Kicking Off Pathfinder Online

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You've probably heard that Paizo is working with Goblinworks to produce Pathfinder Online, a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. Goblinworks has been giving you snippets of our plans in the biweekly blog posts on goblinworks.com, and we've been getting your feedback on the Pathfinder Online messageboards here on paizo.com. Well, we're now ready to kick off the next phase of Pathfinder Online.

Today we announced a Kickstarter project to help us build the Pathfinder Online Technology Demo. Go take a look at the press release or visit the Kickstarter project page to find out what this Kickstarter is all about, and then come back here so I can share some details you'll want to know. Don’t worry, I’ll wait right here...

...Did you read it? Pretty darn cool, huh?

Goblinworks.com has its own blog today talking about the Kickstarter, so head over there when you're done here for more details on that. What I want to talk about here is the Thornkeep book!

Since the Pathfinder Online Technology Demo itself isn’t something that we can offer to Kickstarter patrons, we had to go outside the box for our Kickstarter rewards, and the Thornkeep book seemed like the perfect answer.

Thornkeep has a Pathfinder Online logo on the cover, but make no mistake—Paizo is handling this book just like any of our other Pathfinder products. It's set in the very same world of Golarion as our other roleplaying products, and contains 100% official Pathfinder campaign setting material for use with the Pathfinder RPG.

The first half of the 64-page Thornkeep book is a Pathfinder RPG sourcebook covering the town of Thornkeep and its surrounding area. Thornkeep is part of the River Kingdoms area, which is the setting for Pathfinder Online. (You could also drop Thornkeep into almost any wooded area in your own campaign setting.) As we mentioned in one of our earliest Pathfinder Online blog posts, Thornkeep is one of three starting locations for PCs in the MMO—it's the chaotic frontier town that Ryan dubbed our "hive of scum and villainy" (think a fantasy version of Deadwood). (You even helped us name Thornkeep in our first online poll!)

We thought it would be cool to allow folks to explore Thornkeep's various dark corners in their Pathfinder RPG sessions before Pathfinder Online is released. We will be using this book as our guide when we're building its digital equivalent. We're even going to have a small dungeon in this book that will map directly to the one featured in the Technology Demo. So not only will you be getting a guide to one of the towns in Pathfinder Online, but you'll also be getting the first look at how content from the RPG transitions to Pathfinder Online, as well as how content from the MMO might find its way to your gaming table!


Rich Baker, author of Thornkeep!

When we were looking for somebody to write the sourcebook material for us, we went to our good friend Rich Baker. This is Rich's first time working on Pathfinder, but he has been involved with classic D&D campaign settings from the Forgotten Realms to Birthright, and we figured it would be fun to see how he would approach Thornkeep! I've seen his partial turnovers already, and they're awesome!

So what about the second half of the book? That's going to be a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Pathfinder Online, including excerpts from our internal design document, plus design sketches and early artwork for the MMO, as well as essays from Goblinworks and Paizo team members designed to give you insight into the making of the MMO. Consider this a backstage pass to all of the goings-on at Goblinworks!

Of course, we couldn’t have a cool product like this without a Wayne Reynolds cover. The cover image you see here is a mock-up—Wayne should have the real Thornkeep cover done by PaizoCon, and we plan to unveil it at our banquet!

Thornkeep isn't the only Kickstarter reward, though. There are lots of fun rewards for folks at all levels of pledge support! You could even come to Paizo for a day, play a Pathfinder game with your dream Paizo GM, and have a four-hour dinner with your GM, Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey, and myself. Check out all of the Kickstarter rewards and help us get to the next step in the development of Pathfinder Online. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Lisa Stevens
Paizo CEO
Goblinworks COO

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Goblinworks Paizo Pathfinder Online Rich Baker
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Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

$50,000! In less than 24 hours!

Congratulations to everyone at Goblinworks!

Goblin Squad Member

Congrats Goblinworks!


Most impressive. Congratulations!

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

My wallet is crying bloody tears, but the last-minute bump was definitely worth it.

