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Please Paizo, use a keyword system in PFRPG and stop the madness!


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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First, I want to apologize to everyone for the intense Rules Oriented slant of this post.

Second, I'd like to embrace that slant whole hog!

Here is my appeal...

Please Paizo, utilize a strict keyword system in the ruleset of PFRPG! These words should be off-limits to employ as normal rules description or example text. It would be helpful in discerning the meaning behind certain rules text and remove some of the confusion.

It is my hope that this idea will assist you in communicating the ideas of your ruleset to the masses. This problem is not common, but neither is it uncommon so don't take this as a blanket statement that the rules don't make sense. They do, but sometimes things get a little muddier than they need to.

For example, the word proficiency (Proficiency). Easy right?

Many players recognize this as related to the game term describing the ability to wield a weapon effectively. However, in regards to Composite Bows the word proficiency is used nebulously,

PRD - Core Rules - Equipment wrote:
Longbow, Composite: You need at least two hands to use a bow, regardless of its size. You can use a composite longbow while mounted. All composite bows are made with a particular strength rating (that is, each requires a minimum Strength modifier to use with proficiency).

So what does this usage of proficiency mean? Is it related to the game term? Does it say without the minimum STR you can't use a composite bow even with proficiency meaning you get an additional -4 to your attack rolls? Or is "proficiency" here meaning that you can't use the bow effectively, but you still have attained "proficiency" in the game sense of the word? I'm not trying to be a porky mouth, I just don't know what it's supposed to mean.

As a second example, the word action (Action). This has caused quite the stir in the Rules Forum regarding Attacks of Opportunity. I won't get into specifics of that one, but because it is unclear whether the word "action" is referencing Action (the game term) or just action (the normal word) people get into a tizzy!

So please, developers, designers & editors I send this plea out to you that you will codify a keyword system (look to Magic: The Gathering for an example of this). This will keep some of the common game terms (which are also common terms) from entering and muddying text that is supposed to be there to help clarify things. I am doubtful that this (creating of a keyword system) will happen, because it has not yet transpired.

However, I am willing to compromise. If you're describing a rules related topic please capitalize it. If you're talking about action in the PFRPG sense please write Action, if you're not just use action with a lower case a. It will make things easier for us, the users of your fine PFRPG products.

My name is Stynkk and I approve this message.
Paid for by the Cleaner Rules for Tomorrow's Youth SuperPAC.

Shadow Lodge

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If i could ask for another phrase to be phased out its "as if X", Its just confusing why they don't have X, or exactly how much the ability is like X and how much it differs.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
If i could ask for another phrase to be phased out its "as if X", Its just confusing why they don't have X, or exactly how much the ability is like X and how much it differs.

I concur BNW. They either have (insert ability here) or they don't. A slightly modified version is still modified and should be differentiated. When you draw that parallel there's a lot of "rules baggage" that comes with each ability.


+1 to this idea.

Anything that helps clarify the rules has my vote.

Andoran

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Stynkk wrote:

However, I am willing to compromise. If you're describing a rules related topic please capitalize it. If you're talking about action in the PFRPG sense please write Action, if you're not just use action with a lower case a. It will make things easier for us, the users of your fine PFRPG products.

I think this is probably the easiest, most elegant solution.


Hold on to your lugnuts, it's time for an overhaul.

I completely agree with everything above, but I also realize that even the compromise requires a complete reworking and reprinting of a lot of books (Core, GMG, UM, UC, all the bestiaries...). If the devs are going to put in that much effort they might as well just start on PFRPG 2.0. Just sayin'


I don't think an overhaul is really vital; I'd just like to see a little more care going forward. There's too many cases where things are templated in just sad, arbitrary ways instead of being consistant. Why does every magic item that lets you act as if you were a higher level for the purpose of a class feature have a different wording?

Shadow Lodge

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Meh. I would prefer that players/GMs just use common sense, although to judge from the forums, that is akin to pulling teeth. Or possibly even open heart surgery.

