Belkar Bitterleaf

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Goblinworks Founder. 77 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Politics and intrigue between nations or along a frontier, leading to war. Not an AP with "a battle." I want a military campaign with armies on the move, charging horses, battles, clashing armies, feints, retreats, alliances, diplomacy, betrayal, the works.

The Frank Harryhausen tribute AP
Mythic journey covering various cool locales and monsters (the Odyssey meets Sinbad meets Jason and the Argonauts)

AP with the coolest dragon encounters and lairs that you have ever built and that we have ever seen.

Cult or alien/planar invasion that the PCs uncover. They must rally an underground resistance movement to fight the invaders. Think V or a few Star Trek episodes or Kull's serpent kingdom.

Mercantile focused AP. Maybe PCs building a merchant house. The trade/merchant analogy to Kingmaker.

Running a frontier keep or port town and the town that supports it.

Fight (or take over) organized crime in a city. The urban underworld AP.

Please no mega dungeons. There are already too many to buy and/or run. Borrrring. I want better than that.

Erik Mona wrote:

Big nonsense words in titles might appeal to fantasy readers, but not so much to the people who decided how many copies to order at the distributor and store level.

Hope you understand.


I do, indeed. Thanks for the feedback. I never would have thought that a title would impact quantity ordered by the book chains, etc.

I would have guessed that they ordered a standard quantity based on previous sales - sort of like a rubber stamp - we order x number of every Paizo module, x number of every new WotC supplement, etc.


Guys, I read the original title "The Watcher of Ulduvai" on Wolfgang's open design site.

I've got to say, I think it's a lot better than the current one. For what it's worth, I recommend you go with his title if there's still time to change it.

As a consumer, I'd be more likely to look at the module if it had The Watcher title. It's more evocative. And, even if I didn't pick it up at first, the title is something that would stick with me. It's catchy, to the point where I might go back for a second look later.

IMHO, Crucible of Chaos isn't a poor title, just sort of standard fare - and such, isn't likely to stand out in my mind as a consumer.

My $.02

PS - I hope it's not impolite to suggest the title change :-)

Now that 4E has been announced, when will the GameMastery modules and Pathfinder convert to 4E?

Also, will Paizo look into a Greyhawk license for either modules or setting material?

Seems like a good time.

Like the typical demon, or satan story - corrupting people by giving them what they want, tempting them to lust after something, taking advantage of that which they already lust for, convincing them they 'deserve' to have it, etc.

I forgot tp mention Richard A Knaak earlier. The Dragonlance stuff he wrote seems to get a lot of praise. Haven't read any of it myself, but I've heard enough good things about it that if he wrote a Pathfinder novel, I'd pick it up.

And, I really like the idea of shorter format stories, like the pulp era length (Conan, and so on), or the novella length, like The Hedge Knight, or the Weis/Hickman novellas from the various Tales anthologies. A lot of good stuff can be done in that format, and it's easier for me to commit the time to read something of that length. I can read a whole story instead of just a few chapters, then pick up with a new story when I have time again.

People who would catch my interest are...
Mainstream fantasy novelists
George RR Martin
Glen Cook
Tad Williams
Robin Hobb
Greg Keyes

Comic book writers
Kurt Busiek (liked his Conan,and like his comic storylines)
Michael Brian Bendis (He handled making the Avengers more gritty well)
J Michael Strazynski - Rising Stars was great.
If Joss Whedon writes for Marvel, do you think he'd write for Paizo?
Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison

People who've written in shared worlds
Paul Kidd
Michael Stackpole - The X-Wing novels were great. Haven't been able to get into his other stuff much though.
Aaron Alston - Liked his Wraith Squadron novels, and I think he's one of the best gaming writers ever - understanding and communicating to GMs what kind of though might go into adventures and campaigns, and how to approach them.
Rich Baker - I think he writes the best adventures, and would be willing to give a novel a shot. I think he'd get the appropriate "D&D" and fantasy gaming feel. He's probably the only writer who I'd be sure to buy any adventure he wrote.
Matthew Woodring Stover - His Revenge of the Sith was better than the movie, if I recall.

