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Is anyone worried about Pathfinder after reading the Next playtest?


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Andoran

I have to admit, I wasn't too worried about Pathfinder from way back in January when WotC announced the new edition. I got a bit more worried (mostly for my wallet's sake) as time went on, that this was going to be D&D for everyone in the future. But after reading the playtest (which seemed like a very stripped down version of 3.0), I'm not really worried about Paizo and Pathfinder's future. Don't get me wrong, Next looks like it could be a fun roleplaying game, but I'm not going to make it _my_ fun roleplaying game, especially in the likely absence of an OGL'd SRD (if it does have an OGL SRD, well that would probably be sad for my wallet) and also given that it's essentially a simpler version of the game I already play, and I like stuff like skill and feats. I was wondering what other people think about the effect of Next on Paizo and Pathfinder.

I was honestly thinking it might be good for both companies, because it looks like I would be able to convert content between the systems on the fly, making me less hesitant about buying WotC campaign settings/modules.


You do know that the playtest material is just the core rules if the game, right?

You do know that Next has skills and feats, right?

You do know that backgrounds are the skill delivery system and themes are the feat delivery system, right?

You do know you will be able to build your own backgrounds and themes, right?

You do know the game is far from done, right?


I have no doubt that Pathfinder will be alive and well after 5E's arival. After all, Pathfinder has survived the rivalry of 4E, various OGL clones, and the Resurgence of AD&D and OD&D. Even if 5E is a spectacular success, it won't affect Pathfinder much. Hopefully, it will create a growth in the industry. (Especially since the economy should be improving immensely because this is an election year.)


Despite being a 4e player and really liking what I see of 5e so far, I think Paizo will be fine. Paizo was able to grab customers from WotC because WotC stopped supporting 3.5. Paizo won't abandon Pathfinder and their customers love them.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I'm always mildly worried about the survival of an RPG - given the fragile nature of our hobby, I think everyone should be.

In my opinion, the impact on Pathfinder demand will depend a lot on such things as the OGLishness, the delivery method, the model of product (whether they focus on rules or flavor supplements), etcetera. It's hard not to superimpose one's own preferences on the market when speculating about things we dont really understand - nonetheless, it seems to me that Paizo's great strength is not actually the rules system (which D&D:Next will compete with) but rather things like company culture, accessibility of staff, ownership of fans and all those things are potentially independent of anything WoTC does.

Personally, I like the fact that 4E and PF are so different and I hope D&D:Next fills its own niche (notwithstanding the lofty goal of being the one-edition-to-rule-them-all which I think is something of a pipedream anyhow). In my view the outlook for PF is rosier if D&D is thriving, provided the two companies are sufficiently distinguished (which I think they will be, since I dont think WoTC would be silly enough to try and take on Paizo head-to-head in the area of Paizo's natural strength and WoTC's natural weakness).


fjw70 wrote:
Despite being a 4e player and really liking what I see of 5e so far, I think Paizo will be fine. Paizo was able to grab customers from WotC because WotC stopped supporting 3.5. Paizo won't abandon Pathfinder and their customers love them.

Basically, this. It would take something leagues beyond what the industry has ever seen to kill Pathfinder.

Cheliax

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

It's going to come down to the license for 3rd party products. If WotC releases D&D Next with something resembling the OGL, I suspect that there might be real competition for #1 in the RPG market.

Now if they release it with something as bad as the GSL, or worse, then the current status quo may continue, D&D being the 2nd biggest game in the market, even if it has superior name recognition.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I dont think "being number one" is one of the important benchmarks to be frank. I suspect it matters much more to customers than to the relative companies. If Paizo continue to be received as well as they currently are, with reasonable revenue growth, I'm sure they'll be happy whether they're number 1,3 or 17. Similarly, I doubt WoTC's KPIs are going to mention the ICv2 rankings - they will be based on revenue, profit and presumably arcane things like market penetration (as opposed to market share) and cross-marketting opportunities.

If RPGs try and cannibalise one another for customers, the hobby will suffer for it. "Far better to make the pie bigger than fight for a bigger slice of a shrinking pie" and so on....


Well. If Paizo discovers they can be more successful commercially and at least as successful artistically making Next stuff instead of Pathfinder RPG stuff, I'd expect them to switch.

Now, the only scenario under which I can see that being possible is if Next is released under something as broad, ironclad, and irrevocable as the OGL, and then several years of market experience prove Next is a better choice for Paizo products than Pathfinder RPG. In which case, well, Paizo will actually be serving its fans better by switching than holding the fort, because its fans will be the ones who drive the demand for Paizo-made Next product, right?