If we do it your way, we need to find about a dozen synonyms for "level" since that word already has at least a dozen uses within the game.


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I'm not sure I fully get your idea, but if it is something like in magic the gathering with only clear keywords and an interaction compendium, then I'm against it.
Either there are too many keywords and it gets complicated, or there aren't enough and you get something like a card game.

So, no thanks for me, if rules are so clear that every human understands them and each other, it's too simple. If rules are so logical that every computer could be programmed to understand them, then you might aswell play a computergame.

Don't get me wrong, I often understand rules wrong, but I love the first (zerot?) rule, that the word of the GM is law.

Taldor

Madness? This....is....Paizo! *big boot*


Simply, let the keyword be bolded or italicized or in some fancy color when referring to game terms, like it is already done with spells and magic items.


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I agree with the OP, at least in that the devs should be careful in future products.

And "as if x" should ONLY be used in a way where all exceptions are clearly written down (frequent issues with SLA/spell equivalency, FoB/twf and so on are evidence that this is needed.


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Richard Leonhart wrote:

I'm not sure I fully get your idea, but if it is something like in magic the gathering with only clear keywords and an interaction compendium, then I'm against it.

Either there are too many keywords and it gets complicated, or there aren't enough and you get something like a card game.

So, no thanks for me, if rules are so clear that every human understands them and each other, it's too simple. If rules are so logical that every computer could be programmed to understand them, then you might aswell play a computergame.

Don't get me wrong, I often understand rules wrong, but I love the first (zerot?) rule, that the word of the GM is law.

This. I don't need everything to be perfectly set in stone, because at my table, my rule is law.

Silver Crusade

TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:
Richard Leonhart wrote:

I'm not sure I fully get your idea, but if it is something like in magic the gathering with only clear keywords and an interaction compendium, then I'm against it.

Either there are too many keywords and it gets complicated, or there aren't enough and you get something like a card game.

So, no thanks for me, if rules are so clear that every human understands them and each other, it's too simple. If rules are so logical that every computer could be programmed to understand them, then you might aswell play a computergame.

Don't get me wrong, I often understand rules wrong, but I love the first (zerot?) rule, that the word of the GM is law.

This. I don't need everything to be perfectly set in stone, because at my table, my rule is law.

A game based on house rules will fail in the end.

Keywords can be used in an appropriate way without it being a "card game" as you out it.

The game itself needs better organization.

Shadow Lodge

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shallowsoul wrote:
A game based on house rules will fail in the end.

Have you ever taken a look at the original edition of Dungeons & Dragons? It was far FAR more based on house rules/DM discretion than anything d20 or Pathfinder. If a game that was based on house rules was really doomed to fail, then pen'n'paper RPGs as they exist today wouldn't exist, period.


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The problem with houseruling so many of these ambiguities is that it makes characters non-portable. Other GMs may not (probably won't) agree with your take, and the player who has relied on one interpretation won't want to adjust to a world where the previously functioning interpretation is suddenly "broken."

This is a quality control issue. That's really all it is. Ambiguities should be spotted and clarified in the quality review, editing and playtesting process. There are far too many areas in the existing rules that have been known to be ambiguous, confusing or outright broken for YEARS. Some for DECADES.

That's just pure laziness and all it does is put GMs in the position of fixing the game for a company that doesn't want to fix it themselves. I can understand that there are limits to the implementation and there will always be problems, but if anyone thinks that many of the most common issues couldn't have been solved years ago with clear, decisive action by the publisher of the games, you're just not paying attention.

Some of this is cultural ("well, we can always rely on rule zero!"), some of it is economic ("do we really want to hire the designers and editors who could actually fix magic items? I thought not."), and some of it is philosophical ("the GMs have always had to solve these things, why do we need to change it now?").

My personal opinion is that it needs to be fixed.


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@Kthulhu: there were actual rules in original D&D? I always though that it was duct tape to glue house rules together.


The original D&D rules were "Hey, let's take these war game miniatures and pretend it's a different game where you make up stories!


