Is 3.5e bloat coming back?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

Athaleon wrote:
I dont think it's likely in this case, but it really was the third edition philosophy according to Monte Cook. Throw out a range of options with a few good ones and a lot of bad ones, and the good players will be rewarded.

What a horrible concept. You actively make it harder for new players to have fun. With that concept, I'm surprised that 3.x actually became as popular as it did.

I put Monte Cook on the same level as Byron Hall. Except I think FATAL is likely just Hall trolling everyone who might look at it. Cook actually wrote how he considered Timmy Cards to be a good idea.


One more cynical interpretation is that Cook was offering an after-the-fact justification for 3e's horrible imbalance.


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Athaleon wrote:
One more cynical interpretation is that Cook was offering an after-the-fact justification for 3e's horrible imbalance.

So we're either calling the man incompetent or the devil... both seem to be coming from a rather cynical mindset.


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Monte Cook was dead to me the moment he tried to make Call of Cthulhu follow the D20 system. It's not a combat based game so don't use a combat based system with it!

Liberty's Edge

Insain Dragoon wrote:
Dude, just check out Inner Sea Gods. Most of the feats in that book are so bad the only reason I can see for their printing is "because X god needed a feat"

I beg to disagree.

Let's look at the first page of Feats. Arcane Insight and Believable Veils are crap. Aura of Succumbing, Beacon of Hope, Bestow Hope, and Blessed Hammer are all quite nice, though. At least for some builds.

The second page only has Butterfly's Sting and maybe Bloody Sabres as good Feats, with 6 less than stellar ones. But the next page has eight out of nine good Feats (with only Charge of the Righteous being actively bad). That's verging on two thirds being good Feats, right there...

I don't feel like going through the whole thing, but I was generally pretty impressed by the number of good Feats in Inner Sea Gods. I agree with the more general point that a lot of Feats are less than stellar (dear god, Galley Slave is awful), but do not agree that Inner Sea Gods is a good example of this.

Silver Crusade

MrSin wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
This feat would be okay if the whole party had it, or a bunch of NPC's had it and they all were attacking. Let's say you were up against 8 pirate enemies, that's an extra 16 points of damage in the beginning round of combat.

That's still pretty pitiful. Its 16 split out 2 times. You know what might hurt more? Weapon focus. Or weapon specialization if your a higher level and they're all fighters for some reason. How about weapon finesse if their dex based? Or power attack if they're using two handed weapons. Skill focus(Acrobatics) to move on the uneven surface of the ships in a nasty environment the DM set up. Lots of better options, still. Not sure if being a pirate makes you a galley slave anyway.

The fact you can find a moment when it applies doesn't actually make it good, much less a good thing. Doesn't even have a fluff to explain why being a galley slave makes you better at hitting people.

I get the feeling this might go on for a while.

This was not a topic about optimization. Now if the claim is going to be there that any option that isn't optimal is useless then we will need to start another thread. You don't have to be optimal to be effective.


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I obviously would like it if all options were useful and balanced, but lets not forget that PCs aren't the only characters that use them. There are also NPCs and not every NPC has to be optimized.

Silver Crusade

Hey, if we've got someone willing to defend the pug ugly choices Paizo's made in the choice of 'options', let's see them defend the weapon rack, AKA the worst archetype ever.

Tell me why someone would play this aside to have all the fun of an NPC while still 'technically' being considered a party member.

I'd be fine with it if it read "only NPCs may take this", but why take a class and strip it of its main skill so that someone else can simply draw weapons quicker? Even a new player who was remotely interested in playing a support character could do a better job than literally being a freaking weapon rack.


N. Jolly wrote:

Hey, if we've got someone willing to defend the pug ugly choices Paizo's made in the choice of 'options', let's see them defend the weapon rack, AKA the worst archetype ever.

Tell me why someone would play this aside to have all the fun of an NPC while still 'technically' being considered a party member.

I'd be fine with it if it read "only NPCs may take this", but why take a class and strip it of its main skill so that someone else can simply draw weapons quicker? Even a new player who was remotely interested in playing a support character could do a better job than literally being a freaking weapon rack.

On principle I would choose to be a Warrior instead.

Silver Crusade

chaoseffect wrote:
On principle I would choose to be a Warrior instead.

And you'd think there'd only be one archetype this absolutely dreadful...

But it's not alone.

