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4.0: PAIZO IS STILL UNDECIDED


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Folks,

The clock is ticking, and we still have not seen a copy of the new Fourth Edition rules, nor have we seen a draft of the new SRD. I hear conflicting things from WotC as to when (or even whether) third-party publishers will be provided the rules in time to have 4e-compatible products for next Gen Con. I have spoken before (at length) about the uncomfortable position in which this places Paizo, but I remain hopeful that we will get to look at the rules during the playtest phase and plan accordingly. This was, after all, how things worked for trusted publishers during the 2.0/3.0 transition, so I have every reason to believe that the business folks at WotC understand the benefits of third-party support when it comes to converting their audience. But still we wait.

As it stands there remains a chance that Paizo will not convert to 4.0 next year, mostly because we will not have the materials in hand with enough time to do so. The only viable option, at that point, is to stick with 3.5 for the time being. This opens the option of producing an improved "3.75" somewhere down the road to address a few commonly acknowledged problems with the rules without throwing out the three decades of tradition that have kept D&D, fundamentally, the same game since the very beginnig. At that point, it seems, Paizo would be producing a "Pathfinder" RPG that would be wholly independent of Dungeons & Dragons and Hasbro's plans. Such a plan carries with it considerable risk, but it may be the only serious option available to us for 2008.

Beyond that, it's difficult to say. If Fourth Edition is awesome and if the OGL for the game does not tie our hands creatively or financially, we'll certainly strongly consider converting, and again I'd really like to see the material in time to judge whether or not it's a good game that our audience will like. But we've already passed the deadline for August solicitations in the book trade, and at a certain point the window for us to have Fourth Edition material at launch will close.

So I've been spending the last few nights thinking seriously about NOT converting. What it would mean for our business, what it would mean for our company, and potentially even what it would mean for the RPG industry as a whole.

It's pretty clear to me, from reading Wizards of the Coast's information releases on the new game, that they are designing a D&D for the "next generation," and that attracting a new audience to D&D is their utmost concern. It's for this reason that we've seen a lot of the old "sacred cows" slain, and from a business perspective it makes perfect sense why they would want to do this.

Wizards of the Coast is a multi-million-dollar subsidiary of a billion-dollar toy corporation. The designers, editors, and art folks working on D&D probably represent one of the most expensive Research and Development teams in the entire Hasbro "family," and an expense like that demands mega-profits. I'm not sure that a simple pencil and paper RPG can deliver the kind of profit to keep Hasbro's support, which is why I think you're seeing pushes toward micro-purchases (say of "virtual" D&D Miniatures for use on the Virtual Tabletop similar to the "virtual" cards in Magic Online), ongoing opt-out low-cost digital "subscriptions", and a strong emphasis on the highly profitable prepainted plastic miniatures. It behooves Wizards of the Coast to "monetize" as many aspects of D&D as possible, to keep the game as fresh and free of limiting "baggage" (such as continuity), and to keep up with the design approaches taken by massively multiplayer online roleplaying games that appeal to the next generation of gamers. To keep Hasbro happy, D&D must deliver huge profits similar to the company's other brands to remain a viable business for the corporation.

Paizo is a much smaller outfit. We do not need to sell 50,000 or even 100,000 copies of a book to mark it as a success, mostly because we have a much smaller overhead. We could literally survive--and survive well--on 20-30% of Wizards of the Coast's business. In fact, numbers like that would be hugely successful for us.

Are there enough players willing to make a break from Wizards of the Coast and the Dungeons & Dragons brand to sustain a healthy 3.5-based Pathfinder business? I don't know. A part of me is very skeptical about it, but until we get a chance to evaluate the new rules set, this is exactly the sort of scenario we are forced to consider, and I do not find the prospect wholly without its merits.

What do you think? Assuming the third Pathfinder Adventure Path, Second Darkness, remains 3.5, will you stick around? I know most of you are as in the dark about fourth edition as we are and I understand that it's too early to make a serious call. But how is the 4.0 hype treating you these days? Do you plan to start up a new 4.0 campaign on day 1?

What do YOU want Paizo to do?

Thanks,

Erik Mona
Publisher
Paizo Publishing, LLC


As Paizo goes, so goes my nation.

For what it's worth, I've already been considering writing my own house rules, and I'm nonplussed enough about 4.0 that I will likely only buy the 4.0 PHB, and gut it for whatever rules will be compatible with my own house rules. I have serious doubts I will ever run a 4.0 game with RAW.

That being said, I would likely play regularly with 3.Paizo rules, and be very interested in any rules/campaign books Paizo puts out.

