What should Paizo's product strategy be?


Product Discussion


The purpose of this thread is to provide feedback and suggestions as consumers with respect to Paizo's product direction.

Paizo is by far my most favorite RPG company, but after previously announcing an intent to wind down PF1 and with the creation of PF2 and now a survey on www.d20pfrpg.com, looks like we could all help Paizo by telling them what it is we would like to see them do and what it is that makes us buy Paizo products.


I've created another blog thread that covers this in more detail, but I think PF1 will benefit by freezing the existing rules set. Don't add more classes, for example. PF1 is already incredibly large. 5e DMs and players might say too large, but when you've played D&D as long as I have (started in the 80s), 5e becomes too plain vanilla.

PF1 lets you grow as either a GM or a player. 5e doesn't really seem to do that, but it has become, as D&D has frequently been, the gateway for most people into RPG.

Paizo should do a better job of leveraging that opportunity -- like they did with PF1 and 3.5e.

I am very glad to see all the innovation in PF2, but to me it seems maybe too far off the beaten path in a good way and a bad way. I'd favor taking some of the innovations learned in PF2 development and applying them to PF1 and cleaning it up a bit while maintaining compatiblity or easy conversion with the existing PF1.

Come out with more PF1 APs and modules -- but make them easier to GM. Use better formatting and breakout material to help the GM trying to quickly scan the material as players hammer him with things they want to do. Pages and pages of paragraphs are pretty difficult to GM. Don't do that. Do better with breaking out the material that should be directly presented to the players versus the secret GM stuff. Tell us basically this is for the players and this is just for you, the GM. I frequently find things that should be presented immediately to the players embedded deeply in GM text. Call out the section with the treasure by using a different background color and draw a box around it.

I am not really sure how PF2 will be received. I really don't have any plans for it, unless the market for it just explodes -- in which case, I'm in. Right now, if all things remain the same, I will just be a GM for PF1 -- and I currently have two groups that together have about 12 players now thanks to Discord and D20Pro.

I'm still convinced that Paizo would do well to come out with an edition based on the 5e OGL. Do to that and do it better than when they created PF1 based on the 3.5e OGL. Do it cleaner and keep the rules set a bit smaller and leverage Paizo's strengths by coming out with APs and modules.


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PF1 worked because it was organically grown over time from houserules that worked to make 3.5 even better. It’s hard to capture that kind of magic on purpose. But more importantly, it’s hard to make any money doing this without a robust and open system reference document. After 3.5, WotC cracked down on SRDs of later systems to make it much harder to repeat what Pathfinder did.


I should also add that supporting VTT products such as D20Pro (by far my favorite) and character builder products such as Hero Lab (the one I use) should also be core to Paizo's product strategy.

I was struggling to put together a Pathfinder group until I started using Discord to find my players, D20Pro for my VTT, and Hero Lab's encounter library and encounter builder.

With D20Pro importing my NPCs from Hero Lab, I was able to build the entire Iron Gods Part 2 AP into an online VTT (virtual tabletop) adventure complete with all the encounters layed out on the maps in about 3 hours. Astonishing!

I now have a group of 14 players, who each play in one or the other of my two campaigns. I could not be happier! Thank you, Paizo!


Is there enough momentum forming behind PF2 or is it zapping Paizo's energy?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What are you trying to do with this thread?


What survey? I think your site address in the first post is wrong.


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I would be satisfied with Paizo froze the P1 ruleset, except for FAQs and errata. FAQs and errata are badly needed in a lot of areas and there has been zero support lately.

I see little reason Paizo could not publish future APs across multiple systems: P1, P2, 5E, S&W, etc. Smaller publishers already do so and having a steady supply of new adventures would extend the product life for their existing rules plus provide a fallback in case PF2 does not do well.

Push products for VTT usage. Electronic media is only becoming more popular and a lot of people who might be otherwise content with using AoN will pay for the convenience of not having to do their own data entry.

There are a lot of directions Paizo can go; phasing out everything else (i.e. burning bridges) for the sake of pushing PF2 is likely not the best direction.


Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

The purpose of this thread is to provide feedback and suggestions as consumers with respect to Paizo's product direction.

