Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!

Kingmaker's 10th anniversary is approaching. Paizo has announced on their blog that, along with a Pathfinder 2E hardcover Kingmaker compilation, they will be creating a hardcover Kingmaker Bestiary for D&D 5E.


20190502-Kingmaker_500.jpg


The blog announcement says "[FONT=&amp]Finally, we'll add a hardcover Kingmaker Bestiary for 5E, developed in conjunction with industry leaders in third-party 5E publishing, allowing players of the current edition of the world's oldest RPG the chance to experience the rich and detailed storylines that have made the Kingmaker Adventure Path a fan favorite for a decade."[/FONT]

It is being produced "with industry leaders in third-party 5E publishing" and refers to "add-ons and unlocks" which "will be revealed as the campaign progresses". They're partnering with crowdfunding site Game On Tabletop.

They'll be revealing the details on Tuesday May 7th at noon Pacific time over at KingmakerCampaign.com.

Also in line is a Companion Guide for the PF2 Kingmaker campaign.
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Jester David

Adventurer
I think the point that [MENTION=12731]CapnZapp[/MENTION] was trying to make is that Pathfinder is a pretty small slice of the RPG market. Considering that the RPG market without WotC producing any new books is about 15 million dollars (and that included 3e and 4e at the time), it's not really too much of a stretch to think that Pathfinder's market share isn't really large. I realize that the common wisdom is that WotC is the 600 pound gorilla, but, really, we don't know how the market slices up.
I think it was Zardnaar that pointed out Paizo's profits around their peak in 2013 was around 12.7 million (growing from $4.4 million in 2009) with said RPG market being 15 million.But that includes novels, minis, and some other licences. So at it's peak, Paizo was probably half the RPG market. Now, Paizo has probably shrunk back down to a $4-8 million range, being probably a twelfth of the market. (Opposed to D&D which is likely 3/4ths.) But even if it retained 12 million a year and that number was all RPG, it'd still only be a fifth of the market.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
Paizo could have done a 5e without hitching their ride to WOTC.They just had to follow their original playbook. Take the 5e stuff released under OGL and do their own rulebook. Release pf1.0 books for a while after and then transition to their new book.Imagine a 5e pathfinder society?5e is under the OGL and has an SRD.To me the surprise move WAS pf2e. I still don’t quite understand it.
There's two big reasons for that.

The first is they want to retain most of their audience. They're hoping a large percentage of their fans will switch from Pathfinder 1 to Pathfinder 2. And the best way to do that is by keeping Pathfinder 2 very similar to Pathfinder 1.
Which seems fairly reasonable. The audience for a potential 5.5 edition is largely theoretical. You're not marketing to your actual consumers, and hoping to sway people away from another game. Now, there probably IS a large audience of established gamers who want something that's more like 5e but has more character complexity and rules options, but the percentage and numbers are unknown, as is the number who are actually running games versus dissatisfied players who won't switch because the rest of their table is happy. You'd still be making a product and gambling that anyone would buy it.

The second option is the big one: the staff at Paizo know eff all about 5e.
They made some comparisons between PF1, PF2, and 5e in the playtest of PF2. And they read like someone who had glanced at the 5e rulebook two years prior and/or based all their knowledge of 5e on forum discussions on Paizo.comIt wasn't particularly accurate. Which makes sense. The staff at Paizo knows Pathfinder, but doesn't really know 5e. Time spent learning and understanding 5e would be detrimental to their actual job, which requires knowing Pathfinder and designing for that game.
They're not the best people to make a Revised 5e, because the understanding of the game isn't there. They probably wouldn't know what to fix and what not to fix, what is required for balance, what are mistakes to be fixed. To say nothing of all those subtle rules.


