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


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Liberty's Edge

vuron wrote:

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...

This is an outstanding take on the issue.

I applaud your insight, and I can't find anything to argue on this notion.

It actually speaks to me.

For the record, I categorize myself similar to what James J. described his stle: Hardcore Roleplayer. And like you suggested, I don't like having to choose between those options, and I don't like the MMO style of following the optimizers footpaths set before them simply becasue it's the most bang for the buck.

Robert


vuron wrote:
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...

I have to agree with this. I remember my first campaign that got past level 5. My DM was very lax on what can be used and what can't. He simply said "you can use any book that I have here" as I stared at his bookcase filled with basically all of the FR books, the entire complete series, and a few 3pp. That is immensely overwhelming for a rookie, especially one who likes to optimize. It took me several days to finally simply go what the hell I'll just go with this build. Granted that it still went through 5 different PrCs by time it got to level 20 with a level of swordsage tacked on at the end. That wasn't the end of it either. He ruled that only PHB spells would be readily available at shops (was playing a wizard), so when level up time came around I naturally wanted to sift through a dozen books in addition to the spell conpendium for my spells. Yes, I enjoyed to an extent the whole process because I learned the complete mage book like the back of my hand. This also caused me to enjoy the simplicity of PF when I eventually saw it. Granted working through a summoner was still a work out; but the fact that I don't have to sift through 12 books looking at least 100 different PrC's, juggling prereqs and feats, then double checking to make sure it was legit and still did what I wanted was a relief.


Vic Wertz wrote:

Folks,

These three classes *will* appear in Ultimate Combat—that's not open for discussion. Your feedback will help us determine the exact form they take—whether they're presented as full class writeups, alternate classes, or archetypes, or perhaps even something else entirely.

After that? We honestly don't have a lot of things after that that we feel need to be treated as full classes (at least, not without being hooked up to significantly new mechanical concepts such as psionics). I'm not promising we won't *ever* do more classes after this—we certainly reserve that right—but we don't currently have concrete plans for *any* new classes after Ultimate Combat.

Kay i haven't finished reading the thread, but I think this comment address what would be the core of any "bloat" concern that I personally may have. I mostly skipped 3.x before pathfinder, but it seems to me that it had an unwieldy number of base classes by the time wizards stopped publishing it. Knowing there is an informal cutoff point reassures me. I also can see why presenting these new options as alternate base classes would be the best middle of the road option for a playtest. I also don't want to end up with 40 classes. (archtypes of classes don't bother me as much since these seem more like tweaks and hopefully the fact that you're swapping something will serve as a balance for power creep.) The other thing that worries me is that when APG was in playtesting, i got the feeling that the message was these 6 and no more for awhile. I may have been misinterpreting what I was hearing from Paizo (no I can't think of any specific person or thread where that was said). having said that these new options interest me, but I sincerely hope the company will exercise caution in the development and addition of new full classes. I hope my rambling makes sense.


Kortz wrote:
... engines of bloat rumbling in the distance.

That would be a good name for a rock band...

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Alizor wrote:

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.

+10

Having run a campaign for years, I like the variety of 3.5e a lot, and am glad that Pathfinder is starting to have the same variety of options.

For the folks who don't want the options, I don't understand what's stopping them from merely not buying the books.

From what I can see, there aren't many subscribers in the "hey, publish less stuff" camp - which should be a rather telling statistic. It's only the subscribers who "have" to buy the stuff - everyone else can pick and choose as they wish.

I want more stuff. I like having lots of options. I just want it to avoid the power escalation of the later WoTC 3.5e stuff. Increased power should come with advancement, not by taking a level in a more powerful dip class.


Hey all, just going to toss some thoughts into the pot. These are kind of free flowing, so I'll probably ramble quite a bit, sorry for that in advance.

When the switch over from 3.5 to PF was going, the impression I got was, that it was a "necessary evil". That was, Paizo wanted to continue to put out the type of gaming product they enjoyed. The rules were no longer officially supported, thus new rules had to be brought in to (1)give new players game material, (2)replace old/damage books, and (3)produce enough incentive for people to retire their old books to purchase the new ones to make the printing cost effective (which 1 and 2 by themselves probably wouldn't have). So the RPG was the engine for continuing to produce the gaming products (AP, modules, etc), not an end in itself, originally.

Now of course, Paizo, seeing that they had to do this "necessary evil", decided that if they were going to do it, they were going to do it well and so didn't just tweak the rules a little on the edges but did serious revision to them. The result, a fan based that was overjoyed and excited about the "new system" and abandon their old one with.

Now it should be noted that a fair number of fans, liked the new system precisely because it was limited in scope. These fans have been fatigued by the overwhelming options and the optimization involved and saw this as a chance to reset the clock. To work with a smaller set, and despite the backwards compatibility, they whole heartedly abandoned all the previous material for this "slimmer" rule set.

Now we see this rule set "putting on some pounds/kg", and those fans are understandable annoyed, because they are quickly (or at least they perceive it to be quickly) heading into the option/rule density they left the previous rule set for.

"So don't buy it if you don't like it.", is a certain common answer. And certainly there is some logic, if douche-baggery, to it. Yet I think some have missed some of the discussion in this thread. That is, this all of this material will not be necessarily isolated only to these exact products. But some of the material will make it into other game products, products that these customers have purchased in the past and/or would have purchased in the future. As, has been pointed out, most if not all of that will be available in the prd, to which I applaud Paizo for. Still it does mean that these new options/rules will have to be interacted with by some, even if they have tried to avoid them, if they purchase those other products.

So why the expanse in rules?
(A)Because rules have to evolve. Well, yes, but that means that it is only natural to assume that they are probably going to evolve to another edition. The faster that evolution takes place, the faster that new edition approaches.

(B)Players get bored with current choices. Yes, that is certainly true. And it is perhaps an unfortunate side effect of the arise of PF. PF grew out of 3.5, which means that while many rules did change, the fundamental feel didn't. Which is a good thing in many ways, but this player boredom is the down side of that. If you had been burnt out on playing, say, rogues in 3.5. Well you might have given a PF rogue a shot, but very likely you would have quickly grown born of it after exploring the shinny new bells and whistles. Now this means that PF already has less "burn out" time, then it would have if it was something 100% fresh and new. So, new material should be introduced to keep the interest, but at what speed.

Think about this, say I give a child all of its birthday and christmas presents at the same time, while this keep the child passive for the entire year? No, because the fact that you gave the child a lot at one time doesn't stop them from getting bored, it may just take them a little longer to get bored initially, but now they are going to be bored the entire rest of the year. Now, let's say instead I spread these out over the entire year (not necessarily telling the child this). The child will then get excited for a time, then grow bored, get a new toy, grow excited for a time, then get bored, get a new toy , ... This slower distribution actually give the child more satisfaction in the long run, but not necessarily in the short run.

(C)People need to be employed. This is a bit strange of an argument. I believe that more staff were hired to do more work on the RPG. Thus more RPG material has to be produced in order to keep the increased staff hired? That seems a bit circular there. Obviously if you didn't produce a lot more RPG material, you wouldn't necessarily need a lot more staff to produce it.

Now it was asked/stated, if you could have this additional staff, and could successfully produce and sell additional material, why in the world wouldn't you? Seems to be kind of obvious, you should right. Well, maybe. There are possibly downsides to it. Sometimes it is actually better for the long term health of an endeavor to not try to do the most you can at any one time. That is because you can actually "hyper-inflate" your product to the point that it starts to lose real value. Like in the kid/toy comment above, by slowing down the production, you might actually increase the long term health of the endeavor.

