Best Guess: How many quarters will D&D Next beat Pathfinder on the ICv2 list (if any)?


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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A Second edition of Pathfinder?

I think for me it would heavily depend on what they did with it. If it is heavily backwards compatible, I probably would stick with PF, but if it differed heavily...I'm not sure.

Obsoleting all the APs and such could be something that would make me decide to look for something else.

Of course, the problem is what else is there?

I'm not a fan of 5e currently, which leaves...not too much out there that fills the gap of Pathfinder.

I guess there's C&C which is sort of like PF lite...but other than that????

I like C&C great, but I'm not certain what else there would be out there. I'm probably not going to convert to 5e simply because Paizo changes the game.

I guess it would depend on how drastic it is and what the changes are ultimately.

Personally, I'd prefer them to stick with what they currently have. Then again, maybe I'm not the key customer anymore.

Above, it was posted that a majority of Black Diamond sales were with rulebooks, and if that is correct, with me being more focused on the APs and modules...if they decide to focus on the CRB as the major seller, it could be that I am no longer the key audience they need.

Times have surely changed in that case from when they had the magazine and then the AP's in that instance, but times change and so does the focus.


DaveMage wrote:
Before we start clamoring for Pathfinder 2 (no thanks), let's see what Pathfinder Unchained looks like. That might do what some people want from Pathfinder 2. Therefore, we may all win. :)

It might.

MMCJawa wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Pathfinder 2 is in an unenviable position. I can't try and be simple, because that's what D&D is doing. So it has to try and capture the more tactical players and optimizes who feel unsatisfied by 5e. But neither can they go the route of 4e, with too much optimization, dissociative mechanics. They need to do something firmly Pathfinder. I have faith in Paizo, but I'm uncertain they can satisfactorily pull off a Pathfinder Revised any time soon

I wholeheartedly disagree.

If Paizo put out a Pathfinder 2 of the same complexity level as 5e, I think people would embrace it eagerly and thankfully. Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe a year or two or so from now. BlackDiamond is right--5e is beautiful, but it's the IP edition. WOTC has pretty much said as much, and has shown as much in dragging their feet on providing an OGL that would make supporting the edition possible. If Paizo published a very similar product, they would have something just as beautiful, but with the support of Paizo and the 3pp community behind it.

It's tempting to think 5e puts a Pathfinder 2 on the ropes, but I think it's deceptive. I don't think Paizo needs to feel constrained by the direction 5e has gone in terms of design in the slightest. If anything, they should feel liberated. After all, they've proven they can beat WOTC at their own game before. 5e has shown that people are willing (and eager) to embrace a lighter ruleset. The time may come when Paizo (technically) follows suit, but does it right.

I'm not saying that's what they *should* do. I'm just saying they could. I don't think 5e takes away any options from them.

I think the issue is that many people would be resistant to such a change if it rendered their existing library useless, and people would probably be hesitant to continue buying from Paizo's back catalog. While I think a new edition is inevitable, I think it's also going to be constrained to be backward compatible with the current version of Pathfinder

Any huge 4E or 5E style major rule change, which renders the existing system obsolete, is probably going to hurt Paizo more than aid it.

Maybe. But how backwards compatible? No conversion necessary? Minimal conversion? Current Pathfinder content converts to 5e fairly easily. Is that good enough?


I think the basic question will be, "can my new characters basically be my old characters?" because that, in the end, is what makes or breaks backwards compatibility.

From 3.0 to 3.5, the changes were skills, monster feats (and a few alignment differences), and spells - mostly a reduction in complexity with an emphasis on ease-of-play/use-of-ability.

From 3.5 to PF, the change was actually much the same: a revising of feats, skills, and spells. (There are, of course, many little differences - I'm talking about the large, sweeping changes.) Some nifty new abilities were added to make things better for the most part.

From PF 1 to PF 2, I'd generally expect something similar: some sort of revision of the skill system (probably another streamline/update), a tweak to the classes, and a revision of spells and what they do. I'm guessing it'd also likely streamline the creation of NPCs and monsters, by giving them mostly NPC classes with PC class templates, where necessary.

In any event, in all of these cases, I can basically run my PF characters in 3.0 modules without really changing things, and run my 3.0 characters in PF modules without really changing much. And that's what it would mean for "backwards compatibility", I think.

