This looks like a fantastic product. Underdark, one of my favourite things!
Can I just clarify though? It doesn't mention at the $150 level about receiving the 6 print copies of WoW; it only mentions this under the description, where it says 'you may receive print copies of all six'? Is this definite or contingent upon something? Why is it not mentioned in the pledge levels?
And I think the answer will be 'no' for the same reason that Paizo (quite rightly, IMO), won't even entertain a discussion about further AP compilations. Once the possibility is even raised, existing stock is dead in the water for a percentage of buyers, and holding dead stock is anathema to a healthy business.
Wait till it's all sold through, is my guess.
Pitching in here with my tuppence ha'penny worth (that's 2 cents I guess for you US folks); I say lose the fiction. I've been a subscriber since Serpent's Skull, never read it, never will. Nothing against it, but it's not what I buy gaming product for. I have NEVER wanted fiction in a gaming product, and that goes back to 1st Edition. Nothing against fiction at all. Everything has its place, but an adventure game product isn't it. I'm a published writer, I can do my own, thanks. What I'm not is an adventure designer. I've read tons of fantasy, I've got tons that I haven't read queued up, and tons more on my Amazon wishlist. I don't care what fills the space; I understand maps / adventure expansions aren't practical, but to be honest I'm happy for any kind of crunch - more monsters, more ideas, perhaps extra info on locations in the adventure, more anything. I must admit, when I first bought Serpent's Skull I assumed the fiction was going to be that - the storyline of the AP fictionalised, which I thought might at least give me a couple of ideas. When I realised it wasn't it seemed to have even less point, and I was baffled at its inclusion other than a fairly cheap way of filling the page count.
In a way the Adventure Paths are an amalgam of what Dungeon and Dragon used to be, but to my mind I'd rather it was more of the Dungeon plus crunchier articles from Dragon, than the fluff. I've no time for it - to my mind it's plagued gaming products for years. I realise I'm an extreme case - I don't even like flavour text in rulebooks - but I'd rather get at something that helped me at the gaming table. I play rpgs because I have an imagination; I can visualise adventures, create characters and immerse myself in an ongoing, complex storyline. The help I need for that is for someone to provide the skeleton, not flesh, bones and formal attire as well.
I'm aware James Sutter has said up thread that it's a risk to drop it, and for commercial reasons Paizo have to balance the folks (like me) who keep buying even *though* the APs have fiction, against the folks who'd cancel if they didn't, but seriously? How many people on here buy the APs for 6 pages of fiction, and would cancel their sub if it went? Has anyone in this thread so far - even those who really, really like the fiction - said they'd stop buying if the fiction was dropped? Where's the sense in that? That must be the most expensive six pages of fiction on the market.
The Adventure Paths are to my mind just about the best ongoing gaming product out there right now, and I've got no doubt at all that when D&D reappears in its new guise there'll be a monthly adventure sub built in. I suspect there will be a fiction component there too, but I'd like to see Paizo having evolved to the next stage before then.
Well, you could always stat him as an 'unknown' Runelord, since it's established that in some cases the ones we know and love replaced previous incumbents of the role - ie,
Spoiler for Shattered Star:
The mural of Alaznist slaying Thybidos in Shards of Sin
I'm doing something similar with a long term villain in my own campaign, which will explain how he ended up powerless and expelled to another world.
But to be fair, that the modules are available for Pathfinder society play is somewhat irrelevant. They're produced for a much wider market - ie, the general gaming public - and I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of those don't have any knowledge of organised play. They look at the products on a game shop shelf for what they are, not whether they're legal / helpful for PFS. And that market return is clearly indicating that larger and more involving modules are what they want. I'd be interested to know what % of the 3% cited above sell to people who want them for organised play.
I think the clear intention is to capture a wider slice of the general gaming population.
I can't help feeling you're correct on this. The more game systems you support, the more fragmented the buy in. Rightly or wrongly, I don't buy stuff for systems I don't run, no matter how good it might be, or how many great ideas I might garner from other articles. That's certainly what stopped me subscribing to KQ. My loss, sure, but that's the way it is. Are there any successful multi platform mags for rpgs?
