Have they got rid of +level to everything yet?


Second Edition

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Obvious how to do it. Not nearly so obvious what the consequences are and how the balance changes.

It should be pretty safe to do this though, since everything with a proficiency modifier is opposed by something else with one (Attack vs. AC, Skill v. Skill DC, Spell DC vs. Saves, etc.).

So the only thing that will happen with slower progression is "a wider range of levels are appropriate threats" whereas with faster progression you would have a narrower range.

Like you could add 100,000,000xLevel and it would be fine provided you only fight antagonists of your own level (anything higher would kill you instantly, and anything lower would be no threat.)

Faster progression also gives you more ability to fine tune your opposition. If at Level 9 players are stomping Level 10 baddies, you can try level 11 and it's steadily 5% harder, similarly if they are struggling you can tune it down. Wasn't as true in PF1 where CR was much less predictable an indicator of threat so its good to have bad guys who are closer to the expected danger level.

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HidaOWin wrote:

Just for clarities sake as I've been accused of trying to gatekeep RPGs and hating newbies, I don't care a bit who plays what game, let anyone play any game they like.

What I don't want is for any game to cargo cult 5Es design decisions in the hope it'll lead to a vastly bigger audience because I don't think it will and I don't think 5E is a terribly good RPG. 5E was the right game at the right time, but then so was Settlers of Catan which helped launch the boardgame revolution which has thankfully steadily increased the quality of boardgames to the point that Settlers is a very mediocre game in comparison to more recent offerings.

Basically I don't want retrograde steps and copying the current big game only works if you can outdo the current big game in prominence. I'd also like RPG design to keep advancing and improving.

> be a fan of D&D/Pathfinder, the most conservative RPG game design in existence which, in 2019, continues to ignore 90% of advancements in RPG design that came in since 1978

> talk about advancing and improving design

Choose one.


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HidaOWin wrote:
Just for clarities sake as I've been accused of trying to gatekeep RPGs and hating newbies, I don't care a bit who plays what game, let anyone play any game they like.

I never said you hated the newbies, just that your language choices continually strive to make a clear distinction that THEY are separate from US.

Quote:
5E was the right game at the right time, but then so was Settlers of Catan which helped launch the boardgame revolution which has thankfully steadily increased the quality of boardgames to the point that Settlers is a very mediocre game in comparison to more recent offerings.

Yes and recent offerings had 24 years to advance game theory and design aesthetics to improve upon Catan

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Basically I don't want retrograde steps and copying the current big game only works if you can outdo the current big game in prominence.

Creating a 2nd edition with low barrier to entry isn't "copying the current big game" nor is it a retrograde step.

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I'd also like RPG design to keep advancing and improving.

That's kind of funny since your argument has largely been that Pathfinder should avoid the pitfalls of hewing too far away from it's current state.

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Gorbacz wrote:

> be a fan of D&D/Pathfinder, the most conservative RPG game design in existence which, in 2019, continues to ignore 90% of advancements in RPG design that came in since 1978
> talk about advancing and improving design

Choose one.

I enjoy aspects of Pathfinder 1e's design even if its not my favourite RPG, which is why I was such a fan of the bold steps taken in the Playtest, a genuine effort is being made to balance and improve the game. I think that should be encouraged and a retreat back towards 5E is not how I'd go.

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dirtypool wrote:

I never said you hated the newbies, just that your language choices continually strive to make a clear distinction that THEY are separate from US.

I will be even clearer then. I don't consider the origin of RPG players relevant whatsoever. People can play whatever they want with whoever they want. I've never implied I have a problem with any type of RPG player because I don't.

Quote:


That's kind of funny since your argument has largely been that Pathfinder should avoid the pitfalls of hewing too far away from it's current state.

I'm a big fan of the current direction of the playtest and moving away from many of the current issues with Pathfinder. I literally just do not want the game to try and emulate 5Es decisions as I feel that's moving in the wrong direction.


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HidaOWin wrote:
I will be even clearer then. I don't consider the origin of RPG players relevant whatsoever. People can play whatever they want with whoever they want. I've never implied I have a problem with any type of RPG player because I don't.

Then what was the point about pushing up your glasses and making sure we all knew that the success of 5E wasn't about it's design but about the fact that it appealed to a different type of player who watches games get played but doesn't play them?

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I'm a big fan of the current direction of the playtest and moving away from many of the current issues with Pathfinder. I literally just do not want the game to try and emulate 5Es decisions as I feel that's moving in the wrong direction.

Then again what was the point of wading into this conversation which, ostensibly, was about the current playtest iteration's low barrier to entry compared with 5E's low barrier to entry with a dash of sales talk thrown in? No one was arguing that the PF2 should throw the baby out with the bathwater and become a 5E clone. You invented that notion whole cloth.

