Going forward: printer issues and Skull and Shackles


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion


So if I understand my history, it went something like this:

For the Rise of the Runelords, a Chinese printing company was contracted. Some players noticed issues with the cards from different print runs being noticeably different. It was sometimes possible to tell the set a card came from by minute differences in colour and such on the card backs. Paizo decided to switch to an American printing company who would allow them tighter control over the colour palette used on the cards. This, of course, caused an even more noticable difference in cards, between those printed in China, and those printed in the US. However, by single sourcing Skull and Shackles to this American outfit, the cards would be extremely uniform, satisfying those gamers to whom it mattered.

Now, the American company seem to be overwhelmed trying to meet the demand for Paizo's fabulous game. Decks are showing up just in time for GenCon, not arriving at all for subscribers, and having significant issues making it through to distributors (still haven't seen a base set at my local shop; their distributors haven't gotten any). Along the way, it appears that the printer has made promises to Paizo that they have relied on and trusted. These promises seem to have been broken.

Going forward though, Paizo are essentially committed to these guys for the next 6 months, minimum, aren't they? What does this mean for the rest of the AP? Should we anticipate Raiders of the Fever Sea being pushed back another month? And what happens to Organized Play? And the worst of it is, Paizo really don't have the ultimate recourse: "We're taking our business elsewhere", until Wrath of the Righteous begins in (tentatively) February. The printers seem to have them over a barrel, eh?

Grand Lodge

If SS is as mismatched as my rise sub was delivered I will be ordering my expansions on ebay and killing my sub.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Drakir2010 wrote:

So if I understand my history, it went something like this:

For the Rise of the Runelords, a Chinese printing company was contracted. Some players noticed issues with the cards from different print runs being noticeably different. It was sometimes possible to tell the set a card came from by minute differences in colour and such on the card backs. Paizo decided to switch to an American printing company who would allow them tighter control over the colour palette used on the cards. This, of course, caused an even more noticable difference in cards, between those printed in China, and those printed in the US. However, by single sourcing Skull and Shackles to this American outfit, the cards would be extremely uniform, satisfying those gamers to whom it mattered.

Now, the American company seem to be overwhelmed trying to meet the demand for Paizo's fabulous game. Decks are showing up just in time for GenCon, not arriving at all for subscribers, and having significant issues making it through to distributors (still haven't seen a base set at my local shop; their distributors haven't gotten any). Along the way, it appears that the printer has made promises to Paizo that they have relied on and trusted. These promises seem to have been broken.

Going forward though, Paizo are essentially committed to these guys for the next 6 months, minimum, aren't they? What does this mean for the rest of the AP? Should we anticipate Raiders of the Fever Sea being pushed back another month? And what happens to Organized Play? And the worst of it is, Paizo really don't have the ultimate recourse: "We're taking our business elsewhere", until Wrath of the Righteous begins in (tentatively) February. The printers seem to have them over a barrel, eh?

There is so much wrong with the tone of this post that I can't even address it all.

Carta Mundi is the best card game printer on the planet. Paizo is one of the most knowledgeable game companies around. They're in a partnership to make a game of ours that we all want to succeed. No one has anyone over a barrel; we are all in the barrel together.


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Im generally pretty supportive of gaming companies mike, but we're forced to read between the lines. (Or maybe not forced to, but its hard not to).

It did sound like the printer kept telling paizo the cards were imminent when they actually weren't. That was ultimately the source of all the angst, it seems to me. I don't think we would have been as collectively grumpy if whoever was responsible had 'fessed up as soon as they knew the extent of the delay.

I'd dearly love to find out it was some multinational freight company who messed everyone around, but someone, somewhere kept saying "they'll be there tomorrow" when they knew they wouldn't be - whoever that is doesn't really feel like they're on my side.

I'll freely admit I have scant information (so ill take your word for it that Carta Mundi aren't the villain here), but one doesn't stop trying to understand what happened just because of that.


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Part of the issue, for me at least, is that paizo are so forthcoming and transparent. That means I get spoilt somewhat and when things go wrong without it being immediately obvious, it seems much worse than it is.

I fully appreciate I'm not owed an explanation but paizo in general (and vic in particular) are always so willing to discuss the ins and outs of their industry, I have developed a certain sense of (over)entitlement.

Also - without S&S to play with, I have to do something right?

Grand Lodge

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Considering that CM was the printer for the American-made RotR decks, plus the fact of other games they print, I'm not concerned for the long run. It seemed like they had issues trying to produce the quantity needed up front for Paizo and that it was 10 different products (S&S base set, Adv deck 1 which is packaged inside the base set!, Add-on deck, 7 Class Decks). I think Carta Mundi is a good company. Their rise into the card printing business came 20 years ago when WotC turned to them and helped build up their business with the success of Magic.

