Did Paizo make a mistake by not going with D&D 4.0?


4th Edition

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Jon Brazer Enterprises

Max Money wrote:
I have said it before and I'll say it again: Wizards of the Coast is turning D&D into Magic: the Gathering.

I have to disagree. If anything they're taking a page from White Wolf's Exalted 2E playbook. WW designed each book in their exalted book to be a "must-have" and back when I played the game, I bought every book in the line. The day they came out. They planned out every book carefully so that they didn't need to dedicate a whole book to a single city or to a single class of PCs that would otherwise be useless to 75% of their customers. Its a smart move on their part.

IMO, they made a major flaw in their design. One of the reasons why I choose not to go 4E was because it was obvious from the outset that Wizards intentionally crippled their products to create a continual market. The Ex2E playbook has each book being a definitive source for such material. I don't want to have to buy the PHBII and MMII to have player races and monsters that are, I feel, what defines D&D. I don't want such limited options for the fighter that I have to They release 1 book as the definite source for an entire setting, 1 book for players to limit spoilers, and 1 adventure. Great, a definitive source. But if I want more indepth information on the setting, I have to get a D&DI subscription. Not interested. But the real problem with that is that Setting is what gets me excited, not system. If I want to make a martial artists in Exalted, I pick up Scroll of the Monk. Then, if I am playing a solar, lunar, sidereal, heroic mortal or anything else, I have all the martial arts right there. 1 book, lots of system. Done. Setting, if I want a game set in the north, there's one book that covers the north. If I want a game that takes place in the underworld, there's 1 book that covers the underworld. Compare this to Wizards, where they have 1 book for the whole world and then you can get more info on a subscription and maybe they'll cover the area you are interested in at some point if there is enough interest.

Wow. I really did not mean to turn this into a huge long speech. For the record, I am not spreading "hate" towards wizards. I simply do not feel that their strategy is ... what I would do if I were in their shoes.


Mistake? Of course not... but I still hope Paizo does a Monster Manual / Bestiary for 4E, with tons of fluff.


Yes.

Paizo Employee CEO

I thought that you might like to see what industry mag ICV2 has to say about Pathfinder:

"Rounding out the top five list is Paizo's new RPG, Pathfinder, which only exists in beta form and won't see a full release of the core rulebook until August 2009. Despite this, several supplements and accessories are finding their ways into stores and the buzz is overwhelmingly positive. "We sell the Pathfinder Beta books out like crazy," said Dave Wheeler of Dragon's Lair in Austin. "All the Pathfinder adventures are doing well," said one distributor.

Another distributor was amazed at Pathfinder's potential long-term viability. "Pathfinder Monthly modules...they maintain sales afterward. I'm still selling the first one in the series right when the sixth one releases. I'm still selling stuff from two story arcs back for Pathfinder. I'm selling 12 to 15 month-old product that's still got a decent tail on it. That was unheard of even with Dungeon magazine, that had about a three-month shelf life." Meant to appeal to Third Edition and v3.5 fans, Pathfinder could be a strong seller well into 4E's life cycle, as it will face limited competition for "new old school" D&D fans."

Looks like we didn't make too bad of a decision. :)

-Lisa

Dark Archive

Lisa Stevens wrote:

I thought that you might like to see what industry mag ICV2 has to say about Pathfinder:

"Rounding out the top five list is Paizo's new RPG, Pathfinder, which only exists in beta form and won't see a full release of the core rulebook until August 2009. Despite this, several supplements and accessories are finding their ways into stores and the buzz is overwhelmingly positive. "We sell the Pathfinder Beta books out like crazy," said Dave Wheeler of Dragon's Lair in Austin. "All the Pathfinder adventures are doing well," said one distributor.

Another distributor was amazed at Pathfinder's potential long-term viability. "Pathfinder Monthly modules...they maintain sales afterward. I'm still selling the first one in the series right when the sixth one releases. I'm still selling stuff from two story arcs back for Pathfinder. I'm selling 12 to 15 month-old product that's still got a decent tail on it. That was unheard of even with Dungeon magazine, that had about a three-month shelf life." Meant to appeal to Third Edition and v3.5 fans, Pathfinder could be a strong seller well into 4E's life cycle, as it will face limited competition for "new old school" D&D fans."

Looks like we didn't make too bad of a decision. :)

-Lisa

awesome! Keep up the great job and thanks.....


