Is 3.5e bloat coming back?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Scavion wrote:
thejeff wrote:

And that's pretty much where I am. But it's not "close enough", it's "less detailed".

Having to take feats and other special abilities to do basic things competently doesn't help me build my character more closely. As more abilities are added, I just need more to hit the new standard of competence at my speciality and have less available for other things.

Keep in mind that the standard of competence is only whatever your DM sets it at aside from the rather low bar APs and PFS present.

I actually find that a somewhat higher bar than I'd like.

I can build characters and play at that level (or higher), but I don't enjoy it as much.
That's mostly theoretical though. I've only played in the start of a couple APs.


Ipslore the Red wrote:


I ask because of the paper-bound abomination known as Inner Sea Gods and the monstrosity known as Evangelist...

As far as I've ever been able to tell, Inner Sea stuff is campaign-setting related, not general Pathfinder.

Which means really the only people worried about it causing bloat in their games are the ones who actually set their campaigns in Golarion. Which is probably a much smaller number when compared to gamers overall, than you think. Making this sort of like accusing WoTC of rules bloat for publishing Eberron or Forgotten Realms.

Certainly doesn't rock my boat. I don't set my games in published settings.

As to bloat in general, no, I don't see an issue. As you get older, you will become wiser, and getting worked up over whether an RPG has too many rules and feeling as if you are forced to buy/study/use them in your game or you cannot allow yourself any happiness will sink lower and lower on your list of priorities.

And as to Prestige Classes, since when is Pathfinder an echo of 3.5 on that issue? Pathfinder is wonderfully, blessedly, spectacularly low on Prestige Classes, whereas 3.5 was stinkingly, awfully, disgustingly chock full to the wisdom teeth with the crappy things.


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I tend to agree with the OP.
I actually don't think this is overreacting.
Options bloat is bad. It kind of pushes regular players away, and appeals most to the munchkins/powerplayers/metagamers.

The problem is psychological.

Whenever something 'new' is published, it takes away the attention from the core stuff.

This is where Snowflake-Syndrome kicks in.

Some players just don't want to play the standard races, because they feel that a dwarf or an elf is too common compared to the exotic (and let's admit it, much more powerful) aasimar and tieflings. If the expansion books that introduced these exotic races never existed, than the dwarf or the elf would have been considered exotic by most players. This interpretation however is lost, because what we initially feel is exotic is replaced by the even-more-exotic.

And that is the reason why bloat is bad. The bloat creates a general lack of interest in non-bloat material, and it gets worse with each expansion.

The early material is designed in such a way that it provides so much freedom and interpretation. The new stuff is more specific in that it's related to specific races or settings etc. It either lacks flavour or is too specific in flavour.

Another problem is game balance, but in this case, bad playtesting is probably the cause. (I personally ban the Summoner and all of its archetypes in all of my games)

I understand the counter-argument that you could also choose to not use certain material. This however, is not true for play-by-post players.
It is also straining/frustrating for GMs who have players that are lured by the exotic/overpowered stuff, and have to tell them why they don't allow this stuff in their games and such.

All in all, some additional stuff by Paizo has been great, and some of it has been bad. I think the Witch is a fantastic and flavourful addition to the standard classes. On the other hand, I think the Summoner is terrible. The Magus is okay but could have used some more flavour.

At this point in time, it has become a necessity to homebrew a couple of things in order to still make the game work, which is especialy problematic for rookie GMs.


Diminutive Titan wrote:

I tend to agree with the OP.

I actually don't think this is overreacting.
Options bloat is bad. It kind of pushes regular players away, and appeals most to the munchkins/powerplayers/metagamers.

The problem is psychological.

Whenever something 'new' is published, it takes away the attention from the core stuff.

This is where Snowflake-Syndrome kicks in.

Some players just don't want to play the standard races, because they feel that a dwarf or an elf is too common compared to the exotic (and let's admit it, much more powerful) aasimar and tieflings. If the expansion books that introduced these exotic races never existed, than the dwarf or the elf would have been considered exotic by most players. This interpretation however is lost, because what we initially feel is exotic is replaced by the even-more-exotic.

And that is the reason why bloat is bad. The bloat creates a general lack of interest in non-bloat material, and it gets worse with each expansion.

I do agre that bloat can be bad, but just giving more options is not bad. What if they want to play a pseudo angel character? if they find it fun then there is no problem. The problem is when the bloat become just better than the previous material, tieflings and assimar are just stronger than most races and that is what I find to be the bad thing, people playing those races just because they are stronger and not because a character concept.


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There is also he good bloat, I woud dnot mind if paizo release new material that make crossbows/trhown weapons/rogue talent decents options.


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Diminutive Titan wrote:

I tend to agree with the OP.

I actually don't think this is overreacting.
Options bloat is bad. It kind of pushes regular players away, and appeals most to the munchkins/powerplayers/metagamers.

The problem is psychological.

Whenever something 'new' is published, it takes away the attention from the core stuff.

This is where Snowflake-Syndrome kicks in.

Some players just don't want to play the standard races, because they feel that a dwarf or an elf is too common compared to the exotic (and let's admit it, much more powerful) aasimar and tieflings. If the expansion books that introduced these exotic races never existed, than the dwarf or the elf would have been considered exotic by most players. This interpretation however is lost, because what we initially feel is exotic is replaced by the even-more-exotic.

