Pathfinder RPG and Paizo in the Face of 5E


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Sovereign Court

A Man In Black wrote:
Mok wrote:
Hasbro has to be looking at Blizzard, who has a system down and market dominance that is so strong that they can spend a decade fussing with Starcraft II.
The more immediate example, I would think, would be Magic: the Gathering, which has been even more dominant for even longer, and also happens to be in the same house.

I skipped over Magic mainly because it's influence is already baked into 3.x. Things like system mastery (Timmy feats rather than Timmy cards) and character building (rather than deck building) already cast a long shadow over the system.

4e just seems to have streamlined the system so that WotC had a way to output player content (rather than GM content) at a prodigious pace, because the pieces could more easily be switched about and hung on the system frame.

One of the real challenges that WotC faces in trying to map D&D to a Magic/WoW kind of evergreen product is that in this approach to selling products you're aiming for as many players as possible to spend money on a consistent basis. For Magic/WoW this is fine because both types of games don't have another participant that is the GM. The GM dynamic is a problem that they have been trying to solve. In part it is to make the job as easy as possible, making the math simple, give you page 42, hardwire roles into the system for both players and monsters, make a magic item treadmill with the parcels, etc.

I'd think that one end goal is to have an electronic system in place where a DM isn't even needed. 4e had guidelines in its DMG to run the game without a DM, so it's not as if this is something that is new in their thinking.

The ultimate configuration I'd imagine right now would be to have a D&D MMO that is integrated with tabletop play. You'd have a system where you could have a character who's stats would seamlessly shift back and forth between a tabletop format and MMO format. You could play your character in the MMO as normal, but then spit out a TT character to play in a home game, or there would be an MMO shard that would be Neverwinter Nights on steroids that would allow people to play "Table Top" play online with each other. There are all sorts of variations on this, but all lead to an end result where if you want to play then you need to spend $x a month.

Another way to think of it would be to have an TT organized play system that is integrated with a MMO experience. You play the MMO, spit out a character sheet for TT org play, and then the GM reports it to the MMO where you get special goodies that impact both TT and MMO play. With that kind of system in place you'd also be able to better articulate a "living campaign" experience since the data capture would likely be more robust and players would see the changing results within a multimedia format, rather than distributed through blog posts and embedded in module box text.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Sunderstone wrote:
To me, D&D is dead. The game I grew up playing is gone.

You sold your books? Why would you do that?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm of the opinion that the 4E system is significantly superior to the 3.x system in that it is cleaner, more consistent, and more elegant. That's its "plus." I am a fan of the RULES of the game- as in, how the game is run, but NOT a fan of how character classes and races were done.

I have many complaints about the 3.x generation of the game. However, what keeps me a Pathfinder player is the dedication Paizo has shown to the OGL and their customer interaction. I feel like I *know* many of the Paizo people (and in fact have hung out at a bar with a few lol) I feel like the Paizo people are *people* and as much as I may dislike some of the rules of the game, I like the *people* at Paizo.

If WotC came out with a new edition of the game that was the greatest thing since sliced bread they'd still need to embrace some sort of open gaming perspective (OGL, CC, etc.) AND repair their relationship with fans. By repair I mean: make themselves significantly more available, restore online sales of previous generation rules and products, and make the fans feel included in the process. Further, the DDI concepts annoy me. I have no trouble subscribing to several lines of Paizo products because I get physical books in the mail almost every month that I can hold in my grubby mitts while I'm otherwise engaged in routine bodily functions in small rooms of the house. I *like* seeing my mountain of gaming books grow every month. I *like* laying on the bed with a physical book and flipping through the pages. Make me have to subscribe to a digital product and then keep jacking that product around every month and then make it so that I don't have anything physical to show for the last several hundred dollars I've sent you and you've lost me as a customer.

So I'm not philosophically opposed to a new edition (and in fact am anxious to see what develops) but its things completely separate from the actual rules of the game that keep me happily sending Paizo money every month, and those things seem very unlikely to change any time soon.


5E?
If they manage to get the best from 4E, the best from 3rdE, remove the worst things from 4E and 3rdE and introduce a few nice things, and playtest it, it could be a good thing.
But a revision of 1E or even 2ndE introducing the kind of rules you would expect for a modern rpg would be a good thing too.

Shadow Lodge

IkeDoe wrote:

5E?

If they manage to get the best from 4E, the best from 3rdE, remove the worst things from 4E and 3rdE and introduce a few nice things, and playtest it, it could be a good thing.
But a revision of 1E or even 2ndE introducing the kind of rules you would expect for a modern rpg would be a good thing too.

Yeah, if they really wanted to sell me on D&D 5E, instead of looking to Pathfinder, 4E, and 3.X, they'd do better to look at 2E, 1E, 0E, and the iterations of Basic D&D. I realize not everyone feels this way, but let's face it, you can't say the sky is blue without someone on these forums disagreeing vehemently.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It's actually colorless. You're just seeing the warping of light through the atmosphere.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's actually colorless. You're just seeing the warping of light through the atmosphere.