I can't help but wonder how much more content could have been put into the existing Pathfinder modules if they had been made for 4E. For example, a 4E version of Karzoug's statblock would probably be 1/3 the size of the existing 3.5 version. The space saved by using smaller, simpler statblocks could be used for more content.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hexmage1077 wrote:


I can't help but wonder how much more content could have been put into the existing Pathfinder modules if they had been made for 4E. For example, a 4E version of Karzoug's statblock would probably be 1/3 the size of the existing 3.5 version. The space saved by using smaller, simpler statblocks could be used for more content.

More content like the missing races and classes we'd need to add to fill in the holes Wizards left in the core products?


Vic Wertz wrote:
Hexmage1077 wrote:


I can't help but wonder how much more content could have been put into the existing Pathfinder modules if they had been made for 4E. For example, a 4E version of Karzoug's statblock would probably be 1/3 the size of the existing 3.5 version. The space saved by using smaller, simpler statblocks could be used for more content.

More content like the missing races and classes we'd need to add to fill in the holes Wizards left in the core products?

Well said Sir

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Hexmage1077 wrote:


I can't help but wonder how much more content could have been put into the existing Pathfinder modules if they had been made for 4E. For example, a 4E version of Karzoug's statblock would probably be 1/3 the size of the existing 3.5 version. The space saved by using smaller, simpler statblocks could be used for more content.

There's not really much point to wondering, though. 3.5/PF RPG is the system we prefer here at Paizo. Had we gone with 4E, I suspect we would have done entirely different products. Products that play to 4E's strengths and don't rely on the large amounts of the game that are missing.

Or: What Vic said above.

Frog God Games

Hexmage1077 wrote:


...For example, a 4E version of Karzoug's statblock would probably be 1/3 the size of the existing 3.5 version. The space saved by using smaller, simpler statblocks could be used for more content.

Nah, I'd have just filled it in with a bunch of rambling fluff and overuse of the word "very". Hey, a freelancer's got to eat.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
Hey, a freelancer's got to eat.

QFT (as I sit here eating a piece of pie)

Frog God Games

Mmmmm...pie.


Hexmage1077 wrote:


a 4E version of Karzoug's statblock would probably be 1/3 the size of the existing 3.5 version.

You know, for me, that reads "1/3 the interesting" ;-P

Liberty's Edge

The 4.0 version now plays like a miniature / card game. I don't care for it. After playing 1st edition, 2nd edition, 3.0 and 3.5, my D&D experience is coming to an end. I am sticking with 3.5 and Pathfinder. Quite honestly, it is not the rules that make the game, but your friends that sit around the game table with you making fun memories. Pathfinder provides cool stuff that makes awesome memories. We will continue to game on, drink Mountain Dew, snack on peanut M&M's, and get a few laughs along the way, while enjoying all the hard work that went into the Pathfinder setting. Game on.


KaeYoss wrote:
Hexmage1077 wrote:


a 4E version of Karzoug's statblock would probably be 1/3 the size of the existing 3.5 version.
You know, for me, that reads "1/3 the interesting" ;-P

You're kidding right? 4th Edition monster powers are WAY more thematic and interesting than 3.x's monster abilities...


P1NBACK wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
Hexmage1077 wrote:


a 4E version of Karzoug's statblock would probably be 1/3 the size of the existing 3.5 version.
You know, for me, that reads "1/3 the interesting" ;-P
You're kidding right? 4th Edition monster powers are WAY more thematic and interesting than 3.x's monster abilities...

When I read a 4E stat block, my thoughts tend to run along the lines of what the guy will do in combat - 1st this then this, and I appreciate how easy it will be to probably play at the time.

When I read a 3.5E stat block, its a different experience. It's much more stimulating to the imagination ("why'd he develop that craft (basketmaking) skill?) and it gets my creative juices flowing in how I may be able to use this guy in plot development or other ways outside of combat. Use in combat? Definitely improved with Paizo's method of laying out the stats, but still not easy to optimize for an unplanned encounter.

On a pure "interest" basis, the 3.5E stat block takes the cake. For ease of use in combat, 4E seems better. IMHO.


Daeglin wrote:
When I read a 4E stat block, my thoughts tend to run along the lines of what the guy will do in combat - 1st this then this, and I appreciate how easy it will be to probably play at the time.

