PDF pricing and PFS


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In a thread discussing PDF pricing, Sara Marie explained that Paizo has decided to raise the rates of the PDFs to be more fair to third party publishers who cannot afford to discount their pricing the way Paizo can.

I'm going to start by saying that I appreciate Paizo working within the industry to help other publishers. It will bring us more content from more sources and that's a great thing.

As great as that is however, it doesn't change one problem about the increased pricing; My society players can not afford the Lost Omens World Guide. They can not justify purchasing it, and when I asked my group of 7 why, these are the general problems they had.

1.) It did not release as society sanctioned. I understand that every book can not release sanctioned, but this is the first release for pathfinder 2e and none of my players want to get a book they can't use.

2.) Each player would need the book to use it. The group couldn't buy one copy to share among themselves, anyone who wants any feature from the book would need to purchase their own copy.

3.) The book does not have enough content for the price. The draw of the book is the 10 new archetypes, but at this price point that comes out to almost $3 an archetype. There are included backgrounds, but many of them are just slight alterations on core rule book backgrounds, and a characters background isn't that important to begin with.

I honestly have no idea how to sell this book to my players at this price, and so none of them are even considering the new archetypes. It's disappointing and I'm not certain that helping third part publishers is really worth losing access to character options. I brought my book for them to look at and they were excited, but all of them gawked when I told them how much the PDF was, let alone the hardback copy.

Is there a way we can restructure how society players share resources to both help third part publishers and allow groups to feel good about purchasing more expensive PDFs, or can we combine PDFs together online for a bulk discount of some kind to make buying a copy for each member of the group more feasible?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
I honestly have no idea how to sell this book to my players at this price, and so none of them are even considering the new archetypes.

Go for the lore and art, otherwise just wait till more books (like the Lost Omens Character Guide) come out that have feats that build off of the one in here that might interest them.

... also what does this have to do with 3pp? This is a PFS thing it seems.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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If you read Sara Marie's post, it actually had nothing to do with the Lost Omens World Guide. Her pricing comment was in reference to the change in price of core books from $9.99 to $14.99. The Lost Omens World Guide follows the same pricing structure we've always used, which is about 33% off the physical product price (though the change from multiple campaign and player companions into the Lost Omen books actually means that the price per page has gone down since first edition and players are getting three times as many options per release).

As the Pathfinder Society Developer for Paizo, I'm working to streamline and speed up the sanctioning process for new releases, but unfortunately we're currently down a body and our priority is making sure scenarios and quests continue to release on time. We hope to have sanctioning completed ASAP.

Liberty's Edge

I’m confused. How much are we talking for these PDFs? Did I see that they were around $10 and now they like $15 ?

I can understand maybe being bummed about a slight price increase I guess, but saying none of the players can afford to buy them now?

This is not a “let them eat cake” thing, honest, but you’re seriously saying that none of the players can afford $15 for an occasional PDF? But they *could* afford $10 for an occasional PDF?

Like I said, I can understand people wishing the price hadn’t gone up by a couple bucks, but to say none of them can afford it now that the the price bumped up a few more dollars seems kind of disingenuous somehow ...

Just my 2 cents

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Marc Radle wrote:
I’m confused. How much are we talking for these PDFs? Did I see that they were around $10 and now they like $15 ?

The Core Rulebook line went up from 10 to 15.

The Campaign Setting and Player Companion were combined.

Now it's 25.99 for 1 book, that's going to be coming out quarterly* I believe?

Instead of 15.99 then 10.49 alternating every month.

*We're getting the LOCG the end of this month, but we won't get Gods and Magic until January.


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Marc Radle wrote:
This is not a “let them eat cake” thing, honest, but you’re seriously saying that none of the players can afford $15 for an occasional PDF? But they *could* afford $10 for an occasional PDF?

Firstly, the LOWG is a $25 book. Secondly, I'm not saying that, I bought the book. My players are saying they can't afford it.


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Rysky wrote:
Go for the lore and art, otherwise just wait till more books (like the Lost Omens Character Guide) come out that have feats that build off of the one in here that might interest them.

I don't think a second $25 book is going to make them want to buy both so that they can combine features. It will end up being the same problem of not enough content for too much money.

Rysky wrote:
... also what does this have to do with 3pp? This is a PFS thing it seems.