William of Ockham disagrees and says that you are a blasphemer (with all due respect).


It has been mentioned once, or possibly twice, in this thread already but I would like to re-emphasize it.

The marketing and sales of pen and paper role playing games, much like the marketing of miniature based table-top battle games, ceased to be focused on the hobby enthusiast (that is us) a very long time ago.

Many of the comments in this thread begin with the sort of thought similar to, “Well they aren’t going to get my money…” but the reality is, they are not interested in your money. They (someone) already got your money. They want the money from the person who has not spent any money on any game product. They want the money of the thirteen year olds. They want the thirteen year olds asking their parents for a new book, or a new product every month until that thirteen year old is fifteen and develops a new interest.

This has been the sales and marketing strategy for the last fifteen to twenty years, and it is here to stay.

The companies that struggle to maintain product loyalty and not brand loyalty cannot compete, financially, with this marketing strategy. You, the gamer with a fixed income, perhaps in your late teens early twenties (and a few of us in our late forties) spend money on the games we like, the game products we really want to use, the materials that keep us interested in our hobby, but when the electric bill is a little too high, or the brake pads need to be replaced, we don’t buy games. The industry knows this, and they do not market to us.
Games and game related products are marketed to new customers, young people who do not have their own income, but who will ask their parents to buy them things, and in our culture today parents will buy things for their children before they will spend money on themselves or even on things they should. The industry knows this – and that is why they market new products every two to three years. Two to three years is the time from age 12 or 13 to the age of 15 or 16, that is the market. That is what Hasbro develops products for, that is where the money is.

However, those of us who are enthusiastic about our participation in our hobbies and not enthusiastic about having the newest ‘thing’, will always play the games we love. We will buy a new product, if one is available, for the right price, and if it fits in with our ideals about our hobby. There will always be companies, and they will come and go, who will try to cater to us, the hobby enthusiast, but the corporate strategy in America today is not about making the best product, it is about having the best brand, and selling product at constant (slightly increasing at best) volumes. If your product can be marketed as a necessity (cell phones were once considered a frivolous extravagance) you are almost there, but still need to introduce new product every two to three years at the longest, but if your product is a luxury, your challenges are great, and it will take a constant effort to keep sales volumes high, and the best way to do that is sell to people who don’t really know if they want to keep the thing they are buying, and by the time they do know, you already have their money and are selling to the next wave of thirteen year olds.

In summary – WoTC and to a lesser extent Paizo, isn’t selling to you, the people who post here, they are selling to the next wave.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sunderstone wrote:
To me, D&D is dead. The game I grew up playing is gone.
You sold your books? Why would you do that?

Actually I did! I probably should have sold them, but I gave most of them away (Basic/AD&D/2E) to various friends instead over the years.


Kthulhu wrote:


Yeah, if they really wanted to sell me on D&D 5E, instead of looking to Pathfinder, 4E, and 3.X, they'd do better to look at 2E, 1E, 0E, and the iterations of Basic D&D. I realize not everyone feels this way, but let's face it, you can't say the sky is blue without someone on these forums disagreeing vehemently.

Unfortunatelly, if Monte is involved the outcome is prolly going to be a cumbersome set of rules, which imo will anger more (actual and potential) players than it will please. But you never know, he is always improving his rpg-fu.


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If I had kids, when they turned 13 and asked for a dnd book, I'd tell them no.

dnd is the agent of the devil, you may only play Paizo's Pathfinder.

come on, look at wotc has on their monster manual covers.

it didnt help when dnd first came out, and I'm sure it doesnt help now


Steve Geddes wrote:
Like you, I suspect they will be focussed more and more on developing the D&D brand outside of tabletop roleplaying. I'm not so convinced it will be a 'traditional' MMORPG, but the recent facebook game and the success they've had with the gamma world and the various boardgames are both pointers to a continued broadening of the brand I would guess.

Given their track record with picking losers, sorry Code Monkey guys, in digital development world I really don't think they can pull it off. 4e as the rules for combat go is about a board-gamey as you'll get. The desecrate chunking of powers just begs randomized boosters or DLC if digital. It was a role playing game, then a small packet based delivery (essentials), then they started making some board games, they still haven't finished the VTT (which they built in Silverlight, yuck). There business model for 4e seems confused and a bit scatter shot.

The fact that they are reaching out to Monty Cook suggests to me that they are still stumbling and grasping for how to place/market D&D further. Considering they keep throwing people off the sled almost every holiday season says the same thing.


LazarX wrote:
For a relative suck, they're still hosting 11 million gamers a year at an average of 15 per pop plus what they shell out for expacs

quantity=/quality

Budweiser is the #1 selling beer in America but if you think it's the best, well, I suppose you're entitled to your opinion.


