Is now a good time for Agents of Edgewatch? Is ever?


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Liberty's Edge

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The thread where Paizo apologized is back up after heavy moderation. Inquiries to the Paizo staff should probably be directed there since I suspect they're more likely to spot them there.

I mean, they're certainly on topic here, I just think they'll be more likely to get an official response of some sort over there.


CrystalSeas wrote:

...

Going to strongly disagree that making taboo concepts the core of your story is educational or makes the world a better place.

Writing an adventure about rape doesn't teach people not to be rapists. writing an adventure about racism doesn't teach people not to be racists. And writing an adventure about police brutality doesn't make any police force less brutal.

I would be profoundly uncomfortable GMing or playing an adventure that made any of those topics the main activity of the PCs.

In fact, I'm even in favor of gaming companies coming right out and saying "We're not going to publish stories on these topics. They are not acceptable in our products." I'm in favor of making story lines like those taboo.

People can learn about the horrors of rape, racism, and police brutality without playing characters who engage in those activities.

Allow me to clarify what I mean with Taboo then; when you will not mention or deal with the subject regardless of context because it is deemed unfit.

I did not mention the players should be living out fantasies about these things, and I adressed it saying that should they pop up, you should confront it and deal with it.

Slavery could be core to your story. You are a group of freedom warriors releasing slaves. Why is this any less or more valid than police oppression, where we find some of these officials abuse power and we set it right...is it because we are closer to one than the other? This is tenuous as slavery is very much alive in our world and many of the products our society consumes are directly built upon it.

However, to play devils advocate here. How many APs could you not have published with the mindframe that anything distasteful cannot be included? Opression, slavery, sexual abuse, human trafficking, murder, psychological traumas. These are all very real and just because some do not affect us does not mean they are any less real.

Again, context and understanding. Otherwise, we'll have to write bad guy characters that twirl their mustache and "want to take over the world". Knowing and understanding where the lines are in our society, why they are there and to respect them, is our duty as part of this society to know this and explain it to those that come.
Not all tables are the right places to tackle all themes. This subject touches closely on the trigger/safespace discussion, which to me also boils down to maturity and benevolent guidance.

Paizo has been outstanding at doing context well. I trust they will do this well, and even more so with their statement which shows they have thought about it.

Silver Crusade

Hmm, no, what Crystalseas said still stands.

I don’t want to play an adventure where rape is the core of the story.


Me neither. I find it extremely distasteful and also rather uninteresting.
And not what I meant, again, because we are building walls the moment a topic comes up. This will not lead to a healthy conversation anywhere.

My post wasnt to invalidate someone else's comment, this is not a win lose scenario and I dont aim to antagonise. Perhaps we're talking around each other. I am not defending living out horrible power fantasies and if you think I am I have explained myself poorly or you havent digested my post well.

I undertand the sentiment, and we would probably have very similar practical approaches. I only wonder where that grey line is and warn agaisnt a systematic approach of banning topics, advocating for context in handling tough themes.

And to support Paizo dealing with these topics in a wise manner, as they have done before, with leeway for omission, alteration and choice, should you deem it necessary. From their post, I am encouraged. They also have a target audience and need to put their boundaries to fit that, unlike conversations or home campaigns.

Dark Archive

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So bit of on sidenote, but I'm extremely squemish person. I will feel sick if players start talking using torture as interrogation technique and stuff like pulling off nails is just horrifying to me and not fun.

What I mean with that is that is that while torture is often portrayed as evil thing in any fictional work, there are just as many work which portray roughing up someone producing results (despite in reality it just causes them to spout whether they think will make it stop regardless of truth).

Looot of those are police or detective stories :p And lot of those shows are entertainment rather than something meant to make you think of morality and dark side of reality.

As I've said before, I'm not against agents of edgewatch or police stories in general, but I just wanted to point out that lot of entertainment portrays horrific shocking stuff for sake of just shocking audience and what it ends up doing is normalizing it.


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

There's an important difference between a story about a subject and a story that promotes that subject.

