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What about PFO makes it actually Pathfinder?


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

I'm curious ... what about this MMO other than the names makes this Pathfinder?

In other words, will there be any recognizable rule elements of the Pathfinder RPG, or is this Pathfinder in name only, similar only in that there will be spells, combat, etc?

Edit: Appears I'm far from the first to comment on this.

(and before everyone pigpiles on with "didn't you read the blog!?11!", no I have read neither the entire blog nor all the commentary on Kickstarter nor every single one of the thousands of posts on here :)


Well, it takes place in the Golarion the official Pathfinder RPG campaign setting, for a starter.

Goblin Squad Member

The standard response Ryan gives to this question is something along the lines of:

The Pathfinder Universe exists independently of PFRPG. PFRPG is just one window into that Universe. There are novels that give another window into that Universe. PFO will provide yet another window into that Universe.

It's not PFRPG Online, it's Pathfinder Online.

Goblin Squad Member

Yeah, I have gathered from the discussions in other threads that, basically, any knowledge I have of the RPG will be of zero value in understanding how to play the MMO.

Probably good for the MMO, but bad for me :)

Goblin Squad Member

You will probably see things like NPC behavior somewhat translated, but as for mechanically understanding the game, you will be in new territory.

Goblin Squad Member

gbonehead wrote:

Yeah, I have gathered from the discussions in other threads that, basically, any knowledge I have of the RPG will be of zero value in understanding how to play the MMO.

Probably good for the MMO, but bad for me :)

I'm not sure I understand the value of "understanding how to play."

MMOs like RPGs have reasonably gentle learning curves...in fact in a lot of ways there's nothing really to "learn". You just do.

That's been my experience with MMOs all the way back to MUDs and with RPGs all the way back to the red-box D&D.

The setting is the Pathfinder world. I think there's value in that, but not in a way that would isolate people who don't RPG in that world, OR give advantage to those who do.

Goblin Squad Member

Also see: http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz5slz?The-AntiCase-for-PfO

Goblin Squad Member

bilbothebaggins wrote:
(Edit:linkyfied) Also see: http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz5slz?The-AntiCase-for-PfO

...

Well, consider things like classes, or level-based abilities, or spells, or the myriad of other things that are elements of Pathfinder RPG.

I might, for example, keep an eye on that shifty-looking guy so he doesn't sneak attack me in the Pathfinder RPG. But in PFO, I have no basis for making any decisions whatsoever - my knowledge of the Pathfinder universe as seen through the mechanics of the Pathfinder RPG not only doesn't help, but might actually hurt.

Kind of like how knowing 3.5e rules really well can be a hindrance sometimes when you're playing Pathfinder (the RPG).

Goblin Squad Member

Well, maybe that's a good thing.

Good in the sense so you don't go into the game with preconceived notions of 'how things work' and it's a new experience for you.

Eventually you will learn to look out for certain things, but it is because you are experiencing them through PFO, not because you are using incorrect assumptions from another game.

Goblin Squad Member

Very possible, but not very helpful to a casual player.

I run two actual PFRPG campaigns; I'm not looking to ditch those in favor of an MMO, so the thought that I'd have less of a learning curve (or so I thought) was kind of a plus for me.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Continuing on Hobbun's comments, in one case, you may be keeping an eye on a fellow because you are suspicious that he may be a dangerous and cunning cutthroat, which immerses you in the game world, while in another, you are worried he has a +4d6 Sneak Attack, which removes you from the setting and places you solidly in the world of game mechanics.

If PFO forces you to rely on "he's a dangerous cutthroat" rather than "my squishy wizard can't take a round or two's worth of sneak attacks," it would actually be pushing you further into Golarion as a setting.

Goblin Squad Member

gbonehead wrote:
... any knowledge I have of the RPG will be of zero value in understanding how to play the MMO.

Not really true. If you can differentiate between the mechanical rules of the RPG versus the spirit of the game, then all your knowledge about the spirit of the game should be quite useful.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
... any knowledge I have of the RPG will be of zero value in understanding how to play the MMO.
Not really true. If you can differentiate between the mechanical rules of the RPG versus the spirit of the game, then all your knowledge about the spirit of the game should be quite useful.

That's certainly what I'm hoping ... but from what I've heard, the evidence indicates otherwise.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nihimon wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
... any knowledge I have of the RPG will be of zero value in understanding how to play the MMO.
Not really true. If you can differentiate between the mechanical rules of the RPG versus the spirit of the game, then all your knowledge about the spirit of the game should be quite useful.

