Bought 3.5 Campaign setting, will there be a PFRPG downloadable update?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Dark Archive

I bought the old Pathfinder Campaign setting book about 2 months before I found out about the PFRPG update coming in September. I'm wondering if there will be a downloadable update for those of us with the previous version of the book? I wouldn't even mind paying for a PDF with updates, but another $50 book... Will the new Campaign Setting be vastly different enough to make this impossible, or rather worth buying the same thing a second time?

I kinda feel like an Apple customer who bought an iPhone a month and a half before the next gen is released.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

coff wrote:

I bought the old Pathfinder Campaign setting book about 2 months before I found out about the PFRPG update coming in September. I'm wondering if there will be a downloadable update for those of us with the previous version of the book? I wouldn't even mind paying for a PDF with updates, but another $50 book... Will the new Campaign Setting be vastly different enough to make this impossible, or rather worth buying the same thing a second time?

I kinda feel like an Apple customer who bought an iPhone a month and a half before the next gen is released.

The revised campaign setting is not as much a reprint as it is a full revision. It's going to be 64 pages longer and it's going to be almost completely reorganized with new art and new stuff all over the place. A PDF update would have to be the entire book, more or less, so we aren't going to be doing a PDF update.

As a result, I'm doing my best to make it worth buying a second time, but at the SAME time I'm also doing my best to not introduce many changes into the book. In a few cases, changes to the world are unfortunately unavoidable, as elements have changed fundamentally between the Hardcover and the direction Golarion has gone with our other products, but for the most part, folks should be able to continue using the first edition of the Campaign Setting hardcover with no problem to enjoy all of the Campaign Setting products we'll be releasing in the future.

Your comparison to the customer who bought an iPhone a month an a half before the next generation is released is, unfortunately, pretty accurate.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We will be pricing the PDF quite reasonably, though.

Liberty's Edge

I haven't had the chance to buy the original book, but if the PDF is priced like the core rulebook, I'd probably be drawn into buying it. Of course I'll probably go buy the hardback anyways because its easier to read.

Is it true that the player's guide to the Pathfinder Campaign Setting is going to be perfect bound? Is there going to be a notable amount stuff in it that wouldn't be in the Campaign Setting book?


James Jacobs wrote:
In a few cases, changes to the world are unfortunately unavoidable, as elements have changed fundamentally between the Hardcover and the direction Golarion has gone with our other products

I hope this is not taken to mean that the events detailed in the APs and Modules have been written into the timeline?


Brutal Ben wrote:

I haven't had the chance to buy the original book, but if the PDF is priced like the core rulebook, I'd probably be drawn into buying it. Of course I'll probably go buy the hardback anyways because its easier to read.

Is it true that the player's guide to the Pathfinder Campaign Setting is going to be perfect bound? Is there going to be a notable amount stuff in it that wouldn't be in the Campaign Setting book?

If by "Player's Guide" you mean the Inner Sea Primer, no, it is in the Companion line and is thus only 32 pages. It'll be bound the same way all the Companions and modules have thus far been bound. I believe 64 pages is the smallest perfectbound book they've yet released.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Evil Lincoln wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In a few cases, changes to the world are unfortunately unavoidable, as elements have changed fundamentally between the Hardcover and the direction Golarion has gone with our other products
I hope this is not taken to mean that the events detailed in the APs and Modules have been written into the timeline?

Nope; we still assume ALL of our modules start more or less at the "current year." Even if the "current year" moves its date.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In a few cases, changes to the world are unfortunately unavoidable, as elements have changed fundamentally between the Hardcover and the direction Golarion has gone with our other products
I hope this is not taken to mean that the events detailed in the APs and Modules have been written into the timeline?
Nope; we still assume ALL of our modules start more or less at the "current year." Even if the "current year" moves its date.

I hope one day they will be though. :P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

SirUrza wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In a few cases, changes to the world are unfortunately unavoidable, as elements have changed fundamentally between the Hardcover and the direction Golarion has gone with our other products
I hope this is not taken to mean that the events detailed in the APs and Modules have been written into the timeline?
Nope; we still assume ALL of our modules start more or less at the "current year." Even if the "current year" moves its date.
I hope one day they will be though. :P

Since officially nailing down a start date for our adventures and modules and including their events in a timeline makes the modules obsolete and less desirable as purchases due to the perception that "those events already occurred," we're VERY unlikely to do this. The only time I see us making a previous adventure's events into a timeline is when we do a sequel to an adventure, in which case the previous events are considered history for the sequel adventure only.