Honestly, Paizo is in a tough place right now. 5e is ridiculously predominant in the market. AND the new players coming into the hobby via streaming are heavily disinterested in the crunch-heavy play-style they've built their game around, which makes acquiring new players tricky. Which also makes it harder to employ the same methods to bring in new players.
But Paizo's own audience has massive collections of crunch that they have likely barely used. By sticking with 3.X rather than moving to 4e or 5e, most have show a preference for a funky, broken ruleset. Upgrading to something that plays similar feels like a lateral move, especially when many of the improvements (i.e. the action economy) can be slapped onto Pathfinder 1. And the cost is high: players have to give up the massive library of existing crunch; Pathfinder players stick with PF because of the options and customization, but it will be a year or two before PF2 can have an "acceptable" amount of options.
I imagine Paizo is hoping to play a "long game". Sell enough material to keep the company afloat while their audience burns through the content they already own. And then, slowly over the next 2-3 years, let people swap to PF2 when it feels like there's enough material there.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I personally do not feel the LFQW thing is even a FACTOR with how popular 5e has become. If THAT was the deciding factor, 4e would have won the gambit by a long mile.

5e is successful because it is FAR easier to general people to learn, and when new players are coming to a game, ease of use is a major factor.

Eventually some may want something different, but for new players, 5e currently is one of the easiest games to learn within a short period that fall under the popular name brand of D&D (aka...any type of game that would fall under the D20 mechanic of games).

It has nothing to do with LFQW per se, and more to do with the fact that a LOT OF NEW gamers are coming into RPGs and are actually able to figure out how to play with a minimum amount of trouble and confusion.

That's the real key to 5e's success today. It is attracting NEW gamers, rather than just appealing to old gamers who keep bringing up old thoughts such as LFQW and other relics of a bygone age of angst and discussion about "balance" and other items that seemed so pertinent 10-20 years ago.

This does not mean that you are not correct to some degree, but my personal feeling differs on why 5e is being so successful and what is actually bringing in new gamers (most of who have never even heard of LFQW).
Sure, I was mainly concerned about the potential for PF2 to find customers moving on from 5E.

Ease of use is most important for your first game, the one that draws you into the hobby. Other issues will predominate when you're ready to look for a second game.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Paizo isn’t a minuscule operation. I want to say at this point that I think that they have more people working in house for them than the RPG dept at WOTC does. WOTC is a huge company but D&D is just one small part of that whole. And I really don’t think that there are as many people working Full Time in D&D than there are at Paizo.
You're misunderstanding me. I'm not saying Paizo is small now.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I think that their relative autonomy was/is a prime motivator here.
Yep, that's the corporate motivation I've been discussing before.

In reality every other publisher than a D&D publisher is a small-time gig.

Paizo is obviously betting they will break this cycle.

Myself, I think the only way they could stay big is by staying inside the D&D sphere. They could have made a 5E Advanced game in everything but name and attracted millions of 5E gamers. And maybe some Pathfinder fans too!

Without that, Paizo will just be another D&D clone publisher. In a long long line of small-time D&D clone publishers nobody has heard of.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I think it was Zardnaar that pointed out Paizo's profits around their peak in 2013 was around 12.7 million (growing from $4.4 million in 2009) with said RPG market being 15 million.But that includes novels, minis, and some other licences. So at it's peak, Paizo was probably half the RPG market. Now, Paizo has probably shrunk back down to a $4-8 million range, being probably a twelfth of the market. (Opposed to D&D which is likely 3/4ths.) But even if it retained 12 million a year and that number was all RPG, it'd still only be a fifth of the market.
Again: my "miniscule" characterization meant the future, not the past or even the present.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
[MENTION=12731]CapnZapp[/MENTION], you seem to be sending mixed messages. On the one hand, you seem to think that Paizo missed their opportunity to make products adapted directly for 5E as is. On the other, you bemoan that Paizo is not making "5E Advanced." But I suspect that if Paizo made either then their profits would fizzle out even faster. Why would the market bother with Paizo if they did either especially when many tables do not allow 3pp materials? By producing materials for 5e, Paizo would be making themselves niche among niche rather than carving out a more unique niche for themselves.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
There's two big reasons for that.

The first is they want to retain most of their audience. They're hoping a large percentage of their fans will switch from Pathfinder 1 to Pathfinder 2. And the best way to do that is by keeping Pathfinder 2 very similar to Pathfinder 1.
Which seems fairly reasonable. The audience for a potential 5.5 edition is largely theoretical. You're not marketing to your actual consumers, and hoping to sway people away from another game. Now, there probably IS a large audience of established gamers who want something that's more like 5e but has more character complexity and rules options, but the percentage and numbers are unknown, as is the number who are actually running games versus dissatisfied players who won't switch because the rest of their table is happy. You'd still be making a product and gambling that anyone would buy it.

