Streaming and how it can help Pathfinder 2


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I hear he plays Pathfinder. It could happen.

I do think Mona fit in really well with the glass cannon dudes.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

I hear he plays Pathfinder. It could happen.

I do think Mona fit in really well with the glass cannon dudes.

I completely agree, Mona is a delight to behold and/or listen to at the gaming table. The same goes for Bulmahn, and I can only assume the same is true for the rest of the folks at Paizo. They really have a passion for the hobby and I really have to respect that.

They also have day jobs at Paizo. And stay super busy. So as much as I'd love a podcast or stream with the Paizo superstars, I don't think we'll see them except as the occasional guest star.

I really do hope the GCP keeps growing in popularity, even if they never get close to TAZ or CR. I'm genuinely worried about the future of Paizo and Pathfinder and folks like the GCP give me hope.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think a good Pathfinder 2 stream is a demanding setup from just a rig point of view. You want cameras on faces, camera/screen on a battlemat where its clear where characters are, you want some way to indicate conditions (possibly just condition cards, but something fancier would be nice)

It needs a fair amount of pre and post production. You want to bring across the tactical nature of the combat, without the whole thing dragging down, people not agonizing over decisions on their three actions in combat, just firing them off with perhaps a brief explanation of why they are doing it.

Pop up text on the screen of class abilities, spells and conditions would also be good.

That's all tough to organise

Grand Lodge

RakeleerRR wrote:
However, and meant as no slight to the Oblivion Oath team (whom I have honest affection for, especially Sara who is constantly channeling positive energy around here) they are not professionally charming people.

I totally disagree sir. My heart melts everytime I see Jason and Sara at screen and I'm not even bisexual. :(

Jokes aside, I do believe Paizo has great storytelling to get close to Critical Role, but I'm not sure how they can improve their marketing to get people to watch their streams. I've been watching Oblivion Oath the past two weeks and they have 140~150 viewers, which sounds low considering it's the best way at the moment to learn new rules.

I think the playtest left a bad taste in most people's mouths and left much to be desired. We could see more hype in the forums on blog previews prior playtest.


Themetricsystem wrote:

Trying to recapture the magic that is the cultural phenomenon that is CR is not only an insane task to set yourself to, but it would also probably end up as a huge boondoggle. Even if it does capture views in the 10,000 viewer range they'll still be outclassed while spending tens of thousands of dollars advertising the stream where CR gets free PR and D&D name recognition for casual streamers.

You'd need to line up a cast of other uniquely entertaining professional actors/entertainers, push the Paizo networking to its absolute capacity, and also air in time-slots that don't compete with CR. Even then you'll have legions of detractors crying foul that the prospective PF2 stream is trying to steal MMs thunder, deserved or not.

This is NOT to say that Streaming is a bad idea or that is wouldn't be helpful to get the message and game out there, but setting it up to emulate their formula is IMO more likely to backfire.

was going to post much the same thing. Trying to recreate a spark is really hard, and most streams are very mediocre and lack the cameras, crew and setup required to do well (which was actually true of CRs starting point, to be honest).

More importantly they lack the cast interaction that makes the game system fairly irrelevant to the show.

What is really needed is to get a telegenic group on to tell stories and develop relationships and let the game system happen at a secondary layer.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Hey there folks,

Just saw some of the discussion here and while I think that even having our Oblivion Oath stream mentioned in the same breathe as Critical Role is awesome, it really is like comparing a play at the theatre to a big budget movie. We are both trying to provide similar entertainment, but there is an entirely different goal and level of resources.

For Oblivion Oath, we are really just trying to show the fun you can have with Pathfinder Second Edition, and to tell a good tale while doing it. We have some of our best folks at Paizo playing at the table, and I have spent a lot of my personal time crafting a good story, and the fact that we have gotten a good response so far is all I could ask for.

If you want to see this grow, tell your gaming friends about it. Help us spread the word, tell folks about our YouTube playlist and our twitch stream. I am committed to telling this story, but I need your help to share it with our fans.

