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Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?

trancejeremy

Villager
I think the key difference is that 4e was very well designed, it just was different than what people (including me) apparently wanted.
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
I’m no business expert, so I certainly could be wrong, but it seems to me that the need for a new edition is tied to their model. They sell lots of books. And many are full of crunch. The constant flow of rules and options has simply made the volume of material for first edition overwhelming.

So they need to start from scratch. They’ve tweaked some things and attempted to address some concerns with first edition. So it’ll hopefully appeal to their existing base (although there seems to be a potential split there) while also being simple enough to appeal to new players. From the bit that I’ve seen, it’s still much more crunchy than D&D 5E, so I guess they’re hoping to appeal to folks who want a bit more rules and options.

I don’t expect their model to significantly change, though....so I expect the parade of splatbooks to simply begin anew. And although I don’t think it’s for me, I hope the game finds an audience and thrives. More games being available is good for the hobby overall, I think.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
4e provided a core departure from the traditional D&D experience. While a player may have enjoyed 4e (which I do), most cannot deny that it was an outlier, a departure from everything that came before (and after). Pathfinder 2e seems to be less extreme of a transition from 1e (based on playing several games at cons and running a portion of the playtest).

I think Paizo may find a problem that Pathfinder's core fanbase likely contains a number of players who were so devoted to 3.5 D&D that they refused to go along with 4e (and now won't go on to 5e). [This is the majority of the local Pathfinder players I personally know, YMMV.] I would be surprised if these players go along with the conversion to PF2. So I expect we'll see Paizo will be cannibalizing a sizable chunk of their own market.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
I think Paizo may find a problem that Pathfinder's core fanbase likely contains a number of players who were so devoted to 3.5 D&D that they refused to go along with 4e (and now won't go on to 5e). [This is the majority of the local Pathfinder players I personally know, YMMV.] I would be surprised if these players go along with the conversion to PF2. So I expect we'll see Paizo will be cannibalizing a sizable chunk of their own market.
most of that crowd that I've met departed PF already due to increasing crunch-creep.

I don't think that they are the majority of current PF players.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I'm not really sure if this belongs in the Pathfinder or D&D forums, so put it here in General as it touches upon a variety of topics and is more meta than system-specific.

I don't know a lot of details about Pathfinder 2 and haven't been following whatever discussions might have happened over the year, but upon doing a cursory browse, I'm reminded of what happened with 4E. Like 4E, P2 seems to be annoying traditionalists; like 4E, the big danger is that rather than having the intended effect of unifying and adding to the fan-base, it will only fraction it (e.g. of 10 P1 players, 4 stay with P1, 4 go with P2, and 2 go to 5E or elsewhere out of frustration).

I mean, what exactly is Paizo hoping for? Are they hoping that 2nd edition is a huge success, that the majority of 1st edition players migrate over and they begin a fresh edition cycle?

I'm honestly trying to understand. I have no horse in the race - I don't play Pathfinder, although buy the occasional setting book (and am intrigued by the "Lost Omens" world guides line and will check that out). Nor am I a traditionalist or think that game companies should just re-hash the old. From what I've seen of P2 (mostly just scanning the playtest book at Barnes & Noble), I like the vibe of it more than P1. It just seems like a head-scratcher to me, that they would diverge substantially from 1st edition considering that the whole impetus behind Pathfinder in the first place was to keep 3.5 alive and well. From what I've read, P2 does more than clean up P1...it seems like a significantly different new edition.

I mean, it almost seems like Paizo saw their base diminishing with the surging popularity of 5E and realized that they had to take a risk. Maybe they're accepting a smaller base, but are going all in on something newish rather than just the diminishing returns of "P1.1" and more of the same type of books.

Anyone have any insight into the thoughts behind Pathfinder 2? Is it Paizo's 4E?
I believe they should have went for an Advanced 5th Edition for their game.

That is, a game that uses 5E's advances in fixing d20 as a base, then opening up a select number of subsystems to add crunch.

Not literally using 5E, of course, but similar enough to entice the huge market of 5E gamers looking for a bit deeper mechanics.

The biggest risk of the actual PF2 is if comes across as a new d20 game: wild imbalances, ultra-heavy DM workload, Christmas trees all around. From what I've seen, I'm not even sure Paizo realize how great 5E is, even as the crunch-constrained game it is.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I believe they should have went for an Advanced 5th Edition for their game.

That is, a game that uses 5E's advances in fixing d20 as a base, then opening up a select number of subsystems to add crunch.

Not literally using 5E, of course, but similar enough to entice the huge market of 5E gamers looking for a bit deeper mechanics.
Then most people would just keep playing 5e. Why play the same game with a bit more crunch?