Shadow Lodge

This is disappointing. I first bought the Gazetteer 2 years ago (June 08). A few months later the Campaign Setting was released and largely superseded the Gazetteer. Now the Campaign Setting is getting re-released and I am forced to contemplate buying the same material (though expanded each time) a third time in just a little over 2 years. I think with any other product this would bug me a lot less but I already have a pretty much worthless copy of the Gazetteer sitting around.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Gazetteer will still be a good intro to Golarion. It's generic enough that I believe that 99% of the info inside will be compatible with the revised CS.

And as for buying CS twice, well, blame WotC ;)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

0gre wrote:
This is disappointing. I first bought the Gazetteer 2 years ago (June 08). A few months later the Campaign Setting was released and largely superseded the Gazetteer. Now the Campaign Setting is getting re-released and I am forced to contemplate buying the same material (though expanded each time) a third time in just a little over 2 years. I think with any other product this would bug me a lot less but I already have a pretty much worthless copy of the Gazetteer sitting around.

For what it's worth, we don't plan on having to rebuild our rules again in a year or two; the goal with the World Guide is that it'll be more or less the final stab at the definitive Golarion campaign setting book.

We're not deliberately trying to rob you by updating the book again so soon.

But the truth is that we're pretty much sold out of the current Campaign Setting hardcover, and it's simply not an option to not have the core book for our entire campaign world be out of print. If we did that, we might as well just stop printing modules and adventure paths and companion guides and campaign setting material entirely. Which would be a FANTASTICALLY terrible idea.

I suppose we could have simply just reprinted the book and updated a few pages to work with the new rules, but there's so many ways we can improve and polish the book that a simple reprint was in many ways a bad idea.

Sorry it's forcing you to contemplate buying the same material again, but it's my job to make sure that folks who bought the previous two versions WON'T regret buying it again.

My advice, wait for the reviews of the book to come in and/or look through a copy at a FLGS and decide then.

If you already have the Gazetteer or the hardcover Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting, though, you'll still be able to make sense of and use the other campaign materials like APs and companions, though; we're doing our best to make sure that the books are compatible in that regard. The new version just has a lot more information in it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gorbacz wrote:
And as for buying CS twice, well, blame WotC ;)

Please keep the edition-wars and anti-WotC comments to yourself. I've already had to lock some threads today for editionwar mongering.

It's our choice to do a new edition of the CS rather than just reprint it with the rules modified. If someone wants to complain about that, blaming Paizo is correct.

As I said above, I hope that we'll be able to make this book WORTH it to folks to buy even if they've already bought the previous edition a few years ago. If I do my job right, once the book's published, folks won't see it as a reprint but an expansion.


0gre wrote:
This is disappointing. I first bought the Gazetteer 2 years ago (June 08). A few months later the Campaign Setting was released and largely superseded the Gazetteer. Now the Campaign Setting is getting re-released and I am forced to contemplate buying the same material (though expanded each time) a third time in just a little over 2 years. I think with any other product this would bug me a lot less but I already have a pretty much worthless copy of the Gazetteer sitting around.

Such is the way with campaign settings, as long as I can remember. Pathfinder's turnover is a little faster than most, yes, but that's partly because of the way they are building the setting. I think that designing a world FOR adventures rather than FROM adventures is the superior method.

I wish there was a solution to the obsolescence problem, but I can't see how that would work. Maybe if there were actually a planned obsolescence date on the products?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I have the old hardback, but I won't regret picking up the new one. I believe the PDF will be reasonably priced if you just want to update your collection that way.

The reality is, Paizo isn't going to reprint any book that isn't updated for PRPG.

Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
We're not deliberately trying to rob you by updating the book again so soon.

I would never deliberately suggest such a thing and hopefully I didn't imply it. Paizo is one of the most honest and forthright companies I've dealt with.

This still bugs me. If the PDF is a good price maybe I'll pick it up.