The Clayton Bigsby sketch from Chappelle's Show is a prime example. It's about racism, but isn't racist. It holds up racist ideas and points to them, saying look how ridiculous this ideology is. And it's damn funny. It's not for everyone, of course, but those who would say stories about racism should never be told would deny the world one of the best comedy sketches in history.

Perhaps Chappelle and his writers were in the perfect place to write such a sketch, and Paizo's writer's aren't in the same boat regarding police. If so, fair enough, but I'd rather them get writers in that place (and any other place they desire their stories to go) and write the stories they see fit than to toss such ideas aside as never being possible.


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Fumarole wrote:

There's an important difference between a story about a subject and a story that promotes that subject.

The Clayton Bigsby sketch from Chappelle's Show is a prime example. It's about racism, but isn't racist. It holds up racist ideas and points to them, saying look how ridiculous this ideology is. And it's damn funny. It's not for everyone, of course, but those who would say stories about racism should never be told would deny the world one of the best comedy sketches in history.

And come to think of it, I reckon the first chapter of Giantslayer, set in a village with largely human, half-orc and orc population in a larger context where hostile orc warbands are a thing, would have worked a lot less interestingly if it hadn't thought about plausible racial tensions for that context.


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Rysky wrote:
Before I found out the authors I was considering dropping the subscription, since I have no interest in a police procedural AP.

Funnily enough, this AP is the reason I will be keeping my suscription, although I've been vastly underwhelmed by all 2E AP material so far.

Dark Archive

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magnuskn wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Before I found out the authors I was considering dropping the subscription, since I have no interest in a police procedural AP.
Funnily enough, this AP is the reason I will be keeping my suscription, although I've been vastly underwhelmed by all 2E AP material so far.

What, extinction curse is great :p

(Age of Ashes is weird thing where two of books are great and most of ap is good, but it feels more like anthology than single story arc)


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CorvusMask wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Before I found out the authors I was considering dropping the subscription, since I have no interest in a police procedural AP.
Funnily enough, this AP is the reason I will be keeping my suscription, although I've been vastly underwhelmed by all 2E AP material so far.

What, extinction curse is great :p

(Age of Ashes is weird thing where two of books are great and most of ap is good, but it feels more like anthology than single story arc)

Same as playing pirates in Skulls & Shackles, the specific trope of playing a circus troupe simply does nothing for me, so I am not interested in the concept.

I love city AP's, so this AP is of much more interest to me. I trust Paizo to handle sensitive topics and I am not a citizen of the US, so the general concept of playing city watch members doesn't faze me as much, although I understand the concerns people have.

Dark Archive

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magnuskn wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Before I found out the authors I was considering dropping the subscription, since I have no interest in a police procedural AP.
Funnily enough, this AP is the reason I will be keeping my suscription, although I've been vastly underwhelmed by all 2E AP material so far.

What, extinction curse is great :p

(Age of Ashes is weird thing where two of books are great and most of ap is good, but it feels more like anthology than single story arc)

Same as playing pirates in Skulls & Shackles, the specific trope of playing a circus troupe simply does nothing for me, so I am not interested in the concept.

I love city AP's, so this AP is of much more interest to me. I trust Paizo to handle sensitive topics and I am not a citizen of the US, so the general concept of playing city watch members doesn't faze me as much, although I understand the concerns people have.

Aww oki. Well hopefully the megadungeon and tournament one will be more to your liking :D

(but yeah town guard ap is something I think I've really wanted for eternity :D I really like ap themes where pcs take role usually reserved for npcs...

...Which means we just NEED to have magic item shop merchant ap ;P)


CorvusMask wrote:

Aww oki. Well hopefully the megadungeon and tournament one will be more to your liking :D

(but yeah town guard ap is something I think I've really wanted for eternity :D I really like ap themes where pcs take role usually reserved for npcs...

...Which means we just NEED to have magic item shop merchant ap ;P)

Megadungeon not so much, since we'll finally be finishing Shattered Star after re-starting meetings with that group last week and I think I'm all dungeon-ed out for the time.

