That's some very good news, despite the sadness that Paizo is losing an excellent designer. Pathfinder 2e definitely would not have turned out as good as it is without Mark.
Congratulations, and I look forward to seeing lots of cool stuff from the Battlezoo line in the future. (Really excited for the dragon ancestries book!)
I wish we had copies of the surveys, because folks' recollections conflict on this. I recall a handful of questions on the subject, as well as open-ended comment spaces.
I mean...barbarian would be a good one to change, but that would probably need to wait until the next edition cycle.
Demons and devils have no reason to be renamed because those are depictions of mythological things that are traditionally evil anyway.
The lich's phylactery was taking a piece of Jewish tradition and tying it to a monster that was always evil, and which was evil in large part because of the item that was representative of Jewish lore.
There's a world of difference between using language with real-world connotations (like demons, angels, or witches) and tying a thing from a real world religion to a creature and ritual that is inherently evil.
While the content looks very much along the lines of DnD Beyond, the big difference I see is that Pathfinder content is available through more venues. If you're looking for the content for free or you want PDFs, those are there.
I don't like that there's only one way to get the D&D rules digitally, but that's thankfully not the case with Pathfinder (and Starfinder, which will hopefully get something similar down the line).
I'm not sure if I'm going to re-buy content I already have PDFs for, but the deal of getting the PDFs for purchases made moving forward is pretty nice.
This is a good step for Paizo to take, showing that management seems willing to work with employees to make a better company.
Yes, they had a lot of pressure on them to make this move. Even still, many a company would force a vote anyway, arguing that it would be good business to fight the union.
There is A LOT of work to be done, but I'm happy that Paizo took this step.
Kevin Mack wrote:
Knowing how the last two games impact Paizo is something you'd have to see the books in order to figure out. It's great that the second game brought in more via Kickstarter than the first, but given the complexity of the video game industry, there's no way of knowing how much of that is actual profit, let alone how much Paizo sees from the license.
As for farming off the IP, color me skeptical that the Pathfinder/Starfinder lines would bring much interest in that regard. I know we value them a lot, but they're medium-big fish in a teeny-tiny pond in terms of the big picture.
It's always possible that this stuff just doesn't work out. However, I really feel there's got to be middle ground that allows the production of a great product without treating employees terribly. And if there isn't, the model needs to be ripped apart and rebuilt.
I feel like the Core Rulebook makes it clear that you can swap languages out, although it could definitely be more explicit about it.
In a future edition, they could probably just go with:
Two languages appropriate to your upbringing (typically Common and Elven) plus a number of additional languages equal to your Intelligence modifier.
I think it's probably worth looking at other gaming systems, too, especially those in the modern era (past 20 years or so).
D&D may well not be representative of the rest of the industry in this regard because it's so huge that it doesn't need to change very often.
I would previously have lumped Pathfinder into a similar category, but I don't work at Paizo and somebody who does is telling us that the ten years first edition got was very tough at the end.
I feel like AD&D is far enough in the past and had enough extenuating circumstances around it that it's not great for using as real evidence in this example.
1st edition AD&D took three years to roll out, with the Dungeon Master's Guide not landing on shelves until 1979. Rules-wise, the game only got about one hardcover release a year, which made its production schedule dramatically different than any major title nowadays.
TSR also had major financial troubles in the mid-80s with a change of ownership. That ownership took a few years to ramp up 2nd edition, as the company was trying to move as far away from the guy who would have designed that (Gary Gygax) as possible.
2nd edition AD&D had a release schedule that was actually way faster-paced than even Pathfinder. And it also hit financial troubles, with TSR unable to print products by 1997 and being bought by WotC. When WotC purchased the company, they started working on their own version of D&D that again moved in a very different direction than what previous management had been doing.
In looking at edition cycles, I feel like going back prior to the 21st century probably warps the scale a bit because the industry has changed a whole lot in the past 20 years. Furthermore, the circumstances around both editions of AD&D were way too messy to really be reflective of how edition changes tend to happen, in my opinion.
Leon Aquilla wrote:
I dunno...while I'm primarily into Pathfinder, D&D does several things I like but just isn't quite there for me. A revision gets my attention because there are certain steps that can be taken to make the game much more to my liking.
Then again, I don't see D&D and Pathfinder as mutually exclusive. They fill similar niches, but each has strengths in different directions, so there are compelling reasons to include both on the gaming shelf.
I highly doubt that Pathfinder is likely to overtake D&D again, though I'm hopeful that the success of D&D is giving both Pathfinder and Starfinder a boost. Then again, trends change and D&D's superb fortune will eventually wane (hopefully not harming the industry as a whole when it does).
