Paizo Pathfinder Politics?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


I was surprised and dismayed to read the news that Pathfinder is sticking to 3.5. Having, until recently, been a Pathfinder superscriber, I had decided that converting all that Pathfinder material to 4E was just going to be too much work and I would cancel my supersciption and return to Pathfinder when it went 4E. I guess I can forget about that now.

That said, most folks here on the Paizo boards seem to be firmly entrenched in the 3.5 camp, so the decision to publish a Pathfinder RPG might not be a bad one. I can't help wondering, however, if this decision is in some way a thumbing of Paizo's collective nose at WotC for the whole Dragon/Dungeon debacle. It seemed to me at the time that Wizards pulled the financial rug out from under Paizo by taking away what were almost certainly their two most popular products. Fortunately Paizo's talented writers came up with Pathfinder, a marvellous campaign setting that seems to really be taking off. And, having determined that most of its fans will stick with it no matter what, Paizo is in a position to raspberry 4E entirely. In short, it seems that while WotC decided they no longer need Paizo, so Paizo now no longer needs them.

I'll miss Pathfinder, but I certainly wish Paizo the best of luck with it. Your thoughts?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I can assure you that the primary reasons for our decision are 1) that we genuinely believe that the 3.5 system is the best rules set available to tell stories set in our world, and 2) that it's fairly obvious that the majority of our customers would support the decision.

We don't make business decisions out of spite. Companies who do that go out of business quickly.


I seriously doubt the decision was made out of spite or was at all capricious. I'd bet the Paizo folks are even somewhat disappointed by the fact that they feel like the new version won't support their stories.

Keoki wrote:
... I had decided that converting all that Pathfinder material to 4E was just going to be too much work and I would cancel my supersciption and return to Pathfinder when it went 4E. I guess I can forget about that now.

Speaking as someone who stopped playing D&D years ago and has been converting their material to another system (Savage Worlds, for the most part), I think Paizo's stories and fluff are hands down THE BEST in the market - and _well_ worth the effort to convert.

Also, for those into 4e, I suspect you'll see a ton of fan conversions and possibly even some official ones from Necromancer, if that proves to be financially viable.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I can only say so much: Rules serve the background. If the rules fail to do that, the rules are bad and must be changed.

Paizo did the sensible thing, in my honest opinion. I'll miss the Realms, but after the Editionplague, they are never going to be the same again. I am very relieved that Golarion is not going this way.

I wish you the best of luck. Its a cold market out there without the D&D blanket. I'll do my part to see a company that has always respected me as a customer and hands down delivered a stellar product through.


Vic Wertz wrote:
1) that we genuinely believe that the 3.5 system is the best rules set available to tell stories set in our world

Vic, I'm curious to know whether or not Paizo made this decision based on seeing official 4e rules or not. If this has been stated somewhere else, my apologies. My understanding is that the GSL has still not been released, so I'm wondering if you guys got more information about 4e anyway.


Our decision was not the result of one event. It was the result of months of careful analysis of our business model, the will of the large majority of our fanbase, Jason's impressions at DDXP, the open questions about the GSL, and the idea that with every edition change there's a percentage of "current edition" fans left behind and if we captured that percentage we'd be doing well for ourselves.

We have not closed the door on 4th Edition. However, the Pathfinder brand is staying 3.5 and will convert to the Pathfinder RPG in August 2009. We hope everyone will take some time to read the Pathfinder RPG Alpha release and comment on it (and maybe playtest it too!). We're looking to our audience to openly help us create the rules system they want to play. Right now that rules system sure seems to be 3.5 and the Pathfinder RPG.

And judging by the prodigious rate at which Alpha Release 1 is being downloaded, I can't say we made a bad decision. :-)


Joshua J. Frost wrote:


And judging by the prodigious rate at which Alpha Release 1 is being downloaded, I can't say we made a bad decision. :-)

Insano! Whoppadoolicious!

GO JOSH, GO JOSH!


GOES WILD!


Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Our decision was not the result of one event.

I did not mean to imply that I thought Paizo's decision was rash or based solely on one factor. My question was just whether or not you had seen the full rules yet (or at least more full than what the general public has seen). I really respect your opinions, and so I was looking forward to seeing Paizo's reaction to the rules in their full context. It will undoubtedly influence my own opinion of them.


Paolo wrote:
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Our decision was not the result of one event.
I did not mean to imply that I thought Paizo's decision was rash or based solely on one factor. My question was just whether or not you had seen the full rules yet (or at least more full than what the general public has seen). I really respect your opinions, and so I was looking forward to seeing Paizo's reaction to the rules in their full context. It will undoubtedly influence my own opinion of them.

I wish I could say that we've seen the full rules set, but we have not. Unfortunately, our publishing deadlines wait for no man.


I wish Paizo best of luck and success. I am switching to 4E myself (I unfortunately missed the poll I heard you guys had and never got to vote to express my opinion - I don't know why Paizo did not send out an email soliciting subscribers to vote in a poll). But in any case, I imagine the lack of a timely GSL from WOTC did not help matters, and I empathize with the difficulty faced by Paizo in being subject to the whims of another company's decision to change the rules.

