A Tale of Two Covers

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide is only a few weeks from release, and we're all getting excited about what the book has to offer. Over the last several weeks, we've revealed a ton of details about the 10 classes in the book, from hints at their game details to a look at the backgrounds of the iconic characters that represent them in the book's art. Looking over the final hardcover here on my desk, I'm enormously proud of the work our team has put into it, and I'm grateful for the tireless efforts of our playtesters, who made the Advanced Class Guide shine with their diligent testing and commentary. We could not have done this book without you, and we're all really pleased with how it came together.

With one major exception.

The cover of the Advanced Class Guide contains a huge error of the most embarrassing kind imaginable—we printed the book with the wrong logo.

That's right, the Advanced Class Guide, in many ways the most important release of the year, features the wrong logo. Instead of the "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" logo, the hardcover's front cover features the "Pathfinder Adventure Path" logo.

The story of how something like this slipped through our assiduous quality controls turns out to be pretty boring. On the third round of back-and-forth changes after the book was sent to the printer, an image link somehow got changed, switching the logo to the wrong one at the absolute last minute. After the last minute, in fact. We have sign-off approval sheets for every stage of editing. Multiple employees sign off on the correct logos, on the trademark circle, on the "printed in country," basically on every single element of a book. But this error was introduced after all of those safeguards had been correctly adhered to, and the first time we noticed the mistake was when the first copies arrived from the printer.

Naturally, we were mortified and checked with our printer about turning around a ship with tens of thousands of copies of our book, destroying them, and reprinting from scratch. That effort would have cost more than $100,000, and resulted in literally tons of 99.9999% correct books going into a landfill. We've had considerable success over the last few years, but honestly there's a lot more that we can do with $100,000 to benefit the game above and beyond wiping some egg from our faces. Ultimately, after lots of consideration, we decided that it wasn't worth the expense to fix the logo.

And to be clear, the misprint concerns about three square inches on the front cover. The logo on the spine is correct. The logo on the cover page is correct. The logo on the back is correct. The logo on every spread in the book is correct. One image link broke, to one logo. Yes, it's the most important one, and yes, that's very embarrassing, but ultimately it makes no difference to the book's content. Many folks I've shown the book to did not even notice the difference, as the logos are very similar.

We've already shipped the book to a few distributors. Subscribers could start receiving them as early as next week. Many of you will notice the different logo, and will naturally have questions. I wanted to get out in front of that and explain what went wrong, and why we decided not to fix it.

It's a bummer. It's something we'll fix on subsequent printings, assuming that we do them. We considered making a sticker, or a paper wrap-around cover, or just about anything, but ultimately decided that it wouldn't make much of a difference. The covers are screwed up. Putting a little sticker over the mistake wouldn't fix the mistake, it'd just make the book look even more messed up.

So, yeah. Lame. The Advanced Class Guide has the Pathfinder Adventure Path logo on it. We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause to bibliophiles everywhere. Know that we feel your pain.

The book remains incredible, despite the cosmetic error. We're sure you'll really like it, and we've taken what steps we can to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future.

Thanks for your understanding.

Erik Mona
Publisher

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Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Maps Subscriber
Duncan7291 wrote:
I still have a Cal Ripken baseball card with "f u" on the bottom of his bat :)

No, the obscenity card was of his brother, Billy Ripken.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This is kind of awesome.

I feel like I'm getting my generation's version of the fabled "Deities and Demigods with Cthulthu and Melnibone".

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
I just don't understand how this could have happened. Who's in charge over there? Don't you guy have, I dunno, an editing pharoah or something?
Erik Mona wrote:
We did, but he reanimated and took a vacation.

Well... Now, that is just plain rude. He should definitely be fired, and then tarred and feathered (and probably killed again). No, too extreme?

Dark Archive

xidoraven wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
I just don't understand how this could have happened. Who's in charge over there? Don't you guy have, I dunno, an editing pharoah or something?
Erik Mona wrote:
We did, but he reanimated and took a vacation.
Well... Now, that is just plain rude. He should definitely be fired, and then tarred and feathered (and probably killed again). No, too extreme?

So now we are going to have a Editing Chicken Pharaoh?

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

18 people marked this as a favorite.

The REAL question, of course, is which volume of an upcoming Adventure path are we going to mislabel with the RPG logo?

Because, you know, balance and stuff.

Scarab Sages

My sympathies for the sting of it, to everyone involved. I am looking forward to getting my hands on my copy every bit as much as I was before, however.


