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I owe Pathfinder players an apology...


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

51 to 95 of 95 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Cheliax

I hadn't even considered OGL. Mostly do living campaign stuff so it wouldn't really help in my case. Still, a whole other aspect that they have to look at to woo Paizo's legions ;p

bugleyman wrote:
Aarontendo wrote:
Yep, pretty much spot on what I've been saying. Going to have to work *really* hard to pull the Pathfinder crowd away.
In my opinion, a 5E that doesn't fully embrace the OGL is dead on arrival. Sadly, I don't think WotC has figured this out yet...

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
theroc wrote:
How many Pathfinder gamers would leave Pathfinder because a new, shiny edition of 5E comes out? The best I think they can hope for is that some gamers adopt the 5E version into their collection of games. I run a few 4E games, and a handful of the players also play Pathfinder.

Although PF players are quite likely a big group of players WotC want to attract they are not the "be all and end all" - indeed I believe WotC wants to get those people playing Swords and Wizardry, Castles and Crusades, and all the other OSR games to try out D&D Next.

Also not everyone who played 3.5 bothered / wanted to convert to PF, so those players could potentially be enticed by D&D Next.

And as you say people could buy it to play in addition to their other games.

Charlie Brooks wrote:
but it has to be better than Pathfinder to get my money. I am simply not going to pay money for two games that fill the same niche.

Funnily that is the reason I didn't bother to get into PF RPG until PFS organised play seemed to be the only way to get a 3.x game at a convention - I already had 3.5 and didn't see PF RPG giving me anything different. I similarly didn't bother "upgrading" form M&M2 to M&M3 or MRQ1 to MRQ2.

However I have gotten into 4e to some degree because it did offer something different and that is why I am keen to see D&D Next as I again hope it will offer something different.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

"I didn't want to make all the hard work that's converting from 3.5 to PF so I'll just learn a whole new system instead" makes few thousand years of humanity's achievement in logic cringe.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
"I didn't want to make all the hard work that's converting from 3.5 to PF so I'll just learn a whole new system instead" makes few thousand years of humanity's achievement in logic cringe.

Sometimes it's easier to memorize completely new patterns instead of relearning the slightly altered pattern - human brain has tendencies to overlook/forget changes in such cases.


Gorbacz wrote:
"I didn't want to make all the hard work that's converting from 3.5 to PF so I'll just learn a whole new system instead" makes few thousand years of humanity's achievement in logic cringe.

Actually, I've found that leaning a new system from a clean-slate starting point is a LOT easier, for me, than converting 3.5 to PF. Paizo made so many tiny changes through out the system that I'm constantly tripping up and double-checking everything I do when I DM my group's PF game. I've picked up a few new games since and learned them much easier.

My brain doesn't patch files easily like a computer would. The endless second-guessing and trip ups is making running a PF game a pain.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the majority of the changes Paizo made, but I spent countless hours mastering 3.5's rules to the point they are hard-wired into my brain, and trying to unlearn all of that is overly cumbersome. YMMV.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It would be far easier for me to sit down and learn Burning Wheel or Warhammer than PF/4E/Next. Because every time I play PF or 4E, I'm constantly doing things 3E style. With other games, I don't have that similarity tripping me up.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
"I didn't want to make all the hard work that's converting from 3.5 to PF so I'll just learn a whole new system instead" makes few thousand years of humanity's achievement in logic cringe.

I am afraid you failed your reading check there! :) That isn't what I said.

I stated "I already had 3.5 and didn't see PF RPG giving me anything different [...] I have gotten into 4e to some degree because it did offer something different"

Basically the cost in time of "upgrading" to PF wasn't worth the benefit. If anything I feel PF is a net zero gain for me - I like some changes but feel other things were made worse or less clear, and any attempts to use 3.5 material would require at least some extra effort (however minimal) over and above using that same material with D&D3.5.

In the end it was only PFS organised play and the opportunities to play 3.x at conventions that made me try it again - but I still haven't bothered reading any of the rulebooks cover to cover like I do all my other RPGs.

However, 4e offered something different for me, love it or hate it it has to be said that WotC had the balls to try something different. So yes, taking the effort to read and learn the 4e rules (they aren't actually that hard to learn) was a price I felt was worth playing in return for the benefits of the system - much easier DM prep, easier ability to switch between playing different classes, greater balance between classes, opening up the network of 4e players etc.