And that is the reason why bloat is bad. The bloat creates a general lack of interest in non-bloat material, and it gets worse with each expansion.

The early material is designed in such a way that it provides so much freedom and interpretation. The new stuff is more specific in that it's related to specific races or settings etc. It either lacks flavour or is too specific in flavour.

Another problem is game balance, but in this case, bad playtesting is probably the cause. (I personally ban the Summoner and all of its archetypes in all of my games)

I understand the counter-argument that you could also choose to not use certain material. This however, is not true for play-by-post players.
It is also straining/frustrating for GMs who have players that are lured by the exotic/overpowered stuff, and have to tell them why they don't allow this stuff in their games and such.

All in all, some additional stuff by Paizo has been great, and some of it has been bad. I think the Witch is a fantastic and flavourful addition to the standard classes. On the other hand, I think the Summoner is terrible. The Magus is okay but could have used some more flavour.

At this point in...

Dammit league of legends! How dare you continue to give me new champions to play. I hate having more characters that I can use in the game! Drop it down to just like 10. I want to the see the same champs every match.

And Magic! Seriously that game is awful. Always releasing new cards! Man the thing I hate most about card games is the options you know?

And what about Ice Cream flavors? Only vanilla and chocolate you all can keep your chunky monkeys and your cotton candy and your caramel fudge candy bar.

Of course the above is sarcasm, because more options is pretty much the whole reason to play a game that isn't locked into code and then released for a gaming console.


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For me, bloat is the publishing of non-options. Basically stuff that you will never want to take because the opportunity cost of taking it is too high and you wouldn't even want to take the material if you were hyper specializing in one area.


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Caedwyr wrote:
For me, bloat is the publishing of non-options. Basically stuff that you will never want to take because the opportunity cost of taking it is too high and you wouldn't even want to take the material if you were hyper specializing in one area.

There are a lot of those sadly. Specially traits.


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Ipslore the Red wrote:
Specifically, PrCs being the best options forever, 100 base classes and 500 PrCs, a zillion special materials, and so on.

For my money the ill-conceived Mythic rules and the utterly unnecessary 'hybrid' classes are a clear sign that that's what we're approaching...


Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
For me, bloat is the publishing of non-options. Basically stuff that you will never want to take because the opportunity cost of taking it is too high and you wouldn't even want to take the material if you were hyper specializing in one area.
There are a lot of those sadly. Specially traits.

Honestly, I would really like traits to be paired down to generic bonuses, and then have flavored options after the fact.

I'd love to have them more readily available in that context.

That said, both traits and drawbacks are pretty awesome. The flavor and mechanics of both are fabulously improved from the old 3rd Edition versions.

Wiggz wrote:
For my money the ill-conceived Mythic rules and the utterly unnecessary 'hybrid' classes are a clear sign that that's what we're approaching...

... you clearly haven't read, played with, or otherwise interacted with the Mythic rules, I see.


Tacticslion wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
For my money the ill-conceived Mythic rules and the utterly unnecessary 'hybrid' classes are a clear sign that that's what we're approaching...
... you clearly haven't read, played with, or otherwise interacted with the Mythic rules, I see.

Then you don't see at all.

My question is have you?


Paizo bad at balancing post 10 content? Surely you jest.


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Considering that thread leads to Wrath of the Righteous, I shan't be reading it.

If, on the other hand, the title is any indication, there is nothing that is there brought about by Mythic so much as that's oft been the nature of the game from about 11th level on.

So what does it add? A lot.

What are the problems? Every complaint I've seen (which is limited) ultimately boils down to, "I don't know how to handle this" or "they're too optimized for the AP" which the former relies on the GM and applies just as much without mythic rules and the latter is rather common to all APs, even without mythic rules.

This game is easy to break if you know how (and often enough on accident).

The Mythic rules are, however, over-all very well thought-out, heavily play-tested, and have plenty of interesting rules that alter and work well with the existing ones.

I've applied them in three different games (two in the pre-published phase that have been subsequently retooled to the published phase) and one post-published phase) and have had very little in terms of issues, most of which revolve around things that are already issues.

Does that mean there are none? No.

But "ill-conceived" the Mythic rules are not - in fact, they're often more well-rounded (in my experience) than Core stuff.

My question: have you ever looked at
- casters?
- DPR olympics?
- rage/lance/pounce?
- the weapon cords?
- archery?
- too many to list here, because, dang it?

I mean, there are still people that claim that 3.5 Psionics is "overpowered" which is both sad and funny, really.

Mythic is made to be extremely powerful. If you don't like extremely powerful games, or have difficulty handling those styles of abilities either don't play with them (which includes nerfing casters and a lot of the heavier DPR martial elements, among others) then don't play with them (easy enough) or start learning them.

And, I mean, they're not exactly PFS, so you're not going to run into them in that.

I've seen very powerful combinations from the old 3.0 days and handled them in my games. So I dunno where the problems continuously - they are rather superior to most any other high-powered variant in terms of stability, interaction, and cohesion since that era.


Wiggz wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
For my money the ill-conceived Mythic rules and the utterly unnecessary 'hybrid' classes are a clear sign that that's what we're approaching...
... you clearly haven't read, played with, or otherwise interacted with the Mythic rules, I see.

Then you don't see at all.

My question is have you?

Mythic was purposrsely designed to be a power creep for those people that wanted that power creep. it is its clear purporse, For that reason I do not have problem with it.

