Not a "New Edition", but...


Homebrew and House Rules

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Gorbacz wrote:
And yes, it's a bad day here. Somebody hug me, please.

*hug*

*grope*

Too much? :P

Shadow Lodge

Naked bugleyman hugs? Or is that only a FAWTL thing?

Gorbacz wrote:

And yes, it's a bad day here. Somebody hug me, please.

*prepares the barbed wire jacket*


Yora wrote:
As someone who hasn't taken alook into the Beginner Box, what's actually supposed to be wrong with the CRB and how changing the order the rules are printed help to make the game easier to learn?

The best answer I can give is in the first post in this thread, and the two posts I linked there.


Pathfinder RPG is like the French language: It wants to have an underlying universal set of rules, but it is quite exceptional when there aren't any exception or unique use of the rule...

I haven't red the Beginner Box material yet, so I still hesitate to say anything in this tread.

Yet my impressions are that the core material could be made clearer; and without altering the rules whatsoever, could be stated making the spirit of the rule more transparent in such a way that not all corner cases need to be elaborated upon.

I wouldn't mind having to refer to an external source of material (like a web site) for specific ruling on rare applications of these rules, but since 3.0, I find that the rules are so elaborated and so tangled that getting information out of the core rulebooks is both tedious and time consuming.

Personally, I'd prefer a PF 2 ed with slight alterations to the rules streaming the system further; reducing in complexity without loosing in possibility (which I believe is quite doable).

'findel

Dark Archive

I'm all for this product.

But does it have to be a physical book?

Can't we just have a pdf that gest updated as needed?

Also/ if the spine keeps breaking, add in a flat aluminum bar, and jack up the price $5. lol


This is definitely a good idea. I don't know if it's a good enough idea to spend manpower and printing stuff on, that comes down to demographics; but it would clearly help someone.

On the other hand, I don't think any rewording of the rules is really going to fix 12+. There are groups that use laptops and can flit around the srds to easily look everything up. That doesn't keep high level combat from being a bear that gets constantly whined about. A flat out revision of some systems is needed, i.e. a true new edition, or at least an "optional alternative" high-level system offered in a non-CRB.

I also don't see how pathfinder can avoid respecting the OGL? They can't start dropping d20 exclusive content in their rulebooks just because new players need to know it.

Liberty's Edge

FoxBat_ wrote:

This is definitely a good idea. I don't know if it's a good enough idea to spend manpower and printing stuff on, that comes down to demographics; but it would clearly help someone.

On the other hand, I don't think any rewording of the rules is really going to fix 12+. There are groups that use laptops and can flit around the srds to easily look everything up. That doesn't keep high level combat from being a bear that gets constantly whined about. A flat out revision of some systems is needed, i.e. a true new edition, or at least an "optional alternative" high-level system offered in a non-CRB.

I also don't see how pathfinder can avoid respecting the OGL? They can't start dropping d20 exclusive content in their rulebooks just because new players need to know it.

At some point a "revised" core rulebook will make sense.

When, and how you define "revised" is the grey area.

Shadow Lodge

DΗ wrote:

I'm all for this product.

But does it have to be a physical book?

Can't we just have a pdf that gest updated as needed?

Something similar

Dark Archive

Kthulhu wrote:
DΗ wrote:

I'm all for this product.

But does it have to be a physical book?

Can't we just have a pdf that gest updated as needed?

Something similar

Yeah, I've seen the PRD. its useful as a web thing, but its not at all printable, which is something I consider a key feature of a PDF. with a PDF I can fork over a couple dollars to print it in B&W if I need to bring it to the table.

Dark Archive

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Gorbacz wrote:
For me, it's just some "we want a simple game, this one is too complicated for us, too many option" argument wrapped up in "we need better presentation for new players" paper.

Please don't interpret every call for reorganization or clarification as "make the game simpler."

I'm not asking for new rules, or simplification of the rules, or tweaks to the rules, I'm asking for an improvement to the presentation of the rules. Density doesn't concern me, but disambiguation and simpler presentation does. (i.e. As simple as it can be without losing meaning.)

Using your "for people who can't understand math" comment as inspiration for the following analogy:

Current CRB could explain the measure of exterior angles of a regular n-gon like this:
A = (180 * n - 180 * (n - 2)) / n

And I'm saying a Revised CRB could say:
A = 360 / n

Same rules, simpler presentation. They are compatible, they always arrive at the same answer, they invalidate no previous calculations, but they simplify the presentation, save space (more density possible!), speed play, and reduce errors.

That's it. No fundamental changes, no new systems, just the inclusion of missing information, the rearrangement of words where it is useful, and the correction of errors.