Freaking Inner Sea Knights, for when your PC feels too heroic and important to the narrative.

Liberty's Edge

N. Jolly wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
On principle I would choose to be a Warrior instead.

And you'd think there'd only be one archetype this absolutely dreadful...

But it's not alone.

Freaking Inner Sea Knights, for when your PC feels too heroic and important to the narrative.

Uh...all of those are listed under the Squire Feat. They really aren't intended for PC use and that's quite clear from context.

You certainly could use them on a PC, but that's not what they're for and it shows.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Uh...all of those are listed under the Squire Feat. They really aren't intended for PC use and that's quite clear from context.

You certainly could use them on a PC, but that's not what they're for and it shows.

Is that how they're listed in the book, because the PFSRD just throws them into the class. And again, they're worse than the base class in every way, functioning as non magical items at best. These aren't things you'd want a cohort to do unless they were forced to take these archetypes.

Liberty's Edge

N. Jolly wrote:
Is that how they're listed in the book, because the PFSRD just throws them into the class.

It is. They're listed explicitly under the Squire Feat, and almost exclusively as options for such. This is the SRD's fault more than Paizo's.

N. Jolly wrote:
And again, they're worse than the base class in every way, functioning as non magical items at best. These aren't things you'd want a cohort to do unless they were forced to take these archetypes.

As for not wanting to take them on a cohort...that's a more legitimate complaint, though I can see circumstances under which it might be worth it. Especially at very low levels, which is when you have the Squire Feat at all.


shallowsoul wrote:
MrSin wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
This feat would be okay if the whole party had it, or a bunch of NPC's had it and they all were attacking. Let's say you were up against 8 pirate enemies, that's an extra 16 points of damage in the beginning round of combat.

That's still pretty pitiful. Its 16 split out 2 times. You know what might hurt more? Weapon focus. Or weapon specialization if your a higher level and they're all fighters for some reason. How about weapon finesse if their dex based? Or power attack if they're using two handed weapons. Skill focus(Acrobatics) to move on the uneven surface of the ships in a nasty environment the DM set up. Lots of better options, still. Not sure if being a pirate makes you a galley slave anyway.

The fact you can find a moment when it applies doesn't actually make it good, much less a good thing. Doesn't even have a fluff to explain why being a galley slave makes you better at hitting people.

I get the feeling this might go on for a while.

This was not a topic about optimization. Now if the claim is going to be there that any option that isn't optimal is useless then we will need to start another thread. You don't have to be optimal to be effective.

This feat has a long way to go before it could begin to be called "suboptimal", let alone effective enough to be worth a feat slot to anyone.


The very fact that traits are supposed to be "about half as strong as a feat" implies that even Paizo thinks there's supposed to be some sort of general value to a feat. The fact that most feats are actually as strong or stronger than a lot of feats also says a lot, both for the consistency of traits, and for the uselessness of so many feats.

Silver Crusade

I think something else that is forgotten is the fact that not all DM's allow players the luxury of cherry picking options from different books, especially when it is a niche campaign.


shallowsoul wrote:
I think something else that is forgotten is the fact that not all DM's allow players the luxury of cherry picking options from different books, especially when it is a niche campaign.

"You have to choose it" isn't exactly a fair way to say its good either.

That said, if "it can be applied to something at some point" is good enough to make it good, then darn near everything except the pre errata prone shooter was good.

Speaking of bloat, how many magic items do people use from the books?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I don't feel like going through the whole thing, but I was generally pretty impressed by the number of good Feats in Inner Sea Gods. I agree with the more general point that a lot of Feats are less than stellar (dear god, Galley Slave is awful), but do not agree that Inner Sea Gods is a good example of this.

I didn't exactly go on about how great potion glutton or fateful channel was, but I did chat about a few more of the feats in inner sea gods over in the worst feat ever thread.

There was good and there was bad. Not sure if any book is all bad or all good.


MrSin wrote:
Speaking of bloat, how many magic items do people use from the books?

I mostly just stick to core magic items. There's a couple of magic items that are decent from other books (APG springs to mind, though there's some stinkers in that book as well, it's mostly good, which is fine).

Some of the worst of the bloat I've seen is actually in a multitude of pointless magic items. This one springs to mind Robe of the Master of Masters.

