Please stop the deceitful FAQs


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I don't particularly give a rat's behind whether or not a FAQ response ends up being a clarification of how players should be interpreting a rule or Paizo's development team deciding that the best answer to the question is to fix or revise the wording. I'm more interested in having one place and one process for handling these things. So, yeah, keep issuing rule changes for frequently asked questions when that is the best answer, Paizo!

Community Manager

Removed some posts and their responses. While raising concerns about the FAQ and Errata process is fine, attacking other posters and insulting them is not.


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I agree that there should be an errata section of the site where previous FAQrata and future priority erratas can be maintained.

This is especially important for any recently published books that have serious issues and non-core books that would never receive errata otherwise.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
pipedreamsam wrote:
Can we talk about what a nightmare it is to actually sift through the FAQ for a moment?

While I don't find it that difficult, the FAQs might benefit from a different organizational structure. Maybe something more like the way the PRD layout follows the order of information in the book.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
pipedreamsam wrote:
Can we talk about what a nightmare it is to actually sift through the FAQ for a moment?
While I don't find it that difficult, the FAQs might benefit from a different organizational structure. Maybe something more like the way the PRD layout follows the order of information in the book.

I would kill a goblin to get them all on one page. Trying to figure out which book the authors thought was the relevant one for any particular faq is a pain.

Dark Archive

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
pipedreamsam wrote:
Can we talk about what a nightmare it is to actually sift through the FAQ for a moment?
While I don't find it that difficult, the FAQs might benefit from a different organizational structure. Maybe something more like the way the PRD layout follows the order of information in the book.
I would kill a goblin to get them all on one page. Trying to figure out which book the authors thought was the relevant one for any particular faq is a pain.

A targeted google search takes care of that - add "site:paizo.com/paizo/faq" after any particular topic (like "sneak attack" or "witch") and you'll find the faqs related to that topic no matter which book they're in.

Insain Dragoon wrote:


This is especially important for any recently published books that have serious issues and non-core books that would never receive errata otherwise.

The player companion/module/etc FAQs are already in one place - Golarion FAQ

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

I don't really care which form the clarifications, fixes, enlightened texts or advice take. The more the better. Only people who build characters that are completely dependent on one specific corner rule or item are usually negatively affected by a fix or clarification, whatever you call it. If you're part of Pathfinder Society, kindly ask for a rebuild privately before you spam the boards with your anger.

My advice after gaming Pathfinder/3.X since it's 2000 release (and basic, 1st and 2nd edition before that) is:
- make a balanced character
- don't build it so he's useless out of combat
- leave the long feat chains to fighters or rangers, or other classes that get lots of feats
- don't build fringe characters all the time; if your theme is a priest of the love goddess, run with that, and don't make a cleric that does something else but *looks* like that for the sole purpose of being special or draw questions or attention from the other players (i.e. detract from the game and take away attention from the GM).


Psyren wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
pipedreamsam wrote:
Can we talk about what a nightmare it is to actually sift through the FAQ for a moment?
While I don't find it that difficult, the FAQs might benefit from a different organizational structure. Maybe something more like the way the PRD layout follows the order of information in the book.
I would kill a goblin to get them all on one page. Trying to figure out which book the authors thought was the relevant one for any particular faq is a pain.

A targeted google search takes care of that - add "site:paizo.com/paizo/faq" after any particular topic (like "sneak attack" or "witch") and you'll find the faqs related to that topic no matter which book they're in.

Insain Dragoon wrote:


This is especially important for any recently published books that have serious issues and non-core books that would never receive errata otherwise.
The player companion/module/etc FAQs are already in one place - Golarion FAQ

Errata.


. If you're part of Pathfinder Society, kindly ask for a rebuild privately before you spam the boards with your anger.

Well, thats part of it. You don't get a private rebuild. If text was changed you can opt out of that one specific thing. Usually you can't opt out of anything that that depends on it. If, as is the case in faqratta, they change something but don't admit that they changed anything, then you're stuck with it (baring some really difficult retraining)

Dark Archive

Insain Dragoon wrote:
Errata.

