Paizo needs to get their house in order


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

First, I'd like to start out by thanking Paizo for producing a myriad of wonderful products that I enjoy on a daily basis. Without them, tabletop roleplaying as we know of it today may well be dead for me. Overall, their products and services are some of the finest I have ever seen.

That being said, Paizo seriously needs to start getting their house in order. It's like they can't make up their minds, or their in-house lines of communication are nearly non-existent, or something.

Pathfinder developers tell us that you cannot combine Vital Strike with a number of other sensible options, such as Spring Attack or charge--all the while REPEATEDLY producing products that clearly show it being done despite their public protestations.

They also tell us that monks cannot make all of their flurry attacks with only a single weapon. Again, nearly everything aside from their public statements suggests the contrary, including nearly every monk product and stat block ever produced by their company.

These are but two of the bigger examples of where they say one thing, but do another. There are others.

Please Paizo, either recant your statements to the contrary, or issue mass errata. Whatever needs to be done to make things consistent again. Continuing to breed confusion amongst your customer base can only hurt you in the long run. Better to get it settled in the here and now.


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Dear Forest,

Two of your trees have a few branches that are looking a bit less than stellar.

Please fix them immediately or I will be forced to find that you are no longer a beautiful ecosystem full of interesting flora and fauna.

I will instruct the flora and fauna to leave you immediately. Okay, that might be hard for some of the flora but I'm still totally going to do it.

Get your act together, Forest. This is your last warning.

Love,
Lamontius


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Unless you are playing society, why does it matter? Just issue a table ruling and go with it.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lamontius wrote:


Dear Forest,

Two of your trees have a few branches that are looking a bit less than stellar.

Please fix them immediately or I will be forced to find that you are no longer a beautiful ecosystem full of interesting flora and fauna.

I will instruct the flora and fauna to leave you immediately. Okay, that might be hard for some of the flora but I'm still totally going to do it.

Get your act together, Forest. This is your last warning.

Love,
Lamontius

These are hardly typos or "less than stellar" product design. These are major issues that undermine their company's reputation. On these very boards there are threads addressing them with THOUSANDS of posts. Yet, nothing has really changed for the better.

It has done nothing less than to promote mass confusion in the Pathfinder roleplaying base on the issues at hand. Everywhere people are screaming "which is it Paizo!?" <-- metaphorically speaking

They can ignore it if they want, but the problem will only continue to grow.

I'd rather get it nipped in the butt before other, similar problems begin to arise. If they can't communicate internally better, than further confusing contradictions are inevitable.

Let's just get it fixed now, shall we?

notabot wrote:
Unless you are playing society, why does it matter? Just issue a table ruling and go with it.

The ability to house rule does not fix a broken rule. That is a common fallacy. And I would think that anything that is possibly damaging to a corporation's reputation should matter for OBVIOUS reasons. Undoubtedly people read these forums to gauge the quality of their product before purchasing. What do they find but a thousand page thread about how an extremely unpopular ruling has gone ignored by the game developers. When a corporation starts ignoring the needs and wants of its own customer base, it is only a matter of time before it loses said customer base.

Though Paizo remains popular, this past year has not been good for their reputation. There was the monk fiasco a few months back which caused a huge uproar, and though it's simmered a bit, continues to roar on today. Then there is the discontent among their customer base with their inconsistent Vital Strike rulings, which has only grown since the year before.

Silver Crusade

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notabot wrote:
Unless you are playing society, why does it matter? Just issue a table ruling and go with it.

Because some people don't want to spend money on a system that they feel they have to change and houserule.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lamontius wrote:


I will instruct the flora and fauna to leave you immediately. Okay, that might be hard for some of the flora but I'm still totally going to do it.

That's what Animate Plant and Awaken are for. :)


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In answer to the op if you can do any better be my guest
And if not stop whining and just have you and your group house rule it


Lamontius wrote:


Dear Forest,

Two of your trees have a few branches that are looking a bit less than stellar.

Please fix them immediately or I will be forced to find that you are no longer a beautiful ecosystem full of interesting flora and fauna.

I will instruct the flora and fauna to leave you immediately. Okay, that might be hard for some of the flora but I'm still totally going to do it.

Get your act together, Forest. This is your last warning.

Love,
Lamontius

Genius : )

That forest better shape up!