I looooove the Ruby Phoenix Tournament AP and am a bit sad that it will only be a three-parter, although at least it's high-level. :)

Shadow Lodge

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magnuskn wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Aww oki. Well hopefully the megadungeon and tournament one will be more to your liking :D

(but yeah town guard ap is something I think I've really wanted for eternity :D I really like ap themes where pcs take role usually reserved for npcs...

...Which means we just NEED to have magic item shop merchant ap ;P)

Megadungeon not so much, since we'll finally be finishing Shattered Star after re-starting meetings with that group last week and I think I'm all dungeon-ed out for the time.

I looooove the Ruby Phoenix Tournament AP and am a bit sad that it will only be a three-parter, although at least it's high-level. :)

I'm pretty sure it's a three-parter because it starts at 11th level. Its modular predecessor also assumed 11th level, and really, expecting 1st-level characters to be able to hold their own in a tournament is faintly ridiculous. To start at 1st level, an AP including the Ruby Phoenix Tournament would have to have a long windup section, and while that would be both interesting and allow for less gimmicky and more immersive cultural representation than the tournament itself does, keeping the players away from the tournament - the selling point of the AP - for half the AP would likely not go over well. That kind of failure to service expectations is what sours many on Second Darkness and Jade Regent.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
I'm pretty sure it's a three-parter because it starts at 11th level. Its modular predecessor also assumed 11th level, and really, expecting 1st-level characters to be able to hold their own in a tournament is faintly ridiculous. To start at 1st level, an AP including the Ruby Phoenix Tournament would have to have a long windup section, and while that would be both interesting and allow for less gimmicky and more immersive cultural representation than the tournament itself does, keeping the players away from the tournament - the selling point of the AP - for half the AP would likely not go over well. That kind of failure to service expectations is what sours many on Second Darkness and Jade Regent.

Yeah, of course it makes sense to start it at high-level. I just wish there was more of it. Toooouuurnament arc! :p

Not sure I agree with Jade Regent, though, the Player's Guide pretty much spells out what the AP will be.

Dark Archive

Have to say though that its perfect concept for high level 3-parter. The 1e ruby phoenix module WAS for level 11 characters after all and it was really full of content.


CorvusMask wrote:
Have to say though that its perfect concept for high level 3-parter. The 1e ruby phoenix module WAS for level 11 characters after all and it was really full of content.

Mostly pretty underpowered encounters, though. I really don't get why they included single opponent encounters, which also were not much of a challenge for a typical party. I hope they do better in the encounter design for this upcoming AP.


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Having a "tournament for the best fighters in the world" story start at level 1 basically makes no sense anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Having a "tournament for the best fighters in the world" story start at level 1 basically makes no sense anyway.

Naruto disagrees, though I acknowledge that was kind of a unique case that wouldn't necessarily apply to this.

edit: gdi, now I have an idea for an adventure involving the previous winners of the Ruby Tournament finding and distantly mentoring a group of heroes to specifically enter this year's tournament.

Liberty's Edge

AnimatedPaper wrote:

edit: gdi, now I have an idea for an adventure involving the previous winners of the Ruby Tournament finding and distantly mentoring a group of heroes to specifically enter this year's tournament.

There's even precedent, since that's kind of what happens with to the PCs in the previous mod...

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
I'm pretty sure it's a three-parter because it starts at 11th level. Its modular predecessor also assumed 11th level, and really, expecting 1st-level characters to be able to hold their own in a tournament is faintly ridiculous. To start at 1st level, an AP including the Ruby Phoenix Tournament would have to have a long windup section, and while that would be both interesting and allow for less gimmicky and more immersive cultural representation than the tournament itself does, keeping the players away from the tournament - the selling point of the AP - for half the AP would likely not go over well. That kind of failure to service expectations is what sours many on Second Darkness and Jade Regent.

Yeah, of course it makes sense to start it at high-level. I just wish there was more of it. Toooouuurnament arc! :p

Not sure I agree with Jade Regent, though, the Player's Guide pretty much spells out what the AP will be.

Much of Jade Regent's hype came from it being the Tian Xia AP. But this only becomes true in the latter half of the AP. Which is even more problematic since many people stop playing APs part-way.


