Characters such as Fflewddur Fflam spring to mind as the source for Gary Gygax et al in the original DnD, but moreso legendary/heritage Celtic/Norse/Finnish bards and skalds, Welsh Taliesin etc…trickster gods across mythologies.
Todays “Bard” runs the gamut from Ocean’s Forty Six to Jackie from Yellowjackets - the inspirer, the personaility, the face, the wordsmith, dubstepoierista or just that person who is indefatigable in the face of overwhelmingly crappy situations. And for some weird reason, food/cooks etc. ;)
There is no reason that anyone playing a bard should have to “act out” their mechanics any more than any other player of any other class. Having said that, players that describe generally what their characters do seem to push the realisation of the story a little more than those who don’t, so merely saying you awesomely be awesome in (insert school/muse/style/fashion) way is pretty good enough.
Could definitely get behind this. Given the recent seismic shifts in corporate culture, it would be great if the product schedule could recognise the need to steady the flailing ship that is the ruleset - Recall Knowledge, Familiars, Alchemists - the things that are constantly turning up as headaches or sore points. So the writers of APs can understand the interactions without expectations of handwavium or GM fiat; so the players can have realtively decent and any-table-conversant expectations about how the ruleset is supposed to operate.
If FAQs and Errata aren’t coming, it tells the customer base that the producer doesn’t really care as long as the next new shiny comes on board. If only the UPW would make this a central tenet of their bargaining - respect the customers by clarifying the ruleset so we can all understand it and feel good about what we work on and play.
“Is replying no! to a thread title that ends with a question mark divisive?”
“Should bad threads be banned?”
“Why are the best classes never intentionally overpowered!”
“Should you ignore the content of improperishly grammar’d threads;”
“How come the devs hate unintentionally broken vegefolk: Discussion with no “No’s!””
“Or they don’t - the Thread. (Yes’s allowed conditionally).”
“All the reasons “1,001 clickbait thread title threads” are way too long.”
“When does skirting the imaginary line become overpowered - the role or roll dilemma as perceived through the Stormwind Fallacy lens!”
“Why “Why can’t fighter’s be good at quadratic equations” needlessly others martials and denigrates the advances made by casters”
“Why wizards suck - my life as a sentient spellcasting Dyson product. Thoughts?”
“Clickbait! Is linking to my blog ok?”
[I like the contrarian’s contrarian because they can slaughter a sacred cow, cook it up over a sacrilegious fire and then tell you it’s gumdrops. The nest bit is when Strawman, Stormwind, Moved Goalposts, Special Snowflake and Fellow Traveller are all there singing sweet songs of melodies pure and true…]
How many days has it been now - can we get a counter?
For me the most egregious, glaring issue is that the Chief Executive took it upon themselves to access private data and publish it aggressively. Like a punitive parent castigating an errant child.
Then not acknowledging it after arguing about it.
Then after acknowledging it not rectifying it.
And it does boggle the mind that a small team has taken multiple weeks to properly address it in public.
I know leadership is a huge fad right now, and personally know of lots of “leaders” who sit in front of shelves full of “books” on “leadership” but I’m pretty sure none of those weighty tomes would suggest the above responses to the initial scenario as “best practice”.
I called out Lisa Stevens as the owner being the one who needed to take ultimate responsibility for Paizo’s culture, and I still do. If by appointing two new members there is supposed to be more vigourous cultural oversight then all well and good (diversity issues not withstanding) - but there needs to be an accounting of historical leadership issues that haven’t been addressed and directly led us to this place. “Soon”.
Per Astra wrote:
This may seem like a big ask, but has there been any discussion of creating a space explicitly for the accountability issues here on the forum? It would only work, of course, if Paizo was committed to providing a response to public concerns, but that response doesn't have to be an immediate resolution. Letting people know if a concern is being taken up (and if not, why), who needs to be involved in the discussion in-house, and how long such a process might take, would be a dramatic improvement.
