I wonder how much Paizo realizes how easy it is just to make a pathfinder 2.5 without paizo thanks to the OGL


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Paizo must be aware the OGL makes it real easy for people to just yoink pf2 like paizo yoinked d&d 3.5.

Heck it doesn't even have to be pf 2.5,it could be pf 2.01, I love the rules so much.

Which leads me to speculate how much the company is committed to allegedly abusive and absolutely not worker friendly management... The game rules are there for anybody to just take after all. Why risk it?

Paizo has pivoted before and I trust they're smart enough to pivot again.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wizards of the Coast opened an opportunity for competitors with D&D via their numerous mistakes with D&D 4th edition. Paizo was the big winner of this contest with their 1st edition of Pathfinder.

While D&D 3.5 was still an active system, the most successful derivative that I am aware of was Arcana Unearthed/Evolved. Any competitor to PF2 developed now would be looking at a similarly very limited market share.

But in either case, just "yoinking" the rules and reprinting them wasn't enough. The publishers of both game systems put considerable work into revising the existing rules for their own settings.

Shadow Lodge

There have been two attempts to do so with the 1E rules.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TOZ wrote:
There have been two attempts to do so with the 1E rules.

Are either of them getting anywhere?

Porphyra seems to have slowed to a crawl, and I can't find any recent updates for Corefinder.

And note that both of these were started after Paizo announced PF2. Competing with PF2 (as opposed to making 3rd party products for it) is tougher when it is an actively supported system.

Grand Lodge

Well, at least you've heard of them. That counts for something? :P


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Paizo management cannot do anything to actively support the game. It's the creative, admin, and warehouse staff that does it and what if they decide to... Continue doing it just not for paizo management anymore?

Of course logistics is very hard to overcome, but creative output? That can be redirected with very little barrier.

Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Azih wrote:

Paizo management cannot do anything to actively support the game. It's the creative, admin, and warehouse staff that does it and what if they decide to... Continue doing it just not for paizo management anymore?

Of course logistics is very hard to overcome, but creative output? That can be redirected with very little barrier.

Then go do it. There is an HR issue (internal) and you are posting to sabotage a company on their own message boards.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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I don't think that fans always realize how difficult it is to produce stuff of the quality that companies like Paizo put out, or the unique advantages that Paizo had that allowed them to become so big.

I think that progress toward addressing the concerns that have come to light includes a vocal and active fan base that stays informed of the company's actions, makes it clear that those actions will play a role in future purchasing decisions, and does what they can to provide support and goodwill toward the ground-level employees who do good work. I don't believe that just trying to crank out a parallel game, likely through a company with little marketing presence and minimal resources, would have an impact on business decisions.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If poor management can destroy a game company, good management could actively support the game that it makes. The proper role of management is to eliminate barriers to the productivity of their employees so that everyone involved prospers.

So should we support a company with bad management for the sake of its lower level employees (who remain employed but under bad conditions), or should we dry up the company's income to induce some creative destruction? I must admit that I am unsure as to the best course of action here, as the alternatives to this company don't seem to be any better.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I mean, yeah. But paizo still owns all the setting stuff that's IP and not part of an OGL. The game mechanics are nothing special; it's all about the setting.

-Skeld

Silver Crusade

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And the art.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The thing to remember is that Pathfinder is more than just the rules, as the setting is very much something that Paizo has worked hard to cultivate and expand on. Starting on a little island surrounded by a number of nations, it has become the ultimate kitchen sink setting.

Yeah, you can use the rules and create your "own game." The setting, however, is the backbone of the Pathfinder experience.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

When someone asks me how I knew this whole current 2021 kerfuffle was potentially a very significant moment for this company - I will say that it was because someone suggested using the OGL to cut Paizo out of the loop and make “our own” version of the game.


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dirtypool wrote:
When someone asks me how I knew this whole current 2021 kerfuffle was potentially a very significant moment for this company - I will say that it was because someone suggested using the OGL to cut Paizo out of the loop and make “our own” version of the game.

This has been suggested since 2018 and despite the fact that there's a vocal group of people who have loudly declared that anybody who will put out Pathfinder 1.1 (1.5, 1.6, D&D 3.75 etc.) to carry the torch that was dropped by Paizo will have their money in an instant, no such product has coalesced (I'm not counting Porphyra RPG and Corefinder, they're too different from the original).

