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Pathfinder 2E Is It Time for PF2 "Essentials"?

GreyLord

Hero
Wow! I wake up to a lot posts! All of which are replies that show you have looked at what’s being said but not being read.

I have to admit, it is definitely courageous to not only not accept the correction, but to double down on it in a succession of long rants where you try turning it round on others, then start accusing those who disagree with you as gate keeping with self victimisation.

It’s like a beautiful montage of every forum post horror story in one. We only need to invoke Godwin’s law and we’d have a bingo.

To save your keyboard from further pounding, self embarrassment and feeling victimised, I’ll avoid replying to your future posts. Peace :)
Peace.
 

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PS: The BIGGEST irony of this entire thread thus far. I have united everyone in this thread in one degree. It seems a majority are agreeing that Paizo is not making money off of PF2e, which probably indicates that PF2e IS actually in financial trouble in that regards and selling less than PF1e or other systems.

I'm actually reading all these posts, and I am trying to say over and over that this is basically unknowable. All you can make is conditional statements where you get the opposite answer depending on the conditions.

There is a lot of speculation in this thread presented as fact. Here are the knowns, as far as I can see:
  1. Every available indicator we have shows declining market share for Pathfinder 2.
  2. ...but it's a declining share of a growing market.
There is a whole lot of speculation about Paizo having hidden sources of players and revenue. That's pure speculation. There are no positive proxies. Zero.

However, industry growth has been crazy, so you truly, truly can't conclude anything. Tabletop games were $80m in 2019. That's up from just $15m in 2013. Here are some made up numbers: If Paizo's share of the market was 30% in 2013, then if its total revenue has merely stayed steady, its share in 2019 will have been 6.25%. You can make up your own numbers and see that there is plenty of room for any possible scenario: decline, growth, or steadiness. That's how crazy the growth is.

A lot of stuff that looks negative is a result of declining share, not declining revenue. If you are 5% of a $1m market, I'm not making 3rd-party product for you. There's too much money to be made from the guy who's 50%. If you're 5% of a $100m market, I'm still not making 3rd-party product for you for the same reason. Same goes for what I stock in my store. The most space goes to the guy who puts up the biggest overall numbers.

The next think to do is look at how the company behaves. Are they cutting costs---laying people off, dropping SKUs, using lower-quality and less art, etc? Are they panicking, scrambling to find revenue sources to keep creditors at bay? Have there been high-profile resignations by good people near the top? I don't think so. That doesn't mean things are great, but at the same time, we have no reason to conclude they're bad, either.
 
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transmission89

Adventurer
I'm actually reading all these posts, and I am trying to say over and over that this is basically unknowable. All you can make is conditional statements where you get the opposite answer depending on the conditions.

There is a lot of speculation in this thread presented as fact. Here are the knowns, as far as I can see:
  1. Every available indicator we have shows declining market share for Pathfinder 2.
  2. ...but it's a declining share of a growing market.
There is a whole lot of speculation about Paizo having hidden sources of players and revenue. That's pure speculation. There are no positive proxies. Zero.

However, industry growth has been crazy, so you truly, truly can't conclude anything. Here are some made up numbers: Tabletop games were $80m in 2019. That's up from just $15m in 2013. If Paizo's share of the market was 30% in 2013, then if its total revenue has merely stayed steady, its share in 2019 will have been 6.25%. You can make up your own numbers and see that there is plenty of room for any possible scenario: decline, growth, or steadiness. That's how crazy the growth is.

A lot of stuff that looks negative is a result of declining share, not declining revenue. If you are 5% of a $1m market, I'm not making 3rd-party product for you. There's too much money to be made from the guy who's 50%. If you're 5% of a $100m market, I'm still not making 3rd-party product for you for the same reason. Same goes for what I stock in my store. The most space goes to the guy who puts up the biggest overall numbers.

The next think to do is look at how the company behaves. Are they cutting costs---laying people off, dropping SKUs, using lower-quality and less art, etc? Are they panicking, scrambling to find revenue sources to keep creditors at bay? Have there been high-profile resignations by good people near the top? I don't think so. That doesn't mean things are great, but at the same time, we have no reason to conclude they're bad, either.
This is spot on and well done, thank you! I’m not sure any one was speculating Paizo has a hidden source of player numbers. The point of contention was merely that meaningful conclusions probably shouldn’t be drawn from Roll20 numbers.
 

This is spot on and well done, thank you! I’m not sure any one was speculating Paizo has a hidden source of player numbers. The point of contention was merely that meaningful conclusions probably shouldn’t be drawn from Roll20 numbers.