Shadow Lodge

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shallowsoul wrote:
I think something else that is forgotten is the fact that not all DM's allow players the luxury of cherry picking options from different books, especially when it is a niche campaign.

Generally though, the idea is (at least in my experience) that everything Paizo is allowed, and exceptions are made from there rather than starting from nothing or Core being auto allowed, (or the PFSOP model), and adding in materials that are from there. Outside of PFS, I think the most common Ive seen is something like "all PF hardcovers allowed, other official PF material run by me fidst, but should be ok, and 3PP no/needs a very good reason/case by case only".

NonPaizo material is a different story. If its allowed, some DMs are like "3PP on a case by case basis", some say "yes, but Ill need to check it out first" and some say "PF + ______________(like Dreamscape Psionics or Godlings)".

Liberty's Edge

MrSin wrote:

I didn't exactly go on about how great potion glutton or fateful channel was, but I did chat about a few more of the feats in inner sea gods over in the worst feat ever thread.

There was good and there was bad. Not sure if any book is all bad or all good.

Basically agreed. I wasn't really arguing otherwise just noting that, personally, I think there are a higher percentage of good ones in Inner Sea Gods than many books.

And certainly disagreeing that it had more bad Feats than average, which is what Insain Dragoon was saying.


Ashiel wrote:
Some of the worst of the bloat I've seen is actually in a multitude of pointless magic items. This one springs to mind Robe of the Master of Masters.

I don't... I mean... it... they... what is... huh?

EDIT: I mean... the item certainly is... flavorful... which is cool. It's just... it... it's so strange. The mechanics are oddly scattered and a minor color shift might as well require prestidigitation (and, hypothetically, cost less), and why the Dance with Irori, and... I just... I'm... wow. So odd. Potentially cool, I guess, but... really odd.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
There is actually a list of what is allowed in PFS and I can't remember seeing Summoners on that list.

They are on the list as included in the material from the APG that is allowed. However certain summoner archetypes like the Master Summoner and the Synthesist, are specifically called out as banned from the campaign.

The campaign does a fairly good job of banning most of the exploits that players on these boards come up with, frequently before they are even published here.


Tacticslion wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Some of the worst of the bloat I've seen is actually in a multitude of pointless magic items. This one springs to mind Robe of the Master of Masters.
I don't... I mean... it... they... what is... huh?

Exactly. :P

Some items are just badly written as well, with obviously no understanding of how the game works. For example, there's an ioun stone in the Advanced Player's Guide which literally explains that it's just a burnt out Ioun Stone that someone has cast continual flame on, except it's written in such a way as to be a wondrous item (and thus if you cast dispel magic on it the continual flame effect springs back up in 1d4 rounds). The whole thing costs less than the material component price of continual flame to boot. It's literally half the price of an everburning torch which is in the core rulebook equipment chapter.

Leading me to believe that whomever wrote the item not only doesn't know the rules for magic item creation, or magic, but hasn't even read the equipment chapter.

Shadow Lodge

Ashiel wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Speaking of bloat, how many magic items do people use from the books?

I mostly just stick to core magic items. There's a couple of magic items that are decent from other books (APG springs to mind, though there's some stinkers in that book as well, it's mostly good, which is fine).

Some of the worst of the bloat I've seen is actually in a multitude of pointless magic items. This one springs to mind Robe of the Master of Masters.

A lot of times I tend to find most items a bit underwhelming. But it also depends a lot on if Im playing in PFS, home game, or how long Im expecting to play a character. In PFS, because you can not upgrade them, pretty much every item in ISG is no, just because they will be a poor investment long term, and money is too tight. In a home game, maybe. If Im expecting to play from 1st-20ish, I probably would, if I can upgrade them (the armor and weapons designed for followers of deities). Money is not so tight, so its not so bad to invest in an item thats a +1 or +2 equivalent with something extra.

Other items from other books, generally meh with one or two that stand out, (but generally overpriced in my opinion for what they do, even if it follows the charts).


Ashiel wrote:
Some items are just badly written as well, with obviously no understanding of how the game works. For example, there's an ioun stone in the Advanced Player's Guide which literally explains that it's just a burnt out Ioun Stone that someone has cast continual flame on, except it's written in such a way as to be a wondrous item (and thus if you cast dispel magic on it the continual flame effect springs back up in 1d4 rounds). The whole thing costs less than the material component price of continual flame to boot. It's literally half the price of an everburning torch which is in the core rulebook equipment chapter.

