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Jester David's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter, 9 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 1,116 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. 2 wishlists. 3 Organized Play characters.


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Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
“Jester David” wrote:
"Pathfinder 2nd Edition is a complex and dense game"
I recall that claim. I believe my response was that I found it to be less complex and less dense than PF1, and described my thoughts on it and your response to my opinion was “I repeat, Pathfinder 2nd Edition is complex and dense.”

No, I said that was like saying rocket science is less complex than brain surgery.

Yes, it's comparatively less complex. No, that doesn't mean it's not still complex when compared to almost anything else.

The "anything else" in this case being every other modern game released in the last decade.

Which is what I said then too. And you jumped on the one point you could "well, actually" and ignored the rest. Because you DO just want to prove your opinion right and mine wrong, and that is an accurate description of our exchanges. Especially as every statement you have made here is trying to say I'm wrong.

Screw it. I'm done. You can have these boards. I'm done having to put up with your BS and negativity and bad faith arguing.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
Before you reply that you really wanted proof that the # had more tweets the other day, No I did not take a screenshot to prove that it had a higher tweet volume at that time

I'm not sure why you bothered then. Knowing it was trending but not how it compared to #DnD at the time is meaningless.

Was it just trending compared to WotC? D&D? RPGs? How long was it trending for? Was it trending because it was higher than normal but still lower than #dnd or was it higher than #dnd for several days?
(Heck, the fact that the one time Pathfinder 2 trended is so memorable is rather telling, because it clearly doesn't happen often then.)

Yeah, I'll buy it was trending for a time. Trends tend to be self-generating that way. A third of the tweets you linked were basically "WFT, Pathfinder 2 is trending! Cool!" which escalates the trend and leads to more tweets in a feedback loop.

And sure, I'll buy most of them were positive. But not all were universally positive, such as:

dirtypool wrote:
8

Which pretty clearly outlines the feature/bugs of the system, and why it's not for everyone. And succinctly outlined why it probably won't be able to steal 5e's audience with this tweet:

https://twitter.com/djrhutton/status/1493795925315047424?s=20&t=7-p6jcu YdLh1sQ7VZWXnYQ

(Also, not being a Colville watcher, I've never heard the term "soulless rules pedant," before it was mentioned in that thread. But hearing the term, it seems perfect: I have played with many of those in my 3e/ PF days. And PF very much did bring out the "soulless rules pedant" behaviour in one of my regulars.)

dirtypool wrote:
I’ll kindly refer you to every time in the past three years you dismissed any request for evidence on any of your claims.

Should I then be as dismissive as you were each time "adequate proof" was not supplied?

dirtypool wrote:
You’re certainly entitled to your opinions, but requiring that people accept them without pushback while demanding evidence of their accounts of actual events is a double standard I’ll not be engaging with you in.

I don't require people to accept my opinions or tastes. But when people disagree with my opinions in such a way that they're saying my opinions are wrong and theirs are right, of course I'm going to argue back.

Especially when my opinions are as controversial as "D&D is indisputably doing well" and "3rd Party D&D products are also selling very well" and "Pathfinder 2nd Edition is a complex and dense game" and "5e and PF2 are such different games, fans disenfranchised by the former will likely not be satisfied by the latter."

Liberty's Edge

I have continued my work on this, having [u]finally[/u] started the campaign last winter.
Clicky
Lots of small tweaks to the updates, and corrections as I fix errors and adjust the balance.

Starting Carrion Crown was long, long delayed due to the previous campaign being slowed down by Roll20 and a mini-campaign until I could start this campaign in-person rather than online.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
It took a hashtag and promoted it to more and more people who mightengage with it, and they did. That’s literally how the platform is designed to function. On Wednesday PF2e tweets outnumbered dnd tweets.

Have a screenshot to prove that?

Liberty's Edge

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

I agree that your analysis is correct. These gamers are likely not to go forward into D&D 5.5. This creates a golden opportunity for Paizo (that they will likely choose not to take. :()

Paizo's greatest strengths have always been their Adventure Paths and their Campaign Setting material.

Hardcover rebuilds (just like they did for RotR & CotCT) of Paizo's existing APs setting material into D&D 5E has the potential to steal these (abandoned) gamers back (and thus be a big cash cow for Paizo).

I was always stunned Paizo didn't launch into a line of 5e AP updates as easy money.

Reprinting and updating books where they didn't need to pay for writing or art. Monster books and setting books that just required a minor system rewrite that would likely have sold 10x better than their other products.

I think it would have required a bit more re-writing than that, but not much.

I'm currently running Carrion Crown updated to 5e and it's a fair amount of work, but far less than making an AP. 4-6 pages of conversion text. It would likely take longer in layout than it would in writing.

When you consider art and maps are the most expensive part of making an AP (the writing is relatively cheap) it would make for a product with a very nice profit margin.

Assuming they did full conversions and not just what I'm doing: a guide of replacement encounters and treasure, which could have been sold as a cheap PDF, allowing people to buy their existing books and increasing sales of their existing products.

Lord Fyre wrote:

"sold 10x better" sounds a bit optimistic. But, even at somewhat less then 10x, it would still have been a major cash cow.

Paizo still has (had?) a lot of good will in the gaming community, even with those who have moved on to D&D 5E.

I know I would have dropped cash on them in a heartbeat, as I loved Paizo and wanted to keep throwing money at them, even though I burned out of 3e/PF.

Lord Fyre wrote:
Jester David wrote:
With the Kickstarter, it seems like ≈6k people really want a more advanced version of 5e. Which is HUGE for a micropublisher like ENWorld Publishing. But is peanuts compared to D&D.
This sounds like it would have been a better "target" for PF 2E.

It's what I was hoping for. Something slightly more complex than 5e (with optional/ opt-in complexity with some characters) and more dynamic monsters.

I had a wish list of what I wanted from Pathfinder 2. And they pretty much did the opposite.

Sometimes I think Level-Up is as much for dissatisfied PF2 players as for dissatisfied 5e players. That the Morrus from ENWorld was hoping PF2 would be like this and when it wasn't he decided to make his own game.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
Jester David wrote:

It's available for wide release already. The books are on DriveThru. And have been for two months.

So far the Adventurer's Guide is a Silver bestseller, which means it's sold <250 copies.
With the Kickstarter, it seems like ≈6k people really want a more advanced version of 5e. Which is HUGE for a micropublisher like ENWorld Publishing. But is peanuts compared to D&D.
This of course neglects the traditionally printed copies ENWorld will sell through on their own site, which again are not yet available.

Even if three or four times as many people are buying the physical hardcover or getting the PDFs from the publisher's store as are buying the PDFs from DriveThru, that's still probably less than 7,000 total sales.

And you won't be able to buy the books in game stores, let alone big box stores.

It's a small publisher (albeit doing very well for a small publisher) but an order of magnitude smaller than Pathfinder in 2009, let alone modern D&D.

Which is why I don't think we're ever going to get a replication of the rise of Pathfinder in the early 2010s. Paizo was perfectly placed, having the fandom of many D&D players following their time with the magazines AND many other 3rd Party Publishers having gone under following the transition to 3.5e. The field had been cleared of competitors AND they had experience physically publishing books on a strict deadline.
Meanwhile, social media was in its infancy, so there wasn't this plethora of people talking about D&D alternatives and smaller systems.

But just like we never saw anyone release an updated and revised version of 4e or how a single OSR game hasn't captured that fanbase, I don't think we'll see anyone release a standout revised version of 5e. There's so many small games on the market already, it'd be hard to stand out and garner attention without someone like a major streamer giving their support or some other X factor. And it's often just easier for people to hack the existing rules.

dirtypool wrote:
Jester David wrote:

Not on Twitter because it's a toxic cesspool. It's where you go to have your Two Minutes Hate.