The CRB is a multiclass book. Half teaching the game, half reference.

Can we split them? Can there be a CRB that is an easy to use at the table reference guide put together with the mindset that the players already know the basics of playing?

Want to know everything there is to know about flying? Turn alphabetically to F.


Uninvited Ghost wrote:

The CRB is a multiclass book. Half teaching the game, half reference.

Can we split them? Can there be a CRB that is an easy to use at the table reference guide put together with the mindset that the players already know the basics of playing?

Want to know everything there is to know about flying? Turn alphabetically to F.

Something like that I guess, but...

I think it should be a product of testing with actual play. I've ranted about this a thousand times, I know, but the developer of a complex system is the single least qualified person to teach that system. They know how it works, and they can't easily empathize how a new user doesn't know. The whole thing is very unpredictable.

This is why it's so awesome that the beginner box was tested on actual new players. A lot of things that got taken for granted in the CRB are spelled out in the BB.

Uninvited Ghost and myself can speculate about what would improve the organization, but the truth is we could only know how best to help players by impartially observing players who struggle and giving them what they need. Paizo could use their BB testing knowledge here, and I think they will. They could also test on intermediate and advanced players when making a reference. That would be great.

They've definitely moved in the right direction, anyway. Pizzow!


I couldn't agree more with the OP. I think the corebook is a mess at best. I can't imagine someone picking up that book and learning to play Pathfinder for the first time. People like me who have played D&D since it was AD&D, have a huge advantage as we understand the basic mechanic. Here are my gripes with the corebook and how the game has progressed.

1. The CB should have been 2 books. A players book and a GMs book. The behemoth that is the corebook destroys itself in a matter of months due to poor quality and the sheer weight of it. Mine is still in good shape only because I baby it tbh, but all of my friends books are repaired in some way. By comparison, I still have AD&D books that are in good shape and I've used them 1000 times more the the PF CB.
2. Organization. Messy at best. I should not have to reference 3 areas of the book to get the full story of a particular mechanic in the game.
3. Progression of the game thus far. I am not a fan of Paizo's model for information release. The "bestiaries" included in the monthly releases are a joke to say the least. I would rather they hold that information and release a Bestiary "X" when they get enough content. I want SOURCEBOOKS, not hundreds of splat books that contain feats, traits, new creatures, new rules mechanics, etc, etc. I do not want to reference 30 splat books just to see if Paizo has published something I'm looking for.

One major difference I'm seeing with Paizo compared with other publishers/designers is this....the Pathfinder content/rules/mechanics are driven by new content when it should be the other way around...the SOURCEBOOKS should drive the content, new content should reference a sourcebook rather than itself with new rules, etc.

I'm not sure if my point is concise, hopefully you understand my meaning. All that said, I'll say this as well...overall, I like the Pathfinder game, however I only play with the corebook and APG, nothing else. That is by choice mind you as I am not a fan of gathering pamphlets that some people consider reference material and I was largely unimpressed with UC and UM.


I'd say the Beginner's Box handles the "introduction" to the game pretty well.

I'd support a resorting of the CORE plus errata, but I don't know about releasing differing books "teaching" v. "reference". I like the CORE rule book, but I could see the rather high value of creating a reorganized version (maintaining all the information, but clarified and errata'd, as EvilLincoln the OP has suggested and requested).


This is naught but a glorified "me, too" post. I pray your forgiveness in advance.

Quick background: Gamer since '81, but never much in the D&D heritage (a few flirtations, nothing more). Came to gaming through TFT and Traveller, survived FASA Trek and Champions and GURPS, swung back towards rules-light games (participated in producing a couple).

I'm lately of the opinion that a "rules-light" game is poor for introducing new players. But so is a "rules-heavy" game. I am very much looking forward to picking up the Beginners Box, which seems to have the right balance of "crunch", and hopefully getting my children into the spirit of gaming with me.

But reading this thread (and the one from which it spawned) now has me firmly convinced that I should not buy the CRB until/unless some sort of improvements are made. Or I should buy the CRB and ignore it in favor of clearer alternatives (SORDpf, et al).

I'm in a place that spells "bad news" for Paizo, and bad news for me, too, when we run up on the BB ceiling.

So, outsider that I am, I'm all in favor of a revised CRB. Fix what's broken, clean up what's dirty, and by all means get it into a language and presentation that's easy to use for play and for reference. If you're a happy grognard with your original book, keep on keepin' on -- that's money you don't have to spend.


I'd be one-leg hopping to the store (well, to the PC, really) to get a split-version of the Core Rulebook with a new organization of the rules. In fact, I'd love a pack that separated the whole thing in three books: One for character creation and advancement, one for global rules, and one for spells and items. I'd buy them right away.