Did you just throw in to argue for arguments sake?


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masda_gib wrote:
I don't know how big that influence really is - all I can see is that big surge of people starting to play and liking that podcast.

Critical Role (not VM or M9 but the same channel) also play other RPGs. IIRC Monster of the Week was one of them. It had at the time been out for six years, and had sold decently for an indie. When Critical Role played it the company that sells it says they sold as many copies in the next three months as they'd sold in the six previous years.

That's how significant Critical Role can be.

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dirtypool wrote:


Then what was the point about pushing up your glasses and making sure we all knew that the success of 5E wasn't about it's design but about the fact that it appealed to a different type of player who watches games get played but doesn't play them?

Because I don't like 5Es design and I think attributing its success to its design rather than it reaching a new market through streaming is incorrect. I don't judge people for watching games being played, consume whatever media you want. 5E was better suited to being watched than a more tactical game so I thought that was the reason the streamers switched to it. Hearthstone put in a lot of LOLRandom cards because they streamed better and Battle Royale games do great as they also stream well.

Quote:
Then again what was the point of wading into this conversation which, ostensibly, was about the current playtest iteration's low barrier to entry compared with 5E's low barrier to entry with a dash of sales talk thrown in? No one was arguing that the PF2 should throw the baby out with the bathwater and become a 5E clone. You invented that notion whole cloth.

Because when you are discussing how great 5E is doing, the implication is PF2 should be more like 5E. People arguing for squashing the math to be more like 5E is a similar argument and the root of it is the concept that 5Es dominance is due to its superior design to all other RPGs which I think is bunk. I think it was the right game at the right moment, which is not lightning I'd try to recapture.

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HidaOWin wrote:
5E was better suited to being watched than a more tactical game so I thought that was the reason the streamers switched to it.

You're actually correct, 5E is better suited to being a roleplaying game than PF1, which in turn is better suited to be a tactical wargame. Casual viewers prefer to watch ROLE-PLAYING games than watching a bunch of nerds argue whether the range of that spell is 22 squares or 24 squares or whether the +hit buffs from six sources stack.

If you're considering the games on their merits of being Warhammer 40k with a grid instead of an inch ruler, well, I give you that, 5e fares poorly.


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HidaOWin wrote:
Because I don't like 5Es design and I think attributing its success to its design rather than it reaching a new market through streaming is incorrect.

Attributing its success solely to its acceptance amongst people who watch streams is just as incorrect. You're choosing your PREFERRED reasoning and chiming in on a thread that we should all disregard any other possible reason and accept your statement as the gospel - because you don't like the design? That is reductive just like I said in my original reply. It's reductive because it ignores people who migrated from PF1 to 5E, people who returned to the hobby after two editions absence, and people who tried it simply because it is gaining more acceptance. All of those people exist.

Quote:
I don't judge people for watching games being played, consume whatever media you want.

You deemed it worthy enough of judgement that it HAD to be included in the conversation here about sales. It had to be stated that those people are driving the success of that game; not design, not simplicity of play, not marketing, none of those - just the streamers. That's why it's a hit.

Quote:
Because when you are discussing how great 5E is doing, the implication is PF2 should be more like 5E.

Uh no. I can discuss 5E's sales success without in any way implying that PF2 should follow 5E's track exactly. You know how I know you can discuss it without implying that... because no one in this thread was implying that. You inferred that, because it's a bugaboo for you. Because, again, you don't like the design. Which is fine, because in August Paizo has another alternative for you to try.

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People arguing for squashing the math to be more like 5E is a similar argument

A similar argument it may be, but it wasn't the primary argument being made in this thread.

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and the root of it is the concept that 5Es dominance is due to its superior design to all other RPGs which I think is bunk.

Again, no one in this thread was arguing that 5E is a superiorly designed game. You brought that baggage here, lectured us about the best way to pack that bag and then got snippy when we said you couldn't take it on the plane with you.

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I think it was the right game at the right moment, which is not lightning I'd try to recapture.

Paizo isn't trying to recapture any of that lightning, nor was anyone here arguing that they should. We were mostly talking about its accessibility.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
-I do hope that bounded accuracy gets introduced as an optional rule at some point, because I'd love to fiddle with it. But I think it was a good idea not to make it a core assumption because, among other things, I don't think being "almost like D&D but not really" would make the system as appealing.

One of the things that seems very likely to make it into PF2 is that since the mathematical underpinnings of the system are barely obfuscated, it makes it very easy to change things to make the game how you like it.

Like "Level" appears in only one place in the math- in the proficiency modifer. So if you wanted to change it to .5xlevel or 8xLevel for a particular game feel, it's obvious how to do that.