As I understood it, Paizo increased their priced to help 3pp stay competitive. It's a great move for helping their fellow industry members, but now I'm wondering if there is a way we can get around it and get players using options they can't afford anymore.


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Michael Sayre wrote:
If you read Sara Marie's post, it actually had nothing to do with the Lost Omens World Guide. Her pricing comment was in reference to the change in price of core books from $9.99 to $14.99. The Lost Omens World Guide follows the same pricing structure we've always used, which is about 33% off the physical product price (though the change from multiple campaign and player companions into the Lost Omen books actually means that the price per page has gone down since first edition and players are getting three times as many options per release).

I assumed the logic held through to all of the current pricing, my mistake I suppose, but then the problem simply becomes that players can't justify $25 bucks each for 10 character options.

Michael Sayre wrote:
As the Pathfinder Society Developer for Paizo, I'm working to streamline and speed up the sanctioning process for new releases, but unfortunately we're currently down a body and our priority is making sure scenarios and quests continue to release on time. We hope to have sanctioning completed ASAP.

I completely understand, you guys have a lot on your plate and you do good work. That was just one of the things my players all said when I asked why none of them were interested in the book.


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Rysky wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
I’m confused. How much are we talking for these PDFs? Did I see that they were around $10 and now they like $15 ?

The Core Rulebook line went up from 10 to 15.

The Campaign Setting and Player Companion were combined.

Now it's 25.99 for 1 book, that's going to be coming out quarterly* I believe?

Instead of 15.99 then 10.49 alternating every month.

*We're getting the LOCG the end of this month, but we won't get Gods and Magic until January.

That still sounds like more money for less content though. LOWG and LOCG are both really small for $25 each, if the LOCG doesn't contain tons of player options, I don't know if any of my players will want to buy it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Go for the lore and art, otherwise just wait till more books (like the Lost Omens Character Guide) come out that have feats that build off of the one in here that might interest them.
I don't think a second $25 book is going to make them want to buy both so that they can combine features. It will end up being the same problem of not enough content for too much money.

It might when you compare to how many $10.49 Player Companions and $15.99 Campaign Settings they and other bought to build their characters, compared to the effectively same page and price amount for the much slower pace of the Lost Omens line.

Quote:
Rysky wrote:
... also what does this have to do with 3pp? This is a PFS thing it seems.
As I understood it, Paizo increased their priced to help 3pp stay competitive. It's a great move for helping their fellow industry members, but now I'm wondering if there is a way we can get around it and get players using options they can't afford anymore.

But what does that have to do with PFS? The title is "Paizo and third party publishers" not "Paizo pricing and PFS requirements".


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
LOWG and LOCG are both really small for $25 each, if the LOCG doesn't contain tons of player options, I don't know if any of my players will want to buy it.

Considering the title of the Lost Omens Character Guide, I'm quite certain it will be more player-mechanics heavy than the World Guide was.

EDIT: According to the product blurb, the LOCG has 3 new ancestries, 10 new heritages, nearly 100 new ancestry feats, and 10 new archetypes. It ought to offer more mechanics-bang to the buck.


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Rysky wrote:
It might when you compare to how many $10.49 Player Companions and $15.99 Campaign Settings they and other bought to build their characters, compared to the effectively same page and price amount for the much slower pace of the Lost Omens line.

That doesn't really apply to my group, most are casual players moving to PFS play for the first time. They are having a lot of sticker shock and are upset they cab't use the options they want (or can't afford to use them I suppose). In the past only obe of us has needed to buy a book for everyone to use cool new options, it's quite a change.

Rysky wrote:
But what does that have to do with PFS? The title is "Paizo and third party publishers" not "Paizo pricing and PFS requirements".

I guess my title was bad, It's hard to articulate the discussion I'm trying to have.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
I’m confused. How much are we talking for these PDFs? Did I see that they were around $10 and now they like $15 ?

The Core Rulebook line went up from 10 to 15.

The Campaign Setting and Player Companion were combined.

Now it's 25.99 for 1 book, that's going to be coming out quarterly* I believe?

Instead of 15.99 then 10.49 alternating every month.

*We're getting the LOCG the end of this month, but we won't get Gods and Magic until January.

That still sounds like more money for less content though. LOWG and LOCG are both really small for $25 each, if the LOCG doesn't contain tons of player options, I don't know if any of my players will want to buy it.

Player Companions were 30 pages for 10.49, Campaign setting was 60 for 15.99.

