I want something new from Paizo


Paizo General Discussion


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I've played Pathfinder from its inception, and D&D since the late 1970s. I'm a huge fan of what Paizo has done with the gaming community and with the d20 system in particular.

As I've written here before, I think Paizo is really the first major gaming company that wrote actual stories that players and DMs could bring to life -- full of character and tension and still blessed with a lot of open-ended "sandbox" play.

Yet here I am in 2014 wanting something new. I feel like my time in Golarion has pretty much run its course.

I also feel like the basic structure of the Adventure Paths - which redefined how I think of RPG narrative arcs -- is no longer producing the kind of stop-me-in-my-tracks work that I used to see.

Don't get me wrong, there are still brilliant moments, flashes of weird creative brilliance. But not as often.

Rather than finding new ways to wow me with absolutely crazy imaginary settings and conflicts, I feel like there's more and more rules-lawyer tomes, longer and longer lists of feats and spells and character classes and variants.

And again, I get it. I understand that the business model of RPGs requires some of this stuff. A lot of gamers want more and more of those rule clusters. Building characters using 12 different books is half the fun.

But as a certified Paizo junky-fanboy, I'm ready for the next thing that doesn't feel sort of middle-aged and typical and "this is where RPGs always go in their life-cycle."

Is it time for a new world? I know that's dangerous and has really hurt game systems in the past. Or how about a one-shot hardcover mega-adventure written entirely by one auteur-quality writer?

How about a series of "adult" adventures, by which I mean adventures which emphasize -- really dramatically -- things like role-playing and mystery solving and the "world inhabiting" experience, rather than combat?

Finally, I'll admit that I don't really know exactly what I want. Just like I don't know that I really want that next brilliant Quentin Tarantino film or Joe Abercrombie novel until it appears. That's the job of artists, after all, doing something so cool and engaging and new that it takes an audience into an entirely new place.

So this is a greed post, really. Paizo has done that for me in the past and I want them to do it again.

I know none of these ideas will ever be Paizo's bread and butter, but six years after Pathfinder was launched I think tilting at windmills and being experimental is a great idea for a creativity-based company.

--Captain Marsh

Silver Crusade

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I understand your point and can agree with it. But, I also feel there are numerous regions and even planets that Paizo has yet to exploit.

Perusing through their Inner-Sea Guide, I read about many settings that sound very fascinating but have little to no material beyond their mention in the book. As a 39 year-old, full-time worker and part-time student, I really heavily on setting material since I lack the spare time to create my own. Golarion's diverse settings provide me with almost everything I need depending on what mood I'm in.

As much as I enjoy places like Varisia with it's Middle-earth/ Forgotten Realms feel or Absalom as the world-capital, there is plenty of material by now to play those regions. Rather than continually adding more splatbooks for familiar regions, we should get some more Companion and Campaign Settings in the unfamiliar areas. The appeal of Golarion and the Pathfinder Universe to me is that it tends to encompass a variety of genres by giving each region it's own flavor. So, it seems there's much room for originality and creativity. Just give us more on that. Enough of Sandpoint already! Let's see more of the other hemisphere of Golarion, including Miang. Let's explore other worlds like Akiton. There's possibilities for Dark Dun style settings if Paizo would use the other planets.

In short, Paizo has a wealth of source material to give us, they just need to venture out more and stop fleshing out the same regions we're used to.


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Have you looked into any 3PPs?

Paizo knew from the start that they couldn't cater to every taste, or produce every possible support product and kind of setting and adventure that anyone would want. Before Paizo, WotC knew this too, which is why they created the OGL.

Captain Marsh wrote:
Is it time for a new world? I know that's dangerous and has really hurt game systems in the past. Or how about a one-shot hardcover mega-adventure written entirely by one auteur-quality writer?

Maybe... The Slumbering Tsar Saga?

Silver Crusade

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Maybe... The Slumbering Tsar Saga?