You might try some authors who aren't in the fantasy field right now, like Craig Dirgo, who works with Clive Cussler on his Oregon files series, or James Rollins, Raymond Benson who wrote some entertaining James Bond books, or (good luck!) Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

I'd certainly give it a shot if one of the Paizo staffers wrote it.

I would definitely not buy it if it was written buy:
Terry Brooks
Kevin J. Anderson

I figured that would be the case. Bummer though. How far in advance do you have to plan something like that?

So how about it - any chance of fiction from Paul Kidd in the final issue? His Greyhawk stuff was top notch, evoking the feel of a PC party. I think it would be a good fit.

Do I just walk in on the day and say - I'd like a copy please?

Do I sign up in advance with Paizo? WIth the store?

I can't believe there will be any copies left if there's no advanced sign up, but maybe it's all first come first served?

Please focus on the faith - rituals, holy days, factions, revenue/finances/mercantile considerations, politics and power bases, plots and schemes, all that - more than avatars and high level stats (unless the stats are relevant for specific encounters of course)

Also, and totally unrelated - I subscribed for month-to-month, so shouldn't my posts show as "charter subscriber"? :-)

Always a "special" child, who the shamman believed was destined for divine greatness, yellow connives to usurp the power of the tribe shamman, and cackles with glee when he thinks about the magical power, knowledge, and influence that will come. He's secretly allied with an even greater threat from the forest (or mountains, wherever, etc), who intends to use him (which yellow suspects) because he's "just a kobold" - A throwaway. Meanwhile, yellow envisions shamman of the tribe as only his first stepping stone to power, and already plots ways to usurp the strength of his more powerful ally.

In the short term, he plans to align the tribe with the malign entity of the forest. They will capture slaves, conduct raids and secret battles, and grow in importance, with yellow as their spiritual guide, and eventual leader. Perhaps kobold king will have a tragic "accident", during combat because "he was not pious". A figurehead, or yellow himself, will take his place.

Any comments from the Paizo crew?

John Robey wrote:

Works for me, although I'd like to echo the call I saw elsewhere for the AC mods being broken out in the stat blocks. :)

-The Gneech

I always liked that in the stat block.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

I definitely like the first three Black Company books. Haven't gotten around to the others or Cook's Dread Empire books yet.

I wonder if there's anything with a similar tone, that is a bit easier in narrative style. Sometimes Cook's writing is a bit hard to follow.

For anyone interested in some of the other suggestions I received from the other board, here's the link to the thread. A few more people have chimed in with suggestions there.

I remember the name of the other book now. It was Legend, by David Gemmell. Good book.

I started reading the first one. I've put in on hold for a while. It's not bad. I'm even inclined to say it's been good into the first 100 pages or so, but I've gotten distracted from it. I ended up reading some Conan and one other one that was good but the name eludes me right now.

I think it's partly the asian themed swordsmanship and stuff.

Just not something I really go for in books it seems. Film, yeah. Books, not so much I guess.

I'm on a bit of a Conan kick. Hadn't read it when I was younger, and man, it's good stuff. Different in tone. Evocative. There's a sense of danger to the world, history, and discovery that I don't get with current fantasy - even much of the good stuff. Gets my imagination going.

Anyone have recommendations for similar writers, stories, themes, of similar quality?

I asked on enworld and didn't get much feedback.

The suggestions there were Karl Wagner's Kane stories, and Louis L'amour's The Walking Drum.

I'm wondering if the folks here have others.


AvatarArt wrote:

I'd like to see things that really 'breathe life' into this world we're reading about.

Yeah, mechanics that support the world and not vice versa, or worse, mechanics that just sort of sit there and are supposed to be cool enough to stand on their own.

I think the slip cases would be cool. And if they were packages with some supplemental material, all the better, because I'm happy to buy that if it helps with the adventure path, or offers some sort of sequel a "return to" or epilogue chapter, or something that addresses any lingering questions like now that I'm the baron, or provides some needed mechanics that were left out, etc...