The second option is the big one: the staff at Paizo know eff all about 5e.
They made some comparisons between PF1, PF2, and 5e in the playtest of PF2. And they read like someone who had glanced at the 5e rulebook two years prior and/or based all their knowledge of 5e on forum discussions on Paizo.comIt wasn't particularly accurate. Which makes sense. The staff at Paizo knows Pathfinder, but doesn't really know 5e. Time spent learning and understanding 5e would be detrimental to their actual job, which requires knowing Pathfinder and designing for that game.
They're not the best people to make a Revised 5e, because the understanding of the game isn't there. They probably wouldn't know what to fix and what not to fix, what is required for balance, what are mistakes to be fixed. To say nothing of all those subtle rules.


Honestly, Paizo is in a tough place right now. 5e is ridiculously predominant in the market. AND the new players coming into the hobby via streaming are heavily disinterested in the crunch-heavy play-style they've built their game around, which makes acquiring new players tricky. Which also makes it harder to employ the same methods to bring in new players.
But Paizo's own audience has massive collections of crunch that they have likely barely used. By sticking with 3.X rather than moving to 4e or 5e, most have show a preference for a funky, broken ruleset. Upgrading to something that plays similar feels like a lateral move, especially when many of the improvements (i.e. the action economy) can be slapped onto Pathfinder 1. And the cost is high: players have to give up the massive library of existing crunch; Pathfinder players stick with PF because of the options and customization, but it will be a year or two before PF2 can have an "acceptable" amount of options.
I imagine Paizo is hoping to play a "long game". Sell enough material to keep the company afloat while their audience burns through the content they already own. And then, slowly over the next 2-3 years, let people swap to PF2 when it feels like there's enough material there.
In the best of worlds, sure.

I fear the reality is that the market for d20 levels of cluttery and workload etc simply isn't there anymore.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Myself, I think the only way they could stay big is by staying inside the D&D sphere. They could have made a 5E Advanced game in everything but name and attracted millions of 5E gamers. And maybe some Pathfinder fans too!
D&D with knobs on! I think we can be pretty certain that WotC are going to be very leery of doing anything that might kill the golden goose they’ve conjured in 5e. The perfect opportunity for someone to produce an “advanced” version.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
[MENTION=12731]CapnZapp[/MENTION], you seem to be sending mixed messages. On the one hand, you seem to think that Paizo missed their opportunity to make products adapted directly for 5E as is. On the other, you bemoan that Paizo is not making "5E Advanced." But I suspect that if Paizo made either then their profits would fizzle out even faster. Why would the market bother with Paizo if they did either especially when many tables do not allow 3pp materials? By producing materials for 5e, Paizo would be making themselves niche among niche rather than carving out a more unique niche for themselves.
I think the capn and I see two opportunities for Paizo, the low hanging fruit is to repurpose the best of their classic material for 5e. i’m curious about a couple of their APs for example and more bestiaries are always welcome. The other, more risky one for sure, is to provide a pathway to a more crunchy game for those that want it. I would be interested in a D&D variety that didn’t focus so much on leveling and went with a talent tree approach for example.
 

schneeland

Explorer
D&D with knobs on! I think we can be pretty certain that WotC are going to be very leery of doing anything that might kill the golden goose they’ve conjured in 5e. The perfect opportunity for someone to produce an “advanced” version.
I think the main challenge will be that different people would like to have a version that's advanced in different ways - some might want more feats, others a more fine-grained skill system, still others may desire better backgrounds, and some may also wish for a more detailed modelling of fictional positioning than just advantage/disadvantage. I'm not sure that you can do one product that pleased all of these groups (if you do a very modular thing, play-testing might be very hard; and if you don't, you may put off some groups with too much crunch).
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I think the main challenge will be that different people would like to have a version that's advanced in different ways - some might want more feats, others a more fine-grained skill system, still others may desire better backgrounds, and some may also wish for a more detailed modelling of fictional positioning than just advantage/disadvantage. I'm not sure that you can do one product that pleased all of these groups (if you do a very modular thing, play-testing might be very hard; and if you don't, you may put off some groups with too much crunch).
Agreed, it wouldn’t be easy. Some design choices would need to be made, but they are RPG designers/tweaked after all :). And that’s why I’m surprised by some of the commenters here claiming that Paizo knows nothing about 5e. If I were a designer in this field I would absolutely want to study what is making 5e tick, and think about ways to make it tick better (or ways my product could be enhanced in a similar manner). We’ve definitely had lots of discussions in here about areas where we think things could be improved.
 