That's funny, because whenever I read a 3.x stat block (which is rarely these days...) I find myself thinking "wow... I wish this guy had some cool ability like in 4th Edition" or "what the hell?? why does this ogre have basketweaving?? ah... right... this is 3.x and they had to fill out all the little meaningless check boxes of level-based monster creation..."

Seriously, if you want a creature to be a basketweaver in 4th Edition, you don't need to scan your MM for a creature that has the basketweaving skill - you just SAY that particular monster has basketweaving.

If anything 4E promotes using your imagination more than 3.x because as a DM you can make anything up you want for a 4E monster's "fluff". In 3.x you had to follow rigid guidelines... "Well, I want this kobold to be amazing at basketweaving, but I only have 4 skill points to spend, and I'd have to make his feat skill focus..." etc...

Anyways, to each his own I guess. I just want to point out that it's not a problem with the system, but a problem with the way you look at the system.


:/

Not sure what to think anymore round here. Bitter taste in mouth.


If I want a system that's only good for combat and has no rules for anything except combat, I won't blow 90 bucks on three core books. The D&D Minis Skirmish game rules are available for free on the net, and they offer the same roleplaying potential.


KaeYoss wrote:
If I want a system that's only good for combat and has no rules for anything except combat, I won't blow 90 bucks on three core books. The D&D Minis Skirmish game rules are available for free on the net, and they offer the same roleplaying potential.

I wonder if the "4E haters" are just misinformed, have their blinders on, or just simply want to lie about the system.

Actually, 4E has rules for resolving actions outside of combat. They are called SKILLS. And, in addition to the basic mechanics for resolving skill checks, a more complex approach to roleplay mechanics is presented called "Skill Challenges" that can be part of a combat or a stand-alone encounter system.

In addition, 4E has another robust system for magical effects outside of combat called "Rituals". These are magical effects that can produce a variety of problem solving measures, and can most definitely be used creatively and outside the box.

So tell me, how is 4E "only good for combat" any more than 3.x or Pathfinder? Please give me concise examples as evidence of such a statement.

Scarab Sages

LOL

This back and fore argument over who's edition is better is pathetic.

Just enjoy your respective games.

Your not going to convince one another and this hostility is getting a little childish.

My opinion - best mechanics 4E, best flavour/fluff 2E. I seem to like the even numbers.

Does my opinion somehow invalidate yours? No, so why bicker?

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

KaeYoss wrote:
If I want a system that's only good for combat and has no rules for anything except combat, I won't blow 90 bucks on three core books. The D&D Minis Skirmish game rules are available for free on the net, and they offer the same roleplaying potential.

Oooh! Burn!!! And an original and clever one at that! You lose a few points for failing to work in "and it's just like a video game you play at the table," but you've got a healthy dose of impotent gamer rage, so I'll let that slide.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
P1NBACK wrote:
stuff about 4e

You are missing the whole Point P1N...

They are not talking about the Rules..

They are talking about the 'Flavor Text" or Monster description..

3E goes so much more into Flavor Text then 4E does... 2E does more the 3E...

4E you get a couple of lines of Flavor Text...3/4 page of 'Rules" and some Lore DC *A little Flavor* on the Major Monsters

3E you get Stats, Some Combat Rules and tactics and a A few Paragraphs of Society Info on the Major Monsters..

3E did Much better on the Background of the monsters then 4E does in the MM...


Horus wrote:

LOL

This back and fore argument over who's edition is better is pathetic.

Just enjoy your respective games.

Your not going to convince one another and this hostility is getting a little childish.

My opinion - best mechanics 4E, best flavour/fluff 2E. I seem to like the even numbers.

Does my opinion somehow invalidate yours? No, so why bicker?

I wasn't trying to say 3.x or Pathfinder were "better" at all. I was simply correcting misinformation and asking for examples as evidence.

Never once did I mention one system was "better" than the other. Obviously that's going to be subjective to each person. But to say that one system is "only good for combat" as a FACT. Ha! That's b&%%&@&@.


Dragnmoon wrote:
P1NBACK wrote:
stuff about 4e

You are missing the whole Point P1N...

They are not talking about the Rules..

They are talking about the 'Flavor Text" or Monster description..

3E goes so much more into Flavor Text then 4E does... 2E does more the 3E...

