Does Paizo have too many irons in the fire?


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SKR wrote:
Which is splitting hairs

welcome to the last 90 minutes in my world...

SKR wrote:

(All of which ignores that this problem happened on the printer's end, not Paizo's end: the file Paizo sent out didn't have the "buttery" error in it, it was a ligature font issue with the printer's software. The file that went out to the printer looked correct.)

Why does the direct download PDF from Paizo.com have the same error? Did the printer do that too?


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Am I saying Paizo never makes errors? No.
Am I saying errors didn't happen on my watch. No.
Am I saying that errors didn't happen in Adventurer's Armory? No.
But I am saying there is no such "stats for a buttery knife" error in AA, and you should not be allowed to make such a false statement as if it were true.

I think you have proven your point about "the buttery knife" but we are moving away from what I consider the larger issue at hand in this thread. The quality control around the ACG by Paizo's standards was poor. What is more concerning to me is that I worry that Paizo staff will take an unreasonably long time to issue FAQ/Errata notices to deal with all the vague and/or contradictory rulings found in the book. This lack of response to some (NOT all) heavily FAQed threads really frustrates me.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I just wish there was more quality control and more importantly, better FAQ/Errata responses. I am also well aware that the ACG book is newly published and it will take time to respond to all the FAQs but if you look on the forums there are a lot of older FAQs that just seem to be ignored.

Now I need to put my statements in context. I am a Paizo fanboy and I love what they publish. I am happy I bought the hardcopy AND softcopy versions of the book because as usual it has many wonderful ideas for helping me create new characters regardless of all the rules issues.

Silver Crusade

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DrDeth wrote:

Quality isn't slipping (from what I have actually played with), but the response time on the FAQ and other errata is getting unacceptable.

And that's from *ME*, who is usually called one of those "most staunch Paizo fanboys".

I agree, we really need some clarifications on ACG, and frankly MY could use some strategic nerfs to make it more compatible with WotR.

Contributor

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BigDTBone wrote:
Why does the direct download PDF from Paizo.com have the same error? Did the printer do that too?

That's a good question, and I think the answer is something like this (based on years-ago memory of this situation):

The books are typeset in Adobe InDesign. In the InDesign file (whether looking at it with InDesign or its client software, InCopy), it looks correct. It's after that, when the book is converted to PDF, that the error occurs.

What normally happens is the art team prints the layout files for the editors to check. Two passes of printed-out files in layout mode. And before the book leaves the building, there's one last printout, in color, which gets looked over for final approvals by the department heads. Once that's approved, it's made into a PDF and sent to the printer (I think because the PDFs are smaller and easier to transport than the actual InDesign files?).

And something in that PDF conversion, either on the creation end or the receiving end, was the problem.

So when the dept heads were looking at the printouts, they were looking at the (correct) InDesign files, which wouldn't have the fl ligature errors.

And the fl ligature error occurred when the printer picked up the PDF file, or it was a "time bomb" waiting to happen from the moment Paizo converted it to a PDF from InDesign. And the web team had that same "time bomb" when they made the (big file size printer-ready) PDF into the (small file size player-friendly) downloadable PDF.

c873788 wrote:

The quality control around the ACG by Paizo's standards was poor. What is more concerning to me is that I worry that Paizo staff will take an unreasonably long time to issue FAQ/Errata notices to deal with all the vague and/or contradictory rulings found in the book. This lack of response to some (NOT all) heavily FAQed threads really frustrates me.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I just wish there was more quality control and more importantly, better FAQ/Errata responses. I am also well aware that the ACG book is newly published and it will take time to respond to all the FAQs but if you look on the forums there are a lot of older FAQs that just seem to be ignored.

Well, I am no longer at Paizo, and I certainly do not speak for Paizo, but I can say that everyone on staff hates that there are errors in books. It literally makes me hot under the collar to spot an error in a book I worked on. I can't speak ill of my co-workers, I know they work their butterys off every day. And they are understaffed--and that's just considering that I left the company just as the edit phase started for ACG, which meant they had one fewer person available to help get the project finished.

As for slowness of FAQs, that's a separate issue, but me leaving has something to do with that, as does the time to train up Mark S, as does the fact nowadays most FAQs tend to generate a huge thread of outrage (which means they are trying to tread very carefully). So... they have my sympathies... as do the people who are waiting for new FAQs.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Why does the direct download PDF from Paizo.com have the same error? Did the printer do that too?

