Steve Geddes wrote:
All valid points. There are several licensing regimes though. There's also the app store approach where you control distribution. You could also provide provisional licensing that is contingent upon approval before it gets released. You could also accept open submissions but only grant any kind of licensing, provisional or otherwise, to those that pass a quality check. Again, hearkening to the app store model, you can even charge for this. There many ways to skin this cat.
Maybe we can all just drop this derail and talk about the digital future of Pathfinder rather whatever this is about?
As you wish. Even ignoring the last several posts, I just don't see much in the way of digital for Paizo. Again, the potential is there, but it's not used really well. For example, in the user profile there are clearly signs to 3rd party integration, but I've not seen much in the way of partnerships. Maybe these were only vestiges of short experiments and not meant to be full blown partnerships, but it clearly inspires the mind. I've seen others ask in the feedback forum about things like APIs and being able to update Pathfinder Society info from other tools or working with PFS scenarios more naturally through Roll20. Sadly, I've not seen any hope of that happening. Would be really cool though.
I would cap falling asleep to be voluntary sleep. They'd bodily succumb to pure exhaustion but any kind of night time routine or laying down on your own? Nah. So more insomnia I guess, imo.
Vulnerability to elements is something particular. While not particular enough to say outright no to, I wouldn't be comfortable with that.
The rest seem ok.
I mean my whole point has been the following. There lots of passionate, talented people out there who would love to contribute to the community. That said, with anything in a market, those should be able be done at a profit. There is no good reason why only Paizo and Wizards needs to make money in this venture. That is overly combative and not seeking to expand the market in any way when digital is a fantastic way to grow markets (see brick and mortar vs. online shopping). This has manifested itself in a very strict licensing regime. That needs to change if you want quality, diverse digital tools. That's it. Everything else has been folks picking at my particular posts and not my broader point.
I would agree, you shouldn't, but you would be mistaken to think that's how I approached it.
I agree. Unfortunately there are no good options here. Below are my comments on your list.
1. This is a nonstarter. This is literally throwing manpower at the problem. It's expensive and slow.
2. Possible but very error prone. Any hiccup scraping or slowness to update from your target resource means you're behind. This is not something you'd want to build a product on. Maybe as an alternate ingestion should something else fail. Maybe. But still probably not.
3. Same problem as 1.
4. This is unfortunately part of the problem with PDFs. They're not really a text based document which means you can't do this reliably or you need to invest a lot of engineering to make it consistent.
5. AON actually works with PDFs and has done part of number 4. Props to them. But, as far as I understand, Paizo doesn't have their products in a structured format.
Marc Radle wrote:
As I said, I have no more faith in them changing their setup. I'm not here trying to get business. I'm here about the discussion around digital products which goes hand in hand with how they treat licensing.
Since we both agreed I should not publish my conversation, you will simply have to trust me when I say that simply would not work and cannot work under Paizo's current licensing setup. It could maybe work if it had a larger company backing it but a freshly founded company has no chance. I'm not sure if that's true with print partners, but it is absolutely true when it comes to digital according to my conversations with Paizo. That's my whole problem.
Blake's Tiger wrote:
It is close. I think Paizo's licensing setup is bad. Therefore I'm talking about why it's bad. Louis' comments aren't about products. They're about, in his words, the "dumb s&+~" companies do. That's a large umbrella of practices. It not about my idea. It's about the total stonewall of "you must be this tall to ride." That's anti-competitive.
You can't release for-pay tools with the Pathfinder trade name without a license from Paizo. You can't use their non-OGL monsters or content in anyway unless you want it to be free. To comply with their license requirements is currently way too strict. You said you were happy with their licensing, hence my response. If you want a diverse array of quality tools, they will need to change their approach to licensing.
Incorporating is not a complex process. It should not be considered a barrier to entry.