Why not offer a trade in discount on the new CS if you bought the old CS and/or the Gazetteer? It should be easy to verify who purchased the old editions if they bought them on Paizo.com. If they bought them elsewhere they can just ship them into Paizo for a discount.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
cibet wrote:
Why not offer a trade in discount on the new CS if you bought the old CS and/or the Gazetteer? It should be easy to verify who purchased the old editions if they bought them on Paizo.com. If they bought them elsewhere they can just ship them into Paizo for a discount.

That would put overseas customers at a great disadvantage. An person in the US would be able to ship their copy of CS for 5 USD, I would have to pay 20, pray for it not getting lost along the way, and have it at Paizo HQ after, at best, 2-3 weeks.


For the record I bought the original Gazetteer, thane the Campaign Setting book. With the Inner Sea Campaign Setting book coming out, I'm really ecstatic about it. There are some things changing that I'm not liking (the change to Alkenstar), but otherwise the shift of rules content is what the allure is.

I was a loyal 3.5 semi-completionist when it was at its height and I still have quite a definitive collection of D20/OGL rulebooks. With Pathfinder continuing to carry the torch of the rules system I love, that IMO Pathfinder is what 4E should have been. I love my gaming collection, Pathfinder does not invalidate it; sure it's a 3 ring finagle to convert some of the material, but in other places it's a snap. Whaich is why I love Pathfinder.

I am now starting to expand my Pathfinder material with 3PP material and I expect and hope that it will continue to grow. My homebrew is thankful for all the Pathfinder material that comes out as it presents less work on my part to update the 3.5/D20/OGL material. Thank you Paizo for making me a very happy customer. You have three guaranteed sales on the updated campaign setting book from me.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

I'll be picking up the PDF. More for financial reasons than anything else.

And the Gazetteer is an awesome book for PCs. We're getting ready to run Kingmaker and I'm going to be bringing my copy of the Gaz to lend out to the group. So far all the group knows of the setting is the CotCT campaign. One of the players in the group wants to play a paladin and isn't even familiar with all 3 LG deities. The Gaz is just collecting dust so why not put it to good use. Meanwhile, I've got the CS, the GttRK, and ... phrasma knows how many others.


Gorbacz wrote:
cibet wrote:
Why not offer a trade in discount on the new CS if you bought the old CS and/or the Gazetteer? It should be easy to verify who purchased the old editions if they bought them on Paizo.com. If they bought them elsewhere they can just ship them into Paizo for a discount.
That would put overseas customers at a great disadvantage. An person in the US would be able to ship their copy of CS for 5 USD, I would have to pay 20, pray for it not getting lost along the way, and have it at Paizo HQ after, at best, 2-3 weeks.

But it would still help the vast majority of other Paizo customers that already purchased the CS.

With a trade in discount Paizo could cover the cost of creating the new CS but not double dip on the profit margin for those that already purchased it. Win/win.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
cibet wrote:


With a trade in discount Paizo could cover the cost of creating the new CS but not double dip on the profit margin for those that already purchased it. Win/win.

From a business stand point though it makes no sense. What do you do with all of the used copies of an obsolete product? Not to mention the logistcal nightmare of keeping track of who sent in the book and how do we associate that with an account on the website. I have to agree with the way Paizo is doing it, you aggressivly price the PDF so it feels like you are only paying for the additional content and then let us crazy completists out here, and anyone new, buy the new hardcover.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
cibet wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
cibet wrote:
Why not offer a trade in discount on the new CS if you bought the old CS and/or the Gazetteer? It should be easy to verify who purchased the old editions if they bought them on Paizo.com. If they bought them elsewhere they can just ship them into Paizo for a discount.
That would put overseas customers at a great disadvantage. An person in the US would be able to ship their copy of CS for 5 USD, I would have to pay 20, pray for it not getting lost along the way, and have it at Paizo HQ after, at best, 2-3 weeks.

But it would still help the vast majority of other Paizo customers that already purchased the CS.

With a trade in discount Paizo could cover the cost of creating the new CS but not double dip on the profit margin for those that already purchased it. Win/win.

No, it's a lose if you live outside the America, which, funny as it happens, some Paizo customers do. Don't make use feel bad enough already, with PaizoCon at the wrong side of he pond, shipping delays and fluctuating USD-to-anything else exchange ratio. We're persistent, but giving *more* edge to US customers is not exactly what we are after.

