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RPG Superstar 2015

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


Compatible Products from Other Publishers

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The folks I game with (and not just the people in my games, but the other groups that game at the same game club I game at) generally function like this: "This is my character concept. I want to be able to do X, Y and Z. How can I do that?" Then, whatever the source material - core Paizo or 3PP - if it allows them to create the character they had in mind, they use it (pending GM approval, naturally).

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

bigkilla wrote:
Psionics Unleashed I dislike Psionics personally and will probably never allow them in my games but I purchased the book because it gets such good reviews. It is a great looking book

Thanks for buying it!

If you find any problems or questions, we have an active group of folks at the Dreamscarred Press site who are happy to help, and we'll issue official errata if it's necessary. We do our best to support our releases, although we do our best to keep things like that from getting into the final release. :)

Scarab Sages

Abraham spalding wrote:

Hard backs get more inspection than soft back books, and perhaps unfairly page count matters. I would spend up to forty dollars on a hard back with about 100~200 pages faster than I ever will spend even as little as ten dollars on a 30~100 page soft back book. Hard backs give more of a sense of staying power and investment in a product -- and investment that represents pride in the product and a page count that tells me that you didn't simply run this through on a weekend when the kids and wife were out of town.

I'm disappointed in the Pathfinder corerule book. I'm now on my second one and it is falling apart like my first one did. So hard back books to me are not that important to me. I buy almost all of the books pathfinder publishes from a little game store in my home town. I also buy many 3PP pdfs and allow my players to use them. My only rule for using 3PP is that it has to say pathfinder on it (what I call pathfinder 3PP stuff). My reason for this is simple, I know that the 3PP stuff is developed with the patherfind game system in mind and it will or should work with out being converted over.
This form is a good start in getting 3PP stuff into more games. I see a lot of comments from GMs and publishers but not so many from players. I've mentioned the form to few players so maybe they'll read it and have some ideas. As I said myself and other GMs from our gaming group are open to 3PP stuff it adds varity to the gaming table.


Maxximilius wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
...or is rolling around in a mid-40s AC at 9-10th level, it gets old fast.
This part is already doable with only Paizo rules.

The Paizo system is designed to be compatible with all existing D20 products. So the issue still persists.

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

Charender wrote:
Bryan Stiltz wrote:
Here's a question - when people come to the Reaper booth at GenCon, they often say "I need to find the Pathfinder minis, because we play Pathfinder."
That sounds more like inexperience. I have been playing warhammer for over 15 years, and any of my modeling friends wouldn't hesitate to use a reaper minature for our armies if it fit the look we are going for. I use my warhammer minis for PF all the time. What you are talking about sounds more like someone new to the minatures scene in need of some education.

It is, in fact, almost always players new to the game, looking for minis for their first level one character, etc, yes.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bryan Stiltz wrote:
Charender wrote:
Bryan Stiltz wrote:
Here's a question - when people come to the Reaper booth at GenCon, they often say "I need to find the Pathfinder minis, because we play Pathfinder."
That sounds more like inexperience. I have been playing warhammer for over 15 years, and any of my modeling friends wouldn't hesitate to use a reaper minature for our armies if it fit the look we are going for. I use my warhammer minis for PF all the time. What you are talking about sounds more like someone new to the minatures scene in need of some education.
It is, in fact, almost always players new to the game, looking for minis for their first level one character, etc, yes.

I'd like to let you know that your Plague Doctor PF mini heavily inspired my halloween costume :)


4E is just as fun to play as Pathfinder, but the crux of the matter for both systems are the players at the table and what will be allowed. The problem presented is everyone may agree that it is reasonable to test material out that is not "official" or third party, but what do you do when someone decides it disrupts the game. This is especially true if it comes from the DM.

So even if the player and the DM can reach a basic agreement of allowing third party material to be tested or introduced, what happens when the DM feels it should not be allowed? Did you just waste good money? Because in reality most the time DMs and players do not buy the same material, and now you have a book you cannot use. Even if you agreed initially to abide by the DMs decision to test it first, and agreed to not use it because the DM decides against it, the player will still feel cheated out of an experience, or hard earned money. To avoid that entire scenario, some DMs will just say no.