There always was the danger that a few years down the road WOTC would release 4.5 Edition or 5.0 Edition and close off the GSL completely to third party publishers.

So I can understand the decision, but it saddens me because I will miss the excellent adventures Paizo creates when I switch to 4th Edition. I still maintain a faint hope that some day Paizo will be so successful that it will have the resources to continue its own RPG while also putting out quality product for 4th Edition, so I can enjoy some Paizo adventures again.


Keoki wrote:
I had decided that converting all that Pathfinder material to 4E was just going to be too much work and I would cancel my supersciption and return to Pathfinder when it went 4E.

I'm planning on switching to 4e too, but I'm certainly going to keep an open mind about Pathfinder and converting stuff. If setting up adventures is as easy as WotC says, conversion shouldn't be too difficult. And there are some very intelligent people here who will come up with some good conversion notes, I have no doubt.

I'll also be keeping an open mind about Pathfinder RPG too. The quality of Paizo is just too easy to give up that fast.


I am not planning on cancelling my subscription at this time. At the very least, I want to read through the whole of the Curse of the Crimson Throne. That looks to be a great adventure path, and I might undertake to convert it to 4E.

Also, I have not yet seen the 4E rules in full, nor the final Pathfinder RPG rules. If something turns out terribly wrong with the 4E rules I have not yet seen, or if Pathfinder RPG turns out to address many of the problems I have with mid- to high level 3.5 games, I may end up willing to use Pathfinder RPG as my default, or at least as an alternate rule system.

But unless WOTC's adventures for 4E blow me away, I may have to try to continue to get Paizo adventure paths and convert them. I have not yet seen any WOTC modules that stacked up against the best Paizo adventures. I am hoping that it easy to convert adventures to 4E. If I end up in limbo, liking the 4E rules but unable to find good 4E adventures and unable to convert Pathfinder to 4E without too much effort...then I may have to consider another hobby altogether. Well, for now I'll just try to stay optimistic despite today's troubling news of a divided D&D community (which I don't blame Paizo for).

Sovereign Court

nerves of steel, i reckon.

respect to paizo for that - I look forward to 3.5+


You can class me as a "fan boy", I was dismayed when my dungeon magazine got turned electronic, mainly for the reason that I do most of my reading in the office (substitute the word Lavatory for office and you get my gist).

So when the pathfinder campaign was released I was very impressed, I play pen and paper roll playing and what I heard of 4th edition has left me feeling it is aimed at a different generation from us +30 year old and above players. I might be wrong and i will certainly keep an open mind, but i am very reluctant to change versions again and my group of 7 players have said the same.

Refining the current rules is a good idea and what I have seen so far in the Alpha release is great, now i wonder if i can get some of my house rules in there?

Liberty's Edge

Personally, I think it was the right decision. I hope to do my part to make sure that you don't regret it. I think it would have been the right decision if the rules and GSL had been released in a timely fashion. While I'm surprised and dismayed at the failure of WotC to include 3rd party publishers with the early launch, I'm surprised and pleased by Paizo's decision.

It was becoming painfully apparent that Paizo would have to choose 3.5 for at least another full year, but this goes so far beyond my expectations. I am so happy right now.

I think it was a bold decision, and time will tell how it works out. Now I have to figure out how to describe what I play when people ask. I mean, it's Pathfinder, but it's D&D - moreso than 4.0 in my opinion. I won't worry about that - I'll just reiterate that I'm very happy with the decision and will continue to purchase your products at the rate I have so you'll know that the 'vote with my wallet' won't change.


I thought about it further and more carefully, and it became clear to me that the only thing that would get me to use the Pathfinder RPG rules to run an adventure path that runs to the mid- to high levels is if Pathfinder RPG fixes the one thing that I had grown to hate about 3.5 as a DM: buffs.

I need Pathfinder RPG to fix the fact that in 3.5 high level games, keeping track of buffs becomes an accounting chore, and that a buffed party is way more powerful than a non-buffed party.

Of course, fixing that then may require rebalancing the CR system to know what monsters and what NPCs truly are at the same level of power as the party.

If Pathfinder RPG can fix that fundamental problem I have with 3.5 Edition D&D, then I would consider running another adventure path with those rules. Otherwise I'm bailing and going to 4th Edition, and hoping that some day Paizo will join me over in 4th Edition so I can once again use their great adventures out of the box.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

I can assure you that the primary reasons for our decision are 1) that we genuinely believe that the 3.5 system is the best rules set available to tell stories set in our world,

Oh, thanks Vic for clearing that up. Obviously I've been approaching this all wrong - I thought I bought pathfinder to play my game and novels for the author to tell a story. Glad that misunderstanding is out of the way. I am much happier now that I'm not doing things the wrong way anymore. Paizo be praised. Oh, that's right - I cancelled my subscription and all my orders. Oops.


Well, I was surprised and disappointed to be honest, but Paizo must do what they feel is best for their business. I really loved Pathfinder, its art, its stories, its feel, but I really don't think I can be bothered with conversions.

