Time to stop Splat n' Bloat


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One of the things I despised about 3.5 is all the bloat caused by endless splat books.

SSG has come out with some neat stuff as had kobold press, however, the game crunch is just getting too much again. One of the things I liked initially about pathfinder was they took the truly core stuff and made it interesting again, enough to jut keep core.

But then you fall into keeping up with the joneses, and buying all the books and then you're back to flipping through three books to build one character again.

Time for me (at least) to sign of all TPP. No more. there are too many. I bought a PDF yesterday called "the harrowed" because I have a player in my party that took "harrowed" as a feat from the CotCT AP, because she wanted to play an oracle that reads cards etc.

But upon buying this product, I realize it has nothing to do with the subject at all instead it's some lame undead that isn't undead creature template.

I think if paizo is going to let TPP sell stuff compatible with the game, the names at titles all need congruency. Too many things running out there that are feats and abilities and templates and archetypes that all mean or do different things with the same name (roof runner rogue archetype vs. shingle runner feat? thats not even a TPP issue for example)

anyhow... just so I dont have another game system ruined for me. No more TPP.

Too bad I cant sell the PDFs I bought. poop.


as far as PFRPG bloat, I understand that a company needs to publish new products to keep itself going. So I suggest compiled soft covers, along the lines of the "complete fighter" and yes it would be a product reprinting previously printed material, but price it like it's a module, and put them out with ALL the archetypes and other related things in one place.

You could have a periodic feats softcover too. Update it once a year like a phonebook? I don't know, just an idea, something to combat the bloat.

Silver Crusade

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Much blood pressure over not reading product descriptions of 0.99 USD PDFs?

Basically, you're venting anger at everyone (3PPs, Paizo, OGL, PDF distribution) while the only one who has made a mistake is ... you. And you're trying to dress it in some nice "splat is evil" clothes, while it all boils down to you not reading 3 sentences written in English.


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you can choose to not allow more books. Some of us do like having options.


Erm thats what I said, I'm not doing any more splat books because it's what I didn't like about how 3.5 got and it got out of control.

You shouldn't use the same names for different things inside the same game system, it would be one thing if you were pulling rules from other similar systems, but when the rules are made for the system, they need to be all on the same page.

But that's not really about bloat, thats a different issue, and it is occurring inside the core books as well. not just one .99 pdf, maybe Im not the only one who doesn't read carefully?? Hmmm?

Liberty's Edge

Agreed some of us do like having options. See I never understood the complaint about too much support. I rather see too much support rather than too little imo. Either way one can disllow other 3pp at the table and use official ones. Or simply just purchase any. Since no one is forced to buy anything. It's almost as if instead of blaming themsevles because they can't help but buy a new book it's the company who created the rpg fault. For doing what they are supposed to be doing in the first place publishing more books. As long as the fanbase wants more material Paizo and any other rpg companies as well as 3pp are going to keep releasing more material. As they should. I just don't see the negative in all this.


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"I am not interested in buying any further material."

"Paizo needs to stop creating any new material or allowing anyone else to create any new material."

Exactly one of these two statements is reasonable.

Dark Archive

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I've never played in a game that ever allowed 3PP, anyway. Like, it's one of the first lines in character creation from every DM I've ever spoke with or actually played under.

You're well within your rights to not use it, but to claim they shouldn't make it because you don't like it is ridiculous.


Didn't say that. I said, they shouldn't allow products with the same name that are different things or too much overlap of features of a class and a feat (shingle runner and roof runner, but there is a lot more than that) , that's an editing issue, in house; which was rampant in the olden days, so should be guarded against now.

Some TPP have feats or features that came out later printed in PF material, I also wouldn't allow that to happen, if "We" as a company are planning on addressing that feat or feature in up coming material and would require "them" not to print that.

These are more or less suggestions or ideas as to how to combat/control bloat from earlier days , as to not go down the same route of yesterday and create the same mess that existed before.

How do "I" choose to combat it? Receding back to only core PF books.

So there were two statements in there.

1) I'm not buying any more and

2) suggestions and what could be done before it got out of control.


Basically the OGL doesn't work that way and the type of control you're suggesting sounds impractical for the open gaming environment. Wotc tried to enact similar control with the GSL fiasco. The result no one wanted to publish 3PP material under those conditions. On the whole I think the proliferation of 3PP is a good thing, yes theres crap out there but a lot of people are creating things they enjoy and hope that others will too. Quality will vary and if you end up wasting 1 buck its not a big deal.