Hudax wrote:

Speculation 1: 5e is the mythical "4e that should have been." This would mean going back to the drawing board (3.5) and revising it in a way that is distinct from Pathfinder.

Speculation 2: 5e is a revision of 4e. This would involve trying to inject the "D&D" back into D&D.

Speculation 3: 5e is completely innovative. No idea what this would look like. Could go the way of 4e (because 4e was innovative), or it could be something totally new and awesome that we've never even thought of.

Any of the above risks further splintering their player base, but all could also potentially bring back players that left.

You left out one possibility. Remember, Pathfinder is every bit as OGL as 3.X was; WotC could have 5E be based on Pathfinder! :-)

Shadow Lodge

IkeDoe wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:


Yeah, if they really wanted to sell me on D&D 5E, instead of looking to Pathfinder, 4E, and 3.X, they'd do better to look at 2E, 1E, 0E, and the iterations of Basic D&D. I realize not everyone feels this way, but let's face it, you can't say the sky is blue without someone on these forums disagreeing vehemently.
Unfortunatelly, if Monte is involved the outcome is prolly going to be a cumbersome set of rules, which imo will anger more (actual and potential) players than it will please. But you never know, he is always improving his rpg-fu.

I say we overthrow Hasbro and put Matt Finch (Mythmere Games, Frog God Games, Swords & Wizardry) in charge of Dungeons & Dragons.


I'm a PF guy through and through - all the options coming out allow me to create the kind of characters I'm interested in. I wish there tweaks here and there, but that's easily houseruled, and is the same for any possible game system.

If WoTC comes out with another edition, I hope they break out of the Xe mold (don't call it 5e) and go for a branding (and gameplay) that melds the past with the future: call it Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Roll out some Basic D&D boardgames and market the crap out of AD&D as the "be the character" rpg. That's my free advice to them.

I'll be happy sticking with Paizo & PF, but that kind of marketing would be good for the hobby overall - let the hobby grow and more eyeballs will look for more content... say hello to a more mature version of AD&D (say, ADVANCED AD&D = Pathfinder? :-P). A growing pie means everyone gets fat.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
IMHO the corporate world of Hasbro has gotten their teeth into DnD, and are not ever going to let go. The only way they are going to get their old market at this point is a re-adoption of the 3.5 system, or some actual adaptation of that. I just don't see it happening.

I doubt Hasbro pay any attention to D&D - and I'm sure they don't pay it enough to issue any edicts as to it's development. Wizards of the Coast have been performing well for them over the last year or so (no small feat given the economy over that time), largely due to Magic's strong growth. A subsidiary delivering growth in luxury goods during a prolonged period of economic uncertainty would generally be enough to avoid micromanagement, in my view.

Like you, I suspect they will be focussed more and more on developing the D&D brand outside of tabletop roleplaying. I'm not so convinced it will be a 'traditional' MMORPG, but the recent facebook game and the success they've had with the gamma world and the various boardgames are both pointers to a continued broadening of the brand I would guess.

DnD has always been considered the cheap LoTR for other media. A way for it to be LoTR with out being it. With that, and the online system the created for 4th ed, YES I do think MMORPGs are next, but the only question is how much long it can last.


Mok wrote:

The GM dynamic is a problem that they have been trying to solve. In part it is to make the job as easy as possible, making the math simple, give you page 42, hardwire roles into the system for both players and monsters, make a magic item treadmill with the parcels, etc.

What? The monetization of GMing is the easiest part and has been going on forever. Who buys the regularly released adventure paths and campaign material? GMs. The problem is the proper monetization of players of D&D. They have to be goaded into paying consistently. TCG/CCGs do this by using rarity systems and regular changes of the system rules such that you need to keep up with card buys to actually continue to play the game legally and buy more to be any good at the game. WoW does this by being pay per month. Two unrelated systems so I don't know why you are grouping them together other than to evidence that Hasbro of the Coast has been trying to use both - by releasing "card pack" expansions to "enhance" 4th edition and having a subscriber system.

5th edition will probably go the board game route, if there is a 5th edition rather than just an "off shoot" where they make board/card games using the D&D name. Expand your random dungeon, buy tiles! Buy cards to make the characters that came with your game better! Expansion packs to add new monsters and characters! The problem will be getting this to extend to the players and not just the person buying the game. Or perhaps they don't care, works for other board and card games just fine (Arkham Horror, Munchkin)


If we all reacted the same way, we'd be predictable, and there's always more than one way to view a situation. What's true for the group is also true for the individual. It's simple: overspecialize, and you breed in weakness. It's a slow death. WOTC has already made there choice and will pay dearly for it when the whole system fall apart, but one thing to look at here is what will paizo do next? will they use this momentum to gain full control or will they just sit by and watch...

Shadow Lodge

Roman wrote:
So what should/will Paizo do to respond to and how will Pathfinder be impacted by 5e D&D?

If I were Paizo, I'd release a statement that basically said, "When 4e launched we stuck with the OGL. When 5e launches, we'll stick with the OGL." More on why in a moment.

