Duplicate Brick


Miniatures

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I bought a brick of Rise of the Runelord pre-painted miniatures. I liked them a lot so went to a different gaming store and bought another brick. The contents of the second brick were exactly the same as the first brick. Exactly. I thought the brick were supposed to be randomized? Is there anything that can be done about this?


The randomization really only applies to the case, as Paizo has requested that WizKids shoot for as close to a complete set of minis in each case as possible.

As such, when you mix and match bricks from different cases, you'll encounter this, since it's not a true randomization.


Well, I hope something can be done. The boxes say "Random assortment in each box" and if they are prearranged they aren't random. The bricks should say "Brick A" and "Brick B" etc. I'm pretty peeved anyway. Maybe I can trade away some of the duplicate named uncommons and rares, I really don't need multiple Mithral Mages or Aldern Foxgloves.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

Purchasers should get no to very few duplicate figures in a brick. Buyers who purchase factory-sealed cases should get a nearly complete set of figures. (As with any randomized product, collation is not guaranteed.) The two biggest concerns we've tried to address with the miniatures is that customers purchasing a case get a nearly complete set and that in a brick there will be as few duplicates as possible. The best way to make sure you get a good variety of minis is to get a factory sealed case or purchase bricks as they are broken out of their case.

thanks
sara marie


Yes, but I am not purchasing miniatures by the case. You are selling them by the case, brick or booster and they are supposed to be random. I don't need an explanation of how they are boxed when they are labelled "Random assortment in each box". I am extremely disappointed by your response and service. How in the world am I supposed to keep track of which bricks are which in a retailer's store anyway? If you are doing something like this you should label the bricks "A", "B", "C" and "D" so people can tell them apart. I didn't even know I had to watch out for things like this until after the fact when I read through the product board.
I understand you're trying to help people who buy cases to get a complete set but people who buy bricks at retailers sure (like me) sure are hung out to dry.
You should pack cases/bricks destined for the retail market actually randomly so people don't get screwed. I just wasted $125 and am pretty annoyed and your response doesn't help.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

judging from the case experience threads I don't think their is A,B,C,D

comparing

http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz6cai&page=2?Pathfinder-Battles-Case-Content -Experience-RotRL#61

and

http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz6cai&page=2?Pathfinder-Battles-Case-Content -Experience-RotRL#79

only 4 boosters of the 1st share the same two lowest numbers from the 2nd.

Yes getting two of the same bricks is annoying but even in a random assortment it would happen occasionally.

Also if a case was Bricks A,B,C and D then they would contain all of the Rares.

Unless you are saying that retail cases were packed differently to the ones that came from pazio?


My point is that there is no way my bricks were random; customer service as much as said so and that's what I've since read on the boards as they try to pack bricks so a case will get you a full set. I understand that now but as a buyer in a retail store with experience in buying random packs of minis or cards before this is not something I should reasonably expect. The booster say "Random assortment of minis". Taking the Large minis alone there's only a 1 in 12870 chance of duplication from brick to brick (assuming equal rarity as I don't know the spread, and also assuming no duplicates in the brick). Once you account in the 24 other models the odds are astronomical; I'm taking trillions or much, much higher. My spreadsheet doesn't go that high with real numbers.
So that being said, again there's no way I should reasonably expect a entire duplicate brick unless the boxes are not random despite what the box says. That's the main reason I'm annoyed. Being told to go buy an entire case or track what bricks retailers have is not a reasonable response.
It's a shame as I love Pathfinder and the prepainted minis and was really looking forward to opening my new brick and seeing what I got. Can you imagine the disapointment and disbelief when I went through all my boxes to get an exact duplicate of my previous brick? I have a good enough grasp of math and odds that right away I knew things were askew and now I'm being told it's intentional. If it's intentional DON'T put "Random assortment" on the boxes. It's misleading if the boxes are partially prepacked.


Labmonkey is correct -- the distribution isn't random. If it were, it would be all but impossible to get a complete set from a case. Heck, truly random would mean you could get more of a particular figure in one booster, which I don't think anyone wants. So while I appreciate why Paizo has designed the product the way they have, it's hard to fault Labmonkey's objection to the misuse of the word random.

Perhaps Paizo should revisit the wording on future sets?

Edit: Are we assuming that the "random" applies to bricks and/or cases, rather than just individual boosters? I've not paid close enough attention to the packaging...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Indeterminate" would be more accurate, but there is a precedent. These terms have a history and (in my view) within the context of packaged miniatures "random" really means " you don't know what you're going to get". Personally, I think the horse has bolted.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

From Merriam-Webster:

M-W wrote:

Definition of RANDOM

2a : relating to, having, or being elements or events with definite probability of occurrence

This is the sense intended on these boosters. And not just these, but on pretty much every product sold as "random," at least in our industry—and as a former print buyer for Magic: The Gathering, I say that with confidence.

If the distribution were random in the sense you're thinking (M-W says "without definite aim, direction, rule, or method"), *most* customers would be inconvenienced. As bugleyman said, customers would regularly find individual boosters with duplicated figures, and cases with nowhere *near* a complete set.

So there are conditions applied that restrict randomization (in the sense you desire). Among them:
• Individual boosters should always contain exactly one Large figure.
• Individual boosters should contain no repeated figures.
• Individual bricks should contain no repeated figures.
• Individual cases should contain a nearly complete set of individual figures.
• Common, uncommon, and rare figures need to appear in prefigured ratios.
And WizKids probably has more conditions that I'm not aware of.

