Pathfinder & 4th Edition


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Dark Archive

I wondered when this thread would start :)

Well I have been looking at the .pdf(s) on my lunch break at work, as so far I really like what I see. So I am already apprehensive. Why?

Well, the odds of me running Pathfinder before 2010 are slim, we are about 3/4 AP1, and then have AP2 and AP3 to consider.

Like a few above money is not an issue for me, and I like to collect, but I do find pointless waste offensive. So, I am stuck with wondering whether Pathfinder will be 3.5 until the end (although if successful will it end anytime soon?), or will it cut across to 4.0 part way through. So why is this an issue for me?

Lore/fluff against crunch. Lore is usually always useful, occasionally rule changes are drastic enough that something that happened in the lore of a setting under a previous rules version becomes impossible, which undermines my immersion and buy in to the setting. I still have all my old 1st and 2nd edition sourcebooks, I don't give a toss about the old rule books, but I really get annoyed having to re-create stat blocks to then have them released again in s sourcebook which is just a re-hash of something I already have. Well, irritated, not annoyed :)

But one thing that REALLY attracted me to Pathfinder was the organic phased growth of the world of...*checks his new .pdf* Golarion. If it cuts to a new ruleset halfway through are Paizo going to go back and retroactively patch the entire campaign 100% compliant to the 4th edition ruleset, adventures AND background/source material? I doubt it, certainly not for free. Then again Paizo have been very gamer friendly so you never know. I just wonder how the expect to manage their customer's expectations given WotC's announcement.

I expected to get 3.5 adventures, and a 3.5 campaign setting to run them in, with rules/stats for gods, major NPCs, settlements etc. Thus even when I have run the official campaign adventures I can re-use ALL of the content for my own adventures set in Golarion. This new virtual world is already potentially being polarised into an east and west, except 3.5/4 countries springs to mind :)

Whether I like 4th or not as a game system will be something I decide when I get the three new core books, I have heard rumours about what sounds like talent trees, and if it has the equivalent to respeccing (already touched on in the PHBII) I know D&D is finally turning into WoW. I don't dislike WoW, my main is Durgam on Earthen Ring EU, but it is not PnP and it never will be. Basically PnPs have consequences for player decisions, actions, and choices, in WoW these are very easily undone.

Anyway, I'll keep subscribing, if worse comes to worse I guess half the chronicle will be 3.5 and the rest 4.0. the story will remain the same, but the players and what they did and how they did it will probably end up being very different :)

Scarab Sages

Please can I vote that Pathfinder stays 3.5 compatible, after May 2008?
Whether 4th Edition is good or bad is irrelevant, whether Paizo create a line of 4th Ed product or not, I would rather see continuity in this line, until the world is mapped out enough for all DMs to take it and run with it.

Since it is mainly existing Paizonians who will have heard of this setting, it does not need to be retrofitted for new rules, assuming such a revision is even possible, which is still open to question.

I don't want to start a whole new argument about whether 4th Edition wil be the best thing since sliced bread, or whether it will stink to the heavens; I simply believe that, like the poster above, I cannot see how one can alter the rules without altering the flavour text to match.

And really, would it be impossible for Paizo to manage products for 2 systems? Many other companies do just that, or more...
Mongoose produces OGL (Horror & Ancients), d20 (Slaine & Judge Dredd), Runequest (+ variants Stormbringer & Hawkmoon), Starship Troopers, etc, and seems to be able to do so whilst avoiding confusion.
I grew up with TSR producing Basic/Expert/Companion D&D, etc, alongside Advanced D&D 1st Edition, Gamma World, and Marvel Superheroes.
AD&D 2nd Edition ran alongside Alternity and Amazing Engine.

Some of these were more succesful than others, and I can appreciate that there could be potential for splitting the fan-base, but this could be the best opportunity Paizo ever had, for working with other 3rd-party publishers (as is being done with Necromancer Games) and stealing away the third-edition crowd, whilst still being able to produce a line of 4th Edition adventures or a new setting which fully embraces the new rules from the ground up.

Again; no denunciation of 4th Edition implied, so keep any flames to yourselves...

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

... and my opinion is the exact opposite:

I don't judge a new edition I didn't even see yet (not even in such an indirect way).

There are enough settings who underwent three or four incarnations of (A)D&D rules (Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms). So I don't see your point. The settings stayed the same.

I agree with Erik Mona: Wait and see what the new rules will be like.
I don't fear that the setting will suffer from any new rules, because I am sure that the Paizo stuff will interprete new edition rules (*if* they apply them) in a way that they consider appropriate for *their* setting.

Finally I don't think that the setting would suffer if Paizo decided to provide 3e and 4e stats for adventures/ adventure paths. They already plan to (let) do so for True20 and C&C, so why not for 3.5e and 4e? And as mentioned above: FR and GH stats underwent several rules editions, too.

Wait for the new edition to be published, state your opinion then, and see what Paizo decides.

Greetings,
Günther

P.S.
I have a shelf of 3.5 rule books and adventures, too.
But if 4e really drastically improves on 3.5e and
if there is a minimal compatibility of rule editions, I'll go for it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

We're still waiting to see 4th edition here... but Pathfinder will absolutely remain 3.5 until the end of Curse of the Crimson Throne, which will be ending in Pathfinder #12 in July. Switching rules in the middle of an adventure path is not an option.

Dark Archive

Thanks for making the Paizo position clear, your customer's expectation is managed :)

I just recall the change from 3.0 to 3.5 with AP1 in DUNGEON, which obviously took time amending it. I started AP1 before the hardcover, and avoiding repeating the version swap mid-campaign makes sense.

Then again another option could be dual stat blocks after 4.0 comes out, like is done for the LotFR Rokugan stuff. The setting would need retroactive 4.0 stat blocks, and dual 3.5/4.0 from #13 onwards, with the extra work but should appeal to a broader customer base.