As a person keenly interested in processes and accountability this would be an awesome endeavour for the site to implement. I completely understand the outlay needed in terms of personpower/oversight and is rather more than almost any organisation I know of has, but we can still hope and push for the best…
If pointing out that “the new official Pathfinder digital service isn’t made by Paizo and isn’t free is something unfortunate and another descent into the banal entreaties of advertdismalism/capitalism” and that ensuring that the official digital service requires yet more fiscal outlay is grandiose pontificating then I’m glad I was able to not like it in the first place. Apologies. Exeunt stage…Left.
Lastly: I think it is very important to understand that “buying the books again” is not what is happening here. You are paying for the effort of hosting the content/data/ruleset on Nexus to be used on/at Nexus with ease. It is conceivable a new player could purchase a new PDF and use Nexus offline (if such capability is possible) and then never use video hosting/chat etc.
But whether that effort or hosting should cost you anything is entirely between you and Demiplane. Your choice. To engage in their capital raising venture. Don’t look at me for advice. I’ve bought things before. More than once. After a while it made me feel debased every time I did it. I really don’t like the smell of capitalism in the morning. Or anytime…
And with regard to this apparently from Demiplane on their forum:
“ We (naturally) felt it was still very worthwhile to allow for as much of a discount as possible on those previous purchases instead of the alternative of providing no discount.”
Why do they say (naturally)? Is it to make folx think they are somehow paragons of virtue? Why doesn’t it read “We felt it was worthwhile to give our community free access to the entire ruleset in line with other providers like Archives of Nethys, and recoup our operating costs elsewhere. Naturally!” ?!?
Because it is a business venture. This isn’t a “benefit to the community” it’s a capital raising venture Paizo is advertising to hopefully grow the community. But it does alienate some of the current community. Who are either already multiple invested (Paizo/HLO/Roll20 etc) or have invested in free platforms that provide an analog to Nexus. So a bifurcation occurs between old and new players. Not that this isn’t just what disruptive innovation does - it is entirely the point. And more power to them. But it should be recognised for what it is. A capital raising venture.
I guess the way I see it, and commented as much in the blog thread is that Nexus will add another fiscal impairment to what is already an expensive enterprise for those looking to play the game. Now it can be argued that entry level Pathfinder is actually free given the existence of AoN, but the books are expensive, the PDF’s not inexpensive given they aren’t actually real (much like money) compared to say potatoes or water and Nexus will commodify what is already free and cater to a caste who have plenty of access to fresh water and brushed potatoes.
So the alienation occurs to those poorer and technologically disadvantaged - I see a lot of communication here on Paizo about inclusiveness and diversity, but capitalism insists that the downtrodden stay down and have to pay (either for data or networking or platform) to play imaginary games of fantastic ideas.
As for those who would wish that folx who “don’t like it” relatively “don’t need to buy in” - you are right. No ine needs to buy RPGs, but discussing the pros and cons can lead to a fairer more egalitarian society.
@Vestofholding: very good points, and they kind of clarify what I would like in contrast to what I see.
This is “the” “official” digital aid for Pathfinder. Solo, and recognised. Yet it isn’t Paizo, which is…unfortunate. And the purchase of assets creates a vast gulf between customers who will be totally on board and those who won’t. So accessibility and functionality become commodified, which AoN nearly circumvents and prevents. And I understand that free market economics and late stage capitalism are so good right now, except that they really are not.
The official digital product is pay walled, adding to players and customer’s budgets. Why would this be good for the community?
@Demiplane: please don’t take this as disrespect - this is Paizo’s forum, where the community of Paizo fans discuss…things. I get that you have a business and a product, and it looks good. But it will succeed on its own merits and whether it can withstand the storms of popular discussion. (Also remember we keep being reminded that posters on Paizo often represent a (very) vocal but (vanishingly) small segment of the customer base. Which is possible, I guess.)
@BadEye: Thanks for the swift replies. I’m totally understanding that what I’m seeing is prelaunch, so no worries there - it looks good.
