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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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You know, in the comics industry, they actually sell "blank cover" variants...

Grand Lodge

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

So they do! :)

Grand Lodge

And Jim Zub drew on a couple of those (Issue #1) for me at Paizo Con 2013 … yay!

Anxiously awaiting my special among (what 5000 other) ACGs!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Lol, I had no idea even the Pathfinder comic had gotten in on it.

So, when are we going to get our first "blank variant" AP or hardcover?


Could be way worse. I once bought a comic where the art for two pages got switched, but the dialogue balloons were on their correct pages.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Poor Ravingdork.

lol, what?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

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.

Even if that were possible—which it isn't—the calculations alone would take hundreds of years.


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

If the solution involves the invention of a TARDIS, I don't see that as a problem. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James0235 wrote:
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?

It was not noticed on the proof copy, making it officially 100% case closed our fault.

Grand Lodge

WOW. What a major error.

Thank Desna you guys and gals are one of the best-edited games out there, and that the content inside will be 100% quality.

Look at it this way- it'll be a collector edition, just like rare coins!

You made a solid choice on not destroying thousands of perfectly suitable books and saved money in the process.

I look forward the book.


An embarrassing mistake to be sure, but which one of us hasn't made one of those? Kudos to Paizo for getting in front of it.

(I probably wouldn't have even noticed it to be honest.)

Dark Archive

Logan Bonner wrote:
We on the design team are really not looking forward to writing the remaining five volumes of the Advanced Class Guide Adventure Path. Geez, 50 more classes!

So wait, will each hardcover installment in this AP series takes place in a different country/region of Golarion and supported by new classes?

Sounds Great!


Erik Mona wrote:

It was not noticed on the proof copy, making it officially 100% case closed our fault.

Ah. Thank you for explaining that.

Now that I actually looked at the AP logo I am wondering how long it would have taken me to actually notice. I was envisioning a very different looking logo like the PFS one.

The image in this post shows the book with the correct logo. I don't suppose you guys have an image showing what it will really look like, do you?


46 people marked this as a favorite.

okay paizo it is story time

so my brother and I run a business together

it has been and will always continue to be a long hard road, but we have built something pretty cool and neither of us is hurting for money anymore because we have stayed the course and worked hard to build a good family business

that being said, there was a time a number of years back when we were really struggling and we were not sure our business was going to last much longer

we needed clients badly, because clients pay you money, so every new business meeting was vital

So this brings me to sitting in a meeting with my brother and a (at the time) prospective client

we begin talking to the potential client, explaining to her how to bring a few different divergent portions of her online sales effort into line

she was not really understanding us very well

now these days we can both sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman wearing white gloves and have all sorts of fancy marketing materials, presentations and videos, but back then we both were not very good and did not have much to work with

so, my brother pulls out a sheet of paper

he draws a bulbous shape, explaining that it is one portion of her business, then he draws a few long horizontal lines to the right, connecting to another bulbous shape, showing her how two portions of her business relate

I look down at his drawing, about to contribute to the conversation...and I see it

he has drawn a boner

my brother has basically has basically drawn a big gigantic penis in front of this potential client

my jaw sets, my lip quivers as I can feel horrifying laughter bubbling up from inside me

I bite my cheek hard, my shoulders beginning to bob slightly from restraining myself from shuddering belly laughs

I know, based on the client's business model, what my brother is thinking and how he is going to explain the next part

I cannot let this happen

my eyes are watering and just for an instant I meet my brother's eyes across the table, silently pleading for him to not continue drawing

the client is staring at the drawing, nodding, following along, she does not see it

my brother gives me a quick odd look, narrowing his eyes, but continues speaking

I am about to lose it

I try desperately try to guide the conversation to another aspect of her business but I am terrified of bursting into convulsive laughter

my brother picks right back up, explaining how the third aspect of her business relates, drawing an even bigger bulbous shape directly under the first item, then outlining it with little dashed lines, all around it to show its importance, then drawing two thin lines to link it up to the first item

he has now drawn a hairy...testicular region...to go along with the large penis

I make an audible snnnnrrrrk sound, covering my mouth

yes I am infantile

the meeting concludes shortly after

we are walking out, we are not sure if we got the client, she says she will think about it

we are walking to our truck, my brother's jaw is working, he looks angry

he asks me what the hell was wrong with me in there, begins getting angry

I start laughing, I cannot help it

he gets mad, we get in the truck, he again asks me what the hell got into me

I cannot hold back

I tell him

"You just drew a massive penis and a set of balls in front of what could be one of our biggest clients ever"