CorvusMask wrote:


(Age of Ashes is weird thing where two of books are great and most of ap is good, but it feels more like anthology than single story arc)

It definitely felt like "6 regional adventures tied together", but that's not a bad thing for the first AP of a new edition. I fully plan to remove 1 or 2 modules I don't like, and it shouldn't affect the progress of the AP much.


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What’s the latest on that player’s guide? I thought it was supposed to be out by now.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
What’s the latest on that player’s guide? I thought it was supposed to be out by now.

It was supposed to be. Guess they're still digesting it a bit.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
What’s the latest on that player’s guide? I thought it was supposed to be out by now.

And now it's been half a week since we've wondered where that Player's Guide is. If there was some kind of delay, I wish they would let us know and just not give an ETA anymore.

Then again, we're now nearly 3 weeks from the first part's release date. I hope they release it this week, 'cause otherwise a lot of people might decide to not risk supporting the AP and unsub. The Player's Guide is supposed to give a lot of context and conversion help, and if it comes out after the subs start shipping, I can see a lot of people becoming upset.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Player's Guides have usually been released around the street date of the first adventure of an AP, sometimes somewhat later, but almost never several weeks in advance of the first adventure, so I would not hold my breath at this point in time.


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Zaister wrote:
Player's Guides have usually been released around the street date of the first adventure of an AP, sometimes somewhat later, but almost never several weeks in advance of the first adventure, so I would not hold my breath at this point in time.

They had said that they were going to release this earlier as a response to the controversy. It's quite possible they're having trouble modifying it last minute and pushing it up in the schedule.

Grand Lodge

Except that they said weeks(?) ago that they were working on releasing this particular Player's Guide early so people could start examining the narrative and learning about how Paizo intends to deal with the subject matter and how you can "ignore" certain aspects that may make you uncomfortable.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

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The Agents of Edgewatch Player's Guide is going up today. We are working on it now. The new normal should be that Pathfinder Player's Guides go up about 30 days before the AP drops. Obviously, this one needed revisions and was delayed, but it is still much earlier than previous guides.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Looks like it just went live.

Also, as a bonus... this includes your first look at the new map of Absalom that we've built!


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

cool!


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:
The new normal should be that Pathfinder Player's Guides go up about 30 days before the AP drops.

Thats a great change for us. Thank you to the AP team. I'm guessing these are a bit of a headache to put together.

Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
Also, as a bonus... this includes your first look at the new map of Absalom that we've built!

Get thee behind me, Satan!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Also, as a bonus... this includes your first look at the new map of Absalom that we've built!
Get thee behind me, Satan!

Not sure what you mean there, but given the volatile nature of various posts in this topic I'm having a very difficult time of interpreting this as anything positive.

This is an incredibly difficult time for all of us, and the death of a thousand cuts from antagonistic messageboard posts is pretty much at the limit for me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

James, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this players guide. The respect put into it is palpable, the backgrounds were everything I hoped they would be and the tone is amazing. I am now even more excited to play this AP and am incredibly thankful that our community input was so carefully considered.


James Jacobs wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Also, as a bonus... this includes your first look at the new map of Absalom that we've built!
Get thee behind me, Satan!

Not sure what you mean there, but given the volatile nature of various posts in this topic I'm having a very difficult time of interpreting this as anything positive.

This is an incredibly difficult time for all of us, and the death of a thousand cuts from antagonistic messageboard posts is pretty much at the limit for me.

Possibly just temptation?

Shadow Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Also, as a bonus... this includes your first look at the new map of Absalom that we've built!
Get thee behind me, Satan!

Not sure what you mean there, but given the volatile nature of various posts in this topic I'm having a very difficult time of interpreting this as anything positive.

This is an incredibly difficult time for all of us, and the death of a thousand cuts from antagonistic messageboard posts is pretty much at the limit for me.

Possibly just temptation?

Pretty much. Maps are like catnip.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Looks like it just went live.

Also, as a bonus... this includes your first look at the new map of Absalom that we've built!

I think the map is terrific - really conveys the feeling of just how massive Absalom is.