That's a good question, and I think the answer is something like this (based on years-ago memory of this situation):

The books are typeset in Adobe InDesign. In the InDesign file (whether looking at it with InDesign or its client software, InCopy), it looks correct. It's after that, when the book is converted to PDF, that the error occurs.

What normally happens is the art team prints the layout files for the editors to check. Two passes of printed-out files in layout mode. And before the book leaves the building, there's one last printout, in color, which gets looked over for final approvals by the department heads. Once that's approved, it's made into a PDF and sent to the printer (I think because the PDFs are smaller and easier to transport than the actual InDesign files?).

And something in that PDF conversion, either on the creation end or the receiving end, was the problem.

So when the dept heads were looking at the printouts, they were looking at the (correct) InDesign files, which wouldn't have the fl ligature errors.

And the fl ligature error occurred when the printer picked up the PDF file, or it was a time bomb waiting to happen from the moment Paizo converted it to a PDF from InDesign. And the web team had that same "time bomb" when they made the (big file size printer-ready) PDF into the (small file size player-friendly) downloadable PDF.

That is a perfectly plausible and understandable explanation. As someone who owns a printing company I've certainly seen far worse. But, as someone who provides products for customers everyday I can say without question; it doesn't matter how reasonable or plausible the mistake is. You made it, and the customer doesn't care. They don't care how the business is organized, or what the approval process is, all they care about is the end product isn't right. In my business this is true even if the customer gives me originals with errors in them. My employees double check most customer files to make sure they didn't make a mistake.

On a related tongue-in-cheek note, your blaming the printer's software for a file conversion that happened at Paizo HQ is way worse than my "stats for a buttery knife."


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Tarondor wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Even some of the most staunch Paizo fanboys (excluding the PDF) have to admit that it seems that their quality is slipping,

I don't know about fanboys, but us fan-adults need admit no such thing. I don't agree with your starting point at all and I'm very glad that Paizo is trying all those things.

No other company has so engaged my love of gaming, not even TSR in the old days or WotC in the Great Revival. I think Paizo's doing a pretty damn good job.

I have to say I agree pretty much 100%

I've played 3.0/3.5, GURPS, BESM d20, SpyCraft, Palladium & Robotech... and yet Pathfinder is my favorite for a number of reasons (SpyCraft comes in at a very close second, admittedly). One of them being that I like that Paizo (usually) takes its time putting out Big Books.

By the time 3.5 ended, it had been out for 5 years (8 if you include the 3.0 books which ), and the "core" books - books "needed" to create nearly any campaign, especially a Sandbox - were: PHB, PHBII, Complete Warrior, Complete Arcane, Complete Scoundrel, Complete Champion, Complete Divine, Complete Adventurer, Complete Mage, DMG, DMG II, Magic Item Compendium, Arms & Equipment Guide, Spell Compendium, Rules Compendium, Races of Destiny, Races of Stone, Races of the Dragon, Races of the Wild, and Monster Manuals 1-5.

That's 24 books. And that's not even including the 6 "Environment" books that are needed for true Sandbox games: Cityscape, Frostburn, Sandstorm, Stormwrack, Dungeonscape, Manual of the Planes.

So, 30 books. Oh, and the Heroes books that let you can cover other genres: Heroes of Battle, Heroes of Horror.

32 books, then. But, we can't forget the Monster-specific books that detail iconic monster types: Libris Mortis, Lords of Madness, Draconomicon, Dragon Magic, Drow of the Underdark, and Fiendish Codex I and II

39 books. And we can't forget the leave-over "meta" books from 3.0 that further expand how players can advanced and what exists in the world: Epic Level Handbook, Deities & Demigods, Unearthed Arcana.

42 books. Plus, the two iconic "alignment" books: The Book of Vile Darkness and The Book of Exalted Deeds.

44 Books. Then, of course, are the true outliers - the books which introduce radical new rules systems that were only used in campaigns spattered here or there (definitely not your typical campaigns): Expanded Psionics Handbook, Complete Psion, Weapons of Legacy, Tome of Battle - The Book of 9 Swords, Tome of Magic, Magic of Incarnum.

So, to total it up... 50 books.

50 hardcover books from 8 years of printing. And these are just the "Greyhawk" books - books which are designed to be ported into any campaign setting.

I'm not complaining - these are a plethora of information, and a great ideas & game rules can be found abound. But there's also a lot of redundancies and gnarly bits; there's a lot of stuff that could've been left out and things would've been okay.

