Erik Mona

Erik Mona's page

Chief Creative Officer, Publisher. Organized Play Member. 6,819 posts. 3 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 Organized Play character.


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Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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David knott 242 wrote:


She and Damiel have gotten together and are now chatting with Alain and with some of the Advanced Class Guide iconics to recruit them into a guild of ex-iconics who will become villainous foils for those who remain or have recently become iconics.

We've actually considered doing something like this as a comic book. At one point we had a Damiel vs. Fumbus alchemist-fight one-shot in the works. Might still do it one day.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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There's been considerably more developments in Ostog land with the advent of the Lost Omens World Guide. Our boy has been very busy indeed, with some new responsibilities! :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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This product does indeed have bases. Not sure why the FB was confused, but there you have it.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Aeon Stones are called that because the stones themselves are thought to be crystal tools left behind by the aeons who literally formed the Material Plane in the early days of the multiverse. They are the implements of prehistoric existence.

There's a bit more about this in the Azlanti ruins article I wrote for Ruins of Azlant, which is the first place I started working this change into the setting and game.

We started doing this with Starfinder at about the same time. Basically, it comes down to IOUN being a word from Jack Vance's Dying Earth books, which I adore. I remember from when I was editor of Dragon Magazine, I made a point to read every issue of the magazine, starting with the Strategic Review newsletter that came immediately before it. Somewhere in that first dozen issues or so was a letter from Vance granting Gary Gygax permission to use the word in D&D.

That's cool, and all, but even though I'm sure it's legally kosher I've always felt that Vance never intended to add his word into the Open Gaming License, so its use has alway seemed a bit unseemly to me. Similarly, I've never mourned the fact that WotC claims the displacer beast as product identity (meaning Pathfinder can't use it), because that monster is a ripoff of an A. E. van Vogt alien by way of a Marvel comics adaptation.

Anyway, I'm led to understand that D&D from 4e onward has attempted to make "Ioun" more of a thing within the mythology of their own game. I think it's a magic god, or something.

In any event, it doesn't really have anything to do with Pathfinder, so we decided to change it to something that better fits the Pathfinder world.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
So when they say map, do they mean like a fold out map? Cause that would be great for some of my players.

Yes, it's a poster-sized map with eight panels a little smaller than a page. Similar to the poster map in the Inner Sea World Guide, for example.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Folks,

I wanted to drop by to share a conundrum, and to share a bit of my perspective on affairs of the last week.

The conundrum is this: Throughout this process with Ninja Division, but after we realized they were going to have significant difficulties pulling this project across the finish line, there have been numerous behind-the-scenes developments or potential fixes that we have heard about, but that have not come to fruition.

That sort of thing puts us in a difficult place regarding communications. Do we share our sense of hope, only to have it dashed again when something doesn't come through? That's certainly a dilemma that has played into us not being as frequent with updates in the past as we should have been.

I don't want to get people's hopes up, even if I see signs of incremental progress behind the scenes. I hope you all can understand that when we make an announcement regarding this project, we want to be EXTRA CERTAIN that we understand the details and have faith that they are going to occur before sharing them in public.

So I don't have details to convey, and I don't want to give the impression that a solution is in sight or that it looks like the project is back on the road or whatever.

But I DO want to share that, behind the scenes, we have seen a LOT of evidence--especially since the GAMA Trade Show--that Ninja Division is actively working to move the project forward and find solutions for their many difficulties.

I have proof that these guys ARE trying, and some of that is encouraging. I don't want to say more than that, but I do want you guys to know and understand that much at least.

Thanks for your continuing patience, or at least for your continuing attention.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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SCSi wrote:


As much as the CS staff did a damn good job, the writing on the wall (to me) is that Paizo Heads dont care about its customers, or its CS staff. If they did, CS would have the tools available to keep us informed, and you would have made an appearance as soon as ND went belly-up. We had a frustrated CS rep post from the heart, and now comes your mea culpa.

Thats all I have to say.

Yeah, that's all fair. I've been meaning to come in here for a while. As I said, I'm sorry that I have not done so.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Let me clarify. For a long while, long after I posed that I had faith in them, they were doing the right things. Their prepainted minis came along slower than I wanted, but when they delivered they were overall pretty darn good, and I was pleased with the production and approvals process.

Their sculpts all came in good to great, as expected. ND was very professional at all steps of the early parts of the process. So even well into the relationship I felt like they had things on track.

Should I have been more cautious, less trusting? Yeah, probably.

Am I now? Yeah, certainly.

If it helps, I don't really trust anyone anymore, for pretty much any reason.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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I do not think that the two principals who remain at Ninja Division willfully and knowingly misled me.

