Is it time for Pathfinder 2nd edition?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Medriev wrote:

Frankly, nothing would make me stop buying PF products quicker than an announcement of a new edition.

PF is well supported by technology options that make managing the volume of content easier (Hero Lab is the best example of this IMHO) and in the published lines references to non-core products almost always include a full stat block / rules summary in case you haven't hoovered up every product (which I for the most part have anyway).

The big problem with 3E/3.5E bloat was that later products almost required you to own previous products and it was so difficult, in the absence of good IT solutions at the time, to keep track of every feat you might want or every monster you might want to use. PF solves both of these problems with a commitment to repeat non-core info where it's used and licensed software solutions (plus the PRD).

To my mind, the problems for players / GMs that usually lead to new editions therefore don't exit so unless there is a business reason (which I highly doubt there is at the moment) I see no reason for there to be a PF 2E in the foreseeable future.

Alternatively, maybe they could go with a system that doesn't require computer assistance to be manageable. ;-)


I am sorry but this thread is huge lol and I am really tired so if this has come up once or 10 times I am sorry. What about a basic version of pathfinder ( ala castles & crusades for ad&d ). Use can bring your already established characters that are high lvl shave some numbers off or create new characters use the beginner set rules and just got up to 20th level. Good for casual games for people who don't want the math and the other books would work as optional house rules if you wanted to pick and choose. Just like ad&d and basic D&D, didn't they coexist just fine? In the Basic rule book it would say if you are using a monster manual, module, adventure path these are all the stats you need simple enough to do on the fly.

Grand Lodge

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Medriev wrote:
Frankly, nothing would make me stop buying PF products quicker than an announcement of a new edition.

Frankly, nothing would make me stop playing Pathfinder quicker than...every other Pathfinder player moving to a new edition.

Because it's hard to play an RPG with no other players.


relic10467 wrote:
also i want to add after reading that someone said that 5e is outselling pathfinder. it is a new system and, as everyone remembers and should know, wizards of the coast will probably keep the system alive for about 4 more years and then come up with 6e, regardless what they have said. that is wizards status quo. plus they never playtest anything, and if they do, they never listen to the playtesters.

Is it outselling Pathfinder? I know I see it leave shelves more often but I have met more than a few groups since it's release that have been playing Pathfinder purely based on pdfs or d20pfsrd so I have no idea. Where are people getting numbers from?

I will disagree that wizards never listen to playtesters. My first impression of 5e was that it was a laundry list of common system complaints in 3.5 that they resolved or made simpler.

I am kind of waiting for the new shine to wear off because honestly it kind of achieved what has been achieved by dozens of other games so I'm not sure what the fuss is about. It is easy to convert Pathfinder APs to it which EVERY SINGLE GROUP that I know that plays 5e in my area is doing. At this rate Paizo should start making 5e editions of their APs and rake in cash.


I'm on record for saying long ago (2008ish?) that I thought Pathfinder was doomed. I believed this at the time because I thought Pathfinder would never grow, as it would appeal only to 3.5 fans upset by a new edition. My error was grossly underestimating the how badly WotC would bungle 4E. In fairness, their catastrophic failure was unprecedented, but even so, I was wrong. Pathfinder, in the absence of a viable, well-supported alternative, grew by leaps and bounds. And admittedly, Paizo makes some really, really good products.

But I think the landscape has fundamentally shifted. Pathfinder has grown to rival 3.5 in bloat. Meanwhile, D&D is back with a very well done 5E. And while I personally refuse to buy into a system (5E) produced by a corporation that appears to view PDFs as the blackest witchcraft, clearly many others do not share my hesitation. And so I do not think Pathfinder will continue to grow in the face of a superior alternative.

I could be wrong. I have been before. But I think something has to give, or Paizo will find itself on the trajectory I originally expected: Catering to an ever-shrinking fan base.

On the bright side, I think Paizo has established itself enough that it could continue to grow if it produced a greatly improved 2nd edition.


Malwing wrote:
At this rate Paizo should start making 5e editions of their APs and rake in cash.

Don't I wish. Paizo's adventures have always been second to none. Their mechanics? Not so much.


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bugleyman wrote:

I could be wrong. I have been before. But I think something has to give, or Paizo will find itself on the trajectory I originally expected: Catering to an ever-shrinking fan base.

On the bright side, I think Paizo has established itself enough that it could continue to grow if it produced a greatly improved 2nd edition.

Paizo has one thing that few other RPG companies do: Subscriptions. They tweak or adjust lines if subscription numbers aren't meeting expectations. I've seen this first hand as a subscriber to Modules and Planet Stories.

If subscriptions to the core line begin to drop, they'll start tweaking things. If they continue to drop, hello 2nd edition. But from everything I've heard, subscriptions continue to grow.

I know I'm on the fence about continuing my core subscription. I think since Mythic I've been mostly disappointed in the non-bestiary books. I'm also one of the few people who thinks Mythic is the best thing to be added to Pathfinder since the APG.