Slipcases would be cool (just make sure they're big enough for the books and the supplemental material you provide with the cases, if any :-)

I like the summoning lists. I also wanted, when it got to dragons, in the back matter, a list of what each part can be used for - used to reduce cost of crafting items, potions, and then I figured, why limit it to dragons? For many, most, or even all monsters, I want to know what the dead ones might be used for - who would want the parts and why? What are the economics of creature (animal, mosters, magical beasts, etc.) parts? I think having these things be worth something is one more reason for people to undertake the dangerous career of adventuring.

Unrelated to the above, when you use older dragons, make their hoards big! The hoard size in the rules as written just doesn't seem to have the "we just took out a dragon!" factor as back in the day when I played basic, 2e Greyhawk, and so on.

Are there plans to do compilations of the Pathfinder adventure paths?

On the one hand, I like having everything in one place. On the other, I think the serialized nature makes for much more anticipation in reading it, run it, and wanting to be a player in it.

The main reason I'm asking though is because I want to know whether to stick with subscribing, or wait for compilations. I don't want to be in a position of missing out on cool material, extra encounters, or whatever, in a hardcover, because it wasn't in the subscriber editions.

I figure you'll logically want to do some type of content enhancement to add value to a compilation, which means I'll want the material, and I don't want to buy each adventure path twice.

Just wondering what format I should plan for long term. For now, I've subscribed to the first Pathfinder.


I am hoping you take advantage of the monthly release cycle to bring about the cliffhanger/serial feel.

Ideally each issue will have that cliffhanger and can't wait for the next one feel when reading it, as well as playing it...

James Jacobs wrote:

And yes, that does mean that I'm already bouncing around ideas for the next two Adventure Paths.

Please consider one that is laced with politics and intrigue, and another that is a mythological epic hero quest.

Personally, I'd rather they leave plenty of stuff of the early maps, and focus on smaller scale areas, revealing bits and pieces through the modules and adventure paths.

I'd like to see a world take shape and grow as inspiration strikes rather than be immersed in something that's all mapped out from day one.

I like the idea of not knowing what's over the horizon. It's been missing from the published settings for a while at WotC, and indeed, in a borader sense often as well, as it related to D&D.

To replace the mini adventure paths in Dungeon, are you planning to have linked modules that tie two or three Game Mastery adventures together?

Much as I like the Pathfinder idea, sometimes level 1 - 15 is just too much of the same thing. And some players like shorter arcs that theyn lead to other things. A mega campaign, even if done well, can call attention to the fact that some areas are "off the map" for a campaign.

Troy Taylor wrote:

I can only contrast that with the Wizards side of things, which is bouncing back customer service emails and not answering the customer service phone line, and from what I've seen, pretty much ignoring messageboard traffic. Plus, Wizards has no information on what it actually wants to do with Dragon and Dungeon titles.

Hey, I wondered if the bounce back was just me. I thought maybe I typod the address or it was wrong in the press release.

Deathdwarf wrote:

3) I really look forward to reading the editorials in the next few Dungeons (sorry Erik; this one really isn't a reply to your post). Paizo's employee attitude across the boards since the announcement has been one of hope and promise for the future, and I eagerly anticipate the words of wisdom that you'll enscribe!

I think this is a pretty darn good idea. I'd be inclined to try it, whereas I'm not so likely to try play by post in any other circumstance I've come across so far.

The subject title is a quote from the End of Greyhawk? thread.

I saw this and thought, well, sure, if there are enough customers who want things to change, write to WotC and tell them. Change your buying habits to not do business with a company that undertakes in practices you find undesireable (and note I don't mean immoral here - simply, if you don't like what a business is doing for whatever reason, then don't be a customer).

Tell them you won't subscribe to online. Tell them you won't buy more D&D unless they reverse this decision. Tell them you won't read their fiction, or buy miniatures, or Star Wars gaming stuff. Or just tell them nicely that as a customer you'd like the magazines back in print.