And in that case, somebody else will manage to make a reasonable amount of money publishing a Pathfinder-compatible RPG under the OGL, which is more than the fans of D&D 4th edition can hope for.

Which, when you think about it, shows just how much the GSL decision shafted fans of D&D 4th. It not only was the impetus that split the market in a manner that made their favorite RPG less successful than it could have been back in 2008—it also is what's going to stop a third party from doing for them what Paizo did for fans of 3.x here in 2012.

(So that's two reasons for fans of Next to demand an OGL—both the chance of healing the rift in the market and the chance to see their game survive the next shift at WotC.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

The three groups I play with (16 people) have all expressed that they will definetely NOT change to 5e given the fact that they own all these pathfinder books and love the system.

So, purely from my personal experience, no, not concerned apart from what Steve Geddes said.


Unless Paizo decides to stop making top-quality products, they'll be fine.

I don't expect to switch to D&D from Pathfinder, but if I do, there will still be plenty of room at my table for Pathfinder products and adventures.

Grand Lodge

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

I don't see Next has having ANY real effect on Pathfinder one way or another.


Paizo makes so many great RPG products that are system-neutral, such as flip-mats, map packs, etc etc. Even if I never bought another rulebook from Paizo, they'd still be getting my money for game accessories in amounts surpassing what I was spending on D&D rulebooks back when I was buying them full time for 3.5.

Andoran

Another thought that crossed my mind was that if Next stays on its current course, it could easily serve as a Pathfinder Basic while Pathfinder would serve as an Advanced D&D Next. Having compatibility between the products will be nice...


I don't think either game is going to be mutually exclusive in the eyes of players who enjoy both. Right now D&D Next has my various gaming groups' attention because it's shiny and new, and we're interested in providing feedback and hopefully shaping the game into something we will all like. The easily-accessible nature of the core rules has a lot of appeal, too.

Pathfinder isn't likely to disappear from our table anytime soon, though. We've got too much material to use - I'm still four books away from finishing my Carrion Crown campaign, plus an encore expedition into Gallowspire to top it off, and I predict that will run well into 2014. Runelords will be re-released soon, as well, and I'm interested in eventually picking up where we left off with that last time we tried to run all the way through it. And for newer players who like the Beginner Box but not the full game, I'm considering picking up the first volumes of several different adventure paths to run as mini-campaigns using just the BB rules.

Cheliax

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

One of WoTCs big past failings has been a lack of quality modules/adventures. If you have the best set of rules of there without modules you're all dressed up with no place to go.


chopswil wrote:
One of WoTCs big past failings has been a lack of quality modules/adventures. If you have the best set of rules of there without modules you're all dressed up with no place to go.

Many groups play home brewed campaigns and/or worlds almost exclusively.

It's harder to make money off of them though.


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I guess here is how I feel about it;

I have no worries about Pathfinder surviving and thriving - However, if D and D 5th Ed stays like it looks now - with a lower curve on the numeric side of things - I'll probably jump ship for it when it comes out. Not saying that I won't keep playing Pathfinder from time-to-time, but what they've put out so far is compelling, and fits my playstyle better.

Of course, it's way too early to tell.


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thomrenault wrote:
Another thought that crossed my mind was that if Next stays on its current course, it could easily serve as a Pathfinder Basic while Pathfinder would serve as an Advanced D&D Next. Having compatibility between the products will be nice...

Funny, I had the same thought. Paizo turned there back on the portion of the market asking for a slightly simpler system and (so far, I know, I know) D and D seems to be moving in that direction.


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I have already decided that I won't be switching from pf to next. Paizo has earned my loyalty while wizards has lost it. I will buy the core rules and possibly cherrypick a few things here and there to put into my game, but paizo will be getting the bulk of my disposable income for the forseeable future.

Qadira

Based on the playtest files, D&D Next strikes a nice balance of the old-school feel (especially on account of tactical grid-based combat not being the norm) and more new-school character customization (I really like the characters being a sum of Race/Class/Background/Theme, and some of the abilities granted by the Backgrounds are totally sweet).

Then again, I'm not really worried about the future of Pathfinder. Pathfinder has pretty much secured its own place in the crunchy, 3e-based segment of D&D players, and I can see Pathfinder thriving even after Next is released. For me, D&D Next seems closer to my personal preferences.


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I'm really kind of curious how much of the old-school feel is due to the old-school Caves of Chaos module.

I mean, you'd get an old school feel out of playing that thing with 4E.


DDN, with all it presumed rules modules, will quickly dominate the RPG sales charts for a time upon release. This will cause much internet jabber about how D&D is back and on the rise, while Pathfinder is on the decline. This won’t really mean much and will eventually settle into a back and forth state between the sales numbers of the two games. One of the two may emerge as the dominate seller but the sales will be close enough to not really matter.