My problem with the Core Rulebook isn't so much about the actual organization (which is pretty similar to 3.5, and certainly better than what we had prior to 3e), but about the size and usability. I love huge books, but I'm not quite sure that a book that gets the amount of use this one does a large compilation is the best idea. I'm really glad 5 of my players bought their own Core Rulebooks eventually, since otherwise mine would be falling appart.

But if you sold me a shorter, streamlined version of the rules that focuses solely on the stuff you use all the time, you'd had my money.


My gaming group would find an online, Wiki-style compendium more useful. Paizo could take from the FAQ component-based rules such as Wildshape (and the several rules it relies on scattered throughout the CRB), and allow players to organically gather and explain how this sort of 'super rule' works. A living compendium/Wiki would have a longer shelf-life and the hyperlinking seals the deal. This is already being done across many gaming forums, but it would be nice to have an official cleaned up version added to the prd.

Dark Archive

Bob Portnell wrote:
But reading this thread (and the one from which it spawned) now has me firmly convinced that I should not buy the CRB until/unless some sort of improvements are made. Or I should buy the CRB and ignore it in favor of clearer alternatives (SORDpf, et al)

Don't let the talk discourage you completely! There are compelling arguments for a revision/repackaging to be sure, but it's still a fine product.

That being said, I think a lot of us are saying it could be much finer. :)


Yeah, I'm easily the most vocal in calling for a revision, but as a product of a certain time and place the CRB is a thing of beauty.

The art and layout just incredible. And the changes that were made to the game through the CRB are obviously enduring.

But... all things must pass, right?

Liberty's Edge

Evil Lincoln wrote:

Yeah, I'm easily the most vocal in calling for a revision, but as a product of a certain time and place the CRB is a thing of beauty.

The art and layout just incredible. And the changes that were made to the game through the CRB are obviously enduring.

But... all things must pass, right?

I don't think you are calling for the overhaul that I think some posters fear.

I certainly am not.

I think what you are proposing is more of a "Let's do a lessons learned and clean it up a bit."

This isn't so different from what Paizo did to 3.5, and that was why we all came along for the ride.

I think you have correctly pointed out that the obvious next step in the evolution is ready to be taken.

A lot of people still have 4e shell shock, and I think they need to remember that Paizo's buisness model would be hurt by major change in backwards compatibility. They make money on the AP's and modules, so making something that didn't work with them is a non-starter.

On the other hand, cleaning up the rule set to work better with the other lines is something everyone benefits from.


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In truth, we all know Evil Linc here is secretly trying to get Pathfinder re-released as splatbook for D&D 4e that will have Dragonborn all over it. All. Over. It.

He's name is Evil Lincoln, after all.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

Yeah, I'm easily the most vocal in calling for a revision, but as a product of a certain time and place the CRB is a thing of beauty.

The art and layout just incredible. And the changes that were made to the game through the CRB are obviously enduring.

But... all things must pass, right?

Indeed. And I think they'll pass when Second Edition Pathfinder comes out.


Squeatus wrote:

Don't let the talk discourage you completely! There are compelling arguments for a revision/repackaging to be sure, but it's still a fine product.

That being said, I think a lot of us are saying it could be much finer. :)

After discussing this with another couple of friends (long-time PF players and fans), I'll probably get the cheap CRB PDF, plus assorted other resources ...

... and then work hard to keep myself from "BB-izing" the lot, for my play and my own perverse amusement. (Which is what I've always done, even before I became a professional technical writer...)


Bob Portnell wrote:

After discussing this with another couple of friends (long-time PF players and fans), I'll probably get the cheap CRB PDF, plus assorted other resources ...

... and then work hard to keep myself from "BB-izing" the lot, for my play and my own perverse amusement. (Which is what I've always done, even before I became a professional technical writer...)

Ah yes, complicated simplicity. I advise against it.

House-ruling the game into simplicity has the strange effect of increasing the page-count and adding contradictions into the rules. If you've ever actually tried it, you'll know what I'm talking about.

It generally only works if you have a group that plays well enough to get by on the RAW already, in which case, why bother?

A personal example: I use a very simple two-weapon fighting houserule that replaces all of the TWF feats with a single feat. This is documented with all my other house rules on a special sheet. But the sad fact is, people forget that the simpler rule even exists (even though it is mechanically beneficial to them)... in remembering and implementing the simpler version when they already know the complex version, I've just made the game that much more complex.

It's a wonder I haven't pulled all my hair out.


Thought I´d chime in with my opinion. Sorry If it seems a little negative.