Having read the alpha rules, it looks like it fixes a lot of currently broken things, but I wish we'd had those fixes a year or two ago.

I'm running Rise of the Runelords right now, and hope to wrap it up around the time of 4th edition release. Before this campaign I ran a homebrewn one, and I think I might venture that way again with 4E.

Here's hoping that Paizo did not make a counting error in their community's edition love/hate.


Joshua J. Frost wrote:
I wish I could say that we've seen the full rules set, but we have not. Unfortunately, our publishing deadlines wait for no man.

Well, I can accept that publishing waits for no man, and since you guys are finally making it into the gaming store catalogs you don't want to get booted out by them and start over again.

My question is, what if the full rules set can support the world of Pathfinder? Is there a chance you guys would produce actual print copies of your adventure path books for 4E, or at least a fully integrated PDF witht he 4E stat blocks in place of the 3.5 (or pathfinder) stat blocks instead of just a free conversion PDF?

The reason I have enjoyed Paizo's products so much is that they are easy to pick up and just play. I have to read the adventure for about an hour, and thats it. A full blown campaign in a few small books is an excellent time saver for me as a GM, and I can concentrate solely on the story and roleplaying instead of the stats. That is why I buy them.

But without the easy to use stat blocks, Pathfinder actually works against me because I have to do so much work to convert the monsters or juggle the stat conversion PDF pages into the full adventure.

Is there any chance that once 4E is out, there will be full conversions of the Adventure Paths?


Teiran wrote:
Is there any chance that once 4E is out, there will be full conversions of the Adventure Paths?

Paizo has a HORRIBLE track record when it comes to conversion notes. I wouldn't hold my breath on this one...


We've specifically stated that we probably won't have the capacity for conversion guides. We're hoping that our fanbase will do some conversion work for us (and they've already started on it) but we certainly don't have the time to do it ourselves.


I think you guys shot yourself in the foot on this one, guys. I think you are letting the extremely vocal, "You can have my 3.5 when you pry it from my cold, dead hands crowd," mislead you on the popularity of the 4E conversion.

How much in the way of new rules and feats and prestige classes can you hope to put out? I may play a lot of D&D, but even people who play less than me are getting bored with the possible builds that 3.5 allows. If we are bored now, how bored are we going to be 15 months from now when you publish Pathfinder or D&D 3.75?

Leaving the fans to do 4E conversions is lame.

I will probably deny myself the pleasure of reading the fluffy bits of Pathfinder by canceling my subscription so that you guys can feel my disappointment in this anti-WotC petulance.

Have fun being a footnote.

Shadow Lodge

barbican wrote:
I think you guys shot yourself in the foot on this one, guys. I think you are letting the extremely vocal, "You can have my 3.5 when you pry it from my cold, dead hands crowd," mislead you on the popularity of the 4E conversion.

I was one of those people that was initially excited (thrilled would be a better word) for a 4e but quickly became one of the "3.5 diehards" you mention because the 4e game is not the same game that I have played for going on 30 years. I think you are missing the point when you believe this is all about popularity. I do not think there is a grand delusion concerning the popularity of the 4e rules set, but rather, the new rules are so against the very fabric of Pathfinder that to use them would simply not be applicable. They would not be any more applicable than using Star Wars or Warhammer rules for Pathfinder. That doesn't mean 4e is bad, it simply doesn't fit the story. Furthermore, the Pathfinder series is only one product that Paizo offers, albeit it is their flagship product. Any assumption that Paizo has "chosen 3.x over 4.x" is shortsighted at best. If I ran Paizo, I would have a group of people working on 4e things and continuing to stay abreast of the (lack of) progress at WotC so other aspects of my business can be ready to take off when the new edition does.

barbican wrote:
How much in the way of new rules and feats and prestige classes can you hope to put out? I may play a lot of D&D, but even people who play less than me are getting bored with the possible builds that 3.5 allows. If we are bored now, how bored are we going to be 15 months from now when you publish Pathfinder or D&D 3.75?

Again, this isn't about the adding latest PrC or feat, but may actually be about eliminating PrCs and feats or at least fixing them so they are not as wonky as they are now. At my table, for example, I play with people who all have played the game at least 20 years. At 40, I am the youngest player there. We do not play with any splatbooks at all unless it is on an exception basis and when we start Pathfinder RPG, we will not be adding splatbooks but rather limiting the game further to the core books as augmented by the overriding PRPG book. We are not bored with a lack of options, we are actually overwhelmed with options, most of the poor. Hopefully Pathfinder RPG will fix that (and my brief read of the PDF is very encouraging in that regard).

I hope this clarifies things for you.


barbican wrote:

I think you guys shot yourself in the foot on this one, guys. I think you are letting the extremely vocal, "You can have my 3.5 when you pry it from my cold, dead hands crowd," mislead you on the popularity of the 4E conversion.

How much in the way of new rules and feats and prestige classes can you hope to put out? I may play a lot of D&D, but even people who play less than me are getting bored with the possible builds that 3.5 allows. If we are bored now, how bored are we going to be 15 months from now when you publish Pathfinder or D&D 3.75?

