"Did WotC underestimate the Paizo effect on 4E?" thread on Enworld


Gamer Life General Discussion

1 to 50 of 57 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge

Pretty interesting (and LOOOOOONG) thread over on enworld:

Did WotC underestimate the Paizo effect on 4E?.

I appologize if this has been mentioned already.


WOTC or perhaps Hasbro, underestimated the OGL effect. That is evident in pathfinder, retro-clones, fantasy craft, etc. Once that box was open, the rest is history. The only question, is will they learn and make adjustments. 4E as an idea is great, it just needs to be tweaked.

I understand some people will never support WOTC again, if only for the sake of bad feelings, or just not liking the direction it took.

It's great pathfinder has been succesful, but overall, I am still hoping for something different that isn't D20, but has the following to create the worlds, adventures, etc.

I still don't get why D20 is still a preferred as a system (dice mechanic), but that gets into other debates on dice theory, averaging, etc.

Dark Archive

Marc Radle wrote:

Pretty interesting (and LOOOOOONG) thread over on enworld:

Did WotC underestimate the Paizo effect on 4E?.

I appologize if this has been mentioned already.

I'll have to read it fully before I can comment. The thing is, without numbers, how are we suppose to know how well 4E is doing? I used to work in the games industry, so I had info from Alliance, ACD, and other major distributors. But I no longer do, so for all I know, WotC is making a killing on 4E and taking names. Paizo certainly competes with WotC now, but are they a close fight? I don't know the answers (though I don't think so), but I suspect that Paizo is still a small company of 20-30 people in office. I recognize the signs of these people and their multiple hats.

Dark Archive

Uchawi wrote:

WOTC or perhaps Hasbro, underestimated the OGL effect. That is evident in pathfinder, retro-clones, fantasy craft, etc. Once that box was open, the rest is history. The only question, is will they learn and make adjustments. 4E as an idea is great, it just needs to be tweaked.

I understand some people will never support WOTC again, if only for the sake of bad feelings, or just not liking the direction it took.

It's great pathfinder has been succesful, but overall, I am still hoping for something different that isn't D20, but has the following to create the worlds, adventures, etc.

I still don't get why D20 is still a preferred as system (dice mechanic), but that gets into other debates on dice theory, averaging, etc.

I think it's because d20 system is a modified version of AD&D 2nd edition. Along with the internet, people now had 1 system they can all relate to, more or less. Lots of the number crunching in 3E is just reworked math to make it more easily understood and calculated (THAC0 for example, ability scores being normalized, etc.)

And once people get used to something...they don't change. And Paizo jumped in the opening that WotC exited.


Personally, I think there was a combination of OGL effect and Paizo effect. Like apples and crust. Sweet, sweet pie.

EDIT: Not in competition with the number two business in the same industry? Man, I think someone is living in wonderland.


Marc, it's certainly new to me, but from the first page, it doesn't look like these kinds of reflections have changed from a year or even two more ago: people just keeping saying the same old thing (from my POV, often in spite of the facts). Am I missing anything by not reading the following 12 pages?

Grand Lodge

Uchawi,

Lisa, Mike Selinker and some others can detail this better than I, but, back in like '98, Ryan Dancey explained to his colleagues the inevitable Pandora's Box effect an OGL would have but, of course, he and WotC did it anyway because, as Dancey further argued, it would make the industry as a whole considerably stronger -- create far more customers, produce many more quality designers who could be hired to make better products, etc., etc. . . Thus Pramas and his Green Ronin and everything that came after.

Ryan Dancey predicted it near perfectly.


I have always been a big fan of the OGL. Sure there has been some crappy products put out under it by 3pp, but on the whole I think it has made a robust system. Plus, it allows smaller, more innovative companies to get into the market in a way they were unable to before.

I think, even if Paizo hadn't picked up the OGL torch there would have been a robust OGL-based community for the forseeable future. Paizo just did a heck of a job with it IMO. Ryan Dancey will always be a hero of mine for championing it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Marc, it's certainly new to me, but from the first page, it doesn't look like these kinds of reflections have changed from a year or even two more ago: people just keeping saying the same old thing (from my POV, often in spite of the facts). Am I missing anything by not reading the following 12 pages?