That said, I don't expect that PF 2, when it comes, will still be a version of 3.0 - there have been enough iterations of 3.X stuff that by the time PF2 rolls around, it will likely be compatible with PF1, and maybe 3.5 - but mostly, I suspect it will be compatible with Unchained. I look to that book to tell me what PF2 will look like more, when it finally comes out.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Bluenose wrote:
Games Workshop are large enough that they're required by law to make their annual report available online.

The reason Workshop has to release that sort of info is not because they're large—it's because they're publicly traded. (Note that Hasbro has to release similar info as a public company, but they have a much broader business than GW, and they don't have to say what portion of their business is Wizards of the Coast, much less what part is D&D.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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GreyWolfLord wrote:

WOW...D&D outsold Warhammer 40K?

Of course, that's another arena where it appears sales may be distorted in regards to how well they are actually selling...

Over the last decade or so, Workshop has tried very hard to push most of their business into their own stores. Even if Gary's relative rankings of D&D and 40K *were* typical of traditional hobby stores, it wouldn't tell you anything about the rest of either business. A *lot* of D&D 5 is selling through Amazon, so ICv2 doesn't know about it, and a *lot* of 40K is selling through GW stores, so ICv2 doesn't know about it.

Shadow Lodge

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MMCJawa wrote:
I think the issue is that many people would be resistant to such a change if it rendered their existing library useless, and people would probably be hesitant to continue buying from Paizo's back catalog. While I think a new edition is inevitable, I think it's also going to be constrained to be backward compatible with the current version of Pathfinder...

What? Water is gushing out of your pipes that are made more of duct tape than pipe?

Slap some more duct tape on 'em!

Shadow Lodge

GreyWolfLord wrote:

A Second edition of Pathfinder?

I think for me it would heavily depend on what they did with it. If it is heavily backwards compatible, I probably would stick with PF, but if it differed heavily...I'm not sure.

Obsoleting all the APs and such could be something that would make me decide to look for something else.

Of course, the problem is what else is there?

I'm not a fan of 5e currently, which leaves...not too much out there that fills the gap of Pathfinder.

I guess there's C&C which is sort of like PF lite...but other than that????

I like C&C great, but I'm not certain what else there would be out there. I'm probably not going to convert to 5e simply because Paizo changes the game.

I guess it would depend on how drastic it is and what the changes are ultimately.

Personally, I'd prefer them to stick with what they currently have. Then again, maybe I'm not the key customer anymore.

Above, it was posted that a majority of Black Diamond sales were with rulebooks, and if that is correct, with me being more focused on the APs and modules...if they decide to focus on the CRB as the major seller, it could be that I am no longer the key audience they need.

Times have surely changed in that case from when they had the magazine and then the AP's in that instance, but times change and so does the focus.

There's always Pathfinder 1st edition, you know. I'm not really buying that you've played through every AP, every module, ever PFS scenario, AND every 3PP adventure.

There's more than enough adventures out for Pathfinder 1st edition to last you, your kids, and your grandkids the rest of their lives.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Kthulhu wrote:
There's more than enough adventures out for Pathfinder 1st edition to last you, your kids, and your grandkids the rest of their lives.

Only if you insist on working and sleeping and such between your game sessions...

The Exchange Owner - Black Diamond Games

Steve Geddes wrote:
Do you report 3PP sales of pathfinder compatible books (if there are any) as Pathfinder sales in the ICv2 surveys?

I'm pretty confident in saying retailers sell an incredibly low number (if any) 3PP products.

The Exchange Owner - Black Diamond Games

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Ironically however, I was more willing to buy hardcopies of 5e core when it first came out and 5e stuff on release from a gamestore than online. I of course am not all...

It's not just customers, retailers generally despise Paizo for a) selling direct, b) having an online discount store, and c) feeling organized play is designed to feed back to their direct sales. I buck the trend, but it's because we have a strong Pathfinder community.

So retailers REALLY want D&D to succeed. They have religious FAITH in D&D. They need D&D to be a win.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BlackDiamond wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Do you report 3PP sales of pathfinder compatible books (if there are any) as Pathfinder sales in the ICv2 surveys?
I'm pretty confident in saying retailers sell an incredibly low number (if any) 3PP products.

Cheers. In Australia its not that uncommon for a shop to stock a few odd titles. However, I suspect distribution channels are more erratic down here - quite often new releases from the bigger publishers are months late, so perhaps retailers get offered or order 3PP as a kind of "consolation" or even "this is what you can get this month".