Parmandur

Legend
To be fair, the people here say that PF2 may be DOA are saying that in reaction to the myriad PF1 edition warriors that actively denounce PF rather than any feelings of ill will to Paizo or PF2 themselves. Personally, I hope PF2 is a success—successes in this hobby are a great thing for the rest of the community. And, besides, Paizo are good people. However, you lot have an edition war on your hands just from a cursory look at the Paizo forums. I hope that war dies in a fire when PF2 is released.
I don't have an edition war axe to grind with PF, but I don't see the niche for PF2: PF1 offers a way to continue using 3E material from nearly two decades, PF2 offers a version of D&D that is not compatible with years of products, but is also complex, arcane, and difficult to get into? I never got past PC creation with the playtest (not very fun, and I love PC generation) so I can't comment too directly, but I don't see the market for this to replace jilted fans.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
What does LFQW stand for?

[Goes to Google]

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards

Nope. This was not a factor for me diving into 5e. I'm not a "new" gamer, but I stopped playing with 1e and other 80s era games around 1990 when I was at college. Got back into TTRPGs with 5e. Have to say that there was not much analysis that went into my decision. Certainly not to level of studying character power progression.

I took to 5e, which got me back into TTRPGs, mainly because of feelings. It "felt" like D&D. It was evocative, it was easy(ier) to learn, and it was accessible (easy to find people to play with).

If I wanted to play a heavily crunchy game, I'd get back into running miniature wargames. I was really into that in the 80s as well. But I don't have the time and there is something magical about TTRPGs that I cherish and that magic is not in the tactical combat rules.

As for LFQW, even that I now know what you are referring do, can't say I would care. If Wizards and squishy at low levels and god-like at high levels, that's a legitimate approach, if your campaigns even hit the high levels. Just don't make them overly complicated to play.

As for Pathfinder, it just turned me off. Even now, when I am at the point where I have been buying an running or playing in other game systems, Pathfinder isn't attractive. I could say make it streamlined and easier, but I already have 5e. I just continue using all the 5e material I've spend so much on over the past few years.

I personally do not feel the LFQW thing is even a FACTOR with how popular 5e has become. If THAT was the deciding factor, 4e would have won the gambit by a long mile.

5e is successful because it is FAR easier to general people to learn, and when new players are coming to a game, ease of use is a major factor.

Eventually some may want something different, but for new players, 5e currently is one of the easiest games to learn within a short period that fall under the popular name brand of D&D (aka...any type of game that would fall under the D20 mechanic of games).

It has nothing to do with LFQW per se, and more to do with the fact that a LOT OF NEW gamers are coming into RPGs and are actually able to figure out how to play with a minimum amount of trouble and confusion.

That's the real key to 5e's success today. It is attracting NEW gamers, rather than just appealing to old gamers who keep bringing up old thoughts such as LFQW and other relics of a bygone age of angst and discussion about "balance" and other items that seemed so pertinent 10-20 years ago.

This does not mean that you are not correct to some degree, but my personal feeling differs on why 5e is being so successful and what is actually bringing in new gamers (most of who have never even heard of LFQW).
 

Parmandur

Legend
What does LFQW stand for?

[Goes to Google]

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards

Nope. This was not a factor for me diving into 5e. I'm not a "new" gamer, but I stopped playing with 1e and other 80s era games around 1990 when I was at college. Got back into TTRPGs with 5e. Have to say that there was not much analysis that went into my decision. Certainly not to level of studying character power progression.

I took to 5e, which got me back into TTRPGs, mainly because of feelings. It "felt" like D&D. It was evocative, it was easy(ier) to learn, and it was accessible (easy to find people to play with).

If I wanted to play a heavily crunchy game, I'd get back into running miniature wargames. I was really into that in the 80s as well. But I don't have the time and there is something magical about TTRPGs that I cherish and that magic is not in the tactical combat rules.