Now, let me clear. I am not claiming that Paizo is producing PF material too quickly. Merely that there may be reasons why speed is something to consider. "front-end loading" your design isn't always the best idea for long term growth (not that Paizo is necessarily "front-end loading").

I think the real issue some fans haven't quite come to terms with is, originally the PFRPG was a bit of a "necessary evil", something to keep the other stuff going. It has evolved from that and now is its own goal within itself. Some of these fans are looking at it from the perspective of "you don't really need that for these other things", instead of realizing that it has moved beyond that. Paizo and PF is not just about stories/adventures anymore, it has moved to a full RPG company and embraced that, no longer is the RPG a "necessary evil" but instead a "desired good".


gbonehead wrote:
For the folks who don't want the options, I don't understand what's stopping them from merely not buying the books.

As has already been said, one of the main concerns, at least for me, is bleed through to other products. For example, this month your APG spells got in my Pathfinder. What will it be next month?

Quite simply, there is inherent tension between the "always want more everywhere" camp and the "would like to ignore crunch books beyond the core" camp. I understand and accept that I'm in the minority, but if you really don't understand why some people have concerns, then I have to conclude you're (1) Catching the tail end of the thread, or (2) Being willfully ignorant.

Sovereign Court

Ismellmonkey wrote:


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.

Except for two things. 1) its not the same people who make threads again and again every time a book comes out. If you can find one other thread where I've complained about rules bloat or that paizo should slow down the release of a certain thing. What you're saying is that since collectively different people expressing what they don't like about something paizo is doing is ruining your fun, no one should get to express their negative opinion. Class bloat is a concern for me, if it's not a concern for you, then what you can do, is not go into a thread titled "class bloat, it's happening and i hate it" since you know it will be a detriment to your fun. I don't like the silly threads in OTD boards, I like going there to discuss current events and find out other gamers views on heated subjects, but I'm not going into silly OTD threads saying, you guys need to stop because collectively you're ruining my fun.

2) these threads do have an effect on what direction paizo takes, because the designers care what we think about their products and I love them for that. If I express a concern, but I get a ton of people saying that it's not the case then Paizo sees that I'm a lone gun and while they may consider my criticisms valid, they need to cater to their larger audience. But if enough people agree then they take a step back and say, ok we've heard you and we're making changes. I am a massively loyal paizite because of this. The fact that I know they take my concerns seriously and thoughtfully respond is what keeps me coming here. If I couldn't express my negative opinions here, when I express plenty of positive ones, then like 3.5 I would eventually start looking at other companies. I was here before the release of 4E and the PRPG because the feeling that WotC didn't listen to their loyal customers and just kept pushing out products when people were asking for things that weren't getting produced even though lots of people wanted them, drove me away and I found this place and haven't strayed since.


pres man wrote:
Stuff that demonstrates he's actually bothered to understand both sides.

Thank you.

Now if everyone promises to stop posting "just don't buy the books," I promise to stay out of the thread. :)

Liberty's Edge

Now for a bit of reality:

First - my gut response to LK's original post was that it defined my stand completely. I have always felt this way. As a DM I never used "splat book" material - only used the original core releases.

As I read the posts here, a number of things occured to me that may or may not have occured to others.

I started to fear the change, the releases, and the possible (plausible) imminent eventual change in editions.

I wondered why this was. I think (and I believe this would apply to many others if you allow yourself the chance to step back and see the truth) that many of us devoutedly touted and praised Paizo and Pathfinder during the edition wars. Part of our mantra was that we did not *need* these 'splat' books. That Paizo did not or would not need to release any such things. The Core Rules changed the core classes enough so that such things weren't needed. Even the APG was easily adapted and integrated. But ultimately the release of all the great fluff, or Golaron player/campaign material and of course the great APs and Modules, meant that rules do not need to expanded upon - and thus would not follow the WotC format that we all damned and ostracized. I wonder if we now fear that we will look like fools, with a bit of egg on our faces and forced to each crow in the face of 4e / WotC fans - and that is underlying our need to be negatory towards all the expansions.

That being said - the reality is that Paizo is a company that needs to find means of being profitiable for sustainability. It is the lack of sustainability and the lack of expansion I believe would lead to a drop in sales which ultimately would speed up the process of needing a new edition (not the other way around). Of course by expanding you run the risk of "breking" it and thus needing a new edition anyways. It's a horrible catch 22. I have faith that the MO shown to us by Paizo historically proves that they care NOT to allow this to happen -- and the bottom line profit is NOT their only concern - and thus will take proper measures, open playtesting etc to ensure that though it is inevitable (needed or wanted aside), it will at least be done with a minimal chance of disrupting the balance and breaking the system - or its compatibility. As opposed to doing all of these expansions in a vacuum without direct influence from the consumers. Because I love most of the products relased by Paizo, and because I am a true fan of their company and their morals and ideals, I do hope for their continued existance and sustainability - and thus am ultimately willing to agree that it is necessary for these types of releases - irrespective if they are specifically my cup of tea. At the very worst - it can be considered a necessary evil (for those not interested).

On the other hand: those who have made analagies to the tune of "players preferring no such expansions", to "requesting car companies, or bakeries not making alternate choices" is not a fair analogy. Here's why:

If Tom down the street buys a Ford Mustang, and I wish to buy a Ford product(which is significantly unlikely to ever happen in my lifetime) Ford producing said Mustang and selling said Mustang to Tom does absolutely nothing to my enjoyment of my driving experience of a different Ford product. It does not interrupt my relationship to my car, to my mechanic, nor get in the way of me enjoying my vehicle. Furthermore it does not create a problem within my social circle who also have cars of their own (that may or may not be a Ford or Mustang etc) and wish to drive their car, or occasionally ride-share. Similarly, if my wife wishes to buy a maple bar and i wish to buy a glazed old-fashioned, there are no concerns of compatibility. Her enjoyment of said pastry does not create any sort of concern or interruption in my ability to enjoy mine - despite their differences.

RPGs on the other hand, are typically not played alone. They require a cohesive group of like-minded players that must interact - preferrably using the same donut or car - see Rules. An adherrance to one unified sytle, rules, release, means that some will expect that to be used, and will inevitably have a much more profound effect on the social circle that one plays within than say an individual preference in a pastry or what car they own. Because PRGs are played interactively with others, it can be affected negatively by the availability of both maple bars and glazed donuts.

Another unhelpful and unfair way of looking at things is to simply blow off concerns of "bloating the rules" by stating: "If you don't want it in your game than don't use it."

Here's where I'm willing to compromise: I'll be willing to agree that this mantra ("if you dont want it, dont allow it") is a valid way of approaching the issue, if the proponents of this mantra agree that many players will automatically view a DM who has been encouraged to take this stand to be a "a power freak "control freak" "game nazi" or other such rhetoric.

You see - this puts people in a pickle. Damned if you do - damned if you don't. DMs are encouraged to cherry-pick and discount what doesn't work or doesn't fit - but are systematically ill-reputed, bad-mouthed, or ill-perceived by others. To avoid being perceived at such, the only recourse is to all everything that everyone wants - and well - we're right back where we started with you can't make everyone happy all the time and suddenly the existance of glazed and maple bars creates friction.

