Class bloat, yup it's happening and I hate it


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James Jacobs wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Fact: APG classes are being integrated into the adventure paths. Consequently, if I wish to continue to make use of the adventure paths, I cannot ignore the APG. Can I work around it? Sure. But that's not the same thing.

Fact: Not ALL APG classes are being integrated into the adventure paths.

We haven't put a summoner in one yet, and I'm not seeing a point in the next year where one would be a logical addition. Doesn't mean we WON'T EVER do a summoner, but just because something's in the APG doesn't mean it'll automatically be in an AP.

Furthermore, if in the future after we see more feedback about integrating things like witches into the AP line is something a lot of folks get angry about... we'll stop doing it. I'm not seeing a lot of that yet though.

I understand that you're frustrated about some of the decisions we're making. We're not only designing the game for you though. We're trying to design something that EVERYONE wants, and that, unfortunately, more or less means that the more we produce, the more chances we'll have of producing things that someone might not like.

Just so there's some commentary from the other side on this whole thing - I like that the new material is appearing in the APs. And I like the new material and the rate at which it's showing up, and I think the staff is making decisions based on a long view of the product line, not just to stuff material out the door.

Since it's not solely up to me (and probably not even a fraction of a percent up to me) how the design decisions are made, I'm certain that I won't agree with all of them. However, overally I think that the trend has been a good one.

The beauty is that since Paizo seems to be surviving on other materials as much as on rulebooks, we are unlikely to see splatbook mania any time in the near future.

Now, given WoTC's abandonment of prepainted minis, I'd love to see more support in this area, but I guess that's up to the Asylum Miniatures folks ...

Liberty's Edge

Since this thread seems to have (in the first page, anyway, I didn't read beyond that) moved toward a referendum on the topic, here's my vote:

Keep making great roleplaying products, Paizo. Make as damn many of them as you want to. Just don't sacrifice quality (APG editorial issues, I'm looking at you).

"Class Bloat" is - apologies to anyone who doesn't agree with me - a stupid concept. Who cares how many classes there are? Now, power creep is bad, but I'm just not seeing that happening. Some people think summoner is pretty busted, I don't, but to each his own. My friend just informed me that Gunslinger is pretty much "unplayable". Of course, it will be revised to be more functional, but I am not sure how its inclusion in a book actually hurts the game in any discernable way as long as it's not suddenly as strong as a wizard.

Yeah, make as many classes as you want to. My humble opinion.

Liberty's Edge

When it comes down to it though if your going to complaon about new material make sure something is wrong with it. Not for the sake of it being new material. I'm assuming that beyond seeling quality products the devs about Paizo like coming up with new ideas and new books to peoduce work on and release. Your basically telling them not do their job for no better reason than because of some sort of non-existant rule bloat that is going to happen anyway.

Go to the bakery in your area and tell the baker not to add new products to his inventory because those new products might ruin your enjoyment of older products and see how that goes. Or go to any other place that sells a product and tell them not to upgrade carry or develop new product and see how that goes. You will be told to get out and possibly told not to return.

Telling any company that survives on releasing new product not to release new product is not a rational, logical sensible argument on any level. Everytime you will be told "don't like our products, don;t buy them". Some in this thread and outside of it do not like that but imo that is all you deserve for trying to take Paizo or any company hostage.

In the end buyig a product from a company does not give you the right to dictate how or why they do what they do. You can ask the to change their ways that is it. I wish they would release less APs and more material. They can take my suggesstion listen to it and are free to ignore it.

I used to be more tolerant of this yet my pattence on this issue went away recently. I work at a bookstore and we take 1 day out of the year after the X-mas holidays to celebrate our X-mas party and it's been two weeks later and we still get customers demanding not even asking why we closed early. They seem to think tht bying books means they can dictate when we open and close or to know our most intimate secrets. When in the end it's no ones damn business when we close or open early or late.

I would not be surprised if the Paizo devs too are geting annoyed and fed up with the constant complaints of rules bloat. By bringing that up all the time your not exactly showing much faith in their abilites and the company as a whole. Two years of existence and some are already sssuming the worst. In the end most comsumers are all the same. Their your best friend when you do exactly what they want. Dare to dp otherwise and they expect the worst and want to have nothing to do with you

Liberty's Edge

Jeremiziah wrote:


Keep making great roleplaying products, Paizo. Make as damn many of them as you want to. Just don't sacrifice quality (APG editorial issues, I'm looking at you).

"Class Bloat" is - apologies to anyone who doesn't agree with me - a stupid concept. Who cares how many classes there are? Now, power creep is bad, but I'm just not seeing that happening. Some people think summoner is pretty busted, I don't, but to each his own. My friend just informed me that Gunslinger is pretty much "unplayable". Of course, it will be revised to be more functional, but I am not sure how its inclusion in a book actually hurts the game in any discernable way as long as it's not suddenly as strong as a wizard.

Yeah, make as many classes as you want to. My humble opinion.

+50 and agreeded and seconded on all points.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Quote:
I think that if the only classes that we ever put out were the ones in the Core Rulebook, most people would start getting bored with the current edition after playing the core classes they like a time or two each.