The problem with overanalyzing Paizo's decline on Roll20 & FG is it's a decline in share on, once again, an exploding market, both the RPG industry itself and the VTTs! Positing that there could be some giant share on Foundry that would significantly alter our estimation of the overall market picture is pure speculation (and highly unlikely, as so far, we're zero-for-everything when it comes to seeking out information and finding evidence of anything but declining share).

Now, here's what we know, factually, by looking at both FG and Roll20.

  1. Paizo's share has declined precipitously on both since 5e launched.
    • At least on FG, this decline has been driven largely by 5e growth; total PF gaming was steady for a long time before growing in absolute, if not relative terms.
  2. Industry-wide numbers cannot be backed out of VTT numbers.
    • This is pretty important. Since we have FG and Roll20 numbers, we can see that the shares for smaller games vary significantly across the two platforms. Paizo's total share on FG is 13%. Its share on Roll20 is 5.5%. PF2 has a 6% share on FG and a 1.5% share on Roll20. It is clear that there are significant factors unique to each VTT affecting Paizo's share; it would not be surprising for PF2's share on Foundry to be larger on than on Roll20, though it would be surprising for Paizo's overall share to be, say, 30%.
    • Roll20 grew by 60% in 2020 alone. Thus, PF2's share growth from 1.2% to 1.83% means more than twice as many people are playing PF2 on Roll20 now than a year ago.
    • FG has also had crazy growth, so Paizo's share holding steady at around 12% or so also means many, many more people are playing Pathfinder games online.
  3. ...and the numbers don't really move the same way.
    • Paizo's share on FG has held steady at about 11-13% since late 2015. It's continued to fall on Roll20.
So, my general point is, when you look at numbers, understand what they tell you, and just as importantly, what they don't tell you. It could be that Paizo is in trouble, but it could also very well be that in 2021, there is just as much, maybe even more money to be made as a fantasy heartbreaker with a single-digit market share than there was as top dog with 35% share in 2012.
 
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kenada

Legend
Supporter
Something tells me I’m going to regret getting involved with this particular discussion, but here I go.

The amount of content that has been released under the OGL is not unknowable. You can go to the d20 SRD site and see that the volume of content published by Paizo under the OGL far exceeds that for 3e and 5e combined, and that doesn’t even include PF2.

If I’m understanding correctly, what’s being claimed is that WotC’s content is greater than Paizo’s because WotC got the whole thing started. Without their content, Pathfinder would not have happened. That’s a category error: comparing magnanimity to volume. The two sides are talking about different things, and they’re talking past each other.

I agree with @fearsomepirate regarding sales numbers. We can make some inferences, but there are parts that are unknowable. My intuition is that subscription sales insulate Paizo enough from market pressure that they’re going to continue doing PF2 until those start flagging (but that’s just my intuition with little base in fact).

It’s possible that Paizo could have transitioned into being something like a Goodman Games where they produce APs for 5e but also support their own game. The big problem for PF1 compared to DCC is that PF1 players are all about character options. That’s one of the big contentions about PF2: it invalidates all that content, and it can’t even support the diversity of builds that PF1 did.

I’m curious what a PF3 will look like. What I would like to see is something that steps back a bit from the crunch in PF2. You can keep all the options, but try to build from the Beginner Box first instead of putting one together after the fact. However, what I expect is it will be something that focuses on whatever problems Paizo encountered in organized play or theoretical problems raised by the community.
 

I think the optimistic spin on things is that PF1 was a victim of the larger trend of 5e driving a collapse in market perception of 3.x as the "true" D&D. The minimum goal of PF2e should be to arrest that decline by providing a stable source of revenue. It doesn't need to satisfy all 3.x fans, just leverage Paizo's recognition to grab a large enough share of the exploding TTRPG market to keep the lights on and, since PF2e fans will actually be fans of Paizo's system in its own right rather than disaffected fans of somebody else's game waiting for that somebody else to fix it, be a more stable money-maker.
 

transmission89

Adventurer
I think the optimistic spin on things is that PF1 was a victim of the larger trend of 5e driving a collapse in market perception of 3.x as the "true" D&D. The minimum goal of PF2e should be to arrest that decline by providing a stable source of revenue. It doesn't need to satisfy all 3.x fans, just leverage Paizo's recognition to grab a large enough share of the exploding TTRPG market to keep the lights on and, since PF2e fans will actually be fans of Paizo's system in its own right rather than disaffected fans of somebody else's game waiting for that somebody else to fix it, be a more stable money-maker.
You are posting far too much rationality and common sense for this thread! You must cease immediately else the people claiming the sky is falling on this clearly broken system will not be able to continue making these claims and label the rest of us delusional.

Ive been trying to say the same things, but you have put it in a far more eloquent and detailed manner, bravo sir!!
 

