Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Why is there so much hate for 3PP, and what can I, no, we, do to change that?


Compatible Products from Other Publishers

51 to 100 of 307 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
AionicElf wrote:
While the Paizo stuff does have balance issues, admittedly, it's pretty rigorously playtested and then errata'd. The 3PP stuff is...not, in my experience.

I am actually go on out and say that I don't think Paizo's stuff is play-tested very well at all. Read the Gunslinger round 1 play-test threads for examples where folks begged for them to provide us with all the firearms they were working up to see if the class needed tweaks or would play as envisioned with the better than the base firearms. Which might would have cut down on the 1500 DPR multi barrel firearm gunslinger builds folks are posting about even if it is hyperbolically. Read all the vitriol being spewed about the Antagonze feat. Read the blog posts about the reworks of stealth (which truthfully may be a point in your favor about a more rigorous playtest process) because it was so poorly written even after the beta.

EDIT: This is compounded by the piecemeal writing process where multiple contributors write different sections of a book Paizo has employed which for a lot of smaller 3PP's is much less of an issue to begin with and may possibly be utilized as a strength in presenting the material to potential customers.

I think Paizo has gotten into the sloppy habit of pushing out material (see my original post in this topic about needing to pay mortgages for more speculation on my part of why that is the case) and then going "Ohh well we will just Eratta/ FAQ it after publication." Yes errata is going to have to happen but it seems to be the default process rather than quality controls pre-publication.

TO BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR: JAMES, LISA, STEVEN, VIC, ET AL I WANT YOU TO DO BETTER! I AM NOT JUST BADMOUTHING YOU TO BE AN INTERNET BRAT. I WANT THIS TO BE TAKEN AS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED AND HELP THE HOBBY I HAVE PLAYED FOR 30 YEARS CONTINUE TO SURVIVE AND HOPEFULLY FLOURISH.

I also want that for the third party guys and the guys like Cam Banks at Margaret Weiss's company, and Vincent Baker and them at Evil Hat


Jeraa wrote:

The more 3PP material is used, the greater the chances of something accidentally breaking. Mechanic A from core rules may work fine, and Mechanic B from a 3PP modifies Mechanic A a little, but is still fine. Then another 3PP makes Mechanic C, which is also fine when compared to Mechanic A, but combine A, B, and C together it totally screws everything up and breaks the game. No one intends for that to happen, but it does. So 3PP materials should all be carefully examined before use to avoid accidental brokenness.

That being said, I still never use 3PP. Then again, I ignore most 1PP as well. I prety much stick to the core rules with houserules. At least then I know how everything is supposed to work together.

This is certainly a fair position to take, but it sems to me the problem comes from more rules from multiple sources whether they are first party or 3rd party (by the way how does one create a 2nd party product?).

I have a metric ton of 3PP products that I use in my games on an approval basis and I see no additional rate of rejection when I compare that to Paizo material beyond the core rules. In fact I would say certain 3PPs like Super Genius Games has a lower rejection rate then Paizo. There are Exactly 3 things I have changed (not even rejected just adjusted the rules for).

There are far more things from paizo non-core rules that I wont allow. And to be honest given that I own every rules product super genius games has to date produced for pathfinder, the volume of rules is pretty darn close between SGG stuff and non-core paizo stuff I own. Owen and his team are very good at frustrating my inner munchkin and that of my players.


Kolokotroni wrote:
(by the way how does one create a 2nd party product?).

My joking response: I would assume that the Dragon Magazine Compendium Paizo made would be an example. 3PP for 3.5 DnD so now compatable with PF even though it is not a PF product.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here's an example.

A 3pp feat that a number of people consider overpowered and poorly thought out, and has been held up as an example of why people should not trust 3pp for balanced material

Acrobatic Dodge wrote:

Your nimble moves often allow you to flip away from a foe’s attack.

Prerequisite: Dex 15, Acrobatic.

Benefit: As an immediate action when you would normally be hit with a melee or ranged attack roll, you may make an Acrobatics check to avoid being hit. The DC for this check is equal to the attack roll that hit you. You gain a free 5‑foot step as part of this Acrobatics check, and must take it. (If you cannot take your 5‑foot step, you cannot use this feat. The movement doesn’t count against any other movement you are taking, and does not provoke an attack of opportunity.) You may only use this feat when you have an armor check penalty of 0, are carrying no more than a light load, and are not wielding a two‑handed weapon or shield. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Dexterity bonus.

So if you spend 2 feats, are in very little armor (armor check 0) and free to move about, you can make a skill check to dodge an attack 1ce/round for a limited number of times per day. Okay, let's compare this to official Paizo feats, shall we?

Is there a feat that lets you negate attack rolls with skill checks? Yep, it's called Mounted Combat.
Is there a feat that allows you to negate ranged attacks? Yep, it's called Deflect Arrows.
Is there a feat that allows you to deflect melee attacks? Yep, it's called Crane Wing.

Here is a feat from Paizo which does not seem to get the same condemnation

Snake Style wrote:

You watch your foe’s every movement and then punch through its defense.

