Open Letter to Paizo RE: Pathfinder


Paizo General Discussion

201 to 250 of 387 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge

Jeremiziah wrote:
... because anything Paizo does at that level is going to blow away whatever I can do.

Disagree.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Franko a wrote:

But how hard would it be to have an annual compilation of all the setting material produced that year? You wont loose any of the crunch stuff or any AP material, it would be usefull as reference materials.....

Almost a copy and paste.

That "almost" would still mean it requires two editing passes, which takes time.

And that's after the text is laid out (even if that means block-copying it from another book and pasting it into this book), which takes time.

And that assumes the layout doesn't change in tiny ways (the books aren't all typeset exactly the same way... there are slight differences that identify a book as a Companion, Campaign Setting, Bestiary, core line book, etc., and they layout/typesetting for a compilation book would have to be updated so it would have a consistent look throughout), which takes time.

And the compilation book would need a new Table of Contents and title page, which takes time (and which has to be checked by an editor), which takes time.

And the compilation book would still have to be made into a PDF for print and PDF, which takes time.

Any any additional time spent on such a product is time we're not spending on other, new products.

And publishing an annual compilation book would mean fewer people would buy the books that material was taken from, which means reduced sales throughout the year.

Basically, if it were easy, we'd be doing it already.

I find that no one really appreciates the work that goes into something until THEY have to do it.

This is true with almost everything.

Liberty's Edge

Kthulhu wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
... because anything Paizo does at that level is going to blow away whatever I can do.
Disagree.

Well, thanks for your confidence in my abilities :-)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Desna's Avatar wrote:
The Crusader wrote:

I'm sorry. But, if you want to discuss wasting time and resources... and then turn around and ask Paizo to create and canonize this level of minutiae for every region on the map... It's a bit silly.

99% of what they would have to write to accomplish this would be a complete waste, used and usable only in a few homebrew settings, and not at all if you're not using Golarion.

Again...hello Strawman! Nobody is asking for creation and canonizization of every bit of minutiae. Heck, I've flat out stated that I'm not looking for every minute detail to be covered.

So you are arguing against...yourself?....nobody?

Again, there is a balance which can be struck here. James and others associated with Paizo have recognized and acknowledged (on this thread) that there is room for growth here and that Golarion /will/ become more fleshed out...it's just a matter of time.

Cheers.

Perhaps our problem is linguistic.

If you scroll up a little bit from my post that you quoted, you will see where posters are asking for things like the names, ranks, titles, ministry departments, lineages, histories, heraldry, etc. of a nation that has thousands of nobles. They are asking for imports and exports from every region, what foods they like to eat, what they do for fun, the process of electing the government, etc., etc., etc... That all falls under the category of minutiae for me.

Maybe you don't like the connotation of that word. Feel free to call it "detail" if you like. But, I don't believe you could demonstrate that I am using it in error.

Furthermore, it is not for one location. Posters in this thread have asked for this level of minutiae in places like Absolom, Andoren, Numeria, and Taldor. It stands to reason that more posters would eventually begin asking for this level of minutiae in all the other world locations, to suit their personal needs.

So, you can continue to call it a "strawman" as much as you like. It won't validate your argument or invalidate mine.

But, to be fair, on the off chance there is a "strawman" present in this dialogue; feel free to point out where I have mistaken your argument:

1. That you would like more in-depth, detailed development of the Campaign Setting.

Desna's Avatar wrote:

for instance, a good, in-depth description of a town such as Whistledown.

It would have been great to have some pages dedicated to the history of the town, it's people, some fleshed out locations, inhabitants, etc.

2. That every bit of the printed material that is used to enhance or expand the rules or character options is reducing the amount of in-depth, detailed development of the Campaign Setting that you receive.

Desna's Avatar wrote:
The point is, Paizo is devoting it's limited resources to developing more adventures, rules, feats, classes, monsters, traits, spells, etc. in a seemingly endless stream, and these are resources which are NOT being devoted to developing a setting in depth.

3. That appreciation for expanded rules/character options is indicative of a lower quality of gaming.

Desna's Avatar wrote:
And I do not like an endless stream of additional rules options. That is not fun to me. It's bloat, and to me is indicative of a company catering to the least common denominator

I might add a fourth point, that anyone who offers a counter-argument to your position is positing a fallacy, i.e. "strawman", whether that description is appropriate or not.

