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Pathfinder RPG and Paizo in the Face of 5E


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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The signs on the RPG scene these days are pointing to the rather likely possibility that design of the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons is already under way and possibly has been for some time. It is not the purpose of this post to delve into the details or discuss the likelihood in any great detail, so suffice it to say that the Legends & Lore series of articles seem to point that way, as does the rehiring of Monte Cook by Wizards of the Coast. Further evidence attesting to this comes from sales and the release schedule for 4e – the sales of the Pathfinder RPG are of the same magnitude as those of 4e and may even be outselling it, which is a major achievement, though it probably also owes a great deal to the weak release schedule for 4e that is somewhat reminiscent of the end of official support for 3.5E. In any case, even if you still don’t believe 5e is coming, just assume that it is anyway for the purposes of this thread.

I would enjoy seeing a discussion of what Paizo will and/or can do to position itself, as well as the Pathfinder RPG, to prepare for and withstand the challenge that 5E will pose. It appears from the Legends & Lore series of articles that Wizards of the Coast is keen on designing a game that will reunite the splintered D&D fan-base. That may be beneficial for the players, but it could hurt PFRPG and Paizo.

I must say that I really like what is being presented in the aforementioned articles, which is in complete contrast to the run up to 4e, where I was more and more repelled by each successive reveal. If this is the case for a substantial section of the Pathfinder RPG player base, than the game can be significantly undercut. I know that PFRPG has been going from strength to strength recently, but it could well be fatal for Paizo to underestimate WotC if the latter comes to the market with a new edition. As high quality as PFRPG products may be, business as usual may not be enough, and there might need to be a more specific response.

That said, Paizo has managed to build up a lot of loyalty. It has done a lot of things right to ensure that. Apart from updating a popular edition of D&D with a fresh and flavorful twist, the company has managed to grow it in new directions, while maintaining a high level of quality and excellent production values. On top of that, it has embraced the Open Gaming License, which has further endeared it to the community; a fact further enhanced by the regular interaction of Paizo staff with the community. So, clearly, there will be a large number of players who trust Paizo and will stay with the Pathfinder RPG no matter what lures WotC may throw at them. Others will play both games. Still, not all players are like that and a significant portion of the Pathfinder RPG player base may be susceptible to switching to 5E if WotC does a good job with the game.

So what should/will Paizo do to respond to and how will Pathfinder be impacted by 5e D&D?

Should Paizo simply attempt to continue its plan for the PFRPG without change and stress stability and/or backward compatibility?
Should Paizo release a 2nd edition of the PFRPG to compete for novelty value?
Should Paizo try to sell itself (perhaps even to WotC/Hasbro) along with the PFRPG?
Should Paizo do an update/refresh of the PFRPG – i.e. PFRPG revised/1.5e akin to what D&D 3.5E did with respect to 3E?
Should Paizo expand the PFRPG system in new directions, such as science fiction, wild west, modern, etcetera?
Should Paizo revert to 3PP status, abandon PFRPG and throw itself behind supporting 5e (depending on the terms offered by a licensing agreement – if any)? (This is the least likely scenario, I think.)

Obviously, this is by no means an exhaustive list of Paizo’s choices and PFRPG’s futures and each of the above can contain many sub-scenarios, but I hope the should be enough to get the discussion going!


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Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I think they have largely done or are doing those things. Short of Mike and Monte pulling off a revision somewhere just short of miraculous, I don't see how they would lure my gaming dollars away from those that stuck with me.


It is hard to respond to something until it happens. In any event WoTC's corporate attitude is what is hurting them in many regards. Customer Service/PR can hurt a company.

Abandoning PFRPG is the worst thing they could do.

I dont see a 5E in the immediate future though even though it comes up every month.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

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Keep in mind that neither Paizo nor Wizards of the Coast are likely to post in this thread any secret future plans, so everything posted in here is going to be pure speculation, based on pure speculation.

So when you feel like disagreeing with someone (and you probably will, I can tell it has the potential to be that kind of thread), keep in mind that it's just their opinion. They're no more privy to the truth than you are.

And when you post your awesome idea that Paizo absolutely must do or else we're going to go out of business, please have faith in Lisa, Erik and the rest of us that we got to this point because we're not stupid.


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I think Paizo should continue with their current plans. There may be some that go to 5e and leave Pathfinder completely, but I'm willing to bet that even if 5e is a great game, people will play both. Heck, I would. At some point, though, I'm sure Pathfinder will have a new edition. It's just a matter of time. What D&D does should not affect that though.