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Malwing wrote:

Is it outselling Pathfinder? I know I see it leave shelves more often but I have met more than a few groups since it's release that have been playing Pathfinder purely based on pdfs or d20pfsrd so I have no idea. Where are people getting numbers from?

ICv2 quarterly(ish) surveys, I suspect.

Quote:
I am kind of waiting for the new shine to wear off because honestly it kind of achieved what has been achieved by dozens of other games so I'm not sure what the fuss is about. It is easy to convert Pathfinder APs to it which EVERY SINGLE GROUP that I know that plays 5e in my area is doing. At this rate Paizo should start making 5e editions of their APs and rake in cash.

I think the fuss is largely due to brand power. It's a good game if you want something quick and simple - but it's also selling well (far more than the other games you cite) plus is still the most recognisable RPG, despite Pathfinder's commercial success over the last five years.

We also run Paizo APs - in my mind that's another strength of 5E. It's easier to convert adventures to a simple game than to a complex one. I don't think Paizo need to produce 5E specific APs - it takes me about as long to prep a module/AP for Pathfinder as it does to convert it to 5E.


deinol wrote:

Paizo has one thing that few other RPG companies do: Subscriptions. They tweak or adjust lines if subscription numbers aren't meeting expectations. I've seen this first hand as a subscriber to Modules and Planet Stories.

If subscriptions to the core line begin to drop, they'll start tweaking things. If they continue to drop, hello 2nd edition. But from everything I've heard, subscriptions continue to grow.

I know I'm on the fence about continuing my core subscription. I think since Mythic I've been mostly disappointed in the non-bestiary books. I'm also one of the few people who thinks Mythic is the best thing to be added to Pathfinder since the APG.

That's a good point...I hadn't really considered subscriptions.


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bugleyman wrote:
Medriev wrote:

Frankly, nothing would make me stop buying PF products quicker than an announcement of a new edition.

PF is well supported by technology options that make managing the volume of content easier (Hero Lab is the best example of this IMHO) and in the published lines references to non-core products almost always include a full stat block / rules summary in case you haven't hoovered up every product (which I for the most part have anyway).

The big problem with 3E/3.5E bloat was that later products almost required you to own previous products and it was so difficult, in the absence of good IT solutions at the time, to keep track of every feat you might want or every monster you might want to use. PF solves both of these problems with a commitment to repeat non-core info where it's used and licensed software solutions (plus the PRD).

To my mind, the problems for players / GMs that usually lead to new editions therefore don't exit so unless there is a business reason (which I highly doubt there is at the moment) I see no reason for there to be a PF 2E in the foreseeable future.

Alternatively, maybe they could go with a system that doesn't require computer assistance to be manageable. ;-)

Oh no, using a computer to manage information. In 2016. How horrible.


Steve Geddes wrote:


ICv2 quarterly(ish) surveys, I suspect.
Quote:
I am kind of waiting for the new shine to wear off because honestly it kind of achieved what has been achieved by dozens of other games so I'm not sure what the fuss is about. It is easy to convert Pathfinder APs to it which EVERY SINGLE GROUP that I know that plays 5e in my area is doing. At this rate Paizo should start making 5e editions of their APs and rake in cash.

I think the fuss is largely due to brand power. It's a good game if you want something quick and simple - but it's also selling well (far more than the other games you cite) plus is still the most recognisable RPG, despite Pathfinder's commercial success over the last five years.

I'm more talking about it from an analytical standpoint. Analysis of 5e tends to compare to Pathfinder or previous editions of D&D not other games. I'm not going to knock it as a bad system but sometimes I suspect that people are getting their copies with complementary cocaine given how they react to it. Its like a super popular movie that's very cliche but pretty okay and all but everyone keeps quoting it and talking about it like it's the best movie ever made because it's good enough for a wider range of audiences.


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bugleyman wrote:

I'm on record for saying long ago (2008ish?) that I thought Pathfinder was doomed. I believed this at the time because I thought Pathfinder would never grow, as it would appeal only to 3.5 fans upset by a new edition. My error was grossly underestimating the how badly WotC would bungle 4E. In fairness, their catastrophic failure was unprecedented, but even so, I was wrong. Pathfinder, in the absence of a viable, well-supported alternative, grew by leaps and bounds. And admittedly, Paizo makes some really, really good products.

But I think the landscape has fundamentally shifted. Pathfinder has grown to rival 3.5 in bloat. Meanwhile, D&D is back with a very well done 5E. And while I personally refuse to buy into a system (5E) produced by a corporation that appears to view PDFs as the blackest witchcraft, clearly many others do not share my hesitation. And so I do not think Pathfinder will continue to grow in the face of a superior alternative.

I could be wrong. I have been before. But I think something has to give, or Paizo will find itself on the trajectory I originally expected: Catering to an ever-shrinking fan base.

On the bright side, I think Paizo has established itself enough that it could continue to grow if it produced a greatly improved 2nd edition.