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There was a thread awhile ago about "too many cooks in the Pathfinder kitchen" and how it causes these problems.

I'm not sure what documents that Sean sends all the new freelancers, but perhaps a list of common mistakes or relatively unknown rules would be helpful as well. I know that this thread was a great help to my understanding of the rules, and there's a somewhat-up-to-date compilation of the posts here.

I'm sure a counter argument would be "Well what are we paying them for if we have to tell them everything?", but such a list would really help smooth out author variation, as well as reduce the number of argumentative threads on the forums, which is always good :)


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Thanks, Cheapy.

tony gent wrote:

In answer to the op if you can do any better be my guest

And if not stop whining and just have you and your group house rule it

Is it really such a terrible thing for a customer to ask the game designer for consistency in their game's rules?

The NPC Codex, among other products, is rife with NPCs outright breaking the rules--regularly doing things, that for PCs, are strictly forbidden.

Silver Crusade

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tony gent wrote:

In answer to the op if you can do any better be my guest

And if not stop whining and just have you and your group house rule it

I honestly hope you never represent a business.


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Of course, the vast majority of the things are consistent. It's just that the inconsistencies stick out like a sore thumb.

I'm still wondering when the conspiracy that Paizo intentionally made the vital strike / monk / spring attack mistake because they wanted to dash the hopes of monks will pop up.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Thanks, Cheapy.

tony gent wrote:

In answer to the op if you can do any better be my guest

And if not stop whining and just have you and your group house rule it

Is it really such a terrible thing for a customer to ask the game designer for consistency in their game's rules?

The NPC Codex, among other products, is rife with NPCs outright breaking the rules--regularly doing things that PCs are strictly forbidden.

To you, Rife is three errors in a 500 page tome, so I'll take that with a grain of salt. The problem is that Pathfinder is an increasingly complex system so the presence of holes in it is inevitable. However there is hardly anything in the rules which isn't fixed by a Judge with something other than a knot tied on the end of his spinal cord. They're producing a lot of work on a breakneck schedule, so things are going to slip every now and then.

That's hardly enough to sound a Doomsday Clarion Call.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Undoubtedly people read these forums to gauge the quality of their product before purchasing. What do they find but a thousand page thread about how an extremely unpopular ruling has gone ignored by the game developers.

A thousand pages of many of the same players tilting at yet another piece of minutia, brandishing their dictionaries like weapons, and holding a game to a level of scrutiny that nothing could withstand is unlikely to stop anyone from purchasing these well-written/well-conceived products.

I imagine most of the masses simply ignore it as a bunch of people yelling and not listening, and they simply wander off to play the game with friends and have a good time.

I guess no matter what you do there will always be a vocal minority that need to seek out something to complain about.

I join the "just house rule it" camp. It is a game of imagination where a skeleton had been provided, and if you want it taller just add a vertebrae or 6.

Just my 2.5 cp

p.s. if I had anyone at my table start a "RAW vs. RAI" diatribe...sheesh, I'd probably stab them with a spork.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
LazarX wrote:
To you, Rife is three errors in a 500 page tome, so I'll take that with a grain of salt.

To me "rife," is when nearly every monk stat block ever produced by the company assumes flurry with a single weapon is possible. "Rife" is when every other NPC (not monster) with Vital Strike is said to make best use of it with Spring Attack in the company's official flasgship book of NPCs.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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You know, I don't think this is necessarily the way to urge anyone to change anything, but for the sake of (hopefully civil) discussion I do actually agree Paizo often at least makes the appearance of not having good internal communication, and it is the thing that frustrates me most about what is otherwise a very good, responsive, creative company with excellent customer service.

The vital strike issue and the flurry issue are the most recent, pointed examples, or at least the ones most publicly discussed. Both of these revolve around a developer ruling not meshing with character builds presented in their products, IIRC. And in some cases, the way certain archetypes work (zen archer&sohei vs flurry). Which smacks of something going awry in communication, editing, or both.

