Release Day Second Edition Amazon Sales Rank

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I think it will be a tough sell mainly because it comes across as having been designed in a bubble where 5th edition didn't exist.

The fact is, 5E incorporates several fundamental changes that make the game simply easier to use.

In contrast, PF2 appears byzantine and clumsy.

I really think Paizo missed the boat here. Their game comes across as clueless as to what gamers want.

And this has nothing to do with providing deeper player crunch. I think it is eminently possible to create a game that takes inspiration from the quantum leap in usability and newbie friendliness, and still offers a more satisfying charbuild experience.

I just don't think PF2 is that game. Far too often, it is fiddly mostly for fiddliness sake, and not because it offers any real variety in how you gestalt your character's personality.
 
If the designers meant for PF2E to be a 4 core book game then that is one pretty stupid commercial decision. I'm sure they have heard of and understand the concept of Barrier to Entry, haven't they?
 

Zaukrie

Adventurer
I bought the book yesterday. I've played ONLY D&D since it was first released, but this is a great rule set. I hope to find people to play with here in Portland, OR.
 

Zaukrie

Adventurer
I think it will be a tough sell mainly because it comes across as having been designed in a bubble where 5th edition didn't exist.

The fact is, 5E incorporates several fundamental changes that make the game simply easier to use.

In contrast, PF2 appears byzantine and clumsy.

I really think Paizo missed the boat here. Their game comes across as clueless as to what gamers want.

And this has nothing to do with providing deeper player crunch. I think it is eminently possible to create a game that takes inspiration from the quantum leap in usability and newbie friendliness, and still offers a more satisfying charbuild experience.

I just don't think PF2 is that game. Far too often, it is fiddly mostly for fiddliness sake, and not because it offers any real variety in how you gestalt your character's personality.
Ya, I don't agree at all. It offers some choices, and the monsters are much more interesting to run then 5e.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
If the designers meant for PF2E to be a 4 core book game then that is one pretty stupid commercial decision. I'm sure they have heard of and understand the concept of Barrier to Entry, haven't they?
Not core as in necessary, but core in the sense of being central to the experience of the game as they envision it. You can totally play a game with just the Core Rulebook and Bestiary, but the expectation is that most groups will graduate to the Gamemastery Guide and Advanced Player's Guide over time.

The Gamemastery Guide is largely focused on more advanced GM techniques and designing material for your own game including monsters, magic items, more detailed adventures, and campaigns. It will cover magic items like artifacts, intelligent items, cursed items, and relics that are more appropriately handled by someone who already has some GM experience. It also goes into detail on how to hack the game including several variants that dramatically alter how the game is played. It will also have subsystems for things like dueling and chases with guidance on how to design subsystems for your game.

The Advanced Player's Guide was where First Edition Pathfinder really became Pathfinder TM. It introduced classes like the Alchemist, Oracle, Witch, and Summoner that become part of what made the game different from Dungeons and Dragons. This time around we are getting classes like the Investigator, Swashbuckler, Oracle, and Witch that they plan to really stretch the design space of the new game with. There will be new ancestries including some heritages like the aasimar and dhampir that are meant to be grafted onto any other ancestry. It will also introduce archetypes beyond the multi-class archetypes found in the core rulebook that allow players to customize their characters in ways that stretch beyond the core competencies of their classes. This sort of material is best utilized by players who have some play time under their belt. It's also the sort of material Pathfinder veterans are waiting for.

They are pretty much assuming most groups will eventually get this material because that is how it worked in First Edition. Pathfinder has always been a game that focused on deep rather than broad engagement.
 

gss000

Villager
Well, maybe, maybe not: Amazon isn't the whole story, and they are a small independently owned company, so they need less.

Kind of startling to check and see that PF2 sales have now slipped further down again from this morning, though...
Amazon isn't the whole story, but the trend is important more than the number itself. Unless someone does release all of the info, the Amazon numbers are a good proxy, like Mona wrote on Redditt. The actual number isn't so important as the trend and the change.

In this case, because of the subscription service and the difference between the Core Rulebook and every other P2 product, what I guess is that the Amazon numbers are showing interest of new or casual Pathfinder players. Those are more likely to go to Amazon rather than Paizo's website, and they may not have a FLGS. It's not a perfect analog, but an indicator.

Yes, they need less sales, but they need some level to sustain the line. Even if they have more revenue than ever, it still may not be enough if new people aren't coming in. Once other proxies come in from the other aggregators and online game sites, we probably will have a better idea.
 