Now having been a player of D&D for many years, and have always followed the same MO - of not allowing and not using "alternate" "splat", "supplement" material, I will of course continue to adhere to this.

Now the reasons for this have nothing to do with my perceived quality of the work. I am sure Paizo can do it. What it boils down to is extra work on my part of having to learn so much more, be prepared for so much more, and field concerns, questions, arguments of how something is suppose to work or not. I've seen pages and pages of "sage advice" on here to ask how something as common and simple as "Spot vs stealth" is suppose to work and how it doesn't work. This is as basic a concept to the 3rd edition gameplay as it comes - and yet it creates a boat-load of contradicitions, varied perceptions, and translations. Such rules hassles and headaches have historically been exponentially been increased with the advent of additional source materials. Frankly I have neither the time, patience, energy or care to resolve so many issues and arguements. I have learned that "less is more" and more gaming can commence when there are fewer rules and compatibility pitfalls to worry about. Between wife, kids, mortgage and full time job, I simply at this point in my life do not have the time to learn so many subsets of rules and add-ons - AND prepare for a game every other week to enjoy all the good AP stories, and the wonderful support for them on the messageboards.

How does this all affect me and my dollars?

Number one - me not buying those particular books would probably not cause any more of an issue for Paizo in their bottom line than if they didn't make in the first place and it wasn't there to buy.

As a DM I am not going to allow these things for my own needs and I have come to accept the fact that those people who criticize me for having a preference and calling me control freak are often the same people that tell me "it's your game - do what you want so don't opine on possible product releases that you have no interest in"

I'm pretty well-regarded in my community and social circle as a quality GM - and having the love and true drive to be good at it - having been GMing for 20+ years, and having a good and safe place to host all help players overlook the fact that I keep it simple. Sure some may feel like they're missing out on something - but I have 9 different players that make up my gaming friends, who alternate in and out of games, and over look what they're missing because the game is quite fun regardless. However since these players rarely try their hand at GMing or play in other campaigns, they will most likley not spend money on books they wont have the opportunity to use. I know I am not the only GM out there who keeps it simple and Core.

As a player - in the few times I get to be one - either in the Pathfinder Society or in a game a friend decides to run, I won't play a character taken from a alternate source because my cognitive dissonance flares up enough to where I would be too uncomfortable and concerned that I would be seen as a hypocrite. So as a player I wouldn't purchase them either. I partake in the Pathfinder Society and I also GM it - but will most likely refrain from GMing society games in the future, once all these alternate variants, options etc are availabe because once again i will be needing to know the ins and outs of these additions - thus resulting in me not spending money on the society scenarios. I forced myself to understand the APG which most of it was quite good in order to facilitate running PFS scenarios - but won't bother to spend the time to learn any more - thus the result will be in my not spending money on that anymore, either.

And to address a concern I saw that implied "the only way to not get bored is to have a completely different set of mechanics that has never been played": does not ring true for me. I could play 6 different fighters each with personality and combative builds completely different from its predcessor and be completely different characters to me - and certainly not lead me to boredom. This same cannot truly be said for most MMO playing - as there is no true "personality" of your avatar. It's only the mechanics to work wiht - and so game-makers are forced to add new expanded player content to keep people from getting bored. You saw it with the drow race and the monk class in DDO, and ultimately the half-orc. You saw it with the Warden and Rune-Keeper in Lord of the Rings etc.

But I understand that my style of apporaching Pen and Paper RPGs is not necessarily congruent with how everyone else approaches it. While I can play 6 different fighters and be completely enamored with each of them, for different reasons, another may only play the game for the crunch mechanics and optimizing its abilities down to believing that a single build is all that can be done with it. Neither style in wrong - P&P RPGs have no "wrong way to play" so long as those playing are having fun. So it's due to this understanding, that I do not begrudge Paizo (or other game manufacturers) from having to release new content. Again - I see it as a necessary evil for my own needs - which is a sustained ruleset edition and especially the company whom i love most of their material from.

Ultimately I only hope that release of extra sourcebooks only sustain the grown of the company, and enusre the longevity of THIS edition. And that it doesn't break the balance. I do believe in my heart that Paizo cares enough about that - and does not intend it to be a passive-aggressive approach to destroying the current edition forcing us all to buy all new stuff (which is another reason why I stopped buy splat books).

Fool me once shame on you - fool me twice, shame on me. Or rather as it pertains to certain other publishing companies...fool me four times.....

Robert

Grand Lodge

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 would love to see you run an RPG company and do it as well as Paizo has done it. With your commentary thus far and what you seem to think should be done...

Well I know I would not buy from you. On the plus side I do not think that you would not be running an RP:G company for long.


It's been said by others but I think that it bears repeating.

If you don't like the material being put out then you can choose not to use it. I think that is the very best way you can make clear to paizo that you are not happy with the "bloat". Personally, my group only uses the core rulebook and the APG. Throw in the beastiary and your imagination and you have everything you will ever need.

If you want flavor add it if not then don't.


James Jacobs wrote:
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.

Good point. As for me, I'm on the casual side. I haven't sat at a table (unfortunately) for a long time, but have been involved in pbp here for years. I didn't pick up the APG and am still digesting archetypes, and now there's all this UC & UM stuff. It gets to he hard to keep track of all the stuff and still understand what people on the boards are talking about.


*monkey tosses poo out*

Sorry, bugleyman they love you too much to just let you go.

LOL

@Deanoth: I think that the problem, as I stated in my (too) long post above is probably that people like W E Ray haven't fully come to terms with the fact that Paizo has moved to a full fledged RPG company, where the RPG part is at least as important as the AP/module/whatever part.

Understand, there was a time, after 3.5 official ended and before PFRPG started, where Paizo was quite capable of surviving on non-PFRPG game material, by this I mean the AP, modules, flip maps, etc. It is not unreasonable to say, "They could survive without continuing to support the PFRPG, except for reprintings". The question is, what level of survival. Paizo has moved from that previous level and wouldn't probably voluntarily go back to it. This is a fact that W E Ray just is now coming to terms with, I would guess.

Saying that following his suggestions is a poor choice, is to say that Paizo shouldn't have been able to survived the transition time from official WotC 3.5 support to PFRPG.


nathan blackmer wrote:

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.

I think it is more likely that you're part of the silent majority rather than the minority. Or at the very least, if you're in the minority it is a very large minority. If only a few Pathfinder players wanted more classes then Paizo wouldn't be putting so many resources into making them. I think this is just another case of people who are unhappy making much much more noise than those who are excited about the new content.

Liberty's Edge

Mage Evolving wrote:

It's been said by others but I think that it bears repeating.

If you don't like the material being put out then you can choose not to use it.

That really didn't bear repeating, though. It's been said a hundred times, and people not latching onto it as a solution has nothing to do with their lack of having heard it before. Regardless...

Robert Brambley wrote:
Very well-thought-out, eloquently expressed stuff

Thanks for helping me understand why this is a problem for some. I apologize for earlier calling the perception of class bloat "stupid". I have downgraded it to "not a problem for me personally". Having read your thoughts, I understand the other side of the aisle a lot better than I did. Thanks for that.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
pres man wrote:
(C)People need to be employed. This is a bit strange of an argument. I believe that more staff were hired to do more work on the RPG. Thus more RPG material has to be produced in order to keep the increased staff hired? That seems a bit circular there. Obviously if you didn't produce a lot more RPG material, you wouldn't necessarily need a lot more staff to produce it.