Prerequisite: Improved Unarmed Strike, Acrobatics 1 rank, Sense Motive 3 ranks.

Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Sense Motive checks, and you can deal piercing damage with your unarmed strikes. While using the Snake Style feat, when an opponent targets you with a melee or ranged attack, you can spend an immediate action to make a Sense Motive check. You can use the result as your AC or touch AC against that attack. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed.

Normal: An unarmed strike deals bludgeoning damage.

It does what Acrobatic Dodge does (skill check to dodge an attack) AND gives you a +2 bonus to the skill used to dodge an attack (Sense Motvie) AND there's no limit to how many times/day you can use it, or what armor you can be in when you do so.

So, why the double-standard when 3pp produce "unbalanced" material, but not when Paizo produces "unbalanced" material?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:
(by the way how does one create a 2nd party product?).

You are the 2nd party. So any house rules that you wrote for your own home game are 2nd party products. As soon as you share them, they become 3rd party to the people you've shared them with.


Caedwyr wrote:

Here's an example.

A 3pp feat that a number of people consider overpowered and poorly thought out, and has been held up as an example of why people should not trust 3pp for balanced material

Acrobatic Dodge wrote:
Your nimble moves often allow you to flip away from a foe’s attack.

Who exactly considers that over powered? Seems weak to me.


My problem is that most 3PP just feel unecessary.
1. I only have X amount of time to devote to this hobby. Most 3PP material increases the amount of time I have to spend without significantly increasing anyone's enjoyment. Spending extra hours watching over a player's character just so that they could play a slightly different flavor of fighter is not fun, and it is so much easier to just say no upfront.
2. Game Bloat. Pathfinder is already starting to feel bloated. There are a few classes that I don't think I will ever use in a game. If I really need a special class for a special occasion, then odds are nothing in the books quite fits, and I will need to make it myself anyways.

The only real void that 3PP has really every successfully filled for me has been very focused speciality books. A book of nothing but traps and poisons is a great reference, and can give you ideas. A book of nothing but new spells is great too. I don't mind those, because integrating a single new spell or trap here and there is a lot easier than integrating an entirely new class into a world. Also, if I decide it is overpowered, it is a lot easier to remove a single spell or item than it is to make a PC change their entire character.

Paizo Employee Master of Coin

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragonsong wrote:
TO BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR: JAMES, LISA, STEVEN, VIC, ET AL I WANT YOU TO DO BETTER! I AM NOT JUST BADMOUTHING YOU TO BE AN INTERNET BRAT. I WANT THIS TO BE TAKEN AS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED AND HELP THE HOBBY I HAVE PLAYED FOR 30 YEARS CONTINUE TO SURVIVE AND HOPEFULLY FLOURISH.

Noted.

I'll set the throttle to "FLOURISH" right now.


Just to put this out there: I've been appalled at the lack of quality in some 3PP materials -- many of which seem to have been churned out by people who have no idea how d20/3.0/3.5/PF even works (Dragon Lords of Melnibone comes immediately to mind).

At the opposite end of the spectrum we have people like Mr. Broadhurst from up-thread, who I firmly believe puts more care into proofing his product than Paizo ever has.

That broad of a gap is a tough one to bridge sometimes. Personally, in general I'm very hesitant to buy 3rd party material, but very avid to look at it for possible inclusion if a player brings it to my attention (and better still, loans me a copy!).


Chris Self wrote:
Dragonsong wrote:
TO BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR: JAMES, LISA, STEVEN, VIC, ET AL I WANT YOU TO DO BETTER! I AM NOT JUST BADMOUTHING YOU TO BE AN INTERNET BRAT. I WANT THIS TO BE TAKEN AS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED AND HELP THE HOBBY I HAVE PLAYED FOR 30 YEARS CONTINUE TO SURVIVE AND HOPEFULLY FLOURISH.

Noted.

I'll set the throttle to "FLOURISH" right now.

Man do you have one of those for the world economy handy Chris.

Also I had no idea you guys were waiting on me to give the word otherwise i would have done that a long time ago.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Charender wrote:
1. I only have X amount of time to devote to this hobby. Most 3PP material increases the amount of time I have to spend without significantly increasing anyone's enjoyment. Spending extra hours watching over a player's character just so that they could play a slightly different flavor of fighter is not fun, and it is so much easier to just say no upfront.

I used to be like that, but I have found it way easier to just say yes. If you don't try and out-think every option your players pick, and just reserve the right to change it if it seems to become a problem in play. Then I don't have to examine every new thing with a fine toothed comb. We can just play and have fun. Broken combos will show up in play, and the player will only get to get away with it once.

Edit to add: And that goes for Pazio's material too. I've tweaked things from the core rules just as I've tweaked them from 3PP.


deinol wrote:
Charender wrote:
1. I only have X amount of time to devote to this hobby. Most 3PP material increases the amount of time I have to spend without significantly increasing anyone's enjoyment. Spending extra hours watching over a player's character just so that they could play a slightly different flavor of fighter is not fun, and it is so much easier to just say no upfront.

