4th Edition Friday, August 24, 2007We're all back from Gen Con, and aside from the launch of Pathfinder and our new Planet Stories novel line, the hot news at the show was the announcement of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, from Wizards of the Coast. Messageboards across the internet, from paizo.com to EN World and Wizards of the Coast's own site, are abuzz with discussion of what was revealed at the show, what changes are in store for our favorite game, and what the future may hold. ......
Friday, August 24, 2007
We're all back from Gen Con, and aside from the launch of Pathfinder and our new Planet Stories novel line, the hot news at the show was the announcement of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, from Wizards of the Coast. Messageboards across the internet, from paizo.com to EN World and Wizards of the Coast's own site, are abuzz with discussion of what was revealed at the show, what changes are in store for our favorite game, and what the future may hold.
Naturally, lots of folks want to know what the announcement means for Pathfinder and for our line of monthly GameMastery Modules.
Right now, the answer is this: It's too soon to tell.
No one at Paizo has seen a copy of the new rules yet, nor have we seen a draft of the Open Game License for it (yes, there will be one). We have plenty of reasons to believe that the new game will include lots of improvements over the current system, and that the new OGL will, if anything, be even more permissive than the one for 3.0 and 3.5.
Ever since the announcement of the end of Dragon and Dungeon magazines, we've been careful to say that Wizards of the Coast and Paizo are still on good terms, that we're still communicating with one another, and that we hope to work together in the future. This is not just so much blown smoke. The guys at Wizards have been very forthcoming with information on the new edition, and we look forward to learning even more in the weeks and months to come. I am personally optimistic that this will, for the most part, be a welcome change at my gaming table.
But it's way too early to say what Paizo will be doing about 4th edition. Please give us some time to take a look at the new rules, to take a look at the new OGL, and make an informed decision. We promise we'll let you know what we're planning just as soon as we figure it out ourselves.
For the time being, both the Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Paths will be released as announced for the 3.5 rules set, as will all GameMastery Modules at least up until May of 2008, which is when Wizards will release the 4th edition Player's Handbook.
All of our announced products for the first quarter of 2008 are "rules-light" and should not be adversely affected by the change in edition whether we convert or not. We will be making no significant changes to the announced product schedule.
I'm aware that many Paizo customers will not be converting to 4e. Honestly, before I heard some of the things I heard at Gen Con, I wasn't sure I wanted to convert either. So I sympathize.
Pathfinder currently plans to support officially sanctioned conversions for Castles & Crusades and True20, so assuming we do convert, I suspect it is very likely that we (or some affiliated partner) will provide 3.5 conversion guidelines.
Or we might stick with 3.5. We haven't seen the rules yet, and can't make the decision until we do.
One thing I can say for sure: As a gamer I would be a lot happier with a game that doesn't require two hours of prep-time for four hours of play. I have heard that the new system addresses this problem, and that strikes me as excellent.
If Wizards of the Coast can streamline the rules without robbing the game of its variety and complexity, I will be very impressed.
Gen Con Field Report Day Two Friday, August 17, 2007The second day of any four-day convention is typically referred to as the slow day. Retailers and manufacturers complain that nearly every year their business is down, the crowds are down, and Friday is generally a light day. Eager four-day attendees are typically seen swarming the Dealer Hall on Thursday to get the awesome Gen Con exclusives (such as Paizo's alternate Pathfinder #1 cover) and those folks are more inclined to game and rest...
Gen Con Field Report Day Two
Friday, August 17, 2007
The second day of any four-day convention is typically referred to as the "slow day." Retailers and manufacturers complain that nearly every year their business is down, the crowds are down, and Friday is generally a light day. Eager four-day attendees are typically seen swarming the Dealer Hall on Thursday to get the awesome Gen Con exclusives (such as Paizo's alternate Pathfinder #1 cover) and those folks are more inclined to game and rest on Friday. Then the two-day crowd hits with the four-day crowd on Saturday and the show floor turns into a zoo.
Today was slow for us, but we're only able to say so because yesterday was such a huge hit. Pathfinder and GameMastery Modules continue to do very well and I'm pleased to report that our first three Planet Stories novels (The Anubis Murders, City of the Beast, and Black God's Kiss) are selling very well and their positive reception has been exciting to see.