Now, dear Paizo people, take a few minutes to rejoice (remember to congratulate the interns if you have any, please), then start considering stretch goals. The Kickstarter still has a bit over 29 days to go.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Congratulations!

I sure hope everything will go as you planned! Good luck to everyone at Goblinworks!

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Indeed. By tonight, tomorrow at the latest, I should be able to kick in some money myself. Goblin Squad membership just sounds cool....

Goblin Squad Member

Nappa: Hey Vegeta, What is it's Funding at.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Vegeta: It's Over $50,000.

Goblin Squad Member

BOOYAA $50,508!!!

Goblin Squad Member

It's kind of like a smack from the heavens. How dare you doubt us! Not only will we prove that there is interest in this game, brand, and team... we will do so with authority. 50k in LESS than 24 hours. That's got to be a record.

Just curious... what was everyone's initial timeline estimate?

Initially, I was thinking around 3 to 10 days.

Goblin Squad Member

Congrats to everyone at Goblinworks. You believed in your vision, apparently, so do our wallets!

Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:
Just curious... what was everyone's initial timeline estimate?

I was hoping less than 24 hours as I was watching it last night. I was confident of it when I woke up this morning and saw it over $33,000.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

I was guessing 24 hours or less. RPG gamers tend to be a very networked bunch, meaning this had the potential to explode across the net very rapidly. And it took only 740 people (ish) to hit that goal of 50k. Couple with some stonking awesome prizes...it seemed inevitable that this would go quick.

EDIT: 51k. I think it will probably hit 60k today, at least.

Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:
Initially, I was thinking around 3 to 10 days.

At the current pace, I would say $100,000 at least by the tenth day! I wonder what they'll be able to achieve with the extra funding.

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
And it took only 740 people (ish) to hit that goal of 50k.

$67 dollars on average per person O.O

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:

Just curious... what was everyone's initial timeline estimate?

Initially, I was thinking around 3 to 10 days.

I had estimated less than 72 hours but really was hoping for less than 24. 72 hours is around how long it took to fund JourneyQuest Season 2. Congratulations again to Paizo, I seriously hope at least one party hat is being worn.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Coldman wrote:

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
And it took only 740 people (ish) to hit that goal of 50k.
$67 dollars on average per person O.O

That gets skewed, however, by the 7 folks who chipped in 1k, and the one Abadar blessed individual who chipped in 5k. If you trim them out, it comes down to about $50 each average. Which is still amazing.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Will the Goblinworks T-shirt qualify for shirt re-rolls?

Silver Crusade

Even though they have the amount they need we can still support this with a donation and get the Thornkeep book right?

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Vic Wertz wrote:
...aaaaand we're 25% funded, in just under 3 hours.

Think that, at least for me, the Goblinworks link was not working, and I had to wait the Paizo mail to subscribe, so doing it after work and not before, and the speed at which you have reached and surpassed 100% is wonderful.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Danubus wrote:
Even though they have the amount they need we can still support this with a donation and get the Thornkeep book right?

Absolutely. You can donate for another 29 days, and the more money they get, the better funded the game development will be.

Goblinworks Founder

Nice it's over the 100% mark.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pathfinder Online...

Thanks, Universe. I really need another MMO to tempting me...

Please, just promise me something, Paizo.

Please make the Half-Orcs sexy. I've seen the forum icons for half-orcs and they're really bad. Please make half-orcs sexy for this. Or at least just not horrible...

[EDIT] Also Psionics. I'd love to see Paizo work with Dreamscarred Press to include Psionics.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

TIme to start hearing about the stretch bonuses. :)

Goblin Squad Member

$400 away from $55,000. I want to build a time machine just to see the mighty total sum on June 8th.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
It's Goblinworks, not Paizo.

If you want to argue semantics, it's Paizo, not Goblinworks:

Amazon Payments wrote:

Greetings from Amazon Payments,

We have received your May 10, 2012 authorization to let Paizo Publishing, LLC, Kickstarter charge you.