Ugh! That is terrible. Having run into a similar error in the past I can completely understand how frustrating and painful this is. But I think this is the right decision; get the book into the hands on fans now and fix on the reprint.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Agh, the look on your faces must've been horrific. My sympathies, but I doubt many people would have even noticed if you hadn't told us.

The book is going to be epic, AP or not. Watch them fly off the Gen Con stand..


I can sympathize with your distress, having worked as an editor for several years. Stuff happens, and you were forthright with admitting it and moving on. I'm sure it will make the first printing all the more valuable down the road.

It could be a lot worse: my newspaper's editing team all signed off on an obituary of a beloved former post sergeant major once. We got his name completely wrong. That was not a very good week at the Fort Bliss Monitor, I can tell you >.<

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't know how to read actually, I just look at the great art. No damage done :-)


So, assuming you guys will be surrounded by stacks of these things next week, are the ones headed to the show the corrected version? (Sorry if this has already been asked and answered!)

Count Troskoski

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Troskoski wrote:

So, assuming you guys will be surrounded by stacks of these things next week, are the ones headed to the show the corrected version? (Sorry if this has already been asked and answered!)

Count Troskoski

Currently, there are no "corrected versions", just lots and lots and lots of the printing with the mistake on it. There will not be a "corrected version" until if/when a second printing occurs.


Thanks, Reckless!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
I just don't understand how this could have happened. Who's in charge over there? Don't you guy have, I dunno, an editing pharoah or something?
I see what you did there.

Phew, I'm glad someone did. I was briefly afraid I'd spelled it right, actually.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Typoing your typo, now that's typo-ception!


On a more serious note, while it's kind of embarrassing goof in a professional sense, and something that I'm sure you don't want to make a habit out of, I'm sure everybody over at Paizo didn't panic in any way considering you must have known that almost nobody that buys the book would care about the mistake at all.


It's an unfortunate error but no one got hurt -- I assume; I don't know what disciplinary procedures are like at Paizo Towers -- and I think you've done the right thing by not withdrawing the incorrect printing. Not only that but admitting the mistake in such an upfront manner -- and with such good humour -- is commendable.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

11 people marked this as a favorite.

I, for one, am outraged that no one invited me to contribute to this new Adventure Path! Not even a heads-up or anything from a single developer! Instead, it was cloaked in the guise of being a rules supplement hardcover! Now I have to /ragequit freelancing for an indeterminate amount of time until my anger recedes and I can regain a sense of equilibrium...

Actually...

Spoiler:
Totally kidding. No biggie. Please keep me in mind for future APs...hardcover or otherwise. ;)

Also, c'mon...

Spoiler:
If you're going to screw up the logo, you should at least make sure it says EXPLOSIVE RUNES!!! or something.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'll just take the 'Trinity' sticker off of my copy of the Aeon game from White Wolf (after they decided to rename the game to avoid a copyright issue, after already printing a bunch off) and slap it over the Adventure Path part!

And then I'll have the world's only copy of the Trinity Advanced Class Guide. Woo!


I still have a hardcover book from Mongoose that has "Utimate" printed on the spine. Relax, Paizo, it could have been worse.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is there an error on the product page? I think as a part of the Adventure Path line this should be coming up at $22.99 for me... unless it is actually a folio, I would be pleased to see it at $19.99, a value to be sure!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can you make a PDF version with the error too, to be offered among the PDF download options?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can we get the cover printed upside-down next time?

Maybe someone could accidentally change the artwork rotation by 180 degrees after the last sign-off.

Silver Crusade

To be entirely honest, now I REALLY want to buy a copy of the ACG.


I once found a copy of the 2e "Skills and Powers" book with the pages inside upside down. I should've bought it for the giggle factor.

Lantern Lodge

So the first edition print of the ACG is going to be a collectors edition!?!??!?!?!?!?!?

I want one now. Going to hunt the game stores.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Duncan7291 wrote:
I still have a Cal Ripken baseball card with "f u" on the bottom of his bat :)

I believe you will find that it is a Billy Ripken card. I think there are three versions, if I remember correctly. The original "FU" version, a "blackout" version, and a "scratched out" version. Can't remember which one was more valuable.

Great card. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
NoncompliAut wrote:
Can you make a PDF version with the error too, to be offered among the PDF download options?

No. The PDF version will feature the correct logo.

We're cool with admitting our mistakes, but that doesn't mean we celebrate them. ;)


Honestly.. I really want one of the flawed versions now. I hope one of them ends up here in Alaska... Unique = awesome sauce


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Reckless wrote:
Hey, Erik, Just slap a sticker under the logo that says "#100" and you can save everyone a lot of work on making AP#100 special. Easy Peasy.
James watches this post VERY CAREFULLY to see if he gets to do #100 on Easy Mode...