As previously stated numerous times in the thread (though possibly deleted), the term "errata" has a specific meaning both for Paizo and publishers in general. It refers to a new printing. Player Companions don't get that, so if you're waiting for errata for those you will never get them. Hence, FAQ.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

If you're part of Pathfinder Society, kindly ask for a rebuild privately before you spam the boards with your anger.

Well, thats part of it. You don't get a private rebuild. If text was changed you can opt out of that one specific thing.

Note that I said "ask for X privately" and not "ask for a private X". You can then let the campaign staff decide if they'll address this for the masses or just for you (which usually involves checking exactly how many people this ruling affects).

I've had character build / PFS conversion problems a few years ago and found the campaign staff was really helpful. Also, correct me if I'm wrong but as long as your gear/certs checks out, I don't think anyone really cares about your actual build. If an item is faq'ed or errated, it's probably still ok and not complete junk. Unless you're now mad that you lost a previously overpowered toy. In which case too bad so sad, you should probably have kept your mouth shut instead of bragging about it.


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
If an item is faq'ed or errated, it's probably still ok and not complete junk.

Sometimes yes, sometimes not. Pummeling Style is still great, Courageous is worthless for example. Divine Protection is no longer worth a Feat, but Scarred Witch Doctor is situationally BETTER after they "nerfed" it.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Unless you're now mad that you lost a previously overpowered toy. In which case too bad so sad, you should probably have kept your mouth shut instead of bragging about it.

Really with this? You do realize that any "overpowered toys" are a direct result of Paizo screwing up in the first place, right? And that that term is both subjective and relative in most cases anyway?

Using them as intended is not grounds for saying "F$*# you, guess your character is borked now" (worst examples would be a few errata'd items that are now COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in function from what they used to do. Like, they share the same name but now do entirely different things. Like Crane Wing, as a prominent though minor example).

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

It's a conspiracy Rynjin! they want you to keep scrapping characters so you can make new ones with their new books! :P


I actually have yet to make a character that used any nerfed option, so looks like they need better intel on where I live. =)

Edit: Besides the Master of Many Styles, but I'm still pretty sure that was accidental. They THOUGHT they were buffing it at least.

Besides I don't generally buy rulebooks, they're all free and I don't have that kind of cash to spend on free things.

Adventures, on the other hand...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Yes... likewise... plus rulebooks (my wife hates me for it)

I just failed my Will save against subscription for supersized AP #100 last night.... sigh


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If the problem is what to call it (talk about First World Problems!) we can rename it from FAQ to "We get Questions, You Get Fixes" or something else pithy.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I personally like "FAQratta". Makes the point pretty clearly and at least addresses the "you guys are dishonest" charge.

My vote is definitely for all changes/addendums/explanations/clarifications/corrections/whatever to be in one place - what they call it is pretty irrelevant, in my view. I really don't get the advantage of putting FAQs in one place and errata in another (and can already see the new debates as to which ones have been 'misfiled'....).

What possible good would it do to have to look in two places to understand if the rule is different from how it appears in the book?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Where does 'FAQratta' stand in the grand order of things for say, a PFS GM?

Is it of *higher* importance than FAQ? Lower?

Is it of *higher* importance than errata? Lower?

If we are going to have such a thing, I kind of need to know to learn about things that may influence my GM style or inform me of things I did not know before.

ie, I need to know what I *need* to know versus 'it'd be kind of nice if you knew this'?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Where does 'FAQratta' stand in the grand order of things for say, a PFS GM?

Is it of *higher* importance than FAQ? Lower?

Is it of *higher* importance than errata? Lower?

If we are going to have such a thing, I kind of need to know to learn about things that may influence my GM style or inform me of things I did not know before.

ie, I need to know what I *need* to know versus 'it'd be kind of nice if you knew this'?

