Disturbing trend I noticed when researching about D&D financials over the years


Paizo General Discussion

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Kohl McClash wrote:
Technotrooper wrote:
Deanoth wrote:
I can't see over saturation for a long time yet :)
You may be right, but I do see many people (including myself) starting to say they have reached "rules saturation" with PF. For me, the error-ridden ACG didn't help with this feeling that "maybe I'm good when it comes to more rules."

Just clicked over from another thread so pardon the revival :)

I'm in the same boat, rules bloat/saturation. I switched to PF when 4e didn't appeal to me and have enjoyed the game...until recently when we started the mythic AP. wow what a terrible system. Like many have stated, we dropped the mythic part and switched to normal pcs after the last session. Normally paizo products are great stuff but this book and all the rules have turned me off, not to mention the need for herolabs to keep up with everything that's out there to use. I've slowly switched to 5e and play some osc stuff like DCC, still playing PF, non mythic de powered wrath ap this Sunday.

Overall it's a good time for people who enjoy RPGs, we have many great choices to choose from!

Why do people need HeroLabs? I seem to get by just fine without it.


I definitely think companies have a tendency to grow, grow grow, sometimes without even a clear reason why. Is Paizo there? I frankly have no idea. However, in my opinion there have been some warning signs:

1. Trying to write a VTT in-house. Pathfinder definitely needs VTT support, but please just get in bed with Roll20.net already.
2. PACG. I think this is going to go from moderately successful to marginal to money sink.
3. Pathfinder Online. Not sure this really counts, though, as Lisa had the foresight to spin off Goblinworks.

All just my $.02, of course.


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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Why do people need HeroLabs? I seem to get by just fine without it.

First of all it's HeroLab. Singular.

Second, good for you. However, people are different, and probably feel that they need for Herolab for a variety of reasons. Just because you don't share those reasons doesn't make them invalid.


Okaaaay bugleyman. I did use "it", and I was referencing the poster before me who used herolabs, though I did get the caps right.

I'm not saying other people's reason are invalid, I'm asking what those reasons are, from the point of view that I don't seem to need the product.

So don't make it sound like I'm invalidating anyone, that was not my intent. Sorry if that was unclear. I guess I see a difference between want and need.


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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
So don't make it sound like I'm invalidating anyone, that was not my intent. Sorry if that was unclear. I guess I see a difference between want and need.

Sorry for getting my hackles up.

If you want to be technical, I guess I don't need indoor plumbing, but I sure as hell wouldn't willing live without it.

Grand Lodge

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Kohl McClash wrote:
Technotrooper wrote:
Deanoth wrote:
I can't see over saturation for a long time yet :)
You may be right, but I do see many people (including myself) starting to say they have reached "rules saturation" with PF. For me, the error-ridden ACG didn't help with this feeling that "maybe I'm good when it comes to more rules."

Just clicked over from another thread so pardon the revival :)

I'm in the same boat, rules bloat/saturation. I switched to PF when 4e didn't appeal to me and have enjoyed the game...until recently when we started the mythic AP. wow what a terrible system. Like many have stated, we dropped the mythic part and switched to normal pcs after the last session. Normally paizo products are great stuff but this book and all the rules have turned me off, not to mention the need for herolabs to keep up with everything that's out there to use. I've slowly switched to 5e and play some osc stuff like DCC, still playing PF, non mythic de powered wrath ap this Sunday.

Overall it's a good time for people who enjoy RPGs, we have many great choices to choose from!

Why do people need HeroLabs? I seem to get by just fine without it.

Can I live without it? Sure. But it's a heck of a time saver, and my leisure time is limited.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There is IMHO no faster way to sift through the hundreds of feats, traits, available spells, etc for characters to select from what is now a voluminous stack of books than Herolab. When I am making an NPC with a certain flavor or theme, it is an extremely useful resource for selecting aligning traits, feats, etc. Also, it makes it easy as heck to tack character levels onto a monster and get a quick statblock.

Could I do this another way or on my own? Sure. Would it be a lot cheaper? Sure. Are there people that prefer the process of developing characters on paper instead of with Herolab? Absolutely and I applaud them. However, I will never again create characters, either as a GM or a player for Pathfinder without using Herolab. Its just too painful and slow the other way, now that the hardback and splatbook count is as high as it is. Even better, its nice to tell my players "uncheck Ultimate Magic because we are not using it" for instance (just an example) and then we still get the same amazing lists, just without a book I don't want to use in our current campaign.