Melfast

Explorer
I was listening to one of the Paizo panels from GenCon today on YouTube, and I think they said that they see four books being the base for most games: the CRB, the APG, and the two Bestiaries. The CRB and the APG provide a critical mass of player options, and the two bestiaries should include enough creatures to allow GM's to convert almost all the old modules by replacing the creatures and using the standard difficulty tables in the CRB to update the DC's in the old adventures.
 

ikos

Villager
Ya, I don't agree at all. It offers some choices, and the monsters are much more interesting to run then 5e.
I'm finding truth in both you and Zapps' assertions:

PF2 is way to fiddly for it own good. Not unlike the playtest, making a character involves many meaningless choices. The feeling is not unlike being in a cereal aisle debating which variety of toasted flakes suits my fancy. They are all about the same, certainly nothing worth taking any serious amount of time deciding. The insignifigance of many choices makes the process less engaging than PF1 while remaining a longer process than 5E.

Yes, some of the choices in PF2 do matter, but not nearly enough to justify the time sink involved for many players with a life outside gaming and optimization boards. The monsters do absolutely shine though and the system itself does what I suspect it as designed to do - offer many options in core without any combination of them causing the system to crash. Agreed, give me Paizo's beasts, or those found in 3rd party 5e add-ons, any day of the week over the blandness of the standard monsters provided by 5e. Their blandess is eclipsed only by their non-threating nature at higher levels.
 
I'm finding truth in both you and Zapps' assertions:

PF2 is way to fiddly for it own good. Not unlike the playtest, making a character involves many meaningless choices. The feeling is not unlike being in a cereal aisle debating which variety of toasted flakes suits my fancy. They are all about the same, certainly nothing worth taking any serious amount of time deciding. The insignifigance of many choices makes the process less engaging than PF1 while remaining a longer process than 5E.

Yes, some of the choices in PF2 do matter, but not nearly enough to justify the time sink involved for many players with a life outside gaming and optimization boards. The monsters do absolutely shine though and the system itself does what I suspect it as designed to do - offer many options in core without any combination of them causing the system to crash. Agreed, give me Paizo's beasts, or those found in 3rd party 5e add-ons, any day of the week over the blandness of the standard monsters provided by 5e. Their blandess is eclipsed only by their non-threating nature at higher levels.
The monsters in the 5e Monster Manual may not be exciting but monster design has continued to improve. Books like Volo's Guide, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica all demonstrate an evolving design method.

The idea that official 5e monsters are unexciting is becoming a thing of the past - to keep trotting out this idea is disingenuous.
 

S'mon

Legend
The idea that official 5e monsters are unexciting is becoming a thing of the past - to keep trotting out this idea is disingenuous.
Remembering some issues I had with 4e Essentials "ok I'll just reach for a hobgoblin ...uh oh" - I definitely think there is a place for mechanically bland monsters! For me the 5e MM design works well especially when supplemented - you need your potatoes as well as your meat IMO.
 
Remembering some issues I had with 4e Essentials "ok I'll just reach for a hobgoblin ...uh oh" - I definitely think there is a place for mechanically bland monsters! For me the 5e MM design works well especially when supplemented - you need your potatoes as well as your meat IMO.
Don't get me wrong, I like the 5e MM monsters but the design work has clearly been improving throughout the years. I tend to customise and tinker with monsters anyway so I rarely have issues with anything.
 

Parmandur

Legend
PF2 has rallied a bit today, back to #22, nipping at the heels of Course of Strahd, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, and the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide.

The D&D Essentials Kit got someone's attention, because it was recatagorized as a board game rather than a book, and is now ripping up the Board Game charts.
 

Shroomy

Adventurer
The monsters in the 5e Monster Manual may not be exciting but monster design has continued to improve. Books like Volo's Guide, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica all demonstrate an evolving design method.

The idea that official 5e monsters are unexciting is becoming a thing of the past - to keep trotting out this idea is disingenuous.
There's not even that much difference between many of the PF and 5e monsters! The bag of hit points argument is usually prima facie disingenuous no matter which modern edition of D&D or PF you're talking about.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I have only gotten to play the game as a player, but I am looking forward to stepping behind the screen shortly and a lot of that has to do with the monster design. It is my earnest opinion that these monsters look like they will be more fun to play than 5th Edition monsters. Let's not get it twisted. This is not me saying that 5th Edition monsters are boring, especially more recent designs. In comparative analysis this stuff gets overblown.

