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Paizo So how are P2 and Starfinder doing?

CapnZapp

Legend
I expect PF2 to struggle.

The complexity and presentation of the game is not doing Paizo any favors in selling the game to a post-5E world. Frankly, the game comes across as a proud effort to bump down 4th Edition from the throne - as if the year was 2012 or something, when 5th edition didn't exist, let alone had already conquered the world.

If WotC used to be called the 500 pound gorilla that let Paizo the mastiff and a couple of lap dogs (Green Ronin, Necromancer, Mongoose, ...) play in its yard, to me it's now akin to 50,000 pound Godzilla that doesn't even need to know Paizo exists.

I'm playing (or at least GMing) PF2 right now, so it's not that I'm hating on a game I dislike. I just find it hopelessly out of the times when it comes to what audiences want... it's written as if its designers didn't even glance at 5th edition, and what made it great.
 

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kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
I’m not sure my players necessarily prefer PF2 to other systems, but almost all of them have bought the CRB (one physical copy and the rest PDFs), and all of them seem very interested in building their characters. As a GM, I find PF2 to be quite easy to hack and overall fairly balanced. I’m glad it’s a refinement of PF1 rather than just an iteration on 5e. We switched from 5e to PF2, and I can’t see going back.

Outside of my group? It’s hard to say, but my perception is that PF2 doesn’t have much mindshare. That’s partially due to pandemic. If I could go out or had been able to go to Origins, I might have a better feel for things. What I do know is PF2 people are still far outnumbered in the online gaming communities I frequent.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Which for me is the big problem. Why play Starfinder when you are just getting standard fantasy?

Well, you're not just getting fantasy.

I haven't really fully constructed my explanation for this, but the difference between genres can be split in difference elements:

Aesthetic The art, the references, the inspirations, the naming patterns. Starfinder does offer all of that. You leave horses and carriages for spaceships, etc.
Setting Moving from a fantasy to a space setting has been really unsettling for me at first. Many things you take for granted in a fantasy setting, because you know these things and do them daily; you start wondering how it would be in that world. Do people smoke? What do they smoke? How do you ID someone? What are the logistics of transporting goods to and from places? With time, it became very liberating because it allowed me as a GM to explore other things. I stick to the heroic fantasy, but I can throw different kind of problems and solutions to my players. They also had to adapt their creative problem solving to this new setting.
Fantasy This is where it sticks to Pathfinder's guns. Traditionally, from a literary point of view, science-fiction has been about asking questions, often philosophical in natures and in scales impossible to explore in other genres. It's about exploring the position of man in the universe, the nature of the universe and often shines when contrasting the very personal with the cosmic. Starfinder does not invite you very much to do this. You could do it, but nothing really guides you in that direction. It's like Star Wars. The fantasy is still the heroic one you find in D&D and Pathfinder.

All in all, there's other games that do sci-fi quite well from what I was told, so I'm happy that Starfinder took the place it took.
 

Retreater

Legend
So my group is loving PF2, greatly preferring it to 5E or PF1. I'm the GM and get tangled in the rules, and we had a TPK last session due to a poor choice from the players facing a vastly superior threat. But even in that TPK, the fight was interesting, and the players got to feel like they were giving it their all.
It's now my fiancée's preferred D&D-like system, and it's great to have the option of an in-print release from a major publisher, which will have organized play, events at Cons. I wish them success with it, and I'm having a good time for now.
 

Green Onceler

Explorer
Which for me is the big problem. Why play Starfinder when you are just getting standard fantasy?

Well, it's not standard fantasy really. It's nothing like anything you would generally play using Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons. It's futuristic fantasy. Personally, I really like Starfinder. However, I tend to avoid Starship combat like the plague.

Our local Pathfinder Society seems to be pretty evenly split between the first and second editions, FWIW. Starfinder is played very irregularly in local Society, which is a bit of a shame.
 

Derren

Hero
Well, it's not standard fantasy really. It's nothing like anything you would generally play using Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons. It's futuristic fantasy. Personally, I really like Starfinder. However, I tend to avoid Starship combat like the plague.

Our local Pathfinder Society seems to be pretty evenly split between the first and second editions, FWIW. Starfinder is played very irregularly in local Society, which is a bit of a shame.
Imo, especially when you follow the official adventure, its not different than fantasy at all.
And imo the game lacks support for modern concepts. It would really help if the designers would read a Shadowrun book for once. Not to copy it, but just to realize that a modern society has some different views on people walking down the street in full armor and armed to the teeth than a fantasy one and that it might be advantageous from time to time to carry only concealed weapons (which screws over the soldier a lot and would make the already very strong operative even stronger).
 
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Rhianni32

Adventurer
My group enjoys PF2 and we will be trying Foundry VTT tonight. Paizo is about to release its 3rd AP. Advanced Players Guide comes in a couple weeks. Bestiary 3 next year. There is obvious support and content.

Will it be more popular as 5ed? No. Should Paizo have made a 5ed clone? No they didn't do it when 4ed came out why would they do it now? And I am glad they didnt copy 5ed. If I wanted 5ed I'd go play that.
 

dave2008

Legend
I thought the new Orr report with the Roll20 numbers might be relevant to this discussion. I don't think PF2e has offical Roll20 support, so that is likey a big issue, but it is currently lagging behind PF1 quite a bit on that platform. Not sure what that says about the overall support of the product. It does seem to have picked up a little market share relative to PF1 though, so I would guess that is good. Slow and steady climb hopefully works for Paizo.

2020 Q1
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2020 Q2:
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Retreater

Legend
I don't think PF2e has offical Roll20 support, so that is likey a big issue, but it is currently lagging behind PF1 quite a bit on that platform.
It does. I run a biweekly game of PF2 on Roll20. The content isn't as big as 5E, as you'd expect, but it's at least somewhat functional. There are some issues with the compendium and charactermancer, but it mostly works. They are missing the Age of Ashes AP but the other two are on there. Also Fall of Plaguestone and the demo adventure. The Advanced Players Guide was available day of release.
So it's okay on Roll20, and is slowly improving.
 

My impression is that PF2e is doing super well, I notice it's getting a lot of attention from savvier 5e players who are frustrated with the lack of options and unstable systems in that game. The subreddit did a poll recently and a massive subset of respondents were people who abandoned 5e in favor of it (outstripping pf1e players.)

I actually think the "don't just knock off 5e, streamline in our own way and stick to our guns" strategy is what's paying dividends, the DND brand name is too powerful, but this game really is poised in a design context to capitalize on all the weaknesses 5e has and present itself as a meaningful alternative-- I think that's more or less what's helping to give it a market niche.
 




willrali

Explorer
Considering the difference in sales, I’m glad they have a Pathfinder section! I bought a core book from the B&N on 82nd and Broadway in Manhattan, for what it’s worth.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I didn't see one there. The photo shows only what was there at that time.

It's probably the best selling PF product, so paradoxically the one hardest to keep on the shelf.

How amazing is it that Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Lost Mines of Phandelver are still readily available in a mainstream bookstore after 6 years? That's longer than any previous WotC core rulebook, let alone Adventure module...
 

Markh3rd

Explorer
It's probably the best selling PF product, so paradoxically the one hardest to keep on the shelf.

How amazing is it that Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Lost Mines of Phandelver are still readily available in a mainstream bookstore after 6 years? That's longer than any previous WotC core rulebook, let alone Adventure module...

Yea it's one stop shopping like you would expect to find in a dedicated gaming store. Even the peripherals are on the shelf there.
 

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