As a recommendation 3PP I like are Open Design/Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Frog God or Necromancer.

As for bloat as the other posters said its your choice to allow it at the table. Myself I would love to run a core rule book only campaign but I know players enjoy the new material from APG etc. From what I've heard many GMs just go with paizo published material (avail in the prd) and that's what I generally do as well.


I know where you're coming from, Pendagast. However, marketing is part of a successful business, and I'm happy to see Paizo driving the market forward.

There's a kind of enjoyment some gamers get from picking up the latest supplements, even if they're never really used, or used practically. It's why I've fallen back on a "Core Rules Only" policy for my game; I wish to develop the actual quality of gameplay, and enjoyment of tabletop roleplaying. To me, THAT is where the enjoyment of gaming is.


Ok so when Im suggesting "core rules only" (and thats ME, not YOU) im talking things that are official from PFRPG (Core, UM,UC, APG) I understand the first book was called "core" thats a bit of a confusion, but I mean ALL PF books as "core" as a genre.

However, before APG came out, I did (as many others have) run CORE games only, and they were a blast. Best game to date we have had in the last 10 years was Second Darkness AP with only the beta rules set to create characters.

I have a hankering to run a classic game. (by which i mean the group will consist of a fighter, a cleric, an arcane caster (wiz or sort) and a rogue using the core rulebook only. No archetypes etc.... but that might take some time to get PCs to want to play those characters, but it would be fun.


While it would be possible to make a reasonable gaming license that would have defined core terms and enforced any publisher participating from reusing already defined term as something completely else, there is no way to do this with material already released under the OGL.


Yeah, so developing new material for the game (i.e. splats) is what keeps a game alive. Do you know what games don't have more splat books coming out? Games that are no longer in print. It is unreasonable to expect a business to stop selling products--how do you expect paizo to keep making money?


mplindustries wrote:
Yeah, so developing new material for the game (i.e. splats) is what keeps a game alive. Do you know what games don't have more splat books coming out? Games that are no longer in print. It is unreasonable to expect a business to stop selling products--how do you expect paizo to keep making money?

In Paizo's case: APs, modules, setting books etc. Content, not more rules. That was their original core business.

There's a good argument to be made that expansion of rules options past a certain point don't make the game better. More classes, archetypes, prestige classes, spells, feats, etc just add more combinations to build exploits, more trap options and more confusion for those who don't have the time to analyze all the possible options.


mplindustries wrote:
Yeah, so developing new material for the game (i.e. splats) is what keeps a game alive. Do you know what games don't have more splat books coming out? Games that are no longer in print. It is unreasonable to expect a business to stop selling products--how do you expect paizo to keep making money?

You don't read do you?

I already stated that.

BTW there are plenty of game companies that have never changed the original rules to games they have released decades ago and are still in business, they just make other games. Paizo and Pathfinder are not the same thing, Paizo has other income sources than just pathfinder.

Edit: Ninja'd thanks for making my point Jeff

Grand Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
In Paizo's case: APs, modules, setting books etc. Content, not more rules. That was their original core business.

Just want to point out, it still is.


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I still seem to be missing the part where "I'm not interested in any more Pathfinder books" implies "Paizo had better stop publishing Pathfinder books immediately". Are those extra books you're not using and not spending money on hurting you in some way?

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I'm actually quite happy not worrying about the APs and other products for my games. I use the main print books, and that's it, and I have a robust number of options at my table.

Pathfinder's also much better on my pocketbook than 3.5 was!


The thing is..No one let alone Paizo can control is someone uses the same noncopyrighted name in two different products. The answer should be easy..if a player wants to play a 3PP anything..they obviously have a copy of it..so have them bring it to you to use. You don't have to but it, unless you like it, and want to use it further.
Seems a lot more reasonable than railing against ALL products, all of which are fully optional anyway.


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Roberta Yang wrote:
I still seem to be missing the part where "I'm not interested in any more Pathfinder books" implies "Paizo had better stop publishing Pathfinder books immediately". Are those extra books you're not using and not spending money on hurting you in some way?

your reading comprehension is your issue. where did i say Paizo had better stop anything?


