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


Paizo General Discussion

201 to 250 of 254 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game 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.

I'm very sure that Organized Play was part of the plan from before day one, given how important PFS is as a marketing tool for the paper and dice game. They had to get the game to a certain stage of development before they could go that route though.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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?

This blog post covers the current situation.


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

And thank goodness for that! Nothing against trees (or PDFs, I own many), but I prefer mine dead and bound between covers!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Skeld wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Good stuff.

The +5 bonus for trained skills and the +5 bonus for skill focus were both too high. But your right, SWSE was the best RPG put out by WotC and I bought all the books.

-Skeld

You are right about 5ED. I have commented in the past about doing 3 party work. Up to 50 Grand is for projects. But seeing how 5ED took off as well as the stagnation of the Pathfinder Rule set put a halt on that aspect. That amount is going to sponsor various artist to continue their works.

Pathfinder needs to be updated if it is going to be a viable competitor again WotC. Otherwise it will be like AMD vs Intel comparison from a different market.

I like Paizo. I really do. You do converse with your customer base and I appreciate that. I am also taking the benefit of the doubt that you are watching for and preparing for foreseeable problems down the road.

But from a business perspective, until I see something really tangible about updating your rule system. I'm not going to make any "professional" ventures into that market.


Readerbreeder wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Print isn't going anywhere soon, and isn't likely to become anything less than a majority of our business in the foreseeable future.
And thank goodness for that! Nothing against trees (or PDFs, I own many), but I prefer mine dead and bound between covers!

I agree whole-heartedly! I want the physical book in my hand! I'm old-fashioned that way, I guess.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Technotrooper wrote:
I have personally reached the "no more rulebooks" stage with Pathfinder. Unchained will probably be my last. I have enough rules to last a long time. I will still continue buying the APs that look interesting but I do wonder if, between 5e and people feeling like they have enough Pathfinder rules, a downturn is inevitable.

I love a lot of what Paizo does, but I reached the "no more rulebooks" stage right before the mythic ruleset came out. I think the last book I purchased was Ultimate Magic. I don't have any doubt in their business model. I'm sure they have intelligent minds looking at the ins and outs of their accounts. What I do doubt is that there will be a book coming out in the near future, that is not a module or AP that I will even think about purchasing. But I'm only one guy, and there are a LOT of gamers out there who might be gobbling up all the new publications.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Of interest. I predicted 2018 - 2020 time period. It is now 2018. Interesting things could be afoot?

It does appear a New edition is on the horizon which matches the cycle mentioned originally in the first post...


Oh Oracle of Finance, pray tell, what do you foresee for the upcoming 2E release? :)


Narsius Featherline wrote:
Oh Oracle of Finance, pray tell, what do you foresee for the upcoming 2E release? :)

It's hard to say, but normally in the past a new edition is beneficial to the company in the short term. When AD&D came out, and the FAD hit, they were making up to 22 to 27 million a year (which when asked a few years ago about how much that would be in those dollars at the time someone stated it was something like 65-80 million in today's dollars).

During 2e's first few years, prior to when they started looking at Bankruptcy, TSR was making a gross of almost 100 million a year.

3e resurrected the brand and made (by a guestimate) 40X what TSR was making at the end of life in profits.

Short term, normally a new edition brings in a lot of money.

Longer term can be questionable at times. It could be pointed out that 4e came out during a period where D20 was losing steam for WotC already. 4e made a TON of money at release I think, but people didn't like what they saw.

2e also made a lot of money in the core rules, but we also know eventually the company had problems.

In the short term I think PF 2e will do fine, and bring in more money.

In the longterm, it's harder to say. Cycle wise, the timing is ripe.

However, I think in part it also depends on what they include in the game and how people like it.

Sometimes it could be more than the cycle, and a lot of it depends on adapting to WHAT people will want and how the market changed. That's always very tricky to predict. The more surveys and general research done, the better results you get normally.

We know the broad playtests in the past have been highly successful. One could point to 5e's playtest as a key reason it did so well. So, for the short term I'd say PF 2e is set in making money.

Long term is harder to say, but if it follows the cycles, it probably is going to do at least decent. The biggest obstacle is one that is also the hardest to predict. Did it adapt to the market or did they inaccurately guess at what the market wanted?

I'd say a playtest gives it better odds at avoiding the obstacle completely, but one never knows. If the playtest is too narrow or the audience that plays it is too narrow, that could be problematic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I know no one will ever publicly comment on this, and I'm sure the company line is something like: "it did not factor in our decision making process," but I have to wonder about the timing of this announcement, fully five months before they will even publish the playtest materials. Is this a reaction to the rampant recent success of 5e and of many of Paizo's base market making the jump to that system? I wonder about this because I am one of those ship-jumpers. I switched to 5e late last year after almost six months of hemming and hawing about how intrigued I was by the simplicity and ease of use of the new version of the game I've always loved. I also know there were more people like me who made the jump for the same reason. I also know, because I'm playing with three of them, that there are people who are now becoming indoctrinated into table top RPGs BECAUSE of 5e. The 5e ruleset has a very low entry barrier/learning curve. I can't even imagine trying to enter into the hobby through the current Pathfinder system. Is that part of why? I can only conjecture. Made all the more interesting because of your astute predictions about finances and editions all so many years ago GreyWolfLord. Good show!


Quick question to you august personages, I couldn't find much info on it and hope you had more on the rumour on Hasbro possibly selling WotC.