While Pathfinder doesn't go as hard-and-heavy into detail with things like the environment books, I don't think that's a terrible thing.

Paizo has done in 15 PRD books what Wizards did in 30-50 (14 books if you don't count the NPC Codex). And the vast majority of the things found in the PRD are useful.

Do I personally use EVERYTHING in Ultimate Campaign? No. But it's not designed to be "use everything in this book!" like the Advanced Players Guide, Advanced Race Guide, Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Magic, and Ultimate Equipment are; those books, along with the CRB, are the "foundation" of Pathfinder, along with the Bestiary books.

The point of Ultimate Campaign was to give the DM a lot of potential options for how to run a campaign. And it largely works fantastically. I only don't hugely like the Mass Combat rules, but even those aren't bad; those are actually fine rules for army-to-army combat, they're just not the "Dynasty Warriors Battlefield" style fights that people want, but are hard to implement.

And Mythic Adventures, as well, is meant to be a VERY optional book. It was never intended to be attached onto the basic rules the way the APG, UM, UC, and UE are - Paizo never said "Hey, look! Time to rewrite adventures from the ground up!"

So, basically, what it comes down to is that the ACG was a bit of a disappointment. It's got more errors than what should have been allowed, and a lot of this can be chalked up to trying to get it out in time for GenCon, rather than delay the release by a month or so to give it a rundown it needed.

1 book in 15, in 5 years, that probably should see a full-on update/reprint is really not bad. In fact, most game companies are hard-pressed to match that level of success.

I've got the ACG, and I largely like it. Some of the feats are "meh," but there are still oodles of feats in other books that're fine; and every time I look through again I find more things that make me at least consider them. The Warpriest probably needs more love (like returning its full-BAB quality when using a Sacred Weapon), but every other class seems perfectly fine, if not really awesome for people who want certain builds.

---

I haven't seen a "decline" in quality at all (the ACG mulligan notwithstanding); what I HAVE seen is a decline in books that make me go "OH MY GOD, I HAVE TO HAVE IT OR MY CAMPAIGN ISN'T COMPLETE!"

Do I NEED Ultimate Campaign? Eh, maybe not, but it's one I definitely plan on picking up in hardback eventually, just because there's so much good stuff and ideas for campaigns in it. Do I NEED Mythic Adventures? Again, maybe not - but Mythic Ranks are probably the best thing to happen to Monster Advancement since Monsters could be given PC Classes, and it's a fantastic way to make an "Epic" campaign without absolutely needing to go into lv21+.

I don't "need" every Big Book that's come out in recent years. I still WANT them, but the main 6 books - Core, Combat, Magic, Player's Guide, Race Guide, & Equipment - plus the 4 Bestiaries, and probably the NPC Codex, are more than necessary for covering just about any Campaign I could wish to run. And the ACG just adds more options to an already healthy game system.

So, again, do I see a decline in quality? No; I see one major swing-and-a-miss in what amounts to an otherwise-fantastic batting average.


I do want to add that, if you're talking about a "decline" in quality of Adventure Paths and peripheral things for Pathfinder Society, I've only ever played 1 PFS game, at DexCon, so I can't really rate in on that much.

I enjoyed it a lot, but don't know of any PFS groups around me, so I haven't played in PFS besides that one time.

However, having played RPGs for a long time, and having played Magic for... a veeeeeeeeery long time... I will say that, without fail, EVERY game that follows a "small release every month" and a serial-story model like Magic does with Blocks and Pathfinder does with PFS, you are going to have waxing and waning quality. One serial release can be fantastic; the next can be utterly underwhelming. If there is a lull in innovation or entertainment right now, all I can say is that, likely, there will be an upturn. If you see a slight downturn in your enjoyment, maybe switch away from PFS and into home games just using Adventure Paths as session ideas - if you don't like the current set of Paths, then just use older ones you haven't played yet; lord knows there's enough to go around.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This thread seems unnecessarily flamebaity. I don't agree with the premise that Paizo's overall quality is on the decline because they have "too many irons in the fire." Most of the product lines are relatively compartmentalized and the various teams don't seem to overlap very much. For example, the guys working on the card game don't appear to be the same people working on the RPG design team, and many of those product lines are produced by licensees altogether.

I will say that the products that launch each year at GenCon seem to suffer the most from schedule-crunch induced quality faults. This is an issue nearly every year since the APG launched. Compounding the drama is the difficulty CS seems to have handling the ever-increasing mountain of orders/releases each year at GenCon.