Shh... they might take away my hands free torch!


Hey, I got two of them! Just in case!


Then of course there's stuff that's just sloppy. Such as the robe of infinite twine which makes permanent nonmagical rope in large quantities. This is basically has an infinite money scheme made easy. For the record you can craft one for 500 gp, buy one for 1,000 gp, and produce 720,000 feet worth of rope each day that remains permanently as normal rope. For the record that's 7,200 gp worth of rope in sell value.

Automating the process is pretty easy too. Just make an animated object or a single undead minion you won't care about (such as a 1 HD monkey skeleton), stuff 'em in the robe, and just have them continue to produce rope until instructed to stop. With a few more monkies (or racoons) you can just make a team that makes rope, collects rope, stores rope.

If I had made this item (I'm actually one of those people who like magic items that have infinite stuff in them) I'd have given the ropes a duration before they just crumbled apart or vanished, which would have stopped the whole thing dead in its tracks.


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MrSin wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Some items are just badly written as well, with obviously no understanding of how the game works. For example, there's an ioun stone in the Advanced Player's Guide which literally explains that it's just a burnt out Ioun Stone that someone has cast continual flame on, except it's written in such a way as to be a wondrous item (and thus if you cast dispel magic on it the continual flame effect springs back up in 1d4 rounds). The whole thing costs less than the material component price of continual flame to boot. It's literally half the price of an everburning torch which is in the core rulebook equipment chapter.
Shh... they might take away my hands free torch!

The funny thing is we've had these "magic items" since 3.0. A burnt out Ioun Stone that just floats around and does nothing was even listed with a price in 3.0 (50 gp). Casting continual flame on an Ioun Stone goes way back.

The thing that bothered me here is that not only did the writer not understand how A) magic items work, B) how continual flame works, C) how magic in general works, D) this already exists, but E) made it anyway, F) priced it cheaper than you can legally create such a thing, G) made it better in every way to an item in the equipment chapter that's already pretty darn useful, H) and made it half to a quarter of the price to boot.

I expect stuff like that from people who've been playing the game for a few days, not from the material I'm paying money for.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Paizo has not released an actual rules book in what...almost a year now and people are still panicking about bloat. Paizo is a publishing company. They need to publish stuff to stay in business, and in order for people to want to buy their new stuff it has to offer something new.

So, there are a handful of PrCs that were released in a campaign guide that happen to actually be worth taking from a mechanical point of view. How is this a problem? If you don't like it, don't include it in your campaign.

In my last campaign we stuck with mainly Core, APG, and Mythic. Stuff from other sources were allowed on a case by case basis. Everything was fine, and people had fun playing the game which is what really matters.


MrSin wrote:
Speaking of bloat, how many magic items do people use from the books?

A goodhouserule against hte big 4 items plus ramdom item generator is a good way to improve diversity.


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The_Hanged_Man wrote:

Paizo has not released an actual rules book in what...almost a year now and people are still panicking about bloat. Paizo is a publishing company. They need to publish stuff to stay in business, and in order for people to want to buy their new stuff it has to offer something new.

So, there are a handful of PrCs that were released in a campaign guide that happen to actually be worth taking from a mechanical point of view. How is this a problem? If you don't like it, don't include it in your campaign.

In my last campaign we stuck with mainly Core, APG, and Mythic. Stuff from other sources were allowed on a case by case basis. Everything was fine, and people had fun playing the game which is what really matters.

No one is saying they can't keep publishing material, but they should stop publishing obvious page fillers.


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The_Hanged_Man wrote:
If you don't like it, don't include it in your campaign.

You haven't actually read most of this thread, have you? :P


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Ashiel wrote:
I expect stuff like that from people who've been playing the game for a few days, not from the material I'm paying money for.

Oddly enough the ioun torch is an item I actually like. Good, cheap, serves a purpose, and not as clunky as the ever burning torch imo. On top of that its flavorful and ioun stones are one of those things that are at least a little classy imo.

The_Hanged_Man wrote:
So, there are a handful of PrCs that were released in a campaign guide that happen to actually be worth taking from a mechanical point of view. How is this a problem? If you don't like it, don't include it in your campaign.

On the other hand, if its only a few prcs that are good then what am I paying for? What is all this extra bookspace? Books are expensive things!