Also, what Justin says, logistical nightmare for a company who could pack their entire staff into a small van.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:
There are some things changing that I'm not liking (the change to Alkenstar)...

Until the book is out, don't worry too much about not liking the changes.

At this point, ALL of the information about Alkenstar is remaining in the book. It's just getting moved to the section on the Mana Wastes, which is a larger region and thus should have its own entry, and since Alkenstar is a city inside that region, that's where that info is moving. The major thing in Alkenstar that IS changing is that the creation of firearms is going to become a MUCH more recent development there.

But Alkenstar itself isn't going anywhere.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gorbacz wrote:
Also, what Justin says, logistical nightmare for a company who could pack their entire staff into a small van.

Actually, we'd need a bus to carry all of our staff. Paizo is, as far as RPG companies go, pretty sizable.

It'd still be a logistical nightmare, even for a company the size of WotC to do a trade-in type program, of course...


James Jacobs wrote:


It'd still be a logistical nightmare, even for a company the size of WotC to do a trade-in type program, of course...

OK then how about if you bought the original CS on Paizo.com? I know this can be tracked electronically since all my Paizo purchases are in my order history. So anyone who bought the original CS or Gazetteer on Paizo.com gets a discount on the new CS when ordered from Paizo.com. It's something at least.

I don't know why I'm even beating this horse I don't plan on buying the CS anyway. Someone who is can pick up this thread. Good luck.

Dark Archive

Can I at least expect to see fire arms from Alkenstar revisited?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

cibet wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


It'd still be a logistical nightmare, even for a company the size of WotC to do a trade-in type program, of course...

OK then how about if you bought the original CS on Paizo.com? I know this can be tracked electronically since all my Paizo purchases are in my order history. So anyone who bought the original CS or Gazetteer on Paizo.com gets a discount on the new CS when ordered from Paizo.com. It's something at least.

I don't know why I'm even beating this horse I don't plan on buying the CS anyway. Someone who is can pick up this thread. Good luck.

Effectively penalizing customers who didn't buy directly from us isn't a very workable idea for us.

Shadow Lodge

Good lord. If it really bothers you this much, people, don't upgrade to the PFRPG version.

My own personal plans: Gonna probably sell the 3.5e CS. I have little doubt that there will be some market for it. Hell, some people still play 3.5e. Gonna keep the map though...the upcoming enormous Inner Sea Map Folio will be nice, but the 3.5e CS map is a lot handier size.

Gonna keep the 3.5e CS PDF, as there's no real legal way for me to sell it, and simply deleting it would be pointless. And if I prefer something the way it was presented in the 3.5e CS, I'll still have access to it.

Shadow Lodge

Kthulhu wrote:
Good lord. If it really bothers you this much, people, don't upgrade to the PFRPG version.

Seems like you are the one getting excited. If it bothers you this much then don't read it. Everyone is perfectly aware of the option to not upgrade and your repeating that obvious fact in a rude tone doesn't make it more appealing.

Last I heard the Paizo folks prefer to hear from their customers, if that changes I expect they'll let us know.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

coff wrote:
Can I at least expect to see fire arms from Alkenstar revisited?

Firearms remain a part of Golarion. There'll be about a page of rules for firearms and black powder and all of that, I suspect.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
Firearms remain a part of Golarion. There'll be about a chapter of rules for firearms and black powder and another chapter about Alkenstar, I suspect.

You had some misleading statements there, sir, but I fixed 'em for ya.


Kthulhu wrote:


Gonna keep the 3.5e CS PDF, as there's no real legal way for me to sell it, and simply deleting it would be pointless.

And this is this way why, because the legalities have still not caught up with the technology yet? The book, music and movie companies have tried to keep people from selling their used copies of those products and have failed every time. Sure, maybe you can't open a used pdf store, but there is no reason legally you can't sell your unwanted pdf's privately to someone who does want them.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Because the terms of the sale/purchase contract between you and Paizo Publishing state that you cannot sell, distribute or copy the stuff you buy excepting printing one copy for personal use.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Tom Baumbach wrote:
You had some misleading statements there, sir, but I fixed 'em for ya.