Getting multiple, often conflicting calls from different designers in the forums doesn't help. I and a friend of mine have often discussed that it would be wonderful if Paizo had an official public relations rep who would read the boards and filter out all the chaff for the wheat of good feedback and questions, sent the filtered "best of" questions to the designers and got answers, and then posted all official rulings and responses from Paizo as from a single voice. This person could get clarifications as needed. It would create a buffer between the fans and the designers that would help avoid frustration between the two--since the PR rep is just a messenger, there's no temptation on his side and less on the posters' side to start arguments about rulings. It would also importantly create an air of consistency. The problem of course is that even if this idea seemed desirable to Paizo (and I have no reason to assume that it would be) this theoretical person would need to be paid, and Paizo is a small company with each of its employees busting their butts on existing tasks already.


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Usually not bothered about this kind of thing but.....
Isn't it about having fun?
Bumblebees aren't aerodynamically sound but they can still fly! :|
Dammit bumblebees stop being able to fly, the science proves it.
Nature release an errata on bumblebees please otherwise banish them with the forest that needs to shape up.

Some Roleplaying game rules don't make sense :/
Cats and dogs living together mass hysteria!!!

We're all doomed.

"Framework of rules" and "Have fun" I seem to recall that line of text from somewhere in the annals of time.


One thing I do recall was in a module there was an alchemist who had a note next to their stat block saying that they had 2 points of Int damage because of using the infusion discovery. I don't particularly see that as binding as mistakes happen, and the rest of the module is pretty well done.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
tony gent wrote:

In answer to the op if you can do any better be my guest

And if not stop whining and just have you and your group house rule it

Part of the point of these message boards is to provide the Paizo staff a more direct line of communication & identification with their customer base.

The fact that Paizo has such a strong reputation for just that is a very good indication that the message boards work. They only work however, when people can use them.
If you don't agree with RD, you don't agree with him. I know I don't, always, but that isn't a good enough reason to effectively say 'sit down & shut up'.


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This just seems like a GRAR thread just to vent.

Honestly rule inconsistency is liable to come up whenever you have a bunch of freelancers developing products unless you have a brutal editor who has a encyclopedic memory of the rules and the ability to see how every new option might interact with each other.

Yeah having a big design bible might be worthwhile but I think at a certain point you have to either spend a huge amount of time playtesting everything or accept that some stuff will slip through the cracks and that you'll have to issue rule corrections and errata documents.


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Title's a bit aggressive considering the specific points that follow.

I may be too late, but maybe people can cleanse the title from their minds, read the OP's points, and respond to them?

I have noticed that the official response on certain issues seems divided, and the the rulings are somewhat contradictory at times. I also sometimes get the sense that the devs change their minds about certain rules, but then don't reveal why.

But. None of this bothers me in the slightest. I'm perfectly capable of playing/GMing the game without rulings on any of this, and I do.

It's nothing more than a minor annoyance. RD is perhaps correct, but blowing it out of proportion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally I always find the "If you don't like it fix it" argument silly. When I buy a car if the windshield is cracked or the taillight wiggles I have every right to take it back and expect it fixed, or at the very least assume that buyers will note the obvious flaws and then make sure the maker addresses those in their next model year, or not buy them. In RPGs since everyone is a mechanic the makers can sell you a product with literally missing or broken pieces and everyone just says "quit your whining, what do you expect perfection?" lol No, I just expect that if I pay money for something I shouldn't have to fix it as soon as I drive it off the lot, or duct tape corrective text all over my dash. Sorry, just my opinion.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Another issue I just recalled, is Paizo products showcasing alchemist NPCs with the ability to make constructs--something which is not explicitly possible in the rules (as alchemists, according to Paizo, are not spellcasters).


Those alchemist NPCs weren't statted up though.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

RD is perhaps correct, but blowing it out of proportion.

I'm not the one blowing it out of proportion. I merely pointed out a problem that, well, continues to be a problem. I never once said that it was the end of the world, or could even lead to the end of the company, just that it had the potential to hurt them.

It's other posters who are using such antagonistic words like "doomsday" and "conspiracy"--usually as a means of discrediting my claims rather than offering a proper rebuttal.

I thought that "continued inconsistencies in one's products possibly hurting the producers" to be a common sense notion. But I guess it's just considered an "overreaction from a whiny customer" these days. *rolls eyes*

Cheapy wrote:
Those alchemist NPCs weren't statted up though.

Wasn't there one in Carrion Crown #2? Perhaps you're right though, I was a player in that one and never saw an actual stat block.

In any case, that would make sense, since they COULDN'T stat up such a character to begin with.