I'm just talking about nomenclature (since that seems to bother some people). Nothing's actually changed, so a FAQratta has the same impact that a FAQ does (since it's the same thing - it just acknowledges that some of the FAQs are, in fact corrections/retractions rather than clarifications). It has *the same* importance as a FAQ (because it's the same thing, renamed).

I have no idea what a PFS GM currently does - but they'd keep doing that.

Personally, I think running an organised play program brings some issues. But I consider those issues for the organised play program, not issues for the game overall (or for "the grand order of things"). PFS guidelines should definitely be clear with prospective DMs as to how they should interpret the rules - but aren't they?


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Note that I said "ask for X privately" and not "ask for a private X". You can then let the campaign staff decide if they'll address this for the masses or just for you (which usually involves checking exactly how many people this ruling affects).

I have never heard of such a thing.

Quote:
Also, correct me if I'm wrong but as long as your gear/certs checks out, I don't think anyone really cares about your actual build.

You are VERY wrong. While there is no paperwork for your actual character sheet changing your character is not allowed without some very expensive prestige point retraining. The ability to completely rebuild a character legally is a tier 1 gencon boon on par with the latest race boons, not something you do just because you can easily get away with it.

Quote:
If an item is faq'ed or errated, it's probably still ok and not complete junk.

Horsfeathers. Usually once something has been identified as overpowered and it gets hit with the nerf hammer they hit it hard enough to make it absolutely useless. Crane wing, battle cry, master of many styles monk, feinting cape...There were good reasons for some of the nerfs, but they do not take chances on items that were too powerful once.

Quote:
Unless you're now mad that you lost a previously overpowered toy. In which case too bad so sad

And this disparaging and factually inaccurate attitude is the rest of why people want an errata rather than an FAQ.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Shows how long I've played PFS.. apparently it's become some sort of serious business that sounds realllly fun. .. .... did they do away with the Taldor faction yet?


There is no 'mild' setting for errata. it is Paizo's nuclear option, and they're getting way more aggressive with it.

Dark Archive

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Where does 'FAQratta' stand in the grand order of things for say, a PFS GM?

Is it of *higher* importance than FAQ? Lower?

Is it of *higher* importance than errata? Lower?

If we are going to have such a thing, I kind of need to know to learn about things that may influence my GM style or inform me of things I did not know before.

ie, I need to know what I *need* to know versus 'it'd be kind of nice if you knew this'?

A "FAQratta" response (i.e. "nix that rule, we actually mean for it to work this way, and the text will be changed to reflect that at some point in the future") is still FAQ - it's just a response that happens to involve outright changing or rewording the rule in question rather than selecting an existing interpretation.

For PFS GMs, both kinds of FAQ (choosing an interpretation or changing the wording) are equally binding. Errata is also binding. In the rare cases where they conflict (like the "stat stacking" FAQ conflicting with Dragon Ferocity back in the day), generally this will be cleared up with another FAQ response.

Liberty's Edge

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So, all would be good if they dropped the 'FAQ' and 'errata' terminology and just used something like 'updates' for all of their... updates?

People are WAY too hung up on semantics.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Unfortunately, there are people that will argue a point (both here on the forums and in person) until they win by sheer attrition/time spent arguing.

This is the drawback to the 'reins' that a combined campaign has.

This also not a new thing. In a different campaign and setting, the 'Faqratta book' that has developed over twenty years has dwarfed the original rulebook by a good two or three times the size.

And that is with a player base a fraction of PFS, and Pathfinder as a whole.

From a customer service perspective, I can see what Paizo is attempting to do, and unfortunately there are rather pedantic and stubborn folks that love to take advantage of the situation.

On the other side of the token, sometimes things are simply *broken* and need fixing.

When the forums alight with the discussion of a particular rule, yay or nay or just questioning, it's much better for some sort of resolution to come sooner WITHOUT having to buy five new sourcebooks or wait two years for it to wend its way through campaign politics.