So, it's not that easy, despite the rules being open.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I was more commenting on the fact that there tends to be a thread about it at moments where the player base is concerned about the future of the game or company.

I lurked in the 1e days but I was around and saw just such a thread amid the PF2 playtest and then again at launch.

Player base gets stressy, out comes the idea to “steal it back” - though this is the first one for 2e. Progress.


My point is that while it's "very easy" to do so when it comes to rules since they're open, it's next to impossible to be able to meaningfully compete with Paizo for the same customer with the same product.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I didn’t say anything about the ease of doing it. Don’t care how easy it would be or not, I was making a meta commentary on the thread itself. I’m fully aware of how very unlikely and even foolish such a thing might be - but thanks for explaining to me, twice, the answer to a question I did not ask.

Grand Lodge

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Azih wrote:
Paizo must be aware the OGL makes it real easy for people to just yoink pf2 like paizo yoinked d&d 3.5.

Why bother, Paizo literally puts all the rules up in Archives of Nethys for free. Just because you stop buying products from Paizo doesn't mean you have to stop playing the game, including rules that you haven't even paid for. Its the very reason why org play has to support a policy of source ownership, otherwise a massive part of the community would stop buying all the expensive books when they are only going to use a few pages. Find your favorite content creators. Support their work through 3PP and patreon. Just don't give any money to Paizo.


Given how active Paizo became with DMCAs recently, I believe the current mindset of the management will soon lead to closing down AoN or restricting it to core rules only, while making broader access paywalled. Everything that was disclosed recently on Twitter only reinforces me in this belief.

Silver Crusade

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AoN is the official PRD for Paizo.


Is Paizo legally obliged to have a full PRD? To my knowledge, it is their business policy which can be reversed at any time.

Silver Crusade

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The OGL comes into play here for that, but I'm not an expert on such matters.


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CyberMephit wrote:
Is Paizo legally obliged to have a full PRD? To my knowledge, it is their business policy which can be reversed at any time.

I don't believe Paizo is obligated to provide a full PRD, but I believe they cannot stop one from independently existing, outside of changes to their community use policy, which only covers product identity stuff (mainly Golarion-specific flavor stuff; the rules related to such would still be available, but wouldn't be able to use names; see D20PFSRD for 1e, which because they host a storefront, falls outside the Community Use policy, but still is able to exist due to OGL, but they have to rename some stuff, like "Dawnflower Dervish" becoming "Dervish of the Dawn" because Dawnflower is product identity). To my understanding there's not much Paizo could do to stop that, if they wanted to, at least until PF3e, if they chose to abandon the OGL (which would require quite a lot of expunging of aspects they can only use by virtue of the 3.0/3.5 SRD published through the OGL, to the extent it probably wouldn't even look like an evolution of the same game).

Silver Crusade

Yep yep.


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"I wonder how much Paizo realizes how easy it is just to make a pathfinder 2.5 without paizo thanks to the OGL"

They know *exactly* how easy it is... and how hard, as well.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

You can crib the rules from Pathfinder 2e easily, for sure. But if they cared about that they wouldn't have put them all up for us to use for free.

But I don't buy Paizo products for the rules, but the creative world they've built, which is definitely copyright.

With no disrespect to Owen Stephens above, I don't find a whole lot of 3rd-party stuff that well done. And a lot of it is just taking stuff that already exists and "converting" it to the pet ruleset, regardless of whether it's thematically appropriate or is balanced. 3rd party material is best when it fulfills a niche currently unfulfilled: That's why I bought Fat Goblin Games' "Close Encounters: Hyperspace Fiends", because it converted a lot of 1e demons/devils that I felt were important to Starfinder.

Paulyhedron wrote:


Then go do it. There is an HR issue (internal) and you are posting to sabotage a company on their own message boards.

Also that. I'm amazed Paizo puts up with this venomous bile on their boards.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The setting is what makes Pathfinder great. Rules are rules. Some people will like them, others will find ways to do their own thing: house rules, 3rd party publishers, whatever. You can pick and choose the rules all you want. They are really selling you Golarion or the-mystery-of-what-happened-to-space-golarion. It's in the pathfinder/starfinder society. It's in all the books after the rules. It's in everything they produce because that's what's important. Rules are rules, but Golarion is the magic that binds it all together, this world built by a 100 authors and everyone who plays and reads all the flavor text.