(Plus, what is or is not trending on Twitter can really depend on what you search for and topics you frequent.)
Well not having been there certainly leaves you without much frame of reference for commenting on this, but I’ll clarify, it is day after day of people who post within the TTRPG hashtags commenting their PF2e is a main page trending topic and engaging in conversations about it.

Again, Twitter shows you conversations you engage with. If you mention Pathfinder a lot, it will show you more Pathfinder content. That's literally how the platform is designed to work: show you content you engage with to keep you on the platform longer so you see more ads.

There's content demonstrating Twitter was showing it off Pathfinder discussion with this Tweet:
https://twitter.com/zebeev/status/1493607124986912768?s=20&t=2Sxm4s41Q2 MRJlkQcNlcWg
But 2,209 Tweets is nothing. Wordle has 10x that number right now. With Epstein sitting at 76k within the last hour. (And the comparison isn't D&D but WotC, which typically only gets mentioned in regards to the business side: most gamers use #DnD or #DungeonsAndDragons.)

dirtypool wrote:
As for defining what Paizo did or did not do with either edition of their games, that does tend to border on edition warring in threads like these and is probably best avoided.

It's only to be avoided if people can't talk like mature adults.

I don't think it's edition waring to point out that Paizo focused on their core audience and didn't design Pathfinder 2 with casual play, social gamers, and ease of streaming in mind. It is very, very much a game designed by and for people who like designing characters, having lots of different builds, and having a decent "hand size" of options each round in combat.
Nor would I say it's edition warring to say Pathfinder 2 is a complex game. It is the most complicated RPG system published in the last fifteen years and probably the most complicated in-print game on game store shelves. These aren't complaints or flaws with the game; I'm sure most fans of Pathfinder would argue these are big ol' checks in the "pro" column.

PF2 has a specific audience and satisfies that audience well. However, this also makes it a niche game that will find it challenging to reach a wider mainstream audience. And thus it's unlikely to capture the disenfranchised and dissatisfied 5e players who might feel cast off by WotC and 5.5e.
Because what many, many 5e players want from a game is NOT something offered by 3e/ 4e/ PF1 or PF2. As clearly demonstrated by the impressive success of 5e in 2015-16, even before waves new players flocked in. Even then, 5e was the most successful version of D&D since the '80s, which says there were a lot of players who didn't want what had been offered the prior decade-and-a-half.

Pathfinder 2 is to 3e/d20 system like the OSR games are to AD&D and Basic D&D. It's d20SR. But for the many players who skipped 3e and fell in love with 5e or the 4e fans that continued onto 5e, a d20SR just isn't as desirable. An OSR game might be more appealing.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
Jester David wrote:
[Even Level Up by EN Publishing—designed as a more “advanced version of 5e—is only attracting a small number of players.
We obviously cannot say how many players will be attracted to A5e once it hits wide release, we can only speak to the number of people who backed the project in Kickstarter.

It's available for wide release already. The books are on DriveThru. And have been for two months.

So far the Adventurer's Guide is a Silver bestseller, which means it's sold <250 copies.
With the Kickstarter, it seems like ≈6k people really want a more advanced version of 5e. Which is HUGE for a micropublisher like ENWorld Publishing. But is peanuts compared to D&D.

dirtypool wrote:

If you follow D&D and TTRPG discussions on Twitter you will have noticed over the last week a very vocal outcry from D&D 5e fans who are dissatisfied and are looking for an alternative.

This represents an X factor that could skew players toward any number of games. Pathfinder 2 has been a trending topic for about a week now.

Not on Twitter because it's a toxic cesspool. It's where you go to have your Two Minutes Hate.

(Plus, what is or is not trending on Twitter can really depend on what you search for and topics you frequent.)

I think Paizo had the opportunity to position themselves as an alternative to WotC. Finding a sweet spot between PF1 and 5e in terms of rules and complexity and gameplay.
But they really didn't.
Pathfinder 2 had a choice between the existing audience—which was small but liked a complexity heavy game—and expanding out into the much larger pool of casual gamers. And they chose their current audience. Which doesn't seem like a *bad* decision, but does limit their growth.

Pathfinder 2 is really good at what it does, and is a really well balanced game that doubles down on the expected "sweet spot" of 1e Pathfinder and PFS style play. It takes the PF1 game and unifies mechanics across the board. But it's like 75% more complicated than it needs to be. Every mechanic is just that little bit more fiddly and complicated than it could be. It's not a game that will every find widespread appeal with casual players.

I'm literally watching Critical Role as I type this. The big fight in the latest episode. And, as always, it's pretty clear than even D&D 5e is significantly more dense and complicated for half the players in the cast to remember what their characters can do.

It does suggest that a more story-lite and narrative game could easily take it's place as the #2 RPG. Especially if hyped and advertised by the right group of streamers. (Really, if Darrington Press does its own version of 5e, that would be the D&D killer.) I could see Free League/ Fria Ligan seguing into a very popular, based on it's (fantastic) Alien RPG, which could lead people to The One Ring[/], [i]Vaesen, or Forbidden Lands.

Liberty's Edge

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mikeawmids wrote:
Stop buying books by WotC maybe, but with the OGL, they are almost guaranteed to find something more compatible with their needs on Drivethru.

Maybe.

I know I'm not because I already have more than enough D&D content to last me for years. Most of the DMsGuild and DriveThru content I buy just sits in my digital library.

Kickstarter is something different, but once 5.5 hits that might hurt a LOT of publishers who have a catalogue of 5.0 material than they can no longer give away. Paired with the shipping apocalypse and rising production costs, eating into Kickstarter profits.
(I feel bad for Kobold Press and anyone with a 5e book in the works in the next 18 months.)

Lord Fyre wrote:

I agree that your analysis is correct. These gamers are likely not to go forward into D&D 5.5. This creates a golden opportunity for Paizo (that they will likely choose not to take. :()

Paizo's greatest strengths have always been their Adventure Paths and their Campaign Setting material.

Hardcover rebuilds (just like they did for RotR & CotCT) of Paizo's existing APs setting material into D&D 5E has the potential to steal these (abandoned) gamers back (and thus be a big cash cow for Paizo).

I was always stunned Paizo didn't launch into a line of 5e AP updates as easy money.

Reprinting and updating books where they didn't need to pay for writing or art. Monster books and setting books that just required a minor system rewrite that would likely have sold 10x better than their other products.

It really felt like spite. They were so pissed at WotC for burning them that they avoided doing anything associated with D&D until Kingmaker. (And then sat on that book until it might end up as a DOA release with 5.5 looming.)

Liberty's Edge

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mikeawmids wrote:

With the Vox Machina show hitting Amazon and the movie landing soon, I expect D&D's popularity will continue to rise. I watched a video by Professor Dungeon Master on Youtube (linked below) that suggested Hasbro will be driving a big push into digital content that targets people not already playing conventional/tabletop D&D.

video link

I have my doubts for that.

Streaming games work because you can see the game. It looks like fun so you want to try. But the cartoon is just fun but doesn’t imply you could be doing what they’re doing. It’s more passive.

It might get more people to watch the stream and be introduced to D&D that way. But I think there’s a finite number of people who would be interested in CR but haven’t watched already.
But we’ll see…

Liberty's Edge

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Jester David wrote:
If you're over 25, you're no longer the target audience of WotC.
I wonder if there is a gaming company positioned to scoop up these now abandoned gamers?

I know you’re implying this could be Paizo, but people switched from PF to 5e for a reason and didn’t come back to PF with PF2.