Only grief and bitterness, man. That is exactly why I never look any further than the front page of ENWorld. They poisoned the well there; there's too much 4e bitterness and blind faith on both sides of the aisle. No good will come of it.

Scarab Sages

James Martin wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Marc, it's certainly new to me, but from the first page, it doesn't look like these kinds of reflections have changed from a year or even two more ago: people just keeping saying the same old thing (from my POV, often in spite of the facts). Am I missing anything by not reading the following 12 pages?
Only grief and bitterness, man. That is exactly why I never look any further than the front page of ENWorld. They poisoned the well there; there's too much 4e bitterness and blind faith on both sides of the aisle. No good will come of it.

Things have got some better over there. There's still some bitterness, but its possible to still have good discussions. I thought that particular thread went pretty well, all things considered.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I didn't read the whole thread, just the original poster's question. My first thought is: not different at all.

Seriously, what affect has Paizo had on 4E? It may have drawn off some customers, but the nature of the OGL meant someone would make a 3E replacement. Is there some reason to think that Pathfinder's success has changed 4E development in any way? It seems to be rolling along on schedule. The first year or so design was rather conservative, but PHB3 and beyond they've been experimenting with the capabilities of the system more.

Better questions are:

How has Pathfinder affected the RPG marketplace?

How would things be different if 4E had been released OGL? I think it would be a fantastic system for a superhero type game, but we'll never see one under the terms of the GSL. Oh well, Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition looks pretty cool.

How would things be different if it were easier to incorporate GSL material into the character builder?

How will Gamma World be different from standard 4E?

What are the latest news and announcements from GenCon?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Uchawi wrote:
I still don't get why D20 is still a preferred as a system (dice mechanic), but that gets into other debates on dice theory, averaging, etc.

I'm glad there has been a lot of growth lately in non-d20 systems. Earthdawn, Traveller, Rogue Trader, Dragon Age, etc. There was an explosion of d20 stuff for a while, cashing in on D&D's popularity. Now that things have died down there is plenty of exploration in alternative mechanics out there.

Scarab Sages

deinol wrote:

I didn't read the whole thread, just the original poster's question. My first thought is: not different at all.

Seriously, what affect has Paizo had on 4E? It may have drawn off some customers, but the nature of the OGL meant someone would make a 3E replacement.

While part of what you say is true, others could make (and have made) a 3e replacement, it is no way a sure thing that any other company could have enjoyed the same measure of success as Paizo has. Its easy to say, "well of course they would succeed," after the fact - but success is never guaranteed.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Wicht wrote:
deinol wrote:

I didn't read the whole thread, just the original poster's question. My first thought is: not different at all.

Seriously, what affect has Paizo had on 4E? It may have drawn off some customers, but the nature of the OGL meant someone would make a 3E replacement.

While part of what you say is true, others could make (and have made) a 3e replacement, it is no way a sure thing that any other company could have enjoyed the same measure of success as Paizo has. Its easy to say, "well of course they would succeed," after the fact - but success is never guaranteed.

True, but I don't think it matters. If you really like 4E, you'll be buying 4E products. If you really didn't like it, you'll look elsewhere. I don't think Paizo has that much affect on 4E sales figures. What affect it has on the sales figures isn't enough to make a difference to the actual game mechanics and development. Wizards is still making bank.

Paizo is probably having a greater affect on 3rd party sales.

Dark Archive

As has already been said, the OGL was good for the entire industry, so Wizards/Hasbro has profitted from it. They may not have anticipated exactly how big the OGL "legacy" would be, but without numbers, we are just guessing.

The OGL wasn't all sun and honey, obviously...too many products in a short period of time, many of them rushed or covering areas that were already covered by other products.

But after all the fall-out, the developers remaining are much stronger.

I wouldn't want to make a specific hierarchy, but obviously WotC and Paizo seem to be doing fairly well.