I just want to add my vote for Pathfinder staying 3.5 compatible beyond the 4E release. I converted a lot of Dungeon and Dragon issues to Pathfinder back before I had any idea 4E was around the corner. I'm planning to take a look at 4E, but even if it knocks my group's socks off and we switch over it will be at least a couple of years down the line, based on the investment we've already made in 3.5. Pathfinder is simply much more valuable to me as a 3.5 product than one for a new system I may not even play.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Craig Shannon wrote:


Then again another option could be dual stat blocks after 4.0 comes out, like is done for the LotFR Rokugan stuff. The setting would need retroactive 4.0 stat blocks, and dual 3.5/4.0 from #13 onwards, with the extra work but should appeal to a broader customer base.

Dual stat blocks are not an option. They just end up GUARENTEEING that a big chunk of a book is useless to anyone who touches it. If we switch to 4.0, it'll be a total switch. It also vastly increases the complexity of getting stat blocks right, since what's true for one isn't for another.

Dual stat blocks = Madness.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Craig Shannon wrote:


Then again another option could be dual stat blocks after 4.0 comes out, like is done for the LotFR Rokugan stuff. The setting would need retroactive 4.0 stat blocks, and dual 3.5/4.0 from #13 onwards, with the extra work but should appeal to a broader customer base.

Dual stat blocks are not an option. They just end up GUARENTEEING that a big chunk of a book is useless to anyone who touches it. If we switch to 4.0, it'll be a total switch. It also vastly increases the complexity of getting stat blocks right, since what's true for one isn't for another.

Dual stat blocks = Madness.

Agreed, even with the comparatively "light" statblocks of 7th Sea / Swashbuckling Adventures, the dual system supplements just devoted way too many pages to information utterly useless to either the R&K or the D20 gamer. I believe this was a major contributing factor to the lines eventual demise.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Yeah, dual stat blocks would be ugly.

I'm all for just picking one and going with it.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

The Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer, is written with 3.5 in mind, and that's the framework for our whole world. If we decide to convert to a 4e rules set I do not relish the idea of retconning something less than a year old that is as cool as we can imagine.

Speeding up combat, simplifying certain things, shorter stat blocks, quicker fights: Yes, please.

There/not there gray and high elves, race-switching succubi, not so much.

So what I'm hoping is that the 4e rules are cool enough to make the game more fun and adaptable enough that we can provide our own dressing and flavor to things.

As a player I don't really want to monkey with alignment. I'd prefer that the rules allow me to play a better RPG within the imaginative framework I've used to envision D&D adventures for 30 years. So far, three and a half editions of the game have allowed me to do that, and I have high hopes that the new one will too.

So we'll see. I haven't seen the rules yet and have no idea when I will. Some time after the RPGA playtesters, apparently.


This is not meant as any thought of threat or ultimatum, just as a matter of fact thing. Not one of our regular groups here will be buying or playing 4th ed. We are actually looking at is as a positive thing in terms of 3.5. It simply means we no longer need to purchase any more books and our collection is complete. Thus we can play our various campaigns in perpetuity without worrying about what effect the latest splat book will have.

With that in mind none of us (5 of us have ongoing dungeon/dragon subs that are being switched over at present) will continue with Pathfinder once it goes 4.0.

The so-called problems that people are citing for the change are nothiing that cannot be resolved by a quick 'how do think we should work this' conversation with players and DMs. We are in no way interested in the online direction wizards is going and thus we aren't supporting the new products.

We do however look forward to many months of gaming with the excellent Pathfinder products thusfar scheduled. We are not (as a group) dumping Paizo because 'they might abandon us' when they switch to 4.0, we will simply say thanks for the memories and move on.

Personally I am not naive enough to beleive 3.5 will continue to have a market once 4.0 is released. I suggest people buy up what they want now and say thanks to Wizards for wrapping up all the books required to call a collection complete.

Andrew


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Erik,
I've been playing for 26 years and I feel pretty much the same as you do in regards to the 4e upgrade. I really enjoy the products Paizo puts out (and other products Paizo's authors do for others), and I feel for you guys being put in such a tough situation. Hopefully 4e is a great game system with enough flexibility to draw the Paizo crowd in, otherwise your customer base will be badly fractured.

It's going to take a lot for me to switch to 4e. I currently have a lot of great 3.5 material and 4e would have to be 'knock my socks off' great in order for me to switch. Even a good solid upgrade wouldn't be enough because I like 3rd Edition. 3rd edition gives me much improved game mechanics compared to earlier editions while giving me the same D&D feel I grew up with.


Eric Tillemans wrote:
Hopefully 4e is a great game system with enough flexibility to draw the Paizo crowd in, otherwise your customer base will be badly fractured.

I'm hoping for either that, or for a 4e that is so obviously horrible and stupid that it tanks so completely that WotC is forced to publicly apologize to its fanbase and go back to 3.5.

Neither of these outcomes seems particularly realistic to me. ^.^


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Eric Tillemans wrote:
Hopefully 4e is a great game system with enough flexibility to draw the Paizo crowd in, otherwise your customer base will be badly fractured.

I'm hoping for either that, or for a 4e that is so obviously horrible and stupid that it tanks so completely that WotC is forced to publicly apologize to its fanbase and go back to 3.5.

Neither of these outcomes seems particularly realistic to me. ^.^

I agree, 4e will probably be somewhere between horrible and great and thus maximize the split of the playerbase.


I am still not excited about 4th edition. I have gotten over my initial reaction, but I am still not thrilled.

At first I was upset due to the money I have spent on 3.0/3.5e, but then I realized that I still use a lot of my old 1e and 2e sourcebooks and gazetteers for the Forgotten Realms (I never bought many 3.0/3.5e FR books). I figured I could just pick up the the 3 main books and I could still use my FR and Eberron stuff for setting info. After all, I just ran a four year long Planescape campaign.

Now I am hearing about the Realms revamp and the changes to monsters (like the succubus). I am beginning to move from dislike back to hatred of 4e.

