Spell Clarifications


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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ciretose wrote:

I think some spells are for GM adjudication by design. Simulacrum and Planar Binding come to mind, as it would require literally pages and pages to write them in a way that wouldn't require fiat, and removing them removes needed story tropes and elements.

My suggestion has been adding more failure chances for such things, but I don't think it is laughable that on certain spells the "Let the GM work it out" approach is preferable...even if it leads to annoyance when dealing with rules lawyers.

ciretos, I agree that there are a rare few elements to the game where the devs intentionally left the GMs some leeway, but I also believe those are pretty obvious and nobody really has a problem with them being GM rulings.

What pants critter (*snicker*) is complaining about is all the OTHER spells that are just poorly written or have been demanding clarification for years and just never get it because the devs just figure the game is selling fine in spite of them.

Leaving a broken thing to be fixed by GMs is not the same thing as deliberately setting up a GM adjudicated situation.

Digital Products Assistant

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Moved thread, changed thread title and removed some posts. Please revisit the messageboard rules, and let's stop piling on please.


Irranshalee wrote:
His "impolite" request seems "reasonable" to me, and I second the motion for your company to dedicate a person to clean up FAQ.

Yeah, I've been frustrated more than once by my perception that Paizo feels the business need to release new product, and ever-expanding categories of new product, at a volume and pace that precludes much post-production Q&A. All due diligence is applied to editing and proofing beforehand, but mistakes and ambiguities are inevitable for any similar enterprise, and it sometimes feels like published products become instant orphans, ignored once they are out the door in favor of the New Kid. Intellectually, I know that's not an entirely reasonable attitude on my part, but like the song says: I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.

As to a dedicated FAQ-checker: where do we find this fountain of infallible wisdom? Do you want to hire someone off the street to definitively clarify everything by fully reconciling RAI with RAW (after first reconciling RAI with RAI, since the developers don't always agree), or repurpose an existing authoritative voice who already has a full time job?

I'd like some answers, too, but some proposed solutions are probably just non-starters.


Something oft explained by the developers is that those wording ambiguities are by virtue they simply have a lot of writers and that each may have their own preference wording things. While that is fine, and I can't expect everyone to be automatons, I do think some extra diligence can be introduced to set up standards to make cross-references clearer. For example, if you had a standard way to represent that something was basically two-weapon fighting then have an admittedly copy/pasted sentence that says so.

Either that or, yes, hire someone that can go through the various products to help clarify these sections in a proactive manner. Something that royally pisses me off is when I do come on here seeking clarifications simply to get a shrugged off response as if there's something wrong with how I read and it should have been *obvious* all along like I'm some dirty rules-miser seeking to corrupt the very soul of the d20 system when things are simply not clear.

Of course it's obvious to the Paizo folks. They're the ones in meetings, sharing info etc so of course they know. However, to take the stance that what you print is clear just because you have an editorial process is asinine and insulting. Only by coming here have I learned about a few very important base assumptions the developers have taken when creating rules in general that are not spelled out anywhere or alluded to anywhere in the rules yet makes sense only after you know of those assumptions.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Irranshalee wrote:
Did you ever consider that many of us are upset by the lack of support for your products?

Maybe you should go through all of the FAQ answers and count how many of them are from me.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Irranshalee wrote:
Did you ever consider that many of us are upset by the lack of support for your products?
Maybe you should go through all of the FAQ answers and count how many of them are from me.

I'm pretty sure that the topics which have 20 or more "FAQ" clicks and haven't been answered outnumber those by a magnitude. ;)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Irranshalee wrote:
Did you ever consider that many of us are upset by the lack of support for your products?
Maybe you should go through all of the FAQ answers and count how many of them are from me.
I'm pretty sure that the topics which have 20 or more "FAQ" clicks and haven't been answered outnumber those by a magnitude. ;)

ProTip: adding a smiley at the end of a sentence does not make you less passive-aggressive. In fact, it gets worse ;)


isnt this where you have a DM for, i dont realy see a problem if you are a rules lawyering player i untherstand the question but it is not necesarry. you have a DM if he decides tomorow the world is upside down then it is so! end of discussion. if there is ever a question about rulles go to your DM and ask him what he thinks befor you use it.