Assuming that these points are actually the argument you are offering:

1. In-depth detail is not always desirable. Once something is established as canon, there is little room for individual development without rejecting that canon, causing confusion among others who can and will reference the source material, and creating notable contradictions as more and more canon material must be synchronized with existing canon, with larger and larger discrepancies slipping through the editing gaps. I would also argue that your not going to save yourself any time and energy, as that will quickly be eaten up referencing and cross-referencing, noting and annotating all of that material to maintain consistency and continuity.

2. There's no argument here. Whatever proportion of rules are printed will obviously reduce the amount of Campaign Setting material that is printed. I simply believe, as I stated in #1, that this is not wholly undesirable.

3. You are entitled to your opinion. I simply believe it to be inaccurate and mildly offensive.

Cheers.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would like to add a cautionary note or two against rule-bloat.

Being a simulationist style player, the rules and the gaming world for me are inextricably linked.

When a new rule comes out that enables a PC to do something new, unless there's a good reason not to that means that every suitable NPC in the world can also do it. Which then means that the world has to react and change in the light of this new ability that has now become available.

The rules are like the physical laws of the universe. They drive what the world looks like. The more rules you have, however, the harder it is to understand their repercussions, and if you don't understand their repercussions you are in danger of making parts of your world nonsensical.

Or at least in need of change if you want it to be, in its own way, believable.

Rules bloat can also make adventure writing more difficult. The last thing any of us would like to see is disclaimers on adventures along the lines of "at the time of writing, this module provided a suitable challenge for four characters of Nth level as long as they included someone with the ability to do X but *not* someone able to do Y!"

Just my 2 cents worth

Richard


Desna's Avatar wrote:

For the Love of Desna, please, PLEASE stop releasing an endless stream of additional spells, races, classes, feats, archetypes, etc. Talk about BLOAT!

What Pathfinder needs more of is actual story-telling and setting-specific description for Golarion. Using the excellent "Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms: A Dungeons & Dragons Supplement" as a model would be fantastic.

Pathfinder has enough classes, feats, spells, abilities, etc. to last several lifetimes.

Yet it's an issue to find, for instance, a good, in-depth description of a town such as Whistledown.

Please, PLEASE do not become Munchkinesque, and instead respect the intelligence of your customers by giving us actual stories and interesting setting breadth and depth.

Thank you!!

A loyal Pathfinder subscriber.

So don't buy new books. None forces you.


richard develyn wrote:

I would like to add a cautionary note or two against rule-bloat.

Being a simulationist style player, the rules and the gaming world for me are inextricably linked.

When a new rule comes out that enables a PC to do something new, unless there's a good reason not to that means that every suitable NPC in the world can also do it. Which then means that the world has to react and change in the light of this new ability that has now become available.

The rules are like the physical laws of the universe. They drive what the world looks like. The more rules you have, however, the harder it is to understand their repercussions, and if you don't understand their repercussions you are in danger of making parts of your world nonsensical.

Or at least in need of change if you want it to be, in its own way, believable.

Rules bloat can also make adventure writing more difficult. The last thing any of us would like to see is disclaimers on adventures along the lines of "at the time of writing, this module provided a suitable challenge for four characters of Nth level as long as they included someone with the ability to do X but *not* someone able to do Y!"

Just my 2 cents worth

Richard

There are few enough examples of this being the case that I can't actually think of any. Do you have an example of a time when this occurred with Pathfinder?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

Quick quiz. The first four questions are multiple choice, where the choices are "Mostly Players," "Mostly GMs," or "Both."

1. Who buys rulebooks?
2: Who buys Player Companions?
3. Who buys Campaign Setting books?
4. Who buys adventures?

I actually dont have a clue, but my answers would be:

1. Both
2. Both
3. Mostly GMs (with quite a few players)
4. Mostly GMs (with not many players)

is that right?

Pretty much. Wanna take a shot at 5 and 6?
Those are the easy ones. Although, having said that, one of the biggest surprises to me when I discovered Paizo was how well the APs do and how central they are (or were anyway) to your business. I would have confidently and erroneously predicted they'd be too DM focussed to be big sellers.

Ok. 5. Which are there more of: players or GMs?

Pretty much the only way that players *wouldn't* outnumber GMs is if the average gaming group consisted of 1 player and 1 GM. The real ratio is probably somewhere between 3:1 and 5:1. (Obviously, there are people who do both, and there are also customers who don't actually play *or* GM... but I'm comfortable that 4:1 is in the right ballpark.)

