Strategy Guide Update

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The long-awaited Pathfinder RPG Strategy Guide hardcover arrived from out printer late last week, and we were disappointed to discover that the printer had bound all of the pages before the ink had fully dried, resulting in damage to the entire print run. We have discussed the issue with our printer, who apologized for the misprint and have agreed to replace the entire print run at their expense.

Unfortunately, this will result in a considerable delay in the book's release, shifting the Strategy Guide from a December release to a formal release date of February 25, 2015.

We appreciate your understanding and patience with this additional delay. The book is a fantastic resource for new Pathfinder players, and will be a welcome addition to the Pathfinder RPG library.

Erik Mona
Publisher

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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Hunt, the PugWumpus wrote:
{looks around nervously} I told the vexgits Vinnie, his brother Vance, and his other brother Vance, that mucking up this print run was going too far, and someone would design a gremlin-hunter ranger or gunslinger archetype in retaliation. {spots a dozen red dots on his body} AUGH!

If you really think that there is such a thing as "too far," you're not a real gremlin! :P


The entire print run? They didn't spot the problem in time to halt it before all the books were bound?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Master Pugwampi wrote:
Hunt, the PugWumpus wrote:
{looks around nervously} I told the vexgits Vinnie, his brother Vance, and his other brother Vance, that mucking up this print run was going too far, and someone would design a gremlin-hunter ranger or gunslinger archetype in retaliation. {spots a dozen red dots on his body} AUGH!
If you really think that there is such a thing as "too far," you're not a real gremlin! :P

.

He who knows when to jinx and when to run away,
Lives to jinx another day.
Those who don't and bring death down us,
Live just long enough to be thrown under the bus.
Yes my ranks in Perform (poetry) are low,
And for that you can blame Great Cosmo!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Asgetrion wrote:
Hm, the guide suggests putting a rank in a Knowledge skill, which is okay, but investing a rank in *Sense Motive* instead of Heal... why? IMO Heal is way more important for newbies. Especially as you usually get 2-3 ranks per level.

From the paragraph right under the Skills header on the sample page:

Strategy Guide wrote:
Clerics' high Wisdom scores make them adept at using Wisdom-based skills like Heal, but their magical healing quickly eclipses skill-based healing, and their limited number of skill ranks forces them to focus on just a few skills.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can understand not wanting to release the PDF earlier than the dead tree version. But can we maybe get a few more sample pages? Maybe a table of contents or such? This book may be what makes me change from Beginner Box or 5th Edition D&D to Pathfinder Core. So I would like to see more if possible.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We will preview it more as we approach the revised release date.


that´s how that guide looks like? i mean, that is the inpages design?

Dude, definely, this is an "i´ll pass" book

Grand Lodge

I wouldn't want to be you lately, Erik. You've had a stressful couple of hardcover releases between this and the latest hardcover adventure path.


Latest hardcover AP? You mean the RotRL Anniversary, or there is another one?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Zmar wrote:
Latest hardcover AP? You mean the RotRL Anniversary, or there is another one?

I believe Himoki is referring to the incorrect logo on the cover of the Advanced Class Guide hardcover.


Might I suggest switching to a UV printing system? I work at a printer here and that lets us do all of our finishing immediately even while the paper is still literally hot off the presses. Let me know and I can hook you up with a vendor.


Garrett Guillotte wrote:


For what it's worth, the Strategy Guide is not part of a subscription (though subscribers who opt in for the hardcover still get the complimentary PDF).

If this has already been covered and someone has a link for me, sweet, but, why isn't this part of a subscription?

Are there any other books lately (say, last 18 months or so) that I may have missed because they aren't part of a sub?


Brian E. Harris wrote:


If this has already been covered and someone has a link for me, sweet, but, why isn't this part of a subscription?

Whenever there's a book that doesn't quite fit the normal subscription pattern it tends to not be offered as part of the subscription. In this case, I believe because there would be sufficient complaints from regular subscribers that felt it was more aimed towards beginner players and therefore of no interest to them.

