Pathfinder 2E How is Pathfinder doing?


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Retreater

Legend
Isnt Roll20 one of the worst platforms to play PF2e on? Thats why alot of PF2e players use Foundry?
Yes, and I currently run PF2e on Foundry, but...
When Roll20 is the number one VTT and its numbers of PF2e are very low, that is showing that PF2e isn't engaging players on the very biggest online platform.
But by comparison, looking at the percentage of system installs on the Forge (the biggest hosting site for Foundry)...
D&D 5e is installed in 76% of all accounts.
PF1e is installed in 5% of all accounts.
PF2e is installed in 18% of all accounts.
(Granted PF1e was already no longer being produced by Paizo by the time Foundry VTT got out of beta testing.)
 

Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
Isnt Roll20 one of the worst platforms to play PF2e on? Thats why alot of PF2e players use Foundry?
I would generally agree - especially if you place a premium on automation.
And I say this even though I have used Roll20 to run a PF2 campaign over 62 sessions. My method is probably atypical, though. DMing on Roll20, I have all creatures and NPCs detailed on paper, make all rolls for them with physical dice, and take notes on damage and conditions on paper, just like I would in a normal face-to-face session. Only the PCs are fully integrated into the Roll20 interface, and they also have to keep notes on damage and conditions on the side.

Roll20 works fine to display maps and movement, which is all I really use it for.
But it does mean that any statistics referencing use of Roll20 for various games is certainly misleading and not indicative of overall game use trends.
 

grankless

Explorer
There's also the fact that the Orr report does not actually measure campaigns played in any way - it measures games created. The five 1e campaigns that I created that never got past session 0 count for as much as the 1e campaign I gmed to completion.

Roll 20's Pathfinder 2e support is abysmal - it took them a year to get some supplements on there, and they've already announced they're not even going to carry the most popular 2e adventure path, Abomination Vaults which is getting a robust Paizo-official release on Foundry. The PF2e community writ large actively de-recommends Roll 20 for the game, because their support is just that abysmal. After 2 years, they don't even have spell heightening automated for cantrips. And the sheet is hideous. Fantasy Grounds gets more support both from the community and officially (from both Paizo and FG), and Foundry has the heaviest community support currently and just got a bunch of official stuff released and incoming while still having a much lower barrier of entry, cost wise, than R20, since you don't have to buy every last book to use the stuff - it's all from the SRD, with only the true adventure content costing anything.
 

Staffan

Legend
And the sheet is hideous.
One thing that really, really bothers be about Roll20 sheets is that if I as the GM wants to look at a player's sheet and I switch the sheet to a different tab, it also switches the tab on that player's screen. Similarly, if I check the "whisper roll to GM" checkbox because I want to make a secret Arcana roll or something, I have to remember to uncheck it because otherwise the sheet will keep sending stuff as whispers.
 

JThursby

Adventurer
In a recent update video to the Foundry VTT PF2e system, system developer TMun shared with us that 40% of all tables at Paizocon this year are going to be using Foundry VTT. That's combining the in-person tables with the online tables. So if you ever wanted a statistic to back-up the generally accepted notion of where all the Pathfinder players are, there you go.
 

Green Onceler

Explorer
Has Paizo discontinued their Pawns line? According to PathfinderWiki it looks like the last release the Abomination Vaults Pawn Collection in June 2021.
 


dirtypool

Explorer
I don't know that the Orr report and Reddit engagement really gives anything approaching a clear picture of how PF2e is doing. The Orr report only measures engagement on a VTT platform that is not the preferred VTT of PF2 players, and contains a HUGE uncategorized group of games that could indeed include a lot of people's non AP PF2 campaigns that were created.

Reddit engagement is purely anecdotal, and most discussion about Paizo product - old and new - happens on Paizo's forums.

Meanwhile, ICV2 numbers show that PF2 is back in the #2 sales slot and Paizo themselves claim PF2 is selling better at this point in its life cycle than PF1 was in terms of raw numbers. Which seems perfectly reasonable given how much large the sales pie has grown in the wake of the increasing popularity of 5e.
 

gss000

Explorer
I don't know that the Orr report and Reddit engagement really gives anything approaching a clear picture of how PF2e is doing. The Orr report only measures engagement on a VTT platform that is not the preferred VTT of PF2 players, and contains a HUGE uncategorized group of games that could indeed include a lot of people's non AP PF2 campaigns that were created.
True, but without an idea of how many total are using Foundry, I'm not 100% convinced that the best supported PF2 platform is the one the most players are using. When I deal in my work with situations like the uncertain number of players you mentioned in the uncategorized group, I assume its percentages are distributed just like the other groups.
Meanwhile, ICV2 numbers show that PF2 is back in the #2 sales slot and Paizo themselves claim PF2 is selling better at this point in its life cycle than PF1 was in terms of raw numbers. Which seems perfectly reasonable given how much large the sales pie has grown in the wake of the increasing popularity of 5e.
Because ICV2 numbers only show relative ranking, I don't put too much stock into the rises and falls. For instance, if PF2 drops to #3, is it because of a sales decrease or another game having a banner quarter? There's no indication of the reason or even what #2 means one quarter versus the next.