Thinking further, my preference would be for free CRB/GMG/Bestiary 1 content and anything outside of this Core could be purchasable. I understand that the Primer is free, and generally presents the ruleset, but is no way near the whole of the ruleset as presented in the core three books.
I look forward to more utility, announcements and although not what you guys have stated initially, definitely wanting a VTT using all the latest and it is to be hoped, seamless and simple technology.
To BadEye/pwrup/Nexus folx
1: So...unlike AoN, this will not have *as a core feature* a database of all the rules? And to get them you have to buy them piecemeal/per book?
Why would I use your product then? To have the ease of use on your site? But having the rules set up like the PDF/book is mega irritating, where a database is at least organised ergonomically. This makes me not want to use your site to run games.
[EDIT - so on further exploration of the Primer, it looks like you can kind of find the rule you want, OR use the original source, which is cool. But it still doesn't feel like AoN or the old d20PFSRD...which are both really useful. The AoN's Elite/Normal/Weak slider for Bestiary creatures is a good benchmark for what you need as far as usability goes...]
2: So if I already have the PDF of any particular product, I have to buy it a second time (albeit at a reduced price) to view it on the Nexus platform?
Regardless of the "cool story" as Yoshua put it upthread (I get it, businesses need to make money etc) I'm not interested in buying anything twice or three times. Integrate with Paizo, defray the costs of PDFs to reward customers of the IP and make your money another way. Sure, in time, those new to PF and in a digital only spectrum will appreciate buying a product on Nexus and have it appear on Paizo.com for free, if that is the case - but this? It actively penalises the actual current fans. Or at least this is how it feels.
N.B. I am a terse, ornery personality when it comes to...well just about anything, but particularly when it comes to capitalism and free market enterprise. So know that I am biased, and I apologise for being...terse. Also, I actually signed up to your website. It looks nice, but is kinda weird to navigate - I am sure when up and fully running it will be great. Also I have no idea how I would even link my Nexus account to Paizo's.
I really want to have a digital aide for PF2 - rules resource, character builder, VTT etc...but this is... not what I want. Yet.
Given the freelancer concerted action that was already in place I was pretty sure this would happen and this quickly.
- Well done freelancers and UPW (some of you are obviously both). Know that management are…management. More power to you.
- To Paizo management: please make an effort to treat with your workers and freelancers as fellow adventurers. Remember Erik, that chapter of Hollow Mountain that specifically mentions not splitting the party (just read Hollow Mountain comic today. My son is reading it while I write this…)
- To errybody: The same old cliches apply: work together for the common good; happy workers are productive workers; pray I don’t alter the deal further; relaxed workers make for happy customers; I dunno Artoo, what am I even doing here; no jobs on a dead planet; hammers and sickles are not political, people are; etc etc etc.
Personally I’m still grizzly and wary. I see no cause for rampant celebration on my end, but for the UPW I wouldn’t be surprised if a few glasses are raised in celebration. Explore (your options) Cooperate (and organise) and Report (incidents of malfeasance, harrassment, dismocracy)…
I agree 100% with posters saying pacts being able to be picked up by anyone will only make the game better. More options, less class-based pigeonholing where it is not specific to the theme where that be the theme of the class rather than the theme of the option.
And as far as verisimilitude goes, why are the Pact offerers being so choosy? Fighters and Rangers and Druids and Etceterans all can give that pound of flesh/essence of soul/bronzed circuitry/gnarled xylem…
Sure Thaumaturges delve into the unknown and encounter The Strange, but countless tales of Everypeep the Unfortunate or Generica the Uncommonly Eventually Agonisingly in the 8th Chronicle and Yet Somehow Completely Unsurprisingly Lucky abound. Make Pacts available to all. You know you want to. Do we have a deal?
Powerfully told. Apologies for the shameless cut for emphasis:
the CS and Warehouse staff work in concert during the worst health disaster of our lifetime to not only reduce but eliminate that backlog of customer requests.
I can't speak to what spirited lapse of judgement led to the decision to terminate the community cornerstone of the company…
Every worker deserves the right of representation, and that has clearly been lacking in Paizo's workspace. Unionized workplaces lead to a better quality of life for employees, higher quality products, and a better company image….