Yeah, I want to give a tip of the hat to Fearsomepirate here too. While I don't think the speculation-on-limited-data has been symmetrical on both sides of this discussion, its absolutely existed, and when drawing too much conclusion its clearly an overreach. I might have disagreed with him about some details here and there, but in general he's spot on.
 

Thanks, guys. I have to admit that my own opinion changed over this thread. I was fairly firmly in "the Paizo is doomed" camp, not because I didn't like the PF2e system, but because I didn't see how they could succeed. While Paizo's choices and their consequences have largely played out as I expected, what I did not account for was the stupendous growth of the TTRPG market. That really changes the calculus, and makes PF2e a much smarter move than I gave it credit for.

I feel like I should actually try the game. ;)
 

transmission89

Adventurer
Thanks, guys. I have to admit that my own opinion changed over this thread. I was fairly firmly in "the Paizo is doomed" camp, not because I didn't like the PF2e system, but because I didn't see how they could succeed. While Paizo's choices and their consequences have largely played out as I expected, what I did not account for was the stupendous growth of the TTRPG market. That really changes the calculus, and makes PF2e a much smarter move than I gave it credit for.

I feel like I should actually try the game. ;)
Do It!!! It might not be your cup of tea, you might really dig it, find out!

Also, you can’t admit to changing your mind on the internet, that’s heresy. You declare your opinion, argue it, repeating the same points over and over, completely ignoring alternative points of view and discarding such trivialities as facts that discredit your view point, instead doubling down and shouting in caps! God, learn how to forum!! :p
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Actually, admitting you’re wrong is a galaxy brain move. Some people will acknowledge it while some won’t, so they’ll keep on arguing with your old position. Now you can argue both sides of the issue at the same time, which also means it is impossible to be wrong. Since it is impossible to be wrong, y̷o̷u̵r̷ ̸a̴d̶m̵i̴s̴s̶i̷o̶n̷ ̷n̶e̴v̶e̷r̷ ̵h̷a̵p̴p̸e̵n̸e̷d̴, b̵͎͕͇̫̫̪̒̃͐̄̃̍͆̐͑͒̕͜͝u̸̧̹̞̺͖͕̣͈͈̙͋͆͑̓̈́̈́̓ẗ̷̞̪̪͎͔͕͇͊̉͘͠ ̴̘̥̝̱̝͍̲̻̺̹̥̎̓̓͋̄͜t̵̥̎̔̓͐̏́h̶̢͇̳̞͇̭̟̠͉̺̫̼͝e̶̢͔͔̥̺̼̲̐̐ ̶̨̛̟͓̠̝͔̖͑͗̽̏͛̓̌̐̚p̸̧̆̽͐́̋̅̿̊͠ą̷̯̗́̒̓͘ͅř̴̦̪͔͙̯̭̲͍͆͗͘͝a̵̜͔̪̱͚͈͋̔̎d̴̮̱͎̜͈̤̬̤̐̃̽̈̇͜ͅo̵͇̟̥̰͐́̊̀͆͘̕̕͜x̴̻̳̦̄ ̶̖͚͉͖̪̥͎̙͌͆͌̅̔̾͝ì̸̦̜̩̻̬ş̷͎̯̫͉̟̗̠̝̏̎̊̔̽̍̉̔̀͐̈́̕ͅ ̶̘̤̪̮̙̥̝̓͋̍̍͌̓̊̈́̃w̷̛̞͚͓̜̃͛͋̅̎̈͜ǫ̷̞̰͚̩̟̮̤̟͉̤̱̇r̴̭̟̱͇̙̪͈̊͌̒͊͘͠ͅt̷̪̺̞̱͚͓͈̻͈̖͆h̶̻̝͈͈͑̈̒̈́̀̈̉͊̑̕ ̷̦̌̉͠i̷̛̭͉̣̿͒̔͊t̵̙̱̩͈͑͐͑̈́̑̎̓̎̆͝͠.̵̡̲̗̭̰̞͇͚̱̥̈̒̓̕͝ͅ.
 

Thanks, guys. I have to admit that my own opinion changed over this thread. I was fairly firmly in "the Paizo is doomed" camp, not because I didn't like the PF2e system, but because I didn't see how they could succeed. While Paizo's choices and their consequences have largely played out as I expected, what I did not account for was the stupendous growth of the TTRPG market. That really changes the calculus, and makes PF2e a much smarter move than I gave it credit for.

Honestly, if it hadn't been, its hard to see how they'd have been able to produce the number of products they did during the 1e era. I got a lot of them a couple years back in a bundle (even though I was pretty much over 3e style D&D by then, but it was such a deal I figured I could get something out of it) and I was frankly boggled.

