Ending Bloat


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 104 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

Here's a quick question for all the Pathfinder fans out there:

How long do you think Pathfinder (and Paizo) would stay in business if they stopped publishing "crunchy" rules material (races, classes, feats, spells, etc) and instead focused on "soft" material like expanded settings, modules, and adventure paths?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

A publishing company dosen't stay in business by stop publishing.

The thing is the material you want them to keep publishing is generally for GM's only. Players have demonstrated they want an ever-expanding array of options for their characters,

Grand Lodge

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Less than a year.

Edit: This post was favored before my browser finished loading it after I clicked submit.


I'd really love to see more tool kit and different campaign options. Things like Ultimate Campaign, still my all time favorite book.

But idk much about the RPG business, so idk if that would keep them aloat.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Less than a year.

Idk, I was under the impression that the bulk of their revenue came from the Adventure Path line.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That's why I only said less than a year.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Don't they kinda already do that?

Generally only the Player Companions and the hardcovers have player options. The rest of the product lines are modules, adventure paths, and campaign setting books, which are all published more frequently and with more content. Even the hardcover books tend to focus on campaign settings and campaign types, like with Ultimate Intrigue, Inner Sea Races, and Occult Adventures. The last "pure crunch" hardcover book was published more than two years ago.


Dont forget the player companion stuff

Grand Lodge

From what you guys have said so far, this might actually work, at least for a while. Thanks for the input!


8 people marked this as a favorite.

My response would be 'what bloat?'


At some point they will need to do a few compendiums consolidating existing material.

This will be shortly followed by Pathfinder 2.0, where existing rules are revised and reedited, but remain compatible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, I just want rulebooks that don't add more feats and spells, but just new ways to approach the game. Like I said many times, Ultimate Campaign is my all time favorite book. There are no feats or spells or anything that directly adds power and complicated the game. It just adds new avenues for the game to go to and the players can do. I want more of Ultiamte Campaign.


Odraude wrote:
Honestly, I just want rulebooks that don't add more feats and spells

And here I keep asking for Ultimate Spells to be published :P


5 people marked this as a favorite.

What is bloat? I keep hearing about it, but I've yet to actually see it.


IMHO, it depends on the type of gamer you are and your style of gaming.

I know people who do not like PF because of its seemingly unending class/race/rules/etc expansion and I know people that like it for that reason.
Some look to their adventures/stories/game worlds to generate "newness" and some look to other areas such as class/race/rules/etc to generate the same feeling.

There is nothing wrong with either style, until you say there is. ie if you are not having fun switch or find something that allows you to have fun.
MDC


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, yes and no.

One of the issues with the continuation of adding feats and spells is that it adds more complexity without depth. There are a lot of moving parts that come together with a character, and when you add more feats, it can have unintended consequences with previous ones. And with more and more feats, it's harder to look back at previous work to make sure that there aren't weird or overpowered feat combinations. And really, as great as the option are (I love options), I feel they haven't added depth to the game. The feats and such are still mostly centered around combat or skills.

That's why I liked Ultimate Campaign. It wasn't just feats for combat or skills. It added support to run different styles of games that went beyond "stop the bad guy, save the world". You had kingdom building and exploration, which was a HUGE hit with many of my players. There was base building and running your own business. There were child characters and infamy and just lots of rules that added depth to one's campaign with less of the complexity. I had a crew of friends that always wanted to do "get rich quick" schemes, and were surprised when I was the first GM to not only say yes, but actually have the support to do it. There were great adventures with the players fighting guild monopolies and thugs and thieves, while rubbing shoulders with nobles. One player even became a drug kingpin under the guise of a detective. And that's awesome.

That's what I want. I like options. Hell, I love them. But I really want to see more options that add depth to the game. Occult Adventures did that with their rituals and such. I haven't read Horror Adventures, but the Corruption rules sound interesting. And I prefer all of this to the reverse, which is stagnation. That's kind of where I feel the OSR community is suffering. You have people just making the next retroclone instead of new, cool things. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, I prefer Pathfinder's publishing to another retroclone heartbreaker riding the coattails of The Black Hack.

Liberty's Edge

First off one needs to ask the eternal question. Is it Bloat or is it gas.