Over time, the success of DDN will be directly linked to the adventure and campaign material WoTC produces to support it. Historically WoTC has fallen down in this area. If they have finally come around to producing quality adventure material (in lieu of rule expansions) they may have a long term winner on their hands once again with DDN. If not, they won’t.

One area where it seems WoTC will dominate is in online and electronic game content. I don’t know what the electronic presence of the DDN game will be, but I do know the Pathfinder game has little beyond PDFs. This is an interesting area to watch. Is having an electronic and/or online presence necessary for a tabletop RPG? I don’t think so, but maybe it is.

The real impact of DDN will be felt in the OSR and small RPG game communities. I do believe DDN will have a large and negative impact on games like C&C, LL, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and so on. I think DDN will be able to consolidate many players of these “D&D clones” into DDN and may even dry up players of some of these alternate games completely. Pathfinder now falls outside this group and is a direct competitor in its own right rather than a replacement for a game long gone (as the clones are). I don’t really see the OSR clones continuing much at all if DDN stays on its Grognard like path.

Should WoTC decide to revive and support Greyhawk with DDN by producing new high quality material it could prove to be a terrific challenge to Golarian as most groups that enjoy pre-published settings tend to go with the rules native to that setting exclusively. Golarian and Greyhawk already have quite a history with each other’s fans and creators. I don’t think Forgotten Realms has quite the same overlap so WoTC may just play it safe and stick to the more popular Realms to avoid the Golarian/Greyhawk overlap entirely.

One final wildcard in all this is the OGL. I’m assuming DDN will have no OGL content at all. I really don’t think it needs it to be a success at this point so why would WoTC bother? I don’t think anyone did much of note with the 4E GSL so I’m not sure WoTC sees any upside to going back to an OGL model.

Osirion

It's been stated before by people inside of Paizo that the company's big RPG business comes from the APs, which means the APs are consistently selling in good numbers. The APs are designed for the Pathfinder RPG.

I would expect that D&D Next would have to offer something so good (like the OGL) that Paizo switches the APs to D&D Next. Otherwise, the majority of AP fans, I expect, will probably stick with the game the APs are made for. Paizo has a hard-to-beat rep for high-quality published adventures. In my experience only Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu has a better track record for good pre-written adventure content.

The same is likely true of PFS. WotC has a spotty history with Organized Play. PFS, on the other hand, is a record-breaking success. People who desire to retain the community of PFS are also likely to either stay with PFRPG or to buy and play both.

Ditto with Golarion, which is a world that can offer some things that typical D&D campaign settings cannot. Golarion offers a return to gritty pulp fantasy without completely stomping out high fantasy - it offers players more choices, and more callbacks to real-world myth and legend, than D&D's traditional settings, like the love-it-or-hate-it Forgotten Realms.

TL;DR: IMO anybody who cares more about APs, Golarion, or the PFS community than nitpicking the system would probably stay with PF unless D&D Next somehow managed to sell Paizo on the idea of converting all their Intellectual Property to that game system.

Qadira

thejeff wrote:

I'm really kind of curious how much of the old-school feel is due to the old-school Caves of Chaos module.

I mean, you'd get an old school feel out of playing that thing with 4E.

For me it's largely to do with a number of things: Vancian casting being back, the fact that the game doesn't assume the grid like 3E and 4E, the simple skill system (which, while being based on d20+modifiers vs. DC, is more reminiscent of Rules Cyclopedia's skill system than either 3E's or 4E's in my opinion), and the fact that weapons are back to being mostly differentiated in terms of damage rather than having a number of different special abilities and variable crit ranges and modifiers.

But yeah, the Caves of Chaos module also has something to do with it, as does the fact that the DMing advice given in the module assumes a more old-school philosophy (i.e. all of the combat encounters are not assumed to be balanced for the party and the module underlines the dangers of dawdling in a dungeon filled with monsters). There's also the fact that the module is simply presented as simply an adventure location and not a pre-written story, which is often the case in more new-school adventures.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Face_P0lluti0n wrote:
The same is likely true of PFS. WotC has a spotty history with Organized Play. PFS, on the other hand, is a record-breaking success. People who desire to retain the community of PFS are also likely to either stay with PFRPG or to buy and play both.

Yeah, if WotC can put create a living campaign that is popular enough to make it easy to get a game, and doesn't require you to keep on the levelling up treadmill to find a game at a convention (and hopefully isn't set in the Forgotten Realms) then I will likely ditch PF, sell my books and clear some space on my shelves.