Grand Lodge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:


If you want to see this grow, tell your gaming friends about it. Help us spread the word, tell folks about our YouTube playlist and our twitch stream. I am committed to telling this story, but I need your help to share it with our fans.

I just... don't feel it's enough.

At the moment, I feel like I'm the only one at my group looking forward 2e. I try to share what I learn here with my group and they're all meh about it. I can't convince them to watch an hour video.

It gets lonely. :(

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
RakeleerRR wrote:


But Critical Role? Thursday is always an event for me and my daughter. I almost always make pasta from scratch and then we watch until we have to go to bed (it's a bit late here). Critical Role is amazing because the (as Matt Colville puts it) 'Professionally Charming People' that play have an honest passion for the game and are really damn professionally charming. They could be playing nearly anything and be captivating (and they do, sometimes...) But they play 5e. So we love watching them play and we love mocking the 'baby rules' of fifth edition. Of course, we're only joking. We enjoy a good game of Dread, Fiasco, Monsterhearts or Urban Shadows as much as they next person. 5e is fine. It's just not the game we love to play for 8-16 hours a week.

I have enjoyed Oblivion Oath in the same way... Maybe a little more - that I enjoy Gathering of the Ages and Swiss Army Scorpion. Some darn good storytelling and people who are passionate about the game (or at least about the session ;) )

However, and meant as no slight to the Oblivion Oath team (whom I have honest affection for, especially Sara who is constantly channeling positive energy around here) they are not professionally charming people.

Matt Mercer is a supernova for 5e because he happens to love D&D in any incarnation AND is a talented voice actor and creative person. Couple that with a fairly largish group of other talented creatives and viola. It's not a complicated recipe, it just has very rare ingredients.

Rare, yes, but hardly impossible to find. That's why places like Geek & Sundry, HyperRPG, and Saving Throw Show have been mentioned in this thread - they also employ incredibly talented actors and voice actors with real creativity and passion for the games they run. Whether they would be interested in partnering with Paizo is obviously a question I doubt any of us could answer, but getting a stream with thousands instead of dozens of viewers is entirely possible.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
it really is like comparing a play at the theatre to a big budget movie

Sidebar: community theater is amazing, everyone should support it, you will rarely see such passion for acting, find your local theaters now because the summer season is starting, thank you for coming to my TED talk.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think Obilivion Oath is good stream. I also think Pathfinder 2 would benefit from more stream exposure. I think there are several streams for Pathfinder that do a good job. However, D&D 5e has volume and quality streams. As I have said in previous post that you can go to just about any streaming group like encounter roll play, table story, save or dice, and there are multiple D&D stream. Most of the D&D shows have 500 to 1000
Viewers. So I do not think it is just one huge hit stream although that helps. It is multiple streams that help with exsposure.


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RakeleerRR wrote:
Matt Mercer is a supernova for 5e because he happens to love D&D in any incarnation AND is a talented voice actor and creative person. Couple that with a fairly largish group of other talented creatives and viola. It's not a complicated recipe, it just has very rare ingredients.

Doesn't hurt that in addition to Mercer, the rest of the cast has been in every nerd IP for decades, Laura Bailey and Liam Obrien especially. They're not even my favorites on the cast, but I personally was hooked by one of my friends pointing out that Jaina Proudmoore played DnD every week, and here's where to listen. Don't know how many others tuned in out of similar curiousity, but like I said, it certainly didn't hurt.


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My take as somebody who doesn't regularly follow streams but sees the value and potential:

I think the issue of Rules-Lite/Stream-ability is a bit overplayed or at least significantly addressed by 2ndEd's improvements here. Real play, streamed or not, has ability to free-form the rules so "RAW" need not bog things down unless the group chooses to let it (i.e. taking very wargaming approach).

In that vein, I don't think the rules system used is per se that important: I don't think many viewers are deconstructing builds when they watch these, so the background mechanics per se aren't that important. Not that there is NO value in using 2ndEd rules, especially with 'behind the game' episodes which can give background including rules tie-ins, but I just don't think that is PRIMARY value of streaming.

