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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When should we expect an official Eratta document for the Advanced Player's Guide?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1970Zombie wrote:
When should we expect an official Eratta document for the Advanced Player's Guide?

When we print a 2nd printing of the book, which is not something we've announced yet nor is it something that has a set date... but it WILL be happening at some point. Sorry that I can't be more exact than this at this time.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
1970Zombie wrote:
When should we expect an official Eratta document for the Advanced Player's Guide?
When we print a 2nd printing of the book, which is not something we've announced yet nor is it something that has a set date... but it WILL be happening at some point. Sorry that I can't be more exact than this at this time.

And if the Second printing drags out a long time?....

*Still not a fan on waiting on reprints for erratas*

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragnmoon wrote:

And if the Second printing drags out a long time?....

*Still not a fan on waiting on reprints for erratas*

It will probably feel like it might drag out for a long time to some people, but from my perspective it's unlikely to drag out for a long time. At some point, we're likely to get to a point where we manage to balance the print runs more accurately to demands and WON'T have to worry about quick reprints of books, and at that point we'll probably revisit our policy of when to issue erratas for books... but that point is not right now.

My preference, of course, is to get the initial printing of our books as error free as we can, and if we're scrambling to issue errata (a process that takes a significant amount of work) so quickly after a book's release date (it's barely been a month for the APG) that we're NEVER going to be able to get to a point where errata is less necessary.

Part of the solution is, of course, hire more people (we hired 3 this month, for example, and are unlikely to stop hiring there), but another part of the solution is to spend more time on books yet to be publish than we do on books that are already published.


Make up an absurdly big number and divide it by twelve to achieve years.


Is the new FAQ system including errata too or just rules clarifications? Because if it includes errata too, then that will help some. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Is the new FAQ system including errata too or just rules clarifications? Because if it includes errata too, then that will help some. :)

I don't see why it can't include both... but unless it comes on a PDF with the word "ERRATA" on top, having it show up in the FAQ or even as an answer on these boards won't satisfy a lot of folks.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cartigan wrote:
Make up an absurdly big number and divide it by twelve to achieve years.

You forgot the part where we add 8 months to the final result each time Cartigan posts something snarky. :P

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Is the new FAQ system including errata too or just rules clarifications? Because if it includes errata too, then that will help some. :)

I don't see why it can't include both... but unless it comes on a PDF with the word "ERRATA" on top, having it show up in the FAQ or even as an answer on these boards won't satisfy a lot of folks.

I Disagree with not satisfying all... kind of.

I think a perfect solution would be to make a "Living Document" like the FAQ *A Tab* that is separate from the FAQ so the 2 are not confused, and updated as errors *Mechanical ones, I could care less about spelling errors* are found, and not just updated when a second print is made.

Why would that not satisfy people? I know right now waiting for a second printing is not satisfying people.

Edit: I think this subject is the only one I complain to you guys about.. ;)


James Jacobs wrote:
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Is the new FAQ system including errata too or just rules clarifications? Because if it includes errata too, then that will help some. :)

I don't see why it can't include both... but unless it comes on a PDF with the word "ERRATA" on top, having it show up in the FAQ or even as an answer on these boards won't satisfy a lot of folks.

I don't see why there can't be some concise, easily accessible system in which errata can be provided.

Posting it on the boards ad-hoc is neither efficient nor anywhere near easily accessible unless it is cataloged immediately by a third-party sire.
The current FAQ system may or may not have errata and its a completely bottom up setup that unnecessarily complicates the whole thing.
Why not have a top-down system that has errata and then branches by book?


Its quite strange that I have yet to find and adequate method for errata perusal in the wild. Its always a tough bet. The best process I have seen so far was for Advanced Squad Leader, but thats because of the "3 ring binder" release setup.

The worst possible place is to post them on the forums here, as it is already very busy. I would be happy if it was its own entity with a link over in the "links" sidebar.

How about an official 3 ring binder for errata with tag pages for each book as a product :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cartigan wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Is the new FAQ system including errata too or just rules clarifications? Because if it includes errata too, then that will help some. :)

I don't see why it can't include both... but unless it comes on a PDF with the word "ERRATA" on top, having it show up in the FAQ or even as an answer on these boards won't satisfy a lot of folks.

I don't see why there can't be some concise, easily accessible system in which errata can be provided.

Posting it on the boards ad-hoc is neither efficient nor anywhere near easily accessible unless it is cataloged immediately by a third-party sire.
The current FAQ system may or may not have errata and its a completely bottom up setup that unnecessarily complicates the whole thing.
Why not have a top-down system that has errata and then branches by book?

Because for better or worse, right now policy is to issue errata along with reprints. Paizo's errata policy isn't something that we really solicit feedback on, nor is it something I'm comfortable chatting in detail about in public. Suffice to say that I would LOVE to see a more easily accessible and timely method of getting errata out... but I would love even more to produce books that have such a low need for errata that folks don't get worked up when it takes longer than a month or three to post errata.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Because for better or worse, right now policy is to issue errata along with reprints. Paizo's errata policy isn't something that we really solicit feedback on, nor is it something I'm comfortable chatting in detail about in public. Suffice to say that I would LOVE to see a more easily accessible and timely method of getting errata out... but I would love even more to produce books that have such a low need for errata that folks don't get worked up when it takes longer than a month or three to post errata.

So you know so you can do with it what you will , Myself and others are not satisfied with your errata policy, so the answer of not revisiting it is not a satisfactory answer. Of the many things you guys do, this is the one that makes me upset, enough at points that I have thought of not supporting Paizo anymore, that is how much this means to me personally. I expect errors to be made in books, it happens, but I also expect a timely manner in which the fixes are brought to the public, at this point you are far from that, and I worry that will not change soon.