Odds are a new edition of Pathfinder would probably not be a more simplified system, simply BECAUSE that already exists in 5E. Fighting over the same contingent of gamers who have at this point switched over rulewise to 5E strikes me as an incredibly bad business plan. Any new edition is likely to have equivalent levels of complexity as the existing version, which means concerns over bloat will only be reset and be back as strong as ever a few years later after the release.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Oh no, using a computer to manage information. In 2016. How horrible.

There's difference between using a computer because it's handy and using one because it's necessary.

But I suppose if you enjoy complexity for complexity's sake...


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bugleyman wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Oh no, using a computer to manage information. In 2016. How horrible.

There's difference between using a computer because it's handy and using one because it's necessary.

But I suppose if you enjoy complexity for complexity's sake...

Then we'd play Rolemaster! Or Villains and Vigilantes or ...


Steve Geddes wrote:


I think the fuss is largely due to brand power. It's a good game if you want something quick and simple - but it's also selling well (far more than the other games you cite) plus is still the most recognisable RPG, despite Pathfinder's commercial success over the last five years.

Does not a brand actually have a finite life? Like about 30-50 years-ish? I heard that D&D might have some problems because of the life of the brand.

Companies, however, work hard to protect their brands. If a brand is attacked, then they will do anything to protect it. Although I think 4th edition was a good example of playing your hand badly when it came to brand management. 5th Edition was a good response. Although my groups tend to like pathfinder more.


Honestly I don't really keep track of actual Pathfinder content digitally. There are basically four exceptions and two of them actually upset me.

1. pdfs that are not in print form for money reasons or I don't have them in print for because they are too GM specific for me to bother printing. I am not bothered by this.

2. House rules and setting information that I email to players. I typically print these but some people like to be difficult. I am not bothered by this.

3. Sorting out feat prerequisites and feat trees. I absolutely hate feat hunting and I'm sort of glad that most of the relevant feats are stuck in the Core Rulebook. Grouping them by theme in things like Player Companions is more than tolerable but Hardcovers are the worst with this.

4. Spells. I generally need an app to deal with spells. If I want to have a particular kind of magic user I have to sort through all kinds of spell lists. If I were to name one thing that is an obstacle in Pathfinder being a perfect game for me it would be how spells work. (through third party material I've eliminated this problem entirely.)

In both 3 and 4 I think there's an issue that spells and feats keep getting printed willy nilly. If they're divided by theme it's pretty tolerable but sometimes they're so random and numerous that you have to go treasure hunting to do something new and interesting.


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Malwing wrote:
I'm more talking about it from an analytical standpoint. Analysis of 5e tends to compare to Pathfinder or previous editions of D&D not other games. I'm not going to knock it as a bad system but sometimes I suspect that people are getting their copies with complementary cocaine given how they react to it. Its like a super popular movie that's very cliche but pretty okay and all but everyone keeps quoting it and talking about it like it's the best movie ever made because it's good enough for a wider range of audiences.

It's been number 1 for the last two reported quarters (I haven't seen data for summer 2015 though, so we're a little out of date). It does a lot of things people like.

There's also this source of numbers, I'll repeat:

deinol wrote:

Both are doing well.

Here's a small slice of numbers, from one store in the bay area. But a large enough store that it probably represents trends throughout the US. And anyone interested in the business behind game stores should follow the Quest for Fun blog.

Some RPG Numbers

D&D and 3PP

Piepocalypse D&D vs Pathfinder Sales

Short answer is, they are both doing well, but D&D does so with far fewer products.


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Malwing wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Quote:
I am kind of waiting for the new shine to wear off because honestly it kind of achieved what has been achieved by dozens of other games so I'm not sure what the fuss is about. It is easy to convert Pathfinder APs to it which EVERY SINGLE GROUP that I know that plays 5e in my area is doing. At this rate Paizo should start making 5e editions of their APs and rake in cash.
I think the fuss is largely due to brand power. It's a good game if you want something quick and simple - but it's also selling well (far more than the other games you cite) plus is still the most recognisable RPG, despite Pathfinder's commercial success over the last five years.
I'm more talking about it from an analytical standpoint. Analysis of 5e tends to compare to Pathfinder or previous editions of D&D not other games. I'm not going to knock it as a bad system but sometimes I suspect that people are getting their copies with complementary cocaine given how they react to it. Its like a super popular movie that's very cliche but pretty okay and all but everyone keeps quoting it and talking about it like it's the best movie ever made because it's good enough for a wider range of audiences.

I suspect, for a lot of the people you mention here, they only play D&D or its derivatives (and consider "everything else" to be a bit fringe-y), so for them there isn't really anything else significant to compare it to. If that's the case, I can understand the excitement, since it's a well-produced, simple game which does what it was designed to do very well.

If you had been playing Pathfinder or 4E and had begun to get bothered by all the choices and consequent complexity, it would have seemed like a breath of fresh air (especially if "not-D&D" wasn't on your radar). It doesn't really suit me, but it's been done thoughtfully enough that I can still enjoy it.


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Whats the reason for needing a second edition?