As for LFQW, even that I now know what you are referring do, can't say I would care. If Wizards and squishy at low levels and god-like at high levels, that's a legitimate approach, if your campaigns even hit the high levels. Just don't make them overly complicated to play.

As for Pathfinder, it just turned me off. Even now, when I am at the point where I have been buying an running or playing in other game systems, Pathfinder isn't attractive. I could say make it streamlined and easier, but I already have 5e. I just continue using all the 5e material I've spend so much on over the past few years.
To be fair, the ways in which 5E fixes the LFQW "issue" are directly related to the ease of play and old time "feel" in 5E.
 

M.T. Black

Explorer
I imagine Paizo is hoping to play a "long game". Sell enough material to keep the company afloat while their audience burns through the content they already own. And then, slowly over the next 2-3 years, let people swap to PF2 when it feels like there's enough material there.
I think Jester is right on the money here, and I think Paizo probably want to hold their nerve with 2e. There's possibly another factor to consider. I still hang around in OSR circles a bit, and its really striking now how *old* everyone is compared to my 5e circles, which have a big range of ages, but lots of younger folk.

I rather suspect the PF1 audience is also an aging one, trying to keep PF1 alive is not a long-term viable strategy. Even if the PF2 core books only sell a quarter of what PF1 did, that is still a helluva lot of money, and more than they would make selling PF1 adventure paths.

Ultimately, I think the profitable path is dual PF2/5e releases for the coming years, with the 5e products probably becoming their biggest sellers, but PF2 hanging around as Pepsi to D&D's Coke.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

darjr

I crit!
I know I'm probably going to make a fool of myself. But here is a prediction.

PF2 will sell really well at first. But then tail off rapidly. Paizo will do more and more 5e stuff and eventually tail off PF2 product altogether. The computer game and their universal stuff and their licenses with the likes of WizKids will sustain them but eventually they'll have to decide to allocate work to a PF2 product or a 5e one and the 5e one will win.

I'm probably wrong.
 
Yep, that's the corporate motivation I've been discussing before.

In reality every other publisher than a D&D publisher is a small-time gig.
Looking at a couple of newer companies and the games they publish, I see Cubicle 7 and Modiphius surpassing Paizo and other smaller publishers. Yes, some of C7's success is because of the very good sales of Adventures in Middle Earth, with it's 5E OGL rules system, but C7 is also putting our the new Warhammer FRP rules and those seem to be selling very well so far too. As for Modiphius, I do not think any of ther games are D20 or 5E-based at all, but the volume of different games they now publish, or have in the works, definitely moves them up the list. And if they keep the White Wolf Vampire 5th Ed moving forward successfully, they will only grow larger.
 

trancejeremy

Villager
I know I'm probably going to make a fool of myself. But here is a prediction.

PF2 will sell really well at first. But then tail off rapidly. Paizo will do more and more 5e stuff and eventually tail off PF2 product altogether. The computer game and their universal stuff and their licenses with the likes of WizKids will sustain them but eventually they'll have to decide to allocate work to a PF2 product or a 5e one and the 5e one will win.

I'm probably wrong.
In retrospect, I wonder if it would have made more sense for Paizo to make PF2 5e based, something like Adventures in Middle Earth, with Pathfinder classes added to the traditional ones. I just don't see how PF2 pleases either 3e or 5e fans, only Paizo fans, and they'd buy anything from them.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
I don’t want to make too many predictions...
What I think will happen is marred very much by my innate bitter cynicism and my desire to see Paizo flourish.

I think Pathfinder 2 will do okay, but not quite be as successful as PF1’s unexpected triumph. It will likely have a solid sales spike at first and then sales will trickle down over time like almost every other RPG.
How well PF2 does might vary on the number of accessories. I think there will be too much pressure for more splat for them to go as slow as Starfinder (and they need to keep making books to justify having the staff numbers they have) but the slower the release schedule, the longer the edition will last. While a lot of people might not convert from PF1 to 2 right away, over time players might jump editions.

I disagree with darjr about Paizo and 5e. Mostly because I think 5e is at is peak and facing its inevitable decline. There’s still many years left, but I think the number of books and accessories people need/want for 5e is shrinking. There’s less room for 3rd Party books.
There would be something deeply, deeply ironic about Paizo slowly becoming more dependant on 5e over the next five or six years only to be surprised when WotC announces 6e.
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

Top