Dark Archive

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DeathQuaker wrote:
Getting multiple, often conflicting calls from different designers in the forums doesn't help. I and a friend of mine have often discussed that it would be wonderful if Paizo had an official public relations rep who would read the boards and filter out all the chaff for the wheat of good feedback and questions, sent the filtered "best of" questions to the designers and got answers, and then posted all official rulings and responses from Paizo as from a single voice. This person could get clarifications as needed. It would create a buffer between the fans and the designers that would help avoid frustration between the two--since the PR rep is just a messenger, there's no temptation on his side and less on the posters' side to start arguments about rulings. It would also importantly create an air of consistency. The problem of course is that even if this idea seemed desirable to Paizo (and I have no reason to assume that it would be) this theoretical person would need to be paid, and Paizo is a small company with each of its employees busting their butts on existing tasks already.

Good stuff, DeathQuaker. Well-reasoned amd well-spoken.

It does feel, from way over where I'm sitting, that there are at least two distinct design philosophies in a state of cold war over at Paizo.

Worse, half the time, I find myself agreeing with one of them, and the other half the time I find myself agreeing with the other, which creates some sort of dissonance... IMO, on occasion, new rules or mechanics or subsystems feel like, instead of adding to the game, they are taking away things that were already assumed to be there, closing doors and shutting down opportunities instead of opening them up.

And, again, occasionally, the explanation for why something doesn't work the way it was originally assumed to work is that 'we didn't intend that' or 'we don't like that,' and not 'it's a mechanical problem.' I remember that being a major annoyance playing EverQuest, when players would discover an interesting interaction of the game mechanics and the developers would label it an 'exploit' not necessarily because it was wrecking the game (although some were indeed bad...), but because 'that's not how we want you to play the game' or 'that's not how we envisioned it.'

Instead of rewarding innovation, such as encouraging the monk player who finds a way to make the class fun for their playstyle (perhaps by specifically including options to highlight and enhance that niche), the hammer comes down and punishes them for their creativity and decrees their 'fun' to be 'wrong.'


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Set wrote:
It does feel, from way over where I'm sitting, that there are at least two distinct design philosophies in a state of cold war over at Paizo.

I've had that impression as well.


Yea, CC #2 had one, and I have the book right next to me. They mention him, and

Spoiler:
he does play a central part. But they don't give him any stats. Same goes for the alchemist lich mentioned in CC #5 or 6.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

But it is established that multiple NPC alchemists have been responsible for making constructs in Paizo products?

That can still lead to confusion and contradiction (even if they are later found to be wizards who just happened to have the Craft: Alchemy skill).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have to agree with Raving Dork, I've found several characters in various AP's that assume feat chains work differently... for instance Spring Attack + Vital strike, I've seen a half dozen stat blocks built with these two feats used in combination and mentioned in the combat tactics as working together but have seen it posted in the boards that they are mutually exclusive. We house ruled that they could be used in conjunction with one another by essentially saying that Vital strike can be used for any combination that results in a single attack. Our house rule works but I'd like to see a little more consistency on things like this in the message boards...

Honestly we need a ask Jason or James thread that is "Official" and not full of silly questions about life and philosophy and other minutiae, how about a petition or movement to get an errata or rules clarification Thread instead of them being random or hard to find...

Digital Products Assistant

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Removed a post. Please don't make personal jabs at other posters.


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Well spoken DQ!

Evil Lincoln wrote:

Title's a bit aggressive considering the specific points that follow.

I may be too late, but maybe people can cleanse the title from their minds, read the OP's points, and respond to them?

I have noticed that the official response on certain issues seems divided, and the the rulings are somewhat contradictory at times. I also sometimes get the sense that the devs change their minds about certain rules, but then don't reveal why.

But. None of this bothers me in the slightest. I'm perfectly capable of playing/GMing the game without rulings on any of this, and I do.

It's nothing more than a minor annoyance. RD is perhaps correct, but blowing it out of proportion.

Evil Lincoln for the win, everyone!

(By the way, I recently ran into your avatar*.

SPOILER!:
And I murdered him.
I hope you don't mind.)