Trust me.

This is *mild*.

Looks upward. Gah. Now I'm doing it too! Gahhhhh!


CBDunkerson wrote:

So, all would be good if they dropped the 'FAQ' and 'errata' terminology and just used something like 'updates' for all of their... updates?

People are WAY too hung up on semantics.

Again, it's not semantics. Updates would be a good term for the rules changes, but that would now leave FAQs misnamed, because some really are just clarifications or confirmation of common interpretations that get asked about a lot.

Updates would be a good sub page. There shouldn't be so many that they require separation by both category and book, merely by book as tabs.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:

So, all would be good if they dropped the 'FAQ' and 'errata' terminology and just used something like 'updates' for all of their... updates?

People are WAY too hung up on semantics.

Again, it's not semantics. Updates would be a good term for the rules changes, but that would now leave FAQs misnamed, because some really are just clarifications or confirmation of common interpretations that get asked about a lot.

Updates would be a good sub page. There shouldn't be so many that they require separation by both category and book, merely by book as tabs.

To insert myself where I'm not needed, I'll try to reinterpret since another perspective on the same content often either illuminates that content or shows where it's unclear.

There are broadly two kinds of things that show up in FAQs:

One (I'd put the recent paladin's detect evil in this camp) is about making clear what the words say. There are multiple ways to interpret it, but the way the devs answer is clearly in the text as written and it's the way it was originally intended. They're explaining more than ruling.

The other (the most obvious example is the SLA as prereqs FAQ since it has gone both ways) is about making a change to the way something works. It's not the way it was originally intended to work or the intention didn't make it into the words of the rules. This often, but not always, comes up because two rules sources have conflicting information (like the damage increases with size increases).

So the issue isn't that FAQs have the wrong name, it's that the header is a conflation of two disparate concepts: clarifications and pending errata. By splitting them up, the pending errata could be consolidated for quick consumption. It could also come with the expectation that when the book is next printed it would be in there. In fact, it would also be a good place for significant gameplay changes that happen in errata since it can be hard to pull out from the errata documents what's a rules change and what's a typographical change.

I started out lukewarm to the concept, Rynjin, but I think I'm on board now. I hope the liberties I have taken with your argument are acceptable.


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Berinor wrote:


So the issue isn't that FAQs have the wrong name, it's that the header is a conflation of two disparate concepts: clarifications and pending errata.

I think it's pretty clear that that is what people are objecting to, but what isn't clear (to me) is why the conflation matters.

Paizo issue these comments on the rules (which are one of two types). Why does it matter if some of them are clarifications and some of them are changes? They're both explications of how the rules are supposed to be.

I think they should be relabelled to make it clear that the things in the "document explaining how the rules should be used" aren't solely FAQs. I don't dispute the fact there are other things in the FAQ pile - I just don't understand what's gained by having two lists of explanatory statements.


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Can we at least get the correct spelling on the thread title? Hit the FAQ on this post if you agree... Either that or flag this post as Spam.


Tempest in a teacup.


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I want more deceitful FAQs!

Deceitful wrote:
You get a +2 bonus on all Bluff and Disguise skill checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in one of these skills, the bonus increases to +4 for that skill.

"I" get the bonus? Not my character? Do I add the bonus to all my characters' checks, just the one that took the feat, or literally *all* checks anyone makes? What if I have 10 or more ranks in both skills? SO MANY QUESTIONS!


An FAQ is a frequently asked question, I don't think separating out different types of answers or changing the name makes things any clearer.

I mean, if a question is asked frequently then broadly responses could be "it doesn't work like that, this is how it works". Or, "this is how it works, but we can see how the wording is ambiguous so maybe rewording it like this clarifies intent". Or, "gosh, sorry, that text doesn't match what we intended at all! This is how it should work and we'll add it to errata,"

I think it's far cleaner to put the response in the FAQ whichever flavour the answer takes, followed up by the issuing of errata when practical. Otherwise you'll have a situation where a question that has been asked will go to a totally different location based on how it ended up being answered.

