log in or register to remove this ad

 

Pathfinder 1E My New Pathfinder Policy

Jared Rascher

Explorer
So, lately, I've come to be a bit frustrated with a few things about Paizo. They still put out some really excellent adventures and some really interesting campaign setting material, but I'm leery of rules bloat with books like Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat following so closely on the heels of the APG, and I think that the new policy of the Adventure Paths to not reprint anything in Pathfinder RPG books that an adventure uses, assuming, essentially, that everything is "core," is an unproductive change and a little hostile to new adoptees of the ruleset.

In Paizo's defense, the response has been that every Pathfinder RPG book will be added to the PRD site that Paizo maintains. As a counter to this, the first installment of the Carrion Crown AP references monsters from the Bestiary 2, but that source has yet to be added to the PRD.

Also, while the game is far from unplayable, there are several rules questions that have gone unanswered, and the goal post for when the questions will be answered seems to always be moving to "after we get the next big release out," at which time a new release is announced, and the FAQ gets pushed further back.

I've been a fan of Paizo for a while, but I've decided to adopt a few new policies for my own campaigns and my own purchasing habits, based on the above.

1. If something does not make it into the PRD, its not legal in my campaign.

2. If a product isn't in the PRD, I'm not purchasing it. This gives multiple benefits, as it holds Paizo to their promise of getting rules posted on the PRD, and it allows me to look at the rules before I implement them or buy the book, and thus can spot potential power creep or unaddressed rules problems before I use them.

3. If a product references a source that isn't in the PRD, I'm not getting that product until the rules show up in the PRD. Since I didn't have this rule in place before I picked up the first installment of the Carrion Crown AP, I already picked that up.

I'm just hoping that, at least in my corner of the Paizo consumer universe, I can slow things down a bit. Just something I'm trying out, in an attempt to remain positive but still address what I see as some potential problems.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

joela

First Post
So, lately, I've come to be a bit frustrated with a few things about Paizo. They still put out some really excellent adventures and some really interesting campaign setting material, but I'm leery of rules bloat with books like Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat following so closely on the heels of the APG, and I think that the new policy of the Adventure Paths to not reprint anything in Pathfinder RPG books that an adventure uses, assuming, essentially, that everything is "core," is an unproductive change and a little hostile to new adoptees of the ruleset.

In Paizo's defense, the response has been that every Pathfinder RPG book will be added to the PRD site that Paizo maintains. As a counter to this, the first installment of the Carrion Crown AP references monsters from the Bestiary 2, but that source has yet to be added to the PRD.

Also, while the game is far from unplayable, there are several rules questions that have gone unanswered, and the goal post for when the questions will be answered seems to always be moving to "after we get the next big release out," at which time a new release is announced, and the FAQ gets pushed further back.

I've been a fan of Paizo for a while, but I've decided to adopt a few new policies for my own campaigns and my own purchasing habits, based on the above.

1. If something does not make it into the PRD, its not legal in my campaign.

2. If a product isn't in the PRD, I'm not purchasing it. This gives multiple benefits, as it holds Paizo to their promise of getting rules posted on the PRD, and it allows me to look at the rules before I implement them or buy the book, and thus can spot potential power creep or unaddressed rules problems before I use them.

3. If a product references a source that isn't in the PRD, I'm not getting that product until the rules show up in the PRD. Since I didn't have this rule in place before I picked up the first installment of the Carrion Crown AP, I already picked that up.

I'm just hoping that, at least in my corner of the Paizo consumer universe, I can slow things down a bit. Just something I'm trying out, in an attempt to remain positive but still address what I see as some potential problems.

It's always your campaign.
 



Crothian

First Post
APG came out in August (Gen Con) and Ultimate Magic is due in May, 10 months later. How is that close on the heels of the APG? How much time between rule books should there be?
 