It is not like "instant enemy" wich is placed without warning among the other ranger spells but is so strong that it becomes a must have but nonetheless paizo still act as if everything where well balanced.


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Anzyr wrote:

Dammit league of legends! How dare you continue to give me new champions to play. I hate having more characters that I can use in the game! Drop it down to just like 10. I want to the see the same champs every match.

And Magic! Seriously that game is awful. Always releasing new cards! Man the thing I hate most about card games is the options you know?

And what about Ice Cream flavors? Only vanilla and chocolate you all can keep your chunky monkeys and your cotton candy and your caramel fudge candy bar.

Of course the above is sarcasm, because more options is pretty much the whole reason to play a game that isn't locked into code and then released for a gaming console.

I haven't played League of Legends, but bloat in Magic is pretty much just to keep you buying cards. It's a marketing scam more than anything.

After poker is such lousy card game because every deck is the same. No new options. It'll never last. :)

The idea that more options is the only reason to play a game is totally foreign to me. Generally that speaks of a game with limited replay value on its own. You need new expansions to justify playing it again.

You can get decades worth of gaming out of just the PF Core rules and a Bestiary. Different characters, different characterization even with similar builds, different villains, different plots. The combinations and variety are endless with a creative GM and creative players.


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thejeff wrote:

The idea that more options is the only reason to play a game is totally foreign to me. Generally that speaks of a game with limited replay value on its own. You need new expansions to justify playing it again.

You can get decades worth of gaming out of just the PF Core rules and a Bestiary. Different characters, different characterization even with similar builds, different villains, different plots. The combinations and variety are endless with a creative GM and creative players.

Well yes, thanks to how long campaigns can last, the core can sustain for a long time but that's no reason to hate expansions. I really like the witch, magus, and cavalier. I can make a facsimile of those classes with the core but it wouldn't be as fun. I like having all the options at my disposal to really nail down the concept I want to play.

New classes also means new fluff which, to me, means more inspiration. I really love my witch character and I never would have thought of the backstory I made for her without the witch and Changeling fluff. Not every player/GM is creative enough to pull any story they want out of the core. Having more options and therefore inspiration is a boon not a blight.

The prestige classes are something I ignore most of the time anyway because they're mostly setting-specific like Gray Gardener or Lion Blade. They're also usually not that good.

It's archetypes that I love and don't mind so many options. I could have made my two-weapon fighter with the core rules. He wouldn't have been as good without the archetype and I wouldn't have felt the desire to make him. More options leads to more creativity to me.

Dark Archive

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Well a side to bloat people tend to forget; sometimes the options for the builds one wants to make aren't there yet and need more options to be viable. I have a player who refused to play d&d and pathfinder until archetypes came around just because they disliked all the options available to them at the time

Options can bring players into the game too


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thejeff wrote:
Anzyr wrote:

Dammit league of legends! How dare you continue to give me new champions to play. I hate having more characters that I can use in the game! Drop it down to just like 10. I want to the see the same champs every match.

And Magic! Seriously that game is awful. Always releasing new cards! Man the thing I hate most about card games is the options you know?

And what about Ice Cream flavors? Only vanilla and chocolate you all can keep your chunky monkeys and your cotton candy and your caramel fudge candy bar.

Of course the above is sarcasm, because more options is pretty much the whole reason to play a game that isn't locked into code and then released for a gaming console.

I haven't played League of Legends, but bloat in Magic is pretty much just to keep you buying cards. It's a marketing scam more than anything.

After poker is such lousy card game because every deck is the same. No new options. It'll never last. :)

The idea that more options is the only reason to play a game is totally foreign to me. Generally that speaks of a game with limited replay value on its own. You need new expansions to justify playing it again.

You can get decades worth of gaming out of just the PF Core rules and a Bestiary. Different characters, different characterization even with similar builds, different villains, different plots. The combinations and variety are endless with a creative GM and creative players.

Except you see, the thing is, Paizo is STILL A FREAKING COMPANY, I.E. THEY STILL ARE TRYING TO MAKE MONEY. Paizo is not a charity. They did not make Pathfinder out of the bottom of their hearts. So they are still trying to sell stuff, and guess what stuff sells the best? Things with crunch. A purely fluff book is boring to many people, and APs (while popular) are limited to those who want to play Golarian. People who want to make their own worlds and their own stories could care less about APs.


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K177Y C47 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Anzyr wrote:

Dammit league of legends! How dare you continue to give me new champions to play. I hate having more characters that I can use in the game! Drop it down to just like 10. I want to the see the same champs every match.

And Magic! Seriously that game is awful. Always releasing new cards! Man the thing I hate most about card games is the options you know?

And what about Ice Cream flavors? Only vanilla and chocolate you all can keep your chunky monkeys and your cotton candy and your caramel fudge candy bar.

Of course the above is sarcasm, because more options is pretty much the whole reason to play a game that isn't locked into code and then released for a gaming console.

I haven't played League of Legends, but bloat in Magic is pretty much just to keep you buying cards. It's a marketing scam more than anything.

After poker is such lousy card game because every deck is the same. No new options. It'll never last. :)

The idea that more options is the only reason to play a game is totally foreign to me. Generally that speaks of a game with limited replay value on its own. You need new expansions to justify playing it again.

You can get decades worth of gaming out of just the PF Core rules and a Bestiary. Different characters, different characterization even with similar builds, different villains, different plots. The combinations and variety are endless with a creative GM and creative players.