Level appears in 4 places:

1. Level is added to proficiency bonus.
2. Level determines class features and access to feats. The math is 1 class feat and 1 skill feat for every 2 levels, 1 general feat every 4 levels, and so on.
3. Level limits the items that characters can craft and their rate of crafting. It allocates the character's items during high-level character creation. The math is TABLE 4–3: CRAFTING PROGRESS PER DAY and TABLE 11–2: CHARACTER WEALTH.
4. Level of creatures is used as the challenge rating system and in the experience points earned. The math is TABLE 4: CREATURE XP AND ROLE in the Bestiary.

Point 4 is the tricky one. We GMs cannot simply level up creatures by increasing the level number and the resulting proficiency bonus. We have to give them new abilities at the same rate the player characters gain new feats and new items.

Changing the proficiency bonus to use .5xlevel changes the meaning of TABLE 4: CREATURE XP AND ROLE. Since the additional abilities that are not proficiency-based are still part of the creature, that alteration does not simply make level half as important.


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HidaOWin wrote:
...the initial 5e launch was tepid with a very small publishing schedule and a greatly reduced team (they had to delay a book nearly a year because a staff member got jury duty). It was intended to be a low key edition to keep things ticking over. Then it caught on in streaming and exploded.

I don't really understand this. Sales at launch were very strong (they sold out very rapidly of their first print run which is surefire proof they've exceeded their expectations, since doing so means WotC missed out on some profit).

I've been buying 5E since it came out and I haven't noticed any change in the publishing schedule. They said at the outset that they'd be producing two hardcovers a year (plus licensed stuff) and they've stuck to that, haven't they?

Even the subsidiary things like board games and computer games have been trickling out at a pretty constant rate, it seems to me (though granted, I don't follow those as closely).


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Bluenose wrote:
masda_gib wrote:
I don't know how big that influence really is - all I can see is that big surge of people starting to play and liking that podcast.

Critical Role (not VM or M9 but the same channel) also play other RPGs. IIRC Monster of the Week was one of them. It had at the time been out for six years, and had sold decently for an indie. When Critical Role played it the company that sells it says they sold as many copies in the next three months as they'd sold in the six previous years.

That's how significant Critical Role can be.

Yeah, they get around 60,000 viewers live on twitch every week after four years (?) plus they are currently running one of the most successful kickstarters ever. They clearly have influence over where people put their money - they're not just providing entertainment to a passive audience.

(In passing, Matt Mercer is a pretty sensational DM. Well worth watching for tips on improving how one runs a game, in my opinion).


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Charlie Brooks wrote:
-I suspect that Pathfinder can thrive even if it never sees sales like D&D currently has.

Paizo have stated this publicly. Fans often seem keen to adjudicate the success of Pathfinder based on how it fares in comparison to D&D but they're actually playing a different game. Provided Pathfinder does well enough to keep the lights on, pay the fifty or so Paizo employees, return a bit of profit and allow some modest growth it doesn't really matter what's happening over at WotC.

I suspect that 5E's runaway success will both make PF2 do better for Paizo than it would have in the 4E era and also mean that PF2 has no hope of "winning" the ICv2 rankings.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
-I suspect that Pathfinder can thrive even if it never sees sales like D&D currently has.

Paizo have stated this publicly. Fans often seem keen to adjudicate the success of Pathfinder based on how it fares in comparison to D&D but they're actually playing a different game. Provided Pathfinder does well enough to keep the lights on, pay the fifty or so Paizo employees, return a bit of profit and allow some modest growth it doesn't really matter what's happening over at WotC.

I suspect that 5E's runaway success will both make PF2 do better for Paizo than it would have in the 4E era and also mean that PF2 has no hope of "winning" the ICv2 rankings.

A smaller percent of a bigger pie isn't a bad thing. What really matters to a company is how big their own piece is, not how much of the market they have.


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I do think that 5e would have been successful regardless of Critical Roll. If you go back and look 5e was doing well before Critical Roll really peaked. I can remember Critical Roll had a count of how many subscribers it had. I can remember when it was fewer than 500. I also remember at that time the Players Handbook was on the New York Times Best Seller list. So I could make the case that D&D 5e helped Critical Roll in the beginning. Critical Roll grew quite a bit year or so after launch. All three books did quite well before Critical Roll was what it is today. I think that if Critical Roll did not exist D&D 5e would still been big success. Sales would have been around what 3e was. I think now they help each other. There are all a number of other D&D 5e streams today. So I think D&D 5e would have been fine without Critical Roll. I do think that they have taken each other to the next level of success.