I'll let you interpret that as you will.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Everyone,

Before I say anything else I want to say that I’m sorry my absence here has contributed to furthering anyone’s frustration and ill will.

Many of you have expressed that it was my vouching for Ninja Division in the early days of this project that pushed you over the line to make a pledge. If that’s the case with your decision to back, I also apologize to you. I certainly had much higher expectations that have not been met. I was very impressed with Ninja Division’s sculpting abilities and design expertise, and at the time we partnered with them they gave me reason to believe that the various setbacks they had encountered up to that point were unique and in the process of being handled. That gave me faith in them that they have not backed up with action, and I understand your frustration—and share it.

I actually drafted a statement a few weeks ago, around the time that mention of such a thing began to appear in this space. The message was emotional and visceral and very critical of Ninja Division’s failures. Many of you would have identified with its sentiment, I am sure. I ultimately decided to hold off on posting it when I heard that I’d have a chance to meet with Ninja Division at the GAMA Trade show. Rather than excoriate them in public, I wanted to get a chance to look them in the face and share my feelings (and many of yours) in person, to get a better sense of exactly where they were at and how likely they were to get everyone what they paid for.

I can tell you that at GAMA Trade Show I looked these guys in the eyes and confronted them in person about their ability to live up to their commitments to us and to their backers. They have suffered a tremendous number of setbacks and blows over the last couple of years (many of them self-inflicted, to be sure). I left the conversation confident that they have plans in place to get the funding necessary to live up to their commitments to us and to their backers, but I cannot say with confidence whether those plans will be successful.

I can say that both John and Deke struck me as deeply committed to finding a way to make this work. They want desperately to fulfill this project, and I am convinced that they are working hard to make that happen. Is desire and gumption enough to get them over the finish line? That I confess I do not know. All I know is that the will is there.

Ninja Division has made a commitment to fulfill this Kickstarter. We want to continue to give them the opportunity to live up to that commitment. I can certainly understand (and to some degree share) any skepticism regarding their ability to deliver after so many setbacks. They are trying, and there is enough reason for optimism that we don’t feel the right choice is to cancel the project outright.

We want you to get your miniatures. Heck, I want my miniatures, too. I left GAMA without a clear road map or timetable as to when Ninja will be able to arrange the necessary financing to move forward with the line (beyond “as soon as possible”), but I absolutely believe these guys are working actively to solve this problem, even if a potential solution is likely to occur much, much, much later than any of us would have preferred.

We will keep you updated on future developments as they become available to us. Again, I’m sorry for not taking a more active role in this thread. I will do my best to check in more frequently in the future, and hope to have better news to convey as we move forward.

Please know that we are actively monitoring the situation with Ninja Division’s business developments as well as the posts on this thread. We may not always respond in a timely manner (and I have done an especially bad job of this on this topic), but we DO hear you are we continue to work toward a better solution for everybody.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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PDFs are expected to drop on the day of release.

We have not yet announced PDF pricing, but will do so long before release.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Let's try to be nice to one another.

It's certainly reasonable for someone to take a "wait and see" approach.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Nothing to do with Age of Worms, I'm afraid!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Xenocrat wrote:
The elimination of the Player Companion line and the apparent dedication of more adult supervision to the campaign setting replacement line should reduce the frequency of "are you kidding me with this" nonsense published as well as making everything eligible for whatever error correction process they deign to engage in at infrequent intervals.

A less mean version of this.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Fumbus is actually the only one we didn't talk about, so he might have to wait a while for his video to complete the series!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Steve Geddes wrote:


I'm glad the modules line is making a comeback - fingers crossed it will have staying power. The revamped 64-page format was a real positive change, so I hope it grabs the attention of those who are new to PF2.

The game absolutely needs adventures, both in the campaign style (APs) and the stand-alone variety. It's a big challenge as an RPG publisher, because their potential audience is about a fifth the size of a book that appeals to players and GMs alike, but if you don't do them you're dead.

I want adventures to be a big part of Pathfinder Second Edition. Paizo cut its teeth and established its early reputation on the strength of our adventures, and I'd like to reclaim that ground a bit with adventures that are meaningful to both your character and to the world itself. That doesn't mean that every adventure kills a world leader or blows up a country, but we want these things to be impactful. "Why are we doing this adventure instead of another one" is a guiding question. If the answer is ever "because the product schedule says there is supposed to be an adventure this month," we need to dig deeper.

I'm very excited about the adventure ideas we have in the hopper, and I'm really excited by the prospect of figuring out what's next beyond the handful that are already in design and development.

Steve Geddes wrote:


For me, the only true disappointment is that the campaign setting line is becoming more rules-focussed rather than less. Korvosa (with it's half a page of rules content) has always been my gold standard for the Campaign Sourcebooks - I worry that now that there's no player companions there'll be more and more push to include player options there and less and less pure flavor material (which has always been my favorite).