Except you see, the thing is, Paizo is STILL A FREAKING COMPANY, I.E. THEY STILL ARE TRYING TO MAKE MONEY. Paizo is not a charity. They did not make Pathfinder out of the bottom of their hearts. So they are still trying to sell stuff, and guess what stuff sells the best? Things with crunch. A purely fluff book is boring to many people, and APs (while popular) are limited to those who want to play Golarian. People who want to make their own worlds and their own stories could care less about APs.

No need to yell. I get that. There is a valid argument that too much crunch starts to drive away customers. Whether that's true and at what point it happens is open for debate.

I was really only replying to the argument that more options is the only reason to play any game.

Liberty's Edge

Again no one has to use the new material or buy a new book that includes it. I stopped buying the companion series precisely because of a lack of crunch and too much fluff. I'm not going to tell Paizo to no longer publish them. Another thing K'm seeing is that posters act like the rpg is being published for them and only them. It's not just about one gamer. It's a group. It looks like to me anyway that their is a market for new material. If not why would they publish more new material at a loss. I can understand and respect not wanting more new material. It makes no sense for Paizo as a business to stop publishing new material.

As for option paralysis I see where people are coming from on that issue. Except after a certain point it's no longer a reason more like a excuse. After making at least five characters or more one should have at least the basics down of making a character. If a player just plays Clerics eventually they should be building one easily. New material or old material. I'm learning to cook. Through trial and error I have become a decent cook.


Inner Sea Gods introduced so many new feats and almost every single one was terrible and such a trap.

Who would take a feat to give innocent civilians standing next to you a +2 bonus to AC? WHY?!

Some proper feats in there though, like channeling pos energy to give freedom of movement or get armor training at L-4.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Who would take a feat to give innocent civilians standing next to you a +2 bonus to AC? WHY?!

There's been a number of classes since 3x that provides 'body guard' class features including stepping in front of an attack on an ally to receive the attack instead, as well as providing an AC bonus to those around you. Its not like Paizo were the first to come up with this idea.

I even helped build a specific ranger archetype for Rite Publishing's Way of the Samurai (PFRPG) that does both of these body guard functions, called the yojimbo - which means 'body guard'. He does more than just be a body guard, but its part of his 'schtick.'

If you're not ever going to play 'body guard', then you wouldn't need it, but that doesn't mean such a feat is totally useless. Useless for your PCs maybe, but not useless altogether.

I'm not saying that there aren't any 'bad feats' in the Inner Sea Gods guide, just the one you're complaining about isn't one of them - its certainly not the best feat, but its also not terrible.


nonononono

This isn't a bodyguard feat. It's a feat to literally give innocent, unassociated, random civilians a AC bonus for being adjacent. In case that wasn't clear, it cannot effect your party, cohorts, animal companions, ect.

How often would this come up? I guess if you're in town and a terrorist attack goes off and you just so happen to be standing next to unaffiliated peasant #346 it would do something. Would it work in a seige on the town? No because the random NPC peasants would be ARMED and therefore not defenseless.


I don't feel it is bloat when more races, feats, spells, etc are released

I see it when these things expand the rules.....so more mini games are added such as hexes, curses, eidolons, ki, arcana pools, etc

The game can be slow anyway so adding more in causes bloat, IMO / IME


um.... Ki is from the Core Rule book... and Arcana is just a modification of Ki...Eidolons are completely new, but hexes are no that complex, just At-Will Su abilities.


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memorax wrote:

Again no one has to use the new material or buy a new book that includes it. I stopped buying the companion series precisely because of a lack of crunch and too much fluff. I'm not going to tell Paizo to no longer publish them. Another thing K'm seeing is that posters act like the rpg is being published for them and only them. It's not just about one gamer. It's a group. It looks like to me anyway that their is a market for new material. If not why would they publish more new material at a loss. I can understand and respect not wanting more new material. It makes no sense for Paizo as a business to stop publishing new material.

As for option paralysis I see where people are coming from on that issue. Except after a certain point it's no longer a reason more like a excuse. After making at least five characters or more one should have at least the basics down of making a character. If a player just plays Clerics eventually they should be building one easily. New material or old material. I'm learning to cook. Through trial and error I have become a decent cook.

yes, of course, not buying new material is always a valid option. Still, that does not mean that people could not come to the forum and complaing about the quality about the material. You know, it is the game the like, they want to buy new books, and they want to like those new books.

Liberty's Edge

Insain Dragoon wrote:

Inner Sea Gods introduced so many new feats and almost every single one was terrible and such a trap.

Who would take a feat to give innocent civilians standing next to you a +2 bonus to AC? WHY?!

Some proper feats in there though, like channeling pos energy to give freedom of movement or get armor training at L-4.

I have the book yet not read completely through it yet. Sad to see the terrible feats continue. I have the Alchemy Manual as well. Craft Ooze is another trap feat. Requires a decent set of prequistes to use. As well as spending time and gold to buy the proper material needed to craft the ooze. Only to craft a ooze that is dumber than a bag of hammers and no loyalty to the creator. Even if it's one of the rare ooze types that is intelligent. The ones you craft are dumb. Great feat for NPCS. Useless for pcs. The devs seem to forget that when it comes to feats both fluff and crunch both need to be useful.

Liberty's Edge

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Alexandros Satorum wrote:


yes, of course, not buying new material is always a valid option. Still, that does not mean that people could not come to the forum and complaing about the quality about the material. You know, it is the game the like, they want to buy new books, and they want to like those new books.