Leaving the fans to do 4E conversions is lame.

I will probably deny myself the pleasure of reading the fluffy bits of Pathfinder by canceling my subscription so that you guys can feel my disappointment in this anti-WotC petulance.

Have fun being a footnote.

This kinds of attitude is really annoying. Vulgar Marxists like this who insist that the tide of history will drown everyone who doesn't do exactly what they suggest doesn't have a good historical track record.

I think this is a smart move and possibly the only one that would prevent Paizo from being a "footnote". Paizo needs to keep publishing to function as a company - they need new products going out and new revenue coming in. WOTC/Hasbro has shown through their failure to provide the GSL that they don't care what happens to the 3rd party producers. The lag for getting new 4e products in just keeps increasing, and no one knows how flexible the new GSL will be, and whatever vague promises WOTC has made on this score aren't enough to bet the company on.

This way, Paizo is guaranteed to have a supported rules system that is backwards-compatible with the vast numbers of 3.5 d20 and OGL products, and through their agreement with Necromancer Games, they get to gain some experience with 4e and quite possibly produce 4e products later.

Sovereign Court

David Pawley wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

I can assure you that the primary reasons for our decision are 1) that we genuinely believe that the 3.5 system is the best rules set available to tell stories set in our world,

Oh, thanks Vic for clearing that up. Obviously I've been approaching this all wrong - I thought I bought pathfinder to play my game and novels for the author to tell a story. Glad that misunderstanding is out of the way. I am much happier now that I'm not doing things the wrong way anymore. Paizo be praised. Oh, that's right - I cancelled my subscription and all my orders. Oops.

You're really very witty, aren't you?


Lich-loved, thanks for trying to clarify, but I think we just play with groups from opposite ends of the spectrum. While our group loves character development and a great story, we equally love fun game mechanics and memorable encounters. If you have played 3.5 3-5 times a month throughout its lifespan like us with a main campaign being supplemented by one shots and 2-4 session story arcs, then you have made dozens of 3.5 characters. You have exhausted the core books and many splat books. You have half a dozen pet wizard builds that you love, because of the roleplaying opportunites to be found in their strange predelictions for odd spells.

An independent developer narrowing options is not going to help my group at all.

Shadow Lodge

barbican wrote:
Lich-loved, thanks for trying to clarify, but I think we just play with groups from opposite ends of the spectrum. While our group loves character development and a great story, we equally love fun game mechanics and memorable encounters.

So far our groups are very much alike...

barbican wrote:
If you have played 3.5 3-5 times a month throughout its lifespan like us with a main campaign being supplemented by one shots and 2-4 session story arcs, then you have made dozens of 3.5 characters.

Well I agree this isn't our case. I have DM'd more or less constantly since 1998 for this group, though I did take a year or so off and became a player. We were 2e back then of course, but switched to 3e as soon as it came out. My campaigns tend to last a couple of years before ending one way or the other and then we begin again. Our seven-person group meets weekly on Thursdays 50 weeks a year with very few exceptions. So while we play as often as you do, our games are apparently longer running and therefore we don't find the need to build characters over and over again. There is some churn of course as characters die off, but most people have two or three concepts they really want to play in addition to their current character. I only allow splatbooks on an exception basis (right now I have a psion and a modified War Weaver but the others are core with a few feats or spells thrown in, mainly from FR books since that is where we are playing right now) and my players are still excited about the game, with some excitement derived from the possibility that a splatbook feature/feat/class will be allowed, even on a modified basis.

barbican wrote:
You have exhausted the core books and many splat books. You have half a dozen pet wizard builds that you love, because of the roleplaying opportunites to be found in their strange predelictions for odd spells.

I will have exhausted the books when my imagination is exhausted. Also, I strongly discourage characters from replicating builds/characters played previously as I feel this does lead to too much sameness. This meta-rule has caused the players to be creative about specializing in schools of magic, trying non-traditional class combinations and the like. Thus far, my players have not tried about 95% of all PrCs we have available, about 80% of the feats we could have used, about 85% of the 20-level classes published and have used only the core book for spell lists and magic items.

I would say there is plenty of life left in the this ol' game for our group and this is why Paizo's decision is so beneficial to us.


I am confused. Why does the approach seem to be all or nothing? In my average gaming month I cover two D&D games, some larps, a Mutants/Masterminds game, and assorted console games. Doesn't there exist the concept that a given DM will get tired/burnt out and someone who picks up the screen for a few weeks might run a different system? Perhaps one for which most people already own a large number of books?

I admit the large possibility that many people only have one gaming group and there needs to be a consensus on which system to use. But the battle cry that Paizo is staying 3.5 is just false and doesn't help anyone.

*Pathfinder* is staying 3.5 as are its support materials. *Paizo* will probably make games for whatever system their customers and writers show viable interest in.

The Pathfinder world was created around a certain conceit based on 3.5 ruleset. WotC has quite clearly stated that a big chunk of their set up is based on the points of light in the darkness and they are revising their worlds to suit that new (I hate this word) paradigm. Paizo had a choice: change the world completely to fit in and revamp everything in the middle of the stream to a new ruleset, or slightly modify the existing ruleset and attempt to correct the current flaws.