The system will be to diiferent for easy conversions and they are screwing with the history of the game. Most of my group has been gaming from 1e. That is a lot of history and cool game experiences. Some of these changes mess with the feel of the game.

3.0/3.5e is not perfect. I don't like using XP to make magic items or how buying them was need to survive higher levels. However, 3.0/3.5e did keep the feel of 1e and 2e for the most part. I am not sure if 4e will.

In any case, I am willing to wait and see.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would imagine that Pathfinder series #3 would be 3.5, too. Sure Crimson Throne ends in July, but it would take a supreme effort to get a 4.0 Adventure Path rolling for August. I would guess that it takes near 6 months to fully orchestrate an AP, meaning you would need to get 4e in the hands of competent developers, designers, and (please) play testers as soon as the new year.

It's a new rules set with a lot more than few tweaks and different fluff. Everything I read suggests it's a radically different d20 Fantasy game. I know what Pathfinder is, but maybe a special 4e edition could house 2-3 small intro adventures instead of starting a new AP right away?

I'm a huge opponent of 4e, but I've also said that sooner or later I'll probably succumb with the gentle assistance of Paizo, Necromancer Games, and Goodman Games...my head is spinning...go easy on me.


Personally, I'm hoping that it will be simple enough to rework all of the 4.0 information back to 3.5...even if it means trashing some of the 'new' things 4.0 will bring and add in some 'old' from 3.5.

I have just about all of the 3.5 books, and never plan on converting to 4.0. So far, Pathfinder and Gamemastery modules have been so well written and entertaining, I'm willing to try and find time to do the conversion myself.

A question for the Paizo team though. Assuming Pathfinder and Gamemastery convert to 4.0, would there be any problem posting 3.5 conversion notes for those products?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

How about an alternate Player’s Handbook for 4e in the style of Monte Cook’s ‘Arcana Unearthed’ written for Golarion? This would allow Paizo to wipe the undesired flavor of 4e away and bring back the flavor many (most?) of Paizo’s customers seem to enjoy and yet still allow Paizo to produce AP’s and GameMastery adventures compatible with the newest (and probably most popular) version of the D&D game. There could even be a section on Golarion’s monsters (or a separate book) where we get a return of real D&D evil outsider flavor and maybe a compilation of converted 3.5 Pathfinder monsters.

I'd call it 'Roots of Golarion'.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I love how everyone is assuming the worse of the 4E play mechanics. :P

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

SirUrza wrote:
I love how everyone is assuming the worse of the 4E play mechanics. :P

The mechanics are not the part of 4e that worries me, frankly.

--Erik


Erik Mona wrote:

The mechanics are not the part of 4e that worries me, frankly.

--Erik

Going out on a limb with a wild guess . . . but what worries you is the Virtual TableTop that will be put to use by WotC and the fact that while 4e itself will be OGL compatible, the VTT itself will not be, and fan will expect third party publishers to provide the equivalent of VTT, which will not be possible.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
William Pall wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

The mechanics are not the part of 4e that worries me, frankly.

--Erik

Going out on a limb with a wild guess . . . but what worries you is the Virtual TableTop that will be put to use by WotC and the fact that while 4e itself will be OGL compatible, the VTT itself will not be, and fan will expect third party publishers to provide the equivalent of VTT, which will not be possible.

I don't think your guess is anywhere close William. There's already products out there that do what the VTT will do, some are free and some cost money, but they all work pretty nicely. In fact I play in two D&D games using Fantasy Ground 2, and while I enjoy live play more it's a nice alternative to have when you live in the middle of nowhere.

Reading into the responses Erik has posted in regards to some of the 4e changes, I think it's the flavor changes he's not liking as opposed to the mechanics changes.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

William Pall wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

The mechanics are not the part of 4e that worries me, frankly.

--Erik

Going out on a limb with a wild guess . . . but what worries you is the Virtual TableTop that will be put to use by WotC and the fact that while 4e itself will be OGL compatible, the VTT itself will not be, and fan will expect third party publishers to provide the equivalent of VTT, which will not be possible.

No, actually. I don't give a crap about the virtual tabletop. I'm sure it will be useful for people who want to play on the Internet, but I'm guessing it will be an underfunded boondoggle that constantly looks like a four-year-old videogame. And, as a Mac user, I can't be bothered to worry about it one way or another.

I'm worried that I will not be able to DM a game within the same imaginative framework I've used to envision D&D for 30 years of my life because some random WotC designer decides that his idea of a succubus is cooler than the one that's served me fine for three decades. Same with elves and eladrins and the like. One or two of these issues, no big deal, but from what I've seen so far it doesn't look like "respect the traditions of the game" is particularly high on WotC list of design goals for the new edition.

I think that's fine for them as a business, but it's certainly not the strategy I would have taken and it's not a strategy I look forward to embracing with our GameMastery modules.

Again: I want a sleeker, easier-to-teach-and-learn system that allows me to tell stories similar to the ones I've been telling for three decades.

Every time we did something in Dragon or Dungeon that spoke to the core "story" of D&D or the longstanding edition-spanning story elements of the D&D experience, our sales went up and people online got very excited. I _know_ there is money to be made with this approach, but it does not seem to be the approach Wizards of the Coast is taking from the limited amount of information I've seen so far.

That worries me, honestly, but I'm still very firmly in the "wait and see" category and, well, I'm waiting to see.

--Erik


Ah . . .

I guess that's what I get for posting at work where I only take the time to read the most recent post and not the whole thread. I might've picked up some more of the context of your comment . . . ah well.