Osirion

Paizo should roll with it and flourish. If they will be allowed to by WTOC/Hasbro. Publish adventures, maybe make off market minis, whatever else you can think of. Of course if paizo should want to keep producing 3.5 material, I'm sure there will be a market for it. Not everyone is of the "New" generation of 10 second attention span gamers. However I digress...
Just keep up the astounding work you've been doing.

Taldor

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

I'm sticking with Paizo regardless of what WotC does.

If you stay 3.5, create a 3.75 or invent something entirely new, my patronage will stay with you - that not only means my money, but also my relentless support at the gaming table.

I am not a fan of any aspect of 4e to date, so I would like to take this opportunity to especially encourage the 3.5-3.75 route. But again, if you go 4e, I will keep buying Paizo products and supporting Paizo initiatives.

Grand Lodge

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

I am guessing that the 4th Edition will be nice enough to convert to and if you plan to before the third adventure path great but if it is after thats fine, I can wait.

I just think that unless WoC totally hamstrings you with the licenses converting would be the best option but and if it take until after Second Darkness I will still be here.

Taldor Contributor

Here's my straight up answer.

From a financial and realistic standpoint, I am considering holding off on future APs after RotRL, not because of 4E, but because I'm already drowning in stuff to run. This isn't to say I'm not interested, I'm just thinking of slowing down. For example, I plan to start the STAP in late 2008 or early 2009.

My group wants to stick with 3.5. I will buy 4E, because i hope to write for some of the companies that will switch.

If you produced a Pathfinder game that was an upgrade of 3.5, I would be MUCH more likely to by the associated advenures, and rules, and run them immediately.

And if opportunities became available to be part of the creation of that product, I would be extremely interested in being involved.

Qadira

I am not happy with WotC.
Paizo has always treated me with respect and honesty and for that I will always stick with Paizo, no matter the edition. If I did convert to 4.0 it would be because Paizo did and I would still wait at least 1-1-1/2 years after 4.0's launch so I don't need to trash my 4.0 books to buy into 4.5 if(when) it comes.
I will stick with Paizo either way but I really hope that 3.5 is the path followed by a Pathfinder RPG (3.75 hybrid system). I would love to see someone eat up some of WotC's market.

FH, Paizo for Life!


If Pathfinder #3: The Second Darkness is released using 3.5 OGL rules. I will buy it and run it using those rules.

Playing 4.0 right out of the gate seems a bit to risky to me and my players that have played 3.5 for so very long.

As it stands if Paizo doesn't get the necessary tools that it needs to assess the 4.0 OGL rules at release time, it's perfectly understandable as it is not something Paizo can control. You guys WANT to look at it and work with it so that if its something you can work with then you can incorporate it. If you are not given the tools to do it, it's no fault of your own.

I doubt I'll even pick up ANY 4.0 WOTC books until much later in the year once I've had a chance to go over its contents and see if it suits me or not.

That being said. If Paizo is forced to wait until Pathfinder #4 or even has to wait until Pathfinder #5 for the staff to have a firm grip on what can and can't be done both gameplay wise and creatively with 4.0. That's fine, I will continue to support Paizo. I have an unshakable faith in YOUR (Paizo as a whole) adventure paths and modules are among the best concieved and just down right fun to read, run, and play with.

Hell, even if you decide 4.0 is too creatively restricting for you to use. Then I will STILL support Paizo and continue purchasing your products. My friends and I are not getting rid of our huge amount of books just because the company decided to change. They all have useful ideas in them.

As a matter of fact, I was wondering if I should subscribe to Game Mastery since theres a lot of good ideas I could pull from them and also the nice tidbits about Golarion that are revealed in each one. You've just convinced me to support Paizo just a bit more.

Thank you and everyone who works with you for bringing us the best products in the business.


Frankly Eric, I'm as undecided as you are. They haven't really given us anything except some hints (that were somewhat hopeful) and some fluff (that mostly was not).

As a freelancer I will have to convert if most 3rd party publishers do. Dragon and Dungeon remain the place to be recognized in the industry, and so my hope for continued work pretty much relies on me following WotC.

That said, I think there are some strong arguments for not rushing out the gate and converting (if you do convert) at your own pace. A market will remain for 3.5 materials for at least another six months, if not a year, because far too many people felt burned by 3.5 to convert to 4e immediately. True, many may be grognards - but I think the grognards make up a bigger part of wizards rpg base than they think we do.

I'm worried that quality of 3rd party publisher offerings for 4e will be compromised by the rush to the gate, as was so clearly the case for 3rd edition. I'd rather paizo and its freelancers take the time to actually learn the system, actually run things in the system, before trying to write in it.

That said... I'm not convinced the 3.5 edition group will remain a viable consumer base for you for much longer than that six months to a year. The posters on these boards might make it seem so... but we're dedicated folks, most of the rpg community is going to turn whatever way WotC tells them to.