I used to be like that, but I have found it way easier to just say yes. If you don't try and out-think every option your players pick, and just reserve the right to change it if it seems to become a problem in play. Then I don't have to examine every new thing with a fine toothed comb. We can just play and have fun. Broken combos will show up in play, and the player will only get to get away with it once.

Edit to add: And that goes for Pazio's material too. I've tweaked things from the core rules just as I've tweaked them from 3PP.

For the most part, so do I. My point is that eventually, you reach a limit where you have to try to maximize your time spent to fun ratio. When you reach that limit, it becomes a lot easier to just say no to everything.

Then you look at it from a player stand point. I have 2 options.
A. Invest time and effort in a character concept that may get nerf into oblivion if the DM finds it to be overpowered.
B. Just stick to the core rules.

Most players will choose B.

Cheliax

Seeing some great suggestions here, I kind of like using it against the players, but I'd rather they use it than me. And even if I do use it, unless the characters die, they won't be playing a Gargoyle Time Thief anytime soon. Of course, it is a way to visualize to the "NO" DMs that it isn't awful material.

I think somethings are a quick glance "NO" (Like odd numbered ability modifiers, gain a bonus, hide a penalty) but if a DM would spend two minutes to look it over before that "NO", that is two minutes more than none at all. The blanket "NO" is frustrating.


Creighton Broadhurst wrote:


I'm game. Same offer to you! I'm not going to change anyone's mind by saying "3PP stuff is good - I promise!"

Note that I was joking. I'm not among those who categorically refuse to use 3PP. I bought lots of 3PP stuff for 3e/3.5e, and also some stuff for PF (though nothing from angry birds I must admit). Heck, Paizo started out as 3PP.

Creighton Broadhurst wrote:
Take a look at my stuff. I'll send you a free PDF if you want to roadtest Raging Swan. If you are a player I'd suggest Dhampir: Scions of the Night if you are a GM I'd go for one of our modules! Reibution is my favourite.

Well, I'm both a GM and a Player. However, with the APs I have all the modules I need/can use and they keep pulling ahead. Three finished APs I haven't run at all, another I'm starting the last trimester, and then Jade Empire. REGENT! I keep referring to Jade Regent as Jade Empire. Damn you, Bioware.


KaeYoss wrote:
Creighton Broadhurst wrote:


I'm game. Same offer to you! I'm not going to change anyone's mind by saying "3PP stuff is good - I promise!"

Note that I was joking. I'm not among those who categorically refuse to use 3PP. I bought lots of 3PP stuff for 3e/3.5e, and also some stuff for PF (though nothing from angry birds I must admit). Heck, Paizo started out as 3PP.

Creighton Broadhurst wrote:
Take a look at my stuff. I'll send you a free PDF if you want to roadtest Raging Swan. If you are a player I'd suggest Dhampir: Scions of the Night if you are a GM I'd go for one of our modules! Reibution is my favourite.
Well, I'm both a GM and a Player. However, with the APs I have all the modules I need/can use and they keep pulling ahead. Three finished APs I haven't run at all, another I'm starting the last trimester, and then Jade Empire. REGENT! I keep referring to Jade Regent as Jade Empire. Damn you, Bioware.

Yea I was not fishing for freebies for sure but I think Creighton deserves some serious respect for being willing and generous enough to offer that.

Qadira

Simply put rules bloat. I tend to run games minus a lot of stuff in the core rules and maybe one or two interesting tidbits I may get from another source. A 3pp wants to get my attention, it needs to be more than just shiny.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Kolokotroni wrote:
by the way how does one create a 2nd party product?

2nd party is a direct licensee. Dungeon and Dragon Magazines were 2nd party products back when Paizo had the license. Dragonlance when MWP had the license was a 2nd party product.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Back in 3x, I was turned off by 3PPs. One specific example was a guy who played with my group one time and used a flamberge out of a 3PP book he had. The flamberge was identical to my fighter's two handed sword in everyway but the flamberge crit on an 18-20. I'd have rather had that than my sword. But my biggest problem was another player who always used 3pp classes and always outclassed the rest of the party. Years later I found out from the GM at the time (I was just a player back then) that particular player wasn't following the rule right.

Flash forward to this time a year ago when I first discovered the Paizo website. Since that time, my view of 3PPs has changed dramatically. Since I GM 100% of the time, I tend to buy products from Raging Swan/Rite Publishing/Frog God Games/Open Design that have products leaning more towards the GM. But there is a couple of stuff from SSG that I have my eye on and I signed up on Kickstarter as a back for Zombie Sky Press's "It Came from the Stars" (go check that out, it looks pretty cool).

While I like to incoporate 3PP stuff into my campaign, my players just currently discovered the Advanced Player's Guide. And this weekend after over a year of playing, one of my player's finally showed up with a Core Rulebook (though I still have to lend him my APG for his oracle).


Playing in two campaigns at the moment with 2 very different groups. In the first we tend to cherry pick when it comes to 3PP. Almost any creature is cool as are most items but feats or classes need to be approved of by the players and DM.