Roman wrote:

Should Paizo simply attempt to continue its plan for the PFRPG without change and stress stability and/or backward compatibility?

Simply continue? Yes, very much. When you've made the right call you don't abandon your plans at the floundering of your peers.

Roman wrote:
Should Paizo release a 2nd edition of the PFRPG to compete for novelty value?

Nope, not in the least. Now, could they release an updated version of the books? Sure! Imagine an approach if everything to date was 'core', with things split along different lines. Perhaps a book for characters, one for spells, that kind of thing.

Reprint and organize, yes. Revise just to keep up with the Jones's? Not a chance.

Roman wrote:
Should Paizo try to sell itself (perhaps even to WotC/Hasbro) along with the PFRPG?

NO! If they keep on the way they're going, they'll gain Monte when they buy D&D from Hasbro. Or they would if Hasbro ever sold anything...

Roman wrote:
Should Paizo do an update/refresh of the PFRPG – i.e. PFRPG revised/1.5e akin to what D&D 3.5E did with respect to 3E?

As above, yes, sort of. But no new decimal points. That's just bloat intended to sell new core books. Paizo can do just as well for themselves by launching a new setting instead, and they could do so without alienating customers.

Roman wrote:
Should Paizo expand the PFRPG system in new directions, such as science fiction, wild west, modern, etcetera?

Sure, why not? If they're not worried about making the "next hot thing" then they have more time to focus on what they're good at.

Roman wrote:
Should Paizo revert to 3PP status, abandon PFRPG and throw itself behind supporting 5e (depending on the terms offered by a licensing agreement – if any)? (This is the least likely scenario, I think.)

Clearly not. Again, they're successful. They outsold Hasbro this year. Why on earth would 5e change that??

The OGL, more than anything else, is a promise to the players and the content developers. "You can make stuff for our game and we can never stop you." That means a LOT. Abandoning that because the competition hires somebody famous means what in the face of such a thing?

Besides, they lost Bill Slavicsek earlier, so isn't this just a return to where they were prior to that? If it is, remember that Paizo was kicking their butt with him on board, too.

Apologies to Monte, but one man does not a good game make. Otherwise he'd have launched his own D&D-killer game line years ago and wouldn't need the job.


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Terquem wrote:
In summary – WoTC and to a lesser extent Paizo, isn’t selling to you, the people who post here, they are selling to the next wave.

Wait, Paizo isn't selling to me? Then why do I keep getting products from them, and why do they keep getting money from me?

This is a very confusing situation.


Ignoring, for the time, the fact that Paizo keeps saying that they're not anywhere near a new edition for their game, there remains the simple truth that they don't need a new edition.

Their real strength is adventures, the adventures will continue to work fine with the current rules, and they don't seem to run out of ideas for adventure paths.

I'm sure they're easily able to keep going like this until the second half (or even last third) of this decade, which I think will be the time we'll see PF2e.

And, by the way, I think we'll see PF2e before a new Paizo CS.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo/Pathfinder is expanding its base and doing quite well. I don't think they need major revisions to the game system. Additional modules would be nice as well as some special modules for different real world geograhical regions. Also, player actions should have more influence on how Golarion changes. As far as a hypothetical 5E is concerned, judging from past experience, it would probably be replaced by 6E within a few years with little or no player input.


KaeYoss wrote:


And, by the way, I think we'll see PF2e before a new Paizo CS.

But...Peberron... :(


Relax. If WotC is hiring Monte now, it mean that they are two years away from 5e (remember that they just fired their R&D people). Give Paizo to year to respond and that puts P2e coming out about seven years after the release of P1E. That's about average for an RPG. Unless WotC changes their minds about PDF it's all irrelevant anyway. A game without PDF will not appeal to gamers in two years.

Scarab Sages

The Forgotten wrote:
A game without PDF will not appeal to gamers in two years.

Ummm sorry to be dense but what does PDF mean in this context? Are you talking about ebooks? I was unaware that WotC opposed them. As a gamer I'm not sure I will consider them mandatory in two years time.


Matthew Trent wrote:
The Forgotten wrote:
A game without PDF will not appeal to gamers in two years.
Ummm sorry to be dense but what does PDF mean in this context? Are you talking about ebooks? I was unaware that WotC opposed them. As a gamer I'm not sure I will consider them mandatory in two years time.

Yes, "ebooks". Generally in the PDF format.

WotC originally sold some, but then discontinued them indefinitely due to concerns over piracy.


Cheapy wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:


And, by the way, I think we'll see PF2e before a new Paizo CS.
But...Peberron... :(

If you want your robot fix, go see Karamoss. Tell him "Ike" sent you.


Cheapy wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:
The Forgotten wrote:
A game without PDF will not appeal to gamers in two years.
Ummm sorry to be dense but what does PDF mean in this context? Are you talking about ebooks? I was unaware that WotC opposed them. As a gamer I'm not sure I will consider them mandatory in two years time.