I'm also in the "wait and see" mode . . . but sadly, regardless of what they do with the game, I know I'll be forced into getting 4e by my gaming group out of their desire to stay "current". And I would think that they'd be more of an opinion like yours erik . . they've been gaming since D&D originally came out, before I was born.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:


I'm worried that I will not be able to DM a game within the same imaginative framework I've used to envision D&D for 30 years of my life because some random WotC designer decides that his idea of a succubus is cooler than the one that's served me fine for three decades. Same with elves and eladrins and the like. One or two of these issues, no big deal, but from what I've seen so far it doesn't look like "respect the traditions of the game" is particularly high on WotC list of design goals for the new edition.

I think that's fine for them as a business, but it's certainly not the strategy I would have taken and it's not a strategy I look forward to embracing with our GameMastery modules.

Again: I want a sleeker, easier-to-teach-and-learn system that allows me to tell stories similar to the ones I've been telling for three decades.

Every time we did something in Dragon or Dungeon that spoke to the core "story" of D&D or the longstanding edition-spanning story elements of the D&D experience, our sales went up and people online got very excited. I _know_ there is money to be made with this approach, but it does not seem to be the approach Wizards of the Coast is taking from the limited amount of information I've seen so far.

That worries me, honestly, but I'm still very firmly in the "wait and see" category and, well, I'm waiting to see.

With an attitude like this, I know Paizo will be doing their darndest to bring me the D&D I want to play.


Erik,
I agree with you completely.

I have the Star Wars saga ruleset. I like the changes. The original d20 Star Wars rules did not allow for the fast pace that the movies presented. So if 4e has similar pacing and ease of play, cool (just hopefully, not as simplified).

History is a big factor for me. Minor changes that happened between editions 1, 2, and 3/3.5 are easy to work around. Big changes, such as lineup changes in monsters are harder to explain. They can usually be ignored, but it still feels like someone has rewritten my favorite novel for no reason.

I like planescape. Depending on how they change up the fiends and celestials, it may not be possible to run a planescape game that has the "feel" of the original setting. The same goes for D&D in general.

For now, I too will sit and wait.

Liberty's Edge

Eric Tillemans wrote:
With an attitude like this, I know Paizo will be doing their darndest to bring me the D&D I want to play.

I've got to agree.

Grand Lodge

Thraxus wrote:

Erik,

I agree with you completely.

I have the Star Wars saga ruleset. I like the changes. The original d20 Star Wars rules did not allow for the fast pace that the movies presented. So if 4e has similar pacing and ease of play, cool (just hopefully, not as simplified).

History is a big factor for me. Minor changes that happened between editions 1, 2, and 3/3.5 are easy to work around. Big changes, such as lineup changes in monsters are harder to explain. They can usually be ignored, but it still feels like someone has rewritten my favorite novel for no reason.

I like planescape. Depending on how they change up the fiends and celestials, it may not be possible to run a planescape game that has the "feel" of the original setting. The same goes for D&D in general.

For now, I too will sit and wait.

It looks to me, honestly, like the majority of the changes that look like "damage" are also designed to be easy to route around. Combining succubi and erinyes sounds like a big change, sure. But really, is it all that much work to reshuffle the demons and devils back into their original alignment? Dave Noonan's spent a few columns describing how his playtest group got particular classes to emulate existing 3.5 classes that aren't in the new rules set (yet), so really, the new game looks like it's got, if anything, more of a "toolset" feel than 3.x, and that fills me with glee; when I was designing my personal setting, I had more than a few instances where I had to adjust something I wanted to do in order to fit the assumptions and preconceptions of D&D 3.x because what I wanted to do couldn't easily be expressed in 3.x rule mechanics. From where I'm sitting right now, it looks (and I could be wrong) like the 4th edition rules are going to be easier to bend to your setting and your game than the 3rd edition ones, and that's a Good Thing.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
firevalkyrie wrote:


It looks to me, honestly, like the majority of the changes that look like "damage" are also designed to be easy to route around. Combining succubi and erinyes sounds like a big change, sure. But really, is it all that much work to reshuffle the demons and devils back into their original alignment?

Yes and no. As a DM that already orchestrates things to suit my needs I have no problem saying this Lawful Evil thing is now Chaotic Evil. That's not the point.

Look at Tolkien's Middle Earth. Now imagine tieflings everywhere flinging warlock invocations right and left.

It is a different feel (on top of all the different mechanics makes a different game...but that is another argument).

I can take out all the tieflings but since they're core I will have to do it more and more...until I'm better off just playing something else.

And this is just one example...I'm telling you, 4e blows.

Liberty's Edge

Think after 4E comes out maybe some of the older 3.5 stuff (monsters, PrCs, feats) would become OGL? Then I'd switch from saying "yeah let's go 4e!" to keeping 3.5.

Then again they probably wouldn't do that for that very reason.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Coridan wrote:

Think after 4E comes out maybe some of the older 3.5 stuff (monsters, PrCs, feats) would become OGL? Then I'd switch from saying "yeah let's go 4e!" to keeping 3.5.

Then again they probably wouldn't do that for that very reason.

3.5 Core Rules already are OGL... And all the PrC, spells, and feats, you own are 100%ly compatible to this OGL core set. :-) Of course WotC won't declare the 3.5 supplements OGL (and be it just for the name and setting information included in it). But nobody prevents you from keeping on using your 3.5 books...

I'll do what everyone does right now: Sit and wait.

The alternatives are simple:
a) Game flow facilitated and old D&D feeling/ "basic compatibility" left untouched -> I'll go for 4e
b) WotC tries in earnest to compete with MMORPGs -> I'll stay with 3.5 and call myself happy for owning a complete rule collection.

I'd just hope that Paizo comes to the same decision as I...

Greetings,
Günther


The thing is, lore just sits there without mechanics.

Patching 2-3 adventure paths is easier than dual publishing everything.

If Paizo were to provide the product support for 3.5 that I KNOW I can count on them for, not switching would be a significant option.

My actual problem is that more and more, this looks less like D+D.

I might call it Bob 4th edition, but it doesn't feel like D+D.

They can lick my orb, suck my staff, and blow my wand.