I really support the idea of something more like magic the gathering.
That really helps foreign gamers that uses published material in english language to understand things better and faster and people who translates the game in other languages.
Common sense is not enough: people in the world have different life styles, experience and ways to perceive things. A game that has the assumption to be played everywhere in different nations can't rely on something that's so subjective as common sense.


There actually is no such thing as "common sense." You can't expect any interpretation of anything to be "common" enough that people won't argue about it.


I agree with you AD, starting from three posts ago to this.


I'm certainly not against the idea of keywords, or typesetting game terms to distinguish them from the plain English meaning of the words... but I think the end result would mostly be that the rules would need to be reprinted and we'd still have rules debates.

Even if you add keywords and so on, there will still be situations where rules require interpretation. If you want a rule system which allows no ambiguities and requires no interpretation, you'll either need to strip the rule system down to a basic and only minimally functional set, or else you'll need the core rulebook to come in three volumes, written by lawyers, carefully footnoted and annotated... and it will still be only minimally functional, because it will be unreadable. The moment you require interpretation, you introduce rules debates. That's not something we should be afraid of.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:


A game based on house rules will fail in the end.

I think Dungeons and Dragons would like to have a word with you.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
A game based on house rules will fail in the end.

All games end eventually. Other than that I'd say your statement is false in my experience. I haven't done a 'by the book' (a fiction to begin with since no ruleset is 100% defined with no GM interpretation required) campaign since I was a newbie GM. Every game I've run in the past twenty years has been heavily house ruled and two campaigns used rules that I entirely made up. Yet most of these ran for years with all day sessions every weekend.

Rules are ephemera. If done well they make the GM's job a little easier, but at the end of the day every role-playing game I've played (from Aftermath to Villains and Vigilantes) comes down to the creativity and artistry of the GM.


Thanks to everyone for replying! I hope this discussion continues.

I feel there is a lot of identity confusion in PFRPG. Do you want guidelines or do you want rules?

I hear comments from players like "I want guidelines, too many rules is too restrictive" and the designers to the effect of "we would like to preserve the creative freedom allowed by the DM to change the game as we see fit, so we would like to publish guidelines and not laws." A good example being the quote below:

TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:
This. I don't need everything to be perfectly set in stone, because at my table, my rule is law.

But, I can't buy that. There are a few reasons why. The first being: the existence and popularity of the Rules Forum and FAQ posts. People appreciate when things are standarized. It allows them to not focus on small events, but the larger event - the act of playing itself and not devolving into a rules debate where you have to use the GM Hammer every minute to move the game along. It also promotes understanding among the players. If they can see the rules and understand the rules, they won't fight the rules either.

The second: If PFRPG were meant to be a guideline wouldn't they stop themselves from going down the nuance rabbit hole? Do you need firm rules on "how light works in Pathfinder" and "how far you can walk without feeling tired" or "how you suffocate"? For those of you that prefer guidelines, why deal with a product that delves into such detail?

There are a lot of corner cases that made their way into the PFRPG core rules and I am thankful for that because I don't want to have a headache trying to make a ruling on something that really should be standardized.

Isn't there a way to compromise? Having a firm rule structure in place that is well-understood doesn't mean that you've sucked the creativity out of the game. Repeat: It does not. Rather, it allows players an easier time of using the ruleset (tool set for you video game designers) to customize the product to their own preference. I would say it's much easier to have an idea flourish within well defined boundaries because you know what you're doing.

Dungeons and Dragons used to be a game without miniatures at all, but I feel that the addition of the physical space element of the game has made it digestable to a larger audience. In addition, it removed all spatial questions from gameplay, you're either there or you aren't, things get a lot more tactical - mostly because you can see what you're doing.

The codifying of the ruleset is the next step in the evolution. As has been said before, common sense isn't common. What makes sense to you might not make sense for another person. This leads to issues when groups that haven't played together form up, issues at sactioned events or issues in consistency when rotating GMs. The less "fudging" the rules we do and the more playing we do, the better.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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While a agree that some rules could be brought up to a higher level of standardization, I prefer a game in which some interpretation is necessary. If I wanted a game like Magic: The Gathering, I'd play Magic: The Gathering.


