DMG & PHB?


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Grand Lodge

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Not for the Playtest, of course,
....But for GenCon 2019, is it feasible for Paizo to have both a Game Masters' Core Book and also a Players' Handbook?

The PHB could thus have the fourteen Classes that people are screaming for, adding not just the Alchemist but also the Witch and Magus.

And the DM's Core can have all the stuff needed for DMing.

This way, instead of one unwieldy book that's crammed to the rafters and still manages to be incomplete, we have two books. One that DMs buy (and some Players, like the Bestiary), and the other that everyone needs.

I obviously don't know the financial numbers but, it seems like the customers would like it....


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I would not like it.

I only have so much money at once.

Liberty's Edge

I highly doubt that Paizo will go back to three core books instead of two. It's much better for people getting into the game, both from a pricing perspective, and from the fact that a D&D style DMG almost always has rules that players also need to know, so putting those in the core rulebook is a better idea in general.

There will be plenty of stuff in the core book to keep people interested, especially when you consider that it's already been stated that you can play something similar to a Magus just with the base classes in the core book, and the flavor of a Witch can be approximated by a Wizard or even Cleric/Wizard for now. Splitting up important information and alienating customers by doubling the entry cost for the game isn't worth the ability to add two classes that don't really need to added yet anyway.


Id say move the GMG into the bestiary, except they cant because of the design decisions on monsters.

Liberty's Edge

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I like a separate GMG, as there's a lot that can fit into such a book: house rules/ optional rules, encounter building, expanded monster build rules, worldbuilding, and lots of advice on managing the table and being a good GM.

Plus magic items. I dislike having those in the player's book.

Liberty's Edge

captain yesterday wrote:

I would not like it.

I only have so much money at once.

It's doubtful they'll launch at the same time. A few months apart would be expected, like the Bestiary.

We are also talking about sometime between fifteen and twenty months away. Start save $3 a month right now ($1.50 per paycheque) and you'll have more than enough for the book.

Silver Crusade

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No thanks. I vastly prefer the one book for everything approach Paizo took.

Silver Crusade

Erik Mona has said in one of the interviews or podcasts that they're committed to having the Core Rulebook cover GMing (so no separate GM guide)

Grand Lodge

I was just curious; I really do think that Magus and Witch should be included as well as Alchemist, and that seemed like an obvious solution. But of course I have no idea what the numbers look like, production cost vs demand and time-table.

I do think everyone should have a PHB.

And I think it would be better if the PHB were smaller, simpler.

Thus I'm in favor of two books.

But it's not that big of a deal.


Boy, I'd love it if the GM material could get moved into another book. I hate having players knowing about all the magic items, and I'd also prefer a smaller player's book. I know it won't happen, but I'd totally be on board for the GM section/magic items getting moved into the first Bestiary (which would probably need another name).

Silver Crusade

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Yeah, because players can't look up all magic items online, since Pathfinder isn't open content. Oh, wait.


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Yolande d'Bar wrote:
Boy, I'd love it if the GM material could get moved into another book. I hate having players knowing about all the magic items, and I'd also prefer a smaller player's book. I know it won't happen, but I'd totally be on board for the GM section/magic items getting moved into the first Bestiary (which would probably need another name).

The main problem with doing that became apparent in our D&D 5E game, when players had received magic items but had not written down everything they needed to use the items (because they did not have the DMG long enough to do so).

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, because players can't look up all magic items online, since Pathfinder isn't open content. Oh, wait.

There's a difference.

Having it in the Core Rulebook puts it right at their fingertips and subtly encourages thinking of that material as "player options". There's no separation.

Having it in a separate book emphasizes that it's meant for GMs by default and they're granting access. And looking up items on your own is going behind your GM's back.


This sort of thing can be guided simply by way of layout. Put the magic items section after the Gamemastering chapter. *shrugs*

HOWEVER. I do want, in the first year or two, a book that basically combines the Gamemastery Guide, Ultimate Campaign, and relevant GM stuff / campaign subsystems from books like Ultimate Intrigue all into one book. Rewrite for clarity, efficiency, and relevance to the new rules system.

Silver Crusade

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Jester David wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, because players can't look up all magic items online, since Pathfinder isn't open content. Oh, wait.