Dingo333

First Post
I believe the OP means that the playtests were right on the heels of APG, and in that respect, Ultimate magic and Ultimate Combat are very close to one another, Magic isn't out yet and they are already in round 2 for combat

Note that this isn't a bad thing in my reckoning, I would like to see an Ultimate Divine (gods and magic is alright but not quite what I was hoping for) and something that focuses more on skills (book for bards and rogues really)

As for the beastiary 2 monsters, I bet the stuff will be clarified with or just after ultimate magic, as there are a number of spells that could use an update with the new beastiary (see my post Beastiary 2 and spells for a list I am looking/waiting for)
 

Mojo_Rat

First Post
generally speaking all the statement of the OP is saying is " I will not purchase anything right as it comes out" which is fine. take things at a pace that works for you.

however the don't purchase anything not already I'n the prd seems a bit silly as you don't need the rod if you have the actual book. generally when the stats of things are from a book your not likely to have they usually provide all the info. I hanent read any AP but te modules I have read follow this trend.

don't confuse the speed of the play tests with the books though. were 4 months into the new year and it will still be a bit for the first hardcover book.
 

BobROE

Explorer
I believe the OP means that the playtests were right on the heels of APG, and in that respect, Ultimate magic and Ultimate Combat are very close to one another, Magic isn't out yet and they are already in round 2 for combat


But isn't that a good sign? That they're using the time they have between releases to do playtests? And that allows them to find problems earlier and gauge people's response more easily.
 

Jared Rascher

Explorer
The playtests were indeed hot on the heels of the APG, but there is a little more to my trepidation than that.

First, the question was asked, "how much time would you have between books?"

Well, that depends on the type of book. The APG was largely a "player's option" book, along the line of the Complete series for 3.5. I've not done a line by line analysis, but the APG actually seemed to have more actual rules than any of the "Complete" books, due to the fact that there was very little flavor text and none of the example characters that WOTC used, nor were there any organization write ups or the like.

Also, Paizo had indicated that the APG was suppose to constitute the majority of the "player option" style books, and the statement was made that they didn't want to go the path of the Complete series, so the APG was largely suppose to be "it."

However, it wasn't.

That having been said, I've said before on Paizo's forums that if Ultimate Magic had come out at Gen Con this year (one year between big player option books), and Ultimate Combat came out next year, I'd be a lot more comfortable with the pacing.

As to not buying a book that references things that are suppose to be in the PRD until they are actually in the PRD . . . honestly, I know I'm one person, but I really want to make sure I hold a company to their promises.

Its not that I don't think the people at Paizo are good people, but I think that anyone can succumb to the temptation of pushing back a promise when they are pinched for time, and if everything sells well, and no one seems worry about the PRD, its easy to push it back and not do it, much like the pushing back that has gone on with the FAQ system in order to keep new RPG books coming out.

Now, if there are good sales for the AP, why would this even be a problem? Because I'm still worried about the entry level player, someone that is just getting into the system and the APs. I really worry that the model that is being adopted is eventually going to result in selling more and more stuff to the same group of players, until burnout occurs within that closed set of buyers.
 

Wereserpent

Explorer
I understand where you are coming from. I myself am largely a core rules + setting (Such as Dragonlance or Ravenloft) rules person. So, I do not really bother with all of the extra rules supplements that come out.

It does seem like a lot of new content is being released, or at least previewed in the playtests lately.
 

Anguish

First Post
You're really talking about two things here, EKJ. You're talking about Paizo's rule-creep, and you're talking about how long it takes for rules to end up in the PRD. Related, but different.

Here's the thing that makes Paizo's product line different from That-Which-Was: PDFs. Cheap PDFs. On the one hand you're telling us that you're going to cut back your spending, so you've clearly got discretionary cash. On the other hand, you're pointing out that the Carrion Crown AP has its usefulness impacted by the Bestiary 2 creatures. Well... a Bestiary 2 PDF is $8.50 if you're a subscriber to the APs. The bar to get your hands on whatever page(s) you need/want for CC is very, very low.

That's why I'm not worried at all about my groups. I've got one where almost everyone works off the PRD/D20PFSRD. Sure, they don't have access to the literal latest and greatest. But they won't ask to use rules they don't have access to. No problem there! For the DM, materials are easily available due to cheap PDFs.

