Adowyn

Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. 16,444 posts (18,714 including aliases). 22 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 13 aliases.


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They were trialling a support portal a few years back (a couple of my tickets were run through there as a test).

Maybe they left the website up even if it never got formally rolled out?


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keftiu wrote:

I'll also float one additional model that we haven't seen yet: supporting multiple time periods of the same setting as sub-settings unto themselves.

Star Wars is the poster child for this: each film trilogy and the gaps between them are treated as distinct sandboxes, while the old Expanded Universe and current High Republic era explore bits of the timeline the films never touched. I'm also an enormous Gundam fan, where the One-Year War (of 0079) is continuously getting further-fleshed out even as later works have pushed as far as 130 years ahead - and Gundam also has separate, unconnected universes that riff on the same core thematic palette!

Both franchises are big influences on me, which I think shines through in my tabletop gaming; I recently wrapped three years of interlinked tabletop campaigns, spanning six distinct time periods across ~500 in-game years.

Iron Crown Enterprises did that with Middle Earth, from memory. You could adventure pre-lord of the rings or post. Like Star Wars, the various ages of middle earth are all pretty distinct in tone and threat.


I didn’t know Eberron had a frozen-in-time assumption. Somehow I missed that detail!

It’s definitely my favorite approach but an advancing metaplot does seem to be the default. (Although maybe it’s just something I’ve assumed without noticing those that deviate from it).


Ed Reppert wrote:

Far as I know, "now" in Harnworld has always been, and still is, 1 Nuzyael, 720 TR. There's a lot of fanon (fan-generated content) out there, and even that sticks to the 'frozen in time' theme. There are some adventures that may not take place exactly on that date (100 Bushels Of Rye for example takes place iirc at or shortly after the fall harvest, but by implication at least it takes place after 1 Nuzyael 720 TR, either later that same year or in some later year.

One advantage to the model is you don't get the "drow exist… oh wait, no they don't" problem. You do get "we never knew about these guys before, but we do now" -- e.g. the Cholori, underground dwelling enemies of the dwarves who are somehow related to them. Although that may be because there's never afaik been anything introduced into Harnworld that depended on anything like the OGL.

Yeah. I much prefer that approach, but there must be a publisher imperative to progress the timeline (since it is such a common practise).

Runequest kind of passed me by, but I seem to remember they had a similar approach(?) I heard they expanded geographically, rather than by moving the timeline forward.

Although Harn is also peculiar in that (besides fan content that exists semi-officially)the author and the publisher parted company but each kept putting out harn content. Far as I can gather they managed to navigate all of that without lawyers (which is heartening) - so there are occassional discrepancies between Robin Crossby Harn and late-Colombia Games Harn releases.


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Fwiw, I think the frozen-in-time method is more approachable for a latecomer DM. Part of the reason the Forgotten Realms is so impenetrable, imo, is that you pick up a book and have to deduce where it sits alongside other setting books. It’s easy to have two sourcebooks discussing the same region which disagree on fundamentals.

A similar issue no doubt exists for people coming to Golarion now who may find themselves with both PF1 and PF2 sourcebooks (presumably the remastering will only add another barrier to building setting knowledge as well).


I can’t think of any.

I feel like even the ones that try to follow the frozen-in-time model succumb to the temptation of progressing the timeline eventually. I suppose as your game system evolves, it’s desirable to include new options into the published material. So each edition change would provide more incentive to shift things along.

Harn started as system agnostic, so had a good four or five years of grinding out static content before that situation arose. I think it also helped that it was pretty much the work of just one person, early on.


Sadly, its getting harder and harder to believe that will happen. Lately, it very much feels to me that "good" lost the battle a few decades ago.
Now we're just watching that result play out in slow motion. :(


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Rue Dickey wrote:
It's time for one of my favorite monthly blogs - talking about the wonderful work of our Infinite creators!

Hi Rue.

I'm not sure if it's a good idea or a bad one, but I personally would appreciate it if you could cite the authors as well in your blogs highlighting products.

As I say, totally understand if that's a bad idea for "reasons" but if not, it probably wouldn't waste too many pixels (?)

Cheers


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Ricoroys wrote:
I've had a tough time in the tabletop gaming community. Despite my interest in Pathfinder and attending events like Gen-Con, I've faced rejection when trying to join private campaigns. Even when I offered to run games, I struggled with self-doubt. It became clear that certain groups at my local game shop weren't inclusive, and witnessing another player being mistreated was disheartening. I've stopped going to the shop altogether, and it's made me question whether I want to continue with RPGs. It's frustrating that my only local option has left me feeling excluded.

