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From the Publisher: Changes Are Coming!

Friday, November 2, 2012

As we move into the last two months of 2012, the editorial staff is hard at work on the playtest for next year’s Mythic Adventures, the warehouse staff is eagerly awaiting the arrival of our big winter hardcover, the NPC Codex, and the web team is cranking away at the exciting new Paizo Game Space virtual tabletop. Everyone has smiles on their face as they complete major tasks for 2012 and as they begin to think about what’s coming in 2013.

The management and finance teams, in the meantime, are hard at work finalizing 2013’s budget. This multi-month process involves solidifying the editorial schedule for the year, making go or no-go decisions on marketing programs, new employee hires, and everything else with a cost associated with it. While we always remain open to new opportunities on short deadlines, when the budget for a year closes, you end up with a good snapshot of every product, employee, convention, or other initiative we plan to do in the year. It’s a time when things get locked in, and when decisions can no longer be put off into the future.

As a result, it’s the best time to make important changes to Paizo’s product lines and general strategy. Since we’re about to put the lid on the 2012 budget, I wanted to take some time here in the Paizo Blog to speak with my “publisher voice” and let you in on a few important developments that are scheduled to hit in 2013.

Branding Changes for GameMastery


Paizo’s line of GameMastery accessories dates back to the time before Pathfinder, when we were a magazine publisher just dipping our toes into the RPG game publishing field for the first time. The maps and card products released under the GameMastery line were designed to work with any fantasy RPG, and we wanted a name for the line that suggested the widest appeal to the widest number of customers, regardless of what system they played. Since its launch, we’ve released more than 100 Map Packs and Flip-Mats, and dozens of Item Cards, Face Cards, and other card-based accessories to help you run your campaigns.

Card and map subscriptions are at an all-time high, and the design department keeps finding ways to make each release improve upon those that came before it. We have plenty of terrain types, dungeon maps, and other settings yet to go, and if anything the rate of card sets will increase in the future. We now plan to produce a set of Item Cards and Face Cards for every Adventure Path we publish, with additional rules-oriented releases similar to Chase Cards, Condition Cards, and the Critical Hit deck in development as I write this.

As time has gone on, and as the Pathfinder RPG has become not just a dominant brand here at the Paizo offices but also in the game industry in general, more and more of our GameMastery accessory releases have started to tie into Pathfinder adventures or the Pathfinder rules themselves. As a result, we’ve decided to retire the GameMastery brand, and beginning in February of next year, GameMastery Map Packs, Flip-Mats, and Card releases will come out under the Pathfinder brand.

This change allows us to reexamine how we package our maps, and gives us the chance to improve them to make using the products easier. For Flip-Mats this means packaging the maps with a wrap-around cover similar to the one used for our Pathfinder GM Screen, which gives us more space to preview what the maps look like, highlight key features, and (really importantly) to allow customers (and retailers) to shelve their maps “spine out” for easier sorting. Map Packs will feature a similar packaging metamorphosis, and will now come in a small box for easier storage and display.

Many (even most) of Pathfinder Map Pack, Flip-Mat, and Card releases will still be “rules agnostic” and suitable for use with a variety of systems, but the truth is that the Pathfinder brand has a cachet with buyers, distributors, and customers that GameMastery does not, and this change will allow us to get our products into a wider network of stores. When they make it into those stores, they’ll also be shelved with other Pathfinder products, making it easier than ever for Paizo fans to find what they’re looking for.

Pricing Changes

A close look at our budgets has convinced us that we need to make some price changes on some of our product lines to keep up with rising production costs. Starting in February 2013, Pathfinder Map Packs and Pathfinder Flip-Mats will rise in price from $12.99 to $13.99.

Also starting in February, the monthly Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes, which have held steady in price for 66 consecutive volumes, will increase to $22.99 (subscribers will pay the new discounted price of $15.99, plus their other subscription benefits like the Pathfinder Advantage discount and free PDFs). Additionally, the monthly Pathfinder Player Companion line will shift from $10.99 to $12.99.

This is the first time we have ever raised prices on the Adventure Path, and we agonized over the decision. In truth, we probably should have raised the price a few years back when the cost of paper and printing increased with inflation and increased global demand at the end of 2008, but we wanted to hold the line as long as possible. We must do it now to keep the high standard of quality we publish each month, and we hope that you’ll find the few extra bucks well worth the investment.

Keep your eyes on the Paizo Blog for more updates about upcoming products and exciting new releases for 2013. It promises to be a huge year for Paizo and the Pathfinder RPG, and we can’t wait to share some of our exciting plans with you.