I just don't see the reality of a problem for entry to new players. Anything a year or older ends up PRD or Nethys and is free. Anything newer at worst requires the purchase of a couple cheap PDFs if you want to run it literally as written. How is that really a problem? OMG, to run Carrion crown right now you need one PDF that's $10 at full price.

I'm wondering if it's the rules-bloat that's really the issue that's upsetting you.
 


Jared Rascher

Explorer
The rules bloat is certainly a concern. As far as PDFs go, those cost me extra, because I buy my books at the FLGS to support it. Which brings me back around to another point you touched on. I've noticed on message boards people are quick to assume that gamers have access to computers, but I know several people at the FLGS that really don't use computers for their RPG gaming at all.

I guess a lot of what concerns me is that it used to be that the APs were the main product, and the RPG existed to support it. Now it really feels that the main product line is the RPG, which means the line must have new rules.

If nothing else, this is instructive, because it doesn't seem like many people are concerned with the same issues I am. I'm wondering what's wrong in my brain that I can't shake the fear that what I really like about Paizo could come off the rails really easily the faster everything gets moving.
 

Crothian

First Post
Rules bloat happens to any game that has supplements. Paizo is not new at rules bloat; Dragon magazine had plenty of it. If rules Bloat is really something you disdain then you might want to switch to either an older game that is no longer supported or a game that only has the rule book. Supporting the game with other rule books is a proven way in the industry to make money.
 

I guess a lot of what concerns me is that it used to be that the APs were the main product, and the RPG existed to support it. Now it really feels that the main product line is the RPG, which means the line must have new rules.

If nothing else, this is instructive, because it doesn't seem like many people are concerned with the same issues I am. I'm wondering what's wrong in my brain that I can't shake the fear that what I really like about Paizo could come off the rails really easily the faster everything gets moving.

Oh, I wouldn't go so far as to say that rules bloat isn't a concern. It's a consideration for some people. Especially given that Paizo's claim has been that the rules aren't the primary focus of the company.

The thing is, you're bumping up against the consumerist tendencies of many online gamers. If there isn't new product coming out continuously, then a game line is "dead" or "unsupported".

And one thing a lot of gamers want is new rules. "Options" they like to call 'em. I've already seen plenty of folks defending it, saying that you don't have to buy the books if you don't want to, and even saying things like "Well, it's much slower than WotC..."

*shrug*

I'm not going to weigh in on whether or not there should be rules bloat; I'm simply pointing out that a (significant?) chunk of people that are buying Paizo product actively _want_ it. Any talk about "well, you can buy the pdf cheap" is completely beside the point and a bit disingenuous even. The issue is _not_ "can I buy the book?"

Sooo.... honestly, I'd be surprised if you actually got a lot of "me too" posts. I'd expect a few "good for you" ones, and a middlin' amount of posts arguing about how you're wrong in some fashion. *shrug* I wouldn't worry about it. You've said your piece and you're making a stand for what you believe; that's enough in my opinion. Some folks'll have a different opinion and that's fine for 'em too; the ones that are rude or agressive, just ignore 'em.

For the record, I refuse to buy product from several companies (including White Wolf) for a number of reasons. It's the equivalent of using your Ignore List, only you're doing it with money. It's not like it's going to hurt their feelings or that they even care, it's just a principle thing. Standin' for principles isn't a bad thing, whether it's "unimportant" like a hobby or a "big deal" like various social justice issues.

Chances are, there's folks takin' a stand behind you; they've just chosen to do so quietly for whatever reason.
 

pawsplay

Banned
Banned
This whole conversation is a little off the mark. It was stated from the beginning there would be several rules expansions, including a player's and GM's guide, and a replacement/improvement on the Spell Compendium. What you call "bloat" I call options and expansions. There has never been, and as far as I know there will not be, a line of books along the lines of the Complete series. Paizo is putting out one flatsplat per topic they think is worth covering. Continued publication is the whole point of the Pathfinder RPG. If they just wanted to sell modules forever, they could have put out something like the Mongoose Pocket Player's Guide.
 