There is a difference between complaining about the release of new material and disliking the new material. I despise the Craft Ooze feat. To take it I would need too get paid to do so. I'm not going to tell Paizo to remove it from the game. Or that they should stop publishing new feats. Useless feats maybe. New feats they need to pay the bills like everyone else. My issue is with gamers who seem to blame Paizo for releasing new material and somehow trying to pass themselves off as victims for buying the new material. Unless one is being forced out gunpoint no one is forced to buy anything. Rather than blame themselves it's Paizo fault. It's like the overweight person complaining about that Mcdonalds makes him fat. Yet eats at Mcdonalds everyday.


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Frankly, I'm not sure why expressing my preference for a game without constantly expanding crunch is such an issue for you. You can say that the game will be better with more options and you want more to be printed. Why can't I say that I think that's the wrong direction to head and I think it would be better to back off on the constant expansion?


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memorax wrote:
Scavion wrote:


I've never really understood option paralysis. Couldn't you just limit your book options for a campaign if that is a worry?
Me neither. Its not like one has the entire fate of humanity in one hands when making a character. Or running a game. Limiting what books are used to make or run the game is the solution. I dont and never will understand how more options is a bad thing. The impression I keep getting is that once again some sort of outside entity is forcing gamers to use all the` books.

It's scientifically verifiable that more options, at a point, can lead to a choice between them not being made to to "paralysis" or a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Read "The Paradox of Choice" for more information.


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Even more so for new players, since it's likely these days that they're going to looking at the SRD online rather than physical books.


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Even when I was new I understood that feat A that is only useful under incredibly specific cirmumstances was useless compared to feat B that could be used under a lot of circumstances.

I mean we only get 10ish of them, so why pick bad ones?

Liberty's Edge

Find where I say that gamers have to like more options in any of my posts. Guess what you won't. All I'm saying is that just because there are options. One does not have to use them. Nor forced to use them. Or even buy books with more options. Complaining that just because options exist does not to me anyway nake good argument for less. I can respect some in the hobby for wanting less options. Even if I disagree. Just don't make it look like Pauzo is forcing one to use them.


thejeff wrote:
Frankly, I'm not sure why expressing my preference for a game without constantly expanding crunch is such an issue for you. You can say that the game will be better with more options and you want more to be printed. Why can't I say that I think that's the wrong direction to head and I think it would be better to back off on the constant expansion?

And once again, you can avoid that entirely by only looking at the core rules (which by itself is usually more than enough for new players...)

If you are a long-time player and the core rules provide too many options for you, this is probably not the right system:)
But if you are happy with the core rules, PLAY CORE ONLY!

When you say you don't want more rules books to be released, what you are saying is that you don't want other people who do like having more rules to be able to enjoy the game. It comes across entirely as a "badwrongfun" accusation. If you don't like having 20 splat books, that is acceptable: DON'T USE THEM!

Beluga wrote:
memorax wrote:
Scavion wrote:


I've never really understood option paralysis. Couldn't you just limit your book options for a campaign if that is a worry?
Me neither. Its not like one has the entire fate of humanity in one hands when making a character. Or running a game. Limiting what books are used to make or run the game is the solution. I dont and never will understand how more options is a bad thing. The impression I keep getting is that once again some sort of outside entity is forcing gamers to use all the` books.

It's scientifically verifiable that more options, at a point, can lead to a choice between them not being made to to "paralysis" or a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Read "The Paradox of Choice" for more information.

Once again, play core only. No more option paralysis:|


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K177Y C47 wrote:
um.... Ki is from the Core Rule book... and Arcana is just a modification of Ki...Eidolons are completely new, but hexes are no that complex, just At-Will Su abilities.

So added stuff then. If most new classes add a mini game then it's bloat.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
memorax wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:

Inner Sea Gods introduced so many new feats and almost every single one was terrible and such a trap.

Who would take a feat to give innocent civilians standing next to you a +2 bonus to AC? WHY?!

Some proper feats in there though, like channeling pos energy to give freedom of movement or get armor training at L-4.

I have the book yet not read completely through it yet. Sad to see the terrible feats continue. I have the Alchemy Manual as well. Craft Ooze is another trap feat. Requires a decent set of prequistes to use. As well as spending time and gold to buy the proper material needed to craft the ooze. Only to craft a ooze that is dumber than a bag of hammers and no loyalty to the creator. Even if it's one of the rare ooze types that is intelligent. The ones you craft are dumb. Great feat for NPCS. Useless for pcs. The devs seem to forget that when it comes to feats both fluff and crunch both need to be useful.

I think that this is the foundation for the "bloat" problem.

1 We have new books come out. That is a Good Thing. Yay!
2 We look at the contents of the books, and their application to the game varies. This is a Bad Thing. Naughty!
3 People become disappointed and lose interest in buying more books.

This is what happened in 2nd Edition AD%D, and started to happen with 3rd edition (when I stopped buying it). It is a problem that also happened in many other games as well.

For me it was most notable with 2nd edition AD&D. I started playing it when it came out (our group made the switch immediately). I was only 14 at the time. I continued to buy it all over the years. I was a fan boy. But while I liked some of the stuff, as the newer Complete This or That came out, I found that what was not allowed in an earlier book was now allowed (and vice versa). The playability guidelines were either ignored as things came out, or the writers had never actually PLAYED the game, or whatever. I don't know what happened, but the bottom line is that the books were not truly compatible. Some of them were overpowered compared to others. The kits in one Complete book were pretty good, and in other books they were smacked with the Stick of Suck.