If however they can't and PFS continues to be the dominant d20 fantasy living campaign then I will likely stick with PF for that.

Mind you whichever way I go it won't affect Paizo much as I don't buy any more PF product unless the PFS core assumption changes (I only bought Seekers of Secrets as that was core assumption, only to have it be dropped for the Pathfinder Sciety Field Guide, which I then bought <Grrr!>)

I will likely still continue to buy maps from Paizo and the odd generic game aid (I just bought the NPC face card packs).

Qadira

One thing that D&D has going for it over Paizo is the wealth of campaign settings. I could see it as a potential deal-maker for many if WotC could leverage all of the various intellectual properties (like Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Planescape and Dragonlance) and produce content for those settings once again. If I can recall correctly, they've implied that there will be assumptions for running Forgotten Realms in all of its ages, so that people who hated the Spellplague and the various changes it brought to the Realms can safely ignore it, while people who liked those changes can keep playing in post-Spellplague Realms.

This all hinges upon what WotC does with those settings and if they decide on the one setting per year model again, they stand to lose.

Osirion

In addition, dissatisfaction with 4th ed's rules was only part of the reason to for many people to switch to PF. Another part was the continuity from 3.5. I have a long-running 3.5 campaign that was switched over to PFRPG in 2009. If I changed to 5th ed, the story would no longer make sense, because many 3.5 classes, monsters, abilities, and powers would no longer exist in the campaign world, unless I converted, which would be a huge headache.

PF conversion of 3.5 material is easy enough that we can just keep playing our same campaign world, same characters, classes, etc. I have over twenty 3.5 books, which require minimal conversion to PF, and that conversion is simple enough to do during the game. I have some nitpicks with PF (mostly 3.5 legacy stuff), but it would hurt more to lose all of the published setting material for 3.5 settings that WotC is probably going to take their time to convert to 5th/Next, if they do so at all.

Edit: Ninja'ed by Ratpick. Totally agreed. I'm not waiting until 2014 or beyond to convert my Eberron or Planescape games when I can run those games with Pathfinder right now.

Edit: Also, the Beginner Box. WotC also doesn't have a good history with gateway/intro products. PF, on the other hand, has the best intro product in a long, long time. Using that product, PF could also grow it's base by bringing new people into the RP hobby.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ratpick wrote:
One thing that D&D has going for it over Paizo is the wealth of campaign settings. I could see it as a potential deal-maker for many if WotC could leverage all of the various intellectual properties (like Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Planescape and Dragonlance) and produce content for those settings once again.

All these settings are both an asset and a curse.

Trying to support all of these fully causes fragmentation of your players/users, which is what happened to TSR.
Put out nothing and you make some of your players mad.


Face_P0lluti0n has a point about compatibility. And that raises another. Compatibility is the key to 5E's success.

If this system remains as simple as it is, and utilizes the same kinds of skills and feats as 3.5, then it will be compatible with little adjustment with 3.5/PF. And if that's the case, then its success is essentially assured.

One of my biggest problems with 3.5/PF as it stands is the complexity issue. The rules try to cover everything, and that's just too much.

4E addressed this, but the designers dropped the ball, IMHO. They simplified the game but changed it too much to be readily compatible with 3.5. 5E does not do that.

The creation of backgrounds and themes for your favorite PF-style character classes would be simple enough. I can see it happening on a fan-based level, even if Paizo doesn't do it.

The opportunity to play Pathfinder APs with such a simple system would be more than welcome, as far as I am concerned.

I think 5E will succeed where 4E didn't because it will be part of the pre-4E D&D game systems.

Osirion

chopswil wrote:
Ratpick wrote:
One thing that D&D has going for it over Paizo is the wealth of campaign settings. I could see it as a potential deal-maker for many if WotC could leverage all of the various intellectual properties (like Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Planescape and Dragonlance) and produce content for those settings once again.

All these settings are both an asset and a curse.

Trying to support all of these fully causes fragmentation of your players/users, which is what happened to TSR.
Put out nothing and you make some of your players mad.

I'm sure that the one-a-year schedule of 4E was meant to lighten up on publishing fatigue and pressure for the company and wallet fatigue and pressure for the customers, but it did end up leading to people waiting until halfway through 4E's lifespan for a setting hardback just to play.

It occurs to me that hardback setting books might be the wrong approach for D&D since there are so many.

Honestly, were I WotC, I would lead with a large number of inexpensive overview style products in the vein of Paizo's campaign setting primers, with essential mechanical information (Warforged and Dragonmarked stats for Eberron, etc) on a few pages in the back, and then proceed slowly and carefully to the hardbacks, maybe then following the one-a-year rule.