So. 6. If you want to sell a lot of books, what do the answers to the above questions tell you about your strategy?

If you have a choice between making a 32-page book that appeals primarily to GMs, like a Pathfinder Module, and making one that appeals to players *and* GMs, like a Player Companion, the Player Companion is going to do better. (That said, GMs need modules, so you can't *just* do Player Companions.)

So you don't have to see our sales figures to see why Kthulhu's hope that we'd drop the Companion line from 12 down to 3 or 4 books per year and bump up the Modules line to large bimonthly or monthly books just doesn't make good business sense—it's trading books that have a large audience for books that have a smaller audience (and, incidentally, are also more complicated—and therefore more expensive—to create).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
gbonehead wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Personally, I could also deal with a scaling-back of new rules content (and even some of the rules-oriented setting material). I could easily deal with the Player's Companion line being scaled back to 3-4 books per year, and the rulebook line back to one bestiary per year, and maybe another rulebook every year or two. That would leave the real meat of the setting material (Campaign Setting books and the AP volumes) at it's current rate, while turning the dial back on the inevitable power creep and abundance of the abhorrent "Timmy Cards". Maybe with the time they saved they could bring the Module line back to bi-monthly or even monthly, while keeping the recent increased page count. I personally find actual adventures more interesting than "Ooze-Slayer's Guide, Part III".

Quick quiz. The first four questions are multiple choice, where the choices are "Mostly Players," "Mostly GMs," or "Both."

1. Who buys rulebooks?
2: Who buys Player Companions?
3. Who buys Campaign Setting books?
4. Who buys adventures?

5. Which are there more of: players or GMs?

6. If you want to sell a lot of books, what do the answers to the above questions tell you about your strategy?

Hopefully the net result isn't "ignore the GMs."

Because I'll ask a counter question. Of the people who buy ALL the books, how many are GMs and how many are players, you think?

I'm comfortable that the vast majority of those people are GMs, absolutely. It's pretty clear that some players never buy anything—not even a Core Rulebook; I believe that at the average table, the GM spends much more than all of the players combined.

So no, "ignore the GM" is clearly not the answer. If we did that, there would *be* no game.


Vic- you make I buy. Simple as that. I bought all 3.5 and will continue with pathfinder.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I strongly suggest that the OP stick around for a little bit. There's a product we're about to announce that addresses on of his specific criticisms explicitly, and one we're working on right now (that will come out later) that will have a ton of the type of thing he's asking for.

That said, it's important to understand that our books--all of them--are meant to be used as part of A GAME. If you're running a campaign set in Cheliax, for example, it's certainly important to have stuff like regional maps, cultural details, and a fair amount of contextual history, but it's also helpful to have stat blocks for important NPC types (hellknights, Nidalese shadow casters, etc.) and it's often helpful to have things like campaign traits to hook players into the setting.

We can find a good balance between continuity wank-fest and useful campaign resource. We're not always going to get that balance right for every gamer on every product, but we will continue to do our best with it, and as the campaign setting matures it's likely that the OP will see more material that is more in line with what he's asking for.

But there will be rules in most of these books, because the books are meant to supplement play of the Pathfinder RPG.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

Quick quiz. The first four questions are multiple choice, where the choices are "Mostly Players," "Mostly GMs," or "Both."

1. Who buys rulebooks?
2: Who buys Player Companions?
3. Who buys Campaign Setting books?
4. Who buys adventures?

I actually dont have a clue, but my answers would be:

1. Both
2. Both
3. Mostly GMs (with quite a few players)
4. Mostly GMs (with not many players)

is that right?

Pretty much. Wanna take a shot at 5 and 6?
Those are the easy ones. Although, having said that, one of the biggest surprises to me when I discovered Paizo was how well the APs do and how central they are (or were anyway) to your business. I would have confidently and erroneously predicted they'd be too DM focussed to be big sellers.

Ok. 5. Which are there more of: players or GMs?

Pretty much the only way that players *wouldn't* outnumber GMs is if the average gaming group consisted of 1 player and 1 GM. The real ratio is probably somewhere between 3:1 and 5:1. (Obviously, there are people who do both, and there are also customers who don't actually play *or* GM... but I'm comfortable that the ratio is in the right ballpark.)

So. 6. 6. If you want to sell a lot of books, what do the answers to the above questions tell you about your strategy?