Actually you'd more likely to get game understanding of the Online game by reading setting material as opposed to Pathfinder crunch. The crunch of paper and dice turn based play does not translate that well to real time video combat. Anyone who's played Neverwinter would understand that.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

gbonehead wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
... any knowledge I have of the RPG will be of zero value in understanding how to play the MMO.
Not really true. If you can differentiate between the mechanical rules of the RPG versus the spirit of the game, then all your knowledge about the spirit of the game should be quite useful.
That's certainly what I'm hoping ... but from what I've heard, the evidence indicates otherwise.

"Knowing" that a fireball does 1d6 fire damage per caster level in a 20-foot radius burst may not be helpful, but knowing that it's a big ball of flame that some sorcerers or wizards might drop on you or your enemies is probably helpful. So is knowing the general differences between an orc and a troll, or between a wizard and a druid, or between a short sword and a dagger, or between fog and a stinking cloud.


This is terrible actually. Why make a PF game and not use the rules? It's not a deal breaker for me, but it's close. Many who know PFRPG will be looking to use the systems in the game, and when they get some other contrived MMO ruleset system it's going to be a possible point of disappointment.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
Iceplain wrote:

This is terrible actually. Why make a PF game and not use the rules? It's not a deal breaker for me, but it's close. Many who know PFRPG will be looking to use the systems in the game, and when they get some other contrived MMO ruleset system it's going to be a possible point of disappointment.

Because using OGL in video games is unclear. Nobody wants to even remotely get close to a lawsuit from WotC.

Believe me, if using OGL in computer games would be a simple and clear matter, there would be like dozens of games using it out there already. There aren't, and for a good reason.

Goblin Squad Member

Gorbacz wrote:
Iceplain wrote:

This is terrible actually. Why make a PF game and not use the rules? It's not a deal breaker for me, but it's close. Many who know PFRPG will be looking to use the systems in the game, and when they get some other contrived MMO ruleset system it's going to be a possible point of disappointment.

Because using OGL in video games is unclear. Nobody wants to even remotely get close to a lawsuit from WotC.

Believe me, if using OGL in computer games would be a simple and clear matter, there would be like dozens of games using it out there already. There aren't, and for a good reason.

Also worth pointing out, that rules designed for turn based, aren't designed for massive multiplayer at all. Ever try and run a PFRPG game with more than 6 people... It dosn't particularly work, want to scale that up to 1,000. Not going to happen. Which then makes it not a MMORPG, but simply an ORPG, if you are going to scale it down to be a group size that actually works in turn based.

Goblin Squad Member

Iceplain wrote:
Why make a PF game and not use the rules?

Your Pathfinder Online Character does a good job of answering that question. It probably won't change your mind if you're already convinced that it's a terrible idea not to implement the rules exactly the same way they appear in PFRPG, but if you're actually interested in trying to understand the reasons they can't/won't do that, there's a lot of good information.

Goblin Squad Member

gbonehead wrote:

I'm curious ... what about this MMO other than the names makes this Pathfinder?

In other words, will there be any recognizable rule elements of the Pathfinder RPG, or is this Pathfinder in name only, similar only in that there will be spells, combat, etc?

Edit: Appears I'm far from the first to comment on this.

(and before everyone pigpiles on with "didn't you read the blog!?11!", no I have read neither the entire blog nor all the commentary on Kickstarter nor every single one of the thousands of posts on here :)

Rules that work will carry over or if they do not will be modified. If they cannot work in a MMO setting they will be left on the table. This is my understanding as of now.

Also Pathfinder was a campaign setting long before it had its own RPG rules.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Gorbacz wrote:
Iceplain wrote:

This is terrible actually. Why make a PF game and not use the rules? It's not a deal breaker for me, but it's close. Many who know PFRPG will be looking to use the systems in the game, and when they get some other contrived MMO ruleset system it's going to be a possible point of disappointment.

Because using OGL in video games is unclear. Nobody wants to even remotely get close to a lawsuit from WotC.

Believe me, if using OGL in computer games would be a simple and clear matter, there would be like dozens of games using it out there already. There aren't, and for a good reason.

Using OGL content in computer games IS very simple and clear: The OGL does not permit it. Period. If you want to license D&D rules for use in a manner not consistent with the OGL, you need to get the rights to do so from the current holders of the rights to the d20srd, which right now is WOTC. Right now DDO has the exclusive rights to use the srd in a MMO.

Then there is the additional problem: The only advantage of the d20 ruleset is that it is simple enough to meditate in tabletop play. That advantage does not apply to computer-mediated games.


DeciusBrutus wrote:
Using OGL content in computer games IS very simple and clear: The OGL does not permit it.