Yes, "ebooks". Generally in the PDF format.

WotC originally sold some, but then discontinued them indefinitely due to concerns over piracy.

To clarify: That was the official reason. Nobody bought it.

Sovereign Court

Matthew Trent wrote:
The Forgotten wrote:
A game without PDF will not appeal to gamers in two years.
Ummm sorry to be dense but what does PDF mean in this context? Are you talking about ebooks? I was unaware that WotC opposed them. As a gamer I'm not sure I will consider them mandatory in two years time.

WotC used to sell PDFs of a lot of their older products, but they yanked them all.

In two years tablets will be $100 or less and will be a fully matured and competitive market, plus loads more RPG apps will have been developed. Two of the biggest reasons today not to own a tablet, that they are too expensive, and that you might not care for Apple products, will have long since been resolved.

Yet another reason why I'd assume 5e will be even more heavily dependent on a digital medium. You just download the D&D app, which will do everything you need.

Scarab Sages

Cheapy wrote:
WotC originally sold some, but then discontinued them indefinitely due to concerns over piracy.

That's pretty silly. And shows a classic lack of knowledge about the way data pirates think. Reguardless I don't believe that PDFs of books are mandatory, though I find them useful.

Sovereign Court

Cartigan wrote:
Mok wrote:

The GM dynamic is a problem that they have been trying to solve. In part it is to make the job as easy as possible, making the math simple, give you page 42, hardwire roles into the system for both players and monsters, make a magic item treadmill with the parcels, etc.

What? The monetization of GMing is the easiest part and has been going on forever. Who buys the regularly released adventure paths and campaign material? GMs. The problem is the proper monetization of players of D&D. They have to be goaded into paying consistently.

Yeah, I probably didn't phrase that clearly. What I meant in terms of a "GM problem" is two things. First, you need a GM to run games, and so you're only going to have consumption based off of the amount of GM's who are available, so they try and streamline the system as much as possible so that there is as little skill barrier as possible to being a GM.

But the second GM problem is that they exist. I can easily see them thinking, or at least a Hasbro suit thinking, that there needs to be a way to get rid of this "GM chokepoint" so that the entire production schedule can be focused on players. The output by WotC was heavily slanted towards selling to players, particularly if you compare it to the kind of production that TSR did with AD&D.

Cartigan wrote:
5th edition will probably go the board game route, if there is a 5th edition rather than just an "off shoot" where they make board/card games using the D&D name. Expand your random dungeon, buy tiles! Buy cards to make the characters that came with your game better! Expansion packs to add new monsters and characters! The problem will be getting this to extend to the players and not just the person buying the game. Or perhaps they don't care, works for other board and card games just fine (Arkham Horror, Munchkin)

This is definitely underway now, with what... three different D&D boardgames already in print?

The interesting twist here is that WotC is paying attention to Fantasy Flight Games, which themselves have become a juggernaut in the industry. They now have the Star Wars RPG, handle the Games Workshop RPG lines, and had a hand in a lot of major Lord of the Rings gaming products, and every year they just keep expanding their line of products. Christian Petersen from Fantasy Flight has shown his solid business skills over the years and has kept the company growing year in and out for over a decade. I can see a lot of reaction from WotC from the FF end of things.

Dark Archive

I skipped directly to the end without reading the thread because, after reading the OP, I knew precisely what my answer to this question is: no matter what 5e or its ilk turns out to be like, I will continue to support Paizo. Why? Because they are the kind of company I would like to work for and do business with. In posting on these boards and playing PF these last few years I have come to view the Paizo staff as friends of a sort, and I am nothing if not loyal. If I ran into them at a bar I would happily buy them all a beer and shake their hands. This is not true of the monster that is WotC/Hasbro. To me they are an impersonal money-eating giant, one that I have no attachment to on a personal level.

It is not simply warm and fuzzy feelings of course; Paizo has also continued to impress me with the quality of its products, and with its design philosophy of open playtests and really listening to what the players want. Most recently when they named the Magus class, choosing the name that I had most strongly argued for, it made me feel a part of the process. Heck, they even called the Magus powers Arcana, which I had suggested, though I imagine that was most likely coincidence. :D

Overall my point is that Paizo is a better company that closely listens to its fans and cares about their input, rather than simply the content of their wallets. I plan on continuing to support them, and being a member of this community; and maybe one year making it to the second round of RPG Superstar. :P


Mok wrote:
The interesting twist here is that WotC is paying attention to Fantasy Flight Games, which themselves have become a juggernaut in the industry. They now have the Star Wars RPG, handle the Games Workshop RPG lines, and had a hand in a lot of major Lord of the Rings gaming products, and every year they just keep expanding their line of products. Christian Petersen from Fantasy Flight has shown his solid business skills over the years and has kept the company growing year in and out for over a decade. I can see a lot of reaction from WotC from the FF end of things.