*

More spoiler!:
No, seriously, I saw the guy's picture in an adventure and I went, "HEY! It's Evil Lincoln! That guy's awesome!" much to the confusion of my wife. And then I proceeded to intimidate/convince him to drop his weapon, out-bluff and out-initiative him into mancles, perform a mock-up of a court trial with out-diplomacying him, and then kill him with a rope (though technically someone else pulled the gallows handle). I don't expect I could actually do that with you, as, you know, you seem pretty smart. *secretly gets manacles ready*

FAKE-EDIT: soooooooooo, as always ninja'd before finishing a post.
Set, RD, I think you guys are right, but it's more than one "Cold War", and I think that they're kind of open about it, based on the number of times I've seen the Devs call each other out on the forums itself. From my impression, Pathfinder is filled with a bunch of people who are, at heart, gamers. Get four gamers together and tell them to design a single system, and I pretty much guarantee that you'll get four systems handed back to you. That's why Paizo - a small company that's basically made by fans of a game - is such an amazing success.

That said, you've got a good point, Set: sometimes new options "open up" with new rules that actually take away options and limit things that can be done. For instance, I was recently looking at feats and ran into the Equipment Trick feats. Ack! They are so cool, in theory, but in practice it suddenly means that you can't do those things without the feats, which flies in the face of a number of games that we've played already.

And, while I know the mere mention gives James Jacobs caniption fits, the Juju Oracle is a prime example of what seemed like a godsend to me and many others, only for JJ to immediately jump in and go "NOPE! WRONG! YOU CAN'T HAVE THIS!" as a perfect example of what RD was talking about. Of course, he meant in canon Golarion as opposed to in your home games, but it doesn't come off that way. Instead it comes off as "Hey, here's a nifty thing, but we'll never ever let you have it ever." which is actually really frustrating. It would almost have been nicer for it to never have existed... which would be a thing that occurred with better communication.

Anyway, I love Paizo and Pathfinder and am all for them doing their thing. JJ has the absolute right to say, "Not in canon Golarion" for anything at all. I support the company and hope they do well. I'd just also like for a bit more consistency (and yet conversely freedom) in the methodology of how they produce their rules.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
bodrin wrote:

Usually not bothered about this kind of thing but.....

Isn't it about having fun?
Bumblebees aren't aerodynamically sound but they can still fly! :|
Dammit bumblebees stop being able to fly, the science proves it.
Nature release an errata on bumblebees please otherwise banish them with the forest that needs to shape up.

Some Roleplaying game rules don't make sense :/
Cats and dogs living together mass hysteria!!!

We're all doomed.

"Framework of rules" and "Have fun" I seem to recall that line of text from somewhere in the annals of time.

But you see bodrin, we can't have fun unless we know how the rules will let us have fun. It's not as if each and every gaming table across this green and blue globe is allowed to simply decide how the game works best for them. That would just be anarchy. Skies of blood, dogs and cats sleeping together.

I know from experience, my gaming table decided to allow Vital Strike to work on a charge and with Spring Attack. You know what happened? Jason Bulmahn showed up and made us all feel bad. really bad. it wasn't fun.


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Xenh wrote:


p.s. if I had anyone at my table start a "RAW vs. RAI" diatribe...sheesh, I'd probably stab them with a spork.

Is it wrong of me to hope that someone at your table does just so I can read about someone being sporked to death?

On topic, yes the issues cited are niggling and are to be expected in any system with so many moving parts all rubbing against each other, and so many movers of those parts rubbing together (well one assumes the devs are rubbing together, buncha Seattle-livin' hippies).

And yes, the part about the devs rubbing together is a joke.

And yes, the amount of discussion on these topics means that Paizo really ought to clarify them once and for all and stop making whichever mistakes it's repeatedly making because it does get silly after a while.

And no, it's not a big deal.

And yes, it IS too much to demand a system you never have to house rule. No game system can possibly cover every contingency and contradictions will come up from time to time and that's what GMs are for anyway.

And yes, getting all the devs singing from the same hymn on contentious issues is a good thing.

And no, it's not the end of the world, or of a game, or of a business, if it doesn't happen in a few specific instances, particularly in a game as complex and multifaceted as 3.x.

And yes, Paizo maybe does spread the work around a bit too much so that people with an incomplete or incorrect appreciation of the rules put out something that contradicts with something else someone else said.

And yes, spreading the work around that much is a very good thing in general because it means different viewpoints, different areas of creativity, and more designers learning their chops and going on to big things in the industry.

And yes, the OP maybe should have taken a deep breath and counted to 10 before posting with such vehemence.