Not cool, dude. If a Paizo staffer announces that there will be a page of something in an upcoming product, don't go around claiming he said there will be a full chapter of that material.

If someone skimming through this thread misses the post by James Jacobs but sees your incorrect quote of that post, they might start repeating your bogus claims about James Jacobs' words in other threads. And that could lead customers to believe that your blatant misinformation actually originated with a Paizo staffer.

Jokingly saying "fixed that for you" or some such thing doesn't change the fact that you just put your own words in someone else's mouth.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Especially when it's something as polarizing as firearms in fantasy—an element that causes nearly as much arguments as deciding whether or not Batman is chaotic good.

In any case, firearms always were intended to be a small, fringe element in Golarion. They more or less got accidentally over-emphasized in the first hardcover, and that's going to be adjusted in the new book. They're not going away, but they're getting less coverage.

PRIMARY EXAMPLE OF CHAGNE: As it stands right now, the people of Golarion have had firearms for over 2,800 years—but in those years, guns haven't progressed beyond flintlock/black powder tech level? That's a bit hard to swallow, so the invention of firearms is becoming a MUCH more recent development. The end result is the same—guns are available in Golarion but are very expensive and still in the sketchy "just invented and pretty dangerous to use" category.

Scarab Sages

Epic Meepo wrote:
Hilarious, dude!

Fixed that for you, too. But my levity is clearly not welcomed nor seen for what it is, thus, I rescind all statements in this thread. If I could delete, I would.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
cibet wrote:
I don't know why I'm even beating this horse I don't plan on buying the CS anyway. Someone who is can pick up this thread. Good luck.

No one's going to pick it up. The problem is, even with a trade in program, you had no answer to what Paizo can do with the old books they take. Resell them? Fine? For how much? It has to be greater then what they bought them back for. So how much do they give us off the new book? $10? Ok, so they have to resell the used book for $15. But what about books not in good condition, are they worth the same as books in perfect. So now they have to categorize conditions and have multiple used skus to be fair right? Resale becomes a pain in the ass.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

James, quick question. How will this affect the legendary bombards used by Taldor, particularly the big one lost by one of the expeditionary armies and now in possession of the ape king?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Tom Baumbach wrote:
Fixed that for you, too. But my levity is clearly not welcomed nor seen for what it is...

If it makes you feel any better, I'm not targeting you, specifically. It's just that I've had it with this asinine "FTFY" meme. From this point forward, I'm flagging every post I find that attributes quotes to people who never said them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tessius wrote:
James, quick question. How will this affect the legendary bombards used by Taldor, particularly the big one lost by one of the expeditionary armies and now in possession of the ape king?

We'll probably just never mention those bombards again. If folks like them, they're free to keep using them. We won't provide any more info about them, though. But neither will we say in print "There were never legendary bombards," so that we won't deliberately in print contradict ourselves.

If at some point in the future we detail the Gorilla King's palace, we'll probably not include the bombards, but neither will we say, "The Gorilla King NEVER had a bombard in his palace."

Certain elements just get "let go" and never spoken of again.


Ludwig Van Beethoven wrote:
If it makes you feel any better, I'm not targeting you, specifically. It's just that I've had it with this asinine "FTFY" meme. From this point forward, I'm flagging every post I find that attributes quotes to people who never said them.
Genghis Kahn wrote:
If it makes you feel any better, I'm not targeting you, specifically. It's just that I've had it with this asinine "FTFY" meme. From this point forward, I'm flagging every post I find that attributes quotes to people who never said them.
Nancy Kerrigan wrote:
If it makes you feel any better, I'm not targeting you, specifically. It's just that I've had it with this asinine "FTFY" meme. From this point forward, I'm flagging every post I find that attributes quotes to people who never said them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I actually agree. The quote system degrades each time it's abused.


James Jacobs wrote:
we might as well just stop printing modules and adventure paths

No thanks. I suspect the vast majority of buyers adapt the modules/adventures to better campaign settings anyways.

Like they have for 20+ years, and will continue to do so for the next 20+ years.


James Jacobs wrote:
I actually agree. The quote system degrades each time it's abused.

Oh, I agree too - completely, in fact. I was just illustrating that the statement, "I'm flagging every post I find that attributes quotes to people who never said them," can be taken multiple ways.