I hope there will still be room for indie companies, but it is an inevitable fact that those who wish to make games must make a good job of it, or the games drown. That is ultimately good for us as consumers.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

It's anecdotal evidence, but Paizo ultimately cost WotC me as a customer (along with my gaming group and a pair of ancillary gaming groups involving some of my players). I was gung-ho for 4e, made the switch, but kept a toe in Paizo. I switched to PFRPG based upon the final Core Rules and Bestiary, as did the others in my group (and their affiliates). If PFRPG wasn't there, I likely would've stuck with 4e, and if Paizo had been brought in to create APs for 4e, I would definitely still be playing. I can't imagine going to another 3pp publisher - Paizo proved their chops to me back when they ran Dragon and Dungeon, they are not fungible with other 3pps.

A new edition of D&D was needed, and now there are two. These two editions are competing directly, and it's not as if the player base is mutually exclusive and composed entirely of haters and die-hards.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

deinol wrote:


How would things be different if 4E had been released OGL? I think it would be a fantastic system for a superhero type game, but we'll never see one under the terms of the GSL. Oh well, Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition looks pretty cool.

This.

A thousand times this.

4e screams for a superhero game.

Sovereign Court

Sebastian wrote:
4e screams for a superhero game.

Yeah, it would work great for a lot of games. Unfortunately it's got Dungeons and Dragons tacked onto the front of it, honestly the biggest issue against it.

Not a bad game, just...you know, not what a lot of people want in D&D.

Grand Lodge

Sebastian wrote:
It's anecdotal evidence, but Paizo ultimately cost WotC me as a customer... If PFRPG wasn't there, I likely would've stuck with 4e, and if Paizo had been brought in to create APs for 4e, I would definitely still be playing... A new edition of D&D was needed, and now there are two. These two editions are competing directly, and it's not as if the player base is mutually exclusive and composed entirely of haters and die-hards.

Still, there's probably also lots of people who, like me and my gaming group, simply play both PFRPG and 4e.

Because both of them are immensely fun and amazing games.
And because we like a bit of variety every now and then.
And because PFRPG just fits the tone of the type of campaign I like to run a little better, while 4e does the same for the type of campaign my dear DM over at that game runs.

Yes, there's two competing systems, but they're both exceptionally good. Not everybody turns it into a holy war where "you have to take sides". Of course, there's a bit of competition, but that can be a healthy thing. When Paizo and WotC are competing in the RPG sector, it might acutally benefit them both in the end. That was, to a degree, the point of the OGL, was it not?

The Exchange

I think they did underestimate, and that their biggest downfall was moving so far away from the OGL or an OGL-like license. Alienating the 3pp as badly as they did was a bad choice (IMHO).

For me, the deciding factors that have made me into an avid Paizo/Pathfinder fan have been:

1) Quality. Great quality products with good art, good layout, and good writing. I much prefer Paizo products to 4e products because in terms of sheer production value, disregarding the ruleset, Paizo blow them out of the water.

2) Business model. ~3 hardcovers a year to keep up on the majority of rules lets me pick up adventure paths, modules, and books for other systems while keeping within my budget. A $30 hardcover every month would (or rather, WAS) killing me. Subscriptions and PDF support are gravy.

3) People. I really like being able to ask questions and have the people who wrote the books I'm inquiring about answer me. That personal connection means a lot more to me than most mechanics differences.

You'll note that none of those are rules related. Not that I don't prefer the Pathfinder mechanics (I very much do), but the deciding factor was the level of support that the system had, which is an area in which 4th Edition is majorly lacking.


Sebastian wrote:


A new edition of D&D was needed, and now there are two. These two editions are competing directly, and it's not as if the player base is mutually exclusive and composed entirely of haters and die-hards.

This +1000!

I've played with the mechanics of both games, I run a PF game on Wed nights, a 4e game on Thursday nights, I follow both communities, I have friends who prefer 1 over the other and vice versa . . . 2 awesome games is better than 1 awesome game.

Only bad part, is I am now a junkie for two systems. And all the older WoD stuff I can find . . . getting into Warhammer too . . . Savage Worlds is cheap at least . . . can't forget about Mutants and Masterminds . . .

Grand Lodge

Morgen wrote:

Yeah, it would work great for a lot of games. Unfortunately it's got Dungeons and Dragons tacked onto the front of it, honestly the biggest issue against it.

