Answer to the "Will Starfinder Attract 5e Fans" thing.


General Discussion


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So I'm that guy. When Pathfinder first started up, I loved Golarion, bought all the books (that were out at the time anyway--up through the first Bestiary). Jumped ship to 4e pretty much as soon as it came out. Helped playtest 5e. Really didn't look back--I was super enmeshed in D&D and didn't really see the need for another D&D. Checked in periodically to see if there was a reason to dust off the Pathfinder books, and really nothing jumped out at me. I thought the "everything exists in Pathfinder" idea was catchy, but it seemed to get applied really unevenly and in ways that didn't much distinguish the setting for me.

Cut to a couple of weeks ago. I hear Paizo is coming out with Starfinder. I immediately start digging in to find out what I can, let folks on social media know what I've learned. Now here I am, back on the forums, talking with folks again about Paizo stuff. Pretty much only because of Starfinder.

So yeah, Starfinder has attracted at least one 5e hardcore back.


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Interesting and cool to know.

I don't think Paizo is especially concerned about having converts exclusively -- I think they just want to keep eyeballs on Paizo products. You can play WotC or other company games, so long as you're ALSO playing something Paizo makes.

ICV2 reported that Tabletop RPGs were up to $35 million last year, and also that Paizo was #2 after WotC for Spring 2016 quarter, over even Star Wars RPG.

So they just need to maintain their space, WotC likely made $17+ of that $35 million, and at a pure and random guess, Paizo likely made $9+ of it (on tabletop RPGs I mean, the money from the Adventure Card Game and other licensed products like the comic book wouldn't be in there) --- and I suspect Starfinder is their attempt to keep a kind of relevance and have broader appeal.

You either are or aren't a fan of their world and their system. Its going strong and is likely to continue to on the power of its existing fan base -- so they just need to keep them happy.

Starfinder is a chance to draw people away from Star Wars or to add an entire field of gaming to traditional, fantasy-only players that weren't already into Star Wars, Rifts, Traveller, etc.

I don't know -- exciting times! Glad you're back!


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Starfinder is aiming at a different market than 5e, so I don't think trying to poach from WOTC was a major priority in it's design focus.


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Lucus Palosaari wrote:

makes.

ICV2 reported that Tabletop RPGs were up to $35 million last year, and also that Paizo was #2 after WotC for Spring 2016 quarter, over even Star Wars RPG.

It sounds like a big number, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to what board and card games are bringing in.


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Lucus Palosaari wrote:

I don't know -- exciting times! Glad you're back!

Thanks man! It's good to be back.

I figure each game group has a certain number of game products they can keep inside their Monkeysphere. It's probably a different number for each group, but maybe a dozen in my case? As you go along, some games fall off to the side. You just lose interest or get mad at something they did or whatever and a window opens up where now they're open to a new game. I think it's more like that. The last few years I've been in a new game group where a lot of the games I used to play just aren't going to work with the new group I'm in. So ever since Free RPG day really I've been kind of in the market for a different game, and I heard about Starfinder right around then.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Lucus Palosaari wrote:

makes.

ICV2 reported that Tabletop RPGs were up to $35 million last year, and also that Paizo was #2 after WotC for Spring 2016 quarter, over even Star Wars RPG.

It sounds like a big number, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to what board and card games are bringing in.

It's possible that Magic the Gathering made more money in the first quarter of 2016, than Pathfinder has done since its birth.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Lucus Palosaari wrote:

makes.

ICV2 reported that Tabletop RPGs were up to $35 million last year, and also that Paizo was #2 after WotC for Spring 2016 quarter, over even Star Wars RPG.

It sounds like a big number, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to what board and card games are bringing in.
It's possible that Magic the Gathering made more money in the first quarter of 2016, than Pathfinder has done since its birth.

Follow that same link for IVC2 and you'll see the top category is $625 million for "Collectible games" which I'm fairly certain is the Magic the Gathering category. I'm almost CERTAIN MtG likely netted last year more than Paizo has ever grossed. Hard to get hard numbers on Paizo's net worth and sales, but a few years ago it was like $11 million dollars, so even if you assume it was always around $10 mil for all 14 years since 2002 when Paizo started, it would still only be $140 million... and I really doubt they were bringing in $10 million their first few years.