I didn't pay much attention to the ACG or its release, so I can't comment specifically on how it compares to previous GenCon releases with regard to quality issues.

-Skeld

Contributor

BigDTBone wrote:
On a related tongue-in-cheek note, your blaming the printer's software for a file conversion that happened at Paizo HQ is way worse than my "stats for a buttery knife."

To be fair: it was four years ago, handled by another department, and not my area of expertise at all, so the actual for reason why the convert-to-PDF-creates-ligature-problem-for-SOME-fonts-in-all-caps, in terms of how I understand and remember it, is very close to the "a wizard did it" explanation, whether the wizard only cast the spell on the printer or also on Paizo's tech team...

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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I now want stats for a buttery knife now. And are they different from a butter knife, or only an alternate name for the same weapon?


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I thought the buttery knife was hilarious. I had a gnome PC with a collection that included a tarnished and bent table knife; if anyone had asked her about it, she was going to explain that it was an exotic "buttery knife." Sadly, no one ever asked.

Contributor

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JoelF847 wrote:
I now want stats for a buttery knife now. And are they different from a butter knife, or only an alternate name for the same weapon?

Well, there's this...


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Kthulhu wrote:

Could this decline in quality have something to do with the fact that, in addition to the RPG and related product lines, they're also trying to keep all of the following plates spinning:

Pathfinder Tales
Adventure Card Game
Pathfinder Comics
Pathfinder Online MMORPG
Pathfinder Legends
Paizo Game Space
Pathfinder (Obsidian) Video Games
[probably more stuff that's slipped my mind]

Not to mention the fact that the increased the page count for the Module line and upped the frequency of the Player's Companion line to monthly.

Is Paizo trying to juggle too many balls at once?

I give them credit for trying something other than "find a captive market of a few thousand people, churn out a long series of splatbooks until your sales start to flag, then reboot and start over again with a new edition".

Of course, they could just stop printing splatbooks and start laying off employees; that's another option.


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knightnday wrote:
I'll agree to disagree with you regarding the criticism. We could dig up threads and quotes that will likely come down to how an individual reads it. I'll concede to say that there is not enough constructive criticism.

Yes. Too much "Teh rouge is teh suxxor" and not enough 'The rogue could really use some cool new talents, and here's a couple I thought of...."

And, having been a Dev myself, it's hwaaaaaaay harder than it looks.

Still, promises were made to get the backlog of FAQ once they got the new guy to replace SKR, and altho a couple were done, the backlog is huge and geeting stale and little has been done recently.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
(skipping other product line mentions such as the adventure's armory that got stats for a buttery knife in two separate printings)

Please do not propagate false information, especially if it's easily refuted.

(Despite your assertion, the book did not "include stats for a 'buttery knife.'" There was a minor PDF error where in one paragraph of chapter introductory text, the weapon called "butterfly knife" had a font ligature issue and showed up as "buttery knife," but the actual listing of the weapon in the table and weapon description correctly showed up as "butterfly knife." I can post photos or video of the actual 1st printing of the book to prove it.)

(Relevant link to why this problem happens.)

Edit: My kinfe/knife typo fixed. :)

Yeah. I mean- "ooh, there was a TYPO!!!!". Big fricken deal. I mean unless the typo can lead to rules arguments.

That would have just been hilarious to leave in. "I whip out my buttery knife and cover him with margarine- take That!"

Interesting to note we have complaints about a "huge decline in quality" and all we have seen is a rather humorous typo that got fixed.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

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Removed a post and reply. Let's keep disparaging comments about other companies out of this discussion.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

I disagree with the premise that Paizo's quality is going downhill.

Admittedly, I only purchase a small percentage of what the company puts out, but it's all looked pretty good to me.

I purchased both Ultimate Campaign and Mythic Adventures last year. Both exceeded my expectations. I've only skimmed the Advanced Class Guide, but it looks pretty good to me from what I've seen.

When I've purchased items from the Chronicles line, it's been top notch and well worth reading. My only disappointment here is that they don't seem to be doing any more Monsters Revisited books.

I don't buy the Companion line often, but the Technology Guide seems pretty cool.

I'm two books into Wrath of the Righteous and it's one of my favorite adventure paths so far. The only knock against it I have right now is that I don't like the mass combat rules very much.

In terms of presentation, layout, and art, I think the books have been improving, not getting worse, over the years. One of the reasons I'm looking forward to an eventual second edition is that I think the Core Rulebook will benefit from an improved layout.