So distribution is not random in the sense you're looking for... but it's also nowhere near as simple as "Bricks A, B, C & D." There are many, many different brick configurations, and while the odds of you getting two identical bricks in two purchases are not good, it can clearly happen.

For Pathfinder Battles (and for most other products sold as random in our industry, unless somebody has made a mistake), your best bet at minimizing duplication is to buy neighboring items from the same source as much as possible. If you're buying four boosters, buy them from the same brick if you can. If you're buying four bricks, buy them from the same case if you can. When you do that, these restrictions help give you a better experience.

Paizo Employee CEO

I would like to point out that these minis are NOT a Paizo product. They are produced by Wizkids under a license. Paizo has very little control over how these minis are released. We have told Wizkids that we think it is important to get close to a full set in each case. But we don't have much more control than that.

I have seen a lot of comments in this thread about Paizo this and Paizo that. If you have complaints about distribution of these minis, please take them to Wizkids, the company who made them and who has the ability to change things if there is a problem.

One thing we can do is bring concerns to Wizkids ourselves, so it is good to bring up problems here. I just don't want folks to get the idea that we are making these minis. We are just a licensor and a retailer. The original poster's problem is one that only Wizkids can handle. Please contact their customer service department.

I really don't want people pissed at Paizo for things we don't control.

Thanks

Lisa

Paizo Employee CEO

bugleyman wrote:

So while I appreciate why Paizo has designed the product the way they have, it's hard to fault Labmonkey's objection to the misuse of the word random.

Perhaps Paizo should revisit the wording on future sets?

This is exactly the type of wording that concerns me. The sentence should read,

"So while I appreciate why Wizkids has designed the product the way they have, it's hard to fault Labmonkey's objection to the misuse of the wrd random.

Perhaps Wizkids should revisit the wording on future sets?"

Lisa


Lisa Stevens wrote:

This is exactly the type of wording that concerns me. The sentence should read,

"So while I appreciate why Wizkids has designed the product the way they have, it's hard to fault Labmonkey's objection to the misuse of the wrd random.

Perhaps Wizkids should revisit the wording on future sets?"

Lisa

I stand corrected.


Fascinating.

Is it abundantly clear that it's a Wizkids product and not a Paizo product when purchased as a box in a store?

(Or is a box with Paizo's brand of "Pathfinder" splashed all over the box with tiny print somewhere marking it entirely produced by Wizkids? Or something in between?)


Hey Labmonkey:

I have some doubles from ROTL, some from H&M, and a WHOLE BUNCH from pretty much any D&D mini set you care to name. PM me if you want to trade -- I'd be surprised if we couldn't works something out.


Thanks for the offer bugley; you're the second to offer a trade, I'll try to organize something in the next day or two if I don't have any success with Wizkids.

Keep in mind I love the minis; if I didn't I wouldn't have bought a second brick and wouldn't be upset at the duplication.

In response to Vic's comment on randomization, I am an experienced buyer of CCGs in the past and have never gotten duplicate boxes (of course the selection number is much much higher with cards). Still the context of random when buying gaming products is (in my previous experience) such that duplicate boxes should be near impossible, even with the smaller selection of minis. I understand that random isn't truly random but it should still be random. But I'm beating a dead horse here it seems.

Maybe this should be something the retailers and distributors should be made aware of so they can keep their boosters/bricks separated or organized as to where they came from.

And to Lisa, I do understand Wizkids is making this product but it is associated with your name and your game therefore it is disingenuous to lump all blame onto Wizkids especially considering the niche market we are talking about. Passing the buck is what's wrong with corporate America these days.

To everyone telling me to buy things by the case keep in mind that this is a hobby and while I may set aside money for bricks saving up over $500 for an entire case is not something I'm in a position to do.

I'll alert the retailers I deal with how the product is "randomized" so other people can hopefully avoid this. I know one of them orders by the brick not the case so they might appreciate it.

I'll try contacting Wizkids tomorrow; I'll keep this thread apprised of any progress made.

Thanks for responding.

Grand Lodge

"Random" distributions are always like this. I remember the old M:TG Legends sets which had "A" cases and "B" cases. I think I purchased four cases and got 3 A's and a B.

What I ended up doing for D&D minis and would suggest that you consider is getting together with some friends and ordering cases as a group. I can't speak to the PF minis' but we used to pre-order 7 cases of D&D minis for free shipping, no sales tax, and a considerable discount from retail. Then we would trade amongst ourselves (purely on rarity, not actual value) until everyone was as close to a full set as possible.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

labmonkey wrote:
In response to Vic's comment on randomization, I am an experienced buyer of CCGs in the past and have never gotten duplicate boxes (of course the selection number is much much higher with cards).

Thinking about boxes is entirely the wrong scale. The randomized units you need to consider here aren't the boxes, or even the *boosters*, they're the individual cards and the individual minis. Since a Runelords brick contains 32 minis, that's the scale we need to consider.

Here's a closer match: Can you imagine buying 4 8-card CCG packs out of one display, and then buying 4 more packs out of another display, and getting the same 32 cards in both purchases? I guarantee you that it can and does happen. And the fact that that CCG boosters are often drawn from 80+-card sets, or 110+-card sets, or 300+-card sets actually means that it's even *more* likely to occur in Runelords boosters, since they're drawn from just 60 figures, and therefore tend to accrue duplicates with a lower number of units purchased.

