Is 3.5e bloat coming back?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Goth Guru wrote:

Just use the books that the campaign focuses on.

Yes, communication is key.
I often say, if a player wants to use something obscure, they have to buy me the book.

LET THE FORUMS RIGHTEOUS DEAD STAY DEAD, VILE NECROMANCER!

Grand Lodge

Wow this was asked back in 2014?

The 3.5 bloat never left. It was swept under the rug maybe but it's always going to be there.


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Pathfinder's bloat is less a problem of quantity than of quality. If all the options were good, or even passable, it wouldn't be an issue.

As-is a lot of the splatbooks are made by people with little to no understanding of the rules and their interactions, so we get books full of 90% hot garbage, 5% redundant or extraordinarily niche material, 4% stuff that doesn't even work properly or make sense (like a trait that gives DR vs Energy, for instance), .5% worth using, and .5% OMGWTF bustedly powerful.


Honorable Battle-Brother wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:

Just use the books that the campaign focuses on.

Yes, communication is key.
I often say, if a player wants to use something obscure, they have to buy me the book.
LET THE FORUMS RIGHTEOUS DEAD STAY DEAD, VILE NECROMANCER!

No, no! Let's keep complaining about too much content! Let the game become bloated and overfilled! Let us dig this thread back up over and over again and remind ourselves of its existence!

It's good for it. It's good for you. Argue away!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Sundakan wrote:

Pathfinder's bloat is less a problem of quantity than of quality. If all the options were good, or even passable, it wouldn't be an issue.

As-is a lot of the splatbooks are made by people with little to no understanding of the rules and their interactions, so we get books full of 90% hot garbage, 5% redundant or extraordinarily niche material, 4% stuff that doesn't even work properly or make sense (like a trait that gives DR vs Energy, for instance), .5% worth using, and .5% OMGWTF bustedly powerful.

Specific example, please.

Go through one hardcover and show how 90% is garbage.

It's okay, I'll wait.


First, why would I waste that much time? Do it yourself.

Second, it's the soft covers (generally what I think of when I say "splatbooks". Hardbacks don't usually make a splat noise when you throw them down. More of a thump.) that are generally written by glorified guest writers anyway.

Occult Mysteries is a pretty good example if you want to look at s%*% that is overly complicated, and has maybe two things worth using out of it (one of which is waaaay too strong).

Hardbacks have more of a 70/30 split of bad and good instead.


Sheness the Hollow wrote:
Honorable Battle-Brother wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:

Just use the books that the campaign focuses on.

Yes, communication is key.
I often say, if a player wants to use something obscure, they have to buy me the book.
LET THE FORUMS RIGHTEOUS DEAD STAY DEAD, VILE NECROMANCER!

No, no! Let's keep complaining about too much content! Let the game become bloated and overfilled! Let us dig this thread back up over and over again and remind ourselves of its existence!

It's good for it. It's good for you. Argue away!

As Sundakan said, the problem isn't quantity, it's quality.

PF's ruleset is bloated because it's 90% garbage


But hey, Yesterday, depending on how much detail you want (and how bored I am tomorrow) I might be able to do a rundown of one of the hardcovers giving a "good" and "bad" tag to every Feat and Spell.

If you want me to go through and explain in excruciating detail WHY the majority of the 163 Feats and 58 pages worth of spells in the Advanced Player's Guide (one of the overall better books, mind you) are bad...yeah, I ain't got that kind of time.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I suspect it also has to do with what one considers "garbage" or "unusable". I would not consider 90% of Occult Mysteries to be "unusable", for example, and the mindset that considers it that way is so alien to me that I find it hard to even argue.

Since it was brought up, though, let's have a look at Occult Mysteries. I'm not sure exactly which 90% is the garbage, so I'll be forced to guess based on the impressions I usually get from the "90% of everything is garbage" crowd.

Spoiler:
-Presumably, all of the flavor is garbage. I found it really interesting, and I'm not sure what make flavor "garbage" anyway. Maybe they call it garbage because it's not setting-neutral? It is a mystery.