I'm interested in the next iteration of D&D. I'd like to see if any Pathfinder 2e ideas get incorporated, partly because I think there are several things that Pathfinder just does better than D&D right now.
Request for digital PDF Patron upgrade(s) to directly support the labor force behind PF2e products in light of the compensation issues recently addressed by Mark Seifter.
I would be willing to pay higher prices on the books I buy if it meant better pay for those involved in making them.
Unfortunately, it would probably take most or all of the major players in the industry getting on board to make that a reality.
I think one of the tough issues facing the RPG industry is that everybody is so small...except D&D, which sets the tone but is also so big that it sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Maybe I'm wrong and the gap between D&D and games like Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, and other industry leaders isn't as big as I think. But if it is that sizeable, it would be tough to significantly raise book prices without convincing WotC to do so first.
This is an interesting conversation to have. Pay in the RPG industry should definitely be higher, especially for those who have to navigate all the stresses involved in creating the products that we all love.
That said, even with low pay being a major cause of stress, it sounds like there are several things that Paizo can improve upon to make life easier for employees in other regards, and I hope they do so moving forward.
I wonder how much Paizo realizes how easy it is just to make a pathfinder 2.5 without paizo thanks to the OGL
I don't think that fans always realize how difficult it is to produce stuff of the quality that companies like Paizo put out, or the unique advantages that Paizo had that allowed them to become so big.
I think that progress toward addressing the concerns that have come to light includes a vocal and active fan base that stays informed of the company's actions, makes it clear that those actions will play a role in future purchasing decisions, and does what they can to provide support and goodwill toward the ground-level employees who do good work. I don't believe that just trying to crank out a parallel game, likely through a company with little marketing presence and minimal resources, would have an impact on business decisions.
I had a very visceral reaction to the recent news, but I'm not sure that making a public statement in this matter is likely to be all that productive.
In a situation where onlookers have such a deep emotional investment, I suspect that people are going to read any statement in a light that supports their own conclusions. Furthermore, I'm not sure how the company can address the firing of a beloved employee in a way that doesn't sound like it's dragging her name through the mud.
As to the contents of Jessica Price's posts, this is far from the first time that she's engaged in a long and public discussion of her problems with Paizo. If there wasn't a response to any of the previous Twitter threads, I don't expect that there will be a response now.
This is a fairly knotty situation in which the public does not know the facts and probably never will. It's worth taking the time to analyze what is known and what is speculation. From there, drawing a final conclusion and determining the best way to engage in ethical consumption of media is, in my opinion, a very personal matter.
It breaks my heart to see both Sara Marie and Diego gone. Paizo's customer service department has been a source of strength for many, many years. There was never a time, not even during what must have been insanely busy moments such as the rollout of PF2e, that I didn't doubt that they were capable of solving a problem and that they would do so with the best effort possible.
Good luck and bright futures.
I did a homebrew dragon ancestry for one of my PCs, creating a heritage and ancestry feats for them to choose from. The ancestry was significantly less powerful than a true dragon, but still gave enough of the basics, such as a bite, breath weapon, and enhanced senses that the player felt like they were playing a dragon.
In my case, it is most likely the newer writers. It's not that the material is dull, it just lacks the depth of PF1 APs. 2e APs feel like their targeted at newer players with simplified (again, compared to 1e) stories that are less epic in scope.
I guess I differ in my take of the adventure paths so far. I thought Age of Ashes had a very diverse set of challenges (including several that required their own subsystems because the Gamemastery Guide wasn't out yet) and a very grand scope.
The again, I also disagree with the thread starter that the adventure paths play in a samey manner. I've gone through Age of Ashes and have started Agents of Edgewatch, and at least early on in AoE I would say that it indeed feels distinct and very much like a cop story.
After Guns & Gears, I think mythic rules are at the top of my list. This is especially true now that the adventure paths go to level 20 and we have three-volume adventure paths. I could see a level 20-25 adventure path happening, which seemed like an impossibility in the past.
Doing themed books instead of big books of general new options strikes my fancy. Assuming that The Book of the Dead is as good as I expect, I'd love to see a fey equivalent.
Charon Onozuka wrote:
Then you get down to the basic question of whether a group finds a +1 or striking weapon exciting. For some players it's just a boring numbers thing, but for others it's not. And while property runes are fun, fundamental runes provide a nice simple way to demonstrate that a weapon is notably more powerful than a mundane alternative. For many groups, there's room for both.
With the way NPCs are built, I think this is less of a concern; you can have NPCs delivering level-appropriate damage without stocking their gear full of magic items if you wish.