That is how I have felt that some of the official Paizo stuff has become. Looking at the complaints, I can see that others also feel that way. "The Rogue needs something cool. How about we not give it to them". I am all for new stuff, but I would like things to actually be compatible with the previous products, not just splat things down. Don't the writers ever PLAY the game? It would help if they did (and continued to do as well).

There is a stigma held by many against 3PP (Third Party Publishers). A big part of that is likely from when the OGL first came out. Everybody and their pet fish were getting their ideas published. Some of it was good, but much of it was not. Hence the stigma. However. I have found several cases where 3PP stuff is more playable than the official materials. The 3PP writers actually seem to play the game.


thejeff wrote:
Frankly, I'm not sure why expressing my preference for a game without constantly expanding crunch is such an issue for you. You can say that the game will be better with more options and you want more to be printed. Why can't I say that I think that's the wrong direction to head and I think it would be better to back off on the constant expansion?

Out of curiosity, you do realize that many people own multiple poker decks because the companies print cards with multiple backings. So yes there are multiple options for poker companies. They just sell everything with new aesthetics. Not to mention, there are different options in poker the game, there are dozens of different types of poker.

And the reason its wrong to say they shouldn't expand is because if they produce no more material we can't use the new material that doesn't exist. If they do produce more material you can opt to not use the material that does exist.


Thejeff, on the "homosexuality in Golarion" thread, you wrote this:

thejeff wrote:

Nothing will make the playing experience better for everyone, at least on the publishing level of "everyone". People like different things. People are bothered by different things. Removing everything that anyone won't like just leaves a bland, boring game.

I like the idea of the warning though. They could just put it on every module: "Warning: There may be content you don't agree with." No need to specify.

This applies equally well to rules. There is no set of rules that everyone will like, so they write rules that some people will like, and allow you to choose to ignore everything released after 2009 if you want to.


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137ben wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Frankly, I'm not sure why expressing my preference for a game without constantly expanding crunch is such an issue for you. You can say that the game will be better with more options and you want more to be printed. Why can't I say that I think that's the wrong direction to head and I think it would be better to back off on the constant expansion?

And once again, you can avoid that entirely by only looking at the core rules (which by itself is usually more than enough for new players...)

If you are a long-time player and the core rules provide too many options for you, this is probably not the right system:)
But if you are happy with the core rules, PLAY CORE ONLY!

When you say you don't want more rules books to be released, what you are saying is that you don't want other people who do like having more rules to be able to enjoy the game. It comes across entirely as a "badwrongfun" accusation. If you don't like having 20 splat books, that is acceptable: DON'T USE THEM!

I'm not speaking for thejeff, but I see this objection from time to time and I think it misunderstands at least my stated preference for less rules.

I follow the advice you give here (we dont play much PF anymore and if we do we dont use much of the rules options). However, when I indicate to paizo that I'd rather they release fewer rules supplements it's not some vendetta I have against those who do like more mechanical options. It's purely expressing my preference for more flavor material and less mechanical material. I do so in the interests of providing feedback - Paizo then have to make the difficult decisions about where to draw the line.

The opportunity cost of rules supplements is where it has an impact on me. Paizo can necessarily release less campaign setting material and adventures built on existing rules if they are devoting some of the company's resources to making new rules. I'm not demanding they meet my wants, but I dont see anything wrong with expressing them (just as I dont see anything wrong with those who like lots of rules expressing their preference). FWIW, I concede that most Pathfinder players are at the rules-heavy end of the spectrum, so I dont really expect paizo's choice as to the mix to line up with my desired proportion - nonetheless, it cant hurt to tell them.

Shadow Lodge

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What Steve said.

I think Paizo generally makes pretty good adventures and setting material. That is, to me, their strength. I'm less impressed with their rules supplements. They aren't (generally speaking) BAD, but they go with the theory that more is better, where I most often take the old maxim "Less is more" to be true. But even those who prefer the more rules heavy approach have some pretty legitimate problems with some of the rules that Paizo has put out. Some of this is legacy d20 stuff that Paizo either considered essential to keep or just didn't think was important enough to bother attempting a fix, bit there has also been plenty of criticism for some of the newer bits that have been introduced into Pathfinder.


I need more material. What else will I complain about?


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I'm not speaking for thejeff, but I see this objection from time to time and I think it misunderstands at least my stated preference for less rules.

I follow the advice you give here (we dont play much PF anymore and if we do we dont use much of the rules options). However, when I indicate to paizo that I'd rather they release fewer rules supplements it's not some vendetta I have against those who do like more mechanical options. It's purely expressing my preference for more flavor material and less mechanical material. I do so in the interests of providing feedback - Paizo then have to make the difficult decisions about where to draw the line.

The opportunity cost of rules supplements is where it has an impact on me. Paizo can necessarily release less campaign setting material and adventures built on existing rules if they are devoting some of the company's resources to making new rules. I'm not demanding they meet my wants, but I dont see anything wrong with expressing them (just as I dont see anything wrong with those who like lots of rules expressing their preference). FWIW, I concede that most Pathfinder players are at the rules-heavy end of the spectrum, so I dont really expect paizo's choice as to the mix to line up with my desired proportion - nonetheless, it cant hurt to tell them.