Anyhow, what that leads me to, is that what would be MOST relevant to Paizo would be streams built around roleplaying in Golarion gameworld. Paizo has always centered themselves around Golarion, and seem to be delving even deeper into that approach, and communicating that world in a new way seems the biggest opportunity for them re: streaming. Really a top-notch roleplaying stream could have potential similar to novels in terms of detailing the game-world in more accessible way.

A big part of more successful streams is the personalities and communication and roleplaying skills portrayed. Using real actors, of whatever medium, as well as skilled narrative crafters is major part of a stream that can draw major attention. I think there is advantage in streams based in major media centers like LA or NY, although that isn't to say those locales are necessary (nor are exclusively professional actor cast), but there clearly is advantages for those areas... Especially if aiming to include 'real famous actors' if only on sporadic 'guest' basis. Of course other areas have plenty of expressive creative folk including local actors, and doing so in Seattle area may work well for Paizo for obvious reasons.

Thinking of LA, my mind did leap to Dario Nardi who would seem greatly skilled individual to bring on board this type of project, which I'd say is true for any involvement with 2ndEd/Golarion independent of streaming. I'm not sure how interested he is by Golarion per se, but it is the type of world where most fantasy stories can be told and has plenty of less-detaile corners where creativity isn't hampered.

Also, although I'm not familiar with any 'big' RPG streams outside of English, it seems that might be big vacant opportunity where Paizo could get first mover advantage if it is able to reach out to suitable people who can create high value experience using 2ndEd/Golarion. Same basics apply re: delivery quality and actor quality, but performing natively in different audiences own language seems huge marketing bonus and worth exploring also.

Given Paizo has invested in computer gaming, I think these formats have just as much or more marketing potential to be worthwhile.

EDIT: One idea of a substantial format of "cooperation" Paizo could be involved with, is aligning Paizo's own art orders with the needs of a stream. Paizo could then publish the same art in upcoming products, but it would be top notch visual aid for streaming. That obviously could include portrayal of the stream's PCs or NPCs even if they aren't overtly labelled as such in the published product (e.g. "just a pic of some Osirioni Shaman fighting Zombies").


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Or if not Seattle itself, Vancouver is not far and has some pretty impressive talent (and I say this as someone that was literally born in Hollywood, CA).

Paizo's own iconics started off as "just some random NPC fighting goblins", so they might be willing to "guest star" a PC or two, as you describe Quandary.

Dark Archive

I don't think you can really "create" successful streams, they just kinda happen. What Paizo can do is support and capitalize upon them, but I don't think they can create one per say. Like, pretty sure Critical Role didn't start out as being sponsored by Wizards, but I could remember wrong of course.

I guess Paizo could sponsor oneshot sessions of 2e to spread awareness of it though. But I don't know how well that works on attracting new people

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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RakeleerRR wrote:
...professionally charming...

I would argue that Customer Service is a job in which you are paid to be professionally charming. :P


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The more I have viewed different streaming shows and watch what it cast member says they have going on. The ones that are done by streaming groups such as encounter roll play are overwhelming done by streamers. That is what they do. So to a degree they are already comfortable in front of the camera and entertaining. Otherwise they would not be able to stream for a living. Most of the streams have 1000 or so viewers. They play variety games Warhammer rpg, Cthulhu, vampire, savage worlds, and of course usually multiple D&D 5e streams. The common theme is cast and DM/GM are professional streamers. So the streams are cast. So, I would say that the majority of successful streams now are cast (made) not chance happenings. As, always you could have few exceptions. Critical Roll being the obvious although since they are all voice actors they already were entertaining and could perform rolls.

So the good thing about this is most of these streaming shows will run a game with a sponsorship. Paizo has done this with Glass Cannon and Dragon and Things. To further the idea that successful streams can be made is that Geek and Sundry did a stream of game called Over Light done by Renegade Games. The stream helped the sales of that small game by exposure and brought in money for the stream and Geek and Sundry. The Vampire 5e show is in its second season. Streams have helped Vampire 5e success.

