4th Edition

Friday, August 24, 2007

We're all back from Gen Con, and aside from the launch of Pathfinder and our new Planet Stories novel line, the hot news at the show was the announcement of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, from Wizards of the Coast. Messageboards across the internet, from paizo.com to EN World and Wizards of the Coast's own site, are abuzz with discussion of what was revealed at the show, what changes are in store for our favorite game, and what the future may hold.

Naturally, lots of folks want to know what the announcement means for Pathfinder and for our line of monthly GameMastery Modules.

Right now, the answer is this: It's too soon to tell.

No one at Paizo has seen a copy of the new rules yet, nor have we seen a draft of the Open Game License for it (yes, there will be one). We have plenty of reasons to believe that the new game will include lots of improvements over the current system, and that the new OGL will, if anything, be even more permissive than the one for 3.0 and 3.5.

Ever since the announcement of the end of Dragon and Dungeon magazines, we've been careful to say that Wizards of the Coast and Paizo are still on good terms, that we're still communicating with one another, and that we hope to work together in the future. This is not just so much blown smoke. The guys at Wizards have been very forthcoming with information on the new edition, and we look forward to learning even more in the weeks and months to come. I am personally optimistic that this will, for the most part, be a welcome change at my gaming table.

But it's way too early to say what Paizo will be doing about 4th edition. Please give us some time to take a look at the new rules, to take a look at the new OGL, and make an informed decision. We promise we'll let you know what we're planning just as soon as we figure it out ourselves.

For the time being, both the Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Paths will be released as announced for the 3.5 rules set, as will all GameMastery Modules at least up until May of 2008, which is when Wizards will release the 4th edition Player's Handbook.

All of our announced products for the first quarter of 2008 are "rules-light" and should not be adversely affected by the change in edition whether we convert or not. We will be making no significant changes to the announced product schedule.

I'm aware that many Paizo customers will not be converting to 4e. Honestly, before I heard some of the things I heard at Gen Con, I wasn't sure I wanted to convert either. So I sympathize.

Pathfinder currently plans to support officially sanctioned conversions for Castles & Crusades and True20, so assuming we do convert, I suspect it is very likely that we (or some affiliated partner) will provide 3.5 conversion guidelines.

Or we might stick with 3.5. We haven't seen the rules yet, and can't make the decision until we do.

One thing I can say for sure: As a gamer I would be a lot happier with a game that doesn't require two hours of prep-time for four hours of play. I have heard that the new system addresses this problem, and that strikes me as excellent.

If Wizards of the Coast can streamline the rules without robbing the game of its variety and complexity, I will be very impressed.

So far, I am optimistic.

Erik Mona
Publisher
Paizo Publishing, LLC

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Tags: 4th Edition Curse of the Crimson Throne Pathfinder Modules Rise of the Runelords

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Now ain't this a trip down memory lane

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

and it WAS a trap


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am surprised that there was no discussion about this blog back when it was written. Maybe because it was soon followed up by a blog that actually said what they planned to do?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That was many website iterations ago. Perhaps discussions didn't attach so neatly to the blog entries back then? Or it just got detached somewhere along the way; back in the day, old threads went into archives when there hadn't been any replies in a certain amount of time (a process which annoyingly broke links).

Grand Lodge

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

There are a lot of old blogs with no discussions attached now.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks like the blog interacted with the discussion going on in this thread, for those interested in a trip down memory lane.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yes, that is more what I imagined the reaction to this blog would have been like.

Grand Lodge

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

Ah, yeah, the good ol' days. I remember that thread.

I wonder if Paizo's is going to switch to the new edition of Pathfinder, or if they're going to decide it doesn't let them tell the stories they want to tell, like they did with 4e. I guess we'll have to wait until Jason has a chance to play it at PaizoCon.

-Skeld


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Skeld wrote:
I wonder if Paizo's is going to switch to the new edition of Pathfinder, or if they're going to decide it doesn't let them tell the stories they want to tell, like they did with 4e. I guess we'll have to wait until Jason has a chance to play it at PaizoCon.

Ouch. Tongue-in-cheek, but a bit harsh.

I think we (mostly) all know that PF2 has got to be a fiscal necessity to Paizo. Lisa wouldn't be risking the company on an edition change if not doing an edition change was viable. She's far too savvy for that.

Given necessity, from there flows the requirement of enthusiasm and public relations. They have to drum up enthusiasm and interest by emphasis on advantages to a new edition, and have to discount negatives.

So while similarities exist to someone else doing an edition change, that change wasn't necessity to Paizo, so the PR spin has to be different. That isn't to say any dishonesty has taken place in either circumstance. It's just that as circumstance and necessity changes, viewpoints change, measuring units change, and goalposts move.

Personally, while I remain dismayed with the direction PF2 is headed, to the point of - barring drastic change with regards to math flattening and magic nerfing - not being a consumer of it, I also remain supportive of Paizo in their necessity and the PR handling of it.

So... tiny bit harsh, I think. It's the thing we all see, and know, but necessity is, so pointing it out doesn't help.

Grand Lodge

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

There's no dishonesty here, just a lot of bad PR spin. Pointing that out isn't harsh. Things change over the course of 10 years and pointing out some of that irony is a great way of saying, "yes, we've heard something like this before."

-Skeld

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