I haven´t posted on these boards in a long time because I´m a little burnt out with the rules of the Pathfinder game. I still run it but only because I want to complete our current campaign. I have been researching a lot about other games that are lighter on rules and will probably choose one of the retro-clones, if I can find players.

When running Pathfinder, I encounter the following problems often:

During combat, I don´t know what a spell does that a monster in the bestiary is able to cast. Also, I don´t know how a monster´s feat or special combat ability works (e.g. Trample or alike).

Ideally, I would prepare for each combat before the session, reading through all the spells, feats and special abilities. Since I don´t have that time however, I usually use the simplest of attack forms so I don´t have to look it up mid-game. I am often wondering though why not everything I need to run the monster is in it´s stat block.

Out of combat, I´m annoyed by all the details in the skill section. Recently, when Paizo posted the possible revision of the Stealth skill, I thought "why all this detail? It takes loads of time to memorize and it´s plain unpractical to work through during a game session". This is also how I think about many skills.

I have come to ignore higher levels, after being completely burned out by the experience twice. We have settled to play E6 only. Sometimes the members of my gaming group jokingly refer to the old swingy days of when we played higher levels and everyone was frustrated.

These are my main gripes with it. Re-organisation could greatly improve it, but in my opinion, a lot of content could also be simplified (edited?), without losing much of what makes the game great.

About half a year ago I recommended Pathfinder to my brother, a doctor who had previously run a few 3.5 campaigns. He bought the Pathfinder Corebook, but when it arrived at his home he said he was intimidated by how enormous it was. Up until now each time I asked him whether he even looked inside, he said it was too much to digest, working full-time. I feel like my recommendation was wrong but also don´t think he is the target audience for the Beginner Box.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

To me I'm not sure if Evil Lincoln is questioning Pathfinder's play ability as a game, or the Core Rulebooks large number of rules.

Evil Lincoln are you saying that you like the box set because it's quicker to build characters and adventures.

Or are you saying to like the box set because there are less rules and material to deal with as a GM so it is more fun to play.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

As far as the fun and play ability of Pathfinder and DnD from 12th level on, the problem to me has always been the sheer amount of rules and knowledge you have to know and keep carrying forward each level.

Picture if you will your character as a shopping cart or a back pack. At 1st level they are light and nimble, shiny and new. Then the progression begins. Each level adds more skills, feats, class abilities, spells, and equipment. Basically a few pounds in the back pack, a couple items in the shopping cart.

By the time you reach 12th level plus you've got quite a bit of weight in the backpack and the cart is getting pretty full and hard to push.

Your focus shifts from where are you going with a backpack, or what are you shopping for in the store with the cart, to his back pack is getting heavy and this cart is getting hard to push. Half of the fun and play ability gets sidetracked by record keeping and rules referencing.

To me something I have yet to see is an RPG where as you advance in levels you have to make a trade offs. A system where you give up some class abilities, spells, etc. to get new class abilities, spells, etc.

Maybe you no longer have access to low level spells.

Maybe you no longer have access to every martial weapon.

Maybe you no longer have the ability to heal individuals only groups.

Just some thoughts.


kid america wrote:

Evil Lincoln are you saying that you like the box set because it's quicker to build characters and adventures.

Or are you saying to like the box set because there are less rules and material to deal with as a GM so it is more fun to play.

I like the BB in contrast to the CRB.

If I could put it in a single phrase: information architecture.

For the CRB, they kept a lot of the structure from 3.5, whether or not it was actually working for real players.

For the BB, they scrapped the entire structure and focused on what actually worked for real players. They did this without changing the actual rules or the play experience all that much, mostly it is the presentation.

It shows in the result.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Evil Lincoln wrote:
kid america wrote:

Evil Lincoln are you saying that you like the box set because it's quicker to build characters and adventures.

Or are you saying to like the box set because there are less rules and material to deal with as a GM so it is more fun to play.

I like the BB in contrast to the CRB.

If I could put it in a single phrase: information architecture.

For the CRB, they kept a lot of the structure from 3.5, whether or not it was actually working for real players.

For the BB, they scrapped the entire structure and focused on what actually worked for real players. They did this without changing the actual rules or the play experience all that much, mostly it is the presentation.

It shows in the result.

Well you are making a strong case for picking up the box set.

You are also making an equally strong case for a reformatted CRB which I would be for buying.

Just a personal note a reformatted CRB a longer stronger Index would be appreciated.

The box set sounds like the basic DnD box set with the red book that first got me hooked. Then wham smack in the rules face the AD&D hardcover books enter your life with all the other rules.

Dark Archive

kid america wrote:

To me something I have yet to see is an RPG where as you advance in levels you have to make a trade offs. A system where you give up some class abilities, spells, etc. to get new class abilities, spells, etc.