The biggest risk of the actual PF2 is if comes across as a new d20 game: wild imbalances, ultra-heavy DM workload, Christmas trees all around. From what I've seen, I'm not even sure Paizo realize how great 5E is, even as the crunch-constrained game it is.
I don't think that you have demonstrated in past conversations on this subject matter that you have seen much. And I think that Paizo has a far greater grasp on the state of the TTRPG market than you do.
 

Celebrim

Legend
One other aspect that is implied in this discussion but not stated, Is it known that PF1 is no longer sustainable? Was their an evolve or die mandate?
Pathfinder 1 had a very aggressive publishing schedule. They put a ton of products out for it in a relatively short amount of time.

I think the problem they have is they've saturated the Pathfinder 1 system. There isn't a ton of obvious things to do. So I don't think they're in so much of an evolve or die situation as needing to reboot.
 

Hussar

Legend
Let's be fair here. They've released, what, about a dozen books per year (or more) for the past 10 years. That's a frigging mountain of material. It's not unreasonable to want to update the system after that long, and that many hours of refinement.

It's doubtful they'll go full on change. But, they do need to stanch the bleed of losing players to simply aging out. People move on from hobbies. It's only weird assed people like us that stay with a hobby for decades and never move on. :D And every game has the same issue - how to make sure that the number of new players is equal to the number of players leaving the hobby.

Imagine trying to get into Pathfinder in 2019. Where would you even start?

I hope they do pull this off. Having a stronger competition for 5e only means that both games get better.
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
I think the problem they have is they've saturated the Pathfinder 1 system. There isn't a ton of obvious things to do. So I don't think they're in so much of an evolve or die situation as needing to reboot.
So something like; "We've created products for all the good ideas we have, so we are going to change the rules just enough that we can re-use all out ideas and just convert them to the new rules."

Yea, that will go over well.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
So something like; "We've created products for all the good ideas we have, so we are going to change the rules just enough that we can re-use all out ideas and just convert them to the new rules."

Yea, that will go over well.
I don't think that represents well what Paizo is doing or their motives at all. I think that they wanted to integrate, codify, and unify a lot of the accumulated game rules and player options (essentially TWO DECADES WORTH) while streamlining and fixing some of the core weak spots of the 3.X engine while still supporting the sort of stories people could make with PF1.
 

Hussar

Legend
So something like; "We've created products for all the good ideas we have, so we are going to change the rules just enough that we can re-use all out ideas and just convert them to the new rules."

Yea, that will go over well.
So, basically, what EVERY RPG company has been doing for the past forty or so years;.
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
My point, poorly presented, is that if the community feels like the reason PF2 is being created is because Paizo has run out of ideas and that in order to remain relevant and profitable they must change the rule system so that they can re-hash/present all the ideas they have already presented, it will not be well received.

I also do not think that if the purpose of PF2 is to "integrate, codify, and unify a lot of the accumulated game rules and player options" into something cohesive that does not add anything new, that also will not be well received. By now, I suspect most tables running PF have already worked out how to integrate and resolve all of the conflicts due to the 2 decades worth of prolific content.

IMO, if they don't bring something unique and new (mechanic, setting, etc) to the table, it will not be well received.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I also do not think that if the purpose of PF2 is to "integrate, codify, and unify a lot of the accumulated game rules and player options" into something cohesive that does not add anything new, that also will not be well received. By now, I suspect most tables running PF have already worked out how to integrate and resolve all of the conflicts due to the 2 decades worth of prolific content.

IMO, if they don't bring something unique and new (mechanic, setting, etc) to the table, it will not be well received.
IMHO, it's both here. As I pointed out earlier, the implementation of archetypes in PF2 is meant to "integrate, codify, and unify" three different subsystems that performed similar functions in PF1: multiclassing, archetypes, and prestige classes. I don't think that there was so much a desire to "make something new" here as it was about streamlining the core system chassis so that they could build off the system easier. It's new, but only as a coincidental byproduct of its design goal. But it does bring something new to PF in how it addresses related character customization issues from both 3e and PF1.
 
Imagine trying to get into Pathfinder in 2019. Where would you even start?

I hope they do pull this off. Having a stronger competition for 5e only means that both games get better.
Well, the Beginner's Box maybe?

But to address the second sentence, I don't think Pathfinder could possibly be anything resembling "strong" competition for D&D. It was to 4E, but that's a different story. My sense is that Pathfinder serves those wanting a crunchier game, and also loyalists - which is, of course, a Venn diagram. Part of the impetus behind starting this thread is that P2 seems to threaten both groups.

So something like; "We've created products for all the good ideas we have, so we are going to change the rules just enough that we can re-use all out ideas and just convert them to the new rules."