Doesn't this bring AP #100 forward a month? If anything, you're now doing it on Hard Mode...

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Zwordsman wrote:
Honestly.. I really want one of the flawed versions now. I hope one of them ends up here in Alaska... Unique = awesome sauce

They will all be flawed.

We are all special little snowflakes.

It's unlikely there will ever be more "Fixed" versions than bad versions.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It never ceases to amaze me how honest and upfront you guys are. I have worked for companies previously that would have just shipped those with no explanation or apology and just handwaved it if anyone questioned it.

Kudos.


Just reading the first page and the story, I lol'd so hard. This is actually great. If/when Paizo does in fact hit it big(ger), this will definitely be a collector's item, kinda like rare coins and stuff.

Who knows? The derp'd copies might even be worth something if/when that time comes :P


This isn't actually the first time the wrong logo has been used on a hardcover. Compare the logo on the spine of Bestiary 3 to the logos used on all of the other hardcovers.

I guess I am alone in thinking that an included sticker with the correct logo to slap on the front of the ACG sounded like an awesome idea. Or even better than that - a sticker already applied so I wouldn't have to.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We decided against the sticker because we feel it would actually bring _more_ attention to the problem. Stickering it at the factory was impossible, as the books had already left the factory by the time we discovered the mistake.


I think someone else already mentioned this upthread a bit. But, what about the proof copy? I'm probably wrong here but it was my understanding that the way this worked was that after all changes were made the printer sends off a proof copy. And if everything looks good then the order is printed. If a change is made then another proof copy is sent out. Is that not actually how it works?


8 people marked this as a favorite.

This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to make brown paper bag book covers for their ACG and then design their own covers! You can then post pictures of them online and the best ones win!*

* All winners receive nothing but the admiration of their peers.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Dire Care Bear Manager

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to make brown paper bag book covers for their ACG and then design their own covers! You can then post pictures of them online and the best ones win!*

* All winners receive nothing but the admiration of their peers.

Crayola makes Glitter Markers and they are awesome.

Just sayin...

Webstore Gninja Minion

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Sara Marie wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to make brown paper bag book covers for their ACG and then design their own covers! You can then post pictures of them online and the best ones win!*

* All winners receive nothing but the admiration of their peers.

Crayola makes Glitter Markers and they are awesome.

Just sayin...

*squee*


8 people marked this as a favorite.

mine is done


Why even bother with a sticker? You know what the book is and what's inside it. I'm just hacked off because my FLGS sold the last copy they got in just TODAY 30 minutes before I got there.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I'm just hacked off because my FLGS sold the last copy they got in just TODAY 30 minutes before I got there.

Your FLGS is already selling the ACG? If I'm not entirely mistaken they're not really meant to do that...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Why even bother with a sticker? You know what the book is and what's inside it. I'm just hacked off because my FLGS sold the last copy they got in just TODAY 30 minutes before I got there.

Your FLGS should not have this book on sale yet. They may very well have stock, GenCon is this week. But they should honor the street date.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

First "Pharoah" and now this? Tut, tut, Paizo....

Spoiler:
YEEEEAHHHHHHHH

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

20 people marked this as a favorite.
Dennis Baker wrote:
Can we get the cover printed upside-down next time?

I will personally make sure that on your subscription copy, not only will the cover be upside down, but the entire interior will be too!

Shadow Lodge

How bout we get it printed up manga stile next time? *you know opens on the left and pages read right to left and all*

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

What are the chances of an inside out edition?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

It would help international subscribers manage our shipping costs if you could organise a TARDIS edition to mail in a regular envelope with a full 256 pages inside.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
It would help international subscribers manage our shipping costs if you could organise a TARDIS edition to mail in a regular envelope with a full 256 pages inside.

Unfortunately, Gallifreyan envelopes have been a bit hard to come by since the end of the Time War. The cost of the envelope turns out to be more expensive than conventional postage.

Master of Coin

2 people marked this as a favorite.
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Why even bother with a sticker? You know what the book is and what's inside it. I'm just hacked off because my FLGS sold the last copy they got in just TODAY 30 minutes before I got there.

If your FLGS is, in fact, selling the book already, could you please email me with the identity of your FLGS (I'm at chris.self@paizo.com)? I'd like to track down who their distributor is so I can find out who broke street date and see if we can put a stop to that.

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