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ICv2's Top 5 RPGs for Spring 2020 - D&D 3PPs In The Chart!

ICv2's latest set of figures are in (I compile them all here) and, while there's little surprise about D&D followed by Pathfinder coming in the top two places, and Starfinder also featuring, there's a new entry -- "5E-Compatible". These are for Spring 2020.

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The 5E-Compatible category, according to ICv2's online magazine, shows that collectively third-party D&D products are doing well, although none individually make the top five chart. Goodman Games was called out in particular, as were Kobold Press and Nord Games. RPGs as a whole, however, took a (small) dip for the first time in years, likely due to COVID.

One retailer commented on WotC's D&D releases, noting that while sales of recent books have been 'OK', it's been a while since a really big hit like the Volo and Xanathar Guides.

1Dungeons & DragonsWizards of the Coast
2PathfinderPaizo
35E-CompatibleVarious
4StarfinderPaizo
5CyberpunkR. Talsorian
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

GreyLord

Hero
Could be. But usually it's a bad sign to sell your entire product line for drastically less than it's MSRP this early in the product line. It usually means their going for quick cash at the expense of long term profit when a company does something like that. But, it doesn't HAVE to mean that. It could be what you're saying, it's just that all the other signs about PF2 that I've mentioned don't point to this being what you're saying.

Overall, I think you are correct in the idea that PF2e is not selling as well as PF1e. I've agree with many of your posts.

I know we have one avid PF player in our group who has constantly harangued us to run Pathfinder games. They normally DM the PF sessions. We tried P2e. We have played 2e...we hated it more than PF1e. We MIGHT break down and let them run the occasional 1e game...we are never going to play 2e again possibly (though I will give some leniency and try out the PF2e beginner box...I'll give them one more chance to soften me up). If our group is any indication, even groups that were willing to give PF1e an occasional go...are not so forgiving for 2e.

With that in mind, I don't think them offering the humble bundle necessarily indicates that PF2e is doing horrible, or that they are going for quick cash.

It may be, with the Pandemic going on, and the hardships that are affecting others, that they were actually doing this out of charity and hopes to help others. It could be instead that they felt that the best way to help spread aid to those needing it via charity was to do something like they did with the Humble Bundle.
 

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Jimmy Dick

Explorer
The price of the core book alone is more than $30 normally. So yeah, the rest is all being thrown in free. And by doing that, they loose any chance people will buy that same product in the future - given they already have it for free. Plus they gave away more of their small amount of profit to charity with this one. I do not think they "made" much money at all in this deal. You know, given the cost of that big print book and all the rest is fairly high, and is NOT "printing costs" but is in fact the price of all their overhead for the business. As someone who has run a manufacturing business exclusively for 15 years now in addition to advising other businesses, I know well that the primary cost of all products is the overhead, and not the raw manufacturing cost. Raw manufacturing costs are a fraction of the total cost. Usually I can multiple the raw cost by 4 to get to break-even.



Could be. But usually it's a bad sign to sell your entire product line for drastically less than it's MSRP this early in the product line. It usually means their going for quick cash at the expense of long term profit when a company does something like that. But, it doesn't HAVE to mean that. It could be what you're saying, it's just that all the other signs about PF2 that I've mentioned don't point to this being what you're saying.



Again, it includes the full size hardback core rulebook. The physical copy. And, it includes all the overhead from the company for all those products. It's funny that you mention their marketing department and then discount the cost of the marketing department to zero in your assessment of it being all "profit". My guess is almost none of this was profit. They may have even lost money in the long term with this.
I will flat out disagree with your assessment. You are ignoring the reality that they sold mostly digital materials. They didn't sell that many hard copy CRBs. In the TTRPG industry, print costs are tremendously high. When they sold the digital copies, they were making mostly pure profit. This is the problem for many physical manufacturers today. They just don't know how the digital production costs work. Remember, Paizo has not laid off anyone during this pandemic and is currently hiring. So much for your assessment. I'd go on, but it is obvious you just have a negative attitude regarding 2e and Paizo. In case you forgot, Paizo has been doing Humble Bundles for a long time with their products and has grown as a company over the years. If they were losing money they wouldn't have survived as a company for the last two decades.
 