Gary Teter wrote:

Keep in mind that neither Paizo nor Wizards of the Coast are likely to post in this thread any secret future plans, so everything posted in here is going to be pure speculation, based on pure speculation.

So when you feel like disagreeing with someone (and you probably will, I can tell it has the potential to be that kind of thread), keep in mind that it's just their opinion. They're no more privy to the truth than you are.

And when you post your awesome idea that Paizo absolutely must do or else we're going to go out of business, please have faith in Lisa, Erik and the rest of us that we got to this point because we're not stupid.

Right, and I would not expect Paizo (nor Wizards of the Coast, for that matter) to reveal anything here. Doing so would obviously be counterproductive for the company letting secrets slip, unless the time was ripe to reveal them anyway. I obviously appreciate any input Paizo staff might have on this topic, but I recognize the above reality, and thus just expect to community to discuss what might transpire on this matter.

Also, I don't think this needs to get acrimonious at all - I really hope this does not end up being that kind of thread, as you have put it.

I will be watching the banter with interest. :)


I have never thought Paizo should continue to be fettered by 3.5 compatability when they roll out their 2e. A WoTC 5e doesn't change that opinion. They are positioned to be innovative.

OTOH, so is WoTC. In fact, their success depends on it. Given that, it may be wiser to wait and see what they create and what results. If people can be lured back to WoTC by a good product, the same holds true for Paizo.

Paizo should certainly not do a 1.5e. 3.5 was a giant errata; emulating it would be counterproductive.

I don't think Paizo should let the actions of WoTC dictate when they release a 2e. Doing so just for the sake of competing with 5e might come across as desperate and disingenous toward their player base and their game. This depends largely on WoTC's timetable though--it could be several years before we see a 5e, maybe 2015, and Paizo releasing a 2e around that time wouldn't surprise me.

What Paizo does will depend on the nature of 5e. If it is OGL is the main concern. If it is not OGL, I think WoTC will see little return of their former players. There really is no excuse for it not to be. The only reason 4e wasn't is because WoTC thought they had a shiny new Meal Ticket and didn't want to share. Too bad that didn't work out for them.


as I said on the wotc boards.

wotc will not get my money on a 5e version of the game.

spent too much money on the 3.x splats, phb and fr stuff.

spent enough on the 4e, essentials, fr stuff.

wont purchase 5e at all.

ans here is the best Idea that Paizo must do.

just keep doing what you do best


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Gary Teter wrote:
Keep in mind that neither Paizo nor Wizards of the Coast are likely to post in this thread any secret future plans...

Not even a teeny, tiny secret plan?


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Honestly, short of Hasbro pulling off some sort of miracle, I will be sticking with Paizo for the forseeable future, thank you.

They think about the game like I do, in terms of balance and fun. They are creative, intelligent and are keeping alive the game I have played since 1979 so I can continue on the stories of the characters I love and will come to love in the future.

Hasbro's corporate greed and ignorance about the gamer in general has totally alienated them to me. 4th ed may be an interesting game in it's own right, but it is not the game I have been playing for ages and I have no need to rework all those years of creativity to match their new vision. The very fact they so radically changed the game rather than making a new 'introductory' game shows how little they understand their fan base.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Ooh, rampant speculation! Here comes a random collision of thoughts.

So the presumption, as I understand it, is that WotC creates a 5e that is actually D&D, and thus is positioned to lure players to their new shiny thing that no longer contains all the crap that drove loyal fans away from 4e.

In that case, Paizo will probably lose some customers. Brand name can be important, just look at how many people won't use third party materials.

That having been said, Paizo has much much better customer relations than the current incarnation at WotC, and that counts for a lot.

Also, said revision stands to lose a lot of their 4e fanbase, since 4e seems to be designed to attract people that dislike older editions of D&D.

Personally, I have no problems with supporting both in that case. I like to give my money to companies that do things I like. I'm still mad at WotC for discontinuing the magazines.

Edit: Also, it's might interesting to note that such a 5e would almost certainly owe its existence to PF, and be created directly to compete with PF for the hearts and wallets of the 3.5 style fans.


wraithstrike wrote:
It is hard to respond to something until it happens.

True, but one can anticipate, predict, preempt and prepare. :)

Quote:
In any event WoTC's corporate attitude is what is hurting them in many regards. Customer Service/PR can hurt a company.