Loudly? A few posts in a single thread is being loud? Huh. At any rate, like I said, my faith they'll change in this regard is zero. I've tried on multiple occasions. I'm telling you, there's been zero serious consideration on Paizo's end if you're not an already established entity with a lot of money. I don't really want to share my correspondence with Vic because that feels tacky. You're just going to have to trust me on this. Or not. /shrug
Update: When I was typing this, this video was playing in my background and sums up nicely why I post about things like this: https://youtu.be/t7XSckjRPo0?t=900
The problem with that, at least re: Paizo, is that quality takes time. Time spent building a quality product should be able to be charged for. The state of a for-profit company's quality of life tools should not be based on charity. You end up in the situation where are where products like HeroLab are extremely bad from a user experience perspective.
Blake's Tiger wrote:
Because that's like doubling down on one model that demonstrably doesn't work. If the rate of success overall really is that low then the approach is to let more people pitch not less.
Agreed, which is unfortunate. In my case I didn't even get to show a business plan so there was no chance to demonstrate ability beyond technical skill. Correction, I didn’t even get to demonstrate that. Startups are great at innovation. Which, since their content and brand is tightly licensed, I don't see the risk of releasing something that would make Paizo look bad as there's no reason to not have a review and approval period. It would take some time to review, but quality becomes apparent fairly quickly.
I'm hard pressed to think they don't review other products they license. In fact, I know they do given commentary around Goblinworks, Owlcat, and the HeroLab competitor that fell through (can't remember the name). Even more, there is such a rich area about Pathfinder Society and online management that could be possible with Paizo as the hub. I simply have no faith these and other areas will be fully modernized and will be perpetually several years behind the state of the art.
I'd have to say their strategy of only dealing with "proven delivery" is pretty bad at this point. Of the products I listed before only one has been successful in market. Just saying. Granted, I'm not aware of other digital products they partnered to create.
I would LOVE to build robust tools for Pathfinder. I've asked to time and time again. I can't get Paizo to take me seriously, apparently. Their licensing model is their worst enemy in a digital world.
When I've talked to Vic about this, I utterly failed at getting anything set in motion simply because I didn't already have a company established even though I can prove my qualifications very quickly. I was flatly denied before I even got the chance though. I also have very qualified colleagues who would love to do this. I simply don't understand why this space is hard to improve.
The long and short of Paizo's stance as I understand it is that if you aren't already a large company or a company that is a long-time incumbent in the RPG space, you have no chance.
Across the class entries, I noticed a LOT of duplication. Can we move toward authoritative references rather than inclusion via copy/paste? Maybe this involves moving all feats to their own chapter so class inclusions work more similarly to spell lists.
This could also give more room for text for class entries while having the exact same amount of feats we have now. If that isn't acceptable, then we should have a way of unified commonalities. For instance, such as an entry that simply says "all spell casters can decide to add two more cantrips in place of a class feat" and so on.
Either way, I'd appreciate making systemic assumptions (e.g. casters can choose to add more cantrips) explicit rather than implied by *just happening* to notice identical entries between all caster classes, or martial classes, etc.
On spells, spell points, and so on, is there a unified wording over points = casting? One of the GMs I know takes a hard line interpretation between "number of spells known/prepped" and "number of spell slots." This would interact with things like pearls of power in their games as, sure, you can cast the spell again, but you don't get the spell slot itself back and would come across lackluster in those games.
And what would you give other races to be as good as these overpowered omnicompetent Elf-Gods you want to see? :p
I see where they're coming from. There has been a large disconnect from their lore and mechanics. I've stated in the past that if the lore is true, they probably shouldn't be a PC race but that's about as much of a sacred cow as you can get right next to wizards as a class. I hope something along these lines is addressed in 2E.