Your support has been integral to the Paizo story these last 10 years, and we look forward to sharing the next 10 years with you!

Sincerely,

Erik Mona
Publisher

P.S.: Look for your regularly scheduled Friday Pathfinder Battles miniature preview blog right here later this afternoon.

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: GameMastery Paizo Pathfinder Adventure Path
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Andoran

The owners of my FLGS are constantly arguing over how to display the map packs and flip maps. A branded spine sounds the solution to both their problems.


Yee-Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaahhhh!

I have not the words to express how excited I am about the prospect of Face Cards for every AP. Face Cards are absolutely one of the most useful products for me that ANY game company has ever put out, and the wait between sets drives me nuts. The notion that we'll be getting two sets a year, minimum, is the best news that I've heard all week (and I've had a pretty good week).


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, while I'm on the topic of Face Cards, will you be releasing sets for your back catalogue of APs, as well? Rise of the Runelords is already out, but I would love to get my hands on the sets for Curse of the Crimson Throne and Carrion Crown, specifically.


Any chance of having individual boxes for sale for previous map packs? That is one item I have had a problem finding a good storage solution for.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I did notice that the price on the APs had not increased at all so kudos to Paizo for keeping the costs down for so long.

And also, I'm *very* happy the map packs are getting their own box. It has become challenging to store them.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the update. A few thoughts:
1. If anything, the branding change is overdue.
2. The new packaging on the maps looks nice.
3. The price increases are a non-issue -- you're barely keeping up with the overall rate of inflation.


Oh no the sky is falling my prices are going up.

Oh wait <looks up at his tags> Nevermind I'm a Paizoholic, As long as the quality stays the same the price raise is well worth it. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing what's next!


Oh noes, my monthly cost got raised by a whole $4... ;)

The new packaging for the map products sounds great, and, more importantly, a lot more practical.


Isn't there a different place for Edition War foolishness?

On topic - I am thrilled that Paizo has done so well that the GameMastery Brand no longer opens as many doors as the Pathfinder Brand now. That has got to be encouraging. And I second Green Left Eye's enthusiasm for more Face Cards. They are SUPER helpful!

Osirion

No worries on the price hike. I am sticking around.

All of this is great news imho.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Without money, they can't make more stuff. I like stuff.


The new look it cool. I'd be lying if I said I wish the prices wouldn't go up, but I love what you folks do and I understand at least a small fraction of all the stuff that goes into it so I won't be changing any of my subscriptions any time soon. I also couldn't help notice prices of several other lines including the rule book lines don't seem to be increasing for which I am grateful. It makes sense to keep the rules price down (even if you do give them away for free). Thanks for the advanced warning and the usual openness about what you are doing and why you are doing it.


Oh, and since we're discussing the map packs, I'll shamelessly link to my suggestions for improving them.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Salazar wrote:
Any chance of having individual boxes for sale for previous map packs? That is one item I have had a problem finding a good storage solution for.

It would be great to have this treatment done to the previous map packs too. And for those that do have the previous map packs to be able to buy the boxes (generic) for their packs to store on their shelves :)


So .... will all existing Map Pack/Flip-Mats/Adventure Paths/etc. existing and future increase in price

OR ....

Will the price increase only affect those products produced from February 2013 on?

Just trying to see if I need to do some purchases before the price increase. :-)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Oki doki.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Despite the increase in price I'm staying here! I'm more impressed that it took so long to happen with everything else having gone up in price. I'm proud to be able to point to Paizo when I need to reference a company that cares for it's customer base over it's bottom line.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

What an exciting time!

What I take away from this post is that these are the basic necessary changes we have to talk about. I suspect future "Times they are a changin'" will be full of exciting news. Erik just got the "business" out of the way first!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All of these changes make sense and are being done for good reason. As a customer of Paizo's I have absolutely no problem with the marginal price increase. All I ask is that you keep producing products worth buying, which I don't see changing any time soon :)

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a post about another publisher's products. Please refrain from edition wars in this thread, and in general, if you can help it. Thanks!

Paizo Employee CEO

14 people marked this as a favorite.
Deanoth wrote:
Salazar wrote:
Any chance of having individual boxes for sale for previous map packs? That is one item I have had a problem finding a good storage solution for.
It would be great to have this treatment done to the previous map packs too. And for those that do have the previous map packs to be able to buy the boxes (generic) for their packs to store on their shelves :)

While we can't go backwards and create the packaging for the previous map packs, we WILL be printing generic boxes for map packs that you will be able to buy on paizo.com and put your old maps into. There will be a place on the spine where you can write in the name of the map pack that you put into that box.