If you have a choice between making a 32-page book that appeals primarily to GMs, like a Pathfinder Module, and making one that appeals to players *and* GMs, like a Player Companion, the Player Companion is going to do better. (That said, GMs need modules, so you can't *just* do Player Companions.)

So you don't have to see our sales figures to see why Kthulhu's hope that we'd drop the Companion line to 3 or 4 books per year and bump up the Modules line to large bimonthly or monthly books just doesn't make good business sense—it's trading books that have a large audience for books that have a smaller audience (and, incidentally, are also more complicated—are therefore more expensive—to create).

This makes sense (and the various changes to the product lines over recent times is part of why I consider them "easy" questions). I didn't realise the modules were more difficult to make though - I would have got that wrong too. :(

Tangentially (and acknowledging that the player/DM distinction isnt a very clear one), do you think there are many "players" who buy the APs?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Desna's Avatar wrote:


Mmmm I guess maybe the do catered to my desire in part as I want then to be open mind about everything from lore to mechanics which they have been great about."

Exactly. And by doing so, they are fulfilling your desire. So it works out pretty well for you.

Hey it is not my fault I am easy to plaese.

Desna's Avatar wrote:

"But you should not begrudge somebosy else stateing their desires either. Which to me was kinda of what the WoW statement was."

Again, you must have missed the post where I told James that I play WOW as well. I am not begrudging anyone anything. I'm swimming upstream here, and simply trying to obtain for the minority a small sliver of the pie.

The thing I think you fail to see though in the WoW comment is a insult(atleast to some here). So rather intended or not( I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say it was not intended) you started this thread with a insult. Pretty much you sabortaged your own thread in the first post.

A better approach would been to just request more world ifo on Golarion...and leave off the stuff about publishing less new rules. I am pretty sure if enough people want what you do Pazio can figure out how to deliver on their own...as they are in the best position to do so.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

I strongly suggest that the OP stick around for a little bit. There's a product we're about to announce that addresses on of his specific criticisms explicitly, and one we're working on right now (that will come out later) that will have a ton of the type of thing he's asking for.

That said, it's important to understand that our books--all of them--are meant to be used as part of A GAME. If you're running a campaign set in Cheliax, for example, it's certainly important to have stuff like regional maps, cultural details, and a fair amount of contextual history, but it's also helpful to have stat blocks for important NPC types (hellknights, Nidalese shadow casters, etc.) and it's often helpful to have things like campaign traits to hook players into the setting.

We can find a good balance between continuity wank-fest and useful campaign resource. We're not always going to get that balance right for every gamer on every product, but we will continue to do our best with it, and as the campaign setting matures it's likely that the OP will see more material that is more in line with what he's asking for.

But there will be rules in most of these books, because the books are meant to supplement play of the Pathfinder RPG.

Any hints about what product lines these two upcoming books are in?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Jrcmarine wrote:

...what are the chances of a boxed set product as mentioned above? :-)

Boxed sets are hard to create and—because the costs are really high—hard to make money on.

Let's look at the Greyhawk "From the Ashes" box set, which contains:


  • Two 96-page books (a setting book and an adventure book, more or less)
  • Three 32x21 maps
  • Five monster sheets
  • 20 reference cards
  • A box

Now, let's model a Pathfinder equivalent.


  • 96-page books are the size of an AP volume. We sell those for $22.99.
  • Our Map Folios that contain 3 33x22 maps sell for $19.99.
  • The best equivalent for "monster sheets" and "reference cards" would be our Campaign Cards, which sell for $10.99.
  • We sold our Treasure Chest empty box directly from paizo.com for $2. (That actually has very little markup from cost—boxes are expensive; if we had to cover our costs on that through the distribution chain, it would be higher; for this exercise, let's call it $3.03 because it gets us to a retail price that we could actually use.)

Would you pay $79.99 for that?

And even if you would... do you think game stores or book stores would be thrilled to invest $48 (that's 60% of retail) for each copy on their shelf that may or may not sell for ages if at all?

Do you think there are people who can't budget $80 for a game product at one time, but would buy the parts over time?

Or people who wouldn't buy the whole box, but would buy just the campaign setting book, or just the adventure, or just the maps, or just the cards, or any combination of the above?

The truth is, we actually do plan a lot of our products as if we were making box sets—we just sell the components individually. When we release a new AP, we usually plan one or two books in the Campaign Setting line that work with the AP. We release a Map Folio, and a card set, and now eventually a token set, and maybe tie in a Flip-Mat or Map Pack or two. And we usually do a Player Companion that ties in as well.