EtG


EtG, as far as I am concerned, taking into account the minimal amount I've read about it. That rumor was nothing more than a few people trying to drive up interest in their social media outlets, ergo, clickbait. There have been no substantiated or credible articles written by journalistic outlets of any integrity that even hint at Hasbro looking to sell off WoTC. I cannot see Hasbro selling off one of their entities that has just begun to stream in money at a rapid rate. Though, I'm not an economics expert, so I cannot claim expert clarity where business dealings are concerned.


Eldred the Grey wrote:
Quick question to you august personages, I couldn't find much info on it and hope you had more on the rumour on Hasbro possibly selling WotC.

First I hear of it, but I'm 100% out of the WotC loop. It would be Ultimate Intrigue kind of interesting if there WAS an attempt to sell WotC AT THE SAME TIME Paizo is stepping on the fund raising pedal...


I can see the clickbait but I am hesitant to throw it out due to the fact that these little rumours occasionally make it to reality. So I would just wait and see the rumoured date for the sale to be in 2021 so its a bit away but it is an intriguing development if there is an element of truth to it.


MendedWall12 wrote:
I can't even imagine trying to enter into the hobby through the current Pathfinder system.

Such people do exist though. I don't know how numerous they are, but you read the odd person mentioning that they started RPGs with PF on these forums.


avr wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:
I can't even imagine trying to enter into the hobby through the current Pathfinder system.
Such people do exist though. I don't know how numerous they are, but you read the odd person mentioning that they started RPGs with PF on these forums.

I am one of those people. I found out about PF when a youth group in my area got a beginner box. I went online, found the full rules, devoured them all, and have been playing PF ever since. I looked at 5e... didn't like it. Not enough options for customization, and way more focused on narrative than rules.

Then again, I'm odd in the fact I get over learning curves fairly quickly. The more rules there are to something, the more options it presents, the more I can fine tune something to get the *exact* result I want, the more interested I am.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pathfinder and Starfinder are the only RPGs my wife and kids have played.


Dαedαlus wrote:
avr wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:
I can't even imagine trying to enter into the hobby through the current Pathfinder system.
Such people do exist though. I don't know how numerous they are, but you read the odd person mentioning that they started RPGs with PF on these forums.

I am one of those people. I found out about PF when a youth group in my area got a beginner box. I went online, found the full rules, devoured them all, and have been playing PF ever since. I looked at 5e... didn't like it. Not enough options for customization, and way more focused on narrative than rules.

Emphasis is mine there.

First, I happen to be of the opinion that a lot of people think that more options is the only way to customize a character. Ergo, if it isn't written in a book already, "I can't do it." I could not possibly disagree more. I've always been a firm believer in the fact that you can take any chassis and make it work with whatever you want, flavor-wise. For example. In my current table top game, I have a player that wanted to play a druid that changes into plants for his wild shape. However, in this game we've agreed to only use core books for the time being. I love the flavor of a plant-based druid, and didn't want to stifle character choice. So we decided that he will use the statistics for those qualifying beasts for his wild shape, but we'll flavor it as him changing into various plants. Everyone is happy. The chassis of the game didn't change, and he still gets the character that he wants. Part of the reason I am of this opinion is that I've read and even played with some, seemingly, well developed third party character options that ended up being broken, or not fun at all. Just because something is in a book, doesn't mean it will actual make the game better. That's just my opinion, but it is an opinion that is informed by over three decades of tabletop RPG play.

Second, I switched to 5e BECAUSE it is more narrative focused. After GMing Pathfinder games for the past eight years (yes, I started playing Pathfinder as soon as it came out, because 4e was not at all the game I wanted to play), I'd learned that many times the narrative was stifled because there was no "rule" that governed a situation, or worse, conflicting rules which caused us to have to stop play and discuss something, reach a satisfactory consensus, and then return to play. Again, this is just my experience, but I do happen to have anecdotal evidence that I am not the only person with this framework of experience.

As always, just my 2cp. :)


Yeah, exactly. Personally, I'm fine with reflavoring something that's almost what I want to get it just right. But if I want to play something really different, I appreciate the fact that there's an option for that. Want to be an alchemist that focuses on anatomy and how the body fits together instead of causing mass destruction? There's an archetype for that! Do you want to have your magus decapitate someone in a single stroke? There's a spell for that! Do you want to be a flexible fighter, adapting to the situation on the fly and gaining new abilities as they're needed? Just be a brawler!
There's only so much reflavoring can do, and if I want to be a character that shapeshifts into plants, it would be nice if it wasn't the exact same as when I turn into a dragon.

Personally, I think it's awesome that 5e favors narrative over mechanics. People like that. I am not one of those people. I like PF because it caters to people like me (slight side note: I hope P2 keeps that and doesn't try to become 5e), and 5e caters to people like you. I don't want 5e to be more like PF, nor do I want PF to be more like 5e. Are either perfect? No, but they cater to two very different kinds of players, and that's what's important. Do you favor rules or narrative? There's a major system, with lots of support and an active community, for both.


@Daedalus Too true. From that perspective, I'm glad that P1 is out there for the people like you. I always want more people in the hobby, not fewer. I'll likewise hope that P2 doesn't drift too far away from that, for all your sakes. It wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for P2 to try and become 5.75, and I have faith that the devs know that, so it won't.

Also, I don't want you to get me wrong; I had tons of fun playing Pathfinder, both online and at the table, for many years. It's just that I'm one of those players that saw in 5e the solution to all my frustrations with Pathfinder, and, so far, my experience with it has proved to me that I made the right choice in switching. :)

Cheers to both of our continued good gaming!
MW


First, I think Paizo is a better company than Wizards, but I don't follow them as closely. Maybe I'd like the people there.