-Organization rules: Again, hard to see why these are "garbage". More of a GM-integrated option anyway. Maybe the problem is that they aren't for players' use?

-Cosmic Caravan traits: These actually look better than most traits. Presumably traits are "garbage" if they aren't on the power level of Magical Lineage.

-Astrological Events: Another GM-centric subsystem. Presumably, only player options are not "garbage".

-The Harrow and Plot Twists: It really seems like this book is 90% for GMs. Maybe that's what makes it "garbage". Have I cracked the code?

-Mortification: A player option! Presumably, a basic benefit and three boons (plus agony strikes) are Not Enough for a feat. I wonder if Power Attack is too weak for a feat.

-Pain Taster PrC: I know the answer to this one already. To these folks, prestige classes are Always Garbage, no matter what.

-Numerology: This one is, indeed, garbage. I don't feel the need to defend Sacred Geometry.

-Spiritualism: The Occult oracle mystery, originally custom-made for the boss of an AP, is presented here. As it is not the Lunar mystery, it is garbage. Also haunts, which are for GMs (and therefore garbage).

-Occult Writings: A variety of magic books. Since they prioritize flavor over player power (even daring to include drawbacks), they are the worst sort of garbage.

I've done my best to guess based on the tenor of frequent posters, but it's tough. If anyone from the "90% garbage" crowd is interested in helping me refine my process, some examples of "good" work are welcome. ^_^


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The flavor is neither garbage not great for this discussion, it's just irrelevant since the argument is about rules, take that into consideration.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
The flavor is neither garbage not great for this discussion, it's just irrelevant since the argument is about rules, take that into consideration.

Fair enough; I got caught up in applying "90% of the book is garbage" to a very flavor-heavy book.


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Kalindlara wrote:

I suspect it also has to do with what one considers "garbage" or "unusable". I would not consider 90% of Occult Mysteries to be "unusable", for example, and the mindset that considers it that way is so alien to me that I find it hard to even argue.

Since it was brought up, though, let's have a look at Occult Mysteries. I'm not sure exactly which 90% is the garbage, so I'll be forced to guess based on the impressions I usually get from the "90% of everything is garbage" crowd.

** spoiler omitted **...

Yeah, if you'd bother to climb off your high horse and pay attention to what's being said, you'd know your comments are way off the mark (and do nothing but try to turn a previously non-hostile thread quite hostile).

Flavor options, for example, are not what's talked about when speaking of "bloat", that's purely a mechanical options thing. I'd imagine the Campaign Setting books would go over a lot better if they lacked all mechanical options, in fact.

Something being powerful does not necessarily make it well designed either. The Wizard, for example, is garbage. Though options in these books DO tend to skew towards the low end, my calling out Sacred Geometry directly should have made that pretty clear.

1.) Agonizing Obedience is garbage, yes. A Feat that can be taken at level 3, but only provides benefits commensurate with a trait (I'm pretty sure there literally is a trait that gives +2 saves vs Transmutation spells) and hefty drawbacks until LEVEL 12 is already badly designed.

Given that most of the benefits at level 12 or above can be gotten from other Feats and magic items without the drawbacks, they fall into the categories of underpowered, redundant, and incredibly niche abilities. They're worthless until level 12 (endgame for organized play), and their main benefits don't show up until level 16 (endgame for almost all Adventure Paths) and 20 (a true rarity for any campaign to reach).

If you're taking it for the flavor...why does your character need a Feat to perform mortification rituals on themselves? The benefits do not outweigh the drawbacks. Even arguably for most of your career. Lifesense at 20th is the big one, and that's a capstone ability.

2.) Pain Taster, now, at least occupies an interesting design slot. It's not very powerful, but it IS an appealing option for a Rogue or Fighter who wants a little bit of extra semi-evil flavor, and it's one of the only PrCs in the game that I've attempted to build a character around multiple times (and it is unfortunately pretty hard to do). The main rub with Pain Taster that makes it fall into the "garbage" slot: Its entry requirement. Needing to be subjected to a very specific torture regimen that can only be performed by Drow makes it nearly impossible to actually qualify for (not to mention the "Roll a 1 and die" mechanic attached). Coupled with the fact that one of its major class features is replaced and better by a Big Six item (Belts/Headbands, and they aren't even cheaper if you have a crafting Feat), and it's disappointing all around.