To my point above. 5e has been the most mechanically acclaimed version of D&D to date. It won every major game award when it came out. Origins and Enies. Advantage and Disadvantage is to me the best new game mechanic in the last 10 or so years. It lets you do improve rules on the fly. You throw dirt in the opponents eyes. They are at disadvantage their next attack. I also like bounded accuracy. I like the proficiency system. They wanted attributes to play larger roll. They do with the max proficiency bonus for combat being 6. There is expertise in non combat stuff that lets you double the proficiency bonus. D&D 5e to me also had the best dungeon masters guide to date. It has toon great stuff. Want to swap out proficiency and give it die type aka Shadows Demon Lord. Critical hit option (lingering injuries) in there. Tweak short and long rest in there.

So did Critical Roll make 5e success. No, I would argue in the beginning 5e helped Critical Roll be successful by 5e being so popular in the beginning. Now I think they help each other.

This is enough on 5e for me. This is about Pathfinder 2. I think there are some steaming opportunities for Pathfinder 2. I can only think of 2. One is Glass Cannon forget the other one. I think if you have an interesting home campaign and the write mix of players you could have decent stream. There are a bunch of 5e stuff. Not that much Pathfinder stuff. With 2e about to lunch I think the time would be write.

I am very much looking forward to Pathfinder 2e. I think it is going to be very good game. I hope it is hugely successful. I think it offers a different play experience than 5e. I think there is room for both.


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I disagree that 5e helped Critical Role. I think it would be massively popular even playing Pathfinder 1e. I can't really see anyone being sold on Critical Role just because they were playing 5e... The system isn't really the focus of the show and it's already got a massive amount of house rules that Mercer plays with.


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Kinda hard to say. Certainly pathfinder hasn't stopped the Glass Cannon guys from gaining steam, and I'd think they didn't have any built in fan base like the CR folks or McElroy brothers had. A fair amount of GCP fans had never played a tabletop in their life before listening to it and were inspired to play pathfinder.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
I disagree that 5e helped Critical Role. I think it would be massively popular even playing Pathfinder 1e. I can't really see anyone being sold on Critical Role just because they were playing 5e... The system isn't really the focus of the show and it's already got a massive amount of house rules that Mercer plays with.

Not sure how you can disagree with the evidence on CR’s early subscriber numbers and 5e being a huge hit long before CR was a thing.

I will say this: 5e facilitates and encourages the kind of RP heavy play that makes CR what it is, whereas the rules heavy pathfinder 1 can get in the way (though it doesn’t have to).

Regardless, it’s clear that CR has boosted 5e’s profile even higher now that it too has really taken off.

EDIT: And as we know, the CR crew switched from PF1 to 5e shortly before they started streaming. One can infer that they at least believed 5e would help their stream in some way (e.g. it’s a more popular system, easier to grok rules for their rules-lite approach, etc.)


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Bardic Dave wrote:

I will say this: 5e facilitates and encourages the kind of RP heavy play that makes CR what it is, whereas the rules heavy pathfinder 1 can get in the way (though it doesn’t have to).

I don't really think 5e does anymore to facilitate RP heavy play. There isn't anything in the game that really encourages it EXCEPT for a lack of combat or character mechanics depth. As far as rules are concerned it doesn't really have any more to it to help it along than PF1 did. Now I can certainly attest that we spend more time RPing in 5e than we do in PF1, but that isn't because the RP is better, but the combat is so much worse we do whatever we can to avoid it.

As an example of a game that actually encourages and facilitates RPing I'd say new Vampire is pretty much what I would show as a system. Most of its core book is about getting in the right mood, as part of character creation you create a web of intrigue for your group, themes you want to explore are mechanically reinforced as is your characters convictions, desires and ambitions. With less complexity than even 5e it gives rules for delivering such a crippling retort that you impair your opponents ability to act properly until they find time to center themselves.


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I think one of the main reasons the switch occurred was that the critical roll group mainly the DM felt that their were too many modifiers with pathfinder and the group size. It was too much to keep track off. The group size was 7 at the time. Tiberius the Dragon Born Sorcerer was part of the group. I do not think any system is better at RPing than another. I think that is largely the realm of the DM and group. I think 5e was more streamlined system and they felt would be better to stream with. I do think an interesting question is what if Pathfinder 2 was out with its own streamlined system. What would have happened then.

This leads me too this. I think that Glass Cannon and the other Pathfinder stream, I forget the name are fine. But, I definitely think there is room for other Pathfinder streams. I think you could find the right group of players that grew up playing Pathfinder in high school/college you might catch lightening in bottle twice. I think Pathfinder 2 is streamlined system that does have some depth with character choices and characters doing cool things with class feats at different levels. I think from what I have seen is Pathfinder 2 could be a very good system for streaming like 5e.