- Ashavan


Paizo is my Master now.


4th ed. sounds like a good game, based on what little info there is, but I don't need a new game. If I didn't have many years worth of 3.5 material yet to enjoy, sure 4th ed. would be my game of choice --but I already have 3.5 and I want to continue using it.

Qadira

Also Erik, I just wanted to thank you for all the info that flows on the messageboards here. I love that you come to us to ask our opinions in a major business decision. Thank you for being open with us and treating us like an asset instead of a wallet.
I, like Rambling Scribe, have a ton of adventures and Adventure Paths to run, more than I may ever be able to if I played 3.5 for life, but my main reason for purchasing is as entertainment for me. I love reading the adventures and picturing what the PCs would or could do. The ideas that I gain are invaluable also and help to make me more flexible at the table.
So even though I have more than I can ever use, I still buy for the entertainment factor.
Love you guys,
FH

Cheliax

Personally; if you guys kept the 3rd AP as 3.5 I would most DEFINITELY buy it.
At this point I could really care less whether 4.0 is actually any good or not. I wont buy it. It's that simple. While I do agree that CERTAIN aspects of 3.5 need to be looked at (or adjusted), I believe it is still way too early to be bringing out a 4.0 . Has there been an outcry for a new edition? Did people flood the message boards at Wizards saying how much they hated having to flip the pages of a dead tree publication?

I would be thrilled if you guys put out your own variation of the game (whether it be "3.75" or whatever).
The big thing is that you guys at Paizo actually care about what WE want.
You actually understand that 30 years of d&d history DOES still have a place in the game.

If the clouds of d&d are going to continue to fly by, then yeah I can't do anything about it. But there will always be games out there by people who actually care about their audience.

Just my 2 copper.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Short of hard-light holograms and CDs with sound effects included with each issue of Pathfinder, there is nothing you guys could do to make me enjoy the books more. I'd prefer that conversion never happen, but it's unreasonable to expect that it won't. I'm sticking with 3.5, and if at any point Pathfinder/GameMastery converts to 4.0 I'll continue to get Paizo's products for the fluff.

Andoran

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

I'm understandably interested to see what 4E brings to the game, especially in the speeding-it-up and making-all-levels-fun department. I'm not too enthused with what they are doing with the cosmology, or how the designers say they are making necessary or "good" changes to the game when all they may be really doing is trying to open their opportunities to bring in more gamers (which means that making aspects of it similar to other games is unavoidable).

I'm also VERY interested to see what a 3.75 system would be like. I wasn't all that familiar with Paizo's input to the game until I looked through the Savage Tide adventure path. It rivals Red Hand of Doom in how compelling it is, and I'm guessing Shackled City and Age of Worms would be no different. In short, even though you are a business, you clearly have a love for the game, and that makes me keep my eye on what you create for it, more than watching for the rules that WotC will release. WotC may make the rules, but worthwhile adventure content, as far as I'm concerned, comes from Paizo. If you want to make a ruleset to go along with it, I'm all ears.

If you were to ask me what I want you to do, I'd say go with what most freely allows you to keep doing what you're doing in the way you find most worthwhile, because that passes on to your products. I would trust what you decide to include in a 3.75 ruleset.


Koldoon wrote:


That said... I'm not convinced the 3.5 edition group will remain a viable consumer base for you for much longer than that six months to a year. The posters on these boards might make it seem so... but we're dedicated folks, most of the rpg community is going to turn whatever way WotC tells them to.

- Ashavan

I would have to agree. I'm sure waiting until Pathfinder#4 is viable, even 5 would be within limits to gauge the market and see if 4.0 is successful and more importantly, how best you can use it to your advantage.

Cheliax

Should make this into a poll...

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I have no particular love for WotC. Do I think 3.0/3.5 was a huge improvement over 2e? Yes. Are there still a few things I liked better about 2e? Maybe one or two. Overall, I think 3.x has been a great thing for the hobby.

I'll say it again: I have no particular love for WotC. I have a love for D&D.

I haven't seen much about 4e yet. A lot of what I'm hearing is not so good. Are there a few things that I've liked? Yeah. Are there a few things I've disliked? Yeah. 4e has done nothing to assure me of it's superiority to 3.5 yet but I will say that I was initially skeptical about the new World of Darkness when it came out too, only to discover 3 years later that it was such a remarkable improvement over the old system that I would never think to run an old World of Darkness game again.

Paizo has been a paragon of gaming industry virtue to me over the last year or so that I've had dealings with them. They have consistently delivered high-quality products, remarkable customer service, unbelievable feedback, and, best of all, they've displayed a love for the game that matches (and quite possibly exceeds) my own.