Shadow Lodge

Vic Wertz wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
There's more than enough adventures out for Pathfinder 1st edition to last you, your kids, and your grandkids the rest of their lives.
Only if you insist on working and sleeping and such between your game sessions...

Ah, but if you don't sleep or eat, then your lifespan dramatically decreases.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What's the polite word for "smartass"?

Shadow Lodge

Steve Geddes wrote:
BlackDiamond wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Do you report 3PP sales of pathfinder compatible books (if there are any) as Pathfinder sales in the ICv2 surveys?
I'm pretty confident in saying retailers sell an incredibly low number (if any) 3PP products.
Cheers. In Australia its not that uncommon for a shop to stock a few odd titles. However, I suspect distribution channels are more erratic down here - quite often new releases from the bigger publishers are months late, so perhaps retailers get offered or order 3PP as a kind of "consolation" or even "this is what you can get this month".

The game shop in Little Rock has a fair amount of 3PP stuff. They had several copies of Rappan Athuk last time I was there, for example.

Shadow Lodge

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Steve Geddes wrote:
What's the polite word for "smartass"?

Kthulhu ?

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Unchained very likely is an edition change, albeit a stealth change that you can play in parallel with the current system.

-Skeld


Vic Wertz wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Games Workshop are large enough that they're required by law to make their annual report available online.
The reason Workshop has to release that sort of info is not because they're large—it's because they're publicly traded. (Note that Hasbro has to release similar info as a public company, but they have a much broader business than GW, and they don't have to say what portion of their business is Wizards of the Coast, much less what part is D&D.)

UK regulations are different to American ones. It doesn't matter if they're not publicly traded, they have to file accounts with Companies House and the fee to access that is very low - £1 last time I checked. I think the information they have to give is more limited with companies below a certain size, mind you.

Liberty's Edge

For myself and my gaming group to even look through Pathfinder 2E. It has to have a minimum of 50% or more new material. Otherwise were not even going to look at it online with the free SRD. I have reached a point in my life that I simply cannot and more importantly will not spend another 100$+. On a simple rehash with a few house rules and new cover and interior art. Exceptions like Call of Cthulhu 7E. Where the changes are minor yet enhance gameplay. I get and respect that some here don;t want to see their libraries become obsolete. Not that they really ever do imo. As one can keep play PF 1E and if PF 2E is different. Take and borrow new ideas from both old and new. Not to mention most from what I see here. Elsewhere and in real life. Don't use 3.5. material. They prefer Pathfinder and only that. Not to say that no one uses 3.5. or 3pp. I truly don't think it's as large a group that some make it out to be. With 5E they have to offer something new imo. 5e has fixed most of the issues that 3.5/PF has. Paizo can't simply release more of the same a second time. Unlike with 4E. Their are less disgruntled fans with 5E then they were with 4E. The only solution is a series of "unchained" book I think.

Skeld wrote:

Unchained very likely is an edition change, albeit a stealth change that you can play in parallel with the current system.

-Skeld

Probably. Yet I want to see the book first. As I want to see if it is taking the system in a new direction or simply changes that really in the end don't offer anything new.

Liberty's Edge

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Hudax wrote:

I wholeheartedly disagree.

If Paizo put out a Pathfinder 2 of the same complexity level as 5e, I think people would embrace it eagerly and thankfully. Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe a year or two or so from now. BlackDiamond is right--5e is beautiful, but it's the IP edition. WOTC has pretty much said as much, and has shown as much in dragging their feet on providing an OGL that would make supporting the edition possible. If Paizo published a very similar product, they would have something just as beautiful, but with the support of Paizo and the 3pp community behind it.

I have no doubt Paizo would launch with more 3rd Party support and an OGL. But that means little if the fans won't play. 4e launched with a lot of planned 3PP support while Pathfinder launched with none and had to build support over time.

If no one is excited about the game and making their own content, the 3PP have to look harder for potential writers. If the fans don't buy, the 3PP dries up.

The bloat/support being called for is nice for retailers and the publisher, being a continued revenue stream, but it's not the only way to support the game. Card games, board games, minis, accessories, maps, and the like all also make continued money for the publisher. And, since they might not all target RPG players, it spreads out whose paying for the product potentially increasing sales. Different audiences mean more people willing to spend rather than bleeding one limited audience dry.
It's also potentially more sustainable. That's what WotC is seeing at the moment. Both 3e and 4e churned out content and the game ran dry quickly. And while Paizo initially kept its content sparse and limited, they've since greatly increased their output (with matching sales) and the edition feels closer to done.
Monthly Player Companions and the occasional crunch heavy Campaign Setting book have really exhausted the market for accessories and splatbooks. Five and a half years into its planned seven year lifespan and Pathfinder feels tapped out.