I can sympathise with that. I’m also struggling with finding a place in the rpg world, atm. And in that situation it’s easy to feel that it’s your own failings, rather than the community.

Fwiw, there are many more opportunities and technologies to help with online gaming if that might work for you.

Online gaming has its own inclusion problem, but if you can find your way through that, there may well be the perfect group for you out there in the internet somewhere.


Out of forum, email, phone - telephone was always the most effective way to get things resolved but also the least desirable channel to be rostered onto.

Getting rid of that was a good move, even though it makes it harder to resolve tricky stuff.


Mathmuse wrote:
SzasTam wrote:
Thanks for the reply and for helping me! I'm from Brazil and I don't communicate very well in English. Sorry if I posted in the wrong place.

All forums are confusing to a person new to them. You manage much better in English than I would in Portuguese.

SzasTam wrote:
Everything became clearer to me with your explanation. I come from 5ed D&D and there is a north of how the GM manages the game session with regard to the number of encounters in the day (along with lair actions and the lair rule) are the only things I liked about D&D.

I have played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, D&D 2nd Edition, D&D 3rd Edition, and D&D 4th Edition, but I was too busy being a Pathfinder GM to join a D&D 5th Edition game, so I learned about 5th Edition only from reading about it. Thus, I had to read about lair actions just now at Dungeons & Dragons: Understanding Legendary & Lair Actions.

To mimic lair actions in Pathfinder 2nd Edition, customize the creature to give it abilities that interact with the lair around it. For example, most dragons have a Frightful Presence ability that makes most people near them temporarily frightened, like the adult magma dragon has Frightful Presence (aura, emotion, fear, mental) 90 feet, DC 30, so that anyone within 90 feet has to make a DC 30 Will save to avoid becoming frightened for a round. A creature that seems dominant in its lair could instead have Frightful Presence in its lair rather than at a fixed distance. Either drop another ability to make room for the lair-based ability, or increase its numbers (usually by +1 for just one level, hit points go up by around 10) because it becomes a higher-level creature. Use Table 10-5: DCs by Level to set the DC.

I've had luck just porting lair actions over pretty much whole cloth (albeit that was starfinder).

I think what youre describing could well emulate legendary actions from 5E (Ive found that a less useful export from 5E).


Yeah I used to do the same. Its pretty much impossible to give too much information, imo.


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It’s useful feedback for the community team, if anyone feels like letting them know.

The “shipping is now complete. If you haven’t received a shipping email, please email customer service” message at conclusion of the subscription run solved a lot of angst and grar, back when it was implemented.


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I don’t like Reign or Winter or Strength of Thousands.

So we have different tastes. :p


Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Giantslayer, by all accounts, sold very well and is quite popular, but at the same time, it's one of Paizo's worst APs.

I’ll be interested to see how we like it (it’s next in our queue)


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mikeawmids wrote:

Glass Cannon gang are likely a factor there.

Has Troy ever explained why he chose Giantslayer over all the other APs that were out at that time?

I believe they’ve said that 1, it was new and 2, skid had nostalgia for the G1-3 modules.


The Raven Black wrote:

The OP gave us examples of what they enjoy. The title might seem a bit too absolute though.

The idea always is to help people who wonder which AP they should buy to benefit from the "hive mind" of those who played them.

Conversation wanders. Perhaps it will be useful, perhaps not.


I will say, I'm leery to use "popular" as a marker for "good".

I dont think thats measuring the same thing at all - even if quality can be objectively measured and they are correlates, I suspect theyre only mildly related.


That seems reasonable. I just always struggle to articulate what a "good AP" is, I guess.

My favorites over the years (pre paizo) have always been more about the story. Thats ultimately what keeps me coming back to them. And that is inherently subjective, as you point out.


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magnuskn wrote:

But there are aspects which can be examined with some degree of objectivity. These would include:

- Story structure: Is the story presented in a cohesive manner? Are antagonists introduced and written in a way which makes them interesting? Do the player characters even encounter the BBEG in some way before finally confronting her/him in the final encounter (Carrion Crown, as written, was so dismal on that aspect that the writers themselves had to put in a foreword for the sixth module that the GM's probably should have the BBEG appear a bit earlier in the AP as a cameo).

- Subsystems: Paizo loves their subsystems. Only that many of them don't work (Caravan system from Jade Regent) or are terribly unbalanced (original kingdom rules from Kingmaker 1E). Encountering one which actually is not terrible (like the rebellion rules in Hell's Rebels, which are just a bit boring, but functional) is always a big plus.