Having it integrate with Realmworks is just gravy... :)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
bugleyman wrote:
2. PACG. I think this is going to go from moderately successful to marginal to money sink.

You may be right about the ultimate trajectory (I don't really have any datapoints so I haven't got a clue). However, given the speed at which the first printing sold out, I think it should probably be given credit as being very successful initially.

I can't imagine Vic, Lisa and the rest (Erik and Chris, perhaps?) being so risk averse with print run sizes that a moderate success would sell out in a few months.


Steve Geddes wrote:

You may be right about the ultimate trajectory (I don't really have any datapoints so I haven't got a clue). However, given the speed at which the first printing sold out, I think it should probably be given credit as being very successful initially.

I can't imagine Vic, Lisa and the rest (Erik and Chris, perhaps?) being so risk averse with print run sizes that a moderate success would sell out in a few months.

I have no data either, just anecdotes and speculation, but what amounts to tossing the whole game every six months just seems like a fatal design flaw to me. The card game also seems tertiary to the the RPG, and so possibly germane to a discussion about whether Paizo is splitting its focus.

Grand Lodge

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LazarX wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Why do people need HeroLabs? I seem to get by just fine without it.
Can I live without it? Sure. But it's a heck of a time saver, and my leisure time is limited.

Seconded. It saves me a ridiculous amount of time and work, which is why I use it and continue to support it.

bugleyman wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

You may be right about the ultimate trajectory (I don't really have any datapoints so I haven't got a clue). However, given the speed at which the first printing sold out, I think it should probably be given credit as being very successful initially.

I can't imagine Vic, Lisa and the rest (Erik and Chris, perhaps?) being so risk averse with print run sizes that a moderate success would sell out in a few months.

I have no data either, just anecdotes and speculation, but what amounts to tossing the whole game every six months just seems like a fatal design flaw to me. The card game also seems tertiary to the the RPG, and so possibly germane to a discussion about whether Paizo is splitting its focus.

From my outside-looking-in POV, the card game seems to be doing fine. I'd be more concerend about "splitting focus" with the card game if they didn't have a dedicated set of developers working it.

PFO looks, to me, like a blackhole. It's sucked in a bunch of resources and hasn't produced much. At least the impression of my players that jumped on the KS is that they are wholly unimpressed and wouldn't bother with it at all if it weren't currently getting KS benefits. Maybe Paizo/Golblinworks will turn it around, but I'm not holding my breath.

-Skeld


Skeld wrote:
From my outside-looking-in POV, the card game seems to be doing fine. I'd be more concerend about "splitting focus" with the card game if they didn't have a dedicated set of developers working it.

I appreciate that there are separate folks working on it; I just think extra people means extra coordination overhead, splitting mgmt attention, etc. There is much to be said for small and focused.

Then again, my perception is probably colored by my personal feelings about the card game. I find it to be decent, but unremarkable, which isn't good enough to compete in the midst of a card and board game renaissance. There are just too many exceptional card games out there (Sushi Go, Coup, Machi Koro, Love Letter, Smash Up, etc.) for me to care much about PACG.

It also seems like a new core set every six months is a tough sell. Sure, lots of people will buy the first, and maybe the second, but then what? I can't see much of a market for a fourth or fifth variation on the same (expensive) game.

Time will tell, I guess.

Skeld wrote:
PFO looks, to me, like a blackhole. It's sucked in a bunch of resources and hasn't produced much. At least the impression of my players that jumped on the KS is that they are wholly unimpressed and wouldn't bother with it at all if it weren't currently getting KS benefits. Maybe Paizo/Golblinworks will turn it around, but I'm not holding my breath.

Truthfully, I've never been able to see why anyone ever thought that PFO was a good idea. But again, time will tell.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:
But again, time will tell.

True, there is going to be, at some level (hopefully high up), splitting of peoples' time. It's impossible to say what the impact of that really is. I don't know much at all about card games, so I won't make any judgements on how good it is.