However having said all that, I agree with the other posters that it is easier to learn a completely different system than try to learn all the little tweaks and changes between revisions of a system - especially if I plan to play both.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Bah. This only reinforces my belief about my brain being superior to those of ordinary human beings. ;)


Gorbacz wrote:
Bah. This only reinforces my belief about my brain being superior to those of ordinary human beings. ;)

Oh yeah? Well, we got opposable thumbs, Bag-boy.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Josh M. wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Bah. This only reinforces my belief about my brain being superior to those of ordinary human beings. ;)
Oh yeah? Well, we got opposable thumbs, Bag-boy.

Who needs opposable thumbs when you can produce amounts of caustic saliva that make Xenomorphs, erm, drool with envy?


theroc wrote:

I first need to admit...I am not a fan of 3E. I had fun with it at first, but the more the OGL added and the further the game progressed, the more broken it seemed to become. Not long after 3.5 released, my gaming group collectively threw up our hands in frustration one game at how bad things had gotten and left D&D. Good thing Savage Worlds was there to take us on. We also had a great time going back to 2nd Edition. I had thought, at the time, that I was unfortunately done with D&D. Since I played since '79, this was depressing to me.

I did the Pathfinder playtest, and it was still just 3.5 to me. When 4E came out, I generally ignored it and kept playing older editions. Finally, I broke down and picked up the rules. I LOVED how they fixed consistency and lexicon. I loved that characters were no longer as cookie-cutter. I was an instant fan, and own every 4E product released to date. At the same time, I was confused about Pathfinder fans. They were so attached to their old version that they left D&D to stick with the old rules. (Remember, I thought 3E was pretty broken, anyway.) I never participated in 'Edition Wars', because I'm just glad we are all gamers and have that in common. But I did get into some tactful disagreements.

Wizards has since announced 5E. WAY too soon. Rather than putting efforts into their existing game, they think rebooting will win old customers. This reboot is as bad an idea as the Footloose reboot. Instead, they are simply going to fracture their customers even more. Pathfinder fans will still play Pathfinder. And guess what...many 4E fans will continue to play 4E.

This is where my apology comes into play. I now better understand the feeling of edition loyalty, and even the slight feeling of betrayal for moving on from something I enjoy and think works. I will likely be one of those who again stays with 4E when D&D Next releases. I will be one of the dissenting fragmenting customers. I have much more in common with the Pathfinder gamer now. I appreciate what you were faced with,...

...so, you still hate 3.5e then?


bugleyman wrote:
Aarontendo wrote:
Yep, pretty much spot on what I've been saying. Going to have to work *really* hard to pull the Pathfinder crowd away.
In my opinion, a 5E that doesn't fully embrace the OGL is dead on arrival. Sadly, I don't think WotC has figured this out yet...

Yea, I definitly agree and it's this reason that I believe Monte left. He knew it would probably be in the hobby's best interest if D&D:next were to put out an OGL so people can get on board, but I don't think WotC will do that.

Can't really say I blame them either. Lets take a minute and see what might happen if D&D:next does do a OGL for 5E. Say a big competitor like Paizo makes rules for it (just a theory, stay with me) and starts putting out awesome APs using those rules and then someone makes a SRD.com for it. Paizo then starts making tweaks that fit Golarion and incorporating other 3PP in the mix, how does that work FOR WotC? Espically now, considering they're not very popular in the PR department? How many people would just use the SRD, forego any WotC products (they've sworn them off already) and just go with Paizo's based 5E products? Can't say I see too much revenue for WotC with that sort of situation, espically when one considers people's general attitude towards them in the first place.

Really, this is probably one of the hardest decision that WotC will have to make considering D&D:next. If they don't go OGL, they keep the rights to their game but it will maintain people's distaste for them because they're not letting others play in their sandbox and they loose profit. If they DO make D&D:Next OGL-esque, then people who don't like WotC might still stick it too them by using the OGL 5E and buying other companies products (like Paizo or Green Ronin) or using SRD sites and WotC still looses profit. Espically in a modular aspect where a plug-in-play approach is really great for injecting other flavor or mechanics not derived from WotC.

And of course people will want it to be OGL because "hey, who doesn't like free stuff?" attitude we've seen with 3E and Pathfinder. I mean, I play Pathfinder for free using their OGL/SRD and might only get their APs. And I'm sure D&D:next will have all sorts of people like me that do the same.