Can’t wait to see it all fleshed out in coming months (starting with this AP, the sourcebook, Erik’s adventure...).

The whole Players Guide looks awesome. Kudos (as ever) to the art/graphic design/layout team.

Grand Lodge

Aaron Shanks wrote:
The new normal should be that Pathfinder Player's Guides go up about 30 days before the AP drops.

Interesting change. Certainly not unappreciated, but I wonder why it was necessary? I wouldn't think the PG would be needed much/any earlier than the release of book #1. I don't presume to know the development life cycle of an AP, but it seems likely that the PG is one of the last pieces to be completed to make sure it can properly direct players to make good character choices that will remain applicable throughout the life of the campaign. Waiting until the release would also leave the maximum time to make additions and rewrites if/when subject matter issues arise like they have with AoE.


TwilightKnight wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
The new normal should be that Pathfinder Player's Guides go up about 30 days before the AP drops.
Interesting change. Certainly not unappreciated, but I wonder why it was necessary? I wouldn't think the PG would be needed much/any earlier than the release of book #1. I don't presume to know the development life cycle of an AP, but it seems likely that the PG is one of the last pieces to be completed to make sure it can properly direct players to make good character choices that will remain applicable throughout the life of the campaign. Waiting until the release would also leave the maximum time to make additions and rewrites if/when subject matter issues arise like they have with AoE.

Personally, I'd like to start gaming as soon as possible with the release of the first book. Getting the PG before then makes that much more doable. Getting it a month before means I can do a session zero just before the first book comes out to work on character concepts and backgrounds, and I can get advice in the players hands before they become too enamored with a character concept that wouldn't easily work.

Grand Lodge

Maybe, but personally, I think I would want to at least skim the full adventure before a slot zero so I could better “guide” my players if they are not sure about certain build choices or perhaps steer them away from a choice that could be especially “bad” or maybe something that will virtually never come up during play. Once book #1 drops it’ll generally be a couple of weeks at best before the game can start anyway. Takes a bit to import or print maps (depending on live vs online play) review stat blocks, make minor adjustments to the narrative, when necessary, or incorporate character background into the story. Just my 2cp and YMMV


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TwilightKnight wrote:
Maybe, but personally, I think I would want to at least skim the full adventure before a slot zero so I could better “guide” my players if they are not sure about certain build choices or perhaps steer them away from a choice that could be especially “bad” or maybe something that will virtually never come up during play. Once book #1 drops it’ll generally be a couple of weeks at best before the game can start anyway. Takes a bit to import or print maps (depending on live vs online play) review stat blocks, make minor adjustments to the narrative, when necessary, or incorporate character background into the story. Just my 2cp and YMMV

All true. My expectation is that hope the player's guide will be a good taste of what's to come and hopefully intrigue some folks into buying the AP. Which is pretty legit. They less hope but also likely intend to offer people the chance to unsubscribe before it starts shipping of the player's guide clearly doesn't inspire them.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
TwilightKnight wrote:
Maybe, but personally, I think I would want to at least skim the full adventure before a slot zero so I could better “guide” my players if they are not sure about certain build choices or perhaps steer them away from a choice that could be especially “bad” or maybe something that will virtually never come up during play. Once book #1 drops it’ll generally be a couple of weeks at best before the game can start anyway. Takes a bit to import or print maps (depending on live vs online play) review stat blocks, make minor adjustments to the narrative, when necessary, or incorporate character background into the story. Just my 2cp and YMMV

How is any of that process impacted by other GMs and players getting it 30 days early?

Is there some reason you can't just ask your players not to read it before you are ready for session 0?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I stand corrected. Awesome!


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I don't see the issue. Clearly this is supposed to be some kind of noir LA Confidential thing. It's genre fiction. It ain't gonna glorify police brutality. Have some faith in Paizo.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

As an update, I wanted to point out to anyone choosing carefully what to buy that this months adventure is...not great regarding cops acting outside the law and using violence to solve problems.

Not as bad as it could be, thankfully, in fact not much worse than your average cop movie, but bad enough that I felt a warning was warranted to those who need one.

On the positive side, the first two adventures were much less potentially controversial.

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