I'm genuinely shocked to see how many people care about the pathfinder setting. I only care about the rules and use none of their IP and I assumed that was normal, but I guess people actually think golarion is good?

Dark Archive

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If people didn't like the setting, they wouldn't sell setting books.


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Filthy Lucre wrote:
I'm genuinely shocked to see how many people care about the pathfinder setting. I only care about the rules and use none of their IP and I assumed that was normal, but I guess people actually think golarion is good?

Yeah, of course, duh, I mean, rules are just some fluffy math, lore and art is the real crunchy value of any TTRPG.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Leon Aquilla wrote:

What I can't get from Genesys/GURPS/Savage Worlds/5e is for instance:

1. What are the circumstances under which a Paladin loses their divine powers from their patron deity?

2. What boons/spells do deities bestow upon their specific followers?

3. What mechanical benefit is there to becoming a Hellknight?

etc.

In fairness, those questions probably are answered in the Savage Worlds Pathfinder release.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I forgot about that!


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Filthy Lucre wrote:
I'm genuinely shocked to see how many people care about the pathfinder setting. I only care about the rules and use none of their IP and I assumed that was normal, but I guess people actually think golarion is good?

There are at least three camps, none of which are small.

Gimme the rules, I don't care about the setting.

Gimme the setting, I don't care about the rules.

Gimme both, I need them together.

Obviously, Paizo has a significant advantage in marketing to all three at once. And since no one can do the setting without Paizo, and Paizo already gives away the rules without setting for free, pretty clearly they don't see people trying to steal those markets as serious issues.

Of course, there are sub-groups, like "Gimme these rules AND a complete setting, made by these people, with this tone, I don't care if it's Golarion." That group MIGHT be one someone could steal... but it would be difficult and time consuming.

I sat in a lot of meetings about these questions for Starfinder and PF2 within the company. Everyone involved is expertly aware of the potential risks, and what it would take for any person or group to try to capitalize on them in a way that would damage Paizo's sales.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just going to drop a little link in here for reference...

Intellectual Property in RPGs

Dark Archive

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It's not that easy. Yooka-Laylee is no Banjo Kazooie.


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Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Filthy Lucre wrote:
I'm genuinely shocked to see how many people care about the pathfinder setting. I only care about the rules and use none of their IP and I assumed that was normal, but I guess people actually think golarion is good?

There are at least three camps, none of which are small.

Gimme the rules, I don't care about the setting.

Gimme the setting, I don't care about the rules.

Gimme both, I need them together.

Obviously, Paizo has a significant advantage in marketing to all three at once. And since no one can do the setting without Paizo, and Paizo already gives away the rules without setting for free, pretty clearly they don't see people trying to steal those markets as serious issues.

Of course, there are sub-groups, like "Gimme these rules AND a complete setting, made by these people, with this tone, I don't care if it's Golarion." That group MIGHT be one someone could steal... but it would be difficult and time consuming.

I sat in a lot of meetings about these questions for Starfinder and PF2 within the company. Everyone involved is expertly aware of the potential risks, and what it would take for any person or group to try to capitalize on them in a way that would damage Paizo's sales.

Given Paizo baked the setting into the rules of 2E in the core book then it would seem they think category one is potentially the smallest? Just a guess

But the fact that it even exists mean comments expressing surprise that people like the setting are arguably the most surprising ones


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This is a thought experiment more than anything else. Really what I'm pointing out is that I care far more about talented, creative, and dedicated people than companies.

Basically I would follow what someone like a Louis Loza, or Eleanor Ferron, or Logan Bonner would do in the future with far more interest than Paizo Inc.


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Filthy Lucre wrote:
I'm genuinely shocked to see how many people care about the pathfinder setting. I only care about the rules and use none of their IP and I assumed that was normal, but I guess people actually think golarion is good?

Same. The main reason I subscribe to the lost omens is to support Paizo because I like the ruleset itself. I've been using my own homebrew world setting for decades, it just had a different ruleset OS under the hood over the years :)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Azih wrote:

This is a thought experiment more than anything else. Really what I'm pointing out is that I care far more about talented, creative, and dedicated people than companies.