The bottom line is balancing a game to be fun for everyone falls mainly on the DM, where the players are more open minded to try anything new. I am not sure there is an answer that will keep everyone happy. So it is best to get the question of using third party material out when you first start the game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it's been covered pretty well, but the main reason I avoided was bad first experiences with 3PP. The few times it was brought up, the player either wanted something obscenely powerful and unbalanced. Not to mention an abundance of shoddy and badly editted work. Just made me throw up my hands and say we were sticking with official releases.

That has changed since I began with Pathfinder and just fairly recently. I can happily attribute this to Frog God Games and The Tome of Horrors Complete. Seriously started giving 3PP's a look over since I purchased this as it is just a fantastic book with excellent content.

I think changing people's minds is hard, especially if they experienced that initial ugliness. That said, like anything else there are good and bad 3PP and we should definitely spread the word of the good and be wary of the bad.

I do plan on including 3PP content in my upcoming games to this end and am looking forward to the great content they will continue to bring us.

Editing, Frog God Games

Aleron wrote:


That has changed since I began with Pathfinder and just fairly recently. I can happily attribute this to Frog God Games and The Tome of Horrors Complete. Seriously started giving 3PP's a look over since I purchased this as it is just a fantastic book with excellent content.

Thank you for your kind words about TOHC.

Greg Vaughan, his cadre of conversion specialists and authors, Chuck and the rest of us at FGG like to see folks enjoying the product of our labors.

Liberty's Edge

Marc Radle wrote:

If you have not done so yet, be sure to add your voice to the poll so we can all get a better sense of just what percentage of people do or do not use 3PP material in thier games:

>>> VOTE

"Do You Allow Third Party Publisher (3PP) Content in Your Game?" - Latest poll results:

Never - I ONLY allow official material produced by Paizo 0%

Rarely - There would need to be a very specific reason and I would need to review it quite a bit first 7%

Sometimes - As long as I have looked over and approved it, why not? 57%

All The Time - I have no problem at all allowing 3PP material; the more the merrier! 35%

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Marc Radle wrote:

"Do You Allow Third Party Publisher (3PP) Content in Your Game?" - Latest poll results:

Never - I ONLY allow official material produced by Paizo 0%

Rarely - There would need to be a very specific reason and I would need to review it quite a bit first 7%

Sometimes - As long as I have looked over and approved it, why not? 57%

All The Time - I have no problem at all allowing 3PP material; the more the merrier! 35%

The problem with this poll is that it is on a 3rd party website. If Paizo's website had the ability to do polls (Gary) and it was placed in the non-3rd party section of the boards, I image the results would be quite different. Heck post it on ENWorld or RPG.net and see how the results are quite different. Just make sure to include 2 more options: 1) I was unaware that there are 3rd party publishers for Pathfinder and 2) Thog Likes Polls!

Dark Archive

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My Stance on 3pp is that I trust it as much as I trust the Paizo Content. That is to say, unless I've gone through and sorted all the options in the entire book into a columns: Yes, No, Okay, but with the following exceptions, you have to bring every feat, race, class, spell, archetype, etc to me and let me see what they all do before I let you take them. I no longer blanket allow any book besides the PF Core book, and starting in my next game, I'll even be paring that down.

It didnt used to be that way, but I've found I dont agree with some of Paizo's design philosophies relating to option power, and in a few cases, rule elegance.

I won't ever be allowing paizo gunslingers, frex, and paizo guns are off the table as well. Not because I dont like guns, but because I dont like the implementation of guns paizo came up with. It also makes me less likely to do pfs, but theres not that much opportunity for pfs here anyways.

Ive started going the same way as Kirth: I've been assembling my own ebook using PF (and non PF) OGC, and I'll be running my games using my own OGC Rulebook for my next campaign onward.

Will I use PF Content? Sure, if its good. Will I use non-pf Content? Sure, if its good. Arcana Evolved, or 3.x Content? If its good.

I'm not satisfied with Paizo's quality control lately, and it means I'm spending less money on paizo products and more money on 3pp and old out of print 3.x stuff. When PF First started coming out I was like "OO Shiny - Kaching" - there goes $50. Now I read through the entire book carefully before deciding if I'm going to buy it.

I'll have to check out broadhurst's stuff.

Its worth noting that I had a KQ subscription, and while I didnt always like the content, I found it to be as good as the Paizo stuff (sometimes with crappier art). Paizo has a much bigger staff, and I would hope their quality control would show it. UM, and UC had more problems than they should have had.