And now that we're changing the Modules line into something more event-driven, you'll see that there as well. Look at The Dragon's Demand, and The Dragon's Demand Campaign Cards, and the Dragon Slayer's Handbook Player Companion and the Dragons Unleashed Campaign Setting book. It's a boxed set—just without the box.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Box set ala carte?

Also curious about these mysterious products Erik mentioned.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, you guys should know by now that I'm not going to give any more details than I've already given!

Ok, ok, both are in the Campaign Setting line.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Awesome. And I now have a new label for myself: a "continuity wanker". :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I didn't realise the modules were more difficult to make though - I would have got that wrong too. :(

In general, rules are the hardest things we do. (Where "hard" means "involves the most time from the most people.") Then adventures (and difficulty scales up faster than page count, so a 64-page adventure would be more than twice as hard as a 32-page adventure, and higher levels are harder than lower level). Then campaign setting material, and then fiction. There are exceptions to that, but it's generally true.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Tangentially (and acknowledging that the player/DM distinction isnt a very clear one), do you think there are many "players" who buy the APs?

I think most players who plan to play a particular AP generally avoid buying it. And a lot of people—players and GMs alike—buy APs that they never expect to play. But it's *mostly* GMs.


Kthulhu wrote:
Tirisfal wrote:
At least Paizo doesn't oversupply us with classes and prestige classes like 3.5 did. I'm happy with the speed that things are being developed.
Well, archetypes are becoming the new prestige classes. And they are flinging those out pretty steadily.

Archetypes feel to me like character options, as they should, rather than full-on classes. Full classes and prestige classes can are far more than just a few swapped abilities.

Example 1:

Player: I want to play as a Skirmisher Ranger
GM: What's that?
Player: I swap my spells for special skills in combat.
GM: Got it; cool.

Example 2:

Player: I want to level my cleric into a Death's Chosen.
GM: What's that?
Player: Its from Libris Mortis; its rad.
GM: Hu-wha?[/Professor Farnsworth]

I'll agree not all of the archetypes are awesome to me, but not everything has to apply to what I may personally want.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I didn't realise the modules were more difficult to make though - I would have got that wrong too. :(

In general, rules are the hardest things we do. (Where "hard" means "involves the most time from the most people.") Then adventures (and difficulty scales up faster than page count, so a 64-page adventure would be more than twice as hard as a 32-page adventure, and higher levels are more difficult than lower level). Then campaign setting material, and then fiction. There are exceptions to that, but it's generally true.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Tangentially (and acknowledging that the player/DM distinction isnt a very clear one), do you think there are many "players" who buy the APs?
I think most players who plan to play a particular AP generally avoid buying it. And a lot of people—players and GMs alike—buy APs that they never expect to play. But it's *mostly* GMs.

Cheers. The list of things I'm wrong about gets smaller every day..

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

That makes sense Vic. I totally get the cost analysis as well as the marketing and release strategies. I was merely hoping you would cowtow to my laziness and make it all shrink-wrapped for me in one package/PDF.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I know it's not on the cards as a regular thing, but it strikes me that kickstarter provides one way to produce viable boxed sets - those of us willing to pay a lot can essentially subsidise the "baseline" cost (while enjoying our numbered, limited edition Wayne Reynolds Absalom cityscape, reading our leather bound version of the campaign guide and admiring our faux-parchment, "in-character" city map).


Vic, I don't know if you or Lisa were anywhere near TSR warehouses when Wizards got their hold on TSR, but I am sure that Ryan was (because I remember reading his article on TSR business (mis)practice which included making a list of warehouse inventory) - could he tell (or Lisa or you if you were there and remember) how many obsolete boxed sets were lying there like a packages of money invested into product that not only failed to bring profit but even failed to return the costs...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

It doesnt surprise me that they lost money. Take a look at one of my earlier posts in this thread referencing the glut TSR put out which doomed it to failure.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Drejk wrote:
Vic, I don't know if you or Lisa were anywhere near TSR warehouses when Wizards got their hold on TSR, but I am sure that Ryan was (because I remember reading his article on TSR business (mis)practice which included making a list of warehouse inventory) - could he tell (or Lisa or you if you were there and remember) how many obsolete boxed sets were lying there like a packages of money invested into product that not only failed to bring profit but even failed to return the costs...