Just going to pick on this statement. What was meant was 'There are already people hired to do the work. If you cut production now, you will have to cut employees or raise prices on what is left to stay afloat.'

Liberty's Edge

The thing is your also telling a company who produces rpg products not to produce them. How exactly is that being fair or constructive. The Paizo devs created this company because they love the game and one assumes to write about it. How is telling "you better not publish more rules or else" benefitting the company them and us as a whole.

Yes the Aps, companions and maps and other products make them money. They also invested time and money into making an rpg of their own. Are they not allowed to support it. They are competing against Wotc they need to do somethin to stay competitve and profitable. Why did some posters on this board encourage Paizo to create PF in the first place. If rules bloat is such a big issue for some then you should have just told Paizo to make APs. That way beyond a few new rules in those APs the so called dreaded rules bloat would have never come to pass.

If anyone feels that Paizo screwed them in anyway well imo you screed yourselves over. You bought an edition knowing full well that a possibl rules bloat would happen and naively thinking it would not. Now that it is slowly happening and anyone with an ounce of commen sense could see it coming a mile away are "sholced" and dismayed"

As for telling people to not buy new rules as unfair. Well life is unfair. Some on this board want to have their cake and eat it too and when Paizo is not obliging get angry or threathen to no longer support them. These last couple of years I have seen a huge sense of entitlement slowly appear across everything. More so in our hobby. If that sense of entitlement is not fulfilled all of a sudden "it's unfair". But hey lets ignore telling the devs not to make a living. One a god example of unfair. When the Canadian dollar became stronger than the US dollar prices on items did not change overnight. People accused us of being unfair. To use Paizo as an example no matter how strong the currency is if the PF core book is say 60$ your not going to get it cheaper. Paizo bought each book at 60$. They are not going to resell them at less than that and take a loss.

Very ironic is that I used to be such a huge fan of 4E and a few months ago I would have never stood up for Paizo. While I still like 4E I like Pathfinder more for the moment.

Liberty's Edge

Matrixryu wrote:


I think it is more likely that you're part of the silent majority rather than the minority. Or at the very least, if you're in the minority it is a very large minority. If only a few Pathfinder players wanted more classes then Paizo wouldn't be putting so many resources into making them. I think this is just another case of people who are unhappy making much much more noise than those who are excited about the new content.

+1

As is usually the case in my experience.

Dark Archive

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.

I agree with that especially about classes adding to replay ability of the game. Which is why I support new classes even ones I personally don't like or likely won't use or use much. Like the new ones shown for Ultimate combat, as GM I doubt I use them. Oh I am sure every blue moon I might be convinced to let a PC play one, but it wouldn't be the norm. Other classes though I would use. As I said before I just would like to see it on a slow steady pace of adding stuff to extend the life of Pathfinder, with new stuff, with out swamping us. Yes I know thats seems to be what you guys are shooting for which makes me happy.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
pres man wrote:
(C)People need to be employed. This is a bit strange of an argument. I believe that more staff were hired to do more work on the RPG. Thus more RPG material has to be produced in order to keep the increased staff hired? That seems a bit circular there. Obviously if you didn't produce a lot more RPG material, you wouldn't necessarily need a lot more staff to produce it.
Just going to pick on this statement. What was meant was 'There are already people hired to do the work. If you cut production now, you will have to cut employees or raise prices on what is left to stay afloat.'

I understand, but my point is ... so what? I know that sounds cold hearted, but it isn't really. Let me give you a hyperbolic example, let say I could employ 10 people for 2 years or employee 5 people for 10 years. Is keeping all 10 people the best choice? If it was in the best long term health for PF, wouldn't people support perhaps letting some people go and slow down production? Again, I don't know that is in the best long term health, but just because someone is employed now isn't any reason to continuing to make work for them to do just so they can stay employed.

A thought to consider:
The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. (Tyrell in Blade Runner)

Scarab Sages

You can count me in the "leery of class bloat" group. And like everyone, I have an opinion.Before I share my opinion on why Paizo should slow down the new class releases there seem to be a couple misconceptions that need clearing up.

If you don't want it or if you won't use it, don't buy it: This has always been assumed by me. It is inherent in rule 0 and it seems redundant to constantly repeat it. For me, and some other class bloat skeptics I am sure, the issue isn't that we don't want new classes. I want and love new classes. I just want their release to be paced more slowly than what I saw in 3.5.

Another thing that seems assumed but is inaccurate, in my case at least, is that our class bloat concern stems only from fear of the new material in our own games. Thus: If you don't want it, don't buy it. My concern isn't for my home game, it is for my hobby. I do not want Paizo to go down the same path that WOTC did with 3.5. I am not saying that that is what I am seeing, but it is close enough that I am suspicious.

Non subscribers are somehow less committed to Paizo and Pathfinder: I was a charter superscriber up until a couple weeks ago. My reason for no longer subscribing through Paizo has nothing to do with the topic of this thread (I now have a standing order for all things Paizo, minus a couple card sets, from my local game store). If such an argument is going to be made I would suggest that the opposite is more accurate. By choosing to pay more for Paizo's products from a local game store, someone is committing themselves to not only Paizo, but to the hobby and local gaming community as a whole. At least that is why I made the switch.

Oh my god Paizo, noooooooooo. You're publishing too much material: This has nothing to do with how I feel about the situation. I completely understand that Paizo has to publish new material to remain profitable. But does that new material have to be 9 or 10 new classes in less than a year's time? I don't think it does. I would have been happy with an APG I and an APG II, one released in 2010 and the other in 2012. Each could have intoduced 3 new classes. So what, some pages would have to be filled with something other than new classes. Good. Paizo can handle it.

There could be an Ultimate Combat II in 2014 that introduces only one new class and a third later. Just pace it out.

There are plenty of things that could fill the pages in an Ultimate Combat book besides the new classes. This isn't quite the place for that though. I will start a new thread to give and ask for some examples.

It appears that by responding to the assumptions that made me uncomfortable I was able to get my opinion across just fine.

Tam


bugleyman wrote:


As has already been said, one of the main concerns, at least for me, is bleed through to other products. For example, this month your APG spells got in my Pathfinder. What will it be next month?

Completely agree.

Scarab Sages

As as aside, the format followed by Ultimate Magic seems the perfect solution to address my concerns. One class, and a bunch of other cool material.

Tam


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
gbonehead wrote:
For the folks who don't want the options, I don't understand what's stopping them from merely not buying the books.

Part of the problem is that time after time Paizo repeats that they have limited resources. My perspective is I'd rather them focus on fixing the admitted problems with what they've already released before making more things with mistakes. It ends up being a never ending cycle... which is where we are now. One book after another with more errata than the last one... then there's no time to do the FAQ or errata because... well people want more options!

gbonehead wrote:
From what I can see, there aren't many subscribers in the "hey, publish less stuff" camp - which should be a rather telling statistic. It's only the subscribers who "have" to buy the stuff - everyone else can pick and choose as they wish.

To be clear, I'd love 10,000 books full of options. Better yet, I'd rather have 5 books full of non-broken options. You can have quality or quantity, not both. I prefer quality.

gbonehead wrote:
I want more stuff. I like having lots of options. I just want it to avoid the power escalation of the later WoTC 3.5e stuff. Increased power should come with advancement, not by taking a level in a more powerful dip class.