Maybe you no longer have access to low level spells.

Maybe you no longer have access to every martial weapon.

Maybe you no longer have the ability to heal individuals only groups.

Just some thoughts.

For the record; 4e does this. You trade your powers for new powers, 10 levels after you get them; you only ever have a couple options for dailies, encounters, and at wills. I didn't like it much.

Evil Lincoln wrote:

I like the BB in contrast to the CRB.

If I could put it in a single phrase: information architecture.

For the CRB, they kept a lot of the structure from 3.5, whether or not it was actually working for real players.

For the BB, they scrapped the entire structure and focused on what actually worked for real players. They did this without changing the actual rules or the play experience all that much, mostly it is the presentation.

It shows in the result.

I would buy this revised corebook, I have to say.

Better organization, work in the errata, maybe include some of the more important mechanics from the other books (Mass Combat and Chases spring to mind first), and simply put it out as the *next printing* of the pathfinder core book.

I'd be willing to buy a new corebook of this type to replace my first print run Pathfinder Core book.

I also agree with the post above; I dont like having to cross reference powers and abilities all the time when I look at a statblock.

If the statblock exists in a vacuum, that should be fine. I shouldnt need to look anything up.

But then, I myself print out my race, all my feats, all my class abilities I have, and all my spells, and consider them an integral part of my character sheet.

I expect my players to do the same, and I'm not willing to wait for them to look up their abilities in my games. I want to spend the time playing the game, not chatting while we wait for *john* (random name as an example) to look up each of his spells to determine which one he wants to use this round.


Evil Lincoln wrote:


I like the BB in contrast to the CRB.

If I could put it in a single phrase: information architecture.

For the CRB, they kept a lot of the structure from 3.5, whether or not it was actually working for real players.

For the BB, they scrapped the entire structure and focused on what actually worked for real players. They did this without changing the actual rules or the play experience all that much, mostly it is the presentation.

It shows in the result.

As you note, the perfect time to reorganize things is when you're creating a new product from scratch. So the question is: How far down the pipeline will Pathfinder Second Edition be? If it's less than three years, say, then there's not much point in doing the same chunk of reorganization twice in two different formats, I suspect.

Dark Archive

hogarth wrote:
As you note, the perfect time to reorganize things is when you're creating a new product from scratch. So the question is: How far down the pipeline will Pathfinder Second Edition be? If it's less than three years, say, then there's not much point in doing the same chunk of reorganization twice in two different formats, I suspect.

If they did the reorganization now, then when they do a pathfinder 2e (whenever that may be), its a simple matter of updating all the relevant rules; the organization is already done for you.

It cuts the workload of a Pathfinder 2e down quite a bit, if they can simply use the old organization.


The CRB is intimidating to new players, because of the rule density and the cost. If there were a smaller, more affordable players-only rule book, I believe I could recruit more players.


DΗ wrote:

If they did the reorganization now, then when they do a pathfinder 2e (whenever that may be), its a simple matter of updating all the relevant rules; the organization is already done for you.

It cuts the workload of a Pathfinder 2e down quite a bit, if they can simply use the old organization.

You might think so, but Paizo tried the "update the old rules" trick with the transition from the 3.5 SRD to Pathfinder. And, as noted, that was only partially successful, in places. And even if you think it's possible to avoid the mistakes of the past, surely they could use the Beginner Box rules as the framework for their next edition, no?


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hogarth wrote:
As you note, the perfect time to reorganize things is when you're creating a new product from scratch. So the question is: How far down the pipeline will Pathfinder Second Edition be? If it's less than three years, say, then there's not much point in doing the same chunk of reorganization twice in two different formats, I suspect.

I think that's the conversation that we're having here. It really is a "new edition" conversation... and this thread is but one of the several flavors that crop up whenever those words are uttered.

When I started this thread, there was a "Pathfinder 1.5" thread going, too.

There's a camp that wants no new edition ever (how do they feel about errata I wonder).

There's a camp that says "Pathfinder didn't change enough about 3.5, Paizo should be unleashed for a total from-scratch rewrite of the rules."

There's a camp that wants broad changes to be made to enhance class balance and tweak much of the game. These people largely want very specific changes that I think are on the order of a "new edition" in the sense that we had between 3 and 3.5.

And then there's me. I want something like a "revised edition" that incorporates errata, and fixes the big obvious issues (such as they may be agreed upon), completes the core, and 95% of changes should be presentation updates for playability.

Hence the thread title "Not a 'New Edition', but..."

Not a "New Edition" in the sense that "edition" has come to mean "major reworking of the rules". But... a new edition.