Yea, that will go over well.
I would be very surprised if they take the latter-day TSR/early WotC approach of edition cycling and product treadmill re-hashing. Maybe we'll see one or two of the same, but beyond the core (core rulebook, bestiaries, gamemastery, maybe advanced class), I'm guessing they'll diverge a bit. If Lost Omens tells us anything is that they're (possibly) taking a different approach: maybe more thematic? Lost Omens already gives a more stylized Golarion, and maybe the main P2 line will be centered on further World Guides, with crunch and adventure paths being built around the "new world."
 

aramis erak

Explorer
The biggest risk of the actual PF2 is if comes across as a new d20 game: wild imbalances, ultra-heavy DM workload, Christmas trees all around. From what I've seen, I'm not even sure Paizo realize how great 5E is, even as the crunch-constrained game it is.
The Crunch constraint is part of what makes 5E better than prior D&D... to a point. After 10th level, the 12-16 abilities (and 10-15 spells memorized) hit a saturation point for many. I thought I was relatively rare, but the success of Pugmire (which keeps the same upper metric on Proficiency Bonus, but rescales to 10 levels) says I'm not alone.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Then most people would just keep playing 5e. Why play the same game with a bit more crunch?
Because you are dissatisfied with the little crunch there is in 5E...?

I believe there is a market opening for a dndian game with more crunch.

I do not believe there is a market for the various and many kinds of silliness 3.x/d20/PF offers.

The difference? 5E.

It might be simple (too simple), but it comprehensively represents an upgrade of 3E without falling into the 4E pitfalls.

WotC could not have made that unless the failure of 4E sharpened their focus and allowed them to ignore the naysayers.

It makes me nervous Paizo is listening to PF fans, some of which haven't even played 5E and thus can't see that you CAN design a fun game where martials and casters feel familiar yet different. (That is, what 4E couldn't offer)

And, here's my point, that it is possible to achieve that while still significantly rein in LFQW and NPC admin.

I would have felt a lot less nervous if Paizo had exhibited clear tendencies to look at 5E and learn from it. Yet, most PF2 chatter I hear are about PF1 and 4E - two of the *least* appropriate games to build your future on in my opinion.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Let's be fair here. They've released, what, about a dozen books per year (or more) for the past 10 years. That's a frigging mountain of material. It's not unreasonable to want to update the system after that long, and that many hours of refinement.

It's doubtful they'll go full on change. But, they do need to stanch the bleed of losing players to simply aging out. People move on from hobbies. It's only weird assed people like us that stay with a hobby for decades and never move on. :D And every game has the same issue - how to make sure that the number of new players is equal to the number of players leaving the hobby.

Imagine trying to get into Pathfinder in 2019. Where would you even start?

I hope they do pull this off. Having a stronger competition for 5e only means that both games get better.
The obvious place to start recruiting is among existing 5E gamers.

Without knowing for sure, I feel the vast majority of prospective gamers of this generation has already been recruited.

That is, thinking that Paizo has the clout to generate a meaningful number of NEW gamers is a pipe dream.

They should have taken efforts to make their game palatable to 5E gamers, because that IS the market (except the tiny sliver of old PF holdouts that still are willing to try PF2, a completely new and incompatible game).

And like it or not, this market of 5E gamers looking to widen their horizons *will* be horrified by LFQW, NPC prep, unbalanced looting and buffing, etc ..

If you haven't played 5E you might be forgiven a game like 3E or PF could succeed in today's market, if sufficiently spruced up. I strongly believe that is no longer true - not after 5E finally showed us all how you could keep the feeling of d20 but without it's fundamental problems (and without the radical failure of 4E).

I believe Paizo needed to do what they did with Pathfinder: Build upon the D&D edition of the day.

As a game not compatible with anything, what differentiates Pathfinder 2 from the countless heartbreaker clones out there? 13th Age, Dungeon World, Fantasy Age, Tunnels &Trolls... there has been literally *hundreds* over the decades, every single one of them fallen by the wayside. I'm struggling to see what Paizo offers what all these companies did not...

(Compared to those I am sure PF2 will be a big success. But that's not the question. Will PF2 be able to repeat the success of PF1, as pretty much the only non-D&D D&D game to even come close to parity with the 500 pound gorilla...)

I believe the market will tell. And 90-99% of that market has been raised on a diet consisting of 5E..

...and 5E alone...!
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
So something like; "We've created products for all the good ideas we have, so we are going to change the rules just enough that we can re-use all out ideas and just convert them to the new rules."

Yea, that will go over well.
That is literally the reason for every new edition of an existing game ever.

The skill is always how to sell the new edition while drawing the attention well away from this fact.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
My point, poorly presented, is that if the community feels like the reason PF2 is being created is because Paizo has run out of ideas and that in order to remain relevant and profitable they must change the rule system so that they can re-hash/present all the ideas they have already presented, it will not be well received.
On paper, a relevant point.

In practice, seldom relevant.
 

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