And if they keep kicking out class after class there won't be time to get them right is all I'm complaining about. Slow down, fix what's already known to be broken, then make new stuff.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
pres man wrote:

A thought to consider:

The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. (Tyrell in Blade Runner)

And an oil lamp will burn forever so long as you continue to fuel it. :P (Never saw Blade Runner.)

Grand Lodge

Tom S 820 wrote:


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.

Let me correct you on this.

That is 21 Classes in roughly 3 years (not two years). These folks make money by selling us ideas that there job. That's roughly 7.33 a year and not 10.5 per year

Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic are not even out yet.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
(Never saw Blade Runner.)

*twitch* wwwhhhaaaattt *twitch*


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Robert Brambley wrote:

I wondered why this was. I think (and I believe this would apply to many others if you allow yourself the chance to step back and see the truth) that many of us devoutedly touted and praised Paizo and Pathfinder during the edition wars. Part of our mantra was that we did not *need* these 'splat' books. That Paizo did not or would not need to release any such things. The Core Rules changed the core classes enough so that such things weren't needed. Even the APG was easily adapted and integrated. But ultimately the release of all the great fluff, or Golaron player/campaign material and of course the great APs and Modules, meant that rules do not need to expanded upon - and thus would not follow the WotC format that we all damned and ostracized. I wonder if we now fear that we will look like fools, with a bit of egg on our faces and forced to each crow in the face of 4e / WotC fans - and that is underlying our need to be negatory towards all the expansions.

That being said - the reality is that Paizo is a company that needs to find means of being profitiable for sustainability. It is the lack of sustainability and the lack of expansion I believe would lead to a drop in sales which ultimately would speed up the process of needing a new edition (not the other way around). Of course by expanding you run the risk of "breking" it and thus needing a new edition anyways. It's a horrible catch 22. I have faith that the MO shown to us by Paizo historically proves that they care NOT to allow this to happen -- and the bottom line profit is NOT their only concern - and thus will take proper measures, open playtesting etc to ensure that though it is inevitable (needed or wanted aside), it will at least be done with a minimal chance of disrupting the balance and breaking the system - or its compatibility. As opposed to doing all of these expansions in a vacuum without direct influence from the consumers. Because I love most of the products relased by Paizo, and because I am a true fan of their company and their morals and ideals, I do hope for their continued existance and sustainability - and thus am ultimately willing to agree that it is necessary for these types of releases - irrespective if they are specifically my cup of tea. At the very worst - it can be considered a necessary evil (for those not interested).

I think people here misinterpreted the plan. The whole point was to keep the game system 'alive' and 'supported' so paizo could continue to use it for their flagship AP's and other products. But alive and supported MEANS MORE CRUNCH. Without new material sales drop off and things go out of print. New books keep excitement up which keeps people buying the core rules and thus keeping it in print and on store shelves. That is crucial to keep the game 'alive' so that there isnt any difficulty in using it to power their AP's.

Quote:

On the other hand: those who have made analagies to the tune of "players preferring no such expansions", to "requesting car companies, or bakeries not making alternate choices" is not a fair analogy. Here's why:

If Tom down the street buys a Ford Mustang, and I wish to buy a Ford product(which is significantly unlikely to ever happen in my lifetime) Ford producing said Mustang and selling said Mustang to Tom does absolutely nothing to my enjoyment of my driving experience of a different Ford product. It does not interrupt my relationship to my car, to my mechanic, nor get in the way of me enjoying my vehicle. Furthermore it does not create a problem within my social circle who also have cars of their own (that may or may not be a Ford or Mustang etc) and wish to drive their car, or occasionally ride-share. Similarly, if my wife wishes to buy a maple bar and i wish to buy a glazed old-fashioned, there are no concerns of compatibility. Her enjoyment of said pastry does not create any sort of concern or interruption in my ability to enjoy mine - despite their differences.

RPGs on the other hand, are typically not played alone. They require a cohesive group of like-minded players that must interact - preferrably using the same donut or car - see Rules. An adherrance to one unified sytle, rules, release, means that some will expect that to be used, and will inevitably have a much more profound effect on the social circle that one plays within than say an individual preference in a pastry or what car they own. Because PRGs are played interactively with others, it can be affected negatively by the availability of both maple bars and glazed donuts.

What if said Ford Mustang did interfere with your enjoyment of your Focus (or whatever). What if it's existance means your best friend buys a mustang. He loves it. Drives it everywhere. That car you loathed pulls up in your driveway every morning (note i dont actually dislike the mustang here) and makes that aweful racket. You now must either suffer it's presense in your life, or work something out with your friend (like offering to drive more often then not, or some other compromise). Does this difficulty mean that Ford shouldn't make a mustang for people who like and want it?

Quote:

Another unhelpful and unfair way of looking at things is to simply blow off concerns of "bloating the rules" by stating: "If you don't want it in your game than don't use it."

Here's where I'm willing to compromise: I'll be willing to agree that this mantra ("if you dont want it, dont allow it") is a valid way of approaching the issue, if the proponents of this mantra agree that many players will automatically view a DM who has been encouraged to take this stand to be a "a power freak "control freak" "game nazi" or other such rhetoric.

You see - this puts people in a pickle. Damned if you do - damned if you don't. DMs are encouraged to cherry-pick and discount what doesn't work or doesn't fit - but are systematically ill-reputed, bad-mouthed, or ill-perceived by others. To avoid being perceived at such, the only recourse is to all everything that everyone wants - and well - we're right back where we started with you can't make everyone happy all the time and suddenly the existance of glazed and maple bars creates friction.

I will definately agree with this, however the problem isn't with the material, it is with the group. If a DM is saying no to material and that causes friction, there is an issue that needs to be resolved within the group in regards to what you want from the game. A far better solution to this problem is to work out a compromise or at least have a conversation about motives and what everyone wants out of the game within the group, then it would be for the material to simply not exist. If you are constantly clashing with your players over new material, it isnt the material that is the problem, its the group dynamics.

Quote:

Now having been a player of D&D for many years, and have always followed the same MO - of not allowing and not using "alternate" "splat", "supplement" material, I will of course continue to adhere to this.

Now the reasons for this have nothing to do with my perceived quality of the work. I am sure Paizo can do it. What it boils down to is extra work on my part of having to learn so much more, be prepared for so much more, and field concerns, questions, arguments of how something is suppose to work or not. I've seen pages and pages of "sage advice" on here to ask how something as common and simple as "Spot vs stealth" is suppose to work and how it doesn't work. This is as basic a concept to the 3rd edition gameplay as it comes - and yet it creates a boat-load of contradicitions, varied perceptions, and translations. Such rules hassles and headaches have historically been exponentially been increased with the advent of additional source materials. Frankly I have neither the time, patience, energy or care to resolve so many issues and arguements. I have learned that "less is more" and more gaming can commence when there are fewer rules and compatibility pitfalls to worry about. Between wife, kids, mortgage and full time job, I simply at this point in my life do not have the time to learn so many subsets of rules and add-ons - AND prepare for a game every other week to enjoy all the good AP stories, and the wonderful support for them on the messageboards.

I think this is a pretty common pitfall and it tends to happen when there is tension over rules in a group. You dont need to know everything that comes out. What you need to know is what your players can do. I personally allow most things with the caviat that any non-core item has to go through me first for 'approval'. In reality all I am doing is making sure I am familiar with any extra option a player in my group takes. The end result is i dont need to know EVERY new rule, just the ones my players are using, which is a far more managable task.