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Ahh yes, Paizo's House In Order 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Liberty's Edge

Master. Master. Master of Puppets is pulling your strings!


magnuskn wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Irranshalee wrote:
Did you ever consider that many of us are upset by the lack of support for your products?
Maybe you should go through all of the FAQ answers and count how many of them are from me.
I'm pretty sure that the topics which have 20 or more "FAQ" clicks and haven't been answered outnumber those by a magnitude. ;)

Im curious: Since we don't have FAQ indexing power, we can only push the FAQ button, how many unanswred FAQs are there for every answered FAQ?

What ratio are we up to?
1/4?

Also what about ones where it doesn't get answered and gets marked no need. Those confuse me because it doesn't tell us what why there was no need. So the question gets asked again because no one still has a clue.

Not that I like all FAQ answers like Titan Mauler's made it weaker, though that may have more to do with not letting you one hand any 2 handed firearm FAQ answer.


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I believe one of the moderator's teams' favorite phrase is "Flag it and move on."

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

FWIW< I much prefer the Paizo staff spend their time working on awesome new products rather than addressing all the nit-noid corner cases in products from the last few years.

-Skeld


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The sense of entitlement here is pretty off-putting.

AFAIK, Paizo products are sold as is. No one is entitled to FAQs, errata, or clarifications. They are a service that Paizo provides in support of the community. If you are unsatisfied with their output in that regard, you are welcome to express that here in the forums and/or with your purchasing power. But do understand that you are owed nothing.

Also, I personally find that when I'm doing off-hours work for customers, nothing motivates me more than being told what a terrible job I'm doing.


Skeld wrote:

FWIW< I much prefer the Paizo staff spend their time working on awesome new products rather than addressing all the nit-noid corner cases in products from the last few years.

-Skeld

FWIW I don't think those are the only two options. Nor do I think the vast majority of questions and comments are on "nit-noid corner cases."

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Starbuck_II wrote:

Im curious: Since we don't have FAQ indexing power, we can only push the FAQ button, how many unanswred FAQs are there for every answered FAQ?

What ratio are we up to?
1/4?

Can I count the hundreds of threads that are flagged by one person for simple, obvious-answer questions like "Do I really have to take Power Attack before I can take Cleave?" and "Do I really have to craft my sword with a +1 enhancement bonus before I can put flaming on it?" And all the threads where people hit "FAQ" on questions like "Who is responsible for nerfing butterfly swords?" And the threads where people FAQ post #1, #3, and #20 of the very same thread? And FAQ-flags for things like "can an alchemist add cleric spells to his formula book?"


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Im curious: Since we don't have FAQ indexing power, we can only push the FAQ button, how many unanswred FAQs are there for every answered FAQ?

What ratio are we up to?
1/4?

Can I count the hundreds of threads that are flagged by one person for simple, obvious-answer questions like "Do I really have to take Power Attack before I can take Cleave?" and "Do I really have to craft my sword with a +1 enhancement bonus before I can put flaming on it?" And all the threads where people hit "FAQ" on questions like "Who is responsible for nerfing butterfly swords?" And the threads where people FAQ post #1, #3, and #20 of the very same thread? And FAQ-flags for things like "can an alchemist add cleric spells to his formula book?"

All kidding aside Sean, given the choice, I'd rather you instead take that time and energy and answer maybe the top ten questions that are FAQ'd and come up over and over and over but never get answered.

However, even saying that, I think you are teetering precariously on the edge of "feeding the trolls" here and it might not be a bad idea to fall back on the default "Devs don't respond to direct appeals" mantra and let this particular thread die a slow, ugly death.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Was told straight up that they don't consider it broken enough to divert resources away from their money making activities.

It makes a certain amount of sense to issue errata at the beginning of a game's lifecycle. And -- no surprises -- we have some errata for the Core Rulebook and for the Advanced Player's Guide, for instance.

It makes less sense to issue errata the closer you are to the end of a game's lifecycle, though.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, let's try and agree what the top 10 questions are! Just give me a moment to get Shallowsoul, Ashiel, TOZ, Beckett, Piccolo, 3.5 Mentalist and Master Arminas here. I'm sure it will take us 5 minutes to reach full mutual agreement on what the most burning issues are and Sean will profit greatly from the resulting level-headed discussion.


hogarth wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Was told straight up that they don't consider it broken enough to divert resources away from their money making activities.

