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3 minutes ago, Bruunwald said:

There are few reasons I can think of, marketing wise, that might seem a benefit to Paizo for jamming the setting into the core, among them what you're saying here. There are also reasons I can think of why it's a bad decision, marketing-wise. Chief among them that Golarion isn't exactly a property as hot as Star Wars, the Cthulhu Mythos, WH40K, or even Forgotten Realms, and Paizo would be banking an awful lot on reeling people in on an IP that is years-tested, yet still not on many people's top ten lists.

 

I meant it makes sense for D&D--I agree it doesn't seem to make as much sense for Paizo.

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26 minutes ago, Bruunwald said:

I wouldn't call any of those books "dry reference material." They are filled with exciting illustrations, game play examples, advice on world building, fascinating spell descriptions, and yes, a tiny amount of fluff.

 

"Dry reference material" is the old SRD WoTC put out that removed all actual IP and had only statistics, charts, and the barest instructions on how to use the rules. Yet, even that has a sort of fascination to it.

 

Now, you need to be careful. Implying that only the most obsessed people would ever bother to read any of the books that came before your time is wrong-headed and kind of gross. Do you really think you can dismiss entire generations of players like that?

 

Getting back to it, all I am saying is that vanilla rulesets are very handy tools. They are instruments for world building and storytelling, like guitars are instruments for music. You can always buy a new songbook if you want to do something new with that guitar. A guitar that is programmed to play one tune, would be pretty worthless to me.

Ok. I started playing with 3.5. I didn't mean to be insulting, but I had my first 3 or 4 characters (all those before 5e) made more or less for me because I couldn't get through the rules.

 

This was true for many of my friends who gamed before 5e, as well. The rules only became interesting once you played several times with guidance.

 

Guitars are actually a good example of what I mean. While you can teach yourself to play a guitar and read music, It's difficult without a teacher, especially if you only have fingering charts and sheet music. However, with guided instruction books and interesting music, it becomes much easier. Most people read the music for their first songs and play familiar tunes. Very few start by writings songs, which could comparable to settings in your comparison. 

 

Additionally, most people don't want to invest in more than one book to learn to play a new game when the books can cost $25-50. It's a large investment for the younger audience, with no guaranteed reward. 

 

I don't quite personally understand why fluff vs. no fluff is so heated among veterans...maybe I haven't read enough rulebooks to know. I'm just stating observations as someone in the younger, newer to rpg audience new editions are usually aiming for. From veterans, I've heard an incredible amount that still play AD&D 1 and 2. With people still preferring their beginning system in general, new editions make more sense to market to gamers new or mostly new to the scene. 

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The only problem I have with mixing fluff with rules is when you run into things like a requirement for taking a certain ability (feat, background, whatever) that is setting specific, like being from a certain country or city or being a member of an organization. What really bugs me when they do this is using that to balance said ability. This ability might be really good, but to take it you have to accept the role-playing challenge of being hunted or the world holding a poor opinion if you. In pathfinder rules, in particular, it can be really hard to find what exactly the drawbacks of being part of one of these groups are supposed to be. 

 

After playing many systems, trying to balance rules with unspecific role-playing (fluff) challenges is the biggest thing that will annoy me. 

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I don't have a horse in this race since I hadn't heard of pathfinder under the forums here, but... 

 

8 hours ago, PaganMegan said:

Wow!

 

I just texted Grump the notice, which did no good at all, because I just heard his phone get the text.

 

It's still plugged into the wall.

 

And people wonder why I talk to him so much on the forums.

 

^that has to be the most reliable way of being absolutely certain you know where your phone is... Can't lose it if it's always in that one precise spot! 

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1 hour ago, Keianna said:

The only problem I have with mixing fluff with rules is when you run into things like a requirement for taking a certain ability (feat, background, whatever) that is setting specific, like being from a certain country or city or being a member of an organization. What really bugs me when they do this is using that to balance said ability. This ability might be really good, but to take it you have to accept the role-playing challenge of being hunted or the world holding a poor opinion if you. In pathfinder rules, in particular, it can be really hard to find what exactly the drawbacks of being part of one of these groups are supposed to be. 

 

After playing many systems, trying to balance rules with unspecific role-playing (fluff) challenges is the biggest thing that will annoy me. 

 

Our solution to this - and it's something that bugs me too - is essentially to ignore it, or re-write the fluff where necessary. I don't think the new version is going to stop us doing that, anymore than the fluff being a thing in earlier editions stopped us from ignoring or re-writing the fluff where we found it necessary.