Second to the op question not for very long imo. New material is needed as goodwill of the fanbase while a good commodity to have for a company. Is not a acceptable form of currency at banks. New books equals to bills and salaries being paid.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The bloat [more specifically a flood of drastically inferior options] is already there and can't be removed. For now the best one could hope for is a Compendium series of the best [most powerful or most flavorful revised to match up with the most powerful] feats, spells, magic items, classes and archetypes to produce a simplified resource pool for players.

Given Paizo's track record such a series would likely fail in its objective though, widening the power gap rather than shrinking it.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Headfirst wrote:

Here's a quick question for all the Pathfinder fans out there:

How long do you think Pathfinder (and Paizo) would stay in business if they stopped publishing "crunchy" rules material (races, classes, feats, spells, etc) and instead focused on "soft" material like expanded settings, modules, and adventure paths?

One simple rule to end 'bloat':

Stop buying stuff you don't want in your game.

Bloat is merely perception. One man's bloat are other peoples options. Don't want that many options in your game, simply don't use them.


My perception is the game is bloated when I'm unable to keep up with the amount of options being published.

We have reached that point.

I don't mind more options, the problem comes when they're releasing 10 books a year between Player Companion plus Ultimate X, Y Adventures, Advanced [Insert noun] Guide, and so on. I envy the people who have the kind of cash to drop on all those every year, because even though they're open content GOOD LUCK finding them on the SRD or Archives (and most aren't posted to the PRD at all).


I don't have a problem with bloat.

I don't buy material I don't intend to use.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I buy everything. I may not use everything in every game, but it is an interesting read most of the time and I can mix in different ideas and concepts into different campaigns.

It's all options and as has been mentioned above, you don't have to use it all, or buy it all. Do what is good for your table. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am not bloated! It's merely... gas is all.

Yeah, that's the ticket!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sundakan wrote:

My perception is the game is bloated when I'm unable to keep up with the amount of options being published.

We have reached that point.

I don't mind more options, the problem comes when they're releasing 10 books a year between Player Companion plus Ultimate X, Y Adventures, Advanced [Insert noun] Guide, and so on. I envy the people who have the kind of cash to drop on all those every year, because even though they're open content GOOD LUCK finding them on the SRD or Archives (and most aren't posted to the PRD at all).

Thing is, you don't need to keep up.


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

Here's a quick question for all the Pathfinder fans out there:

How long do you think Pathfinder (and Paizo) would stay in business if they stopped publishing "crunchy" rules material (races, classes, feats, spells, etc) and instead focused on "soft" material like expanded settings, modules, and adventure paths?

I think they'd stay in business in the foreseeable future. I think the company would need to seriously shrink though. Nonetheless, I think they would find a market even if they were just producing campaign settings, modules and APs. I'm not sure if you were counting Bestiaries and DM-focussed-crunch like Ultimate Campaign, Horror Adventures and so forth but even leaving those out I think there's enough of a market to keep...10-20 people employed (that was an indicative guess, of course).

It would be an odd decision though, in my mind. People who like PF tend to be on the 'lots of options' end of the spectrum, it seems to me. Although there's often griping about bloat, that's been happening pretty much since the second rulebook. I don't think it indicates a problem with the rules, so much as that a particular person has reached their own level of saturation.

People come in to the community, play for a while, then leave. I think we often mistake our own, personal impressions for trends in the marketplace. No matter what you think about bloat, there's someone who wants more than you and someone who wants less. None of us are really in a position to know what the most prevalent view is.


Zaister wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

My perception is the game is bloated when I'm unable to keep up with the amount of options being published.

We have reached that point.

I don't mind more options, the problem comes when they're releasing 10 books a year between Player Companion plus Ultimate X, Y Adventures, Advanced [Insert noun] Guide, and so on. I envy the people who have the kind of cash to drop on all those every year, because even though they're open content GOOD LUCK finding them on the SRD or Archives (and most aren't posted to the PRD at all).

Thing is, you don't need to keep up.

I also don't need to play this game in the first place, but that's not really relevant. It doesn't change the fact that I would prefer to be able to digest some of the existing options before new ones are dumped on my plate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I still don't have Ultimate Intrigue or Horror Adventures.