The Caps change could be in a new printing rather than a new version.
Older printings can be fixed with a pen. You need the book owners permission to make this change.

Osirion

Kthulhu wrote:
If we do it your way, we need to find about a dozen synonyms for "level" since that word already has at least a dozen uses within the game.

Ditto evil, which could mean alignment, subtype or spell type, or just somebody doing something that isn't terribly nice.

Or divine, which could mean divine spells, which don't necessarily have anything to do with divine beings, in the cases of classes like rangers, but get conflated.


"Level" doesn't have to be a keyword. "Spell level" could be one. "Slot level" another one. Right now they are used sometimes interchangeably despite other timed being specified as different. Sometimes it makes a huge difference. For example, reading the Raw metamagic rod (lesser) is limited by spell level. So, can you use a lesser rod of quicken on an empowered fireball? It has been clarified to not work, but with slot level as a keyword that wouldn't have been an issue.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Kirthfinder has made an effort at standardizing language across the rules. It was a particular design goal to not have overlapping terms.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Stynkk wrote:
Dungeons and Dragons used to be a game without miniatures at all, but I feel that the addition of the physical space element of the game has made it digestable to a larger audience.

Um, no. I've played every edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and it never "used to be a game without miniatures." In fact, it started as roleplaying rules grafted onto a miniatures game with no rolelplaying (Chainmail). If anything, D&D has gradually removed miniatures elements over time (with occasional reversals). For example, read some spell ranges in the AD&D PHB; note how they all refer to the distance between miniatures on the tabletop, not the in-game distance experienced by the character casting the spell.


Regardless of whether you want there to be guidelines or a full set of rules, I don't see how obfuscating anything ever makes something easier. Even with guidelines, I'd rather not spend time or effort trying to clarify what they're referring to. If all we were given for a spell called "Reversal" was the spell description, "Turns characters backwards", it be frustrating whether it means it flips characters of a written language or if it flips people and creatures.

I understand the difference between having something abstract and simple or complex and detailed, but I'll never understand why people would want either instruction or guidelines to be ambiguous or convoluted.


Epic Meepo wrote:
Um, no. I've played every edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and it never "used to be a game without miniatures."

Ok, I retract that part of my idea (as I admit I did make assumptions of the history of D&D), but the point of the statement is still valid. D&D is trending from general rules guidelines to complex and specific rules sets as it progresses through it's iterations.

Charlie Bell wrote:
While a agree that some rules could be brought up to a higher level of standardization, I prefer a game in which some interpretation is necessary. If I wanted a game like Magic: The Gathering, I'd play Magic: The Gathering.

We agree somewhat. The problem with this line of thinking is, in my opinion, Magic: The Gathering is an example with black & white rules. Might I ask why you choose to play pathfinder? I mean the rules are not exactly a light read and they do delve into the complex. They are far from guidelines.

I think that a push towards more standardizationcould only help us (me and you) play pathfinder. Additionally it would avoid confusion (see: The Monk Fiasco) and promote a unified way of treating the rules when more than just the Rules Designers are invovled.

Recently, we discovered a disconnect between JasonB's intention of the rules and the way folks were designing Monk Statblocks.

Additionally, when the APG came out there was language in the Polearm Master Fighter Archetype that allowed players to bull rush/trip with polearms (at reach) at level 13. It was later clarified that a character could use any equipped weapon to make a trip attempt (thus clarifying that trip attempts were already possible at reach and invalidating half of the ability).

Sometimes the lack of a general rules consensus/standardization creates problems within the products of Paizo because there are many hands in the creation honey pot. A push towards an even more orderly rules set would create less confusion.

Shadow Lodge

Epic Meepo wrote:
Um, no. I've played every edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and it never "used to be a game without miniatures." In fact, it started as roleplaying rules grafted onto a miniatures game with no rolelplaying (Chainmail). If anything, D&D has gradually removed miniatures elements over time (with occasional reversals). For example, read some spell ranges in the AD&D PHB; note how they all refer to the distance between miniatures on the tabletop, not the in-game distance experienced by the character casting the spell.