Dark Archive

Erik Mona wrote:
I want a sleeker, easier-to-teach-and-learn system that allows me to tell stories similar to the ones I've been telling for three decades.
Some random playtesting blurb wrote:
While the other players whittled the enemies down, I was leading them around in a chase across the battlefield, running up walls and flipping over bad guys to keep them from laying down the inevitable smack ... Thanks to one of my magic items I would occasionally dash across the battlefield when an enemy got too close

Great. The number one immersion-killer of all time has found its way into tabletop/pen-and-paper RPG's: Kiting.

"LOL I run circles while maintaining my DOTs on all the MOBs and pop my magic boots/jetpack if they get too close! xp's are UNREAL!"

I'm reaaaaaally not looking forward to an MMO played at a geological pace with a higher subscription fee. I'm praying that experience was not typical. :/

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Balabanto wrote:

The thing is, lore just sits there without mechanics.

Patching 2-3 adventure paths is easier than dual publishing everything.

If Paizo were to provide the product support for 3.5 that I KNOW I can count on them for, not switching would be a significant option.

My actual problem is that more and more, this looks less like D+D.

I might call it Bob 4th edition, but it doesn't feel like D+D.

They can lick my orb, suck my staff, and blow my wand.

Whatever edition of the rules we end up using in the future, rest assured that we'll be making those rules support gameplay that matches what we like and what we know our customers like. That is to say; expect games that read and feel like Rise of the Runelords and the Dungeon adventure paths (and really... ALL of the adventures in the last 4 years of Dungeon).


Erik Mona wrote:
Every time we did something in Dragon or Dungeon that spoke to the core "story" of D&D or the longstanding edition-spanning story elements of the D&D experience, our sales went up and people online got very excited. I _know_ there is money to be made with this approach, but it does not seem to be the approach Wizards of the Coast is taking from the limited amount of information I've seen so far.
James Jacobs wrote:
Whatever edition of the rules we end up using in the future, rest assured that we'll be making those rules support gameplay that matches what we like and what we know our customers like. That is to say; expect games that read and feel like Rise of the Runelords and the Dungeon adventure paths (and really... ALL of the adventures in the last 4 years of Dungeon).

Erik, I agree.

James, thank you for your calming assurance.


James Jacobs wrote:
Whatever edition of the rules we end up using in the future, rest assured that we'll be making those rules support gameplay that matches what we like and what we know our customers like. That is to say; expect games that read and feel like Rise of the Runelords and the Dungeon adventure paths (and really... ALL of the adventures in the last 4 years of Dungeon).

The question I have -- and please feel to ignore me if this is impertinent, because it probably is -- is this: is there really any possible scenario under which Pathfinder does not switch to 4E? Aside from the slim chance that WotC goes back on their word and doesn't open up the new edition as they did with 3E, I simply can't imagine it'd be economically feasible for Paizo to stick with v.3.5. I'd dearly love it if they did, because, thus far, I'm not too happy with most of what I've seen about 4E. Let's be honest, though: it'd be financial suicide not to transition to 4E and I can't blame Paizo for that. Their livelihoods, after all, depend on being as profitable as they can and catering to grognards like me won't help them achieve that.

I could be wrong, I suppose.

Thanks.

Liberty's Edge

maliszew wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Whatever edition of the rules we end up using in the future, rest assured that we'll be making those rules support gameplay that matches what we like and what we know our customers like. That is to say; expect games that read and feel like Rise of the Runelords and the Dungeon adventure paths (and really... ALL of the adventures in the last 4 years of Dungeon).

The question I have -- and please feel to ignore me if this is impertinent, because it probably is -- is this: is there really any possible scenario under which Pathfinder does not switch to 4E? Aside from the slim chance that WotC goes back on their word and doesn't open up the new edition as they did with 3E, I simply can't imagine it'd be economically feasible for Paizo to stick with v.3.5. I'd dearly love it if they did, because, thus far, I'm not too happy with most of what I've seen about 4E. Let's be honest, though: it'd be financial suicide not to transition to 4E and I can't blame Paizo for that. Their livelihoods, after all, depend on being as profitable as they can and catering to grognards like me won't help them achieve that.

I could be wrong, I suppose.

Thanks.

Isn't hackmaster essentially 2E? That's going pretty strong from what I can tell. Though the differences between 3E and 2E are probably much larger than 4E and 3.5


Coridan wrote:
Isn't hackmaster essentially 2E? That's going pretty strong from what I can tell. Though the differences between 3E and 2E are probably much larger than 4E and 3.5

HackMaster was pretty much 2E, with lots of additional complications and silliness, and, by all accounts, was a very successful game for Kenzer. But I don't think its a good comparison for the current situation.

HackMaster was its own game, however much if depended on AD&D 2E mechanically. That is, it had its own brand identity distinct from D&D (of any edition). Likewise, there were no other editions of HackMaster available with which to compete for customers. If you played HackMaster, you played HackMaster, end of story.

With 4E, though, the majority of D&D players who regularly purchase gaming products will probably make the switch. The minority who remain behind are probably -- I say probably -- too few in number for Paizo to cater to them, particularly when they might reasonably gamble that, even if the minority hates the 4E rules with the passion hotter than a thousand suns, they'll still buy Pathfinder for the absolutely wonderful adventures and equally wonderful fluff. Add in the distinct possibility of someone doing an official v.3.5-compatible conversion and it's a no-brainer which way Paizo will go.

I wish this weren't the case; I really do. What I have seen of 4E so far does not impress me, either mechanically or, more importantly, thematically. It's a massive departure from what I consider to be D&D. I'm resigned to being the crazy old guy muttering to himself about orcs being Lawful Evil, quasi-elemental planes of vacuum, and the existence of some creature called an erinyes, but it'd be nice if there were a company out there who catered to us crazy old guys.