I'm right there with you on PFO; I don't understand the attraction. It seems a lot of people jumped on the second KS for the rewards, not necessarily for the game. Looking through the forum, it's mostly appears to be threads about recruitment, selling accounts, or "I quit" threads.

time will tell for sure and I wish them the best. I've got the RPG and I don't care about the rest so long as it doesn't harm the RPG or the overall business.

-Skeld

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:


It also seems like a new core set every six months is a tough sell. Sure, lots of people will buy the first, and maybe the second, but then what? I can't see much of a market for a fourth or fifth variation on the same (expensive) game.

Shrug, Magic has a new 'base set' and a seporate 'beginning of story arch' set every year since 1993 until this year. Yes, that is a different market, but its the same strategy, and still in the gaming community.

Each base set of the adventure card game also has new rulessets included.

Skull and Shackles had shipboard combat
Wrath of the righteous has mythic rules

I don't have the time to pick it up and try it, but the payers of the game in the area tend to like it, and have bought into many of the peripherals. During PAX EaST we had a pretty consistent 45 minute backup for the card game table...

I think things like the card game subscription allow paizo to see if the trend of sales if falling. and they are up on their numbers enough to see when the writing hits the wall.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The other thing about the card game is that it's a way to leverage Paizo's core competency--writing stellar APs--in a different setting. (Seriously, the entire reason for the existence of Pathfinder in the first place is so that the creative staff could write the APs/tell the stories they wanted to. If 4th Ed would have allowed them to do that, PF never would have had to exist.) That's why even though I don't play the game I see it as a reasonable extension of what Paizo has been doing.

Grand Lodge

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bugleyman wrote:
Skeld wrote:
From my outside-looking-in POV, the card game seems to be doing fine. I'd be more concerend about "splitting focus" with the card game if they didn't have a dedicated set of developers working it.

I appreciate that there are separate folks working on it; I just think extra people means extra coordination overhead, splitting mgmt attention, etc. There is much to be said for small and focused.

Then again, my perception is probably colored by my personal feelings about the card game. I find it to be decent, but unremarkable, which isn't good enough to compete in the midst of a card and board game renaissance. There are just too many exceptional card games out there (Sushi Go, Coup, Machi Koro, Love Letter, Smash Up, etc.) for me to care much about PACG.

It also seems like a new core set every six months is a tough sell. Sure, lots of people will buy the first, and maybe the second, but then what? I can't see much of a market for a fourth or fifth variation on the same (expensive) game.

Time will tell, I guess.

Skeld wrote:
PFO looks, to me, like a blackhole. It's sucked in a bunch of resources and hasn't produced much. At least the impression of my players that jumped on the KS is that they are wholly unimpressed and wouldn't bother with it at all if it weren't currently getting KS benefits. Maybe Paizo/Golblinworks will turn it around, but I'm not holding my breath.

Truthfully, I've never been able to see why anyone ever thought that PFO was a good idea. But again, time will tell.

It's simple, the seller was Ryan Dancey, and the buyers were blissfully unaware on how many digital projects he and his company have tanked on, starting with the destruction of the Living City campaign, as well as the Werewolf MMO, and the complete failure on bringing roleplaying elements into Eve Online.


Cpt_kirstov wrote:
bugleyman wrote:


It also seems like a new core set every six months is a tough sell. Sure, lots of people will buy the first, and maybe the second, but then what? I can't see much of a market for a fourth or fifth variation on the same (expensive) game.

Shrug, Magic has a new 'base set' and a seporate 'beginning of story arch' set every year since 1993 until this year. Yes, that is a different market, but its the same strategy, and still in the gaming community.

Each base set of the adventure card game also has new rulessets included.

Skull and Shackles had shipboard combat
Wrath of the righteous has mythic rules

I don't have the time to pick it up and try it, but the payers of the game in the area tend to like it, and have bought into many of the peripherals. During PAX EaST we had a pretty consistent 45 minute backup for the card game table...

I think things like the card game subscription allow paizo to see if the trend of sales if falling. and they are up on their numbers enough to see when the writing hits the wall.

The New Magic set doesn't cost $60 though (At least to play in the new release each year, if you go beserk trying to get the best deck of course you'll spend more than $60, but you'd also spend quite a bit if you bought all the packs and other items released for each version of the card game as well).

I personally am not into the card game, but admittedly I haven't played it that much either (once, which didn't do anything for me, maybe I'm just not the boardgame/cardgame type they are looking for though...I am definitely the RP type right now).