Note that my prior advice does apply—if you bought those four card packs out of the same display, they're less likely to overlap (unless the collation was executed badly).

labmonkey wrote:
I'll alert the retailers I deal with how the product is "randomized" so other people can hopefully avoid this. I know one of them orders by the brick not the case so they might appreciate it.

Alliance, the exclusive distributor for WizKids, technically only sells by the brick—that is, that's the listed SKU that retailers must order... but for every 4 bricks he orders, they'll ship him a sealed case. So unless he's regularly placing orders for fractional cases, he should be ok.


Ok, I regularly read posts in the forum but have never bothered to post or even register to do so until now.

I would like to comment on the response of Paizo to this. Saying that you need to buy a case or make sure that you buy the bricks from the same box are unreasonable for the average gamer. To most of us, we are casual gamers and spending $100+ on our hobby is more than enough for one week. Trying to keep track of what has been sold at any LGS should not be put onto the customer at all and shows a lack of empathy for the situation.

Next, random means random. Period. These packs should say something like "selective assortment" or such so that people know this could happen. Again, don't think that any of us can afford to blow $100+ and not mean anything, especially in an economy like the one we have today.

To Lisa and Vic and all of the Paizo staff. I am surprised at your response. It reads like all you are saying is "this isn't our fault" and "it is all yours" to this guy. Proper customer service would be to apologize for what happened even though you neither make nor package the product. Then possible offer to get him a number or a contact so that he could talk to someone at WizKids. Your name is on it so you do profit from it either directly (from licensing fees) or indirectly (from cross advertising with WizKids). Washing your hands of this or saying labmonkey should have either bought a case or checked to see they were from the same case is shameful. He even states that they were from different stores, and as he obviously thought they were random (as that is what they state on the box) he was well within his rights to expect something different.

Although I will continue to play your game and buy your product, I felt very strongly about your comments, your seemingly lack of concern and the quick posting that this isn't your fault he should purchased a case is ridiculous. You should be thankful that people love your game enough to buy cross products.

Ok, I'll get off my soap box, calm down and post again in a year or two.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

While getting an exact duplicate of a brick is definately unfortunate, I can't really say that it would be a regular occurence.

If there are only 4 different bricks available and you get one of each in a case, guaranteeing you a full set then every person who opened a case would be getting exactly the same minis. This quite obviously isn't the case (pun unintended).

I too am an experienced CCG collector and while I haven't seen entire boxes of duplicates, I have opened boosters from the same box that have exactly the same cards in exactly the same order (including rares and rules/filler cards - yes I am talking about Magic). So having duplicates of anything isn't an isolated occurence.

I also can't understand peoples ire at Paizo regarding this problem. Yes it is a Pathfinder branded product, but other than approving the minis and asking for people who buy a case to be almost guaranteed of a full set they (as Lisa stated) have no actual control over how the minis are packaged and distributed. So she's not actually passing the blame when there is in fact no blame on Paizo for her to pass?
Even though I can probably be called a Paizo Fanboy, I have been annoyed/pissed at things they've done in the past and have said so, but in this case they're not actually to blame for this problem, so people continuing to rant at them about it just seems childish on their part...

Heck, I got only one Harpy (a common) from my case and considering that it was one of the figures I most certainly wanted duplicates of I was disappointed. But I'm quite sure that not every person who got a case had this problem...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
theletterM wrote:

Ok, I regularly read posts in the forum but have never bothered to post or even register to do so until now.

I would like to comment on the response of Paizo to this. Saying that you need to buy a case or make sure that you buy the bricks from the same box are unreasonable for the average gamer. To most of us, we are casual gamers and spending $100+ on our hobby is more than enough for one week. Trying to keep track of what has been sold at any LGS should not be put onto the customer at all and shows a lack of empathy for the situation.

Next, random means random. Period. These packs should say something like "selective assortment" or such so that people know this could happen. Again, don't think that any of us can afford to blow $100+ and not mean anything, especially in an economy like the one we have today.

To Lisa and Vic and all of the Paizo staff. I am surprised at your response. It reads like all you are saying is "this isn't our fault" and "it is all yours" to this guy. Proper customer service would be to apologize for what happened even though you neither make nor package the product. Then possible offer to get him a number or a contact so that he could talk to someone at WizKids. Your name is on it so you do profit from it either directly (from licensing fees) or indirectly (from cross advertising with WizKids). Washing your hands of this or saying labmonkey should have either bought a case or checked to see they were from the same case is shameful. He even states that they were from different stores, and as he obviously thought they were random (as that is what they state on the box) he was well within his rights to expect something different.

Although I will continue to play your game and buy your product, I felt very strongly about your comments, your seemingly lack of concern and the quick posting that this isn't your fault he should purchased a case is ridiculous. You should be thankful that people love your game enough to buy cross products.

Ok, I'll get off my soap...

I disagree. Why should they have to apologize for a product that was A) not made by them (licensed by them, sure, but they don't have ANY control over the actual production of the product. As they said, they made suggestions of what they wanted but don't have any control over the final decisions of WizKids. They can decide to withdraw the license at a later date after the contract is up, but until then all the actual decision making is done by WizKids). B) Was not sold by them. It was purchased through a third party. It is not poor customer service on their part at all for not jumping to fix a problem that wasn't theirs to begin with. That's like taking something back to Walmart with a Target receipt and expecting them to shrug and just go with it. Customer service is one of the things that Paizo excels at, and if you don't believe that, look at any other thread in this subforum with Cosmo, Sara Marie and Erik Keith bending over backwards to make sure the customer is satisfied.