Lost Omens is 130 for 25.99.


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Joana wrote:

Considering the title of the Lost Omens Character Guide, I'm quite certain it will be more player-mechanics heavy than the World Guide was.

EDIT: According to the product blurb, the LOCG has 3 new ancestries, 10 new heritages, nearly 100 new ancestry feats, and 10 new archetypes.

I suppose it will depend on the size of the Archetypes. The LOWG ones are really small. Three races isn't a lot for $25, and then they each need to have a copy to use it. It might just be growing pains as my group transitions to PFS, but that's suddenly a VERY expensive hobby.


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Rysky wrote:

Player Companions were 30 pages for 10.49, Campaign setting was 60 for 15.99.

Lost Omens is 130 for 25.99.

Right, but you could choose to just get the player companion you needed. It's less per page, but it's a higher amount overall. It's less of a 'don't order lunch a few times' and more 'gatta save up for it'.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Player Companions were 30 pages for 10.49, Campaign setting was 60 for 15.99.

Lost Omens is 130 for 25.99.

Right, but you could choose to just get the player companion you needed. It's less per page, but it's a higher amount overall. It's less of a 'don't order lunch a few times' and more 'gatta save up for it'.

And what one needs changes from character to character and player to player.

And again it will depend on the pacing as well, Lost Omens is going to be slower than the previous lines, which were every month.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:
It might when you compare to how many $10.49 Player Companions and $15.99 Campaign Settings they and other bought to build their characters, compared to the effectively same page and price amount for the much slower pace of the Lost Omens line.
That doesn't really apply to my group, most are casual players moving to PFS play for the first time. They are having a lot of sticker shock and are upset they cab't use the options they want (or can't afford to use them I suppose). In the past only obe of us has needed to buy a book for everyone to use cool new options, it's quite a change.
Wait, is LOWG even PFS legal yet?
Quote:
Rysky wrote:
But what does that have to do with PFS? The title is "Paizo and third party publishers" not "Paizo pricing and PFS requirements".
I guess my title was bad, It's hard to articulate the discussion I'm trying to have.

No worries. Was just confused a lil bit.


Rysky wrote:

And what one needs changes from character to character and player to player.

And again it will depend on the pacing as well, Lost Omens is going to be slower than the previous lines, which were every month.

You're under the impression the it's cheaper due to frequemxy, but if you didn't buy every book previously, then you aren't saving any money now

Liberty's Edge

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This almost seems to be as much, if not more, an issue with PFS requiring you to own the PDF even if you just want to use one player option. It’s actually one (of the many) reasons PFS has zero appeal to me. I’d much rather play in a more traditional group.

Maybe the solution is to NOT do PFS and just run a traditional home game? That would avoid the entire ‘must own the PDF to use anything from it’ rule, right?

Out of curiosity, why are you doing PFS for what sounds like a regular group of players in a home game?


Marc Radle wrote:

This almost seems to be as much, if not more, an issue with PFS requiring you to own the PDF even if you just want to use one player option. It’s actually one (of the many) reasons PFS has zero appeal to me. I’d much rather play in a more traditional group.

Maybe the solution is to NOT do PFS and just run a traditional home game? That would avoid the entire ‘must own the PDF to use anything from it’ rule, right?

Out of curiosity, why are you doing PFS for what sounds like a regular group of players in a home game?

A few of us wanted to take the characters to cons and such, one of us wanted to use the scenarios instead of house made content, and the local community college asked me to.


Rysky wrote:
Wait, is LOWG even PFS legal yet?

No, but will the price change when it becomes legal?


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Out of curiosity, why are you doing PFS for what sounds like a regular group of players in a home game?
A few of us wanted to take the characters to cons and such, one of us wanted to use the scenarios instead of house made content, and the local community college asked me to.

Doesn't help your other reasons, but you can run the Society scenarios for your home group without reporting them and needing the characters to be "official."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Wait, is LOWG even PFS legal yet?
No, but will the price change when it becomes legal?

No, but your concern of your players not being able to use the Archetypes because they can’t afford them is a bit premature since we don’t know what all options will be legal.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:

And what one needs changes from character to character and player to player.

And again it will depend on the pacing as well, Lost Omens is going to be slower than the previous lines, which were every month.