It makes a certain amount of sense to issue errata at the beginning of a game's lifecycle. And -- no surprises -- we have some errata for the Core Rulebook and for the Advanced Player's Guide, for instance.

It makes less sense to issue errata the closer you are to the end of a game's lifecycle, though.

This identical logic would apply to creating new content for the game, so since we are comparing new content vs clarifying rules problems, this analysis is more or less irrelevant. They're still making content.

Having said that, I directly and specifically asked James Jacobs if they were working on a new version of the game to "fix" these things and was given a direct "no" reply.

So this is doubly irrelevant since Paizo clearly considers the existing version of the game to be their flagship and fully supported product and is not working on a replacement. At least not that they will publicly admit to.


Gorbacz wrote:
So, let's try and agree what the top 10 questions are! Just give me a moment to get Shallowsoul, Ashiel, TOZ, Beckett, Piccolo, 3.5 Mentalist and Master Arminas here. I'm sure it will take us 5 minutes to reach full mutual agreement on what the most burning issues are and Sean will profit greatly from the resulting level-headed discussion.

I don't know whether to be hurt or pleased that my constant pleas to deal with "instant enemy", "charm person" and the magic item rules didn't get me into this list...

Probably should be pleased... :-)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
hogarth wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Was told straight up that they don't consider it broken enough to divert resources away from their money making activities.

It makes a certain amount of sense to issue errata at the beginning of a game's lifecycle. And -- no surprises -- we have some errata for the Core Rulebook and for the Advanced Player's Guide, for instance.

It makes less sense to issue errata the closer you are to the end of a game's lifecycle, though.

Given that errata are tied to reprints, and reprints are tied to prints run going OOP, better selling books = errated more often.

I'm not sure where you're getting the "end of lifecycle" tangent from, however.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
So, let's try and agree what the top 10 questions are! Just give me a moment to get Shallowsoul, Ashiel, TOZ, Beckett, Piccolo, 3.5 Mentalist and Master Arminas here. I'm sure it will take us 5 minutes to reach full mutual agreement on what the most burning issues are and Sean will profit greatly from the resulting level-headed discussion.

I don't know whether to be hurt or pleased that my constant pleas to deal with "instant enemy", "charm person" and the magic item rules didn't get me into this list...

Probably should be pleased... :-)

Well, I've just listed the ones that didn't turn up in this thread yet, since you, me and Ciretose are accounted for, all we're missing is the rest of the gang :)


Gorbacz wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
So, let's try and agree what the top 10 questions are! Just give me a moment to get Shallowsoul, Ashiel, TOZ, Beckett, Piccolo, 3.5 Mentalist and Master Arminas here. I'm sure it will take us 5 minutes to reach full mutual agreement on what the most burning issues are and Sean will profit greatly from the resulting level-headed discussion.

I don't know whether to be hurt or pleased that my constant pleas to deal with "instant enemy", "charm person" and the magic item rules didn't get me into this list...

Probably should be pleased... :-)

Well, I've just listed the ones that didn't turn up in this thread yet, since you, me and Ciretose are accounted for, all we're missing is the rest of the gang :)

lol, nice. :-)


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Was told straight up that they don't consider it broken enough to divert resources away from their money making activities.

It makes a certain amount of sense to issue errata at the beginning of a game's lifecycle. And -- no surprises -- we have some errata for the Core Rulebook and for the Advanced Player's Guide, for instance.

It makes less sense to issue errata the closer you are to the end of a game's lifecycle, though.

This identical logic would apply to creating new content for the game, so since we are comparing new content vs clarifying rules problems, this analysis is more or less irrelevant.

Huh? They can sell new content for money, and they can't sell errata for money. You don't think that alters the logic a tad!?

The reason it makes sense to issue errata near the beginning of the product lifecycle is because there would still be a significant number of people on the fence about switching to the new game; in that sense, errata is still a revenue-generator (in theory). By the end of the lifecycle, most of the people who will ever play that game will have already committed to playing it, warts and all.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Having said that, I directly and specifically asked James Jacobs if they were working on a new version of the game to "fix" these things and was given a direct "no" reply.