Meanwhile, could you point to that Paizo claim? Last one I saw - and this was a bit ago - they said it was doing as well as PF1 in 2015, which was not a great sign. What you mention is a much better one. As always, we're dealing with limited amounts of information so any bit helps when answering a question like the OP.

Edited to strike out statement that is wrong now that I see the actual quote I misremembered.
 
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dirtypool

Explorer
I really don't see how a report that shows how many campaigns were created on a single VTT platform is somehow more reflective of a games overall status than a quarterly sales report. Sure, we don't have hard and fast numbers to show how many sales those numbers actually represent - but being at number 2 again certainly shows that it is doing better than than the other games ranked in sales from 3 on downward.

As for the sales comparison statements, I can certainly dig back through the Paizo forums to find it if you really want - but these were statements made by staff in the midst of a pretty hefty posting period last summer during the controversy that led to the Paizo Workers Union so there is a lot to wade through.

Here is the first of the ones I've been able to find on my dig, where Erik Mona specifically says that the current state of the game (then March 2021) was more akin to PF1 in 2011 than PF1 in 2015

 
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gss000

Explorer
I really don't see how a report that shows how many campaigns were created on a single VTT platform is somehow more reflective of a games overall status than a quarterly sales report. Sure, we don't have hard and fast numbers to show how many sales those numbers actually represent - but being at number 2 again certainly shows that it is doing better than than the other games ranked in sales from 3 on downward.
Your last sentence is all ICV2 numbers show. Here's a math example of why it's not the best. Say in one quarter the rankings translate to these types of sales:

#1 D&D 5E - represents $100 million in sales
#2 Call of Cthulhu - represents $31 million in sales
#3 PF2 - represents $25 million in sales

Then the next quarter there's the following:
#1 D&D 5E - represents $100 million in sales
#2 PF2 - represents $20 million in sales
#3 Call of Cthulhu - represents $15 million in sales

That's just one scenario. I could construct others for PF2 sales rising or staying the same. Because you only see the #1, #2, #3, and not the numbers that give them that rank there can be multiple explanations for the same results.

And I don't disagree that there is issue with a single VTT stat. But that one stat shows you a trend at least, which this does not. Ranking without rationale tells you little. I can go on a side discussion on what the Roll20 number, and what we know about other VTTs, tell you but that's not addressing your statement.
 

dirtypool

Explorer
A single statistic from Roll 20 shows you a trend about Roll 20, not necessarily a trend about Pathfinder 2e. Stating that a flawed metric like that has more value than a sales figure is bad information literacy. Looking at the Orr Report you could in fact conclude that Call of Cthulhu continues to perform incredibly well in the market place this year just as it did in last years Orr Report data and is even capable of rivaling PF2 for the #2 slot as represented by your using it as the example of the #3 slot. The Orr Report would indicate that view is wholly accurate

The actual sales ranking, admittedly without total dollar values, would show instead that CoC rejoined the top 5 best sellers in the #5 slot for the first time in 6 years in Q1 of this year.

These two statements of that games overall health and market penetration are vastly different.

Whether I see the dollar value associated with the ranking or not, I see that PF2's market penetration remains in the same general place in relation to every other product on the market. No it doesn't show me Paizo's profit, but it shows me how well it is doing in relation to how well D&D is doing and how well Goodman Games' 3rd party content is doing. It allows me to take a temperature.

Looking at how many users created campaigns on Roll20 does not allow me to take a temperature of PF2, but of Roll20 users.
 

gss000

Explorer
A single statistic from Roll 20 shows you a trend about Roll 20, not necessarily a trend about Pathfinder 2e. Stating that a flawed metric like that has more value than a sales figure is bad information literacy. Looking at the Orr Report you could in fact conclude that Call of Cthulhu continues to perform incredibly well in the market place this year just as it did in last years Orr Report data and is even capable of rivaling PF2 for the #2 slot as represented by your using it as the example of the #3 slot. The Orr Report would indicate that view is wholly accurate.
Please reread what I said. You are putting words in my mouth about Roll 20 stats and their meaning, and then attacking my information literacy. I did admit there are problems with it, but I'm discounting the ICV2 ranking that you are assuming automatically means health when all it tells you is ranking based on what little is out there.