There's a difference.

Having it in the Core Rulebook puts it right at their fingertips and subtly encourages thinking of that material as "player options". There's no separation.

Having it in a separate book emphasizes that it's meant for GMs by default and they're granting access. And looking up items on your own is going behind your GM's back.

None of my 20+ players have a Core Rulebook. They're all using PRD/d20pfsrd/AoN out of their phones. For them, the location of information is absolutely of no consequence. XXI century, baby!


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I do have a few players who bring the core rulebook (only) and never access data online.

Silver Crusade

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David knott 242 wrote:
I do have a few players who bring the core rulebook (only) and never access data online.

The dinosaurs did hang around for a while, that's true. But in the end, progress is inevitable. They will be assimilated.

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Having the Paizo crew work on an extra massive hardcover for the launch of the new edition does seem like an entertaining exercise in driving them insane...

However, I prefer having one big Core Rulebook, if only so I can keep unruly players in line by threatening to slame the book on their fingers.

If I'm 100% honest, having a third core rulebook serves as one of the minor reasons that I haven't bought into any of the latest editions of D&D. This is especially true because only about 10% of the content of the DM's Guide actually gets used at the table.

Given the choice, I'd much rather see a big Core Rulebook and a big Bestiary, with something akin to the GameMastery Guide (which is a book I do love, but rarely bring to the table) later down the line.


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Jester David wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

I would not like it.

I only have so much money at once.

It's doubtful they'll launch at the same time. A few months apart would be expected, like the Bestiary.

We are also talking about sometime between fifteen and twenty months away. Start save $3 a month right now ($1.50 per paycheque) and you'll have more than enough for the book.

Easier said then done with two kids, one of which is a teenager. :-)


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I too like the idea of having two separate books for players and GMs. I'm not attached enough to it to make a big deal of it, but I was surprised when I first read the CRB to see that it encompassed everything.


Thing is, 90% of the people who actually buy the CRB are GMs anyway. Players tend to access their material online.


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Having a separate CRB and GMG would be a huge step backwards. There is not and never has been a good reason to keep any of that information away from the players.

Grand Lodge

I would prefer a separate GMG for a few reasons:

  • Accessibility. It cuts down on the size and price of the CRB, making it more accessible to new players. A 350pg book is much more approachable than a 400+ one.
  • More room for great content! A separate GMG means more flavor text, diagrams (traps, maps, etc.), worldbuilding, scenario building, NPCs, etc. All the stuff I want access to and that I want to give Paizo $$$ for.
  • A better CRB experience. The CRB should be about the PC's experience and speak to the PC. I think the 1E CRB was a poorer book because it had to speak to both the PC and the GM. Multi-tools are convenient, but they are worse than single purpose tools. Similarly, the CRB will be better without the GM material so that it can focus on being a PC guide.

I don't buy the "obscurity argument" though. The best PCs I've played with have GMed before. Being a good GM isn't about owning the rules.

And again, Paizo makes their content available online for free, so if you're poor then you're fine. [Unless you're so poor that you can't even make it to a public library to get online, but that's a super edge case.]


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Well, not wanting to buy three books when I can buy two doesn't make me poor, I just have other things to spend the extra money on, especially with a teenager in the house.

Silver Crusade

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I hate having the GM rules in a separate book when I buy an RPG.
An RPG Core book to me, should tell you how to play AND how to run the game.

Frankly it bothers me that there aren't ANY monster stats in the core rulebook. Even if it was just a goblin, a skeleton, a wolf and an ogre so with the core rulebook alone you could get started playing a level one game.

Grand Lodge

captain yesterday wrote:
Well, not wanting to buy three books when I can buy two doesn't make me poor, I just have other things to spend the extra money on, especially with a teenager in the house.

Yes, but you aren't gated. You can still just buy two books and get the 3rd's information online. And it would probably make the CRB cheaper.

What I'm trying to say about accessibility is that getting people to play Pathfinder at all with a smaller introductory book is more important for Pathfinder than some convenience.

While there are a group of people like yourself who won't buy the GMG if it's separate, I believe you still get a lot because the CRB will be a better experience, the CRB will be cheaper, and the GMG material you get online will be more thorough.