Paizo seemed to have hit the nail on the head with their approach - make material first for the dedicated, convert-on-day-one gamer who has all of the old books and doesn't need a rehash of every detail, then focus on new blood once the old guard is satisfied.


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Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
One of my biggest problems with 3.5/PF as it stands is the complexity issue. The rules try to cover everything, and that's just too much.

I think this is true when starting out but, even with a complex system like 3.5, you can master it after a surprisingly quick amount of time, provided it stops expanding. Unfortunately we've yet to see a D&D rule set that does not continually expand. Pathfinder had a great start but the APG and Ultimate books pushed it right over the edge. I think once a game crosses this line it’s hard to come back, you’ve forever abandoned the casual or rules light customer in favor of the tactical player. You either force the rules light guys to play a game they don’t want to play or to ignore escalating amounts of content in the game they do play and force them to deal with diminishing returns on their purchases.

DDN has an opportunity right now to keep players of all kinds happy if it can publish a cohesive enough set of rules at the start, allow and enable the players to master it, then: (this is the hard part) leave it alone. We’ll see.

Qadira

cibet44 wrote:
DDN has an opportunity right now to keep players of all kinds happy if it can publish a cohesive enough set of rules at the start, allow and enable the players to master it, then: (this is the hard part) leave it alone. We’ll see.

This is pretty much the opposite of what they intend to do. The intention is to make the game modular, so there will be more material that expands upon the core rules.

However, this is no different than what is usually done with any system: you get the base system and then modules that expand upon the material in the base system.

One of the benefits of the modular approach is that, as far as I understand, all of the modular components will be there according to DM discretion. One of the starting goals of the game, when design started, was to put power back in the hands of the DM. This is clearly visible even in the current playtest rules: a lot of time in the How to DM file is spent on giving guidelines on making rulings.

Also, that's another old-school feather in Next's hat: the insistence on DM-made rulings, not rules that are set in stone.

So, I guess the game will keep getting more and more complex, but only if the DM decides to run it with all the switches on. I don't think anyone who runs the game with just the core set will be running an incomplete game, no more than anyone who runs Pathfinder with just the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary.

Osirion

cibet44 wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
One of my biggest problems with 3.5/PF as it stands is the complexity issue. The rules try to cover everything, and that's just too much.

I think this is true when starting out but, even with a complex system like 3.5, you can master it after a surprisingly quick amount of time, provided it stops expanding. Unfortunately we've yet to see a D&D rule set that does not continually expand. Pathfinder had a great start but the APG and Ultimate books pushed it right over the edge. I think once a game crosses this line it’s hard to come back, you’ve forever abandoned the casual or rules light customer in favor of the tactical player. You either force the rules light guys to play a game they don’t want to play or to ignore escalating amounts of content in the game they do play and force them to deal with diminishing returns on their purchases.

DDN has an opportunity right now to keep players of all kinds happy if it can publish a cohesive enough set of rules at the start, allow and enable the players to master it, then: (this is the hard part) leave it alone. We’ll see.

The problem is that extra rules and crunchy bits are good for business because they sell new books to existing players, and many players do enjoy buying and incorporating new crunch.

Silver Crusade

I think Paizo should keep what they do best no matter how good D&DN is (and I think it's really good....so far). And what they do best is AP's, modules, & adventures. Something that WOTC, in my opinion, stinks at. In a perfect world, if D&D Next becomes hugely popular as a RPG, they should subcontract Paizo to write adventures for them, meanwhile, Paizo can still write adventures for the still very good Pathfinder RPG. Of course I say this as a consumer, not a businessman/lawyer looking at business models, OGLs, trademarks, or corporate profits...i'd like to have my cake and eat it too. I honestly think that no system can survive on system alone. We lazy DM's (and there are many of us) need that pre-written adventure to even run the game and if there isn't that, then what good is having the game in the first place regardless of how wonderful the mechanics might be.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
thomrenault wrote:
Another thought that crossed my mind was that if Next stays on its current course, it could easily serve as a Pathfinder Basic while Pathfinder would serve as an Advanced D&D Next. Having compatibility between the products will be nice...

In order for them to be "compatible" they'd have to be the same. They'd have to be one game instead of two. Let them each be their own, we'll both be better off for it.


I agree with you to a point on the mastery aspect, cibet. But before I started tweaking my 3.5 into a 3.5/AD&D meld, I was looking things up in the book on a regular basis. 3E is the only edition of D&D I have ever had to do that with.

Added to that was the chaotic organization of the 3.5 rulebooks--necessitating the creation of the Rules Compendium.