So far because your reprints where done so quickly with some of your Core books those where done fairly quickly, but books that have not been reprinted have never seen an errata, that is what upsets me the most. Since your First book after Dragon/Dungeon came out in Jun/Jul/Aug 07 we have not seen any Erratas until you gave an errata for the PRPG Core book and of the many books you have released you have only giving erratas for 3 books as far as I can tell *Core, Bestiary and Adventurer's Armory* as far as I can tell, now of course not all of them need mechanically mistakes fixed, but there are quiet a few that do, and except for some very hard to find posts we have seen nothing for correction.

I feel this is an important thing for a Game company to deal with, and so far I think you guys are failing miserably and are unwilling from what I see to fully fix the issue of past mistakes, I am glad you are working on stopping mistakes from happening, but I want to see the past ones fixed, and I don't want to have to wait a few years down the road for you guys to finally realize you are making a mistake by not addressing it now.

That said, this is the last time I will bring my issue on this up, I think you guys are fully aware on how I feel about it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Make up an absurdly big number and divide it by twelve to achieve years.
You forgot the part where we add 8 months to the final result each time Cartigan posts something snarky. :P

Well in that case, it will NEVER come out. :)

I wish Cartigan would actually post something positive once in a while :)


Deanoth wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Make up an absurdly big number and divide it by twelve to achieve years.
You forgot the part where we add 8 months to the final result each time Cartigan posts something snarky. :P

Well in that case, it will NEVER come out. :)

I wish Cartigan would actually post something positive once in a while :)

I think their errata system is positively dreadful.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:


So far because your reprints where done so quickly with some of your Core books those where done fairly quickly, but books that have not been reprinted have never seen an errata, that is what upsets me the most. Since your First book after Dragon/Dungeon came out in Jun/Jul/Aug 07 we have not seen any Erratas until you gave an errata for the PRPG Core book and of the many books you have released you have only giving erratas for 3 books as far as I can tell *Core, Bestiary and Adventurer's Armory* as far as I can tell, now of course not all of them need mechanically mistakes fixed, but there are quiet a few that do, and except for some very hard to find posts we have seen nothing for correction.

I can’t say I am as upset as Dragnmoon on the errata, but I can understand the frustration. But what I bolded really concerns me the most. James, since you said you do not release errata until books are reprinted, does that mean we will never see errata for books you have no plans for a reprint? Which is pretty much all of the Campaign Setting and Companion line books (Adventurer’s Armory was the exception, I know). I would hate to never see errata for those books. I can understand not reprinting them due to the cost, but I see no reason not to put out errata for them. Especially if we (the community) are willing to find them with the errata threads.

Scarab Sages

By Odin's Beard, there sure is a lot of whining in this thread...

It's Errata, for a game book... It isn't a Peace Accord between warring nations. 'This makes me so upset that I just might stop buying these products...' Are you serious? Perhaps you should, if Errata for a game means that much to you.

If the issue is a spelling error, or simple grammar, it is a non-issue, as far as you being able to play the game. Deal with the editorial mistakes.

If the issue is a rules call, I feel for you(Just a bit), but C'Mon... Not everything needs to be spoon fed to you,does it?
Make a Rules Call. Remember when we (Gamers) played the game more free-form, and creatively? Hearken back to that.
DM: make a ruling based on what you think is logical.
Players: Ask the DM, or the group as a whole what they think about the issue.
It seems like a group of folks could come up with solutions to an issue without too much of a problem.

-Uriel


Uriel393 wrote:

By Odin's Beard, there sure is a lot of whining in this thread...

It's Errata, for a game book... It isn't a Peace Accord between warring nations. 'This makes me so upset that I just might stop buying these products...' Are you serious? Perhaps you should, if Errata for a game means that much to you.

If the issue is a spelling error, or simple grammar, it is a non-issue, as far as you being able to play the game. Deal with the editorial mistakes.

If the issue is a rules call, I feel for you(Just a bit), but C'Mon... Not everything needs to be spoon fed to you,does it?
Make a Rules Call. Remember when we (Gamers) played the game more free-form, and creatively? Hearken back to that.
DM: make a ruling based on what you think is logical.
Players: Ask the DM, or the group as a whole what they think about the issue.
It seems like a group of folks could come up with solutions to an issue without too much of a problem.

-Uriel

That's great and all, but do you realize Pathfinder has a living campaign setting that requires constant rules between all locations?


Compiling errata for a book goes up non-linearly with A) the number of pages in the book and B) the number of books that it refers to and refer back to it.

Paizo is putting out 2-3 300 page tomes a year. Each of those books represents about 15 months of work for 4-6 people. An errata project, done right, has two phases.

Phase 1 is about a 3 day a week job for one staffer: He A) answers rules questions and B) compiles the list of all questions and answers and puts them into one reference document that is used internally. The general rule of thumb is that you'll get a month of activity per 90-100 pages in the book, so this takes about 3-5 months until it's comprehensive.

Before you jump in and say "But why not publish that reference document?", the reason is because answering rules questions via Email or forums is NOT a well considered 'law review' style of analysis. Rulings may change with more information, or with future products that come out that alter the original decision.

This leads to phase 2.

Phase 2 is looking over the body of rules questions and decisions and going point by point through them and the corpus of not just that rulebook, but all rulebooks to make sure they're consistently applied and don't open up rules arguments later. This takes about 2-3 months, and then adds another month or two for each ancillary rulebook that needs checking.

