PF Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?

Erekose

Adventurer
I'm sure this must have been talked about before but I can't find a relevant thread . . . it just occurs to me that given that Pathfinder became a haven for people that didn't want to move from 3.xE D&D to 4E, what will happen if "most" buyers of Pathfinder products stay with 1E rather than moving to 2E?

This isn't really a question about the relative merits of 1E and 2E so much as a query about where the bulk of Paizo's revenue comes from for Pathfinder. If it's the adventure paths rather than the rulebooks, then wouldn't low sales of 2E mean they might continue with 1E adventure paths?

That said, it's seems likely that the new adventure paths will be designed such that you can play them easily with either edition . . . so maybe it's a moot point?
 

Gladius Legis

Explorer
Paizo better come up with some plan in that likely event. Reactions to the PF2e playtest were overwhelmingly and almost universally negative.
 

Jacob Lewis

The One with the Force
Pathfinder has held its own by its own merits, not just as an alternative for D&D fans who can't get what they want out of current editions. 1e has been around for about 10 years now, and supported by a continous stream of new options and splatbooks that rivals any edition or era or D&D to date. Whether that is good or bad is a matter of opinion. But after ten years, I think Paizo believes they have taken the system as far as it can; farther than anyone else could, one could argue. New base classes, core rules expanding every major theme, and so much more.

Somewhere deep in their forums and announcements (and don't think I am going to locate every relevant link for anybody), it has been stated that the new edition has been in the works for years as a natural evolution, not a response to percieved success or failure anywhere. It is simply the right time.

Fact is, there is plenty of 1e material to fill a lifetime or two of adventure gaming. And they have stated they will continue to print these older products as long as there is demand for it. And there will likely be conversion guides either way, along with fan conversions.

Right now may not be the best time to discuss it, however. The open playtest saw a lot of changes in response to string feedback, and I suspect the final product may be much different than what we have seen. We don`t know what we will end up with or how fans will respond. But I do know this: Paizo has proven themselves repeatedly, and rarely disappoints. And there are still plenty of fans who are ready for something other than D&D 5e or PF 1e. Maybe they will hit the sweet spot in between. That remains to be seen. Here's hoping! ;)
 

Retreater

Adventurer
I can speak only to my feelings about PF2 and anecdotes. I'm not a current PF player and haven't been since 5e was released. I've tried the playtest both at conventions and in a home game. I'll probably pick up the core rules because I'm a RPG collector and might give it a few sessions to test drive it. However even the PF fans I know don't plan to use it regularly (if at all). I think it runs a significant risk of dividing their player base.
I would be surprised if the 3pp market didn't address the wants of the PF1 fans. But I'd be equally surprised if Paizo continues to make PF1 material. I would expect them to make system agnostic material and rely on fan conversions of their APs.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
it just occurs to me that given that Pathfinder became a haven for people that didn't want to move from 3.xE D&D to 4E,
It may have started like that 10 years ago, but there are tons of people who play PF these days who have never played D&D 3.x.
 

Erekose

Adventurer
It may have started like that 10 years ago, but there are tons of people who play PF these days who have never played D&D 3.x.

Good point! But what if PF2E has the same impact on PF1E players that D&D4E had on D&D3.xE players?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Good point! But what if PF2E has the same impact on PF1E players that D&D4E had on D&D3.xE players?
Dunno. But PF1 came out of a perfect storm of a lot of things. It would be hard to replicate that success.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
For me, I never really had a big attachment to 3e (having left it at the time for Castles & Crusades). I started playing Pathfinder at cons because I liked the worldbuilding and they had some really cool adventures to play. But after 2e was announced and preview material started to come out, it became clear that it was going to be even more fiddly than 1e (which was already pushing my tolerance for fiddly bits).

After that, I just stopped playing it at cons. I still play a little Starfinder, though, and am likely to stick with that instead of either migrating to 2e or sticking to 1e.

Don’t get me wrong, Pathfinder 1e has more content than just about any other RPG at this point. It’s creaky and bloated, so they had to do something. But for a system based on staying true to an older rules set, a second edition is a tough needle to thread.
 

zztong

Explorer
I'm sure this must have been talked about before but I can't find a relevant thread . . . it just occurs to me that given that Pathfinder became a haven for people that didn't want to move from 3.xE D&D to 4E, I'm sure this must have been talked about before but I can't find a relevant thread . . . it just occurs to me that given that Pathfinder became a haven for people that didn't want to move from 3.xE D&D to 4E, what will happen if "most" buyers of Pathfinder products stay with 1E rather than moving to 2E?

This isn't really a question about the relative merits of 1E and 2E so much as
That said, it's seems likely that the new adventure paths will be designed such that you can play them easily with either edition . . . so maybe it's a moot point?a query about where the bulk of Paizo's revenue comes from for Pathfinder. If it's the adventure paths rather than the rulebooks, then wouldn't low sales of 2E mean they might continue with 1E adventure paths?