-Lisa

Paizo Employee CEO

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Swiftbrook wrote:

So .... will all existing Map Pack/Flip-Mats/Adventure Paths/etc. existing and future increase in price

OR ....

Will the price increase only affect those products produced from February 2013 on?

Just trying to see if I need to do some purchases before the price increase. :-)

It will only affect future products. All products released before February 2013 will maintain their original prices.

-Lisa

Andoran

Lisa Stevens wrote:

...we WILL be printing generic boxes for map packs that you will be able to buy on paizo.com and put your old maps into. There will be a place on the spine where you can write in the name of the map pack that you put into that box.

-Lisa

Brilliant, thanks.


I won't be buying as often anymore due to the price increase but I'm glad they are doing away with the Gamemastery brand to increase Pathfinder muscle. The Ultimate Campaign books seems to be a great handy tool for those GM's trying to build details in their world. I'm still skeptical on the Mythic Adventures books as I will need to see more on it before I make a purchase decision.


Any chance these map offerings will be available digitally at a discount for us online DMs?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Salazar wrote:
Any chance of having individual boxes for sale for previous map packs? That is one item I have had a problem finding a good storage solution for.

We are definitely looking into this. If we do it, it'll probably be a "generic" box that you can write on, since producing new boxes for 40+ products isn't likely to be very cost-effective.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
SuperSlayer wrote:
I won't be buying as often anymore due to the price increase but I'm glad they are doing away with the Gamemastery brand to increase Pathfinder muscle. The Ultimate Campaign books seems to be a great handy tool for those GM's trying to build details in their world. I'm still skeptical on the Mythic Adventures books as I will need to see more on it before I make a purchase decision.

You won't have to wait long. The 50+-page playtest document is in layout right now, and will hit the website this month!


Mr. Mona you have just made my day


Erik Mona wrote:
Salazar wrote:
Any chance of having individual boxes for sale for previous map packs? That is one item I have had a problem finding a good storage solution for.
We are definitely looking into this. If we do it, it'll probably be a "generic" box that you can write on, since producing new boxes for 40+ products isn't likely to be very cost-effective.

I don't have any idea how expensive it would be, but one possibility would be to have plastic pockets to slip the front and back covers of the map packs into.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

It is good to see things moving along in a steady and strategic fashion. Looking forward to another 10 years of gaming goodness!!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

An extra $4.00 a month for the continued great products.....hmm no brainer. Thanks for being honest with us and for holding out as long as you can.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paramo wrote:
Any chance these map offerings will be available digitally at a discount for us online DMs?

All of our GameMastery Map products (and Pathfinder Maps) are (or will be) available as PDFs, as shown here.


Hmm... does this also mean that PDF versions of the previously mentioned products will also go up in price? I don't really care about a price increase. Quality is my first priority when purchasing RPG products, but I am blind and I'm curious about the medium in which I choose to obtain those products. Thanks, and keep up the excellent work!

Andoran

19.99 -> 22.99 does cross a price point for me, though I'm not saying it's not justified.

I've seen a bunch of D&D stuff, both books and miniatures, tagged with Pathfinder, so apparently it is a name that has considerable evocative power now. Probably a wise move dropping the Gamemastery name, then.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

According to the picture will Map-Packs now be able to be used with Dry, Wet, or Permanent Marker now? Or have they always been that way and I have been too timid to attempt it?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope Paizo takes this opportunity to also re-examine the policy on printing playable maps for the Adventure Paths. I don't think that every encounter area in an AP should get the high-production dry/wet erase surface and all that - but take-out poster maps similar to (but bigger) as the ones in the Pathfinder Comic would be absolutely gold for me.

There is just something about playing on a graphically detailed map that is not readily translatable to a generic map covered in hastily drawn scrawls. And a significant portion of my playtime is dedicated to AP play.

It can work. Please make it so.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
the Haunted Jester wrote:
According to the picture will Map-Packs now be able to be used with Dry, Wet, or Permanent Marker now? Or have they always been that way and I have been too timid to attempt it?

I've seen that wording before, so it's not new. I'm not sure if it's been there since day 1, but it's certainly been in for a bit?

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
the Haunted Jester wrote:
According to the picture will Map-Packs now be able to be used with Dry, Wet, or Permanent Marker now? Or have they always been that way and I have been too timid to attempt it?