No matter which way they chose - a certain number of people would rise up against them and shout "Foul!" They've decided and no amount of chest beating is going to alter that at this point. IMO, the best thing would be to join the playtest, help give constructive feedback, and have a hand in creating a new version of a ruleset that we've enjoyed for almost 8 years.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

barbican wrote:

I think you guys shot yourself in the foot on this one, guys. I think you are letting the extremely vocal, "You can have my 3.5 when you pry it from my cold, dead hands crowd," mislead you on the popularity of the 4E conversion.

How much in the way of new rules and feats and prestige classes can you hope to put out? I may play a lot of D&D, but even people who play less than me are getting bored with the possible builds that 3.5 allows. If we are bored now, how bored are we going to be 15 months from now when you publish Pathfinder or D&D 3.75?

Leaving the fans to do 4E conversions is lame.

I will probably deny myself the pleasure of reading the fluffy bits of Pathfinder by canceling my subscription so that you guys can feel my disappointment in this anti-WotC petulance.

Barbican, I think you're missing the point. There is a significant percentage of the D&D player base that simply like the mechanics and fluff related parts of the rules in 3.5 better than everything we've seen about 4E so far. We're not converting to 4E no matter what. How large our particular demographic is, is a matter for debate. However, if we're 10% of the players out there, and Paizo can get a significant percent of those players as loyal customers, then they'll be getting nice bonuses for their decision in a year or two. If this group is larger, say 25% (and still a minority compared to players who convert to 4E), then Paizo will rapidly become the #2 company in the industry, and their employees will be buying second homes hopefully.

If Paizo hadn't taken this step, then the players who don't like 4E would either stick with 3.5, move to a non-D&D system entirely, or even quit gaming in favor of other activities. I think Paizo is going to keep the number of active gamers a lot higher in the long run than if they simply converted to 4E.

You're obviously a 4E fan, and plan on converting, so I don't think you'll have a lack of game materials between WOTC and the other 3rd party companies that have already declared that they will make 4E products. Sure you'll miss out on the great stuff that Paizo produces, but saying that they made a bad business decision due to that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

barbican wrote:
Have fun being a footnote.

I think this statement severely weakens your overall argument and makes you sound bitter, rather than simply expressing your views. There's obviously many people (Paizo employees as well as many of their customers), who disagree and believe that Paizo has made a brilliant and shrewd business move, but when it comes down to it, time will tell. For all we know WOTC will be the footnote if 4E fails to hit the target sales numbers, and will join TSR (and back in the mid 80s, who though TSR would ever fail?) I don't think this is likely, but I do think it is just as likely as Paizo becomming a footnote over this decision.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

jwl wrote:

Vulgar Marxists like this who insist that the tide of history will drown everyone who doesn't do exactly what they suggest doesn't have a good historical track record.

Vulgar Marxists? That is priceless! As a rule I never get involved in disputes, so for the record, I'm taking sides here either. But I just love that phrase so much I had to chime in.

jwl, did you come up with it? Is it a common term I've never heard before? Please, I'm dying to know its origin.

Shadow Lodge

Vernacci wrote:

I am confused. Why does the approach seem to be all or nothing? In my average gaming month I cover two D&D games, some larps, a Mutants/Masterminds game, and assorted console games. Doesn't there exist the concept that a given DM will get tired/burnt out and someone who picks up the screen for a few weeks might run a different system? Perhaps one for which most people already own a large number of books?

I admit the large possibility that many people only have one gaming group and there needs to be a consensus on which system to use. But the battle cry that Paizo is staying 3.5 is just false and doesn't help anyone.

*Pathfinder* is staying 3.5 as are its support materials. *Paizo* will probably make games for whatever system their customers and writers show viable interest in.

The Pathfinder world was created around a certain conceit based on 3.5 ruleset. WotC has quite clearly stated that a big chunk of their set up is based on the points of light in the darkness and they are revising their worlds to suit that new (I hate this word) paradigm. Paizo had a choice: change the world completely to fit in and revamp everything in the middle of the stream to a new ruleset, or slightly modify the existing ruleset and attempt to correct the current flaws.

No matter which way they chose - a certain number of people would rise up against them and shout "Foul!" They've decided and no amount of chest beating is going to alter that at this point. IMO, the best thing would be to join the playtest, help give constructive feedback, and have a hand in creating a new version of a ruleset that we've enjoyed for almost 8 years.

Excellent post. I tried to say this once before and the words just wouldn't come. Very well done.


barbican wrote:


Leaving the fans to do 4E conversions is lame.

I try not to get caught up in these debates, but here goes.

First off, you're working from the assumption that Paizo has enough resources to actually make a decision to not do conversions, when they've repeatedly said that they don't. So, it's not a matter of choice, they simply are unable to do conversions.