Ummm... the reason for all this happening is that WotC decided that making adventures was somehow a Bad Idea. Adventures didn't sell, because what they wanted was to sell every book to ALL players, not just the DM. Thus, cutting out the adventure making must be a good idea, and the OGL is an expression of this. What they did not see is that someone putting out a system without showing faith enough to do adventures for their system are basically saying "we want to make our money by putting out new rule sets as fast as we can get away with it". For a while, it worked. Fourth edition tried to put out more adventures, which was a good thing, except they instead thought that people want generic adventures and settings are unprofitable, except as book settings. Guess what? Settings are places where you PUT adventures, and ignoring any part of this will hurt you. It's fascinating that a modern company does so much wrong that TSR in their time understood perfectly.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
Ummm... the reason for all this happening is that WotC decided that making adventures was somehow a Bad Idea. Adventures didn't sell, because what they wanted was to sell every book to ALL players, not just the DM. Thus, cutting out the adventure making must be a good idea, and the OGL is an expression of this. What they did not see is that someone putting out a system without showing faith enough to do adventures for their system are basically saying "we want to make our money by putting out new rule sets as fast as we can get away with it". For a while, it worked. Fourth edition tried to put out more adventures, which was a good thing, except they instead thought that people want generic adventures and settings are unprofitable, except as book settings. Guess what? Settings are places where you PUT adventures, and ignoring any part of this will hurt you. It's fascinating that a modern company does so much wrong that TSR in their time understood perfectly.

I'm not sure Gygax-era TSR understood that at all, because they were able to support themselves almost entirely by selling 1e rules to people new to gaming. The 2e folks got the idea and went overboard with it, though--how many settings was TSR trying to support back then? Greyhawk, Eberron, Spelljammer, Planescape, Dark Sun.... The folks at Paizo have the right idea--one setting, with lots of different places in it, so they can do lots of different kinds of adventures without having to commit to support, e.g., an entire all-Gothic horror campaign world. Instead, they have Ustalav--one country among many, and they don't have to keep coming out with all-Ustalav adventures, background, etc.

Osirion

Paizo producing 3P support for 5e could only help sales. But my take on the marketing is that they are more concerned with selling such things themselves, ie. they aren't counting on massive core sales to support the brand. That leaves both positives and negatives for an OGL. They wouldn't seem to care so much about alternate PHBs and such, but more that they wouldn't be able to sell adventures and tools.

Andoran

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John Woodford wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Ummm... the reason for all this happening is that WotC decided that making adventures was somehow a Bad Idea. Adventures didn't sell, because what they wanted was to sell every book to ALL players, not just the DM. Thus, cutting out the adventure making must be a good idea, and the OGL is an expression of this. What they did not see is that someone putting out a system without showing faith enough to do adventures for their system are basically saying "we want to make our money by putting out new rule sets as fast as we can get away with it". For a while, it worked. Fourth edition tried to put out more adventures, which was a good thing, except they instead thought that people want generic adventures and settings are unprofitable, except as book settings. Guess what? Settings are places where you PUT adventures, and ignoring any part of this will hurt you. It's fascinating that a modern company does so much wrong that TSR in their time understood perfectly.
I'm not sure Gygax-era TSR understood that at all, because they were able to support themselves almost entirely by selling 1e rules to people new to gaming. The 2e folks got the idea and went overboard with it, though--how many settings was TSR trying to support back then? Greyhawk, Eberron, Spelljammer, Planescape, Dark Sun.... The folks at Paizo have the right idea--one setting, with lots of different places in it, so they can do lots of different kinds of adventures without having to commit to support, e.g., an entire all-Gothic horror campaign world. Instead, they have Ustalav--one country among many, and they don't have to keep coming out with all-Ustalav adventures, background, etc.

Eberron? Lorraine's TSR overproduced settings like crazy (which was a dumb idea), but Eberron wasn't one of them.

Plus, Gygax's TSR sold a bunch of adventures, and only had one campaign setting (Greyhawk). Dragonlance was a novel/adventure tie in thing at the end of the Gygax era, and Forgotten Realms was nothing more than a bunch of Dragon articles until 1987.

Furthermore, TSR sold a bunch of non-D&D games as well. Marvel Superheroes, Gangbusters, Star Frontiers, Top Secret, and some others. Considering that they sold maybe one hardcover a year (Monster Manual - 1977, Player's Handbook - 1978, DMG - 1979, Dieties and Demigods - 1980, Fiend Folio - 1981, nothing in '82, Monster Manual II - 1983, nothing in '84, Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventues - 1985, which was Gygax's last year), I think that adventures and whatnot pulled a lot of the fiscal weight for the company as well.


