Release Day Second Edition Amazon Sales Rank

Arilyn

Adventurer
People keep saying that, but it didn’t keep them on top when TSR faltered or at the end of 4e. It is a fact that it takes more than the brand name.
Okay, as long as the company is well run and they don't stray too far from its roots. Companies may falter but D&D bounces back...
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
As far as how popular it is compared to 5e? Well, in this market no one is going to be able to touch the magic of the brand label and name recognition of D&D.
This seems to discount everything Wizards has done to achieve that recognition and popularity. And instead just attributes that popularity because of brand label and name recognition.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
People keep saying that, but it didn’t keep them on top when TSR faltered or at the end of 4e. It is a fact that it takes more than the brand name.
I do not think it is the brand name that leads to the relatively untouchable position of modern Dungeons and Dragons. They have made an extremely accessible game that hits all the right Dungeons and Dragons notes. It was mostly to feel like Dungeons and Dragons and be familiar to lapsed fans and children of lapsed fans. Add to that an extremely accessible Organized Play environment and a large amount of sway over game stores do to Magic pretty much running the show at most game stores. Combine all that with young population obsessed with nerd culture and a game that is extremely stream friendly. In the current environment it is almost impossible to meaningfully compete with Dungeons and Dragons. Not really worth trying because of the built in business and nostalgia advantages that Wizards of the Coast has.

I do not mean nostalgia in a negative sense here. Wizards has made some good business decisions that have served to boost the popularity of the game.
 

Arilyn

Adventurer
This seems to discount everything Wizards has done to achieve that recognition and popularity. And instead just attributes that popularity because of brand label and name recognition.
Not at all. Game designers work very hard, and it's not an easy job. D&D has huge name brand recognition which can't be discounted. There are awesome games out there toiling I obscurity because of lack of name power.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
Not at all. Game designers work very hard, and it's not an easy job. D&D has huge name brand recognition which can't be discounted. There are awesome games out there toiling I obscurity because of lack of name power.
But that is just the thing. The designers at Wizards had to work hard on developing that huge brand recognition. They did not just start out with huge brand recognition. Not even in 5e. And this cannot be discounted.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
If you use the optional rules in the 5e DMG you can make D&D5e as brutal and bloody as you want. I know this for a fact as I've done exactly this for my Ravenloft campaign which is coming up to it's 2 year anniversary. Default 5e is heroic fantasy; the rules are in place to make it as gritty and dark as you want.

So, what is the selling point of Pathfinder2e beyond this - bearing in mind that extra crunchy rules and more character customisation over 5e is not a selling plus for me?
I have no meaningful way of knowing what you are looking for, but I can speak to some of the things that are important to me:
  • Tighter math
  • Better and More Accurate GM Tools including better GM guidance with plentiful examples through the book on how to use the game
  • Modular Design (Characters and Systems). The Game Mastery Guide is going to go into depth about how systems are built, how to the hack the game, and provide examples like removing level from proficiency with detailed analysis on how that affects the game.
  • Far better support for B/X style dungeon and wilderness exploration
  • Spells that are rewritten to emphasize risk and drama
  • A more fluid and intuitive action economy
  • The monsters are so much more fun. So much! They really did their best to make every monster feel unique and mechanics were built primarily based on the feel of the monster. Like oozes have massive amounts of hit points, but low AC, are immune to critical hits and precision damage. It's like you are slowly swiping away at the slime as it congeals back together.
  • The rarity system provides a nice way to communicate what is and is not available for play. Many spells like Teleport, Scry, Detect Alignment, and Mindblank are Uncommon by default meaning to get access to them they must be earned in play or taken only with GM approval.
  • Magic items are a lot more fun than in Fifth Edition. This will be especially true when the GMG provides us with artifacts, intelligent items, cursed items, and relics.
  • No more bloated hit points on monsters. Generally monsters have similar numbers to PCs of their level.
  • No more abstract resources on martial characters. No more daily rages. No more bardic inspiration. No more second wind. No more action surge.
  • No Bounded Accuracy. There will be a hack if you want it, but I very much do not want it.
 

Arilyn

Adventurer
But that is just the thing. The designers at Wizards had to work hard on developing that huge brand recognition. They did not just start out with huge brand recognition. Not even in 5e. And this cannot be discounted.
D&D is the most well known RPG out there. Of course they started with huge brand name recognition. They still had to work hard at creating an appealing game to the largest amount of people, but having that D&D name is a big leg up. How couldn't it be?
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
D&D is the most well known RPG out there. Of course they started with huge brand name recognition. They still had to work hard at creating an appealing game to the largest amount of people, but having that D&D name is a big leg up. How couldn't it be?
It is now. Your stance that they started out with that huge brand recognition is completely overselling it and does not factor in the efforts that went into creating it. When 4e was on the wane and Pathfinder was king Pathfinder was more widely known.

In a lot of ways they created the snowball effect of that huge and visible brand recognition through the D&D Next playtest. Which again they did not start out with and had to make efforts to create.
 

Mistwell

Hero
It's really hard to know exactly how well a game is doing for a company, even with Amazon sales ranks. Paizo sells a lot directly through their store and subscription service, which cuts out the middle man. Paizo has an online store with a lot of other company products for sale, including WOTC. We don't have any idea how much revenue this brings in.
We're comparing numbers against just a couple years ago, and nothing about their subscription or store has meaningfully changed since that time.

It's a different time, and we also don't know if Paizo needs to sell as much PF2 as PF1, during it's peak. Is Paizo happy with current sales, ecstatic, worried, panicking? No way to know.
We're not comparing to their peak, we're comparing to their norm for the later years of PF1. The numbers which, presumably, were sustaining their staff reasonably well. They have not had any mass layoffs since then, so it sure seems like they could use numbers at least as good as PF1 was in it's later years.
 

darjr

I crit!
And remember in that graph is the time frame when they surpassed WotC and 4e.