Second, the folks at WotC have made it clear that converting from 3.5 to 4e is not going to be easily doable, if even at all possible. Which makes sense - they want everyone to go out and spend money on the gazillion splat books they will soon be releasing at a rate of 1+/month. Regardless, if WotC says it will be difficult to convert, why are you taking issue with Paizo?

barbican wrote:
Have fun being a footnote.

Hey, if I were a Paizonian, I'd rather fail (and I really don't think that's gonna happen) writing my own chapter than being a footnote is Wizards. Particularly after WotC pulled the rug out from under me, and did nothing to actively help me build my business.

barbican wrote:
An independent developer narrowing options is not going to help my group at all.

Again, I'm missing something here. Paizo has said that Pathfinder RPG will be backwards compatible with people's 3.5 libraries, while WotC has said the opposite. Yet you characterize Paizo as limiting options? What am I missing? You'll have all the options you currently have with all your existing 3.5 splat books.


As I see it, there are two customer groups: Those who want to switch to 4th Ed. and those who want to keep 3rd Ed.
In any way, one gets new stuff, the other one does not.

I think there really is a place for a new revision of 3rd Edition and a product line that targets a different style of play than 4th Edition.
And i totaly welcome the fact, that somebody decided to take that path. There's really no need to complain for anyone because someone decides not to do something they never were entitled to.


hmm.
I just only came back to gaming on table top. I LaRP, M&M, and play Computer games. To me it is about the stories and the play, not the rules. I like 3.5. I just invested in books for it and am just starting RotR this week. As to the RPG, i am encouraged by the Alpha so far (still reading) and plan on play testing it.

I'm here for the fun and the quality.
well done Paizo. Game on!

/peace.


Hal Maclean wrote:
jwl wrote:

Vulgar Marxists like this who insist that the tide of history will drown everyone who doesn't do exactly what they suggest doesn't have a good historical track record.

Vulgar Marxists? That is priceless! As a rule I never get involved in disputes, so for the record, I'm taking sides here either. But I just love that phrase so much I had to chime in.

jwl, did you come up with it? Is it a common term I've never heard before? Please, I'm dying to know its origin.

Sorry, can't claim credit for this one. The philosophical/economic definition is available as part of the wikipedia Marxism article (look for Vulgar in the page), but isn't as clear as it could be. Basically, in this case, barbican has convinced himself of the inevitable victory of 4e and the crushing of all other games and has prophesied Paizo's doom based on no evidence beyond his ideology. It's annoying.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
David Pawley wrote:


Oh, thanks Vic for clearing that up. Obviously I've been approaching this all wrong - I thought I bought pathfinder to play my game and novels for the author to tell a story. Glad that misunderstanding is out of the way. I am much happier now that I'm not doing things the wrong way anymore. Paizo be praised. Oh, that's right - I cancelled my subscription and all my orders. Oops.

Woah.

Where's all this anger coming from?
If scenarios are the ingredients, then the game system is the method of cooking- if Paizo feels that their setting isn't going to be best served by moving to a system that has little to do with the system that they built their flagship brand on, then that's their business.
Considering the wholesale butchery- I mean "reimagining" -promised by WotC for their settings that will hugely effect all D&D players, it seems a bit rich to be so indignant that Paizo have decided not to follow suit and shoehorn the 4.0 system into their setting. If you're so annoyed by a company's condesention dictating a play style or the kind of stories you can play, I'd imagine WotC would be your first port of call. If anything, Paizo has been hugely inclusive and has gone the extra mile to consult with their customers, rather then leading the us by the nose.

When it looked like Pathfinder could go 4.0, I was disappointed sure, but not resentful, and I certainly wasn't going to run off in a huff to cancel my subscriptions. I just expanded my subscriptions and am happy with what I've gotten so far. I plan to playtest the Pathfinder and maybe look into the 4th edition PHB this summer. As far as I'm concerned, we're ending up with the best of both worlds.


This whole thing comes down to "Whom do you trust?"

I, for one, have absolute trust in Paizo. Lisa was with TSR/Wizards for years; she helped shepherd the changes from 2.0 to 3.0 (alongw ith Rayn Dancey and a staff of extremely talented people). She has overseen both Dragon and Dungeon when they were at their critically lauded best.

Eric has shown his incredible talent and respect for both setting & system time and time again.

The Pathfinder campaign world has been recognized by multitudes of people on this board as a bastion of quality and enjoyment. No, it's not a 100% perfect fit for my tastes, but in 30+ years of gaming, I've yet to find something that is. But the negatives I've seen are rather minor things given the large amount of usable material I get out of it.

Given their talent and focus, one need not stretch imagination to the breaking point to think that the new update of 3.5 will be rock solid.

Paizo Employee CEO

zoroaster100 wrote:

I thought about it further and more carefully, and it became clear to me that the only thing that would get me to use the Pathfinder RPG rules to run an adventure path that runs to the mid- to high levels is if Pathfinder RPG fixes the one thing that I had grown to hate about 3.5 as a DM: buffs.

I need Pathfinder RPG to fix the fact that in 3.5 high level games, keeping track of buffs becomes an accounting chore, and that a buffed party is way more powerful than a non-buffed party.