… a beloved company and IP line that has brought countless people joy and excitement over the decades, don't split the party.
Any word on a new full time HR? I know it’s a boring solution, but in my opinion it’s the most useful way forward.
It’s not that it might be boring, but that as several posters have pointed out there is the very real possibility that HR will only exist to protect the company from the workers. And that HR is all about Resources with the “resources” being the humans and the most useful extraction of labour from the humans at whatever cost can be squozened, mitigated or deffrayed.
And yes in fact no, squozened is compleatly a word.
Unless I am mistaken, In the Dungeon Master of None podcast either Jason Tondro or Andrew White said there were rumors they would *possibly* hear from management “early next week”. I’m hoping that the interview was held / posted on the weekend and they mean early this week.
Of course that is all union-recognition conversant, and does not directly reference management at all addressing the anti-trans allegations nor a frank discussion of Jeff Alvarez’ doxxing saga. And I could totally see a situation wherein management deny either of those points are an issue by saying Jeff’s blog post about room assignation going forward addresses the former (which it totally doesn’t, and in fact says a lot more about…what it doesn’t say happened at conventions for staff accommodation) and Jeff apologising on the thread where the doxxing happened “solves” the latter…
@Anorak - it is important to note that staff are currently still working. Striking has not been called for - at this point the workers want management to recognise the Union before any further action. However a group of 40 or so freelancers have embarked on a concerted action to stop work - one of their demands is also that Paizo recognise the UPW.
(Also forgot to mention that the BAMF podcast also explores the “freelancer concerted action” where 40 freelancers stopped work to protest allegations and unfair work practices at Paizo - these freelancers have stipulated that a contingency of their return to work is recognition of the PWU by Paizo…)
(Someone correct me if the above is innaccurate)
That 40 disparate and individual freelancers could band together to a) reach consensus about anything, and b) hold strong is both a recognition of the severity of the situation and the need for change at Paizo. Much respect for this coalition of freelancers!
Thanks for the link themetricsystem.
Watched the whole thing. Jason Tondro is a remarkably generous speaker with a lot of passion for both his creative work and the wellbeing of his colleagues. I have no knowledge outside of this (and perhaps vaguely knowing he did work on Live Free or Die) but have profound respect for the extra, volunteer work he is doing on top of his paid work to ensure he and his fellow employees are treated well. More power to you and the UPW Jason.
Owen makes a lot of really great points, is insightful, moderate and has a wealth of experience. His points about managers needing to have have not just experience, but tacit deep, good experience of the work those under them are doing were really well made. He makes his biases clear and is not afraid to give his direct opinion.
Although somewhat tangential, I came across this twitter thread from a Comms person at Respawn Entertainment (studio that created the FPS game Apex Legends) on corporate comms strategy for when things go bad.
For those who don’t know, Respawn has been under intense pressure since an update last month caused consistent server issues that still have not been fixed (but you can bet an independent bug that caused players to be able to get better than average loot in random purchased packs was fixed within 3 hours). It is indicative of the approach of companies to consumer ire…
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
In which AP do the PCs start out dead?
1: Given streamlining the game was a stated design goal of the new edition, and a streamined system is a promotional tool for the game the bespoke proficiencies are not only archaic but also anathematic to those goals/promotions.
As a poster upthread pointed out, ticking a simple box is much easier and ergonomic than outlier frames with edge cases cluttering up the system. And, as I asked in the current Magus thread, what is the danger this edge case prevents?
2: Pathfinder and Paizo have come a long way in their portrayal of: ancestries over race; evil no longer as an ancestral auto da fe; ableism, diversity, gender etc. But somehow we still, in 2021, almost 50 years after the hobby started, labor under the anachronisms of non-metal wearing druids and wizards incapable of swinging slightly sharper sticks without a feat tax.