I was listening to pathfinder Friday and they talked about the history of the Whispering Tyrant when he comes back as the Whispering Tyrant and the lich. The Shining Crusade with the Dwarves and Taldor was 7 year war. That could be a great stream story. It would be from a time period not covered by APs and would have all kinds of adventure hooks and drama. Would be great to base a stream on and show off the streamlined system of Pathfinder 2. I think if you could find group of actors and or voice actors great.

I think another good game to base stream on that does not have any streaming groups is LR5 5th. I think it is the 2nd most popular rpg right now. It was ahead of Star Wars. Great World for RPing and if you do not mind custom dice a pretty good system. That is different discussion though.


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Bardic Dave wrote:


EDIT: And as we know, the CR crew switched from PF1 to 5e shortly before they started streaming. One can infer that they at least believed 5e would help their stream in some way (e.g. it’s a more popular system, easier to grok rules for their rules-lite approach, etc.)

I can't link this, but Matt said that it was an important part of the planning.

I don't agree that it impacts anything from a viewer side and I don't agree at all that it supports a difference in RP. There is a lot of discussion out there about the campaign pre-CR and I find it inconceivable that they would agree that RP changed. ( at least not due to mechanical system)

The reason stated was simply that it was much easier to prep on a fixed (this is a job now - not purely recreation) schedule and also less inclined to call for in-session rules look-up.

As someone who thinks 5E is great, but likes PF1E even more, I'd use 5E without a doubt if I was running a spectator campaign for a paycheck.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
HidaOWin wrote:
...the initial 5e launch was tepid with a very small publishing schedule and a greatly reduced team (they had to delay a book nearly a year because a staff member got jury duty). It was intended to be a low key edition to keep things ticking over. Then it caught on in streaming and exploded.

I don't really understand this. Sales at launch were very strong (they sold out very rapidly of their first print run which is surefire proof they've exceeded their expectations, since doing so means WotC missed out on some profit).

I've been buying 5E since it came out and I haven't noticed any change in the publishing schedule. They said at the outset that they'd be producing two hardcovers a year (plus licensed stuff) and they've stuck to that, haven't they?

5e was doing well before Critical Role, but Critical Role helped it do amazing. I don't think we'd have seen things like the launch weekends Wizards does promoting their summer releases, or the recent hiring of more staff in D&D R&D, moving more production in-house, and so on without Critical Role.

Critical Role doesn't get all the credit for that though, but they did kick off a whole lot of other streamers as well who all act as free advertisement for D&D.

The original plan seems to have been two adventure hardcovers and one hardcover sourcebook (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes) per year, though last year they brought that up to four hardcovers with the addition of Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica. Nathan Stewart mentioned recently that this seems to have worked out well, though ideally they wouldn't have released two of them simultaneously.

The "jury duty" thing was about conversion guides and other free material - actual publications came out on schedule. It seems the person in question was not the person actually writing the material, but rather someone who could give the green light to release it.


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Yeah, the Ravnica Guide definitely was out of the ordinary. But that was only last year. They’ve been pretty regular up until then. The idea 5E was “tepid” at launch doesn’t accord with anything I’ve seen or heard. It’s been going great since day one, as far as I can see.

The biggest spurt of enthusiasm I saw was when the DM’s Guild launched, but it didn’t really impact on Wizards’ publishing schedule, as far as I could see.

(To be clear, it was only that description of the 5E launch I found puzzling. I suspect Critical Role have had a significant impact on D&D sales).


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The amount of releases was something D&D 5e talked about from the very beginning. They wanted to reduce the number of books them came out with. It greatly reduces the cost of entry. You could get 4 books and have most of the rules books. Players Handbook, DMG, MM, and Xanathar's Volo and Mordenkaines' are monster books. So with a low barrier to entry it would be less intimidating to new players. They also barrowed an idea from Paizo in the form of their campaign adventures. This was similar to APs and was ready to run adventures that cover story arc. Much less prep time for the busy DM. I think those two decisions less rule books and the campaign adventure books (Ravenloft) also helped.

I think it is hard to remember that all 3 books were doing quite well and on the New York times best seller list before anyone really new what Critic al Roll was. It was big deal for them to get 500 subscribers. I would say it was their 2nd year before it really took off. I could also make the case as 5e was taking off and people asked what id D&D5e they could say watch Critical Roll. So in the end I think Critical Roll has benefited from the success of 5e and D&D 5e has benefited from the success of Critical Roll.

I do think there are opportunities to stream Pathfinder 2 stuff there is room for some more streams. The 5e streams is crowded place.


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I think a lot of us have basically said the exact same thing about 5E and its successes. I think that we don't need to drag D&D low to praise Pathfinder, which is what I think was the motivation between the misleading statements about sales trying to paint the game as less successful than it was.

All of that said, this is a Pathfinder forum not a D&D forum.