You're under the impression the it's cheaper due to frequemxy, but if you didn't buy every book previously, then you aren't saving any money now

You are unless you only bought one book the entire run of P1.


Rysky wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:

And what one needs changes from character to character and player to player.

And again it will depend on the pacing as well, Lost Omens is going to be slower than the previous lines, which were every month.

You're under the impression the it's cheaper due to frequemxy, but if you didn't buy every book previously, then you aren't saving any money now
You are unless you only bought one book the entire run of P1.

My PFS character only needed 3. I only pkayed the first 6 levels or so, but in total ahe cost me $35 ish, which is only enough for one book in the new run.

Grand Lodge

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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
In the past only one of us has needed to buy a book for everyone to use cool new options, it's quite a change

The rules for sharing books has not changed in a number of years. You have always had to own the source material you use in OP. The only sharing that was allowed involved family members and those living in one household. If you have been allowing all the members of your community to share materials, you have been deviating from the rules, rather than the rules changing.


TwilightKnight wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
In the past only one of us has needed to buy a book for everyone to use cool new options, it's quite a change
The rules for sharing books has not changed in a number of years. You have always had to own the source material you use in OP. The only sharing that was allowed involved family members and those living in one household. If you have been allowing all the members of your community to share materials, you have been deviating from the rules, rather than the rules changing.

I guess I wasn't clear. Before starting PFS play, we would share books


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Joana wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
LOWG and LOCG are both really small for $25 each, if the LOCG doesn't contain tons of player options, I don't know if any of my players will want to buy it.

Considering the title of the Lost Omens Character Guide, I'm quite certain it will be more player-mechanics heavy than the World Guide was.

EDIT: According to the product blurb, the LOCG has 3 new ancestries, 10 new heritages, nearly 100 new ancestry feats, and 10 new archetypes. It ought to offer more mechanics-bang to the buck.

I think this is key.

By merging the DM focussed Campaign Setting line with the player focussed Player companions, it is inevitable that the new all-in-one approach won’t suit the needs of pick ‘n choose customers as those of us who buy everything.

In terms of bang for their buck - the Character Guide will be the better point of comparison, in my view, for those who used to buy predominantly player focussed material. The lost omens World Guide is really more akin to the Gazetteer, in my view - I think a PFS player would have been disappointed in the mechanical options they got out of that too.

Another test will be the “self-containedness” of the new approach. Whereas you needed three player companions to build you PF1 PFS character, if you only need one book (plus core) for a PF2 character, things are actually cheaper for the casual purchaser. Only time will tell, in that regard.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
3.) The book does not have enough content for the price. The draw of the book is the 10 new archetypes, but at this price point that comes out to almost $3 an archetype. There are included backgrounds, but many of them are just slight alterations on core rule book backgrounds, and a characters background isn't that important to begin with.

No, the draw of the book is the (updated) world lore, that is why it's called the WORLD Guide.

I also don't understand how this is a problem for your PFS players at all, when this book isn't even PFS sanctioned.


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Zaister wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
3.) The book does not have enough content for the price. The draw of the book is the 10 new archetypes, but at this price point that comes out to almost $3 an archetype. There are included backgrounds, but many of them are just slight alterations on core rule book backgrounds, and a characters background isn't that important to begin with.

No, the draw of the book is the (updated) world lore, that is why it's called the WORLD Guide.

I also don't understand how this is a problem for your PFS players at all, when this book isn't even PFS sanctioned.

It will be though, and the price isn't going to change between then and now, so that's not really an issue. It's the first book with new options, and they feel it's too expensive.

Silver Crusade

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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:

And what one needs changes from character to character and player to player.

And again it will depend on the pacing as well, Lost Omens is going to be slower than the previous lines, which were every month.

You're under the impression the it's cheaper due to frequemxy, but if you didn't buy every book previously, then you aren't saving any money now
You are unless you only bought one book the entire run of P1.
My PFS character only needed 3. I only pkayed the first 6 levels or so, but in total ahe cost me $35 ish, which is only enough for one book in the new run.

Just did some counting: Inner Sea Primer ($7.99 for the PDF) has 72 traits. Traits provide about 1/2 of what a background does for Second Edition. It also has three archetypes (all of which also require the Inner Sea World Guide, a discounted $9.99 PDF), and three Wizard subschools. That is a total of 75 options for the $7.99, or 78 if you also got the World Guide.