In my book, pick one market and sell the best stuff to it. Or, if you want to be cosmopolitan, don't do it in one product.
Generic Villain wrote:
You totally did, and I apologise if any part of my post came across as a criticism of your opinion. Really, I commend you for your evenhandedness, I just wanted to express a heartfelt 'noooooooo!' to folks expressing a dislike for the whole concept of the AP. For aspects of how it's been executed, sure, I don't have any problem with that, I just don't want Paizo to take away an overall feeling of negativity from the posts because an extended dungeon crawl is what some of us here have been crying out for (and with regard to Mike Shel's post - I've noted the change to the modules with glee and am definitely going to subscribe to the line now).
Much as I like diplomacy and urban exploration, a couple of my players are just not up to it, and they're really only happy when they've got a corridor, a secret room, and a monster to hit. Takes all sorts, and other elements of roleplaying I'll be weaving in and out of the AP for the benefit of my other players. That's where my job comes in.
Generic Villain wrote:
And that's really exactly what it is, and is why I'm enjoying it so much. As James has stated, APs offer a variety of styles of play to satisfy different players. Our group wasn't interested in Pirates or Far East, so although I kept up my sub, we sat the adventures themselves out. This is a hark back, not only to Paizo's early years, but also to the 'traditional' dungeon crawl. That's never going to be to everyone's taste, but for those for whom it's an ideal mix of 'dungeons and diplomacy', I think we shouldn't begrudge either the idea or the execution of the AP. People who 'don't like the dungeon-centric nature of SS' should sit this one out, in the same way folks who don't like horror, or urban, or pirates have sat out others. That way, really, the AP line retains something for everyone.
Like others here, I'm not sold on the Pathfinders though. In my campaign I have a powerful and longstanding NPC family who have been targeted over the last few years by a powerful and unknown enemy. So, the matriarch of the family has hired the party to take up Sheila Heidmarch's quest, but covertly do so for her with every intention of siezing the Sihedron when it's complete. We'll see how that plays out, but really, the point is that a creative GM doesn't need to foreground the Pathfinders or require undying loyalty towards them from the team.
Scott Gable wrote:
Thanks for the elucidation Scott! This is a great product, and I'm looking forward to getting the character integrated into the party. The group will be without a traditional cleric, so healing options will be shared between this, a bard, and judicious use of wands and potions. At the same time the party mage is pretty clueless, so I was also hoping that it would be able to pitch in with some arcane strength when required. This fits the bill perfectly.
Do you anticipate any future support for the class in the way of new options / archetypes or paths? Also - and a bit of a 'dream on' one for me - any likelihood of Hero Lab files? Our group relies pretty heavily on this, and we usually stick only to 3PP classes etc that we can utilise in this way. This one was just too cool to pass up, but it would still be a massive bonus.
Thanks again - and as others have said, love the artwork.
Excellent, that's what I'd hoped; it's a Psychopomp one of my players would like and it seemed counterintuitive not to let the good guys get healing if the bad guys got Inflict. Now you've explained it I can see it's based on existing logic, however faulty. I will amend my game accordingly - very useful, thanks!
Hi Scott; bought the product over the weekend and it gives me exactly what I need. Great stuff! I'm a bit confused with the Spell List given at the end though. I may have missed something as I haven't read it too thoroughly yet, but it says the Sacred Necromancer has access to both divine and arcane necromancer lists. However, in the spell list at the back it only gives the 'evil' variant; ie, Inflict Light Wounds etc, not the Cure version. Is this the case even for those who choose a calling that channels Positive Energy?