So I went to Wizkids site and filled out a "Product Replacement Request". Instructions are sorely lacking on it though. I filled out a list of minis and that was it. I am assuming they contact me next? There's no place to write a description of the situation. The product replacement request feature might just be for broken models I don't know, it doesn't say. Well, they have my e-mail, hopefully I'll hear from them soon.


This is a case..(bad pun there but never mind) of "Caveat Emptor" it happened, bad luck, suck it up and move on.

I bought three bricks from different sources and managed to get all but 5 off the complete set(and i only really miss 2 off those) and no more than half a dozen duplicates of unique mediums.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

theletterM wrote:
Ok, I regularly read posts in the forum but have never bothered to post or even register to do so until now.

Three things:

1. I'm not at all blaming the original poster; I'm just explaining how random products work—again, not just WizKids' products, but pretty much *anything* labeled as random. I'm also demonstrating that what you perceive as a flaw is actually beneficial for most customers, and I'm sharing how you can use that knowledge to your advantage.

2. I have zero control over this, but WizKids (and the world) are not going to stop using the word "random" in describing these types of product because you disagree with the dictionary about the accuracy of using the word.

3. Not disclosing the fact that you know—or, in all likelihood, ARE—the original poster is a bit disingenuous, don't you think?

I do hope WizKids takes care of you, even though the problem is more about bad luck on your part than any actual failing on theirs.


I would like to comment on this, as I had a similar experience but it was at a single store.

I bought three boosters one weekend, then bought two boosters a weekend later. I ended up with THREE of the exact same boosters. One from the first weekend and both from the second weekend were the exact same miniatures... Over those two weekends I spent $300 on pathfinder products as I was just getting into the game. I had not played a table top RPG since I was in middle school and joined some friends from work for a game. I thought it was awesome and the very next day visited a local gaming store and purchased the beginner box, core rule book, GM book, three miniature boosters and a couple other things.

While I expected some overlap and a few of the same miniatures, to receive three packages of the exact same supposedly "random" product seems, at the very least disingenuous, and at worst an outright lie.

I sent a message to customer service Monday night and just this afternoon received Vic Wertz posts and a link to this thread as a response.

I am sorely disappointing and will not be purchasing any more boosters. Last weekend I picked up $80 worth of miniatures and paint, so far I'm not doing terrible.


I originally thought this thread was about a magic item.


Vic Wertz wrote:
theletterM wrote:
Ok, I regularly read posts in the forum but have never bothered to post or even register to do so until now.

Three things:

1. I'm not at all blaming the original poster; I'm just explaining how random products work—again, not just WizKids' products, but pretty much *anything* labeled as random. I'm also demonstrating that what you perceive as a flaw is actually beneficial for most customers, and I'm sharing how you can use that knowledge to your advantage.

2. I have zero control over this, but WizKids (and the world) are not going to stop using the word "random" in describing these types of product because you disagree with the dictionary about the accuracy of using the word.

3. Not disclosing the fact that you know—or, in all likelihood, ARE—the original poster is a bit disingenuous, don't you think?

I do hope WizKids takes care of you, even though the problem is more about bad luck on your part than any actual failing on theirs.

I am a Paizo Customer, and I support this message.


That is not random waht you are describing is wanting each brick to be independent. Not everything random is independent otherwise conditonal probability would be pointless. Note they did not say the brick were independently distributed.


Lisa Stevens wrote:

I would like to point out that these minis are NOT a Paizo product. They are produced by Wizkids under a license. Paizo has very little control over how these minis are released. We have told Wizkids that we think it is important to get close to a full set in each case. But we don't have much more control than that.

I have seen a lot of comments in this thread about Paizo this and Paizo that. If you have complaints about distribution of these minis, please take them to Wizkids, the company who made them and who has the ability to change things if there is a problem.

One thing we can do is bring concerns to Wizkids ourselves, so it is good to bring up problems here. I just don't want folks to get the idea that we are making these minis. We are just a licensor and a retailer. The original poster's problem is one that only Wizkids can handle. Please contact their customer service department.

I really don't want people pissed at Paizo for things we don't control.

Thanks

Lisa

I would like to point out that these mini's are for a Paizo game, and Paizo directly controls who they license production to. This may sound cliched, but "You're only as good as the company you keep." Paizo is directly responsible for their customer's satisfaction, if they are working with companies that generate complaints from their customers, then it is Paiso's problem just as much as WizKids'.


I would like to point out that the odds of getting an exact duplicate of an entire case is 1 in 22,664,576,435,400,900. That's one in 22.6 quadrillion. This assumes equal rarity (which they aren't but I don't know the spread) and no duplicates. It does account for 8 large and 24 small/medium sized models.

So at one end of the scale you have true random; at the other you have pre-packed. I believe a reasonable expectation would lie somewhere in the middle. To have your purchase land on such extreme end of the scale speaks to something wrong.

I can't imagine getting 3 of the same random brick. That odds of that would be approx 1 in 513,683,024,996,130,000,000,000,000,000,000.

So stop blaming the victims or blowing smoke. You're making money from this so it is partially your issue. I haven't gotten a response from Wizkids, so if you could give me a customer service email I would appreciate it. I can't find anything online.