On the other hand the Lost Omens World Guide has 73 backgrounds (or basically the equivalent of 146 traits), 10 archetypes, 11 new items, 1 new feat, 1 new spell. For a total of 98 player options.


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I do not like this kind of calculations, because it seems to imply the lore content is basically worthless.


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Cori Marie wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:

And what one needs changes from character to character and player to player.

And again it will depend on the pacing as well, Lost Omens is going to be slower than the previous lines, which were every month.

You're under the impression the it's cheaper due to frequemxy, but if you didn't buy every book previously, then you aren't saving any money now
You are unless you only bought one book the entire run of P1.
My PFS character only needed 3. I only pkayed the first 6 levels or so, but in total ahe cost me $35 ish, which is only enough for one book in the new run.

Just did some counting: Inner Sea Primer ($7.99 for the PDF) has 72 traits. Traits provide about 1/2 of what a background does for Second Edition. It also has three archetypes (all of which also require the Inner Sea World Guide, a discounted $9.99 PDF), and three Wizard subschools. That is a total of 75 options for the $7.99, or 78 if you also got the World Guide.

On the other hand the Lost Omens World Guide has 73 backgrounds (or basically the equivalent of 146 traits), 10 archetypes, 11 new items, 1 new feat, 1 new spell. For a total of 98 player options.

You're assuming that all of those options are viable, and that the buyer wants to use them all. If one of my players only wants to use one option from the book, then it is much more expensive than previous.


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
You're assuming that all of those options are viable, and that the buyer wants to use them all. If one of my players only wants to use one option from the book, then it is much more expensive than previous.

I think the business calculation has to be based on “what kind of people buy most of our books”, not “is every single customer cohort better off?”

If you were picking up a campaign setting book for only one option (and not buying any other books) then things are now more expensive for you. I think your situation is peculiar if that represents a significant percentage of your playing group.

The example you gave previously (of your PFS character who needed three player companions) may well be cheaper now. Certainly people who create lots of characters are getting a better deal now and I think they are a far more significant cohort than people buying a book for a single option,


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Zaister wrote:
I do not like this kind of calculations, because it seems to imply the lore content is basically worthless.

It makes the argument stronger really. I think this book is a campaign setting analog, not a player companion analog (because of its lore focus). The calculation for a DM focussed 64 page PDF under the old way of doing things would show a more significant drop in “price per PC option”.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I think the business calculation has to be based on “what kind of people buy most of our books”, not “is every single customer cohort better off?”

If you were picking up a campaign setting book for only one option (and not buying any other books) then things are now more expensive for you. I think your situation is peculiar if that represents a significant percentage of your playing group.

This is how I and my play group purchase PDFs. We have exactly the ones with the options we want to be using. None of us could ever afford to buy every single release just to have it.

Steve Geddes wrote:
The example you gave previously (of your PFS character who needed three player companions) may well be cheaper now. Certainly people who create lots of characters are getting a better deal now and I think they are a far more significant cohort than people buying a book for a single option

I suppose that's fair. My group may very well not be the market for Paizo products, but it's now gone from us buying the books we needed, to not buying any books so I think that might be worth looking into.


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The example you gave previously (of your PFS character who needed three player companions) may well be cheaper now. Certainly people who create lots of characters are getting a better deal now and I think they are a far more significant cohort than people buying a book for a single option
I suppose that's fair. My group may very well not be the market for Paizo products, but it's now gone from us buying the books we needed, to not buying any books so I think that might be worth looking into.

I'd say, it's not that you're not the market for Paizo products; it's that maybe PFS isn't for your group. They're used to a no-to-low-cost hobby, and Organized Play isn't, unless they're willing to limit their PCs to CRB options. If you've enjoyed playing Pathfinder up to now without being "official," your group doesn't have to change; you could just keep playing Pathfinder the way you have been.

I mean, I don't play PFS. My home group has always shared a single copy of whatever books people buy. That's not a wrong way to play; most of us just couldn't have ever played PFS.


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Joana wrote:

I'd say, it's not that you're not the market for Paizo products; it's that maybe PFS isn't for your group. They're used to a no-to-low-cost hobby, and Organized Play isn't, unless they're willing to limit their PCs to CRB options. If you've enjoyed playing Pathfinder up to now without being "official," your group doesn't have to change; you could just keep playing Pathfinder the way you have been.