Sissyl wrote:
Ummm... the reason for all this happening is that WotC decided that making adventures was somehow a Bad Idea.

This one my be dictated by personal experience. If I were a publisher (before signing in to this forum) I would not bet on adventures because of what I have seen myself: I know only one GM that regularly buys and uses ready adventures out of few dozens I had more or less contact with. A few buys adventures occasionally. Most of them don't.

Quote:
Adventures didn't sell, because what they wanted was to sell every book to ALL players, not just the DM.

It was false assumption from the start - rarely everyone in the permanent game group buys all the books. Why to buy book that someone in the group already has? Better to spread costs between party members. Yup, permanent groups are bane of the industry ;)

Also, quality of adventures made by WotC that I seen wasn't astounding, which certainly did not help sales. Fourth edition adventures I looked through seemed even more of a waste of money than third edition (and I wasn't especially thrilled with 2nd edition ones, too). Well, maybe I have wrong expectations of adventure modules.

Quote:
Settings are places where you PUT adventures, and ignoring any part of this will hurt you. It's fascinating that a modern company does so much wrong that TSR in their time understood perfectly.

Settings was what killed TSR in the first place. They were great but they split consumer base and competed against consumer money with themselves... On the other hand multiple colorful settings were the only thing in AD&D I liked.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
John Woodford wrote:


I'm not sure Gygax-era TSR understood that at all, because they were able to support themselves almost entirely by selling 1e rules to people new to gaming. The 2e folks got the idea and went overboard with it, though--how many settings was TSR trying to support back then? Greyhawk, Eberron, Spelljammer, Planescape, Dark Sun.... The folks at Paizo have the right idea--one setting, with lots of different places in it, so they can do lots of different kinds of adventures without having to commit to support, e.g., an entire all-Gothic horror campaign world. Instead, they have Ustalav--one country among many, and they don't have to keep coming out with all-Ustalav adventures, background, etc.

Eberron? Lorraine's TSR overproduced settings like crazy (which was a dumb idea), but Eberron wasn't one of them.

Plus, Gygax's TSR sold a bunch of adventures, and only had one campaign setting (Greyhawk). Dragonlance was a novel/adventure tie in thing at the end of the Gygax era, and Forgotten Realms was nothing more than a bunch of Dragon articles until 1987.

Furthermore, TSR sold a bunch of non-D&D games as well. Marvel Superheroes, Gangbusters, Star Frontiers, Top Secret, and some others. Considering that they sold maybe one hardcover a year (Monster Manual - 1977, Player's Handbook - 1978, DMG - 1979, Dieties and Demigods - 1980, Fiend Folio - 1981, nothing in '82, Monster Manual II - 1983, nothing in '84, Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventues - 1985, which was Gygax's last year), I think that adventures and whatnot pulled a lot of the fiscal weight for the company as well.

OK, missed Eberron. I was playing a homebrew system or raising kids at the time, and missed out on almost all of 2e. Nothing else, IME, that TSR did from 1978 to 1985 came close to matching the sales power of the 1e core. Granted that this is one gaming group of 20-40 people (albeit in a college town, so there was a fair lot of turnover over that time), but at least 3/4 of the people in my gaming group had a copy of the three core 1e books, and I can count the number of copies of any other TSR game owned on the fingers of one hand. (Lots of Champions! and Villains & Vigilantes, though.) I grant that TSR was trying very hard to duplicate that 1e rapid expansion, but none of the other rules sets seemed to come close. I would welcome some actual sales data from the time, though, as my experience may not have been typical.


RE: 4E's Adventures - It's true, I dare say most of their published adventures aren't terribly well written and they really don't showcase the positive aspects that 4E has to offer but I think a LOT of the 4E Dungeon adventures (espically the Scales of War AP) were extreamly well written. When I run a 4E published Adventure, 90% of the time its from Dungeon or it directly relates to the setting I'm using (namely Forgotten Realms).

RE: Multiple Setting - WotC saw the error of TSR in supporting multiple settings and tried to combat this with a low-immersion production via 3 books per setting, peroid. Of course, 3-1/2 years later they broke that with the Neverwinter Campaign Guide for the Forgotten Realms (but that seemed to do extreamly well in comparions to other FR products) so perhaps they saw the advantages of more is better instead of the way around?