One thing to keep in mind, at least on a "per book" basis, is that World Guides are about twice the size of a given Campaign Setting book (128-ish vs. 64). So while one 128-page book might contain more rules overall than a 64 pager, they've got a ton of lore, as well.

And some of them will likely be bigger than 128, and have even more lore. This is definitely the "lore-hound" product line, though there will be fun game tools and character options along the way. One big difference, at least in our current thinking, is that the rules will serve the theme of the book, and that theme will always be something rooted in the world. We probably won't do World Guides that explicitly support rulebook releases (I'm thinking of stuff like Mythic Origins or Occult Origins), but we might include that sort of material alongside lore and flavor when appropriate to the theme of the book in question.

The first couple of these are going to be pretty general and widely focused, to properly re-introduce the setting to everyone, but eventually we're going to get into stuff we've wanted to do (and that people have been asking for) for a long time.

Steve Geddes wrote:
I realise it's not strictly on-topic, but in the spirit of 'give me an inch, I'll take a mile...Any word on the Pathfinder Legends and Pathfinder Comics subscription ines? Are they still active?

Legends is still on hold pending more interest from Big Finish to produce more audios, but we've got a friendly, open relationship with them so anything is possible.

Our relationship with Dynamite is also great. We've just been in a bit of a pinch lately where we need to focus our fire on Pathfinder Second Edition. I've been having some interesting chats around the office regarding where we go from here, and I expect the dial to move on comics again very swiftly. There's certainly no hold-up on the Dynamite side. We're just a little pre-occupied at the moment...

Steve Geddes wrote:

Presumably the Pathfinder Tales subscription line is gradually moving further and further into the unlikely-to-happen category. Nonetheless, this has been one of the greatest disappointments. If there's anyway to bring this back (even if it were brought back in-house and at a slower, twice a year release schedule or something) I'd be very, very happy.

I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see us get back into fiction, and I really really really want to find a way to release the half-dozen "orphaned" novels we've got from when the regular releases wound down a couple years ago.

Consider the fiction an idea that is waiting for its time to strike again. We're definitely not closing the door on the idea of doing more fiction.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Some people might think so!

But this villain is even more wicked! (Depending on who you ask.)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Well this looks pretty dang cool, though I question the need to sell a printed version, especially if they are black and white. Feels like something that could be just given out as a PDF. Lord knows the community will have their own versions going pretty quick.

We will definitely have a PDF version of this product, and I expect it to be popular.

We're probably in the final decade in which printing a product like this makes sense, but we're going to give it a shot and see what happens.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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It certainly means both of those things. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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There will not be monster creation rules in the Bestiary.

There will be monster creation rules available fairly shortly thereafter.

I can't reveal more than that without spoiling other stuff we haven't announced yet.

Suffice it to say that we know these rules are very important to people and to their campaigns, and will will get them to you swiftly.

Just not in the Bestiary (mostly because we don't want to have to repeat that information every time we do a monster book, and we don't want the first monster book to be substantially more expensive than the others (because we added extra pages) or contain substantially fewer monsters (because we kept the page count the same).

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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magnuskn wrote:
I'll probably pick up the first new AP, unless the theme is really boring. I need to see if I can retro-convert the new adventures easily to PF1E.

I honestly and sincerely think this sort of backwards adaptation is going to be pretty easy to do.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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We do not currently have Map Folios in the product schedule following the Tyrant's Grasp Map Folio. That's not to say we won't occasionally do posters. But we're not going to do posters the way we've done them in the past, and for a while there will likely be fewer of them in general.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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The villain of this AP is so awesome. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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QuidEst wrote:

Aww, I'll miss the Player's Companion setup. This also seems nice, though, so I expect I'll adjust pretty quickly. X)

Also, they'll be announcing the September product lineup in a couple weeks.

Just chiming in to protect my own sanity and say that "in the coming weeks" and "in a couple of weeks" are not necessarily the same thing. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Yeah, not all of the iconics are going to have massive changes. We like a lot of them just the way they are!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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It's not quite that lopsided, but this book definitely includes a ton of lore.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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It'll happen eventually, but probably not for the first year at least.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Wait and see is probably your best bet. Not saying that to be cryptic, but there are a few tech issues that need to get sorted out to make sure subs work the way we want them to work, and not all of those solutions have been solved yet. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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You can play a LE ranger easily! :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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the Haunted Jester wrote:
I noticed that Book 6 of Tyrants Grasp and Book 1 of Age of Ashes are both slated for July on their product pages. Will both of these APs come out in July? Will there be a time to cancel an AP subscription after Tyrants Grasp but before Age of Ashes?