Paizo is by far my most favorite RPG company, but after previously announcing an intent to wind down PF1 and with the creation of PF2 and now a survey on www.d20pfrpg.com, looks like we could all help Paizo by telling them what it is we would like to see them do and what it is that makes us buy Paizo products.

Sorry, yes, as someone mentioned my URL was wrong -- I mostly use the PDFs and I'm trying to get better at using that website. It should be https://www.d20pfsrd.com/.


Darkbridger wrote:
What survey? I think your site address in the first post is wrong.

You're right. I replied with the corrected URL. They might be done with the survey. I'm not sure. I took it, and, so, it might not show for me anymore.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:

I would be satisfied with Paizo froze the P1 ruleset, except for FAQs and errata. FAQs and errata are badly needed in a lot of areas and there has been zero support lately.

I see little reason Paizo could not publish future APs across multiple systems: P1, P2, 5E, S&W, etc. Smaller publishers already do so and having a steady supply of new adventures would extend the product life for their existing rules plus provide a fallback in case PF2 does not do well.

Push products for VTT usage. Electronic media is only becoming more popular and a lot of people who might be otherwise content with using AoN will pay for the convenience of not having to do their own data entry.

There are a lot of directions Paizo can go; phasing out everything else (i.e. burning bridges) for the sake of pushing PF2 is likely not the best direction.

Yes, exactly. I agree with you 100%.


Melkiador wrote:
PF1 worked because it was organically grown over time from houserules that worked to make 3.5 even better. It’s hard to capture that kind of magic on purpose. But more importantly, it’s hard to make any money doing this without a robust and open system reference document. After 3.5, WotC cracked down on SRDs of later systems to make it much harder to repeat what Pathfinder did.

What type of restriction did WotC use for later systems to make things harder for Paizo?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

The purpose of this thread is to provide feedback and suggestions as consumers with respect to Paizo's product direction.

Paizo is by far my most favorite RPG company, but after previously announcing an intent to wind down PF1 and with the creation of PF2 and now a survey on www.d20pfrpg.com, looks like we could all help Paizo by telling them what it is we would like to see them do and what it is that makes us buy Paizo products.

Sorry, yes, as someone mentioned my URL was wrong -- I mostly use the PDFs and I'm trying to get better at using that website. It should be https://www.d20pfsrd.com/.

d20pfsrd.com is not a Paizo site but a fan site. Any survey taken there (probably this one, I'm guessing?) isn't Paizo looking for feedback but the people running the website. Paizo is using their own surveys for feedback on the playtest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Push products for VTT usage. Electronic media is only becoming more popular and a lot of people who might be otherwise content with using AoN will pay for the convenience of not having to do their own data entry.

Paizo already has partnerships with Fantasy Grounds and Roll20.


Joana wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Push products for VTT usage. Electronic media is only becoming more popular and a lot of people who might be otherwise content with using AoN will pay for the convenience of not having to do their own data entry.
Paizo already has partnerships with Fantasy Grounds and Roll20.

Going forward into the future with APs for both P1 and P2.

Dark Archive

I am fairly skeptical that they can capture lightening in a bottle twice. I haven't heard much about Starfinder lately, so I am not sure if that can be considered a success or not. Not as successful as they would have liked is my guess. Pathfinder Kingmaker is a good PC game, albeit extremely buggy. That probably won't bring too many new players either. I think the big problem is that they put out way too many source books, AP's and the like that there must be decades of games to run and they are going to have a hard time getting people to switch over from PF1. I think their best chance of success will be to convince lots of people, and in a short time frame, that PF2 is head and shoulders better than PF1. Converting Pathfinder Society to PF2 should definitely be implemented on day 1.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Joana wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Push products for VTT usage. Electronic media is only becoming more popular and a lot of people who might be otherwise content with using AoN will pay for the convenience of not having to do their own data entry.
Paizo already has partnerships with Fantasy Grounds and Roll20.
Going forward into the future with APs for both P1 and P2.

Well, yeah, that's what I meant. The partnerships are in place and aren't ending, AFAIK. (Heck, the Roll20 one was announced not long before the playtest went live, and both were negotiated when Paizo already knew they would be switching editions in the near future.)