And since Pathfinder used the SRD as a basis for its creation, some of that chaos has found its way into the Core Rulebook.

If the 5E rules follow the playtest structure, then everything on any given subject will be found in one place, and will not necessitate scouring two different books to confirm or reject a rules interpretation (assuming the simplicity of the rules won't settle the matter without the need to look things up).

And that's my point. With these simple rules, there is no complexity issue. We don't have special rules for unarmed combat, or for non-lethal combat, or for weapon finesse, or for any of a dozen different maneuvers with their special feats attatched.

When I ran the playtest, I consulted the rules once. And that was to confirm that a readied action takes place after the trigger--happily underlining the lack of attacks of opportunity in the system.

The system's simplicity is the draw for me, and will be for others, I suspect. A 5-page combat section in one place handily beats out 9 pages in the 3.5 DMG + 30 pages in the 3.5 PHB, or 26 pages in the PF Corebook.


Ratpick wrote:
cibet44 wrote:
DDN has an opportunity right now to keep players of all kinds happy if it can publish a cohesive enough set of rules at the start, allow and enable the players to master it, then: (this is the hard part) leave it alone. We’ll see.

This is pretty much the opposite of what they intend to do. The intention is to make the game modular, so there will be more material that expands upon the core rules.

However, this is no different than what is usually done with any system: you get the base system and then modules that expand upon the material in the base system.

One of the benefits of the modular approach is that, as far as I understand, all of the modular components will be there according to DM discretion.

The question here is how do you handle this in the adventures and campaign settings? You either have to do it the "Paizo way" and incorporate much of your "non-core" stuff in your adventures and force players to ignore or embrace it or you have to do it the 3.x way where you never put the non-core stuff in your adventures or supplements. Either way is going to make some customers disgruntled. Leaving it up to the DM means he will always need to do extra work to use the expanded stuff or never use it at all.

In the early days of the APs I thought Paizo had a great model where new rules would be introduced as part of the current AP only. So if you were playing the AP you had some new crunch to go along with the adventure and if you weren’t you didn’t even know about the alternate rules unless the GM brought them to the game (since players don’t typically have the AP volumes). This could be a great model for DDN where the “rule plugins” come with the adventures or campaign books that use them.

Qadira

sirmattdusty wrote:
I think Paizo should keep what they do best no matter how good D&DN is (and I think it's really good....so far). And what they do best is AP's, modules, & adventures. Something that WOTC, in my opinion, stinks at. In a perfect world, if D&D Next becomes hugely popular as a RPG, they should subcontract Paizo to write adventures for them, meanwhile, Paizo can still write adventures for the still very good Pathfinder RPG. Of course I say this as a consumer, not a businessman/lawyer looking at business models, OGLs, trademarks, or corporate profits...i'd like to have my cake and eat it too. I honestly think that no system can survive on system alone. We lazy DM's (and there are many of us) need that pre-written adventure to even run the game and if there isn't that, then what good is having the game in the first place regardless of how wonderful the mechanics might be.

While I won't put into question the amazing quality of Paizo's adventure paths, they are quite, well, pathy. Given that there are a number of OSR bloggers consulting for D&D Next (including the RPG Pundit as well as Zak S. of Playing D&D With Pornstars fame) who have a thing for sandboxes and location-based adventures, I think the model for D&D Next adventure modules may well be the dungeon sandbox or adventure location, instead of the story-based adventure.

Alternately, they could try doing both to appease all fans. Personally, I prefer location-based adventures and sandboxes over story-based adventures.


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I agree with you to a point on the mastery aspect, cibet. But before I started tweaking my 3.5 into a 3.5/AD&D meld, I was looking things up in the book on a regular basis. 3E is the only edition of D&D I have ever had to do that with.

Added to that was the chaotic organization of the 3.5 rulebooks--necessitating the creation of the Rules Compendium.

And since Pathfinder used the SRD as a basis for its creation, some of that chaos has found its way into the Core Rulebook.

If the 5E rules follow the playtest structure, then everything on any given subject will be found in one place, and will not necessitate scouring two different books to confirm or reject a rules interpretation (assuming the simplicity of the rules won't settle the matter without the need to look things up).

And that's my point. With these simple rules, there is no complexity issue. We don't have special rules for unarmed combat, or for non-lethal combat, or for weapon finesse, or for any of a dozen different maneuvers with their special feats attatched.

When I ran the playtest, I consulted the rules once. And that was to confirm that a readied action takes place after the trigger--happily underlining the lack of attacks of opportunity in the system.

The system's simplicity is the draw for me, and will be for others, I suspect. A 5-page combat section in one place handily beats out 9 pages in the 3.5 DMG + 30 pages in the 3.5 PHB, or 26 pages in the PF Corebook.