Starting a Pathfinder II and doing the same thing all over again feels foolish. It's doing the same thing a second time and expecting a different result.

Hudax wrote:
It's tempting to think 5e puts a Pathfinder 2 on the ropes, but I think it's deceptive. I don't think Paizo needs to feel constrained by the direction 5e has gone in terms of design in the slightest. If anything, they should feel liberated. After all, they've proven they can beat WOTC at their own game before. 5e has shown that people are willing (and eager) to embrace a lighter ruleset. The time may come when Paizo (technically) follows suit, but does it right.

Paizo didn't really beat WotC at their own game. Paizo beat WotC with their own game. And after WotC released an unpopular version of their game. Paizo didn't invent Pathfinder, they adapted it.

While sales of Pathfinder are good, they're not as good as 3e was at its peak. Now that D&D is popular again, the success of Paizo is more in question and it's less certain that Paizo could "beat" D&D.
Heck, this whole thread comes down to "Can Paizo beat WotC?" And the answer is a "dunno."

Personally, I think Paizo has some great staff with great minds who really listen to their fans and community. And since they're a smaller company built around RPGs with lesser expectations of profit, they have a far better chance of surviving in the long term. But it might be rough for a while.

MMCJawa wrote:

I think the issue is that many people would be resistant to such a change if it rendered their existing library useless, and people would probably be hesitant to continue buying from Paizo's back catalog. While I think a new edition is inevitable, I think it's also going to be constrained to be backward compatible with the current version of Pathfinder

Any huge 4E or 5E style major rule change, which renders the existing system obsolete, is probably going to hurt Paizo more than aid it.

Exactly! This is the catch.

If Pathfinder Revised is not backwards compatible, it render's people libraries obsolete. So a percentage of the audience simply won't upgrade.
If Pathfinder Revised is backwards compatible, then it doesn't solve the issue of bloat and there's less incentive to repurchase content. See the 3.0 to 3.5 change. Plus it's much harder to fix the game. Most of the current problems plaguing the Pathfinder ruleset come down to being backwards compatible with 3e.

If Pathfinder goes rules lite then it is in direct competition with 5e for audience. That gets tricky as D&D has the name power.

If Pathfinder goes crunchy they can target the audience not being supported by 5e. But the game becomes harder to absorb for new people.

But changing has to be done carefully or they risk falling into the same traps as 4e. Already you can see a few 4e-isms in Pathfinder. Waves of crunch over story, focus on quality over quality, dissociative mechanics where the flavour is a thin veneer with no real game impact, combat and tactical play over other styles, favouring organized play as the baseline.
Heck, the kineticist in the Occult Adventures playtest was pretty much a 4e class in design.

A lot of the problems with Pathfinder are the same problems 3e grappled with (heh) late in its lifestyle, and a lot of the solutions feel the same. But it’s been six years since the initial launch of 4e and complaints on that system, and the lessons for that have faded for a lot of Pathfinder refugees, replaced with familiar catch phrases and fallback arguments. And many of the problems that became apparent in later 4e are forgotten as the community never experienced them, not being part of that discussion.
For example, minions. Jason Bulmahn did a Pathfinder version of minions and a lot of Pathfinder fans still hold up minions as one of the good ideas from 4e. But they’re missing the 4e players perspective of how minions get very abstract and gamist. Minions don't have a role in the world, they only have a role in a combat. It gets weird how some monsters effectively lose hit points while gaining levels. And the continual question of "what does a level 15 mook look like?" Things like a demonic ghoul from the abyss that serves a fiendish demon prince, and has the power to level small villages, but dies after a single hit.

As such, Paizo shouldn't *just* try and release a Pathfinder 2.0, but a D&D 6th Edition, skipping the steps in-between evolving from 3e and looking at the lessons of the larger industry and trying to improve upon 5e.