It's still way off. But any future edition benefits from discussion of what people want. And if what we really want is not a huge departure, and we want it sooner rather than later, I think we should voice that!


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hogarth wrote:
And even if you think it's possible to avoid the mistakes of the past, surely they could use the Beginner Box rules as the framework for their next edition, no?

Rules, no.

Presentation, yes.

If you had the sheer pagecount of the CRB to present the rules in a refined way like the BB does, I think you could easily find room for all of the "omitted" concepts like attacks of opportunity.

Heck, solid testing could provide streamlined-yet-valid simplifications of rules like that.


If I understand it right, I am all for it.

Something in the format of the BB - like box 2 for levels up to 12, and one for 12 and above. While having played for 15 years or so, only one D&D campaign (this was 3rd ed) have gone to the lofty heights of double digit level characters. Making it easier to deal with all the stuff happening is what I want more than any change to the actual rules. (A book of premade monsters and characters is fine... But when you have to do prepwork with post-it note bonanza to use the actual monster instead of saving the time by having it premade in the first place, is a bit weird).

Someone mentioned condition cards being awesome. I agree. It's a timesaver, and it's really easy to find out for a player who doesn't really know a lot of rules how it would affect him/her. Having something similiar for spells, buffs/debuffs (with colors depending on type of bonus and a number at the top for example so you could just stack em), monster abilities and so on, would be instant-buy for me.

I am of mixed feelings when it comes to big hardcovers too... While they look good on the shelf, it's annoying when everyone needs the same big book, or when it's one small section of one big book that is needed (Ultimate Magic in my case) that one needs to have available... I have to travel a fair bit to where I play, and while I don't mind having to carry weight, the actual amount of space in bags and backpacks they are starting to fill is getting rather annoying. Going out for a game of Warmachine or Warhammer is less of a hassle soon. :)

Dark Archive

Evil Lincoln wrote:

There's a camp that wants broad changes to be made to enhance class balance and tweak much of the game. These people largely want very specific changes that I think are on the order of a "new edition" in the sense that we had between 3 and 3.5.

And then there's me. I want something like a "revised edition" that incorporates errata, and fixes the big obvious issues (such as they may be agreed upon), completes the core, and 95% of changes should be presentation updates for playability.

I personally am in the camp for the former, but I would still pay for what you propose.

And in the case of the former, I'd still want it in the format you propose.

And I dont care that Pathfinder has been out for like 3-4 years; I'd still buy an actual revision thats as different as pathfinder as pathfinder is from 3.5, or as 3.5 is from 3.0. I would buy it tomorrow.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
And then there's me. I want something like a "revised edition" that incorporates errata, and fixes the big obvious issues (such as they may be agreed upon), completes the core, and 95% of changes should be presentation updates for playability.

The bolded part is the ginormous can of worms that means the difference between 1E and 2E, or 2E and 3E, or 3E and 3.5E, or 3.5E and 4E, etc.!

Dark Archive

Evil Lincoln wrote:
... and fixes the big obvious issues (such as they may be agreed upon)...
hogarth wrote:
The bolded part is the ginormous can of worms that means the difference between 1E and 2E, or 2E and 3E, or 3E and 3.5E, or 3.5E and 4E, etc.!
Evil Lincoln wrote:
95% of changes should be presentation updates for playability.

I think that 5% rules difference is nowhere near the level of change between any of the editions you mentioned, even 3.0 and 3.5e.

Personally I think 5% difference isn't enough, but at 5% difference its hard to call it a new rules edition. 5% difference is like "we made the rogue better, but everything else is identical to how it worked before."


DΗ wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
... and fixes the big obvious issues (such as they may be agreed upon)...
hogarth wrote:
The bolded part is the ginormous can of worms that means the difference between 1E and 2E, or 2E and 3E, or 3E and 3.5E, or 3.5E and 4E, etc.!
Evil Lincoln wrote:
95% of changes should be presentation updates for playability.

I think that 5% rules difference is nowhere near the level of change between any of the editions you mentioned, even 3.0 and 3.5e.

Personally I think 5% difference isn't enough, but at 5% difference its hard to call it a new rules edition.

That's my point; 5% could be way, way off from "fixing the big obvious issues", depending on whom you ask.


hogarth wrote:
That's my point; 5% could be way, way off from "fixing the big obvious issues", depending on whom you ask.

Absolutely.

Nor have I descended the mount with those 5% of rules engraved on tablets. I have no idea what changes are actually needed as opposed to the perception of need. And such small changes can be controversial indeed.

That's why I think "the fewer the better" is a good thing. They can pin down a lot of rule changes in just the errata, then focus mostly on presentation for an "edition" switch.