Now that is a twist I hadn't considered. Then again FF has always felt horribly under staffed of the number of lines they are trying to run. It took them ages to get 1st edition Anima translated into English, and in the mean time it's already in 2nd edition in Spanish.


Terquem wrote:

This has been the sales and marketing strategy for the last fifteen to twenty years, and it is here to stay.

It has been how things have been done for the first couple of decades. But we're not where we were decades ago.

Today what I see is an awful lot of young players being introduced to the game by their parents. I see an awful lot of these same young people introduce their friends to the game.

So, to lose the parents' loyalty causes problems all down the chain.

Dark Archive

I am in it with Pazio for the long haul. The version I played befor this was 1st Ed. AD@D. I decided to step into the new millenium, but I would not jump ship for a new edition. I have observered the many generations of dungeons and dragons, and I have not been impressed by WOTC as of late. They seem very much about the bottom line, and less about the customer or what they want. When you loose that, you've lost your buisness.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

What should Paizo do with respect to a possible 5e D&D? Exactly what they're doing now. It's working. Pathfinder is, by all accounts, more successful than Paizo could have hoped. Arguably, it's unseated 4e as the most popular RPG in 2011.

Even if 5e has an OGL-equivalent (rather than the GSL, and I anticipate 5e will be 100% closed), Paizo would be insanely foolish to tie its fortunes to another company again, especially WotC.

So here's the real question, if you are playing Pathfinder and happy with it, why would someone be so eager to jump to an unforseen 5e just because it says D&D on the cover/box? In other words, are you playing the game b/c the rules work for you or are you playing the game just to be able to say "I play D&D".

For me, the D&D torch has passed. For me, there is only Pathfinder (for FRPGs).

In my particular case:

1. After leaving D&D in the 2nd edition days for other RPGs, it was the OGL variants that brought me to D&D 3e.

2. While D&D 3.5e was my favorite edition, WotC in essence, stated that my patronage was inconsequential to them. My style of play was "less fun".

3. I missed the Paizo stewardship of Dragon & Dungeon. I found Paizo as the magazines were pulled. I found a company that seemed to view the game the same way I did. When the first Adventure Path and Golarion were announced, I subscribed.

Paizo has earned my patronage & loyalty. They've given me my favorite FRPG setting and FRPG rules system.

While I greatly admire Monte Cook's work, it doesn't make me want 5e. WotC's business model doesn't suit my needs, and 4e holds no appeal for me.

Make mine Paizo! Make mine Pathfinder!

Dark Archive

I'll go with whatever game suits me the best. Right now it's Pathfinder, but that doesn't mean D&D can't capture my $$$ again.

That being said, my d20 roots are deep at this point, and that is a major consideration for me to switch to a different rules set. However, that innovation is extremely important or else stagnation sets in, and that leads to the death of this already fragile niche market.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Reis wrote:
estergum wrote:

If WoTC are to make a new version they would be mad to look backwards.

They would look forwards, see how the can create a game that would sit naturally with mobile devices, tablets and the 'social' network models to get the new gaming $.

the problem is that sort of model seems to be almost fundamentally incompatible with what most players consider to be good Dungeons and Dragons.

Though I still love reading a paper book, being able to search for a rule or click through to definitions as opposed to flipping through a book are a great, and much faster, at the table.

An active character sheet would also be fantastic, your barbarian is raging, select the option and you stat's are updated, confused, sicken etc. Manage your spell book, your animal companion, etc.

Lots of people use d20pro and the likes as opposed to the kitchen table.

All the seeds are there, not to replace the good DnD but to enhance it.

If the focus is tools to support as opposed to replace DnD or to lock people in, the game experience, which is people and story telling, will grow stronger.


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In making 4th, WotC dissed all the flaws of 3.5.
(remember that list of improvements that were marketing fluff?)
But the game has most of those flaws itself.
(How much do damage over time spells/save every round/'condition cards dealt out like poker' really 'simplify' the game?)
Main point: they burned the bridge back to older editions.
At best they'd have to pull an "It was all a dream" Dallas fix, which is no fix at all, having already screwed over most of their developed worlds. (Forgotten Realms novels ain't doing nearly as hot as before, Salvatore excluded)
Timelines have been moved forward, and I don't see them eating humble pie and restoring lost Goddesses of Magic or 'fixing' what they don't see as a problem. (It did well until recently.)

As for emulating other successes, they were already targeting the WoW/MtG markets:
Subscriptions? Check.
Locked selves down as sole provider? Check. (mostly)
Products geared toward racking up more player options (a.k.a. card packs in a book) rather than story/DM options? Check. (The imbalance is huge compared to previous editions.)
Heavy mechanics that detract from verisimilitude? Check.
Invisible internal mechanics? Check.
(Which is what really turned me off from DMing 4.0, not having a framework for homebrew.)
It is a computer/CCG card game in many ways already. They have what they want, a model easily adapted to computer play and youth sensibilities. I bought the books, I wanted a new version of DnD (much like 3.0 brought new life, but this would be BETTER.) But they weren't targeting me. My DnD background was minimal help with 4.0. All that content/story/Greyhawk/etc. Gone.