But yeah, "drop in the bucket"


Great, another member of the Cleaver Clan. Welcome back!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Short answer: no. Long answer: the question implies that I'd be leaving 5e. I'm a multi-rpg fan, but unless Starfinder is absolutely amazing, 5e will remain my favorite RPG.


Erich Williams wrote:
Short answer: no. Long answer: the question implies that I'd be leaving 5e. I'm a multi-rpg fan, but unless Starfinder is absolutely amazing, 5e will remain my favorite RPG.

I certainly don't get that implication. I love the heck out of 5e. I think the idea is will Starfinder gain new players from amongst people who now don't play Pathfinder and do play Dungeons & Dragons. For my part, definitely. That said, it's not really my question. Someone else asked it and before they could get an answer the whole thread got turned into a edition war caterwaul.


I'm a player who has played D&D since 1987, switched to PF because I hated base 3.x, and didn't particularly care for 4th, but still wanted that D&D fix...then switched back for 5E.

I'm inordinately excited for Starfinder. It sounds like Spelljammer crossed with Shadowrun, and I can't think of anything cooler at the moment.


Right? Starfinder sounds awesome.


I have GURPS Space, so there is no reason for me to create a Starfinder campaign easily. Complete with ships that have psychic warp drives. But I'm not a 5e player, because most of my players liked Pathfinder. I was thinking of getting the old GoO Space Opera setting so I can set up a Space Opera setting with Starfinder.

"These are the Voyages." Probably drawing off of ST:Enterprise, but with Elves, Dwarves, ratfolk, catfolk, and such as part of a starship crew. I'm excited for Starfinder.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I never bought into 4E but I did look into 5E but always kept my main interest in Pathfinder. If they did more with 5E I'd have been more on board with it but the fact that they seem to want to stay in FR and not go off world annoyed me since I wanted Mystara content and ultimately SpellJammer. Starfinder is the next step in that evolution as far as I am concerned with Dragonstar having been the next step for the 3E period. We shall see, I look forward to running it in my area to be sure.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Starfinder will surely attract some hardcore 5e fans, but not for the reason that people went from Pathfinder to 5e. You are going to get those people who are always after the new "shiny" thing and will gobble up anything pretty thrown at them, and knowing Paizo, Starfinder will be pretty. We don't know enough about the setting to say fully what to expect. One major positive benefit of Starfinder that I see, as a fan, is that Paizo is pushing their own futuristic setting. Many of the futuristic settings that I've played are built on well known entities like Star Wars, Star Trek or Firefly. One of the problems that my players have seen with those are that the tropes play out really quickly. Paizo has been very successful with their Adventure Path strategy and that will draw a lot of players who may not want to spend a lot of time on their own "space adventure" or "insert star wars/trek" here scene and play it out. Regardless of where the players come from, I hope we see the quality of story and products that we expect from Paizo.

Liberty's Edge

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That's the joy of a private company like Paizo. They just need to turn profit, not meet shareholder expectations. They do what they love and can live on it, that's what important.


It's complicated.

The first several years of Pathfinder that I ran were "Pathfinder rules in the Forgotten Realms", often reskinning modules or pieces of APs to fit them into homebrew campaigns.

My "all-PF" gamerunning is limited -- I've run the first 2 parts of Kingmaker as written, and am halfway through running Emerald Spire as written, both with Pathfinder rules.

I recently started a group with 5e rules -- running the Price of Immortality series of modules -- and don't know that I'll go back to PF rules: aside from one or two people, my gaming circle generally isn't into super-crunch systems mastery, and 5e facilitates the quick-n-dirty adjudication we prefer.

So, Starfinder sounds interesting, but I'll be waiting to hear reviews of the rules and modules. There's a good chance I'll pick up the AP, because I do love Paizo's adventures -- but I'd say it's a 50/50 chance I'll be using the AP for story & NPCs, using 5e rules with mods from the Spelljammer boxes I dig out of the basement.

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