They are both slated to come out in July (technically August 1, but practically they will be part of the July sub shipments).

That's a good question re: cancelling between the two volumes. We'll get back to you on that once we've had a few more conversations in-house.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Rycaut wrote:

So what is the answer re PDFs (I assume the remain a part of subscriptions?)

also if you are a subscriber currently (and plan to rollover) will there be an option to get the limited edition versions?

We are still finalizing details on subscription benefits for all these lines, so for the time being we don't have an answer to this questions. Please stay tuned. We'll definitely make sure the benefits are clear well before August.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Cellion wrote:

Neat! Looks like PF2E is going to be following the Starfinder book release model!

Also, 100 (!!!) backgrounds in the first World Guide? Whoa, leave some for later!

It's probably more like 60+ than 100. I know that the two sections I wrote had about 6-8 backgrounds. Also, the book is still in layout, so the exact number will have to wait until we've completely locked everything down.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Folks, this product comes out August 1st just like everything else. Any reference to a July release is a mistake.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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There are more conditions in general (I think), but I know that several key conditions get multiple cards per deck, so more than one player can use them at the same time.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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We're talking about Aroden, here. Understood that there's a bit of a conflict with Pharasma. Let's chalk it up to "poetic license."

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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The special edition hardcovers will be available through all retail channels.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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The World Guide line will contain player character options. This first one includes 10 archetypes and just shy of 100 new world-appropriate backgrounds, as well as some other stuff here and there.

The book after (which we haven't announced) will have even more player content in it.

So, yes, it's in some ways better to view the World Guide line as a hybrid between the old Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines, and it's aimed at both players and GMs.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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It's got a ton of both! :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Caledonia wrote:
Will this order include the PDF version or is that only if you get it through the PF Subscription?

You do not get a PDF with the print edition preorder. They must be purchased separately.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Paladin is the lawful good version of the champion. There are two others (NG, CG) included in the Core Rulebook, and one presumes we might do still others in the future.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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For this inaugural adventure, yes. We've been wanting to collaborate on a project for a long time, and this seemed like a fun way to kick off the new edition in style! :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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It's certainly possible that we might do a softcover World Guide product at some point in the future, but there are none presently on the schedule.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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We live to serve.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Nicolas Paradise wrote:
I know the page kind of says it but to confirm this will be in the AP Subscription and 1e Sub will rollover into 2e AP Sub when Tyrants Grasp is done?

We'll be talking a lot more about subscriptions in the coming weeks, but that's the gist of it, yes.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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It's in Isger.

We're still numbering APs, but the number only shows up in the last three digits of the "PZO" product code and on the spine.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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We're currently working on a revision to ancestries that should address a lot of the issues posted in this thread. It will probably take until the final version to add a ton of new feats for each ancestry, but in addition to refining what you get at first level, all ancestries will have more feat options in the final version of the game.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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As for the _whys_, I'd expect to see some of that stuff in blog posts, but I think the best space for some of that is the Paizo Friday twitch shows we'll be doing weekly. A big portion of each show (as with the first one from last Friday) is a live Q&A. I think Jason took every question on Friday, so if you've got something like "please explain why you add level to everything," it might be easier and more instructive to ask it on Friday and let Jason (or whichever designer is on) go off on a tear about it.

Your point about cunning is an interesting one. It's a fun exercise to determine a key word for each class, and then evaluate the design in light of that.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Well, to be clear I haven't tried to convert over a ninth-level character yet, and have been focusing most of my free-time character creation on first-level guys for now. It'll be interesting to see if my general satisfaction level with the conversions holds true at higher levels. I'm excited to find out.

As for the ranger, one of the fairly obvious changes to me after looking it over is that it's missing a lot of stuff for archery builds. So I'd expect archery to play a much more significant role in the final version than it does in the current version. I wonder if that will help with the discrepancy between, say, the damage output of your ranger vs. that goblin fighter.

As for your specific ranger criticisms, I think you raise some fair questions. My general sense is that ranger is one of the classes that could use more attention and improvement. I think that's probably the observation of the design team as well.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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What's the "core foundation that breaks the narrative from the mechanics" for you?

I spent a fair amount of time converting old characters this weekend, and although I struggled with some of the information flow in the character creation section, I was pretty pleased with the results.

Heck, I think I like level 1 Ostog the Unslain better in second edition than I did in first.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Tangent101 wrote:
Jason - small note. The character creation process can be confusing.

I think it's fair to count on a completely revised character creation process based on external and internal playtesting. Not that the RULES will change a ton (though some of them probably will), but the PRESENTATION leaves lots of room for improvement and will be a significant part of the revision process that takes place over the next several months.

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