Andoran

WotC has always been, with a very few exceptions, horrible at producing good adventures. If it weren't for Paizo's handling of Dungeon, and a lot of decent 3pp stuff, 3x would have been a very adventure poor era indeed.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
WotC has always been, with a very few exceptions, horrible at producing good adventures. If it weren't for Paizo's handling of Dungeon, and a lot of decent 3pp stuff, 3x would have been a very adventure poor era indeed.

Which is kind of surprising, considering how many competent Paizo/3PP adventure writers have a stint at WotC on their resumes. So on a complete tangent: besides RHoD, what are the good WotC adventures?

Andoran

Actually, RHoD was about the only one I could think of that truly impressed. The hardcover adventures were complete trash, imo.

Silver Crusade

houstonderek wrote:
Actually, RHoD was about the only one I could think of that truly impressed. The hardcover adventures were complete trash, imo.

I have Pool of Radiance: Fall of Myth Drannor. :)

It's not too bad. In fact, SKR's adventure is very decent and something I'd expect. It's the adventures in the back of the FR Expansion Sets that are missing that something extra. I look at those, and say:

"That's all they bloody have?"


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
Actually, RHoD was about the only one I could think of that truly impressed. The hardcover adventures were complete trash, imo.

I thought Expedition to the Demonweb pits was good.

Andoran

I really hated the entire format of those hardcover adventures.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yeah, I can appreciate that position - I think whatever advantage was gained from the delve format was outweighed by the difficulty with getting invested in the story. It's hard to sit and read them through the way you can with an adventure where the stats/encounters are embedded in the story.

When I finally did read the demonweb pits though, I quite liked it.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
Considering that they sold maybe one hardcover a year (Monster Manual - 1977, Player's Handbook - 1978, DMG - 1979, Dieties and Demigods - 1980, Fiend Folio - 1981, nothing in '82, Monster Manual II - 1983, nothing in '84, Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventues - 1985, which was Gygax's last year), I think that adventures and whatnot pulled a lot of the fiscal weight for the company as well.

They sold a lot of softcovers that were the equivalent of hardcovers in 3E/3.5.

I think a large portion/majority of those softcovers weren't adventures.


My group played through both Cormyr: Tearing of the Weave and Shadowdale: Scouring of the Land and both thought it was pretty awesome in scope and playability. Sure, there were some mechanical issues (meaning, someone didn't proof read all the monster stat-blocks) but it was fun none the less.

Also, I played through Sons of Gruumsh and it was a lot of fun too. Looking to do PoR:RoMD adventure with the same group and finish it up with City of the Spider Queen.

As far as 4E adventures go, did a little bit of Keep on the Shadowfell but it sort of fell to the wayside. Another of our DMs is currently running Thunderspire Labrynth using the Forgotten Realms conversion and it's been pretty good so far. Don't know how well it meshes with the Setting (a minotaur kingdom buried benieth Cormyr..??!) but I tend not to look too deeply at that part of the adventure.

I also plan on running Scepter Tower of Spellgard soon, so that will be interesting.

Andoran

Brian E. Harris wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Considering that they sold maybe one hardcover a year (Monster Manual - 1977, Player's Handbook - 1978, DMG - 1979, Dieties and Demigods - 1980, Fiend Folio - 1981, nothing in '82, Monster Manual II - 1983, nothing in '84, Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventues - 1985, which was Gygax's last year), I think that adventures and whatnot pulled a lot of the fiscal weight for the company as well.

They sold a lot of softcovers that were the equivalent of hardcovers in 3E/3.5.

I think a large portion/majority of those softcovers weren't adventures.

I was specifically speaking of TSR and 1st edition, and what they sold. I know 3x put out a ton of more or less useless crap.

Cheliax

You know perhaps slightly off-topic, but I believe someone in the thread mentioned how many of the Paizo contributors and authors had a hand in so much 3/3.5 ed material.

I almost hate to ask because undoubtedly it's not an easy answer, but one has to wonder that if there is such a disparity in quality, then why did that occur? Short development times? Lack of cohesion amongst team members? Perhaps not as much control for the author of the material? Perhaps even a case of it being much earlier in one's career? (Mind you, I'm not saying the products were bad, but I'm seeing a lot of this mentality)

Andoran

WotC was cranking out books like trees were going out of style. There was no way half of that stuff could have been properly playtested or edited, as evidenced by how poorly a lot of the material works together, and all of the exploitable loopholes in the metric assload of rules books put out. WotC was obviously putting money far ahead of quality for quite a bit of the 3.5 era.