It seems to be selling well enough. It seems enough people are buying it currently that Paizo is probably getting a nice profit (I assume that's why they keep on making new ones...they are on the third iteration of it already).


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

I assume that's why they keep on making new ones...they are on the third iteration of it already.

I'm not sure that's a valid inference; they probably had to commit to the second -- if not the third -- set before they knew how well the first one sold.


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

They have announced that they're already working on the fourth and fifth APs. They also have a "pretty good idea" of the two after that.

I am also skeptical of the longevity, but I think it's definitely doing well currently. They've branched out into organised play which didn't seem to be part of the original plan and which require buying at least one extra class deck. They're also moving to monthly releases of those class decks later in the year, on top of the initial seven they released. The game has also won various awards and commendations and generally rates very well amongst card gamers (or so I'm led to believe - I'm not really in any position to know).

One thing is that they started at bimonthly releases, shifted to monthly due to demand and then dropped it back to about one every month and a half. They seem to be at least reasonably paying attention and tweaking as necessary


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
They've branched out into organised play which didn't seem to be part of the original plan and which require buying at least one extra class deck.

It does? How so?


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

I have little idea of how the organised play program works. I just took that from the organised play page.

"...To play, all you need is a Class Deck, that contains a set of characters and cards that'll carry you through an entire adventure path."


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

I would think you could print out the character sheet for the kind of character you want (which is basically a list of cards — you check off the cards you have) and go to an OP game, create your new character from the base set, and when you leave, get your character sheet validated by whoever's running the game, and next time, you recreate the deck. Rinse and repeat until done.

I grant that having your own deck is easier, may give some advantages (don't know - I have the available decks, but have not looked at them in depth), and may well in some sense be more fun. But I don't think it's required. I could be wrong. :-)


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

Yeah, I wouldnt know how essential it is. I just went with the page I linked, which suggested to me that they were required. If they're only optional, I think the second batch of decks is probably an even stronger argument.

My point was that the OP program seems to be doing well (they werent obligated to come out with the 'second batch' of class decks). Whilst I share bugleyman's concerns about the longevity of the game - I think credit should be given where it's due. The game seems to me to have had a very strong debut.

Scarab Sages

As many might have already seen, PFO is dead in the water.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I thought it was on life support.

Shadow Lodge

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Eh I only supported it for the PDFs anyway, as I imagine did several other people. I'm pretty happy with Thornkeep and Emerald Spire, so little complaints to be had.

The game itself was of little interest to me to begin with and lost even that when I learned of how a lot of the game itself was going to work - particularly the heavy PvP focus.


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Yep. As described, I interpreted it as a fantasy SWG, which would have been cool. Instead, we got fantasy EVE.

No thanks.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Life Support? Death Watch?
Pot-a-to, Po-ta-to.

Seriously, though, counting on what is likely to be an ever dwindling resource (current subscribers) while cutting back to bone marrow level staffing probably means a slow, lingering death.

If they can get the investors they need, maybe that would be like the proper treatment needed.

I say this as someone who supported both the kickstarters, played for less than a half hour, and won't ever bother with it again. But then I also knew this would likely be the case when I pledged to the kickstarters; I'm just not big into MMORGs.

EDIT:I'm just grateful Paizo and Goblinworks were kept as separate entities.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:

I would think you could print out the character sheet for the kind of character you want (which is basically a list of cards — you check off the cards you have) and go to an OP game, create your new character from the base set, and when you leave, get your character sheet validated by whoever's running the game, and next time, you recreate the deck. Rinse and repeat until done.

I grant that having your own deck is easier, may give some advantages (don't know - I have the available decks, but have not looked at them in depth), and may well in some sense be more fun. But I don't think it's required. I could be wrong. :-)

I actually do know about the card game. Part of OP is the ability to port your character over to different boxes, and you won't be able to do that if you share the cards, since there will be conflicts - so you have to buy a class deck to do it.

PACG, while it does appeal to RPGers, I would say opens up the market to non-RPGers, who don't have the time for a 4+ hour session even if they were interested. So it's actually a positive effect. The boardgame market has been waiting for a product like this for a long time - witness Shadowrun Crossfire, Myth and Penny Arcade's Thornwatch, which are similar designs on "persistent campaign, characters with decks of cards acting as their persistence"

I demoed the game last weekend at PAX to a ton of people who have never played and they're still really interested and engaged.