However, there's also the OGL to consider. Pathfinder owes its existence to the OGL, which allows Paizo to use all the D&Disms in its world. I'm uncertain how far you can change the game and still claim to use the license. (Does the Adventure Card game use the licence?)
Paizo cannot easily drop the OGL, not without having to rename a ton of monsters and options. But doing so would allow them to make a video games adaptations and the like. They could be their own game for a change.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Jester David wrote:
4e launched with a lot of planned 3PP support while Pathfinder launched with none and had to build support over time.

I can't give you an exact number of companies that had announced they were supporting 4E prior to its release, but looking at our product database, I found only Goodman Games, Mongoose, Expeditious Retreat, Dragonfire Laser Crafts, and Green Ronin as having 4E/GSL product listings in our system prior to September 2009. (I think Kobold Quarterly was also in from the start, but since it's not strictly a 4E product, it isn't in my search results.) I'm sure there were others onboard (particularly companies that only release PDFs through DriveThru), but I'd be pretty surprised if the answer was more than about a dozen professional companies signed on to the GSL at release time.

On the other hand, in the months prior to our release, we prepared a preview edition of the Core Rulebook for established companies that had announced support for Pathfinder (and were willing to cover the $75 per copy that it cost to produce each preview copy), and that went out to 27 companies.

Jester David wrote:
Five and a half years into its planned seven year lifespan...

Pathfinder has *never* had a planned lifespan. Erik, Jason, and James may have occasionally offered their own personal opinions on what a reasonable lifespan might be (and those opinions often didn't agree all that much) but I promise you that internally, our plan has always been to rely on our audience to tell us if and when they want a new edition.

Jester David wrote:
However, there's also the OGL to consider. Pathfinder owes its existence to the OGL, which allows Paizo to use all the D&Disms in its world. I'm uncertain how far you can change the game and still claim to use the license.

You can use the OGL without using a single word or concept out of Wizards' SRD.

Jester David wrote:
Paizo cannot easily drop the OGL, not without having to rename a ton of monsters and options. But doing so would allow them to make a video games adaptations and the like. They could be their own game for a change.

All correct.

Jester David wrote:
Does the Adventure Card game use the licence?

It does not use the OGL.


Jester David wrote:
Five and a half years into its planned seven year lifespan and Pathfinder feels tapped out.

I'm curious where this tidbit originates from? Was this stated by Paizo at some point?

EDIT: And nevermind... answered. Not sure why Mr. Wertz post wasn't showing when I made this reply. <shrug>

Sovereign Court

I recall that it was pretty pricey to buy into the GSL for 4th edition. I'm not sure what that will mean for 5th edition, but I'd guess that WoTCs IP caution and withdrawal from pdf might have impeded them at least somewhat from the start.

With luck, the recent licensed adventures with Kobold Press are signs of a more collaborative venture. There is a lot of very excellent talent out there that WoTC can leverage to everyone's benefit. The tricky question is how much to open up without having a glut, which is a delicate and untested science.

Grand Lodge

Holy cow ... what, no PDF version of 5e? That's a stopper for me. I assumed they would not be so archaic.


There are PDFs - free ones, even - on WotC's site.


Tacticslion wrote:
There are PDFs - free ones, even - on WotC's site.

But only of a "Basic" subset of the rules, not the actual Core books, right?


For the most part, you are correct. It looks like plans for a digital release were scrapped as part of DungeonScape shutting down? Otherwise they are "looking into it", I think is what Mearls has said. My only point was that there was a PDF version on WotC's site - not necessarily that it was everything. My apologies if that wasn't clear.

To be more clear: I think it's a bad decision on their part. PDFs have changed the way people want to/expect to interact with their stuff. I like books better. A lot better. But PDFs are an important, easily-accessed resource that WotC should invest more time and energy into.

That said, they have put some into it, and have made several things available for free. What's more, it's more than just the most "basic" rules - they've also recently published a (very rough) "update" document for 5E Eberron for free, and are planning on more things like it.

This kind of thing was what I was referring to - I apologize for any confusion.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It is a funny stance. They're not averse to PDF publishing - most 4E material (by pagecount) was PDF only, the recent re-release of electronic versions on DNDClassics, the PDF support articles for the current storyline and so forth.

It appears to be electronic versions of the rulebooks which is "a bridge to far", for some reason.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Darkbridger wrote:

I'm curious where this tidbit originates from? Was this stated by Paizo at some point?

EDIT: And nevermind... answered. Not sure why Mr. Wertz post wasn't showing when I made this reply. <shrug>

I made a shorter post, then quickly added some stuff, including the part answering the question you were probably typing at that very moment!