But they wanted the wilder buyers, the youth, so it did well.
But...
Now they have those youth, but older. They've gotten attached to what they've devoted all this time playing. Effort does that. They don't need more PC options (they have hundreds already). They want to immerse in stories now, not just bump critters around. They're mature players.
Like me, they want stories more than rules.
And because WotC releases formulaic modules that take lots of pages (1 page/encounter! Pages and pages of the same stat block! Really?) the buyers get little for their buck.
And have stopped buying. They're probably doing something silly, like making their own stories.
Oops.

Add that there's no cultural mythos surrounding 4.0 and you've got a problem of loyalty. At least 3.5 had Eberron, and most of us can remember some pivotal modules in 3.x (or even editions we didn't play in, like Planescape in 2.0 which I skipped) What does 4.0 have? What major modules/stories define 4.0?
How many would make an 'all-time' list?
None.
(And, no, you can't use a rehash of a previous edition's module.)

So, to clarify my hastily scrabbled throughline.
WotC chopped themselves off from previous editions.
They got the kind of game they wanted, but alienated many veterans.
They found a decent customer base anyway.
That customer base isn't sufficient (at least not to Hasbro thought) or is growing stale.
So...that's why you see the release of 4.1 (or whatever they call it) trying to reintroduce old concepts, and remakes of lots of the old modules...which many of their younger customer base feel no connection to.
Oops.
Who are you marketing to again?

So, restart. Hire Monte Cook, the biggest solo act in town.
Get a new edition.
But WotC's not struggling for a new edition, but more revenue. They might make a new edition, yes, to start a new wave of sales, but any level of market research (including reading most any 5.0 thread on most any site) would show the disillusionment/skepticism would lead most people to 'wait & see' at best, which certainly doesn't help a game that relies on groups to play.
They recognize they've lost players. They recognize they'd lose players again. A new edition won't solve issues, as nobody's looking forward to it. It would fracture their base again.
What will solve their dilemma?
Fluff.
Yep. In my speculations, Monte's there not as one of the best game-mechanics designers there is (and he is), but as one of the best module/campaign/RPG storytellers there is (and a certain City campaign attests to that). He's their James Jacobs. (I love you, James.)
He's the master storycrafter that WotC needs to revamp their product line to better suit mature DMs wanting to tell stories in fleshed out worlds with non-cliche NPCs.
And it'll be based on 4th edition, even if that has to undergo some 'updates' for more noncombat/meatier play. Going back to earlier seems too much an admittance of error, which turns off the 4th ed people you have, but doesn't help draw back the others.

As for Hasbro, they probably are looking at integrating apps/online presence/social media and the whole works into the DnD package. It's what they have to do. What changes this implies, I can't venture, but I doubt that's what Monte's there for.
(I'd say Monte's their fluffer, but...)
But I doubt such electronic innovations will be integral to the pen-and-paper game. Though, maybe like 39 Clues, it'll be a multi-media experience where investing in each part makes the whole greater.

Apologies for haphazard style...


Thought I'd add my two copper only because I was wondering what the OP meant in the legends and lore articles and read back through them all. The recurring and very blatant theme is an idea of "modular" D&D. The idea is very similar to the d20 system which made 3.0 popular, but separating bloat from core by saying all additional rules and mechanics are optional modules which are attached to the game and change how it is played.
It is a way of being very direct about how the game is constructed and seems to be a method of creating a very D&D X type feel. Therefore, any old editions play types could be modules. Like 3.5 then play a 3.5 modulated game. Like things about 4e add those modules. If that is really the direction they are taking thins, then Pathfinder has little work to do. Pathfinder would simply be another module for D&D X, and they would call it the archetype module or something.
I think Paizo is fine with their decision making process, and I find it hard to believe that if D&D made an excellent edition with easy access to 3PP, Paizo wouldn't be publishing D&D X material as well.
As fans, we may want to see a publisher take a stubborn no-holds-bar stance, but these are companies made by gamers, and gaming has always been a cooperative activity. I know all these publishers would prefer to cohabit then compete, and I believe they will seek out solutions that allow them to do such things.

Shadow Lodge

Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

Maybe one day DnD's son might have something to say about its murder by the upper corporate world.

"Hello, My name is Pathfinder.. You killed my Father,. Prepare to DIE."
j/k

most epic quote ever.... i love you

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Matthew Trent wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
WotC originally sold some, but then discontinued them indefinitely due to concerns over piracy.
That's pretty silly. And shows a classic lack of knowledge about the way data pirates think. Reguardless I don't believe that PDFs of books are mandatory, though I find them useful.

For me they are mandatory, both when I'm writing new material (so I can copy/paste) and when I'm running existing material (so I can prepare handouts, etc.)