I mean, I don't play PFS. My home group has always shared a single copy of whatever books people buy. That's not a wrong way to play; most of us just couldn't have ever played PFS.

I guess that's just a sucky thing to say. "Sorry, this hobby isn't for you peasants." It's fair, just sucks.


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I think the business calculation has to be based on “what kind of people buy most of our books”, not “is every single customer cohort better off?”

If you were picking up a campaign setting book for only one option (and not buying any other books) then things are now more expensive for you. I think your situation is peculiar if that represents a significant percentage of your playing group.

This is how I and my play group purchase PDFs. We have exactly the ones with the options we want to be using. None of us could ever afford to buy every single release just to have it.

Steve Geddes wrote:
The example you gave previously (of your PFS character who needed three player companions) may well be cheaper now. Certainly people who create lots of characters are getting a better deal now and I think they are a far more significant cohort than people buying a book for a single option
I suppose that's fair. My group may very well not be the market for Paizo products, but it's now gone from us buying the books we needed, to not buying any books so I think that might be worth looking into.

I guess I’m confused at what’s going on.

The way I see it, everyone is getting a better deal except for people who play PFS and who have only one player companion.

Home games are getting more options per dollar and more pages per dollar.

PFS players with multiple characters will need fewer books to build those multiple characters. (Especially once the player focussed option comes out, as opposed to this campaign setting focussed option).

People like you who used three player companions to build a PFS character will be able to do so for less money.

Every change will have a losing group. In this case, its those who want to play PFS and who were going to buy one player companion and nothing else. I can see why they’d feel disappointed (as they now have to buy four and a bit player companions at once) but my impression is that’s a pretty small group of people. At least they can still play PFS using just the core rules - the hobby is cheaper for them now, even with the core Rulebook price increase.


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Joana wrote:

I'd say, it's not that you're not the market for Paizo products; it's that maybe PFS isn't for your group. They're used to a no-to-low-cost hobby, and Organized Play isn't, unless they're willing to limit their PCs to CRB options. If you've enjoyed playing Pathfinder up to now without being "official," your group doesn't have to change; you could just keep playing Pathfinder the way you have been.

I mean, I don't play PFS. My home group has always shared a single copy of whatever books people buy. That's not a wrong way to play; most of us just couldn't have ever played PFS.

I guess that's just a sucky thing to say. "Sorry, this hobby isn't for you peasants." It's fair, just sucks.

They can still play. It will be cheaper now.

The people you’re mentioning were buying the core rules and one player companion for a single option.

Now they will just buy the core rules and forgo that one option (since the $25 price is too high).

I don’t think it’s exclusionary, there’s a mild loss of options, that’s all (but an increase if they ever decide to get really into it and build multiple characters or build complicated PCs who would previously need to have used lots of books).


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Every change will have a losing group. In this case, its those who want to play PFS and who were going to buy one player companion and nothing else. I can see why they’d feel disappointed (as they now have to buy four and a bit player companions at once) but my impression is that’s a pretty small group of people. At least they can still play PFS using just the core rules - the hobby is cheaper for them now, even with the core Rulebook price increase.

That described my entire group of players. So now we are kind of stuck using just CRB content, which is a loss for us not having access to cool new options, and a loss for Paizo because we can't afford the books.

Steve Geddes wrote:

They can still play. It will be cheaper now.

The people you’re mentioning were buying the core rules and one player companion for a single option.

Now they will just buy the core rules and forgo that one option (since the $25 price is too high).

I don’t think it’s exclusionary

It FEELS exclusionary. Maybe that doesn't matter, but it doesn't feel good to be priced out of a hobby.


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
I guess that's just a sucky thing to say. "Sorry, this hobby isn't for you peasants." It's fair, just sucks.

I didn't get that at all from that post.

PFS (Pathfinder Society) is a formal play organization that uses some, but not all, of the material available for the game Pathfinder. Some of the material printed by Paizo for the game Pathfinder is not allowed to be used in the PFS games, or for PFS characters.

It is not at all necessary to belong to PFS, or to have characters that are legal to play in PFS if all you want to do is enjoy this hobby.

She was describing how groups who play together at home can enjoy the hobby without *any* of the constraints of the formal PFS rules. And how they can use some of the Pathfinder rules that are not allowed in PFS.

If you just want to play Pathfinder NO ONE in your group has to buy any Paizo materials. Paizo makes everything available online, for free.

