• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.
  • The RSS feed for the news page has changed. Use this link. The old one displays the forums, not the news.

Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
About the only real market opening I see is "more crunch for 5E". That is, not actual 5E, but 5E-like. With more playerside crunch.

If you think 4E failed simply because it wasn't exactly as before you don't get what people like about D&D.
4E failed because it had lost the soul of the game. You simply could not use it to tell the stories you were used to. At least I couldn't.
Do you really want to get into re-treading tired edition-war ground? I mean, you absolutely /could/ tell the same stories with 4e as with prior eds - it was just easier, and there were a lot of /other/ stories (or other gameplay agendas) you could go with, instead.
4e "failed" because of a perfect storm of business disasters, and the fake controversy generated by the nerdrage of the edition war keeping new players from ever trying it.

5E, in contrast, retains the soul of D&D but not the niggling peculiarities of d20.
"Soul of D&D" is sure a grand way of saying LFQW, the 5MWD, and DM Empowerment.

You won't be able to see what Paizo needs to upgrade if you can't understand the value of the 3E-5E upgrade.
We'll soon see where PF2 ends up on this scale. Give me maybe a month and I might provide a first impressions.
You can't omit the history of the game from 2008 to 2014 and expect to understand the differences between what it was then, and what it became, now. There was a war for the "soul" of D&D if you want to put it that way, and /WotC era D&D lost/. Not just 4e, but 3e, as well. The hallmarks of 3e are bowdlerized optional rules, 5e has nothing like it's customizability nor the associated lavish-to-gamebreaking rewards for system mastery, it does not foster dogmatic reverence for RaW, but gives the game - heart & soul - /to the DM/.

5e /does/ retain a lot of the niggling (and even occasionally intuitive) little details of d20 - the d20, ascending AC, preference for bonuses over penalties, casters made less challenging to play by removing restrictions/limitations, contested checks, even 4e group checks, hiding rules, and the like - but they're details, the overall feel is very much back to that of the classic game, and, like Classic D&D of the TSR era, it belongs to the DM.

I simply cannot understand your desperate attempts to shift the discussion away from 3E and 5E.
3e vs 5e isn't that important, they're not /that/ different, apart from 3.5 having a much higher stack of books.
PF1 is a clone of 3e, with an even higher stack of books, but what 5e did is not that important.

What PF1 fans will accept, /is/.


when we're worried about they maybe not leaving Pathfinder 1 enough (=3E) and/or reaching the same "level of comfort" and the current standard and market leader (=5E).
In order to see my point, please lay down your 1E or 4E stories, if just for a moment.
The question is "will it become 4e?" The answer is "No, it better not, because the PF fanbase loathes 4e." ;P And, not that that's not serious, but more seriously, aping 5e will get PF2 nowhere - 5e is already there, being like 5e (and, with options turned on, a bit like toned-down 3.x, but, mostly, a lot like AD&D thanks to DM Empowerment), or worse, going /further/ than 5e from 3e (even if not as far afield 4e), would be disastrous. And, focusing on non-issue Sacred Cows like LFQW (beloved, cherished, and venerated by fans of OSR, 3e & 5e alike), is a red herring. How 5e tweaked the LFQW curve (starting casters farther along, and advancing it a bit more gently) is a pretty minor consideration, whether you're trying to be like the 500bl D&D gorilla (and vanish into obscurity like every other fantasy heartbreaker) or be differentiated from it (and maybe carve out a little market niche for yourself). And, really, with an established fanbase of their own, neither of those is a good idea, maybe - maybe - an incremental evolution of PF1 would have been a good idea, something that lets fans feel like they're not just dinosaurs, without actually disrupting their Jurassic ecosystem too much.

But, just from a business perspective, jumping on the 5e 3pp bandwagon seems the smarter, safer, more profitable bet.
 
Last edited:

FowlJ

Villager
Or if they release a game in 2019 where DMs spend hours to craft NPCs shot down in seconds, just like 15-20 years ago.
This post really clarifies to me what I've found so off about your weird doomsaying. You... don't actually seem to know very much about Pathfinder 2.

This is, for instance, literally not a thing. It wasn't a thing in the playtest. (It wasn't even a thing in Pathfinder Unchained, many of the rules from which eventually became the basis of 2E). Creatures/NPCs are not built using the PC rules by default, they use their own simplified creation process quite similar to D&D 5e unless the GM specifically wishes otherwise - there will be no spending hours to craft NPCs unless you get really stuck on the creative details, which isn't something the system can really help with.