Another example would, I believe, be the Emerald Spire Superdungeon which was part of the Modules line but as a larger more expensive hardcover was not automatically added (many people would have objected to the cost compared to their regular softcover module, and many others already were getting it through Kickstarter).

Not 100% certain, but Inner Sea Gods in the campaign setting line may also have not been automatically included. That's the only ones I can think of from the past 18 months.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Brian E. Harris wrote:
If this has already been covered and someone has a link for me, sweet, but, why isn't this part of a subscription?

Because a lot of people who subscribe to the Pathfinder RPG line (which this book is a part of) are not the target audience for this book—it's geared more towards people that do not have 10+ years of d20 system mastery. After including the Beginner Box with RPG subscriptions, Paizo got a lot of feedback from customers asking not to include such material in their subscriptions by default.

Quote:
Are there any other books lately (say, last 18 months or so) that I may have missed because they aren't part of a sub?

Emerald Spire and Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition are the ones that I can immediately recall.

Shadow Lodge

wally.west wrote:
I can understand not wanting to release the PDF earlier than the dead tree version. But can we maybe get a few more sample pages?

I was about to suggest this! Turn the blunder into an opportunity.

Everybody wins!

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Hm, the guide suggests putting a rank in a Knowledge skill, which is okay, but investing a rank in *Sense Motive* instead of Heal... why? IMO Heal is way more important for newbies. Especially as you usually get 2-3 ranks per level.

From the paragraph right under the Skills header on the sample page:

Strategy Guide wrote:
Clerics' high Wisdom scores make them adept at using Wisdom-based skills like Heal, but their magical healing quickly eclipses skill-based healing, and their limited number of skill ranks forces them to focus on just a few skills.

Somehow I missed that; yet I'd still argue that Heal is *very* important for low-level PCs. It is literally the only non-magical way to stabilize characters, restore HPs, and help with afflictions.

Besides, I've yet to see a 1st level party which would have "too much healing" at their disposal (unless everyone is a cleric). I've played several clerics, and IME you run out of spell slots and channeling every day. The wands Bagsy mentioned (and I'm not going to repeat that naughty word here; shame on you, Bagsy! ;)) help a lot, but I know many GMs who've banned them in their games (or you might find one or two during the whole campaign).

Sense Motive is good, but in many games it's simply equivalent to being a skill-based, non-magical lie-detector. Or won't see much use at all (e.g. in wilderness campaigns).

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I pre-ordered the Strategy Guide back in July, along with a number of other products. This order has been "pending" since July ... it's now November. I don't know if the Strategy Guide is what is holding up shipment of everything else in this order. Will the delay of the Strategy Guide mean this entire order won't ship until February?

Note: I can't currently view my Order History, it keeps displaying the login page.

Dark Archive

Shisumo wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Hm, the guide suggests putting a rank in a Knowledge skill, which is okay, but investing a rank in *Sense Motive* instead of Heal... why? IMO Heal is way more important for newbies. Especially as you usually get 2-3 ranks per level.
Nah, you've got channeling and spontaneous cures for that. Sense Motive is a handy skill for most any RP scene, although I would generally favor Perception over Sense Motive personally.

I already covered this in my reply to Vic, and as I said, I have yet to see a 1st level cleric who has too much healing at his/her disposal. Also, SM is more or less campaign-dependant, more useful in a high-intrigue urban campaign; it is also a skill that GMs may be leery of. I confess I have often "cheated" when PCs have tried to use Sense Motive to gain information they're supposed to gain later on, if at all. These days I usually just use a lot of NPCs who have dirty secrets, but I can see how SM could be a problematic skill for a newbie GM.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A high-Wis character plus Take 10 plus a healer's kit bonus will make most Heal DC's irrelevant for clerics, thus making any points put into the skill wasted.

The writers have no doubt done their math weighing the different skills against each other and come to the conclusion that Heal isn't a big priority. The book is written, designed, and even printed (once) already. There won't be any changes at this point.

If you still feel that Heal is a worthwhile investment, you can always write your own strategy guide. When Paizo writes their own, they get to decide what they feel they want to recommend.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Usually, I'll invest a point or two in Heal in my first couple levels, and then switch skills after that. At higher levels, the Heal skill really only ever comes into play when attempting to ascertain the cause of death in a murder-mystery.

