[UPDATED] Sean K Reynolds just rehired by WotC



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Celtavian

Dragon Lord
Judging by the many hate threads across the internet of which he is the subject, and the rejoicing that occurred when he left Paizo, I think you're probably in the minority.

Rejoicing? I was on the Paizo's board when he left. There wasn't much rejoicing unless you mean the same posters posting over and over again to grind an axe. Most people were unhappy he left and liked his Paizo work.
 

houser2112

Explorer
Rejoicing? I was on the Paizo's board when he left. There wasn't much rejoicing unless you mean the same posters posting over and over again to grind an axe. Most people were unhappy he left and liked his Paizo work.
I wasn't referring to just the Paizo boards, although as you say, there were plenty of haters there. My perception is probably skewed by the vocal minority that were, I will admit. I will say that I am not one of them, though. At the time, I thought he was put in a bad spot by the powers that be at Paizo, which earned him the enmity he has (I recently read that this has been confirmed, and was a contributing cause to his departure). I enjoy his the writings I've seen on his site, and I think he has good design chops, except for his feat points article, of course. Good idea, bad execution.
 


Wicht

Hero
I still do not know that why did he left WotC? Anyone here know?

Heh heh heh.... :D

Sorry... You're new to WotC business practices I assume. Most times, when you hear about a former WotC employee, its safe to assume they were laid off by the company. With WotC, there's traditionally been this thing that is called the "Christmas Layoff." Sean was hit by something like it in 2003 I believe. He's actually on record as having not much desire to go back to work for WotC because of it, so I assume either they are offering him a really good package, or he's really missing the Seattle scene that much... or maybe both both....
 
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spinozajack

Banned
Banned
Those articles are very old, and I hope that he's seen the error of his ways, before trying to bring such out-dated philosophy to 5E.

Gone are the days of Pathfinder or 4E, with their worthless Knock spells that can't even do the one thing the spells are specifically designed to do. Long live 5E, with its spells that just work, within the bounds that adventurers actually operate, with the adjudication of deities and solar phenomena being left to DM discretion.

Knock should just give you a stupendous bonus to open a lock, and without the need for thieves tools. Knock would have been balanced if thieves can retry their lock pick attempt, or if the DC of the lock is related to your spell save DC in some way. Otherwise it bypasses a restriction that only existed on retrying locks for rogues, making it possible to get by virtually any lock given at most 24 hours delay (which is far from unsurmountable, compared to only one retry per rogue level), and it can allow one to open locks that even a 20th level rogue might not be able to, given that it also bypasses pick lock DC entirely.

That may be wrong in 5e, I haven't used the spell or played a rogue yet. So pardon me if I'm mistaken.
 


Charles Wright

First Post
If you want to know what kind of design choices SKR would make if he were in charge, then you should just check out his Five Moons RPG.

http://seankreynolds.com/fivemoonsrpg/

Since he says the work is contractual, I think that this is nothing more than a part-time job to bring in money. They needed someone to do it and he can do it.
 

Knock should just give you a stupendous bonus to open a lock, and without the need for thieves tools. Knock would have been balanced if thieves can retry their lock pick attempt, or if the DC of the lock is related to your spell save DC in some way. Otherwise it bypasses a restriction that only existed on retrying locks for rogues, making it possible to get by virtually any lock given at most 24 hours delay (which is far from unsurmountable, compared to only one retry per rogue level), and it can allow one to open locks that even a 20th level rogue might not be able to, given that it also bypasses pick lock DC entirely.
The current lockpicking rules are kind of vague. On the one hand, there's nothing stopping you from trying over and over again; on the other hand, there are no locks that a level 1 rogue can't pick with a lucky roll. I think, in practice, most DMs say that something bad happens (the lock jams, or your pick breaks) if you fail by more than 5 or 10 points. Or they're tied to traps that go off when you fail. Or you only have to roll if you're being chased by an ogre, where it would matter if it takes one round or four rounds to get through.