I started my last campaign in the middle of a fight, which the party had lost / were losing. Stairs down into a dungeon, desperate rearguard action with party members separated; handed each character a card with a description of what they were facing. One guy was barricaded in a room, slumped against the wall wounded with the dead body of a colleague next to him that he'd dragged in. Told him the sounds of hammering on the door had died away, he had no idea what had happened to the rest of his group, and he needed to stop the bleeding. Another two had been separated from the others and beaten back up to the entrance. Another was trapped in a corridor with enemies at both ends. Just thought up a combat scenario for each of the six, and let them take it from there.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I'd just like to circle back on this as a point. Love the document, but will move onto more specific things when I've had a chance to digest it properly. My main concern at this point is that the paths do seem slanted more to the base wizard / cleric / rogue / fighter mechanic, and in fact seem to be weighted more toward fighter options of one theme or another. I guess to a degree that's because myth and legend itself is slanted towards mighty feat of arms rather than, say, exploration or investigation, but I'll be interested to see to what extent the final product allows other outlooks / classes to really get their day in the mythic arena.
I really don't think this is particularly down to Paizo, it's the fact that they're operating in a (mainly) US cultural environment, and that's very much the dominant mindset that they have to operate within. Action hero killing bad guys with sword / gun / whatever is fine, but woe betide the product that promotes sex, sexuality or nudity as a human norm. You have to be realistic here. Paizo manage to skirt many different sensibilities admirably. Like James says, the leeway is there if you want to take it and run with it, but if there were to make it more overt then they risk alienating not only part of their market, but also the stores that are a large part of their lifeblood.
Presumably something manufactured by Blackbook though, for the benefit of their customers, and thus unlikely to form part of a Paizo subscription.
Having said that, they look gorgeous, and I would snap one up without hesitation if Paizo were to produce something similar.
Mine is now being held at the post office because I have to pay charges??!!! Books are exempt from VAT in the UK. What the hell are these charges? Not happy at all. Waiting to see what is going on...
Mine got through ok - stuff from Frog God always has, but it seems to depend on where you are. Bear in mind, however, that whilst books are VAT exempt, gaming materials are not so it often depends what the label says. I always ask folks shipping things like cards to put Books on the label. RA says 'Gaming Books and Accessories' so you may have been stung with the 'accessories' part.
The postman thrust a large box into my hands as I was leaving this morning - I cannot WAIT to get home and open it! As an added bonus I'm working from home tomorrow; the likelihood of there being any actual work done is minimal :)
A little higher level (7th), but I can't recommend Citadel of Pain from Gaming Paper Adventures highly enough. It's a great, self contained and absolutely fascinating module, containing all the battle maps you'll need to play. Available in print or pdf here at Paizo.
Bill Webb wrote:
Big news on the KS coming soon as well--we are going to "give back" and we will have a very special endorsement I think:)
Wait, what?! Another Kickstarter? Did I miss something? My wallet is going to cry, and I'll be living on bread and water for a year.
Thanks for the response Shane, that's gone some way to alleviating my concerns - I'm glad to hear we will get to see some previews. I tend to agree with your last statement - now that Kickstarter has been demonstrated to be such an effective tool for getting RPG products into the marketplace, I think the number of Pathfinder items is only going to increase, so I guess now is as good a time as any.
I still think it's a big ask, but you are aware of that, and on the plus side it looks like an innovative product, which isn't something that's easy to achieve these days. Best of luck with it.
Shane LeRose wrote:
Reading the description, it sounds like you've got a lot of great ideas there, but between Rappan Athuk, Bleeding Hollow and Companions of the Firmament, not to mention a ton of upcoming Paizo goodies for July and August, there's no way I've got the finance or inclination to take a plunge on an unknown quantity. It's also six times the funding level of Bleeding Hollow and Companions as well, which is a BIG ask when you're not willing to demo any of your material or writing chops up front.
I urge you to reconsider, and take all the excellent advice offered above. Put out a pdf of some of the monsters you say you've been working on since April, or a couple of the locations in Restingdale. Anything to demonstrate that you've got what it takes to justify $6000. And, I'm going to have to say it, the word is 'advice', not 'advise'. That's a different word. Normally, I wouldn't be crass enough to point that out, but you're asking the market to take your ability to write on faith, so you need to make sure spelling and grammar is of a professional standard.
I think it's a reasonable idea, and would also help with their backlist. I subscribe to the Doctor Who audio series that Big Finish produce, and when you start your sub, which is for six or twelve months, you can specify which of the 160 odd releases you want to start your subscription with, and it carries on from there.