That said, it's seems likely that the new adventure paths will be designed such that you can play them easily with either edition . . . so maybe it's a moot point?
What happens to Paizo depends on sales. If the 1e folks don't largely follow Paizo to 2e then Paizo needs new players. If revenues are lower then Paizo will need to examine its options. IIRC, they are not planning to support 1e with their APs.

I toyed around with Google Trends thinking it might describe interest in both D&D and Pathfinder. Its not sales data, of course. I'm not saying interest correlates with sales. I just don't know. The spike in interest in Pathfinder near the end of the graph corresponds with the announcement of the playtest. If you extend the range of time you can see the 4e effect.

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today 5-y&geo=US&q=/m/026q9,/m/04dzk1_
 

Shasarak

Villager
Paizo better come up with some plan in that likely event. Reactions to the PF2e playtest were overwhelmingly and almost universally negative.
I guess the main problem that I had with the playtest was that it just was not fun which, although it was done on purpose to stress test the game, negatively influenced my experience.

Lets see what they come up with for PF2.
 

Shasarak

Villager
I toyed around with Google Trends thinking it might describe interest in both D&D and Pathfinder. Its not sales data, of course. I'm not saying interest correlates with sales. I just don't know. The spike in interest in Pathfinder near the end of the graph corresponds with the announcement of the playtest. If you extend the range of time you can see the 4e effect.
I wonder if the low percentage of people playing RPGs in the southern states is to do with a hold over from the Satanic panic?
 

Erekose

Adventurer
What happens to Paizo depends on sales. If the 1e folks don't largely follow Paizo to 2e then Paizo needs new players. If revenues are lower then Paizo will need to examine its options. IIRC, they are not planning to support 1e with their APs.
Hmm - makes me wonder how different PF2E will actually be to PF1E - from the playtest it would appear to be a significant change but wouldn't there be a certain logic to keeping them "similar enough" (whatever that means) so that new PF2E players could still use the existing APs and PF1E players that don't make the move could still use the new APS???
 

zztong

Explorer
Hmm - makes me wonder how different PF2E will actually be to PF1E - from the playtest it would appear to be a significant change but wouldn't there be a certain logic to keeping them "similar enough" (whatever that means) so that new PF2E players could still use the existing APs and PF1E players that don't make the move could still use the new APS???
I'm in two Pathfinder games. One plans to use PF2 and the other is sticking with PF1. One of the DMs in the PF1 game expects to manually convert PF2 adventures to PF1. If Paizo supported PF1 in new APs as it would save him time. I suspect Paizo could publish a free PF1 Companion PDF for each AP and they would enjoy some PF2 AP sales to PF1 games. I've no idea if the revenue from that would cover the costs, or if doing that might in some way undermine migration from PF1 to PF2.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
Hmm - makes me wonder how different PF2E will actually be to PF1E - from the playtest it would appear to be a significant change but wouldn't there be a certain logic to keeping them "similar enough" (whatever that means) so that new PF2E players could still use the existing APs and PF1E players that don't make the move could still use the new APS???
They have stated that many of the changes in the playtest rules were more extreme than they thought they were likely to go with, but they wanted playtest feedback on the more extreme version to see how much to dial it down.

I think the PF2 playtest was handled rather poorly compared to the 5e playtest. Most notably, they dumped the whole* rule set at once, and while they did issue a number of updates during the test it was still tweaking on the same base. With 5e, on the other hand, Wizards initially gave us a handful of basic pregens and a version of the Caves of Chaos and asked us "Does this feel like D&D to you?" They then iterated on that basic model, expanding it in one way or another, and on occasion wholesale dropping of concepts that didn't work out (e.g. the sorcerer who gained draconic features as they were casting their spells, thus going from caster to warrior over the course of a day). Wizards also gave the process significantly more time: 2 years from initial playtest to release instead of 1 (which in reality is more like three times the time, because you need a few months for the actual production aspects - editing, layout, art, printing, and so on).

* Well, feature-complete. Multi-classing came in an update and they've said that the full rules will have more options for PCs.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
They have stated that many of the changes in the playtest rules were more extreme than they thought they were likely to go with, but they wanted playtest feedback on the more extreme version to see how much to dial it down.

I think the PF2 playtest was handled rather poorly compared to the 5e playtest. Most notably, they dumped the whole* rule set at once, and while they did issue a number of updates during the test it was still tweaking on the same base. With 5e, on the other hand, Wizards initially gave us a handful of basic pregens and a version of the Caves of Chaos and asked us "Does this feel like D&D to you?" They then iterated on that basic model, expanding it in one way or another, and on occasion wholesale dropping of concepts that didn't work out (e.g. the sorcerer who gained draconic features as they were casting their spells, thus going from caster to warrior over the course of a day). Wizards also gave the process significantly more time: 2 years from initial playtest to release instead of 1 (which in reality is more like three times the time, because you need a few months for the actual production aspects - editing, layout, art, printing, and so on).

* Well, feature-complete. Multi-classing came in an update and they've said that the full rules will have more options for PCs.
I'm not a huge Pathfinder fan. I've played it and can reasonably comment on it, but I was more into 4e and 5e I suppose.