To date, Paizo has been that company, with its obvious respect for the traditions and shared story of D&D's past. Can that carry over to 4E? Maybe. I hope it's possible and, if anyone can do it, it's Paizo. Even so, I must confess to feeling like I've been kicked out of the clubhouse. 4E looks like a different game to me; it certainly feels different to me and not in a good way. I love Pathfinder for giving us crazy old guys stuff that hearkens back to the "good ol' days" when people still knew who Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser were and why they were still relevant to D&D.

Anyway, I've rambled on too long -- a sure sign of senility.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
maliszew wrote:


(...) With 4E, though, the majority of D&D players who regularly purchase gaming products will probably make the switch. The minority who remain behind are probably -- I say probably -- too few in number for Paizo to cater to them, particularly when they might reasonably gamble that, even if the minority hates the 4E rules with the passion hotter than a thousand suns, (...)

Understanding economic necessities is fine, but keep in mind:

Before the 4e announcement already True20 and C&C support by 3rd parties for Pathfinder was all but fixed.

I am not an expert in this, but do you think that these rule sets have a larger following than 3.5e? There is a significant number of players/ DMs who are not willing to abandon their large 3.5e rule collections so soon. 4e might grow into something nice, but until then I will definitely stick with 3.5e for a while...

... and if it fails (-> see next posting), nobody will make me convert to 4e.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I do a wild "confrontation" of quotes, but these comments caught my attention:

Squeatus wrote:


(...) Great. The number one immersion-killer of all time has found its way into tabletop/pen-and-paper RPG's: Kiting.

"LOL I run circles while maintaining my DOTs on all the MOBs and pop my magic boots/jetpack if they get too close! xp's are UNREAL!"

I'm reaaaaaally not looking forward to an MMO played at a geological pace with a higher subscription fee. I'm praying that experience was not typical. :/

... and then I read this posting by James Jacobs:

James Jacobs wrote:


Whatever edition of the rules we end up using in the future, rest assured that we'll be making those rules support gameplay that matches what we like and what we know our customers like. That is to say; expect games that read and feel like Rise of the Runelords and the Dungeon adventure paths (and really... ALL of the adventures in the last 4 years of Dungeon).

I am aware that only a selected few know anything about 4e but the wild rumours and small shreds of information used for keeping everyone's interest alive.

But I am wondering: How would you, Erik and James, bring your and our image of a typical D&D adventure to life, if the core rules of 4e made horror visions like the one above possible?

I am hoping that 4e won't really enable scenes like that.
And I am trying hard to not prematurely fall in with the haters/ lovers fractions - because/ despite the scarce information trickling out of the WotC offices.

Nevertheless I'd be interested in your opinion:
If 4e fails to meet the expectations of yours and of your key audience - would you stay with 3.5e?

Just to avoid being misunderstood: I am all for the typical D&D mood, be it 3.5e or 4e.

Greetings,
Günther

The Exchange

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Squeatus wrote:
Some random playtesting blurb wrote:
While the other players whittled the enemies down, I was leading them around in a chase across the battlefield, running up walls and flipping over bad guys to keep them from laying down the inevitable smack ... Thanks to one of my magic items I would occasionally dash across the battlefield when an enemy got too close
Great. The number one immersion-killer of all time has found its way into tabletop/pen-and-paper RPG's: Kiting.

The problem with this scenario is that in MMO's all the monsters are run by a computer. The players can tweak the system so that all the monsters chase after one person while the rest of the group nukes them into a fine red mist. In a game with a DM, he can say "yeah, they were chasing after the thief, but no that you've lobbed a fireball into the middle of them, they're all coming after you now".

So unless there's some mechanism in 4E to force a monster, either singly or in a group, to go after one specific person to the exclusion of all else, and the players can do this on a regular, continuous basis, I don't think this'll be much of a problem. Now admittedly, I haven't been following the updates on 4E much (I'm looking forward to the release about as much as the rest of you), so this mechanism might already be in place and well known. But that's what playtesting is for, to find the obviously broken things and fix them.


Guennarr wrote:

Understanding economic necessities is fine, but keep in mind:

Before the 4e announcement already True20 and C&C support by 3rd parties for Pathfinder was all but fixed.

I am not an expert in this, but do you think that these rule sets have a larger following than 3.5e? There is a significant number of players/ DMs who are not willing to abandon their large 3.5e rule collections so soon. 4e might grow into something nice, but until then I will definitely stick with 3.5e for a while...

I'm sure that neither True20 nor C&C has even a fraction of D&D's fanbase and, while it's great that there are people out there willing to do conversions to those systems, let me say that I think D&D -- and Paizo -- is in a different position. If Paizo does decide to make the switch to 4E, I doubt they will expend any resources on providing conversions to v.3.5. And, honestly, I can't see third parties doing it either.

True20 and C&C, though derivative of D&D are not D&D; they are distinct brands with their own identities and supporting their fans is important to the companies that produces them. On the other hand, I highly doubt there be any more call for a v.3.5 conversion than there is for 2E or 1E conversions. I could be wrong about that, but my gut tells me that, at the end of the day, most gamers are either so disconnected from the edition wars as to not care or so invested in the [i]D&D{/i] brand that they'll upgrade as a matter of course.

Time will tell, I guess, but I can't shake the feeling that 4E will mark the end of an era and the further ghetto-ization of gamers like myself, who've enjoyed a certain style of fantasy roleplaying for almost 30 years.


maliszew wrote:
I could be wrong about that, but my gut tells me that, at the end of the day, most gamers are either so disconnected from the edition wars as to not care or so invested in the [i]D&D{/i] brand that they'll upgrade as a matter of course.

Ditto and stuff.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

maliszew wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Whatever edition of the rules we end up using in the future, rest assured that we'll be making those rules support gameplay that matches what we like and what we know our customers like. That is to say; expect games that read and feel like Rise of the Runelords and the Dungeon adventure paths (and really... ALL of the adventures in the last 4 years of Dungeon).