Liberty's Edge

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:


The problem with this poll is that it is on a 3rd party website. If Paizo's website had the ability to do polls (Gary) and it was placed in the non-3rd party section of the boards, I image the results would be quite different. Heck post it on ENWorld or RPG.net and see how the results are quite different. Just make sure to include 2 more options: 1) I was unaware that there are 3rd party publishers for Pathfinder and 2) Thog Likes Polls!

Good point. As you point out, however, we can't *do* polls here:)

I figure since anyone reading this thread can very easily just click the link, go to KQ.com and cast a vote, it really is a pretty decent solution, all things considered. The fact that it is on KQ's site therefore becomes very much a secondary concern in my view, anyway ...

As for ENWorld or RPG.net ... I guess one could try it there - I haven't checked either of those sites in MANY months so I tend to not even think of them!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:

Good point. As you point out, however, we can't *do* polls here:)

I figure since anyone reading this thread can very easily just click the link, go to KQ.com and cast a vote, it really is a pretty decent solution, all things considered. The fact that it is on KQ's site therefore becomes very much a secondary concern in my view, anyway ...

You do need to make an account over at KQ, so many might click on the link, but decide it is too much trouble. Perhaps a Survey Monkey (or whatever service Wolfgang uses for his OD decision making polls) might be better for a broader survey.

It should probably be advertised on the Pathfinder General forum instead of here though. People who bother to even look at the 3PP section of the forum are more likely to already be using 3PP products. As noted by the hundreds of complaints by people who never saw the 6+ month long pre-order discussion for Tome of Horrors when it sold out.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:


The problem with this poll is that it is on a 3rd party website. If Paizo's website had the ability to do polls (Gary) and it was placed in the non-3rd party section of the boards, I image the results would be quite different. Heck post it on ENWorld or RPG.net and see how the results are quite different. Just make sure to include 2 more options: 1) I was unaware that there are 3rd party publishers for Pathfinder and 2) Thog Likes Polls!

Good point. As you point out, however, we can't *do* polls here:)

I figure since anyone reading this thread can very easily just click the link, go to KQ.com and cast a vote, it really is a pretty decent solution, all things considered. The fact that it is on KQ's site therefore becomes very much a secondary concern in my view, anyway ...

As for ENWorld or RPG.net ... I guess one could try it there - I haven't checked either of those sites in MANY months so I tend to not even think of them!

I would say ENWorld would likely get a better spread. Especially if everyone not just Pathfinder fans respond to it.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

Removed a couple posts… this is so not the place for edition warring.

Marathon Voter 2013

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gary Teter wrote:
Removed a couple posts… this is so not the place for edition warring.

Pathfinder is better than Pathfinder.

Dark Archive

Cheapy wrote:
Gary Teter wrote:
Removed a couple posts… this is so not the place for edition warring.
Pathfinder is better than Pathfinder.

Pfft... Nuh-Uh!

Scarab Sages

Ok I have not read most of this thread but for me its simply to much stuff. Paizo puts out to much stuff to ever use or learn, much less the massive amount put out by wotc, and then all the 3pp stuff. Just way,way,way to much for me as a GM to want to deal with.

Another thing is if I do not own said book or have been allowed to barrow it and have found time to read the relevant info and have the book at all games, then NO. You can't use it. I don't even allow all Paizo books.


Why so much hate? Because some of us remember the 80's! (and 90's).

There would be a very limited amount of rulebook type content I'd be up for, as Paizo has most things covered.

A company doing really interesting and well put together modules on the other hand, that I could possibly come at. Especially if they had a 'nostalgia' line.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Shifty wrote:
Why so much hate? Because some of us remember the 80's! (and 90's).

I don't. :(

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Why so much hate? Because some of us remember the 80's! (and 90's).
I don't. :(

I do, luckily there are few photos still around.......

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Shifty wrote:

Why so much hate? Because some of us remember the 80's! (and 90's).

There would be a very limited amount of rulebook type content I'd be up for, as Paizo has most things covered.

A company doing really interesting and well put together modules on the other hand, that I could possibly come at. Especially if they had a 'nostalgia' line.

Ummm... yeah, we exist. ;)


So to add a little fuel to this fire, is the real issue if 3PP make more rules / classes / spells / ect. OR if they make adventures / modules?

Star Voter 2013

I don't think the problem is so much with the products - there will always be bad and good products, but I think a lot of what's out there now is of good quality - but rather the perception. And perception is a hard thing to change, especially when you're a niche market, and have little budget to market with. Our biggest asset will always be word of mouth, because it's all well and good if some anonymous internet jackalope (I just know that's going to be someone's alias) likes a product, it's a whole other if someone you know and trust the opinion of tells you what they think about it.