4E you get a couple of lines of Flavor Text...3/4 page of 'Rules" and some Lore DC *A little Flavor* on the Major Monsters

3E you get Stats, Some Combat Rules and tactics and a A few Paragraphs of Society Info on the Major Monsters..

3E did Much better on the Background of the monsters then 4E does in the MM...

Actually, I think I do get it. He mentioned specifically a SKILL giving him inspiration for creativity (i.e. Basketweaving). That's in the "stat block", which was also said. Stat means Statistics. Not fluff.

But, if they are using "stat-block" to define the entire monster entry, I do apologize, my comments were specifically for the monster STAT block.


Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
Nah, I'd have just filled it in with a bunch of rambling fluff and overuse of the word "very". Hey, a freelancer's got to eat.

Let's hear it for Dickensian paid-by-the-word padding!

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Dragnmoon wrote:


3E did Much better on the Background of the monsters then 4E does in the MM...

I hesitate to say much on this, but I'll give it a shot and see if I can get it out in a non-inflammatory way.*

First off, I agree in general. 3e has more information about the monsters, and much more information about monsters outside of combat. As a reader of the books, you get a great deal of interesting information. If you have a well written module or a quality DM, the players at the table also get the information about the monsters from the description of their lairs, the way the monster is roleplayed in combat, etc. In general though, this information is delivered to the players in the form of non-interactive exposition.

4e changes the delivery method of the information. The way you learn about a monster is through the interactions with that monster in combat. So, for example, kobolds have an ability that allows them greater mobility in combat - this reflects the flavor that they are small and difficult to hit. They can use their mobility to get around obstacles that inhibit the movement of larger creatures. Even though the ability that does this is a relatively short amount of text, it communicates a great deal about the monster during combat - a point at which most players are engaged with the monster.

So, it's not just a matter of quantity of information. It's also a question of quality and presentation. A monster entry that has a 200 word description of the elaborate mating dance of the cockatrice may be filled with exiciting detail and interesting information, but it's just not that relevant to the play experience. Similarly, if you have an ability or two that is flavorful, that can do much more to convey the creature's identity to the players than anything else (and, greatly reduces the DM's workload).

All this being said, I must admit that while 4e moves the ball in the direction of providing greater information in the stat blocks, I would say that Paizo does the job even better. The monsters in the back of Pathfinder have a terrific amount of detail and usually come with a handful of thematic and interesting abilities. I am not a fan of the 3e stat block (I do like the way 4e concentrates a lot of information down into their stat blocks), and I think that it contains a lot of dead/useless information, but I do agree that 4e cut too far the other way.

Edit: Okay, back. Anyway, end of the day, I think that a lot of what 4e was designed to help DMs do out of the box, Paizo already does using the 3e/PFRPG rules set. They create exciting set pieces, they build awesome skill challenges, they generate flavorful villians and monsters, and the do it all with a rules set that is familiar enough that what they do is easily understandable by those who know that rules set. 4e is geared towards helping DMs build encounters like Paizo builds out of the box and it is designed to have a lower learning curve on the amount of rules needed to understand the encounters. That being said, I must admit that I don't yet grock the abilities in 4e the way I grock the abilities in 3e. That may be because I don't understand the system as well (yet), but I do think a part of the problem is that the abilities are presented in such a stripped down way that the flavor is lost in translation. 4e relies too heavily on the names of the abilities to convey flavor and too many abilities are built from mechanics and then have had flavor patched on top. These abilities are not as interesting as they could be, but the underlying tools set used to describe the abilities kicks ass.

*It might happen...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Hasn't 4th edition been out yet long enough for this kind of argument to have died out? There's room for both games. They're different games. Some folk will like one better than the other, and trying to convince the other side they're wrong is a waste of time.

SO! Embrace your favorite stat block and love your neighbor, please! I'm just sick to death of the edition wars, I guess. If this thread continues to be a baiting ground, I'll lock it. It's more or less done its job: At this time not going with 4th edition was not a mistake for Paizo; we're doing better than we have ever done and that's pretty much that.


James Jacobs wrote:
Had we gone with 4E, I suspect we would have done entirely different products. Products that play to 4E's strengths and don't rely on the large amounts of the game that are missing.