3.) Occult Mystery is hard to place. It's mechanically pretty solid...but it's basically just a weird hybrid of the Dark Tapestry Mystery and a bit of JuJu. It has almost nothing unique to itself, and could have just existed as a line that says "Add these Revelations as options for the Dark Tapestry Mystery".

4.) Cosmic Caravan traits...utterly redundant. There are other traits that have these exact effects, or better.

So overall, what was the point of providing most of these mechanical options? They add little to nothing to the game.


Like, when people talk about bloat, are they talking about the rulebooks (which are extremely infrequent and largely for filling in content gaps on a bigger scale than the companion line), or are they talking about the companion line?

The companion line can be overall ignored for the most part, and it's how Paizo garners interest for their content and keeps the lights on. And the rulebook content is so small and some of it so specific you only really need the main line to play the game, and I suppose the first few bestiaries. The fact that the core content is so tidy I think speaks a lot about how anti-bloat the game really is. The companion stuff, on the other hand, is there when you need it if it interests you or suits your game. And since most of it ends up online through 3rd party groups, you have access to it eventually, which overall is pretty neat.

I really don't see what the problem is. Some content doesn't suit your table. Well thankfully it isn't vital for you to use it, so you can just ignore it XP


Sundakan wrote:

I'd imagine the Campaign Setting books would go over a lot better if they lacked all mechanical options, in fact.

Hmn, I somewhat agree. From experience, Encountering two pages (of a 32 pages total) of useless traits can diminish the enjoyment of a setting book.


Anyway, Kalindlara, are you still interested in hearing what "my crowd" things of as good? Or have we given that up with the sentiment of the deleted post?

I could talk quite a bit about how sexy the Inquisitor class is, for instance.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Sundakan wrote:

First, why would I waste that much time? Do it yourself.

Second, it's the soft covers (generally what I think of when I say "splatbooks". Hardbacks don't usually make a splat noise when you throw them down. More of a thump.) that are generally written by glorified guest writers anyway.

Occult Mysteries is a pretty good example if you want to look at s&!! that is overly complicated, and has maybe two things worth using out of it (one of which is waaaay too strong).

Hardbacks have more of a 70/30 split of bad and good instead.

Why would I do it myself, I'm not the one throwing false numbers like they're fact.

And I said hardcover.

Show your work or quit complaining. :-)


Oh, so it's 70/30 now, I wasn't told we're moving over here.


Let's be real here, even if I did spend the hours it would take to do a detailed analysis of even one of these 500+ page hardcovers, you wouldn't read the post, and even if you did you wouldn't agree with it.

I have nothing to prove to you. I've read the books, I own most of them, and I have made my own estimations of them. You either have, or have not as well, and have made YOUR own estimations. You clearly, somehow, find everything (or the majority of everything) put out for Pathfinder to be good and useful material. I have not.

Moving Goalposts wrote:
Oh, so it's 70/30 now, I wasn't told we're moving over here.

See, you couldn't even be arsed to read two paragraphs, where in one I said I didn't consider the hardbacks to be "splatbooks".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm not the one making up numbers.

But do enlighten me.


Let's just be honest, a huge chunk of spells feats, traits, archetypes and prestige classes are worthless. It's be a wild guess to say a number, but I'll bet is more than 50%, perhaps 70%.

Grand Lodge

captain yesterday wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

Pathfinder's bloat is less a problem of quantity than of quality. If all the options were good, or even passable, it wouldn't be an issue.

As-is a lot of the splatbooks are made by people with little to no understanding of the rules and their interactions, so we get books full of 90% hot garbage, 5% redundant or extraordinarily niche material, 4% stuff that doesn't even work properly or make sense (like a trait that gives DR vs Energy, for instance), .5% worth using, and .5% OMGWTF bustedly powerful.

Specific example, please.

Go through one hardcover and show how 90% is garbage.

It's okay, I'll wait.