The rules are working fine, pathfinder is organic and changes over time. So the only reason for change would be to accommodate something better or if the current rule-set stopped working.

So we simply purchase more content to play.

Paizo has done a great job fleshing out Golarion and there are lot's more stories to be told. I don't understand what's driving the OP or other questions about a 2nd edition of the rules. What are you hoping that a ruleset change is going fix - what part of your current game is broken?


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bugleyman wrote:
Malwing wrote:
At this rate Paizo should start making 5e editions of their APs and rake in cash.
Don't I wish. Paizo's adventures have always been second to none. Their mechanics? Not so much.

While incidental to the main theme of this thread, I think that's giving Paizo an excessive amount of credit. It may be that you're only thinking of D&D adventures, but once you step outside that narrow zone it's rather hard to treat Paizo as 'second to none'. Chaosium's CoC/RQ/Pendragon, Hogshead's WFRP, Posthuman Studios with Eclipse Phase, Fasa with Traveller, DGP with Traveller, Cubicle 7 for TOR, Pelgrane Press with Trail of Cthulhu, WEG's Paranoia adventures - all those qualify as top notch, not just with peaks that match or exceed the best of Paizo but with a consistently high quality that Paizo don't seem to match.


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bugleyman wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Oh no, using a computer to manage information. In 2016. How horrible.

There's difference between using a computer because it's handy and using one because it's necessary.

But I suppose if you enjoy complexity for complexity's sake...

I don't necessarily enjoy complexity but I don't think most PF books add complexity. They add new feats or new monsters or new classes but all of these obey (for the most part) the same basic rules in the Core Rulebook.

I do think that for most modern RPGs that expand beyond a few supplements computer tools are very useful to save referencing multiple books at the table.

Ultimately, I like what Paizo is doing and I very much hope they are making enough money out of it to keep doing it. Reinventing everything with a new system is something I've been burned by before and I have no desire to have the dozens and dozens of PF products I have on my shelves made obsolete by the launch of a new edition. Realistically, I have more material now than I can use in my lifetime but I (as many on these boards seem to be) am a collector and I will keep buying the latest PF products as long as they are useful. Once they become less than useful or incompatible with what I have then I will stop buying them.

PS. This thread is such a deja vu throwback to the WotC boards it's almost depressing me.


Medriev wrote:


Ultimately, I like what Paizo is doing and I very much hope they are making enough money out of it to keep doing it. Reinventing everything with a new system is something I've been burned by before and I have no desire to have the dozens and dozens of PF products I have on my shelves made obsolete by the launch of a new edition. Realistically, I have more material now than I can use in my lifetime but I (as many on these boards seem to be) am a collector and I will keep buying the latest PF products as long as they are useful. Once they become less than useful or incompatible with what I have then I will stop buying them.

Where do you store it all? :P


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bugleyman wrote:
Medriev wrote:


Ultimately, I like what Paizo is doing and I very much hope they are making enough money out of it to keep doing it. Reinventing everything with a new system is something I've been burned by before and I have no desire to have the dozens and dozens of PF products I have on my shelves made obsolete by the launch of a new edition. Realistically, I have more material now than I can use in my lifetime but I (as many on these boards seem to be) am a collector and I will keep buying the latest PF products as long as they are useful. Once they become less than useful or incompatible with what I have then I will stop buying them.
Where do you store it all? :P

All I can say is thank the gods for pdfs and flashdrives...


bugleyman wrote:
Medriev wrote:


Ultimately, I like what Paizo is doing and I very much hope they are making enough money out of it to keep doing it. Reinventing everything with a new system is something I've been burned by before and I have no desire to have the dozens and dozens of PF products I have on my shelves made obsolete by the launch of a new edition. Realistically, I have more material now than I can use in my lifetime but I (as many on these boards seem to be) am a collector and I will keep buying the latest PF products as long as they are useful. Once they become less than useful or incompatible with what I have then I will stop buying them.
Where do you store it all? :P

It's not that hard actually. I have three shelves of Pathfinder. One has all the hardcovers, roughly half of the Player Companions and a few Campaign Settings, which nearly fill the shelf but not quite. Third party hard copies fill up about two thirds of the second shelf. The last shelf is one third full with the modules and adventure paths I own and all of the Campaign Setting hardcovers. Everything else is in pdf form of which the Paizo stuff is easy to categorize while third party stuff is a little more difficult to sort adequately.


Malwing wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Medriev wrote:


Ultimately, I like what Paizo is doing and I very much hope they are making enough money out of it to keep doing it. Reinventing everything with a new system is something I've been burned by before and I have no desire to have the dozens and dozens of PF products I have on my shelves made obsolete by the launch of a new edition. Realistically, I have more material now than I can use in my lifetime but I (as many on these boards seem to be) am a collector and I will keep buying the latest PF products as long as they are useful. Once they become less than useful or incompatible with what I have then I will stop buying them.
Where do you store it all? :P
It's not that hard actually. I have three shelves of Pathfinder. One has all the hardcovers, roughly half of the Player Companions and a few Campaign Settings, which nearly fill the shelf but not quite. Third party hard copies fill up about two thirds of the second shelf. The last shelf is one third full with the modules and adventure paths I own and all of the Campaign Setting hardcovers. Everything else is in pdf form of which the Paizo stuff is easy to categorize while third party stuff is a little more difficult to sort adequately.