Blackerose wrote:

The thing is..No one let alone Paizo can control is someone uses the same noncopyrighted name in two different products. The answer should be easy..if a player wants to play a 3PP anything..they obviously have a copy of it..so have them bring it to you to use. You don't have to but it, unless you like it, and want to use it further.

Seems a lot more reasonable than railing against ALL products, all of which are fully optional anyway.

any publisher or store for that matter can control what the allow to be sold.

"for use with" or "compatible with" has to be approved you can't just 'claim it'

Additionally, a store can simply say "we aren't selling that" (like refusing to sell something with bad language in it for example) all that stuff goes through an editor in chief in the same way a magazine or newspaper decides what they want to allow in print.

So yes, they do have control.

IF a TPP decided to print an oracle class that has nothing to do with the already existing oracle class, Im sure it would not appear for sale on this website. that would create an overlap and confusion in rules and would be caught immediately.

However, smaller things have slipped through to create unnecessary rules bloat, which "might be" an issue of some of this stuff having existed before the official PFRPG 'or' "might be" an example of slipping through the editorial cracks. Which I do not know.

What I was stating was, that that was something terrible about 3.5, and I'd like it not to happen again. so would like to see stuff like that not reoccur or continue.

IF (for example) Shingle runner, being a 3.5 feat (tho technically paizo and golarion in nature) is now replaced with roof runner archetype, THEN I would say that's a strong argument for a need to reprint "all" old APs (at least ones for sale currently on Paizo) in the PF rules.

I know they say RotRL is going to be the only one, but there is a good reason to do other stuff as well and bring things ALL into this rules set.

Grand Lodge

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Pendagast wrote:
IF a TPP decided to print an oracle class that has nothing to do with the already existing oracle class, Im sure it would not appear for sale on this website. that would create an overlap and confusion in rules and would be caught immediately.

*ahem*


I thought they changed it to the magister now?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

They haven't yet.


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That's why they shoulda called the "magus" the swordwitchster.

Or "stabbacadabra."

"Gishspanki" has a nice ring.


Though, to be fair to the SGG Magus, it had that name first and Paizo chose to use a name that had already been used by a 3rd party publisher.

@Stabacadabra: It certainly would be a unique name.


Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:

That's why they shoulda called the "magus" the swordwitchster.

Or "stabbacadabra."

"Gishspanki" has a nice ring.

I will eat your soul.


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Caedwyr wrote:
Though, to be fair to the SGG Magus, it had that name first and Paizo chose to use a name that had already been used by a 3rd party publisher.

Which is precisely why Pendagast's plan wouldn't work. Paizo doesn't need to keep up on all the 3pp stuff that's produced. Heck, not all of it is even available here. As far as I know, they don't even need to tell Paizo they are selling stuff under the license.

A lot of this is not really something that Paizo can address realistically. I understand where Pendagast is coming from. I feel I have made some poor 3PP purchases in the past. That's part of being a consumer. You get burned sometimes. I also feel that there is a lot of great material out there that isn't breaking the game and it is up to the individual groups to figure out which is which.


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Yeah, like everything both first and 3rd party, if you want to reduce the number of times you are burned by a product you don't like, you need to read the reviews and do your homework. Buying things site unseen may produce a surprise, but it doesn't guarantee you'll like the surprise. It's part of the reason I've backed off my Paizo purchases as I got burned a few times on content that I feel didn't have a strong pull to it, or which had lower quality. I've also had similar experiences with some 3rd party material (although, less often as I typically do more research of 3rd party material prior to purchase).


Pendagast wrote:


BTW there are plenty of game companies that have never changed the original rules to games they have released decades ago and are still in business, they just make other games. Paizo and Pathfinder are not the same thing, Paizo has other income sources than just pathfinder.

You mean like Palladium?


Just for the record the easiest way not to be burned by any product is to check the product reviews, or the previews, or just reading the description. All three really will tell you whether or not spending that dollar is wise.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yes, but someone usually has to get burned to write those reviews. This thread is an example of it.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Yes, but someone usually has to get burned to write those reviews. This thread is an example of it.

Not always. Endzeitgeist is a reliable reviewer for 3pp pathfinder stuff good or bad. We could honestly use more reviewers like them.