Thing is, with some editions, it wasn't assumed and outright required that you have minis.


The problem with codifying everything is that the rule books are already about as big and expensive as the general public wants to pay. I don't want a tome of legalese to be able to play a simple game.

House rules are part of the game. They exist in hundreds of games, from role playing to card to board. Uno, Monopoly, DnD, Shadowrun, Scrabble, Scattegories, etc, all use house rules to an extent and they are all still thriving. The only time we need more codified rules is for tournaments or society play. Most people don't need to jump from group to group. Many of those who do simply accept that there will be some house rules and we accept them and move on.

At best what we could use would be a separate book of rules similar to the Rules Compendium for 3.5. Add in a book like Spell Compendium and most groups will do just fine.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I don't want a tome of legalese to be able to play a simple game.

It already is that. "Codifying" it just clarifies the writer's intentions. Clarification is the opposite of legalese... I find it ironic that so many gamers think that keeping terminology confusing makes it more accessible to the general public...


Stynkk wrote:
Might I ask why you choose to play pathfinder? I mean the rules are not exactly a light read and they do delve into the complex. They are far from guidelines.

Caotic being ripped out of the roleplaying options was one of many reasons I bailed on forth ed. OT (on topic) the capitalization flag with adjectives is neither complex, nor brutal. I like it.


Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I don't want a tome of legalese to be able to play a simple game.
It already is that. "Codifying" it just clarifies the writer's intentions. Clarification is the opposite of legalese... I find it ironic that so many gamers think that keeping terminology confusing makes it more accessible to the general public...

What is being argued at this point isn't simply keeping terminology consistent and simplified. What is being argued now is for every detail, every option, every combination, to be explained so that the GM doesn't have to make any decisions on their own. That's simply not feasible. The GM should be able to run the game without having to resort to a 6000 page tome with full correspondence just to make sure that he has ruled correctly on how fireball works. Yes, there is some hyperbole in there but that is the direction the rules would have to go with how I see many people complain about rule 0.

It's time to just play the game and have fun. It's how we used to do it as kids. We can do it again.

Shadow Lodge

I suggest FATAL. It has 1000 pages of overly codified rules. You have to know at least basic statistics just to calculate your penis size. You'd love it!


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Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I don't want a tome of legalese to be able to play a simple game.
It already is that. "Codifying" it just clarifies the writer's intentions. Clarification is the opposite of legalese... I find it ironic that so many gamers think that keeping terminology confusing makes it more accessible to the general public...

What is being argued at this point isn't simply keeping terminology consistent and simplified. What is being argued now is for every detail, every option, every combination, to be explained so that the GM doesn't have to make any decisions on their own. That's simply not feasible. The GM should be able to run the game without having to resort to a 6000 page tome with full correspondence just to make sure that he has ruled correctly on how fireball works. Yes, there is some hyperbole in there but that is the direction the rules would have to go with how I see many people complain about rule 0.

It's time to just play the game and have fun. It's how we used to do it as kids. We can do it again.

What's being argued for is that the writer's intentions to be clarified so that the GM can focus on decisions such as where the plot will go, what encounters to use, what monsters and bad guys to send out against the PCs, how the PCs will react, etc. However, if you believe that GM's time and energy should be deciphering archaic passages and fighting off rules lawyers who interpreted said passages differently, that's your prerogative.

I do believe that such a project would be exhaustive and wouldn't add much at this point (perhaps if Paizo ever does a second edition, they should consider this). One of the suggestions given was to mark all the words that are game terms (such as capitalization or italicizing, this is already done with spells actually); do you really believe that would make all the rulebooks multiply in size?

Let's also clarify another thing, I'm a rules light kind of guy (I play Pathfinder for the immense flavor it gives), so I prefer to have some freedom with the game. Too many rules and clutter the gameplay. I would never ask for more rules. But by God, I want the rules that are there to be clear so that they can be consistent.