I can confirm. I did the math, crunched the numbers. We had an independent panel of garbagists identify 9/10 of the content. We put the splatbooks into an Otyugh nest. Long story short, it got mythic tiers.

I'm only 90% certain they weren't all supposed to be mooshed together though in their use. Don't quote me on that though.


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Sundakan wrote:
Yeah, if you'd bother to climb off your high horse and pay attention to what's being said, you'd know your comments are way off the mark (and do nothing but try to turn a previously non-hostile thread quite hostile).

I am so used to seeing people assume that their opinion is a universal truth that it doesn't provoke me anymore - as if any game element could be objectively defined as "garbage". However, there's no reason to continually be a jerk when disagreeing with people. Please try and conduct yourself in a more professional manner, as required by the community guidelines. Your posts are hostile and you are picking fights with people. Were this My place of business, I would ask you to leave. Alas, we have to wait for the poor overworked Community folks to get to this and deal with your toxicity.

You may wish to look up "hostile" and then go back over all of your posts in this thread. Calling the work of Paizo staff "garbage" *is* hostile. If you don't see that, you really have no basis to comment on hostility.

Since so much of the game is garbage, I assume you have no further need to post. We'll miss your wisdom. Farewell and enjoy whatever game you end up writing yourself.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Let's just be honest, a huge chunk of spells feats, traits, archetypes and prestige classes are worthless. It's be a wild guess to say a number, but I'll bet is more than 50%, perhaps 70%.

I recently learned that there were two very different paths by which mechanical options are produced at paizo - via the golarion-focussed books such as player companions and campaign setting books or through the more generic PFRPG line. This is close to the "splatbook/hardcover" dichotomy Sundakan described.

I think it's worth considering the source of the mechanic in question, since whether one agrees with the practise or not, I think each source is catering to a different market.

It seems to me that the "splatbook" line of development is more concerned with utility for those who use Golarion and is heavily scrutinised for flavor considerations with less concern for whether it is weak or strong than other, similar elements. In contrast, I think paizo are more concerned with the latter when it comes to the PFRPG line - the reason the PDT team has supervision over those books but not, for example, the player companion line.

Having determined to follow these two simultaneous, but distinct paths of generating rules content, it doesn't make sense to me to measure options from one stream according to whether it meets the goals of the other.

Granted, I think it gets muddied in the consumer's eyes as there is no "golarion" tag, or no other clear distinction between a flavor-serving creation and a mechanics-serving creation. No doubt many who utilise the various online databases often treat it all as coming from a desire to meet the same design goals. It will be interesting to see where the upcoming Adventurer's Guide sits on the spectrum.

Many would no doubt prefer there not be two separate "sources" of mechanical options, but given they exist, it's not right to act as if "all rules elements are created equal". The horse has pretty much bolted there.

EDIT:I don't mean to imply that either "source" of rules is solely focussed on the flavor axis or the balance axis. Merely that it seems to me they have different degrees of importance.


Lamplighter, criticizing someone's work is not the same as criticizing them. If I said "90% of Paizo material is garbage, and so are their employees", that would be hostile.

As-is, I'm commenting on the nature of a game that feels the need to continually produce new stuff. The more and faster you make something, the less quality control it gets. Its the same principle as fast food (and I'm sure nobody would call me hostile for saying McDonald's burgers are garbage food).

Paizo's employees themselves recognize this. Both Mark Seifter and Sean K Reynolds (who is REEEEEEEEAAAALLLY not my biggest fan otherwise, I can tell you that) have acknowledged this fact. Being able to take criticism and feedback is a big part of being a designer in such an open company as Paizo is/was (they're less so now).

Moreover, a lot of the splatbook options are not even made by Paizo employees, they're made by freelancers a lot of the time, most of whom do not have the experience of the Paizo staff or a deep knowledge of the rules. They get contracted to make some flavorful option for the book, and don't give a whole ton of thought to how that will interact with the greater game as a whole, or if the rules are strictly correct. Hell, they're probably TOLD not to since the Companions are never to be touched after printing as official company policy, so why worry about it and risk missing the deadline or borking the type setting?