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
4e launched with a lot of planned 3PP support while Pathfinder launched with none and had to build support over time.

I can't give you an exact number of companies that had announced they were supporting 4E prior to its release, but looking at our product database, I found only Goodman Games, Mongoose, Expeditious Retreat, Dragonfire Laser Crafts, and Green Ronin as having 4E/GSL product listings in our system prior to September 2009. (I think Kobold Quarterly was also in from the start, but since it's not strictly a 4E product, it isn't in my search results.) I'm sure there were others onboard (particularly companies that only release PDFs through DriveThru), but I'd be pretty surprised if the answer was more than about a dozen professional companies signed on to the GSL at release time.

On the other hand, in the months prior to our release, we prepared a preview edition of the Core Rulebook for established companies that had announced support for Pathfinder (and were willing to cover the $75 per copy that it cost to produce each preview copy), and that went out to 27 companies.

I stand corrected.

IIRC Kobold Quarterly was originally 4e by way of the OGL. I think a couple companies did that, as the GSL didn't take effect until late that year, and because the original draft of the GSL prohibited mixing 3e and 4e, which KQ planned to do. But that's hazy after so many years, so I may be misremembering...

The cynic in me does think that PF might have gotten so much support because the 3rd Parties couldn't do what they wanted with 4e.

Vic Wertz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Five and a half years into its planned seven year lifespan...
Pathfinder has *never* had a planned lifespan. Erik, Jason, and James may have occasionally offered their own personal opinions on what a reasonable lifespan might be (and those opinions often didn't agree all that much) but I promise you that internally, our plan has always been to rely on our audience to tell us if and when they want a new edition.

"Planned" was probably the wrong word. "Expected"? "Anticipated"?

Vic Wertz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
However, there's also the OGL to consider. Pathfinder owes its existence to the OGL, which allows Paizo to use all the D&Disms in its world. I'm uncertain how far you can change the game and still claim to use the license.
You can use the OGL without using a single word or concept out of Wizards' SRD.

Good to know.

Liberty's Edge

Tacticslion wrote:

For the most part, you are correct. It looks like plans for a digital release were scrapped as part of DungeonScape shutting down? Otherwise they are "looking into it", I think is what Mearls has said. My only point was that there was a PDF version on WotC's site - not necessarily that it was everything. My apologies if that wasn't clear.

To be more clear: I think it's a bad decision on their part. PDFs have changed the way people want to/expect to interact with their stuff. I like books better. A lot better. But PDFs are an important, easily-accessed resource that WotC should invest more time and energy into.

That said, they have put some into it, and have made several things available for free. What's more, it's more than just the most "basic" rules - they've also recently published a (very rough) "update" document for 5E Eberron for free, and are planning on more things like it.

This kind of thing was what I was referring to - I apologize for any confusion.

It sounds like WotC was planning on using DungeonScape for digital distribution, with an app instead of PDFs. Likely for piracy concerns.

But that partnership was cancelled over conflict between how the two companies wanted to handle content.

It sounds like WotC has partnered with someone else, which has not been announced. But that will take time as they have to start from scratch, and creating apps is hard.


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To answer the thread's title, I say at least one quarter could be dominated by D&D; the last quarter of 2014. All three core books almost came out in that quarter, plus it was close to Christmas. $$$

After that, I see D&D going down. From december 9th to april 7th, there are no D&D books coming out. How can you appear on a chart about sells when there are no new books to sell?

Sure, the PHB can be bought many times by the same gaming group, but not the other core books. Adventures are less popular, so sales can only go down.

Oh well, at least we'll all be able to buy D&D t-shirts and comics.

Sovereign Court

Jester David wrote:


It sounds like WotC was planning on using DungeonScape for digital distribution, with an app instead of PDFs. Likely for piracy concerns.
But that partnership was cancelled over conflict between how the two companies wanted to handle content.

It sounds like WotC has partnered with someone else, which has not been announced. But that will take time as they have to start from scratch, and creating apps is hard.

Does anyone know how the recent DungeonScape kickstarter went?

Liberty's Edge

Lorathorn wrote:
Jester David wrote:


It sounds like WotC was planning on using DungeonScape for digital distribution, with an app instead of PDFs. Likely for piracy concerns.
But that partnership was cancelled over conflict between how the two companies wanted to handle content.

It sounds like WotC has partnered with someone else, which has not been announced. But that will take time as they have to start from scratch, and creating apps is hard.