Even if every player played ONE of each class, that's 11 classes. Even taking the minimum time for an AP to play out (6 months), that's a period of 5.5 years!

Keep in mind that not everyone plays an AP for every game they run. My groups games tend to be shorter, usually ending around level 10 if we started from 1. So for my group at least that 'getting bored' rate will come much faster. Add to that the fact that no one in my group has an interest in every class (playstyle and flavor reasons) means that time is much shorter. We also have more then one game going at once pretty much all the time. So for me that period of getting bored with the core base classes was essentially a year and a half. Thankfully the APG was just in time with that (as well as 3rd party support) but my point is, your 5.5 minimum figure is fairly exhagerated and wont apply to everyone.


Justin Franklin wrote:

I think the biggest issue we are having right now is calling them alternate classes. If you tear apart the ninja, for example, it is really just a rogue archetype with a new big ability (ninja trick).

Poison Use replaces trapfinding.
Ki Pool replaces Evasion.
No Trace replaces Trap Sense.
Ninja Trick and Master Trick replace Rogue Talents and Advanced Talents.
Hidden Master replaces Master Strike.
And the class gains Light Step.

Samurai does the same thing with the Cavalier.

It's the reason that you can't take a level of rogue and then a level of ninja. It is no different then trying to take a level of rogue(thug) and then a level of rogue(swashbuckler).

Ki Pool replaces Evasion in the same way... well, that Ki Pool replaces Evasion. The Ki Pool is a unique and separate mechanic that is not a 1 for 1 replacement, and especially not for Evasion.

Scarab Sages

My 2cp:

I have no issue with "class bloat" (I see it as "more options".) That said, I do think that the Ninja and Samurai should be presented as Archetypes rather than full class writeups. (Even if they are labeled as "alternate classes".) It will not only save space, but will make it clear that these are not "new classes", but variants of existing classes. (Frankly, on my [admittedly brief] readthrough of the playtest pdf I totally missed the "alternate class" status of these classes. I only learned about it here on the messageboards.)

I do also think that these new classes are a bit "niche" for a generic fantasy RPG rulebook, and would probably be best presented in their own niche-specific guides (for example, a Pathfinder Oriental book). But having them in Ultimate Combat isn't going to kill my enjoyment of it or anything. (And, yes, I did see Vic's statement about "these classes will be in UC", and I'm not trying to argue that point, just stating an opinion.)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:

I think the biggest issue we are having right now is calling them alternate classes. If you tear apart the ninja, for example, it is really just a rogue archetype with a new big ability (ninja trick).

Poison Use replaces trapfinding.
Ki Pool replaces Evasion.
No Trace replaces Trap Sense.
Ninja Trick and Master Trick replace Rogue Talents and Advanced Talents.
Hidden Master replaces Master Strike.
And the class gains Light Step.

Samurai does the same thing with the Cavalier.

It's the reason that you can't take a level of rogue and then a level of ninja. It is no different then trying to take a level of rogue(thug) and then a level of rogue(swashbuckler).

Ki Pool replaces Evasion in the same way... well, that Ki Pool replaces Evasion. The Ki Pool is a unique and separate mechanic that is not a 1 for 1 replacement, and especially not for Evasion.

I didn't say it was balanced right yet. Just that it was an archetype.

Scarab Sages

I don't have any problem with more classes because 1) DM's don't have to include them in a campaign, and 2) player's don't have to play them. If something is entirely optional, then it's no burden to have it available if people want it. I love the APG--best non-core book ever!. The Oracle, Witch, Summoner, and Alchemist classes rock. (The Magus was a bit of a bust, since it's not much different from going Eldritch Knight PrC.) I'm very interested in the Gunslinger, since I want to include gunpowder weapons in my campaign. So, sure, toss us the occasional full class (or archetype). As a DM I like to have options for my campaign.

If people like it they can use it; if they don't then they can ignore it. Where's the problem?


Justin Franklin wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:

I think the biggest issue we are having right now is calling them alternate classes. If you tear apart the ninja, for example, it is really just a rogue archetype with a new big ability (ninja trick).

Poison Use replaces trapfinding.
Ki Pool replaces Evasion.
No Trace replaces Trap Sense.
Ninja Trick and Master Trick replace Rogue Talents and Advanced Talents.
Hidden Master replaces Master Strike.
And the class gains Light Step.

Samurai does the same thing with the Cavalier.

It's the reason that you can't take a level of rogue and then a level of ninja. It is no different then trying to take a level of rogue(thug) and then a level of rogue(swashbuckler).

Ki Pool replaces Evasion in the same way... well, that Ki Pool replaces Evasion. The Ki Pool is a unique and separate mechanic that is not a 1 for 1 replacement, and especially not for Evasion.
I didn't say it was balanced right yet. Just that it was an archetype.

I'd say introducing a new mechanic to the class then shoe-horning everything to fit TWO class unique mechanics - Ki Pool and Sneak Attack - into a single class template is not a very good way to go about archetype.

If they want to make a Ninja but are going to hold onto the "No more than one class can have X defining class ability," then Ninja needs to be a Rogue-Monk Prestige Class.