I'll be honest my understanding of stealth and perception in this game has floated back and forth and even now I'm still not sure if I actually really understand them.

Shadow Lodge

Ragnarok Aeon wrote:


I do believe that such a project would be exhaustive and wouldn't add much at this point (perhaps if Paizo ever does a second edition, they should consider this). One of the suggestions given was to mark all the words that are game terms (such as capitalization or italicizing, this is already done with spells actually); do you really believe that would make all the rulebooks multiply in size?

Perhaps not, but if you specially mark over a certain percentage or so, people are just going to pretty much unconciously ignore the italics/highlighting/capitalization/etc. There comes a point when something that should be for recreational purposes just becomes too much work, and I think italicizing game terms might actually just make some people realize that the game is more work that it's worth to them. I'm pretty sure there would be some passages where the non-italicized words would be the ones to stand out.

Although my sense of irony would absolutely love an attempt to make the game SEEM more simple actually driving people towards other games that actually ARE rules-light.


Ragnarok Aeon brings up some well elocuted points, many of which I wish to piggyback off of...

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
What is being argued at this point isn't simply keeping terminology consistent and simplified. What is being argued now is for every detail, every option, every combination, to be explained so that the GM doesn't have to make any decisions on their own. That's simply not feasible. The GM should be able to run the game without having to resort to a 6000 page tome with full correspondence just to make sure that he has ruled correctly on how fireball works. Yes, there is some hyperbole in there but that is the direction the rules would have to go with how I see many people complain about rule 0.

The point I'm arriving at is that the rules are already complex, they are useful, but in some cases they are nebulous and in some cases difficult to interpret the intent of the authors. If want to use your time having a tustle over what constitutes "poor visibility" go ahead, but from my experience these discussions hamper the game and make things "less fun". I would appreciate a much more concrete definition of this example term so we can read the passage, see if this qualifies and move on with the game.

In my opinion it is more work to constantly use Rule 0 to justify the game world than just point to the book and move on. I like Rule 0 and I think that the GM is the ultimate authority of what occurs, but some of the most lengthy discussions can be rules quandaries.

The maing goal of pathfinder should be creating a game world and playing within it and avoiding the rules talk as much as possible. Unfortunately, the complexity I'm describing already occurs in the game, as I have said before, the rule books are not exactly small, so why stop at some midpoint? Either go whole hog into the clarifcations or leave it more general.

Some things in the CRB are so painstakingly described while others are just vague (like stealth).

Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
What's being argued for is that the writer's intentions to be clarified so that the GM can focus on decisions such as where the plot will go, what encounters to use, what monsters and bad guys to send out against the PCs, how the PCs will react, etc. However, if you believe that GM's time and energy should be deciphering archaic passages and fighting off rules lawyers who interpreted said passages differently, that's your prerogative.

Seconded.

Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
I do believe that such a project would be exhaustive and wouldn't add much at this point (perhaps if Paizo ever does a second edition, they should consider this). One of the suggestions given was to mark all the words that are game terms (such as capitalization or italicizing, this is already done with spells actually); do you really believe that would make all the rulebooks multiply in size?

I don't think this would be as much work as some think. Paizo frequently issues errata, creates FAQ articles and other resources for players/gms such as Blog Entries. They are already tinkering with the rulesets, but instead of handling each case as it arises, just go back and ensure that wordings are clear.

Ultimately, it would save the players time, it swould save Paizo time and money in the long run and it utilizes the close connection between players and Paizo that has been cultivated over their existence.

Kthulu wrote:
Although my sense of irony would absolutely love an attempt to make the game SEEM more simple actually driving people towards other games that actually ARE rules-light.

Again, Pathfinder is already not rules light...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Keep in mind that we've inherited a system that's essentially compiled from decades of material by countless authors and editors, and when we created the Pathfinder RPG, there was definitely a big question in our minds about how much we could change without driving people away. (And I'm not just talking about rules, but about the presentation of those rules—decisions like italicizing spell names, and not capitalizing all game terms—these are decisions that were made before us, and we decided not to mess with them.*) Hindsight indicates to me that we chose wisely, but I also believe that we could go further in some future iteration.