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Hurká wrote:
What I'm trying to say about accessibility is that getting people to play Pathfinder at all with a smaller introductory book is more important for Pathfinder than some convenience.

Wouldn't that be the value of the Beginner Box, though?

Speaking of which, there totally needs to be a Beginner Box for this new edition. The original Beginner Box was the best thing since...ever.


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Gorbacz wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
I do have a few players who bring the core rulebook (only) and never access data online.
The dinosaurs did hang around for a while, that's true. But in the end, progress is inevitable. They will be assimilated.

The funny thing is that these "dinosaurs" are considerably younger than I am.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

This sort of thing can be guided simply by way of layout. Put the magic items section after the Gamemastering chapter. *shrugs*

HOWEVER. I do want, in the first year or two, a book that basically combines the Gamemastery Guide, Ultimate Campaign, and relevant GM stuff / campaign subsystems from books like Ultimate Intrigue all into one book. Rewrite for clarity, efficiency, and relevance to the new rules system.

You pretty much hit my three favorite PF1 hardcovers in that description (Ultimate Wilderness is up there too alongside Ultimate Intrigue). That sounds brilliant.

Liberty's Edge

Why no love for the Oracle? :(


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Gorbacz wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
I do have a few players who bring the core rulebook (only) and never access data online.
The dinosaurs did hang around for a while, that's true. But in the end, progress is inevitable. They will be assimilated.

You can take my books when you peel my cold, dead, proto-reptilian talons from around them.

Liberty's Edge

There’s certainly enough subsystems Pathfinder likes to use and might want to revise to fill a GMG style book.

Managing businesses, mass combat, downtime, fear, sanity & madness, corruption, and more, wilderness exploration/ hexcrawling, etc. Before getting into alternate rules.


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PF1 CRB: $49.99, 576 pages ($9.99 for PDF)
PF1 B1: $44.99, 320 pages ($9.99 for PDF)

Total cost: $94.98 (or $19.98 for PDF)
Total pages: 896
Cost per page: 10.6¢ (or 2.2¢ for PDF)

DND 5E PHB: $49.95, 320 pages (no PDF)
DND 5E DMG: $49.95, 320 pages (no PDF)
DND 5E MM: $49.95, 352 pages (no PDF)

Total cost: $149.85
Total pages: 992
Cost per page: 15.1¢

Purely from a value perspective, I'll take Paizo's business model in a heartbeat.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Thing is, 90% of the people who actually buy the CRB are GMs anyway. Players tend to access their material online.

Not in my experience. And definitely not at my table if you want to play there (having a basic understanding of the rules or gaining a basic understanding of the rules is necessary to game at my table. Considering the hours of entertainment it truly isn't *that* expensive to purchase a single book).


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Thing is, 90% of the people who actually buy the CRB are GMs anyway. Players tend to access their material online.
Not in my experience. And definitely not at my table if you want to play there (having a basic understanding of the rules or gaining a basic understanding of the rules is necessary to game at my table. Considering the hours of entertainment it truly isn't *that* expensive to purchase a single book).

This situation is probably an argument in favor of splitting the CRB up. A smaller PH would probably also be cheaper (unless you require players to be across the rules for experience rewards, weather tables and building encounters, etcetera).


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alientude wrote:

PF1 CRB: $49.99, 576 pages ($9.99 for PDF)

PF1 B1: $44.99, 320 pages ($9.99 for PDF)

Total cost: $94.98 (or $19.98 for PDF)
Total pages: 896
Cost per page: 10.6¢ (or 2.2¢ for PDF)

DND 5E PHB: $49.95, 320 pages (no PDF)
DND 5E DMG: $49.95, 320 pages (no PDF)
DND 5E MM: $49.95, 352 pages (no PDF)

Total cost: $149.85
Total pages: 992
Cost per page: 15.1¢

Purely from a value perspective, I'll take Paizo's business model in a heartbeat.

I'd prefer they charge appropriately and pay the staff more. RPGs always seem analogous to entry level, engineering college textbooks to me (in terms of layout/art requirements, scarcity of the technical knowledge required to write them and probable market size). I wish gamers were willing to pay similar prices.