And I am not the other poster. All my posts are under this account.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
labmonkey wrote:
So at one end of the scale you have true random; at the other you have pre-packed. I believe a reasonable expectation would lie somewhere in the middle. To have your purchase land on such extreme end of the scale speaks to something wrong.

I'd have a minor quibble that the opposite end of the randomness spectrum should probably be "predetermined" rather than pre-packed - something like the encounter packs, for example. But that's hardly important. :p

.
However, your central point is correct: "random" could mean anything ranging from "totally unrestricted" through ever more tight constraints as to distribution until the final "totally predetermined" end of the spectrum and one has to form a judgement as to what is 'acceptable' or expected. Now what you expected was clearly something else than what actually occurred (given the duplication of bricks is something you thought would be avoided).

I dont think there's a "right" answer - we all have differing expectations, experience and knowledge. One central point I think you should take away though is that this is how things are done in the pre-painted miniatures world. It's not just these sets - "random" is really used to distinguish between packs where you know exactly what you're getting from sets where you get some unknown collection from a given set of possible figures.

This whole episode is a matter of mismatched expectations - contacting Wizkids and seeing what can be done is obviously the right thing to do. However, any expectation that pre-packaged miniature manufacturers are going to use the word "random" differently are misplaced - it's not going to happen, since the word (in this context) has always been used to mean "you dont know what you're going to get", not "these have been allocated in an entirely non-deterministic way". You might prefer a different terminology, but such is life - that decision was made years ago.

I think it would be wrong (and probably counterproductive for you) to characterise this as something specific to this set - all miniature packs have similar issues, depending on their various constraints. There isnt a single 'random booster' anywhere which is truly random in the sense you were expecting. I think it would be worth bearing that in mind when you approach Wizkids.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I'm not sure why you're throwing out these numbers. Are you trying to get me to agree that distribution is not random? That's not going to happen; the word "random" is absolutely correct; I've already referred you to the dictionary on that. I am sorry that you personally assumed a different definition of random—one that is neither intended nor desirable in this product line. I'm also sorry that you had the misfortune to get a duplicate brick, but the fact that duplicate bricks (or duplicate boosters) exist is not something that's going to change.

You said you've already contacted WizKids through the appropriate channel; please give them time to respond.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Saying that Paizo has ANY blame in this is absolutely ridicules. That is like saying that MARVEL should apologize to you because that Spiderman t-shirt that was made by the Mountain, that you bought at the comic store ran small.
Also to say that the items are for the pathfinder game is also false. They are for any fantasy miniature game. I mean the Gandalf figure ,ade in the 80's wasn't really meant to be used by someone playing LOTR and playing Gandalf.
Seriously, stuff happens. Random is exactly that, random. It doesn't mean different, it means it could be anything, even the same. Next people will be suing restaurants cause their hot coffee is Hot oh wait.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

*shrug*

It's going to happen, to be frank. Presumably some of the credit Paizo have been getting for the awesomeness of the minis is equally misplaced from time to time. (The exact contribution of each company to the end product is hardly something the public can really know and nor should we expect to - it wont stop us expressing opinions on the internet though, hey?).

I suspect that the more and more entrenched Paizo become as "the cool kid" of the TTRPG world, the more and more they will attract unfair criticism and blame for things they have very little control over (seizing the crown has a downside, unfortunately :p). I think railing against that is as likely to bear fruit as the OP railing against the usage of the word "random" to mean anything other than "totally independent".


noretoc wrote:

Saying that Paizo has ANY blame in this is absolutely ridicules. That is like saying that MARVEL should apologize to you because that Spiderman t-shirt that was made by the Mountain, that you bought at the comic store ran small.

Also to say that the items are for the pathfinder game is also false. They are for any fantasy miniature game. I mean the Gandalf figure ,ade in the 80's wasn't really meant to be used by someone playing LOTR and playing Gandalf.
Seriously, stuff happens. Random is exactly that, random. It doesn't mean different, it means it could be anything, even the same. Next people will be suing restaurants cause their hot coffee is Hot oh wait.

1) Paizo is the owner of the Pathfinder trademark and game world. If they licence production of anything to another company and people have complaints with the product they have every right to bring those concerns to Paizo.

Your example of a shirt being too small is not comparable to this situation. Now if you bought five shirts, and the printed graphic washed off of three of them the first time through the washer. Don't you think it is reasonable to complain to Marvel about the low quality of materials being used by a company they have licensed and important trademark to? Or should you just get over it & buy 3 more?

2) I would gladly post a picture of the box which says Pathfinder on it no less than 3 times. While they can be, and are, used for other games, they are not marketed as such. Nowhere on the box does it say for use with other fantasy miniature games. Yet it does have the Paizo game and trademark plastered on every side, even the bottom. They are licensing their trademark, and are responsible to some degree for how it is used.

3) My complaint is not that I got multiple of the same figures, that is without a doubt expected. It is not even that I got 2 boxes with the same figures. It is that I bought 5 boosters and 3 of them were exactly the same figures in exactly the same order (16, 21, 10, and 33 for the large), inside what is labeled as a "Random assortment in each box". While I understand it is possible, the probability of each of the 3 boxes containing the exact same "Random assortment" is so low as to be negligible.

If you want numbers how about this (using 1-50 to account for rarity, rounding down, and ignoring the large creature), the chance at getting any specific "Random assortment in each box" is about 1 in 100,000 The chance of getting them in a specific order is about 1 in 700,000. The chance of getting three boxes of the exact same figures, in the exact same order is about 1 in 351,298,031,616,000,000.