Not a bad game, just...you know, not what a lot of people want in D&D.

That argument is just really weird...

Does it matter that much what the name of the book is? If you want to play D&D as you knew it, you play PFRPG. If you want to play something that feels more like a pen&paper version of World of Warcraft, also an exceptional game in my opinion, then you play 4e.

You can play any adventure you want, use any campaign world you want, in any game system you want. Depending on what you're set on doing you might have more or less conversion effort, but with the backwards compatibility of PFRPG that's not really a big issue.

That argument just always sounds like the one using it is bitter. But there's nothing to be bitter about. First of all: it's just a game. And second: it's still there, it's just called "Pathfinder" now. But in addition to that, there's now another game, that is a truckload of fun, and that's different than the first.

I'm not trying to insult you or anything, just trying to show that, as I see it, there's no reason to get worked up. There might have been one before PFRPG, when people thought the game system they loved was going to lose support and die out and they'd be forced to play a system they don't enjoy as much. But that's no longer the case. Which leaves only one thing to say. Thank you, Paizo!

Liberty's Edge

After reading some of that thread, there seems to be a common consensus that there aren't Pathfinder players who weren't already 3.x players. Rubbish! My first experience with D&D was 2e, and then I really got into it with 3.5, where I finally learned the rules well enough to DM. At that point, I started making my own gaming groups, pulling from friends and relatives who had never played D&D before to join in and learn from scratch. I simply continued doing this with Pathfinder - so I can personally attest that there's plenty of new players to Pathfinder who are new to "D&D" tabletop gaming in general.

Grand Lodge

Matthew A. Cicci wrote:
Only bad part, is I am now a junkie for two systems. And all the older WoD stuff I can find . . . getting into Warhammer too . . . Savage Worlds is cheap at least . . . can't forget about Mutants and Masterminds . . .

Keep Call of Cthulhu in mind! And Shadowrun! Both of which, I should add, are excellent in German. Pegasus games does an amazing job on the translations. Lord, I need more money!

Dark Archive

Matthew A. Cicci wrote:
Sebastian wrote:


A new edition of D&D was needed, and now there are two. These two editions are competing directly, and it's not as if the player base is mutually exclusive and composed entirely of haters and die-hards.

This +1000!

This +10,000!

Matthew A. Cicci wrote:
Only bad part, is I am now a junkie for two systems. And all the older WoD stuff I can find . . . getting into Warhammer too . . . Savage Worlds is cheap at least . . . can't forget about Mutants and Masterminds . . .

LOL. You sound like me (except the old WoD stuff. I'm nWoD fan).

The Exchange

Count Buggula wrote:
I can personally attest that there's plenty of new players to Pathfinder who are new to "D&D" tabletop gaming in general.

I can attest to this as well. There are two players in my current Kingmaker group, one of whom had never played any RPG before, and one who had only played 4e before.

I'm also setting up a PFS game which will include a couple players who usually play Rifts, AD&D 2E, and occasionally 4th Edition. They never really did 3rd or 3.5, they just never wanted to.

Matthew A. Cicci wrote:
Only bad part, is I am now a junkie for two systems. And all the older WoD stuff I can find . . . getting into Warhammer too . . . Savage Worlds is cheap at least . . . can't forget about Mutants and Masterminds . . .

Don't forget about the Fate games. Starblazer Legends, Legends of Anglerre, Spirit of the Century, and Diaspora...all four are really good and highly recommended. Or what about Shadowrun, or a good retro clone maybe?

Dark Archive

TerrorTigr wrote:


Keep Call of Cthulhu in mind!

Can't. If I try, my SAN keeps getting whittled away...!


As a player in Sebastians group for the last 12 years, I definitely agree with his statement on the issue. I play in 3 groups, and I got ALL of my groups to switch to 4E. After playing for over a year, all of my groups found 4E lacking and we all switched to Pathfinder. All of the DMs, however, all state that 4E helped them streamline their DMing and they use many tehcniques gained from 4E.