In the second it is almost entirely limited to core rulebooks. Not sure why but everyone just seems to agree that it's easier that way.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
by the way how does one create a 2nd party product?
2nd party is a direct licensee. Dungeon and Dragon Magazines were 2nd party products back when Paizo had the license. Dragonlance when MWP had the license was a 2nd party product.

I have my eye on Jon Brazer Kingdom building books. I'm just waiting to make sure my Kingmaker doesn't fizzle out before book 2. I think what you guys did with Kingmakers is an important role for 3PPs- filling out those niche/variant rules from the core books.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

John Benbo wrote:
I have my eye on Jon Brazer Kingdom building books. I'm just waiting to make sure my Kingmaker doesn't fizzle out before book 2. I think what you guys did with Kingmakers is an important role for 3PPs- filling out those niche/variant rules from the core books.

Thank you and I hope that your game goes long (not because I want to sell book but because I like to see have long campaigns and people having fun).

And the Book of the River Nations wasn't officially licensed, so it was a 3rd party product as well.


Goblins Eighty-Five wrote:

Seeing some great suggestions here, I kind of like using it against the players, but I'd rather they use it than me. And even if I do use it, unless the characters die, they won't be playing a Gargoyle Time Thief anytime soon. Of course, it is a way to visualize to the "NO" DMs that it isn't awful material.

I think somethings are a quick glance "NO" (Like odd numbered ability modifiers, gain a bonus, hide a penalty) but if a DM would spend two minutes to look it over before that "NO", that is two minutes more than none at all. The blanket "NO" is frustrating.

I don't think many DMs here will classify themselves as a "blanket NO" DMs. The problem is that as a DM you have a limited amount of time your can invest into gaming. Once you reach the limit, everything after that is going to be an uphill battle for the player to get into the game. Some DMs will blanket no anything in UM and UC. Some DM will allow anything. Paizo material only becomes a fairly safe middle ground.

The problem is that if I rank everything in order of inclusion, 3PP falls last on the list. Core, AGP, UM/UC, Regional/Racial, 3PP.

This throws 2 things into the works. One if a players comes to me with something from 3PP, my first question is going to be "Can this be done without using 3PP?" My second question "Will be is this balanced?" My third question is "How much of a headache is this going to be for me to manage?" If I don't like the answer to any of those question, the 3PP material is out.

I don't have anything against it directly, but 3PP just has more hurdles to get over.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Charender wrote:
The problem is that if I rank everything in order of inclusion, 3PP falls last on the list. Core, AGP, UM/UC, Regional/Racial, 3PP.

That's funny to see someone else's list of inclusion. Here's mine:

Core, all JBE material, APG, all other 3rd party material, campaign/campaign setting specific material.

(the lack of UM/UC is not a mistake, my players and I have agreed to ignore those books for my game)

Cheliax

Charender wrote:
I don't have anything against it directly, but 3PP just has more hurdles to get over.

Never a truer statement could be said. But again, you ask an interesting set of questions, and I like the first the most: "Can this be done without using 3PP?" I think I ask something similar "Can this be done better without using 3PP?" Generally, I disallow 3PP or some old WoTC products because it is too weak; my players know what is too much, but generally, not what is not enough.


Goblins Eighty-Five wrote:
Charender wrote:
I don't have anything against it directly, but 3PP just has more hurdles to get over.
Never a truer statement could be said. But again, you ask an interesting set of questions, and I like the first the most: "Can this be done without using 3PP?" I think I ask something similar "Can this be done better without using 3PP?" Generally, I disallow 3PP or some old WoTC products because it is too weak; my players know what is too much, but generally, not what is not enough.

Yeah, the first question is why I tend toward 3PP that fills a void that is not covered by Paizo Material. The thing is that I pull from 3PP all the time as a DM. I still use the Book of Vile Darkness in my Pathfinder games, which is technicall 3PP as far as Pathfinder is concerned.

Which is another reason I don't buy much 3PP these days. Most of my 3.5 stuff can be fairly easily reworked for Pathfinder, so I have a hard time justifying money for a book that just updates or reskins stuff I already have.

The list of none core stuff that I would still use in Pathfinder(I know some of this is published by WOTC which makes it technically not 3PP, but I put all of these books together in my 3PP collection)
-Requium for a God
-A supplement for handling large scale battles, I forgot the name
-Traps and Treachery
-Book of Challenges
-Book of Vile Darkness
-Spell Compendium
-Oriental Adventures

The thing they all have in common is that they are suppliments that give me tools and ideas that allow me to do a better job running specific types of campaigns.

Some things I feel like I am missing.
-I am looking at a 3PP suppliment that revises the crafting rules, I forgot the name, but I have it bookmarked at home. The reason I haven't done it is that I could probably just wing it, and make of a set of rules that would probably work fine, and my players really don't care about crafting all that much.
-A book filled with lots of NPCs with some basic background stories. I really don't event need statblocks, just names and background stories. This is something that would be really useful when my players go off the rails, and I need 2 generic farmers for them to interact with. I can make the NPC up on the fly, but coming up with interesting and fun background stories on short notice can be tough.
-Psionics rules. I don't like the 3.0/3.5 vancian rework of psionics. I would love to see something that looks more like the 2nd ed psionics system, but is actually balanced.