I guess I'm in the silent minority that really LIKES base classes. I'd rather have more base classes then anything else, as if there's a class that fits my concept I feel it's better then hobbling something together with feats/multiclassing to get what I want.

Just my 2 cents.


@ Cartigan: On the other hand, Archetypes should be a tool, not a limitation.

The class (IMHO) does a great job to represent what is meant to be represented.

Should them change it, if works so nicely, beacuse fit less into the archetype mechanics than others?


I like the new classes in the Advanced Player's Guide. I thought those were rock solid, and fit in nicely and they seem well balanced with the other core classes. My concerns tend to be two fold: new classes that erode the value of a prestige class and prestige classes that are inferior to what you could have if you remained with your single core class. If a character specializes with a prestige class, he or she should really experience the beneift of that specilization and keep them on par with the higher level core classes within their specialization, even if they're diminished in other ways. Most importantly, they must be effective in combat at higher levels. Combat is a big part of these sorts of adventure games. My loremaster's "+5 with researching library archives" does little good when facing a Pit Fiend and minions in the [b]actual[b]combat. The glut of previous prestige classes didn't do this very well. My players avoided prestige classes like they were Mummy's Rot.


Kaiyanwang wrote:

@ Cartigan: On the other hand, Archetypes should be a tool, not a limitation.

The class (IMHO) does a great job to represent what is meant to be represented.

Should them change it, if works so nicely, beacuse fit less into the archetype mechanics than others?

If you are going to have a system saying "These are not base classes," then some sort of concrete definition of why not should be used and adhered to.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:

I think the biggest issue we are having right now is calling them alternate classes. If you tear apart the ninja, for example, it is really just a rogue archetype with a new big ability (ninja trick).

Poison Use replaces trapfinding.
Ki Pool replaces Evasion.
No Trace replaces Trap Sense.
Ninja Trick and Master Trick replace Rogue Talents and Advanced Talents.
Hidden Master replaces Master Strike.
And the class gains Light Step.

Samurai does the same thing with the Cavalier.

It's the reason that you can't take a level of rogue and then a level of ninja. It is no different then trying to take a level of rogue(thug) and then a level of rogue(swashbuckler).

Ki Pool replaces Evasion in the same way... well, that Ki Pool replaces Evasion. The Ki Pool is a unique and separate mechanic that is not a 1 for 1 replacement, and especially not for Evasion.
I didn't say it was balanced right yet. Just that it was an archetype.

I'd say introducing a new mechanic to the class then shoe-horning everything to fit TWO class unique mechanics - Ki Pool and Sneak Attack - into a single class template is not a very good way to go about archetype.

If they want to make a Ninja but are going to hold onto the "No more than one class can have X defining class ability," then Ninja needs to be a Rogue-Monk Prestige Class.

I agree that the ki pool/ninja tricks combo makes this archetype overpowered right now. Maybe the ki pool needs to be change to ninjitsu pool and made to do less (Maybe just used to fuel ninja tricks).


W E Ray wrote:

It's an interesting question -- is glut/ bloat innevitable? -- but I don't really understand how.

It makes no sense to me why a company (Paizo, WotC A-Holes, whatever) HAS TO PUBLISH 100000000000000000 things every month or be dooooooomed to fail.

It's stupid, isn't it?

An AP every month . . . .
A Chronicle OR a Companion every quarter . . . .
A couple Scenarios every month . . . .
A Hardback every year.

What's wrong with that?

It's far less a burden to your consumers who want to buy your products.
It's far less a burden on your designers who have less creative torpor and more time to really develop the products.

I don't get it.

Maybe that's why you don't own a game company. Why don't you open up your own game company and just release a few things every month? Call it "Weray".

Silver Crusade

I'm in the camp that's concerned about class bloat, but on second inspection, that's not what's happening here. The three "classes" in the playtest really are archetypes for the Fighter, Cavalier, and Rogue respectively. It's confusing a lot of people because they are presented as full classes, presumably for ease of reference, and given Iconic illustrations. The issue here, then is how well do these archetypes work compared to others of their own base classes. That's the purpose of the playtest. Go play them.

Liberty's Edge

Cartigan wrote:
If you are going to have a system saying "These are not base classes," then some sort of concrete definition of why not should be used and adhered to.

Carty - the thing is, while your statement above is true, it is in no way worth getting as worked up as you have been about it. It's just...not. The distinction is arbitrary, which indeed seems to be your whole point, except that you're kind of focusing on the part of "arbitrary" that means "random" and ignoring the part of "arbitrary" that's defined as "meaningless, or virtually so".

It's just...really not worth a lot of discussion.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled program.


Personally, I would like the new base classes more if they actually were base classes. I didn't like the "alternate class" concept for the Anti-Paladin, although in that case it actually fit the class. The Ultimate Combat classes feel like base classes, so it seems strange to me that they aren't.

If they're going to continue to be "alternate classes" though, something more should set them apart than a single easy-to-miss line in the otherwise-only-fluff "Role" section of the class writeup.

Grand Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:
This is RPG industry .... you can't just stroke your belly ....

Sure, that's the conceit.

I just don't see why.