DANG! I soooo wish I’d grabbed a graph of 4e. Though the players handbook might have been a bad proxy for 4es continued success or lack of it considering it was quickly obsolete, unlike other players handbooks or the pathfinder core book.
 

Teemu

Explorer
Thing is, at the moment with just the core book and bestiary out, one of PF2's strongest advantages when compared to 5e -- the customization of PCs -- isn't as big of a selling point as it could be. There's just not enough material available to really emphasize the vast array of options the rules system provides. However, once PF2 gets a couple of player options books out, a couple of bestiaries, and a full AP or two (and probably some updates to the core rules), I can see it becoming more attractive when compared to the industry leader. If Paizo is able to support the product line further, it's possible that PF2 gains momentum and popularity.
 
I have no meaningful way of knowing what you are looking for, but I can speak to some of the things that are important to me:
  • Tighter math
  • Better and More Accurate GM Tools including better GM guidance with plentiful examples through the book on how to use the game
  • Modular Design (Characters and Systems). The Game Mastery Guide is going to go into depth about how systems are built, how to the hack the game, and provide examples like removing level from proficiency with detailed analysis on how that affects the game.
  • Far better support for B/X style dungeon and wilderness exploration
  • Spells that are rewritten to emphasize risk and drama
  • A more fluid and intuitive action economy
  • The monsters are so much more fun. So much! They really did their best to make every monster feel unique and mechanics were built primarily based on the feel of the monster. Like oozes have massive amounts of hit points, but low AC, are immune to critical hits and precision damage. It's like you are slowly swiping away at the slime as it congeals back together.
  • The rarity system provides a nice way to communicate what is and is not available for play. Many spells like Teleport, Scry, Detect Alignment, and Mindblank are Uncommon by default meaning to get access to them they must be earned in play or taken only with GM approval.
  • Magic items are a lot more fun than in Fifth Edition. This will be especially true when the GMG provides us with artifacts, intelligent items, cursed items, and relics.
  • No more bloated hit points on monsters. Generally monsters have similar numbers to PCs of their level.
  • No more abstract resources on martial characters. No more daily rages. No more bardic inspiration. No more second wind. No more action surge.
  • No Bounded Accuracy. There will be a hack if you want it, but I very much do not want it.
Well, I think all the above points are purely subjective but there's nothing wrong with that. For me, the points mentioned here are either not selling points to me; don't appeal to me; or I don't actually recognise things stated as problem issues to be such.
I'm actually open to the idea of another class and level based fantasy RPG but I really don't feel PF2E is that game. Plus, in my group nobody is interested in PF2E and all the newbies I encounter want to play 5e. That's a major hurdle.
 
Thing is, at the moment with just the core book and bestiary out, one of PF2's strongest advantages when compared to 5e -- the customization of PCs -- isn't as big of a selling point as it could be. There's just not enough material available to really emphasize the vast array of options the rules system provides. However, once PF2 gets a couple of player options books out, a couple of bestiaries, and a full AP or two (and probably some updates to the core rules), I can see it becoming more attractive when compared to the industry leader. If Paizo is able to support the product line further, it's possible that PF2 gains momentum and popularity.
This description here is one reason why 5e is likely to always be more popular to new players - they only need the 5e PHB and, maybe, Xanathar's Guide. If you put out a whole load of different books that are 'essential' then you've just placed a huge barrier to entry to new players. It's not...good. Same goes for new DMs, in fact it's probably worse for them.

I get the strong feeling PF2E is catering to existing players but you need to attract new blood; a wall of books isn't going to be a major incentive for most people and can be downright confusing. It gets worse if you later release important errata that covers multiple books.

Yes, you could just say ' use the SRD' but I've never actually met anyone who does that.
 

darjr

I crit!
Also a significantly different rules set isn’t great either. Weather PF2 is significantly different enough to cause issues is subjective, but it can’t help.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
If you use the optional rules in the 5e DMG you can make D&D5e as brutal and bloody as you want. I know this for a fact as I've done exactly this for my Ravenloft campaign which is coming up to it's 2 year anniversary. Default 5e is heroic fantasy; the rules are in place to make it as gritty and dark as you want.

So, what is the selling point of Pathfinder2e beyond this - bearing in mind that extra crunchy rules and more character customisation over 5e is not a selling plus for me?
Those are the selling points of it. So it's not the game for you.

It's not more brutal and bloody, if that's what you're after. It's high fantasy, like D&D is.
 
Those are the selling points of it. So it's not the game for you.

It's not more brutal and bloody, if that's what you're after. It's high fantasy, like D&D is.
Well, I used the dials provided in the 5e DMG to 'tune' my game towards the sensibilities of Ravenloft. I like my high fantasy as well. If I really want bloody and brutal I turn to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Those are the selling points of it. So it's not the game for you.

It's not more brutal and bloody, if that's what you're after. It's high fantasy, like D&D is.
They might be what sold you on it. They are not what sold me on it.

What sold me was the Exploration mechanics, monster design, high degree of correspondence to the fiction in the mechanics, increased variability in spells, and combat model.

I did not mean to oversell the lethality. It broadly reminds me of the anime Berserk! It's definitely on the D&D spectrum, but I feel its closer to the B/X levels I prefer instead of the 4e/5e default levels. Definitely not Warhammer Fantasy though.
 

S'mon

Legend
With PF2 corebook currently at #18 in Fantasy Gaming, in between #17 Curse of Strahd & #19 Spellbook Cards: Arcane, and D&D occupying spots 1-17, I doubt WoTC are losing too much sleep over the New Pathfinder Threat as yet.
 

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