Not that anybody really needs to know this, but Paizo is collecting the money in trust for Goblinworks until they have the necessary infrastructure to deal with the funds themselves. It is not income for Paizo. (Setting it up this way also helped shave about two weeks off of the startup process because Paizo already has an Amazon seller account.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Harrison wrote:
Please make the Half-Orcs sexy.

What do you think of Imrijka, our iconic half-orc inquisitor?

Goblin Squad Member

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Brian E. Harris wrote:
So is the Kickstarter going to be the only way to get the Thornkeep book?
There will eventually be other ways, but that's the only way right now.
Will those other ways include the possibility to get hard copies, or just PDFs?

Hard to tell at this point. We need to print a certain number to use our printer, so we know we will be printing at least that number. If the Kickstarter blows up (like it looks like it is doing) then they could all sell out through the Kickstarter. Then only a PDF will be available. However, if there are some leftover after the Kickstarter ends, we aren't going to just throw them away, so we will probably offer them in some other way. The only sure way to get a print copy is to support the Kickstarter. We actually would prefer it at this time because it will show the world how much support this game has behind it. The more people back this Kickstarter, the more powerful it becomes when we go to investors to fund the final game.

-Lisa

Thanks, Lisa.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Steve Geddes wrote:
Thanks, Lisa.

Thank *you* for your support... both with the Kickstarter *and* everything else.

Goblin Squad Member

Awesome effort; really stoked to see this when I woke up. Now if only I could get that damn widget for the project to work on my wordpress blog ... (that is a subtle cry for help by the way).

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Not that anybody really needs to know this, but Paizo is collecting the money in trust for Goblinworks until they have the necessary infrastructure to deal with the funds themselves.

Tell it like it is, Vic.

It's a reflection of Paizo's engagement with the community that we're even allowed such "glances behind the curtain," and as a member of the community (and a customer) I appreciate it.

I really feel I can trust Paizo, and that's a good feeling.

Speaking of good feelings, 'gratz to everyone at Goblinworks for blowing this Kickstarter out of the water!

-- Andy

Goblin Squad Member

Backed! =)

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Andrew Tuttle wrote:


Tell it like it is, Vic.

It's a reflection of Paizo's engagement with the community that we're even allowed such "glances behind the curtain," and as a member of the community (and a customer) I appreciate it.

I really feel I can trust Paizo, and that's a good feeling.

Agreed!

Web Product Manager

thenoisyrogue wrote:
Awesome effort; really stoked to see this when I woke up. Now if only I could get that damn widget for the project to work on my wordpress blog ... (that is a subtle cry for help by the way).

You may need a widget to do this. I found this while searching and it may shed some light on the problem. Googling "Kickstarter Wordpress Widget" might help as well :)

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Thanks, Lisa.
Thank *you* for your support... both with the Kickstarter *and* everything else.

No worries, Vic. In broad terms, there's little I enjoy more than watching something being done well by good, talented people.

Silver Crusade

Backed!

Back after it already had hit the 50k mark but I'm glad I did. I was just gonna do the $5 as I'm in saving mode for ReaperCon but decided to bump it up to the $15 dollar mark. I know the sourcebook will be great & hopefully the mmo will be as well.

I play just 1 mmo these days & that is LOTRo. Would be nice to have anther one.....if the monthly fee/price is justifiable.

Also question: Since this had gotten the green light, when will the funds be taken out of our accounts?

Good luck Goblinworks & Paizo on this one!!

RM

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Haldir wrote:
Since this had gotten the green light, when will the funds be taken out of our accounts?

At the end of the fund-raising period (i.e. in 28 days), I believe.

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

Backed last night for 250 wish I coulda done more.

Sad to see this starting to slow down, you guys need to post something soon about stretch goals so not to loss momentum.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Has there been any change in the way multi-classing is going to be implemented or do top end class powers still require you to focus exclusively on one class?

I.E. If you Play Fighter to "20" you get the top end power. If you played a Fighter 19 / Wizard 1 and then picked up your Fighter 20, are you forever bared from getting the top end power?

The answer to this will determine if send money into the kick starter. Multi-classing is important to me as I generally like playing jacks of all trades in the early game but do not want to be cut off from top end powers just because I took my sweet time getting there.