LMPjr007 wrote:
So to add a little fuel to this fire, is the real issue if 3PP make more rules / classes / spells / ect. OR if they make adventures / modules?

If by rules you mean feats NO if by rules you mean new maneuvers new skill options (particulalry if it means you trim out some feats with new skill/combat options) and new coherent systems to gap fill yes.

Hey wait a minute I think I answered this upthread not that far back.

I in fact did:

Dragonsong wrote:


well what ones have been suggested so far:

Quality of product.

Standalone-ability of a singular product. Dont make me buy 5 books to use 1. The next one is a caveat to this

Gap-filling material: such as psionics in this case if i want that hole filled i will buy the entry book and likely additional suppliments in that line of gap fill.

(potentially) Avoiding the "Too many cooks spoil the stew" issue Paizo has had with piecemeal book construction effecting quality. this might be a selling point. Also for those of you employing RPG superstar finalists or former employees of other game firms use that.

Time savers: prebuilt NPC's, treasure or market sales lists. Pregenned races using the new race guide build system.

To add another personal favorite: how about steering away from feats and more towards combat or skill options.

Modules, loot charts, pregenned races using the new system after release, etc. are Time Savers. Normally I would say for the first party these are "subsection of the total market" materials: you may hope to sell an CRB to each player but you do not expect to sell a module or AP to each one. Honestly as 3PP are not capturing anything close to the whole market I don't know if it's a bad decision to focus on time savers or not.

Dark Archive

Dragonsong wrote:

If by rules you mean feats NO if by rules you mean new maneuvers new skill options (particulalry if it means you trim out some feats with new skill/combat options) and new coherent systems to gap fill yes.

Hey wait a minute I think I answered this upthread not that far back.

Modules, loot charts, pregenned races using the new system after release, etc. are Time Savers. Normally I would say for the first party these are "subsection of the total market" materials: you may hope to sell an CRB to each player but you do not expect to sell a module or AP to each one. Honestly as 3PP are not capturing anything close to the whole market I don't know if it's a bad decision to focus on time savers or not.

I tend to agree with Dragonsong here. I like 3pp that fills a gap that Paizo doesn't fill. I like new skill uses, especially if you focus on the skills that suck and try to find a way to make them good.

I like having ways to use skills in combat to do new stuff without having to waste feats on them.

As for feats, There are so many feats right now that most people just grab them from the core book unless theyre looking for something very specific. New feats are hard to justify, they need to fill a gap too.

And new Classes? Unless they're better balanced and playtested than Paizos, and either massively robust or you're going to support them at least as much as paizo supports their classes, no thanks. Archetypes? I can see times these would be useful.

New Races? If they're well thought out.

If this new race design system doesn't get an overhaul, I would hope that 3pp Developers *Don't* use it, because I won't trust things that are made with it, and I'd have to scrutinize it very carefully. The v1 playtest is very rough, and I think you'd get better balance just eyeballing it. If v2 and v3 see some substantial price and methodology revision, leading to higher quality, then I'll adopt it for my home games and would appreciate prebuilt races that 3pp content makers make with it (if well thought out).

New Monsters? I like when this happens, but I will admit, when it comes to monsters, I really really appreciate quality art. The art brings the creature to life for me, and it gives me a full-color image I can show the players and say: THIS is what you see. Sadly, most 3pp books seem to be sorely lacking in art, and while I can see why (youd have to pay an artist, or be one), for monsters in a book, I think good art is 50-60% of what I look for.

Finally 3pp who make timesavers are always worth checking out, and buying from: Battle Maps, Spell/Feat/Item Cards, Character Portraits, City Maps, Pre-Built Dungeons, Time-saving Tables of any kind, Books of plot-hooks, etc.


Good art is important.

I guess why I cited new rules and skills etc as not being areas that I really care about is because this sort of thing tends to be well covered off under houserules etc.

The asusmption I make (fairly or not) is that official rules are pretty much that, official. 3PP rules (ie feats and classes) always strike me as simply someone elses homebrew that a) isn't official, and b) is not broadly playtested, and so c) not significantly better than something we could come up with ourselves if we had the niche we needed to fix.

So really I am more about seeing 3PP stuff like modules which work in accordance with the established rules-set.

