that much.


Scott Sharplin wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

BTW, congrats on your first scenario.


John Compton wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Excellent. I definitely consider that permission. :P


Spoiler:
Someone please tell me why the cartographer made the map 31 inches wide?

DEAR CARTOGRAPHER: WHY DO YOU HATE FLIP-MATS? ;-)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I think D&D taking the top spot was a foregone conclusion. The real question is, can it hold it? My guess is no, especially given the intentionally sparse release schedule, but WotC simply may not care. It seems to me that 5E is more about the D&D brand than it is about RPG book sales. Which is a big part of the reason I find their ongoing, multi-year failure to address e-books so puzzling...but that's another thread.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Chandler aka bugleyman

Pathfinder Society Scenarios seem like a bit of an odd duck, in that PFS has a substantial promotional value...which is hard to quantify. Consequently, it is difficult to set their price -- which is probably part of why it hasn't changed. The impact of a change would be hard enough to measure after the fact, so predicting it? Good luck. You'd pretty much have to have an (actually magical) Harrow Deck. :P

Before I became a VL, I regularly purchased scenarios as they came out, and I would often go back and buy older scenarios when I signed up to GM them. So from my perspective, they were a good value at $4.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Chandler aka bugleyman

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jonenee Merriex wrote:
And don't worry, I have your number on speed dial :D.

She isn't worried; she has caller ID. ;-)

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Chandler aka bugleyman

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm sad to see you step down, but I'm (selfishly) glad that I was able to attend one of your conventions before you did. Not only was it a great time, but I learned a lot from you about how to run a successful con. :)

Thanks for everything you have done, and if you're ever in AZ I'd be honored and delighted to run a table for you. Best wishes!


Seems like this make be a good bridge from the Beginner Box (which I believe is the intent).


Cort Odekirk wrote:

The idea is that when they register their character, they will be forced to select a program (a character type). Then when reporting is done, we can look at that type and block the character from receiving credit for the wrong program.

Assigning a type on the fly when they report is a solution we discussed, but we came up with something a little more flexible. I don't want to go into details until we've finished and tested it. :)

Fair enough; thanks for the insight. Looking forward to the fix.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Folks, the solution is in testing. Assuming it tests ok, that is the last step prior to release. There is literally nothing you can say that will make it go faster at this point.

That...seems a little harsh; I was trying to help. >:/

Edit: Do you even database, Wertz? :P


P.S. I just registered a U.S. trademark on "OG-GSL." Or maybe "OGSL?"

:P


Diffan wrote:

Ah, the OGL "Keeping gaming companies married to a specific rule-set since 1999!"

Well I for one am glad WotC hasn't released an OGL yet. I think they'd be better served by up-dating and reviving their GSL to be more expansive. If they allow their basic rules to be expanded upon by 3PP, that would be a good start too. But, in all honesty, people have already been using the Basic rules for creating and converting adventures to 5E for months now. And as far as I know the only things to be hit with C&D letters are on-line character builder programs that give out information beyond the Basic Rule-set. Something WotC has every right to protect.

...which in no way obviates the extra effort currently required to jump through the (unnecessary) hoops created by not having a license. After all, WotC could change who they go after (and why) on a whim, and most people simply can't afford to contend with their legal department...whether or not it is acting within WotC's rights.

Whether WotC calls it -- the OGL or the GSL or the OG-GSL -- they need to release a viable license sooner rather than later if they want a shot at building robust 3rd party support for 5E. Perhaps they don't want third party support.


Erik Keith wrote:
The current issue is that the system checks to make sure that character types match the PFS game type being played to prevent mislogged events. Characters that haven't been registered yet trigger this as well since they don't match the game type being played, meaning that characters that haven't been created on the Paizo.com website cannot be reported.

Why not simply assign unregistered characters the type appropriate to the event being reported? At least then there would only be a reporting issue if and when a subsequent event of a different type is reported on that character. Right now you're foregoing a lot of data...at least some of which you won't ever be able to get back.

Is the idea that, by forcing people to explicitly register their own characters before they can be used, the character type is more likely to be accurate? I think that's a highly questionable assumption, since the owner of the character is the source of the data in either case. I'm lucky if people can remember their freakin' number sometimes. :P


4 people marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:
My wife is not on the forums and gets to hear ALL about it. :)

Just another piece of evidence that our wives are smarter than we are. ;-)


Cort Odekirk wrote:
We're working on a more graceful solution, but to protect the integrity of the data we had to put a restriction on reporting that matches the type of the character to the type of the scenario. Unregistered characters, because they haven't been created yet, have no type so we can't report them until they are registered and a typed character created.

Why not simply assign unregistered characters the type appropriate to the event being reported? At least then there would only be a reporting issue if and when a subsequent event of a different type is reported on that character. Right now you're foregoing a lot of data...at least some of which you won't ever be able to get back.

Is the idea that, by forcing people to explicitly register their own characters before they can be used, the character type is more likely to be accurate? I think that's a highly questionable assumption, since the owner of the character is the source of the data in either case.

Also...there are some pretty obvious normalization problems with your database.* I don't mean that as a dig -- truly, I don't -- but it seems like you have bigger problems in the data integrity arena than a potentially incorrect character type.

* For example, if I change a character's name after a session is reported, that session retains the old name, which means the session record contains a field storing the character name (rather than getting it from the character table as it should). This is a violation of second normal form. Further, it doesn't seem likely that is a performance optimization, either, because you know exactly where to find the name; that is, you don't have to perform a potentially expensive search.