Even Level Up by EN Publishing—designed as a more “advanced version of 5e—is only attracting a small number of players.

Really, I imagine a lot of fans will just stick with 5e and the books they already have. They’ll just stop buying new books.

Liberty's Edge

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Planpanther wrote:
Im hoping for the modules they talked about in NEXT to happen in 5.5E.

Doubtful.

Those modules were aimed at appealing to fans of older editions.
They're not even really making books and content for fans of early 5e anymore.

If you're over 25, you're no longer the target audience of WotC.

Liberty's Edge

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It does make 5.5e seem a little unnecessary.
They're making all the money already, why rock the boat?

It seems foolish to try and ask the audience to buy the books all over again and convert, when most have only been playing for 2-5 years and have only scratched the surface of 5e. They're not ready for a new edition as they haven't burned out of the current edition.

I know I'm not converting. I have 2-3 more 5e campaigns in me at least, and some side games. (Eclipse Phase and Star Wars. Maybe some Shadows of Esteren.) I have my gaming locked in for the next half-decade without buying a single new book.

It feels more like the D&D teams just ran out of 5e book ideas and wants to justify having such a big team.
And it's an excuse to "fix" the game and remove problematic aspects. They're not fixing broken mechanics that don't play well at the table, but "broken" mechanics that get them flamed on Twitter.

Liberty's Edge

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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Jester David wrote:
white robes are capitalist and black robes are socialist
I think you have that backwards. White robes are supposed to be the good guys.
Lord Fyre wrote:

I think he was just selecting opposites to make a point.

And, which are the "bad guys" depends on your politics.

This exactly.

I had White Robes as socialist initially because that's my bias and flipped to emphasize it's now a philosophical distinction and not an ethical one and black robes =/= evil anymore.

Liberty's Edge

RedRobe wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:


Hopefully you are overstating what will happen.
* - Increased diversity is a -usually- good thing. Yes, sometimes efforts to be inclusive can be a little silly (for example, Adventuring IS going to be ableist by it nature), but this is a game for everyone.
* - Alignment is a trickier issue. Racial Alignments (such as pigeonholing all Hobgoblins as LE) can lead to "justifications" for racism or even genocide. Chosen alignments such as Krynn's Orders Of High Sorcery, however, should remain important.

I agree that the alignment-based orders of High Sorcery should remain in place since the idea of balance is such a key part of Dragonlance.

The culture of the particular hobgoblin tribes recruited by the Dragonarmies can be evil, but I think others could be Lawful Neutral at least.

They’d probably make the different Orders of High Sorcery tied to philosophy instead, rather than having people declare themselves “evil.” (Because who thinks of themselves as evil?) Find two contrary views (white robes use magic to help non-wizards and black robes use magic to advance wizardry; or white robes are capitalist and black robes are socialist) and jam the red robes between.

Evil hobgoblin tribes are the kind of thing they’re moving away from, and the idea an entire society or entire people are monolithically evil. The dragon armies would be made of evil members of all races. Or not evil, but those willing to follow the Dragon Queen for money.

Liberty's Edge

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captain yesterday wrote:
I hate WotC because my original gaming group broke up when Magic The gathering came out and, and especially for what they did to the Forgotten Realms for 4th edition, which is still unforgivable, but, whatever if they put out stuff I find interesting or the kids are interested in I'm not going to dismiss it simply because of where it's from.

I had a friend who used to enjoy Battletech night at a FLGS that held big battle royals until Magic took over and everyone switched to that. It was a friendship destroying game for some time. Thankfully, it seems to have settled and you have Magic fans, RPG fans, and the few who do both.

You're not alone with the 4e Realms hate. Even R.A. Salvatore and Ed Greenwood hated it. But it's apparently been "fixed" with the changes mostly undone.
But don't quote me on that, as I know almost nothing about the Realms.

Liberty's Edge

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captain yesterday wrote:
Jester David wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

As far as licensing and D&D sales go, my daughter is a huge Rick and Morty fan (I don't get it myself, but that's a different thread) so I got her the Rick and Morty themed beginner box for Christmas.

That should keep her and her cousins busy during holiday break!

Paired with the comic?

Let us know how it goes next week!

It's got an adventure supposedly written by Rick and there are various notes by Rick and Morty sprinkled through the rules and the pre made characters are all based on Rick and Morty characters, as well as obnoxiously bright dice that may glow in the dark (or are just obnoxiously bright).

Overall, even I have to admit it sounds like a good time.

Did they like it?

captain yesterday wrote:
I still hate WotC however, that'll never change. Or it will, who's to say.

I hated WotC for a bit in the 2000s as well, in late 3e and during the 4e era. Pretty much because they were "the man" compared to Paizo and Kobold Press and the like.

But then I shrugged and realized that while WotC was big, the D&D team was a small, small part of the company and I could name most of the people in that team and rather liked a lot of them. And as the team grew, they added more and more people I respected including a bunch of Paizo alumnus.
It felt like I was hating on WotC because D&D was the biggest name, which was very much like being a hipster and disliking something because it was cool and popular. And I didn't want to just be a contrarian who based his opinions on disagreeing with other people.

Liberty's Edge

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captain yesterday wrote:

As far as licensing and D&D sales go, my daughter is a huge Rick and Morty fan (I don't get it myself, but that's a different thread) so I got her the Rick and Morty themed beginner box for Christmas.

That should keep her and her cousins busy during holiday break!

Paired with the comic?

Let us know how it goes next week!

Liberty's Edge

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mikeawmids wrote:
Jester David wrote:

As for the movie...

Well, the MCU is the biggest thing ever in the cinema. And superhero comics are still struggling. Success in one media doesn't translate well to another.
If it was a novel series that'd be one thing. Buy the original book to read. But I doubt many people are going to start a new hobby after watching a popcorn film.
I'm looking forward to the movie, especially after hearing it was written by the folk behind Game Night and Spiderman: Homecoming. Also, I have a big old mancrush on Hugh Grant after seeing him in Paddington 2. :D

I'm waiting to see a trailer first, as I'm old enough to remember the build-up to the D&D movie in 2000. But I'm tentatively excited, as the talent involved is so much higher.

I don't expect it to cause a surge in D&D play though. Movie success doesn't reliably translate into other media.
It's also coming out at the worst time, a year before the 50th Anniversary edition. Nothing like people going into a game store and being told "oh, hey, don't buy those books. The new version is out in ten months." Or, worse... buying the books and a year later finding out they have to buy them again as everyone is playing 6e.

Liberty's Edge

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Christopher Dudley wrote:
dirtypool wrote:
Pathfinder took the top sales spot in the 2nd quarter of 2011 and held it until the third quarter of 2014

Didn't realize it was that early. I was pretty sure I recall the celebrating on the boards and it was around the time D&D Next was announced. I won't argue with your facts, though, doubtless well-sourced versus my memories of nearly 10 years ago.

I do recall their run of Essentials was over in 2010 and they didn't release any more major rules books. There were some adventures and some player options in 2011-12.

Pathfinder also tied in Q3 of 2010, when the Advanced Player's Guide came out but before all the Essentials books were released.

But Essentials was designed to give 4e a shot in the arm. And given WotC works 18 months in advance, they had to have been planning Essentials since early 2009. Which means that even before Pathfinder really launched, WotC was worried about 4e's sales.
It just became more obvious when the APG came out and Paizo starting outselling D&D.