Note that both of those phases require that someone be paid to sit at a desk and reference things, rather than putting words into a product that will generate revenue.


AdAstraGames wrote:


Note that both of those phases require that someone be paid to sit at a desk and reference things, rather than putting words into a product that will generate revenue.

Understandable. But Paizo is no longer making supplements. They are producing a game system itself. Not only that, but they introduced a living world to work along with their game system. The combination of both of those facts means Paizo must move into the realm of non-profitable but necessary work in order to support their own product.


Plus the main rulebook apparently has been somewhat more successful than was expected,
i.e. it`s sales can cover the amount of sales a new product would normally be needed to generate.
I.e. if it`s previous lower sales forcasts justified the work of writing it in the first place, it`s now higher sales forecasts should be able to justify the amount of work needed to actually fix it.

There`s just vast numbers of Errata issues that Paizo has known about (or could be expected to know about, given they were reported to Paizo`s official site, under threads dedicated to Errata issues) for about year or so. Not just type-o`s or style issues, but rules that just don`t work very well when you follow the RAW.

Read the description of the Pinned condition, for example - It doesn`t say `can take NO actions EXCEPT...´, but vaguely says you can take `few` actions and continues with specific things you CAN`T do (the which is superfluous if one is supposed to read `few` actions as meaning you can`t do ANYTHING except actions specifically allowed). The passage is clearly poorly written because it repeats nearly the same not-quite-as-clear-as-it-thinks-they-are phrases `can take few actions` and `limited in the actions it can take` separated by only a sentence or two, while still failing to accurately convey the RAI.

Or the (Snow) Avalanche rules - whoops, no way to dig yourself out (though you can with a CAVE IN of ROCK). Or notice where all the rules for attacks in general (attack rolls, damage, crits, etc) are located (under the Attack Action, i.e. just maybe there`s a good reason why hordes of players don`t understand how that otherwise common English phrase is being put to use, e.g. in Vital Strike related issues).

And new players are supposed to know what situations where they should read the RAW very literally and particularly, and which situations they should ignore it because that doesn`t conform to the RAI. OK. I get the impression that in some cases, if the wording was similar in 3.5 than Paizo thinks that gives them a pass... As if 3.x was an example of a well-written product, or that Pathfinder might aim to be an improvement upon 3.x.

Personally, it IS an issue that affects my purchase of Paizo products. Not so much `fluff` material or AP`s, but the rules products themselves. Paizo`s setting and AP`s have nice stories, and that carries thru even if there`s a few errors. Rules products are not about story, and if their RAW fails to work correctly, one has to ask `Why am I paying for this?` Not to mention that Paizo sponsors an Organized Play system which requires RAW play when that RAW is not 100% functional much less a clear and consise conveyance of the RAI. I can`t really want to buy a product as rife with Errata as the APG, and I can`t get excited that Paizo is working on ANOTHER splat (Complete Arcana) including another base class, when their Core Rules are still a mess a year after their release and the vast majority of reported Errata issues haven`t been incorporated into the latest printing.

As said, it certainly IS a part-time position at least to over-see the Errata process, but ESPECIALLY given that Paizo seems set on releasing a packed schedule of rules products (which judging by APG will continue to have serious Errata issues... as said, Errata is in a rules product is simply much more likely in a Rules product vs. more Fluff material because things like specific phrasing are much more important in Rules), it seems all the more important to have a dedicated Errata person... and to start NOW so that Core Rules Errata can be caught up with before the Errata backlog grows even further beyond the APG. Such a person could probably be involved in the Editing process for Rules material BEFORE first publication, which for all the same reasons is really a different beast than editing for NON Rules material... i.e. it really needs a rigorous process because many of these issues aren`t apparent when reading quickly or when making assumptions based on long experience with 3.x as a system... Handing the final draft to INEXPERIENCED readers/players and seeing how they interpret the rules is one way to discover places where the rules aren`t as clear as the writer thought.

I suggeted before that based on his honest and direct feedback after the APG was released, Jason Nelson might have the chops for such position (I have no idea if he has the desire for such a role). As seen from his feedback, he`s certainly not some super-man writer who can write Errata-free text, but is aware of the importance of wording and phrasing, and doesn`t seem to have a problem with the concept of making the rules as good as it can be thru Errata.

Shadow Lodge

I would be content if the errata issues were just added to the FAQ the way the slayer ability was added. I would like to see the FAQ get updated a little faster than one item every 2-3 weeks though which is the current pace.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was also content with the way that WotC handled their errata/FAQ documents for the 3.0/3.5 era. While I would've preferred they brought out more errata (erratum?), the FAQ document was a very helpful document that I tended to print out and check regularly for updates. This allowed the designers in my opinion to have official rulings on wording and give full answers for rules questions without worrying about space.

The biggest negative that I have seen with errata at Paizo is that it is tied to a reprint. As others have said, I can accept no errata for modules, APs, and most campaign books, but I believe rules material (especially rulebooks) deserves errata attached to it when there are problems.


I don`t necessarily see a huge problem with tying Errata to re-prints.
Though it might be NICE if Paizo also made available Errata Lists which contained the Errata they would include IF they re-printed right now. On-going Errata lists also seem a bit more realistic, given that it doesn`t precipitate a conflict between readying a product for a re-print and the normal editorial schedule, i.e. setting it up so that a large amount of Errata work needs be done on short notice (which is why I suspect Core Rules re-prints AREN`T being satisfactorally updated for Errata issues).
(Though as I and others suggest, a dedicated Errata Editor distinct from normal Editing tasks also would reduce this conflict). Such on-going lists would probably also help Paizo themselves in avoiding repeating the same mistakes in future products (i.e. as a reference even if a product is never re-printed), but maybe they have perfect memories to remember all pending Errata issues off the top of their heads.