My guess is that WoTC will go heavily digital with the next version, and that they'll go a DIVX-like route of DRM, where you subscribe to the material rather than purchasing it, and they can take it back. iTunes does this with movie rentals too.

You'll still be able to purchase dead tree versions, but I'm betting those will not be sufficient for anything other than an introduction to the game.

Shadow Lodge

pobbes wrote:
I think Paizo is fine with their decision making process, and I find it hard to believe that if D&D made an excellent edition with easy access to 3PP, Paizo wouldn't be publishing D&D X material as well.

I really REALLY doubt it. Paizo isn't just going to dump the Pathfinder RPG because WotC puts out a 5th edition. And why would they publish support for someone else's product when they could be supporting their own product instead?

You don't see Pepsi marketing Coke glasses and coasters.


gbonehead wrote:


My guess is that WoTC will go heavily digital with the next version, and that they'll go a DIVX-like route of DRM, where you subscribe to the material rather than purchasing it, and they can take it back.

And people would trust them enough to subscribe to something like this?

I know I wouldn't.

In fact, I probably wouldn't trust Paizo if they did something like that. But then again, it would be unlike Paizo to do something like that.


Any attempt at content as a service, by which I mean either the necessity of a subscription and/or the ability of the provider to take the content away, would immediately kill any chance of me purchasing a new edition of D&D. Should they provide it as an option and still release the content through permanent channels, though, that would be fine by me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For me, it's not just about the content (where paizo is just superb) and the rules (where IMHO 4E is a lot simpler and easier to handle than PFRPG in many regards), but also the "infrastructure" around all that.
In this regard, paizo is just perfect for me.

I can just re-download my PDFs after major errata instead of printing them out or writing them into my hardcopy.

I can use the PRD instead of paying a DDO subscription to access hyperlinked, up-to-date rules.

I can use high-quality Adventure Paths / Modules to save me some time as GM, an area where 4E always seemed lacking to me.

As long as paizo keeps doing that, and WOTC doesn't do something equivalent, I will stick to paizo even if 5E turned out to be really good.

Dark Archive

Things change. All things.
Pathfinder itself will change. They won't stay good forever and one day they'll make a big mistake and people will leave in droves, particularly if something new and good has just arrived.
I will look at D&D5 and see if it's any good, and if it is and if Pathfinder is getting tired, then I'll probably move back to D&D. Most people will despite their professed loyalties. They'll play what their friends play.

If D&D5 is bad, Paizo merely have to keep doing what they're doing. Maybe release a new Campaign Setting.

But if D&D5 is good, then Paizo had better be at their peak. They'd probably want to release their 2nd edition AND make it better than D&D5.

If all else fails, they can probably stay afloat with their adventure paths, but even they will get stale after a decade or two.
I love Paizo here and now, but they will change and so will we. If they keep listening to their fans, then they will change with us. But even then, they may have to one day choose between an old and cheap fan base, or a new and rich fan base. I hope that day doesn't come too soon.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I'm sure that Paizo will eventually release a new edition of the Pathfinder RPG....but this is probably still a few years away. Pathfinder is still early in its edition cycle and has a lot of life left in it yet!

However, with that in mind, here's some general speculation.

When the Pathfinder core rulebook came out, Paizo worked hard to maintain a degree of backward compatibility with 3.5. However, from the release of the APG onwards they have started to put their own stamp on the game and take it in new directions. For example, witness the way that Prestige Classes have been downplayed in favour of Archetypes. I'm sure that at some point Paizo will want to consolidate some of these innovations into the core rules. I suspect that when Pathfinder 2E comes out, it will involve incremental improvements to the existing game system rather than a radical redesign. In fact, I expect the biggest change in a future Pathfinder revision might involve changes to the way that the rules are presented - I get the feeling that Paizo has learned a lot about how to present the rules clearly and succinctly from their recent work on the Beginner Box Set.

The idea hat WoTC will produce a modular "meta-edition" of D&D that is compatible with every previous edition is an intriguing concept. I know that Mike Mearls has mentioned something along these lines a while back. It would would be really clever if such a version included a Pathfinder plug-in that integrated the Pathfinder RPG into the expanded D&D ecosystem on a formal basis. Such a move would benefit both companies, enabling them to strengthen both brands. However, I'm not sure that it is very likely.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BYC wrote:

I'll go with whatever game suits me the best. Right now it's Pathfinder, but that doesn't mean D&D can't capture my $$$ again.

That being said, my d20 roots are deep at this point, and that is a major consideration for me to switch to a different rules set. However, that innovation is extremely important or else stagnation sets in, and that leads to the death of this already fragile niche market.

I don't see myself as playing D20 till the day I die. I've taken long vacations from it before and no doubt will do so in the future. There are other systems out there that will catch my interest or that I'll want to go back to from time to time. My D20 roots are pretty deep, but that won't stop me from pulling up stakes every now and then.

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