I just hope they get things better lined up for Wrath and the next set coming out next GenCon (which is two weeks earlier next year!).


Regarding this printing issue, is this affecting greatly the distributors? The release dates are set to January 15th,2015!
I am an international customer and the only affordable way to obtain the ACG is through this vendor, besides the Spanish translation of RotR is just hitting the shelves, quite a wait.

This game is a pillar in our gaming group and I am the dealer, I, figuratively, fear for my life if I cannot produce more ACG fun soon.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

It did effect distributors, but not to that extent. Retailers have started receiving copies of the base set this week. The character add on deck is delayed. Where ever you are seeing that date might be because the system really doesn't know when to expect it.


Thank you very much for weighing in Mike. I want to apologize profusely for the tone that you detect in my original post. I never intended for there to be any snark, sass or nastiness. I guess I chose my words poorly. My intent was only to convey, as Steve said, that without any information, it is very easy to read between the lines and start theorizing on worst case scenarios. As things move forward, I'm sure everyone wants to know what they ought to anticipate.

Grand Lodge

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And honestly, within a month, I'd think they'll be back on track.

The biggest issue may have been the print problem that caused Carta Mundi to destroy a significant portion of the Class Decks … and the Add-on Deck print runs. And from what Vic had said, it seemed like CM was behind on the base sets back in July. After all the back-and-forth after GenCon, I'm sure Paizo and Carta Mundi know the situation and how to fix it so that they'll catch up with producing product.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

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Here is the between-the-lines scenario I would like everyone to accept, from me as someone who tries to be straight with folks:

A whole lot of people tried their absolute hardest to get something very hard done on time, and between all of them they weren't able to make it work as well as any of them wanted. But they're getting it to work now.

That's what happened. I certainly don't begrudge people their opinions on the results. But let's not look for monsters where there are only allies.


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Mike Selinker wrote:


That's what happened. I certainly don't begrudge people their opinions on the results. But let's not look for monsters where there are only allies.

That's easy for you to say, but some of us only have D4 charisma and a greatclub +3...


MightyJim wrote:
That's easy for you to say, but some of us only have D4 charisma and a greatclub +3...

LOL. I thought of a similar joke when I read that too. :)


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MightyJim wrote:


That's easy for you to say, but some of us only have D4 charisma and a greatclub +3...

May I recommend a Potion of Glibness?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Mike Selinker wrote:
That's what happened. I certainly don't begrudge people their opinions on the results. But let's not look for monsters where there are only allies.

They're really just complaining because there are no items in their personal location deck. Too bad your game design powers don't extend to reality, or you could alter the scenario text to Make it So!


Calthaer wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
That's what happened. I certainly don't begrudge people their opinions on the results. But let's not look for monsters where there are only allies.
They're really just complaining because there are no items in their personal location deck. Too bad your game design powers don't extend to reality, or you could alter the scenario text to Make it So!

I have said before that I think Mike's powers actually do extend to reality. He is like Green Lantern able to Will into existence imaginary worlds into our reality. The fact that a Black Fang rampaged through Carta mundi's production of the class decks is proof of that. Clearly explaining that a dragon emerged into our reality is not an explanation that Mike or Vic can provide but I feel it's time the truth came out so people can move past the destruction of the class decks. My understanding is that all 28 characters manifested from the card stock to stop the rampaging dragon... mike, please curb your Will Power Manifesting before Wrath.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Theryon Stormrune wrote:

Carta Mundi is a good company. Their rise into the card printing business came 20 years ago when WotC turned to them and helped build up their business with the success of Magic.

I think it was Uno in the 1970s, actually, that made Carta Mundi a success. Magic was the reward they reaped from that success.

Regarding the original post: distributors have Skull and Shackles, and stores were able to get the base set this past week. I'm unsure why the OP's local store doesn't have them, yet, but it certainly can't be distribution's fault. All three of my distributors were able to deliver to me on time (ACD, Alliance, and PHD), and I received notifications from other distributors that they had the item, as well.

I do have concerns for how to proceed with OrgPlay due to not having the class decks, but I think that can be figured out. "Learn to Play" nights can be held in advance of an official launch, just using the base set, and a bit more time marketing it won't hurt.

There are options, and solutions. No game company is free from issues. Fantasy Flight, for instance, has yet to hit a single release date for their massively popular X-Wing product, and are currently sold out of the base set and every single ship for the game, with the exception of the most recent wave (and no reprint dates have been given). With that as perspective, the Skull and Shackles issues are a minor nuisance.