I certainly think Pathfinder 2 will be bigger success than either one of these games. However, to get where I think Paizo would like it to be steaming should play an important roll. The time is now to reach out to a streaming company like Geek and Sundry and sponcer a Pathfinder 2 streaming show. Get the cast lined up and develop the story. Get them DM familiar with the system so they can highlight differences like initiative, how the party can help with skill rolls. Also outline a story. As I have indicated before I would focus around the Shinning Crusade. Have Jason work with the DM on story development since that was his homebrew campaign.

Liberty's Edge

I agree that streaming would be good for Pathfinder 2. But the time for that conversation would have been two years ago, when the game could have been tweaked with streaming in mind, to be more conducive to that medium.

It’s not just bringing people into gaming, but changing the tone of gaming. There’s a generational shift:
https://gnomestew.com/dd-adventurers-league-and-a-more-narrative-style-of-p lay/

Streaming is huge. But you really need some good performers and a very different focus. A good streamed game is very different than just setting up cameras and recording.

Check out the first episode of World Tree Burns for an example for what you can do with a streamed story:
https://youtu.be/mpVwWRiHR-E


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would say that Pathfinder 2 has been streamlined and the proficiency system is similar to D&D 5e. If proficient add level or 2/4/6/8 in case of Pathfinder 2 and in D&D 5e and proficiency bonus. So Pathfinder 2 system has more in common with D&D 5e system than the tier system of 3.5/Pathfinder. The action economy is also more streamlined. So if D&D 5e is conducive to streaming I would say Pathfinder 2 is. If I was going to rank things in stream it would be entertaining streamers, story, then system. I think Pathfinder 2 as system is certainly streamlined enough to provide a good stream with the other 2 things in place (entertaining streamers and story).

Liberty's Edge

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Given that I just watched Eric Campbell run several Geek and Sundry regulars through the first couple of encounters of Kingmaker 1e as part of the publicity around the 2e Kingstarter*, I think we are getting listened to...

*trademark pending


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Jester David wrote:

Check out the first episode of World Tree Burns for an example for what you can do with a streamed story:

https://youtu.be/mpVwWRiHR-E

What about this makes it a good example for you? It looks like there is a well-crafted intro video, but then it is pretty much a regular VTT stream.


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I hope so. I think Pathfinder 2 would benefit from other streams.


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PF2 isn't really any more "stream-able" than PF1, IMO. It is more streamlined and the rules are generally more clear, but it isn't simplified in the way 5e is; PF2 you still need to have a general grasp of the ruleset to know what's going on, anyone can follow Critical Role or the Adventure Zone without having ever played DnD.

You're never going to get a Pathfinder product that's so basic that people with no knowledge of RPG's can figure out the mechanics by watching a playthrough. That's not Paizo's niche, and it's clearly not what Paizo wants out of their game. I'm not saying you can't have streamed games and sponsorships but anyone expecting Paizo to put out a product that rivals Critical Role in popularity is being far too ambitious.


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I am not too sure I agree with the statement about grasping Pathfinder 2. It is not that much more complex than 5e. There are more choices with character development but not that much more complexity. The streamlined action economy is where I think the big difference between Pathfinder and Pathfinder 2 will come into play as far as following it during streaming. There are not 8 different action types like Pathfinder. It seems conditions and how frequently they are used in Pathfinder 2 will be different than 5e, but not so different people would not be able to follow it.

I do not think critical rolls success will be duplicated, but that may not be the goal. It would be exposure. Right now you can go to twitch and find 10 to 20 streams of 5e games varying in production quality. So if I am looking to find out what this roleplaying things is all about chances are I would be watching 5e stream. For Pathfinder If I know where to look Glass Cannon is not too hard to find, but Dragon and Tings is. I think getting a stream on something like Geek and Sundry gets exposure for Pathfinder 2. Launching a stream around the release of Pathfinder 2 when it is the shinning new thing would be the time to do it. A small game like Overlight got full season on geek and sundry. It helped the games exposure and sales. I would think bid game like Pathfinder 2 would at least get season if Overlight did. Then if popular enough other steamers may pick it up which helps with the exposure part.