It's 8am EST, what am I gonna do but argue with Hogarth?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Question to you Evil Lincoln. (and a non-snarky one to boot)

how would you rearrange the rulebook? I mean would it be a page XX type thing?

Examples I'm thinking.

Perception: This skill is used to oppose stealth (See pg XX for stealth rules)

Stealth: This skill means that you are trained to avoid detection by various means (see pg XX for full stealth rules)

Then on page XX you have the full stealth rules linking back to "See chapter 3, skills for descriptions of perception and stealth, see chapter 5 for definitions of concealment and cover"?


Evil Lincoln wrote:
That's why I think "the fewer the better" is a good thing. They can pin down a lot of rule changes in just the errata, then focus mostly on presentation for an "edition" switch.

What would be on your wish list for "fixing the big obvious issues"?


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Wow, I feel inexplicably credible.

hogarth wrote:
What would be on your wish list for "fixing the big obvious issues"?

Treasure generation. Needs a complete set of tables without referencing the GMG. Honestly, if the entire process was reworked but still fulfilled the same role, I'd be happy. Have you ever tried to do treasure by the book? Let's say you wanted to roll up a few shop inventories for a low-level town in your campaign. I did once. My eyes were bleeding by the end of it. Not only did I give up and just pick items, but I /couldn't/ finish because the parts aren't there, and the system doesn't actually make sense even with the GMG. For some reason, I feel like I'm the only person who notices this. It's like John Carpenter's They Live.

Likewise, the rules for character advancement. These are things that should be writ large for the new players to understand how the game works. This one was a casualty of the OGL I know, and it gets a good deal more attention than treasure.

Those are some major gripes I have, when I consider what a new player will have trouble with. There are more. I also could be wrong and new players might have no trouble at all with these things.

Matthew Morris wrote:
how would you rearrange the rulebook? I mean would it be a page XX type thing?

Well, if I'm an "expert": the major procedures of the game need to be filled out, tested, and organized in a way that facilitates gameplay. Writing an adventure should be a relatively linear process, with a checklist and variations for GMs. This doesn't mean everything needs to be formulaic, it means that I have a starting point that will refer me to various sections of the book before the game.

Making an adventure is a process. Running the adventure is a process. Building a character is a process. Leveling is a process.

Exploring an encounter site is a very important process, one that gets bogged down in actual play because the level of detail offered by the rules is highly variable. We have a lot of math that tells us down to a 10' accuracy when creatures become aware of each other, and yet no guidelines exist to tell us when it might be wise to start rolling (or at what distance not to bother). On a related note, stealth is a mess, and could be merged with the whole encounter site procedure in a way that would make everything run much more smoothly. Not even changing the rules, just filling out information like "when to roll".

So my expert opinion is this: The rules ought to be arranged in such a way that players and GMs are working through a process, and those processes will refer them to the sections of the book they need. Then when they are done with the reference, they can return to the process.

BUT

"Expert" opinions are misleading and often wrong when dealing with instructional material. Every single thing I wrote above could be wrong, and some of it probably is. It's my opinion based on my grievances, and may have no bearing on the reality of new gamers trying to hack through the CRB.

So what I would actually do is a whole lot of testing. I would find as many new, intermediate, and experienced groups as possible who would let me sit in on sessions, take copious notes. (this assumes I have infinite time, money, and motivation) Then I would use that information to structure the information in the way I thought would be most helpful.

It's all terribly idealistic, I'm afraid... but they did focus group work for the Beginner Box, and that seemed to come out nicely.

I guess we'll have to wait and see whether the same happens for some Pathfinder Revised Ed.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
hogarth wrote:
What would be on your wish list for "fixing the big obvious issues"?

Treasure generation. Needs a complete set of tables without referencing the GMG. Honestly, if the entire process was reworked but still fulfilled the same role, I'd be happy. Have you ever tried to do treasure by the book? Let's say you wanted to roll up a few shop inventories for a low-level town in your campaign. I did once. My eyes were bleeding by the end of it. Not only did I give up and just pick items, but I /couldn't/ finish because the parts aren't there, and the system doesn't actually make sense even with the GMG. For some reason, I feel like I'm the only person who notices this. It's like John Carpenter's They Live.

Likewise, the rules for character advancement. These are things that should be writ large for the new players to understand how the game works. This one was a casualty of the OGL I know, and it gets a good deal more attention than treasure.

Those are some major gripes I have, when I consider what a new player will have trouble with. There are more. I also could be wrong and new players might have no trouble at all with these things.