I don't know if I'll switch to 4e for good or not. I'm fairly confident that I will buy the new core books and at least give it a shot. I will not buy into their online initiative, however, nor will I start buying 'virtual minis' or use their online tabletop. All I want are books. Nothing more. I prefer to use the game and setting material as a set of tools for my imagination to play with. Depending on how much freedom I have with 4e to do this, I may or may not switch.

Even if I do switch, however, as long as Paizo continues to sell Wizards' products through their website, I will always shop here first.


Fake Healer wrote:

I am not happy with WotC.

Paizo has always treated me with respect and honesty and for that I will always stick with Paizo, no matter the edition. If I did convert to 4.0 it would be because Paizo did and I would still wait at least 1-1-1/2 years after 4.0's launch so I don't need to trash my 4.0 books to buy into 4.5 if(when) it comes.
I will stick with Paizo either way but I really hope that 3.5 is the path followed by a Pathfinder RPG (3.75 hybrid system). I would love to see someone eat up some of WotC's market.

FH, Paizo for Life!

This goes double for me. Who's up for P4L tats? ;)

I think that the WotC PR machine has not only shot itself in the foot, but actually managed to blow the entire leg off. I'm starting to think that, come May, Paizo = D&D for me. You guys set the quality bar too high for me to stomach the BS spewing from the mothership.


Koriatsar wrote:
Should make this into a poll...

It kinda already is.

My thoughts:
Paizo Pathfinder RPG based on the 3.5 OGL rules = Win.

There's somewhat of an inevitability for 4th edition - being a publisher of game material, y'all are in the position of not being able to ignore it. The viability of a publisher sticking solely with an edition of the rules that are invalidated by the publisher of those rules by the release of a new rules edition doesn't sound good, and would make any sane businessperson nervous. I don't see 3.5 OGL lasting more than a year after the release of 4E (from a business POV; as a player/GM, it will last a lot longer).

You can't please everybody all the time, and no matter which edition you go with you're going to make somebody unhappy. The best plan would be to provide back & forwards conversions no matter the edition you're publishing in. Sadly, this is probably more manpower that Paizo has to spare, but it is an ideal solution.

Oh, and Paizo 4 Life for me too.


I am entirely unhappy with the plans for 4e, far too many sacred cows are being sent to slaughter for my liking. I worry that the game I grew up with is only going to vaguely resemble the game I used to know. So I will be sticking with 3.5 for as far as I can see. I certainly have plenty of 3.0 and 3.5 material left to use.

Ideally I'd like to see you with a Greyhawk licence for 3.5 but since WOTC seems unwilling to give you one, I'd like to see you doing 3.5 Greyhawk-lite or generic adventures. If you did that I'd probably buy everything you put out based on my experience of buying Dungeon and the Shackled City. I'm less keen on buying adventures for a specific campaign setting (other than Greyhawk of course).

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I bought a copy of "World of Synnibar" just to see what made the worst RPG in history one of the worst so I recognize the librophile in me will ultimately compel the rest of me to buy D&D 4.0 (at least a book or two) just to see what it is like.

That being said, if Paizo continues to maintain a quality product with a compelling adventure/story line that I enjoy, it won't matter to me whether you go 4.0 or stay 3.5, 3.75, 3.805 or whatever model you want to use. You could probably swatch to AD&D and I would dig out my old books and houserule the rules to my satisfaction and go with it.


Our group will probably stay in 3.x land for a while, so there'll be some interest in Paizo's handiwork from us too. 4E is gonna be a hard sell to us, seeing as how we just finally moved to 3.5 early last year . . . .

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

To be honest I'll handle 4.0 the same way I did with 3.0 meaning ignore it for a while and see what happens. I didn't buy a single 3.0 book because by the time I wanted to update 3.5 was already out. That in itself was a big deal with me. Hell, I left the Marine Corps in 02 with my car, clothes, and almost 400lbs. of AD&D books and accessories.

So far Paizo has proven beyond a doubt that they actually give a s#&& about the customer. That in my book is a defining concept. Too many companies these days simply say screw the consumer because they can buy our product or not because for every 1 person that sticks to their guns 100 more will just buy whatever.

Anyway I will be sticking with Paizo until I am unsatisifed with the products you produce. Which at the current rate should be well into my retirment years and I'm not even 30.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think in the end, my preference would be that Pathfinder converts to 4E, as I think that the new edition will be a good play environment and I don't want to split my resources between multiple rules sets. That said, even if WotC gave you access to the 4E SRD as soon as its out of playtesting and revision (I'm guessing Jan-Feb), I wouldn't want to see ya'll release 4E product until your authors had some time to play with and learn the new system. If that means no 4E adventure paths til 2009, so be it. Maybe you can start releasing 4E GameMastery titles sooner.