There is hope. For years, IIRC, James Jacobs decried non-evil undead as a concept. Now we are going to see Book of the Dead with playable skeletons etc… Maybe as PF2e closes out its edition run we will see Enchained! [New rules from Druidic chain armor! Wizards wielding spiked chains!!! A removal of AoOs for Magus with only 17 feat chains…]
3: My final thought is entirely flavor based. At its core, Pathfinder is a roleplaying games. Yet the rules support a LOT of warfare adjacent themes. Combat. Damage. Death. So these… adventurers, let’s call them, often slay monsters. So the prancing, preening vaudeville flautist makes the stabbity stab with the sharp metal skewer. The cunning trapsmith whomps beasts with steel and stealth. The cloistered cleric…isn’t seen much because they are too busy flagellating themselves in a monkish cell for failing to adequately equidistantiate their tonsure. The inventor invents…weapons of much destruction. The witch can kill as well as curse.
Sure you can play the non-violent direct actor, and your pacifistic leanings will garner you much roleplaying kudos; and there are backgrounds, feats and archetypes to help you lean in - but really there are an overwhelmingly large number of battle, war, combat and pure bloodspattery-adjacent options to slake your ardour for violent victory.
War wizards? Battle bards? Fighty…fighters? It’s all smoke and mirrors. The wizard can fight. Should fight. Probably wants to fight. If they are big and strong and belligerent then give ‘em a bloody greatsword already. Ok. Maybe a bridge too far for some of you. But streamlining the game, removing decades old anomalies and granting simple wizards simple weapons is not.
I look forward to grabbing pretty much all of these Pathfinder releases… once we get tangible communication and action on the transphobia allegations from management.
Yes, I too wait for useful and understandable communication. Really looking forward to Guns and Gears (and Secrets of Magic) and also Abomination Vaults…but in all honesty I find myself at a crossroads with this company. Please Paizo…
So why design and balance a class based on the least likely situation in a teamwork based game, in a teamwork based hobby?
As much as I and my players like our characters to succeed, I have never considered RPG a teamwork based hobby, beyond “co-operatively” “storytelling”. I’m not in a team trying to win, I have a character interacting with a world, and sometimes surviving. Almost all of my characters “work well with others”, but that doesn’t make RPG’s a teamwork based hobby.
I can see that PF2 is definitely more teamwork oriented. Which is a plus for tactically minded savvy game mechanic conversant players. But possibly not so good for new players unaware of synergies or that some classes may in fact rely on them.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Heh. I for one didn’t think you were trying to “say” anything other than exactly what you did say Steve - just giving information.
Lukas Klausner wrote:
I'm not quite sure I understand the midpoint of the story. Did Fumbus and/or Valeros see the Chelaxian contraption in the water? Or was it just a happy accident?
I had this happen to me too. I guess it might have been the result of a narrative tool attempted to give a sense of Valeros’ grogginess, but mostly it left me discombobulated.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Fwiw, I believe Vic and Lisa have effectively retired from actual operations (even though they're still listed as holding executive roles).
Well then, it is definitely worth someone calling them on the Star Wars phone and telling them that the company they own is under a cloud of allegations. I see at least two options:
1: They know, but don’t know how to respond
2: They know but don’t care.
I guess there is:
3: They don’t know
4: They know and are working on a response
5: One of them got stuck in the replica fake carbon freeze unit and the other one is having trouble successfully dressing like an Ugnaught and is thus still trying to figure out how to open it.
Whichever one of those it is or isn’t is possibly not as important as knowing that they own the company, and whether or not they have a guiding hand currently they are to my mind, ultimately responsible for every facet of how the company runs and how it presents itself.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Thanks, Hilary. My sole role at Paizo is customer and not a creator, but you really succinctly captured how I’ve been feeling too.
I disagree Steve. Your role encompasses way more than being a mere customer. And that is, ironically, Paizo’s “fault”. They don’t have to have a forum, allow creators, customers, visitors, developers, owners, players, GMs, complainers and the generally quixotic a space to well - create, buy, look, tell, inform, play, narrate adjudicate and rule, complain and make random comments. Among other things. I genuinely thank Paizo for making the forums a…place. A place like no other. And yet a place that often resembles a lot of other places.