I can definitely understand not wanting to get into the complexities of saying, "put a rank into this skill at 1st level, and then switch to a different skill when you level up." Keep it simple! Once the PCs get past level 1, they should have plenty of magical healing anyway.

Now, if the section on equipment doesn't mention buying a Wand of Cure Light Wounds at the first opportunity, there might be some problems... ;-)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
The entire print run? They didn't spot the problem in time to halt it before all the books were bound?

As a former professional bookbinder, this caught my attention as being more than a little odd too.

Liberty's Edge

Keep in mind that this isn't a hand operation. These are all fairly highly automated processes. It's very possible that the entire run was already bound before a human even realized there was a problem


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Plus, if I'm understanding the problem correctly, a quick riffle through a newly-completed book would have looked fine; it was only after the ink fully dried that the pages started sticking together.

Webstore Gninja Minion

DarkWhite wrote:
I pre-ordered the Strategy Guide back in July, along with a number of other products. This order has been "pending" since July ... it's now November. I don't know if the Strategy Guide is what is holding up shipment of everything else in this order. Will the delay of the Strategy Guide mean this entire order won't ship until February?

Unless you specified the order to ship preorders or backorders separately, it will hold the order until all parts are ready and in the warehouse. Contact Customer Service so they can split your order up for you.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Codex of the Absent Strategist

Aura overwhelming divination [chaotic]; CL 25th; Slot none; Weight 4 lbs.

DESCRIPTION

This hardback tome proudly declares itself as a definitive codex of warfare and battlefield tactics. The supple leather cover is gilded with silver-inlaid print and a sapphire silhouette of an exotic golem. The pages within are a chaotic jumble of smudged ink, haunting illustrations of blurred humanoids, and cryptic mathematics that agitate the senses.

The Codex of the Absent Strategist radiates a permanent confusion effect in a 150-foot radius. Any creature of lawful alignment that willingly touches the tome must succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude save or be affected by insanity. Finally, any creature who attempts to use a power from the Codex for the first time must succeed at a DC 25 Will save or be permanently affected by slow.

The Codex of the Absent Strategist can be used in two ways—as a profane talisman and as an obscene reference volume of strategy and tactics.

Talisman: As long as the book is carried, its owner casts all spells with the chaos descriptor as if she were two caster levels higher and gains a +5 bonus on all Charisma-based skills and checks made when interacting with evil outsiders. The bearer can also make use of the following spell-like abilities:

At willalign weapon (chaotic only), erase, detect chaos, speak with dead
3/daycrushing despair, secret page, symbol of slowing, word of chaos
1/dayantipathy, demand, prediction of failure(UM), soul bind, time stop

Reference: Any character who can read and who spends a total of 30 days (not necessarily contiguously) studying the tome learns brilliant strategies and tactics distilled from generations of military leaders. The bearer gains a +10 bonus on Knowledge (nobility) and (history) checks whenever she consults the book for 1 hour regarding a question. Once per day, the bearer can ask the tome a question relating to any strategic topic; she then opens the book to a random page to find the answer, revealed as if the bearer had cast vision.

DESTRUCTION

The Codex of the Absent Strategist must be divided into its varied chapters and each must be rewritten and reprinted separately within the span of 1 day. The chapter on the melee tactics requires the pages be scrubbed of ink by the tears of a good-aligned editor, the pages of the ranged tactics chapter must be fed to a good or lawful freelancer, and the feats chapter must be woven into a blanket which is wrapped around a good aligned publisher in need of comfort and reassurance. If all of the chapters are not destroyed at the end of 1 day, any destroyed chapters reappear undamaged in an obscure corner of the multiverse after six to ten months.

HISTORY

The Codex of the Absent Strategist was born of an attempt by a now long forgotten circle of wizards attempting to distill the collective knowledge and experience of legendary battlefield tacticians throughout their kingdom's illustrious history into a comprehensive tome. The crafting of this book was fraught with difficulty, resulting in the deaths of the mediums tasked with channeling the spirits of these dead strategists. The scribes who took the medium's dictation were driven mad by the unfathomable knowledge of the dead, and what remained after they completed their task was an indecipherable collection of mournful cries from beyond the grave pressed into ink and parchment.