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Arachnofiend wrote:

PF2 isn't really any more "stream-able" than PF1, IMO. It is more streamlined and the rules are generally more clear, but it isn't simplified in the way 5e is; PF2 you still need to have a general grasp of the ruleset to know what's going on, anyone can follow Critical Role or the Adventure Zone without having ever played DnD.

You're never going to get a Pathfinder product that's so basic that people with no knowledge of RPG's can figure out the mechanics by watching a playthrough. That's not Paizo's niche, and it's clearly not what Paizo wants out of their game. I'm not saying you can't have streamed games and sponsorships but anyone expecting Paizo to put out a product that rivals Critical Role in popularity is being far too ambitious.

I feel like most of the complexity of pathfinder 2 comes in at character creation, not actual play. The most confusing rule (at least compared to 5e) is probably the multiple attack penalty, and I wouldn't expect anyone to learn the math of any game from an actual play. There are some particular options that can be confusing in actual play, but I'd say no more than 5e. Which brings me to: The Adventure Zone is a terrible way to learn the 5e. Tres Horny Boyz don't even know the rules. To this day, I have yet to see Travis use Action Surge correctly. (It is also is a terrible way to learn how to play RPGs in general being first and foremost a radio story; as I can attest to by my best friend "learning" to DM from it. But that isn't really a mechanics issue.)

If anything, the action economy of PF2 seems easier to follow in play. 5e has a less convoluted action economy than PF1, but not by as much as you'd think.


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Arachnofiend wrote:

PF2 isn't really any more "stream-able" than PF1, IMO. It is more streamlined and the rules are generally more clear, but it isn't simplified in the way 5e is; PF2 you still need to have a general grasp of the ruleset to know what's going on, anyone can follow Critical Role or the Adventure Zone without having ever played DnD.

You're never going to get a Pathfinder product that's so basic that people with no knowledge of RPG's can figure out the mechanics by watching a playthrough. That's not Paizo's niche, and it's clearly not what Paizo wants out of their game. I'm not saying you can't have streamed games and sponsorships but anyone expecting Paizo to put out a product that rivals Critical Role in popularity is being far too ambitious.

Emphasis mine, as it's the main point I'm going to adress:

As I see it, that's not why people watch streams of games. They don't really care about the mechanics or the system used. What they are interested in are the stories woven by the streamers. So, the actual rules are really only important for the streamers, and more streamlined rules help them to focus more on the narrative, what the watchers are interested in.

I recently started watching some TTRPG streams to learn more about them, and I found out that the big problem of the PF ones were that the rules were VERY prominent. They were often stopping the narrative from progressing, either because there was differents on how the rules were interpreted or even just looking at their sheet to make sure they weren't missing a bonus (which they often WERE).


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^ Right, and I think that's where 2E will play very well for streaming.
Some things might occasionally need glancing at rules for what the exact 4-degrees are for specific spell/action,
but that actually has pay-off in variety of narrative outcomes, and actual "math" is always simple.
Even 4-degree results that DON'T happen have value to note as "ooh, lucky you almost had XYZ happen to you",
and more stuff with weak result on (attacker) normal fail or (defender) normal success means that action still had narrative value,
VS "okay, the lich casts a spell at you... you save... nothing happens, we don't even know what MIGHT have happened, but thanks for rolling"
1E's obtuse bonus/penalties can be difficult to apply "accurately" yet generally doesn't go beyond binary result matrix,
so to the extent dealing with this takes "screen time" the narrative engagement isn't actually furthered.
Crit Confirm rolls are a drag if similar end result can be achieved with a single roll using 10+/20 mechanic.
2E action economy is just intuitive and IMHO translates to less "on-screen nagging" or late remembering of rules etc.

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