To put it in perspective, as best I can. I had a better chance of being struck by lightning AND winning the Mega-Millions lottery this past month than I should have of getting 3 booster sets of 3 miniatures in the exact same order.

My point is that the "Random assortment in each box" printed on the box is misleading, and to some extent a lie. while the contents may be unknown, and the box is therefore "random", the assortment of figures in the box does not seem to be random.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Chris,

Regarding your first two points, you're correct that Paizo is the owner of the Pathfinder trademark, and we do have an interest in hearing issues that people have with our licensed products, and we do our best to ensure that licensed products, just like our own products, meet the highest possible standards.

On your third point, though, it's pretty clear that you're trying to apply the same usage of "random" that the original poster is; I've already made it clear that that usage is neither intended nor even desirable. WizKids' usage not only conforms to the dictionary definition of the word, but also to the established industry usage that predates this product by nearly two decades—and much longer than that if you go outside the gaming industry.

If you're arguing that Paizo needs to tell WizKids to conform to your expected definition of random, or to use some other word instead of the established term, I'm sorry, but neither of those things is going to happen.

WizKids puts a lot of effort into their product distribution, and they do continuously make adjustments to improve it. But the type of randomness you're looking for would *not* be an improvement; it would make things worse for *most* customers. (Not just *more*, but literally *most*.)

The possibility of buying duplicate boosters or bricks is not going to go away; and frankly, since the next Pathfinder Battles set draws boosters from a set of 55 minis instead of 60, the possibility of pulling duplicate packages out of different cases will actually increase slightly for that set. But even with that increased potential, it's still minimal. (I know it's hard to hear that we consider it minimal when you're the ones who got unlucky, but it's true.)


Vic Wertz wrote:

I'm not sure why you're throwing out these numbers. Are you trying to get me to agree that distribution is not random? That's not going to happen; the word "random" is absolutely correct; I've already referred you to the dictionary on that. I am sorry that you personally assumed a different definition of random—one that is neither intended nor desirable in this product line. I'm also sorry that you had the misfortune to get a duplicate brick, but the fact that duplicate bricks (or duplicate boosters) exist is not something that's going to change.

You said you've already contacted WizKids through the appropriate channel; please give them time to respond.

I completely understand why the product is designed the way it is, and agree it is done in nearly everyone's best interest. However, I suggest you not get into the definition argument. First, it's beside the point, and second, you're wrong -- the distribution isn't random.


Vic,

I am not intending to argue the definition of random. I completely understand that it is meant to imply that you do not know what you will get in a box. My only complaint about the random part is that the box says "Random Assortment", when in reality it is more of a random set. IE it seems like you will randomly get set a, b, or c being a fixed three pieces set rather than 3 randomly picked miniatures. It is only a minor semantics complaint and not the heart of my misgivings about the miniatures.

I guess the best analogy i can give is that if I said I had a random assortment of change to give you and it turned out to be a dozen nickels, that wouldn't seem like a very random assortment. It would still be random, it just wouldn't feel as such.

I am also not meaning to imply that the miniatures should be completely random or that distribution should be completely random, that would be far worse for merchants and those that can buy cases or bricks.
I would rather see a happy medium where the individual miniatures withing a single booster are more random, while bricks and cases are grouped in the same manner they are now, as you described above.

If I pull 3 boosters off a shelf that are presumably from a single case or two and all 3 boosters contain the same miniatures, in the same order it casts doubt about the authenticity of any amount of randomness. I am upset that 60% of what I have spent on miniatures has been for duplicate boxes, had I gotten 3 sets of the same miniatures mixed between the 5 boxes I wouldn't be complaining, and just chalk it up to bad luck.

As I pointed out the chances of pulling 3 boxes from one location and all three containing the exact same miniatures in the exact same order is so slim as to be ridiculously negligible. But that is exactly what happened to me, it is very disheartening and has made me not want to purchase further Pathfinder products.

Some may disagree and say that I am being critical and whiny, and they are free to have that opinion, but I feel like I ordered 5 "variety" packs of coffee and got a tub of Folgers decaf and a two k-cups... If that makes any sense.

TLDR: I am NOT upset about having duplicate miniatures, I would actually like to have several of each common miniature, you can never have enough goblins. I am only upset that 60% of the boxes I've purchased have been duplicates. The probability of grabbing 5 boxes off a shelf and 3 being the exact same thing should be so low as to be a non-issue, but it happened to me. And since I am new to Pathfinder it has been extremely disheartening and has left me with a bad taste in my mouth and turned me off of future purchases.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Chris, I made this offer to labmonkey as well: I have a bunch of duplicates and spares if you'd like to trade one for one. It might cost a bit in postage but you'll literally be able to name the minis you want and I'm in no rush (so slow boat to australia would be fine, plus ill send mine first, in case I sound like I'm some Nigerian scam. ;p)

Fwiw, I don't see any problem with wizkids' labelling. I think that's just how things are in the collectible world (no doubt baseball card collectors face the same issue). Nonetheless, I appreciate it could feel annoying and who wants that as an introduction to pathfinder/paizo? :)

Pm me if you're interested. I'm sure we can work out something that will suit you.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Chris Evans 52 wrote:
If you want numbers how about this (using 1-50 to account for rarity, rounding down, and ignoring the large creature), the chance at getting any specific "Random assortment in each box" is about 1 in 100,000 The chance of getting them in a specific order is about 1 in 700,000. The chance of getting three boxes of the exact same figures, in the exact same order is about 1 in 351,298,031,616,000,000.