Quote:

How does this all affect me and my dollars?

Number one - me not buying those particular books would probably not cause any more of an issue for Paizo in their bottom line than if they didn't make in the first place and it wasn't there to buy.

As a DM I am not going to allow these things for my own needs and I have come to accept the fact that those people who criticize me for having a preference and calling me control freak are often the same people that tell me "it's your game - do what you want so don't opine on possible product releases that you have no interest in"

I'm pretty well-regarded in my community and social circle as a quality GM - and having the love and true drive to be good at it - having been GMing for 20+ years, and having a good and safe place to host all help players overlook the fact that I keep it simple. Sure some may feel like they're missing out on something - but I have 9 different players that make up my gaming friends, who alternate in and out of games, and over look what they're missing because the game is quite fun regardless. However since these players rarely try their hand at GMing or play in other campaigns, they will most likley not spend money on books they wont have the opportunity to use. I know I am not the only GM out there who keeps it simple and Core.

That is entirely up to you. I totally get the potential burn out especially in big groups, and the desire to go core only (or somewhere close) is a reasonable one, even if I do not personally like it. And I realize that some of your players will feel like they are missing out because there is material out there they cant use in your game. But what about groups that like the new stuff? I like new material as both a DM and a Player. Heck my group tends to find out about new stuff because they came up against it in the game I DM. I like throwing in surprises both flavor and mechanically. And new classes especially give me a relatively easy way to do that. Is it fair to ask those people to not have exist what they want, so you dont have to go through tension in your group when you get what you want?

Quote:

As a player - in the few times I get to be one - either in the Pathfinder Society or in a game a friend decides to run, I won't play a character taken from a alternate source because my cognitive dissonance flares up enough to where I would be too uncomfortable and concerned that I would be seen as a hypocrite. So as a player I wouldn't purchase them either. I partake in the Pathfinder Society and I also GM it - but will most likely refrain from GMing society games in the future, once all these alternate variants, options etc are availabe because once again i will be needing to know the ins and outs of these additions - thus resulting in me not spending money on the society scenarios. I forced myself to understand the APG which most of it was quite good in order to facilitate running PFS scenarios - but won't bother to spend the time to learn any more - thus the result will be in my not spending money on that anymore, either.

Honestly as much as I think it is good for the community and for the game in general, organized play is already a mine field that has a big social contract required to make it work. I really think that you would cut any game system to pieces if you designed it with organized play in mind. Its just too much of a mess. You have to put waaaaay to many restrictions on things to make organized play work (in my opinion) and its something I wont ever touch again. I really dont want, nor do I think its right for the game to be designed with organized play in mind. It just wont work out.

Quote:

And to address a concern I saw that implied "the only way to not get bored is to have a completely different set of mechanics that has never been played": does not ring true for me. I could play 6 different fighters each with personality and combative builds completely different from its predcessor and be completely different characters to me - and certainly not lead me to boredom. This same cannot truly be said for most MMO playing - as there is no true "personality" of your avatar. It's only the mechanics to work wiht - and so game-makers are forced to add new expanded player content to keep people from getting bored. You saw it with the drow race and the monk class in DDO, and ultimately the half-orc. You saw it with the Warden and Rune-Keeper in Lord of the Rings etc.

But I understand that my style of apporaching Pen and Paper RPGs is not necessarily congruent with how everyone else approaches it. While I can play 6 different fighters and be completely enamored with each of them, for different reasons, another may only play the game for the crunch mechanics and optimizing its abilities down to believing that a single build is all that can be done with it. Neither style in wrong - P&P RPGs have no "wrong way to play" so long as those playing are having fun. So it's due to this understanding, that I do not begrudge Paizo (or other game manufacturers) from having to release new content. Again - I see it as a necessary evil for my own needs - which is a sustained ruleset edition and especially the company whom i love most of their material from.

It isnt just about prefering the crunch to roleplay (though that is part of it). For many, such as myself, the mechanics drive the roleplay. My characters form around their mechanics. The 'feel' of how a character players mechanically helps me develop their personality, their history and everything else. Its not just about optimization, its about inspiration. Perhaps its a difference in imagination, but I need a foundation to build a character on, and that normally means some mechanic, whether its a set of feats, a class, an archetype or whatever. So for me and those like me the boredom doesnt come from just the mechanics feeling the same, but our characters ending up feeling the same as a whole.

Quote:

Ultimately I only hope that release of extra sourcebooks only sustain the grown of the company, and enusre the longevity of THIS edition. And that it doesn't break the balance. I do believe in my heart that Paizo cares enough about that - and does not intend it to be a passive-aggressive approach to destroying the current edition forcing us all to buy all new stuff (which is another reason why I stopped buy splat books).

In taking on pathfinder paizo took on a whole new audience. Many of which are mainly interested in the sourcebooks. The unexpected volume of sales of the sourcebooks pretty clearly indicates that therer are a fair amount of people buying rpg books that arent interested in the golarion specific material. Paizo has to look at those customers as well in it's plans. But I do share your hope that the edition remains around a long time and remains balanced. And I think the folks at paizo are more then capable of doing it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
pres man wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
(Never saw Blade Runner.)
*twitch* wwwhhhaaaattt *twitch*

My plan to render you unable to answer has succeeded, making me the winner of the argument! (:


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Never saw Blade Runner.

Dead to me.


pres man wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
(Never saw Blade Runner.)
*twitch* wwwhhhaaaattt *twitch*

Don't worry, he isn't missing anything.

The book is better.


bugleyman wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Never saw Blade Runner.
Dead to me.

Youuuuu ranggggg?

Scarab Sages

I was excited when Erik Mona said at last years PaizoCon Banquet that the Magus would be the last new class for a while. I didn't realize then that "for a while" meant "until we publish another hardcover book".

It is just hard not to read dire portents in the gathering clouds.

Tam

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
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.
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!

Thing is, that's not how most people play. *Most* people don't even play adventure paths. And many of those that do will also play in other games, including one-nighters and Pathfinder Society play. It's not uncommon for a gamer to have three or more different active characters at any given time.

Also, not everybody is *interested* in playing all 11 classes. (I've never played a Paladin, for example, and am not terribly interested in doing so.)

Also, a player's choices on which classes he can play at any given moment may be limited by the rest of his group, for party composition reasons.

Toadkiller Dog wrote:

Not to mention, now when we have archetypes, you can play really different characters while playing the same class... Don't get me started on multi-classing and prestige classes.

Vic Wertz wrote:
Essentially, they add to the "replay value" of the game.
Archetypes and more support for base classes would do that for me.

All those things add replay value, yes. But somebody who's tired of the fighter would find that a whole new class delivers more replay value than a fighter archetype, or than a prestige class that makes me play as a fighter for four levels first.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tambryn wrote:

I was excited when Erik Mona said at last years PaizoCon Banquet that the Magus would be the last new class for a while. I didn't realize then that "for a while" meant "until we publish another hardcover book".

It is just hard not to read dire portents in the gathering clouds.

Tam

This is speculation but my guess is that the statement was what they intended. The gunslinger, ninja and samurai were probably originally intended to just be archetypes. But I think in this case paizo realized one of the limitations of archetypes, and that is that you are tied heavily to the feel of the original class. There is only so much you can change by straight swapping out existing features. After all what do you swap out of the fighter for the gunslingers grit directly? It doesnt work. So we get these 'alternate' classes, which are essentially new base classes. I dont think it is a result of any deception, or poor works on Erik's part. I think it is a matter running into the inherent limitations of archtypes and having to work around them.