IronWolf

blank
I think one has to remember there is always someone that wants more options to choose from. They want the Complete Splat book replacements done in Pathfinder rules. I still see requests all the time on the Paizo boards for various rule areas - epic, psionics, etc.

It is still your game - if you do not feel comfortable adding more material at the rate it comes out then that is a viable choice and option.
 

This whole conversation is a little off the mark.

Continued publication is the whole point of the Pathfinder RPG. If they just wanted to sell modules forever, they could have put out something like the Mongoose Pocket Player's Guide.

On the other hand, some people are remembering things like this:

The primary design goal is and remains "get the core rules of the game back in print so we at Paizo can continue to produce supplements and adventures for it."

Not only does having a game without an in-print rulebook make it difficult for new players to get into the game, but it makes it VERY difficult to get distributors and stores to stock your products. If we hadn't done the PFRPG, we would have basically lost our shelf space in stores for our products, and that's not good.

We couldn't just reprint the SRD though, since that would have meant a game with no rules for generating ability scores and no rules for advancing characters in level.

That said, part of the PF RPG's goal is to remain as close as possible to the baseline of the SRD. In so doing, we more or less build in support and ease of use for other modifications publishers have been doing without forcing those changes on customers and gamers who don't like those changes as much. By remaining close to the SRD's baseline, even if we don't directly build upon those alternate NPC creation rules, we can ensure that those rules work as well with PF RPG as they did with the 3.5 SRD.

There seems to be an erroneous assumption going around in some circles that the PF RPG's goals are to vastly "improve" 3.5, when in fact its goals are more humble—we just want to keep in print and supported by stores the incarnation of the rules we prefer.


But we don't want to drift TOO far from 3.5. Tightening things up here and there, offering more options without taking options away, and rebuilding the ability generation and experience point award sections (both of which were NOT open content) were the main goals of the PF RPG.

After all, I want to be able to continue using all the great open content we've been using from other companies (primarily Green Ronin and Necromancer Games), and if we change the game too much, that makes it difficult for us to do that!

Sure, he's not saying "We will never print another rulebook for Pathfinder."

I don't think that's really what the OP is saying Paizo should do either. His concern is when it becomes the primary focus of the company, to the point where they don't follow through on other things they said were a goal, or ignore fixing things.

Go easy on the OP...he didn't say, "OMFG!!! Paizo is a bunch of filthy liars and I'm never buying another product from them again!!1!1!"

He said:
1. If something does not make it into the PRD, its not legal in my campaign.

2. If a product isn't in the PRD, I'm not purchasing it.
3. If a product references a source that isn't in the PRD, I'm not getting that product until the rules show up in the PRD.

This doesn't make him some wild-eyed lunatic. Plenty of people have banned material from their games for a variety of reasons. Plenty of people ban WotC material and are Pathfinder only. Whatever.
 

IronWolf

blank
Sure, he's not saying "We will never print another rulebook for Pathfinder."

I don't think that's really what the OP is saying Paizo should do either. His concern is when it becomes the primary focus of the company, to the point where they don't follow through on other things they said were a goal, or ignore fixing things.

How old are those quotes? They covered most of that in the release of the core rulebook. With that down they chose to expand a bit and release the APG with more options. And so on and so on.

In addition to continuing to release rules options they have continued to steadily release the APs, PFS scenarios, Pathfinder Tales. They seem to be continuing with their other objectives quite well so far.
 

Jared Rascher

Explorer
Okay, I feel better. I thought I was somehow saying things I didn't think I was saying . . . ;)

I'm still a fan of a lot of material that Paizo puts out. I'm not saying that I don't want to buy from them. I'm saying that I'm much more a fan of their adventures and setting information, and that I wish they would make sure to clarify some issues from the already published rules before diving into yet more books that are filled with rules.

I'm also saying that you can be too big a fan of something. While a positive track record is a great thing, it shouldn't completely override the little warning bells in the back of your head.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top