The question I have -- and please feel to ignore me if this is impertinent, because it probably is -- is this: is there really any possible scenario under which Pathfinder does not switch to 4E? Aside from the slim chance that WotC goes back on their word and doesn't open up the new edition as they did with 3E, I simply can't imagine it'd be economically feasible for Paizo to stick with v.3.5. I'd dearly love it if they did, because, thus far, I'm not too happy with most of what I've seen about 4E. Let's be honest, though: it'd be financial suicide not to transition to 4E and I can't blame Paizo for that. Their livelihoods, after all, depend on being as profitable as they can and catering to grognards like me won't help them achieve that.

I could be wrong, I suppose.

Thanks.

The scenario might play out something like this:

For whatever reason, WotC is unable to provide third-party publishers with a working draft of the rules until, say, January or so. Our print schedules are so far out these days that that simply won't allow us time to measure the new game's impact on our planned storylines for the third Pathfinder Adventure Path. Even under this scenario, we'd likely publish some 4e-compatible GameMastery Modules, but Pathfinder is the flagship of our RPG efforts. I'm NOT switching systems mid-way through an Adventure Path. That would be far too disruptive to our business and our customers are practically begging us not to do so already. So it's not happening.

So if the very first installment of the third Adventure Path is not compatible with 4.0, NONE of the third Adventure Path will be compatible with 4.0. That'll bring us to February 2009 without serious 4.0 support in Pathfinder.

I don't think that would be the end of the world, as a lot of people will be acclimating themselves to the new system in those six months. The question is whether or not the D&D audience "buys" fourth edition as a reasonable evolution of "their" game. And we should have a much better idea of whether or not that's going to happen six months _after_ fourth edition comes out than we will six months before.

Especially if we haven't seen the rules.

Given that WotC currently prioritizes getting the rules to randomly selected D&D Insider subscribers and RPGA groups higher than they do getting the rules to significant third-party companies that can help transition their audience, I am starting to get a little worried.

WotC has been very cool about telling us that we will get the rules before they come out, but I am not certain their timetables will line up with ours in a way that allows us to have Pathfinder ready for 4.0 players at next year's Gen Con.

Let's take this a few more yards down the football field, shall we?

Let's say we don't get the rules in time to make an informed decision before we need to start work in earnest on the third Pathfinder Adventure Path, and we're committed to supporting 3.5 in Pathfinder through February of 2009. Let's also say that we continue to sell enough Pathfinders to make it a worthwhile exercise, and let's also say that the reaction on behalf of the existing audience to 4.0 is underwhelming. I don't EXPECT that this will be the case, but it certainly is possible.

Despite the flaws of 3.5 (now often trumped up by the very designers responsible for them as part of the 4.0 marketing push), there does not seem to be the same system malaise that existed in the waning days of second edition. Plus, lots of players have a much more significant investment in 3.0 and 3.5 than they did in the earlier editions, mostly due to the overwhelming flow of $34.95 monthly hardcovers coming from Renton over the last few years. The PR and marketing challenge of selling 4.0 to the customer base is far more significant, in my view, than the PR and marketing challenge of selling 3.0 to lapsed 1.0 and 2.0 customers.

I have a lot of faith in the design abilities of the Wizards of the Coast staff. As a former PR professional I have some concerns about their ability to lead the audience where they want them to march. We'll see.

So, here we are in the early months of 2009 with our flagship product still supporting 3.5. If the audience does not seem thrilled with the changes instilled by 4.0 at this stage, I can see a reasonable argument for continuing with 3.5 for even longer.

Now, 3.5 is not a perfect system. There are plenty of flaws, particularly in high-level play, and sooner or later someone needs to get in there and "perfect" the system.

Wizards of the Coast seems to be taking a "from the ground up" approach to fixing the rules, in many ways starting from scratch and tossing concepts that have been with the game since the 1970s. Further, they are attempting to monetize various elements of the game with "micro-purchases" and online subscriptions to bring the game closer to what they see as their most significant competition: MMORPGs.

I've never played an MMORPG, I have no interest in playing an MMORPG, and elements that move the game further from its traditional roots as a social tabletop game give me the heebie jeebies. I am at least a little bit concerned that, while the decisions Wizards of the Coast will make to ensure their game is a success for a wholly owned subsidiary of a major international publicly held corporation, those same decisions might not result in changes that are in the best interest of the game or its existing audience.

Back at Wizards of the Coast in 1999 there was a lot of talk about "firing the existing audience" of D&D with the third edition launch. The logic went like this: "Even if we have to fire all of our existing customers, so long as we replace those old customers with more new ones, the result will have been worth it."

Of course, 3.0 did nothing of the kind. Instead, largely by harkening back to the "good old days" of first edition ("Back to the Dungeon," Greyhawk as core, half-orcs, monks, and assassins back in the game, etc.) they managed to revitalize the community of "lapsed" D&D players, bringing them back into the fold.

I have to wonder how prevalent that "fire the customer" mindset is this time around.

So, if 4.0 is not immediately embraced by the majority of Paizo's existing audience and we're still committed to 3.5 Pathfinder into 2009, we'll have to look very seriously at sticking with the system for a year or two.

Thereafter, we might release a "3.75" that smooths out some of the system's kinks and addresses some of the common complaints about it in a way that is respectful of the game's 30-year tradition.

The upside then is that Pathfinder would be fueled by a system whose design is more or less fully controlled by Paizo, and we won't have to worry about what the folks at WotC are doing with D&D, because Pathfinder will no longer be slaved to the official D&D system.

The downside, of course, is that Pathfinder would cease to be a D&D-compatible product, or at least a product compatible with the version of D&D commonly available to new players. That's a SIGNIFICANT disadvantage and one I'd like to avoid if possible.

But if the end result is something that is comfortable and fun and in the grand tradition of our favorite hobby, it might actually work.

If 4.0, on the other hand, is robust enough to emulate the kind of play we're all used to I'd much rather go with the "sure thing" and publish Pathfinder in a way that fully supports 4.0. I honestly trust and expect that 4.0 will allow us to do that, so my default assumption, to be frank, is that we'll convert whole hog to 4.0 at some point or another.