Paizo has to make a move. 5E has gotten a lot more popular lately and it's the easier game to learn. If you look at the PF1 table, it's generally old(er) dudes. 5E generally young(er). D&D still has name recognition that PF doesn't have.

D&D Beyond is a free, polished platform for easy character generation. The character creation process in PF is a turnoff for a new player right away. In 5E it's not as easy as in other systems, but with beyond it's a cinch.

I hope PF2 works out for Paizo. Competition is good in the marketplace, and it'll be fun to root for the little guy.


Some other thoughts, some of which I wrote elsewhere, but some based on what I've seen thus far and some of what I've read here and elsewhere on the internet.

AD&D had 25 million gamers overall from some guestimates. I think one of the big things that helped (besides it being a fad) was that it was simple and easy to understand. It was a simple system that people understood easily. Some would contest that this is not so, and if you got into the nitty gritty of the system, that could be, but most played with simplified rules than including everything from the AD&D DMG.

Some got their start with the Red Box, and when playing AD&D basically used the Basic or BECMI/BX rules for much of playing the AD&D type classes and groupings.

I think it was this simplicity and of course the PR (fad it was) that got so many into the game. With adjusted profits for 1e (65-80 million/year) and 2e (150-200 million/year) at their absolute heights in profitability (as opposed to their lows, such as when TSR was going bankrupt, or the troublesome year of 1986-87) it can show this is a good course to follow at times.

5e has repeated a lot of that. They've done a good PR of welcoming everyone, and a good PR in media outreach to the types of crowds that would like it today. Some estimates put it at almost 10 million (well 9 million from what I've read, but it's undoubtedly gone up since then)gamers, we're seeing an explosion in RPGs we haven't seen in years. They kept 5e simple and easy to learn. This makes for terrific accessibility for people wanting to try their game.

Which brings us to PF2e. I do not know how it is going to go or how well it will sale.

I posted this at another location, but these are my guesses on how it will work out in both selling well or not selling well.

Historically though, Paizo is making the right moves currently.

With an open playtest, it's shown that it generates more interest in the game than one that is not open. Normally the rulebooks sell better or at least well after such a playtest (or in some instances, contest).

With a PR that is open and yet respectful of their game and their company, it also normally helps generate goodwill and sales.

Combine those and one could probably predict that when the Core Rule Book for PF2e releases, it will exceed most of their other sales for a decent amount of time. A Bestiary can also probably be lumped into that as one of the core books for running the game system.

In this, I predict at LEAST a year of good sales, a year which may (and probably) will have better sales than PF1 probably has had recently.

In this, it doesn't matter if they keep older customers or not.

They will have a resurgence as many who have left PF for other games come back with curiosity, others who want to just give it a try, more that want to see the results of the playtest and have the book on their shelf, and those who simply collect RPGs.

NOW, the big test comes after that. After a year (though you normally won't see action until after two if this is the case) if people did NOT like the system or the changes...you will see a slump in sales and a major downtrend in the number of customers for that product. (So I guess that would be around 2020-21 in that aspect).

It really does depend twofold, on whether they keep their foundational base customers who support them in anything with PF1, AND if they can attract new customers with PF2e. If they can do those two things I think they'll be set for at least five to eight years (or perhaps even longer) into the future (so around 2025-2028) in regards to PF2e support.

If they FAIL to do that, they STILL ARE PUBLISHING PF1e. I'm not sure why people think you need to be publishing new material to support a game system. They will still be publishing PF1e rulebooks. That's a good support from the sounds of it to me.

It also lays the groundwork for a fallback plan. IF, for some reason, PF2e flops terribly, they STILL have PF1e out there.

What is more, is that PF1e literally has hundreds of adventures to play. You have all the AP adventures (currently 127 of them...THAT'S A LOT...if you played one a week you'd have over 2 years of gameplay right there). Then you have over 300 Pathfinder scenarios (which is more like what you'd play each week in a game session) which if played weekly would take you over 5 years to play. Finally you have the modules which is a little over 40, and with the left over scenarios will give around another year of play.

You can buy all those that are not hardcopy in PDF. You have almost 8 years of stuff to play (if you can play some of that excessively fast, which most cannot, so it's probably more like 16-20 years of play material).

I don't know why people are complaining about this, especially if they want new players they have the ability to by the rulebooks still.

In closing, PF2e may be successful, it might not be...I don't know. I think it's an easy prediction to say PF2e corebook sales will be good and that's a good focus for Paizo.

Beyond that, if PF2e flops (2020-21 should be a reasonable guess at if it has) they still have some pretty good fall back positions I think for that interim.

If it is successful they are set for the next few years (2025 - 2028 at least).

Another 10 year cycle would not be unusual.


GreyWolfLord wrote:

AD&D had 25 million gamers overall from some guestimates. I think one of the big things that helped (besides it being a fad) was that it was simple and easy to understand. It was a simple system that people understood easily. Some would contest that this is not so, and if you got into the nitty gritty of the system, that could be, but most played with simplified rules than including everything from the AD&D DMG.

Some got their start with the Red Box, and when playing AD&D basically used the Basic or BECMI/BX rules for much of playing the AD&D type classes and groupings.

I think it was this simplicity and of course the PR (fad it was) that got so many into the game.

I may have been the one contesting it before, but I really can't accept that AD&D was a "simple system that people understood easily".

It didn't have a complex build game, but the system itself was baroque. In my experience, while some came in from Basic (and probably propagated Basic rules in playing AD&D), many learned from their first GMs rather than books and often absorbed those GMs misunderstandings and house rules without ever realizing they weren't playing by the rules.