Alexandros Satorum wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Speaking of bloat, how many magic items do people use from the books?
A goodhouserule against hte big 4 items plus ramdom item generator is a good way to improve diversity.

Aye It might say something about the WBL and the magic item system itself.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think the overall stratigy that Paizo has with the various lines and AP's is solid. The Companion books are a limited print run, regulated to PDF after it is out of print. I would hope that some thought would be taken into a single adventure type product like the Modules use to be like in a smaller format since the new Module format is as it stands now.

I think PF has avoided the out and out Bloated books that was previlent in the last of the T$R days and the horrid test subjects (like Nine Swords) that was at the tail end of the 3.5 dying and waiting for 4th days.

We can be thankful for this.


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thaX wrote:

I think PF has avoided the out and out Bloated books that was previlent in the last of the T$R days and the horrid test subjects (like Nine Swords) that was at the tail end of the 3.5 dying and waiting for 4th days.

We can be thankful for this.

Oh no, other options like psionics, incarnum, and martial adepts! Cant' have those nope. I mean, they were more balanced than core, and sometimes easier to learn, but nope, no new things!

New things aren't necessarily a bad thing. Some of that stuff was high quality! On the other hand, sometimes you got the truenamer... or samurai. We get a different kind of bloat when you just get the same things imo. There's a lot of ups and downs to either design. You can end up with a lot of ways to play but barely supporting any of them because you spread too thin, and you can end up with only one way to play that has a lot of support. YMMV.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

If your saying Nine Swords was balanced....

I actually liked the revised Psionics for 3.5, even though they kept the horrid Power Points, but that came out a lot sooner than when the looming of a new edition was being denied and... well, other things was going on.

There was one book that had three classes of a wizard type and all were bad, one way or another. Forget what it was called.


thaX wrote:
There was one book that had three classes of a wizard type and all were bad, one way or another. Forget what it was called.

Tome of magic. Binder was okay and actually well received for its flexibility(it sits at tier 3), shadowcaster was meh(if I remember right), and truenamer was awful beyond reason. If I remember right one of their big things was they focused on skill checks to use their powers. They all brought a very different brand of magic and a way to use it, but I don't believe they got much support of their respective book.

Edit: Incarnum magic maybe? That one was pretty confusing and I don't think it was 3 casters. Was balanced from what I heard but... I never actually figured out how to use incarnum. So... yeah.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Some of the worst of the bloat I've seen is actually in a multitude of pointless magic items. This one springs to mind Robe of the Master of Masters.

I don't... I mean... it... they... what is... huh?

EDIT: I mean... the item certainly is... flavorful... which is cool. It's just... it... it's so strange. The mechanics are oddly scattered and a minor color shift might as well require prestidigitation (and, hypothetically, cost less), and why the Dance with Irori, and... I just... I'm... wow. So odd. Potentially cool, I guess, but... really odd.

Now all we need is a Ballerina class. Or maybe a Ballerina could be a Monk archetype? Ballerinas of Irori?


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MrSin wrote:
thaX wrote:
There was one book that had three classes of a wizard type and all were bad, one way or another. Forget what it was called.

Tome of magic. Binder was okay and actually well received for its flexibility(it sits at tier 3), shadowcaster was meh(if I remember right), and truenamer was awful beyond reason. If I remember right one of their big things was they focused on skill checks to use their powers. They all brought a very different brand of magic and a way to use it, but I don't believe they got much support of their respective book.

Edit: Incarnum magic maybe? That one was pretty confusing and I don't think it was 3 casters. Was balanced from what I heard but... I never actually figured out how to use incarnum. So... yeah.

[Tome of Magic]

Binder: Pretty much the Occultist from Raidence House. Binds spirits to him/herself to grant themselves powers. Well recieved for the flavor of it and it's versatility. Was moderately powerful, with the potential to be broken (like pretty much everything in 3.5)

Shadowcaster: has an odd form of casting that want from 1 per day for highest spell level. Acts as spell, 2 per day 2nd highest spell level. Acted as Spell like ability, everything but "cantrip equivalents" were 3 per day and supernatural abilities. Their spells were also branched into "trees" of 3 spell levels. In order to learn a 2nd level spell, you had to know its corresponding 1st level spell and same with 3rd. Then repeat for 4-6 and 7-9. So like you have to know burning hands to learn Scorching Ray and both to learn fireball. Well liked for flavor, disliked due to poor weakness.