Indeed. I have one of those 9 cube storage shelves from Target that nicely houses my materials (every book save a few of the modules) along with some other materials and issues of Dungeon and Dragon, although the minis are becoming problematic...


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knightnday wrote:
Malwing wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Medriev wrote:


Ultimately, I like what Paizo is doing and I very much hope they are making enough money out of it to keep doing it. Reinventing everything with a new system is something I've been burned by before and I have no desire to have the dozens and dozens of PF products I have on my shelves made obsolete by the launch of a new edition. Realistically, I have more material now than I can use in my lifetime but I (as many on these boards seem to be) am a collector and I will keep buying the latest PF products as long as they are useful. Once they become less than useful or incompatible with what I have then I will stop buying them.
Where do you store it all? :P
It's not that hard actually. I have three shelves of Pathfinder. One has all the hardcovers, roughly half of the Player Companions and a few Campaign Settings, which nearly fill the shelf but not quite. Third party hard copies fill up about two thirds of the second shelf. The last shelf is one third full with the modules and adventure paths I own and all of the Campaign Setting hardcovers. Everything else is in pdf form of which the Paizo stuff is easy to categorize while third party stuff is a little more difficult to sort adequately.
Indeed. I have one of those 9 cube storage shelves from Target that nicely houses my materials (every book save a few of the modules) along with some other materials and issues of Dungeon and Dragon, although the minis are becoming problematic...

Minis bloat! Stop printing all these new minis of things that haven't had minis before, I don't like these options!

We need a new edition for minis! Only core classes and core monsters!


I started storing minis in plastic tool organizers. I made dividers for pawns but its increasingly impractical.


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Nathanael Love wrote:

Minis bloat! Stop printing all these new minis of things that haven't had minis before, I don't like these options!

We need a new edition for minis! Only core classes and core monsters!

Terrible analogies and sarcasm don't mix well.


Albatoonoe wrote:
They are a smaller team that isn't supported by a larger company.

Smaller than what? Paizo's RPG staff is probably bigger than just about any other RPG publisher's staff. Especially since WotC seems to have cut the D&D team down to bare-bones.

The Pathfinder team may be a small team, but they're one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, RPG publishing teams in existence today.


Duiker wrote:
$750,000 per year is a quarter the average revenue of a single McDonalds location. I can't possibly conceive of classifying a national publisher with that level of revenue as "in the game" for any meaningful definition of the game.

RPGs aren't fast food. Frankly, I doubt many RPG companies (including Paizo) can even remotely compete with a single McDonald's location.


Sarcasm Dragon wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
So. . . three books in three years?

Okay, how about the fact in the past two or three months the following has been released.

V20 Lore of the Clans.
M20 How Do You DO That?
Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Pugmire Pamphlet
Chronicles of Darkness
Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages

And they are currently just about to release Exalted 3 Anthology, Truth Beyond Paradox, Dreams of Avarice, Exalted 3 core book, Demon Storytellers Guide, Beast: The Primordial, and Mage: The Awakening 2nd Edition.

Onyx path is doing fine.

The nWoD gameline that was mentioned as being released in 2014, Demon, that currently has 10 books (excluding books like the Godmachine Chronicles, Chronicles of Darkness and Mortal Remains section on Demons).

But remember that nWoD hasn't had any new products since 2012, because one forumite says so! So obviously, all those products don't really exist and are just a conspiracy to take away our Core Rulebooks!

In fairness, most of those products are CLASSIC World of Darkness, not NEW World of Darkness.


Nathanael Love wrote:
They still aren't White Wolf.

White Wolf doesn't actually publish anything anymore, they license their properties (primarily to Onyx Path). So that's kind of a non-argument. In fact, White Wolf doesn't really even exist...it's basically just a name on an agreement between Paradox Interactive and Onyx Path.


bugleyman wrote:
I believe that Pathfinder's wild success has more to do with WotC's catastrophic failure than anything Paizo has done.

I think this is more true than many are willing to admit. Some people LOVE to quote the ICv2 numbers, but the truth of the matter is that for almost the entire time that Pathfinder held the #1 spot, WotC wasn't actually publishing anything. You can claim you beat Usain Bolt in a race, but if he was sitting down the entire time you ran, it's not nearly as impressive of an accomplishment.


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EltonJ wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I think the fuss is largely due to brand power. It's a good game if you want something quick and simple - but it's also selling well (far more than the other games you cite) plus is still the most recognisable RPG, despite Pathfinder's commercial success over the last five years.

Does not a brand actually have a finite life? Like about 30-50 years-ish? I heard that D&D might have some problems because of the life of the brand.

As long as their closest competitor is named after an SUV, Dungeons & Dragons never has to worry about their brand name recognition being exceeded.