Their are 6 ways arranging 3 figures.

[A,B,C] , [A,C,B] etc

Now assuming you don't have duplicate figures in a box and 44 medium/small minis.

44*43*42=79,464 ways of picking 3 different numbers from 44 with the order mattering.

39,732 if you consider just flips (i.e 1,2,3 and 3,2,1)

13,244 of you consider A,B,C the same as A,C,B etc.

times those numbers by 16 for the large minis.

of cause some of those have 3 rares and are very unlikely so the pool of likely boxes is even smaller then those numbers.

If both stores take out the uncommons and rarer replacing them with commons.

20*19*18= 6,840 , 3,420 & 1,140 ways of getting 3 commons.


Catprog wrote:
Chris Evans 52 wrote:
If you want numbers how about this (using 1-50 to account for rarity, rounding down, and ignoring the large creature), the chance at getting any specific "Random assortment in each box" is about 1 in 100,000 The chance of getting them in a specific order is about 1 in 700,000. The chance of getting three boxes of the exact same figures, in the exact same order is about 1 in 351,298,031,616,000,000.

Their are 6 ways arranging 3 figures.

[A,B,C] , [A,C,B] etc

Now assuming you don't have duplicate figures in a box and 44 medium/small minis.

44*43*42=79,464 ways of picking 3 different numbers from 44 with the order mattering.

39,732 if you consider just flips (i.e 1,2,3 and 3,2,1)

13,244 of you consider A,B,C the same as A,C,B etc.

times those numbers by 16 for the large minis.

I didn't know there were 44, so my math was off. But 44*43*42 will only give you the probability of getting 3 specific miniatures, not in any specific order though. As you mentioned there is only a 1 in 6 chance that they will be in any given order. Your math looks like to divided instead of multiplied. Odd always go down the more complex they get.

If you flip a quarter twice you have a 50% chance of getting a head and a tail, but you only have a 25% chance of getting them in that order, and 25% of the opposite order. Do it four times and you have a 50% chance of getting 2 heads and 2 tails, but only a 6.25% chance of getting four flips in that order.

That being said there is a 1 in 44 chance to get any of the three followed by 1 in 43 for either of the two remaining, and 1 in 42 for the final miniature. To get a specific order we must also account for the 1 in 3 chance that the first is correct, the 1 in 2 for the second being correct and 1 in 1 for the final, which comes to a 1 in 6 chance like you mentioned ...

So you have a 1 in 79,464 chance of getting those three miniatures in any order (assuming equal weighting for the 44 available). But there is only a 1 in 6 chance they will be ordered correctly.

You end up with 44*43*42*6 or 1 in 476,784 chance of picking a single random box having a specific set of 3 miniatures in a certain order.

No spread that over 3 boxes (1:476,784 for the first, second, and third ) and you have a 1 in 108,383,960,962,658,304... Admittedly I was off by a third. And am still off by a fair margin due to the 44 not being equally weighted.

The odds of being struck by lighting and winning the lottery in one month are about 1 in 123 trillion. So I was still almost a hundred time more likely to become an electrified millionaire...


Steve Geddes wrote:

Chris, I made this offer to labmonkey as well: I have a bunch of duplicates and spares if you'd like to trade one for one. It might cost a bit in postage but you'll literally be able to name the minis you want and I'm in no rush (so slow boat to australia would be fine, plus ill send mine first, in case I sound like I'm some Nigerian scam. ;p)

Fwiw, I don't see any problem with wizkids' labelling. I think that's just how things are in the collectible world (no doubt baseball card collectors face the same issue). Nonetheless, I appreciate it could feel annoying and who wants that as an introduction to pathfinder/paizo? :)

Pm me if you're interested. I'm sure we can work out something that will suit you.

It is not that I have a problem with having multiple of the same miniatures, in fact I'm glade I got 3 ogres, and am fine with having 3 of the other ones. I do not really care about collecting them all either, I only care that 3 of the 5 boxes I've purchased are the exact same boxes. As I said, were the miniatures spread between all 5 boxes and I just ended up with 3 of each of those miniatures I would be fine, assume I had bad luck and try again next weekend.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Chris Evans 52 wrote:


I didn't know there were 44, so my math was off. But 44*43*42 will only give you the probability of getting 3 specific miniatures, not in any specific order though. As you mentioned there is only a 1 in 6 chance that they will be in any given order. Your math looks like to divided instead of multiplied. Odd always go down the more complex they get.

If you flip a quarter twice you have a 50% chance of getting a head and a tail, but you only have a 25% chance of getting them in that order, and 25% of the opposite order. Do it four times and you have a 50% chance of getting 2 heads and 2 tails, but only a 6.25% chance of getting four flips in that order.

That being said there is a 1 in 44 chance to get any of the three followed by 1 in 43 for either of the two remaining, and 1 in 42 for the final miniature. To get a specific order we must also account for the 1 in 3 chance that the first is correct, the 1 in 2 for the second being correct and 1 in 1 for the final, which comes to a 1 in 6 chance like you mentioned ...

So you have a 1 in 79,464 chance of getting those three miniatures in any order (assuming equal weighting for the 44 available). But...

Using your method with 4 minis and 2 spots.