Grand Lodge

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You missed the 'usually' didn't you? Endzeitgeist is only one reviewer after all.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
You missed the 'usually' didn't you? Endzeitgeist is only one reviewer after all.

Which is why we need more.


I do agree with there being far too many archetypes,feats,spells and other things appearing. I am thinking that there is a 'Must have more feats/equipment/spells' mentality going on that produces things like 'Prone Shooter more often than not.


It's not about being burned, that was more of an example of 'poor bloat', disorganization and chaos to a game system.

Paizo, Im sure knew all about SSG Magus before they chose magus for their class, and for whatever reason they chose to go ahead with it.

However, many people ARE misunderstanding the control a publisher does have. Sure you can come out with stuff all you want (home brew) but wether it is acceptably affiliated is another issue.

Paizo choses which TPP they 'allow' to be affiliated. Some stuff can be used under OGL but not all (ala WOTC stuff that paizo can't use)

The mutual goal is supposed to be an improved game system, not a repeat of a fiasco.

All the nit picks on 3.5, and then turn around and repeat history? Seriously? Bad move.

EDIT: addiitonally paizo choses exactly whats for sale on their website, every little last bit of it.


They choose what's on their site but do they choose what can be published at all? What about products not sold here?


products not sold here would depend on what they legally have control over (according to licenses and laws). but if they aren't sold here there is a reason why they aren't.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I believe anyone wishing to advertise their material as PF compatible must submit it for review before being granted license to do so. How in-depth this review goes I do not know.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
They choose what's on their site but do they choose what can be published at all? What about products not sold here?

As long as a 3PP wishes to make use of the Pathfinder Compatibility License, they need to ensure that they follow the rules set forth in that license. Other than that, no. Paizo doesn't control anything that doesn't violate the OGL.

Shadow Lodge

Pendagast wrote:
products not sold here would depend on what they legally have control over (according to licenses and laws). but if they aren't sold here there is a reason why they aren't.

Mostly because certain publishers have higher visibility on other sites like RPGNow. Or exclusive contracts with such sites.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I believe anyone wishing to advertise their material as PF compatible must submit it for review before being granted license to do so. How in-depth this review goes I do not know.

I'm sure with the boatloads of time, money, and employess they have Paizo will surely be able to review every single pdf from 0.99 to 39.99 that is submitted as Pathfinder compatible.

That was sarcasm by the way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:
I'm sure with the boatloads of time, money, and employess they have Paizo will surely be able to review every single pdf from 0.99 to 39.99 that is submitted as Pathfinder compatible.

Looking at the license application form, which only has a single text box for the applicant to describe their entire product line in, I would say it is only in-depth when something or someone brings problems to their attention.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Which was the case a while back, I think, when a 3PP had a rather risque succubus on the cover of one of their products. Can't remember the 3PP or the product but the issue was dealt with.

Liberty's Edge

Im still not seeing the case for less 3pp support. Or less support in gneral. Either through Paizo or 3pp. I would rather have more choices than less choices. Once again unless you have a gun pointed at your head as a consumer one is not forced to buy any product. I rather have access to 3pp since I have found some material from Paizo to be lacking to say the least. And really Palladium books is the company that is used as "doing things right". Palladium really. I am a fan of their products and even I have to shake my head at that.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

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Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:

That's why they shoulda called the "magus" the swordwitchster.

Or "stabbacadabra."

"Gishspanki" has a nice ring.

I was definitely in favor of "Stabracadabrist" as a name for the class. :)

Shadow Lodge

Ravenmantle wrote:
Which was the case a while back, I think, when a 3PP had a rather risque succubus on the cover of one of their products. Can't remember the 3PP or the product but the issue was dealt with.

I believe that was also Super Genius Games. I am still sad I did not get the Xtreme edition. :(

Edit: Mythic Menagerie: Demonic Harlots, to be precise.


Can't I create something that follows the OGL or whichever license and not have to submit it to Paizo first? I'm pretty sure that I have seen apps and websites that do just that.

Besides, even if everything was submitted, is it reasonable to expect Paizo to keep a database of every name used to avoid duplication? What if the 3pp published their product first, has dozens of products that use that name, and then Paizo decides they also want to publish something with that name but it is clearly different? Should they pick a different name or should they force the original to change everything?

I really think that this isn't nearly as big of an issue as it was turned into. Sometimes we we just make a decision that doesn't pan out. Such is life.

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