Will I think it'll last 7 years? Dunno. Dominion is probably around that old now.


Erik Mona wrote:

I'll be interested to see what you think of the Strategy Guide when it comes out in December.

Had I the opportunity to do it over again, I'd probably call it something like the "Starter Guide" or "Beginner Book" or something.

I wish it had been given a title like that; I bought it thinking it offered optimization strategies for different situations and it was more like a walk-through of ordinary character advancement.

That's no doubt a great boon to newer players. But I'm not one.

Dark Archive

Here is the funny thing, how many actual hard cover Books do you have? How many Adventure path campaign sets do you have in the flesh (paper)
Trends change and the TSR thing was almost a soap opera in itself.
Tech plays a massive role in TT RPG now and many people play and DM with Tablets and Netbooks or Transformers with stylus pens.
Use of apps like Fantasy Grounds on your LCD HD TV via a Laptop are every day things now. Back in the day I had a ring binder and the 1st Edt 3 core books in my Gaming messenger bag, that was considered organised. LOL

I have a nice small collection of books and when some thing comes out I like most get the PDF and decide if I need it. Mostly I just keep the PDF I win & so does Paizo. If I enjoy the product enough I now order from them or Amazon. We both win again. (I think electronic versions & the Tablet make a major positive step in the gamers and DM tool box)

Now if the older versions of the Adventure path Campaigns were released in say a single book, like Rise of the Rune-lords with a DM Screen that matched I would be so into that in both versions.

Bring back the boxed Sets Hells Rebels Boxed set would contain players guide, DM Guide DM Screen, NPC Face,equipment & Foe Cards, Hero Sheets, maybe note paper or character themed Folio(could also be a down load)
Maybe a mini Monster Man(small)& enough room for all the Adventure path modules. & possible add ins? Well that's a dream I have anyway.


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Vic Wertz on boxed sets

Vic Wertz wrote:
Jrcmarine wrote:

...what are the chances of a boxed set product as mentioned above? :-)

Boxed sets are hard to create and—because the costs are really high—hard to make money on.

Let's look at the Greyhawk "From the Ashes" box set, which contains:


  • Two 96-page books (a setting book and an adventure book, more or less)
  • Three 32x21 maps
  • Five monster sheets
  • 20 reference cards
  • A box

Now, let's model a Pathfinder equivalent.


  • 96-page books are the size of an AP volume. We sell those for $22.99.
  • Our Map Folios that contain 3 33x22 maps sell for $19.99.
  • The best equivalent for "monster sheets" and "reference cards" would be our Campaign Cards, which sell for $10.99.
  • We sold our Treasure Chest empty box directly from paizo.com for $2. (That actually has very little markup from cost—boxes are expensive; if we had to cover our costs on that through the distribution chain, it would be higher; for this exercise, let's call it $3.03 because it gets us to a retail price that we could actually use.)

Would you pay $79.99 for that?

And even if you would... do you think game stores or book stores would be thrilled to invest $48 (that's 60% of retail) for each copy on their shelf that may or may not sell for ages if at all?

Do you think there are people who can't budget $80 for a game product at one time, but would buy the parts over time?

Or people who wouldn't buy the whole box, but would buy just the campaign setting book, or just the adventure, or just the maps, or just the cards, or any combination of the above?

The truth is, we actually do plan a lot of our products as if we were making box sets—we just sell the components individually. When we release a new AP, we usually plan one or two books in the Campaign Setting line that work with the AP. We release a Map Folio, and a card set, and now eventually a token set, and maybe tie in a Flip-Mat or Map Pack or two. And we usually do a Player Companion that ties in as well.

And now that we're changing the Modules line into something more event-driven, you'll see that there as well. Look at The Dragon's Demand, and The Dragon's Demand Campaign Cards, and the Dragon Slayer's Handbook Player Companion and the Dragons Unleashed Campaign Setting book. It's a boxed set—just without the box.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

How many books? Pretty much all of them. How many APs. All of them.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, I think that kind of blanket assumption is a bit off. Most everyone I know or play with owns the actual print books, uses actual character sheets etc. I see very little of the tech described above at gaming tables.