He looks at me like I am insane

He starts to get mad, but I tell him

"Pull out the paper you drew on in there, look at it"

He is berating me even while pulling out the paper, still really angry and spitting out a storm of vitriol my way as he looks at the paper

he goes instantly silent, staying that way for a good ten seconds

he looks up at me, his face ashen

"I...I...wow...yeah...I drew a gigantic penis and ballsack, didn't I?"

I cannot help it, I begin to die laughing

he smiles, then begins laughing as well

I tell him

"Don't worry, brother, I hear like 8% of kids do it"

we laugh until our ribs hurt

we drive back to our tiny office, still chuckling

the phone rings shortly after we get back to our tiny one-room office that we share

it is the prospective client

she loved our pitch and our explanation, loved how down to earth we were and thought our explanation of her business processes was amazing

she becomes our biggest client, our business picks up and a few month later, we are out of the woods and on the way to where we are today

we still have the penis picture, framed

it is in a place of honor on the wall, at my brother's house

the moral of the story:

everyone accidentally draws a penis and ballsack in front of a client every once in a while, paizo

but sometimes that penis and ballsack can be a turning point to the light at the end of the tunnel...and I think the ACG will be one hell of a turning point, in addition to a lot of other really cool stuff you all have done and will continue to do

keep your chin up, paizo


Chris Self wrote:
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.

It turns out I was misinformed by the guy on the phone. When I went in to order a copy the owner told me that the guy was referring to the Advanced Race Guide. False alarm.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Lamontius wrote:
true story bro

You just won the Paizo forums forever. That even beat succubus in a grapple.


Uh...can we get a picture of that? ;)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Lamontius has officially ended the thread. There is no more to say.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
If the solution involves the invention of a TARDIS, I don't see that as a problem. :)

Sorry, but the correct response to my last post is...

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special spoiler:
"Oh, hundreds and hundreds of years..."

"But don't worry, I've been working on it for a very long time..."

...followed by the greatest cutaway scene ever filmed. :)

Liberty's Edge

You mean this is a limited print collector's edition??

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The book is 99.9999% correct! That is one error in a million in a book that certainly has less than a million words and images. This is the first book that wont require errata and has zero typos - other than the logo. Wow. Excellent work. ;-)

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

As a TCG player, I always love when I get a misprint. Little bit of flavor, something most others don't have.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lamontius wrote:

Spoiler:
okay paizo it is story time

so my brother and I run a business together

it has been and will always continue to be a long hard road, but we have built something pretty cool and neither of us is hurting for money anymore because we have stayed the course and worked hard to build a good family business

that being said, there was a time a number of years back when we were really struggling and we were not sure our business was going to last much longer

we needed clients badly, because clients pay you money, so every new business meeting was vital

So this brings me to sitting in a meeting with my brother and a (at the time) prospective client

we begin talking to the potential client, explaining to her how to bring a few different divergent portions of her online sales effort into line

she was not really understanding us very well

now these days we can both sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman wearing white gloves and have all sorts of fancy marketing materials, presentations and videos, but back then we both were not very good and did not have much to work with

so, my brother pulls out a sheet of paper

he draws a bulbous shape, explaining that it is one portion of her business, then he draws a few long horizontal lines to the right, connecting to another bulbous shape, showing her how two portions of her business relate

I look down at his drawing, about to contribute to the conversation...and I see it

he has drawn a boner

my brother has basically has basically drawn a big gigantic penis in front of this potential client

my jaw sets, my lip quivers as I can feel horrifying laughter bubbling up from inside me

I bite my cheek hard, my shoulders beginning to bob slightly from restraining myself from shuddering belly laughs

I know, based on the client's business model, what my brother is thinking and how he is going to explain the next part

I cannot let this happen

my eyes are watering and just for an instant I meet my brother's eyes across the table, silently...