Wow! Thanks for this link! After reading the reviews, I just picked our groups next campaign. This looks absolutely bad-ass in an old school way!


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Whoa!

I wasn't expecting anyone actually to listen to me. Just for the record, I downloaded the free sample and decided that it wasn't my cup of tea. I only mentioned that one because it was the only single-author single-volume mega-adventure for PFRPG I knew.


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Slumbering Tsar looks to be all kinds of fun - someday I hope to run it.


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Captain Marsh wrote:

I've played Pathfinder from its inception, and D&D since the late 1970s. I'm a huge fan of what Paizo has done with the gaming community and with the d20 system in particular.

As I've written here before, I think Paizo is really the first major gaming company that wrote actual stories that players and DMs could bring to life -- full of character and tension and still blessed with a lot of open-ended "sandbox" play.

Yet here I am in 2014 wanting something new. I feel like my time in Golarion has pretty much run its course.

I also feel like the basic structure of the Adventure Paths - which redefined how I think of RPG narrative arcs -- is no longer producing the kind of stop-me-in-my-tracks work that I used to see.

Don't get me wrong, there are still brilliant moments, flashes of weird creative brilliance. But not as often.

Rather than finding new ways to wow me with absolutely crazy imaginary settings and conflicts, I feel like there's more and more rules-lawyer tomes, longer and longer lists of feats and spells and character classes and variants.

And again, I get it. I understand that the business model of RPGs requires some of this stuff. A lot of gamers want more and more of those rule clusters. Building characters using 12 different books is half the fun.

But as a certified Paizo junky-fanboy, I'm ready for the next thing that doesn't feel sort of middle-aged and typical and "this is where RPGs always go in their life-cycle."

Is it time for a new world? I know that's dangerous and has really hurt game systems in the past. Or how about a one-shot hardcover mega-adventure written entirely by one auteur-quality writer?

How about a series of "adult" adventures, by which I mean adventures which emphasize -- really dramatically -- things like role-playing and mystery solving and the "world inhabiting" experience, rather than combat?

Finally, I'll admit that I don't really know exactly what I want. Just like I don't know that I really want that next brilliant Quentin...

Your post reminds me quite a bit of my post "An Open Letter to Paizo" of about a year ago. I completely concur with you good sir, and reiterate some of my main points from that prior post: we have lifetimes worth of feats/spells/classes/beasts/et. al. What we need more of is setting material and STORY STORY STORY. To the extent that new feats/spells/classes/beasts fit into the STORY organically, I'm in favor, but all too often, they do not, seeming forced and completely unnecessary.

Seconding the call for more adult (not in the naughty way...well, maybe a little) - oriented adventures and stories.

For what it's worth, I give Paizo credit for producing some excellent story and setting material within the past year.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber
Aaron Bitman wrote:

Whoa!

I wasn't expecting anyone actually to listen to me. Just for the record, I downloaded the free sample and decided that it wasn't my cup of tea. I only mentioned that one because it was the only single-author single-volume mega-adventure for PFRPG I knew.

Aside: you are awesome for recommending something that you had reason to believe other people might like, even though you didn't really like it yourself.


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I am in a quite similar boat. I really enjoy the AP's. I am not too much into their complex character builder culture. I am also quite good at taking an AP or module and converting it to any rule system. I like being able to create a character in 5 minutes or less. And I dislike encounters where the wrong build or not having the right feat means the encounter is impossible (or close to it). I dislike that having maxed out ranks in a skill is useless without all the feats and high ability score making it useful. However, I have learned much about building encounters and creating adventures from Paizo. I feel they do a good job.

I am, however, done with creating medieval settings, I do high tech settings now, with wizards and magic. Magic and high tech does not need to be mutually exclusive. I been playing and working on a setting that takes place between 200,000 BC and 70,000 BC where humans built a giant galaxy spanning empire with colonies and high technology. It was eventually destroyed with the mass extinction event at 70,000 BC that put the whole galaxy in a great depression and people forgot about Earth's location. So I understand what you mean.