Robert Brambley wrote:

Now for a bit of reality:

First - my gut response to LK's original post was that it defined my stand completely. I have always felt this way. As a DM I never used "splat book" material - only used the original core releases.

As I read the posts here, a number of things occured to me that may or may not have occured to others.

I started to fear the change, the releases, and the possible (plausible) imminent eventual change in editions.

I wondered why this was. I think (and I believe this would apply to many others if you allow yourself the chance to step back and see the truth) that many of us devoutedly touted and praised Paizo and Pathfinder during the edition wars. Part of our mantra was that we did not *need* these 'splat' books. That Paizo did not or would not need to release any such things. The Core Rules changed the core classes enough so that such things weren't needed. Even the APG was easily adapted and integrated. But ultimately the release of all the great fluff, or Golaron player/campaign material and of course the great APs and Modules, meant that rules do not need to expanded upon - and thus would not follow the WotC format that we all damned and ostracized. I wonder if we now fear that we will look like fools, with a bit of egg on our faces and forced to each crow in the face of 4e / WotC fans - and that is underlying our need to be negatory towards all the expansions.

That being said - the reality is that Paizo is a company that needs to find means of being profitiable for sustainability. It is the lack of sustainability and the lack of expansion I believe would lead to a drop in sales which ultimately would speed up the process of needing a new edition (not the other way around). Of course by expanding you run the risk of "breking" it and thus needing a new edition anyways. It's a horrible catch 22. I have faith that the MO shown to us by Paizo historically proves that they care NOT to allow this to happen -- and the bottom line profit is NOT their only concern -and thus will take proper measures, open playtesting etc to ensure that though it is inevitable (needed or wanted aside), it will at least be done with a minimal chance of disrupting the balance and breaking the system - or its compatibility. As opposed to doing all of these expansions in a vacuum without direct influence from the consumers. Because I love most of the products relased by Paizo, and because I am a true fan of their company and their morals and ideals, I do hope for their continued existance and sustainability - and thus am ultimately willing to agree that it is necessary for these types of releases - irrespective if they are specifically my cup of tea. At the very worst - it can be considered a necessary evil (for those not interested).

On the other hand: those who have made analagies to the tune of "players preferring no such expansions", to "requesting car companies, or bakeries not making alternate choices" is not a fair analogy. Here's why:

If Tom down the street buys a Ford Mustang, and I wish to buy a Ford product(which is significantly unlikely to ever happen in my lifetime) Ford producing said Mustang and selling said Mustang to Tom does absolutely nothing to my enjoyment of my driving experience of a different Ford product. It does not interrupt my relationship to my car, to my mechanic, nor get in the way of me enjoying my vehicle. Furthermore it does not create a problem within my social circle who also have cars of their own (that may or may not be a Ford or Mustang etc) and wish to drive their car, or occasionally ride-share. Similarly, if my wife wishes to buy a maple bar and i wish to buy a glazed old-fashioned, there are no concerns of compatibility. Her enjoyment of said pastry does not create any sort of concern or interruption in my ability to enjoy mine - despite their differences.

RPGs on the other hand, are typically not played alone. They require a cohesive group of like-minded players that must interact - preferrably using the same donut or car - see Rules. An adherrance to one unified sytle, rules, release, means that some will expect that to be used, and will inevitably have a much more profound effect on the social circle that one plays within than say an individual preference in a pastry or what car they own. Because PRGs are played interactively with others, it can be affected negatively by the availability of both maple bars and glazed donuts.

Another unhelpful and unfair way of looking at things is to simply blow off concerns of "bloating the rules" by stating: "If you don't want it in your game than don't use it."

Here's where I'm willing to compromise: I'll be willing to agree that this mantra ("if you dont want it, dont allow it") is a valid way of approaching the issue, if the proponents of this mantra agree that many players will automatically view a DM who has been encouraged to take this stand to be a "a power freak "control freak" "game nazi" or other such rhetoric.

You see - this puts people in a pickle. Damned if you do - damned if you don't. DMs are encouraged to cherry-pick and discount what doesn't work or doesn't fit - but are systematically ill-reputed, bad-mouthed, or ill-perceived by others. To avoid being perceived at such, the only recourse is to all everything that everyone wants - and well - we're right back where we started with you can't make everyone happy all the time and suddenly the existance of glazed and maple bars creates friction.

Now having been a player of D&D for many years, and have always followed the same MO - of not allowing and not using "alternate" "splat", "supplement" material, I will of course continue to adhere to this.

Now the reasons for this have nothing to do with my perceived quality of the work. I am sure Paizo can do it. What it boils down to is extra work on my part of having to learn so much more, be prepared for so much more, and field concerns, questions, arguments of how something is suppose to work or not. I've seen pages and pages of "sage advice" on here to ask how something as common and simple as "Spot vs stealth" is suppose to work and how it doesn't work. This is as basic a concept to the 3rd edition gameplay as it comes - and yet it creates a boat-load of contradicitions, varied perceptions, and translations. Such rules hassles and headaches have historically been exponentially been increased with the advent of additional source materials. Frankly I have neither the time, patience, energy or care to resolve so many issues and arguements. I have learned that "less is more" and more gaming can commence when there are fewer rules and compatibility pitfalls to worry about. Between wife, kids, mortgage and full time job, I simply at this point in my life do not have the time to learn so many subsets of rules and add-ons - AND prepare for a game every other week to enjoy all the good AP stories, and the wonderful support for them on the messageboards.

How does this all affect me and my dollars?

Number one - me not buying those particular books would probably not cause any more of an issue for Paizo in their bottom line than if they didn't make in the first place and it wasn't there to buy.

As a DM I am not going to allow these things for my own needs and I have come to accept the fact that those people who criticize me for having a preference and calling me control freak are often the same people that tell me "it's your game - do what you want so don't opine on possible product releases that you have no interest in"

I'm pretty well-regarded in my community and social circle as a quality GM - and having the love and true drive to be good at it - having been GMing for 20+ years, and having a good and safe place to host all help players overlook the fact that I keep it simple. Sure some may feel like they're missing out on something - but I have 9 different players that make up my gaming friends, who alternate in and out of games, and over look what they're missing because the game is quite fun regardless. However since these players rarely try their hand at GMing or play in other campaigns, they will most likley not spend money on books they wont have the opportunity to use. I know I am not the only GM out there who keeps it simple and Core.

As a player - in the few times I get to be one - either in the Pathfinder Society or in a game a friend decides to run, I won't play a character taken from a alternate source because my cognitive dissonance flares up enough to where I would be too uncomfortable and concerned that I would be seen as a hypocrite. So as a player I wouldn't purchase them either. I partake in the Pathfinder Society and I also GM it - but will most likely refrain from GMing society games in the future, once all these alternate variants, options etc are availabe because once again i will be needing to know the ins and outs of these additions - thus resulting in me not spending money on the society scenarios. I forced myself to understand the APG which most of it was quite good in order to facilitate running PFS scenarios - but won't bother to spend the time to learn any more - thus the result will be in my not spending money on that anymore, either.