The actual sales ranking, admittedly without total dollar values, would show instead that CoC rejoined the top 5 best sellers in the #5 slot for the first time in 6 years in Q1 of this year.

These two statements of that games overall health and market penetration are vastly different.
Yes, exactly. That's my point. You don't have any information about why the numbers changed. Instead you've made a narrative that fits your view. I could make several narratives with vastly different scenarios that fit the ICV2 ranking. I'm not saying any conclusion is wrong or right, I'm just saying it's not a simple ranking is not good indicator with nothing else that backs it up. Read what I wrote again.

Whether I see the dollar value associated with the ranking or not, I see that PF2's market penetration remains in the same general place in relation to every other product on the market. No it doesn't show me Paizo's profit, but it shows me how well it is doing in relation to how well D&D is doing and how well Goodman Games' 3rd party content is doing. It allows me to take a temperature.
No, it doesn't allow you to take a temperature. That's the fallacy and the mistake people make with the ICV2 numbers that only show you top 5. I agree it shows you how one is relative to the other, but without something that translates to sales or the equivalent thereof, your assumptions and views are coloring your conclusions. You need more indicators or something from other sites.

I'm not saying PF2 is doing poorly. I'm saying you believe it's doing well so you're giving additional meaning to a stat that can't tell you that at all!

Looking at how many users created campaigns on Roll20 does not allow me to take a temperature of PF2, but of Roll20 users.
Again, I didn't say anything to the contrary. You brought in Roll 20. My first point was about Foundry and how there's not enough data for me to conclude it's the one most players are using. I know it's the one that best supports PF2 play, but the two are different. I was speaking mostly about ICV2, which you can't learn anything by general statements like "more players are using Foundry."

Here is the first of the ones I've been able to find on my dig, where Erik Mona specifically says that the current state of the game (then March 2021) was more akin to PF1 in 2011 than PF1 in 2015

Okay. What you write and what Mona wrote are actually two different things. He writes, "In terms of the overall timeline, we are not in the "2015" of Pathfinder Second Edition. We are in the "2011" of Pathfinder Second Edition. And the fundamental business (and the game's fundamental design) is much more sound, and the potential for growth much more significant, than it was back then." Erik is saying that in the lifetime of a game, PF2 at 2 years old is at the same stage of it's lifecycle of PF2 when it was two years old and not at the end of it's lifecycle. I sure hope so! But he does not write that it's selling better than PF1 like you stated. He writes the business is "more sound" - it should be with the explosion of roleplaying games because of 5E - and has better growth potential -again, it should with the larger market! Maybe there is another quote but this does not back your statement.

Once again for the class, I am not saying that PF2 is doing poorly. All I'm saying is that one fact people quote to support that conclusion doesn't support it one way or another.
 

dirtypool

Explorer
How can a sales ranking that aggregates sales data from FLGS, independent and chain bookstores and Kickstarter to create an indication of quarterly sales NOT be a demonstration of the games performance? What do you think indicates how well a game is doing if not copies of the game itself being sold?

Sales success for a saleable product is an indicator of success.

The number of people who created a campaign and clicked the button for the product on one of many VTT’s is actually a meaningless data point. Sales is a meaningful data point
 
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JThursby

Adventurer
Okay. What you write and what Mona wrote are actually two different things. He writes, "In terms of the overall timeline, we are not in the "2015" of Pathfinder Second Edition. We are in the "2011" of Pathfinder Second Edition. And the fundamental business (and the game's fundamental design) is much more sound, and the potential for growth much more significant, than it was back then." Erik is saying that in the lifetime of a game, PF2 at 2 years old is at the same stage of it's lifecycle of PF2 when it was two years old and not at the end of it's lifecycle. I sure hope so! But he does not write that it's selling better than PF1 like you stated. He writes the business is "more sound" - it should be with the explosion of roleplaying games because of 5E - and has better growth potential -again, it should with the larger market! Maybe there is another quote but this does not back your statement.
This is an incredibly tortured interpretation of Erik Mona's statement to excise it of the very clear content and intent that @dirtypool described. You very conveniently left out the statement that subscriptions are much higher than before. If you're going to accuse someone of cherry picking to build a narrative you should take pains to not do so yourself.

How about instead of our opinion about which VTT Pathfinder 2e user are on, how about Paizo's?

-Foundry VTT is the only VTT with a panel at PaizoCon this year, all the other ones are merely associates with the event.
-Over 40% of all PaizoCon tables are Pathfinder 2e on Foundry. This is summing up all game tables, including in person and online, and between all game systems.
-The current ongoing adventure path has no plans to release to Roll20, nor is there any indication that Paizo is interested in releasing new premium content on Roll20.

Unless there's some huge secret silent group of Fantasy Grounds players that are taking far more of the player base than anyone could account for, the message seems pretty clear for where Paizo thinks the online players are.
 