I don't mean to downplay ABP, which is awesome and I'm super glad we got it quickly instead of waiting until the halfway point of the edition cycle. I'm just saying that there are reasons some players might like not using it beyond mere tradition.
Basically, in first edition I always used ABP (and my own houseruled version before Pathfinder Unchained was a thing) because cloaks of resistance and rings of protection bored me to death. The shift toward making the "big" items fantasy staples like weapons and armor solved that problem for me, and now ABP is something I may or may not use based on the campaign. It makes sense to me that some would find a striking weapon as boring as I found an amulet of natural armor in 1e. But those who do find appeal there are likely driven by more than just a slavish devotion to tradition.
In terms of ABP versus no ABP, I think it's too narrow of a view to categorize those in the latter category as strictly traditionalist (and, indeed, given the tone, it can come off as dismissive or insulting).
Yes, at certain levels PCs should have certain items. However, my view is that the benefit of item-based bonuses comes when they are not lockstep with the ABP table.
If I were to give out treasure strictly according to the ABP progression, there would be no point in using items. But I feel there is value in the thrill a player gets when their PC gets an item a level or two early, and some drama if the fighter's main weapon is unusable for some reason and they have to change tactics.
Using items, in my view, is not, "You get a striking rune by level four" and is more about opening up certain specific story choices.
I very much subscribed to ABP in first edition, but have generally skewed more toward item use in second edition. The "necessary" items have been streamlined to things that hit classic fantasy tropes well. And there are storytelling possibilities in giving them out or restricting them at a rate that is sometimes out of sync with what is expected.
I'm about to start an Agents of Edgewatch campaign, and ABP is an option I am considering. But the question runs deeper than, "Do I want to do things the 'traditional' way or not?"
Troop rules seem to be a good way to simulate battling a large number of mooks.
One of my favorite aspects of second edition is the way the battle feel different depending on what opponents you use. Use a bunch of level -3 or level -4 and the PCs feel mighty, critting frequently and mowing through enemies rapidly. By comparison, a single enemy of level +2 or +3 can feel devastating despite the party holding a notable advantage in action economy, especially if it starts out in favorable conditions. So while you'd want to use troops for a very large mob of foes, a fight against a bunch of lower level creatures can leave the PCs feeling mighty while still forcing them to use resources to get through the battle (yet leaving them with enough in the tank to face a tough boss at the end).
You know, there is no reason you cant use the APs with a glacial leveling pace on your own. You just need to shave off some numbers to make the challenges fit. Cut a few AC, attack, saves, etc and it shouldn't be straight up suicide anymore.
The proficiency without level variant from the Gamemastery Guide would be good for this model.
Back in the day, if you gained three levels a year playing at typical frequency, it was considered a fast campaign.
This was not my experience. The most common reason it took forever to level up in my AD&D days was that we would frequently restart campaigns, thus making a loop of repeated level one adventures.
IIRC, the DM's Guide gave leveling up every three to five adventures as a guideline, meaning a typical group could get into the teens through weekly play.
Moreover, if you played using gold as XP, a large treasure haul could land you well into the next level in a single session.
I don't intend to say that you didn't have that experience, but I suggest that it is not as universal as you recall.
And things slowed down even more at higher levels (9th level and higher).
In AD&D, the XP needed for next level eventually plateaued but XP granted for creatures and treasure didn't. At a certain point, you gained higher levels faster than lower levels playing rules as written.
In terms of changes through the years, D&D and Pathfinder didn't (usually) make arbitrary changes for the sake of change; they evolved the editions based on how people played or what people wanted. That leveling got easier seems a reflection of that; I don't see too many people waxing nostalgic about not getting to reach fifth level before their gaming group dissolved.
I feel that calling 2e goblins a retcon ignores a lot of 1e material. If you go from core books to core books with no other context, it is a drastic change. But in between, there is a decade of refinement.
Through comics, fiction, adventures, supplements, Society scenarios, and more, goblins showed different faces.
The 2e status quo makes much more sense when considering the full scope of the 1e evolution.
I used this for my session over the weekend, in lieu of the magnetic combat tracker that I normally bring to the table. It worked well.
I kinda hope that a future update might allow the resetting of an encounter without having to rewrite the names of the PCs. It would also be great to have some sort of note functionality, which would mean that I wouldn't need any scratch paper to keep track of monster hit points, etc. (In this case, I updated the monster name with hit point totals, and it worked well.)
I couldn't find a way to remove creatures from the encounter as they fell in battle, but that might just be my lazy tech mind not seeing an obvious solution.
Overall, this meant one less thing that I needed to cart to the table, so that's great.