Speaking of The Anubis Murders, Gary Gygax was on hand this afternoon for 90 minutes signing copies of his book and generally anything people asked him to sign. "Keep on the Borderlands" got several Gygax-o-graphs as did the original hardcover Monster Manual, current editions of the core system, badges, convention on-site books—you name it. Someone jokingly asked Gary to sign their baby and he would've done so, graciously, had they not told him it was a joke. He was a nice guy and it was a real honor to meet him. One quick story about his session in the booth today: a guy walked up, looked at his book and said, "Hmm, Anubis Murders, I'm not familiar with your work. I'll have to go look it up." Gary gave him a stern, reproachful look and said, "Try Dungeons & Dragons." Needless to say, the guy looked very sheepish as he fled the scene.
We also had the pleasure of Wayne Reynolds' presence in our booth today, signing copies of the poster included with Dragon #359. He modeled Pathfinder #1 for us, as you'll see below.
The number one question on everyone's mind, of course, was "What does Paizo think of 4th Edition?" We heard this often and our response was the same each time: we're excited to see it, but we know just as much about it as you do. I can report that WotC intends to have an OGL with 4th Edition and that Paizo's eager to learn more, but that does not put us closer to a decision—it only puts us in need of more research and discussion. Rest assured, the moment we make a decision we'll scream it to the four corners of the multiverse.
And now, pictures!
A beholder watches over the crowd as they prepare to hear WotC's 4E announcement.
Eric Boyd says farewell to the final print version of Dragon magazine.
F. Wesley Schneider and Michael Kortes talk about Paizo's products.
Erik Mona, Gary Gygax, and Greg Vaughan.
Amber Scott (Medesha on the messageboards) holding up her very own copy of Paizo's Gen Con exclusive Pathfinder #1.
The following is a picture-by-picture example of the many forms of the martial arts employed by the mighty and unstoppable Nicolas Logue as he GMs the Seven Swords of Sin Dungeon Delve.
Dyn-o-mite. (I recorded five minutes of Nick running the delve. It'll be on YouTube and this blog very soon.)
Tim Hitchcock, Nicolas Logue, and Michael Kortes talking about GameMastery and Pathfinder.
The incredibly talented Wayne Reynolds modeling the covers he sketched and painted.
Jason Bulmahn demos "Stonehenge Roulette," the game he wrote for the Stonehenge Library.
Tomorrow: Larry Elmore stops by to sign the final Dragon cover!
Gen Con Field Report Day One Thursday, August 16, 2007Hello from Gen Con! ... It's broiler hot, the humidity makes you feel like you're walking through a warm pond, and the bodies are stacked so close in the hall when someone trips in aisle 14 the domino effects doesn't stop until aisle 37. ... And that's awesome! ... We're having one of our best first days at a con ever and it's in no small part due to the crush of Paizo readers and fans that have mobbed our booth to look at and purchase...
Gen Con Field Report Day One
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Hello from Gen Con!
It's broiler hot, the humidity makes you feel like you're walking through a warm pond, and the bodies are stacked so close in the hall when someone trips in aisle 14 the domino effects doesn't stop until aisle 37.
And that's awesome!
We're having one of our best first days at a con ever and it's in no small part due to the crush of Paizo readers and fans that have mobbed our booth to look at and purchase Pathfinder, to play in our Seven Swords of Sin Dungeon Delve, or to watch the latest Dead Gentlemen video. Our booth is busy busy busy and we love it!
Of course, the con is buzzing about the Wizards announcement to take place at 6:30 P.M. Eastern tonight. We're all aware by now that they're announcing 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons tonight and the Paizo staff plans to be in full attendance to usher in the news. Many of you have asked us, "Will Pathfinder/Modules/Paizo/etc switch to 4th edition?" Our response is this: We haven't seen 4th Edition, but we feel that we have a good gauge of our fan base and if we think it's something they will like and support then it's something we will like and support. We always take our readers' and fans' feedback seriously and we'll take feedback on this potential transition doubly so. We hope to have more information soon and we'll let everyone know the moment we've come to a decision.
F. Wesley Schneider prepares to kill willing players at our Seven Swords of Sin Dungeon Delve.
Paizo's Seven Swords of Sin Dungeon Delve is sponsored by KingofSwords.com. Naturally, that means they gave us seven swords to give away to seven lucky delvers!
A quick shot of the Paizo booth straight down the middle.
James Jacobs poses with a mysterious figure from the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path.
Paizo.com messageboard regular Lilith (wearing the light grey shirt) prepares to lead Kill Doctor Lucky first-timers on a quest to kill a sorry old man.
James Jacobs and F. Wesley Schneider hold court as they enlighten the uninitiated about the glories of Pathfinder.
An ever-moving and easily blurred Jason Bulmahn rolls the dice to determine one unlucky player's fate in our Seven Swords of Sin Dungeon Delve.
Tomorrow: Gygax, pictures from the 4E announcement (we hope!), and more!
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