The problem I see is is that when re-prints happen, there is precious few Errata to go with them.
That just doesn`t jive with the mountain of issues sitting in Errata threads, and in fact issues that Paizo staff have responded to in their posts which AREN`T dealt with when new printings go out.

Given the fact that there IS a mountain of Errata, it seems prudent to start the Errata process NOW and work on it continuously in advance of ordering a new print run, because it will probably take that long to deal with all of the Errata and update the text accordingly. The issue is that big, and ignoring it doesn`t make it smaller. It just isn`t beleivable that all the Errata which has been ignored and piling up thru multiple print runs, will somehow be dealt with on short notice when the NEXT print run is decided upon.


How many of you would be willing to contribute to a tip jar fund to pay for this?

My point above is that Paizo's publishing side is already overworked. I've worked for two game publishers directly, I run a much smaller game company of my own.

I know firsthand just how much work you're proposing, and I know precisely how it looks at the weekly staff meeting:

Everyone's looking around to find a sucker who has 20-30 hours a week to handle this. Everyone's hoping that that sucker isn't THEM.

From an office work perspective, being the Errata Coordinator is sort of like being volunteered to do the job nobody else wants to touch. It's not as fun or as engaging as being a lead designer. It's not as fun or engaging as being the developer. It requires an extensive knowledge of the rules, and a willingness to be overruled by the designer or developer from time to time.

It also requires dealing with fans on forums.

A lot of you have worked help desk jobs. Being an Errata Coordinator is sort of the game company equivalent of grunt level tech support. Except that your regular callers tend to be bright, argumentative cusses. For the fans, arguing over the order of operations of Empower Spell is something they're doing for fun.

For the Errata Coordinator, it's one of about 40 action items to be taken care of during the day, and this is the part of his job that is Not Fun, and he's be making more money working entry level tech support.

I don't know what Paizo pays. I know what companies their size in the industry pay; I know that a lot of folks who work in RPGs haven't had a pay raise in a decade or more...and they stick with the gig because parts of the job are seriously seriously cool. Most could easily double their salary by taking an office job. Hell, quite a few have discovered that writing for internet content mills pays better than writing games...

Star Voter 2014

Eh, I'm fine with the FAQ. The only major problem that really needed to be addressed was the Inquisitor.

Would it be nice to have a nice, official document? Sure. And someday we will. But for now, I feel like I have the most important issues addressed, the rest can be made as judgement calls by individual DM's. That's the beauty of an RPG.


AdAstraGames wrote:
How many of you would be willing to contribute to a tip jar fund to pay for this?

As many customers as have exceeded Paizo`s sales forecasts for the Core Rules?

...Thus exceeding the planned investment/payback ratio?
Thus enabling further Editing/Errata work while maintaining the same ratio?

By all accounts (from Paizo) the Core Rules have been fabulously successful beyond their imagination.
That kind of lets them do things they otherwise might not.

Fundamentally, I think it`s reasonable to imagine there is some maximal target audience for Paizo`s work.
(it would be pointless to try and quantify that number exactly, though Paizo could aim to forecast reasonable growth prospects in 5 years, for example)

I feel that if they are known for a very high quality product, that is as easy as possible for novice gamers to get into, that it would increase that maximal target audience to some degree or another. I don`t think that whether or not they proceed with a full-speed foray into splat materials, or how soon they can publish those splats, affects that maximal target audience as much, especially given that PRPG is largely compatable with the huge number of 3.5 splats. Paizo seems to feel that they will stick with this game system for some time, in which case there`s plenty of time for those splats to come out, while the increased quality (in consistency, readability, etc) of the Core Rules just increases the maximal target audience for the Core Rules itself AND ALL THEIR PRODUCTS by carry-over.

Shadow Lodge

AdAstraGames wrote:
How many of you would be willing to contribute to a tip jar fund to pay for this?

Arguably it's part of the cost of printing a book. Much like releasing bug fixes is part of the cost of producing software.

Much like a software company that has a bad reputation for being slow with bug releases sales suffer.

A lot of folks are used to self patching their games so it's not a big deal for them. For some people they only want to play with the patches released by the company.


AdAstraGames wrote:
How many of you would be willing to contribute to a tip jar fund to pay for this?

Again, producing system supplements and producing a system itself including an organized play system are not the same thing. One you could slouch off on errata. Perhaps even if you were just producing a system without organized play you could. But producing a system including organized play? You are going to have to accept that errata can't be left by the wayside as far as rules go.

EDIT: Blast you poor grammar.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:


Part of the solution is, of course, hire more people (we hired 3 this month, for example, and are unlikely to stop hiring there).

Call me ;)


Cartigan wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:
How many of you would be willing to contribute to a tip jar fund to pay for this?

Again, producing system supplements and producing a system itself including an organized play system are not the same thing. One you could slouch off on errata. Perhaps even if you were just producing a system without organized play you could. But producing a system including organized play? You are going to have to accept that errata can't be left by the wayside as far as rules go.

So, the answer is "No, I think Paizo should pay someone to do this, but I'm not willing to contribute, beyond buying the products I already have."

I understand this position. I disagree with it, but I understand it.

The irony here is that with the number of regular posters on these forums, everyone chipping in $5-10 every 2-3 months to specifically fund a week of James' time (or some intern's time) to consolidate errata lists is quite doable.