I really, really doubt that'll last into the final system. At the very least they'll add optional systems for all the things you mention, in which case you'll probably need to reference both. Most likely, all sorts of feats and special rules for those will appear. We've already seen some. It's just that they're currently only on the character sheet, we don't have the rules sections that they come from.

Qadira

cibet44 wrote:
In the early days of the APs I thought Paizo had a great model where new rules would be introduced as part of the current AP only. So if you were playing the AP you had some new crunch to go along with the adventure and if you weren’t you didn’t even know about the alternate rules unless the GM brought them to the game (since players don’t typically have the AP volumes). This could be a great model for DDN where the “rule plugins” come with the adventures or campaign books that use them.

I think this is an absolutely wonderful idea. Instead of selling new rules as, well, rulebooks, incorporate the new rules into campaign setting and adventure material.

However, one potential problem with that would be that people who want certain rules would be forced to buy and adventure or campaign setting they didn't want with it. I know that if I was forced to buy "Warland: The Campaign Setting of Having Wars all the Time" to have the "Wars and stuff" rules for my homebrew setting... well, I might not get furious, but I might be a little peeved.

Another potential problem is that people who enjoy campaign settings for their fluff and not their crunch would get an extra helping of rules with their gazetteers. Another DM might be buying the aforementioned Warland book because he loves the history and personae of Warland, but then he'd hate the book spending so much time on rules on wartime rationing procedures.


sirmattdusty wrote:
I think Paizo should keep what they do best no matter how good D&DN is (and I think it's really good....so far). And what they do best is AP's, modules, & adventures. Something that WOTC, in my opinion, stinks at. In a perfect world, if D&D Next becomes hugely popular as a RPG, they should subcontract Paizo to write adventures for them, meanwhile, Paizo can still write adventures for the still very good Pathfinder RPG. Of course I say this as a consumer, not a businessman/lawyer looking at business models, OGLs, trademarks, or corporate profits...i'd like to have my cake and eat it too. I honestly think that no system can survive on system alone. We lazy DM's (and there are many of us) need that pre-written adventure to even run the game and if there isn't that, then what good is having the game in the first place regardless of how wonderful the mechanics might be.

I think there is much wisdom here. Of course WoTC subcontracting Paizo is not realistic, but I would love to see Paizo "freeze" the rule-set and concentrate on what it does best. That being adventures, long form campaigns, and world building. I can't imagine the majority of Paizo customers came to Pathfinder because of the APG and Ultimate books. No, they were here already because of the adventures.


cibet44 wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
One of my biggest problems with 3.5/PF as it stands is the complexity issue. The rules try to cover everything, and that's just too much.
I think this is true when starting out but, even with a complex system like 3.5, you can master it after a surprisingly quick amount of time, provided it stops expanding...

This is one of the biggest reasons I'm having a hard time "upgrading" to PF 100%. I used up all my mental RAM mastering 3.5, every in and out, every nuance of the rules, that the 10,000 little under-the-radar rules changes PF made, have made it extremely difficult for me to process and change.

By no means do I consider the difficulties I've had to be any kind of norm; all the 3.5 holdouts in my group that didn't go to 4e, all now play PF and love it. They also didn't pour over 3.5's rules as much as I did either, or spend half as long as I did reading and hard-wiring the rules into my head. Every time I think I've got PF down and solid, another little rule change comes along I didn't notice before and trips me up. It's aggravating.

I've given up trying to DM a game with PF rules for the time being. Just sticking to the player position until the rules sink in a bit more. Honestly, I'm having a much easier time just taking on entire new rulesets to other games I'm thinking about trying, than trying to go back and change rules I was already solid on.

I'm not buying as many books any more as I used to, but Paizo sells lots of game aids I buy in the meantime.


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
The system's simplicity is the draw for me, and will be for others, I suspect. A 5-page combat section in one place handily beats out 9 pages in the 3.5 DMG + 30 pages in the 3.5 PHB, or 26 pages in the PF Corebook.
thejeff wrote:
I really, really doubt that'll last into the final system. At the very least they'll add optional systems for all the things you mention, in which case you'll probably need to reference both. Most likely, all sorts of feats and special rules for those will appear. We've already seen some. It's just that they're currently only on the character sheet, we don't have the rules sections that they come from.

If the options are just that, options, then the simplicity will still be there. I don't have a problems with a "complexity module" tacked on. Options can be ignored without having to radically alter the system.