As someone who would like larger bestiaries and more info on each monster, I'd propose a mix. If we are getting CRB amount of pages, doing what has been done with the deity books where the staples get multiple page entries but that winds down as you get to lesser known creatures. Doing so in a style similar to Volo's Guide by applying a sense of having a coherent author and voice would also apply a very natural feel and be more conversational. How stats play into that might be just want the author has discovered. It also let's you weave mystery into monsters which would inherently give GMs signal to use as they need. These long form bestiaries could also contain entries for things that might not have stats like gods, not that they should be in bestiaries but they are a very "no stats but still entity" part or the setting. It could also let you re-release entries to explain more naturally how the entries and system evolves over time.
Some spells have always felt like they are in the wrong category to me. In particular, healing being conjuration instead of necromancy given the following feels off.
Necromancy spells manipulate the power of death, unlife, and the life force.
As such, I wish the whole Healing subschool would fall under Necromancy. Given the Golarion tie in for 2E, go ahead and say that the life force is always moved instead of simply made out of thin air. Divine casters draw from their deity’s essence while arcane draws from the land, another creature, etc.
Similarly, Creation should probably go under Evocation given its description.
In effect, an evocation draws upon magic to create something out of nothing.
So forth and so on...
We have so far what?
It's really not considering how active he was with humanity and the faith. That the setting seemingly expects the denizens of Golarion to have come so close to the divine and to go on like nothing happened relatively soon after is a bit of a stretch. Tbh, I'm surprised more counties didn't do what Cheliax did and align itself wholesale to a particular deity.
My point was that even with a huge event in real history where the vast majority of participants have now died, we still talk about it frequently, make sure it's taught in core educational curriculum, publish works multiple times a year that produce billions in revenues, and so on. Contrast that with Golarion's relatively sparse handling of Aroden's death and it just doesn't add up. THEN to be told to focus on other things takes a weird feeling and pushes it to the point like something is wrong there.
James Jacobs wrote:
I think, perhaps, the more fundamental misstep was in only pinning it 100 years ago. Any elf PC, a core race, was born into the "Aroden is coming" promised land. Since release, many other PC races can very conceivably have lived much of their lives during that time. So, not knowing is a hole in PC's backstories whether the player realizes it or not.
As they get more familiar with the official setting and its timeline, even though it doesn't consciously register, the depth of the hole increases. Throw these characters into the world and it's still very fresh. Look at the prevalence of the wars of the 20th century and how they still play an exceedingly strong role in pop culture. That kind of influence won't wane for another couple hundred years and everyone IRL is just a plain human and not surrounded by a chorus of folks with relatively fresh memories who likely heard his voice through communes and whatnot.
Aroden should have died 1,000+ years or so ago. How the aboleths called down the Starstone is an acceptable "it just happened" because NO ONE has a connection to those events. Aroden is much, much too fresh in the setting. So, to say "tell other stories," comes across flat. There is practically no story in a cohesive sense that is untouched by those events and yet you want us to simply move on. Sorry, people don't work like that.
Still a Pathfinder base is it not? Core mechanics are the same? Just a little modding here and there, nothing to egregious. That to most people would still be considered Pathfinder.
Eh. While not entirely wrong, a heavily house ruled campaign can easily be a negative factor of if I want to play. It's not even a dislike of the particular house rules. It's more a matter of having to do huge mental shifts of how I play that particular game compared to the vast majority of my other games. The mere act of playing almost become a chore and likely turns into me declining to participate.
For all the details that went into the classic D&D settings, I can totally understand the desire for granular info about regions, cities, even particular buildings. Sure, you can say those were curated over a few decades. Well, Golarion is about to crest upon its first. Plus, there is only 1 official setting for Pathfinder instead of the myriad for D&D. So, when does Golarion get that kind of depth? I also miss the old style city stat blocks that had things like realistic populations and total asset values.
I've just spent the last 4 days tearing through two Tales books so I can't fault Paizo for what they have done. However, I can see where certain themes, stories, and arcs are often recycled even between different authors because the setting isn't really all that deep though it is broad. Something I wish would be different is this forum's reactions to such requests being an instant "no one wants that" echo chamber. The OP is FAR from alone. Is the demand enough to make the setting materials far eclipse the rules materials? Unsure. Is Paizo large enough to support that kind of detail? Again, unsure. Even so, the market does exist.