Silver Crusade

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Arnwolf wrote:


I am, however, done with creating medieval settings, I do high tech settings now, with wizards and magic. Magic and high tech does not need to be mutually exclusive. I been playing and working on a setting that takes place between 200,000 BC and 70,000 BC where humans built a giant galaxy spanning empire with colonies and high technology. It was eventually destroyed with the mass extinction event at 70,000 BC that put the whole galaxy in a great depression and people forgot about Earth's location. So I understand what you mean.

I don't know your age, but the premise of magic in a high-tech society reminds me of the RPG "Shadowrun" (I think) which was in the 90's. It was set in a futuristic, somewhat cyber-tech society where magic and magical creatures, which had been non-existent for millenia, return to the world. It was a pretty cool setting.

Sovereign Court

Iron Gods is coming that should be different enough. I get the feeling you have I really do, but cant say I like any of your suggestions.


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Rob Rose wrote:
I don't know your age, but the premise of magic in a high-tech society reminds me of the RPG "Shadowrun" (I think) which was in the 90's. It was set in a futuristic, somewhat cyber-tech society where magic and magical creatures, which had been non-existent for millenia, return to the world. It was a pretty cool setting.

Was?


I am familiar with Shadowrun, it was not a game that was my taste. I am more the Star Wars, Star Trek, Eureka, Fringe, Doctor Who type of guy. With a wit like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy at times.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Arnwolf, how about Numenera or Eclipse Phase?

Silver Crusade

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One-Word Response wrote:
Rob Rose wrote:
I don't know your age, but the premise of magic in a high-tech society reminds me of the RPG "Shadowrun" (I think) which was in the 90's. It was set in a futuristic, somewhat cyber-tech society where magic and magical creatures, which had been non-existent for millenia, return to the world. It was a pretty cool setting.
Was?

I've been out of RPGs for almost twenty years and only recently returned to the fold. I hadn't seen anything about Shadowrun in the stores so I assumed it was gone. Apparently it ain't!

Silver Crusade

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Arnwolf wrote:
I am familiar with Shadowrun, it was not a game that was my taste. I am more the Star Wars, Star Trek, Eureka, Fringe, Doctor Who type of guy. With a wit like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy at times.

I'm an all-encompassing guy. With the exception of Eureka, I'm into all of those, as well. Of course Douglas Adams actually scripted some Doctor Who so I'm not surprised you like both.

Contributor

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If you are wanting another world to play in, consider the Midgard Setting from Kobold Press. There are numerous settings and adventures that you can string an arc with. In fact, you can use Journeys to the West and the upcoming Freeing Nethus to form an entire sea-based campaign, filling it in with some adventures from Midgard Tales.

Shadow Lodge

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Captain Marsh wrote:
As I've written here before, I think Paizo is really the first major gaming company that wrote actual stories that players and DMs could bring to life

I think that's kind of marginalizing the contributions of dozens and dozens of companies and hundreds of writers and developers since 1974.


Liz Courts wrote:
Arnwolf, how about Numenera or Eclipse Phase?

I have Numenera, and I like it. Eclipse I am not familiar with. I am also a fan of the mutants and masterminds system as you can play any genre with it.


Christina Stiles wrote:
If you are wanting another world to play in, consider the Midgard Setting from Kobold Press. There are numerous settings and adventures that you can string an arc with. In fact, you can use Journeys to the West and the upcoming Freeing Nethus to form an entire sea-based campaign, filling it in with some adventures from Midgard Tales.

I think that Midgard is just another medieval setting, another forgotten realms, Oerth, Mystara, Cerillia, etc. All great settings, but not different enough.


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Look more into 3PPs.

You know Necromancer Games/Frog God Games now, they have lots more stuff like Slumbering Tsar: Rappan Athuk,Sword of Air, Barakus, Stoneheart Valley all are in the same old school vein. All are set in their upcoming Lost Lands setting.