And yes the OP did raise points worth addressing.

And yes, the pizza in the meeting down the hall smells fantastic and I hope there's some left over...


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tacticslion wrote:

And, while I know the mere mention gives James Jacobs caniption fits, the Juju Oracle is a prime example of what seemed like a godsend to me and many others, only for JJ to immediately jump in and go "NOPE! WRONG! YOU CAN'T HAVE THIS!" as a perfect example of what RD was talking about. Of course, he meant in canon Golarion as opposed to in your home games, but it doesn't come off that way. Instead it comes off as "Hey, here's a nifty thing, but we'll never ever let you have it ever." which is actually really frustrating. It would almost have been nicer for it to never have existed... which would be a thing that occurred with better communication.

Anyway, I love Paizo and Pathfinder and am all for them doing their thing. JJ has the absolute right to say, "Not in canon Golarion" for anything at all. I support the company and hope they do well. I'd just also like for a bit more consistency (and yet conversely freedom) in the methodology of how they produce their rules.

Another fine example of what I was talking about. Thank you, Tacticslion.


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I don't think there are any people claiming that there aren't some pretty ugly rule contradictions that Paizo needs to sort out. Even Paizo reps have admitted this and promised response.

The issue is, what the heck is taking them so long?!? In any other company, fixing defects in your current product takes precedence over putting out new product (unless said new product fixes said defects)

I quite enjoy pathfinder, but I gotta agree with RD here. Not as a threat, but as a warning to Paizo: this is the way systems die. This is a good way to kill your company, and a rookie mistake. Make addressing problems in the ruleset the priority, not a priority, or you are leaving cracks in the foundation of your product. And remember: being overly specific with rules is what got 4E.


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As usual RD is bringing a sledge to a tack driving contest...

But he makes a valid point. I just don't think it's remotely as important as he thinks it is.

Having said that, yes, I would like to see Paizo (and other companies) spend more time understanding and sticking to their own rules before generating scads of new rules that lead to further complications as new rules collide with older rules because the new rule was written with a lack of analysis of how it will synergize with existing rules.

There is another issue here which does bug me a bit, and that's when a thread on a subject repeatedly generates hundreds or thousands of posts and creates serious arguments and bad feeling between members of their customer community, yet even though this is a Paizo-sponsored and supported forum with the capacity for, and extensive use of, the FAQ system to ask for official rulings, Paizo developers refuse to step in and answer the most basic questions hiding behind the "the rules are the rules" excuse when clearly the rules are not clear enough or the arguments would not be so extensive nor so emotional.

Seriously, just answer a dozen repeatedly raised questions and at least explain what the game is intended to do. We know your developers read and post on the forums, so we know you are aware of these issues. That's the most serious "credibility" issue I have with Paizo.

Just answer the damn questions, will you?


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
As usual RD is bringing a sledge to a tack driving contest...

I really have no idea what you're talking about.


Ravingdork wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
As usual RD is bringing a sledge to a tack driving contest...
I really have no idea what you're talking about.

LOL, that's good RD.

I love your posts man, and you have a large number of very good qualities as a gamer (and probably as a person, but that's pure speculation)...

But subtlety is not one of them...

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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You know, sometimes the devs actually prefer to leave things intentionally ambiguous so that gamers can try both ways out at their tables. They've said this a couple times. And sometimes something that people on the forums believe is an easy clarification is actually tied in to a larger underlying issue that they're currently trying to sort out. The Spring Attack / Vital Strike issue is tied into the attack vs. attack action issue, which is actually a very large and complex problem. Much of the material that existed used the two terms interchangeably, so when the clarification was made that "attack action" was supposed to represent something different than just "attack" a huge array of inconsistencies suddenly revealed itself since not every person who'd ever written for Paizo was aware of this distinction.
Some inconsistencies even bleed over into new products, since a write-up that was started in December of 2011 for an October 2012 release is unlikely to reflect a non-errata clarification that came out in August 2012. The sheer volume of material and the number of outside sources and talents that Paizo contracts with make a certain number of inconsistencies inevitable, and the fix isn't always as simple as saying "When we said X, this is how it should be interpreted" because such a statement could easily invalidate prior instances of X that were written under a different assumption.
Paizo is an amazing company that constantly works to improve their product and provide the best material possible. Carefully thinking through issues as they arise and not giving in to knee-jerk reactions spurred on by the vocal minority is not something they should be criticized for, nor is their willingness to bring in an unprecedented number of outside talents, give them a place to test their material, and even showcase some of the best of said material within their own products.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yet another example of rules inconsistency: For years, everyone thought that reach and threatened spaces functioned just like v3.5, and yet it was recently brought to light that much of the old rules text doesn't exist in Pathfinder. This results in gaps in both logic and in a reach-weapon wielder's corners.