Truenamer: Could produce magical effects at will. Many were powerful effects (more so than what a warlock could pull off). Additionally, it doesn't have any equivalent of spell levels. The thing that was supposed to keep them in check is that they have to make a progressively harder skill check. Devs underestimated people's ability to ramp up skills though...

[Magic of Incarnum]

Incarnum users could "bind" the energy from spirits to themselves in the form of equipment. The equipment could either be very evanscent and provide a minor bonus, or bound to a Chakra to provide much stronger bonuses. As you leveled up, you could unlock more and more chakra going from:

Hands
Feet
Neck
Head
Waist
Body
Soul

The incarnum users were also con based "casters" and used a pool of points to make their bindings even more powerful.

The Incarnum users were liked for the interesting flavor, but were horridly implemented with rather weak classes.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
MrSin wrote:


On the other hand, if its only a few prcs that are good then what am I paying for? What is all this extra bookspace? Books are expensive things!

Good question. If enough people vote no with their wallets Paizo will stop making them or change (for better or worse) their strategy. Paizo can't please everyone though. If they release books with consistently good options people complain. Power creep! Fluffy options? Pointless bloat! Seemingly balanced options? Marginalizing or replacing core material!

Honestly I have no idea how game developers maintain their sanity in the face of all this.

Otherwise, if book space is a problem get PDFs. If money is a problem then just pick and choose what you want for free off the srd and prd sites. Paizo gives away all of their rules for free, which is one of the reasons I love this company.


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The_Hanged_Man wrote:
MrSin wrote:


On the other hand, if its only a few prcs that are good then what am I paying for? What is all this extra bookspace? Books are expensive things!

Good question. If enough people vote no with their wallets Paizo will stop making them or change (for better or worse) their strategy. Paizo can't please everyone though. If they release books with consistently good options people complain. Power creep! Fluffy options? Pointless bloat! Seemingly balanced options? Marginalizing or replacing core material!

Honestly I have no idea how game developers maintain their sanity in the face of all this.

Otherwise, if book space is a problem get PDFs. If money is a problem then just pick and choose what you want for free off the srd and prd sites. Paizo gives away all of their rules for free, which is one of the reasons I love this company.

And that is the thing, I think. Whether or not bloat exists is besides the point. The real question is, at what point in a book or the line do you stop spending money on the product? It's well and good to come in after the fact and say that X percent of Y book was horrible (for a given value of horrible) but if you bought it, aren't you contributing to the problem?

As I said before, I've bought books in 3.5 for one piece of information, one bit of art, some fluff that I wanted. Some books, or movies, or shows, offer suggestions and spur ideas -- even if 20 people in the internet tell me that it is bad, sub par, or causes tooth decay that doesn't mean much more than they didn't care for it or believe something. I -- or a player of mine -- might like or want it, even if it isn't optimal or is even considered bad.

Digital Products Assistant

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Removed a few more posts. This kind of sniping is pretty unnecessary.


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Kthulhu wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
I dont think it's likely in this case, but it really was the third edition philosophy according to Monte Cook. Throw out a range of options with a few good ones and a lot of bad ones, and the good players will be rewarded.

What a horrible concept. You actively make it harder for new players to have fun. With that concept, I'm surprised that 3.x actually became as popular as it did.

I put Monte Cook on the same level as Byron Hall. Except I think FATAL is likely just Hall trolling everyone who might look at it. Cook actually wrote how he considered Timmy Cards to be a good idea.

In Monte's defense, if I remember correctly, much of what he said there was taken out of context or misunderstood in regards to his opinion and thoughts on the matter.


MrSin wrote:
New things aren't necessarily a bad thing. Some of that stuff was high quality! On the other hand, sometimes you got the truenamer... or samurai. We get a different kind of bloat when you just get the same things imo. There's a lot of ups and downs to either design. You can end up with a lot of ways to play but barely supporting any of them because you spread too thin, and you can end up with only one way to play that has a lot of support. YMMV.

Do you really feel the samurai is not high quality? Really? I think its a rather great class, and definitely better than the cavalier class it was based on. I was rather 'meh' regarding the cavalier when it was released in the APG, and with the UC inclusion of samurai, I thought the developers finally got the concept right. I hated all the 3x versions of samurai with their alternate precision damage which was too similar to Sneak Attack. The samurai class as created by Paizo is the first version in any edition of D&D that is much closer to the mark.