...and that have good art.

...and maps.

...and cool plots.

...and not be too convoluted.

...and can be either signature enough and meaty enough to be their own campaign, or generic enough to fit around what I might already have runnning.

Books of plot hooks are always excellent.

One of my favourite Shadowrun publications was the completely superb book - Sprawl Sites (2nd ed). I'd buy a Pathfinderised book like that tomorrow.

http://www.amazon.com/Sprawl-Sites-Shadowrun-Fasa-Corp/dp/1555601197

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shifty wrote:

So really I am more about seeing 3PP stuff like modules which work in accordance with the established rules-set.

...and that have good art.

...and maps.

...and cool plots.

...and not be too convoluted.

...and can be either signature enough and meaty enough to be their own campaign, or generic enough to fit around what I might already have runnning.

Have you tried this series?


Now THAT is exactly what I am talking about.

I have seen that one before, unfortunately the only thing stopping me getting on board that alluring offer is the limitations of my group - ie no one else would GM it, and I would actually like to play in it!

I think we need more GM's :(

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Shifty wrote:
I think we need more GM's :(

Sorry, a little busy over here! :)


If only I could GM AND play!

'Got clones?'

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I GM for myself all the time.

It's not very satisfying...

Grand Lodge Star Voter 2015

Hehe kudos to this forum.
As a GM I try and use 3PP sources in my games. I have a list of 'approved' sources that I have personally reviewed, and if I get time I will look at something players send me if they'd bought the PDF.
Problem is alot of 3PP stuff is either not balanced or just plain doesn't fit in my game world. In which case I'm sad to ban it, but I gotta do so. I used to love it when players came to me with feats/items/spells from 3pp but I have to say no to alot of those considered cos the Paizo approved content is often better.

As a general rule, I always look to see if theres a Paizo published equivolent. Often players are unaware that alot of 3PP stuff is very similar to approved content, only more refined or balanced. I have looked at plenty of stuff from 4 winds, atlas games, rite publishing and many others. The quality is very varied. I might only approve 1 or 2 things from a single publisher, or none if a purchase my group made was particularly bad. Some noteable exceptions of course:

The team over at 'Open Design' continually impress me with the quality of their products.
I'm also a big fan of using 3pp monsters, so frog god games and their ilk are right up my ally. I like tinkering and creating beasties myself, so I take inspiration wherever I can get it. Alot of stuff gets reprinted, but you always remember the time you find a gem to use. The richer in lore the better.

Hates the wrong word. You shouldn't let your emotions colour decisions you make to potentially enrich your games with 3PP creativity. Keep an open mind and weigh things up. If they work in your setting, don't break or undermine existing content and add flavor then why not?


For myself, I don't use very much 3PP stuff. Most of the stuff that is requested by my players I don't want in my campaign. New races, for example, can change quite a bit on how the world reacts to the party and I don't want to essentially rewrite the world to allow a new and very strange race.

Most of the time the players are asking for something to make their characters more powerful. That is to be expected. I would do the same thing. What this means for me, as GM, is that I have to look at not just what the new feat, class option, spell, item, etc. does, but I also have to look at how it interacts with what the characters can do. Not just the character that is taking the new option. Sometimes the new thing will make another character over powered. As the characters level and new material becomes available, it gets harder and harder to keep things at a level where I am comfortable as GM.

The things I am most likely to allow are things that change how an unwieldy system works. Crafting comes immediately to mind. I also am more likely to allow a new magic item than I am to allow a new feat. The reason is because the new item can easily be removed or changed. A new feat can end up being being such an integral part of a character that it is harder to change without changing the character. Spells are often treated the same as items. They are easier to address than prestige classes. I'm not necessarily talking about something being overpowered. I have allowed some underpowered stuff in the past and it brings with it the same issues.

I need to be able to fix things quickly. I work a stressful full time job and I have a lot going on in my life outside of gaming. I spend a lot of time working on the campaign, often 2-3 hours a day for a small 4 hour session twice monthly. I don't want to be in a constant state of fixing things.

I do allow some 3PP, but not much. My players don't really ask for much either though so it's not something I have to worry about. What I allow, I bring to the table. I used to have a player that would get angry with me because I wouldn't just allow any 3PP stuff willy nilly. His argument was "I bought this book, I should be allowed to use it." Often he wanted to bring things into the game that simply didn't make any sense for the campaign. I spent a lot of time fighting him. I don't want to go down that road again. Oh, he left the game after a while so I don't have to game with him. I just don't want to game with that type of player anymore.