Both businesses have said that there are more old APs in the pipeline, so there are already more P1e products on the way. I would be shocked if the licensing agreement didn't heavily focus on the New Shinies as they come out as well, and those are going to be P2e next year.

Dajur wrote:
Converting Pathfinder Society to PF2 should definitely be implemented on day 1.

I'm 100% sure that P2e Society scenarios will be released at GenCon 2019 with the new edition, although Paizo has also announced that P1e Society games can keep running, even though there won't be any new scenarios released.


Joana wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Joana wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Push products for VTT usage. Electronic media is only becoming more popular and a lot of people who might be otherwise content with using AoN will pay for the convenience of not having to do their own data entry.
Paizo already has partnerships with Fantasy Grounds and Roll20.
Going forward into the future with APs for both P1 and P2.

Well, yeah, that's what I meant. The partnerships are in place and aren't ending, AFAIK. (Heck, the Roll20 one was announced not long before the playtest went live, and both were negotiated when Paizo already knew they would be switching editions in the near future.)

Both businesses have said that there are more old APs in the pipeline, so there are already more P1e products on the way. I would be shocked if the licensing agreement didn't heavily focus on the New Shinies as they come out as well, and those are going to be P2e next year.

Dajur wrote:
Converting Pathfinder Society to PF2 should definitely be implemented on day 1.
I'm 100% sure that P2e Society scenarios will be released at GenCon 2019 with the new edition, although Paizo has also announced that P1e Society games can keep running, even though there won't be any new scenarios released.

Lack of new P1 scenarios will effectively gut P1 society play.


I can't see Paizo simultaneously publishing PF1e and PF2e products.

From a business perspective it makes more sense to persuade as many PF1 players to switch to the new system as possible, so that sales per product for future APs and other books remain at or near the same level.

If they split their customer base in half then surely each product they release will be less profitable. No?

I am curious if any of my huge collection of PF1 stuff will increase in value with the end of the system. With nostalgia some out of print things end up as collectibles and people pay more for them.


Jeven wrote:

I can't see Paizo simultaneously publishing PF1e and PF2e products.

From a business perspective it makes more sense to persuade as many PF1 players to switch to the new system as possible, so that sales per product for future APs and other books remain at or near the same level.

If they split their customer base in half then surely each product they release will be less profitable. No?

I am curious if any of my huge collection of PF1 stuff will increase in value with the end of the system. With nostalgia some out of print things end up as collectibles and people pay more for them.

What will they do if half of their customer base switches to 5E or just sticks with the decades worth of content they already have for P1?

Instead of splitting sales between two editions, they simply lose the customers.


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:

What will they do if half of their customer base switches to 5E or just sticks with the decades worth of content they already have for P1?

Instead of splitting sales between two editions, they simply lose the customers.

I agree with you completely.

However they have decided to make a new edition so, for that to be a success, their strategy must be to convert their existing customer base to the new system.

Personally I think they have taken a huge risk. A safer bet would have been a new "backward compatible" edition. That would have cleared the bloat issue in the sense that the 1E products were no longer official for the new version without closing the door to those who wanted to still use them.

I believe Paizo hopes that fans of Golarion and the APs will help drive the conversion to the new system. It might or it might not.


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It doesn't have to be 5E that takes players either. Players could go to many other game systems, or maybe quit the style of gaming entirely.

What I suspect will actually happen is that Paizo will try PF2 for a year and then start rolling out "Pathfinder Classic".


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Jeven wrote:
Personally I think they have taken a huge risk. A safer bet would have been a new "backward compatible" edition. That would have cleared the bloat issue in the sense that the 1E products were no longer official for the new version without closing the door to those who wanted to still use them.

I would have been much more likely to support a backward compatible edition. At the very least, I would have continued purchasing APs.

Melkiador wrote:
What I suspect will actually happen is that Paizo will try PF2 for a year and then start rolling out "Pathfinder Classic".

If by "Classic" they mean a cleaned up version of P1 that incorporates FAQs, Errata and blog entries, I would be on board. My core rulebook has seen better days and has never been errata'd


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
What I suspect will actually happen is that Paizo will try PF2 for a year and then start rolling out "Pathfinder Classic".