Even assuming that you can only try once per level, though, what benefit would be had from Knock merely granting +40 to the check? It's essentially an auto-success, except the DM can get around it by invented a lock with DC 60 or higher. But the DM can get around an auto-success anyway, just by saying that spell doesn't work. It's not like the use of numbers somehow makes it more legitimate.
 

So, what design choices did SKR make that made him such an evil person?

"Evil" is a substantial exaggeration, but he made/defended some choices while working at Paizo that left a number of people unhappy. I can give two examples, though, both relating to the Monk. The first one was when he defended the Vow of Poverty feat; it pretty much categorically weakens your character, for no purpose other than to have An Official Feat on your character sheet that says you've chosen to be poor. He said, "Not every game option has to be the best option. Not every game rule option has to be a good option. In fact, some game choices are guaranteed to be BAD in terms of rules consequences, and people do them anyway because they want to play interesting characters." Many people took this to mean that he believed mechanical effectiveness was antithetical to roleplaying, and that only by playing an ineffective character could you have an "interesting" one.

The other example is when he essentially fiat declared that Monks could not use brass knuckles (and a few other weapons) as part of their Monk unarmed strikes, despite the rules specifically saying that this was the case. He had some reasons for doing so (there being some edge-case questions that were resolved by treating brass knuckles and similar items as actual weapons, not unarmed attacks), but this change--despite him calling it a "clarification" and nothing else--was a serious blow to the effectiveness of PF Monk.

Although I cannot find the source now, he later recanted some of the positions he'd previously held. It was somewhere in his discussions of his own system, the Five Moons RPG. Basically, after leaving Paizo, he came to realize that he didn't actually like a number of design choices in 3e and PF, ones which he had previously defended fervently. Ironically, though he continues to have less-than-positive attitudes toward 4e (AFAICT, anyway) his actual design and style for Five Moons is ending up in a relatively similar place, just with most powers (he calls them Feats) being available to anyone rather than being class-associated.

Edit:
If you want to know what kind of design choices SKR would make if he were in charge, then you should just check out his Five Moons RPG.

http://seankreynolds.com/fivemoonsrpg/

Since he says the work is contractual, I think that this is nothing more than a part-time job to bring in money. They needed someone to do it and he can do it.

As noted, though, remember that these things are his *most recent* opinions on the subject, whereas most of the antipathy he receives is for opinions he had a couple years back, or more.
 

Kramodlog

Naked and living in a barrel
"Evil" is a substantial exaggeration, but he made/defended some choices while working at Paizo that left a number of people unhappy. I can give two examples, though, both relating to the Monk. The first one was when he defended the Vow of Poverty feat; it pretty much categorically weakens your character, for no purpose other than to have An Official Feat on your character sheet that says you've chosen to be poor. He said, "Not every game option has to be the best option. Not every game rule option has to be a good option. In fact, some game choices are guaranteed to be BAD in terms of rules consequences, and people do them anyway because they want to play interesting characters." Many people took this to mean that he believed mechanical effectiveness was antithetical to roleplaying, and that only by playing an ineffective character could you have an "interesting" one.
Oh, that classic accusation. Mostly power gamers/optimizers who think they are being accused of not being roleplayers.

The other example is when he essentially fiat declared that Monks could not use brass knuckles (and a few other weapons) as part of their Monk unarmed strikes, despite the rules specifically saying that this was the case. He had some reasons for doing so (there being some edge-case questions that were resolved by treating brass knuckles and similar items as actual weapons, not unarmed attacks), but this change--despite him calling it a "clarification" and nothing else--was a serious blow to the effectiveness of PF Monk.
The horror. The horror.

Although I cannot find the source now, he later recanted some of the positions he'd previously held. It was somewhere in his discussions of his own system, the Five Moons RPG. Basically, after leaving Paizo, he came to realize that he didn't actually like a number of design choices in 3e and PF, ones which he had previously defended fervently. Ironically, though he continues to have less-than-positive attitudes toward 4e (AFAICT, anyway) his actual design and style for Five Moons is ending up in a relatively similar place, just with most powers (he calls them Feats) being available to anyone rather than being class-associated.
I'm not sure why changing your mind is bad. It sort of reminds me of how Essentials was badly received cause it changed AEDU.
 