Norman Osborne wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
They are a smaller team that isn't supported by a larger company.

Smaller than what? Paizo's RPG staff is probably bigger than just about any other RPG publisher's staff. Especially since WotC seems to have cut the D&D team down to bare-bones.

The Pathfinder team may be a small team, but they're one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, RPG publishing teams in existence today.

FFG maybe, especially since they publish several RPGs and don't seem to share writers/managers between them. Though that leaves the art team, editors, web design teams, and all the other parts of a business that make it work. Who may be partly/wholly shared with the board- and miniature-games that are much the larger part of the (much larger than Paizo) business. And they don't have a light publishing schedule.

Also, how do you count freelancers in this? Especially teams that include the designers, developers, play-testers and editors for a line, where the publisher has one person who provides instructions concerning what they want and feedback on the material that's coming out. Artists who work on commission, almost exclusively for one company, without actually being employed by them?

Norman Osborne wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
I believe that Pathfinder's wild success has more to do with WotC's catastrophic failure than anything Paizo has done.
I think this is more true than many are willing to admit. Some people LOVE to quote the ICv2 numbers, but the truth of the matter is that for almost the entire time that Pathfinder held the #1 spot, WotC wasn't actually publishing anything. You can claim you beat Usain Bolt in a race, but if he was sitting down the entire time you ran, it's not nearly as impressive of an accomplishment.

What that primarily suggests is that sales levels which Paizo consider a success are not (or were not) considered adequate by WotC. If their product cycle is more expensive then they need higher sales to justify the higher investment in the product, and if that doesn't pay off... It would certainly provide one justification for their current release schedule, each product may cost more to produce but by shifting more of them (a lot more, if some estimates are to be believed) then they maintain their profits through a higher volume of sales on each of a smaller number of items.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Norman Osborne wrote:
Some people LOVE to quote the ICv2 numbers, but the truth of the matter is that for almost the entire time that Pathfinder held the #1 spot, WotC wasn't actually publishing anything. You can claim you beat Usain Bolt in a race, but if he was sitting down the entire time you ran, it's not nearly as impressive of an accomplishment.

True, but even when WotC was publishing, Paizo made quite good. I was following the amazon listings at that time and was guite surprised to see how Paizo held its own against WotC, especially when considering that they sell a lot of their stuff over their own store. So it wasn't just that WotC was sitting it out what made Paizo #1 at ICv2. It was Paizo being faster.

In general, I agree with what you said, though. Paizo's rise had a lot to do with WotCs problems they had with 4E. Still, you have to take such an opportunity AND you have to produce quality material to even have a chance for this kind of success, and Paizo did deliver on every level. So I think that it would be unfair to attribute Paizo's success just to WotC's "catastrophic failure". Because they worked hard to deserve it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One of the main reasons for a new version of Pathfinder is the long time of the edition *(3.0, 3.5 and PF) is such that a lot of inconsistencies and improper rules interactions along with old mechanics that provide a held back balancing act for newer materials. A new revision could modernize the ruleset, combine and provide consistent, standardized mechanics, and have some of the newer classes stand out by themselves instead of being the previous class's mechanical superior with wait times for class abilities.

Whether or not Paizo did this or outsold that should only be a factor if the sales of products completely tank. That is not happening, nor will it likely happen anytime soon.

WotC is not going away, nor will Paizo use their License (Is is OGL or something else?) to "convert" PF over. (The rules likely will not provide enough to be able to do this)

Comparing what WotC did vs. what Paizo did isn't exactly fair, as there was more going on than what books where released and when product was produced. The overall implosion of the Brand "Essentials" stop gag (4.5) was a death nail to the edition, but more was sold initially because it was a backtrack and introduction to new mechanics (some 3.5 stuff shoehorned in) and had eventual added choices (with errata) for the base game. What happened afterward was, in part, because of the overall lack of execution of other aspect, such as DDI, Emags within DDI, and the further breaking of the edition with Errata and Neverwinter. (The cancelation of the update for Ravenloft irked me)

Paizo had it's troubles as well, but it didn't focus on them as a problem but used them as a challenge to improve, grow and eventually provide clarification on contested rules and provide updated printings for the Core and other hardbound books.

They can go on with the current "system" for a long while yet, supporting the hard work they have already done. I believe, however, that eventually the steps will need to be taken to provide their own stamp on this, using the basis of the OGL to make their own system, or change the D20 system to work better than what 3.5/PF edition has, and provide their own OGL mechanic for third party publishers.


At this point, it seems the most sensible thing for Pathfinder would be a reorganization of the Core Rulebook, and likely (to save costs) as a digital product. Inclusion of classes most everyone I know of considers "core" as it is (Gunslinger, Magus, Summoner, etc.), cleanup of rules presentation (I can't tell you the number of times I've seen questions on what you do and don't get when you're changing your shape; the answers are there in the SRD and other materials, but the fact that people are asking is indication enough to me that the presentation of those rules isn't intuitive to locate), and adjustment to wonky rules combinations that send people scurrying to find errata or a FAQ to get a ruling (as opposed to, I dunno, just letting the GM make a ruling and calling it good...) seem to be the highest priority.