Rob Little


4th Edition is still a mystery for us as much as it is for Paizo (probably even more). So it is difficult to pass a judgement now.

Bocklin


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

You may have an opportunity like Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved and Iron Heroes to make a variant Player's Handbook. A text would allow you to fix or clarify some of the issues with 3.5 that have arisen and to provide Varisa to a wider audience. In the 2nd Pathfinder issue you introduced rules for haunts which I like very much--a trap for the cleric to disarm. I think you could flesh out similar improvements in a handbook.

4.0 may be an improvement but a lot of it will be reinventing the wheel. I can probably take the changes and house rule what I like. I plan to make the most of my 3.X materials and not convert.

I am not interested in the DI. Using the internet to communicate with customers and fans is great, but I don't see an online subscription as helpful. Players will look to free sources online or 1 time purchases for utilities, advice and inspiration. I think publishers need to continue to create not live off of past work--the DI looks to me more about resting on laurels than new things.

Paizo has fierce fans that will support you during this change.

Cheliax

Lilith wrote:
Koriatsar wrote:
Should make this into a poll...
It kinda already is.

Doh! Those Paizo guys always were way ahead of me.


Dear Paizo,

I would advise you to go fourth edition and follow the steps toward new generations and larger audiences (or so I hope).

I think players cannot divide their time choosing between the new and the old. And you should not take any risk... there are already a lot of houses that publish material with rules of any kind, but I yhink most players will stick to the most prominent ones.

In brief, I'm saying this to you all:
take the least risk possible with your editorial choices because I WANT to buy your campaigns, your material and your ideas... When I buy from you I'm not looking for just for a set of rules, but for quality. And you always did a great job. Bow your head to the easiest way and keep publishing all your wonderful adventures...

thanks
Keep up the good work

Luca


Honestly, at this point I don't think anybody can reasonably make any claims about 4e and if Paizo should convert or not. This whole topic is primarily academic at the moment, and it would be immensely foolish to make any kind of decision about 4e, one way or the other, before it's in your hands.

Which is kind of why I've been avoiding most any D&D forums for the past month or so. It's infuriating to me to see people claiming that 4e is a wretched pile of d%@+!*+ or the second coming of Christ. They haven't read the Player's Handbook, and they thus cannot make any kind of informed decision on the matter. You can't decide if rules are right for you if you don't know what the rules are.

Until such time as 4e rules are available with some kind of depth, there's really no issue with sticking to 3.5 rules. It would probably be a waste of time to try and fix 3.5 before you've made an informed decision about 4.0, of course. If 4e comes and it's not for you, then a 3.75 sounds perfectly reasonable. (Although I suggest you just call it 3.6. Leaves more room for later improvements.)

Cheliax

As far as our group is concerned we are going to convert to 4 edition (thats a sure thing except if the game is a big mess, and frankly Erik we don't think that is going to happen, ). Even that we have been playing for so many years that we don't foresee any trouble converting any 3.x modules or any other system modules if the material is good to 4th edition. (And paizo material is today one of the best you can find).

We enjoy your work, and be sure that we'll keeping buying products from your company (without caring if is od&d,ad&d,3,3.5 or 4th edition).

Kind regards

amaranta & blundith.


The main question here isn't wether or not Paizo should switch to 4.0.

It's practicly a given unless WOTC makes it too restricting for Paizo to work with it. Or if it's not received well by the consumers.

The question is since WOTC hasn't given them the tools they need to make Pathfinder#3 4.0 compatible. Can/will we wait until Pathfinder#4 or possibly longer for it?


I'm only started playing 3.5 DnD for this wonderful Pathfinder campaign / milleu.

I sound like a suck-a$$ a lot of the time, so here's the straight dope.

My money goes to the quality campaign setting materials first, rule books second. Paizo delivers what I want, so I run 3.5.

So yeah, if Paizo made a 3.75 game to support their Adventure Paths, I would buy that game, and I would use it to run Pathfinder campaigns.

If Paizo upgraded to 4th, I would follow. But I stay with the quality campaign setting. The Campaign setting determines that decision, not the rule set. In this new century, I'm not bedazzled by rule sets any more than socket wrenches. A good rule set is a good rule set, but it don't sing and dance, and it don't walk.

I pretty much speak for all my players. I'm the GM. They've told me that if I ever converted to 4th, they'd buy Player's Handbooks, and that would be it. They don't want to re-invest any further than that. I'd pretty much have to soak buying the rest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'll continue to buy your products.

I'd like new 3.5 material so that I can continue to use my 20 3.5 books.

If 4th edition is so incredible that I'm compelled to send Rouse a mea culpa letter for not being with the unspoken program then I'll tell you, "Hey, try that 4th edition." Until then, own the 3.5 adventure market, m'boy... own it. If you want to make the change to 4th you can do so later on.