Unlike any other gaming company, you can play using every single published rule FOR FREE


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Every change will have a losing group. In this case, its those who want to play PFS and who were going to buy one player companion and nothing else. I can see why they’d feel disappointed (as they now have to buy four and a bit player companions at once) but my impression is that’s a pretty small group of people. At least they can still play PFS using just the core rules - the hobby is cheaper for them now, even with the core Rulebook price increase.
That described my entire group of players. So now we are kind of stuck using just CRB content, which is a loss for us not having access to cool new options, and a loss for Paizo because we can't afford the books.

So (and I’m asking this because I’m interested in the RPG business and market, not because I have anything really to add to your situation - feel free to ignore me this is just my curiosity speaking)...

You personally have bought a handful of Player Companions and some core rulebooks. Your players have bought one player companion each. You all play PFS.

Is that right? Because I can see that group feeling messed around by the change (for the record, I think playing PFS with just the core rules is the likely best solution for you. It’s cheaper than it used to be as the rest of the group aren’t spending as much money, whereas you’re probably going to also save money by selecting your Lost Omens book judiciously). In terms of missing out on cool, new options that already was happening, since the players weren’t buying player companions.

I think yours is an incredibly rare situation. The people I’ve spoken to who were into PFS have generally bought a handful of Player Companions. The downside of the old way was often that one PC would need lots of books. That downside has been addressed by essentially colocating a lot of info from disparate companions in one, costlier but bigger book. (No need for an Armor book, a weapon book, a combat styles book and a dirty tricks book when you can now get the Lost Omens Guide To Battle (or whatever)). The new way has a downside too in the form of the all-or-nothing buy in. (It’s a lot like buying individual minis vs a case.)


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
It FEELS exclusionary. Maybe that doesn't matter, but it doesn't feel good to be priced out of a hobby.

I don’t think that’s a fair characterisation of what has happened. Things have changed, but the hobby is still very cheap. Your players can build their PCs only missing out on one or two options that they would have liked to use in PFS. You’ll probably be able to build your PFS PC for less money than if Paizo had continued under their old model.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

So (and I’m asking this because I’m interested in the RPG business and market, not because I have anything really to add to your situation - feel free to ignore me this is just my curiosity speaking)...

You personally have bought a handful of Player Companions and some core rulebooks. Your players have bought one player companion each. You all play PFS.

Is that right? Because I can see that group feeling messed around by the change (for the record, I think playing PFS with just the core rules is the likely best solution for you. It’s cheaper than it used to be as the rest of the group aren’t spending as much money, whereas you’re probably going to also save money by selecting your Lost Omens book judiciously). In terms of missing out on cool, new options that already was happening, since the players weren’t buying player companions.

Every player in my group would purchase the books they needed for the characters they wanted to play. For most of us this was 2 or 3 books per person, and then we would share them. Since starting PFS play, my players are fine with not being about to share materials, but are less fine with more expensive books. They thought if the books for more expensive, the party might be able to share them, but that isn't the case.

Steve Geddes wrote:
I think yours is an incredibly rare situation. The people I’ve spoken to who were into PFS have generally bought a handful of Player Companions. The downside of the old way was often that one PC would need lots of books. That downside has been addressed by essentially colocating a lot of info from disparate companions in one, costlier but bigger book. (No need for an Armor book, a weapon book, a combat styles book and a dirty tricks book when you can now get the Lost Omens Guide To Battle (or whatever)). The new way has a downside too in the form of the all-or-nothing buy in. (It’s a lot like buying individual minis vs a case.)

The all or nothing buy in is the problem we are having. There is no option to replace being able to purchase only the content you needed, so we have been priced out of PFS play.

Steve Geddes wrote:
I don’t think that’s a fair characterisation of what has happened. Things have changed, but the hobby is still very cheap. Your players can build their PCs only missing out on one or two options that they would have liked to use in PFS. You’ll probably be able to build your PFS PC for less money than if Paizo had continued under their old model.

That's just currently untrue, as none of my players want to buy the LOWG, but several of them wanted to use the archetypes in it.

CrystalSeas wrote:
It is not at all necessary to belong to PFS, or to have characters that are legal to play in PFS if all you want to do is enjoy this hobby.

If you want to play PFS, if your want PFS to be your hobby, then you need legal characters and to own the books containing that characters rules. My group is being priced out of PFS play.