I'd personally angle for inclusion of psionics as built-in from the ground up, since it hasn't been there in that fashion since the absolutely unplayable presentation in the 1st Edition Player's Handbook...), but Dreamscarred Press has done an amazing job with Ultimate Psionics, and I don't think Paizo would want to step on their toes.

A fully (and efficiently!) searchable digital "New Core Rulebook", that works well on not only desktop PCs but on laptops and tablets, centralizing all the classes, more intuitively presenting the rules (perhaps organizing the Combat chapter in typical order of actions in combat), incorporates classes currently residing in other Paizo books, maybe a slight cleanup of action economy inefficiencies (I honestly don't see the point in having both a free action and a swift action; better to just declare free actions to be a "non-action" and move on from there), and BAM!


Doing a kickstarter for a new or reorganized core book would possibly be a good idea, to test the waters.


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necromental wrote:
Doing a kickstarter for a new or reorganized core book would possibly be a good idea, to test the waters.

I would be a bit annoyed by a successful company doing a kickstarter for a project that they have the ability to back regardless of its success. If you want to do something to gauge public interest, do a poll of customers have purchased your product.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
necromental wrote:
Doing a kickstarter for a new or reorganized core book would possibly be a good idea, to test the waters.
I would be a bit annoyed by a successful company doing a kickstarter for a project that they have the ability to back regardless of its success. If you want to do something to gauge public interest, do a poll of customers have purchased your product.

Ditto. It's one thing to do a Kickstarter for an experimental product, but it seems like a cheap trick in to use it to launch a 2nd edition. Paizo can afford to make a new core book if they decide they want to. They don't need a KS to test the waters. They know it'll sell reasonably well whenever they decide to do it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Paizo would never use kickstarter in such a frivolous manner.

If they release a new edition, it will be on their dime.


captain yesterday wrote:

Paizo would never use kickstarter in such a frivolous manner.

If they release a new edition, it will be on their dime.

That way they wont have to kick over 5%


Point of reality: Paizo, while doing well, isn't floating in gobs of money. They aren't owned by a major international conglomerate like Wizards of the Coast is. WotC can make a business case to Hasbro if they need an influx of cash, and have a chance of getting it. Paizo is on their own.

Printing a new book is expensive. You have to pay the staff to do the work, then pay to print it, then distribute it.

Creating a new digital product is pricy, but not as expensive: you don't have printing costs or distribution costs, merely creation costs and hosting costs (for the download).

A Kickstarter has two beneficial elements to it: it provides the money for a project, AND it shows interest via the number of contributors. A Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing has given us the first "next-gen" smartwatch (the Pebble), a movie continuation of a popular television series (Veronica Mars), and before either of those existed, fan interest in "Firefly" is what convinced Fox to do the "Serenity" movie after they'd (foolishly) canceled the series after only half a season.

If it would result in something more than "just another PDF", I'd happily contribute to a Kickstarter for a digital "consolidation/cleanup" product for the Core Rules. Full art, properly indexed sections and words for easy/efficient search functions, reorganization so things flow properly (I still think the Combat chapter ought to be organized in the typical order of combat; it should start with a quick "What to Roll" section, then start with "Initiative" and a description of how it works, then "The Attack Roll" with a description of common bonuses and penalties, then "Armor Class", with a description of regular AC, Touch AC, common bonuses/penalties, and then adjustments based on circumstance; move on to "The Damage Roll" with common bonuses/penalties; then "Terrain Considerations"; each section could include a subheader for movement considerations affecting each element to account for Attacks of Opportunity, etc.).

Include classes from the books outside of the Core Rulebook that many players just consider "core" now anyway. Include a link to the SRD psionics information from Dreamscarred Press' "Ultimate Psionics" for players and GMs who want to incorporate psionics into their campaigns.

The more I think about this, the more I'm starting to think that a Kickstarter might not be a bad idea to convince Paizo to do an "update/consolidation" project like this. If, after reaching the goal, Paizo still said, "We just don't want to do this", the money could be donated to a couple charities instead (or refunded to individual contributors).


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

After their Goblinworks kickstarter, my impression was that Paizo are not very keen on doing another anytime soon, though I'm not clear as to why - perhaps it's the added costs, the added stress of keeping in touch with thousands of backers who have now paid up front or some philosophical issue with crowdfunding.

They rarely say never, of course (and I can't remember if they outright said they wouldn't do another, or if it was just an impression I got).


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

After their Goblinworks kickstarter, my impression was that Paizo are not very keen on doing another anytime soon, though I'm not clear as to why - perhaps it's the added costs, the added stress of keeping in touch with thousands of backers who have now paid up front or some philosophical issue with crowdfunding.

They rarely say never, of course (and I can't remember if they outright said they wouldn't do another, or if it was just an impression I got).