Oh, that classic accusation. Mostly power gamers/optimizers who think they are being accused of not being roleplayers.

Well, uh, I believe he kind of did say that. But, to be fair to both you and him, you should read his actual words and come to your own conclusion.

The horror. The horror.

Is your caustic tone really necessary? I answered an honest question as accurately as I could. I tried not to be judgmental, and primarily focused on how people *felt* about what he said/did.

I'm not sure why changing your mind is bad. It sort of reminds me of how Essentials was badly received cause it changed AEDU.

I'm not saying it is bad. I was trying to emphasize that the things he thought or defended*, might not be things he thinks or defends *now.* (And noting that, while he seems to still dislike 4e, his changes-of-heart are leading him straight in the direction of 4e's design ethos, if not its specific design elements.)
 

seankreynolds

Adventurer
The first one was when he defended the Vow of Poverty feat; it pretty much categorically weakens your character, for no purpose other than to have An Official Feat on your character sheet that says you've chosen to be poor.

1. VOP isn't a feat. It's an option your character can choose, just like "I'm left-handed" or "I have a scar on my face."
2. VOP technically is a kind of archetype because you have to give up still mind to be able to take any of the listed vows. That was not my choice, I was overridden and told it had to have a cost (originally, anyone could take one or more vows, and not have to give up any other character options to do that, but obviously only characters who use ki would benefit).

Which is one of the things that eventually prompted me to do a vlog about how it's okay to give your PCs things for free, without any sort of in-game cost: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3rR4LVDQgI

The other example is when he essentially fiat declared that Monks could not use brass knuckles (and a few other weapons) as part of their Monk unarmed strikes, despite the rules specifically saying that this was the case. He had some reasons for doing so (there being some edge-case questions that were resolved by treating brass knuckles and similar items as actual weapons, not unarmed attacks), but this change--despite him calling it a "clarification" and nothing else--was a serious blow to the effectiveness of PF Monk.

*I* declared no such thing. *I* actually was the one who originally ruled that monks can use BK and get their special monk damage. In other words, the facts of the matter contradict you: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2r4ky&page=3?Monks-unarmed-strike-damage-and-Brass#119

Basically, after leaving Paizo, he came to realize that he didn't actually like a number of design choices in 3e and PF,...

Actually, it was before I left Paizo, and was one of the reasons I decided to leave.

ones which he had previously defended fervently.

... because I was forced to be the FAQ guy, which meant I had to defend FAQs I disagreed with or was overridden about. Which is another reason why I chose to leave.

Please don't post things as truth when they're easily proven as speculation or error.
 
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TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I'm glad Mr. Reynolds came here to clarify his stances and such. I hope he does well at WotC.

Please don't post things as truth when they're easily proven as speculation or error.
But this may be asking too much; after all, this is a forum. Facts can be difficult to come by sometimes around these sorts of places. ;)
 

Actually, it was before I left Paizo, and was one of the reasons I decided to leave. ... because I was forced to be the FAQ guy, which meant I had to defend FAQs I disagreed with or was overridden about. Which is another reason why I chose to leave.

Hence why I tried to always say "thought or defended," rather than just the former. I know that there is a difference between speaking ex officio and speaking from one's own opinions, but it is often impossible for an outsider to tell the difference.

Please don't post things as truth when they're easily proven as speculation or error.

My apologies.
 


spinozajack

Banned
Banned
Even assuming that you can only try once per level, though, what benefit would be had from Knock merely granting +40 to the check? It's essentially an auto-success, except the DM can get around it by invented a lock with DC 60 or higher. But the DM can get around an auto-success anyway, just by saying that spell doesn't work. It's not like the use of numbers somehow makes it more legitimate.

If I'm DMing, I could just put 1 more lock in their way if I didn't want them to pass, instead of making the Knock Spell stop working. But I wouldn't change a spell that says "this works always" to one that doesn't. I would rather ban the spell. (or just not allow the player to find it. Maybe the mad king hunted and killed every last wizard known to have access to it, and burned every copy in scroll form that his diviners could track down).
 

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