I don't think there's any chance of that. If the market for 3.5e-derived Pathfinder (which I like to refer to as... "Pathfinder") isn't sufficient for the company today, then it won't be sufficient two years from now, three years after announcing Pathfinder's retirement.

The gamble has been made, and Paizo's analysis of the situation convinces them this is the best long-term strategy. Hopefully they're right.

If they're not, at best you'll see a PF3. Note that WotC didn't revert back to 3.5e when the uptake of 4e was found to be insufficient. Instead they revisited the market and invented 5e.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:

It doesn't have to be 5E that takes players either. Players could go to many other game systems, or maybe quit the style of gaming entirely.

What I suspect will actually happen is that Paizo will try PF2 for a year and then start rolling out "Pathfinder Classic".

Oh, I think PF2 will be strong out of the gate, even if the game isn't great. It took D&D 4E 4 years before WotC gave up on it. Granted Pathfinder isn't as big as D&D by any means, but it's big enough that it likely can't turn that quickly unless PF2 is an epic failure out of the gate - which it almost certainly won't be as Pathfinder has acquired many fans over the last decade that would likely give it a shot (or purchase) sight unseen.


Oh, I'm pretty sure the core book will sell a lot of copies regardless, but what's really telling is what else sells. Will the APs and splat books sell? I doubt core books even make much money. They are hundreds of pages and cost around $60. The PDFs of them are only 10 dollars and the PRD has all their rules, so they are basically giving them away. APs and splat books are much fewer pages and still $15 to $25. That's where the good money is.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
PF1 worked because it was organically grown over time from houserules that worked to make 3.5 even better. It’s hard to capture that kind of magic on purpose. But more importantly, it’s hard to make any money doing this without a robust and open system reference document. After 3.5, WotC cracked down on SRDs of later systems to make it much harder to repeat what Pathfinder did.
What type of restriction did WotC use for later systems to make things harder for Paizo?

They did not open up 4e under the OGL at all, and the 5e basic rules are seriously incomplete relative to the full PHB.

Of course, since Paizo built their first game as a 3e variant, they probably weren't very interested in using those rules (although the closure of 4e definitely helped the success of Pathfinder 1e for both Paizo and the 3rd party creators who were freer to create content for Pathfinder than for D&D 4e).


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I find it difficult to offer any advice to the company on direction, despite realizing (as of now) that I will not be a customer of PF2. I am currently embroiled in running War for the Crown for a small group, which started before PF2 was announced. I did download and read the first playtest documents. That brief appraisal is unfair to Paizo and their product, but it is all I have time for. Things might change before next year when the first products start appearing.

They aren't losing me entirely as a customer, as I will be buying up PDFs of products that I only have physical copies of due to not being a subscriber for a large part of the life of PF1.

I can contrast my reactions in a "then and now" sort of frame. When the original Rise of the Runelords was released, my 3.5 gaming was waning, for a variety of reasons. Upon reading the first adventure, I realized I wanted to run it, despite some of the issues I had with 3.5 at the time. As expected it was a huge success for the group that I took through it. Curse of the Crimson Throne was even better.

After reading through the playtest documents when they released, I realized I wouldn't want to play the game even knowing the adventures will still probably be the same quality. As before, with 3.5, this is for a variety of reasons that I won't go into. With no playtesting, it feels disingenuous for me to provide feedback or fill out a survey, so I haven't done that.

No product strategy is going to change the above. Expecting the company to continue to support PF1 is being blind to the resource reality of the company as a whole. Starfinder is not supported at the same rate as Pathfinder, and there is no way (barring a significant employment surge) they can support a third product line. If they can replace me as a customer in PF2, then I won't be missed. If they can replace me with two new customers, so much the better (and my opinion of PF2 flat out does not matter at that point). If they can do that on a large enough scale, then PF2 will certainly be successful. In all honesty, I hope this happens, because I'm rooting for them to beat out WotC eventually whether I am a customer or not.

Biggest PF1 regret: Not getting Second Darkness and Legacy of Fire reworked/reprinted.


Darkbridger wrote:

After reading through the playtest documents when they released, I realized I wouldn't want to play the game even knowing the adventures will still probably be the same quality ...