It's worse than you imagine. Some of you might be aware that Lisa was the person tasked at dissecting TSR's business, and she figured out that some of those boxed sets actually cost more to produce than TSR was selling them to distribution for, so sold or unsold, every copy printed lost money. The unsold copies just lost *more* money. The copies that lost the most were the ones that were shipped to the book trade, didn't sell, and were then returned to TSR—which, in addition to extra shipping costs, also generated return fees from the distributor.

Dark Archive

Scott Betts wrote:
richard develyn wrote:

I would like to add a cautionary note or two against rule-bloat.

Being a simulationist style player, the rules and the gaming world for me are inextricably linked.

When a new rule comes out that enables a PC to do something new, unless there's a good reason not to that means that every suitable NPC in the world can also do it. Which then means that the world has to react and change in the light of this new ability that has now become available.

The rules are like the physical laws of the universe. They drive what the world looks like. The more rules you have, however, the harder it is to understand their repercussions, and if you don't understand their repercussions you are in danger of making parts of your world nonsensical.

Or at least in need of change if you want it to be, in its own way, believable.

Rules bloat can also make adventure writing more difficult. The last thing any of us would like to see is disclaimers on adventures along the lines of "at the time of writing, this module provided a suitable challenge for four characters of Nth level as long as they included someone with the ability to do X but *not* someone able to do Y!"

Just my 2 cents worth

Richard

There are few enough examples of this being the case that I can't actually think of any. Do you have an example of a time when this occurred with Pathfinder?

Well, rather than hijack this thread onto some sort of rules discussion, you can have a look at this if you like:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pc8s?Natural-Armor-and-Polymorph#34

and pick up that thread, as I still feel that vampires that change shape into bats at night are going to bump into things.

Richard


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

That why they call them "things that go bump in the night".


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Erik Mona wrote:
continuity wank-fest

Coincidentally, the name of my Styx-dubstep mashup band.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Erik Mona wrote:

Oh, you guys should know by now that I'm not going to give any more details than I've already given!

Ok, ok, both are in the Campaign Setting line.

Baseless speculation to run with:

Nex and Geb sourcebooks, obv.

....aaaaand, GO!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Taverns of Golarion?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
I believe that at the average table, the GM spends much more than all of the players combined.

At my table, to my wallet's chagrin, that is definitely true....


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Another campaign setting hardcover??????


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
Another campaign setting hardcover??????

Oooo, yeah. The Distant World Guide.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
There are few enough examples of this being the case that I can't actually think of any. Do you have an example of a time when this occurred with Pathfinder?

I can think of it being done twice to the FR, The Avartar seris and the Spell plague, was done either wholy to explain changes to the rule or in part.

I don't think it was neccessary, but that was one of the reasons it was done.


And see guys this is why I love Paizo. Look we have many of the top staff taking time off their busy days to drop in here and explain why they'd like to do something, why it can't quite sell as requested, but how they are working on some products that are pretty darn close. Very nice.

Try this on other companies message boards. Heck, the Op would be lucky if he wasn't banned outright for being presumptuous. ;-)

Trust me, writing is very hard. I know, I wrote one of the very earliest supplements... but now I am an analyst at a 9-5 professional job instead. Catching Money Launderers & other scamsters is easier.....

Only thing I write now is reviews, and you know what they say: "those who can't DO- review!"

Thanks Paizo. Keep 'em coming!

Liberty's Edge

This has likely been pointed out. But to the OP, Paizo needs to cater to both crowds, crunch and fluff. Doing so keeps them in business. I subscribe to all the rulebooks but we ONLY play core rulebook in game. I enjoy the reads but I do believe the options in the core book are more than quite a few years worth of gaming before more a needed (e.g. APG) - like you. We only play core as we have nutted all all the grey areas, or Paizo have errata for them. Adding in new books/rules results in more 'discussions' over interpretations and semantics and we like to play "Pathfinder" and not "What Do You Think Jason Really Meant".

I then just buy the fluff books that help me run my game from the local games store. Win-win for me.

Again make no mistake Paizo's rise to perhaps be the leading RPG producer currently in print is due to them giving everyone what they want and with extremely high publishing quality (for an RPG).

S.


John Kretzer wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
There are few enough examples of this being the case that I can't actually think of any. Do you have an example of a time when this occurred with Pathfinder?

I can think of it being done twice to the FR, The Avartar seris and the Spell plague, was done either wholy to explain changes to the rule or in part.

I don't think it was neccessary, but that was one of the reasons it was done.