N. Jolly wrote:
Also as a guide writer, can we get a moment of silence for the Mystic Theurge guide that just exploded thanks to this.

Yeah, that sucks. Sorry.

As observed elsewhere, perhaps this FAQ change is a prelude to revamping the core prestige class entry requirements.


Perhaps this change is a prelude to revamping the entrance requirements for the core prestige classes.


180. Miracle Whip.


Ulfen Death Squad wrote:
My mentioning anything political.

It's just an almost-certain derailment, but I shouldn't have used the "troll" word. My bad.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N. Jolly wrote:
I share Tels's sentiments here, and I think it shows that people who like this game aren't happy with the way it's being handled.

Surely you mean SOME people aren't happy? Because if this thread and the others like it are any indication, some people seem to be.

Also, delivery matters. "Hey, I don't like this thing" is almost certain to be more effective than "I declare you unfit." Trust me, I speak from experience. :P


I have an anti-agenda discussion agenda...oh wait.


Yeah...how about we just skip discussions that open with "agenda"? Obvious troll and all that.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Just a Guess wrote:
Please don't ever pretend not to hate martials, paizo.

I have it on good authority that Erik Mona sits at his desk cackling softly to himself about his hatred of all things martial, gleefully twirling his mustache the entire time. Rumor has it that he plans to remove Power Attack from the game entirely.


I rather like traits -- in fact I think they're one of the better additions in the APG -- but I don't really not using them as a deal killer. Heck, that's probably a reason why I like them so much...for the most part, they're not unbalancing (ime).


TealDeer wrote:
It's she, actually (or they).

My apologies.

TealDeer wrote:

Anyway it's the lack of a public license, combined with just... idk I think it's a general philosophy difference. Paizo does things like RPG Superstar and other like... community-based ways of basically mining their fanbase for talent. Superstar is really what pushed me into trying to freelance at all -- I basically started freelancing when this year's Superstar began. I am not an expert, I've literally been doing this for two months! But thus far? Yeah, it's mostly having to do this weird song and dance around 5th edition material because of the lack of a public license scheme, while I could self-publish a Pathfinder product on RPGNow tomorrow thanks to the OGL.

There are other factors, I think, but about those I can only speculate.
How about, "I've done freelancing for 3pp companies doing Pathfinder stuff mostly, and have only done one 5e piece so far and that one the publisher and I had to do a weird jig to make it ~legal~, while with OGL stuff it's like bam write, put the OGL on it, sell."

That's pretty much what I expected. I honestly don't know what they're thinking, but I'll leave it at that.


This isn't a question of empirical evidence or logic. Neither ruling is objectively superior.

In my opinion, this was the right call.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Suffice to say, most of us who think it's cheesy think it's REALLY cheesy.

Velveeta.


At first I didn't care for archetypes, but they've grown on me. Between archetypes and multi-classing, I'm not sure I see a need for prestige classes (in the general sense -- I get that the situation we have now is not ideal for some concepts).

Pathfinder 2E? ;-)


Coriat wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Are prestige classes often under-powered? Yes, yes they are. The old SLA ruling wasn't the way to fix it.
Well, who here is expecting that with this ruling out of the way they are about to be fixed properly now?

Touche. :)


6 people marked this as a favorite.

It has nothing to do with power or balance. The old ruling simply made. no. sense. Not only was it clearly at odds with the design of prestige classes going all the way back to 3E, it essentially invalidated the entire prestige class chapter of the NPC Codex.

Are prestige classes often under-powered? Yes, yes they are. The old SLA ruling wasn't the way to fix it.


In there spirit of the OP, here are ten things I love about 5th edition:

1. Advantage/Disadvantage.
2. The art.
3. Wizard casting.
4. Bounded accuracy.
5. The (full) range of races and classes included in the PHB.
6. Finesse weapons.
7. Character backgrounds.
8. Spells that scale when cast from a higher-level slot.
9. Caster multiclassing.
10. Inspiration


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A couple more thoughts:

* That's one more house rule I can scratch; and
* An entire chapter of the NPC Codex is no longer outdated.

Yay!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good ruling! Between this and the 10' reach change, you guys are on a roll.


Using Routh for anything but the big S is a missed opportunity imho. For some reason, Warner Bros seems scared of making a straight up Superman show (Smallville! Lois and Clark! Superboy!).


Terquem wrote:
Talking about another company's hiring practices is most likely frowned upon in these forums.

I wasn't talking about anyone's hiring practices. I was asking a freelancer (by definition not an employee) his opinion of WotC's licensing practices, because he mentioned it is much harder to work for WotC than Paizo. I was wondering how much of the extra difficulty was due to WotC's failure (so far) to release a public license for 5E vs. other factors of which I -- not being a freelancer -- may not be aware.

If you believe the subject of licensing to be taboo, I suggest you flag my post and let the moderators decide. I'm sure they won't be shy about telling me not to discuss the topic. :-)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Threads like this make me want to play Savage Worlds. :P
It is not the system that is the problem, merely the players...

I'm actually inclined to say it is a bit of both.

The more crunch is published for a system, the more likely unbalanced combinations are to arise. Obviously that doesn't mean that all simple systems are balanced, or that all complex systems are not -- just that the more stuff you throw in the pot, the harder it is to foresee every possible permutation.


TealDeer wrote:
...it's way easier to freelance for Paizo than it is for Wizards.

I enjoyed your entire post, but I thought this bit was noteworthy. I'd like your opinion as a freelancer: How much of the difficultly in freelancing for Wizards is of their own making?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Threads like this make me want to play Savage Worlds. :P

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