Out of curiousity, James, what do you feel that the strengths of 4e are? What sort of things would you focus on in a 4e adventure that you might not focus on in a Pathfinder adventure? Or, how would you go about altering a Pathfinder adventure to make it work better for 4e? There are many of us on the boards that are diligently working on conversions of Pathfinder adventure paths to 4e, and you might have some good insights for us.

Edit: The edition wars are never going to die. Hell, there's huge numbers of websites out there devoted to OD&D and 2nd edition that spew all kinds of bile about "those kids who play 3rd edition." Some people just can't let stuff go.

Contributor

Paizo absolutely made the right decision. I can look at 4E and acknowledge people's right to play it, and acknowledge its right to exist, but for me it still isn't D&D and it still isn't a game that I find particularly interesting or appealing. I'm not the only one who feels this way, and what so many of us want is the next LOGICAL evolution of 3.5, and continued support for it. Paizo is doing that, and in doing so, is becoming the AMD to WotCs Intel.

Further, I'd argue that if Paizo hadn't stepped up and taken a position of leadership, another company would have. At least with Paizo, we have some of the same names associated with it as we had with 3rd edition, which provides a sense of continuity. The involvement of Monte, SKR, and Erik Mona, even if they're playing supporting roles for Jason Bulhman, helps bridge the gap.

In all honesty, had Paizo gone a different way, I can't say that I'd be active around here. I was happy with the way things were situated up until last summer, but not being completely thrilled with 4E, I decided to see what was going on with Pathfinder. I'm glad I did. Along the way I happened to discover Golarion, which is an unintended bonus because of the sheer awesomeness of the setting. Now I have absolutely no qualms whatsoever proselytizing Pathfinder because if I had been the person making the decision at WotC, this is the direction I would have gone with it. To me, the Pathfinder RPG is D&D 4.0.

Sovereign Court

P1NBACK wrote:


Seriously, if you want a creature to be a basketweaver in 4th Edition, you don't need to scan your MM for a creature that has the basketweaving skill - you just SAY that particular monster has basketweaving. MORE STUFF CUT ...

Seriously friend ... I never had this problem with 3e.I fudged the stats all I wanted. some players complained sometimes, and I told : back off this is my monster, so yes, He can do it if he wants to. he's not the vanillia version.

I know many people rigidly followed 3e. I did not, and I enjoyed myself (and I believe my players are fairly happy too, else they would not come back).

Heck, this can be true in ANY edition : if your idea is better than what is published ... GO FOR IT !

But if 4e is doing it for you, hey that's just as good. Enjoy yourself, and keep gaming.


Darrin Drader wrote:
Further, I'd argue that if Paizo hadn't stepped up and taken a position of leadership, another company would have.

I don't know about that. The only other company that could come close (IMO) would be Goodman, and they were 4E from the start.

Had Paizo gone 4E, I really don't think anyone else currently in the market could have pulled off staying 3.5 with any significant following.


P1NBACK wrote:

Actually, I think I do get it. He mentioned specifically a SKILL giving him inspiration for creativity (i.e. Basketweaving). That's in the "stat block", which was also said. Stat means Statistics. Not fluff.

But, if they are using "stat-block" to define the entire monster entry, I do apologize, my comments were specifically for the monster STAT block.

When I wrote that, I was thinking specifically of a Paizo statblock in Pathfinder 15 (except the basketweaving thing, I just threw that in there) versus a WOTC statblock in Keep on the Shadowfell. I'm not trying to pull anyone's chain, and I apologize if I have; I remain a dedicated tri-editionist. The stats in a 3.5 statblock is more likely to make me think creative thoughts about flavor for that individual creature. The stats in a 4E statblock is more likely to make me think creative thoughts about how to use that individual creature in combat. I think these are both strengths. I wish there was some way to have those strengths together in both editions' adventure statblock, but there you go. Paizo's "tactics" addition to the 3.5 statblock is a good attempt, within the limitation of the system.

Re the original point of this thread? At this point, I don't care. I'd follow them along if they went back to 1E (now there was a good statblock!) :) And that's it for me and this thread.


Daeglin wrote:
When I wrote that, I was thinking specifically of a Paizo statblock in Pathfinder 16 (except the basketweaving thing, I just threw that in there) versus a WOTC statblock in Keep on the Shadowfell.

Do you have something against basketweavers?

-- Mitnal the Basketweaver.