You can easily write 3.5 adventures, and then put 4.0 version change docs on the web for monster stats and new feats/items/spells/classes that you introduce.

At the end of the day, we need the adventure idea, setting, maps, and characters. The stats are mutable.

Thats why people still want updated versions of old adventures, and why old favorite characters like Orcus are in high demand.

Andoran

20? That's It? ;)

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I don't know. I want to like 4e, and for the most part, I expect to like 4e. As such, the value of something like Pathfinder, which I purchase with the intent to run it out of the box, is diminished. It may well be that I would continue purchasing it in a 3.5 flavor even if I do switch to 4e, but probably not indefinitely and probably only until an acceptable 4e compatible substitute came along (assuming such a thing could exist).

I also don't want to be one of the voices screaming for you to jump off the cliff given that it's you that will hit the water below, not me. It's easy to stand out here and wave the flag and say that I'll follow, but the truth is that I may well get swept up in the 4e launch and not be so interested in a Paizo 3.5 product.

With all that being said though, that part of the soul that favors David over Goliath really would like to see something like this. I guess ultimately though, just as with 4e, the bar is relatively high. I am not happy with several elements of 3e, I'm excited about many of the WotC changes in 4e, and I would vastly prefer a 3.75 edition over continued 3.5 product. Of course, that seems like it would unnecessarily split your base further, because some people who might otherwise have purchased your product won't follow due to the fact that they don't want to buy a new 3.paizo edition.

So, I'm firmly on the fence. There's a lot of talent at Paizo and WotC and it really depends on which one produces a product that provides the gaming experience I want to have.


The Jade wrote:
Until then, own the 3.5 adventure market, m'boy... own it.

Yes. What he said.

And also, to add my hubby's voice and thoughts..."Have any of the normal contributing authors offered to write something to make Pathfinder a separate RPG?"

Just a thought. :)

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I will not immediately switch to 4e.

1. I feel undecided, too. And while I trust in Paizo's skills and motives, I don't trust in something I couldn't see yet (i.e. 4e).
Even more so in face of my huge 3.0/ 3.5 collection quite possibly falling obsolete. For this reason I'd welcome any prolonged publishing of 3.5/ 3.75 material of yours.

2. I still assume that we talk about *when* Paizo will switch to 4e.
*When* / *if* Paizo converts to 4e, chances are very good that I will follow you. Basically my criteria of decision will be:
- How much of my 3.0/ 3.5 material will grow obsolete?
- How much does the 4e "flavour" break with dear D&D traditions?
- Most important: How does Paizo manage to imprint its own stamp on the new edition in order to maintain the classic feel of D&D?
If I had to decide between plain vanilla (WotC) 4e and a heavily modified Paizo variation, I'd immediately choose the Paizo alternative.

3. Eric, just one question in return:
You mentioned that from your point of view 4e clearly breaks with some of D&D's traditions in order to appeal to a young (new) audience.
You always stressed the fact that Paizo feels obliged to the classic feel of D&D, though.
Does this mean that your target audience is a different one than WotC's target audience? If this is true (WotC hitting the young crowd, Paizo aiming for the experienced rpg gamers), is there any pressure to appeal to new players who start with 4e?

Ok. These were several questions. Just being curious.

My trust is in Paizo.

Greetings from Austria,
Günther


I subscribe to Pathfinder for the setting; not the system.

I wasn't planning on changing anything about my gaming due to the change to 4.0. My concern is more for Paizo and the production of these books than what system you use.

My advice and opinion: Take the safe path.

Eric (and everyone else at Paizo) are eloquent in their announcements. They do not sound like fanboys upset with Wizards of the Coast (and neither should they - they're professionals), and they take the effort to keep us (their readership) in the loop about what's going on with the company.

That's an astonishing thing, these days.

Be safe, take care of your enterprise and yourselves, and do what makes sense at the time. You can always produce "3.Paizo" while waiting and shelve it should WotC come up with the goods...

Regards -


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

At the 4E announcement, my gaming group discussed it & decided to remain 3.5E. I've seen almost nothing about 4E that I like.

I greatly respect you, Mr. Mona, and all of Paizo. You've earned that respect with open, reasonable customer service and very high quality products. This very thread proves that folks at Paizo care about their customers' happiness!

I don't see that same concern for customer satisfaction from WotC. The apparent attitude from what's been presented is beyond "PR blundering". It's wholehearted arrogance. WotC/Hasbro management appears to believe that we are all drooling sycophants & will drink whatever "kool-aid" they produce! Quality has been poor for over a year (likely because all of the resources were working on 4E? And they still don't have decent previews?).