Silver Crusade

cibet44 wrote:
sirmattdusty wrote:
I think Paizo should keep what they do best no matter how good D&DN is (and I think it's really good....so far). And what they do best is AP's, modules, & adventures. Something that WOTC, in my opinion, stinks at. In a perfect world, if D&D Next becomes hugely popular as a RPG, they should subcontract Paizo to write adventures for them, meanwhile, Paizo can still write adventures for the still very good Pathfinder RPG. Of course I say this as a consumer, not a businessman/lawyer looking at business models, OGLs, trademarks, or corporate profits...i'd like to have my cake and eat it too. I honestly think that no system can survive on system alone. We lazy DM's (and there are many of us) need that pre-written adventure to even run the game and if there isn't that, then what good is having the game in the first place regardless of how wonderful the mechanics might be.
I think there is much wisdom here. Of course WoTC subcontracting Paizo is not realistic, but I would love to see Paizo "freeze" the rule-set and concentrate on what it does best. That being adventures, long form campaigns, and world building. I can't imagine the majority of Paizo customers came to Pathfinder because of the APG and Ultimate books. No, they were here already because of the adventures.

I came to love Paizo ever since I read my very first AP...Legacy of Fire.....and that wasn't even the Pathfinder RPG, it was still 3.5!!!!!


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I agree with you to a point on the mastery aspect, cibet. But before I started tweaking my 3.5 into a 3.5/AD&D meld, I was looking things up in the book on a regular basis. 3E is the only edition of D&D I have ever had to do that with.

Added to that was the chaotic organization of the 3.5 rulebooks--necessitating the creation of the Rules Compendium.

And since Pathfinder used the SRD as a basis for its creation, some of that chaos has found its way into the Core Rulebook.

If the 5E rules follow the playtest structure, then everything on any given subject will be found in one place, and will not necessitate scouring two different books to confirm or reject a rules interpretation (assuming the simplicity of the rules won't settle the matter without the need to look things up).

And that's my point. With these simple rules, there is no complexity issue. We don't have special rules for unarmed combat, or for non-lethal combat, or for weapon finesse, or for any of a dozen different maneuvers with their special feats attatched.

When I ran the playtest, I consulted the rules once. And that was to confirm that a readied action takes place after the trigger--happily underlining the lack of attacks of opportunity in the system.

The system's simplicity is the draw for me, and will be for others, I suspect. A 5-page combat section in one place handily beats out 9 pages in the 3.5 DMG + 30 pages in the 3.5 PHB, or 26 pages in the PF Corebook.

All true, I agree. I do however enjoy most of the complexity of core 3.5/PF. The DDN playtest was a bit too paired down for my taste but your points are valid and I must admit the playtest material did have an appeal. I wonder if that is the old-schooler in me though. Much like my AD&D days, I think it would be hard to have a long form campaign with DDN-like rules, but maybe that’s not what WoTC wants its DDN players doing anyway. Maybe they want to move the game back to 8-10 levels you get your keep/wizard tower and retire. Not a bad idea…


Getting your keep doesn't mean "retire". It means you get a whole new set of problems and adventures. :D

Qadira

Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Getting your keep doesn't mean "retire". It means you get a whole new set of problems and adventures. :D

I'd like domain management as one of the potential endgames, if players feel comfortable with it. So, at a certain level everyone gets a keep and then you start playing Civilization powered by the D&D system, complete with a hex map of the surrounding wilderness. Including the dungeons where you send hapless adventurers to slay monsters to keep your domain safer.

As an alternate endgame, there'd be climbing to the top of Mount Celestia to give Heironeous the finger and kick his ass.


That's the nice thing about legacy systems. AD&D had various rules for keeps and manors. The rules already exist, and for societal things, I don't need a 3.5/PF/5E update. :)


thomrenault wrote:

I have to admit, I wasn't too worried about Pathfinder from way back in January when WotC announced the new edition. I got a bit more worried (mostly for my wallet's sake) as time went on, that this was going to be D&D for everyone in the future. But after reading the playtest (which seemed like a very stripped down version of 3.0), I'm not really worried about Paizo and Pathfinder's future. Don't get me wrong, Next looks like it could be a fun roleplaying game, but I'm not going to make it _my_ fun roleplaying game, especially in the likely absence of an OGL'd SRD (if it does have an OGL SRD, well that would probably be sad for my wallet) and also given that it's essentially a simpler version of the game I already play, and I like stuff like skill and feats. I was wondering what other people think about the effect of Next on Paizo and Pathfinder.

I was honestly thinking it might be good for both companies, because it looks like I would be able to convert content between the systems on the fly, making me less hesitant about buying WotC campaign settings/modules.

There is enough room for more than one game in the RPG market. I am not really concerned. Even now there are people that play D&D and PF, and various other systems.

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