Scarab Sages

My group and I bought all the cheap ass 3.5 books and made the decision to never go to 4 ed. There is SO much material for 3.5, more than I and my group could ever play, that there is no need to go to 4th.

I have recently fully subscribed to pathfinder as it is 3.5 and active. All (all that I know) other 3rd party and WotC appear to be going 4th ed. Means less for me to buy and narrows my choices that suit me.

I can not want for the pathfinder society to get up and offical so it can take its place at gaming convenions!


Daeglin wrote:
P1NBACK wrote:

Actually, I think I do get it. He mentioned specifically a SKILL giving him inspiration for creativity (i.e. Basketweaving). That's in the "stat block", which was also said. Stat means Statistics. Not fluff.

But, if they are using "stat-block" to define the entire monster entry, I do apologize, my comments were specifically for the monster STAT block.

When I wrote that, I was thinking specifically of a Paizo statblock in Pathfinder 15 (except the basketweaving thing, I just threw that in there) versus a WOTC statblock in Keep on the Shadowfell. I'm not trying to pull anyone's chain, and I apologize if I have; I remain a dedicated tri-editionist. The stats in a 3.5 statblock is more likely to make me think creative thoughts about flavor for that individual creature. The stats in a 4E statblock is more likely to make me think creative thoughts about how to use that individual creature in combat. I think these are both strengths. I wish there was some way to have those strengths together in both editions' adventure statblock, but there you go.

I'm not so sure that both are strengths. The reality of Dungeons & Dragons gameplay (and one that the 4th Edition design team took heed of) is that the vast majority of monsters see very little to no play outside of combat. Sure, it's nice for that goblin to have a +6 to Profession (make voodoo doll) but if that goblin is practically guaranteed to get cut down in the middle of combat there's very little point to providing that information to the DM when the priority could instead be placed on making that goblin interesting in the combat he's actually featured in.

Yes, for a handful of creatures or NPCs having relevant non-combat information available can occasionally be handy. Most of the time, however, it's simply a waste of text that could be otherwise spent.


Scott Betts wrote:


I'm not so sure that both are strengths. The reality of Dungeons & Dragons gameplay (and one that the 4th Edition design team took heed of) is that the vast majority of monsters see very little to no play outside of combat. Sure, it's nice for that goblin to have a +6 to Profession (make voodoo doll) but if that goblin is practically guaranteed to get cut down in the middle of combat there's very little point to providing that information to the DM when the priority could instead be placed on making that goblin interesting in the combat he's actually featured in.

Yes, for a handful of creatures or NPCs having relevant non-combat information available can occasionally be handy. Most of the time, however, it's simply a waste of text that could be otherwise spent.

Maybe it's a matter if DM and/or player immersion, though. If the focus of monsters is combat only, one might tend to view the game (and thus the campaign world) as combat-only.

If the monsters are shown to be a part of something bigger, with their ecology and culture explaining how they fit into the magical campaign world, maybe the feeling that goes with it enhances the enjoyment of the participants.

(Maybe not for everyone, but I think for some the immersion helps their emotional fulfillment from the game.)


Scott Betts wrote:

I'm not so sure that both are strengths. The reality of Dungeons & Dragons gameplay (and one that the 4th Edition design team took heed of) is that the vast majority of monsters see very little to no play outside of combat. Sure, it's nice for that goblin to have a +6 to Profession (make voodoo doll) but if that goblin is practically guaranteed to get cut down in the middle of combat there's very little point to providing that information to the DM when the priority could instead be placed on making that goblin interesting in the combat he's actually featured in.

Yes, for a handful of creatures or NPCs having relevant non-combat information available can occasionally be handy. Most of the time, however, it's simply a waste of text that could be otherwise spent.

Both are definitely strengths, because they cater to different types of gamers. From what I can tell in reading your posts, you and I play D&D very differently. That's not a good thing, or a bad thing (an definitely not an attack on your play style). It simply is what it is. Monsters in my games--all monsters--have a purpose and role outside what they do in combat.

This, for me, illustrates why Paizo didn't make a mistake in not going with 4E. Monsters are not just interesting combat options or XP bumps in Paizo adventures--the Golarion Goblin I think is a prime example. I know the combat-focused stat blocks of 4E do not prohibit RP, as the DM can simply make up whatever he likes or use material from other sources, but at the same time for many it seems they do not inspire RP. Paizo is focused on delivering a specific type of gaming product, one that focuses on a wide-angle view of the material, and they have found 3E/Pathfinder allows them the greatest opportunity to produce that material.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:

Hasn't 4th edition been out yet long enough for this kind of argument to have died out? There's room for both games. They're different games. Some folk will like one better than the other, and trying to convince the other side they're wrong is a waste of time.