I don't know about now, but there used to be a time when WotC had good customer service. This may or may not have changed. Of course, Paizo's customer service and interaction with the community is outright superb.

Quote:
Abandoning PFRPG is the worst thing they could do.

I agree. I listed it more to throw something more radical into the mix of possibilities, rather than because I thought Paizo might actually do that. This course of action would only make sense under very specific and very unlikely circumstances (e.g. being bought by WotC and recombining Pathfinder RPG with D&D).

Quote:
I dont see a 5E in the immediate future though even though it comes up every month.

Well, that depends on what you mean by the immediate future. My guess would be that we will see an announcement in 2012 or 2013 and the game will be released in 2013 or 2014. Whether that's an immediate future is a matter of perspective.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

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Removed a post and its replies. We really, really, really are tired of the edition war nonsense. Play the games you want to play, and don't denigrate others because of their preferred game system.


grabs an oreo.

5e has not been announced yet so cease and desist....

furthermore, after the abyssmal ghoul that they did with 4e and the realms......

you get the picture.

anyway, the last thing I heard that they were developing was making it a %@%@#$%@#$%#@ card game.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I removed a post.

And really, folks, speculation about how long a thread will last before being locked is not productive. At best, it poisons the well by deprecating any serious discussion that does occur. At worst, it's a dare to try to get the thread locked. If you really think it's a trainwreck, don't post, and let it fall quietly into the archives.


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I suspect that a 5E, at least one released in the next several years, will have very little impact on Paizo's plans.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Steelfiredragon wrote:

grabs an oreo.

5e has not been announced yet so cease and desist....

furthermore, after the abyssmal ghoul that they did with 4e and the realms......

you get the picture.

anyway, the last thing I heard that they were developing was making it a %@%@#$%@#$%#@ card game.

*takes his popcorn bag and goes home*


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WoTC is really between a rock and a hard place on 5E. If they make it more like 3E, they alienate the current fan base and may bring back some Paizo fans. If they keep too much 4E, they definitely won't bring back any Paizo fans but may not keep their current fan base.

If you follow the forums over at WOTC, some of their base is really starting to freak out over the possible direction that Mike Mearls and Monte Cook could take the game. Since Monte is taking over the Legends & Lore column, reading their reactions is certainly going to be great fun.

Osirion

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I have to admit that I'm a bit of a Monte Cook fanboy. So if he is playing a major role in an upcoming version of D&D then it has my attention and probably my money.

Now if WotC is smart enough to realize they aren't the best at everything and returns to OGL I would be very sad if Paizo failed to take the opportunity to cash in with what everyone knows is the best adventue writers. Does WotC / Hasbro have that wisdom? I hope so.


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

I don't see any need for Paizo to change their strategy. Pathfinder is a solid game and Paizo supports it well. It is still very early in its lifespan, there are at least a half a dozen hardcovers I would like to see them produce to flesh out support. As long as they keep producing high quality adventure paths, Paizo's future is secure.


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ryric wrote:
Ooh, rampant speculation! Here comes a random collision of thoughts.

Hehe.

Speculation 1: 5e is the mythical "4e that should have been." This would mean going back to the drawing board (3.5) and revising it in a way that is distinct from Pathfinder.

Speculation 2: 5e is a revision of 4e. This would involve trying to inject the "D&D" back into D&D.

Speculation 3: 5e is completely innovative. No idea what this would look like. Could go the way of 4e (because 4e was innovative), or it could be something totally new and awesome that we've never even thought of.

Any of the above risks further splintering their player base, but all could also potentially bring back players that left.


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WoTC will release AD&D 5th Edition as a 3rd person ´fighter´ video game (ala Mortal Kombat).
There will be a secret unlock code to fight the ´Bulmahn´ uber-boss.
One faction will be ´3rd Edition Grognards´. Another faction will be ´True Roleplayers´.

Paizo will respond with... Choose Your Own Adventure Pathfinder Novels.


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don't get me wrong, I like monte cook's stuff too.

BUT, the best thing for DND right now would be to have HAsbro out of the design/development.

walmarts wont sell anything dnd, so imo just let wotc have their way wit hthe creative control and hasbro just distributes it since all it goes to bookstores and game shops anyway

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I believe that Monte is capable of writing a perfectly fine system.
I believe that the WotC design team is capable of meshing it with both the "old" fluff and 4E lore.
I believe that the WotC marketing team is capable of oh dear this is where it all falls apart.