One issue I could see would be if you subscribed to part one of AP n, and then it turned out that, say, part three was out of print. Off the top of my head you could have the option to take the pdf and carry over the credit for the price difference, or skip to the next available volume.
I don't know how much extra work it would entail, or what the implications might be for the current AP volumes though.
Something I never noticed before, Alexandrian Creations has some homebrew Rappan Athuk material over here if anyone is interested in some old 3.5 material. :)
Wow, I read that blog regularly, and I've never noticed that material! Thanks, that will be some more fun stuff to pitch in!
I have to say, I think it just doesn't work. Every time Wizards or TSR started up another game system, it gradually withered on the vine, and was eventually cancelled, no matter how good. Alternity, anyone? I also think it would have much the same effect as bringing out another setting would - simply lower sales for Pathfinder. Are there lots of people out there who currently aren't customers of Paizo, but would be if they produced a SF or Wild West or Steampunk system? I really doubt there are enough that fall into that camp to support it on its own, which means splitting the existing fanbase. Really not wise, IMO. A successful business isn't about being all things to all people, it's about knowing who your customers are, and serving them well. And if ever a company served its customers well, it's Paizo.
Other systems - don't go there. Until Wizard's gives them the license for Greyhawk, anyway :)
I don't believe that's the case. I paid $68 for Slumbering Tsar postage to the UK, and I believe that Rappan Athuk will be much the same. It's painful (and the reason I don't take out any subs other than the AP, or get my hardcovers from Paizo), but that's the way it is. I really don't believe there's a cheaper option - if there was, I know Paizo would have found it.
This also doesn't come at a good time for me - I can't justify adding this on top of my Rappan Athuk pledge, so I'll just be picking up the standard edition from my FLGS - but that doesn't detract from the fact that this is an awesome product, and kudos to Paizo for bringing it to the collectors.
A working metal latch? Seriously? That's so cool.
Average pledge value $265, what an enormous testament to Frog God, the team and the products. I am so glad to be supporting the latest iteration of a company that began with that free download of Wizard's Amulet. I remember thinking when I bought the first Rappan Athuk module, 'Great product, but there's no way they're going to last long enough to get to volume three, bet I'm going to be disappointed again.'
Thrilled that I would have lost that bet.
The other thing to bear in mind here - as several people have pointed out, Traveller are selling an entire game, Frog God just one darn adventure. That means that for Bill and Co, this is something that can be repeated again and again. I know I'll be happy to sign up to another FG product in a few months, just as soon as my bank manager - who also happens to be my sister-in-law, so I don't want to upset her - recovers, so let's see which rpg company has raised most funding on Kickstarter this time next year.
I'm going to finish up some polish on the first session tomorrow and post it publicly on the KS. I agree with you about that, sorry I am lacking sleep atm thank you for setting me straight Neofish. Thank you for that suggestion and I hope the quality is something you would like to see on your table :)
No problem, thanks for the response! I shall read with interest.
I'm backing three Pathfinder projects at the moment, and always have room for a good quality hardcover. I'm not really concerned about the price since I know how high print costs are, but you're asking for quite a lot on faith. Why provide a sample of the first chapter only to backers? Wouldn't it make more sense to demonstrate the quality of your work to the whole community in order to generate interest? What's the point of just impressing people who have already pledged? I'm not being critical, just interested in the thought process, because it looks like you don't have enough faith in your own work to let it speak for itself. Free samples are generally used in marketing to gain new customers, not just appeal to existing ones (cf. Free RPG Day).
800 Backers is the big one for me. I'm already getting several dice sets, and I have a metric ton of dice already. The GM Journal and the Gods & Demons appendix would also be nice...but I NEED six more bonus levels. Besides, the journal/appendix goal will almost certainly be met if the RA Subscription goal is met.
Totally agree. I wouldn't think twice about taking out a FG subscription for bonus content (although I'm already panicking about what other awesomeness they have lined up and aren't telling us yet which I shan't be able to afford but will undoubtedly need to have). 10 backers a day, it's possible. Come on!