Goblin Squad Member

Dorje Sylas wrote:

Has there been any change in way multi-classing is going to be implemented or do top end class powers still require you to focus exclusively on one class?

I.E. If you Play Fighter to "20" you get the top end power. If you played a Fighter 19 / Wizard 1 and then picked up your Fighter 20, are you forever bared from getting the top end power?

The answer to this will determine if send money into the kick starter. Multi-classing is important to me as I generally like playing jacks of all trades in the early game but do not want to cut off from top end powers just because I took my sweet time getting there.

There have been no anouncement of changes to the plans for capstones, but they have implied that the capstones will most likely not be powerful abilities or even "Top end" abilities. I believe Ryan even mentioned it is possible they won't even be noteworthy abilities at all, possibly just existing abilities with a flashier animation (IE pretty much purely bragging rights).

Disclaimer: That was brought up as a possibility by Ryan not a confirmation that it will be the final result.

While they haven't said with any certainty that the top moves will be purely cosmetic, they have more or less stated that it is extremely unlikely that they will be abilities so powerful that you will be gimp without them. They have been pretty consistant in saying that they will be somewhere between Purely decorative and somewhat nice to have in some situations. They have been very clear on the fact that they do not intend for them to be powerful to the point of, oh I shouldn't have forfeited the capstone, I should probably reroll as my character will never be useful in that role now.

Either way though... if you really want a jack of all trades but are terrified that missing out on a capstone will be the death of you (something that I highly doubt will be an issue, with 11 classes and 2.5 years each, it isn't likely you will hit the point where you feel gimped because instead of having 191 abilities, you only have 180.), but yeah ignoring that possibility, there are quite a few classes that are inherantly jack of all trades. Namely bards and druids are both natural jack of all trades without even beginning to touch multiclass.

Goblin Squad Member

I've been a fan of this since day one. As soon as I'm fiscally able, I wil lcontribute as well. Rock on, Goblinworks.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Onishi wrote:
Dorje Sylas wrote:

Has there been any change in way multi-classing is going to be implemented or do top end class powers still require you to focus exclusively on one class?

I.E. If you Play Fighter to "20" you get the top end power. If you played a Fighter 19 / Wizard 1 and then picked up your Fighter 20, are you forever bared from getting the top end power?

The answer to this will determine if send money into the kick starter. Multi-classing is important to me as I generally like playing jacks of all trades in the early game but do not want to cut off from top end powers just because I took my sweet time getting there.

There have been no anouncement of changes to the plans for capstones, but they have implied that the capstones will most likely not be powerful abilities or even "Top end" abilities. I believe Ryan even mentioned it is possible they won't even be noteworthy abilities at all, possibly just existing abilities with a flashier animation (IE pretty much purely bragging rights).

Disclaimer: That was brought up as a possibility by Ryan not a confirmation that it will be the final result.

While they haven't said with any certainty that the top moves will be purely cosmetic, they have more or less stated that it is extremely unlikely that they will be abilities so powerful that you will be gimp without them. They have been pretty consistant in saying that they will be somewhere between Purely decorative and somewhat nice to have in some situations. They have been very clear on the fact that they do not intend for them to be powerful to the point of, oh I shouldn't have forfeited the capstone, I should probably reroll as my character will never be useful in that role now.

Either way though... if you really want a jack of all trades but are terrified that missing out on a capstone will be the death of you (something that I highly doubt will be an issue, with 11 classes and 2.5 years each, it isn't likely you will hit the point where you feel gimped because instead of having 191...

So... no change since I posted this (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ and walked away from the Goblinworks sub-forum several months back.

It's not just me specifically I'm worried about. Coming out of EVE Online, where many newer players often got pinched for spreading their skills around, they could at least eventually dig themselves out over time without any outright hard and fast "nope you can never get this." True there were other elements of EVE that did just that (faction standing and ship rewards), although you could often buy those faction specific ships/items so at the end of the day it still wasn't a hard "nope" if you had enough ISK.