Once again: Amen to that.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
DaveMage wrote:


Maybe it's a matter if DM and/or player immersion, though. If the focus of monsters is combat only, one might tend to view the game (and thus the campaign world) as combat-only.

If the monsters are shown to be a part of something bigger, with their ecology and culture explaining how they fit into the magical campaign world, maybe the feeling that goes with it enhances the enjoyment of the participants.

(Maybe not for everyone, but I think for some the immersion helps their emotional fulfillment from the game.)

Wow. That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking the moment I read Scott's post. If that goblin's got some skill at voodoo dolls, and totes them around or has them in his quarters, then there's an interesting point of departure from your standard base goblin, whether peacefully or violently encountered.

Dark Archive

Eh well the 3.5 pie is smaller than the 4.0 one, but Paizo's getting a much bigger piece of it then they used to. It sounds like they're doing just fine n dandy.


Daeglin wrote:
When I wrote that, I was thinking specifically of a Paizo statblock in Pathfinder 15 (except the basketweaving thing, I just threw that in there) versus a WOTC statblock in Keep on the Shadowfell. I'm not trying to pull anyone's chain, and I apologize if I have; I remain a dedicated tri-editionist. The stats in a 3.5 statblock is more likely to make me think creative thoughts about flavor for that individual creature. The stats in a 4E statblock is more likely to make me think creative thoughts about how to use that individual creature in combat. I think these are both strengths. I wish there was some way to have those strengths together in both editions' adventure statblock, but there you go. Paizo's "tactics" addition to the 3.5 statblock is a good attempt, within the limitation of the system

Right on man, I never meant to cause a disturbance. I probably seemed a little reactionary after KaeYoss's blatant lies about 4th Edition, but I honestly don't have anything against 3.x, Pathfinder, or 4th Edition. I just like to keep the facts straight.


Mitnal wrote:
Daeglin wrote:
When I wrote that, I was thinking specifically of a Paizo statblock in Pathfinder 16 (except the basketweaving thing, I just threw that in there) versus a WOTC statblock in Keep on the Shadowfell.

Do you have something against basketweavers?

-- Mitnal the Basketweaver.

Yes. Yes I do. For every "basketweaver" in my party who should have had skill points in "Hide" or "Move Silently"! Damn you!


Scott Betts wrote:
When I wrote that, I was thinking specifically of a Paizo statblock in Pathfinder 15 (except the basketweaving thing, I just threw that in there) versus a WOTC statblock in Keep on the Shadowfell. I'm not trying to pull anyone's chain, and I apologize if I have; I remain a dedicated tri-editionist. The stats in a 3.5 statblock is more likely to make me think creative thoughts about flavor for that individual creature. The stats in a 4E statblock is more likely to make me think creative thoughts about how to use that individual creature in combat. I think these are both strengths. I wish there was some way to have those strengths together in both editions' adventure statblock, but there you go.

I'm not so sure that both are strengths. The reality of Dungeons & Dragons gameplay (and one that the 4th Edition design team took heed of) is that the vast majority of monsters see very little to no play outside of combat. Sure, it's nice for that goblin to have a +6 to Profession (make voodoo doll) but if that goblin is practically guaranteed to get cut down in the middle of combat there's very little point to providing that information to the DM when the priority could instead be placed on making that goblin interesting in the combat he's actually featured in.

Yes, for a handful of creatures or NPCs having relevant non-combat information available can occasionally be handy. Most of the time, however, it's simply a waste of text that could be otherwise spent.

I agree Scott, and let's not forget about the great monsters who will eventually be played by PCs who might want some society information. There have been several "Dragon" articles detailing this information, such as Playing Gnolls, by Keith Baker.


erian_7 wrote:
This, for me, illustrates why Paizo didn't make a mistake in not going with 4E. Monsters are not just interesting combat options or XP bumps in Paizo adventures--the Golarion Goblin I think is a prime example. I know the combat-focused stat blocks of 4E do not prohibit RP, as the DM can simply make up whatever he likes or use material from other sources, but at the same time for many it seems they do not inspire RP. Paizo is focused on delivering a specific type of gaming product, one that focuses on a wide-angle view of the material, and they have found 3E/Pathfinder allows them the greatest opportunity to produce that material.