We started doing that around Map Pack: Shops. It's the same coating that's on the Flip-Mats.


With a heavy heart I have to decided if I want to stay with Paizo or go to another source for my needs?
My September order is over $11 cheaper on amazon.
I will still purchase paizo product just not directly, that kind of savings will allow me to purchase a novel a month for the same price as I'm paying now and a pathfinder novel (more produce seems to be winning).

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Salazar wrote:
Any chance of having individual boxes for sale for previous map packs? That is one item I have had a problem finding a good storage solution for.

Try your local office supply store. I found plastic boxes for 8x5" index cards that work very well for the map packs. You can even get appropriately sized blank index dividers with a tab to write the name of the map pack on it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's unfortunate that the prices are going up, especially during these hard times. 5+ years holding down prices is more than fair. 5 years ago gas was about $2, now its close to $4 and in some places higher. Everything has gone up.

I know some of my fellow gamers dont have the means for the increases but I ask you guys to find ways to do more with less. Dont see it as having to cancel some products, instead strategize and get the products that see the most use in your games, even I have had to that.

And Paizo since you guys have finalized the 2013 Budget can I get dates for Paizocon, I'm running a Battalion out here!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

PaizoCon dates are on the near horizon. Our COO, Jeff Alvarez, is finalizing plans for the show now, only he won't be able to move the ball forward until he gets back from an overseas trip in a couple of weeks.

(Also, the convention budget is probably the last thing to get finished, and even that's a couple weeks out at the soonest.)

We'll announce dates for PaizoCon as soon as we know them, and we're committed to doing so considerably earlier than we have in previous years.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A price rise was inevitable, I am surprised it look this long. Personally the small rise of $6 a month is still far outweighed by the shipping costs to lonley old Oz. I gladly pay my extra money because it means you will keep making the products I love - perhaps a little something like summon monster or natures ally reference cards?
The new packaging idea is great (obviosly otherwise you wouldn't be doing it?). I pack my maps in a large art folder after reading a post by Lisa - keeps them flat and minimises the folds from packaging. However the map packs have always been more problematic - now I can pack them for my game and they will be easy to find a retrieve, yay!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
prosfilaes wrote:
19.99 -> 22.99 does cross a price point for me, though I'm not saying it's not justified.

Which is why I finally subscribed -- the price came back down below that threshold. Just sayin'. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LoreKeeper wrote:

I hope Paizo takes this opportunity to also re-examine the policy on printing playable maps for the Adventure Paths. I don't think that every encounter area in an AP should get the high-production dry/wet erase surface and all that - but take-out poster maps similar to (but bigger) as the ones in the Pathfinder Comic would be absolutely gold for me.

There is just something about playing on a graphically detailed map that is not readily translatable to a generic map covered in hastily drawn scrawls. And a significant portion of my playtime is dedicated to AP play.

It can work. Please make it so.

Increasing the cost to produce a product right after we raise the price of a product to offset the rising costs of producing a product, though, isn't really a great idea.


Valantrix1 wrote:
Hmm... does this also mean that PDF versions of the previously mentioned products will also go up in price?

I immediately wondered about this too.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:

I hope Paizo takes this opportunity to also re-examine the policy on printing playable maps for the Adventure Paths. I don't think that every encounter area in an AP should get the high-production dry/wet erase surface and all that - but take-out poster maps similar to (but bigger) as the ones in the Pathfinder Comic would be absolutely gold for me.

There is just something about playing on a graphically detailed map that is not readily translatable to a generic map covered in hastily drawn scrawls. And a significant portion of my playtime is dedicated to AP play.

It can work. Please make it so.

Increasing the cost to produce a product right after we raise the price of a product to offset the rising costs of producing a product, though, isn't really a great idea.

But increasing the product value also increases incentive for the consumers and goes a little way to justify the increase for the buyer.

Taldor

A few bucks more per month for the highest quality game materials in the world? No problem. Its one less cup of coffee.
PAIZO has been very good to this community, and the quality levels of those Map Pack boxes rock.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Salazar wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Salazar wrote:
Any chance of having individual boxes for sale for previous map packs?
...it'll probably be a "generic" box that you can write on....
I don't have any idea how expensive it would be, but one possibility would be to have plastic pockets to slip the front and back covers of the map packs into.

I will probably use some of my stash of scrapbook adhesive and attach the old covers that way. Plastic pockets would add to the cost, and we need a bunch of these generic boxes.

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