Best awkward moment story I have heard in a good while. :D


I have a somewhat different question. I checked both Barnes and nobles.com and paizo .com for prices and shipping dates on this book... and Barnes and Nobles shows a different cover for the book than Paizo.com does... though both show the "pathfinder roleplaying game" logo. Was that explained somewhere?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

When Paizo products are first announced, the cover art hasn't been commissioned yet so they put up a placeholder cover with the right title but old art. Paizo updates their own images when the actual cover is finalized, but Amazon and other stores generally don't bother to.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James0235 wrote:
The image in this post shows the book with the correct logo. I don't suppose you guys have an image showing what it will really look like, do you?

It has been purged.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Joana wrote:
When Paizo products are first announced, the cover art hasn't been commissioned yet so they put up a placeholder cover with the right title but old art. Paizo updates their own images when the actual cover is finalized, but Amazon and other stores generally don't bother to.

This.


Erik Mona wrote:
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. ;)

You do realize that in a few years this first printing will be a much sought after collector’s item? So now I must buy at least 10 copies so I can sell them for 10 times as much in a few years.

Thank you for helping me funding my first trip to the United States, paizocon and Gen Con! ;)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

To make it a collector's item, you need to work on getting most of the first printing copies destroyed. Otherwise, they just aren't rare enough to be of real value.

And no -- I am not letting anyone with that intent anywhere near my copy once I get it.


mechaPoet wrote:
With all these posts touting excitement for a rare 1st ed. misprint, I'm not convinced this isn't a finely tuned marketing scheme with an in-depth understanding of nerd brains.

I agree. I'm not at the point in Pathfinder where I could really use this book but I'm thinking about buying this just because of the epic misprint. This seems like nerd manipulation at it's best. You just gotta love stuff like this.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

While we don't discuss exact print numbers, Erik did say above that there are "tens of thousands of copies" of this book with the wrong logo.

Many of you know that I'm a Star Wars collector, and when I see a Star Wars item that says "Limited Edition of 10,000 copies", I read that as "not a limited edition."

What I'm saying is... if you want to invest in collectibles, and you have a choice between this book and an Inverted Jenny, I suggest you go for the latter.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:


Many of you know that I'm a Star Wars collector, and when I see a Star Wars item that says "Limited Edition of 10,000 copies", I read that as "not a limited edition."

Sounds like one of those exclusive offers I keep getting in un-adressed junkmail.

The Exchange

Vic Wertz wrote:

While we don't discuss exact print numbers, Erik did say above that there are "tens of thousands of copies" of this book with the wrong logo.

Many of you know that I'm a Star Wars collector, and when I see a Star Wars item that says "Limited Edition of 10,000 copies", I read that as "not a limited edition."

What I'm saying is... if you want to invest in collectibles, and you have a choice between this book and an Inverted Jenny, I suggest you go for the latter.

Eagerly awaiting my copy of Pathfinder Unchained with Yak Face POTF coin insert.


Vic Wertz wrote:

While we don't discuss exact print numbers, Erik did say above that there are "tens of thousands of copies" of this book with the wrong logo.

Many of you know that I'm a Star Wars collector, and when I see a Star Wars item that says "Limited Edition of 10,000 copies", I read that as "not a limited edition."

What I'm saying is... if you want to invest in collectibles, and you have a choice between this book and an Inverted Jenny, I suggest you go for the latter.

While true, many of those 10,000 copies won't be in mint condition in 20+ years from people playing them.

There's a big difference between limited edition of 20,000 toys, and collecting the misprint of a book that is intended to be used and will inevitably be damaged by it's use.

Of course, there's also going to be that nerdstalgia of people wishing they had gotten a copy of the misprinted ACG later on. I doubt this will ever make the money that first editions of the Rise of the Rune Lord books do.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Heck, not even the old "Cthulhu/Nehwon" D&DG books are all *that* valuable, and those date back how many years?

Sure, they're worth more than the later printings, but it's not like you'll ever get rich off rare printings of RPGs :)

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm wondering, once there is a second printing with the correct logo, if those won't be more valueable...