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True. I know I am looking forward to Pathfinder 2 and like the Profeciency system and the action economy. I do think it would benefit from a live stream like critical roll. I think the stream lined mechanics would lend itself to streaming. There are quite a few 5e Streams now and I think there is room for more Pathfinder streams.


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Quote:
No. No, it is not. Data is acquired in a rigorous fashion, while anecdotes are not. 1000 anecdotes are meaningless if there is no control for selection biases and similar things.

This is incorrect, though the overall point is accurate. I've seen this stated twice now, and it needs to be corrected or it will become part of the forum zeitgeist.

Data is any fact or statistic used for analysis. An anecdote is an interesting story about something factual. By definition, an anecdote contains data. So 1000 anecdotes about the same topic represent 1000 data points on that topic.

I think the larger point being convey is that anecdotal data is not automatically information. or informative. It has to be properly analyzed and/or normalized (account for distorting or skewing variables) to provide useful information. The facts in someones anecdote may or may not be useful in analyzing a specific problem, but anecdotes usually in form that don't lend themselves to spreadsheets so the data is harder to extract.

There's the concept that something which is "anecdotal" data is bad data. But that is a mischaracterization.. The problem with anecdotal data is not that it is anecdotal, but that it is usually isolated and thus hard to normalize. Contrast that with a survey which provides a lot of data points and can be collected in manner that improves the normalization. But 1000 anecdotes can be as informative as any survey or other means of collecting data, so long as the anecdotes are accurate and deal with the subject matter.

For example, 1000 people all talking about a vehicle test drive and having trouble stopping the vehicle with the brakes is not only data, but actual information if you're the vehicle manufacturer. An individual anecdote about trouble stopping is less reliable because there may be circumstances left out e.g. tires were bald, road was icy, slow reaction time of the driver. But 1000 people indicating trouble stopping with the same vehicle, absolutely becomes information.

So an anecdote is data. The circumstances that lead to the facts in the anecdote may or may not be representative of the typical situation or the situation you care about, but that doesn't stop it from being data and worthy of analysis.

For the record, I think Paizo gets that, which is why they spend so much time reading people's playtest posts and not just relying on survey data.


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Very true. I think "the plural of anecdote is not data" remains true in a general sense, though, in that treating 3-5 separate anecdotes as scientific proof is almost always wrong.

This thread is literally the first time I've ever seen someone suggest that the plural of anecdote IS data, actually, and I find that suggestion more preposterous than the inverse. A collection of anecdotes is, on average, not going to be useful data.

And full agreement that Paizo seems to know what they are about - the way they talk about the information they have is very reassuring. They are often able to say things like "this opinion is common on the forum but less common on the surveys but also common in replies to this reddit thread", and comments like that make it apparent they are casting a wide net and examining their catch carefully.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Very true. I think "the plural of anecdote is not data" remains true in a general sense, though, in that treating 3-5 separate anecdotes as scientific proof is almost always wrong.

No, this is the part that is technically, wrong. The plural of anecdotes is data. It may not constitutes information, or "useful data" as you put it. But saying it is not data is incorrect. It is data. The point I'm trying to make is that you can't just hand waive away a bunch of anecdotes and say "that isn't data."

The other important point is that data corrected through rigorous means is not automatically useful data either. The key is how it is normalized, analyzed, and then applied. Just because you have survey results doesn't guarantee you're going to draw the right conclusions or that the survey asked the right questions.


But what about the second definition of anecdote:

noun
noun: anecdote; plural noun: anecdotes

a short amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.
"told anecdotes about his job"
synonyms: story, tale, narrative, sketch; More
urban myth, urban legend;
reminiscence;
informalyarn, shaggy-dog story
an account regarded as unreliable or hearsay.
"his wife's death has long been the subject of rumor and anecdote"
the depiction of a minor narrative incident in a painting.

The second definition says an anecdote is unreliable. So you're basing data on unreliable sources? Doesn't that skew results?


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Okay, yes. Technically data. But then we are getting into the distinction between "anything is data, technically" and "data that is actually useful for someone to draw conclusions from", imo.


Tristan d'Ambrosius wrote:

But what about the second definition of anecdote:

noun
noun: anecdote; plural noun: anecdotes

a short amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.
"told anecdotes about his job"
synonyms: story, tale, narrative, sketch; More
urban myth, urban legend;
reminiscence;
informalyarn, shaggy-dog story
an account regarded as unreliable or hearsay.
"his wife's death has long been the subject of rumor and anecdote"
the depiction of a minor narrative incident in a painting.

The second definition says an anecdote is unreliable. So you're basing data on unreliable sources? Doesn't that skew results?

The quote I posted associates the problem with the manner in which the anecdotes are collected, not the voracity of the information, so the first definition.