I've gotten pretty good at being cognizant of when what I'm saying has stepped over some sort of line in regards to this community. My only even slightly heated response here was to a post that showed blatant condescension for my opinion, and I still largely ignored it and elaborated on my position.

The only hostility and toxicity here is in your own head. And frankly, this has turned into a derail of the thread at this point. If you really feel I've stepped out of line, feel free to Flag any and all of my posts in this thread as "Personal insult/abusive", and go on with your day.

Some of these posts will likely be removed regardless (to either hedge off a big argument, or as part of a purge from one that is instigated by a reply to one of these posts, or just to get the thread back on track), but in the meantime, feel free to post on topic if you like too.


GM Lamplighter wrote:


I am so used to seeing people assume that their opinion is a universal truth that it doesn't provoke me anymore - as if any game element could be objectively defined as "garbage". However, there's no reason to continually be a jerk when disagreeing with people. Please try and conduct yourself in a more professional manner, as required by the community guidelines. Your posts are hostile and you are picking fights with people. Were this My place of business, I would ask you to leave. Alas, we have to wait for the poor overworked Community folks to get to this and deal with your toxicity.

You may wish to look up "hostile" and then go back over all of your posts in this thread. Calling the work of Paizo staff "garbage" *is* hostile. If you don't see that, you really have no basis to comment on hostility.

Since so much of the game is garbage, I assume you have no further need to post. We'll miss your wisdom. Farewell and enjoy whatever game you end up writing yourself.

You should reread the beginning of this post and then the last paragraph and then really take a moment to think about what you're trying to accomplish here.


I'm interested if anyone can point me towards the page where Paizo is hiring people to point guns at folks and make them buy and/or use things. I could use a job in the industry.

More seriously, you don't need all the material to play, and no, not even in PFS. You may WANT these things, but you don't need them. Buy what you need or what you are interested in and ignore the rest.

As far as garbage goes .. well. That's really in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone here agrees on what is garbage, what is useful, and what is interesting or good. If it isn't for you, ignore the person holding the gun on you to use it and don't. Or, take a page from Kirth and modify things for your game and merrily go on your way.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Sundakan wrote:


"Moreover, a lot of the splatbook options are not even made by Paizo employees, they're made by freelancers a lot of the time, most of whom do not have the experience of the Paizo staff or a deep knowledge of the rules. They get contracted to make some flavorful option for the book, and don't give a whole ton of thought to how that will interact with the greater game as a whole, or if the rules are strictly correct. Hell, they're probably TOLD not to since the Companions are never to be touched after printing as official company policy, so why worry about it and risk missing the deadline or borking the type setting?"

Freelancer and publisher here, just to confirm that you actually don't know what you're talking about.

Everything a freelancer writes for Paizo is based off of an outline written in house. Sometimes that outline is loose, sometimes it is more detailed. Either way once a freelancer turns over their manuscript, it doesn't sit in the void and just go straight to publishing. Look inside the cover of a Pathfinder book for the title "developer." That's the person or persons who took the finished manuscript and adjusted it. Literally everything a freelancer writes gets tinkered with, adjusted, or sometimes entirely rewritten by the book's developer depending on a number of factors.

Freelance writers also amount for way way way way more of the written text you see than you might imagine. Point to your favorite ruleset outside of the CRB/GMG and there's a good chance that a freelancer wrote it first, and then it was polished by a developer.

We're never told to phone it in for player companions, especially because those get PFS sanctioned and doing so would make John Compton cry and nobody wants that.

tl;dr you're hilariously misinformed about how anything works and come across as an entitled jerk. Or to quote the Big Levowski:

"Shut up Donnie you're out of your element."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Honestly, if it's 90% garbage as you say, why are you even here.

Go do something you enjoy with your time.


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captain yesterday wrote:

Honestly, if it's 90% garbage as you say, why are you even here.

Go do something you enjoy with your time.

I often believe threads like this as well as continued "criticism" of the product is akin to Cowboy's fans going to the Chief's forums to tell them how they are doing it wrong. You may be right, you may be wrong, but you are most likely speaking to the wrong crowd.