Marathon Voter 2013

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

I liked this thread. Let's see what other people have to say.


Goblins Eighty-Five wrote:

Maybe I'm alone here, but I can't get any DM other than my own wife to allow Third Party materials into their games. And I can't get players to use 3rd party materials either.

I've never understood the mad hate-on some people get for third party publishers. Yes, I can recall the early days of 3.0, and I can remember the either underpowered or overpowered material...

Some people ruined it for everyone else.


Without reading this whole thread I'll give my 2cp, with the possibility they've already brought up.

Mostly it comes down to quality. I'm not saying some 3pp aren't great, but some aren't. Paizo has a name behind it and a record of quality. Just like any other brand recognition type psychological response, I'm more prone to buy something from them than someone else. I don't want to spend money on something and have it be crap, or at least not quite what I wanted.

The #1 thing I would do to alleviate this? Free previews! And lots of them! Every 3PP company should have a handful of free products, and not just small things. Give away a module or two, or a whole supplement, in pdf form, promote the heck out of the giveaway and make sure everyone gets it cuz HEY ITS FREE! I know for me, once I no longer doubt the quality of product coming from a publisher I'm more inclined to buy from them, again and again.

You also have to produce something that is at once necessary (I just buy big books like APG and UM and houserule the rest) and distinct from the stock Paizo products.


The funniest thing about people and their unreasonable blanket dismissal of 3PP's is that the entire industry of gaming was at one point in time or another just a small group of folks skipping a rent payment to try and get their book out, and praying folks would like it. Every idea you've ever seen in a game book came from somewhere, and a great many of those ideas started as someone's home brewed rules/setting/critter/etc. We had those game designers there all along, but the OGL gave them the freedom to not have to go beg at the shores of the Dragon to get their stuff added to the "world's most popular role playing game". With the Open License they could go after that dream themselves. And yes, there was a flood of truly terrible crap released, but there was also the rise of several companies that have survived to this day and are doing fine, continuing to release material. Far to many people have it in their heads that canon is the only way to go, because that's all that the company handed us....so, should every GM out there stop being creative, just open the book and read it verbatim, no additions, no subtractions, nothing custom..ever? Because that, at it's core, is what 3PP material is, custom concepts from the minds of others. I don't remember people bashing Ptolus, or Malhavoc press when material was released, wasn't Monte a 3PP? Or is that excused since his names on the core book? There are many, many truly talented game designers producing wonderful material to enhance and supplement Pathfinder, you just have to be a smart consumer, read reviews, buy a cheap product from a company and take it for a test drive, see if you like the feel of what they are doing, before you invest more money in their books. Many companies have freebies offered up, and yes, most freebies are small pdf's, these folks have bills to pay, just like you and I, they can't afford to give away large modules anymore than Paizo would if you asked them to send you a free book so you could decide if you like their stuff.

And as far as errata and balance issues being the excuse given as to why 3PP gets a bad rap...which printing of the core rule book are we on now? 5th? Even the main company deals with errata and balancing issues, long after the books should have been perfect. It's one of those things that happens, pure and simple. And for God's sake folks, I know there are rules in Pathfinder I, as a GM, blatantly refuse to allow at my game table because I don't like them, and my group is ok with that, since I am the GM, and it's my game. Stands to reason the same holds true for 3PP, find something in a product you think is wrong for your game? CHANGE IT! Pure and simple, we, as D/Gm's have been doing that for years with canon, tweaking rules to fit our personal campaigns, why would this be any different?


KTFish7 wrote:
Many companies have freebies offered up, and yes, most freebies are small pdf's, these folks have bills to pay, just like you and I, they can't afford to give away large modules anymore than Paizo would if you asked them to send you a free book so you could decide if you like their stuff.

Here's the thing. Giving your stuff away FOR FREE is absolutely, positively, the best way to make money as an artist or writer. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but when you give someone something for free, and they like it, they will buy something else. There's a story that Martin Atkins tells about these guys who gave away free t-shirts and almost 50% of the people would turn around and buy a second one for 10 or 20 bucks or whatever. They didn't say "Buy 1 get 1 free" but it had the same effect.

When you build a community, as Paizo has, who feels they have an input, the fan base feels that the product is theirs in some way. They want it to spread. For the record, modules aside, ALL of Paizo's rules are available free online. Every feat, every spell, every class, every archetype, weapon, etc. And yet, somehow, they still make money selling precisely the same things they give away. Think about that.