There are certainly much simpler games out there than AD&D that never achieved anything like the same success. The PR and newness and the initial fad nature of it all probably has more to do with its success than anything.
Nor does "simplicity does better" explain the revitalization of the pretty moribund game with 3.x.


thejeff wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

AD&D had 25 million gamers overall from some guestimates. I think one of the big things that helped (besides it being a fad) was that it was simple and easy to understand. It was a simple system that people understood easily. Some would contest that this is not so, and if you got into the nitty gritty of the system, that could be, but most played with simplified rules than including everything from the AD&D DMG.

Some got their start with the Red Box, and when playing AD&D basically used the Basic or BECMI/BX rules for much of playing the AD&D type classes and groupings.

I think it was this simplicity and of course the PR (fad it was) that got so many into the game.

I may have been the one contesting it before, but I really can't accept that AD&D was a "simple system that people understood easily".

It didn't have a complex build game, but the system itself was baroque. In my experience, while some came in from Basic (and probably propagated Basic rules in playing AD&D), many learned from their first GMs rather than books and often absorbed those GMs misunderstandings and house rules without ever realizing they weren't playing by the rules.

There are certainly much simpler games out there than AD&D that never achieved anything like the same success. The PR and newness and the initial fad nature of it all probably has more to do with its success than anything.
Nor does "simplicity does better" explain the revitalization of the pretty moribund game with 3.x.

We'll have to agree to disagree.

Most people who played AD&D played it with the basic bare rules rather than everything from the DMG, or even the PHB.

Many of those came from the BX/BECMI versions and basically ported the rules over the AD&D and played it that way.

Many others took what was in the PHB and a little of what was in the DMG. Even then they dropped things like Weapon variables (Wpn vs. Armor) and many other items which you may see when you look at AD&D. AD&D made it possible to do this and only play the very simplified core rules of it.

Making a character in AD&D took less time than even 5e. It was due to simplicity. You didn't have to know a million rules to make a character.

Simplicity makes it easier and more accessible for people to get into on their own. Character creation is a key part of that.

4e had a very simplistic core as well, but when you included the powers and abilities of classes it quickly became complex and too complicated. Unlike AD&D where you can easily drop the complicated stuff, this really wasn't possible with how 4e was designed.

5e went back to the drawing board and moved back to the simplicity of character creation and running the game. It hasn't been this easy since AD&D was on the scene.

Pathfinder also had a great way for simplification. The beginner box is probably one of the greatest introductions for new players in the past decade and I have no doubts it greatly enabled many new players to jump into Pathfinder.

Simplification and making it easy for players to jump into a game is one (but not the only and sometimes not the most important) KEY dynamic in getting new players into a roleplaying hobby.

In this aspect, slimming down the mechanics and going to a unified mechanic in PF2e is a wise move on Paizo's part (whether one agrees or likes that direction) as well as trying to make the game more accessible and easy for new players to jump into.

Of course, we may disagree on this, and as I said at the beginning, if so, we will need to agree to disagree.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Most people who played AD&D played it with the basic bare rules rather than everything from the DMG, or even the PHB.

Citation needed. Certainly not my experience with any group I ever played with at the time. Unless you have some data, you're begging the question.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TomParker wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Most people who played AD&D played it with the basic bare rules rather than everything from the DMG, or even the PHB.
Citation needed. Certainly not my experience with any group I ever played with at the time. Unless you have some data, you're begging the question.

Peeps, none of are running through the tall grass here; no need for the aggressive tone.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You're reading something into my statement that isn't there.


The only way I see Paizo falling is either doing a Forgotten Realms (hey yknow all those generations of history and stuff? Yeah we're throwing that all out) or going the Rifts/Palladium Books route where things just get ridiculous power creep that it never again looks like what it did before, and new books contradict earlier stuff that makes it all unworkable.

Dark Archive

TomParker wrote:
You're reading something into my statement that isn't there.

Go on with yer bad self then as I can not help you


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Getting back to the original topic of trends and financials.

All products have a life cycle. There comes a point in that cycle when sales will decline and profits for those products will dwindle.

http://productlifecyclestages.com/

I would say that PF is in the decline stage.

The RPG gaming market is different than when PF came on the stage. PF was the answer to the discontent with DnD 4.

Paizo has always provided great content and a steady stream of adventure material. The subscription base is a testament to that. Paizo has always served the DnD market, but the market has changed. There isn't the same discontent with DnD 5 that there was with DnD 4. In fact it DnD 5's popularity is what is hurting PF.

So why doesn't Paizo cater to the DnD market they way they used to ? Wouldn't APs for DnD 5 sell the way that they have sold for PF and DnD 3.5 ? Golarion is more developed than the settings currently available for DnD 5 from WotC. Stay with the strength of the company, and capitalize on the popularity of DnD 5.

If the answer is that they can't support DnD 5 and PF then why did they release SF ? SF is selling well and it is a separate game system.


I can't offer any real empirical evidence; all that I can do is talk about my personal experience. I don't like sci-fi systems. Never have. I've only ever played "medieval" fantasy RPGs, so, as much as SF might be selling well, I do believe there is a wider audience available in the fantasy market, and as you said, D&D 5's popularity has absolutely hurt PF. I am fully with you about Paizo going back into the Golarion setting/AP business with 5e as the system. I have several books from Paizo that are mechanics light, setting heavy, and could easily use those to run games with the 5e ruleset. However, I think one problem with that is that the amount of 5e material that is OGL is limited. There's quite a bit that is OGL, but it's not everything. Not sure if that affects the choice to focus some resources on third party material for 5e or not. Again, this is purely personal preference, and I can't speak to buying trends, or financial outlooks. I can just say, I switched to 5e because of what is frequently labeled "bloat," in PF. Now that I've made the switch, I'm extremely happy, and the only thing I can even imagine myself buying from Paizo in the future would be system neutral setting material, game aids (like flip mats, pawns, pre-painted minis), or modules/APs designed for 5e.