In short, a polearm wielder CANNOT attack anyone in a diagonal hallway and anyone can charge up to said defender (hallway or not) without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Where's the inconsistency?

gbonehead wrote:

There's one other thing to consider - just as there's no facing in Pathfinder (or 3.5 for that matter), there's no "sub-footprint positioning." This is actually very relevant.

Consider how a medium creature has 5-foot reach, and yet threatens the entirety of a 15-foot by 15-foot area when wielding a dagger. Obviously in a true simulation this could not possibly be so - 15-feet is a pretty darn huge area.

Also consider a huge giant, which has a 15-foot by 15-foot footprint on the map. In the real world, if you were close by with a dagger, it would just stand at the 'back' of that footprint, stay out of reach and flatten you with a club. However, in Pathfinder, with no sub-footprint positioning, if you threaten any single part of its footprint (even just one square), you threaten it.

Now, finally, consider that pole arm. Straight out to the sides, it's easy. Since you're considered to be in any part of your square, you threaten the entire square at range 5-10. But how about the corners?

Sure, you can't quite reach that far side of the corner; it's nearly 15-feet away. However, you can quite handily reach that NEAR corner, which is just over 7 feet away. Thus, since whoever is in that square is assumed to be in all parts of the square, you threaten part of the square and thus all of it - just like how you threaten that huge giant with your dagger even though you might only be able to reach one of the nine squares in its footprint.

It really does make far more sense to threaten that corner square with a pole arm since you can reach part of it instead of saying you don't threaten it because you can't reach all of it.

For more info on the reach issue, check out this thread.

Ssalarn wrote:
You know, sometimes the devs actually prefer to leave things intentionally ambiguous so that gamers can try both ways out at their tables. They've said this a couple times. And sometimes something that people on the forums believe is an easy clarification is actually tied in to a larger underlying issue that they're currently trying to sort out. The Spring Attack / Vital Strike issue is tied into the attack vs. attack action issue, which is actually a very large and complex problem. Much of the material that existed used the two terms interchangeably, so when the clarification was made that "attack action" was supposed to represent something different than just "attack" a huge array of inconsistencies suddenly revealed itself since not every person who'd ever written for Paizo was aware of this distinction.

There's a big difference between choosing something ambiguous for the sake of rules flexibility, and an out-right contradiction.

Ssalarn wrote:
Some inconsistencies even bleed over into new products, since a write-up that was started in December of 2011 for an October 2012 release is unlikely to reflect a non-errata clarification that came out in August 2012. The sheer volume of material and the number of outside sources and talents that Paizo contracts with make a certain number of inconsistencies inevitable, and the fix isn't always as simple as saying "When we said X, this is how it should be interpreted" because such a statement could easily invalidate prior instances of X that were written under a different assumption.

Speaking generally, you have some good points. Some of your specific examples, however, are not great ones.

Vital Strike and Spring attack being tied into Attack Action terminology? The words "Attack Action" appear in the whole of Pathfinder less than 20 times. Errata could eliminate the term, and much of the confusion surrounding it, in just as many minutes.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Ravingdork wrote:

Yet another example of rules inconsistency: For years, everyone thought that reach and threatened spaces functioned just like v3.5, and yet it was recently brought to light that much of the old rules text doesn't exist in Pathfinder. This results in gaps in both logic and in a reach-weapon wielder's corners.

In short, a polearm wielder CANNOT attack anyone in a diagonal hallway and anyone can charge up to said defender (hallway or not) without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Where's the inconsistency?

***

Actually RD, Sean Reynolds came in and gave a very thorough explanation wherein he clarified that enemies moving on a diagonal do not magically teleport next to the reach wielder, but do in fact provoke when they leave the diagonal square to enter the space adjacent to the reach wielder (though they don't provoke by performing actions within the second diagonal). Does this weaken reach wielders? Yes. But it also maintains the logical consistency and depth of the grid-based map, so you don't have square fireballs, or the ability to move farther by always running at an angle.