Another point. I don't have much money to spend on gaming product. If you come here, post on the forums advertising a free product, I will download it. Not here fill out this form and you'll get something for free, no hoops, just here have something for free I hope you enjoy it. If I enjoy it, and will use it, I WILL buy more. One thing could be writing an adventure path and giving away the first installment. If I read it, and I like it, and I want to run it, I absolutely will purchase the rest.

That's why Free RPG day has been so successful. No strings attached.

Instead of thinking "I can't afford to give something away" think "I can't afford NOT to introduce my product to the consumers".

Marathon Voter 2013

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

Meatrace, you should check out the Rite give away.

My introduction to 3rd party stuff was d20pfsrd. I suspect my story is similar to many.


This is why I think people avoid 3PP:

1. Brand recognition - it's not Paizo! A lot of people buy things because of the brand and stick to the brand-name extras. After all, everything My Company does is perfect. Why do so many people who buy an iPhone buy an iPad? People want to associate themselves with successful brands and this hobby is not at all exempt from that.

2. It vastly expands the products available. People like to be completionists and collect everything of something. Rules-wise this is pretty easy with PF so far, it's basically 4 books for the players and 4 books for the GM. If you allow everything then people are much further away from having all of it.

3. Coherency. The more publishers you involve, the less likely they are to mesh together well. 3PP #1 will have read all the Pazio books, but maybe never even heard about 3PP #2. Instead of choosing between two books, it's easier to just go "NO" to everything instead of using your carefully crafted campaign as a playtest experiment.


Trikk wrote:
This is why I think people avoid 3PP:

Also all good points.

@Cheapy-I intend to. Just getting around to it now ;)


Try showing it to other players and getting their okay first.

Or spring it on the GM right before the game in front of the whole, if it is something short like a feat or spell. “Hey, what does everybody think of… blah blah blah? I’d like to try it out next level.” At least make someone know what they are rejecting.


meatrace wrote:


Here's the thing. Giving your stuff away FOR FREE is absolutely, positively, the best way to make money as an artist or writer.

That's amusing, the bands I deal with would be apt to disagree with you. Hand a fan a cd, and watch them leave, with a cd...no shirts, no hats, just that free cd...after they ask you to autograph it of course.

meatrace wrote:


For the record, modules aside, ALL of Paizo's rules are available free online. Every feat, every spell, every class, every archetype, weapon, etc. And yet, somehow, they still make money selling precisely the same things they give away. Think about that.

Am fully aware of the PFSRD, I have a friend who uses it constantly, has never bought a book, never intends to, thinks it's great their willing to let him have it all for free. Then we have the gathering of not so computer savvy folks who aren't even aware of it, or, if they are aware prefer to hold an actual book in their hands, as opposed to navigating the site. There's also the fact that the PFSRD is pretty boring to look at, there's no art. And this game relies very heavily upon it's art to sell the concept.

meatrace wrote:
Another point. I don't have much money to spend on gaming product....... just here have something for free I hope you enjoy it. If I enjoy it, and will use it, I WILL buy more.

Scroll back through the post, Raging Swan was offering product to folks to give them a taste of what they offer, might want to contact them. Rite publishing runs a thread giving away a book every weekday. You have to answer a question relating to favored moments in gaming, but it's a small hoop.

meatrace wrote:
That's why Free RPG day has been so successful. No strings attached.

My local game store won't even touch Free RGB day..tells me its a huge rip off for the stores. The stores end up having to buy a certain amount of the material from some companies(not all), and cover shipping. Then give product away and see very little change in the buying habits of their customers. So they stopped doing it.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

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GoldenOpal wrote:

Try showing it to other players and getting their okay first.

Or spring it on the GM right before the game in front of the whole, if it is something short like a feat or spell. “Hey, what does everybody think of… blah blah blah? I’d like to try it out next level.” At least make someone know what they are rejecting.

This is a great point - as a GM I hate getting surprised by players at the start of the session wanting to use a new feat/spell/magic item etc.

Tell you what I'll do. If anyone reading this buys a copy of any one of my Players Resource products,I'll send a copy to their GM absolutely free! Just email me at creighton [at] ragingswan [dot] com with the GM's email address and details of the product you purchased. My offers good till the end of the month.


That's pretty generous of you Creighton.

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