No product strategy is going to change the above. Expecting the company to continue to support PF1 is being blind to the resource reality of the company as a whole. Starfinder is not supported at the same rate as Pathfinder, and there is no way (barring a significant employment surge) they can support a third product line. If they can replace me as a customer in PF2, then I won't be missed. If they can replace me with two new customers, so much the better (and my opinion of PF2 flat out does not matter at that point). If they can do that on a large enough scale, then PF2 will certainly be successful.

I think it's useful for Paizo to hear this. You may be just one person but you still represent the opinions of a proportion of the customer base. How much, of course, is debatable -- that is for Paizo to ascertain.

But for the sake of argument, let's assume you represent a sizeable and irreplaceable segment of Paizo's customer base:
1. What, if anything, would make you eventually decide to switch to PF2? (In general terms.)
2. If PF2 proves a bust, and Paizo resurrected PF1, would you buy back into it? (Perhaps helpful for Paizo's contingency planning.)


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I think in the end I didn’t like that almost everything in PF2 is a feat. It makes the classes feel too samey. It reminds me a lot of some of the unpopular parts of 4th edition. And I seriously don’t like where they are heading with the class independent archetypes, again tied to the feats. Archetypes are one of the best things about PF1 and it feels like they are turning their backs on it.

So I don’t see myself ever moving to it. But if they went back to PF1, I’d probably try some of that. And if they try again with a 3rd version, I’d want to check that out, but who know what that would be like.


Dajur wrote:
I am fairly skeptical that they can capture lightening in a bottle twice. I haven't heard much about Starfinder lately, so I am not sure if that can be considered a success or not. Not as successful as they would have liked is my guess. Pathfinder Kingmaker is a good PC game, albeit extremely buggy. That probably won't bring too many new players either. I think the big problem is that they put out way too many source books, AP's and the like that there must be decades of games to run and they are going to have a hard time getting people to switch over from PF1. I think their best chance of success will be to convince lots of people, and in a short time frame, that PF2 is head and shoulders better than PF1. Converting Pathfinder Society to PF2 should definitely be implemented on day 1.

Yes, the too many source books issue I think is both a problem -- though oddly it makes Pathfinder both a lot more difficult and a lot more exciting to GM. I think PF1 will only be helped if they really do stop making source books. I am, though, very much in favor of their continuing to make both APs and modules.


Joana wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Push products for VTT usage. Electronic media is only becoming more popular and a lot of people who might be otherwise content with using AoN will pay for the convenience of not having to do their own data entry.
Paizo already has partnerships with Fantasy Grounds and Roll20.

What do other GMs think about Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds? I tried both and felt D20Pro was a better GM experience. Maptool also looks promising.


Dajur wrote:
I am fairly skeptical that they can capture lightening in a bottle twice. I haven't heard much about Starfinder lately, so I am not sure if that can be considered a success or not. Not as successful as they would have liked is my guess. Pathfinder Kingmaker is a good PC game, albeit extremely buggy. That probably won't bring too many new players either. I think the big problem is that they put out way too many source books, AP's and the like that there must be decades of games to run and they are going to have a hard time getting people to switch over from PF1. I think their best chance of success will be to convince lots of people, and in a short time frame, that PF2 is head and shoulders better than PF1. Converting Pathfinder Society to PF2 should definitely be implemented on day 1.

PF2 has the potential to be heads and shoulders better. I've seen lots of things I like in PF2, but the problem is there's also a lot I don't like about it that as far as I know isn't going away -- so I'm likely to stay with PF1 as long as I can.


Jeven wrote:

I can't see Paizo simultaneously publishing PF1e and PF2e products.

From a business perspective it makes more sense to persuade as many PF1 players to switch to the new system as possible, so that sales per product for future APs and other books remain at or near the same level.

If they split their customer base in half then surely each product they release will be less profitable. No?

I am curious if any of my huge collection of PF1 stuff will increase in value with the end of the system. With nostalgia some out of print things end up as collectibles and people pay more for them.

That's the basic problem with diverging so much from PF1 in PF2. Invariably, it will split the fan base. Only hope is that PF2 is so much better that its fan base grows regardless. Freezing the possibly too voluminous PF1 might actually help it grow to -- I chatted with another GM who is excited that adding new books has finally ended and is, now, coming back to play.