Unfortunately, we've normalised RPGs as dirt cheap entertainment, which has the corollary of normalising RPGs as non-profitable businesses to work in.


Steve Geddes wrote:
This situation is probably an argument in favor of splitting the CRB up. A smaller PH would probably also be cheaper (unless you require players to be across the rules for experience rewards, weather tables and building encounters, etcetera).

Issue with the CRB is that it's kept at an artificially low pricepoint (at least for PF 1e) because it's an entry level product. If they reduce the page count it may not significantly lower the price of the product itself.

I'd have liked them to be split off for binding issues (I've gone through 2 CRBs before I just switched to PDF only). But if they have it sorted I do see value in a PHB+DMG combination.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
This situation is probably an argument in favor of splitting the CRB up. A smaller PH would probably also be cheaper (unless you require players to be across the rules for experience rewards, weather tables and building encounters, etcetera).
Issue with the CRB is that it's kept at an artificially low pricepoint (at least for PF 1e) because it's an entry level product. If they keep reduce the page count it may not significantly lower the price of the product itself.

I'm pretty sure the PH would also be a low-margin product. I'm sure it wouldn't be a linear reduction, but is it really useful to value one's RPG books on "cost/page"?

Even if the content dropped by 25% and the price by only 20% - the question is whether a $40 (432 page) PH with just what you need would serve players better than a $50 (576 page) CRB including stuff you don't.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Thing is, 90% of the people who actually buy the CRB are GMs anyway. Players tend to access their material online.
Not in my experience. And definitely not at my table if you want to play there (having a basic understanding of the rules or gaining a basic understanding of the rules is necessary to game at my table. Considering the hours of entertainment it truly isn't *that* expensive to purchase a single book).

Before you go criticizing people who don't own books you should try talking to us.

The only Pathfinder book I purchased (aside from a smattering of Adventure Paths) was the first printing CRB, whereas I GM'd 3.5 for years on the SRD, Dragon and Dungeon Magazine and DnD tools.

I'm really looking forward to having the disposable income to support PF2 if it comes out in a form that appeals to my gaming philosophy.


Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm pretty sure the PH would also be a low-margin product. I'm sure it wouldn't be a linear reduction, but is it really useful to value one's RPG books on "cost/page"?

I was mostly saying a small reduction in price for a significant reduction in content rather than a cost per page.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Even if the content dropped by 25% and the price by only 20% - the question is whether a $40 (432 page) PH with just what you need would serve players better than a $50 (576 page) CRB including stuff you don't.

Sure. And with the $10 everyone saves everyone could chip in and buy the DM the DMG (and thus no-one actually saves any money). On the other hand just because you're a player today doesn't mean you'll never become a GM in the future (my group plays with rotating GMs. Of a large group a small minority of us don't ever GM). So while you might save $10 today, you'll eventually end up paying the $40 in order to get access to the GMing material. Alternatively they can print an extra 100 pages and combine the two books and everyone pays $50 and end up saving $30.

I initially didn't like the Pathfinder model. But having played a few different types of RPGs now I do see value in the Core Rules format instead of the separate PHB and DMG books.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm pretty sure the PH would also be a low-margin product. I'm sure it wouldn't be a linear reduction, but is it really useful to value one's RPG books on "cost/page"?
I was mostly saying a small reduction in price for a significant reduction in content rather than a cost per page.

That's the same thing.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, because players can't look up all magic items online, since Pathfinder isn't open content. Oh, wait.

There's a difference.

Having it in the Core Rulebook puts it right at their fingertips and subtly encourages thinking of that material as "player options". There's no separation.

Having it in a separate book emphasizes that it's meant for GMs by default and they're granting access. And looking up items on your own is going behind your GM's back.

None of my 20+ players have a Core Rulebook. They're all using PRD/d20pfsrd/AoN out of their phones. For them, the location of information is absolutely of no consequence. XXI century, baby!

You have 20+ players wow your a much larger bad of holding then I thought.


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Handy Haversack of Hillarity wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, because players can't look up all magic items online, since Pathfinder isn't open content. Oh, wait.

There's a difference.