5e as a revitalisation of the Fighting Fantasy genre? I'd buy that! :D


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I certainly didn't want to give the impression that Wizards of the Coast will have it easy. It is tough to design a game that will reunite the fan-base, given how disparate the wants of various gamers can be. One cannot rule out that the game will try to be good at everything and end up being good at nothing. Still, Wizards of the Coast does have some excellent designer talent - they may be able to pull off a game that can reunite the player-base to a significant extent.


My guess would be that 5th edition will in some ways be a step back in time - they realized 4e alienated a lot of old-school gamers and will want to buy them back, but they can't do that through an updated 4e; they need to bring back key elements lost in 4e.

If we, for this purpose, call 4e a more action-focused RPG and PF a multi-focused (less focused?) RPG, without saying anything bad about either of them, in that regard I think 5e will position it somewhere in between 4e and PF to get people from paizo to convert.

However, Paizo has been most popular with those who prefer more of the transparency and versimillitude (is that an appropriate word in this situation? *being a Swede*) compared to the quick action of 4e; while many players don't care much for "realism", those who want a system that is internally consistent find PFRPG preferable to 4e.

4e also has a far higher feeling of heroism from square zero - someone described it as 4e levels comparing to 3.x/PF levels 5-15; you start out as a kick-ass hero, but never get to the create demiplanes and become a god-state. PF on the other hand, while containing material for 1-20, focuses heavily on 1-15, with adventure paths going to the teens.

This does mean that 4e also feels more high-magic than PF does, and has a harder time adjusting to low-fantasy campaigns. A 5th edition might draw back on that a bit, but can't do it too much or it will feel to weird for those already playing 4e. On the other hand, a 5th edition might be able to succeed where both 3.x, PF, and 4e failed - at making high-level play interesting for everyone involved (DM and players, regardless of what characters they play).

Seeing as how lower magic is one of the things most often mentioned on the boards here, low-fantasy gamers definately have their eyes on PF before 4e, but on the other hand they might be playing completely other systems, or do as I and play heavily house-ruled PF.

If 5e succeeds at making effective high-level play, I think it will undoubtedly take some players from PF. It might also take those already on the fence, but those already play both systems and might not invest as much in PF to begin with.

What 5e will NOT be able to do is take customers from those that prefer a little more low-powered, because PF has a decent base system for that which will be hard to make in 5e without screwing 4e players over.

In addition, something that should not be forgotten is the adventures. Paizo has their adventure paths as their main background, and are REALLY good at making adventure paths. Heck, the only game over level 10 I've ever found really good was RotRL. I haven't played any official 4e adventures, but from what I've seen of them, eyeing through them, they haven't looked that interesting. While both PF and 4e adventures are action-heavy, Paizo's seem easier and more natural to put more non-combat encounters in.

I also think the OGL has a GREAT significance in this. I can't see myself converting unless most 5e stuff is also OGL, copyleft, or something similiar, regardless of how good it is.

My suggestion for paizo would have been to focus on their strength rather than trying to compensate for their weakness - focusing on adventures, and maybe making a book focused at low fantasy gaming and campaign building.


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Maybe they'll decide to forget about 5th edition, and just reprint original D&D. Unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

Osirion

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Quandary wrote:
Paizo will respond with... Choose Your Own Adventure Pathfinder Novels.

That would be really awesome.


no it wouldnt.

I've read a choose your path once and at a certain page, both pages were game over.

not good


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I considered WoTC largely irrelevant and bereft of real creativity well before 3.5 ended, and I posted that in many places, including their own website. 4th Edition cemented that idea for me. I don't even recognize MTG anymore, either.

WoTC will never lure me back to a new edition of D&D. There is one thing they could do to earn a smidgen of my loyalty, though, and that would be to reinitiate d20 Modern and give it the support of the OGL again. I wrote a lot of good stuff for that, that was well playtested and ought to have seen publication, but I just can't see doing so without official support.

Since that will never happen, they aren't likely ever to have my support or loyalty again. There are enough RPGs in the world (and in my head) and enough good companies like Paizo, that I never have to deal with WoTC again.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Matthew Trent wrote:

I have to admit that I'm a bit of a Monte Cook fanboy. So if he is playing a major role in an upcoming version of D&D then it has my attention and probably my money.