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Jeven wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:

What will they do if half of their customer base switches to 5E or just sticks with the decades worth of content they already have for P1?

Instead of splitting sales between two editions, they simply lose the customers.

I agree with you completely.

However they have decided to make a new edition so, for that to be a success, their strategy must be to convert their existing customer base to the new system.

Personally I think they have taken a huge risk. A safer bet would have been a new "backward compatible" edition. That would have cleared the bloat issue in the sense that the 1E products were no longer official for the new version without closing the door to those who wanted to still use them.

I believe Paizo hopes that fans of Golarion and the APs will help drive the conversion to the new system. It might or it might not.

Yes,I completely agree. I would love to see a backward compatible edition that would clear up the most common gripes about PF1 and possibly introduce some things being done in PF2 like crit fails and crit success for spells and better, clearer stat blocks that require less cross referencing.


Jeven wrote:
Darkbridger wrote:

After reading through the playtest documents when they released, I realized I wouldn't want to play the game even knowing the adventures will still probably be the same quality ...

No product strategy is going to change the above. Expecting the company to continue to support PF1 is being blind to the resource reality of the company as a whole. Starfinder is not supported at the same rate as Pathfinder, and there is no way (barring a significant employment surge) they can support a third product line. If they can replace me as a customer in PF2, then I won't be missed. If they can replace me with two new customers, so much the better (and my opinion of PF2 flat out does not matter at that point). If they can do that on a large enough scale, then PF2 will certainly be successful.

I think it's useful for Paizo to hear this. You may be just one person but you still represent the opinions of a proportion of the customer base. How much, of course, is debatable -- that is for Paizo to ascertain.

But for the sake of argument, let's assume you represent a sizeable and irreplaceable segment of Paizo's customer base:
1. What, if anything, would make you eventually decide to switch to PF2? (In general terms.)
2. If PF2 proves a bust, and Paizo resurrected PF1, would you buy back into it? (Perhaps helpful for Paizo's contingency planning.)

I, personally, will be playing PF1 as long as I can find a group of players to GM for. Right now, I run two PF1 groups with a total of 11 active players. I will continue to periodically buy PF1 material as long as it is available. I will look at PF2 with curiosity -- but I have a lot of money invested in PF1 and don't see it as being well used in a PF2 campaign.


How do you play -- in-person or with a VTT (virtual tabletop)?

Are you a player or GM?

If you play in-person, what types of maps and pawns do you use? Are they accurate for the adventure and encounters?

If you play with a VTT, which one(s) do you use and what do you like or dislike about them?

What method did you use to find your group? Go to a game store? Online? Through friends?

I am a GM, and I use D20Pro (a VTT) with Hero Lab to put together and run my games. A while ago I was doing it in-person with printed pawns and maps (using cheap printer ink). I changed because it was easier to find people in Discord on the Pathfinder RPG server.

For VTTs, I really like D20Pro and, though I haven't tried it, Maptool looks very impressive. They make building maps in conjunction with Hero Lab's Encounter Builder and Encounter Library absolutely fun.


Given all the changes in PF2 that are likely to affect Starfinder, are players and GMs in that community concerned that the eventual future edition of Starfinder won't work well with all the materials you're buying today? Have you changed your shopping habits like possibly some of the people in the PF1 community?

I, for one, slowed down on PF1 purchases for a while -- but am now undeterred ever since I finally found a large community of PF1 players available for my games.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Given all the changes in PF2 that are likely to affect Starfinder, are players and GMs in that community concerned that the eventual future edition of Starfinder won't work well with all the materials you're buying today?

I highly doubt they're gonna push out a new edition of a system less than 2 years old right pushing out a new edition of their other system.


Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

How do you play -- in-person or with a VTT (virtual tabletop)?

Are you a player or GM?

If you play in-person, what types of maps and pawns do you use? Are they accurate for the adventure and encounters?

If you play with a VTT, which one(s) do you use and what do you like or dislike about them?

What method did you use to find your group? Go to a game store? Online? Through friends?

I run two local games with friends I met through a Meetup group a few years ago.

I also use Roll20 to run a game for my oldest daughter and her friends in a different state.


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Jeven wrote:
Darkbridger wrote:

After reading through the playtest documents when they released, I realized I wouldn't want to play the game even knowing the adventures will still probably be the same quality ...