Osirion

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

One problem seems to be the delve format. Some Adventures (Demonweb Pits, Ruins of Greyhawk) were actually quite good, but a pain to read through and get invested in (as a GM), some others, like City of the Spider Queen or Standing Stone were, as far as I know, actually quite well received but seem to be largely forgotten by now. Other Adventures looked like half hearted additions to maps.

Overall, many adventures weren't bad, but considering the massive amount of rulebooks or setting(-rule)book published through 3rd and 3.5th editions cycle, the amount of good adventures was meager, and the 3rd edition adventures (mega adventures like City of Spider Queen not counted) sticked out due to their (comparatively) low production value.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
I really hated the entire format of those hardcover adventures.

Yeah you know what I have both the HC Ravenloft book and the Greyhawk book and while I like the story/plot in each of them and some of the ideas within the format is a huge pain in the butt.

I'd go easier if there were clean professional PDF's of them so that I could print out what I needed and arranged things how I liked but yeah the format on those later 3.5 HC's?

HOT MESS.

Andoran

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houstonderek wrote:
WotC was cranking out books like trees were going out of style. There was no way half of that stuff could have been properly playtested or edited, as evidenced by how poorly a lot of the material works together, and all of the exploitable loopholes in the metric assload of rules books put out. WotC was obviously putting money far ahead of quality for quite a bit of the 3.5 era.

This is all hindsight, but the biggest problem that I see in the second-hand 3.5 stuff that I've picked up is, as you said, how poorly a lot of it works together. It's like the people who were working on psionics were stovepiped from the people working on the Complete X lines (except for Complete Psionic), and none of them were talking to the Bo9S people. There are books that are brilliant--I love Lords of Madness, frex--and there are some nuggets in the Complete X books that show real creativity and thought, but there didn't seem to be anyone who was taking responsibility for the cohesiveness of the entire D&D rules set.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Yeah, I can appreciate that position - I think whatever advantage was gained from the delve format was outweighed by the difficulty with getting invested in the story. It's hard to sit and read them through the way you can with an adventure where the stats/encounters are embedded in the story.

Yup. I used material from the 'Expedition to Greyhawk', to expand the city portion of the AoW campaign, which, although it did introduce a ton of Easter Eggs for older players, it was a grind to work with.

Descriptions of places that were literally on opposite sides of the road were in different chapters, if at all. Same with statblocks for people who frequented the same venues.

They got in with Demariss, of The Green Dragon, who put them up for a night. I planned for the dung to hit the fan, so wanted his 'old adventuring buddy' as insurance, but could I find him? Even though he often sits in the bar? And has several paragraphs regarding how the PCs can interact with him?

I can understand not wanting to repeat information several times per book, but the solution to that is to have an appendix where all the stats can be collected, and a page ref whenever he's mentioned in the text.

Having one set of stats, and taking the position that 'the GM will only ever need stats for NPC X, if the PCs encounter him at location xx', then burying those stats somewhere in the book, is the worst of both approaches.


John Woodford wrote:
Which is kind of surprising, considering how many competent Paizo/3PP adventure writers have a stint at WotC on their resumes. So on a complete tangent: besides RHoD, what are the good WotC adventures?

These were pretty good:

- Sunless Citadel
- Forge of Fury
- Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
- City of the Spider Queen
- RHoD
- Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (though the format cripples it)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

"Expedition to..." series were good, mostly due to being written by Paizo staff or related freelancers.

Anything else, RHoD besides, is pretty much forgettable.

Osirion

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

I disagree. City of the Spider Queen was a great adventure for high level characters, Sunless Citadel, The Speaker in Dreams, Forge of Fury and the four Eberron adventures were all quite good, too - as was RttToEE, if you like Dungeon Crawling. That still leaves more then half of the published adventures as either mediocre or worse(I haven't played the three hardcover Forgotten Realms Adventures and some of the 3rd edition modules, nor the 'Barrow of the Forgotten King Triology - reading the latter didn't inspire any interest to do so), but there are a few more good ones then just the Expedition series and the (very, very good) RHoD.