And Pathfinder firmly took the lead in 2011 when WotC cancelled a bunch of Essentials books.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Again, option creep = power creep. When you make a choice, as one option will be better, your relative power increases. And when you make a choice each level, by level ten that's probably a dozen small incremental increases in power. Especially when there's a couple new books each year, each also slightly increasing the power level.
Except of course where the system balances new options with the originally presented options so that the expansion is lateral rather than vertical. PF2 balances the APG options with the G&G options with the SOM options with the CRB options so that power creep is minimal.

I will repeat. Option creep = power creep. Lateral growth becomes vertical growth. Perfect balance is impossible. Even in rock-paper-scissors there's an "optimal" choice.

Even if each new feat is only a 1% increase compared to the baseline, by 10th level that's a significant 10% boost of efficacy.

And given the number of new options made each three or four months—most of of which aren't playtested—there will always be some variance in power level.

Liberty's Edge

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Tristan d'Ambrosius wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Again, option creep = power creep. When you make a choice, as one option will be better, your relative power increases. And when you make a choice each level, by level ten that's probably a dozen small incremental increases in power.
I thought that was called leveling up. I mean it sounds like you want characters to stay at the same static creation point throughout the game.

C'mon, man....

You can level-up and gain power without choosing between a number of different feat-talents every two sessions. Numerous other games do it, typically with static class-based bonuses.
Heck, for four versions of D&D and twenty-six years, martial characters "levelled up" without any new abilities. (With the 50th anniversary still a couple years away, that means fighters have only gained new class features at higher levels for a minority of the lifespan of the hobby.)

That's without considering the innumerable RPGs that don't have hard levels (instead being skill based) or even firm character advancement. Many games DO have you remain at the same static creation point and changes are instead related to the character's personality and goals.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
I don’t know Champions latest edition was written like 8 years ago, so calling an iterative D20 game the most difficult in fifteen years feels like some intense hyperbole.

Eleven-plus years. It was released in early 2010, so almost twelve.

But, okay, I should have said "most difficult in over a decade." That's not really hyperbole so much as rounding up.

But you could also argue that the 6th Edition was an small iteration on the 30-year-old game and system, as not every game revises itself as much as D&D and related d20 games, so it's not a "modern" game. Just like how Cyberpunk Red came out this year but is very much a 1990s RPG.

dirtypool wrote:
Particularly when you describe PF2 as behaving in ways in which PF1 did and PF2 does not. The game is specifically designed to not create a wider gulf between an unoptimized and an optimized character. It isn’t exclusively focused on mechanical builds.

Again, option creep = power creep. When you make a choice, as one option will be better, your relative power increases. And when you make a choice each level, by level ten that's probably a dozen small incremental increases in power. Especially when there's a couple new books each year, each also slightly increasing the power level.

While it's less bad than in PF1, it's not non-existent. It's just one of the inherent problem with games that focus on building characters: the choices have to matter otherwise it's just flavour, but because they matter they introduce imbalance.
But it's still not as big a problem as the "homework" aspect of option heavy games that focus on lonely fun between games rather than quick play and fun at the table.

dirtypool wrote:
Ascension certainly needed the ST to make some calls because what you could cast was not clearly defined, that doesn’t make it more complex so much as less complete.

Only less complete if you're playing without a ST or lack an imagination.

I always enjoyed the magic system in Dragonlance SAGA Edition where you picked the damage, duration, range, area of effect, and casting time of a spell, which set the DC. But other than that, the effect could be anything you imagined.

As a GM I've never felt the need to have a hard ruleset telling me what is an is not possible. Sometimes all you need to get your RP on is a Jenga tower and a cool setting.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
Option complexity and Rules complexity are not necessarily the same thing, and I personally find 2e to be less rules heavy than 3.X/PF1

Which is like saying rocket science is less complex than brain surgery.

PF2 is certainly slightly more streamlined in a few areas, but isn’t remotely less complex when compared to… pretty much every other game written in the last fifteen years.
There are more conditions, and many that are very specialized (like encumbered) and many rules are 50% more complex than they need to be (the Heal skill, the dying rules, weapon qualities). And the keywords, which can subtly change what a power does in un-obvious ways.
I haven’t played, having bounced hard off the rules (it did the exact opposite I wanted from a revised Pathfinder), and everything seemed way more fiddly and technical than it needed to be,

And the option complexity is a huge feature/bug.
For a subset of a subset of the audience it’s good, as they enjoy building characters between games and reading books of options. But having five choices when you level-up doesn’t make the game more fun to play AT the table. And for many people it’s a chore that acts as a barrier to play. And that’s without considering that option creep = power creep and means a starker difference between an optimized and unoptimized character.

PF2 is what 4th Edition D&D should have been. It’s a far better evolution of the 3.5e ruleset. But it’s still an evolution of a ruleset made in the year 2000 and released as if no other major game was released after 2007.
But I’m not here to slag PF2. People are free to enjoy it if it’s their cup of tea and everyone at their table loves mechanical character building. But the game is deliberately focused, which makes it niche, and thus has more of a challenge to reach mass market popularity.

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Nicos wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Well, It is not that I don't like complexity, it is more that I found a good chunk of PF complexity to be not worth the effort.
Just so! Somewhere in the 3.PF days the game seems to have passed into the zone of labyrinthine-inanity-of-copious-rules and has dug yet deeper with the current incarnation.
For me, it was around the release of the advanced class guide.

That was where Pathfinder lost me.

Classes are such a big thing and require so much work to balance. Doing that many—each of which being extra complicated—it was like giving up on balance. And there was so mushy extra mechanics in that book but zero fluff and lore. At release I jokingly called it the “advanced bloat guide.”
It was at that point I looked at my library of Pathfinder books and realized many had never been used, and some only saw a single page of use.

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Nicos wrote:
Jester David wrote:

You have two types of gamers: the dedicated ones and the casual ones. This is an oversimplification of course, but it's to illustrate the point. Dedicated players buy the books and know the rules and enjoy spending time away from the game thinking about the game and building characters. They design adventures or build characters or make worlds. Causal players show up and roll dice, seldom thinking about the game between sessions.

Dedicated players often end up as the DM and have to round out their table with casuals. And for casuals, a game like Pathfinder can be fun to play but hard to learn and pure homework between sessions, when they have to spend 15,000 gp to buy magic items, pick out a feat from a list of 50, and a new talent or spell.

I'd consider myself a dedicated player. For a while, I liked PF number crunching and character customization, but It grew tiresome with time. Too many options that were no-brainers and so many others that were just awful and nobody cared about. In my last games as a player, the idea of creating a character was painful, too much stuff, too much bad stuff, it was just not worth doing the involved math.

Not sure of good or bad is PF2, I'm not interested in learning yet other complicated games, and, more importantly, my old group of players hates it with passion.

If I were to introduce new players to the hobby I would use 5e or some world of darkness.

I’m not suggesting ALL dedicated players like complexity. As I state later, a large number of experienced (and dedicated) players liked Basic D&D over AD&D.

Dedicated players may or may not like complicated games.
Casual players favour uncomplicated games.

So, inherently, the audience of something like Pathfinder 2–the most complicated game currently in print—will be smaller, and enjoyed by a subset of a subset of gamers.

I was rather astonished during the playtest Paizo doubled down on the complexity for that reason.

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Fyre, I'd disagree with your assessment,

You’re basically proving his point.

Adventuring is one of those “careers” that would have some steep physical requirements to succeed (like being a firefighter or marine) but we accept handicapable heroes for the sake of inclusion. Despite the fact that being able to jump, climb a rope or rocky wall unaided, and and engage in prolong hand-to-hand battle with skilled opponents looking for any weakness to exploit… all while carrying an oppressively heavy pack of gear.
I don’t have any (physical) disabilities, and I wouldn’t be able to do that.