Now if WotC is smart enough to realize they aren't the best at everything and returns to OGL I would be very sad if Paizo failed to take the opportunity to cash in with what everyone knows is the best adventue writers. Does WotC / Hasbro have that wisdom? I hope so.

I also have been a big fan of Monte's for awhile. He has always been behind solid products. I am willing to look at 5E if he is involved.

Andoran

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Paizo will be fine, because Paizo's buisness model isn't predicated on writing the ruleset.

Paizo's buisness model is on having the best setting and best modules and Adventures in a popular ruleset.

They don't make much on the core rules. Hardcovers are expensive to manufacture and to ship. They basically break even on the Core Books.

But they do make money on the APs, which are basically 20 dollar magazines.

And they do make money on the modules, the setting books, etc...

If WoTC made a 5th edition that was clearly superior to Pathfinder, it would hurt Paizo in the short term, absolutely. But they can adjust to selling 5E books in the same way they sold 3.5 books.

They just need a good system lots of people are playing, and they will put out quality products that run on that system.

The reason Paizo is catching up to WoTC (and in some places passing...) is because Paizo is open content that anyone can play for free and 4E requires investment, since the open content isn't practically useful for running a game.

You don't need the core rulebook to play Pathfinder. Hell, most of the content in the splats is OGL.

They want you to have it.

Why?

Because then you will play. And unlike rules, modules and APs are a consumable resource. You can't replay RoTRL once you run it once. You know what will happen. So you need to buy the next module/ap/etc...

This is why they will be fine, and this is why WoTC is going to need new editions every few years.

They sell a product that is reusable as the core of their business.

The system is only a platform for Paizo's core business.


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

As I said on EN world, I have edition fatigue. I mean, since 1999 I've played 2e, 3e, 3.5' and pathfinder. 4 versions of the same game in 12 years.

I have no interest a new edition of d&d or pathfinder.


Saw this:

Dave Chalker wrote:
My guess from all this is that we’ll see a product that I’m calling “Dungeons & Dragons: Anniversary Edition” that attempts to be the Grand Unified Game of D&D – not in the “this is the best edition ever” sense, but in the sense that it takes every edition of D&D made and puts it into one game. It would use a modular approach that allows you to combine aspects of each edition to make your own D&D, effectively, while also providing plenty of tools to hack whichever version of D&D you’re currently playing.

Found it here: Critical Hits

A game designed at its foundational level to be a la carte/modular is a very interesting idea. Take the rules you want, leave the rules you don't makes catering a game to each particular gaming table a very easy thing to do.

If there is a 5e, and it goes this direction, I'd, at the very least, give it a try. However, I've invested too much of my time in Pathfinder to alienate them for any new RPG, be it WOTC made or otherwise.

Cheliax

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I had written a longer post, but it read more like a random rant than as a pertinent reasoning.

So, I'll sum up this way: I don't really care. I'm undergoing a rules burnout syndrome, too much in a too small timespan.
I want to fully explore a ruleset and become bored with it (something that didn't happen even with the 3.0 edition, nor with the 3.5) before even having to look for something new.

Having to change my games and my knowledge/understanding/mastery of the rules every 4 years or so is way too much to handle.
I'll probably skip anything that comes before 2015. Or even later. Which also means that I'll give a look at interesting stuff - just as I've read and played other games, such as DragonAge or FantasyCraft - but I won't become really involved or dedicated with it.


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The real problem with 4E is that it's TOO streamlined. Highly efficient, but very bland...almost literally a corporate-produced RPG. If there's one thing my experience with both PF and 4E has taught me is that fluff is FUN. Fluff is a good thing. I love having spells and abilities that are pure utility, with no direct combat application at all. On top of that, you can actually have a lot of fun trying to find ways of making fluff spells and fluff powers useful in a battle. Plus the skills that just let you craft things and have specialized lore and that sort of thing.

To me, D&D is all about the flavor. You want to taste it, like a well-prepared dish, and the better the cook (player) the more flavorful the dish (character). 4E is more like fast food. It's consistently "okay", but you can't really do anything exceptional with it. Quite frankly, I don't think the non-creative players should have their hands held by a game.

If someone isn't smart enough or clever enough to play a good game of D&D, they can go play a board game.

5E would pretty much have to capture that in a way that's either "better" than PF or significantly different in order for me to even care. To put it simply, 5E has some big shoes to fill, made bigger by 4E's elephant-in-the-room list of mistakes.