In fact, I tend to see things like tablets and laptops *strongly* discouraged at the game table and I'm very much ok with that


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:

Yeah, I think that kind of blanket assumption is a bit off. Most everyone I know or play with owns the actual print books, uses actual character sheets etc. I see very little of the tech described above at gaming tables.

In fact, I tend to see things like tablets and laptops *strongly* discouraged at the game table and I'm very much ok with that

Which is kinda the opposite of my experience. I have and have seen players who use the summoner app to prep their summoned creatures and several of us have PFRPG on our phones and ipads for quick reference.

When I'd have to travel to run my games? It's possible for me to have my entire Pathfinder Library with me on my iPad. I'm sorry but I dont miss lugging around books with me to sessions. And I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't game with people who have a problem with me using tech as a utility to make my gaming life easier.

Grand Lodge

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I never bring hardcopies to games anymore, unless someone specifically asks for them.


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I don't buy print books anymore, and I don't really use those I have. I use the SRD at the table or when character building, even though I do buy the PDFs and have some of the earlier hardcovers, because of speed and ease of searching. It could be a generational thing. I'm 24 and the gamers I know are all in college. Basically all of us grew up wih technology everywhere. It could just be that we are more comfortable with tech at the table because we are always using it.

Shadow Lodge

Count me in on the "no print books" list. I haven't bought a non-digital gaming product other than dice and cards since 3.5 ended (and since most of my print books are in the hands of someone in another state, the only reason I still have access to 3e/3.5 stuff is due to PDFs). Every last piece of my Pathfinder media is digital, either in PDF format or on SRD websites.

Not having tech at my table is also not an option, as my players are not in a single location. I live in Georgia. My players live in New York, Kansas, Texas, Alberta, Colorado, California, and Arizona - and of the three players who live in Arizona, one lives in a different city than the other two. We play via MapTool and Skype and keep our character sheets on Google Drive. No tech for us equals no game.

I'd say that you're part of a slowly-shrinking minority at this point, Mark.

Silver Crusade

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Ever since my wife was kind enough to give me a solid tablet for my last birthday, my days of using dead tree gaming material are certainly coming to a middle.

Also, shelf space.

Liberty's Edge

All good points. We certainly look up a quick rule now and again via an iPhone and the PRD, of course.

Probably is something of a generational thing actually. Although, to be fair, I'm in no way a technophobe. My job is very tech and computer heavy and I'm very computer and technology savvy.

I guess for me, maybe because I spend so much time around technology - staring at computer screens, etc, that when I want to relax and have fun playing an RPG, the LAST thing I want to see is a bunch of people messing with laptops and dice rollers etc. To me, playing a tabletop RPG should be a human experience - people sitting at a table, talking and interacting, rolling actual dice on a table, referring to real, paper character sheets and book, writing stuff down.

I also don't do any kind of online gaming with friends via MapTool, RollD20 or anything like that. Just not my thing - for me, playing a tabletop game needs to be live and in person.

I guess it's also hard for me to think of actually 'owning' something if I don't have the actual, physical object. If I want a gaming book, or any book for that matter, I want the actual book, not just a PDF or Kindle version. If I want a CD, I want an actual CD, not just an iTunes download. I'll certainly burn music from my CDs to iTunes, but I still want that actual CD.

For me, playing a live RPG with real people is a great reason to NOT use a bunch of screens and tech. No judgement against those that feel differently, it's just how I feel, and most people I game with, know, or even just observe gaming seem to me of a like mind, based on the lack of much technology at the table ...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I still buy books on occasion. And I've kept all my 3.5 books despite not using them anymore. I should probably do something about that. They take up a lot of space. A lot of my gaming happens on Roll20 now, so hardcovers can't be passed around anyway. We did have a local Core-only game for awhile where I just used paper sheets and the CRB. But that unfortunately didn't last.

Shadow Lodge

Marc Radle wrote:

Probably is something of a generational thing actually. Although, to be fair, I'm in no way a technophobe. My job is very tech and computer heavy and I'm very computer and technology savvy.

I guess for me, maybe because I spend so much time around technology - staring at computer screens, etc, that when I want to relax and have fun playing an RPG, the LAST thing I want to see is a bunch of people messing with laptops and dice rollers etc. To me, playing a tabletop RPG should be a human experience - people sitting at a table, talk and interacting, rolling actual dice on a table, referring to real, paper character sheets, writing stuff down.