Basically I would follow what someone like a Louis Loza, or Eleanor Ferron, or Logan Bonner would do in the future with far more interest than Paizo Inc.

Kinda hard to follow Luis Loza if you can't spell his name right, lmao.

Just kidding, of course! I'm of the same mindset. I'd rather follow the makings of individual designers, developers and adventure writers rather than the company of Paizo itself.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Azih wrote:

This is a thought experiment more than anything else. Really what I'm pointing out is that I care far more about talented, creative, and dedicated people than companies.

Basically I would follow what someone like a Louis Loza, or Eleanor Ferron, or Logan Bonner would do in the future with far more interest than Paizo Inc.

Both Luis and Logan have released ancestries as PDFs. Logan's pnoll and Luis's rabbitfolk are both inexpensive and available immediately.

Most people aren't aware of them, because, frankly, it's really hard to beat the marketing of a sizeable company with dedicated staff for it, with subscriptions, a web team, etc.

The Exchange

Filthy Lucre wrote:
I'm genuinely shocked to see how many people care about the pathfinder setting. I only care about the rules and use none of their IP and I assumed that was normal, but I guess people actually think golarion is good?

Well, that's how Pathfinder came into existence. PF started out as a 3.5 endeavor, and it was all about the setting and the adventures. And when they asked us if we would prefer them staying with 3.5 or going with 4E (I don't remember if they already talked about doing their own thing at that point of time) a lot of us told them that we actually didn't care that much because we were in it for the setting and the APs.

Of course Paizo exploded with PF 1, but still they used the rules as a vehicle to sell the APs, not the other way round. That may have changed in the meantime, but given how they meshed the rules with the setting in 2E, I don't think it changed that much.


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WormysQueue wrote:
That may have changed in the meantime, but given how they meshed the rules with the setting in 2E, I don't think it changed that much.
Lanathar wrote:
Given Paizo baked the setting into the rules of 2E in the core book then it would seem they think category one is potentially the smallest? Just a guess

People keep saying that the setting and the rules are tied together but I don't see any evidence of this.

For example, which class features of the rogue depend on using Golarion lore/setting?

Or, which parts of the rules on animal companions are inextricably linked to Golarion lore/setting?

Is it even possible to tie any kind of mechanical rules to lore in such a way that they can never be seperated or reflavored? I don't think so


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Given that you can't just "copy-paste-publish," I think Paizo knows exactly how hard it would be. The work that goes into writing, editing, the art, layout, publishing, etc...

The bigger risk to Paizo, IMO, is that many people came to Paizo because we appreciated the values espoused by the company and had grown to dislike WotC/Hasbro. It would be easy to just go back to D&D if folks wanted.

I'm taking all of this with some skepticism (some of the allegations seem legit while others seem rooted in either bad blood or emotional distress). I can also tell you, as someone who has represented management and employees, there are always two sides to every story -- even when you think the merits weigh more heavily on one side than the other.

But I am watching to see what Paizo does.

The Exchange

Filthy Lucre wrote:
People keep saying that the setting and the rules are tied together but I don't see any evidence of this.

I see it this way: It starts with the goblins being promoted to a Core Ancestry, and that happened solely due to the popularity Goblins gained within the Golarion setting. Also a whole chapter being dedicated to the setting.

It continues with sidebars in the Monster Manuals that specificially point to Golarion.

But more importantly, apart from the pure rulebooks, you now also have the Lost Omen line with books like the Character and the Ancestry Guide that would both have mostly been treated as setting-neutral books in the first edition.

So

Quote:
Is it even possible to tie any kind of mechanical rules to lore in such a way that they can never be seperated or reflavored? I don't think so

So I wasn't saying that you can't separate or reflavor rules options easily enough (especially as that has never been wrong regardless of setting and rules system). Still part of the rules are now severely flavored in setting painting that wouldn't have been in PF 1 as well as part of the rules books now contain setting references when PF1 didn't do that. And in my opinion that shows that they are aware that their setting has much more importance for their ongoing success than you seem to think it has.


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WormysQueue wrote:
Filthy Lucre wrote:
People keep saying that the setting and the rules are tied together but I don't see any evidence of this.

I see it this way: It starts with the goblins being promoted to a Core Ancestry, and that happened solely due to the popularity Goblins gained within the Golarion setting. Also a whole chapter being dedicated to the setting.