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

Speaking of voids left by Paizo. The create-your-own race playtest going on now tells us that non-humanoids (otyugh, blink dogs, etc) aren't going to be possible. I expect one (or more) of you 3PP to expand on the final version and make it happen. ;)


deinol wrote:
Speaking of voids left by Paizo. The create-your-own race playtest going on now tells us that non-humanoids (otyugh, blink dogs, etc) aren't going to be possible. I expect one (or more) of you 3PP to expand on the final version and make it happen. ;)

I was thinking similarly that a big book of created races might be an excellent first foray into 3PP for PF for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonsong wrote:
I was thinking similarly that a big book of created races might be an excellent first foray into 3PP for PF for me.

Make some interesting plane-touched races and I will buy it.


Some of the so-called Hate is actually a method used to keep the game balanced with reference to the Players. In our first PF campaign I said CRB only, and 18 months later nearly half the players now own their own copy of it. We've had some spin off campaigns start that permit the APG, and I feel that is great and well timed because I've seen most of the players develop and grow in the knowledge and understanding of the rules.

The problem with 3PP stuff for our group is exemplified in one player who bites off more than he can chew. His first character in his first experience of role-play is as a Bard. Three levels in I had to sit with player and rework the PC from the ground up because it had become useless at everything. I think the class is too complex for a very first character. Next he takes a Cavalier, and then an Alchemist. He still doesn't own a CRB let alone an APG. He takes forever in combat trying to learn the rules of making bombs each session, and doesn't know what to do with the Cavalier.

I realise all this is Paizo stuff, not 3PP, but can you imagine how overwhelmed he'd be if he could utilise 3PP as well?!

3PP stuff, and any supplemental material adds options that some Players aren't really able to cope with. Too much choice can be a bad thing, as is the extra complexity that it can bring.

As a GM I like 3PP material. I've spent a few dollars on 3PP modules, classes, class guides, and NPCs. I've found a few companies that impress me, and I Follow them through DriveThruRPG (Raging Swan springs to mind atm for some reason, Creighton). It has inspired me to publish some of my own.

Cheliax

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

I honestly find the aversion to 3pp kinda funny in a silly way. I will explain.

1) When you get right down to it paizo is a 3pp themselves. They was for a long time and while they make their own core rule book now for d20 so could someone else and other companies have.

2) Many of the authors of 3pp stuff like oh I don't know Greg V. and Richard Pett also write a lot for official paizo products too, while other 3pp authors use to work for and write official published wotc stuff.

Yeah I get some concerns about balance, but the truth is paizo has had their share of stumbles in this area and wotc had a couple of the worst balanced books out there. 3pp is the same way. Sometimes they get it just perfect and sometimes they don't.

The other concern and to me the one that makes the most sense is wanting to avoid bloat. But in that case I just say pick and choose what you want to allow as a GM and stick to your guns. I do it with every campaign I run. I might allow 3pp product x in one campaign and not another, or I might not allow monk class in one campaign and no paladins in the next.

I like 3pp cause I see them as a tool box of options. I pick and choose the ones I think will work and allow them and only them in my games. I do the same thing for "core" rules as well.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Yep, it really amuses me quite a bit (honest!) that when I write for Paizo or WotC, it's official, and when I write for Open Design, it becomes 3PP.

I think that the ship has sailed for a lot of people who were burned in the great d20 glut, though, and that's sort of fair. A lot of companies jumped in around then. The ones that are still around are the ones doing the better work.


I just saw this post and I wanted to point out something to all the people who are against using 3PP material versus Paizo-only: Many of the freelance writers who currently work for OR have worked for Paizo in the past, usually have worked for a 3PP making products.

Here is a short list of people who have worked for LPJ Design: Neil Spicer, Tim Hitchcock, Tim Connors, Eileen Connors, Greg Oppedisano, Phillip Larwood, John Ling, Adam Daigle, John E. Ling, Jr, Louis Agresta, B. Matthew Conklin, David Hall, Rob Manning, Greg Ragland, Ted Reed, Brendan Victorson, Owen KC Stephens, Amber E. Scott and many more.

3PP are normally the first place people get seen and gain a following. It is a great way for Paizo to find solid talent WITHOUT having to waste time finding out who is good and who is not. You might think if the 3PP as the minor leagues, but we do produce a lot of MAJOR league talent that end up at Paizo. Just something to think about.