 

Fluff tie in certainly isn't going to stop us using The Dark Eye for a custom setting, despite that system being very thoroughly tied to Aventuria. I don't see why it should stop somebody using any version of Pathfinder for whatever they want, if it fits their style.

 

That may just be how we roll, though. ^^;

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13 hours ago, Pingo said:

 

Wow, I did not know that. After you posted I checked dates and 4e came out in ‘08 (good lord, that long ago?) and Pathfinder came out in ‘09 (as rcently as that?).

 

13 hours ago, Clearman said:

 

Yes.  I didn't realize there was over a full year between 4e and Pathfinder...

 

3.5e was so well loved, and as SamuraiJack mentioned 4e played so much like a video game, the community revolved.

 

Pathfinder was a 3.5 campaign setting before it was a solo game, with the original Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting being published in September of 2008. And many of the changes to races were done in the campaign setting book, if I remember it correctly. It came out almost exactly a year after WotC killed Paizo's license for Dungeon and Dragon magazines because they were ramping up to push 4e and part of that was killing Dungeon and Dragon as print magazines. The Pathfinder Chronicles stuff then evolved into Pathfinder the game.

 

9 hours ago, Marvin said:

 

I can relate to this in some senses, I think. I always loved how my earliest D&D experiences were framed in a very specific but also blank space. We even played in the Greyhawk setting while simultaneously knowing nothing about it because the game mechanics and the fluff were totally separate entities. We had the PHB and the poster map, a scant bit of here-and-there knowledge. It was neat.

 

These days got freakin' Drizzt in the PHB grumble grumble rabble rabble.

 

And I mean, they werent that bad or anything, but still. The flavor's all over the place, seems like. I actually don't understand why the D&D powers didn't do an entirely straight, clean PHB for 5e and then release a kickin' guidebook for pertinent settings. I understand wanting to avoid the overload of previous editions, but I'd've been all-in on such a setup.

 

Anyway. It's one of the things I thought Pathfinder did very well, on the whole. Golarion, even, ad a world, is big enough with enough blank space that a body can operate. As much as I love Dragonlance, and the Realms to a lesser degree, they always feel like other people's stories. It's nice having that license to create without having to erase something first, at any rate.

 

I dunno. I felt like the 5e PHB was pretty much setting agnostic. Much more so than the 3.x ones, at least, where they threw Greyhawk at you in force. It kept spell names like Melf's Acid Arrow and Bigby's Hand, but despite those having originally been tied to the Greyhawk setting they've become an intrinsic part of D&D by being in literally every PHB I've seen from at least 2e on. It references the Forgotten Realms in a few sidebars, like the one about Drizzt, but on the whole I don't recall there being a lot of "D&D takes place in Faerûn" type stuff. It's more of a "The Forgotten Realms are one setting, and we like it a lot, but there are others" type feel. And aside from the spell names, it's all in sidebars.

 

As for Pathfinder 2, I knew it was coming sooner rather than later. Especially after they published Pathfinder Unchained a few years back. People were screaming and crying then that it was the dawn of Pathfinder 2.0, but I knew they'd continue to milk the current edition longer because it was still a really strong seller. Personally, I think they're finally feeling some pressure from WotC again, since 5e is doing well. Combine that with the need to do some major housekeeping to trim down rule bloat, eliminate some of the contradictions or double rulings they've introduced, and further fix some of the issues that were carried over for the sake of 3.x compatibility and you've got all the impetus needed to develop a new edition.

 

It's the same reason why AD&D 2e came about. Originally, 2e was supposed to simply be a reorganizing of the 1e rulebooks into something a little friendlier to new players. But there were so many optional and additional rules that were published for 1e that had become a de facto standard in play that they needed to clean the game up. So they rolled some of the Unearthed Arcana stuff into the PHB and DMG, because by that point it had basically become Core Rulebook #4, they clarified a bunch of rulings and errata by putting them into the rules or changing wordings, and suddenly what was supposed to have been an exercise in reorganization became the writing of a new edition.

 

I'll probably pick up the core rulebook and the first bestiary, just because I'm the kind of person who tends to collect systems, but I doubt I'll pick up much else. Especially since I've got a couple thousand dollars worth of Pathfinder stuff that I've never used because finding a stable group around here is practically impossible. Doubly so when you're like me and have a work schedule that's almost the exact opposite of the common 9-5 Mon-Fri. But having the core books is always good. You never know when you'll be 80 and have all the free time in the world to sit and roll dice with all your other 80 year old nerd friends. And you may want to change systems now and again just for variety.