Even in terms of their licensed stuff, the Pathfinder comic series has been excellent and has improved on a month to month basis.

I'm sure plenty of people would disagree with my opinion on these matters, but if you're going to open the thread with, "Even some of the most staunch Paizo fanboys have to admit that it seems that their quality is slipping," then I think you're starting off on a false premise.


DrDeth wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
(skipping other product line mentions such as the adventure's armory that got stats for a buttery knife in two separate printings)

Please do not propagate false information, especially if it's easily refuted.

(Despite your assertion, the book did not "include stats for a 'buttery knife.'" There was a minor PDF error where in one paragraph of chapter introductory text, the weapon called "butterfly knife" had a font ligature issue and showed up as "buttery knife," but the actual listing of the weapon in the table and weapon description correctly showed up as "butterfly knife." I can post photos or video of the actual 1st printing of the book to prove it.)

(Relevant link to why this problem happens.)

Edit: My kinfe/knife typo fixed. :)

Yeah. I mean- "ooh, there was a TYPO!!!!". Big fricken deal. I mean unless the typo can lead to rules arguments.

That would have just been hilarious to leave in. "I whip out my buttery knife and cover him with margarine- take That!"

Interesting to note we have complaints about a "huge decline in quality" and all we have seen is a rather humorous typo that got fixed.

(1) it didn't get fixed.

(2) it was a parenthetical aside to my other points; or did your UM have cantrips in it?

(3) read that introductory paragraph and tell me that you only see A typo.


I'd say Paizo's quality has remained mostly consistent with the Core Rulebook standing out as noticeably worse in terms of game balance than the rest of the line. Though then again your OP complains about "class bloat" which really already labels it as an argument that doesn't understand Pathfinder mechanics or RPG mechanics in general.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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chbgraphicarts wrote:

As for the Ultimate Combat and Magic - really? I know UM had editting issues that needed to be addressed in the second printing, but I've never heard anything but praise from people for either book (except when people thought the Gunslinger was bus-ted! when it first came out, and then over time realized that it was actually surprisingly balanced or even a little tame).

I never noticed any big issues with Ultimate Magic, but Ultimate Combat was notorious for the huge amount of errors in it, including (but not limited to): The tetori gaining feats that don't exist, bloodlines granting spells that don't exist, feats that do nothing or less than nothing, archetypes that grant different versions of previous abilities without actually replacing the old, and of course the Gunslinger and its supporting materials which ultimately added up to the most poorly designed class Paizo has ever released, which isn't even internally balanced to itself, let alone properly balanced to the rest of the system. And that's not to say the Gunslinger is OP (though some builds are, some are drastically underpowered), it's to say that they used poor balancing decisions that went against the common sense of most game designers and built too many loopholes into their own firearm system, with weird and/or poorly explained mechanics (like the troublesome double barrels).

That being said, this is less about Paizo slipping, and more about the fact that they are a small gaming company whose popularity is still on the rise. To my understanding, they actually hit their stride in sales growth somewhere around the first printing of Ultimate Combat (though I could be wrong about that). That puts them in a weird place where they've got brand new gamers still pouring into the franchise while their core fanbase is needing a steady influx of new material to stay interested, so everything they do is under crunch. And they have the normal issues that happen when freelancers make something either really inspired or really crappy but with a cool theme and an editor with little attachment to the initial creation process shows up for clean-up and you end up with just weird shit.

Regardless, Paizo's audience's expectations have grown at a rate much faster than Paizo, and Paizo has now long since left the easier task of converting and updating existing material behind and moved into creating entirely new material, something that's comparatively hard to do, especially with the grueling production schedule they work under. I can only imagine that the ACG in particular had a wealth of issues associated with it, from the fact that the initial reception of the playtest led to an entirely unscheduled second playtest, to the fact that one of their most talented and experienced designers was in the process of leaving the company. The book still sold amazingly well (I have one) and I don't know many people who didn't get at least 5 functional things they wanted out of it, which is actually more than I've gotten from a lot of other books in many franchises.