I think Paizo may be cutting it's own foot off to try to win a foot race. They may have great sales (many times the core rules sell very well) of the core rulebook and whatever bestiary they have, but after that it's anyone's guess.

From the little I've heard here and elsewhere it sounds as if the Playtest went over VERY BADLY. 5e's playtest was hands and feet better than what the PF2e Playtest seems to have done from a marketing perspective.

In that I expect that PF2e will move rulebooks, but I think it's going to lose them players in the long run. I think there will be many who stick with PF1e, but even then, with PF2e being supported and PF1e moved away from except publishing the books, they are going to lose a great deal of Pathfinder gamers that would have stuck around if they had supported PF1e more.

What that means for their future...I do not know.

Maybe they'll start converting APs to 5e. C&C (Trolllords) now are making adventures for 5e...perhaps Paizo will follow suite if their PF2e doesn't work out in the long run...or maybe they'll revert back to supporting PF1e (though I can't see that as really being all that viable. I imagine they went to PF2e for a reason...and that reason probably has to do with being able to see a decline in PF1e revenues in the future if they continued down that path continuously).
 

zztong

Explorer
Hmm - makes me wonder how different PF2E will actually be to PF1E - from the playtest it would appear to be a significant change but wouldn't there be a certain logic to keeping them "similar enough" (whatever that means) so that new PF2E players could still use the existing APs and PF1E players that don't make the move could still use the new APS???
While I might appreciate it if the final version of PF2 turned out to actually be close to PF1, I think they'd get destroyed by those folks who liked the system demonstrated by the playtest. So while I can agree there is a certain logic to keeping PF2 and PF1 similar, I think Paizo is running on different logic, no doubt better informed about their customer base and the market that I am.

I can go along with Staffan's observations. To me, the playtest was too fast. It gave me the sense that Paizo was in a big hurry. If I tested anything, it was character generation. Yeesh, I'm tired of making PF2 characters and we're not done with Doomsday Dawn yet.

I think Greylord's historical observations about rulebook sales will probably prove correct, but times do change. I have no plans to buy the PF2 rulebook and bestiary. The playtest made enough of an impression that I have no plans to run PF2 games. I just don't think I can use PF2 to tell good stories. I don't need the rulebook and bestiary to play. Hero Lab Online will have me covered.
 
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Staffan

Adventurer
I can go along with Staffan's observations. To me, the playtest was too fast. It gave me the sense that Paizo was in a big hurry. If I tested anything, it was character generation. Yeesh, I'm tired of making PF2 characters and we're not done with Doomsday Dawn yet.
Yeah, we dropped it after the second adventure. We just didn't think it was any fun. Whether that was due to adventures designed to stress-test the system, or whether it was due to a poor system, I'm not sure - probably a bit of both.

I think Greylord's historical observations about rulebook sales will probably prove correct, but times do change.
Pathfinder is a little odd because the original impetus of making it was "People like the adventure paths we did first in Dragon and then as their own products after we lost the license. But we don't want to make adventures for 4e both because of the more restrictive license and because we don't like the rules, so we want to keep making 3e adventures. But it makes no sense to make adventures for a system that's no longer in print, so tweak 3e and release it as our own game." In other words, with Pathfinder the adventures drove the rules, not the other way around (at least at first).

But I see three main reasons for Paizo to release Pathfinder 2:

1. There are something like 17 hardback rulebooks for the system, plus 6 bestiaries, a bunch of Golarion-specific hardbacks, and approximately a zillion other books. It's getting pretty hard for Paizo to come up with new interesting things.

2. There are something like 17 hardback rulebooks for the system, plus 6 bestiaries, a bunch of Golarion-specific hardbacks, and approximately a zillion other books. That is completely impossible to get a grip on as a player or GM, particularly when a lot of those zillion other books have player-oriented material scattered here and there. Archives of Nethys lists 40 different classes (plus 4 variant classes from Pathfinder Unchained, as well as the five NPC classes), and each class probably has at least a dozen potential archetypes - and that's before getting into feats and other customization.

3. The game has been out for 10 years. Pretty much everyone who was going to buy it have bought it, so they need a newer hotter model.
 
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Retreater

Adventurer
As long as we're talking about PF2's playtest, I think it was overall pretty poor. So many of the chapters in Doomsday Dawn were things like "keep track of how many rounds the characters can fight this unending horde of zombies until they die." That is the kind of mechanics that need to be handled in-house, not shipped out to customers who are going to be judging this as a preview of your upcoming product (not to mention players like me who actually purchased the playtest materials).

It was also too short, which tells me that Paizo had no real intention of drastically changing anything in the playtest. They could fiddle with a few numbers but things like layout were already determined.

When they were playtesting Pathfinder 1E, they were just building on 3.x. In this case, trying to build a new system from the ground up, they should've taken more time.
 
D

dco

Guest
They could also try porting the adventures to other systems if it flops.
 

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