- Encounter balance: Are the encounters in the AP a challenge without being a TPK trap? Can this balance be maintained throughout the AP or do high-level encounters turn into rocket tag? The latter issue has largely been resolved with 2E (one of its biggest selling points for me), while the former seems to have been evened out as well from the bumpy beginnings of 2E.

You seek find this interesting. I agree with you in that I think this is what people are meaning when they ask which is best. But even these are not really objective, I think.

Subsystems (for example) are irrelevant to me in terms of whether I think it’s a “good” AP. Those that work for our group, I use and those that don’t I just narrate, handwave or switch to a tactical solution. What matters for me is the story and I regard the resolution process encapsulated within subsystems as suggestions, at best.

I’m even reluctant to include story structure, merely because some of the APs that read well have left my group bored. Whereas some that I thought were going to be lame are still talked about years later.

I’ve also seen so many debates with people screaming at one another about what constitutes “good” game design, no matter how diametrically opposed their views. It’s an uncomfortable view for me because I’m basically an objectivist wrt just about everything.


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Best AP is such a weird concept. Does it mean the one you personally enjoyed the most? Or is it something academic - measuring each against some platonic, ideal AP? Serpent’s Skull is widely regarded as a poor AP, but it was one of the ones that played the best at our table. Does that mean I should rate it as good or bad?


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:

Abomination Vaults and Strength of Thousands easily rank alongside RotRL and CotCT, and are just behind the best Paizo AP ever, Reign of Winter.

Well you can’t be right all the time, I guess.


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He's pretty great!


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Ed Reppert wrote:
On another forum, there are two or three people I've "ignored", one at his request. The software doesn't show me what they post, but it does show me that they have posted, and gives me the option to see what they said if I want. Seems like a good approach to me.

Different strokes and all that, but for me even seeing the name of people I'm trying to ignore is enough to drive me away from online spaces. (Granted I have a pretty high tolerance before I get to the level of wanting to ignore someone, so have only done that twice in my online life).

I'd personally be in favor of a more complete ignore function (if it were possible).


Thanks very much for that. That’s a brilliant list! You did way more thinking on that than I expected.
Greatly appreciated.


I don’t mean what do you need in order to play. I just mean what books would you think should be included to give the full PF2 experience?


breithauptclan wrote:
Another interpretation of 'too complex' is that choosing the "right" option is hard because there are so many of them. That is definitely a flawed perception that is a holdover from PF1. Pathfinder2e has a rather solid power floor. It is hard to create a character that is ineffective and not fun to play. PF2 also has a solid power ceiling, which annoys power gamers - especially ones coming from PF1. But the best attitude to have for choosing options for a character is to pick what feels engaging, entertaining, and fun. Leave the task of keeping the character within the power band up to the game system itself and realize that it is very unlikely for a character to be too low powered, or too high powered.

That’s an interesting perspective. I don’t really enjoy the game, but I’ve always found one of 5E’s strengths to be the high floor, low ceiling (provided you don’t allow multiclassing). I think it’s a good choice to build PF2 around that ideal too.

Like the hypothetical 5E fan we’re discussing, I had also just presumed that because of the large number of choices/options there must be combinations or synergies that render other options unattractive.


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DeathQuaker wrote:
I can choose not to engage them, and I do, but I shouldn't have to deal with the mental stress of seeing messages directed toward harassing me at all. Nor should it be my job to keep alerting Paizo via flagging.

As usual, there is a load of great insight in DQ’s post. I think this quoted part is definitely something which may not be immediately obvious on the other side of the moderation dynamic.

The flagging system was a great change to the forums, but Paizo haven’t always been aware of the hidden stress that comes from a forum member silently flagging a string of posts, all of which get moderated but where there is no stronger action.

“Flag and move on” is excellent advice as far as what we should do. But that in itself isn’t “the flag system working” - the visible moderator follow up is important.


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Liz Courts wrote:
Congrats to all of the staff that are hard at work making things happen behind the scenes (please stay hydrated warehouse crew!). I look forward to seeing the long-fought for changes from past and present Paizo employees come to fruition, and I hope that those that make it happen are recognized for their efforts.

It’s hard not to dwell on what might have been. (Unhelpful as such dwelling is).


Mark Moreland wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Does that imply these new novels (optimism!) are likely to be unavailable in dead tree versions?

Fwiw, even if it were only POD, digital/audio books are an automatic nonpurchase for me. (Granted Im only one person). I really hope you find a way to produce physical copies too.

Not at all! One big part of this grand experiment is seeing if changing the formula will make physical novel publishing profitable enough to do more than this once.