Paizo has had a runaway success with this product - but a runaway success does not mean they're rolling in money. It means that they can hire people to do more jobs, but the primary purpose of hiring someone at a business is this:

That person should (hopefully) generate more revenue than he costs, or prevent a greater loss in revenue than his salary consumes.

Quantifying the latter case is very difficult. (This difficulty is why companies outsource their tech support phone rooms to the Philippines, among other reasons.)

With publishing in general, loss prevention is very hard to justify - once the product has been printed, you are always better off focusing on making your next release better, or trying to increase your volume of releases, until you've got some evidence of market saturation.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Hobbun wrote:
I can’t say I am as upset as Dragnmoon on the errata, but I can understand the frustration. But what I bolded really concerns me the most. James, since you said you do not release errata until books are reprinted, does that mean we will never see errata for books you have no plans for a reprint? Which is pretty much all of the Campaign Setting and Companion line books (Adventurer’s Armory was the exception, I know). I would hate to never see errata for those books. I can understand not reprinting them due to the cost, but I see no reason not to put out errata for them. Especially if we (the community) are willing to find them with the errata threads.

At this point, yes, that means that books we'll never reprint will never have errata. That's also somewhat of a necessity at our end, since we have to keep going forward with our many monthly products, and time we spend lingering on published products producing errata takes away from time we have producing new products.

Frankly, one solution would be to reduce the total number of products we produce a year so that we COULD spend more time both making sure there's fewer errors in the books we release AND to get more time to create and maintain errata for books. Unfortunately, reducing the rate at which we release products isn't really an option, since we're kind of locked in to the monthly schedule due to subscriptions, and we don't want to mess much with the subscription model since it's SO successful for us.

It's a tangled, complex problem, in other words. And as frustrating as it is for folks who buy our books, it's doubly frustrating for us here at Paizo. Me in particular, since it is really demoralizing to put a year of work into a book, have it release, then all you seem to hear about it is that it has errors.

If dealing with errata were easy, we would have had a great solution for it by now, in other words. It's NOT easy, and so we DON'T have a great solution. Hopefully, some day, we will.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

There are a lot of incorrect statements here about FAQs and errata. I'd like to clarify.

Start by forgetting everything you think you know about our policies in that direction. A lot of the info here is either out-of-date, or just plain wrong.

Next, please try not to let the terms "errata" and "FAQ" be defined by what Wizards of the Coast has done in the past—we're using them differently. Specifically, I'm using "errata" exclusively to mean a document that describes the changes between different printings of a book, and "FAQ" to mean a living document that helps resolve issues that affect gameplay.

In August, we launched a new flagging system to help you help us locate and resolve problems. (In this sense, "problem" is a broad term that encompasses everything from typos to unclear wordings to undefined interactions to... well, just plain errors.)

To begin with, we rolled the system out in the Pathfinder RPG forum, and we're using it to collect your problem reports on just the Core Rulebook, the Bestiary, and the Advanced Player's Guide for now, but once we have it ironed out a bit, we'll probably begin using it for all of our products.

As our developers have time, they'll look at posts that have been flagged, and resolve them in a few different ways, depending on what the problem is. If it's a minor typo, or something else that doesn't affect gameplay, it'll be noted for future use, in case that book gets reprinted or that material gets reused somewhere, but we won't bother putting it into a FAQ. If it's something that does affect gameplay, it'll go into the FAQ for that product, which can be found on the product page, in a tab next to the product discussion thread. (The guys haven't had a lot of time to do much more than experiment with it yet, so those FAQs are very sparse at the moment. There's a lot of stuff queued up for them to look at, so it'll get bigger over time—especially once Bestiary 2 has been put to bed.)

To be really clear, our product FAQs can incorporate things that Wizards of the Coast might have labeled errata. It can include questions like "How does spell X interact with spell Y," of course, but it can *also* include questions like "The guy on page 56 has a CMB of 15. Is that right?"

So, don't assume that if a product never gets reprinted, you'll never have official rulings on issues. What you won't have is the errata document that tells you what changed between printings, but you will—eventually—have a FAQ that addresses issues that might affect gameplay.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

There are a lot of incorrect statements here about FAQs and errata. I'd like to clarify.

Start by forgetting everything you think you know about our policies in that direction. A lot of the info here is either out-of-date, or just plain wrong.

Next, please try not to let the terms "errata" and "FAQ" be defined by what Wizards of the Coast has done in the past—we're using them differently. Specifically, I'm using "errata" exclusively to mean a document that describes the changes between different printings of a book, and "FAQ" to mean a living document that helps resolve issues that affect gameplay.

In August, we launched a new flagging system to help you help us locate and resolve problems. (In this sense, "problem" is a broad term that encompasses everything from typos to unclear wordings to undefined interactions to... well, just plain errors.)

To begin with, we rolled the system out in the Pathfinder RPG forum, and we're using it to collect your problem reports on just the Core Rulebook, the Bestiary, and the Advanced Player's Guide for now, but once we have it ironed out a bit, we'll probably begin using it for all of our products. (It's kind of a beta test.)

As our developers have time, they'll look at posts that have been flagged, and resolve them in a few different ways, depending on what the problem is. If it's a minor typo, or something else that doesn't affect gameplay, it'll be noted for future use, in case that book gets reprinted or that material gets reused somewhere, but we won't bother putting it into a FAQ. If it's something that does affect gameplay, it'll go into the FAQ for that product, which can be found on the product page, in a tab next to the product discussion thread. (The guys haven't had a lot of time to do much more than experiment with it yet, so those FAQs are very sparse at the moment. There's a lot of stuff queued up for them to look at, so it'll get bigger over time—especially once Bestiary 2 has been put to bed.)