RAMIFICATIONS

None can read the secrets of the cursed tome in creation without being forever changed.

Soul Prison: The spirits of writers, scribes, tacticians, and past readers are all trapped within the blurred ink pages of this cursed tome. Their spirits are unable to move on until the codex is published in its intended form. The destruction of the book will free countless spirits the book has trapped in its life and allow them to rejoin the cycle of souls. Evil outsiders who use souls as currency may seek to trap these spirits, seeing the book as a valuable source of wealth, rather than knowledge.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Joana wrote:
Plus, if I'm understanding the problem correctly, a quick riffle through a newly-completed book would have looked fine; it was only after the ink fully dried that the pages started sticking together.

This.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Awesome item, btw.

Dark Archive

Samy wrote:

A high-Wis character plus Take 10 plus a healer's kit bonus will make most Heal DC's irrelevant for clerics, thus making any points put into the skill wasted.

The writers have no doubt done their math weighing the different skills against each other and come to the conclusion that Heal isn't a big priority. The book is written, designed, and even printed (once) already. There won't be any changes at this point.

If you still feel that Heal is a worthwhile investment, you can always write your own strategy guide. When Paizo writes their own, they get to decide what they feel they want to recommend.

I would never call them "wasted", but YMMV. I think it's better to invest in Heal than SM, because that skill's usefulness is dependant on each GM and his/her campaign. As I said, in a high-intrigue campaign SM may be an important skill, while in others it might be nigh-useless.

Also, what's with the snarky tone? As far as I know, I haven't said that Paizo should rewrite the section, or do another print run. I merely mused aloud and offered some critique based on playing and running the game for almost 30 years. My opinion is that Heal is an important skill that is needed more than you need SM, especially when we're talking about newbie GMs and players (I assume that most of their campaigns tend to be more or less combat-centric).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Sorry if the tone came off as snarky. But do remember that, as you state, it is your *opinion* that Heal is needed more than Sense Motive. And Paizo is well within their rights to have the opposite opinion.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Erik Mona wrote:
Joana wrote:
Plus, if I'm understanding the problem correctly, a quick riffle through a newly-completed book would have looked fine; it was only after the ink fully dried that the pages started sticking together.

This.

In fact, the printer always overnights us a handful of sample copies before they put everything else in the containers destined to cross the Pacific. Our samples of this book were (and still are) just fine, while we found some degree of stickiness in nearly 100% of the books we spot-checked throughout the shipment that arrived by sea.

Dark Archive

Samy wrote:
Sorry if the tone came off as snarky. But do remember that, as you state, it is your *opinion* that Heal is needed more than Sense Motive. And Paizo is well within their rights to have the opposite opinion.

Yeah, it is just my opinion, and I thought I stated that quite clearly? Anyway, ever since Sense Motive has been part of the game, I've seen a number of players trying to abuse the skill as a sort of poor man's detect evil; and DMs/GMs trying to downplay the skill's usefulness so that it won't be a mundane means to "ruin" mystery adventures. After all, it is a bit unclear to a newbie how it works, and moderating how it's used and what kind of information it conveys can be challenging.

I feel that Heal is a more concrete skill and easier to understand, not to mention that it is kind of archetypal for the class. And this book is supposedly written for beginners.


Really great layout design, Paizo team

It will make an awesome gift for one of my players, just a beginner, played only 5 Pathfinder games with no prior rpg experience.

Can't wait


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Sorry to hear about the delay, but sweet damn is that a great looking book!

If a couple delays are the price to get a product like that, I'm 100% on board.

Cheers!
Landon

Grand Lodge

The book I received has poor binding. The hinge seems to be over glued and the book doesn't open properly. I did't buy this book from Paizo but is there a process to have it replaced?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Lord Transcona wrote:
The book I received has poor binding. The hinge seems to be over glued and the book doesn't open properly. I did't buy this book from Paizo but is there a process to have it replaced?

You would probably have better luck creating a new thread in this forum. :)

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