It seems the perfect release schedule would be an issue of Dungeon per month, an issue of Dragon per month and a hardback per year. And since WotC killed that (along with D&D), an AP every month, a softback every quarter, and a hardback every year.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Jeremiziah wrote:

Since this thread seems to have (in the first page, anyway, I didn't read beyond that) moved toward a referendum on the topic, here's my vote:

Keep making great roleplaying products, Paizo. Make as damn many of them as you want to. Just don't sacrifice quality (APG editorial issues, I'm looking at you).

I concur with J's thought here. I am enjoying the options that the APG provided and what I imagine will be present in UM and UC. I do not see them as damaging to the game.

With that said, it would be nice, now, to have some time, after UC comes out, to absorb the various options and such. With that in mind, I think I like the sort of publishing schedule DM mentioned above, or perhaps just a great length of time before new rules options are presented. So for example, the next two rules hardbacks could be a bestiary and epic rules, or psionics, etc. I take epic and psionics to be sub-systems, and not in the same category as APG/UM/UC.

There probably is a rules saturation point, and we will most likely be there once UC comes out.

As a side note, it seems like a collective breath needs to be taken, and everyone needs to keep in mind that regardless of your position, we are talking about human beings.

Cheers!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
W E Ray wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
This is RPG industry .... you can't just stroke your belly ....

Sure, that's the conceit.

I just don't see why.

It seems the perfect relese schedule would be an issue of Dungeon per month, an issue of Dragonper month and a hardback per year. And since WotC killed that (along with D&D), an AP every month, a softback every quarter, and a hardback every year.

So the first thing they should do is fire at least half of the staff?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
W E Ray wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
This is RPG industry .... you can't just stroke your belly ....

Sure, that's the conceit.

I just don't see why.

It seems the perfect relese schedule would be an issue of Dungeon per month, an issue of Dragonper month and a hardback per year. And since WotC killed that (along with D&D), an AP every month, a softback every quarter, and a hardback every year.

Except at the time, WotC was doing the heavylifting of publishing the ruleset, allowing Paizo to do the two mags a month. Now Paizo has to publish the ruleset, which requires a lot more work maintaining than two magazines of bonus content.


Vic Wertz wrote:

....I think that if the only classes that we ever put out were the ones in the Core Rulebook, most people would start getting bored with the current edition after playing the core classes they like a time or two each. And since much of our audience had been playing 3.5 versions of those classes for years already, some folks would probably get bored after just playing the two or three classes that they though we improved the most in their Pathfinder RPG incarnations. (Frankly, I'd probably count myself in that latter group.)

I think that the classes we introduced in the APG, and the ones we're introducing in the two Ultimate books, actually serve to keep a high interest level in the current edition, because they give experienced players new textures to explore in the context of the current system. Essentially, they add to the "replay value" of the game. I personally estimate that these new classes will extend the life of the current edition for the average player by nearly two years—more for some, less for others, of course—and by the time most players are tired of those classes, we'll have released some other new options that will extend the life of the current edition even further...

Vic:

Please excuse my butting in on the conversation you were having with another poster here, but some of the things which you wrote caught my attention.
Do I understand correctly that you're saying that it's industry wisdom that most players of D&D/PFRPG 'type' games play them principally to have the experience of using a character which does mechanical things which no character that they've used before does?
I enquire since it seems at variance with my own play experience during 2nd Edition, so what you seemed to me to be saying somewhat surprised me - but I fully appreciate I may just have been in a minority situation/group (or failed some Wisdom checks) there.

Grand Lodge

Justin Franklin wrote:
So the first thing they should do is fire at least half of the staff?

I dunno if it's necessary, here, but if it is, sure, yeah.

You need a handful of editors and developers to publish an AP every month. Paizo has a handful of editors and developers.

Unless the AP doesn't make enough revenue to pay those salaries (and overhead), why push the workload of the editors and developers?

I think the reason the mags were the "best" thing in the industry (assuming that's a sound premise) was because non-employees submitted the material for publication. Editors and developers make the submissions into the product.

I certainly don't know business, like someone implied, I'm NOT able to run "Ray's RPG Publishing Company." But I do know fine arts -- if a publisher's editers and developers are working on lots of projects at once, each project is more likely to get watered down. Additionally, if the same editors and developers are alos designing everything, sooner or later creative torpor is gonna set in.


It seems to me that the biggest hangup so far seems to be the presentation. Emphasize that these are "variations" and not "all-new classes" and a lot of this kerfluffle will go away.

-The Gneech

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Except at the time, WotC was doing the heavylifting of publishing the ruleset, allowing Paizo to do the two mags a month.

I thought about this and I have to admit, I have no knowledge or experience on what that really implies.

But let me posit this -- especially since it screams of the OP:

Once you have the "ruleset": the Corebook (maybe an occassional 2nd rulebook such as the APG), why must a company continue to develop more of the ruleset, leading inevitably to bloat/ glut?

I don't understand what it is that I'm missing.

We have the Core and the APG -- isn't that sufficient material for the APs and occassional Chronicle and Companion? Sure, once every couple years a hardback or softback can introduce a new Class or PrC -- the "Magus," for example.

But in a span of 12 months we'll have the new classes from APG, the Magus, and now the new Classes from the UC. And like Vic said, we're in the beginning of the new edition!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
W E Ray wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
So the first thing they should do is fire at least half of the staff?