But since everyone (EVERYONE) should be able to play the character they want and see themselves in the game, we roll with it and favour inclusivity.

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Jester David wrote:

Expect the new version of Dragonlance to do to the setting what Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft did to that setting. (Which is good or bad depending on how you feel about that book.)

It will probably reverse everything that happened in all the novels and redesign the continent to take into account the modern values in designing worlds and settings. Expect increased diversity and far less emphasis placed on alignment (probably even among elements like robed wizards).

Hopefully you are overstating what will happen.

* - Increased diversity is a -usually- good thing. Yes, sometimes efforts to be inclusive can be a little silly (for example, Adventuring IS going to be ableist by it nature), but this is a game for everyone.
* - Alignment is a trickier issue. Racial Alignments (such as pigeonholing all Hobgoblins as LE) can lead to "justifications" for racism or even genocide. Chosen alignments such as Krynn's Orders Of High Sorcery, however, should remain important.

They radically changed the setting, eliminating the main continent and rewriting all the history. Every single land was changed and revised, with its history rewritten. It’s effectively a band new setting that uses the themes and a few names of the old setting.

I’m pretty pro-diversity… but almost every single white male character (save the two introduced in Curse of Strahd) either had their gender flipped or became black. The only exceptions are a male elf who became gay and is now in a wheelchair, and the existing gay darklord. And three existing strong females also became black.

It’s a lot. And needless as Ravenloft was already this mosaic setting where you could add new lands. They could have just created a ten brand new iconic domains instead of revising the existing ones, erasing 90% of existing Ravenloft canon. (And making the canon that isn’t erased, like Darkon’s history, hard to reconcile and riddled with contradictions.)

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Lord Fyre wrote:

When D&D 5E came out in 2014, it was not an immediate smash. Pathfinder 1E was still quite dominant in the marketplace.

What happened?

When 5e came out it actually was a pretty decent smash. As others posted:

https://www.enworld.org/threads/chart-of-icv2-rankings-back-to-2004.670122/
It hit the #2 sales spot in the summer (with just the Starter Set and PHB in late July) and rocketed to #1 in the fall.
It took a few months to really build steam, but quickly matched 4e and 3e for sales. And kept growing in 2015 and 2016. And then never stopped.

Here's the thing, Pathfinder never really competed with D&D. Not really. It was an illusion of success.
Pathfinder inarguably saw a surge of D&D players disenfranchised with 4e, but probably as many players just kept playing 3.5e. And quite a few 4e players kept playing but stopped buying the books, instead using the downloadable tool set. And many just left the hobby.
Pathfinder's sales were higher than D&D at that time, but weren't higher than D&D in general.
And the entire TTRPG market contracted as a result.

When 5e came out most of the 4e players switched AND many the lapsed D&D players returned, from Pathfinder and 3e but also gaming in general. So even if it didn't grow the hobby and attract new players, just by those returning players it quickly passed Pathfinder.
I was one of them. I was tired of 3e in 2008-9 but I didn't like 4e, so Pathfinder was the least-bad option. But 5e just fit my DMing style so much more comfortably I quickly switched.

*

As for why D&D became more popular than Pathfinder... well, complexity is a big factor.

You have two types of gamers: the dedicated ones and the casual ones. This is an oversimplification of course, but it's to illustrate the point. Dedicated players buy the books and know the rules and enjoy spending time away from the game thinking about the game and building characters. They design adventures or build characters or make worlds. Causal players show up and roll dice, seldom thinking about the game between sessions.
Dedicated players often end up as the DM and have to round out their table with casuals. And for casuals, a game like Pathfinder can be fun to play but hard to learn and pure homework between sessions, when they have to spend 15,000 gp to buy magic items, pick out a feat from a list of 50, and a new talent or spell.

It's easier for a casual player to enjoy a more simple game, like 5e (which is still very, very complex compared to almost every other RPG on the market). And there's probably far more casual players than dedicated players.

Simple versions of D&D have always sold better. Because they engage casual gamers, and DMs like being in charge and controlling the table, rather than being managed by the rules. (And half the complexity of 3e/PF and 4e is in many ways trying to manage to DM—to prevent bad DMing and bad calls by giving HARD rules for what PCs can and cannot do.)
Steve Winter (who worked on 2e and was the EiC of Dragon for a time once told me that TSR expected the Red Box and Basic D&D to be purchased by new players while older, experienced players would gravitate to the Advanced version. But in practice, new gamers (mostly young kids) bought AD&D to play the "real" game while older, experienced gamers favoured Basic because they enjoyed the narrative freedom and flexibility.

Then you factor in streaming. Streaming games really benefits from quick play and simple rules. The more time you spend doing crunchy rules talk the harder it becomes for people who don't know the rules to engage. Critical Role wouldn't have worked with Pathfinder. It barely works with D&D.

*

As for the movie...
Well, the MCU is the biggest thing ever in the cinema. And superhero comics are still struggling. Success in one media doesn't translate well to another.
If it was a novel series that'd be one thing. Buy the original book to read. But I doubt many people are going to start a new hobby after watching a popcorn film.

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I'm pretty woke and was on board with a lot of the changes prior, but this does feel like an overcorrection. An overly sensitive sensitivity reader, especially for the changed tables in the DMG.

But it's probably a sign of what 6e will look like, as WotC targets this new, growing audience of young players and softens the game from a risque PG-13 bordering on R to a soft PG.

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RedRobe wrote:
Has anyone tried to run a 5e version of the 3.5 Chronicles modules?

I ran them for Pathfinder. It was a struggle.

I'd avoid doing a straight adaptation and just use them as inspiration: a book of locations, events, and possible encounters. Especially the later ones, which are frankly garbage.
Allow the players to go off the rails and draw inspiration from the novels and homebrew. Let them tell their own story of the War of the Lance.

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Expect the new version of Dragonlance to do to the setting what Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft did to that setting. (Which is good or bad depending on how you feel about that book.)

It will probably reverse everything that happened in all the novels and redesign the continent to take into account the modern values in designing worlds and settings. Expect increased diversity and far less emphasis placed on alignment (probably even among elements like robed wizards).

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
The cynical mind now wonders if 'Infinite' was designed to do a content 'shortcut' on the cheap to compensate for freelance slowdown/stoppage.

I think it serves a few purposes.

1) It's easy money.
They get 10-25% of sales. For doing nothing. Easy money is good.

2) It replaces RPG Superstar as a way to test freelancers.
They don't need to pay anyone to go through the submission slush pile or manage a contest. They can look for the best new talent making good content, to replace all the Name people who have been poached by 3PP and WotC. (Or didn't convert.)

3) It fills the content gaps.
The more classes they release, the more new options that need to be accommodated in new thematic sourcebooks. But new builds are a space hog compared to 1e archetypes, so space is limited. Dark Archive might not be able to have options for all twenty existing classes. And the book after that won't be able to accommodate all twenty-two classes.
They can just leave it to the fans and Pathfinder Infinites to do, oh, let's say a Magus Dark Archive style hybrid study or swashbuckler style.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

I don't like thinking that way.

Paizo executives, please prove me wrong, recognize UPW.

Any news on that front?

It's been a week. It only took Jeff Alvarez two days to respond to the twitter allegations. Even if they can't make an official statement on the site, have they said anything on the socials or elsewhere on the forums?

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Well... I guess that answers the question of how the majority of Paizo's staff felt about Alvarez's response and their confidence in management to respond to their concerns.