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And let us be fair about it, this is mostly an issue of growing pains. We wanted more product in a timely fashion, when the previous release schedule actually gave a bit more wiggle room for these production issues. Paizo could have simply added the class decks and organized play and called it a day, but they went the extra mile and decided to have a 6 month set cycle instead of the year long.

I don't think I've ever seen a new product for any company have a totally smooth launch, or for a service of some sort. So we really should expect bumps in the road. Let's not exaggerate a bump in the road to a ten-car pileup next to a two foot deep pothole. We'll just seem silly later.


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That's a good point about the pace of release, Kalvit.

Grand Lodge

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Drogon wrote:
Theryon Stormrune wrote:

Carta Mundi is a good company. Their rise into the card printing business came 20 years ago when WotC turned to them and helped build up their business with the success of Magic.

I think it was Uno in the 1970s, actually, that made Carta Mundi a success. Magic was the reward they reaped from that success.

It wasn't until Magic that they really built up their printing facilities. The demand for Magic was so great that they couldn't keep up with demand.

Grand Lodge

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Kalvit wrote:

And let us be fair about it, this is mostly an issue of growing pains. We wanted more product in a timely fashion, when the previous release schedule actually gave a bit more wiggle room for these production issues. Paizo could have simply added the class decks and organized play and called it a day, but they went the extra mile and decided to have a 6 month set cycle instead of the year long.

I don't think I've ever seen a new product for any company have a totally smooth launch, or for a service of some sort. So we really should expect bumps in the road. Let's not exaggerate a bump in the road to a ten-car pileup next to a two foot deep pothole. We'll just seem silly later.

1) It was a growing pains issue that was complicated on a few fronts. First, S&S was going to be a popular game because of RotR. I knew a few people that were holding off getting into the game until S&S was released (rather than start with RotR).

2) The subscription model plugged more for the Add-on deck than the base set since you could get the promos starting with the Add-on. That upped the demand for the Add-on deck.

3) They decided to also start the organized play at the same time.

And all this with production issues starting in July culminating with the catastrophic printing issue affecting the Class Decks and Add-on deck at the end of July.

I know they'll get back on track but it will be a learning experience for when Wrath comes out next year and hopefully more Class Deck options. (Oh, and a new PFSACG season!)


Drogon wrote:


Regarding the original post: distributors have Skull and Shackles, and stores were able to get the base set this past week. I'm unsure why the OP's local store doesn't have them, yet, but it certainly can't be distribution's fault. All three of my distributors were able to deliver to me on time (ACD, Alliance, and PHD), and I received notifications from other distributors that they had the item, as well.

I neglected to mention I live north of the 49th parallel.


My copy of the base set finally arrived.I wish it hadn't.

I was extremely disappointed with the abandonment of quality control in getting this product to me.

Firstly the box is damaged - the packaging is in perfect condition which means whoever packed the box in the shipping department must have seen the box was damaged and shipped it anyway.

Later my wife and I decided to open the cards and were shocked at the quality of the cards. The printing quality is absolutely awful with the spells in particular very faded - it looks like all colours have not been applied. Secondly they are badly cut off-centre with the black border missing completely on some edges. The items are not much better only slightly more colourful with some also cut badly.

Clearly this has been the price I am paying as a subscriber as a result of the Gencon problem. more time should have been taken to get this right than rush out a sub-quality product.

I appreciate that not everyone will have suffered this problem but that is no comfort to me when I look at what I got for $130 after paying for shipping and import charges.

The quality detracts so much from the game we have put it aside and left it un-played.

I know that the printing company have been defended earlier in this thread but if you could see what I received yesterday you would find it indefensible.

I am now trying to convince my self to stay with the game and trust that Paizo will resolve the problems with my set and the future decks still to be distributed.

gk

Sovereign Court

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Mine had the same exact problems, but I can tell you it isn't a subscriber thing, mine was local. This isn't a common issue, but every product ever is going to have at least some mismanufactured ones that don't get caught. It's why warranties exist. Call up Paizo and they'll replace it. I bought mine through a third party retailer, only requested certain cards replaced (basically the booms), and they sent me a whole new base set that will be here Tuesday.

It's frustrating, I know, and I'm sure even more so being international for cost and time shipping it. But Paizo's support is amazing, and they will no doubt get you taken care of.


gavin kerr wrote:
Secondly they are badly cut off-centre with the black border missing completely on some edges.

Some of my cards were off cut also - not badly enough that I would demand I had replacements, but most of my role cards and character cards were misaligned so the black border was much thicker one side than the other. I wasn't at all impressed for a product that costs this much. Also there were about three-four cards that had slightly scuffed corners, and that was straight out of their packets.

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