It continues with sidebars in the Monster Manuals that specificially point to Golarion.

But more importantly, apart from the pure rulebooks, you now also have the Lost Omen line with books like the Character and the Ancestry Guide that would both have mostly been treated as setting-neutral books in the first edition.

Is that really from popularity within the Golarion setting or popularity in general? How would anyone really tell the difference?


Rather than going to another system. The creative staff that makes the game what it is can continue to use the same rules and fork off of them really easily.

From what I can see the system does an excellent job of making clear how to slot in rules for a new setting by being so modular. It's made very clear what elements are needed to create a new diety for example, and it's similarly clear how to create ancestries, backgrounds, and archetypes that are region specific.

I love Golarion and the beautiful art and layout paizos resources are able to provide. But not enough to put up with abusive management from a Corp causing stress to staff. Notarcadia western setting using the pf2 SRD rules would do.

And I realize I don't have the full picture, but I have no hesitation in choosing who I trust more between Sara Marie and Diego as opposed to those that caused them to no longer be employed at paizo and it's... Not... Close.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CyberMephit wrote:
Given how active Paizo became with DMCAs recently, I believe the current mindset of the management will soon lead to closing down AoN or restricting it to core rules only, while making broader access paywalled. Everything that was disclosed recently on Twitter only reinforces me in this belief.

I believe the announcement of Pathfinder Infinite pretty directly flies in the face of this supposition.

And as someone who has spent dozens of hours writing homebrew for PF1e and PF2e both, I just have to say - those of you saying "it would be so easy for someone to just take the rules and make a 2.5 system" have no gorram idea the scale of the task you are talking about.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thejeff wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Filthy Lucre wrote:
People keep saying that the setting and the rules are tied together but I don't see any evidence of this.

I see it this way: It starts with the goblins being promoted to a Core Ancestry, and that happened solely due to the popularity Goblins gained within the Golarion setting. Also a whole chapter being dedicated to the setting.

It continues with sidebars in the Monster Manuals that specificially point to Golarion.

But more importantly, apart from the pure rulebooks, you now also have the Lost Omen line with books like the Character and the Ancestry Guide that would both have mostly been treated as setting-neutral books in the first edition.

Is that really from popularity within the Golarion setting or popularity in general? How would anyone really tell the difference?

From my position: It really is from Golarion. Rules are great fun, but without stories to back up the rules, they're just rules. Think of the rules as the cameras and sets and CGI programs and practical effects that make up a movie. Those things were both used to make your FAVORITE movie and your LEAST FAVORITE movie. It's the artists who use the rules to make stories that folks can enjoy that build attachments. That's how it's always seemed in my head. We couldn't do this thing without rules, but we wouldn't STILL be doing this thing without stories.

As for the original question, I'll echo the reply that we know how HARD it is. If it were easy to replace Pathfinder, I suspect I'd be posting this reply to a different part of the internet.

That said, one of the best parts about the OGL is that this CAN HAPPEN eventually. For many years, D&D was my favorite RPG. Today, 2nd edition Pathfinder is. At some point in the future, it'll be some new game. We'll just all have to wait and see, I guess.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
thejeff wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Filthy Lucre wrote:
People keep saying that the setting and the rules are tied together but I don't see any evidence of this.

I see it this way: It starts with the goblins being promoted to a Core Ancestry, and that happened solely due to the popularity Goblins gained within the Golarion setting. Also a whole chapter being dedicated to the setting.

It continues with sidebars in the Monster Manuals that specificially point to Golarion.

But more importantly, apart from the pure rulebooks, you now also have the Lost Omen line with books like the Character and the Ancestry Guide that would both have mostly been treated as setting-neutral books in the first edition.

Is that really from popularity within the Golarion setting or popularity in general? How would anyone really tell the difference?
From my position: It really is from Golarion. Rules are great fun, but without stories to back up the rules, they're just rules. Think of the rules as the cameras and sets and CGI programs and practical effects that make up a movie. Those things were both used to make your FAVORITE movie and your LEAST FAVORITE movie. It's the artists who use the rules to make stories that folks can enjoy that build attachments. That's how it's always seemed in my head. We couldn't do this thing without rules, but we wouldn't STILL be doing this thing without stories.

Dwarves > Goblins, prove me wrong.

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