It really probably is. I'm the same way on the job - I do data entry and bookkeeping stuff at an accounting firm for a living - but my idea of relaxation almost always involves technology: playing video games (both online and off), talking to people on Skype, browsing internet forums, and reading books on my Kindle. Really the only non-tech entertainment I have of any notable amount is the small collection of non-digital books I still have from before I got my Kindle.

Quote:
I also don't do any kind of online gaming with friends via MapTool, RollD20 or anything like that. Just not my thing - for me, playing a tabletop game needs to be live and in person.

Consider yourself very lucky. It's been over six years for me since I had a group together in the same location where I could actually have a live game. And that's just the friends I've had who have ever been in the same location - since that time we've all moved away.

If I wasn't willing to do the online gaming thing, I simply wouldn't be gaming. The friends I enjoy playing with don't live anywhere near each other and that isn't going to change any time soon. Some of us have never even met in person, and possibly never will. Yet we're three years into a Kingmaker campaign, nearly six months into Age of Worms, and have a Savage Tide game upcoming on the horizon sometime next year. No regrets.

Quote:
I guess it's also hard for me to think of actually 'owning' something if I don't have the actual, physical object. If I want a gaming book, or any book for that matter, I want the actual book, not just a PDF or Kindle version. If I want a CD, I want an actual CD, not just an iTunes download.

For a long time, I was in a situation where I couldn't have things shipped to my location, and my ability to travel to stores was highly limited. Digital download was the only method I could have, whatsoever, and if it wasn't for that there'd be a great many things I highly enjoy that I would have never had the opportunity to experience.

Terry Pratchett is now one of my favorite authors of all time. But I only own a few of his books - the first two Moist Limpwig books, most of the Vimes/Night Watch series, Unseen Academicals and Moving Pictures, maybe one or two more I can't recall right now - in paperback format. I own almost every single other Discworld book on my Kindle, though, and I've read them all.

Brandon Sanderson is another of my favorite authors of all time. The only books of his I physically own are the three books in the Mistborn trilogy. But I've read almost everything else he's put out via Kindle. And frankly, let's be honest: nobody really wants to have physical copies of The Way of Kings or Words of Radiance if they don't have to. They're amazing books, but good heavens are they huge.

And digital music for me is a must. I'm in way too many situations where a CD player being carried around with me is just plain impractical, but an MP3 player in my pocket works just fine.

----

All in all, I think the generational thing is the big divider. The newer generations have been raised with technology as a constant presence and to us it is associated with our entertainment as much as anything else. Whereas older generations tend to see tech as primarily an object of work, and thus something to be avoided during times of leisure.

I think the thing that bugs me most about posts like this is how people who aren't fond of tech at the gaming table will refer to non-tech implementations as "real" as if technologically-based gaming was fake. "Real" paper. "Real" dice. "Real" books. It comes off as highly condescending and downputting. Using "physical" instead of "real" would probably be a good choice to avoid that impression.

It probably rubs me the wrong way primarily due to repeated assertions I've had to deal with in my life where my friends who I've met online are referred to as "not real" because I've never met them physically face-to-face, or that accomplishments done on the internet are "not real" because there's no physical representation of the deed, and so forth.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
...a Savage Tide game upcoming on the horizon sometime next year.

*jealous*

Shadow Lodge

TOZ wrote:
Quote:
...a Savage Tide game upcoming on the horizon sometime next year.
*jealous*

I will get though that campaign eventually.


I only buy digital. I have far too many books lying around that I never use. And that's after selling/giving/recycling a lot of books. Since I usually game at other people's homes, it's impossible to take that many books with me unless I do it digitally. There's also the speed of search. I can find the rule in seconds instead of minutes.

We use VTT's at our in-person games because it saves so much time. You don't need to stop the game to draw a map, and then stop it forty minutes later to draw the next section. We can have bigger battles than our battlemat and we can keep going through a dungeon with fog of war. That's a pain on a battlemat.

With computers there, you need to keep people focused on the game. Of course it means people have an option other than being bored when their characters aren't present, but you need to control it when they are.