Anyone who really feels strongly about this could organize a writing campaign so that they get hundreds or thousands of requests at once, instead of one here and one there.

You could create a list of names that want things to change, or however you want to approach it.

In commerce, we vote with our dollars. And you also have more power in numbers.

I suppose you could even write to Hasbro's board of directors since their names are probably public record, and bring it to the top.

Personally, I don't think I'd be the person to lead such a crusade, but someone might want to undertake that if they feel strongly enough.

Just a suggestion.

If Expedition to Castle Greyhawk's sales suggest there's enough money in future Greyhawk products, they'll probably plan for some, though I don't anticipate many in any given year.

I hadn't even thought of that until now. But even with all the cool new stuff coming out, I'm guessing none will have editorials.

It was always the first part of the magazine that I read.


You guys should do a blog or journal or something where you can preach to the masses.

Lately I've found the Dungeon material more inspiring, but it they approach this right and make it something I want to use for my NPCs, and that players would to use with their new campaign world, I'd sign up for it.

I wouldn't sweat so much if I was an OGL company. They've been competing with Paizo for quite some time already, and presumably each has found their customer base. I would be nervous if I was WotC. They are the ones hoping to sell new content to Paizo's current customer base.

They're the ones attempting a new online product model in the midst of a bunch of consumer discontent. I anticipate, but can't know for sure, that they're hoping to bring the customers from the magazines into the fold of the new online venture.

They're making a big push for modules, at least this year, and were perhaps planning to continue to create new ones in subsequent years. If Paizo beats them in that market, they'll feel it. Not necessary fold or anything overly dramatic, but they'll feel it.

They're the ones with big business settings/IP whose customer base might be cannibalized from people shifting campaigns (and worse, loyalty) to the new Paizo setting/pathfinder campaigns. That is something that would impact them worse than losing the customer battle for adventures.

Someone like Goodman might be sweating a little at the Game Mastery modules, but honestly, if they maintain quality, I don't think their customers are going to change their gaming preferences. WotC is the one we always hear disappointment about when it comes to modules, not the OGL companies.

I'm in the same boat. Hit emotionally at the loss of the magazines, and optimistic that without having the restrictions of a licensee Paizo can blow past what they've done before.

No pressure guys :-)

How about a Paizo P series of modules for the Ptolus setting?

Man, this news has my mind working overtime on hopes for Paizo's future product lines. Ptolus modules would be cool.

If I transfer credits to Pathfinder, and also subscribe, will my subscription overlap issues 1 - 5 (the amount my credit gets me), or will it begin with issue 6?

A setting exposed to the audience (players and GM alike) in an old school way where bits and pieces are learned through adventuring in those locations, against those factions and antaginists, etc instead of via hundreds of pages of setting exposition text would be cool!

I hope you structure the reveal of the setting this way.

Also, will the Pathfinder series be in the same setting, or will each Pathfinder be a sort stand alone setting/mega adventure. I'm fine with either, though the latter would give you guys the opportunity to do themed settings that GMs can keep alive or move on from after each path.

I'm not sure if I read this right, will there be fold out maps with each of these modules? Will they be regional maps? Miniatures scale maps?

If you go miniature scale, I'm thinking you'll hit gold combining short, solid adventures with the Fantastic Locations style maps that are useful during play, at the price point you're at.

And if you're not planning to include them, I'd pay somewhat more per module to have them :-)


I'm thinking that given the new format and product lines, Paizoe is no longer a place for new writers to get work accepted/considered, and that everything will shift to you freelancing projects out to people whose work you've seen in other products.

I'm not complaining, just wondering if this assumption is correct.

I had some ideas for campaign workbooks and class acts that I was planning to send in this weekend.

C'est la vie.

I don't suppose you guys know what wotc will be putting into the online service, whether they're interested in proposals, what type they'd be looking for, or who to send things to?