Notwithstanding what Mr. Jacobs may have said recently, if Paizo comes out with a book called "Bestiary 6", I will eat my hat*.

*:
Note: I have eaten hats in the past, and they were delicious.

Project Manager

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Hey there, everyone. Please refrain from personal attacks. We can all discuss -- and disagree about -- rules without getting angry at each other, I'd hope.


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The most recent version of Pathfinder was 2009, now 4 years old. Pathfinder itself is an update to a system that was first released in 2003, so the overall system is now 10 years old, 13 if you don't want to count 3.5 as a full iteration (which to be fair it isn't; 3.0 was 2000, so we're dealing with a 13 year-old system; I think enough changes were made in 3.5 that it probably qualifies as its own edition, however).

As each edition of this game has aged, support has withered. You eventually reach a point where you have to houserule, which ironically is what the GM guides have told enterprising referees to do in the first place. Rule Zero eventually reaches a breakdown point, but if used judiciously (I'm seriously considering asking to have Haste houseruled back to its 3.0 version in our upcoming PF game), it provides a lot more personalization than official rules errata do.

To be honest, I've never understood acquiescence to player requests for errata as anything other than an attempt to have some "official" weight behind a resolution to rules arguments at the table. Perhaps it's just my age as a gamer showing, but I think reasonable adults can just accept a change, and if it doesn't work, throw it out and implement something that does work.

After all, wasn't it in the 3.0 PHB introduction where one of the developers related the anecdote of officializing some rule, only to have a player at a convention say they'd been doing that for years? The game works best when you truly do make it your own instead of waiting for official houserules. Me, I'd rather Paizo put their development resources into new stuff than constantly correcting old stuff that's better corrected on a per-gaming table basis.

Project Manager

Removed some personal back and forth between a few posters. Please keep it civil.

Liberty's Edge

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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Im curious: Since we don't have FAQ indexing power, we can only push the FAQ button, how many unanswred FAQs are there for every answered FAQ?

What ratio are we up to?
1/4?

Can I count the hundreds of threads that are flagged by one person for simple, obvious-answer questions like "Do I really have to take Power Attack before I can take Cleave?" and "Do I really have to craft my sword with a +1 enhancement bonus before I can put flaming on it?" And all the threads where people hit "FAQ" on questions like "Who is responsible for nerfing butterfly swords?" And the threads where people FAQ post #1, #3, and #20 of the very same thread? And FAQ-flags for things like "can an alchemist add cleric spells to his formula book?"

All kidding aside Sean, given the choice, I'd rather you instead take that time and energy and answer maybe the top ten questions that are FAQ'd and come up over and over and over but never get answered.

However, even saying that, I think you are teetering precariously on the edge of "feeding the trolls" here and it might not be a bad idea to fall back on the default "Devs don't respond to direct appeals" mantra and let this particular thread die a slow, ugly death.

Sean question is a very valid one. Someone has to look any one of those flags to decide if they are worth considering or not.

Even spending only a minute reading and considering each new FAQed post to flag it internally as "meaningless", "not urgent", "urgent" or "vital" [categories mine, in no way they reflect internal flagging from Paizo] ours supposed rule guy would be spending one or more hours every day simply sorting between the new FAQ flags.
It is a Sisyphean task, with the same question reappearing again and again, even after they have been resolved.

- * -

An important part that people seem to forget is that good FAQ can't be made by a Developer alone. He need to discuss them with other developers and make sure that the resulting FAQ is incorporated in all future products, even those already in the last stages of development.
There are plenty of rule problems that are born by people working on a product and using a personal interpretation of how a rule work or not knowing that a FAQ has been made on that subject.
Proofreading a book help there, but at some point you must send it to the printer.

Gorbacz wrote:
So, let's try and agree what the top 10 questions are! Just give me a moment to get Shallowsoul, Ashiel, TOZ, Beckett, Piccolo, 3.5 Mentalist and Master Arminas here. I'm sure it will take us 5 minutes to reach full mutual agreement on what the most burning issues are and Sean will profit greatly from the resulting level-headed discussion.

LOL. good point.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Silentman73 wrote:

To be honest, I've never understood acquiescence to player requests for errata as anything other than an attempt to have some "official" weight behind a resolution to rules arguments at the table. Perhaps it's just my age as a gamer showing, but I think reasonable adults can just accept a change, and if it doesn't work, throw it out and implement something that does work.