Vikingchris wrote:
As a player in Sebastians group for the last 12 years, I definitely agree with his statement on the issue. I play in 3 groups, and I got ALL of my groups to switch to 4E. After playing for over a year, all of my groups found 4E lacking and we all switched to Pathfinder. All of the DMs, however, all state that 4E helped them streamline their DMing and they use many tehcniques gained from 4E.

Sebastian, stop posting with sock-puppets!

Sovereign Court

TerrorTigr wrote:

That argument is just really weird...

Does it matter that much what the name of the book is?

Absolutely it can matter to people what the name of the book is when the name you put on it has over 30 years of history to it. You have to look at it as if it was in terms of branding. Something new that changes the original. Think New Coke or a very unsuccessful spin off of a long running TV series.

The original thing you love had a feel to it, not always the same feeling for everyone but a lot of the people had something about Dungeons and Dragons that drew them to it. For a decent amount of the player base, those aspects weren't just missing but in some cases were proudly displayed as removed.

The game we're talking about here was played in submarines to pass the long hours, it was played by awkward children who had finally found friends and a social outlet because of it. People paid money for hotels, plane tickets, conventions and all kinds of other expenses for a chance to play this game for just a few hours a year. It inspired so many people in their lives. Parents play it with their children and communities form around it. It has been and still is a very important part of people's lives.

The feeling a lot of people get from playing D&D isn't the same feeling they get from playing Top Secret, Rifts, Mutants and Masterminds, Savage World, Shadowrun, Middle Earth the RPG, Marvel Superheroes or any other game but Dungeons and Dragons.


By the way, I didn't mean to imply that things hadn't gotten better over at ENWorld, just saying that when it comes to discussing these subjects, that people have stuck with their prejudices and not really paid attention to the actual developments in the past year or two.

Grand Lodge

Morgen wrote:
TerrorTigr wrote:

That argument is just really weird...

Does it matter that much what the name of the book is?

Absolutely it can matter to people what the name of the book is when the name you put on it has over 30 years of history to it. You have to look at it as if it was in terms of branding. Something new that changes the original. Think New Coke or a very unsuccessful spin off of a long running TV series.

The original thing you love had a feel to it, not always the same feeling for everyone but a lot of the people had something about Dungeons and Dragons that drew them to it. For a decent amount of the player base, those aspects weren't just missing but in some cases were proudly displayed as removed.

The game we're talking about here was played in submarines to pass the long hours, it was played by awkward children who had finally found friends and a social outlet because of it. People paid money for hotels, plane tickets, conventions and all kinds of other expenses for a chance to play this game for just a few hours a year. It inspired so many people in their lives. Parents play it with their children and communities form around it. It has been and still is a very important part of people's lives.

The feeling a lot of people get from playing D&D isn't the same feeling they get from playing Top Secret, Rifts, Mutants and Masterminds, Savage World, Shadowrun, Middle Earth the RPG, Marvel Superheroes or any other game but Dungeons and Dragons.

Well, as I said:

I can understand somebody being put off by something he/she likes being taken away and replaced by something they don't like.
Thus, I understand the strong reactions to Wizards' switching to 4e.

The moment Paizo released the PFRPG Core Rulebook, that point was no longer valid. The thing these people liked had no longer been replaced. It was (again) still here. And there was another thing now, that was also good, albeit different.

There is no longer any need, ANY at all for edition wars, since 4e doesn't, any longer, deprive you of 3.5 updates.
The only reason left for being bitter about it is carrying some kind of personal grudge against Wizards for the initial scare they put into people, for that fear they gave you (us?) that 3.5 would die. I don't think that is a very smart, or mature, thing to get all worked-up and angry about. There's a lot more important things going on in the world that we should be angry about...

You seem to have an immense emotional attachment to the game, that I, having played RPGs for almost twenty years now, and sharing many of the anecdotes you mentioned, do not have. Perhaps because the European, and especially the German market wasn't so dependant on D&D and we are more used to knowing, liking and playing multiple systems.