However, that's what it's going to take to make the types of changes you're asking for—a future iteration.

*Personally, I happen to think that both of those were very good decisions, and I wouldn't change either of them given the chance. However, applying very consistent game terminology would definitely be high on my own wish list.


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Why can't people just know the rules?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Robespierre wrote:
Why can't people just know the rules?

Oh, they do - just ask them! Unfortunately, they don't always agree.


...Um... I would agree in general, and point to the editing style as something that could emphasize rules terms rather than de-emphasize them: Rules Terms could universally be capitalized wherever they are used, to distinguish them from non-'proper'-Rules-Terms (i.e. regular words).

I disagree with both of the OP's examples, because they just aren't an example of this.

Quote:
each (composite bow) requires a minimum Strength modifier to use with proficiency

means that if you don't have the minimum STR, non-proficiency penalties apply even if you have proficiency in the general type of bow in question. (besides attack penalties, some abilities may require proficiency to work, and they wouldn't work in this case) that is 100% applying the same definition of proficiency as you quoted... thus, i don't see any reason to expect that any time the rules mention proficiency in a weapon, they aren't talking about that rules meaning.

the second example is equally weak. the game defines what actions are in the combat chapter. i am not aware of any example of rules text using the word 'action' in a sense that diverges from this. if you don't have such an example, the rules are simply being consistent, even if you don't like how the rules work.

i will be generous and give you a good example of rules terms vagueness: the RAW for Ready is pretty loose between what is a condition and an action, and plausibly could be read as not allowing readying vs. 'events'/situations which aren't actions (AoOs aren't actions in the combat chapter sense) nor conditions (applicable to creatures or potentially objects). Although in that case, the rules never actually give an mechanical structure to Conditions as a rules term (e.g. action type), each Condition has it's own rules... there is no rules for Conditions as a group, so you could argue that Condition isn't really a Rules Term per se. 'Action' as referenced by Ready, would clearly seem to exclude Readies vs. AoOs though (RAW).


Robespierre wrote:
Why can't people just know the rules?

HEY MAN, I have a GREAT reason why I was never even aware of the rules for slow movement with Poor Visiblity... I will let you know those reasons... when I'm not so busy :-)


Kthulhu wrote:
Have you ever taken a look at the original edition of Dungeons & Dragons? It was far FAR more based on house rules/DM discretion than anything d20 or Pathfinder.

And yet Paizo pronounces that following certain interpreations of the rules, which aren't held up by RAW, are in fact the 'official way' and that's how you're expected to play in PFS. If Paizo is really all about loosy-goosy interpretations, why do they issue these pronouncements?


Quote:
What is being argued at this point isn't simply keeping terminology consistent and simplified. What is being argued now is for every detail, every option, every combination, to be explained so that the GM doesn't have to make any decisions on their own.

OK, ignoring your hyperbole, I don't really see where this is actually being argued for... If you are pro/con to distinguishing rules terms more, fine, but this has nothing to do with that, you're just 'wishing' the discussion shifts there so you come back with this response.

Your line of argument seems to be one that IS brought up when people ask for the rules to be better written and clearer... Ultimately, I find this line or argument pointless because for SO MANY cases the rules would actually be SHORTER if they were re-written to be clearer.

The whole Poor Visibility issue is revealing of this... I never used this rule, and if you look thru the threads on it, it's obvious that NOBODY could actually be using the actual RAW of it unless they throw all in-game-beleivability out the window. The whole rule is obviously predicated on 'assumed PCs are walking' without actually being restricted to that movement mode, and the Editing Gap pretty obviously happened because Blindness is a "Rules Condition" while Poor Visibility isn't a Condition applied to characters, it's a quality of environments that characters act within.


It just seems unnecessary to develop standardized terminology for the sake of rules interpretation. The game has been built to be flexible so the game can be customized to the groups liking.

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