After all, wasn't it in the 3.0 PHB introduction where one of the developers related the anecdote of officializing some rule, only to have a player at a convention say they'd been doing that for years? The game works best when you truly do make it your own instead of waiting for official houserules. Me, I'd rather Paizo put their development resources into new stuff than constantly correcting old stuff that's better corrected on a per-gaming table basis.

Fine sentiments indeed. However, the topic of Organized Play throws a bit of a wrench into that. For instance, if a scenario is published for the PFSOP campaign in which some enemies are under the effects of haste, and at one table it's run "Pathfinder style", and at another it's run "3.0 style", and at yet another it's run in a custom way due to the GM thinking both 3.X and Pathfinder versions are overpowered, you're going to run into issues. PCs are going to die unfairly at one table (due to the encounter being balanced based on a weaker version of the spell), PCs who themselves cast haste are going to be disappointed at another table, and so forth.

For those whose experience playing Pathfinder is a more intimate and steady thing, "official" answers are indeed unnecessary. But for people who want to participate in a global campaign and be able to take their favorite character to a convention halfway around the world and make new friends through a shared experience, they're going to need a common baseline of what to expect, and the only way to do that when no two people at the table know each other is to play it all "by the book".


Oh man Paizo people why are you even all up in this

This is like devoting top-tier operations support to someone who uses their CD-ROM drive as a drink holder and lets their cat sleep in the computer tower because it is warm in there

wait why am I all up in this when I could just solve most of these issues by talking to my GM or realizing that I am a GM sometimes too and I can make decisions


Jiggy wrote:
Silentman73 wrote:

To be honest, I've never understood acquiescence to player requests for errata as anything other than an attempt to have some "official" weight behind a resolution to rules arguments at the table. Perhaps it's just my age as a gamer showing, but I think reasonable adults can just accept a change, and if it doesn't work, throw it out and implement something that does work.

After all, wasn't it in the 3.0 PHB introduction where one of the developers related the anecdote of officializing some rule, only to have a player at a convention say they'd been doing that for years? The game works best when you truly do make it your own instead of waiting for official houserules. Me, I'd rather Paizo put their development resources into new stuff than constantly correcting old stuff that's better corrected on a per-gaming table basis.

Fine sentiments indeed. However, the topic of Organized Play throws a bit of a wrench into that. For instance, if a scenario is published for the PFSOP campaign in which some enemies are under the effects of haste, and at one table it's run "Pathfinder style", and at another it's run "3.0 style", and at yet another it's run in a custom way due to the GM thinking both 3.X and Pathfinder versions are overpowered, you're going to run into issues. PCs are going to die unfairly at one table (due to the encounter being balanced based on a weaker version of the spell), PCs who themselves cast haste are going to be disappointed at another table, and so forth.

For those whose experience playing Pathfinder is a more intimate and steady thing, "official" answers are indeed unnecessary. But for people who want to participate in a global campaign and be able to take their favorite character to a convention halfway around the world and make new friends through a shared experience, they're going to need a common baseline of what to expect, and the only way to do that when no two people at the table know each other is to play it all "by the...

This is a fair caveat to make, as I was largely referring to private tables, not tournament or public play.

The thing about it is this: in public/tournament play, the solution is typically quite simple. You find the most recent edition of the rules and say "This is what we're using." Asking for new versions is fine, but if you don't have them, you have recourse.

You have recourse at private tables too, but the recourse there is largely Rule Zero. Either way, I think I personally understand why players are asking for rules updates to something that doesn't seem clear, but when in a public play environment like you're speaking of, lacking an update to a questioned rule, I'd think the only rational solution in order to minimize conflict is to use the most recent RAW. Clunky, yes, as I'm sure experienced players at that table would note, but it removes arguments.


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Appeals to Rule Zero to fix all broken aspects of a rules system published and sold as a rules system logically equates to "why the hell did you buy a rules system in the first place if you don't actually need any rules?"

It is absurd on its face. You bought rules because you wanted rules.

A rules system should be judged on whether or not it works on its own not on whether or not the people who buy it will bother with fixing all the broken bits because they like the publisher, or because they have warm fuzzy nostalgia about playing in a long-retired previous version of the rules system.