I don't feel like I'm missing out.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sundakan wrote:
I also don't need to play this game in the first place, but that's not really relevant. It doesn't change the fact that I would prefer to be able to digest some of the existing options before new ones are dumped on my plate.

Talk about first-world problems!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Literally every problem on this board is, what's your point?


Sundakan wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

My perception is the game is bloated when I'm unable to keep up with the amount of options being published.

We have reached that point.

I don't mind more options, the problem comes when they're releasing 10 books a year between Player Companion plus Ultimate X, Y Adventures, Advanced [Insert noun] Guide, and so on. I envy the people who have the kind of cash to drop on all those every year, because even though they're open content GOOD LUCK finding them on the SRD or Archives (and most aren't posted to the PRD at all).

Thing is, you don't need to keep up.
I also don't need to play this game in the first place, but that's not really relevant. It doesn't change the fact that I would prefer to be able to digest some of the existing options before new ones are dumped on my plate.

If you don't buy or use them, then they aren't on your plate.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Sundakan wrote:
Literally every problem on this board is, what's your point?

It was a joke, but now that you mention it...You don't have anything "dumped on your plate". As is stated many times above, you don't have to buy anything. You may as well complain about getting too many birthday presents.

There is a world of difference between having too much food dumped on your plate and watching the next several courses set on the table for you to enjoy at your leisure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sundakan was indicating (usefully, in my view) what it was that constitutes bloat in his opinion: It's not the amount of options it's the rate at which new options come out.

His point wasn't dependant on whether those options are forced on him - the 'dumped on the plate' thing was a metaphor/allegory. Let's not get lost in minutiae or quibble over wording - it's a useful perspective that isn't often expressed.

Grand Lodge

Gilfalas wrote:
Stop buying stuff you don't want in your game.

This is a very good point and definitely solves the bloat problem for your personal home games. However, bloat still rears its ugly head at conventions, in home games you don't personally run, and in Pathfinder Society.

To be clear, I know bloat is basically inevitable. What I'm looking at here is a way to keep Pathfinder alive and bursting with new content without watching it, like so many games before it, get suffocated under the weight of its own rules bloat.

So let me word this question another way: Would you play and continue to support a game system (let's say, for the sake of argument, it's as good as Pathfinder) that started with a really robust system with lots of customization options, but never added to those base rules? Instead, they would only publish campaign settings, adventures, monster manuals, and maybe novels?


Steve Geddes wrote:
Sundakan was indicating (usefully, in my view) what it was that constitutes bloat in his opinion: It's not the amount of options it's the rate at which new options come out.

Fair enough.

Steve Geddes wrote:
His point wasn't dependant on whether those options are forced on him - the 'dumped on the plate' thing was a metaphor/allegory. Let's not get lost in minutiae or quibble over wording

Wording is important. Sometimes we unintentionally convey things, but "dumped on my plate" rings clearly to me as a complaint, not a description of bloat. If it wasn't intended that way, then so be it.

Steve Geddes wrote:
- it's a useful perspective that isn't often expressed.

It is expressed all the time. I see this type of thread threads about bloat pop up a few times a month.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I would keep playing 3.5 if I could find a group that would. (Technically, I am, since Pathfinder is a d20 system.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Headfirst wrote:
So let me word this question another way: Would you play and continue to support a game system (let's say, for the sake of argument, it's as good as Pathfinder) that started with a really robust system with lots of customization options, but never added to those base rules? Instead, they would only publish campaign settings, adventures, monster manuals, and maybe novels?

I would. I think this model could sustain a company, but not one of fifty (?) employees.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zedth wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
- it's a useful perspective that isn't often expressed.
It is expressed all the time. I see this type of thread pop up a few times a month.

Yeah, but people generally focus on the volume of material as "bloat".

It's rare to focus on the rate of release as being what defines bloated.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zedth wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Let's not get lost in minutiae or quibble over wording
Wording is important.

I think it's nowhere near as important as RPG forums would lead one to think, personally.

In discussing people's preferences (as Sundakan was) I think focussing on tightly defined and clearly unambiguous words is a hindrance, not a help. Furthermore, I think we can end up searching one another's posts for perceived 'logical flaws' rather than just taking them in the way in which they are intended: "Here's what I like. Here's what I don't like."