Still, I think you should also consider whether it really was the name on the books that gave you that "feeling" you got from playing D&D. Or was it, rather, the worlds your GM created, the characters you and your friends played, the friendship and camaraderie you had with fellow human beings, playing a game together. Are you really sure these experiences would have been any different, or any less important to you, had the game been called "Dragons and Dungeons" or "Creatures and Crypts" or any other name? Or if the game would have been played with d6s exclusively and you'd have rolled lots of them to gain a target number of successes? Or with d100s to roll below a certain percentage?

Isn't it the great times you had that got you so attached to it? Great times that depended neither on the rules set nor on the name, but on the people you shared them with?


Something I think needs pointing out, WotC could not have put out Pathfinger or 3.75 or whatever else they wanted to try and call it. Fans would have screamed even louder after the 3.5 fiasco. Paizo got an Attack of Opportunity, and bully for them, they made the most of it.

Sovereign Court

TerrorTigr wrote:

The moment Paizo released the PFRPG Core Rulebook, that point was no longer valid. The thing these people liked had no longer been replaced. It was (again) still here. And there was another thing now, that was also good, albeit different.

There is no longer any need, ANY at all for edition...

Your obviously misunderstanding my point. I'm just saying that the name Dungeons and Dragons has a special meaning for people. That's it. I don't care about edition wars, they happened in the change to 2nd edition AD&D, they happened in 3.0 and 3.5. That's not the point I was trying to make.

You said the argument was weird, so I tried to explain it to you how some people look at a game when you call it D&D. My explanation obviously failed so whatever.

Sovereign Court

CourtFool wrote:
Something I think needs pointing out, WotC could not have put out Pathfinger or 3.75 or whatever else they wanted to try and call it. Fans would have screamed even louder after the 3.5 fiasco. Paizo got an Attack of Opportunity, and bully for them, they made the most of it.

Hehe... Pathfinger...

Sovereign Court

Sebastian wrote:
deinol wrote:


How would things be different if 4E had been released OGL? I think it would be a fantastic system for a superhero type game, but we'll never see one under the terms of the GSL. Oh well, Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition looks pretty cool.

This.

A thousand times this.

4e screams for a superhero game.

Still wanting to play Captain Pony, the Rainbow Wonder?


Morgen wrote:


Your obviously misunderstanding my point. I'm just saying that the name Dungeons and Dragons has a special meaning for people. That's it. I don't care about edition wars, they happened in the change to 2nd edition AD&D, they happened in 3.0 and 3.5. That's not the point I was trying to make.

You said the argument was weird, so I tried to explain it to you how some people look at a game when you call it D&D. My explanation obviously failed so whatever.

I don't think the argument about the D&D brand is weird at all. Corporations, the whole marketing industry, depend on it not being weird. And let's be frank, marketing works. It works very well which is why there are Coke drinkers, people who say "Mopar or no car", Mac-users vs PC-users, and Marlboro men. People have feelings for their brands. Sometimes very strong feelings and that's what the corporations want. Brand loyalty and identity.

Occasionally, it bites them. Most of the time, it works pretty well for them.

Grand Lodge

Bill Dunn wrote:

I don't think the argument about the D&D brand is weird at all. Corporations, the whole marketing industry, depend on it not being weird. And let's be frank, marketing works. It works very well which is why there are Coke drinkers, people who say "Mopar or no car", Mac-users vs PC-users, and Marlboro men. People have feelings for their brands. Sometimes very strong feelings and that's what the corporations want. Brand loyalty and identity.

Occasionally, it bites them. Most of the time, it works pretty well for them.

Okay, so perhaps that's the point I was not getting.

I never cared about brands enough. Sure, there's products I prefer, and sometimes that's the branded one, while at other times it's the no-name cheap one from the bottom shelf, but I always decide based on the quality after trying the product.

That may also come from the fact that I don't see why I should pay double price for items that are often the same quality, just with prettier packaging and a catchy, advertised name. :)

I thought Morgen's original "Coke" example was just an unimportant aside. After all, I couldn't care less what kind of coke I drink as long as it's tasty. But ok, not everybody thinks that way. In that case I just hope you can still have fun with Pathfinder and enjoy it!

And sorry for misunderstanding you.