So you list of "obvious issues" has 2 items? It doesn't sound like the issues are quite that obvious after all. :-)


hogarth wrote:
So you list of "obvious issues" has 2 items? It doesn't sound like the issues are quite that obvious after all. :-)

Did you keep reading after the response to your quote? :)

In all seriousness, there are probably more issues for me, but not many. I am one of those who really does believe that Pathfinder is a great game as is. As I keep reiterating here, most of my issues are with the presentation, not the rules.

So yeah. It's a short list. I don't think you'll argue that the details of leveling up and generating treasure are obviously necessary in the core rulebook, right?


One more vote for a new CRB. I'm new to Pathfinder but I have played 3.5. Sometimes we just use rules as we know them in 3.5 like the -2 range penalty. Then I realize that maybe it is not the same in Pathfinder and it was a mess just to find that rule in the CRB.


I would buy four copies of such a product, and then I'd purchase more to give out as presents.

While we're on a similar topic, I'd like to propose that the introduction section receive a nod or two as well. When introducing players to the game, I've found that one of the issues they run into with the current introduction is that it makes assumptions. That is, it assumes they know things that they don't.

What I would like to see is it refocused into more of a brief guide.

Some ideas:
1. Introduce (and bold) definitions as their concepts are first introduced as something the user should know about. Doing so prevents the temptation to have glossary items accomplish two things at once: both define the concept, and explain what it is and what you do with it. In a sense, that is "jumping the gun." A user might be curious as to what BAB is, but discussing how additional attacks work should come later in the guide.

A more comprehensive list of definitions could be provided at the end, or as part of an appendix. Bolding could also be done throughout the book--that is, "any time you see an item in bold, it is a new term."

2. Provide a concise list of steps for the user to follow, beginning with "What do you want to play?" This is the question we start off with at the gaming table--why not present a guide for new players in a similar manner?

3. Explain steps as they are presented, as completely and as is reasonable. For example, begin a step by asking the user to determine their ability scores. Then, tell them what each one means, what it's used for, and how to roll them. After this, /then/ go on to the next step, not before.

If the step cannot be explained /as part of the step/, tell the user where to go to be able to complete that step. For example--under "pick a class," provide a 1 or 2 line summary of the classes, then tell them to go to chapter x and read about the one they'd chosen.

There is no need to introduce a lot of redundancy--instead, provide a summary, then direction to where more detailed information can be found. The use of Summary Map -> Direction to Greater Detail assists the user in finding the specific section they're interested in, rather than needing to comb through an entire chapter when first starting out. Finally, for the new user, they still know what an Inquisitor and Rogue are, even though they're researching Cleric. This helps them have a better "sense of place" in the game from the beginning without being overly bogged down at first.

They'll go back and read Inquisitor later. For now, help them pick what they're interested in, and jump into the game. That's what Getting Started is about.

4. Tables, tables, tables. Present relevant or contrasting information side-by-side as opposed to lists when possible. And use lists over paragraphs for certain types of information.

5. Bring your daughter or son to the gaming table, and ask them to review the guide. As we gamers age, we're going to want to bring our kids onboard. They're also wonderful sources of ideas and questions. If they don't know something, they also don't hesitate to tell you.

While this might seem as though it would make for a long Getting Started section, it actually would end up around the same size as it currently is, because it's more rearrangement and re-presentation than anything else.

Regarding the rest of this: why was www.d20srd.org so popular over other online SRDs?

Its focus on usability. It didn't exclude rules. It just presented them in a cleaner fashion.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
hogarth wrote:
So you list of "obvious issues" has 2 items? It doesn't sound like the issues are quite that obvious after all. :-)

Did you keep reading after the response to your quote? :)

In all seriousness, there are probably more issues for me, but not many. I am one of those who really does believe that Pathfinder is a great game as is. As I keep reiterating here, most of my issues are with the presentation, not the rules.

So yeah. It's a short list. I don't think you'll argue that the details of leveling up and generating treasure are obviously necessary in the core rulebook, right?

Evil Lincoln,

There are no Private Messages on this board, so I'm going to use this post.

Spoiler:

One of my long-term projects is increasing usability for new players of Pathfinder. I've a few projects in different areas--for example, how to start making a character if you're new to the game. Or, Just What is This Thing They Call CMB, Anyway? These are free documents, and I never charge for them.

Would you be interested in being an editor or reviewer for the occasional document or gamer's tutorial? In return, if there were ideas you enjoyed or appreciated with these documents, you would be free to borrow or use them elsewhere. Many of these documents are campaign-specific, but could be used as a launching point towards something more general.

I realize that finding new users is always best--I could just use the expertise and perspective. Doing all this myself increases the risk of monofocus.

If you're interested, please tag me here: ruggsemail at gmail.

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