Retreater

Legend
Here are some alternative metrics...
Are there PF games available to play at major conventions? (GenCon has 230 listed, Origins nearly 200)
How's PFS organized play going? (looks like hundreds of available games on Warhorn you could join)
Is Paizo still announcing and releasing new products? (looks like yes, whether you're talking about PFS adventures, adventure paths, hard covers, etc. - likely even more than Wizards is releasing for 5e)
Are they expanding into new digital territory, showing development in distribution? (yes, new official Foundry VTT integration, more content added to Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, the Nexus app)

It hardly seems like a dead (or dying) system. Does it have less growth than 5e? Well, yeah! Everything does - including Savage Worlds, Call of Cthulhu, Level Up, Free League's myriad systems, etc. But it's still a viable system that continues to gain new players and likely has many good years left in it.
 

gss000

Explorer
This is an incredibly tortured interpretation of Erik Mona's statement to excise it of the very clear content and intent that @dirtypool described. You very conveniently left out the statement that subscriptions are much higher than before. If you're going to accuse someone of cherry picking to build a narrative you should take pains to not do so yourself.
Jeez. That is not a tortured interpretation. First - again - I'm not even saying it's bad now. Read his actual statement. Mona writes, "Most of our subscriptions are higher now than they were 2 years ago. In ALL of those cases they are also higher than they were 3 years ago. And 5 years ago." He's saying that PF2 is better in year two than at points toward the end of PF1's lifecycle. That's good. I didn't say it was doing poorly, but it's not a celebration statement that a relatively new game raises subscriptions from a game at that's been out for a while and was clearly not gaining players due to age.

How about instead of our opinion about which VTT Pathfinder 2e user are on, how about Paizo's?

-Foundry VTT is the only VTT with a panel at PaizoCon this year, all the other ones are merely associates with the event.
-Over 40% of all PaizoCon tables are Pathfinder 2e on Foundry. This is summing up all game tables, including in person and online, and between all game systems.
-The current ongoing adventure path has no plans to release to Roll20, nor is there any indication that Paizo is interested in releasing new premium content on Roll20.

Unless there's some huge secret silent group of Fantasy Grounds players that are taking far more of the player base than anyone could account for, the message seems pretty clear for where Paizo thinks the online players are.
Read. My. Post. I said Foundry is the best supported platform, which all your statements incdicate. What the message says is Paizo thinks Foundry is the best platform for its games. It doesn't say anything about numbers. There are a whole host of reasons - like Foundry willing to put effort into modules that Roll 20 will not - that it wants to support Foundry over Roll 20. And I don't blame them. But as I said, best supported does not necessarily mean most players on the VTT.

By your logic, Pathfinder making a 5E game means it knows where the players are- and it's not PF2. To be explicit, I don't actually believe that.
 

dirtypool

Explorer
Jeez. That is not a tortured interpretation. First - again - I'm not even saying it's bad now. Read his actual statement. Mona writes, "Most of our subscriptions are higher now than they were 2 years ago. In ALL of those cases they are also higher than they were 3 years ago. And 5 years ago." He's saying that PF2 is better in year two than at points toward the end of PF1's lifecycle. That's good. I didn't say it was doing poorly, but it's not a celebration statement that a relatively new game raises subscriptions from a game at that's been out for a while and was clearly not gaining players due to age.


Read. My. Post. I said Foundry is the best supported platform, which all your statements incdicate. What the message says is Paizo thinks Foundry is the best platform for its games. It doesn't say anything about numbers. There are a whole host of reasons - like Foundry willing to put effort into modules that Roll 20 will not - that it wants to support Foundry over Roll 20. And I don't blame them. But as I said, best supported does not necessarily mean most players on the VTT.

By your logic, Pathfinder making a 5E game means it knows where the players are- and it's not PF2. To be explicit, I don't actually believe that.
We have “Read. Your. Posts.” and more than one of us have provided data that counters the assumptions you are making about data that in no way says what you are drawing from it.

Maybe stop with the “my opinion is the objective truth” stuff and look at the totality of what has been said by others
 

Dragonsbane

Proud Grognard
My whole group migrated to PF2. We played 5E for a while, but my house rules got to be too much, and PF2 fixed the 9 pages to 1 :)
We just finished AV, 40 sessions. What a game. No deaths except in the last scene where one player became a ghost when he died, but SO many exciting and close combats. My other group is playing a custom scenario involving the Egyptian/Atlantis-type area of my world, trying to deal with a forming entity that got split into 5 personas (gods are not all-powerful in my setting, they didn't make the universe, just lv 16 to 20 avatars) and where ley-lines are appearing, threatening to tear the world apart.

Never looked back to 5E.
 

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