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Ssalarn wrote:

I never noticed any big issues with Ultimate Magic, but Ultimate Combat was notorious for the huge amount of errors in it, including (but not limited to): The tetori gaining feats that don't exist, bloodlines granting spells that don't exist, feats that do nothing or less than nothing, archetypes that grant different versions of previous abilities without actually replacing the old, and of course the Gunslinger and its supporting materials which ultimate add up to the most poorly designed class Paizo has ever released, that isn't even internally balanced, let alone properly balanced to the rest of the system. And that's not to say the Gunslinger is OP (though some builds are, some are drastically underpowered), it's to say that they used poor balancing decisions that went against the common sense of any game designer and built too many loopholes into their own firearm system, with weird and poorly explained mechanics.

That being said, this is less about Paizo slipping, and more about the fact that they are a small gaming company whose popularity is still on the rise. To my understanding, they actually hit their stride in sales growth somewhere around the first printing of Ultimate Combat (though I could be wrong about that). That puts them in a weird place where they've got brand new gamers still pouring into the franchise while their core fanbase is needing a steady influx of new material to stay interested, so everything they do is under crunch. And they have the normal issues that happen when freelancers make something either really inspired or really crappy but with a cool theme and an editor with little attachment to the initial creation process shows up for clean-up and you end up with just weird s%!!.

Regardless, Paizo's audience's expectations have grown at a rate much faster than Paizo, and Paizo has now long since left the easier task of converting and updating existing material behind and moved into creating entirely new material, something that's comparatively hard to do, especially with the grueling production schedule they work under. I can only imagine that the ACG in particular had a wealth of issues associated with it, from the fact that the initial reception of the playtest led to an entirely unscheduled second playtest, to the fact that one of their most talented and experienced designers was in the process of leaving the company. The book still sold amazingly well (I have one) and I don't many people who didn't get at least 5 functional things they wanted out of it, which is actually more than I've gotten from a lot of other books in many franchises.

I wish I could give this post a standing ovation instead of a favorite. This is how you explain what you see as a problem without all the grar (as Chris calls it) that we often see. Bravo.


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BigDTBone wrote:
(3) read that introductory paragraph and tell me that you only see A typo.

Everywhere there was an FL or FI, the pair of letters got dropped: "buttery," "procient," "prociency," "benet." It's obvious what all the words mean and that it's not four separate mistakes but one font issue that affected the whole paragraph.

Seriously, it's a typo. My husband's been reading the Harry Potter books to our kids at bedtime and has run into multiple typos, along the lines of "Professor Snap." Those are practically the biggest selling books of all time, produced on a multi-million-dollar budget. Typos happen.


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"Professor Snap" should have been a thing. Just sayin'.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

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Removed a post and reply. Let's not make this personal, please.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
I now want stats for a buttery knife now. And are they different from a butter knife, or only an alternate name for the same weapon?
Well, there's this...

Ha! I love that it's from "DM Initiatives" that could totally be a gaming company.


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As to the question "does Paizo have too many irons in the fire?"

I'd say...maybe. I'd say the customer service back-up and the ACG editing do seem to point to them being right on the ragged edge of what they're current able to handle. Things should improve, though, once they are able to bring more CS folks on board.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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BigDTBone wrote:
(1) it didn't get fixed.

Yes, it did. We fixed the ligature problems in the PDF on July 30, 2010, and in a print edition released July 21, 2011.


Vic Wertz wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
(1) it didn't get fixed.
Yes, it did. We fixed the ligature problems in the PDF on July 30, 2010, and in a print edition released July 21, 2011.

Good to hear, I wasn't aware of the third run.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a post. Drop it, please. There's really no need for personal comments like this.

Scarab Sages

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With all this discussion of buttery knives, I'd love to see a Chronicles book that's called something like the Deaf Inventor's Armory. All it has are off the wall fun equipment based on mishearing the names of real equipment. The key is to not make them cursed items, but to actually make them things that have their own bizarre utility. Like the buttery knife? Once per day it casts grease on an opponent's weapon when an attack misses (i.e. is parried).

Maybe with a little ruleset thing such that the object in question looks EXACTLY like the non-misheard item, so if you identify it if you miss the DC by five you think it's the other item and find out the hard way.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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knightnday wrote:

I wish I could give this post a standing ovation instead of a favorite. This is how you explain what you see as a problem without all the grar (as Chris calls it) that we often see. Bravo.

Thanks. I try (and don't always succeed) to be constructive in my criticism and look at the issue from both sides.

Speaking of which...