I hate "Fixed that for you" humor...it demeans the mighty troll empire.

Liberty's Edge

Arnwyn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
we might as well just stop printing modules and adventure paths

No thanks. I suspect the vast majority of buyers adapt the modules/adventures to better campaign settings anyways.

Like they have for 20+ years, and will continue to do so for the next 20+ years.

I strongly suspect you're completely wrong about this. From my standpoint, I'm not sure what "better" campaign setting is out there. There was one Realm I used to like a lot - I've Forgotten what it was called, now - but a cataclysmic world event happend, and... (closely eyes James's "edition wars" comment above). Let's just say it's not so appealing or cohesive nowadays.


Jeremiziah wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
we might as well just stop printing modules and adventure paths

No thanks. I suspect the vast majority of buyers adapt the modules/adventures to better campaign settings anyways.

Like they have for 20+ years, and will continue to do so for the next 20+ years.

I strongly suspect you're completely wrong about this. From my standpoint, I'm not sure what "better" campaign setting is out there. There was one Realm I used to like a lot - I've Forgotten what it was called, now - but a cataclysmic world event happend, and... (closely eyes James's "edition wars" comment above). Let's just say it's not so appealing or cohesive nowadays.

Replace the word "better" with "other" and I think you'll get a less controversial version of what Arnwyn is trying to say.

I think that Arnwyn is trying to say that, contrary to James Jacobs' assertion, modules and adventure paths CAN sell, even without a campaign setting book. I think that Arnwyn is saying that GMs have always adapted modules to settings other than those for which the modules were written, and that GMs will continue to do so for as long as RPGs, as we know them, are around.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Except that it is in Paizo's best interest to have people buy Golarion stuff, not to publish settingless material. Settingless...sterile...yuck.

Anyway, everybody knows that there is one best Campaign Setting in existence. Planescape. But Golarion comes so close second that it can almost breath on Lady's neck (providing she has one) *and* it can coexist with Planescape, so it's a win-win for me :)


Gorbacz wrote:
Except that it is in Paizo's best interest to have people buy Golarion stuff, not to publish settingless material. Settingless...sterile...yuck.

I'm not saying that it's the BEST way to sell adventures. But it CAN be done.

I'll never forget the "Beholder" trilogy of modules by Thomas Reid. It was packaged as settingless, and I ran most of the trilogy in a Greyhawk campaign...

...and much later, I got the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, and laughed. It became clear to me that the trilogy must have been originally written for Waterdeep, and just got the proper nouns changed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aaron Bitman wrote:
I think that Arnwyn is trying to say that, contrary to James Jacobs' assertion, modules and adventure paths CAN sell, even without a campaign setting book. I think that Arnwyn is saying that GMs have always adapted modules to settings other than those for which the modules were written, and that GMs will continue to do so for as long as RPGs, as we know them, are around.

I've been developing/editing adventures for more than 7 years, and have been writing them for publication about 25 years, and in that time one thing I've realized is that, while many GMs WILL adapt an adventure to their own choice for setting, it's ALWAYS best to have a setting in mind when you're writing an adventure.

If a GM is going to adapt an adventure, he doesn't care whether the proper nouns are made up for only that adventure or if they're taken from an established setting. It's the same amount of work for him either way. In fact, if the GM is familiar with the setting the adventure's written for, it's LESS work for him to convert it because he's more familiar with the adventure's setting and thus it's easier for him to adapt it, since he'll know more about the proper nouns and won't have to guess what many of them mean.

So it's kind of pointless to not set adventures in an established setting. And it's a LOT more difficult to write an adventure that's not set in a game world, since that means not only does the adventure writer need to produce an adventure, but he has to do all of the relevant world-building work as well.

And even if 80 of an adventure's GMs run that adventure in a homebrew and only 20 run the adventure in the setting it's written for, each of those 80 homebrew games are DIFFERENT. The 20 running in the adventure's native world are all running in the same world. So what you have there is an adventure that's being run in 81 different campaigns, but one of those campaigns is, on a case by case basis, MUCH more popular than any of the other 80.

And for what it's worth, from feedback I've been getting, there's a lot more people playing Golarion that Arnwyn seems to think...

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