Osirion

As a GM taking the time to look over a 3PP stuff is time consuming. I have to figure out how it interacts with the game. Usually because the person asking for it is looking at character concept that they would like to play which ends up being overpowered. But I have found that a few players in my group love to create characters they want to play and no matter what sources they use if they are having fun and I can challenge them then, job accomplished. Yes I have been tricked many times by PCs wanting something from different books but as long we as group are having fun I almost never say no.
One player/GM in the group spends close to six hours, creating a new character from concept to back ground story and he loves options. So I guess what I'm trying to say is I allow 3PP as well as 3.5 in most of my games.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

There also hasn't been much discussion on how to change the negative perception of 3PP. I would like to hear what fans have to say other than "you might suck, so I'm not rolling those dice".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chuck Wright wrote:
There also hasn't been much discussion on how to change the negative perception of 3PP. I would like to hear what fans have to say other than "you might suck, so I'm not rolling those dice".

d20PFSRD.com

Qadira

As a DM, I'm not opposed to 3rd party material. My only stricture is that I have to either own the material myself, or be allowed to review the material first (as in, borrow it so I can take it home for a leisurely read, not skim through it five minutes before the game starts ) before making up my mind, yea or nay.

Name recognition goes a long way as well. Some companies have people writing for them whose catalog of material speaks for itself. That will go a long way in influencing my decision.


deinol wrote:
Dragonsong wrote:
I was thinking similarly that a big book of created races might be an excellent first foray into 3PP for PF for me.
Make some interesting plane-touched races and I will buy it.

Well now I have to see how I can make a rogue modron and then work from there.


Editing and professionalism in product design is first and foremost.

Look I understand you can't really copy 'the look' -- I don't expect you to either, but I do expect a product with less grammar and spelling errors than what Paizo products.

Yeah that's harsh I realize it -- but you have fewer products, and less chance to make that impression, so you better shine real bright and nothing tarnishes that worse than words that are not spelled correctly or incorrect grammar. This is especially true for PDFs or obviously printed material -- after all spell check isn't hard to use, I can deal with the wrong word being in a place as long as it is spelled correctly. Keep the word count down, and be precise in your mechanical language. I don't want you to use examples -- if you need an example you probably are either too complicated, or need to clean up the wording instead.

Art isn't cheap -- but it isn't always expensive either. If your artwork is looks like something I would call a 'hand doodle' you aren't going to get my money. Go to deviant art or a similar website find a talent artist trying to break out and give them a hand with a job. IF they hit it off that's good for your (publicity) and if not you got some good artwork from someone that's going to remember that you treated them well and gave them a chance.

Finally Playtest everything -- actually nix that, have other people play test everything. Chances are if you designed it you aren't going to see the flaws in it. So have someone else use it and if you must pay them a bit for the review. Paying 5 people five to ten dollars each for a gaming session that they are probably going to be willing to do to begin with instills the idea that this is professional, and that you need it treated as such. Paizo has the benefit of a huge playtest forum already built into its base, unfortunately as a 3rd party publisher you probably don't -- so you got to find another way to get people to take your playtest seriously without you in the room (you'll throw off the results by being there).

If you want me to spend the money on your product it best not look like the equivalent of something I would get at TJ Maxx -- a cheap knock off that will likely break in under a week.

I would suggest looking at where the big publishers always start -- with a campaign. Campaign's are great -- it's a tight setting, has room for monsters, magic items, prestige classes and epic writing. It gives the GM a chance to see that you can cover all your bases and produce great work. He plays with a few monsters, has an epic adventure, doesn't have to work hard and sees that you have a clear understanding of the rules. If you do it well it does the one thing any 3pp must do -- it builds trust in your products. Without that you're just another infomercial clogging the shelves.


LMPjr007 wrote:
3PP are normally the first place people get seen and gain a following. It is a great way for Paizo to find solid talent WITHOUT having to waste time finding out who is good and who is not. You might think if the 3PP as the minor leagues, but we do produce a lot of MAJOR league talent that end up at Paizo. Just something to think about.

Absolutely -- unfortunately many times the stuff that ends up in the 3pp pile for these people isn't their best work. Minor leaguers can impress, however if they want to be a regular presence at my table they have to not just impress but do so reliably -- which is what the Majors is all about.

The quality and professionalism of the 3pp stuff I typically see doesn't usually meet those standards.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:


Finally Playtest everything -- actually nix that, have other people play test everything. Chances are if you designed it you aren't going to see the flaws in it. So have someone else use it and if you must pay them a bit for the review. Paying 5 people five to ten dollars each for a gaming session that they are probably going to be willing to do to begin with instills the idea that this is professional, and that you need it treated as such. Paizo has the benefit of a huge playtest forum already built into its base, unfortunately as a 3rd party publisher you probably don't -- so you got to find another way to get people to take your playtest...

You know, I'm not entirely certain Paizo actually playtests their feats or spells.

Their classes and new subsystems? Yea.

The feats? I kinda doubt it.


Cheapy wrote:

You know, I'm not entirely certain Paizo actually playtests their feats or spells.

Their classes and new subsystems? Yea.

The feats? I kinda doubt it.

Agreed. I hardly trust Paizo, but can't exactly play without the core book. I'm hesitant to allow full access to their other books. I know core is not balanced, but restricting that leaves little to play with. I can't restrict everything.

Getting to trust a 3PP I don't know takes an enormous amount of work, and that's not work I'm interested in doing. Am I missing out on some good stuff? Quite likely. I don't mind terribly. My games work fine without them.


Cheapy wrote:


You know, I'm not entirely certain Paizo actually playtests their feats or spells.