Those changes were made to reconcile the setting with the rules of a new edition. We're talking about rules bloat, something completely independent of edition changes. In fact, resetting rules bloat is one of the things that a new game edition accomplishes. So I don't think any of these count.

I'm looking for instances where a new rules option came out that allowed an adventuring party to bypass a significant portion of an adventure that could not previously have been bypassed, and which the adventure's designer did not intend the party to be able to bypass.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Squeatus wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

Oh, you guys should know by now that I'm not going to give any more details than I've already given!

Ok, ok, both are in the Campaign Setting line.

Baseless speculation to run with:

Nex and Geb sourcebooks, obv.

....aaaaand, GO!

Here's the thing.

Nex is mine. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine.

When we put together the Gazetteer, each member of the editorial staff got to pick one country that was "theirs," that they'd be the champion of, etc. etc. etc.

Nex was the country I claimed. I have a ton of ideas for it, but not that much free time.

At some point, I will have the free time to do it up right. In the meantime, we'll keep detailing it piece by piece until I have enough time to do it in style. Then, I promise it will be awesome.

Until then, there are plenty of other awesome countries in the world. :)

Dark Archive

To Scott's question:

That's quite a difficult question to answer, you know.

I remember that in 3.5 days we took the decision when we ran shackled city that it would be core books only because it had been written for core books only and we were nervous about rules bloat ruining the dungeon (and it's generally too late by the time you find out).

Richard


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Squeatus wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

Oh, you guys should know by now that I'm not going to give any more details than I've already given!

Ok, ok, both are in the Campaign Setting line.

Baseless speculation to run with:

Nex and Geb sourcebooks, obv.

....aaaaand, GO!

Here's the thing.

Nex is mine. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine.

When we put together the Gazetteer, each member of the editorial staff got to pick one country that was "theirs," that they'd be the champion of, etc. etc. etc.

Nex was the country I claimed. I have a ton of ideas for it, but not that much free time.

At some point, I will have the free time to do it up right. In the meantime, we'll keep detailing it piece by piece until I have enough time to do it in style. Then, I promise it will be awesome.

Please make it the feature of an AP which you kick off. Its been too long since we've had an Erik Mona adventure. Whispering Cairn and Howl of the Carrion King are two of my all time favourite "first instalments".


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very much looking forward to when Erik has more time!

How about a Nex novel first? As Vic said they were easiest...


Erik Mona wrote:
Nex is mine. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine.

Sooo, what really happened to Nex was getting caught by one-eyed fiend? Or did he sell his soul willingly?

Dark Archive

Scott Betts wrote:
richard develyn wrote:

I would like to add a cautionary note or two against rule-bloat.

Being a simulationist style player, the rules and the gaming world for me are inextricably linked.

When a new rule comes out that enables a PC to do something new, unless there's a good reason not to that means that every suitable NPC in the world can also do it. Which then means that the world has to react and change in the light of this new ability that has now become available.

The rules are like the physical laws of the universe. They drive what the world looks like. The more rules you have, however, the harder it is to understand their repercussions, and if you don't understand their repercussions you are in danger of making parts of your world nonsensical.

Or at least in need of change if you want it to be, in its own way, believable.

Rules bloat can also make adventure writing more difficult. The last thing any of us would like to see is disclaimers on adventures along the lines of "at the time of writing, this module provided a suitable challenge for four characters of Nth level as long as they included someone with the ability to do X but *not* someone able to do Y!"

Just my 2 cents worth

Richard

There are few enough examples of this being the case that I can't actually think of any. Do you have an example of a time when this occurred with Pathfinder?

I thought of one:

Although I've not read the Pathfinder version, the original encounter with Mokmurian in Fortress of The Stone Giants relied on the fact that Mokmurian had fog-cutting lenses and the PCs didn't.

Not only can the PCs get their own ones now they can additionally use a Goz Mask, the Gaze of Flames flame oracle mystery, the Water Sight waves oracle mystery, the cloud-gazer sylph feat (to a certain degree), the master-of-storms seasight or the winter-witch's blizzard sight to negate this.

Richard

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, but if your PCs know they will need

Spoiler:
fog cutting lenses or the equivalent
, how'd they know that going in?


richard develyn wrote:

Although I've not read the Pathfinder version, the original encounter with REDACTED in REDACTED relied on the fact that REDACTED had fog-cutting lenses and the PCs didn't.