Bill Dunn wrote:


I don't think the argument about the D&D brand is weird at all. Corporations, the whole marketing industry, depend on it not being weird. And let's be frank, marketing works. It works very well which is why there are Coke drinkers, people who say "Mopar or no car", Mac-users vs PC-users, and Marlboro men. People have feelings for their brands. Sometimes very strong feelings and that's what the corporations want. Brand loyalty and identity.
Occasionally, it bites them. Most of the time, it works pretty well for them.

And this is why companies will fight so hard, including going the legal route, to keep their brand from becoming the generic word for something. How many people consider all facial tissues to just be Kleenex or all gelatin to be Jello or all building blocks to be Legos? And Coke is Coke and Pepsi is Pepsi and all other colas have their own names, even though some people just like to call all cola drinks, Coke. This is why Paizo stressed so much when Pathfinder came out that people call it Pathfinder RPG and not D&D 3.75 or D&D anything. They did not want to be sued by WotC over name infringement.


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:


I don't think the argument about the D&D brand is weird at all. Corporations, the whole marketing industry, depend on it not being weird. And let's be frank, marketing works. It works very well which is why there are Coke drinkers, people who say "Mopar or no car", Mac-users vs PC-users, and Marlboro men. People have feelings for their brands. Sometimes very strong feelings and that's what the corporations want. Brand loyalty and identity.
Occasionally, it bites them. Most of the time, it works pretty well for them.
And this is why companies will fight so hard, including going the legal route, to keep their brand from becoming the generic word for something. How many people consider all facial tissues to just be Kleenex or all gelatin to be Jello or all building blocks to be Legos? And Coke is Coke and Pepsi is Pepsi and all other colas have their own names, even though some people just like to call all cola drinks, Coke. This is why Paizo stressed so much when Pathfinder came out that people call it Pathfinder RPG and not D&D 3.75 or D&D anything. They did not want to be sued by WotC over name infringement.

+1

Also, when building a brand it is important to differentiate yourself from your competition. Another good reason Paizo doesn't call Pathfinder D&D, 3.75, 3.P or any of those other names. And why they ask their fans nicely not to either.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

CourtFool wrote:
Something I think needs pointing out, WotC could not have put out Pathfinger or 3.75 or whatever else they wanted to try and call it. Fans would have screamed even louder after the 3.5 fiasco. Paizo got an Attack of Opportunity, and bully for them, they made the most of it.

Paizo has another advantage in their size and contacts, they don't have as much bitterness directed towards them for using freelancers.

WotC asks Monte Cook to freelance (assuming he said yes) "Boo hiss, they fired him and want him back!"

Paizo asks "Yay! We're getting a Monte Cook adventure!"

I thought that WotC initially had some kind of clause in 4.x that if were working for 4.x they couldn't work for another company, but I could be remembered wrong.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Matthew Morris wrote:
I thought that WotC initially had some kind of clause in 4.x that if were working for 4.x they couldn't work for another company, but I could be remembered wrong.

I hadn't heard that, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was a requirement of the developers leading up to the 4e release. If you're going to try to break new ground on the market, you don't want some small company scooping you on your game engine because your freelancers were (even subconsciously) influenced by the design documents you gave them for spec.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Christopher Dudley wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
I thought that WotC initially had some kind of clause in 4.x that if were working for 4.x they couldn't work for another company, but I could be remembered wrong.
I hadn't heard that, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was a requirement of the developers leading up to the 4e release. If you're going to try to break new ground on the market, you don't want some small company scooping you on your game engine because your freelancers were (even subconsciously) influenced by the design documents you gave them for spec.

Maybe it was that. I seem to recall it being something to do with Ari Marmell and Goodman, but my memories are hazy.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

There was a requirement in an early iteration of the GSL that restricted you from making 3.x versions of products you made for 4th edition. It was modified in one of the many revisions.

Sovereign Court

TerrorTigr wrote:

I thought Morgen's original "Coke" example was just an unimportant aside. After all, I couldn't care less what kind of coke I drink as long as it's tasty. But ok, not everybody thinks that way. In that case I just hope you can still have fun with Pathfinder and enjoy it!

And sorry for misunderstanding you.

It's alright, internet, different people and all that.