Quote:
Data is acquired in a rigorous fashion, while anecdotes are not.

I interpret this as not a statement about unreliable accounting, but data provided in a non-rigorous manner. The other time I heard this assertion it was the same context as I understood it.

I believe the context of this discussion is a bunch of people telling their stories accurately, not a bunch of people possibly skewing their accounts for some mutual agenda.


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Oh so you get to pick and choose your definition of anecdote? So you can just pick or choose whether they are reliable or not? What if they are completely untrue stories about say William Shatner? That qualifies as both definitions. And still unreliable data.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Okay, yes. Technically data. But then we are getting into the distinction between "anything is data, technically" and "data that is actually useful for someone to draw conclusions from", imo.

Right. But you don't know if it's "useful data" until you analyze it. Survey results may not be useful data if the questions precipitating the answers are skewing those same answers.

As I acknowledge, anecdotes are harder to analyze rigorously. Someone has to break down a narrative into metrics. But 1000 people talking about the weather in the same city is going to give you a very accurate understanding of what the weather was.


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That's completely fair. I think the only point I'm really trying to make is "on average, people give anecdotes more weight than they actually bear, which is where sayings like 'the plural of anecdote is not data' come from".


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Tristan d'Ambrosius wrote:
Oh so you get to pick and choose your definition of anecdote? So you can just pick or choose whether they are reliable or not? What if they are completely untrue stories about say William Shatner? That qualifies as both definitions. And still unreliable data.

And when someone fills out a survey, how do you know they aren't lying?

The point is you don't draw a conclusion from an individual data point or "anecdote", you look at the data in totality and draw conclusions on that.


MaxAstro wrote:
That's completely fair. I think the only point I'm really trying to make is "on average, people give anecdotes more weight than they actually bear, which is where sayings like 'the plural of anecdote is not data' come from".

I personally don't recall reading or hearing that statement in any of my engineering courses in college. The first time I've heard that, is on these forums, but obviously it's out there.

As to giving more weight than they can bear, probably. No single data point can bear much weight.

When I use the term "anecdotal data," I am referring to the fact that it's just one person's version of some experience, that, as you say, it can't bear much weight in determining the truth of the matter.


So if someone or ones uses 1000 out of 1100 anecdotes about William Shatner being from the future sent back to lead us into a utopia is that reliable data? That would be the data in totatality. So conclusions drawn would agree with that from the anecdotes?


Tristan d'Ambrosius wrote:
So if someone or ones uses 1000 out of 1100 anecdotes about William Shatner being from the future sent back to lead us into a utopia is that reliable data?

Reliable data on what? Would a web survey showing the same thing be any more "reliable?"

Quote:
That would be the data in totatality. So conclusions drawn would agree with that from the anecdotes?

Not sure I understand the question.

Let's step back a moment.

An anecdote is a singular account, data from a single source, just like any other data point.


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And you are the one who brought up 1000 anecdotes about having trouble stopping a car using brakes. And how multiple anecdotes can be as informative as an survey? And I'm asking if those anecdotes are clearly false as anecdotes can be unreliable how is that as informative as a survey? Wouldn't the data and information be unreliable?


Tristan d'Ambrosius wrote:
And you are the one who brought up 1000 anecdotes about having trouble stopping a car using brakes. And how multiple anecdotes can be as informative as an survey? And I'm asking if those anecdotes are clearly false as anecdotes can be unreliable how is that as informative as a survey? Wouldn't the data and information be unreliable?

You're including a non-factual assumption that 1000 people talking about having trouble stopping their cars are more unreliable than 1000 survey results asking if people had trouble with the brakes.

At this point, if you want to continue the questioning, please PM me, as this is becoming a thread derail.

Dark Archive

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Hmm ... if we choose to ignore that the scientific community, both natural and social, use the terminology to refer to the least reliable form of data, yes. Placed on a continuum, all data is not the same qualitatively. Anecdotal evidence is a term used in pejorative for a reason; it is based in comparison to other more reliable and less bias-prone forms of evidence. Otherwise, there would be no difference between peer-reviewed journals and the accounts of patrons from my favorite taproom.


MaxAstro wrote:
That's completely fair. I think the only point I'm really trying to make is "on average, people give anecdotes more weight than they actually bear, which is where sayings like 'the plural of anecdote is not data' come from".

You are right.

And as the guy who said the plural of anecdote is data, I'll readily agree that there is a steady spectrum from "an anecdote", "two anecdotes", "several anecdotes", "really bad data", "pretty bad data", "poor data", "data", "good data", "scientific method".

We don't have proof. But just as people also put too much weight on their personal ancedotes, people put too much faith in what they wish was true.

You can step back and make an honest effort to evaluate the collective available ancedotes. If you do you will see that there is a strong resemblance to the reception of 4E.