It would be ridiculously little relative to mass for the same reason massive dragons only have enough scales for full-plate if you're small.
Be ready for quickened spells for double whammy 1 round damage/death and time stop shenanigans. Even if he appears weak at the start, next round he could be godly. Backup plans for backup plans. Contingencies, blocking teleportation effects, gaining mindblank for your party, and so on, will greatly improve your chances. Getting into a spell off is unadvisable, though anti-magic field might be good if you can trap him in it and not yourselves. Basically, you want to lock him down and beat him with pointy sticks. Oh, and even if you do all that, he could just be an astral projection or a simulacrum of himself and it was all for nothing. Plus, he could have clones ready. So, expect to have to fight him 3 or 4 times at full health, and surprise nukes to the face after you think you've won. That is more dependent on how your GM runs him, though. But, that's what high levels casters can do.
Spells are always going to auto-win *something* unless you're talking about making magic more a sideshow or roleplay device only.
Yes. Flipping through the AE, I see Bestiary 2 and APG. Basically, the hardbacks at the time.
I think this is largely AP dependent. I know playing Rise Anniversary Edition, it was basically a meat grinder ending in a face plant. A 3 year campaign ended in a TPK in book 6 and there just wasn't the collective will to continue.
I hope they continue the trend of making those hardcovers general, overarching, resources to use anywhere and so on. And, I hope because there are only a few per year they are large and have info both wide and deep. As long as the APs aren't soft requirements to play each other or have interesting options, it should be fine.
I am fine with crowdsourcing ideas but I think my implication behind what that looks like is different from yours and absolutely different from your example.
Get all the ideas you want, let popularity dictate which get attention first, etc., etc. But, after that, have a strong team in private interpret what the result is and to balance the rest of the game with those things in mind. Notice how I said letting popularity dictate which get attention first and not letting it dictate the outcome.
You can't just take feedback, release product, and expect a pat on the back as you've shown. There's more to it than that. You also need a team that is very close with customers. Paizo has shown it can work that feedback loop well. They just need to do it.
Perhaps, as an idea, even have various members of the community that get randomly selected based on some criteria. Regardless of the criteria, the pool should be large and frequently changing who gets selected. Let them be special consultants or something similar in exchange for some free product. Nothing ridiculous, but like 10 or 20 people. Experienced GMs and the like, but to Paizo-ify it, that shouldn't just mean PFS volunteers either. So, no where near the hassle of having a full open beta each and every time, but the goal is to be a kind of gut check and to get some dedicated feedback from folks who are in the trenches, so to speak.
The King In Yellow wrote:
But mostly to point out that just because some people think things need to be trimmed down, or re-balanced, or options cut back... doesn't mean the options YOU want cut back are going to be the ones that get cut back, or balanced, or the like.
That's fair. My only real requirement in a new version to to learn from the old one and to try to make the next version better based on the feedback of the community and to make it consistent with itself. I think all any of us can do is prop up our own little reasons why to nudge at Paizo to show it is wanted.
They give it a couple mentions and then are wholly silent about it. It gets pushed into one of those assumptions about the game that they don't feel they need to bring up to remind us it exists. So, you have "the most important rule" paragraph and a paragraph or two in the Gamemastering chapter followed by a deluge of set mechanics. If you say to someone "run this game," how do you think they'll do it? Humans are simple creatures still often scared by the dark and need to feel the reassurance of the flashlight in hand to go boldly into the night.
If there is ever a formal 2.0, I hope it's done in such a way that promotes player invention. I've never seen a GM allow a magic item that had anything other than a discreet spell effect on it that wasn't an item that already existed, a class ability that wasn't lifted entirely from another class when trying to invent a new class for a player, and so on. My perception of the average D&D/PF GM is one being very unfriendly to ideas that don't fit neatly into the rules. That's one huge thing I liked out of 5E.