The issue I have is that so much of the choice crunch is so lackluster. They continue to produce situational or outright awful options. Heck Totem Warrior doesn't even DO anything. It literally just takes up page count.

I want more choices because maybe if they print more some will actually be good and fix issues in the classes that could really use them.

What I don't want to see is rules being put towards stuff that was better dictated adhoc by the DM unless it is really well made and fleshed out.


137ben wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Frankly, I'm not sure why expressing my preference for a game without constantly expanding crunch is such an issue for you. You can say that the game will be better with more options and you want more to be printed. Why can't I say that I think that's the wrong direction to head and I think it would be better to back off on the constant expansion?

And once again, you can avoid that entirely by only looking at the core rules (which by itself is usually more than enough for new players...)

If you are a long-time player and the core rules provide too many options for you, this is probably not the right system:)
But if you are happy with the core rules, PLAY CORE ONLY!

When you say you don't want more rules books to be released, what you are saying is that you don't want other people who do like having more rules to be able to enjoy the game. It comes across entirely as a "badwrongfun" accusation. If you don't like having 20 splat books, that is acceptable: DON'T USE THEM!

Except it's not that simple. Playing "CORE only" is a fine response if I'm off in my own little world. But I may play with other people. I may want to use adventures or setting material. New players may look at the SRD online and not even realize what's in the CRB and what isn't. If I'm trying to play Core only for my own character in a non-Core only game, I'm at risk of falling behind the power curve.

More importantly, I think the constant expansion may be bad for the game as a whole. The complexity and perceived need for all the material may form a barrier to entry for new players. As I suggested earlier, new players these days are likely to use the SRD online before investing heavily into the game. That's full exposure to all the bloat at once. I use it myself, since it's generally easier to navigate than multiple books or pdfs.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I'm not speaking for thejeff, but I see this objection from time to time and I think it misunderstands at least my stated preference for less rules.

I follow the advice you give here (we dont play much PF anymore and if we do we dont use much of the rules options). However, when I indicate to paizo that I'd rather they release fewer rules supplements it's not some vendetta I have against those who do like more mechanical options. It's purely expressing my preference for more flavor material and less mechanical material. I do so in the interests of providing feedback - Paizo then have to make the difficult decisions about where to draw the line.

The opportunity cost of rules supplements is where it has an impact on me. Paizo can necessarily release less campaign setting material and adventures built on existing rules if they are devoting some of the company's resources to making new rules. I'm not demanding they meet my wants, but I dont see anything wrong with expressing them (just as I dont see anything wrong with those who like lots of rules expressing their preference). FWIW, I concede that most Pathfinder players are at the rules-heavy end of the spectrum, so I dont really expect paizo's choice as to the mix to line up with my desired proportion - nonetheless, it cant hurt to tell them.

I dont think that is really true. The opportunity cost is almost negligable because the success of the rpg line has allowed paizo to ramp up their company, bring in new people, and produce more material as a whole. While yes there are people dedicated to the 'rules' portion of the material paizo releases, those people would not have been hired (or contracted in the case of freelancers) if they were not going to write the crunchy material for people to buy.

At the same time we are still getting 12 Adventure paths a year, and while we are getting fewer modules, the new larger format means we are actually getting more page count per year in terms of modules, so that volume of material hasnt been reduced, just the number of books.

Setting and adventure material is flowing along side the crunchy stuff. If you want to say specifically there should be less crunch in the setting material. That I can accept. But ther is a difference between saying you want certain books to be less crunchy and wanting paizo to produce less crunch as a whole.


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thejeff wrote:

Except it's not that simple. Playing "CORE only" is a fine response if I'm off in my own little world. But I may play with other people. I may want to use adventures or setting material. New players may look at the SRD online and not even realize what's in the CRB and what isn't. If I'm trying to play Core only for my own character in a non-Core only game, I'm at risk of falling behind the power curve.

The core rulebook still has the druid and wizard in it. You arent falling behind the power curve with anything but the most munchkiny of groups. And it is important to note that the assumption of 'go play core only' is that you and your group have similar views in terms of options. If you do not, that is its own problem that needs to be worked out amongst yourselfs. That isnt something that should be resolved by limiting what a publisher can offer its customers. Talk to your group, find a compromise that leaves everyone comfortable with the game.

Quote:

More importantly, I think the constant expansion may be bad for the game as a whole. The complexity and perceived need for all the material may form a barrier to entry for new players. As I suggested earlier, new players these days are likely to use the SRD online before investing heavily into the game. That's full exposure to all the bloat at once. I use it myself, since it's generally easier to navigate than multiple books or pdfs.

Well first off, new players should go to the prd before they go to the srd, which instantly reduces the barrier to entry.

The second thing, is this game was never meant to have new players just jump into the entire rules library. Thats why the begginer box exists. Its also why people can and should have people helping them if they are joining experienced players. In the case of organized play there are venture officers that can assist new players navigate the game's material. Just handing a new player the core rulebook on its own is already overwhelming to most. They need some kind of guidance, and that guidance exists in alot of forms, and will exist further when the strategy guide (I think thats what its called) comes out later on this year, as a guide to help new players choose among their options.

So paizo is actually coming up with solutions to the barrier to entry. And that barrier existed the moment the core rulebook was published. While new material might make it greater, it was always there, and is not created with subsequent releases.