I dunno if it's necessary, here, but if it is, sure, yeah.

You need a handful of editors and developers to publish an AP every month. Paizo has a handful of editors and developers.

Unless the AP doesn't make enough revenue to pay those salaries (and overhead), why push the workload of the editors and developers?

I think the reason the mags were the "best" thing in the industry (assuming that's a sound premise) was because non-employees submitted the material for publication. Editors and developers make the submissions into the product.

I certainly don't know business, like someone implied, I'm NOT able to run "Ray's RPG Publishing Company." But I do know fine arts -- if a publisher's editers and developers are working on lots of projects at once, each project is more likely to get watered down. Additionally, if the same editors and developers are alos designing everything, sooner or later creative torpor is gonna set in.

First off much of what Paizo releases is already being written by freelancers. Second, you are asking Paizo to go from releasing roughly 39 books (12 APs, 12 Campaign Setting, 6 Companions, 6 Adventures, and 3 Rulebooks) a year (with a lot of anticipation for most if not all of their products) to releasing 17 books a year. To do that Paizo would have to let go at least half of their staff.

Shadow Lodge

lastknightleft wrote:
What's funny is that I don't have a problem with new classes per se, as I've tried to get across from the begining, I have a problem with the rate at which they've been coming.

This. It's all coming just a bit too fast, although I am encouraged by the fact that Mr. Jacobs said that they don't really plan on any more "player options" type books for quite a while beyond Ultimate Combat. I can understand the desire to get out all the base classes they want to make early, since that way they can begin to show them support in subsequent releases, which I hope will happen.

I haven't really had a chance to go though the new classes extensively yet, but I do think that both the ninja and the cavalier could easily have been achieved by a simple archetype, if not a simple re-fluffing. The gunslinger is one that I think should be different enough to merit it's own base class.

But I still want a steampunk/mad scientist/inventor/Tesla-esque class at some point. I started to create my own, but have been pretty busy at work as of late.

Liberty's Edge

Justin Franklin wrote:


First off much of what Paizo releases is already being written by freelancers. Second, you are asking Paizo to go from releasing roughly 39 books (12 APs, 12 Campaign Setting, 6 Companions, 6 Adventures, and 3 Rulebooks) a year (with a lot of anticipation for most if not all of their products) to releasing 17 books a year. To do that Paizo would have to let go at least half of their staff.

Seconded. Even then unless they are in they are losing major amounts of money why would they. I'm sure getting the person being laid off is going to be thrilled to be told it's being done because a minority of the fanbase do not want rules bloat.

Elorebaen wrote:

As a side note, it seems like a collective breath needs to be taken, and everyone needs to keep in mind that regardless of your position, we are talking about human beings.

Cheers!

I know what you are saying yet in my case it just thay it keeps happening everytime a product with new rules is released. Hearing "new rules the sky is falling, Paizo is doomed and turning into a Wotc clone etc." is just annoying after awhile. For example lets say Paiz releases in 2012 Ultimate Piety and they tell the fanabse way ahead of time it eill have similar classes to UC the same damn negatvity will pop up again. How many times does one need to be told if yiu do not like new rules not to buy them.


Cartigan wrote:


If you are going to have a system saying "These are not base classes," then some sort of concrete definition of why not should be used and adhered to.

If i catch it correctly, you fear (justified by previous edition) some alternate classes become so different they take less support.

Well, it depends from how the classes are designed. Samurai, say, takes challenges and fighter feats - so everything supporting cavalier and fighter feats will work for him. Same for Ninja - sneak attack, uncanny dodge, has talents, has ki points - a belt bossting Ki bost both Monk and Ninja.

Moreover, I fear this view, even if legitimate, is too conservative to allow a proper evolution of the game. You cannot be sure you can improve things if you don't take the road of trying new mechanics. You cannot oppose change, change is necessary.

*gates a protean to validate his thesis*


Kaiyanwang wrote:
Cartigan wrote:


If you are going to have a system saying "These are not base classes," then some sort of concrete definition of why not should be used and adhered to.

If i catch it correctly, you fear (justified by previous edition) some alternate classes become so different they take less support.

Well, it depends from how the classes are designed. Samurai, say, takes challenges and fighter feats - so everything supporting cavalier and fighter feats will work for him. Same for Ninja - sneak attack, uncanny dodge, has talents, has ki points - a belt bossting Ki bost both Monk and Ninja.

Moreover, I fear this view, even if legitimate, is too conservative to allow a proper evolution of the game. You cannot be sure you can improve things if you don't take the road of trying new mechanics. You cannot oppose change, change is necessary.

*gates a protean to validate his thesis*

The problem isn't not introducing new mechanics - it's the official tact they are taking. I don't like the "full class but not a class" system. I fear alternate classes won't be supported BECAUSE they are alternate classes instead of full base classes which the community might be able to whip up enough tars and feathers to keep getting support for. But if the "alternate" classes aren't distinguishable from full base classes at a casual glance, then classes are going to lose support.