Their classes and new subsystems? Yea.

The feats? I kinda doubt it.

In many ways I agree -- indeed their adventure paths are something Paizo really needs to tighten up the quality on. However for me the developers have proven their salt. They have provided the charts and assumptions they developed on, they have shown the ability and understanding of the calculations and math involved with the game. The have persistently shown an in depth understanding of the evolution of the game and its roots.

In addition Paizo also has the 'benefit' (as dubious as it is) of having several product lines all in development at the same time whiles still being in the 'start up' phase of their business venture. I have respect and can make allowances for that especially since they have gained (and proven themselves competent and worth of) primary publisher status.

This does not mean they are golden and incapable of wrong -- but that does mean they are the standard by which I judge by, if you want me to get your products you must exceed the standard -- otherwise I'll simply stick with it.

To put it another way -- if Paizo is silver then I'm looking for gold. I'm not going to put forth the effort for more silver especially when I know Paizo can provide that if you want my effort to read, learn and use your product it best be gold otherwise it won't catch my eye.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Exceeding Paizo's standard without their budget or their expert staff is a very tough order, but what the heck: I love a challenge.

But it's clear 3PP are never going to appeal to everyone. To some people, Paizo remains a 3PP and the only game they'll play is official D&D--these are the people who dismiss Pathfinder out of hand as "just D&D 3.75" without giving it a chance. The purists are never going to give 3PP a look, and it's a waste of time trying to convince them otherwise.

To other gamers, 3PP provide needed spice, and they mix and match to suit their tastes.

This is sort of the point of having a variety of games publishers. Something for everyone.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I usually don't care about power creep; I allow whatever.

What makes me less likely to use something "3p" is a sense of a lack of completeness if it is a class, which leads to the player saying "this guy should also have yadda yadda......." and me saying "yeah, but I don't have the time or the inclination and maybe not the wherewithal to create a "Complete 3pp Class" book for your character. Maybe they'll make one. Oh, no, the publisher's not making one; he went back to work in accounting..."

Also, the more unique to some 3pp's unique campaign material seems, or more importantly, the less I feel like I can fit it into my particular game, the less likely I am to use it; if I have to make up a special island of the "3pp people" somewhere, I'm not sure it's not going to be a dealbreaker. AND, if I feel I have to add a "continent based on the 3pp's campaign" where the green dwarves of Booberbinx ply the skyocean in their cloud chariots, I better really be in love with the green dwarves of Booberbinx, and those cloud chariots better have heated leather seats and a t.v. with a wetbar in back.

I sometimes feel that Australia with all the pouchmammals and duck headed mammals with beaver tails, poison spikes, and that lay eggs, is some kind of 3pp's weirdass campaign world that was spliced onto earth.
But, hell; it works......you just don't necessarily need an Australia spliced onto your planet for every player who wants to go on a flight of fancy.


One rule I always put down right away, was that a player could not bring anything into my game from a source to which I did not have access. Since I was not in the habit of buying third party splatbooks, those were not allowed. It would be too easy for certain players to start twisting stuff to which I would have no response.

The reason I did not have third party splat is, as the OP mentioned, way back in the early days of the OGL, they tended, to a one, to be greatly overpowered and out of balance. Frankly, I feel a lot of third party publishers did not bother to take a lot of time to really study the rules, or to do much play testing. They just rushed to get this stuff out, or unleashed their wet dream uber feats on an unwitting public so they could get their jollies playing them out in their own games.

Even books containing settings that I really liked, like the Iron Kingdoms, were terribly out of balance, and committed endless mistakes with their various monster and NPC builds. Some of the rules for those settings make almost no sense at all.

I admit, fear of this sort of thing continues to hold me back with regards to buying third party splat, or too much in the way of third party settings (though I still buy the latter if they interest me). I have been very good about buying third party adventures. Truth be told, I do not use them (I always use original material), but I do like to read them and I enjoy looking at maps, etc.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I wonder how much of the reluctance against 3PP is due to unfamiliarity with 3PP and what material is out there? For example, up until a year ago, I always bought my game books at a book store/FLGL. I had no knowledge that 3PP sold stuff (particularly PDFs) on online stores like Paizo. The FLGS in my area carries all the newest Paizo releases but has very limited stock of any of the soft/hardcover 3PP releases. Usually it's an extra copy of a book I had them special order. But if you spend any time on the Paizo boards you are surronded by 3PP stuff. Also, you get to know the 3PP publishers, ask questions on products, and realize they aren't out to flood the market and make a quick buck which builds trust. Look at the recent event with Frog God's Tome of Horrors. People were incensed that they had missed out on a copy. Nobody told them they said, even though it had been advertised on the boards here for months. But they responded that they rarely come to the Paizo website. So, my long winded point is I wonder if some of the 3PP "hate" is just from a lack of familiarity, those people who like myself a year ago bought all their gaming materials at stores that maybe weren't well stocked with 3PP and so have very limited exposure and therefore trust with 3PP material.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