Could you please point us to the point of OGL that clearly forbids that? I browse it currently but I can't find it stated explicitly.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Drejk wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:
Using OGL content in computer games IS very simple and clear: The OGL does not permit it.
Could you please point us to the point of OGL that clearly forbids that? I browse it currently but I can't find it stated explicitly.

The likely source of confusion here is that a prohibition against interactive games was stated explicitly in the guide for the *d20 System* license, which is not the same as the OGL, and is completely irrelevant to both Paizo and Goblinworks.

The OGL does *not* explicitly say that you can't use it for a computer game, but it has several clauses that potentially make it a bit of a minefield. Ultimately, we determined that for our purposes, attempting the use the OGL offers more risk than value to us.


It's pretty clear that PFO will be set in Golarion, and will have the same 'Classes' that exist in the P&P game.
The exact rules and features that each class may differ than the P&P game, but obviously the aim is to capture the 'feel' of the P&P game while actual mechanics may differ.

SO much stuff from the P&P game is just mechanically not appropriate to a MMORPG, turn-based rules as mentioned (with 100-1000 other PCs online, you don't want to wait for somebody to declare their actions for the turn), as well as things like healing HPs and regenerating spell slots which are designed around a P&P game style where the GM can 'fast forward' time when needed, just wouldn't mesh well with a game where you expect to be able to be playing it 'intensely' (i.e. doing something of signifigance) every minute you are logged in (i don't think a MMORPG that violated that expectation would have much commercial success).

I WOULD expect alot of the OGL 'fluff' content, e.g. monster names & types to be carried over to the MMORPG... I'm not sure, but Vic's statement about 'knowing about Wizards/Sorcerors casting Fireballs, and the difference between a Troll and an Orc' makes me think the general fluff of OGL Bestiary stuff WILL be present in the game.

Goblin Squad Member

Quandary wrote:

It's pretty clear that PFO will be set in Golarion, and will have the same 'Classes' that exist in the P&P game.

The exact rules and features that each class may differ than the P&P game, but obviously the aim is to capture the 'feel' of the P&P game while actual mechanics may differ.

SO much stuff from the P&P game is just mechanically not appropriate to a MMORPG, turn-based rules as mentioned (with 100-1000 other PCs online, you don't want to wait for somebody to declare their actions for the turn), as well as things like healing HPs and regenerating spell slots which are designed around a P&P game style where the GM can 'fast forward' time when needed, just wouldn't mesh well with a game where you expect to be able to be playing it 'intensely' (i.e. doing something of signifigance) every minute you are logged in (i don't think a MMORPG that violated that expectation would have much commercial success).

I WOULD expect alot of the OGL 'fluff' content, e.g. monster names & types to be carried over to the MMORPG... I'm not sure, but Vic's statement about 'knowing about Wizards/Sorcerors casting Fireballs, and the difference between a Troll and an Orc' makes me think the general fluff of OGL Bestiary stuff WILL be present in the game.

One exercise you can try is to read through the core rule book, skipping everything mechanics-based. For instance, read everything outside the block for a race, but don't read the list of racial traits. Read the introduction to each class without reading what abilities they actually get. And so on. Read the spell lists, but not the spells themselves. That should give a good feel for what's likely to be brought over and what may change.

Goblin Squad Member

@gbonehead

Vic Wertz wrote:

Obakararuir wrote:

So take the end result/effect of the RPG rules with the Golarian and Kingmaker modifications and that is the same intended result/effect you are aiming for with the MMO. You may take different paths/methods to get there, but the end result is still intended to be the same. For example, RPG Orcs are stronger because of a STR score modifier of +2 but the MMO mechanics being different, an Orc may have a STR score of X+25 and an increase in HP. The effect in the MMO is the same as in the RPG, you just do different things to achieve it because the mechanics aren't the same. Is this correct?

In essence, that's pretty much the goal, yes.

gbonehead wrote:
I might, for example, keep an eye on that shifty-looking guy so he doesn't sneak attack me in the Pathfinder RPG. But in PFO, I have no basis for making any decisions whatsoever - my knowledge of the Pathfinder universe as seen through the mechanics of the Pathfinder RPG not only doesn't help, but might actually hurt.

You may not see it or do it, but it will still happen. In order to "keep an eye on the shady guy" you'd feasibly roll a perception check vs a stealth or sense motive vs bluff depending on the situation. I would assume this is done behind the scenes by game mechanics in PFO. Have a "keep an eye on questionable characters" mode that you had to turn on and off doesn't seem sensible. The end result is still the same.

You can say you are keeping an eye on him all you want, emote it, whatever. If his score beats yours, you're gonna get hit. This goes for both PFRPG and PFO, that is if I am correct.

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