I likes me some errata as much as the next guy, though I agree with whoever said that the products are sold as-is and I am in now way entitled to have said errata. I also only play home games and aren't effected by PFS.

I can see though that maybe going through and answering the top 10 or whatever FAQ ones would probably be faster and easier than the amount of work it takes to moderate the constant arguments and back-and-fourth between users in the multitude of threads about said FAQ'd issues.

It's been nice not having all those monk related threads full of "I have removed a post due to personal attacks, keep it civil guys" ever since the monkeying around errata

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Silentman73 wrote:
The thing about it is this: in public/tournament play, the solution is typically quite simple. You find the most recent edition of the rules and say "This is what we're using."

And that's what is done, but sometimes there are holes, or contradictions, or unclear rules that could legitimately be read in two or more mutually-exclusive ways.

For instance, a spellcaster can activate a higher-level scroll with a simple caster level check. If you fail said check, you then have to make a WIS check. Fail that, and you have a mishap.

What happens if you fail the CL check, but succeed on the WIS check? Is the scroll used up to no effect? Is it still intact and you can try again next round? Less than two years ago, the answer to that question was not in the rules, nor could it be reasoned out from the rules with any kind of certainty.

So what is organized play's recourse in that case?

Well, I went and started a thread posing the question, it collected some FAQ clicks, and the answer got added to the FAQ/errata. (If you're curious, no, the scroll is not used up.)

Of course, some things should vary from table to table based on the GM's judgment (like how *exactly* a successful charm person spell will affect a given situation), but there are still issues now and then where "Well, just go by RAW" doesn't work. Thus, we need FAQs and errata from time to time.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Appeals to Rule Zero to fix all broken aspects of a rules system published and sold as a rules system logically equates to "why the hell did you buy a rules system in the first place if you don't actually need any rules?"

It is absurd on its face. You bought rules because you wanted rules.

A rules system should be judged on whether or not it works on its own not on whether or not the people who buy it will bother with fixing all the broken bits because they like the publisher.

The problem lies with this: there's no objective way to say a given rule is "broken" until the publisher, the only objective authority on the system, says it is. Many people thought 3.0 Haste was "broken". They managed to convince WotC that it, in fact, was. But it didn't become objectively broken until WotC said it was. To me, it never was, and I speak as both GM and player in that respect. But once the rules were officially changed, I went with them because in general, I try to houserule as little as possible. Like you, I think that if I'm going to play a given system, I should make every effort to play it as written.

This said, when players are on official forums clamoring for rules changes or new errata, if that isn't granted (yet) by the publisher, there are three options:

1) Use the RAW in their most recent form
2) House rule it
3) Stop playing

In official public games, #1 seems the quickest, easiest way to do things, as you can't really utilize #2, and #3 is a highly undesirable option if you've spent the time (and possibly money) to show up for the public, "official" game in the first place.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Appeals to Rule Zero to fix all broken aspects of a rules system published and sold as a rules system logically equates to "why the hell did you buy a rules system in the first place if you don't actually need any rules?"

It is absurd on its face. You bought rules because you wanted rules.

A rules system should be judged on whether or not it works on its own not on whether or not the people who buy it will bother with fixing all the broken bits because they like the publisher, or because they have warm fuzzy nostalgia about playing in a long-retired previous version of the rules system.

Just recalled this in reading your post, and thought it might add an interesting perspective in the rule zero discussion. The following is attributed to Gary Gygax,

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules."


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Im curious: Since we don't have FAQ indexing power, we can only push the FAQ button, how many unanswred FAQs are there for every answered FAQ?

What ratio are we up to?
1/4?

Can I count the hundreds of threads that are flagged by one person for simple, obvious-answer questions like "Do I really have to take Power Attack before I can take Cleave?" and "Do I really have to craft my sword with a +1 enhancement bonus before I can put flaming on it?" And all the threads where people hit "FAQ" on questions like "Who is responsible for nerfing butterfly swords?" And the threads where people FAQ post #1, #3, and #20 of the very same thread? And FAQ-flags for things like "can an alchemist add cleric spells to his formula book?"