Having it in the Core Rulebook puts it right at their fingertips and subtly encourages thinking of that material as "player options". There's no separation.

Having it in a separate book emphasizes that it's meant for GMs by default and they're granting access. And looking up items on your own is going behind your GM's back.

None of my 20+ players have a Core Rulebook. They're all using PRD/d20pfsrd/AoN out of their phones. For them, the location of information is absolutely of no consequence. XXI century, baby!
You have 20+ players wow your a much larger bad of holding then I thought.

The thing is.... He's not a bag of holding, he's a bag of devouring. He eats them. That's why he got a lot.


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Elfteiroh wrote:
Handy Haversack of Hillarity wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, because players can't look up all magic items online, since Pathfinder isn't open content. Oh, wait.

There's a difference.

Having it in the Core Rulebook puts it right at their fingertips and subtly encourages thinking of that material as "player options". There's no separation.

Having it in a separate book emphasizes that it's meant for GMs by default and they're granting access. And looking up items on your own is going behind your GM's back.

None of my 20+ players have a Core Rulebook. They're all using PRD/d20pfsrd/AoN out of their phones. For them, the location of information is absolutely of no consequence. XXI century, baby!
You have 20+ players wow your a much larger bad of holding then I thought.
The thing is.... He's not a bag of holding, he's a bag of devouring. He eats them. That's why he got a lot.

Hmm seems like a sound strategy. I wonder if its to late to get teeth sewn in.


Steve Geddes wrote:
That's the same thing.

Here it is one more time as I don't understand the point you are making in the quoted text:

I don't see the value in losing a substantial part of the CRB for a minimal drop in price. This is not because I am married to some cost per page that I demand Paizo hold to. Instead I see value in having that extra chapter for a minimal price increase on the core rules assuming all other variables also hold true.

Happy to discuss this further if you have anything you still are unclear on or wish to question or challenge me on.


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No, I get that. I wasn’t responding to your point. I thought you were responding to mine. :)

The price/page or “not saving much by reducing the page count” was in relation to this bit:

Quote:
Issue with the CRB is that it's kept at an artificially low pricepoint (at least for PF 1e) because it's an entry level product. If they keep reduce the page count it may not significantly lower the price of the product itself.

The bolded would remain true for a PH/DMG model. The only difference would be cost/page (there’d be no missing material in core - people would just be able to opt-in or opt-out of the DM-ey bits). There would probably be more material in core, overall - certainly on my page numbers there would be. The DMG isn’t going to be 144 pages).

This is what I think the relevant point is( from above):

“the question is whether a $40 (432 page) PH with just what you need would serve players better than a $50 (576 page) CRB including stuff you don't.”


As I said I don't think saving $10 to lose all the DMG material is worth it. A DMG will likely cost. $40 so there is actually little savings. Also the second you have 2 or more rotating GMs in a group your paying more money as a collective. Everyone paying an extra $10 more and getting a DMG with their PHB is better as any of those players will have the DMing material they need if they ever decided to take a turn DMing.


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That's a definite upside - if I decide I want the DM stuff later, I've already got it. The corresponding downside is all the people stumping up for material they don't need and never use.

Also, by splitting the books you can get more material in core. So everyone who is paying the $80 is getting more material on that model than they would under the $50 megabook model.


Sure. You get more. But it's not like Paizo are going to say "well we couldn't cover it in the first book so we'll just never develop the material". There is always going to be more material you can optionally buy or not buy as desired (e.g. Only two of us ever got the PF1e GMG. Nothing was really lost for the GMs who didn't purchase it).


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Sure. You get more. But it's not like Paizo are going to say "well we couldn't cover it in the first book so we'll just never develop the material". There is always going to be more material you can optionally buy or not buy as desired (e.g. Only two of us ever got the PF1e GMG. Nothing was really lost for the GMs who didn't purchase it).

Yep. And splitting the DM and player books makes that granularity even finer.

I don't really understand this conversation. I'm not arguing for anything in particular as I'll bet you London to a brick the decision has been made to produce a CRB for PF2. Splitting them isn't on the radar, in my opinion. Nonetheless, there are pros and cons to both approaches. There isn't a right way to do it, just a way one would prefer it.

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