Warrenbc wrote:
Paizo has always provided great content and a steady stream of adventure material.

This is the key point really. Someone else stated earlier that PF tables are always the "old guys" and 5e tables are the "young guys". I remember being the "young guy" at AD&D/2e AD&D tables. We didn't buy many modules, as we were writing our own stuff and running our own unique, crazy misadventures. Modules were use for spur of the moment games or breaks from a regular campaign. Fast forward a few decades and many of those people are older with less time to write their own stuff. This is one big reason why APs are so important to Paizo. We're older, more time-strapped, and lazier. :) Are the 5e "younger guys" writing their own stuff and running that? That's my assumption based on the lower amount of product WotC releases, but I honestly don't know. Paizo has an interesting balancing act on their hands for PF2.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Darkbridger wrote:
Warrenbc wrote:
Paizo has always provided great content and a steady stream of adventure material.

This is the key point really. Someone else stated earlier that PF tables are always the "old guys" and 5e tables are the "young guys". I remember being the "young guy" at AD&D/2e AD&D tables. We didn't buy many modules, as we were writing our own stuff and running our own unique, crazy misadventures. Modules were use for spur of the moment games or breaks from a regular campaign. Fast forward a few decades and many of those people are older with less time to write their own stuff. This is one big reason why APs are so important to Paizo. We're older, more time-strapped, and lazier. :) Are the 5e "younger guys" writing their own stuff and running that? That's my assumption based on the lower amount of product WotC releases, but I honestly don't know. Paizo has an interesting balancing act on their hands for PF2.

Anecdotal evidence about yutes vs geezers

At the last Sci-fi/gaming con in our area (Minneapolis/St.. Paul, MN), I went and peeked in the D&D AL room, a room we out grew three years ago. Not every table was full and the age range was similar, if not exact, to the PFS room; mid 20s to mid 40s, with a sprinkling of peeps sitting either above or below.

We had several parents and kids playing together through out the con. I did not see many children, if any, in the AL room. I could be and likely am wrong, but I do not remember seeing any.

One last bit of demographics: the AL room was pasty Nord white, and male. While we were just as melatoninly challenged (this is MN after all), I was proud to note our efforts at recruiting and making our player base more diverse, both ethnic and gender, paid off. If that means we get more geezers in the room, I'll take that.


What does AL stand for, I'm assuming it's not Alabama.

It's also not entirely clear what you're saying, so if you could clarify that would be awesome!

It's also possible my cold addled brain isn't helping me in that regard. :-)

"Now, explain it as you would to a five year old" - Micheal Scott, The Office.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm fairly certain AL stands for Adventurer's League, which is the officially organized gaming league of D&D.

Dark Archive

captain yesterday wrote:

What does AL stand for, I'm assuming it's not Alabama.

It's also not entirely clear what you're saying, so if you could clarify that would be awesome!

It's also possible my cold addled brain isn't helping me in that regard. :-)

"Now, explain it as you would to a five year old" - Micheal Scott, The Office.

Sorry, yes it stands for Adventurer's League as MendedWall12 explained. I should have wrutten out the words rather than rely on people here understanding what I was typing about.

Also, what (which) part(s) is/are unclear? I am happy to explain anything that does not make sense or seem right to you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's all good, I figured the other part out, just my dyslexic cold addled brain reading things wrong, once I read it aloud it all came together. :-)

Liberty's Edge

MendedWall12 wrote:
In my current table top game, I have a player that wanted to play a druid that changes into plants for his wild shape. However, in this game we've agreed to only use core books for the time being. I love the flavor of a plant-based druid, and didn't want to stifle character choice. So we decided that he will use the statistics for those qualifying beasts for his wild shape, but we'll flavor it as him changing into various plants. Everyone is happy.

The problem is when the flavor doesn't match the rules. If someone has something that is good against beasts, or is good against plants, your druid friend will have rules that don't match the character he is playing. Such a character will never have some kind of Ivysaur-style vine whip, etc.

It can work just fine, and I'm glad you guys like it, but I would want the mechanics to model the reality. Not everyone really cares about that though.

Part of the problem with 3rd party stuff is the lack of oversight and market penetration. I heard all sorts of cool stuff about Spheres of Might. When I checked it out, I looked at the thing about being a lance master, and the core mechanic of that is impaling someone with a lance. This seems to require an attack roll with a -2, and then they are in a state that shared some commonalities with a grapple, and escaping it requires a CMB versus CMD roll. I would not want a character to be physically impaled with a mere attack roll, nor do I find it very reasonable to have to wiggle out with a special combat maneuver check that inevitably won't inherit much support from the remainder of the rules (ex: unlike a grapple, freedom of movement is ignored; if such a rule was core, freedom of movement would likely have some mention of it, etc.).

We are sorta at the point where we need some stodgy council of DMs that applied some brutal and unpopular stamps to 3pp. From looking around, most people who run Spheres of Power love it: I can only assume that their game experiences overall are materially different than mine (or perhaps I totally misunderstood something about the thing I read). I want a Simulationist Seal Of Quality, or something, and other people want something totally different as a sign of a good game, and it's a damned tragedy that we can't easily differentiate by intended markets without studying something for hours.