Does anyone know how the recent DungeonScape kickstarter went?

Hilariously bad.

Seriously, it's almost a case study in how not to execute an RPG kickstarter

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, that Kickstarter was cringe-worthy on every conceivable level. The whole "if you don't back us then you're a part of the force holding progress back" part was hilarious, doubly so if you consider how technologically backw...conservative the D&D fanbase is.

Sovereign Court

ouch...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Jester David wrote:
IIRC Kobold Quarterly was originally 4e by way of the OGL. I think a couple companies did that, as the GSL didn't take effect until late that year, and because the original draft of the GSL prohibited mixing 3e and 4e, which KQ planned to do. But that's hazy after so many years, so I may be misremembering...

I think you're correct, and that indeed several of the companies on my list were doing 4E products outside the GSL.

Jester David wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Pathfinder has *never* had a planned lifespan.
"Planned" was probably the wrong word. "Expected"? "Anticipated"?

Maybe anticipate and expected by others, but not by us. We would be foolish to do anything *other* that let the market tell us if and when they're ready, so putting even a tentative date in mind would be counterproductive. Frankly, there have been people so far away from "when" that "if" would be a more appropriate question.


Vic, I'm not asking for any moral judgements or anything, but seeing as there's no public licensing document, stuff like Fifth Edition Foes (Tome of Horrors 5E conversion, sort of) must be working outside the licensing agreement, right?

'Cause I still think you could produce a 5E compatible stat-block under the OGL, I just don't want to be the guy who has to prove it in court, y'know?

Liberty's Edge

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Hitdice wrote:

Vic, I'm not asking for any moral judgements or anything, but seeing as there's no public licensing document, stuff like Fifth Edition Foes (Tome of Horrors 5E conversion, sort of) must be working outside the licensing agreement, right?

'Cause I still think you could produce a 5E compatible stat-block under the OGL, I just don't want to be the guy who has to prove it in court, y'know?

Actually, that's exactly what Frog a God Games/ Necromancer Games is doing with 5th Edition Foes. It's a 3e/OGL product legally.

Monsters in the book are formatted like Pathfinder monsters. But the math is 5e.
That's because the look of monsters is part of the trade dress of 5e, which is protected by copyright. Some of the terms are also different, like "tactical advantage" instead if just "advantage".

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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That's my understanding, and I also have no desire to be the guy trying to legally defend that course of action.


Vic Wertz wrote:
That's my understanding, and I also have no desire to be the guy trying to legally defend that course of action.

Especially since the actual legality is nearly irrelevant...they can lawyer most companies to death long before the matter is even decided.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

Of course, the problem is what else is there?

I'm not a fan of 5e currently, which leaves...not too much out there that fills the gap of Pathfinder.

I guess there's C&C which is sort of like PF lite...but other than that????

You, sir, need to broaden your horizons. ;-)

Have you looked at 13th Age? One part 3E, one part 4E, and one part FATE, 13th Age is a fantastically clever d20 fantasy RPG.

If you're willing to go more narrative, there is the excellent Dungeon World. Rules-lite, but with all the familiar D&Disms.

If you're OK leaving "D&D-like" behind, try Savage Worlds. Crunchy enough to satisfy, but runs fast and easy.


Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, that Kickstarter was cringe-worthy on every conceivable level. The whole "if you don't back us then you're a part of the force holding progress back" part was hilarious, doubly so if you consider how technologically backw...conservative the D&D fanbase is.

I found it more presumptuous than hilarious, but yeah, that Kickstarter was a train wreck. I doubt we'll be hearing from these guys again (at least in any meaningful way).


bugleyman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, that Kickstarter was cringe-worthy on every conceivable level. The whole "if you don't back us then you're a part of the force holding progress back" part was hilarious, doubly so if you consider how technologically backw...conservative the D&D fanbase is.
I found it more presumptuous than hilarious, but yeah, that Kickstarter was a train wreck. I doubt we'll be hearing from these guys again (at least in any meaningful way).

I think one of the problems was that everyone who had tried the beta product was interested in 5e, Dungeonscape couldn't support 5e without a licence and Pathfinder already has plenty of digital support.

Not that I'm making excuses for them or WoTC. The whole thing seemed bungled and drawn out from the beginning.