Also, is it correct to assume that there's no interest in Paizo looking at fiction submissions for the Planetary Stories line? I'm thinking you could take it in the direction of publishing new genre and/or game related fiction, and would produce stuff that meets a high standard, but I get the impression that's not a direction you're taking the line, at least not for now.


Will there be any? Just asking, while I'm in the mood to plan out purchases of new Paizo stuff :-)

I buried the following in a different thread, but will post it here in hopes you either implement the idea, or advertise to all of us that it's already on the roadmap...

Will you have extra stuff bundled with various issues like there was with the old magazines? I'm also thinking that as someone who plans to use the content, I'd like some of your other products (or you to put new ones on the roadmap), as enhancements to this.

Specifically, tiles that can be used for encounters, miniatures/compleat encounter packs that fit in with the path, miniature scale encounter maps like in the wotc Fantastic Locations line, laminated regional maps (ideally that roll up instead of fold) , etc. I'd pay for these tie in products.

In addition, anything you want to toss into the magazine like cardstock monster counters (fold up for 3D would be cool), some of the maps mentioned above, etc would make me happy.

I'm thinking you have the opportunity here to offer a sampling of things in the magazine to entice purchases of larger tie in products, as well as the opportunity to create tie in products similar to what was done for Ptolus, which could allow your pathfinder campaigs to take on a premium campaign feel for those who want to invest in the extra table schwag.

Will you have extra stuff bundled with various issues like there was with the old magazines? I'm also thinking that as someone who plans to use the content, I'd like some of your other products (or you to put new ones on the roadmap), as enhancements to this.

Specifically, tiles that can be used for encounters, miniatures/compleat encounter packs that fit in with the path, miniature scale encounter maps like in the wotc Fantastic Locations line, laminated regional maps (ideally that roll up instead of fold) , etc. I'd pay for these tie in products.

In addition, anything you want to toss into the magazine like cardstock monster counters (fold up for 3D would be cool), some of the maps mentioned above, etc would make me happy.

I'm thinking you have the opportunity here to offer a sampling of things in the magazine to entice purchases of larger tie in products, as well as the opportunity to create tie in products similar to what was done for Ptolus, which could allow your pathfinder campaigs to take on a premium campaign feel for those who want to invest in the extra table schwag.

James Jacobs wrote:
... present support articles such as "How to run a castle," and more.

Is the above article example one we'll actually see in this adventure path?

If I transfer my credits to Pathfinder, does that mean I'm a charter subscriber who'll get the free players guide?

Hagen wrote:

I must say I agree with you. Great article (although a map would've been nice). Here's hoping to more of the same.

Yes indeed. More cities of Greyhawk. Even expanding the idea to allow for regions of Greyhawk or smaller scale communities would be cool.

In a recent Dragon editorial, Eric pointed out that he likes his fiction leaning more toward REH's Conan. I'm a big REH fan as well. I've also found that a number of articles in Dragon aren't ones I'm inclined to use (though it's been getting better over the past year or so) - especially not over and over like some of the ones from back in the day. One thing that I'd like to see return are Campaign Components, like the gladiator one, pirates ones, etc. that they've had in past issues.

In general, I'd make use of these types of articles for short themed campaigns. Specifically though, I'd like to see one on bringing a sword and sorcery feel to D&D.

This gives me some of the benefit of Iron Heroes, or the Conan RPG, without needing to buy them, learn them, etc.

How many others would like this?

By turn it into a post card you mean just address it, add a stamp and the order number, and away it goes?

A while back you guys mentioned that you were working on a method for returning the campaign workbooks.

Just wondering if I've missed it, or if it's yet to be ironed out?


Cool. Thanks. I'll wait for the instructions for returning them then.

Okay. Thanks for the background.

I'm still happy with the journal, FYI, but was curious about the above.

Are the issues such that I would have noticed it already (and so mine is maybe free of the problem)?

I've flipped through it a few times basically, but haven't tried to write in it, etc. Is the binding so bad that it would have fallen apart from that if it had the problem?

I'm trying to decide if I should go through the trouble of returning mine, or if it sounds problem free.


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