But you are comparing a campaign specific "goblin" to a default "goblin". I think this is exactly why WotC didn't try to bog down the Monster Manual with pages and pages of fluff. Instead, leave the fluff to specific campaigns or DMs.

You speak about the "Golarion Goblin", but 4th Edition has the "Forgotten Realms Goblin" and the "Eberron Goblin" and both of those are just as viable and interesting and make a much better comparison.

So you are right - Paizo is delivering a specific type of material, one that focuses on THEIR campaign world.

WotC is delivering material designed to be used in ANY campaign world, including their own published ones.


P1NBACK wrote:
Mitnal wrote:
Daeglin wrote:
When I wrote that, I was thinking specifically of a Paizo statblock in Pathfinder 16 (except the basketweaving thing, I just threw that in there) versus a WOTC statblock in Keep on the Shadowfell.

Do you have something against basketweavers?

-- Mitnal the Basketweaver.

Yes. Yes I do. For every "basketweaver" in my party who should have had skill points in "Hide" or "Move Silently"! Damn you!

"But ... but ... but look at these lovely baskets! Where do you keep your treasure? Surely, you could use a hand-crafted authentic Shoanti basket!?"

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
P1NBACK wrote:


But you are comparing a campaign specific "goblin" to a default "goblin". I think this is exactly why WotC didn't try to bog down the Monster Manual with pages and pages of fluff. Instead, leave the fluff to specific campaigns or DMs.

You speak about the "Golarion Goblin", but 4th Edition has the "Forgotten Realms Goblin" and the "Eberron Goblin" and both of those are just as viable and interesting and make a much better comparison.

So you are right - Paizo is delivering a specific type of material, one that focuses on THEIR campaign world.

WotC is delivering material designed to be used in ANY campaign world, including their own published ones.

Though I have no issue with 4e Rules...They are rules...rules are rules..

I prefer the method they used for Fluffing out the Monsters in the 3e MMs...

Just a personal Preference..

To me the lack of the Fluff in the MM in 4e is point against it..

Leaving the fluff to the DMs does not make it easier for them as is a huge point for 4e *Easier to run system for DMS* but adds more work for them.

Luckily those of us that have the older books can steal from those.


P1NBACK wrote:

But you are comparing a campaign specific "goblin" to a default "goblin". I think this is exactly why WotC didn't try to bog down the Monster Manual with pages and pages of fluff. Instead, leave the fluff to specific campaigns or DMs.

You speak about the "Golarion Goblin", but 4th Edition has the "Forgotten Realms Goblin" and the "Eberron Goblin" and both of those are just as viable and interesting and make a much better comparison.

So you are right - Paizo is delivering a specific type of material, one that focuses on THEIR campaign world.

WotC is delivering material designed to be used in ANY campaign world, including their own published ones.

Of course I'm talking about a campaign specific goblin--this thread is asking whether Paizo made a mistake in not going 4E--for their specific campaign, they did not as they have found 3E best suits their needs for Pathfinder/Golarion.

If we were trying to discuss Paizo's generic goblin (or any monster entry), we couldn't actually do that right now because the Pathfinder Bestiary hasn't been released. We can speculate, however, that the Paizo monster format will follow in the steps of what they are releasing in the Pathfinder APs and such. This format betters meets the needs of DMs like me (and others on this thread) that like more than combat stat blocks for monster entries.

Again, this is neither good nor bad--the 3E/Pathfinder method meets the needs of certain gamers, while 4E meets the needs of others.


Oh the humanity!

Check out the Lore sections in the 4E MM. Fluff is there.


My two cents.
I do not believe that Paizo made a mistake. I have read the 4th ED rules and I personally dislike them. I cannot begin to express my sorrow over what they have done to my favorite setting of the Forgotten Realms. I play in the realms because of the diversity there and my personal favorite place of Halruua has been destroyed.

All I can say is well done and Thank You Paizo.

P.S. My personal wish/ dream list is for you guys to get the rights to the forgotten realms and put them back the way they should have been, but I have a better chance of winning the lottery I'm sure.

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