You are not alone in this concern! This is one of my pet peeves with 3.5 and I b@~~* about it constantly in my 16th level Shackled City campaign. Just last night, there were Greater Dispels go off left and right and it would take 10 minutes just to sort through all the buffs that were dispelled and figure out the new scores. Yuck.

I am going to make sure that the design team takes a look at this and the "Christmas Tree" phenomenon that is so prevalent in high level 3.5 play.

-Lisa

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lisa Stevens wrote:
I am going to make sure that the design team takes a look at this and the "Christmas Tree" phenomenon that is so prevalent in high level 3.5 play.

I think that this is a must in any kind of revision of the 3.5 rules and hopefully you guys can pull it off.

Scarab Sages

Nikosandros wrote:
I think that this is a must in any kind of revision of the 3.5 rules and hopefully you guys can pull it off.

ditto!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

jwl wrote:
Hal Maclean wrote:
jwl wrote:

Vulgar Marxists like this who insist that the tide of history will drown everyone who doesn't do exactly what they suggest doesn't have a good historical track record.

Vulgar Marxists? That is priceless! As a rule I never get involved in disputes, so for the record, I'm taking sides here either. But I just love that phrase so much I had to chime in.

jwl, did you come up with it? Is it a common term I've never heard before? Please, I'm dying to know its origin.

Sorry, can't claim credit for this one. The philosophical/economic definition is available as part of the wikipedia Marxism article (look for Vulgar in the page), but isn't as clear as it could be. Basically, in this case, barbican has convinced himself of the inevitable victory of 4e and the crushing of all other games and has prophesied Paizo's doom based on no evidence beyond his ideology. It's annoying.

thanks :) I'll take a look at that. Love learning colorful new phrases.


Keoki wrote:
I can't help wondering, however, if this decision is in some way a thumbing of Paizo's collective nose at WotC for the whole Dragon/Dungeon debacle. It seemed to me at the time that Wizards pulled the financial rug out from under Paizo by taking away what were almost certainly their two most popular products. Fortunately Paizo's talented writers came up with Pathfinder, a marvellous campaign setting that seems to really be taking off. And, having determined that most of its fans will stick with it no matter what, Paizo is in a position to raspberry 4E entirely. In short, it seems that while WotC decided they no longer need Paizo, so Paizo now no longer needs them.

Having had a few days to think about all this I've come to believe that the decision to publish Pathfinder RPG has less to do with the 3.5 ruleset (and its fans) and more to do with the 3.5 OGL. Let me clarify: we already know that the 4e OGL will be more restrictive and that it won't allow publishers to publish their own versions of the rulebooks. We also don't know what will happen with the OGL in future editions, or whether future editions will even have an OGL.

Let's say that when 5e comes out the marketing division of Hasbro decides that the 3rd party publishing market has leeched long enough on their profits and that it's time to kill it. So they decide to kill it by not including an OGL. What are 3rd party publishers to do then? The 4e OGL won't allow them to publish new rulebooks for the system, and the 3.5 system has been dead and buried for years, since noone supported it.

By making this move Paizo has ensured that, no matter what happens with future versions of the OGL, they (and by extension other 3rd party publishers) will always have a system they can use for their products. We have to remember that Paizo is not in the rules publishing business, they are in the adventure and sourcebook publishing business. Because of that they are not as rules dependant as a company that publishes books with new feats, classes, or whatever.

In my mind Paizo probably has more in common with another company that is in the adventure and sourcebook business that with most of the other d20 publishers, and that company is Chaosium. Chaosium has used more or less the same rules for the last 30 years, with just minor revisions. Now with Pathfinder RPG Paizo has their own Basic Role-Playing system, and can probably continue to do what they do best for the next 30 years... publish adventures and sourcebooks.


Lisa, you made my day with that post. I will certainly keep an eye out for how the Pathfinder RPG develops. Maybe I'll end up using your system, if the end result is better than 4th edition. Or maybe I'll use your system to run a Pathfinder adventure path interspersed with 4th edition adventures from WOTC. Of course, in both cases it depends if I can find players that are willing to use one system or the other to play the game.


My 2 cents

WOTC has stated very simply that any 3.5 content will not be able to be converted to 4th edition, the rulesets are just too different. If that's the case the first 4 Pathfinder AP's will have to be thrown out or completely rewritten for Paizo to make the switch.

Paizo has been putting off starting work on the 3rd AP for the 4th edition info from WOTC, WOTC hasn't sent it to them yet.

I look forward to what Paizo comes up with every month. What has WOTC given us lately? They changed Dragon and Dungeon magazine into an online format that, quite frankly, sucks. I love D&D and have been playing it since the 70's. I will very likely play 4th edition D&D but right now I am a little vexed with WOTC's decisions, especially concerning third party companies.

Dark Archive

Neithan wrote:

As I see it, there are two customer groups: Those who want to switch to 4th Ed. and those who want to keep 3rd Ed.

In any way, one gets new stuff, the other one does not.

And there is the nail hitting the head.