I think they are a profitable company and I think they have some momentum currently with the Kingmaker game coming out on consoles. That said I don't think they can sustain the current business model they have without branching more into videogames and other media like they have also done with the Starfinder on Alexa game.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'm truly surprised by this. I would had expected the contrary.
I can't speak for Paizo, but a lot of their work can be done remotely. The warehousing and shipping is more difficult but the design work can easily be done from home. Lots of it already is by freelancers.
 

Mercador

Explorer
I can't speak for Paizo, but a lot of their work can be done remotely. The warehousing and shipping is more difficult but the design work can easily be done from home. Lots of it already is by freelancers.
Yeah, I understand but a lot of people loose (lost?) their jobs (or will by the end of the fiscal year). Leisure is the first budget item that is cut when you are short on money. So if sales of TTRPG are on the rise, I'm pleasantly surprised.
 

Retreater

Legend
Yeah, I understand but a lot of people loose (lost?) their jobs (or will by the end of the fiscal year). Leisure is the first budget item that is cut when you are short on money. So if sales of TTRPG are on the rise, I'm pleasantly surprised.
I don't know about everybody else, but I (for now) have more leisure time and am playing a lot more than I normally would. I am also not dining out, going to karaoke bars, breweries, movies, gaming conventions, sporting events, concerts, theaters, etc. So really gaming is my only entertainment.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't know about everybody else, but I (for now) have more leisure time and am playing a lot more than I normally would. I am also not dining out, going to karaoke bars, breweries, movies, gaming conventions, sporting events, concerts, theaters, etc. So really gaming is my only entertainment.

WotC and Fandom, at least, are saying that they are having a banner sales year through the pandemic.
 

Sure, but so what? ‘Easy to learn’ is still a steeper learning curve than ‘stick with what you know,’ which also has the benefit of being cheaper, and doesn’t come with a risk of turning out to be something you hate. Plus you have all those supplements for the old edition...

A lot of people ‘aren’t on the 2E train’ because the 1E train is comfortable, takes them where they want to go and (very important) they’ve already paid for the tickets.
You left out one key element - many of them haven't played through what they have already in terms of adventures and adventure paths.

@Mistwell - Paizo will cause not a few people to buy the dead tree for some of those PDFs. If 10% do so, they're likely to make another $100K or more after costs.
 

macd21

Adventurer
You left out one key element - many of them haven't played through what they have already in terms of adventures and adventure paths.

I was including those under ‘supplements for the old edition.’ But yeah, many PF players have stacks of material they haven’t gotten through yet. And not just adventures - there’s classes they want to play, monsters they want to throw at PCs, character builds they want to try out. The fact that they are happy to continue doing so rather than moving to PF2 doesn’t make them close minded.
 

Mercador

Explorer
I don't know about everybody else, but I (for now) have more leisure time and am playing a lot more than I normally would. I am also not dining out, going to karaoke bars, breweries, movies, gaming conventions, sporting events, concerts, theaters, etc. So really gaming is my only entertainment.
Good point. What it shows me is that I don't allow me any leisure like that, so it might explains why I haven't think of those...
 

BryonD

Hero
So what you are saying is that you haven't played Pathfinder Second Edition.

I started playing and running AD&D back in 1979. I enjoyed the role play aspect of the game and the tremendous amount of fun I had for years. It is quite obvious that what Gygax and Arneson started has evolved over time into a complete industry with a lot of different rules systems. You may not like 2e, but unless you have actually played it, you don't know what you are talking about.

My offer to run a PFS2 scenarios stands.
Sorry for the long absence. But, to give a quick reply: It is hilarious that you think you know what I know and what I like better than I do.

I know quite well and quite specifically why PF2E fails to deliver the kind of gaming experience that I want. If you go digging in the Pathfinder forum you can find details.

But, again, please continue to blame the customer. That always ends well.
 