March 26, 2015

Vic Wertz wrote:
We have no interest in running another Kickstarter anytime soon. For anything.

As you say, they didn't say why, but they didn't seem to enjoy the process at all.


Silentman73 wrote:

Point of reality: Paizo, while doing well, isn't floating in gobs of money. They aren't owned by a major international conglomerate like Wizards of the Coast is. WotC can make a business case to Hasbro if they need an influx of cash, and have a chance of getting it. Paizo is on their own.

Printing a new book is expensive. You have to pay the staff to do the work, then pay to print it, then distribute it.

Creating a new digital product is pricy, but not as expensive: you don't have printing costs or distribution costs, merely creation costs and hosting costs (for the download).

A Kickstarter has two beneficial elements to it: it provides the money for a project, AND it shows interest via the number of contributors. A Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing has given us the first "next-gen" smartwatch (the Pebble), a movie continuation of a popular television series (Veronica Mars), and before either of those existed, fan interest in "Firefly" is what convinced Fox to do the "Serenity" movie after they'd (foolishly) canceled the series after only half a season.

If it would result in something more than "just another PDF", I'd happily contribute to a Kickstarter for a digital "consolidation/cleanup" product for the Core Rules. Full art, properly indexed sections and words for easy/efficient search functions, reorganization so things flow properly (I still think the Combat chapter ought to be organized in the typical order of combat; it should start with a quick "What to Roll" section, then start with "Initiative" and a description of how it works, then "The Attack Roll" with a description of common bonuses and penalties, then "Armor Class", with a description of regular AC, Touch AC, common bonuses/penalties, and then adjustments based on circumstance; move on to "The Damage Roll" with common bonuses/penalties; then "Terrain Considerations"; each section could include a subheader for movement considerations affecting each element to account for Attacks of Opportunity, etc.).

Include classes from the...

Except these are things that are within their normal operations. They keep editing and layout people on staff and are doing print runs on a regular basis. The main question is, is it worthwhile enough for them to devote resources for new product redoing something that has already been done? Then, what improvements can we make? I can't answer those questions, but a Kickstarter is not a good way for them to gauge that interest.

1. People demand more. For the same amount of revenue people are looking for stretch goals that give them free bonuses, and realistically the print run costs wont go down even if they have smashing success, so while it may look like they have all this extra money, most of that money is already spoken for. Many a kickstarter was sunk by not managing fixed vs variable costs properly and promising too many stretch goals.
2. Running the campaign is more work. As above, people demand time from key employees in addition to stretch goals.
3. Kickstarter takes 5%, in addition to other misc. costs with running the campaign.

Liberty's Edge

Nathanael Love wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:

Pathfinder didn't grab part of the market by saying "buy the exact same game," they did it by saying "It's the game, with changes to make it better, and some backwards compatibility."

I would also appreciate the market research you did that shows Pathfinder 2e is more likely to fail than succeed.

The RPG market is a small, saturated market.

The chances of success for any game in this market are small; the chances of the same company succeeding twice are similarly small.

Look at how many games come and go quickly from start up companies.

Look at the recent major failures from big companies-- 4th edition D&D and the "New" World of Darkness that either did or nearly brought down established brands/companies.

Look at all the games with established IPs and fan bases that have churned through multiple company failures and have to be repeatedly rescued-- Battletech/ Mechwarrior, Shadowrun.

The first 3 editions of D&D came out in a different world where there was a lot less competition.

To think that Paizo could do a Pathfinder 2.0 that was competing with both 5e D&D, with the concept of just continuing to play Pathfinder, with all the other games out there you have to acknowledge that there are long odds of success.

There is far less TTRPG competition in the Paizo era than the AD&D era. Less game systems, less TTRPG companies,etc.

The difference is AD&D competed with Atari and the NES. Modern games, in a niche (at best) market, compete with Playstation, WoW, and arguing dumb stuff on Facebook.

Liberty's Edge

memorax wrote:
RDM42 wrote:


Because, of course, you are absolutely representative of the entire customer base.

Why would anyone buy the same rpg with the same flaws and benefits again. I certainly don't have 120$+ to do so. I'm pretty sure some gamers feel the same way.

Funny, what this describes is Pathfinder to a T. Paizo even hired new people to design for their 3.5 clone. Seems to me, judging from most gamers I know, people buy all sorts of recycled stuff.


ariddrake wrote:
I am sorry but this thread is huge lol and I am really tired so if this has come up once or 10 times I am sorry. What about a basic version of pathfinder ( ala castles & crusades for ad&d ). Use can bring your already established characters that are high lvl shave some numbers off or create new characters use the beginner set rules and just got up to 20th level. Good for casual games for people who don't want the math and the other books would work as optional house rules if you wanted to pick and choose. Just like ad&d and basic D&D, didn't they coexist just fine? In the Basic rule book it would say if you are using a monster manual, module, adventure path these are all the stats you need simple enough to do on the fly.

Already sort of exists with the Beginner Box...sort of (but not really) supplemented by the Strategy Guide.

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