If Pathfinder adapted to 4E (when WotC deigned to send them the rules and let them do so, which is looking like will happen on the sixth Wednesday in the month of Bleem), they would forever be one step behind WotC, and the customerbase for 3.5 style product would be abandoned. Some would haul over to 4E, in absence to any other D&D branded option, some would play Exalted, some would play True20, some would get disillusioned and abandon tabletop gaming altogether, joining the ranks of serious 'grownups' whom I never wish to become.

4E players will *never* lack for product, 'cause there's this company called Wizards of the Coast that will be producing that game. I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that the fans who trust them to make a bang-up game are also going to trust them to support that game, and that one 3rd party publisher or another, no matter their quality, won't be *required* to enjoy 4th edition. The 4E crew isn't losing anything, really. WotC will provide their needs, as well as any 3rd party publishers, such as Paizo partner, Necromancer Games.

The 4E fans were *always* 'winning' anyway, 4th Edition is as invitable as day following night (or vice versa, depending on where yer standing!). It was only a question of whether anything would be left for the rest of us.

I wish Paizo luck, and I'm sure there were a lot of sleepless nights in the making of this decision, which is big and scary and has me concerned that they might fall by the wayside as the 4E train leaves them behind, but WotC was slowly strangling all of the 3rd party companies anyway with their GSL foot-dragging. They are literally (and some conspiratorial sorts might even say, deliberately, although I would be more amenable to just thinking it incompetence) costing these smaller companies money by stringing them along and messing up their production and shipping schedules. In larger industries, lawyers would be running around screaming market manipulation and industry pressure and 'squeezing out the little guy,' but this 3rd party market runs such tight margins already that the 3rd party publishers that WotC is financially smothering can't even afford high-priced lawyers! They'll just have to go back to their day jobs, and *all of us* will lose out on the cool ideas that might have come out of them.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Duroon wrote:


I look forward to what Paizo comes up with every month. What has WOTC given us lately? They changed Dragon and Dungeon magazine into an online format that, quite frankly, sucks. I love D&D and have been playing it since the 70's. I will very likely play 4th edition D&D but right now I am a little vexed with WOTC's decisions, especially concerning third party companies.

Totally agreed. If you take the recent delivery track record into account, Paizo is whipping WotC hands down. Dungeon and Dragon are essentially defunct; their entire electronic lifecycle from when it started to now is a cruel joke.

Most of what my gaming group has purchased and used over the last year has been from Paizo - not WotC.

WotC has backed off from their openness stance with the OGL. They've had a completely closed design cycle for 4e. (They brag about all kinds of playtesters, but apparently no one I know or anyone affiliated with any other RPG company - so who exactly? They're so secretive about it that there may be only a handful of groups). Their behavior with not providing the GSL and rules to third parties is problematic - sure it's "their right," but it's also everyone else's right to tell them to stick it.

I too am sure I'll play some 4e at some point - but it's certainly not all that exciting a prospect given these facts and what we've heard about rules so far. I've played Greyhawk in 1e, 2e, and 3e - and this is the first time that the ruleset has changed so much that it sounds unlikely that that'd be possible.


Since it seems that this issue isn't going to exactly give up the ghost anytime soon, I'm going to add this much.
In many ways I cannot see WotC being too miffed... yeah, in a future currencies sense this turn will probably put a few dents in them, but how mad can they be? They are not entirely dealing with the issue of competing with someone else's product... WotC's competing with its own product!
4th edition, no matter how you look at it, is essentially competing with 3.5... in one incarnation or another. I mean, if your own old product, in some shape or another, eventually proves to be more successful than your current product, could you be entirely mad?

WotC was responsible for making a very great product... an act that is not easy to follow... if WotC does not successfully follow the act with 4e then they might be financially hurt, yes, they might also be blushing from a less than well thought out act, yes, but can they really be all that shamed? They were, after all, the creators of the Dungeons & Dragons that us 3.5 campers enjoy and love so much.


Keoki wrote:

I was surprised and dismayed to read the news that Pathfinder is sticking to 3.5. . . . I can't help wondering, however, if this decision is in some way a thumbing of Paizo's collective nose at WotC for the whole Dragon/Dungeon debacle. It seemed to me at the time that Wizards pulled the financial rug out from under Paizo by taking away what were almost certainly their two most popular products. Fortunately Paizo's talented writers came up with Pathfinder, a marvellous campaign setting that seems to really be taking off. And, having determined that most of its fans will stick with it no matter what, Paizo is in a position to raspberry 4E entirely. In short, it seems that while WotC decided they no longer need Paizo, so Paizo now no longer needs them.

I'll miss Pathfinder, but I certainly wish Paizo the best of luck with it. Your thoughts?

To quote the noted philosopher Michael Tyson, "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." Wotc punched Paizo in the mouth. Paizo had to adapt to the demise of their old plan. So. They created Pathfinder from the ruins of Dungeon's adventure paths, with Dragon-like content added in, which has in turn spawned Golarion and the Pathfinder RPG. Not bad considering they got hit in the mouth by gaming's version of Iron Mike, Wotc. I like the boxing analogy because in boxing no champ is champ forever. Wotc is champ until they aren't.

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