I feel like I should actually try the game. ;)

As Transmission89 notes, its not for everyone; its a system you really have to engage with in play, so if you prefer a more relaxed style of play, it can definitely be a ways away from what one wants. But within what its offering, its quite good.
 

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
I like it quite a bit, lots of character options to customize your character with. An emphasis on balance so you don't feel punished for picking the stuff you like. Unique mechanical implementations of different classes. Accurate encounter difficulty scaling where a hard encounter is actually hard. Lots of systems, but built on a handful of unified designs so they aren't hard to learn at all. Heavy emphasis on exploration and downtime, with a strong tactical side.

It's a really fun game. Want me to add you to the 'people who want to try pf2e' newbie game list, it's growing, lol.
 
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transmission89

Adventurer
And someone made a really good point about the encounter difficulty on Reddit last night that got me thinking.

I think Paizo have really tuned the CR system, so you know what you’re getting. But that “default” is tuned to be quite challenging. You have to be switched on and engaged in a fight (not even necessarily a higher threat level just an on level moderate encounter).

I suspect Paizo have done this because that’s the kind of game they want, they want people to kit out their characters and enjoy having all their options stretched.

But, if you want an “on level” encounter that’s more “beer and pretzels” play like 5e (not using this in a pejorative way, more like meaning every fight isn’t so “intense”), you have a built in “weaker template”. Use this as a tool along with CR to match to your group’s play style. You don’t have to tell them you’ve done this.

I think this is where some of the frustration of encounters from some has come from.
 

dave2008

Legend
And someone made a really good point about the encounter difficulty on Reddit last night that got me thinking.

I think Paizo have really tuned the CR system, so you know what you’re getting. But that “default” is tuned to be quite challenging. You have to be switched on and engaged in a fight (not even necessarily a higher threat level just an on level moderate encounter).

I suspect Paizo have done this because that’s the kind of game they want, they want people to kit out their characters and enjoy having all their options stretched.

But, if you want an “on level” encounter that’s more “beer and pretzels” play like 5e (not using this in a pejorative way, more like meaning every fight isn’t so “intense”), you have a built in “weaker template”. Use this as a tool along with CR to match to your group’s play style. You don’t have to tell them you’ve done this.

I think this is where some of the frustration of encounters from some has come from.
Just a quick correction, there is no CR in PF2. Everything is by level, like 4e.
 




payn

Adventurer
Yeah, It's fine to frame the discussion as simply wanting an essentials version of PF2, but likely doesnt need the "do it or you will be killing the lights and shuttering the doors Paizo!"
 

GreyLord

Hero
I'm actually reading all these posts, and I am trying to say over and over that this is basically unknowable. All you can make is conditional statements where you get the opposite answer depending on the conditions.

There is a lot of speculation in this thread presented as fact. Here are the knowns, as far as I can see:
  1. Every available indicator we have shows declining market share for Pathfinder 2.
  2. ...but it's a declining share of a growing market.
There is a whole lot of speculation about Paizo having hidden sources of players and revenue. That's pure speculation. There are no positive proxies. Zero.

However, industry growth has been crazy, so you truly, truly can't conclude anything. Tabletop games were $80m in 2019. That's up from just $15m in 2013. Here are some made up numbers: If Paizo's share of the market was 30% in 2013, then if its total revenue has merely stayed steady, its share in 2019 will have been 6.25%. You can make up your own numbers and see that there is plenty of room for any possible scenario: decline, growth, or steadiness. That's how crazy the growth is.

A lot of stuff that looks negative is a result of declining share, not declining revenue. If you are 5% of a $1m market, I'm not making 3rd-party product for you. There's too much money to be made from the guy who's 50%. If you're 5% of a $100m market, I'm still not making 3rd-party product for you for the same reason. Same goes for what I stock in my store. The most space goes to the guy who puts up the biggest overall numbers.

The next think to do is look at how the company behaves. Are they cutting costs---laying people off, dropping SKUs, using lower-quality and less art, etc? Are they panicking, scrambling to find revenue sources to keep creditors at bay? Have there been high-profile resignations by good people near the top? I don't think so. That doesn't mean things are great, but at the same time, we have no reason to conclude they're bad, either.

I already said the exact same thing,. but it appeared several disagreed with that while they agree with the exact same things stated in the above quote.

Which brings up WHY?

(I suspect it's because I'm not in the "incrowd" which means anything I post, even if it's the exact same thing that they agree with, will be automatically disagreed with by some, just a suspicion I've been getting over the past few months, seeing the trend of things. Only real infuriation is that while they may agree with the same item, some of the stuff that came from me is uncredited and not acknowledged that I was one of those who originally said an idea...though perhaps once again that is to avoid dislikes of because I'm not part of the "in crowd").
 
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