Vic Wertz wrote:
What I'm saying is... if you want to invest in collectibles, and you have a choice between this book and an Inverted Jenny, I suggest you go for the latter.

Alternatively, buy up all the copies of this misprinted cover, and create a collectible market for it. :D


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
Franz Lunzer wrote:
I'm wondering, once there is a second printing with the correct logo, if those won't be more valueable...

First printings are usually the largest run; the corrected cover will be the minority of the copies and thus more "collectible."

Now, if this goes through 5 or 6 printings like the Core Rulebook, you might start getting there. But the APG is only on its second printing now, I believe.


The logos are different? Huh. ;-)

Shadow Lodge

What's a logo?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, I have to admit I'm disappointed. My copy reads "Pathfinder Pathfinder Pathfinder: Advanced Bio-exorcist Guide" I read the logo section aloud and it summoned a hostile undead naga. Would it be possible to return just the naga and have a tiny humanoid shipped to me with the naga's face?


Cheapy wrote:

Fun story.

The same thing happened with Halo: Combat Evolved. Originally, the pistol in that game was meant to be a weak standby to use when all other weapons were out of ammo. But literally right before the disk went to be printed, someone changed the weapon to deal 3 times as much damage.

But it went on to become the defining weapon of that game, and people were pissed when it Halo 2 had a wimpy little pistol in it that didn't hit like the handcannon that was in Halo: Combat Evolved.

What I'm trying to say, is that maybe this will stick.

Well, Halo 1 was the pistol. Halo 2 was the revolver: somehow the second is weaker.

Less damage, no scope. 2 nerfs. Makes you wonder why the double nerf.

Shadow Lodge

Got my advanced class guide adventure path today.Woot Woot!

Silver Crusade

Well it is a nice story, but honestly I dont't think anybody cares.


Mark Seifter wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
Christopher Anthony wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
The iconic is going to have a loving family and plenty of friends.
All of whom were brutally killed by kobolds to provide the motivation for adventuring.
Actually, the iconic is going to BE a kobold.
Close, he's a lawful good orc named Mica Zey. His human great-grandfather was related to Aram Zey and had a loving relationship with an orc woman. Their entire tribe became good-aligned and worships Shelyn, and after several generations, despite having a little bit of human blood, he is mechanically a full orc.

Wow. There is a reason you get paid for your ideas...this is truly awesome! You totally adlibbed this and it's one of the mostt creative ideas I've ever read/heard. Can I use this as a seedling for a campaign?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

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.

It should be #100. ;D


I noticed it right way. The Librarian in me was flabbergasted. Ah well... so it goes.

I'd rather Paizo saved the money, than delayed and corrected it.


Too bad, very unprofessional. I know is not a big deal, but I've paid 25 British pounds for a faulty product. First rule for any business: the customer doesn't pay your mistakes, even if it is a small one. I don't mind if is not a big deal, is YOUR mistake. At least you could have decrease the price of the book, or at least, let the retailers know as the customer can decide about paying for a faulty product or not. Because in Amazon, the photo of the book had the correct logo. I am going to return my copy and wait for a reprint.

At least, Paizo could send us the pdf version for free as a gesture of good will.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You must be mortified! But you've stood up and explained it, to everyone, and pointed out the inside (and side and back) is unaffected.

Pity the first guy to post a review on Amazon.co.uk took one glimpse of the front and posted a 1-star review.

Once I get my copy, I'll actually read it, and then post something - which I expect to be more positive than 1-star.

If anyone else buys it from/via Amazon UK, do post a review too!


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
mangrar wrote:
Too bad, very unprofessional. I know is not a big deal, but I've paid 25 British pounds for a faulty product. First rule for any business: the customer doesn't pay your mistakes, even if it is a small one. I don't mind if is not a big deal, is YOUR mistake. At least you could have decrease the price of the book, or at least, let the retailers know as the customer can decide about paying for a faulty product or not. Because in Amazon, the photo of the book had the correct logo. I am going to return my copy and wait for a reprint

Don't forget to stomp your feet!

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