The best way to prove a point would be to put out a product to "fix" whatever the problems are. Light a candle rather than cursing the darkness. That or finding a game that does more of what you'd prefer without all the "garbage".

(All yous are universal yous.)


Sundakan wrote:

(one of which is waaaay too strong).

Unholy Frick!!! I already hate all the math involved with PF, that ability makes me want to jab flaming hot railroad ties into my navel. They want me to actually sit and do some friggen mathematics at the table? Forget that noise. Ugh!

Silver Crusade

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MendedWall12 wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

(one of which is waaaay too strong).

Unholy Frick!!! I already hate all the math involved with PF, that ability makes me want to jab flaming hot railroad ties into my navel. They want me to actually sit and do some friggen mathematics at the table? Forget that noise. Ugh!

There's an app for it.


captain yesterday wrote:

Honestly, if it's 90% garbage as you say, why are you even here.

Go do something you enjoy with your time.

I enjoy this community, and I've produced my own WIP game with some inspiration from PF.

That, and I love the idea of Pathfinder, despite its lackluster execution.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Then why complain about it every chance you get.

Saying it's "90% garbage" is not constructive criticism, and doesn't help anyone in any sort of way.

It's quite exhausting to be honest.


Heh, don't we all want to see the things we love improved?

Sure the time and energy is better spent on my own game, but the pull of these forums is a strong one.

Shadow Lodge

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Dammit, these threads are like whack-a-moles.

Sovereign Court

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Being a fence sitter about PF, I can say its equally tiresome seeing every complaint/critique being handwaved by Oberoni and die hard fans. It would be nice to see all folks try and aim for a discussion instead of dismissing each other. /shrug


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I have no problem with specific complaints. "90% garbage" is not specific and is more of an insult then a complaint.


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There isn't much of a discussion to be had at this point. The same handful of people say the exact same thing about each book. It's hard to argue with "it's garbage" other than to shrug and suggest that another game might work out better for them.

As for wanting the things we love improved, at this point it is more like telling your significant other that they are ugly and dress funny and make bad choices and are stupid, but you are just telling them that because you love them and want them to improve themselves. Cue Orianthi's "According to You", nod sagely and edge away from the conversation.


captain yesterday wrote:
I have no problem with specific complaints. "90% garbage" is not specific and is more of an insult then a complaint.

90% garbage is a specific complaint, albeit one which could be phrased more productively.

We need better quality control- far more powerful/flexible options for martials, good quality but not broken spells and an end to FAQratta as an excuse for shoddy QC and opportunity to tear away temporarily beloved options [more often than not it seems martials are on the receiving end of the FAQratta beating stick.]


Robert Brookes wrote:
Sundakan wrote:


"Moreover, a lot of the splatbook options are not even made by Paizo employees, they're made by freelancers a lot of the time, most of whom do not have the experience of the Paizo staff or a deep knowledge of the rules. They get contracted to make some flavorful option for the book, and don't give a whole ton of thought to how that will interact with the greater game as a whole, or if the rules are strictly correct. Hell, they're probably TOLD not to since the Companions are never to be touched after printing as official company policy, so why worry about it and risk missing the deadline or borking the type setting?"

Freelancer and publisher here, just to confirm that you actually don't know what you're talking about.

Everything a freelancer writes for Paizo is based off of an outline written in house. Sometimes that outline is loose, sometimes it is more detailed. Either way once a freelancer turns over their manuscript, it doesn't sit in the void and just go straight to publishing. Look inside the cover of a Pathfinder book for the title "developer." That's the person or persons who took the finished manuscript and adjusted it. Literally everything a freelancer writes gets tinkered with, adjusted, or sometimes entirely rewritten by the book's developer depending on a number of factors.

Freelance writers also amount for way way way way more of the written text you see than you might imagine. Point to your favorite ruleset outside of the CRB/GMG and there's a good chance that a freelancer wrote it first, and then it was polished by a developer.

We're never told to phone it in for player companions, especially because those get PFS sanctioned and doing so would make John Compton cry and nobody wants that.

tl;dr you're hilariously misinformed about how anything works and come across as an entitled jerk. Or to quote the Big Levowski:

"Shut up Donnie you're out of your element."