And then,
if the class/race/whatever relies on a new rules subsystem, that makes it harder for me to want to incorporate it. Chances are the new rules subsystem is incomplete, and will remain pretty much incomplete unless the 3pp makes another book, which might or might not happen.
Hell, the new rules system will probably be skanked by a "new improved" version of the game in 3 years, but......that doesn't automatically guarantee that I will win the lottery and sink $250+ into a new improved version of the game.
Not to mention that nobody has the new rules subsystem but the player in question, and I've skimmed it once, okayed it, and now I have to reread it in the middle of a combat because the player has (conveniently) forgotten that he only has dr5/slashing when he's not wearing any armor and the sun is shining on his taint,.......and I'm trying to remember all the buffs in play and adjuticate the unique powers of the special 3pp Doomhunter of the Deathanators;

Also, when the 3pp material reinvisions a "classical motif" I better not be in love with the old motif.
If I want my vampires to be straight out Bram Stoker and you give me sparklies that are really avatars of the Bloodgod of Xhoog, and they can walk in the daylight but they don't assume gaseous form and they turn into a giant flying fanged lemur with a little red fez instead of a wolf or a bat, and you really kill them by sneaking up on them and putting wicker baskets on their head while they're drinking vodka, in fact there's a prestige class (the basket doomweaver) that has JUST. THAT. POWER......I'm probably not going to want to incorporate all that, man.
Hey, everybody! Claude is a Basket Doomweaver now. We now have to fight a lot of sparkly vampires from this 3pp book. I'm replacing all the giants in the Hall of the Fire Giant King with sparkly vampire fire giants. I'm calling it Hall of Sparkly Ed. HUZZAH!!!


Wolfgang Baur wrote:

Exceeding Paizo's standard without their budget or their expert staff is a very tough order, but what the heck: I love a challenge.

But it's clear 3PP are never going to appeal to everyone. To some people, Paizo remains a 3PP and the only game they'll play is official D&D--these are the people who dismiss Pathfinder out of hand as "just D&D 3.75" without giving it a chance. The purists are never going to give 3PP a look, and it's a waste of time trying to convince them otherwise.

To other gamers, 3PP provide needed spice, and they mix and match to suit their tastes.

This is sort of the point of having a variety of games publishers. Something for everyone.

The biggest part of exceeding the Paizo standard for me is the fact that most (if not all 3pp that I'm aware of) do not match their quantity either.

Lets face it Paizo produces a lot of material every year -- most 3pp simply don't. If you want me to go after your product again you must show me a worthy product. Paizo has set the standard, and the problem with a 'standard' is the fact than now you have something to be tested against.

However it does depend on what you are producing. If you are simply putting out adventures and campaign paths I have a bit more room for looseness in specific areas. An adventure I'm not going to worry about spelling so much as I am proper challenges and accurate use of the system provided. A campaign setting book I'm going to expect good editing, artwork and functionality of what is presented, mechanical balance might take a bit more of a back seat if you manage to hit the rule of cool hard enough. A book of monsters better have its mechanics right though -- nothing bugs me more than 'cheating' on monsters or not having the basic stats right for what is presented (a 12 hit dice huge dragon with a strength of 30 and an attack modifier of 17 with its bite for example).

Art and layout is a visual clue of quality that is easy to screw up. I've seen 3pp material I might want to honestly use at some point and I've never read because I couldn't stand the horrible layout and artwork. It is a small thing, but if simply looking at your product makes me twitch then I'm certainly not going to buy it.

Editing, Frog God Games

Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:

Also, when the 3pp material reinvisions a "classical motif" I better not be in love with the old motif.

If I want my vampires to be straight out Bram Stoker and you give me sparklies that are really avatars of the Bloodgod of Xhoog, and they can walk in the daylight but they don't assume gaseous form and they turn into a giant flying fanged lemur with a little red fez instead of a wolf or a bat, and you really kill them by sneaking up on them and putting wicker baskets on their head while they're drinking vodka, in fact there's a prestige class (the basket doomweaver) that has JUST. THAT. POWER......I'm probably not going to want to incorporate all that, man.
Hey, everybody! Claude is a Basket Doomweaver now. We now have to fight a lot of sparkly vampires from this 3pp book. I'm replacing all the giants in the Hall of the Fire Giant King with sparkly vampire fire giants. I'm calling it Hall of Sparkly Ed. HUZZAH!!!

I gotta say, Mr. Spanky aka Heathansson, whether I agree with your opinions or not (though I usually do), you always crack me up with your shenanigans.

Also, thank Tsathogga, Frog God has no sparkly vampires. :)

Grand Lodge

Thalin wrote:
To truly get support for 3rd party publishers, you'd need Paizo to make an "adapted games" policy. This would get 3rd party rules enabled in PFS, and verify the rules have been well-playtested etc.

As good as Paizo is there have been some bad ones (feats and traits) they themselves have let through "playtesting".

Actually not real happy with UC myself or some of the technical editing issues they let through, but thats another rant.

51 to 100 of 307 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Compatible Products from Other Publishers / Why is there so much hate for 3PP, and what can I, no, we, do to change that? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.