No product strategy is going to change the above. Expecting the company to continue to support PF1 is being blind to the resource reality of the company as a whole. Starfinder is not supported at the same rate as Pathfinder, and there is no way (barring a significant employment surge) they can support a third product line. If they can replace me as a customer in PF2, then I won't be missed. If they can replace me with two new customers, so much the better (and my opinion of PF2 flat out does not matter at that point). If they can do that on a large enough scale, then PF2 will certainly be successful.

I think it's useful for Paizo to hear this. You may be just one person but you still represent the opinions of a proportion of the customer base. How much, of course, is debatable -- that is for Paizo to ascertain.

But for the sake of argument, let's assume you represent a sizeable and irreplaceable segment of Paizo's customer base:
1. What, if anything, would make you eventually decide to switch to PF2? (In general terms.)
2. If PF2 proves a bust, and Paizo resurrected PF1, would you buy back into it? (Perhaps helpful for Paizo's contingency planning.)

Answering the easier one first...

2. Yes, I probably would as I have a small group that likes 1e and they are new to it.

Now...
1. This will be a difficult hill to climb. There were a lot of things in the playtest that immediately evoked a negative reaction.

I am fully aware of the age and warts of 1e. But this is a significant departure. While I appreciate their claims to find a middle ground between easier to run and option rich, the playtest simply does not serve to illustrate this. One of the great and terrible things of 1e (and 3.5 before it) was the sheer number of options. Sure, only 15-20% (completely made up debatable number) of them are considered "good", but if you wanted a lower power campaign you could reign in that 20% and makes things a bit more equitable. 2e seems to have thrown out the 80% and left us with 2 good options and 8 bad ones. The disparity just became painfully more obvious.

Also, there are things in 2e that seemed to be done for a rules or balance reason that don't hold up against the "realism" of the game, such as racial abilities spread out over twenty levels. The aforementioned "everything is a feat" thing is mind boggling to me... it waters down everything, regardless of formatting them as "<Race/Class/General/Magic/Etc> Feat".

And now I'm about to be overly (unfairly?) critical of Paizo...

A lot of the things presented in the playtest seem to be creatively lacking. For example, instead of looking for reasons to make playing a Fighter interesting, we've instead been given a Fighter who gets to keep all the toys everyone else previously got to make use of. Great for the Fighter I guess, but its outright terrible for any existing 1e customer that liked building Fighter-y non-Fighters in 1e. 1e may have been a rehashing of 3.5, but I guess I was hoping for newer and better, rather than what we got. I don't find it likely that this sort of thing can be course-corrected at this point. <shrug> As an aside, the 2e archetype thing I feel *is* creative, or would have been if it existed alongside the normal archetypes from 1e. I can envision a lot of class-agnostic archetypes that would fit 1e and would serve the system better than prestige classes. But I consider that an addition brought in by the Starfinder work.

I know that Paizo tends to over tune prior to finalizing something. But even if some of these dials drift back toward recognizable territory, I don't think it will be far enough back to recapture my interest. I will pick up the final product and make my decision then. At current pace, my WftC game won't be done until late 2019-early 2020 unless we move the game to a VTT, so at best I won't even have an opportunity to play until mid-2020.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I tried playtesting PF2, and tried so hard to 'make' myself like it that I was getting sick from the stress I was putting on myself.

My non-negotiable to participate in PF2: return to the higher power and higher magic of PF1. (I think that PF1 at about level 15 is the most fun I've ever had with any RPG or board game)

My other big problem: lack of any actual multiclassing.


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Paizo (presumably) already has folks that are more qualified to answer the topic question than me, so I have nothing to offer there. What I'd like Paizo to do isn't necessarily the same thing as what would keep its player base happy, and neither are necessarily the same thing as what would keep Paizo solvent.

Paizo made their choice--throw out all of the old rules and content and make something new that may or may not appeal to enough 5E players to make up for any existing Pathfinder players they alienate in the process. It's an all or nothing gambit. It's not what I'd like them to do, but that's all I can really say about it. If I don't like their new product at its root, there's nothing I can say that will influence them in any way. This was clear as soon as they announced it.

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