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Gladior wrote:

It’s been awhile since I’ve had to draft a crisis communication, but here’s what it should have said as far as I am concerned:

What the statement should have said:

Recently, three long-time employees parted ways with the Paizo family. Paizo as a whole is sad for this loss, but these decisions were made with the best interests of Paizo, Pathfinder, Starfinder, and our fan community in mind. After those departures became public, several allegations were laid down by other former employees. I and the rest of the Paizo family am saddened by these statements. Many of them predate my time at the helm of the company, but leadership is about addressing matters as they stand rather than fighting about how or why they arose.
For legal reasons, I cannot speak publicly to these personnel issues or to other issues that might be the subject of future litigation. However, even Paizo’s detractors publicly admit that our company’s history shows a dedication to diversity and inclusion both in our hiring practices and through representation in our published products. We continue to aspire to those ideals and our future products will continue to reflect them. Everyone fails to live up to their ideals, but that does not excuse attempts to atone for past misdeeds or mean we should not attempt to create a better, more welcoming, and healthy work environment for our employees--whatever may have happened in the past.

Paizo’s employees are our company’s lifeblood and we could not exist without them. Internally, we must have a clear picture of the current state of affairs if we are to improve. For that reason, Paizo has retained [insert name of outside law/consulting/etc. firm here] to conduct an internal investigation into our company and its culture, focusing on worker health and safety. Because a creative company lives or dies on the comfort of its creative talent, they will also be empowered to investigate company culture.

I have asked them to investigate all of these matters and deliver a report—including recommendations for improvement—to me. Paizo staff will be able to speak to these issues to outside investigators anonymously and without fear of reprisal. After they deliver their report, a group of Paizo employees including Publisher Erik Mona, myself, and cross-sectional representatives from all of Paizo’s departments (including non-management employees) will review those recommendations and come to consensus on a course of action. When we have done so, we will report on those planned actions to our public fanbase.

I remind you that just because something was said does not mean it is true. I ask that our fans have patience with us while we investigate this matter and bear with us while we get to the bottom of the issue. In the meantime, Paizo will continue to publish the groundbreaking and revolutionary content as we have done for two decades.

My office door is open to any Paizo employee that would like to raise these issues. In an effort to be transparent with our fanbase, I ask that public inquiries be directed through our media department, ideally as a response to this message, so as to not overwhelm our media department.

- [Signature]
But, I'm not internal to Paizo, so I may not know everything going on...

This is amazing!

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Paulyhedron wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/
At least Eric's addressed the actual accusations.

I'm happy with that one, even if it's what I expected.

Those claims were a stretch and seemed the least malicious.
Someone low key calling someone else a nazi, because of their personal interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective and a buffoon for getting passed over isn't malicious?

No. I'm saying an interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective isn't malicious.

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Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/
At least Eric's addressed the actual accusations.

I'm happy with that one, even if it's what I expected.

Those claims were a stretch and seemed the least malicious.

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Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/

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Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jeff has posted a reply in the general forum. It is what you expect.

Here: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs43h04?Staff-Change-Update-from-Paizo-President -Jeff

Wow.
Yup, that was exactly what I called....

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dirtypool wrote:
Many of us have said today that our dollars would go elsewhere without action - the ball is in Paizo management's court now.

The catch is, there's very little they can do except issue a blanket denial and a rote statement regarding their pro-inclusivity stance.

They don't want to draw attention to the tweet from people who haven't seen it, so they won't link it. And they're not going to address it note-by-note.
And they can't even comment on the firing as (IIRC) discussing the employment status and potential discipline of a private individual is against Washington privacy laws. They can't legally say Sara Marie was fired or why.

Expect a generic statement about how "they try to do good but don't always succeed and promise to try harder and win back your trust." The non-admittance of wrongdoing and vague commitment to improvement with no specifics or rubric.

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.
That post might be more helpful if they clarified WHICH claim was untrue....
Looking very askew at exactly this. You’re anonymous - why not be specific?
Because, for example, if that's a situation that's well known to Paizo managers, Price and the whistleblower, revealing that could blow their cover right away.

True. But... based on the complaints made, is there any where rebuttal would be that identifying?

(And if things aren't as bad as Price says, why would they need to be anonymous and fear reprisals?)

The post tells us exactly what we want to hear without actually saying anything. It's all incredibly manipulative and raises all kinds of red flags for me.

It says people at Paizo are sad Sara Marie and Diego are gone. But also doesn't confirm she was fired.

It mentions a lack of transparency and frustration between management and other employees. But also frames that as commonplace, minimizing the issue. It mentions things have been building for some time, but doesn't give any indication how long. A year? A decade?
It brings up the Twitter thread, but doesn't link or name names, so it can apply to any of the threads. It dismisses a couple claims as false, but leaves it mysterious as to which two so the reader is pushed towards reasonable doubt for all AND also even implies the other claims might be equally dubious. And it also doesn't confirm if any of the claims are true, not even ones that could have been exaggerated.
It then ends that point by saying they're just providing their perspective, encouraging people to make their own opinion. I.e. question other statements and follow their beliefs.

It goes on to calling out how much people who write the products care about inclusivity. Which was never called into doubt the Twitter thread. Then it tells people to voice concerns, but not do so financially. Y'know, the only response management would notice.

And it ends by drawing attention to the remaining customer service employees and portraying them as the victims here, which pushes people not to take action that would draw them in. (Such as cancelling subs.)

If you hired a PR firm to do a viral response to negative tweet, this is exactly what they would write. It's textbook.

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keftiu wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.
That post might be more helpful if they clarified WHICH claim was untrue....
Looking very askew at exactly this. You’re anonymous - why not be specific?

Exactly my thoughts.

If being more specific would out themselves, sure. That's understandable.
But it's not like clarifying "Mona didn't have that painting in his office" or some of the other claims would be particularly revealing as to their identity.

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.

That post might be more helpful if they clarified WHICH claim was untrue....

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
See, here's the problem - Jessica's single and narrow-minded crusade means she's going to turn this story into "Jessica's Twitter Thread About Problems She Has With Paizo", which in turn will bring out the usual people out of the woodwork, and the real problem - the firing of Sara - will be buried under burly nerds arguing whether Paizo was in debt to the mob.

Both are big problems.

Firing Sara Marie is bad. But Paizo's hidden toxic past is also a fairly large issue. But it's because of Paizo's apparent toxic leadership that Sara Marie was fired.

It feels odd to just ignore the larger issues being raised because "now is not the time." Like we should be mourning Sara Marie first before discussing larger issues.

Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
With Jessica's Twitter following and ability to push the right buttons, in particular with conservative people, she's bound to make it a story that was about her all along. I met people like her, I fought people like her, in their desire to bring the house down, they will wittingly or unwittingly bring it down while people are inside. A bit like divorced people who will tear down the life of everyone involved just to have revenge on their ex. Same mechanism, because seeing Paizo burn is what she's all about.

She's totally the kind of person who will bring the house down out of spite.

But that doesn't mean she's lying. Her motives for saying what she's saying may be meanspirited, but all the accusations can still be true.

Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Her "so Pathfinder 2e is a laughably bad game put together by incompetent tools and ahahahaha I wish they just go bankrupt, haha look what stupidity is this, who was dumb enough to write and greenlight it" threads are still out there, and she doesn't seem to have cared a lot about the people behind the product then, she likely doesn't care now. It's just that they're a convenient ammunition for the time being.

I'm off Twitter now, so I haven't seen any of those takes. But that opinion isn't mentioned anywhere.

But, really, "I dislike PF2 and think it is a bad game" is hardly a spicy take from anyone.

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Oof. That Twitter thread.

Fell out with Pathfinder some time ago (5e just checked my boxes more completely) but still quite liked Paizo. Shopped on the store when I could, purchasing minis and accessories.