I have a friend who runs about half the campaigns our group does, with me as the other half. He completely ignores 3pp, for a similar reason that you mentioned. It only takes being burned a couple times by a poorly tested idea, or one that extends the philosophy in a direction inappropriate for a campaign world, before you just start assuming that all 3pp is not worth the time to vet.


*Raises hand* In Spheres of Might, there's a great deal of flexibility. Each Sphere basically focuses on a style of combat, and you can mix-and-match them with most weapons. So you could dual-wield with two short lances, hit particularly hard as a berserker, disarm and bleed foes as a duelist, or quickly feint and strike for precision damage. And despite the name, you don't need to use a lance for the Lancer sphere.

(This is distinct from Spheres of Power, which is an alternate magic system.)

Going by the comments, most people enjoy the flexibility in how characters can be made. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help answer them and clarify anything for the system(s) that seems off to you.

Liberty's Edge

> So you could dual-wield with two short lances
> And despite the name, you don't need to use a lance for the Lancer sphere

A Lancer specialty should logically require a lance. Heck, I don't even see it limited to piercing weapons. The Impale ability seems to work on anything that deals lethal damage, even an unarmed strike? Hit points are abstract, a character who is impaled is not abstract. The impaled condition doesn't seem to interact well with any of the other defenses in the game- the only hit that I see required is a regular attack (that deals normal damage) against AC.

If I sent some guy with this against a PC, they'd be furious. Can't cast (the check is against a vastly too high DC, adding a stat+level advancing value like CMB to a DC check baseline like 10, along with a second "by-level" advancement, spell level), can't move, action to get loose is not a check at the beginning of a round like most CC but is instead a standard action, and of course, the "lancer" with the short swords or whatever (or the spleen-gripping monk?) will merely reapply this condition without much effort. Getting out via escape artist, freedom of movement, or anything else a standard character might have around doesn't seem to be defined, because this is a parallel construction of grapple. Instead the wasted turn just to get free from the melee attack is a CMB check, requiring the character to mysteriously have maxxed his CMB for the purpose of getting out of this thing.

> Going by the comments, most people enjoy the flexibility in how characters can be made.

Right, which is my point. There's no way this is not hot garbage for anyone I've ever played with. I can't trust reviews from whomever likes this stuff, which is many people. There's no "roughly similar power level to stock seal of approval", there's no "I guarantee this doesn't offer solid stunlocks complete with a sword on your liver on round one" certification. Tastes are different enough that for 3pp content I have to study it to find out if it is made with a design philosophy that works at all and is compatible with other material, and that's a great deal of effort. If someone makes content like "here's a bunch of creative feats that work alongside stock Pathfinder", I'd be interested, but I honestly doubt someone running Spheres would find that spicy enough for them.


*Nods* I see your points there - although there are a few things you may have missed. First, the whole Impale feature can only be performed as a standard action, which means it won't do as much damage as a full attack at higher levels, even as your foe is definitely going to be in range to smack you. Pinning the enemy in place also restricts your weapon - you're no longer threatening other spaces around you, meaning other foes can move freely to attack you (or past you to hit your friends), and the foe you've impaled can disarm you. (This is a viable strategy in Spheres of Might - the Duelist sphere focuses on disarming and is quite handy.) It's pretty nasty versus single opponents, but starts to get real limited, real fast against even a small crowd. I don't think "easy stunlock" is quite the right way to describe how the ability works in a game unless foes are very dumb and only ever attempt checks to get free, and I completely agree that such a thing would be terrible if someone wrote it.

Oh, and Hold Person is a thing. It's not like Impale is the only hold-foes-in-place power the game has, and foes still have choices for actions aside from attempting to escape.

As a GM, I'd allow Freedom of Movement (which you mentioned earlier) to work against the Impale ability. I don't think extra text is needed because FoM is already clear that it "enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally", and I'd probably treat it as automatically succeeding in an attempt to assume control of the impaling weapon (with no action needed). Reminders aren't bad, but the books would be a lot thicker if every ability tried to cite every other effect that might work against it. XD

Liberty's Edge

GM Rednal wrote:
First, the whole Impale feature can only be performed as a standard action, which means it won't do as much damage as a full attack at higher levels

I mean, there's mechanics to add it to a charge, and a full attack often isn't feasible. It's not like you are always trading it for a full attack. And you can try every round.

Quote:
Pinning the enemy in place also restricts your weapon - you're no longer threatening other spaces around you

Where is this restriction? I see one about not using the weapon to attack other creatures, but that's very different from no longer threatening. Also, it's not clear what happens if you just release the weapon- there's rules for dealing with a weapon that is impaling a creature that no one is holding, but there's other rules saying that the impalement can be ended if you are disarmed.

Quote:
and the foe you've impaled can disarm you. (This is a viable strategy in Spheres of Might - the Duelist sphere focuses on disarming and is quite handy.)

Presumably you can find someone besides a guy stacked high in Duelist talents for your impale then. Certainly dropping this into a regular game would prove disruptive. Then you also have the rules quandary listed above.

Quote:
I don't think "easy stunlock" is quite the right way to describe how the ability works in a game unless foes are very dumb and only ever attempt checks to get free

Certainly a typical group of PCs will have someone, and possibly many someones, against whom this is an easy stunlock- and the same is true of most encounters.

Quote:
Oh, and Hold Person is a thing.