Me and the good folks at Rite Publishing took the samurai concept and pushed its development, and the concept of samurai to the next level in the Way of the Samurai (PFRPG) supplement, all based on what Paizo had already created.


gamer-printer wrote:
MrSin wrote:
New things aren't necessarily a bad thing. Some of that stuff was high quality! On the other hand, sometimes you got the truenamer... or samurai. We get a different kind of bloat when you just get the same things imo. There's a lot of ups and downs to either design. You can end up with a lot of ways to play but barely supporting any of them because you spread too thin, and you can end up with only one way to play that has a lot of support. YMMV.

Do you really feel the samurai is not high quality? Really? I think its a rather great class, and definitely better than the cavalier class it was based on. I was rather 'meh' regarding the cavalier when it was released in the APG, and with the UC inclusion of samurai, I thought the developers finally got the concept right. I hated all the 3x versions of samurai with their alternate precision damage which was too similar to Sneak Attack. The samurai class is the first version in any edition of D&D that is much closer to the mark.

Me and the good folks at Rite Publishing took the samurai concept and pushed its development, and the concept of samurai to the next level in the Way of the Samurai (PFRPG) supplement, all based on what Paizo had already created.

He's talking about the 3.5 samurai


Ah, my mistake, yeah the 3.5 samurai truly sucked.


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knightnday wrote:
The_Hanged_Man wrote:
MrSin wrote:


On the other hand, if its only a few prcs that are good then what am I paying for? What is all this extra bookspace? Books are expensive things!

Good question. If enough people vote no with their wallets Paizo will stop making them or change (for better or worse) their strategy. Paizo can't please everyone though. If they release books with consistently good options people complain. Power creep! Fluffy options? Pointless bloat! Seemingly balanced options? Marginalizing or replacing core material!

Honestly I have no idea how game developers maintain their sanity in the face of all this.

Otherwise, if book space is a problem get PDFs. If money is a problem then just pick and choose what you want for free off the srd and prd sites. Paizo gives away all of their rules for free, which is one of the reasons I love this company.

And that is the thing, I think. Whether or not bloat exists is besides the point. The real question is, at what point in a book or the line do you stop spending money on the product? It's well and good to come in after the fact and say that X percent of Y book was horrible (for a given value of horrible) but if you bought it, aren't you contributing to the problem?

As I said before, I've bought books in 3.5 for one piece of information, one bit of art, some fluff that I wanted. Some books, or movies, or shows, offer suggestions and spur ideas -- even if 20 people in the internet tell me that it is bad, sub par, or causes tooth decay that doesn't mean much more than they didn't care for it or believe something. I -- or a player of mine -- might like or want it, even if it isn't optimal or is even considered bad.

And on the flip side, how many potential new players look at the giant pile of material, think "I'll be able to afford or even read all that" and pass it by. Sure, you can play with just a subset, but some won't realize that, some are completists, some know they'll get seduced into buying more and more material or just think they'll be at such a disadvantage without all the good stuff. Even the vast amount available online is intimidating. Not so much classes, but feats and spells and other things.

I definitely have a tendency to go that route. Mostly kept me away from 3.5. Picked up PF when there wasn't that much available, which helped lure me in. :)


thejeff wrote:
And on the flip side, how many potential new players look at the giant pile of material, think "I'll be able to afford or even read all that" and pass it by. Sure, you can play with just a subset, but some won't realize that, some are completists, some know they'll get seduced...

That's how I feel about campaign settings with more than three or four supplements.


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137ben wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And on the flip side, how many potential new players look at the giant pile of material, think "I'll be able to afford or even read all that" and pass it by. Sure, you can play with just a subset, but some won't realize that, some are completists, some know they'll get seduced...
That's how I feel about campaign settings with more than three or four supplements.

It's a fundamental problem with RPGs. You really only need the core rules to get years worth of play. Everything else is optional extra. For those who prefer homebrewed worlds and games and relatively small rulesets, once you've get the Core rules, the game company isn't much use. :) And they can't make much money off you.

OTOH, that's the same problem faced by most game publishers, not just the RPG world. It's not like Monopoly needs expansion set after expansion set. They profit by selling to new customers. Expand the market, rather than more to each customer.

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