There were obviously issues with the ACG, just like there were issues with Ultimate Combat. Some of these are bigger issues, like bad editing creating ambiguous or confusing discrepancies in mechanics, like the Pummeling Style line or the Hunter's pet's ability to use Skirmisher tricks.
Some are worrisome issues, like the comparatively low design/editing quality of some of the archetypes that range from abilities referencing powers that were cut in editing (Ecclesitheurge), archetypes that look like they were never properly vetted to ensure functionality (Picarillo), and archetypes that lack clean synergy within their own chassis and look like whoever approved the final version had never even read the finished version of the core class (Feral Hunter).
Some of the issues are things no one would have cared about were it not for the issues, like the incorrect cover logo, issues with fonts or formatting (like the earth blessing bleeding into the destruction blessing), or other small typos.

Obviously people need Paizo to address the first type of issues, would like them to address the second type, and would appreciate them addressing the third.
Paizo pre-emptively took responsibility for the logo issue, so kudos there. The first and second types of issues are harder to address though. Look at what those issues entail:

Hunter's pet use of Skirmisher tricks - This was obviously grafted on at the last minute, and unfortunately now no matter what they do, they're going to piss off at least half of the people who have some kind of investment in the Hunter. It's either a crappy low use option, or a powerful unlimited option. Or they take the time to create a third, completely new, solution and they make people who invested in buying the book grumpy that there's now an entire extra paragraph not in their hard copy.

Sacred Fist / Monk AC stacking - Anyone familiar with this knows that it's actually part of a larger issue that affects numerous books and any answer is going to have far-reaching repercussions.

Pummeling feats - Do they the simple "this feat works with X" fix, or do they do a more comprehensive fix that affects other style feats?

And that's just to touch on a few. I suspect even the design team is split on what to do about some of theses issues. They're also burned out from PaizoCon, GenCon, PAX, DragonCon, and the fact that it's getting colder here in the northwest.
I work a job where I have to keep a lot of people happy too. I'll tell you a secret - if there's one task I can do that will make people happy and make me feel better about my day, and another that will inevitably lead to someone "screaming" at me and making me hate the human race, I will choose the first one as often as humanly possible.

So remember that the people who can actually make the fixes you want are coming down from their busiest and most stressful time of year, keep in mind that being insulting is a good way to get yourself kicked down the priority list, and try to remember something my grandpa taught me: instead of telling someone their work sucks, tell them what they did right first, and then offer a suggestion on how the weak portions could be better. I forget that sometimes as well, but it's a philosophy for communicating criticism we should all strive to uphold.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:

Quality isn't slipping (from what I have actually played with), but the response time on the FAQ and other errata is getting unacceptable.

And that's from *ME*, who is usually called one of those "most staunch Paizo fanboys".

Even today, you're getting a hell of a lot more responses than you did from WOTC in it's heydey. It's plain that people have gotten spoiled by the riches they have received as far as staff response on these boards.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Instead of telling someone their work sucks, tell them what they did right first, and then offer a suggestion on how the weak portions could be better. I forget that sometimes as well, but it's a philosophy for communicating criticism we should all strive to uphold.

That's great advice...which I would do well to remember myself.


LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

Quality isn't slipping (from what I have actually played with), but the response time on the FAQ and other errata is getting unacceptable.

And that's from *ME*, who is usually called one of those "most staunch Paizo fanboys".

Even today, you're getting a hell of a lot more responses than you did from WOTC in it's heydey. It's plain that people have gotten spoiled by the riches they have received as far as staff response on these boards.

Absolutely.


OP

they may have, soon.

When it becomes v obvious to them that profits from tabletop rpg stuff isn't as good as peripheral stuff (card games etc) a quality drop may occur, and rpgs may become a lesser citizen.

No star shines forever


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LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

Quality isn't slipping (from what I have actually played with), but the response time on the FAQ and other errata is getting unacceptable.

And that's from *ME*, who is usually called one of those "most staunch Paizo fanboys".

Even today, you're getting a hell of a lot more responses than you did from WOTC in it's heydey. It's plain that people have gotten spoiled by the riches they have received as far as staff response on these boards.

TSR was complaining about being swamped by D&D rule questions as early as 1980.


I have been disappointed in the art lately. Mythic Origins was very poor, just what did they do to our gunslinger's hair?

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

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Ssalarn wrote:
...this is less about Paizo slipping, and more about the fact that they are a small gaming company whose popularity is still on the rise.

Bolding mine.

I personally think the problem is that Paizo think of themselves as a "small" gaming company, as do many others - it is actually a cherished aspect of their identity.

The reality is that the Pathfinder Role Playing Game is the #1 selling role playing game in the world, and has been for several years. Now, however, it is in danger of losing that position due to the recent release of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.