Hold Person is well understood by the REST of the game rules. In addition to the obvious type restriction, it is understood that increasing your will save is good against this entire class of ability, and plenty of things allies can do interact with this, such as effects that help will saving throws, effects that help paralyze, etc. Your allies can also dispel your Held state with a variety of spells and abilities. It's vastly more interactive than this, which requires houserules just to interact with the spell set at all, and doesn't have any built in hooks to be countered by the large variety of magical items, spells, racial abilities, and class abilities that already exist to prevent a character from being pinned down in this matter.

And again, hit points are abstract: being impaled is not abstract.

Quote:
the books would be a lot thicker if every ability tried to cite every other effect that might work against it. XD

That's the level of effort you have to go through when you add something like this though.

Did you ever deal with 2nd edition psionics? It used the standard magic stuff as sort of a baseline, but it made two core mistakes which resulted in it being wildly overpowered. The first was, it used checks against your OWN abilities instead of checks against ENEMY abilities. This worked from a lore perspective, but it really meant that you were rolling against your own high constitution (or whatever), with small chance of failure, no matter whether you were going to mess with the mind of a dog or a dragon. The second core problem psionics had was that it was a parallel construction of magic. You'd have a "disintegrate" power that worked pretty much like the spell, complete with saving throw, but anything that worked to defend against magic didn't work against it. Meaning that, for instance, high levels of magic resistance offered no protection.

The error in this book isn't nearly as egregious, but it still uses a very fluid stat that is balanced around damage dealing (Armor Class) as a key for a control method. In Pathfinder, control methods use the CMB/CMD mechanics (aka, Impale not using CMD is a design flaw), and that's also where you go to find your defensive boosts against these things. By having rolls that have no meaningful chance of failure (attack rolls), forcing rolls that have no meaningful chance of success (concentration versus 1.5x level plus stat, forcing attacks against your CMD with no bonuses, even to an expert grappler / tripper / repositioner / dragger), it plays by rules that aren't interactive with the rest of the game.

Also I want to point out: I've ONLY looked at the Lancer part. I went there first because I know that lances are generally not rewarding enough for a player that wants to use them, and I was thinking, hey, maybe they fixed this here, maybe I could find something I could drag right on in to my games. Maybe I landed on the most disruptive thing I could find strictly by chance: maybe not.


Honestly, I think you may have landed on one of the more potentially disruptive bits. XD Pinning people in place is very... specific... as a combat style. Other stuff includes options focused around bleed damage, various unarmed strikes, using alchemic items, animal handling, et cetera.

Overall, the system is focused around Standard Actions - doing less damage to enemies but (mostly) adding debuffs instead. It heavily emphasizes the idea of creating your own combat style, rather than trying to just full attack as often as you can.

The wiki has a guide here if you're interested in looking at a broader view of creating characters in the system and how the parts you're seeing might be expected to play into a game.


Warrenbc wrote:

Getting back to the original topic of trends and financials.

All products have a life cycle. There comes a point in that cycle when sales will decline and profits for those products will dwindle.

http://productlifecyclestages.com/

I would say that PF is in the decline stage.

The RPG gaming market is different than when PF came on the stage. PF was the answer to the discontent with DnD 4.

Paizo has always provided great content and a steady stream of adventure material. The subscription base is a testament to that. Paizo has always served the DnD market, but the market has changed. There isn't the same discontent with DnD 5 that there was with DnD 4. In fact it DnD 5's popularity is what is hurting PF.

So why doesn't Paizo cater to the DnD market they way they used to ? Wouldn't APs for DnD 5 sell the way that they have sold for PF and DnD 3.5 ? Golarion is more developed than the settings currently available for DnD 5 from WotC. Stay with the strength of the company, and capitalize on the popularity of DnD 5.

If the answer is that they can't support DnD 5 and PF then why did they release SF ? SF is selling well and it is a separate game system.

This actually touches on something I found brilliant. I also found someone posted about it in another forum (the playtests forums).

Zardnaar wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
The big issue is that there's some weird assumption that systems need radical overhauls every so often. Its not necessarily the case but 9/10 times the changeover comes more from simple lack of access, advertisement, and store shelf space of the older editions. Editions very rarely are put in direct competition, in fact the only time i can think of that happening is PF vs 4E...and the older edition won out there.

That is because there has usually only been 1 edition in print, the exceptions are 4E vs Pathfinder, 1977 when there were 3 editions in print (Holmes, 1E and OD&D) and the old 1/E and B/X versions which ended in AD&D eating B/X's lunch. 1E PHB was reprinted into 2E though (1990) and the last 1E module was 1994 IIRC a ToEE reprint.

If PF 2E tanks I would imagine Paizo would go 3pp for 5E rather than relaunch 1E. I would be amazed if that subject has not been mentioned behind closed doors. Everyone who wants PF1 already has it and odds are sales of 5E conversions of PF APs would do better than new PF1 material.

Some of the 3pp for 5E have had massive sales, a 2 million dollar kickstarter being one of them along with the Kobolds and HotDQ.

I'll probably buy PF2 regardless due to goodwill towards Paizo, what I buy after that depends on what PF2 ends up being.Something a bit crunchier than 5E is fine but not PF1 or PF2 playtest levels of crunchy which are headache inducing comparatively.

That's actually a brilliant idea.

Making APs for 5e may actually be even more profitable than putting out a PF2e now looking at it. I think I'll repost this in a thread I made years ago about financials and viabilities.

That actually is a BRILLIANT fallback plan and ingenius.

With what PF2e is currently looking like I think the Core book will sell like gangbusters at first, but then sales MAY fall within two or three years.