It's a similar thing to what you keep going on about with spellcasters. You keep acting like PF2 is trying to bring Martial/Caster balance back into the deep dark ages of 3.X, but they've actually made most of the same changes to spellcasting that 5e has, like removing automatic spell scaling, removing bonus spell slots for high stats, cutting durations, and bringing down the power of individual spells that could be problematic. On top of that, they've also given martial characters a lot of new toys of their own, like skill feats that increase their out of combat utility considerably, powerful high level class options that let them do extraordinary things without magic, and ritual spells that let any character with the right skills (and who gains access to the ritual) do powerful things like raising the dead or animating objects/corpses. Frankly, 'LFQW' is probably less of an issue in PF2 than it is in 5e, and if a martial character really starts feeling left out, the multiclassing system lets them get up to 8th level spellcasting (though with less slots per level than a normal caster) without sacrificing most of their combat ability to do so.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
But, just from a business perspective, jumping on the 5e 3pp bandwagon seems the smarter, safer, more profitable bet.
With DMsG out there, it’s worse for third parties than the d20 boom was. I’m excited about our TRAILseeker launching this week new PF2 material.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
With DMsG out there, it’s worse for third parties than the d20 boom was.
I can see that, but part of the lack of appeal of DMsG is not just that it's not a book you can hold, but that you need to sift through it. Paizo has a very solid reputation. I could see DMs who wouldn't even look at DMsG material, at least open to evaluating something from a Paizo supplement. It'd be a lot closer to the "moar 5e crunch" that, ironically, Zap & I would both like to see.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I can see that, but part of the lack of appeal of DMsG is not just that it's not a book you can hold, but that you need to sift through it. Paizo has a very solid reputation. I could see DMs who wouldn't even look at DMsG material, at least open to evaluating something from a Paizo supplement. It'd be a lot closer to the "moar 5e crunch" that, ironically, Zap & I would both like to see.
I don’t know what that means; but as one of those 3PPs, I can assure you that the 5E bandwagon is not the obvious choice for a third party, as you said. It’s *tough* selling stuff in the crowded 5E market; either you’re lost on DMsG or you’re having a difficult conversation with distributors (and it was even tougher selling stuff in the crowded PF1 market).

I’m excited to see how long the PF2 market remains a strong choice in comparison.

(And, obviously, being a 3PP isn’t necessarily the strongest choice, it’s just the known quantity — I’ve made far more money selling my own system than I have supporting other systems).
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I don’t know what that means; but as one of those 3PPs, I can assure you that the 5E bandwagon is not the obvious choice for a third party, as you said. It’s *tough* selling stuff in the crowded 5E market; either you’re lost on DMsG or you’re having a difficult conversation with distributors (and it was even tougher selling stuff in the crowded PF1 market).

I’m excited to see how long the PF2 market remains a strong choice in comparison.

(And, obviously, being a 3PP isn’t necessarily the strongest choice, it’s just the known quantity — I’ve made far more money selling my own system than I have supporting other systems).
I think that he is saying that Paizo has brand recognition and clout, so would have an opportunity to stand out compared to other third parties.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
To back up Morris a bit, I buy 3pp stuff but have mostly stopped. There's a lot of it and regardless of the quality I have more than I can process/use anytime soon.

Anything third party I want would be more niche which means something I don't already have and want/need. Maybe an interesting campaign setting or sub system. If Paizo made 5E stuff the only thing I would buy us 5E conversions of 3 or 4 of their APs.

If Pathfinder 2 tanks they can always go make 5E stuff then, Lisa is smart I doubt she has bet the business on PF2.

The main problem will be 5E and things like gamestores running 5E where PFS used to be a thing. PF2 isn't very casual friendly but it's aimed at a different niche perhaps 10 or 20% of the market.

Realistically they can't compete that well in the other 80% regardless of what they do. The days of Pathfinder being number 1 are gone. Number 2 us still viable.
 
Last edited:

zztong

Explorer
With DMsG out there, it’s worse for third parties than the d20 boom was. I’m excited about our TRAILseeker launching this week new PF2 material.
What's is DMsG?

At first I thought it was a typo for DMGs, but it appears its not a typo.
 

eyeheartawk

Explorer
Better to starve free then be a fat slave?
You have to keep in mind Paizo's history. Pathfinder becoming a thing had more to do with how their business was dependent on WoTC and then was suddenly cut adrift. Controlling your own product and ecosystem gives you obviously more control over that.

Plus, didn't they just crowdfund Kingmaker for 5e? I don't think they're ignoring the 5e market completely. It's not like they can't give that a bigger go if PF2 fails. This is of course also assuming that Paizo will make a killing in the 3PP which I'm not so sure of, given the glut of meeeehhhhhhh products currently floating in that DM's Guild ocean.
 

DM Howard

Explorer
Pathfinder 2E might as well be Paizo’s 4E as far as I am concerned. They went overboard (IMO) whilst opening up the patient for surgery and abandoned backwards compatibility at the same time. I am not willing to buy a whole new set of books when my friends and I have already spent loads on 3.5/Pathfinder 1E compatible material. Hopefully another company picks up the 3.X torch.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
. Hopefully another company picks up the 3.X torch.
There's certainly no legal impediment to that...

...considering, though that PF1 is already more lavishly-supported than any single ed of D&D, what, exactly, would they light with that torch?

I mean, for instance, is there any conceivable fantasy character concept you can't currently build within PF1?
 

DM Howard

Explorer
Tony Vargas;[URL="tel:7643671" said:
7643671[/URL]]There's certainly no legal impediment to that...

...considering, though that PF1 is already more lavishly-supported than any single ed of D&D, what, exactly, would they light with that torch?

I mean, for instance, is there any conceivable fantasy character concept you can't currently build within PF1?
I’m not sure, to be honest, but I feel that there is always something new that can come out for PF1. New adventures, monsters, archetypes, settings, etc.

What I would say is that I would hope for a new torchbearer as once a game disappears from active publishing it becomes exponentially harder to find games or recruit new players. Everything is anecdotal, of course, but I can’t remember the last time I saw a 4th Edition game or 4th Edition products being sold in store or games being actively played/recruited for. The same can be said for virtually all discontinued editions.

Edit: All my railings against my perceptions of PF2 aside they are just that, perceptions, and I will be giving PF2 a fair shake as 5th Edition just doesn’t cut it for me. I only hope that Paizo has thrown the proverbial baby out with the bath water with their implementation of PF2.
 
Last edited:

Advertisement

Top