Zedth wrote:


Wording is important. Sometimes we unintentionally convey things, but "dumped on my plate" rings clearly to me as a complaint, not a description of bloat. If it wasn't intended that way, then so be it.

It was intended as a complaint (I don't really like how fast things are getting made and released), but not really a harsh put-down of Paizo (when I do those it's usually pretty clear, but I've cut back on my quota there).

More a minor irritant I've noticed.

I could comment on how higher rate of release usually correlates to lower quality of product, but I can't do that in an informed manner since there's so much stuff I haven't bought, and it's not really relevant to this thread anyway.

Just my 2c on what bloat is and whether I think it's a problem. The former has been covered, I'll be clearer and say "Yes, I think it is" to the latter (but not a huge one).

This isn't really an issue I'm passionate enough to really argue with anyone about, just my opinion on the matter. It doesn't affect me hugely either way, I just REALLY like having all the options on the table and at the forefront of my mind when I make a new character (which is often, since I play a lot of PbP and it's hard to find one with a good lifespan). I find myself less and less able to do so (the Scaled Fist recently slapped me in the face slightly too late to actually use it, for example).

As for the original topic, I don't think it would result in closure in any sort of short term if they stopped or drastically slowed their publishing schedule for crunchy materials, but it would drastically slow growth most likely.

Grand Lodge

Sundakan wrote:
it would drastically slow growth most likely.

Well, let's think about that. Would it really be a bad thing? Maybe slowing down the pace a bit would add to the longevity of the product overall.


It would be a bad thing for Paizo's plans to branch out into other product lines. Starfinder, the Adventure Card Game, any video game deals they might have with Obsidian in the future, etc.

I personally would like to see those.


Headfirst wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
it would drastically slow growth most likely.
Well, let's think about that. Would it really be a bad thing? Maybe slowing down the pace a bit would add to the longevity of the product overall.

Longevity is not the only goal. Making a profit(increasingly) is also a goal of most companies, and not doing that can also end them faster. It can also restrict future options.

It could mean less money to expand into other areas, as an example.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Here is the most appropriate image to link whenever bloat is discussed.

Grand Lodge

Before this picks up any more steam, let's just assume that everyone here understands that businesses need to make money to stay open, okay?

The original question was whether or not non-crunchy material would be enough to keep Pathfinder afloat, not how long the game would last if the company shut off the lights, locked the doors, and never touched the product again.


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

I suspect that, were they to adopt a more flavor-intensive approach to output, it would include making things like the Campaign Setting even less crunch-dependant.

If you were to try to produce a set-and-forget ruleset and then focus on setting material, I think It'd make sense to have it system-neutral (although obviously totally consistent with your chosen ruleset). I suspect even adventures could be produced in this way, although I can't think of any attempts off the top of my head.


Headfirst wrote:

Before this picks up any more steam, let's just assume that everyone here understands that businesses need to make money to stay open, okay?

The original question was whether or not non-crunchy material would be enough to keep Pathfinder afloat, not how long the game would last if the company shut off the lights, locked the doors, and never touched the product again.

If you are only asking can they keep the doors open vs "can it be good for them and us", then I say it is possible, but they would go down in size by a good amount, and their customer base would not be the same.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I would keep playing 3.5 if I could find a group that would. (Technically, I am, since Pathfinder is a d20 system.)

Bloat was only part of the problem with 3.5

The problem in power inflation was far worse. While Pathfinder does suffer from this to some degree, it is nowhere near the levels found in 3.5

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I honestly don't see a difference in power levels.


Snowlilly wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I would keep playing 3.5 if I could find a group that would. (Technically, I am, since Pathfinder is a d20 system.)

Bloat was only part of the problem with 3.5

The problem in power inflation was far worse. While Pathfinder does suffer from this to some degree, it is nowhere near the levels found in 3.5

PF is worse in this regard.

'Power Inflation' can be a good thing if directed at the right classes/niches.

Dark Archive

Bloat?

By some people definition they should stop 3rd Parties from making material as well technically speaking. Having only Paizo making material for the game would cut down bloat, but people don't like that. They want their cherished Sphere's of Power, Path of War, whatever. All of that is bloat in some way. More and more options to choose from.

1 to 50 of 104 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Ending Bloat All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.