I was concerned with Paizo's stability when the magazines were killed. Paizo has made a great set of products, however, and I'm happy to support them. At least while they remain 3.5E compatible.

If you find that you have to move to 4E for financial/business reasons, I trust you enough to "know" you'll say just that here. I respect that. If such a parting must come, I'll do what I can to support Paizo in other ways (mini's perhaps).


I wouldn't bet on 3.75 personally. Despite the numerous protestations of loyalty unto death, the majority of players and Paizo customers will switch to 4E next year or the year after that. People want the new hawtness, they want to be part of the majority, and most of them don't want to be considered eccentric fringe groupies. They will convert unless 4E is a total writeoff, which is unlikely. I won't be committing to 4E personally because I don't play much anymore, but from a business standpoint it's smartest to go with the pack.

Unless Paizo wants to become a niche publisher like Ronin or Necromancer, but I suspect you'd rather aim higher.

Also, I wouldn't rely on just the opinion of Paizoites, but rather try to sample the whole player universe on rpg.net, wotc forums, enworld and aol. The mood in those places is quite different. As an anecdote, my non-forum-reading RPG colleagues are all very excited about 4E, while I'm not. Sometimes forum groupthink can really skew your perspective.


This very thread is the kind of thing that makes Paizo such an awesome company. Erik, you could read our messages or not, take our suggestions or not, but we'll still be happy because you've shared a little of what you're thinking about. It allows us to feel like we're part of the family. Thank you.

And, because you've asked for it, my plans:

I think that I will be forced to stop my Pathfinder subscription after RoTRL. I have been astounded by the quality of the content in Pathfinder and I've really loved every little bit of it. It's just that I'm at a place in life where pennies matter. We just bought a house this year and before this time next year I expect to have a baby bouncing on my knee. Much as I love it, I can't keep paying for Pathfinder at this time. It's gonna hurt to miss these adventure paths. I'm going to hate it. And I'm going to do what I can to get back on the wagon as quickly as I can. Maybe someone will be nice and give me a year's subscription to Pathfinder as a Xmas present. Who knows. Anyway, I ramble.

As far as 3.5 vs. 4.0, I gotta say that I will probably follow what Paizo does. If you deem 4.0 to be worth a shot, I'll probably try to move there when I get my D&D legs back under me. I have been inculcated with brand loyalty in my time hanging out on these messageboards. I have absolutely no loyalty when it comes to WoTC. They are working their PR machine overtime, and all it's doing is leaving me with that greasy car salesman feeling. I don't trust it. I don't trust that they'll come out with a product that I like. I certainly don't trust that they have my interests at heart (after making a living for themselves naturally). I don't mean to cast aspersions on individuals working for WoTC, but upon the corporation.

I trust Paizo. If you guys made a 3.75 (or whatever), I'm sure that it would be the bees knees. I'd happily give it a shot.

So for my 2 coppers, do whatever you guys want to do. I'll be there to back you as a customer as soon as I can afford to spend anything.


Krypter wrote:

I wouldn't bet on 3.75 personally. Despite the numerous protestations of loyalty unto death, the majority of players and Paizo customers will switch to 4E next year or the year after that. People want the new hawtness, they want to be part of the majority, and most of them don't want to be considered eccentric fringe groupies. They will convert unless 4E is a total writeoff, which is unlikely. I won't be committing to 4E personally because I don't play much anymore, but from a business standpoint it's smartest to go with the pack.

Unless Paizo wants to become a niche publisher like Ronin or Necromancer, but I suspect you'd rather aim higher.

I believe the question wasn't whether they would switch to 4E or not but would you still buy the third Pathfinder adventure path if it was 3.5 and not 4E (due to not having the 4E SRD in enough time to complete it)?

As several others have said I will buy the product for the campaign no matter what rule set it uses so do the best you can and I will be looking forward to the rest of the adventure paths.

Osirion

I think that going against WotC would be difficult at best.

In either case, I still use 2nd edition materials in my 3.5 games. Whether or not Paizo converts right away, they will still get support from me.

I have no idea what (or even if) I will be playing in a year or two. I have been enjoying 3.5 a lot recently. I plan on at least taking a look at 4e when it comes out. I can pretty safely say that our group will not be as 'gung-ho' to play 4e as we were to play 3e. So it will probably be a few months (at least) before we really take a look at it.

Dungeon and Dragon magazines really helped get 3rd edition rolling. Unless WotC takes a long hard look at addressing some of the issues they have had in rolling out their "online initiative", they will very likely have some issues with having a successful roll-out with 4e.

A long way to say that you will probably need to 'convert' more on the sooner side of things, but understand that you probably have more time to evaluate the situation than publishers might have had with 3rd edition.