Grand Lodge

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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
none of my players want to buy the LOWG, but several of them wanted to use the archetypes in it.

Really? You/they might lose a lot of sympathy with that kind of attitude. Are your players really suggesting that they should be able to benefit from Paizo’s efforts without having to pay for it?


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TwilightKnight wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
none of my players want to buy the LOWG, but several of them wanted to use the archetypes in it.
Really? You/they might lose a lot of sympathy with that kind of attitude. Are your players really suggesting that they should be able to benefit from Paizo’s efforts without having to pay for it?

No. He’s not suggesting that (they’re not going to use them in PFS play).

He’s saying they want to use them but they feel the book is so sparse option-wise that it doesn’t present good value. They can no longer buy “bite sized chunks” of player options via the $10-49 player companions that they used to but rather have to buy $25 worth at once.

The complaint is one of lost granularity (objectively true) not one of having to pay for creative content.


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

So (and I’m asking this because I’m interested in the RPG business and market, not because I have anything really to add to your situation - feel free to ignore me this is just my curiosity speaking)...

You personally have bought a handful of Player Companions and some core rulebooks. Your players have bought one player companion each. You all play PFS.

Is that right? Because I can see that group feeling messed around by the change (for the record, I think playing PFS with just the core rules is the likely best solution for you. It’s cheaper than it used to be as the rest of the group aren’t spending as much money, whereas you’re probably going to also save money by selecting your Lost Omens book judiciously). In terms of missing out on cool, new options that already was happening, since the players weren’t buying player companions.

Every player in my group would purchase the books they needed for the characters they wanted to play. For most of us this was 2 or 3 books per person, and then we would share them. Since starting PFS play, my players are fine with not being about to share materials, but are less fine with more expensive books. They thought if the books for more expensive, the party might be able to share them, but that isn't the case.

The good news for them is that the player options are now cheaper. I think this is a transition shock, rather than an actual penalty.

I think it’s important to recognise that this book is more akin to a campaign setting book in the old scheme (ie a 64 page PDF with very few PC options). Presumably they didn’t buy them either. (Did many of them own the Gazetteer?)

The next book is more player focussed and that is where they’ll see a saving.

In PFS under the old scheme they were spending $30 for their characters. Now they’ll be able to spend $25 (as the one book will have as many PC options for a lower price than the three or four they had to buy previously for $10-49 each).

At the very least, I’d suggest waiting to see how it pans out with a new system and with the new supplement structure. This was the first in a sometimes-DM-sometimes-PC-sometimes-both line of books and it sounds to me that they’re comparing it to the old PC-focussed line.

They can share yours for the lore/flavour/world history stuff (which was a big focus of this release - not so geared towards PFS players as it is to people new to Golarion). Future releases might have more what they’re looking for.

I think you’re identifying a problem I also have with the new structure (albeit from a different perspective than me). Namely, that by mingling the two product lines and trying to “serve two masters”, as it were it’s not going to serve either as effectively. I used to fidget with excitement as Campaign Setting books came out (and kind of flip through player companion books with minimal excitement, by and large). I can see how a price sensitive purchaser could perhaps see it as “wasted content” (in this case some of the player options they’re looking for have been displaced by flavour material). Even though, I suspect a PFS character will now be cheaper for them once a true player-focussed book comes out (one $25 purchase will give what $42 previously used to).

If cashflow is an issue, one could now buy a $8 gift voucher each month for three months leading up to a books’s Release (or just after it, to see what’s in it), in lieu of three $10-49 player companion purchases.

Long story short: Paizo face a difficult choice. Any big change results in some cohort of disgruntled customers. (I really don’t agree with “priced out of the hobby” characterisation, but I won’t press it. Feelings are more important than clinical analysis in that regard. If they feel that way it’s as meaningful as if they’re actually being asked to pay more).

Silver Crusade

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Zaister wrote:
I do not like this kind of calculations, because it seems to imply the lore content is basically worthless.

Oh I absolutely agree with you. I bought this book for the lore, the art, and least importantly, the options. I was just trying to point out that there were more options available than in a Player Companion geared to the same audience

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Rysky wrote:
But what does that have to do with PFS? The title is "Paizo and third party publishers" not "Paizo pricing and PFS requirements".
I guess my title was bad, It's hard to articulate the discussion I'm trying to have.

I've renamed the thread to something more relevant.

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