Here's why Pathfinder 2 Monsters look more fun to me:
  • Monsters are built off a similar number base as player characters. A monster of the same level as a player character will generally have a similar number of hit points and do a pretty similar amount of damage. This keeps the game exciting for me because both player characters and monsters go down pretty quick.
  • The level scaling makes higher level monsters really scary. I love that out of the box you can use higher level monsters as meaningful solo fights and lower level monsters as minions and have them feel that way.
  • Things like resistances, weaknesses, and immunities are fairly common. This means that players need to adjust and change tactics for each monster. They are all like puzzles for players to solve.
  • Monsters have a lot more active rather than passive abilities. Coupled with the three action economy there is a lot to play with on each individual monster turn. How monsters are played really matters.
  • A lot more monsters have an impact beyond the encounter. Things like diseases, poisons, curses, and other long term consequences are plentiful.
  • They are not afraid to play around with the form. They make trade offs in the monster math all the time to make monsters feel unique. They also often include different abilities you can trade out for monsters like zombies to give them different feels.
  • This is subjective, but I really like the way Paizo writes Monster lore. It feels more focused on using the creatures. It also has a lot less passive voice.

I have seen the impact of some of these things as a player. Small differences in design can make a big impact. Ghouls in Pathfinder 2 are leaping all the place, feasting on dead corpses, and carriers of both disease and paralysis. Fighting them felt really different to me.
 
I have only gotten to play the game as a player, but I am looking forward to stepping behind the screen shortly and a lot of that has to do with the monster design. It is my earnest opinion that these monsters look like they will be more fun to play than 5th Edition monsters. Let's not get it twisted. This is not me saying that 5th Edition monsters are boring, especially more recent designs. In comparative analysis this stuff gets overblown.

Here's why Pathfinder 2 Monsters look more fun to me:
  • Monsters are built off a similar number base as player characters. A monster of the same level as a player character will generally have a similar number of hit points and do a pretty similar amount of damage. This keeps the game exciting for me because both player characters and monsters go down pretty quick.
  • The level scaling makes higher level monsters really scary. I love that out of the box you can use higher level monsters as meaningful solo fights and lower level monsters as minions and have them feel that way.
  • Things like resistances, weaknesses, and immunities are fairly common. This means that players need to adjust and change tactics for each monster. They are all like puzzles for players to solve.
  • Monsters have a lot more active rather than passive abilities. Coupled with the three action economy there is a lot to play with on each individual monster turn. How monsters are played really matters.
  • A lot more monsters have an impact beyond the encounter. Things like diseases, poisons, curses, and other long term consequences are plentiful.
  • They are not afraid to play around with the form. They make trade offs in the monster math all the time to make monsters feel unique. They also often include different abilities you can trade out for monsters like zombies to give them different feels.
  • This is subjective, but I really like the way Paizo writes Monster lore. It feels more focused on using the creatures. It also has a lot less passive voice.

I have seen the impact of some of these things as a player. Small differences in design can make a big impact. Ghouls in Pathfinder 2 are leaping all the place, feasting on dead corpses, and carriers of both disease and paralysis. Fighting them felt really different to me.
Quite a few of the points you make apply to 5e. The 5e DMG has a section on how to adjust monsters by giving them different abilities - I have been doing this for the past 4 years as well as adding character class levels, adjusting damage etc.

I can easily make higher level monsters very scary - give them legendary actions.

As for monster lore, well, Volo's Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes devote entire sections to particular monsters and races and do a deep dive.

With 5e, due to the streamlined rules, I can have my cake and eat it - deep lore, interesting monsters and challenging encounters. And it's all easy to run for the overworked DM. It's not difficult. This is not a unique selling point of PF2E, just putting this out there for the sake of balance.
 

darjr

I crit!
I’ve tpkd a high tier table with optimizers. Using the encounter out of the adventure. Was it a solo monster? Did it go last in the round? That’s a recipe for its early demise in more than 5e
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
The idea that official 5e monsters are unexciting is becoming a thing of the past - to keep trotting out this idea is disingenuous.
When the Monster Manual and the first five or so adventure hardbacks are suitably updated and re-issued, yes, certainly.

In the meanwhile, though, the only thing that's disingenuous is arguing we shouldn't review the core offering on its own merits.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Quite a few of the points you make apply to 5e. The 5e DMG has a section on how to adjust monsters by giving them different abilities - I have been doing this for the past 4 years as well as adding character class levels, adjusting damage etc.

I can easily make higher level monsters very scary - give them legendary actions.

As for monster lore, well, Volo's Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes devote entire sections to particular monsters and races and do a deep dive.

With 5e, due to the streamlined rules, I can have my cake and eat it - deep lore, interesting monsters and challenging encounters. And it's all easy to run for the overworked DM. It's not difficult. This is not a unique selling point of PF2E, just putting this out there for the sake of balance.
You seem unwilling to accept the difference between having to do it yourself and getting it served on a platter by the publisher.

That is, if "you can fix it" really was a valid response, there would be no basis for any rpg criticism ever.
 

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