Rules bloat is both the savior and destroyer of systems. Since some people only buy rules systems, you need to keep putting that out. Many of the games that only had a couple of rules books and then just setting material have died. On the other hand it's harder for new people to get in and it's harder for the development team to find and fix "killer combos". Paizo is doing very good at keeping things even.

Liberty's Edge

Orthos wrote:

All in all, I think the generational thing is the big divider. The newer generations have been raised with technology as a constant presence and to us it is associated with our entertainment as much as anything else. Whereas older generations tend to see tech as primarily an object of work, and thus something to be avoided during times of leisure.

I think the thing that bugs me most about posts like this is how people who aren't fond of tech at the gaming table will refer to non-tech implementations as "real" as if technologically-based gaming was fake. "Real" paper. "Real" dice. "Real" books. It comes off as highly condescending and downputting. Using "physical" instead of "real" would probably be a good choice to avoid that impression.

It probably rubs me the wrong way primarily due to repeated assertions I've had to deal with in my life where my friends who I've met online are referred to as "not real" because I've never met them physically face-to-face, or that accomplishments done on the internet are "not real" because there's no physical representation of the deed, and so forth.

All excellent points. For what it's worth, my use of 'real' was pretty much synonymous with 'physical' but I see your point! Definiately not intended to be condescending!!!

I will stand firm on one thing though - there is absolutely such a thing as real dice! Online dice rollers and dice apps certainly can generate random numbers in a game, and that's cool if you choose to use 'em, but they are not real dice!!! Real dice are physical objects that you roll on the table and they are super extra cool and awesome! And I say this with all the authority vested in me as an Official Dice Geek :)


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Marc Radle wrote:


I will stand firm on one thing though - there is absolutely such a thing as real dice! Online dice rollers and dice apps certainly can generate random numbers in a game, and that's cool if you choose to use 'em, but they are not real dice!!! Real dice are physical objects that you roll on the table and they are super extra cool and awesome! And I say this with all the authority vested in me as an Official Dice Geek :)

RPGs are just an excuse to collect dice anyway :)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It may be a generational thing but maybe not. I'm 43 going on 44 and look at tech as something that's there to help, to streamline, to make things easier and more fun.

I work in IT so I work with computers all day, but that's WORK. I dont have that much control over implementation or customization.

But in my personal life? What I do for fun? Yeah totally.

I just set up a slide show for my COTCT game using Keynote. This so that I can show my players what their facing, what Scarwall looks like and some key NPC's. Laptop connected to 50"tv via HDMI.

There's a creature that they're going to be facing that's going to have some musical accompaniment so I've downloading the music I need and am going to stream it via bluetooth to a portable speaker (UE Megaboom) when the time comes.

SO many ways to make the game more accessible and interesting with technology as long as it's used when it makes sense.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Reposting from here:

Rumors of the death of print have been greatly exaggerated.

It is true that our digital sales as a percentage of total sales are increasing year over year.

However, some portion of that increase is because the number of products available digitally only ever goes up, and because the number of available print products increases more slowly than the number of available digital products.

That last bit may not be obvious, but think of it this way: Let's say that in a given period, we release 100 new products in both print and PDF, but 15 older products go out of print during that same period. For that period, then, the total number of digital products available went up by 100, but the total number of print products available went up by just 85.

So even if there were no customers actively abandoning print in favor of digital, digital sales as a percentage of total sales would still be likely to increase year over year.

Yet even with that in mind, the increase is much slower than you might think.

Print isn't going anywhere soon, and isn't likely to become anything less than a majority of our business in the foreseeable future.

Liberty's Edge

On the general topic of rise and possible fall of companies and systems: what is going on with Pathfinder Online? From what I have heard, Goblinworks has had mass layoffs and is struggling to keep its head above water, or to possibly sell off to another company. Does anyone have further info from what was last posted on their website?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
On the general topic of rise and possible fall of companies and systems: what is going on with Pathfinder Online? From what I have heard, Goblinworks has had mass layoffs and is struggling to keep its head above water, or to possibly sell off to another company. Does anyone have further info from what was last posted on their website?

Effectively for all intents and purposes, Goblinwerks no longer exists. All but 3 employees have left or been layed off from the company, and the remaining staff are being relocated to Paizo's HQ. They've got the next patch done, almost done with the patch after that, and have some work done on the patch after that.

Lisa Stevens is still looking to raise money to continue the work after that.

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