I'm really not a fan of Jessica Price. I find her a toxic troll. Not purposefully malicious, but reactionary and always willing to assume the worst. If a comment could be innocent but poorly phrased or sexist she'd always assume sexism.
She brigaded me once. Came after me HARD because she couldn't read my full twitter thread to reach my point before she started making assumptions. And she always comes out swinging. And when she does come on strong (like with me where she said some hurtful, hurtful things) she'll quietly delete those tweets without comment or retraction, let alone an apology.

But she's always been honest. Too honest and unfiltered at times. Brutally honest. Unconcerned about who she might hurt.
So while I dislike her as a person, I believe her without reservation.

And man is that damning....

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Kasoh wrote:
Jester David wrote:

It's like an employer expecting an employee to spend 90% of their paycheque improving their ability to do their job.

"Good job these past weeks, Bob. Here's $1500. Be sure to spend $1350 on office supplies. Upgrade your computer and keep saving for that better scanner."

Adventurers are typically self employed freelancers. There is no employer. Most have patrons or accept contracts for specific jobs in which they bear the cost of expenses. They are expected to use their money to improve their business.

Any other complaints about the economy notwithstanding, this is perfectly normal and expected given the usual type of work adventurers engage in.

Which is true... until it's not. See Agents of Edgewatch.

And while self-employed small businesses should invest *some* money into growing and expanding their business, most small business owners also spend money on housing, savings, personal goods, and luxury items. Adventurers are all people will million dollar businesses and platinum credit cards who spend ALL of their funds on the business while still living in a van down by the river.

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I hate the gold economy of 3e/4e/PF, where you're just expected to spend all your hard earned treasure making yourself better.
It's like an employer expecting an employee to spend 90% of their paycheque improving their ability to do their job.
"Good job these past weeks, Bob. Here's $1500. Be sure to spend $1350 on office supplies. Upgrade your computer and keep saving for that better scanner."

And it just causes all kinds of problems. Having to handwave away everyone carrying 200 pounds of raw gold. (Or 10,000 gp, which should occupy as much space as a halfling.) Having to avoid rewards that could be sold to break wealth-by-level, like boats or castles. Creating alternative financial systems (build points and plunder) to prevent the above.
And, of course, the fun of the adventuring party pausing their quest to save the world in order to teleport back to a major city where they can sell and spend a week of downtime so the wizard can give everyone and extra +1 to their favorite stat while the rest of the party pretending to be busy.

I tried two or three different inherent bonus systems in PF1 and my players didn't like the lack of choices. Being locked into the progression rather than getting to pick-and-choose. I spent ages balancing different inherent bonus systems that gave out points that could be used to gain various different perks and boons.

Now... eff it.
You don't get gold. You get "essence" from defeated enemies. Like souls in Dark Souls. You pull essence from powerful enemies and it can be drawn from magic items over a few days.
Essence can be spent to buff yourself and your equipment. It weighs nothing and can't be stolen. You can't convert excess gold into essence. But you can trade limited amounts with an ally.

Which allows me to just make gold and the economy function logically and like the real world. So that large amounts of the GDP of a nation aren't invested in the pantaloons and bracelets of high level adventuring parties. And I can avoid having to have gold devalued across a kingdom because a group of 15th level adventurers show up with 165,000 gp that they pump overnight into the local economy.

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Michael Sayre wrote:
Jester David wrote:

Given Paizo is purposely locking their PDFs (which is a deliberate choice with InDesign that some other publishers do and some do not) I'd assume they don't want you going into legally obtained PDFs and pulling out maps and art for monster & PC tokens.

Really, I'm surprised more companies haven't taken advantage of the rush in VTT to release token packs and/ or art packs. Paizo could easily sell versions of their maps optimized for VTTs.

We do!

Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, PDF to Foundry package

We've been working on making more maps and tokens available through VTT for over a year now. We just don't sell them directly since we typically make the assets available to the individual VTT companies so they can make sure they're compatible with their systems and sell them directly through their storefronts. We're a small company and VTTs aren't all standardized yet, so it's more efficient to provide our licensors with the packages and let them pre-optimize them to the platforms they're the experts on.

Honestly, I was thinking more for homebrewing than running set APs.

The flip-tiles and flip-mats are great for this. (Although it's kinda annoying they're more expensive on Roll20 than getting a PDF on paizo.com.) Being able to buy something like the Interactive Maps would be handy for people who just need a dungeon or a hedge maze.

Or even someone playing, oh, 5th Edition who wants Paizo's great maps or monster art but doesn't need the full Bestiary in ROll20. Or anyone playing in Discord without a map who might just need monster images.

And, of course, I'm thinking ahead eight months to when I can play again, and how handy it is to just display a monster picture on a TV or hold up an iPad with a monster, without the text from the book surrounding it. Or, y'know, print as a handout.

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Given Paizo is purposely locking their PDFs (which is a deliberate choice with InDesign that some other publishers do and some do not) I'd assume they don't want you going into legally obtained PDFs and pulling out maps and art for monster & PC tokens.

Really, I'm surprised more companies haven't taken advantage of the rush in VTT to release token packs and/ or art packs. Paizo could easily sell versions of their maps optimized for VTTs.

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MaxAstro wrote:
Jester David wrote:
I really think Paizo needs to slow down their releases rather than risking hitting "bloat" too early: the point when players realize they have enough content for a dozen campaigns and stop buying new books.
I think this really misses that Paizo's core product is and always has been the Adventure Path line, by their own admission. Basically everything else they produce exists to sell that, and it's been moving at the same "one book per month" pace since it existed.

The AP *was* the core product. And it still was when they released Ultimate Combat for Jade Regent and Mythic Adventures just to tell the Wrath of the Righteous story.

But I think it moved away after that. There were more and more hardcovers released just to do more content and not to support the AP. And you had stuff like Strange Aeons released a year after Occult Adventures.

The APs feel secondary now.

MaxAstro wrote:
I also think Paizo is currently pushing to "catch up" to 1e to an extent, because a lot of their player base is still feeling the lack of 1e staples like Magus, Gunslinger, Summoner, Kineticist, etc.

Which feels like a foolish choice: if they release an entire edition's must-have content in two years, what do they fill the next eight with?

Nor should Paizo feel mandated to do a kineticist or a brawler just because they were popular in PF1.

Liberty's Edge

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I find the argument "Roll20 doesn't reflect the success/ failure of Pathfinder 2 because PF2 isn't well supported by Roll20" very interesting. Almost a chicken-and-the-egg situation.
If Pathfinder 2 were a run-away success and had a huge player base, Roll20 would support it because not doing so would be leaving money on the table. And even if there wasn't official support, said large community would be producing fan mods and packages for running the game.

Yes, there's better VTTs for PF2 online, but they cost money while Roll20 is free. Other VTTs are more of an investment. They're what people are using if they expect to be playing online regularly. But this past year, I think most games moved online in a temporary sense. And a free platform like Roll20 makes much more sense in that regard. You don't drop $50 for a VTT you only expected to use six or seven times.

One of the times this came up last year, Lisa Stevens popped on to say they weren't worried because people wanted to finish that final PF1 campaign before switching. That makes sense: before I switched from PF1 to 5e I ran that final AP.
But it's now been two years (three with the playtest), which feels like more than enough time for those final campaigns to wrap up. And there hasn't been a huge transition. The PF1 players continue to play that game and PF2 seems to have largely plateaued/ stabilized in its growth.