I'm running RHoD at the moment, and I'm running into some problems with it. It assumes way too much of the players, and doesn't leave much room for other ideas. But, this is my first real published adventure longer than a one-nighter that I've run from a book, so I'm gonna go ahead and assume I'm doing it wrong.

Most recent "duh" moment from RHoD spoilered below:

Spoiler:

Okay, so one part of the adventure has the players setting out for some ruins in a swamp. But, according to the map of the surrounding land, swamp is surrounded by a forest, some dry, flat grassland and a road. The ruins are actually quiet close to the edge of the swamp, near the road. The players took one look at it and said, "Screw the swamp, we're going to stay on dry land and just circle around." I couldn't really argue with the logic.

The book really assumed they were going to fight their way through a treacherous swamp instead of just taking half of a day and circling around. I'm still scratching my head over that one.

Osirion

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

Actually, the adventure does not in any way presume that the PCs encounter every plotpoint.

Spoiler:
The map of the Goblins isn't that accurate. looking at it, the ruins might lie halfway between the edge and the lake. Even if they take the road and then cut into the swamp right to the ruins, that will mean a few hours time 'in' the swamp, enough to encounter the elves who might lead them into 'their' part of the adventure, considering clever PCs might actually be eager to find some allies.


feytharn wrote:

Actually, the adventure does not in any way presume that the PCs encounter every plotpoint.

** spoiler omitted **

Feytharn;

Spoiler:

I didn't say anything about the goblin map. The players used the "Real" map of the area, because they had Capt. Soranna and some of her militia with them after bringing down the Skullgorge bridge. One thing the players did well, was work intimately with the officials at Drellin's Ferry and get as much intel on the surrounding land as possible, which would include maps of areas where local roads lead.

According to the map on page 51, the location of the Ruins is barely 2 miles from the edge of the marsh. I still ran encounters in the marsh, including meeting up with the elves and side-trekking to Starsong Hill. They essentially used the "Cross Country" option from page 50, and straddled the edge of the forest east to the road. So, they had to go across barely a mile and a half of marsh.

Osirion

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

Spoiler:
I couldn't know that - the goblin map is the default option given in the adventure.
What you did works perfectly, again, the Adventure doesn't presume days of mud crawling, and your example just highlights that. The Adventure presents options and makes it quite clear that they aren't meant to be a string of encounters leading to their destination.

BTW, crossing 2 miles through a march when there is a more or less usable way to your destination that is only 5 or 6 miles long is a bad idea, but that doesn't really change anything about the way your group got there.


Do they really need to win back all the Pathfinder fans? Or do they just need to win over more people than are currently buying the supplements WotC is putting out now?

I think they are trying to be everything to everyone which is doomed to failure. However, even as a D&D hater, I am curious to see what they do.

If you keep doing what you are doing, you will continue getting what you are getting.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CourtFool wrote:
Do they really need to win back all the Pathfinder fans? Or do they just need to win over more people than are currently buying the supplements WotC is putting out now?

Maybe WotC see gamers like Pokemon and they... Gotta catch em all.


CourtFool wrote:

Do they really need to win back all the Pathfinder fans? Or do they just need to win over more people than are currently buying the supplements WotC is putting out now?

I think they are trying to be everything to everyone which is doomed to failure. However, even as a D&D hater, I am curious to see what they do.

If you keep doing what you are doing, you will continue getting what you are getting.

Need to? No, I think most of the design team understands that Paizo fans will probably remain loyal to Paizo and they can probably write them off as a loss even before D&D:next hits. I think they're after people who don't have silly notions of 'Brand Loyalty', new comers, and transistioners from 4E. Being someone who really enjoys 4E, I'm just as excited to see what they come out with in the near future. I know 4E won't be supported anymore, but I really don't care. I'm still going to buy D&D stuff, plain and simple.

I think the heavy modular approach also has a lot of good aspects, espically in the short time spans people have these days. 10 years ago, I had a group that would game for a solid 5 hours a week, every week. But as people grow and their situations change, that time becomes smaller. So if I can get a group together for 2 and 1/2 OR 3 hours for gaming a week, I want that to be quick yet memorable. And I think D&D:Next might just be that ticket.

But I also have no illusions that it'll supplant my current love and enjoyment of 4th Editions nor will it scratch that v3.5/PF itch our group has now and then too. Besides, I own so much v3.5 stuff and PF is free....so I have disposable income enough for a new edition.

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