I really believe that, had Paizo NOT considered themselves a "small" gaming company starting the day their game took the #1 position, then 5th Edition would not have a snowball's chance in hell of dethroning them. But, because they held on so hard to that "small" gaming company identity, they likely will be dethroned. And the reason it will cost them is due to the things that are being raised in this thread (and others like this thread that have cropped up over the last couple years). By remaining a "small" gaming company they never really were able to get ahead of the curve. Instead, they rode the wave - to a lot of success, admittedly. But it was almost like they thought it was inevitable that eventually the ride would be over.

I would have liked to see them toss the word "small" in the trash and replace it with "World's Leading." That would have been something truly remarkable to behold, and this thread wouldn't exist, methinks.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Drogon wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
...this is less about Paizo slipping, and more about the fact that they are a small gaming company whose popularity is still on the rise.

Bolding mine.

I personally think the problem is that Paizo think of themselves as a "small" gaming company, as do many others - it is actually a cherished aspect of their identity.

The reality is that the Pathfinder Role Playing Game is the #1 selling role playing game in the world, and has been for several years. Now, however, it is in danger of losing that position due to the recent release of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.

I really believe that, had Paizo NOT considered themselves a "small" gaming company starting the day their game took the #1 position, then 5th Edition would not have a snowball's chance in hell of dethroning them. But, because they held on so hard to that "small" gaming company identity, they likely will be dethroned. And the reason it will cost them is due to the things that are being raised in this thread (and others like this thread that have cropped up over the last couple years). By remaining a "small" gaming company they never really were able to get ahead of the curve. Instead, they rode the wave - to a lot of success, admittedly. But it was almost like they thought it was inevitable that eventually the ride would be over.

I would have liked to see them toss the word "small" in the trash and replace it with "World's Leading." That would have been something truly remarkable to behold, and this thread wouldn't exist, methinks.

The roleplaying arm of WOTC is not exactly a giant megacorporation either. That was one of the problems with TSR, they massively overbuilt themselves based on a paradigm of never-ending growth.

Despite any appearances, this is not a big industry. If Paizo and WOTC look like large fish to you, it's because you haven't taken into account how small the pond is.

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

I disagree about how small the gaming "pond" is. But seeing as most gaming companies are privately held and therefore do not release sales figures (and I don't blame them - I won't tell you mine, either), I can't point at any numbers to refute you.

Regardless, the World's Leading Game Company is not a small gaming company of any sort.


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It's hard to know without actually seeing it.

My gut feel though is that if Vic and Lisa werent so clear about remaining small* that I wouldnt be so supportive as a customer. I'm retaining my subscriptions to all the Iron Gods stuff despite a total lack of interest in the subject - that's largely due to supporting the company's efforts to branch out, broaden and to experiment (even when the direction chosen is of no value to me).

I doubt I'd feel the same sense of loyalty to a self-declared large company. I'm a rabid paizo fanboy due in large part to how they run their business. That includes moderating their expansion during a time when they were the dominant publisher.

*:
Granted, I havent actually seen that position stated for several years. Early on though they were clear that they never wanted Paizo to grow beyond a certain number of employees. They gave various reasons for that, all of which resonated with me.


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I actively dislike the "grow at all costs" paradigm. I've worked in enough large companies to know that once you get past a certain size, mediocrity is all but guaranteed.


bugleyman wrote:
I actively dislike the "grow at all costs" paradigm. I've worked in enough large companies to know that once you get past a certain size, mediocrity is all but guaranteed.

I feel similarly, especially for creative endeavours.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo may be small compared to other businesses in general, but they're pretty large for an RPG publisher. (Although the fact that they are a online store as well adds quite a few more staff.)


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Other than the ACG error what are examples of quality slipping?

Yeah Mythic rules won't make it to my table, but not all of them are terrible. I just don't have time to fix the really bad ones, nor do I want to play mother may I as a GM with the book.

Yes, a lot of books have errors. I would say every book has errors. That is consistent over the past few years, and I know some will say it is not a strong point, but it is different from quality slipping.

I guess another question is at what point did quality become noticeably and consistently worse?

I am asking because I want to know if this is based on factual thing such as plot holes in AP, misspellings, and unclear rules, or subjective things such "power creep".

"Quality is slipping" is too broad of a term without more insight.

And no hyperbole please. I prefer to avoid any more buttery knife type discussions.

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