But moreover, perhaps the problem is the Archetype system vs the "Alternate" class system. Archetypes are great, but once you expand them to full classes, you have created full classes with less options because they can't take the archetypes since they "are" archetypes. I just don't like the entire bent to the "alternate" class get up.

Grand Lodge

lastknightleft wrote:


What's funny is that I don't have a problem with new classes per se, as I've tried to get across from the begining, I have a problem with the rate at which they've been coming. Even though they encompass three years product lines, they release in a span that is less than two years. As I said in my OP thats 10 classes in less than 2 years added to the game. I don't necessarily think that 10 classes added to the game is a problem, but if every two years 5-10 classes comes out then IMO that's bloat. By expressing my concerns now there's a higher likelyhood that the pace of new classes slows, rather then just not buying products at all.

The thing you have to remember though is that Paizo mentioned, specifically James Jacobs, that they are trying to tow the line of how much they are releasing and when to prevent the gloat that people are decrying. I personally think that so far the classes and books they have released thus far are fine and I truly enjoy them to the point where they are allowed in my game in full. That is the beauty of being a DM, YOU get to choose what is or not allowed in your game personally.

For those that say you should not have to disallow rules is ludicrous, because not all rules are going to be for everyone, that is impossible. The only way that you as a player/DM would allow for everything in a book that comes out and to be 100% satisfied with each and every book is to write the book/rules yourself. Until then we hope and pray for the best that Paizo has to offer.


W E Ray wrote:


I thought about this and I have to admit, I have no knowledge or experience on what that really implies.

But let me posit this -- especially since it screams of the OP:

Once you have the "ruleset": the Corebook (maybe an occassional 2nd rulebook such as the APG), why must a company continue to develop more of the ruleset, leading inevitably to bloat/ glut?

I don't understand what it is that I'm missing.

We have the Core and the APG -- isn't that sufficient material for the APs and occassional Chronicle and Companion? Sure, once every couple years a hardback or softback can introduce a new Class or PrC -- the "Magus," for example.

But in a span of 12 months we'll have the new classes from APG, the Magus, and now the new Classes from the UC. And like Vic said, we're in the beginning of the new edition!

The simple fact of the matter is that crunch sells. I don't know the exact percentages but I suspect the user bases are as follows

PFRPG User Base > or possible = AP User Base > Golarion Fluff User Base.

Now in theory now that they have a core ruleset out they could freeze the codebase so to speak and focus all of their resources on APs/Modules/Setting Fluff but I suspect that they would be a smaller company, have lower profits, and employ less people.

Keep in mind that while a lot of designers develop games in their spare time with low production values and reasonably low production costs, Paizo has set very high standards in terms of the quality of the rules and the production values. I'm not sure that it's possible to pursue a model where you focus exclusively on APs and Setting Material while maintaining those same production values. I'm just not sure the demand exists to make that a profitable business model.

The TSR 2e model of design (largely static ruleset, metric boatload of setting fluff) just doesn't seem to be a sustainable pattern anymore. This is unfortunate but seems to be largely accurate. People simple demand much more crunch in their RPG diet than previous generations.

Liberty's Edge

I also do no think PFRP as an rpg should or can even remotely remain static and the same forever. Like everything else the people who designed or developed the rpg are going to improve on it. You may not agree with new stuff being added yet it will not and imo should not stopped being developed.

Scarab Sages

I look forward to more classes (base or otherwise). I like having options. I like having lots of feats/spells to choose from. I like reading RPG books. (for whatever game)

If you don't like something don't use it. It's your game.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

These new classes are going to take up what, 20 pages at most? That's around 6% of a 320 page book. Isn't it possible that the other 94% of the book will contain material that the "no new classes" crowd will like?

Paizo's customers have been asking for Ninja and Samurai since day 1. A fair number of them have also been asking for gun rules. The game is always going to grow to cover niches people are interested in.

So my question for the people who don't want new classes is, what do you want in new rule books? How much of that will also be in the new Ultimate books?

As for the pace of rules, Paizo feels just about right to me. Compare a shelf of 4E rulebooks to a shelf of Pathfinder rulebooks from the same timespan. If anything Paizo's rules expansion feel slightly sluggish, which probably actually means it is a near perfect balance.

Grand Lodge

vuron wrote:
Crunch sells.

I guess that's the answer.

If it's true, and I suspect you're right, it makes for an interesting conundrum -- crunch sells; more crunch leads to bloat/ glut and unbalancining; bloat/ glut and unbalanced Classes lead to disgruntled customers.

Ah well.


Crunch is where the books are.
If you are just writing fluff, release novels.


Vic Wertz wrote:

bugleyman,

I had to leave on a set schedule last night, so i didn't have time to respond to one of your comments in the fashion I wanted to. Now that I've got some more time...

You claim that new classes "hasten the arrival of the inevitable new edition."

I believe that exactly the opposite is true.

First of all, we need to raise the question of how Paizo will figure out when it's time to do a new edition. To be honest, right now, we don't really have the answer to that question. It's far enough in the future that it's not on anyone's radar. As far as we're concerned, we're still getting *this* edition started. However, I think there's a strong probability that one of the leading indicators that will trigger serious discussion of a new edition will be when our audience starts asking for it.