It's not terror, but a sense of accomplishment rage. If I put 2.5 years into being a Fighter and 2.5 years into being a Wizard (that's 5 year commitment to the same character and the game) I do not think it is the least bit fair to say that my 5 years wandering back and forth between the two should be any less rewarded then for hyper focusing on one or the other for the time frame.

Again long long long view, but that is a big bugaboo for me and speaks volumes about the some of the game design considerations. Yes, people who hyper focus should get their reward, and they will get it first and faster then someone like me. Very likely I wouldn't see either of mine until that 5th year of play, but that doesn't mean I should be denied them out of hand.

(Direct Personal aside, I like playing Bards anyways and would be highly likely to roll a Bard first and hyper focus on it. Although one of my more favorite characters to run with has been Bard/Ranger in the past so kinda to the point.)

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A few Very Important Questions for people that will have to pay customs:

1) what will be the value of the merchandise for the invoice with the book/manifest/T-shirt?
If it is the full value of the kickstarter pledge VAT and custom tax increase the cost for the guy supporting PFO by a good margin.

2) what kind of merchandise will appear in the invoice if we get the book, book+manifest, book+manifest+T-shirt?

To explain why this is important:
- if I get a normal Paizo book I pay 14% or less (here is a fixed cost, so it can go as low as 8% for a reasonably large purchase) between custom and VAT;
- when I get different merchandise (like a boxed game) I pay around 40%;
- those percentages are paid on the full cost of the expedition, includes delivery costs, so I doubt anyone at custom will care to look the invoice and say "there are 10 dollars of merchandise and 40 of kickstarter value, I should tax only the merchandise." I am willing to pay the taxes but not to on the extra designated to support PFO.

Maybe this is not the right thread for this question, but as it si related to the kickstarter extra cost I think it is important to ask it here.

Goblinworks Founder

Congratulations for reaching the 50k goal so quickly. This is great news.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Tuttle wrote:
It's a reflection of Paizo's engagement with the community that we're even allowed such "glances behind the curtain," and as a member of the community (and a customer) I appreciate it.

I was just thinking about Paizo and customer engagement before I read your post. I think it is what makes the difference between a good comapnay and a great company.

Diego Rossi wrote:
what will be the value of the merchandise for the invoice with the book/manifest/T-shirt?

That's a good question. I've pledged at the $50 level. I kind of see that as $20 for the book and $30 for the project, so I would hope any customs form just said "book $20" (although I think we don't pay VAT on books in the UK I'm never really sure about paying "duty").

Paizo Employee CEO

Wyldwabyt wrote:
Sad to see this starting to slow down, you guys need to post something soon about stretch goals so not to loss momentum.

Working on it! Hopefully will have something to announce tomorrow!

-Lisa

Goblin Squad Member

See Diablo 2 is coming out in the next few days. This Kickstarter is running for almost another month.

Even though I don't live paycheck to paycheck, I hesitate to drop too much on gaming in one pay period simply because it's more fun to spread out your entertainment budget over a longer period of time.

I know I'll be throwing my 50$ in two weeks after tomorrow. ;)

Goblin Squad Member

Same here. No need to hurry this up as we are in the comfortable situation that everyone funding till the end will get this book and that is what I care about most.

If it ever comes to kickstarting PFO directly this is where I will put my big bucks unless

Spoiler:
my 6 year old car breaks down the FOURTH time in two years, roughly 10k USD down the drain...


Obakararuir wrote:
It's kind of like a smack from the heavens. How dare you doubt us! Not only will we prove that there is interest in this game, brand, and team... we will do so with authority. 50k in LESS than 24 hours. That's got to be a record.

No, it hasn't. Shadowrun Returns was faster. Although that was for an actual game.

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

Bluenose wrote:
No, it hasn't. Shadowrun Returns was faster. Although that was for an actual game.

True, if this were for the actual game the number would be a lot better

Goblin Squad Member

Dunno if this has been asked, but will the tech demo Kickstarter backers receive preferential treatment in regards to the subscriber caps when the MMO launches?

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