But, Steve, this place has allowed me to know you, imperfectly as it might be. But I value you and I’m sure many in this community do too. And valuing other people is important. And I hope Paizo value you too, for more than your Aussie dollar. For you frank and honest appraisals. Moderate commentary. And for believing in a better world, and wanting the best for Paizo.
They are lucky to have a considerate and impassioned community that tells them when they err. For that is what the best friends do - they don’t feed your ego, or gild the lily or urinate in your pocket. They pull you up. Like Steve and all the other folk in this thread and others are doing. Asking for Paizo to do better. And Paizo want themselves to do better every day. Right?
Aaron Shanks wrote:
I still think going directly to your FLGS is the only option. I will bring this to Alex's attention on Tuesday when we are all back in the office. Perhaps different language could be negotiated next year, since Org Play program is beneficial to retailers.
And given the Org Play program is beneficial to, people, and people are…customers…the benefits actually go many ways. And to grow the Org Play…
Sorry Aaron. I get that you are being very helpful, and clearly pointing out the sticking point. So it’s definitely a good idea to definitely change the legal wording so everyone can get helped out.
Tell Alex HMM and Shifty asked for it, because, those guys are PFS stalwarts across two continents. Growing your player base. As far as you let them.
So how about we flip it: if there were no AoO’s for Spellstrike, can those who don’t think the AoO is an issue see glaring problems with it?
Having no real ability to technically understand the mechanics (if the whole discussion about manipulate traits, verbal, somatic etc doesn’t make you understand PF2 isn’t a simpler game than PF1 then I’m not sure what will…hmm…maybe some old wield vs hold threads from PF1 might disagree…still…it’s pretty gnarly for a beginner to,..heh…grasp) it really does seem a bit sad that the magus whole schtick gets punished, or even the threat if punishment in a way that neutralises the conceit of the class - being a spellfighter.
Regardless of the fact other classes need occasional workarounds, or other casters suffer AoOs etc - this class, around whom the whole aura is puissantly casting spells, can’t adequately learn how not to provoke. It’s like a rogue being unable to sneak if it was sometimes a peculiar shade of overcast, or fighter’s being unable to raise their shield (only on Tuesdays, which as we know 67% of statistics are misleading only happen in AP’s 38.63% of the time). But the magus, currently NEVER learns how not to get smacked. In the grill. If it’s on. Seems…not just counterintuitive, but downright silly. Regardless of how often it’s… shady. Or overcast. Or…Tuesday.
So you don't want answers from people who actually know things, you just want to complain. Fine, I'm done trying to help educate people about what really went down.
I’m pretty disappointed that this is your response to dirtypool’s comments after yours. From my point of ciew, you were both clarifying OSHA/ownership vs. renting minutiae. And yet, it seems, you are incensed that dirtypool…what? Continued your lime of thought? Because yes, what you said may in fact be true, but that isn’t the end of it. Abrogating responsibility by saying, to quote Ben Elton “It’s not my toilet” (and we don’t even know IIRC if that’s what managememt did) isn’t a sovereign cure.
So why is it that you are upset? It truly seems as if you have a partisan position and any comment that doesn’t completely align is also an oppositional factional brigade trumpet.
I’m definitely the type of person who can be swayed, sometimes even by myself by the time I’ve finished speaking a sentence. But mostly, I’m big on process. Which helps me to be moderate. I don’t hide the fact that I have almost always found Paizo’s corporate mien irritating and suffering from usual small business perils. But I like to think I can see at least three sides of a coin.
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
Exactly. But you’re right, and I’m being naive. Sure if someone weaponises the quite-fun-once little tudor cottage of crushing doom as a tactical go-to for their daily arsenal I as a player or DM would get pretty pissed off pretty fast. But the seat-of-the-pants, last ditch hope it works with a huge and risky investment - that’s what fireside stories are made of. Even outside of Oz.