How about Razor Coast? It's a big piratey adventure sandbox with a groundbreaking presentation style.

Check out Raging Swan Press, they have great adventures and DM aids. Old school, simple presentation and great content. Still generic fantasy though. Check out their Town line where a small settlement is presented in detail with a few adventure hooks.

Check out Fire Moutain Games Way of the Wicked AP for something completely different.

Check out 0one press' city AP and material.

Rite Publishing has Kaidan (Japanese fantasy gothic horror), Coliseum Morpheuon (high level adventure in the Dream Plane with great NPCs), and Adventure Quarterly (think Dungeon magazine). Their other products are all worth looking at too.


Conquest of the Universe is an upcoming Pathfinder in Space sourcebook.

Dark Sun recently got kickstartered as Dragon Kings.

TPK Publishing has good horror modules.


Arnwolf: check out the d20 Dragonstar products. There are a few PF conversion threads out there plus the Dragonstar Reboot website.

Also the Numeria AP should be right up your alley too.


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Also Ptolus needs to be mentioned IMHO. Here's a PF conversion of the races, but it's of course the gorgeous HC that you should look into.


Finally to break a lance (do you say that in English?) for paizo doing new stuff:

There's an Alkenstar module upcoming in the expanded module line

Technic League/Numeria AP

Baba Yaga AP

Spoiler:
with WW1 crossover

Eastern AP

Distant Worlds

I think they're doing fine...


Arnwolf wrote:
I am familiar with Shadowrun, it was not a game that was my taste. I am more the Star Wars, Star Trek, Eureka, Fringe, Doctor Who type of guy. With a wit like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy at times.

Understandable, I'm not a fan of Shadowrun either.

Rifts has... I think 30 something world books, probably a half dozen dimention books, not to mention all the source books and Rifters.
It has a lot of magic and high tech, as well as psionics, super powers, cybernetics, necrotech, etc, etc...

Hero... Hero is far more flexable, everything is modular, you can build anything you want. I have never found anything I can't replicate in Hero... given enough points.

White Wolf is modern with magic... maybe not quite what you're looking for. It does, however, have a very flexable magic system... if you're playing a mage.

Firefly, Stargate, Travaler are all high tech... though no magic.

Silver Crusade

Thanael wrote:

Conquest of the Universe is an upcoming Pathfinder in Space sourcebook.

Dark Sun recently got kickstartered as Dragon Kings.

TPK Publishing has good horror modules.

Dragon Kings for Dark Sun... is that Paizo? I did a quick search on this site but didn't see anything.


The Dragon Kings Project is "system neutral", but there are going to be PDF supplements for Pathfinder, 13th Age and Savage Worlds.


Rob Rose wrote:
Thanael wrote:

Conquest of the Universe is an upcoming Pathfinder in Space sourcebook.

Dark Sun recently got kickstartered as Dragon Kings.

TPK Publishing has good horror modules.

Dragon Kings for Dark Sun... is that Paizo? I did a quick search on this site but didn't see anything.

Not paizo. 3pp= third party publishers.

Dragon Kings is Dark Sun with the serial numbers filed off by one of the original authors I think. Just google it...


Sorry for dropping out of the discussion. I was away traveling without my computer.

Some good ideas here. I'll check some of them out. I did buy and run Numenera. I have mixed feelings about it, but will likely DM it again.

Regarding the 3pp suggestions, I will give them more of a try. Of course that's a great option.

But I still aim my main nudge at Paizo. For the moment, they're carrying the banner, and doing it really well. I want that to continue.

-Marsh


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Apropos of nothing, I always liked HârnMaster. There are actually now two versions (there was a split some years ago); the second is from Columbia Games. It's very detail and "weak magic" oriented, though, which is why the split happened. (Kelestia.com was the original author's site, now kept alive by others - unfortunately Robin passed away a couple of years ago.)

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