Not only can the PCs get their own ones now they can additionally use a Goz Mask, the Gaze of Flames flame oracle mystery, the Water Sight waves oracle mystery, the cloud-gazer sylph feat (to a certain degree), the master-of-storms seasight or the winter-witch's blizzard sight to negate this.

1) Being able to negate the solid fog doesn't allow the party to bypass anything. It just makes the fight a little easier.

2) The means to crafting the item are in the same book the encounter is in. It's not a complex item, easily craftable by the PCs at that point.

3) Amusingly, REDACTED doesn't actually have the fogcutting lenses that his tactics talk about; they were never added to his equipment in the original adventure.

4) Finally - and most importantly - Gust of Wind (a 2nd level spell found in the Player's Handbook) completely negates the Solid Fog. The party has the means to overcome this obstacle with ease, even in a core-only game.

Dark Archive

(1) I disagree, actually. I think it was a major part of the encounter.

(2) Telling PCs "oh, by the way, you can craft lens of fogcutting now" just before the adventure is a bit of a give away. Not doing so means they didn't have the option to be prepared in this way.

(3) Fair enough :-)

(4) Sure, but whereas Gust of Wind was the only way to deal with this, the new rules have made "vision through fog" much more common.

Admittedly, we can't yet do this with a straight forward wizard spell. The day we do, that element of the encounter will be gone completely.

Ultimately we may well disagree on the degree to which the new rules has changed this particular encounter. I made a general point. You asked for an example and I've given the best I can think of. I don't have an encyclopaedic knowledge of either modules or rules and I'm sure there are better examples out there, however the fact that new rules can change the nature of existing modules and encounters to *some* degree is a problem, and all I am saying is that this is something that you have to be careful about.

Richard


richard develyn wrote:
(4) Sure, but whereas Gust of Wind was the only way to deal with this, the new rules have made "vision through fog" much more common.

Core ways to negate or easily bypass Solid Fog in that encounter:

1) Gust of Wind

2) Control Winds

3) Dispel Magic

4) Greater Dispel Magic

5) Wind Fan

6) Freedom of Movement

7) Air Walk

8) Fly (or any flying effect)

I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Quote:
Admittedly, we can't yet do this with a straight forward wizard spell. The day we do, that element of the encounter will be gone completely.

Gust of Wind is a straightforward Wizard spell.

Quote:
Ultimately we may well disagree on the degree to which the new rules has changed this particular encounter. I made a general point. You asked for an example and I've given the best I can think of. I don't have an encyclopaedic knowledge of either modules or rules and I'm sure there are better examples out there, however the fact that new rules can change the nature of existing modules and encounters to *some* degree is a problem, and all I am saying is that this is something that you have to be careful about.

My point is that the extent to which encounters or parts of adventures can be bypassed was pretty much established in full by the core books, and everything released after is largely just filling in the gaps. It's certainly possible to make new rules options that are just way more powerful than the existing ones, but so far it hasn't been much of a problem, even with "bloat"-heavy systems like 3.5.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Tangentially (and acknowledging that the player/DM distinction isnt a very clear one), do you think there are many "players" who buy the APs?
I think most players who plan to play a particular AP generally avoid buying it. And a lot of people—players and GMs alike—buy APs that they never expect to play. But it's *mostly* GMs.

I think I am an exception to this, sort of. I do gm, but there are 6 gms in my group, and we rotate. But two of us buy most of the 'stuff'. This includes rulebooks, adventures, minis and accessories (though most of my group has bought at least a core rulebook and most have bought a couple or chipped in for minis). We both dm, but really we are just both in the best financial position in our group. We have the discretionary income to do it, and we like gaming stuff.

In general I kind of hate the 'its the gms responsibility to buy the stuff' attitude. I know its been around for a long time and is still prevalent. I am more a player then I am a gm, I prefer to play, though I like dming, and do so regularly in my groups rotation. But I have and believe in buying something FOR a dm. I have bought kingmaker, skull and shackles and now jade regeant for other people in my group to run. I did this because I wanted to play in the campaigns, they offered to run them but couldnt buy them themselves. Seemed like a win win. It honestly surprises me that more players dont do this sort of thing.


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

Fwiw, I didn't mean to suggest the dm should buy more than players - it's just my expectation that they do.

Our group is similar to yours - I buy most of the stuff we use, regardless of whose game it is (even buying complete systems I don't really like). Not having kids gives you an awful lot in school fees to spend on yourself. :p

201 to 250 of 387 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / General Discussion / Open Letter to Paizo RE: Pathfinder All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.