4*3 = 12 . * 2 ways = 24 combinations

1,2 1,3 1,4
2,1 2,3 2,4
3,1 3,2 3,4
4,1 4,2 4,3

That is only 12. What are the other 12?

divide by 2 is 6. which means that their should be 6 combinations where the 1st number is lower.

or for 3 minis and 3 spots.

3*2*1 = 6 possibly ways of getting those minis without considering the order.


My method is the way mathematics handles non-repeating number sequences where .... so it does not apply to a 4x2 matrix, this is because the second column only has 1 option. So for pairs it will always be n(n-1) combinations. Which give you 4*3 in you example, 3*2 in a 3x2 matrix, 5*4 in a 5x2 matrix.

1 2 | 2 1 | 3 1 | 4 1 | 5 1
1 3 | 2 3 | 3 2 | 4 2 | 5 2
1 4 | 2 4 | 3 4 | 4 3 | 5 3
1 5 | 2 5 | 3 5 | 4 5 | 5 4

However with sequences of 3 or greater, IE where n-1>1 it does indeed work. For example the number of non-repeating combinations in a 4x4 matrix would be 24. (4*3*2)

1 2 3 4 | 2 1 3 4 | 3 1 2 4 | 4 1 2 3
1 2 4 3 | 2 1 4 3 | 3 1 4 2 | 4 1 3 2
1 4 2 3 | 2 4 1 3 | 3 4 1 2 | 4 3 1 2
1 4 3 2 | 2 4 3 1 | 3 4 2 1 | 4 3 2 1
1 3 4 2 | 2 3 4 1 | 3 2 4 1 | 4 2 3 1
1 3 2 4 | 2 3 1 4 | 3 2 1 4 | 4 2 1 3

Take for example 4 items in random sets of 3. According to what you posted originally there should be (4*3*2) ways of getting the numbers (1,2,3 for example) in the correct order or "with order mattering" as you put it. Followed by 12 ways to get the set "if you consider just flips (i.e 1,2,3 and 3,2,1)" and lastly 6 ways if "you consider [1,2,3] the same as [1,3,2] etc." ... So lets look at the numbers at a non-repeating matrix for 4x3.

1 2 3 | 2 1 3 | 3 1 2 | 4 1 2
1 2 4 | 2 1 4 | 3 1 4 | 4 1 3
1 3 2 | 2 3 1 | 3 2 1 | 4 2 1
1 3 4 | 2 3 4 | 3 2 4 | 4 2 3
1 4 2 | 2 4 1 | 3 4 1 | 4 3 1
1 4 3 | 2 4 3 | 3 4 2 | 4 3 2

As you cans see there are 24 possible combinations, so the chance of getting 1,2,3 exactly would be 1:24. While the chances of getting those three numbers in any order would be 1:6 such as this.

1 2 3 | 2 1 3 | 3 1 2
1 3 2 | 2 3 1 | 3 2 1

Your original statements seems to imply the opposite though. That there should be 24 ways to get the specific order required (1,2,3 for example) followed by 12 ways to get (1,2,3 or 3,2,1) and 6 ways to get any possible combination such as (1,2,3 or 1,3,2).

To get 1,2,3 three times in a row such as I did would be a 1:13,824 chance, yet you seem to be implying it should only be 1:216?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Chris Evans 52 wrote:


Your original statements seems to imply the opposite though. That there should be 24 ways to get the specific order required (1,2,3 for example) followed by 12 ways to get (1,2,3 or 3,2,1) and 6 ways to get any possible combination such as (1,2,3 or 1,3,2).

To get 1,2,3 three times in a row such as I did would be a 1:13,824...

Ah. I am not saying their is x ways of getting the combination, I was saying their was 1 combination in question and x number of possibilities.


Catprog,

Going back through my posts you are correct that I screwed up and was inflating my numbers as a result. I apologize for the mistakes, guess I shouldn't try to do probability or factorials while playing Guild Wars...

You were correct that the total chance of any single combination is only 1:79,464 rather than the 1:476,784 I posted. while the total change of getting the same 3 miniatures in any order would be 1:13244 I'm not sure what I was thinking... or smoking.

That increases the odds of getting 3 boosters with the same miniatures, in the same order to 1:501,777,597,049,344. That is still extremely small, and I am still more likely to win the lottery and get stuck by lightning.

Even if the store I went to did switch things around, which I doubt since they are the largest and most popular gaming store in my area, I would still only have a 1:320,013,504,000 chance of getting 3 boxes with the same miniatures, in the exact same order.

As I've stated several time I am not upset about receiving duplicate miniatures, just the circumstances that I received them under. The probability is so low, even given the worst circumstances, that it should never have been an issue.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I think to get that exact figure you were considering

A,B,C drawn out could go into the box as A,B,C A,C,B B,A,C etc. which would increase the possibilities by 6.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

you know, with all of this math, you might as well plug in the frequency of the minis from the pull thread.... this is only a sample size of 15 cases but here's the breakdown


I would simply like to chime in and say I support Paizo and Wizkids on the distributin model.

Yes, I have purchased several boosters from RotRL that were identical. I have also had the same experience with the DDM line as well.

To me, the current method is far superior for many reasons, including the overall spread of single use figures vs army builders.

I for one, hope the current version of distribution model continues throughout the life of product line.


Just because sometihng is random does not mean it is uniform. Which is required for your calculatoins to be true. Where does it say it follows a uniform distribution on each box.

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