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At a relatively young age, I started playing 2E on the day it released -- literally. I had played D&D BECMI before that, going back to when I was a tender 8 years old. I remember being a young 8 and walking into the Toy Store with my dad, and he'd look at all the toys but my eyes would be on only one section, where they stocked modules, 1E hardbacks, the 81 Moldvay Basic Set, and Grenadier miniatures, along with some of the first of the Dragon Magazines. The old guy running the shop gave away a copy of Dragon with any D&D purchase. His counter was full of dice, and MAN did I love that place.

I played 2E until the rise of WW, where some friends yanked me into Mage for a few years. Came back to find that 3.0 had released, so I picked it up, didn't read it real closely -- I figured surely they hadn't changed that much, and where things looked similar I just mentally filled in 2E mechanics for them (that's a hard habit to break!). Then I found out some of the additional books I'd bought were 3.5. Didn't mean much, what the heck is a .5? When 4E released I thought I knew 3.x, but really I knew 2E with a smattering of 3.x content on top of it. It was passably fun I suppose, but stale. Eberron helped a bit. But the first 3 4E books, I picked them up and was like WHAT THE ****?! I started doing backwards reading, going back into 3.x to find out what the heck had happened. And the more I read, the less I liked the direction I could see Wizards going. Then they added the DDI thing, started with the monthly errata spiel and ugh. This wasn't the game I wanted, it wasn't the COMPANY I wanted, and it wasn't the direction I wanted.

Enter Pathfinder. By now I had a pretty decent grasp on most of the real mechanics of 3.5 and had let a bit of grognardism go to the wayside to try out the new stuff. And it was fun! But...I knew all the bad parts of it too. Like warriors...something people in my group love. What happened to the Realms. I didn't feel right playing in these settings that had gone on without me into the new 'direction'. Sure, I could run it forever...but I always enjoyed getting a new piece of content about a published world and seeing how close (or far!) my changes were with what the creators were intending. And I couldn't do that anymore really. But Golarion, it reminded me of the old Realms. It was like a fresh start, full of ideas and directions, and products being released to compare my games to, the ideas of my players to, and so on. And it was with a ruleset I was becoming increasingly comfortable with, only better. So let's check out the company. Paizo's approach to the whole thing left me feeling much more comfortable than WotC ever did. I felt comfortable spending my money with them. I felt the line had support, new ideas still to come, and lots of direction.

So 5E? It means nothing to me. It's from a company that long ago left me feeling alienated, after a game that shows that either they have NO direction, or their idea of 'direction' is so far off from mine as to not even be in the same ballpark...not even the same SPORT. If Paizo changes editions, or touches up PF, I'll be there for it. I am relatively easy to please, I just don't want to feel that the company I'm paying feels contempt for me. And I don't get that feeling from Paizo. It would take nothing short of a miracle imo for WotC to 'bridge the gap' they've made. As far as I'm concerned, they burned their bridges and told us to go screw ourselves. And, in the long run, I'm glad they did because I found something better.

Sorry so long.


Roman wrote:
It is tough to design a game that will reunite the fan-base, given how disparate the wants of various gamers can be. One cannot rule out that the game will try to be good at everything and end up being good at nothing. Still, Wizards of the Coast does have some excellent designer talent - they may be able to pull off a game that can reunite the player-base to a significant extent.

TBH reuniting the fan base shouldn't be their goal at all. Creating a fan base for the new game that is composed of fans who may also be fans of any number of other games is. I loved that time when I had to decide if my game budget for the month was going to WoD, or Earthdawn, or DnD, or Shadowrun, or some other game I saw at a con like Noir, Feng Shui, and the like. I want quality: quality writing, quality setting if that is what I'm buying, and quality development of product. And that means fine toothed comb editing with comparisons to extant and in-development products within a company's line. Something Paizo has been falling down on the job about and to me is one of their biggest hurdles facing their non adventures books in light of any new fantasy game entering the market.

From the posts I read here it already seems like I play a different version of PF than some folks. Let's go with that. WOTC, IMO, should be setting up new boundaries around what kinds of stories/games their new system can tell within the vast expanse of what can be done within the term RPG.