Dark Archive

Rynjin wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:

So, all would be good if they dropped the 'FAQ' and 'errata' terminology and just used something like 'updates' for all of their... updates?

People are WAY too hung up on semantics.

Again, it's not semantics. Updates would be a good term for the rules changes, but that would now leave FAQs misnamed, because some really are just clarifications or confirmation of common interpretations that get asked about a lot.

Updates would be a good sub page. There shouldn't be so many that they require separation by both category and book, merely by book as tabs.

Call them "Paizo responses" then. There, bam, updates/clarifications/errata/holy writ/legislating from the bench/whatever else you want to call it all fall under that one heading and we can all go to the nearest tavern and render ourselves comatose.


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Psyren wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:

So, all would be good if they dropped the 'FAQ' and 'errata' terminology and just used something like 'updates' for all of their... updates?

People are WAY too hung up on semantics.

Again, it's not semantics. Updates would be a good term for the rules changes, but that would now leave FAQs misnamed, because some really are just clarifications or confirmation of common interpretations that get asked about a lot.

Updates would be a good sub page. There shouldn't be so many that they require separation by both category and book, merely by book as tabs.

Call them "Paizo responses" then. There, bam, updates/clarifications/errata/holy writ/legislating from the bench/whatever else you want to call it all fall under that one heading and we can all go to the nearest tavern and render ourselves comatose.

I'm not sure why FAQ doesn't cover everything.

I suppose if you were being strictly literal a "FAQ" section shouldn't include any Answers, since the acronym literally refers only to questions. Beyond that, I don't see why the answers to Frequently Asked Questions can't include: "Oh yeah, that was badly phrased. We meant X and we'll update it in the next printing."

But if you must maybe they can call it "Paizo Responses to Frequently Asked Questions"? I'm not sure PRFAQ would catch on though.


thejeff wrote:

I suppose if you were being strictly literal a "FAQ" section shouldn't include any Answers, since the acronym literally refers only to questions.

Agreed. It seems pretty clear that Paizo is using FAQ in the same way that most other people are these days. FAQ used to refer to the questions and the answers were known as an FAQ list. They used to be answers to questions that were frequently asked, but now that is rarely true (being mainly compilations of answers to questions that people wished were being asked and so forth).


thejeff wrote:
Psyren wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:

So, all would be good if they dropped the 'FAQ' and 'errata' terminology and just used something like 'updates' for all of their... updates?

People are WAY too hung up on semantics.

Again, it's not semantics. Updates would be a good term for the rules changes, but that would now leave FAQs misnamed, because some really are just clarifications or confirmation of common interpretations that get asked about a lot.

Updates would be a good sub page. There shouldn't be so many that they require separation by both category and book, merely by book as tabs.

Call them "Paizo responses" then. There, bam, updates/clarifications/errata/holy writ/legislating from the bench/whatever else you want to call it all fall under that one heading and we can all go to the nearest tavern and render ourselves comatose.

I'm not sure why FAQ doesn't cover everything.

I suppose if you were being strictly literal a "FAQ" section shouldn't include any Answers, since the acronym literally refers only to questions. Beyond that, I don't see why the answers to Frequently Asked Questions can't include: "Oh yeah, that was badly phrased. We meant X and we'll update it in the next printing."

But if you must maybe they can call it "Paizo Responses to Frequently Asked Questions"? I'm not sure PRFAQ would catch on though.

Because there are some that are literally not frequently asked questions. There are FAQ's that take clearly worded, not ambiguous rules and nerf them. If a rule is clear and you want to change it for balance reasons that is fine. But you need to publish it someplace people will actually go looking for it. But I'm not going to look up the FAQ for fireball to make sure they didn't decide to change it to d4's everytime I cast the spell. It is clear as day in the text that d6's are used and if they change it then it doesn't belong in the FAQ.

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