And to address a concern I saw that implied "the only way to not get bored is to have a completely different set of mechanics that has never been played": does not ring true for me. I could play 6 different fighters each with personality and combative builds completely different from its predcessor and be completely different characters to me - and certainly not lead me to boredom. This same cannot truly be said for most MMO playing - as there is no true "personality" of your avatar. It's only the mechanics to work wiht - and so game-makers are forced to add new expanded player content to keep people from getting bored. You saw it with the drow race and the monk class in DDO, and ultimately the half-orc. You saw it with the Warden and Rune-Keeper in Lord of the Rings etc.

But I understand that my style of apporaching Pen and Paper RPGs is not necessarily congruent with how everyone else approaches it. While I can play 6 different fighters and be completely enamored with each of them, for different reasons, another may only play the game for the crunch mechanics and optimizing its abilities down to believing that a single build is all that can be done with it. Neither style in wrong - P&P RPGs have no "wrong way to play" so long as those playing are having fun. So it's due to this understanding, that I do not begrudge Paizo (or other game manufacturers) from having to release new content. Again - I see it as a necessary evil for my own needs - which is a sustained ruleset edition and especially the company whom i love most of their material from.

Ultimately I only hope that release of extra sourcebooks only sustain the grown of the company, and enusre the longevity of THIS edition. And that it doesn't break the balance. I do believe in my heart that Paizo cares enough about that - and does not intend it to be a passive-aggressive approach to destroying the current edition forcing us all to buy all new stuff (which is another reason why I stopped buy splat books).

Fool me once shame on you - fool me twice, shame on me. Or rather as it pertains to certain other publishing companies...fool me four times.....

Robert

Thank you for putting all the major points of this thread into one place (despite my ultimate disagreement on your final position).

To those concerned about class bloat, take a very close look at the classes that are already available. Paizo has built some stabilizing forces into the system that allow for smaller scale and more realistic time frames for testing. There is one that makes PF more resistant on a very fundamental level. Favored class bonuses encourage players to go single class builds. This is stops things like fighter 2 / rogue 2 / ranger 1 / PrC with queer reqs. When multiclassing is discouraged that exponential growth is suppressed (for the math savvy permutations are faster than exponential). Overall class strength can be reasonably estimated by testing X 20 builds at levels 1,5,10,15,20 against each other. The other factor is that the current classes' abilities are nontrivial, have significantly fewer dead levels (I'm looking at you sorceror) and typically are keyed off of class level. The big exception to this is the dragon disciple and you see a lot of those builds floating around. Between that and favored class bonuses, I simply don't see the arms race becoming very of a problem. Sure Paizo might slip up with a base class or two, but a simple comparison back to fighter 20 or wiz 20 can keep most things in check and not too far off the mark. If Paizo starts pumping out more dragon disciple style classes, then the arms race will begin.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
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?

Well, I wouldn't equate my own opinions with "industry wisdom," first of all.

While there are certainly people who prefer to play the same class every time they roll up a character, I do think that most gamers, when creating a new character, are more likely to go for variety.

Scarab Sages

Kolokotroni wrote:
I dont think it is a result of any deception

I would never suggest that Erik was being intentionally deceptive. I know that things change and people and companies have to adjust. I only mean to confer that, based on that statement, until I downloaded the Ultimate Combat playtest document, I knew that Pathfinder was going in a direction I was comfortable with. I am no longer 100% certain of that fact.

Tam

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
pres man wrote:

A thought to consider:

The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. (Tyrell in Blade Runner)
And an oil lamp will burn forever so long as you continue to fuel it. :P (Never saw Blade Runner.)

I don't know you... you're dead to me now. *turns away*

Sovereign Court

Mage Evolving wrote:

It's been said by others but I think that it bears repeating.

If you don't like the material being put out then you can choose not to use it. I think that is the very best way you can make clear to paizo that you are not happy with the "bloat". Personally, my group only uses the core rulebook and the APG. Throw in the beastiary and your imagination and you have everything you will ever need.

If you want flavor add it if not then don't.

and no the best way to tell paizo you don't like it, is to tell paizo you don't like it. The worst way is to just not use it and let paizo guess why it is that their sales are down.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Back in 3.5 I bought all the Complete books, and the PHB II. I allowed all of them into my games - and never once had any problems. I didn't particularly like the Book of 9 Swords (as it offered nothing that could be likened to a common fantasy analogue) so I didn't allow it in my games.

Everybody I've ever played with always felt like they had fun, and were relevant in my games.

What I'm getting at here, is that if you don't like the extra classes for whatever reason, if you're the GM don't allow them in your games. If you're a player, don't play them. If you don't want the books, don't buy the books.

I WANT to see the Ninja, the Gunslinger and the Samurai. My players really like having classes (or even sub-classes) that fulfil both the mechanical and flavour niches they are going for with their characters.

When people ask Paizo not to print these classes because you don't like them you are trying to get in the way of an aspect of the game that me and my players find fun.

Finally as to the "problem" of expanded classes being used in APs and adventures - My #1 problem with 3.5's expansion was these classes never saw any support outside the book they were presented in. Paizo is integrating these classes into the world (that's a GOOD thing). Also if you don't want to use them - it's not that hard to convert an NPC or two per adventure to a different class. Here's a handy cheat sheet, these analogues won't always be direct but they fill a mechanically similar niche:

Alchemist = Wizard or Cleric
Cavalier = Fighter or Paladin
Inquisitor = Paladin or Cleric
Oracle = Cleric or Sorcerer
Summoner = Conjurer or Druid
Witch = Wizard or Cleric
Magus = Fighter/Wizard/Eldritch Knight
Gunslinger = Fighter (it's a sub-class after all)
Ninja = Rogue (ditto)
Samurai = Fighter or Paladin

---------------------------------------------------

Take the stats, swap in the class features and spells from the appropriate class and call it a conversion. Your players will never know the difference.

Love,
The Dudemeister.

Sovereign Court

memorax wrote:

The thing is your also telling a company who produces rpg products not to produce them. How exactly is that being fair or constructive. The Paizo devs created this company because they love the game and one assumes to write about it. How is telling "you better not publish more rules or else" benefitting the company them and us as a whole.

That's not true, this thread deals with one portion of the ruleset. This is not a post saying "Paizo stop releasing new books and new content". I want new content as much as the next person, I just don't want a ton of new classes and I'm expressing that. You're the one who's, what's the expression, "creating a strawman"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:


I don't know you...

You didn't even try to know me. *throws ring on the floor*


To whom it may concern:
Stating "if you don't like it don't buy it" is no less as irritating as "I'm taking my ball and going home", albeit more mature.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

For those that are worried about rules bloat, what kind of rulebooks do you want to see?

Paizo is responding to the desires of its customers. Since Pathfinder RPG has been announced, people have asked for more options. For example, as of now searching the messageboards I get this many results:

1,254 Gunslinger
3,460 Samurai
9,412 Pirate
11,482 Ninja

Let's say that nobody used the term "Gunslinger" before the playtest. If we subtract that many uses from the others, we can see that Ninjas have still been talked about over 10k times. Clearly the desire for ninjas exist. It can be made a case that Samurai is a little more niche. On the other hand, people should be up in arms over the lack of a Pirate class!

I understand the desire for some people to have a set system that doesn't change. However, people who buy "Core" and nothing else become non-customers. Paizo is going to expand the game, because they promised to support the game they were creating. So if Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat are not the sort of expansions you want, what are you looking for in a new book?

I certainly hope that the future holds Psionics, Epic levels, Divine levels, and Monstrous Races.


Tambryn wrote:
I would never suggest that Erik was being intentionally deceptive.

I never tell a lie.

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