And when we go to reprint a product, we'll incorporate appropriate stuff from the FAQ into the new printing, and those changes will then end up in the appropriate errata document.

To be really clear, our product FAQs can incorporate things that Wizards of the Coast might have labeled errata. It can include typical FAQ-y questions like "How does spell X interact with spell Y," of course, but it can *also* include questions like "The guy on page 56 has a CMB of 15. Shouldn't it be 17?"

So, don't assume that if a product never gets reprinted, you'll never have official rulings on issues. What you *won't* have is the errata document that tells you what changed between printings, but you will—eventually—have a FAQ that addresses issues that might affect gameplay.


AdAstraGames wrote:


So, the answer is "No, I think Paizo should pay someone to do this, but I'm not willing to contribute, beyond buying the products I already have."

Yes, "I expect Paizo to provide the full services of a company handling its own game system with its own organized play system without asking for extra handouts." is my answer.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

As our developers have time, they'll look at posts that have been flagged, and resolve them in a few different ways, depending on what the problem is. If it's a minor typo, or something else that doesn't affect gameplay, it'll be noted for future use, in case that book gets reprinted or that material gets reused somewhere, but we won't bother putting it into a FAQ. If it's something that does affect gameplay, it'll go into the FAQ for that product, which can be found on the product page, in a tab next to the product discussion thread. (The guys haven't had a lot of time to do much more than experiment with it yet, so those FAQs are very sparse at the moment. There's a lot of stuff queued up for them to look at, so it'll get bigger over time—especially once Bestiary 2 has been put to bed.)

And when we go to reprint a product, we'll incorporate appropriate stuff from the FAQ into the new printing, and those changes will then end up in the appropriate errata document.

To be really clear, our product FAQs can incorporate things that Wizards of the Coast might have labeled errata. It can include typical FAQ-y questions like "How does spell X interact with spell Y," of course, but it can *also* include questions like "The guy on page 56 has a CMB of 15. Shouldn't it be 17?"

So, don't assume that if a product never gets reprinted, you'll never have official rulings on issues. What you *won't* have is the errata document that tells you what changed between printings, but you will—eventually—have a FAQ that addresses issues that might affect gameplay.

Edit: If you wish you can ignore the first 2 paragraphs, it is just me ranting ;).

I remember you saying this a week ago, to a similar question I brought up.

But after many years with out an errata, I am still not happy with your speed on this, I know you guys have excuses for this speed, but after 3 years of hearing the same thing, I am Sick of hearing the same excuse over and over again. It is just to long with the same reason, That is why I have been so frustrated on this, because it is taking you way to long to solve this issue.

Also, I am not a fan of you guys putting Errata and FAQ together, would it not be simpler and less confusing since we all have preconceived ideas what the 2 terms mean, to separate them, but use the same format?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


At this point, yes, that means that books we'll never reprint will never have errata. That's also somewhat of a necessity at our end, since we have to keep going forward with our many monthly products, and time we spend lingering on published products producing errata takes away from time we have producing new products.

Frankly, one solution would be to reduce the total number of products we produce a year so that we COULD spend more time both making sure there's fewer errors in the books we release AND to get more time to create and maintain errata for books. Unfortunately, reducing the rate at which we release products isn't really an option, since we're kind of locked in to the monthly schedule due to subscriptions, and we don't want to mess much with the subscription model since it's SO successful for us.

It's a tangled, complex problem, in other words. And as frustrating as it is for folks who buy our books, it's doubly frustrating for us here at Paizo. Me in particular, since it is really demoralizing to put a year of work into a book, have it release, then all you seem to hear about it is that it has errors.

If dealing with errata were easy, we would have had a great solution for it by now, in other words. It's NOT easy, and so we DON'T have a great solution. Hopefully, some day, we will.

Ok James, thanks for taking the time to answer. And with Vic's detailed response, it clears up a lot. I am not as concerned with typo's, which is what it sounds like errata would be dealing with. The only concern I would have with typo's is in the instance of charts.

If there is a typo on a chart for one of the Companion or Campaign Setting books, will we see that added to the FAQ as that could certainly affect gameplay?

But really, Vic had addressed my main concern on clearing up rules questions in the use with the FAQ.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Dragnmoon wrote:

Edit: If you wish you can ignore the first 2 paragraphs, it is just me ranting ;).

I remember you saying this a week ago, to a similar question I brought up.

But after many years with out an errata, I am still not happy with your speed on this, I know you guys have excuses for this speed, but after 3 years of hearing the same thing, I am Sick of hearing the same excuse over and over again. It is just to long with the same reason, That is why I have been so frustrated on this, because it is taking you way to long to solve this issue.

Well, I hope you at least realize that the implementation of the FAQ system is progress...

Dragnmoon wrote:
Also, I am not a fan of you guys putting Errata and FAQ together, would it not be simpler and less confusing since we all have preconceived ideas what the 2 terms mean, to separate them, but use the same format?

Like I said, this is sort of a beta test, and if splitting them along those lines ends up making more sense, we'll do that. However, I've always felt that the system you're used to is somewhat arbitrary at times, and at worst, gives off an air of "errata is where we admit we made a mistake and FAQs are where we tell you you're doing it wrong."

Either way, we're talking about issues that need to be dealt with—why not do it in one place instead of two?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hobbun wrote:

The only concern I would have with typo's is in the instance of charts.

If there is a typo on a chart for one of the Companion or Campaign Setting books, will we see that added to the FAQ as that could certainly affect gameplay?

Yes—if an entry in a chart says "7" instead of "17", or stuff ended up on the wrong line, that would be totally FAQable.