The fact that FATE rolled up some big wins at the ENNIE'S as an Indie game with enough mainstream stuff to satisfy greybeards in the community should be seen as indication that the hobby, as always, should be evolving so as to remain profitable and tenable as a hobby.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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A rising tide buoys all ships. If a new edition of D&D comes out and if it's successful, it increases interest in (variations on) previous editions of D&D, fantasy roleplaying, and indeed roleplaying in general. It helps fund shops that carry RPGs, and encourages game shops that may have dropped RPGs for board games and card games (or video games or comics or action figures, etc.) to carry RPGs again. It encourages people who see D&D 5e in a mainstream bookstore to come into a specialty shop, which offers both 5e and other RPGs.

A successful 5e is good for Paizo.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
A Man In Black wrote:

A rising tide buoys all ships. If a new edition of D&D comes out and if it's successful, it increases interest in (variations on) previous editions of D&D, fantasy roleplaying, and indeed roleplaying in general. It helps fund shops that carry RPGs, and encourages game shops that may have dropped RPGs for board games and card games (or video games or comics or action figures, etc.) to carry RPGs again. It encourages people who see D&D 5e in a mainstream bookstore to come into a specialty shop, which offers both 5e and other RPGs.

A successful 5e is good for Paizo.

Not to mention the fact that a solid competition that you actually have to mind is better than a competition that is running around like a headless chicken tripping over it's own legs every 5 minutes.


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A Man In Black wrote:
A successful 5e is good for Paizo.
Gorbacz wrote:
Not to mention the fact that a solid competition that you actually have to mind is better than a competition that is running around like a headless chicken tripping over it's own legs every 5 minutes.

This.


LadyWurm wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
A successful 5e is good for Paizo.
Gorbacz wrote:
Not to mention the fact that a solid competition that you actually have to mind is better than a competition that is running around like a headless chicken tripping over it's own legs every 5 minutes.
This.

It would certainly be good for customers. I doubt, though, that it would be good for Paizo. A rising tide is not an apt analogy in this instance - that would be more suited to a game that grows the market by trying to reach out to new players. This could, perhaps, be said about 4e. If 5e is to be a game designed to draw back lapsed customers, it does not grow the RPG market (well it still does, of course, but it does not gain a bulk of its users that way) and the competition becomes much more zero sum. A good metaphor might be nearby plants competing for sunlight - they can still both grow, but they hamper each other... and it is just possible that manages to take enough sunlight to sun-starve the other.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Roman wrote:
If 5e is to be a game designed to draw back lapsed customers, it does not grow the RPG market (well it still does, of course, but it does not gain a bulk of its users that way) and the competition becomes much more zero sum. A good metaphor might be nearby plants competing for sunlight - they can still both grow, but they hamper each other... and it is just possible that manages to take enough sunlight to sun-starve the other.

It wasn't an analogy, it was an expression. Of course it's not perfectly applicable.

Even if 5e is meant to bring back lapsed customers, those customers don't stop being potential Paizo customers. The goal is not to have more fanboys or more people who like Pathfinder best, but to have more people buying Paizo's books.

Also, Paizo is in the business of selling Golarion more than it's in the business of selling Pathfinder. (Or so I understand; I'm given to understand that APs, PFS-related goods, and setting books outsell rule books other than core, no?) Given licensing terms that don't leave them beholden to a licensor, there's no reason they couldn't go back to being setting people if 5e completely ate PF's rulebook business.


Roman wrote:
LadyWurm wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
A successful 5e is good for Paizo.
Gorbacz wrote:
Not to mention the fact that a solid competition that you actually have to mind is better than a competition that is running around like a headless chicken tripping over it's own legs every 5 minutes.
This.
It would certainly be good for customers. I doubt, though, that it would be good for Paizo. A rising tide is not an apt analogy in this instance - that would be more suited to a game that grows the market by trying to reach out to new players. This could, perhaps, be said about 4e. If 5e is to be a game designed to draw back lapsed customers, it does not grow the RPG market (well it still does, of course, but it does not gain a bulk of its users that way) and the competition becomes much more zero sum. A good metaphor might be nearby plants competing for sunlight - they can still both grow, but they hamper each other... and it is just possible that manages to take enough sunlight to sun-starve the other.

I think Paizo can handle renewed competition from 4e, 5e, or whatever WoTC has coming down the pipe. They seem to have an excellent grasp of what their audience wants; I know I have a hard time not buying virtually everything they put out. If WoTC puts out something great with 5th edition, I imagine I'll end up buying from both vendors.

Might need to sell a kidney to keep up, though.

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