Edited by Unruly
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16 hours ago, Pingo said:

 

Wow, I did not know that. After you posted I checked dates and 4e came out in ‘08 (good lord, that long ago?) and Pathfinder came out in ‘09 (as rcently as that?).

 

We’re currently looking over the Starfinder players’ book and seeing some intriguing possibilities.

 

 

Husband has been running Starfinder.

 

I’ve been enjoying it. 

 

 

I particularly like the idea idea of magic and science co-existing in space. 

 

This has made me ok with science and tech co-existing with my fantasy. When previously I hated the idea of guns in my fantasy game, and barrier peaks was a big turn off to me. It now feels like a continum and I like playing around in both sides of this history. 

 

The more I read on Glolarian the more and more I like the setting. 

 

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Also, With all the usual “OMG a new edition!” Hate and moaning. I may avoid the internet until August, when I can look at the play test rules myself. 

 

My quick glance at the New edition FAQ makes it clear that Pazio knows people like the original Pathfinder, and they will let people play the original Pathfinder forever. (Selling the smaller versions of the printed rule books as long as the sell and the PDFs indefinitely.) 

 

And they are very much know they aren’t changing the rules lightly. 

I am sure they would appreciate rational fact based discussions on their website on the areas that concern people. 

 

But here and in my local group it seems like a large part of the initial reaction has been “People are thinking about moving my cheese! This is going to be horrible.” 

 

:sigh: 

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10 hours ago, WhiteWulfe said:

I don't have a horse in this race since I hadn't heard of pathfinder under the forums here, but... 

 

 

^that has to be the most reliable way of being absolutely certain you know where your phone is... Can't lose it if it's always in that one precise spot! 

See! See! There IS a reason!

 

Really, I just forget about it - a phone is supposed to be on the wall, with a crank on the side to make every phone on the line ring! (In mining country, one LOOOOOONNNNGGGG steady ring meant one thing, and it was bad news.)

 

The Auld Grump - Huron Kansas, which is also where I found an old French tank, hidden away in a disused barn... A Renault FT....

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I'm also thinking of the huge outlay of cash people have made.. People have shelled out tons of cash for Hero Lab, which doesn't actually count as 'owning' the books for organized play so you also need to buy the PDF or hard cover.  Not to mention all the OGL stuff out there and things like Rappan Athuk and Razor Coast.  I'm wondering how many kickstarters for Pathfinder content are going to be 'legacy' books by the time they deliver.  Will the guy who codes the YAPCG excel sheet most of my players use decide to stop adding content because he's going to have to start working on version for 2.0 with his limited spare time?

 

Home games will be ok because you can just ignore 2.0, but Organized Play is going to be a nightmare.  We'll have 5 different branches of organized play, but two will no longer get additional content.  

 

the system does need work, but they also need to slow down their release schedule and work on balancing new content more.. the monthly books are hit or miss on content quality these days.. they have core mechanics like DR, then create a bunch of class powers that totally ignore DR and half of the other monster defenses.. Eidolons with a 50% miss chance like incorporeal undead at 7th level.. and their old APs can't keep up with the power creep.. 

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14 hours ago, Marvin said:

 

I think this is pretty fair, if maybe overestimating both the dullness of the more straightforward early books and the usefulness of any PHB beyond rules referencing beyond the initial read-throughs. Marketing-wise it probably does make a lot of sense to include some sort of fluff in base materials to help hook the n00bz.

You want to see a dry, vanilla ruleset?   Go back and look at the original Traveller RPG core rules, otherwise known as the Little Black Books.  Not a single piece of fluff or illustration in them, IIRC. OTOH, they're a pretty decent ruleset stuffed into 8.5x5.5" booklets.   All the fluff came in later supplements and adventures. 

 

13 hours ago, Paradoxical Mouse said:

Ok. I started playing with 3.5. I didn't mean to be insulting, but I had my first 3 or 4 characters (all those before 5e) made more or less for me because I couldn't get through the rules.

 

This was true for many of my friends who gamed before 5e, as well. The rules only became interesting once you played several times with guidance.

to be fair, that's been a problem with D&D in general for a _lot_ of years.  There have been many other rulesets that don't have such complicated character generation and advancement, such as Savage Worlds and Warhammer FRP. And then there are ones that are worse (looking at you, GURPS). 

It will be interesting to see what actually happens with this new edition of Pathfinder.  As someone whose game group stuck with 3.5e when 4e came out, I understand completely why Pathfinder was successful. With the rising popularity of 5e, I don't think Pathfinder 2e is going to have the same growth environment it did. I do hope it does well, though - there should always be room for RPGs with different styles. 