You raise a good point:

I think, yes for "Do I really have to craft my sword with a +1 enhancement bonus before I can put flaming on it?" as it really is frequently asked and therefore should be answered so people stop asking. Although, I think it has to do with low knowledge of making magic items so usually only newbies ask.

Well, I assume only one of the posts when they repush FAQ on a thread, unless there is a legitmate question in post #3 and #20.

But not for "can an alchemist add cleric spells to his formula book?" as that really isn't a question thatis asked too often I've found. And it is self explainatory as Alchemist isn't a cleric.


Jesse Cole-Goldberg wrote:


Just recalled this in reading your post, and thought it might add an interesting perspective in the rule zero discussion. The following is attributed to Gary Gygax,
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules."

LOL, EXACTLY

I have related before that back in around 1980 or so, after running my first campaign in 1e and AD&D, I was more than a little frustrated by some of the more irritating rules in the game.

So I made up my own RPG and we played it for a while with my group.

They had input into the rules and so they felt invested in it. We all liked it more than D&D. (It is fair to note that at this same time I also created a wargame, a variant of Chess, a strategy space battle game, a couple of board games and wrote some computer games. Oh to be young again...)

So we had a grand old time exploring the Gygaxian archetypal quote above.

But then something happened. My players started moving away, getting married or getting sucked into masters or PhD programs.

So I had to find new players.

Guess what? It's a whole lot easier to find new players who are playing a commercially published version of the rules than it is to convince those same players that your rules are actually better!

So in the end we went back to D&D rules, simply because we could find players who could/would play.

So while theoretically the "you don't need rules" thing is true, in practice you actually do need rules.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

@Starbuck_II: I have been in rules debates where the overwhelming majority of posters knew exactly what the answer was, and one or two people stubbornly insisted it was unclear. One such person never bothered trying to refute anyone's explanations, and instead kept insisting that people should click "FAQ" on his post and wait for a developer response. He accused anyone who refused to do so of being scared they'd turn out to be wrong. I (and others) tried to point out that adding issues like that to the FAQ queue just slows the developers down (and probably demoralizes them a bit). Basically, exactly what SKR was saying — there are way too many asinine questions that people are flagging for the FAQ treatment because they don't want to listen to reason and won't admit being wrong until a developer tells them to their face. (And in some cases, they still won't admit being wrong, claiming instead that the answer is a change.)

The point is, the Rules Questions forum exists for a reason: so that questions whose answers are already in the rules can be asked by newbies and answered by veterans, without wasting the developers' time by asking them to repeat themselves. And yet, because any random forumite can mark a post for FAQing, the developers have to slog through a queue full of idiocy and pride in search of issues that really do need clarification.

Ultimately, if developer response to rules issues is too slow, it's primarily the fault of people whose pride, laziness, or whatever else drives them to abuse the FAQ system.


oh man starbuck, what the-

dude those questions are 100% answered in the rules without any doubt, that was his point

people come to the forums and take the time to post rather than read for like a couple of minutes or look for an answer that has already been you know put into a book or website

and if one of you says 'it is because I am on my phone right now' I swear I will give you a reproachful look

where is my reproachful look emoticon dangit

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Lamontius wrote:

where is my reproachful look emoticon dangit

This might be overkill, but:

t(-_-t)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Note, by the way, how, unsurprisingly, once again, the OP hasn't even bothered to return to this thread.

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Irranshalee wrote:
Did you ever consider that many of us are upset by the lack of support for your products?
Maybe you should go through all of the FAQ answers and count how many of them are from me.

I would like to say that you are the only developer currently working for Paizo that I follow and following anyone for any reason is a rarity for me. You have answered questions for me in the past that expanded my understanding of publishing and game direction. I appreciate you. I truly do.

Nevertheless, I feel my question is still valid. I will clarify what I meant.

Does Paizo understand that some portion of their community is unhappy with their product? Do they even know how large that portion is? Do they even care?

To me, a small gesture towards the community would go a long way. Have someone take a week to determine what FAQ would be best to answer and answer them. If something has too wide of a scope to nail down with a short explanation, then explain the concept and why it was created that way. Do this once every 6 months.

You could even have the community do most of the work for you. Make a thread and tell them Paizo will select a few FAQ to answer. Give it to us for a Christmas present. Just make sure the developer picks significant FAQs.

*edit for a spelling error

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