The fact that there is a solid niche of people who LOVED the playtest in general or "+level to everything" in specific (which is completely true) does nothing to offset that intense alienation and dissatisfaction was also created by the playtest. This industry is not the place to be creating those levels of rejection.

Did they make the kinds of changes in the yet-to-be-seen "real 2E"? Who knows? If they did then nothing I say matters anyway. As I said before, I am very confident that Pathfinder, by its very name, will get a solid boom out of the gates. And so if it is a good game ("good" defined as appeals to the marketplace widely) then all issues with the playtest will be quickly forgotten. If the final product remains too much like the playtest, it will start to feel that quickly. (or, for completionist sake it could be completely different but still flawed).


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Ikos wrote:
Anecdotal evidence is a term used in pejorative for a reason; it is based in comparison to other more reliable and less bias-prone forms of evidence.

As it relates to the overall point, the main reason people use the term "anecdotal" in the pejorative sense relates back to MaxAstro's observation:

Quote:
..in that treating 3-5 separate anecdotes as scientific proof is almost always wrong.

People will talk about their experience with the playtest and others may use a couple of these anecdotes as proof of something. This more likely to happen when people have an issue or complaint based on their experience. In addition, the anecdote may be presented in a way that supports the allegations (potential bias). So the concept of an anecdote being unreliable results from it being a single data source and someone trying to use it as proof of something, not because it is inherently less accurate than other methods to collect the same type of information. If I'm going to distort the truth in an anecdote to achieve an agenda, I'm probably going to do the same on a survey.

Surveys (since we are talking about feedback on the game and not NASA telemetry) are no less prone to bias. They are also extremely susceptible to question framing or choice biasing.

I'm not defending or disagreeing with Byron's assertions, just pointing out that anecdotes are data and agreeing with MaxAstro that they don't automatically prove anything in isolation or in small sample sizes.


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I think it’s also worth noting that “I believe this very strongly and so do all fifty of the friends I asked” is not fifty one anecdotes.


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N N 959 wrote:
No, this is the part that is technically, wrong. The plural of anecdotes is data.

No that is correct. Because we are talking about the use of data collection in the scientific method and as evidenciary material in a decision making process. The definitions of anecdotal evidence in THAT process are:

Scientific Community wrote:


"casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis" "information passed along by word-of-mouth but not documented scientifically"

Neither of those result in anything approaching a data set that can be analyzed

Beth Barrett, Senior Content Director at the Hanover Research Group put it pretty bluntly in her article about "anecdotal data"

Research Industry Expert wrote:
However, we get nervous when we hear the words “based on anecdotal data…” By definition, the term is an oxymoron, and the information that follows is rarely representative or substantiated.

Actual researchers don't buy into it.

The actual definition of anecdote as presented by the other user above is pretty clear as well. An anecdote is an interesting story about something real (not factual.) An anecdote is that I was once in a crowd at a Star Trek Convention and William Shatner threw a crouton at me. Star Trek Conventions and William Shatner both exist, I did get hit in the head with a crouton from the man's salad. But there is no data resulting from my anecdote.

45 People can say that they had a bad experience with PF2E because it played like 4E - that's not anecdotal data. That's a plurality of opinion, and an arguable opinion at that.


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What the hell is this thread? It should have been closed long ago.


Without getting too involved in this debate of anecdote vs data, both can have value depending doing on what it is your trying to do. The playtest needed both. If you're trying to find out if numbers worked, like if you could hit certain ACs, or if the DCs work based on the skills. Yet while the original TEML system may have worked, they definitely based changing it on whether or not it made sense to people. A +3 doesnt feel legendary despite how the math works. +8 definitely feels more like what you'd expect from something legendary. Pretty sure that's more anecdotal.

Sure, science relies on data and hates anecdote. But this isnt science, it a gaming.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think the "there are similarities between 2e and 4e" anecdote is particularly unreliable because the market is very different, the times are very different, the player bases are very different, the market is bigger, and Paizo has all the data on what 4e did wrong available.

The larger market thing is especially relevant. Put another way, I suspect that Paizo could make a version of 2e that only appeals to the same people that 4e appeals to and it would still be enough of a playerbase to consider a "success".

Alternatively, Paizo could release the most perfect, broad appealing game system mankind has ever seen and it still won't hit the market share 5e has.

If your metric for success is "Pathfinder 2e outsells 5e", then Paizo will definitely fail no matter what.

If your metric is "Pathfinder is successful enough to keep Paizo going as a company", I think they could have released the playtest with minor fixes and hit that mark, because it's a much lower mark than it used to be.

Systems like Exalted 3rd edition have a playerbase that makes the playtest look big but still make enough money to keep getting published.

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