It's nice that you're not told to do it, but you can't sit there with a straight face and tell me every one of you is a rules guru. "DR 1/- vs attacks with the electricity type", for instance. Or for a similar mistake, the original wording (well, current wording but it's been FAQ'd at least) of Dragon Totem Resilience, which didn't make any sense.

I don't think it's all, or even mostly freelancer's fault (I know the PDT are the ones who ruined the Titan Mauler after a freelancer made it), but there are examples like this all over the place, and they're a good example of what I mean when I say "garbage".

If I as a GM need to "fix" the material to make it work (Resilience increasing Energy Resistance instead of DR like it was intended, Storm-Touched granting DR 1/- versus creatures with the Air subtype and Energy Resistance Electricity 1, etc.) it's not well made.

captain yesterday wrote:
I have no problem with specific complaints. "90% garbage" is not specific and is more of an insult then a complaint.

I make specific complaints every time a book comes out. Sometimes before if there's a playtest.

I made specific complaints about the Kineticist, and Sacred Geometry, and Simulacrum, and a billion other things. "90% bad/trash/whatever" is a lot faster than going back and listing every single thing I've ever disliked in a book.

knightnday wrote:


The best way to prove a point would be to put out a product to "fix" whatever the problems are. Light a candle rather than cursing the darkness. That or finding a game that does more of what you'd prefer without all the "garbage".

(All yous are universal yous.)

Not sure Paizo would appreciate me putting out a book that performs unofficial FAQ and errata on their products and making money off it.

Houserules and such, I post all the time. Proposed fixes, all sorts of stuff. I've done a whole re-write of the Monk (three actually, I broke it into three classes), a freeform point build system for classes (wouldn't mind actually publishing that at some point but it needs quite a bit more wrangling to get it to work properly), a list of things I'd do to improve the Fighter and Rogue, and tweak existing spells to not steal the show as much (things like Spider Climb having reduced effectiveness on people without Climb ranks). Among othe rthings

That's one of my favorite parts about this game. It's got a pretty solid chassis, it just needs a lot of polishing. It's kinda like a fixer-upper house.

Still, I wish they wouldn't keep adding all these broken nick-knacks to my shelves, I'm having a hard enough time with the plumbing.

You people are acting like this is the first time I've posted here. I mean, I don't post in Rules nearly as much as I used to, but still.


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Wow... I really feel like some of you folks have to step back, take your own hurt feelings and think about how you speak to others on the internet.

Sundokan is bringing up his opinion on the mechanical usefulness of rules options. He might be frank about it but nowhere in his posts is he insulting anyone personally. He is however criticizing a part of Paizo's product and for that he has endured personal, dismissive and non-constructive feedback from at least three parties.

Calling for policing and deleting of posts in a thread such as this speaks volumes about the discussion culture on these boards. As a paying customer I think you have every right to voice your displeasure about the product and a company interested in improving it's product should listen to these customers (how you react to criticism is a completely different affair).

Back on topic. I agree that unbalanced mechanical content is more of an issue in soft cover products. My personal opinion on the matter of quantity versus quality is that Paizo has looked to WotC and MtG for how to handle new rules content and how this rules content can be used to sell your product.

Many new splat books will contain a select few rules options which are very strong, or let players realize interesting concepts in new ways. There are people (like myself) who will buy a book for just such an option (particularly considering the PFS backdrop). A majority of options presented in books however will fail to appeal to optimizers (like myself or Sundokan) simply because there are better options or the concepts they support are so weak mechanically (Pain taster was a nice example) that you can not use them to build munchkined characters. Some of these options are flavorful and will inspire concept builds, others are bland and will likely never see actual play. And really that's just how it works with MtG cards. In my view this is a legit buisness model, especially considering the presence of sites like Nethys and d20pfsrd, but it does bear dangers for game balance and potential for bloat.

Community & Digital Content Director

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Locking—no posts have been removed. Folks, this is exactly how not to continue an older thread on our forums.

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