For our system, don't worry so much about what *type* of error it is. It doesn't matter if it's a typo or an unclear rule—all that matter is whether it affects gameplay or not.

Grand Lodge

Uriel393 wrote:

By Odin's Beard, there sure is a lot of whining in this thread...

It's Errata, for a game book... It isn't a Peace Accord between warring nations. 'This makes me so upset that I just might stop buying these products...' Are you serious? Perhaps you should, if Errata for a game means that much to you.

If the issue is a spelling error, or simple grammar, it is a non-issue, as far as you being able to play the game. Deal with the editorial mistakes.

If the issue is a rules call, I feel for you(Just a bit), but C'Mon... Not everything needs to be spoon fed to you,does it?
Make a Rules Call. Remember when we (Gamers) played the game more free-form, and creatively? Hearken back to that.
DM: make a ruling based on what you think is logical.
Players: Ask the DM, or the group as a whole what they think about the issue.
It seems like a group of folks could come up with solutions to an issue without too much of a problem.

-Uriel

+1


What i don`t get is why Paizo seems able to hire people for other jobs (art, etc) but can`t seem to for Errata / Rules Editing? Are more people complaining about art or Errata? It just seems like it would help the `main` Editor edit more efficiently, as well as let the Rules Errata/Editing be done more efficiently, if they were done by two separate people with less conflicting demands on their time. Not to mention approaching the editing in a manner more likely to catch Errata, i.e. it`s clear that the Core Rulebook was not handed to NOVICE game players to see how they use it, because presentation of basic information like about Stat Bonuses at Level-Up and Attack Action were just screwed up in a way that NOVICE gamers would clearly have noticed if they tried using the book (even veteran 3.5 players seem well perplexed at the attack action issue... veteran players including professionally published authors of D&D adventure modules).

Since the release of PRPG, Paizo has consistently seemed to be barely making their deadlines, and the effect on editing is plain to see. So why not re-assess that, instead of continuing on with the same schedule that resulted in Errata-filled Rules products which there isn`t time to fix because the next Errata-filled Rules product must be written up?

Obviously AP`s and Companions and the like have a working subscription model, but I don`t know if that`s as important for lines like the Hardback Rules Products... Alot of whose customers probably AREN`T remotely interested in a `Subscription` (whose frequency is substantially less than the monthly/bi-monthly products in the first place) but a substantial number of whom would probably REPURCHASE a new edition if it had substantial Errata (printings to date of Core Rules hasn`t had substantial amount of Errata, so I wouldn`t use it as a guide here).


I just want to say that as a roleplayer of over 20+ years, this discussion frankly amazes me. If you're such a giant rules lawyer that you're not willing to buy product because of ERRATA, please - leave the room, and quickly. You're not the kind of customer who will EVER be happy, and will ALWAYS find something to b*&#@ about, because that's the kind of person you are. 20+ years of RPG experience and over 15+ in IT/Support has proven that factoid time and time again - some people just can't be pleased.

The 'rule' of RPG games is common sense. That's spelled out in most RPG books, many websites, forums, etc. 'These rules are a guideline' sound familiar? More of my rules systems than not have NEVER been errata'd , faq'd, or whatever. yet, we always managed to make it work. Funny that.

As mentioned before, for a world-wide living play system, yes, there needs to be consistency in rules, etc. But most of you on here whining aren't playing that way, so it's a straw man mostly.

Go back to the days when RPG books were often shoddy, went thru multiple revisions, and when there was no internet to FAQ or errata or product. If you're incapable of playing without those resources, you're a crappy player, DM, or whatever - but you're flat out missing the proper mental tools for this kind of game anyway. If a type on a chart or mis-spelling or vague rules are your bane, go back to Warcraft or Settlers of Catan.

I love pathfinder, and the books are consistently better than anything else I've played across decades. I don't expect perfection, being bad-ass is enough for me. :)

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Well, I hope you at least realize that the implementation of the FAQ system is progress...

Yes


Quandary wrote:


What i don`t get is why Paizo seems able to hire people for other jobs (art, etc) but can`t seem to for Errata / Rules Editing? Are more people complaining about art or Errata? Since the release of PRPG, Paizo has consistently seemed to be barely...

An art director/marketing director generates revenue. Art sells books. Marketing sells books.

An errata editor costs money. Finding someone who can *be* an errata editor is more difficult than finding someone who can be an art director or marketing guy.

Here's why:

1) The art director and marketing director skill sets are more commonly found.
2) Anyone who can serve as the errata coordinator is also be someone who could be writing products, and probably wants to be writing products. I've written products. I've coordinated and incorporated errata into products. One is SIGNIFICANTLY more fun than the other.

And, from the bottom line perspective, a new product writer generates revenue. An errata coordinator doesn't.

I really wasn't kidding when I suggested a tip-jar arrangement.

Pathfinder's core rulebook has gone through two large printings in two years and is in its third printing. Conservatively, they've sold 50K copies of it. (I rather suspect they've sold more, possibly by a factor of 2 or 3. The first printing sold out before it hit their loading dock....). I would not be surprised to hear about a fourth printing early next year...

Let's assume that 0.5% of that 50K copies sold are 250 people who bought new printings for the errata. Or we double the numbers, and it's 500 game books. Each game book probably nets Paizo, after all is said and done, about 15 dollars. (Yes, margins are that thin in the industry)

That's $12,500 in 'revenue we'd lose if we didn't do this.'

Can that person generate more money for the company doing something else? Almost certainly, and they'll be happier for it.

From the looks of it, Vic is trying to make it an automated process, which I heartily applaud.