Aaron Whitley wrote:
I believe the question wasn't whether they would switch to 4E or not but would you still buy the third Pathfinder adventure path if it was 3.5 and not 4E (due to not having the 4E SRD in enough time to complete it)?

I understand that, but since I don't subscribe to Pathfinder at the moment I can't answer the question directly. I was just trying to point out that a lot of people who express support for PF 3.5 now will probably change their minds once 4E comes out. That's my somewhat cynical view of things.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules Subscriber

If wizards don´t provide a copy of the core rules or the SRD (even if it only a rough draft - OTOH, I simply can´t believe that they are playtesting all that much HALF A YEAR before publishing - some kinks and some details, yeah, but the whole beast?) to 3rd party publishers in time for next years Gen Con (that is what I read out of Eriks words), that speaks to me that WotC don´t WANT any 3rd parties in the boat - at least not until 2009 or so.

If this is the case, I say: fine. Take your 4e and stuff it where...
I was a huge fan of the old World of Darkness from White Wolf, but with the new Edition, they did not see a single penny from me. The same might happen with D&D4, although I don´t know enough to make a decision yet.

Paizo has shown in the past that they can produce outstanding D&D material AND take their customers seriously. So my bets would be on paizo. I will be playing 3.x at least in 2008, probably even in 2009, as I have already tons of stuff to use. I will be keeping on subscribing Pathfinder and GameMastery as long as good stuff is forthcoming and my money is sufficient for it (considering that I just bought some plate mail for LARPing, it can´t be all that bad...), even if I need it in perhaps 2020 or so... Hell, I just bought the Shackled City HC and Dragon Ecologies last week.

The idea of producing 3.75 (or 3.paizo), while intriguing, is risky business-wise. I don´t know the sales numbers of Iron Heroes or Arcana Unearthed, but I guess that they are not that high. The best bet might be introducing a rules fiddling section on these boards, where the folks here can have a hand in improving the existing 3.5 rules, and in the end, some professionals may polish the rough gem and publish it as a pdf or as a book that builds upon the 3.5 rules - I think publishing a whole body of rules might be too much, even if in cooperation with green ronin or other companies.

I don´t think that I need 4.x rules right now. I would love to see the 3.5 rules improved. If paizo will walk that dangerous path, I think I will support them there - buying another hardcover or two does not deter me, but I can of course only speak for me.

If 4.e turns out to be great and leaves 3rd party publishers enough breathing space, paizo would be stupid not to go that way. Depending on what I think of 4.e, I will have to decide what to do then - remain at 3.x, turn to 4.x, playing a mix of both or whatever. But I´m generally content with 3.5, and if a 3.75 would be made, I would have a hard time deciding if I use 4.e at all, and might well decide not to.

So, I could see the "Pathfinder Rules" as a viable but risky alternative to 4e - and if you decide to go that way, I will most probably be there.

I surely don´t plan on starting a 4e campaign on day one - I will probably buy the books, but probably on the Essen Spielemesse in October 08. If the third AP is still 3.5, I´m fine with that. Depending upon the quality of 4e, I might decide not to buy any 4e stuff whatsoever. What I´ve seen from 4e up to this day does not exactly make me quiver in anticipation.

Stefan


First, while I've still been buying items like the Item Cards, I've not picked up Pathfinder yet, not because I don't want to, but because I have a really weird agenda to complete right now. I'm riding out 3.5 products, so I'm picking up what's left of the 3.5 Realms products and what I care to pick up from the 3.5 core products. I'm also picking up the Dragonlance MWP books that I've not gotten yet, because I don't want to loose out on those before they go away.

After that, well, unless things are drastically different than they appear, the 4th edition Realms aren't my Realms. That doesn't mean I won't DM there, but it does mean that 4th edition Realms products are likely not going to be a priority for me. Which means I would like to start picking up something ongoing and engrossing that I may or may not be able to use in my campaigns (but which I'm sure will give me all of the great ideas and starting points that I got from Dungeon and Dragon when they were in Paizo's hands).

At this point, I'm unlikely to pick up 4th edition, and I'll certainly not be picking it up when it comes out next year. On the other hand, if Paizo were to put out a 3.75 which kept in all of the traditional elements of the game and just worked to tweak the rules that tend to fall apart here and there at various levels, I would definitely buy that.

I'm not sure that I would be interested in a 4th edition Pathfinder if you guys did feel the need to switch, but I will understand why you do if you do.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I've bought too many 3.5 books, and I am too satisfied with the game system, to dismiss them and turn around to 4th Edition.

Once Pathfinder finishes its 3.5 product line, I'll be cancelling my subscription. If it were to continue on with a variation on the 3.5 rules, you'd have my continued support.

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