The "New" Coke example was talking about Coca-Cola's new formula they unveiled in 1985. It replaced the old coke formula and was very unpopular. Reference is probably just too old for everyone to get. x.x;

Wikipedia Article on New Coke.


deinol wrote:
Wicht wrote:
deinol wrote:

I didn't read the whole thread, just the original poster's question. My first thought is: not different at all.

Seriously, what affect has Paizo had on 4E? It may have drawn off some customers, but the nature of the OGL meant someone would make a 3E replacement.

While part of what you say is true, others could make (and have made) a 3e replacement, it is no way a sure thing that any other company could have enjoyed the same measure of success as Paizo has. Its easy to say, "well of course they would succeed," after the fact - but success is never guaranteed.
True, but I don't think it matters. If you really like 4E, you'll be buying 4E products.

I agree. I went from 3.5 to 4th, back to 3.5, then to Pathfinder. Even if Pathfinder had went to 4th edition I would still be playing some version of 3.x.

Some people just want to play something, and will play whatever is put in front of them.*

*Not an insult. I have just noticed that the socializing aspect is a lot more important than the gaming aspect so they dont care too much about what the ruleset is.


w0nkothesane wrote:

I think they did underestimate, and that their biggest downfall was moving so far away from the OGL or an OGL-like license. Alienating the 3pp as badly as they did was a bad choice (IMHO).

For me, the deciding factors that have made me into an avid Paizo/Pathfinder fan have been:

1) Quality. Great quality products with good art, good layout, and good writing. I much prefer Paizo products to 4e products because in terms of sheer production value, disregarding the ruleset, Paizo blow them out of the water.

When I found out Piazo wrote the magazines, and therefore Shackled City I started to pay more attention to them.


Morgen wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
4e screams for a superhero game.

Yeah, it would work great for a lot of games. Unfortunately it's got Dungeons and Dragons tacked onto the front of it, honestly the biggest issue against it.

Not a bad game, just...you know, not what a lot of people want in D&D.

Make rules for 4E Modern. Problem solved. I mean they can use the rules system they created for whatever they want. The issue would be that they won't use it for anything other than D&D because they do not believe they will make any money off of any other product line due to "market research".

However, their research is slightly flawed because I believe that WoTC could have made some great modern/superhero/sci-fi products if they would have given those products a bit more support. Instead they were like, "Oh, btw, here are some rules for playing our game in modern times. *waits 1 minute* Well, obviously there is no response so we will just no longer support these products." What we got instead was "Extra fluff/rule book 8 the Munchkining!"


wraithstrike wrote:

people just want to play something, and will play whatever is put in front of them.*

*Not an insult. I have just noticed that the socializing aspect is a lot more important than the gaming aspect so they dont care too much about what the ruleset is.

This sums it up for the vast majority of the gamers that I know. As long as they're having a good time, most of them could care less what system they're playing with.


Moro wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

people just want to play something, and will play whatever is put in front of them.*

*Not an insult. I have just noticed that the socializing aspect is a lot more important than the gaming aspect so they dont care too much about what the ruleset is.

This sums it up for the vast majority of the gamers that I know. As long as they're having a good time, most of them could care less what system they're playing with.

While not wrong, I do think this is somewhat overstated. In terms of fun, rules matter, and people are often unwilling to admit it. Putting that aside, though, it does get to something important.

Since most people just want to play, the choice gets deferred primarily to either A) that one person who is willing to state a preference or B) to whomever has the books and is willing to run the game. The latter point is why I think it's a bit farcical to think that Pathfinder is making a huge dent in The Other Game - it has such cache and (specifically with 4E) WoTC has done an incredible job at a full court press to sell the damn thing in as many places and to as many people as possible, not to mention the ways in which it's practically designed to draw in people who left in previous editions or are totally new to the RPG world.

What we are seeing, I think, is both a growing market (in no small part due to WoTC's efforts as a "gateway" game) and increasing diversification due largely to the viability of .PDF downloads and online stores...and that's a good thing for most everyone.

1 to 50 of 57 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / "Did WotC underestimate the Paizo effect on 4E?" thread on Enworld All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.