(I am amazed, given how short their playtest time frames are, that they don't have more problems with their products, given the combinatorial explosion potential of this rules set.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Quandary wrote:

What i don`t get is why Paizo seems able to hire people for other jobs (art, etc) but can`t seem to for Errata / Rules Editing? Are more people complaining about art or Errata? It just seems like it would help the `main` Editor edit more efficiently, as well as let the Rules Errata/Editing be done more efficiently, if they were done by two separate people with less conflicting demands on their time. Not to mention approaching the editing in a manner more likely to catch Errata, i.e. it`s clear that the Core Rulebook was not handed to NOVICE game players to see how they use it, because presentation of basic information like about Stat Bonuses at Level-Up and Attack Action were just screwed up in a way that NOVICE gamers would clearly have noticed if they tried using the book (even veteran 3.5 players seem well perplexed at the attack action issue... veteran players including professionally published authors of D&D adventure modules).

Since the release of PRPG, Paizo has consistently seemed to be barely making their deadlines, and the effect on editing is plain to see. So why not re-assess that, instead of continuing on with the same schedule that resulted in Errata-filled Rules products which there isn`t time to fix because the next Errata-filled Rules product must be written up?

Obviously AP`s and Companions and the like have a working subscription model, but I don`t know if that`s as important for lines like the Hardback Rules Products... Alot of whose customers probably AREN`T remotely interested in a `Subscription` (whose frequency is substantially less than the monthly/bi-monthly products in the first place) but a substantial number of whom would probably REPURCHASE a new edition if it had substantial Errata (printings to date of Core Rules hasn`t had substantial amount of Errata, so I wouldn`t use it as a guide here).

As much as folks complain about errata... the fact that we, for many many many months, had only one art director was a MUCH more harrowing problem. If, for example, Sarah had been (god forbid) hit by a bus and was in the hospital for a month... NO PRODUCT would ship for that month because there was no one at Paizo who could step in to do her job. Likewise for our marketing person—we actually didn't have a marketing person before we made that hire. As a result, hiring those new employees was magnitudes of order more important than another editor.

And as for our third hire, Mark Moreland... well in that case we DID hire someone to help with Errata and Rules Editing. Even if he's not actually helping with errata, he'll be doing things that free up other folks here were doing that can now focus on (among other things) errata and rules editing.

And just because we've hired three people this month does NOT mean we're not looking at hiring more people to help with our workload. We don't announce everything at once, in other words.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I'd like to restate something that AdAstraGames mentioned...

Jobs like "art director" or "marketer" are things that you can find folks for relatively easy. Those are existing jobs that folks go to school to get degrees in and train for.

"Expert Pathfinder Rules Editor" or "Expert Pathfinder Supplement/Adventure Developer" is not. As a result, it's a lot harder to find folks to fill those jobs. And while there's lots of people on these boards whom I think could probalby do that job, when you factor in the fact that some of them have better paying jobs that they can't leave, or aren't willing to move to Redmond to do this job, or who frankly would not be a good fit for the corporate culture here at Paizo, that list of possible new employees dwindles toward zero very very quickly. We did just hire Mark Moorland a few weeks ago, though, so it can be done.


I just wanted to clarify that I think that having more people working on making sure there`s great art in all your products, or who can get your products into more player`s hands is definitely a great thing that I don`t want to denigrate at all. Maybe those can even ultimately help Paizo do better work on Editing/Errata.

I think it`s pretty obvious that I`m coming from the perspective of somebody who made a good faith effort to share my own `discoveries` about the rules in a format most amenable to helping Paizo use it to improve their product (i.e. Errata threads and posts here generally). Such contributions SEEMED to be welcomed at first, only to see the effort come to nothing (as of now) with mountains of long-reported Errata not yet incorporated into the rules. I`m sure you and Jason all EXPECTED that you could deal with Errata within a reasonable time-frame, but it just happens that with the current schedule and staffing that it wasn`t possible.

Like I wrote, I think IF Paizo CAN find somebody to work on this issue, that undoubtedly will help immensely. A Rules Editor / Errata Coordinator can focus on these issues in a way that is all but impossible for people wearing other hats (hats with their own deadlines). As of now, Paizo seems to be creating new Errata faster than they can solve the old, and until that dynamic can be changed (increasing Errata fixing capacity or slowing the Rules Product schedule) I don`t expect much to change, `automated` FAQ or no. (Given Errata posts in dedicated Errata threads haven`t seen action with multiple printings, having a new sub-section of the web site seems irrelevant, though ultimately a good idea in the long run)

Anyhow, good luck...
I`d buy you a beer (or framboise) if I was in Seattle... :-)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Quandary wrote:
Such contributions SEEMED to be welcomed at first, only to see the effort come to nothing (as of now) with mountains of long-reported Errata not yet incorporated into the rules.

I should note that a *bunch* of work compiling errata for the Core Rulebook, Bestiary, and APG was done prior to rolling out the FAQ flagging system, when we were still operating under the "you'll only get errata compiled when we reprint" process, and that includes a lot of stuff that we picked up from the boards. That work wasn't lost; some of it has already been prepped to be part of future printings, and it will be made available as part of the next errata PDFs, if not through the FAQ system. (Timing on that is to be determined!)


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just wanted to quietly and politely throw Quandary several +1's.

You are not alone my friend. Others share your views on this.


Then I shall quietly and throw Quandary several -1s to cancel those out.

Mostly just because others don't share those views and are similarly not posting about it.

I would like more consistent errata and FAQs, but I feel that there has been a bit too much exaggeration of "How Paizo could have easily fixed this" for me to support most of the posts for consistent errata in this thread.

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