Neil Spicer wrote:
Thanks for the detailed explanation Neil, that all makes perfect sense. Hopefully we can look forward to some of the older and arguably less popular APs being supported further down the line, once Legendary Games springs back into life and there's a firmer product schedule.
Neil Spicer wrote:
Did anything ever happen on the suggested Serpent's Skull plug ins, or is that AP now too far in the past to be worthwhile?
Pure luck - read the post about five hours after it went up, checked out the Kickstarter, realised it was only $20 off the target, and bam! Great looking product, so more than glad to add it to my pledge list. Miniature is a bonus :)
Yeah, I don't think it's really coming out of the company, at this stage - that would only happen if they put in stuff that wasn't covered by the amount they'd raised, and I think the team are savvy enough with their budgets for that not to happen. The only thing I would be concerned about would be goals that needed resources in terms of time, things that actually stretched their ability to service or deliver. I definitely don't want them to compromise on quality, or work themselves to the point of exhaustion and / or never wanting to hear the word 'Kickstarter' again. However, I don't feel that they'd do that. I trust FG to only put stuff on the table that they can deliver, and deliver well.
I love the sound of this, looks very exciting.
And those efforts are much appreciated. I guess it's just a case of reaching a critical mass with the product, so that such content becomes the norm rather than the exception.
I very much like the suggestions around expanding the information beyond simple bestiary entries (not that they're particularly simple, but...). Sure, new Demon Lords etc are always welcome, but definitely more detail on their domains, specific locations, and variant uses for their abilities and agendas. More stuff like the 3e Hordes of the Abyss - rules for possession and exorcism, demon crafted items designed to entrap mortals, devilish contracts, how the brave, greedy and foolhardy summon and treat with nether planar beings. More on unique beings - servants of the greater lords and ladies that could be used to challenge lower level parties (note, not 'low' level, just lower than the upper echelons needed to battle DC20+), examples of plots and campaigns undertaken on prime material realms, rules for demon hunters and devil slayers. What about lower planar constructs and machines? And just how does the economy of a town or fortress in the Abyss or Nine Hells work? I mean, I find it hard to imagine these beings living in any kind of normal society. How would such a place function?
Also, and this is kinda hard to quantify, I want these places to be strange. Back in the days of 1e I would leap on any mention of other planes, of the inhabitants thereof that occasionally showed up in places like Vault of the Drow. They radiated otherness, something weird, alien, inhuman and malignant, and really stirred my imagination. And then along came Planescape which, for me, just didn't succeed in conveying that convincingly. It was just another adventure location that 1st or 2nd level characters could - with a bit of preparation - head off to. Heck, they even lived there. To me, that just demolished what was different and forbidding about the lower planes. Going there should have been tantamount to suicide; only the high level, or incredibly lucky, could hope to venture there and come away unscathed. In fact, in all likelihood, no-one could hope to come away unscathed in some way. Much of it should have been too much for mortal minds to even contemplate (of course, eventually, that arena was usurped by the Far Realm). I'd like to see those inhuman vistas beckoning again from the edge of madness and evil.
I mean, really, all kinds of stuff. That's just off the top of my head. Personally, I'd be quite happy to immerse myself in a hardback on the subject, because I'm darned sure it would get more use than many others on my shelves, but that's just me.
Whilst I agree that it would be great to have greater 3PP support for Hero Lab, it's also true that then they would have to spend time figuring out how to create it in the HL editor. Just because they're publishers doesn't mean they're any more familiar with HL than you are. Maybe it behooves them to learn in order to provide a more attractive product, but then it's also reasonable for them to charge more for their pdfs in return. Is that something you'd be happy with as well? Would everyone? Would the loss of sales (based on the fact that not everyone uses HL) be compensated for by an increase in sales to HL users? Just sayin'.
What I'd like is some more comprehensive documentation on creating custom content. I don't really want to scrabble around on YouTube, or search messageboards for tips to find how to do the one thing I want to create (currently needing to set up Wee Jas owing to a planeshifted Greyhawk priest visiting Golarion). It's such an awesome product that I really feel it deserves a separate tutorial package. Maybe that would cost, but I, for one, would find it worth it.