So it really depends on what you consider a "failure."
I don't think anyone expected PF2 to hit the same height PF1 did when it passed D&D. But I think people were hoping PF2 would at least pass what PF1 was doing in terms of sales in 2015 or 2016, when it was the second best selling game. That the game would preserve its current audience while growing slightly. And instead it seems to have lost a significant audience. It divided its audience while not significantly pulling in new gamers or attracting gamers from 5e.

Which shouldn't be a surprise. 5e has reinvigorated the whole industry and brought in fantastic numbers of gamers. But many of those have been pulled in by streaming, which focuses heavily on the story and narrative aspects of the game and less on the crunchy character building and optimization that drove 3.X and PF. 5e is already more complex and dense than many gamers need, so Pathfinder 2—arguably the most complex and dense game modern game—is the opposite of what they desire.

I know I bounced off PF2, largely for that reason.
I wanted to like it. I wanted a game that was partway between 5e and PF1 that would appeal to the min-maxers at my table while not overwhelming the casual gamers and not handicapping my storytelling as a DM. And instead I found it updated PF1 in the exact opposite direction I desired. I really, really wanted to support Paizo again and give the company my money. But the game system just didn't seem like it would be easier to use to tell the stories I wanted to tell over 5e.

Filthy Lucre wrote:
Given that Paizo has multiple books slated for release in the future, (Secrets of Magic, Guns and Gears, etc), it doesn't really seem to me like Paizo is hurting.

The number of books does feel fast to me. D&D really slowed down its number of releases and splatbooks with great success. Class content only every couple years. Playtesting each new class for a couple years. In contrast, Pathfinder has three big books of player options in 2021 alone with four classes that were each playtested for a fortnight.

Which feels risky. Pathfinder isn't competing with D&D anymore so much as Star Wars Roleplaying, Cyberpunk, and the Alien RPG. (And Starfinder for that matter.) Smaller games that seldom have more than one or two products each year.

I really think Paizo needs to slow down their releases rather than risking hitting "bloat" too early: the point when players realize they have enough content for a dozen campaigns and stop buying new books. (Which is why I stopped buying PF1 after 2014, although I should have stopped in 2012 given how little use I made of the 2013+ releases.)
As an example, after the Lost Omens Ancestry Guide there doesn't ever need to be another ancestry published for the game. (You could run 9 four-person campaigns without a single repeated race.) They didn't do themselves any favours with that book: they could have easily halved the number of ancestries and tripled the amount of lore for each people, making the book more enjoyable to read and thus a worthwhile purchase even if you don't need a new PC option while also leaving room for a follow-up.

The catch is Paizo has a fairly large staff that exists solely to produce books. They need something for said staff members to work on or they have to engage in layoffs. And Lisa Stevens is heavily against that. NOBODY wants that. We all want Paizo to succeed and flourish.

Moving staff over to the Adventure Path line might help. Refocusing their efforts back on their former flagship product line and really making that shine. Moving it mostly in-house rather than being written by a parade of freelancers. Which would allow the individual authors to better coordinate and work closer with the editors. And since it'd be their day job rather than a side hustle, the adventures might be written faster allowing more time to playtest, resulting in a higher quality overall product.

A third RPG alongside Starfinder might not be a bad idea. Something equally different so there's no crossover between players or competition in the audience. The Pathfinder Modern concept that has been floated about for some time might be an idea. Or make a superhero RPG, drawing inspiration from Mutants & Masterminds. Heck, they could partner with Green Ronin to make a 4th Edition of that game that uses PF2 as the engine rather than gender d20.

Full Name

Isis Hex (player Smerg)

Race

Human

Classes/Levels

Witch 1

Gender

Female

Size

Medium

Age

19

Special Abilities

Hex, Familiar (Lizard), Spells

Alignment

Lawful Good

Deity

Erastil

Location

Tanner's Crossing

Languages

Common, Sylvan, Elvan, Draconic

Occupation

Village Witch in Training

Strength 8
Dexterity 14
Constitution 14
Intelligence 17
Wisdom 14
Charisma 14

About Isis Hex

(25 point buy: Str 8, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 14 = -2 + 5 + 5 + 7 + 5 + 5 = 25 pts. Human +2 applied to Int. Favoured Class Witch bonus applied to Skills )

Str 8 (-1)
Dex 14 (+2)
Con 14 (+2)
Int 17 (+3)
Wis 14 (+2)
Cha 14 (+2)

HP 8

Init +2 = +2 Dex
AC 12 = 10 + 2 Dex

Fort +2 = 0 +2 Con
Ref +2 = 0 +2 Dex
Wil +4 = 2 +2 Wis

BAB +0
CMB -1 = 0 BAB -1 Str
CMD 11 = 0 BAB -1 Str + 2 Dx

Speed 30'

Skills (trained Skills) (2 + 3 Int + 1 Human + 1 Favoured Class + 1 Profession = 8)

Craft(Alchemy) +7 = +3 Int +1 Rank + 3 Class
Heal +6 = +2 Wis +1 Rank + 3 Class
Knowledge (Arcana) +7 = +3 Int +1 Rank +3 Class
Knowledge (History) +7 = + 3 Int +1 Rank +3 Class
Knowledge (Nature) +7 = +3 Int +1 Rank +3 Class
Spellcraft +7 = +3 Int +1 Rank +3 Class
Use Magical Device +6 = +2 Cha +1 Rank + 3 Class
Profession (Village Witch) +6 = +2 Wis +1 Rank +3 Class

Race Human
see pg 27 pathfinder core book

Feats
Improved Unarmed Strike
Deflect Arrows

Hex
1st Healing Touch - Functions as Cure Light Wounds but only once per 24 hours on the same person.

Familiar Chosen Lizard (named Skitter)
Familiar Bonus +3 Climb Checks
Familiar Bonus Spells
none

Spells (used rules for Wizard to generate 'spell book' for level 1 pg 79 core rule book : all 0 level Cantrips Witch list and 3 + Int mod level 1 spells)

Cantrips Known (* marks Cantrips prepared) (3 memorized)
Bleed, Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Guidance, Light, Mending*, Message*, Read Magic, Resistance, Stabilize*, Touch of Fatigue

Level 1 Known (Cast 2 per day)
Sleep
Cure Light Wounds
Charm Person
Identify
Comprehend Languages
Unseen Servant

Level 1 memorized DC 14
Sleep
Charm Person

Traits
Devote of the Green (+1 Knowledge(Nature) and Knowledge(geography) with Knowledge(Geography) a class skill)
Threatening Defender (-1 from negative due to Combat Expertise Feat)

Gear
Healer's Kit 50gp
Spell Component Pouch 5gp
Cleric's Vestments 5gp (Coven Ceremonial Robes)
Traveler's Outfit 1gp
Backpack 2gp
Waterskin
Iron pot
Baskets x3
Sacks Small x5
Sacks Large x2
Bedroll
Tent

Weapon
Club x5 0gp
Sickle 6gp

Food
Travel Rations for 10 days
Grain for Mule for 4 days

Mount
Mule
Saddle
Saddle Bags
Bit and Bridle

Experience (Total=750xp)
1st Kobold Meeting 750xp

Background

Isis Hex grew up in Tanner's Crossing the oldest daughter of the village witch. Her sisters are Belinda and Madge.

She has grown up with the other youth of Tanner's Crossing. She often follows them into various trouble but stays more to the outside. This has more to do with her mother's many rules then her personal desire.

She has a great desire to wonder what lies beyond Tanner's Crossing but knows that her mother would never accept such a way of life. 'A witch's place is by her cauldron.' is her mother's favourite saying.

Goals

Isis currently aims to have some fun while working on her studies to be a witch. Her long term goal is to be accepted into the county coven of witches and be given charge of her own village. She sees this as the only way to really show her mother that she is an independent person.