Or it might not.

But if it does...making the APs and going 3PP for 5e as a fallback paln may actually be absolutely and totally brilliant!

Just a thought on my part.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Many of the authors behind some of Paizo's best products have done just that.

If you flip through the best work Paizo ever did - your old Dungeon magazine, Runelords, Crimson Throne, Carrion Crown, etc APs you'll pick out names like Nick Logue, Greg Vaughan, Richard Pett, Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge and others I'm forgetting (sorry!).

Pett still pens an occasional Pathfinder adventure but has launched the outstanding The Blight with 5e support.

Others are releasing 5e material across all genres (Hitchcock is writing scifi for Legendary Games supporting both 5e and Starfinder).

I'm still waiting to see what Wes Schneider does next since his adventurers were generally very solid and evocative.

One thing I'm curious about is if the new system will bring a lot of the most evocative adventure writers back to PF2e, even if it's via a 3PP.

The Exchange

GreyWolfLord wrote:
But if it does...making the APs and going 3PP for 5e as a fallback paln may actually be absolutely and totally brilliant!

They might have a fallback plan like that if worst comes to worst, but I can easily imagine why they wouldn't look forward to do that.

1. They already were in that position once and when WotC suddenly decided to take away the license for Dragon and Dungeon, the future of Paizo was very much in danger. Doing your own stuff makes you independent of your license giver suddenly having other thoughts, so I don't think that that's something Liz,Vic and co. would want to return to, if they have something to say about it.

2. Paizo as is way too big to be a mere 3PP to another license. To go back to that status would result in an awful lot of lay-offs for Paizo to shrink back to a healthy size, especially when they just redo older stuff for 5E. And from what I've seen over the years, Paizo hasn't that hire and fire mentality in it's DNA, so I guess that's something they would want to avoid as hell.

So without knowing anything, my guess would be that they'd rather would fall back to another plan and what you describe here might really be the absolutely last resort if everything else fails.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WormysQueue wrote:


They might have a fallback plan like that if worst comes to worst, but I can easily imagine why they wouldn't look forward to do that.

1. They already were in that position once and when WotC suddenly decided to take away the license for Dragon and Dungeon, the future of Paizo was very much in danger. Doing your own stuff makes you independent of your license giver suddenly having other thoughts, so I don't think that that's something Liz,Vic and co. would want to return to, if they have something to say about it.

2. Paizo as is way too big to be a mere 3PP to another license. To go back to that status would result in an awful lot of lay-offs for Paizo to shrink back to a healthy size, especially when they just redo older stuff for 5E. And from what I've seen over the years, Paizo hasn't that hire and fire mentality in it's DNA, so I guess that's something they would want to avoid as hell.

So without knowing anything, my guess would be that they'd rather would fall back to another plan and what you describe here might really be the absolutely last resort if everything else fails.

Yeah, I think Lisa's year-by-year retrospectives kind of drove some of that home. They got badly pounded by the loss of licenses for Star Wars Insider and then the D&D magazines. I can sympathize with not wanting to be in the position of depending on WotC's licenses ever again. WotC might have graciously extended the magazine licenses to allow Paizo to finish off Savage Tide, but not renewing the license was still a move that was designed to boost WotC's own operations regardless of their ally's expense. Add in the tightening of the licenses in general on 4e, everyone should have gotten the picture clear as day - getting too close and dependent on WotC was risky.

But given the general trend of D&D's growth, I think Paizo really has to be thinking very carefully about their future. I like PF, it's fun and it scratches a slightly different itch than 5e and I expect that to be true of PF2 as well. And they've added StarFinder, but Sci-Fi RPGs are a smaller sub-niche of a niche hobby. We may see Paizo lean up a bit if PF2 doesn't take off enough to really compete with 5e like PF did with 4e.


5E you can go OGL with it there is no GSL.

Well you can't clone it I suppose there is that you can make hardcovers, campaign settings etc.

If the choice comes down to die now or maybe die later though.


Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
I know we're looking at 5E after this Wrath of the Righteous campaign due to rules bloat leading to power bloat. Our group would probably stay with Pathfinder if they start an extensive revision of rules that tones the game down, scales it better so the high level game isn't so rocket tag-like, and improves on what is good about Pathfinder while limiting what makes it hard to run as a DM past the early levels..

The proliferation of "splat books" and the associated power creep is what turns me off Pathfinder and D&D organised play (aside from the focus on "winning" rather than roleplaying), but an inevitable consequence of the industry business model.

PFS (in my experience) teaches players how to power game and min max, potentially driving off role players unable to access a home game regularly.

As more splat books emerge, and power/feat interactions lead to power creep, this essentially creates a pay to win (or rather, pay to be competitive) situation. Again, this is part of the business model (whether intended or not is irrelevant), so unlikely to change, but is a disincentive for me to buy anything from Starfinder or PF 2.0.

I'm now looking into more narrative-style games (Cortex Prime in particular) as an alternative to Pathfinder, though makes it more difficult to establish a regular gaming group due to being less well known.


Purely anecdotal, but I feel worth saying, Rands. In my experience people that frequent organized play tables, not always, but enough to form a trend, do so because they have trouble fitting in at home games. My experience with Pathfinder completely equates to yours, but since I switched to 5e (yes a home game) I've had ridiculous amounts of narrative fun. We've had entire four hour sessions where dice were only rolled a few times, and everyone left the table eager to schedule the next session. :)

201 to 250 of 254 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / General Discussion / Disturbing trend I noticed when researching about D&D financials over the years All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.