|Mark Moreland Franchise Manager|
EDIT: And, seriously, this seems to be the main point of disagreement. In my personal opinion, a DnD campaign that does not leave the world significantly changed and PCs' names (if they succeed) remembered for centures, goes against the spirit of the genre - and makes me wonder why we're playing DnD, instead of Warhammer Fantasy, if PCs aren't allowed to actually exercise their ever-crazier power outside of plot confines.
Yeah thats fine if thats what you like. But not everyone wants that in their games either and DnD can be run many many ways. So paizo needs to make sure they make stuff that appeals to a wide range of people and gaming styles. But constantly making big changes they would only be appealing to one of them.
Now you can say but not making changes they don't appeal to those that want the big changes. But James already said why they don't want to do that, the have to keep changing the setting. While others have pointed out that it can work, it is a big risk cause it can also backfire.
Paizo is a young company with a brand new game and setting, i don't blame them for playing it safe. One major misstep like making major changes to their setting and most of their fans don't like could have serious problems for them as a company.
At this point James has made it pretty clear Paizo is not going to do what you want. So i don't get why you are still arguing it. You made your feelings more than well known already.
|James Jacobs Creative Director|
One of the oldest continuing RPG campaigns, GDW's Traveller, did indeed keep incrementing the timeline, month-by-month. Most of that incremental growth was along the nature of discovery and exploration, but there were also the Fourth and Fifth Frontier Wars against the Zhodani, the Darrian "star trigger" event, the political shifts, and so on.
And Traveller had a lot of fans, who picked up new issues of JTAS just to find out what had happened. It wasn't until the Rebellion and "Shattered Imperium" in MegaTraveller, which arguably broke the setting, that fans objected.
The same could be said for Greyhawk, all the updates that appreared in Dragon, and the Greyhawk Wars.
Why do you feel Golarion is different?
I'm not that familiar with Traveller, but I do know that it's not a game that's held up as "easy." Neither is it a game that ever really significantly broke into the mass market. It's a cool game, but it's complexity self-limits how big its player base can become. We're not aiming for that level of complexity with Pathfinder or Golarion. (And I could be way off on my assumptions about Traveller, having never actually played a Traveller campaign but only tried to read the rules). So comparing Traveller to Pathfinder isn't really fair; it's like comparing EVE Online to Warcraft.
Comparing Golarion to Greyhawk is a better comparison. And I'll point out that the Greyhawk Wars FRACTURED the Greyhawk fan base and did, I would say, more harm than good to the setting's stability and popularity, unfortunately.
In 1st edition, the vast majority of Greyhawk's world development took place in the form of adventures. That's precisely the model for world development that we took for Golarion, initially, and once that was successful we started branching out to doing non-adventure campaign expansions.
But as the editions wore on, regular support for Greyhawk declined. New Greyhawk releases, for the bulk of D&D's life, have been sporadic, with a few fits of heavy support surrounded by gulfs of nothing. This annoyed Greyhawk fans (myself included), but did make it a relatively easy setting to keep caught up on. Greyhawk as a setting was never really supported to the extent that Forgotten Realms was, and certainly not to the extent that Golarion is now. We're essentially putting out 3 products a month... 200 pages a month (sometimes more)... The only campaign setting that's received that level of support, I believe, is the Forgotten Realms. So that's the setting we've been paying close attention to, and all of the choices that were made in developing the Realms that caused lots of anger or customer backlash are choices we're consciously trying to avoid. And one of those is the concept of specifically advancing the timeline or periodic world-changing events.
SO! In closing, Golarion is different from Traveller in that it's not trying to be as complex, and it's different than Greyhawk in that we're putting out a VASTLY larger amount of support material (although comparisons to Greyhawk's development in early 1st edition when D&D was at its height of popularity are pretty apt).