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Ssalarn:

Wonderfully eloquent explanation of why Paizo might want to use their customer base as an extension of their product beta testing.

But it fails to explain why the developers can't answer a simple, straightforward question like "Does Instant Enemy provide its benefits to a Bane bow?"

Sorry, as eloquent as your defense is, I am not buying it. No other industry could say "well, we know that our product doesn't exactly work as it's intended, and some people get it to work by filing down the twerleger flange, while others can make it work by replacing the onager reduction gears with a differential splue joint, and we'll wait to see how that works out before we make any changes in the product."

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Ssalarn:

Wonderfully eloquent explanation of why Paizo might want to use their customer base as an extension of their product beta testing.

But it fails to explain why the developers can't answer a simple, straightforward question like "Does Instant Enemy provide its benefits to a Bane bow?"

Sorry, as eloquent as your defense is, I am not buying it. No other industry could say "well, we know that our product doesn't exactly work as it's intended, and some people get it to work by filing down the twerleger flange, while others can make it work by replacing the onager reduction gears with a differential splue joint, and we'll wait to see how that works out before we make any changes in the product."

They're not providing flanges, though, they are providing a toolset for the imagination. Which is probably the corniest thing I've ever said in my life. But the point remains. Rule 0 in this game puts all final adjudication into the hands of the GM. This is intentional. Sometimes multiple interpretations of a rule or item aren't just coincidental, they're intended. Sometimes they have to take multiple playstyles into account. This game is meant to be customized to the group playing it. It's intended to be modular to a certain extent, and allow for a variety of playstyles. Maybe Bane stacking with Instant Enemy is sweet for high magic campaigns but throws grittier low power games out of balance, and Paizo doesn't want to issue a ruling that will invalidate one of those playstyles. Maybe they want the GM to take ownership of his campaign and clarify how certain things should function in his world.

Sovereign Court

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As this is a public forum I would like to take my fair share of it to state I have absolutely no issues with these so called "problems" and they haven't ever cropped up in any game I've GM'ed for or been a player in either in home games or in the Pathfinder Society.


The FoB issue is a big mess so i understand that paizo team have not reached a consensus or whatever. But simple things like "is sunder a standard action?" should be easy to answer.

a) yes
b) No.


Nicos wrote:

The FoB issue is a big mess so i understand that paizo team have not reached a consensus or whatever. But simple things like "is sunder a standard action?" should be easy to answer.

a) yes
b) No.

Is it not? I'm pretty sure that's outlined as early as Core... Maybe there's something I'm not seeing though that throws it into question.


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Ssalarn, again, I am not buying what you are selling. Yes, they are providing a context for people to exercise their own imagination. But that means within the context of specific rules. It may be counter-intuitive but it is a truism that creativity is generally enhanced by constraints. To say that having fewer constraints allows for more customization is an argument for NO rules, not an argument for contradictory and unclear ones.

I am a GM Ssalarn, and have been one for a long, long time. I will always make whatever adjustments I need to for my games to work.

But that is no excuse for the game designers to say "Hey, we have a spell called 'magic missile'. It might do d4 damage or d6 damage, it might be force damage or fire damage. We won't tell you that because we want you to exercise your own imagination."

You are an articulate and intelligent defender of Paizo's lack of consistency and decisiveness Ssalarn. But you are not convincing me.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
LazarX wrote:
To you, Rife is three errors in a 500 page tome, so I'll take that with a grain of salt.
To me "rife," is when nearly every monk stat block ever produced by the company assumes flurry with a single weapon is possible. "Rife" is when every other NPC (not monster) with Vital Strike is said to make best use of it with Spring Attack in the company's official flasgship book of NPCs.

Fun fact: in the entirety of the Core Classes section of the NPC Codex (I didn't bother searching the other chapters, though I'd encourage someone else to do so if they want to take the time), there is precisely one instance of an NPC explicitly using Spring Attack and Vital Strike - technically it's Improved Vital Strike - together. There are two other places where the phrasing is ambiguous (the text says they use Vital Strike and Spring Attack, but doesn't necessarily state they are using them at the same time). That's it.

Keep working that molehill, it'll be a mountain someday, I'm sure.

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