I think that if the only classes that we ever put out were the ones in the Core Rulebook, most people would start getting bored with the current edition after playing the core classes they like a time or two each. And since much of our audience had been playing 3.5 versions of those classes for years already, some folks would probably get bored after just playing the two or three classes that they though we improved the most in their Pathfinder RPG incarnations. (Frankly, I'd probably count myself in that latter group.)

I think that the classes we introduced in the APG, and the ones we're introducing in the two Ultimate books, actually serve to keep a high interest level in the current edition, because they give experienced players new textures to explore in the context of the current system. Essentially, they add to the "replay value" of the game. I personally estimate that these new classes will extend the life of the current edition for the average player by nearly two years—more for some, less for others, of course—and by the time most players are tired of those classes, we'll have released some other new options that will extend the life of the current edition even further.

Vic:

Thanks for coming back and clarifying. I do appreciate it, and you raised some good points. Please rest assured that I very happy to even be able to have these discussions, even if the outcome isn't always the one I'd necessarily prefer.

As to our earlier exchange, I'm sorry that I inferred something other than you intended.

--Aaron

On a more general note, I believe it would be in everyone's best interest to stop calling the other side whiners. Rather, pause to consider their point of view. A good rule of thumb is if you're typing a snarky one-liner, you probably don't really understand (or don't care to understand) the other guy's POV.


Cartigan wrote:


The problem isn't not introducing new mechanics - it's the official tact they are taking. I don't like the "full class but not a class" system. I fear alternate classes won't be supported BECAUSE they are alternate classes instead of full base classes which the community might be able to whip up enough tars and feathers to keep getting support for. But if the "alternate" classes aren't distinguishable from full base classes at a casual glance, then classes are going to lose support.

I think this is a valid concern but it depends from how different tey are (see above) and the stance paizo will take in this regard.

Quote:


But moreover, perhaps the problem is the Archetype system vs the "Alternate" class system. Archetypes are great, but once you expand them to full classes, you have created full classes with less options because they can't take the archetypes since they "are" archetypes. I just don't like the entire bent to the "alternate" class get up.

Why less options? At worst, you have created more specialization and an edge in that specific thing (thinking about Core TH fighter vs APG TH fighter, bring different examples so I understand).


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
W E Ray wrote:
vuron wrote:
Crunch sells.

I guess that's the answer.

If it's true, and I suspect you're right, it makes for an interesting conundrum -- crunch sells; more crunch leads to bloat/ glut and unbalancining; bloat/ glut and unbalanced Classes lead to disgruntled customers.

Ah well.

I think most of us have been trained to assume that bloat/glut makes the game unbalanced (which it has done in every previous edition). The real issue may be can Paizo continue to release new crunch, without unbalancing the game. If they can do that we may have a much different opinion of their continued releases from this point forward. And for the record Ninja tricks and Ki pool are too powerful.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I feel the need to bump in and mention that I am perfectly fine with the addition of new classes, feats, spells, prestige classes, alternate classes, archetypes, new rules, etc. To me the problem isn't bloat, to me the problem is balance. I personally loved combing through 4-5 books to find "just the right feat" that I wanted for my character in 3.5. The problem to me is the arms race and balance. So long as new material is thoroughly playtested and balanced I *want* more choices, more classes, etc.

Vic is absolutely right in my case in that I need more options to keep the current Pathfinder edition going for me longer and longer until we see Pathfinder 2.0.


James Jacobs wrote:
The topic of "class bloat" is (and has been for some time) something we've been wrestling with and talking about for a while now. Feedback from the playtests is certainly going to help us come to terms with the question, and more to the point, inform us as to whether or not we've hit the saturation point for full classes (be they called base, core, or alternate... it's all the same).

Base Core

Classes 11
Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rouge, Sorcerer and Wizard

APG 6
Alchemist, Clavier, Inquisitor, Oracle, Summoner and Witch

UMB 1
Magus

UCB 3
Sharp Shooter, Ninja, Samurai

That is 21 Classes in roughly 2 years. These folks make money by selling us ideas that there job. That roughly 10.5 per year

WoTC did 52 in 5 years roughly 10.4 per year.

I do not think it that many. I like food but do not eat every thing off the menu at restaurant (it may look like I do although).

If really want to smash thing down there are only 4 classes. And every thing so far is sub type class of them.

Cleric ie Divine
Cleric Sub type Druid, Oracle, Paladin, Ranger, Inquisitor

Fighter ie Fighting
Fighter Sub Type Barbarian, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Clavier, Magus, Sharp Shooter Samurai

Rouge ie Skill
Rouge type Bard Alchemist, Inquisitor, Ranger, Ninja, Monk

Wizard ie Arcane
Wizard Type Bard, Sorcerer Alchemist, Summoner, Witch, Magus

Some may over lap but it still just variance on 4 basic themes.

Mine thought on Path Finder idea system

Basic Idea level 1
Item, Spell, and Trait

Bigger Idea level 2
Feats

Bigger Idea level 3
Template/ Archetype/ Prestige Class for some thing else Ie Monster, Class, Race (Item maybe)

Bigger Idea level 4
New Class, New Race, New Monster, New Magic System (ie Words of Power) New combat System ( Ie new combat maneuvers ie steal, dirty fighting, reposition . ect)

Bigger Idea level 5
Adventure path, Setting, Race guide , Faction type thing

If you like there idea great buy them if do sorry do not. They give us an insane amount for free. All look at it the list: The Pathfinder Reference Document, Adventure path player guides, Trait Guide, Play tests.