Not everybody plays the game using published modules or adventure paths. Many create their own homebrew campaigns which may differ from the standard or best recommended player options used in most published modules. What may seem a 'corner case' option or even 'bad choice' in a given feat, for example, may be ideal in a specific homebrew game and class concept that will use such feats to great affect. I, for example, like to tell unique stories and create interesting situations where thinking out of the box may offer the best solution, and this could mean using to affect an otherwise limited feat option.

I haven't read on every feat or other class option in every Paizo release, so I cannot say, which is a "waste of word count". While some of the options, I may be in general agreement as being a poor choice, others might still find a good use for what you or I consider 'bad'. What is good or bad, really depends on the needs of a player and the needs of a specific encounter or campaign. Just because one does not get involved in a specific corner case situation, doesn't mean somebody else cannot find a good use for a given option.

I don't need to defend every class option, but there is certainly someone and some specific game that may use those options to great affect. It is not my place to dictate what is good for everyone, and nor is it a reason to otherwise limit options overall.

Finally, I have had absolutely no problems bringing new players into the game - some of them even never playing a roleplaying game before, while others had previously played D&D 1e/2e years ago. I don't have the Beginner Box (though I bought it for my nephews), and don't find that I need a limited option game to introduce new players to the game. In the last 3 years, 4 beginners joined my table, and they still play every weekend. While all the available options may seem too overwhelming for a beginner. With guidance from me and other more experienced players at our table - there's been no problem for the new players.

I've personally never met anyone with zero experience in RPGs going out and purchasing a system to play as a beginner. In every case I've experienced, someone was invited and learned as they played with some guidance, as described in the previous paragraph. I'm not saying this doesn't happen, rather its the only thing I've ever witnessed happening.

So I personally don't believe the mass of player options as a deterent to bringing in new blood to the game. Thinking so, is a myth, IMO.


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gamer-printer wrote:

Not everybody plays the game using published modules or adventure paths. Many create their own homebrew campaigns which may differ from the standard or best recommended player options used in most published modules. What may seem a 'corner case' option or even 'bad choice' in a given feat, for example, may be ideal in a specific homebrew game and class concept that will use such feats to great affect. I, for example, like to tell unique stories and create interesting situations where thinking out of the box may offer the best solution, and this could mean using to affect an otherwise limited feat option.

I haven't read on every feat or other class option in every Paizo release, so I cannot say, which is a "waste of word count". While some of the options, I may be in general agreement as being a poor choice, others might still find a good use for what you or I consider 'bad'. What is good or bad, really depends on the needs of a player and the needs of a specific encounter or campaign. Just because one does not get involved in a specific corner case situation, doesn't mean somebody else cannot find a good use for a given option.

I don't need to defend every class option, but there is certainly someone and some specific game that may use those options to great affect. It is not my place to dictate what is good for everyone, and nor is it a reason to otherwise limit options overall.

Situational options are acceptable...to a degree. The fact is that a VAST majority of options available are incredibly situational or just flat out poor options.

Grand Lodge

Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Its just part of the cycle. It also tends to symbolize your coming to the end of the life cycle of a product, that's what then brings us the next edition. I have several friends who are pretty heavy in the game design world, and they say PF is on the final 2-3 years, which is about the length you'd expect to get out of a D&D clone P&P game, so its pretty right on in its development cycle to start experiencing more and more of this.

Yeah, thats how I see it.

The question is, what will they do to PF 2nd ed.

If they make it too far removed from current then they risk doing what happened with D&D 4th ed.

If its not enough change then its just the difference between 3.0 and 3.5 and that didn't work out so well either... though in fairness? There is a big difference in time scales.


Scavion wrote:
Situational options are acceptable...to a degree. The fact is that a VAST majority of options available are incredibly situational or just flat out poor options.

Well there are hundreds (if not a thousand or more) of available feats, but you can only take 10-ish feats, depending on your class choice. So one could easily pick 5 or more highly recommended 'good feats', and some situational feats as what best fits your game and concept. Even if there are 500 or more bad choice or situational feats, you'll never use all nor most of them over the careers of a dozen different class builds. Build what you need and make the choices that best fit your game and concept. It doesn't matter how many feats are available, you can only choose a very limited number.

Most of the campaigns I create for my table often include many situational encounters, deliberately done so. Most of such situations is handled with out of the box thinking, and something that might have been more easily negotiated if a given PC had the specific situational feat to alleviate it. Players often surprise me with their solution, especially when its from a feat choice, I had considered bad - and the player, once again, proved me wrong.


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Helaman wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Its just part of the cycle. It also tends to symbolize your coming to the end of the life cycle of a product, that's what then brings us the next edition. I have several friends who are pretty heavy in the game design world, and they say PF is on the final 2-3 years, which is about the length you'd expect to get out of a D&D clone P&P game, so its pretty right on in its development cycle to start experiencing more and more of this.

Yeah, thats how I see it.

The question is, what will they do to PF 2nd ed.

If they make it too far removed from current then they risk doing what happened with D&D 4th ed.

If its not enough change then its just the difference between 3.0 and 3.5 and that didn't work out so well either... though in fairness? There is a big difference in time scales.

What's interesting about the "game design cycle" is that the longest lasting iteration of D&D was 1E. Which had the least amount of rules bloat and was still going strong by the end.

2E really introduced splatbooks and though it lasted almost as long, the game was in pretty bad shape by the end.

Obviously the game and the market are far different now and there were plenty of other influences, but I do find it interesting.

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