Jimmy Dick

Explorer
Sorry for the long absence. But, to give a quick reply: It is hilarious that you think you know what I know and what I like better than I do.

I know quite well and quite specifically why PF2E fails to deliver the kind of gaming experience that I want. If you go digging in the Pathfinder forum you can find details.

But, again, please continue to blame the customer. That always ends well.

So, once again you have indicated you have not played Pathfinder Second Edition. Therefore, you don't know what you are talking about. You are just a disgruntled PF1 player angry that Paizo made a new edition and stopped producing new content for PF1.

PF2 is a great success. They have broken all their previous sales records with this edition. You're just going to have to live with the reality instead of the fantasy you prefer.

My offer of running a PFS2 session stands.

You can come hang out on the Discord forums for PFS2 if you want to learn more. PFS2 Discord

Have a nice day!
Xathos of Varisia
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You are just a disgruntled PF1 player angry that Paizo made a new edition and stopped producing new content for PF1.
....
Have a nice day!

Mod Note:
"Let me insult you, and then tell you to have a nice day!" is not going to fly.

We expect rather more respect for your fellow posters than shown here. Be better.
 

BryonD

Hero
So, once again you have indicated you have not played Pathfinder Second Edition. Therefore, you don't know what you are talking about. You are just a disgruntled PF1 player angry that Paizo made a new edition and stopped producing new content for PF1.
Huh?
I said I know exactly what about PF2E I dislike. How can that POSSIBLY indicate I haven't played it.
It is TRUE that I have not played it "a lot". But you seem to be just saying what you wish was true here and ignoring what is actually said.

For the record, I'm disappointed that Paizo choose to go a direction that rejects important gaming ideas to my personal playstyle. Why shouldn't I be?
But there are lots of companies not catering to me. And, you can even find me suggesting that it may be a bad idea to cater to me specifically because I actally do appreciate where my tastes fall within the big tent of 2020 gaming. And I'm cool with that.

PF2 is a great success. They have broken all their previous sales records with this edition. You're just going to have to live with the reality instead of the fantasy you prefer.
OK
I'll be over here with data and stuff.

I've been down this road before and I know how the story ends.

My offer of running a PFS2 session stands.

You can come hang out on the Discord forums for PFS2 if you want to learn more. PFS2 Discord
And my request for you to FIRST explain how you understand my personal dissatisfaction with PF2E and will mitigate my concerns also still stands. If you can do that, then I'm there.
 

Jimmy Dick

Explorer
Huh?
I said I know exactly what about PF2E I dislike. How can that POSSIBLY indicate I haven't played it.
It is TRUE that I have not played it "a lot". But you seem to be just saying what you wish was true here and ignoring what is actually said.

For the record, I'm disappointed that Paizo choose to go a direction that rejects important gaming ideas to my personal playstyle. Why shouldn't I be?
But there are lots of companies not catering to me. And, you can even find me suggesting that it may be a bad idea to cater to me specifically because I actally do appreciate where my tastes fall within the big tent of 2020 gaming. And I'm cool with that.


OK
I'll be over here with data and stuff.

I've been down this road before and I know how the story ends.


And my request for you to FIRST explain how you understand my personal dissatisfaction with PF2E and will mitigate my concerns also still stands. If you can do that, then I'm there.
The usual blah blah blah.

Offer to run a game of PFS2 still stands any time you actually want to play the edition.
 

BryonD

Hero
The usual blah blah blah.

Offer to run a game of PFS2 still stands any time you actually want to play the edition.
HA!
How does "And my request for you to FIRST explain how you understand my personal dissatisfaction with PF2E and will mitigate my concerns also still stands. If you can do that, then I'm there. " get hand-waved away as "blah blah blah".
You clearly can't even wrap your brain around the distinction between "Jimmy likes it" and "other people like it".

I've given you a completely reasonable condition for your offer. I accept your duck and run response as admission that you are incapable of meeting this reasonable condition. (Which was obviously true anyway, so no news there)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
You two, stop talking to each other, please. There’s nothing to be gained in this exchange.
 


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