Please stop complaining about a free lunch.


I think it needs to be kept in mind that there are really two types of gamers: casual & hardcore. The latter may well like more & more stuff, but the former, the casual gamer, finds more & more stuff intimidating, and possibly a turn off. The more complicated the rules become and the more 'options' there are for building characters, the more difficult it will be for the two types to mix.

Just my thoughts, take 'em or leave 'em.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Billzabub wrote:

I think it needs to be kept in mind that there are really two types of gamers: casual & hardcore. The latter may well like more & more stuff, but the former, the casual gamer, finds more & more stuff intimidating, and possibly a turn off. The more complicated the rules become and the more 'options' there are for building characters, the more difficult it will be for the two types to mix.

Just my thoughts, take 'em or leave 'em.

I'd actually say there's three categories.

Casual, hardcore for rules, and hardcore for roleplay. I know plenty of gamers who game multiple times a week and buy lots of game stuff but really don't have that much of an interest in maximizing PCs or numbercrunching the best characters. They enjoy the roleplaying or social aspect of the game MUCH more. And since they're buying libraries of game books and playing multiple times a week... I would hardly call them "casual." I actually would count myself in the hardcore roleplayer category.


I feel that I have to address the argument that people are just voicing their opinion. The problem is, regardless of your opinion, your really starting to ruin my fun.

I'm all for you having your own opinion and voicing it. You have a right and it is constructive, but we see these type of arguments against new races/classes/alternative classes on a weekly basis. After awhile it feels like your arguing against a brick wall. There is only so many time you can raise the same argument over and over again until it starts annoying others. I like these options some people don't, but coming here and reading these post constantly, well for me it's just getting old. Let me put this in explicit terms.

Your never going to convince me that your play style is superior to mine. I've been playing this game long enough to know what I like and don't like, and I'm fine with new classes/races/everything as long as its well thought out and balanced. Which it has been so far, and I don't believe that class bloat exists, to me it's a myth.

Now I'm purposely not addressing this anyone in particular so it applies to anyone who is offended by what I'm about write.

Stop ruining my fun, I'm tired of having your opinion shoved down my throat. I will play the game that I want to play. Don't ever assume you know what I want to play better then me. If the game stops producing the material I like I will move on to another game. This is really starting to become insipid, much like a small child whining after it realized it's not getting what it wants. Just let it end, your all ruining the fun.


Billzabub wrote:

I think it needs to be kept in mind that there are really two types of gamers: casual & hardcore. The latter may well like more & more stuff, but the former, the casual gamer, finds more & more stuff intimidating, and possibly a turn off. The more complicated the rules become and the more 'options' there are for building characters, the more difficult it will be for the two types to mix.

Just my thoughts, take 'em or leave 'em.

Analysis Paralysis is going to be a problem in any game with an expansive number of options.

Rules Bloat undeniably leads to increased analysis paralysis especially when not every option is functionally equivalent to every other option. You simply have to either maintain a big knowledge base containing all the game rule options and then tailor that to your concept or each time you build a character or add a new feat or feature you need to scan through books looking at various options and hope that you don't stumble into a trap option.

Fortunately Paizo has largely eliminated one of the most common forms of complexity in 3.x when they developed PF. PrCs contributed a huge amount of rules bloat and more importantly increased analysis paralyis.

At each level of a base class there is really only so many options available to the PC. Feat selection can take some time but for the most part familiarity with a concept can make feat selection moderately straightforward.

Multi-classing and PrCs significantly change that paradigm because there is now a huge host of potential options to choose from at each decision point (level). This increases the option set to a massive degree and pretty much dictates that people follow in the footsteps of optimizers that came before. This means that only people with serious system knowledge really can manage to isolate optimum from mediocre and poor options.

By incentivizing base classes and neglecting PrCs Paizo is actually doing casual player a great service because they increase options in a more bounded manner than the exponential increase that arises from PrCs.

Casual gamers like options, they don't like having to guess between a good option and a bad option. If Paizo can limit the differential between good options and bad options while increasing the number of options that players can choose from it's all good.


bugleyman wrote:
Michael Miller 36 wrote:
see wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The topic of "class bloat" is (and has been for some time) something we've been wrestling with and talking about for a while now. Feedback from the playtests is certainly going to help us come to terms with the question, and more to the point, inform us as to whether or not we've hit the saturation point for full classes (be they called base, core, or alternate... it's all the same).

Here's some feedback:

The oracle filled a mechanical gap, the magus (with an overly-complicated pool mechanic) patches a gap. The antipaladin squeaks through due to gaming tradition. The alchemist is at least its own niche. The cavalier, inquisitor, summoner, and witch base classes are pure bloat and should never have been published, and there is no need whatsoever for gunslinger, ninja, or samurai (the last being bloat upon bloat).

So stop already.

+1
+2

-1

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