But I haven't seen the rules and I haven't seen the new OGL, and until I do I've got to keep our options open.

--Erik Mona


I think I come at this from a fairly unique perspective...

But I encourage James and Erik to give this some thought.

I started rise of the Runelords last Saturday, and my players had a blast and it was a big success.

When my players ask 'me' what we're playing, I say "Pathfinder".

You see, I come from 2nd Edition, and hadn't looked at D&D in 15 years. I got back into it when my group want to play some high fantasy with a strong continuing campaign storyline. Rise of the Runelords was pointed out to me by someone who attended GenCon and had met the Paizo crew who sold him on Pathfinder as a campaign for people without much prep time.

Sadly, that friend couldn't play or run it after all.. But I volunteered, and picked up some used 3.5 rule books at a second hand bookstore..

..So what's my point?

I could really care less what system I am playing. I really couldn't. As far as I am concerned I am playing the "Pathfinder Role-playing Game" that is supported by the DnD 3.5 system. To the extent that I even care to think about it, the "Pathfinder RPG" uses DnD 3.5 as a common sort of operating system that all my players understand.

Last weekend all the players were happy. I delivered a solid campaign start with lots of details and immersion. I spent my prep time familiarizing myself with the rules and my presentation of the material, and I let Pazio handle the raw creativity. People told me they hadn't played such a good game in a long time and they're all excited for the next session.

That's what I'm paying Paizo for.

I'm not paying them to make me an "Awesome DnD 3.5 Campaign".

Both of those statements sound similiar (and neither are bad things)... but there is a subtle difference.

I'm not beholden to WoTC. They make a toolset, and I can either use it or I can set it aside.. Right now I'm not reading these 3.5 books and saying to myself, "Wowee! Look at what I've been missing!!" I'm reading them to figure out how to present the 'Pathfinder RPG' in the easiest and most consistant manner to how they have the adventure written.

Now you might be able to interpret that as meaning "the rule set doesn't matter that much to Watcher, so he'd be cool with 4th edition", and I probably wouldn't contradict you. There's an element of truth in there.

But the better interpretation would be: "this is the system that we need to present our Pathfinder material at it's best and fullest potential." And in my opinion (as just a customer) that's the attitude you need to approach, Erik and James. What is the best system for your product.

I listened to the Podcasts from WOTC at GenCon about how this was the best and most exciting DnD ever.. (they made it sound like sex) and I realized they just didn't understand me as a consumer. Hell no I don't play or run an RPG for love of the system, I run or play it for the final quality of experience. The damn system is just a means to an end.

Off my soapbox now.


Not going to quote that massive post, but I'd like to thank you for your inclusion of the paizo web community, by explaining clearly and honestly your position on the upcoming fourth edition change.

As a customer, I've always admired the direct and honest approach you guys have taken on such matters, and I'd like to make those sentiments known.

Also, I agree with everything written by erik mona in this thread so far.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
The scenario might play out something like this: <snip>

Man, that's a beautiful thing and this is exactly why your fans/customers will stick with you no matter where you go - you love the game and have a sincere interest in your constituents.

...thanks.


Erik Mona wrote:
But I haven't seen the rules and I haven't seen the new OGL, and until I do I've got to keep our options open.

Thanks for this post, Erik. I truly appreciate both your taking the time to respond and your doing so at length. If we a similar level of candor from WotC about 4E, a lot of people, myself perhaps foremost, might not be as anxious about the future of a game we've enjoyed for nearly 30 years. As it stands now, we're left with nothing but suggestive snippets, doublespeak, and PR flak, none of which really tells us what we want to know, namely that 4E is still the game we've always loved, just with a shiny new coat of paint and a tuned-up engine. There are undoubtedly reasons why WotC isn't as forthcoming, but every week that goes by without anything substantive and yet more examples of D&D history being jettisoned only makes many of us assume those reasons are sinister. Not a good way to build interest in the game among us old geezers.

In any case, thank you again for this post. It reassures me that, whatever Paizo does, it'll do not just because of financial considerations but also because of its customers and supporters in the gaming community. That means a lot to me.

Really.


maliszew wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
But I haven't seen the rules and I haven't seen the new OGL, and until I do I've got to keep our options open.

Thanks for this post, Erik. I truly appreciate both your taking the time to respond and your doing so at length. If we a similar level of candor from WotC about 4E, a lot of people, myself perhaps foremost, might not be as anxious about the future of a game we've enjoyed for nearly 30 years. As it stands now, we're left with nothing but suggestive snippets, doublespeak, and PR flak, none of which really tells us what we want to know, namely that 4E is still the game we've always loved, just with a shiny new coat of paint and a tuned-up engine. There are undoubtedly reasons why WotC isn't as forthcoming, but every week that goes by without anything substantive and yet more examples of D&D history being jettisoned only makes many of us assume those reasons are sinister. Not a good way to build interest in the game among us old geezers.

In any case, thank you again for this post. It reassures me that, whatever Paizo does, it'll do not just because of financial considerations but also because of its customers and supporters in the gaming community. That means a lot to me.

Really.

Just want to second the sentiment.

Liberty's Edge

Sucros wrote:
Also, I agree with everything written by erik mona in this thread so far.

Me too. :)

I hope Fourth Edition lives up to its potential to create a better tabletop roleplaying game experience, and I hope that WotC gives Paizo enough time to help support the transition if that's the case. I also hope that Paizo is in a good position to inherit the game and is successful at pulling in the fragmenting D&D market if 4E sucks.

Based on what Erik has said above, my fear is that the game will actually be good and flexible, but that Paizo won't have the information it needs to start working with it in time to use it for the third Pathfinder AP. If 4E takes off like a rocket, but didn't give Pathfinder time to get on board, that would be very frustrating.

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