Cross your fingers!

Will do.


Mark Moreland wrote:
Zagaroth wrote:
So, you mentioned that you are having some trouble getting as many novels written for Paizo / Pathfinder as you'd like.

The problem has never been finding authors to write for us, but rather finding enough people willing to pay us money to read the words those authors write. As Jim said, the fiction market is undergoing some very severe growing pains as the industry shifts toward digital/audiobook over physical printing and distribution.

At present, if you're looking to write fiction set in the Pathfinder or Starfinder universes, Pathfinder Infinite is where to look.

Hi mark.

Does that imply these new novels (optimism!) are likely to be unavailable in dead tree versions?

Fwiw, even if it were only POD, digital/audio books are an automatic nonpurchase for me. (Granted Im only one person). I really hope you find a way to produce physical copies too.


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Paizo have renovated their website a few times over the years. Its always been done with great concern for preserving good things and making bad things better.

I cant imagine theyre suddenly going to stop caring about their online community.


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Thanks for the comprehensive update.


Kevin Mack wrote:
If memory serves the savage tide issues were never released as PDFS (Except maybe the first one?) because the deal ended before it came to that point.

Yep. Paizo converted what they could before the license agreement expired (and were allowed to continue distributing those that theyd got to) but they didnt get to the end of the run.

The last few Dungeon magazines were never available as pdfs, sadly.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

The biggest thing I am looking at with my question is attracting players. I want more playtesting in my system, and thus I am trying to determine if I can attract players by offering to run an AP in my system. Would that attract players that otherwise would not come to my game?

I am not particularly a fan of paizo's setting and don't know it deeply, hence why asking about altering the setting. To use my first reponse's example, I have no idea who Jatembe is and no idea what would make my version of the character feel contradictory to the expectations about them.

Gotcha. For me, it would be preferable to playtest a system running a professionally written Adventure than something the designer had homebrewed.

I would want to see how it dealt with a wide range of “standard” rpg situations rather than just showcasing things the designer thought would fit well.

If you were trying to sell me on a game, I think I’d prefer a system-specific adventure though.


Yeah, it’s entirely a function of the destination, not the source, I think.
If the system you’re translating to can deal with the theme/events well, it really makes no difference - I think it can even be an improvement.
Try to run a meat grinder in a cinematic, toon-like game though (or similar incongruity) and you’ll hit problems, imo.


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Its certainly not petty to feel slighted, imo.
Having said that - I find that players (those who dont DM, anyway) are often unaware of the emotional drain that comes with running a longterm game.

(Which isnt an excuse, but it may be theyre processing it as if a player took a break. Thats a smaller change, imo).


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That sounds like a fantastic tradition. I wish we were able to do that!


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Good luck with navigating this setback. Hopefully you find a solution that works for you. Losing contact with a passion youve had for so long would be sad. On the other hand - well done for recognising what needed changing.


Best way is to email community@paizo.com.


Cool. <3


Yeah - no doubt the total lack of expectations on their part helped. But my involuntary "I wouldnt have done it like that" thoughts played a part, for sure.


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I enjoyed it. It was too slow at the beginning, imo but it amped up pretty well by the middle.

I did like the fact it was just a D&D story rather than a pure marketting exercise - the IP mentioned was a teensy bit shoe-horned in and heavy handed for my tastes, but the nongamers I were with disagreed pretty unanimously about that (I took three nongamers and was slightly nervous about the post mortem but turns out they all liked it more than me, so I needn't have worried.)


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Or the person doing it left and it wasnt on anyones to-do list. Job descriptions have historically been kind of nebulous at paizo.


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I think its an easy trap to fall into to find a game/publisher/product one likes and to leap to the conclusion that the other people who also like it are "like me".

Creative endeavours work best when they capture a disparate audience, imo. Nothing paizo puts out will ever be perfect for me, no matter how much I admire their stuff. But theyre not tailoring their books to me - theyre trying to appeal to loads of tastes, many diametrically opposed to mine.

Its best to avoid thinking of the market as a horde of "average consumers".


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TOZ wrote:
Almost like the website sales are inconsequential.

That can’t be true, surely?

All that angst for no consequence?


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They are extremely strict about what counts as "mint".
Ive regularly bought non mint copies where I couldnt tell what the issue was.


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Link repeated for convenience.


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The blue writing above is a link to those items on sale (grouped by system and item categories)


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Emailing community@paizo.com would be my suggestion.

Although I'm not sure if they want everything sent through customer.service@paizo.com now (it would be one of those two).

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