Liberty's Edge

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Kip84 wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, that Kickstarter was cringe-worthy on every conceivable level. The whole "if you don't back us then you're a part of the force holding progress back" part was hilarious, doubly so if you consider how technologically backw...conservative the D&D fanbase is.
I found it more presumptuous than hilarious, but yeah, that Kickstarter was a train wreck. I doubt we'll be hearing from these guys again (at least in any meaningful way).

I think one of the problems was that everyone who had tried the beta product was interested in 5e, Dungeonscape couldn't support 5e without a licence and Pathfinder already has plenty of digital support.

Not that I'm making excuses for them or WoTC. The whole thing seemed bungled and drawn out from the beginning.

There were sooo many problems.

Trapdoor Technologies were a digital publishing company that decided to swap to making D&D apps, and somehow got the licence to be the D&D digital team. But how they wanted to move forward (shared adventures and worlds, with a focus on fan creations) was very different from what WotC wanted (digital delivery of their products). That difference of opinion should have been apparent from the start.
So, because of that, 5e gets no digital support at launch, or months after as WotC scrambles to find someone who will do what they want the way they want.

Trapdoor was also vague on what the full program was. We knew a character builder was part, and that was a focus, but they were really interested in the Forge. Everything else was cake.

We didn't see a lot of initial videos of the product in use, and all the features from the DM's side.

The Forge seemed like a campaign manager type program. That was the main selling feature, but they never went into detail. Or described how it was different from existing campaign managers like Obsidian Portal or RealmWorks. (Which made me think they had no idea and were uninformed on what their primary competition was doing).

There were other problems just with the Kickstarter.

They launched right at Christmas time, which is the death period for Kickstarters. And they launched and ended at low traffic points in the week.

There was no faster product for backers, such as early access.

Pricing was vague. It certainly looked like you needed your players to pay for the app and the GM to pay more. But when asked it sounded like they were uncertain of the final pricing, and that downloading the app for use might be free. Which would suggest you were paying more for the product if you backed the kickstarter...
Launching before pricing was established was likely a mistake.

There was no clear baseline funding level. Several funding levels looked similar. And there was no incentive to fund at slightly higher tiers or add-ons related to the final product, just some amateur arts and crafts.
The Reaper strategy of a baseline tier that gets better as stretch goals are met is a great incentive to pledge.

They set the minimal funding high, focusing on all-or-nothing, rather than a baseline goal with other features being stretch goals. People are averse to backing projects that look unlikely to fund for weird psychological reasons, and high goals are a deterrent.
There

Trapdoor took too long to readily answer questions, and the FAQ was seldom updated. They needed to launch with as many answers as possible. They often answered questions on message boards rather than on the KS page.

Going with Pathfinder was also a mistake, as Pathfinder has dedicated digital support with a wealth of content. The amount of material they needed to add to offer minimal PF compatibility is high.
Crossing into Pathfinder territory also meant they had to start from the ground floor in terms of public relations, as all the support and connections they had developed were for 5e/D&D fans. It took them ages to get on the Paizo board, they never drew attention to themselves in the larger Pathfinder community, such as pushing to be featured on Know Direction. Not that it might have mattered given the limited schedules of people during the holiday period, podcasters included.
And, by going with Pathfinder, they lost a LOT of support for D&D players uninterested in that system.

All and all they raised a fair amount of money. $75,000 is decent. But because the bar was set too high, they walked away with none, plus the time and money spent working on the Kickstarter. It very likely cost them money and lost them rep. Especially with their comments.

But this slightly off topic...


So what happened in the most recent ICV2 list?


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D&D took second place.

Liberty's Edge

Well, isn't that interesting ... :)


When did that one come out? If is was October 2014 then I think I already knew that. I thought there was another one due about now.

When is the next one after that due?

( I admit to being quite ignorant about all this I am just an interested onlooker)


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It's the October 2014 one, yes. If they follow the pattern they established in 2013 of putting out three reports a year, the next one should be due in a month or so - the Fall 2013 one came out early March last year.

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

And more on topic, you all might find this blog by Gary Ray of Black Diamond Games interesting. I can't say that what he's saying is necessarily representative of the industry, but I can say that in terms of business sense, Gary is an above-average hobby retailer.

FYI, you can see his previous years' top 10 lists here. (Note that last year, he had listed Warmachine and Hordes separately, but said that "together they would be at the number four spot;" Cards Against Humanity would have then been number 10.)

Very interesting read and insights. Thanks for bring it to my attention.

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