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Thinking it over, I am getting kind of attached to the Three Actions and a Reaction.

 

In particular, Reaction opens up possibilities beyond the standard 'I hit him as he goes by' Attack of Opportunity.

 

@SamuraiJackThat huge pile of books is likely part of the reason they are turning the Etch-a-Sketch over, and giving it a shake.

 

Too many books makes entry harder, even though the information is available free online.

 

Paizo has been incredibly consistent in their release schedule - three hardcovers a year, at least one of which is either a monster book or a setting/genre book. (I count Mythic Adventures, Occult Adventures, and Horror Adventures as genre books. Great if you want to play those variants, but they are variants. I have them, but have not yet really used them.)

 

Likewise, they have a set schedule for their perfect bound books - but those are something where you can pick and choose. I think I have fewer than half of them.

 

When suggesting which books a GM/Player get... I am a lot more stingy - Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide, Ultimate Campaign, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, with Gamemastery for the GM. (You will note the lack of Bestiaries. Over time I have discovered that I am a lot more likely to use the creatures from the SRD than the books - cutting and pasting for the win.)

 

I will point out that even Paizo admitted that the Summoner quickly became unbalanced, and nerfed it hard for organized play. (I think it may be the only class where the Unchained version became the official version.) So... grab the Unchained version of the Summoner out of the online SRD.

 

Aside from the Summoner, power creep has not been that bad - and the classes in both Horror Adventures and Occult Adventures might have crept the other way.

 

Most of those DR ignoring mechanics - that I can think of, at least - are shackled to vulnerabilities that mean having to give it a bit of though before going down that route. (Wow! I can ignore 5 points of DR!... but can't use magic weapons... let me think about that.) Talking mostly about some of the odder class archetypes for monks and barbarians there. (Wow! I can have five points of DR! But can't wear any armor beyond a shield... uhm....)

 

So, not nearly as bad as 4e's 'Everything in hardcover! And everything is core!!1!' But the mountain has been growing larger by those three hardcovers a year for almost ten years. It... adds up.

 

Not so bad for those of us that entered ten years ago, not so good for folks just starting.

 

So, starting over, with a smaller pile of books... is an understandable goal, much as I may love my bibliophiliac mountain.

 

The thing that I most fear is that they go too far in their changes, and end up with no real means to convert from Pathfinder to Pathfinder 2. (Which is where I think D&D 4e took its fatal step. Telling the GMs not to bother converting, but to just start over... was kind of anti-marketing. Every other misstep was something that could have been corrected for.)

 

And I pray to all the gods that the folks at Paizo don't decide to cast aside the OGL.

 

***

 

The kids are up for the playtest - after we finish Reign of Fire. Which means not until the playtest is well under way. The grownups are currently too invested in the older Pathfinder. (They have their own mountains of books.)

 

The Auld Grump - when I converted to Pathfinder, my intent was that I would be mostly using the books from 3.X - both official and third party. As time passed, I ended up using almost entirely material written for Pathfinder - both official and third party... but some of those third party books are official.... (Advanced Bestiary leaps to mind, as does City of Brass, which was written for 3.5....)

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16 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

With the rising popularity of 5e, I don't think Pathfinder 2e is going to have the same growth environment it did.

Not saying this to bash Pathfinder but it is doubtful, yes.

Pathfinder's rise to success was in part owed to D&D 4th edition's own crashing and burning....


But D&D is back and at a level of prominence not seen since, according to the people working there, 2nd Edition. Just this week, despite being four years old, the Player's Handbook reached #5 on Amazon...

Between the marketing power of Almighty Hasbro, the name brand recognition and the popularity of things like Critical Role and Stranger Things... I just don't see any edition of Pathfinder outselling/outplaying D&D in the foreseeable future.

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17 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

And I pray to all the gods that the folks at Paizo don't decide to cast aside the OGL.

Can they?  Or at least not without a huge rewrite? 

I mean, Pathfinder's core was pretty well established on the 3.5e OGL. 

I don't know, I've only been peripherally aware of Pathfinder all this time - mainly interested in it because of its origin story.

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Locally, it is on par with Pathfinder, but neither Pathfinder nor 5e has reached anywhere near the dominance of 3.5.

 

2e... hard to say, the local bookstores were only there for the tail end of 2e, when TSR was crashing and burning. (We lost a lot of bookstores around that time - Bookland, Booksmith, and others just folded up their tents.)

 

But from what I saw... 3e left that tag end of 2e in the dust. AD&D was dying hard.

 

3e brought back a lot of old timers - myself included.

 

The Auld Grump

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