Pathfinder 2E The Pathfinder Subform Is Definitely Dead - So What?


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kenada

Legend
Supporter
Ditto. If you look at the conversations I'm in, as I said, they're mostly general RPG topics that happened to be flagged as D&D-related.
Yeah, those too. There are some interesting topics, but I come to them too late, or they move too quickly. I’m also pretty tired of interacting with edition fans.
 


Whether I like it or not, truly D&D 5e is the 500lb gorilla in the TTRPG world.

Its perfectly legitimate for people to be focused on 5e here; since Morrus first put this up in the 3e days its been D&D-centric after all.

But it still means if that's not what you're into, its hard to get a conversation going and maintained here, for all there are subboards about other games.
 


payn

Legend

I had a friend
was a big 3rd edition DM
back in high school
He could throw
that D20 by you
Make you look like a noob boy

Saw him just the other night
at this old FLGS
I was walking in
He was walking out
We went back in and sat down
had a few mountain dews
but all he would talk about was...

Glory Days
well they will pass you by
Glory Days
in the wink of a forum update
Glory days
 

On the one hand: even in the relatively lively reddit PF2 sub, it's mostly just rules clarifications and game tales - neither of which generate much discussion. Rule questions in PF2 usually have quick, clear answers (the question is most often because someone missed a general rule when looking at a specific situation). Game tales are interesting, but the response is usually just "cool!"

For broader topics (table etiquette, adventure design, story ideas, worldbuilding), there's no need to stick to a PF2 forum in particular, because the answer is usually the same for any DnD-like game. And you'll get more answers on a 5e-friendly forum because a lot more people go there.

It's a bit of a shame, but it's a side effect of being clearly written: without unclear rule what are we going to argue about?
 



I just realized that I didn't mention I was referring to Call of Cthulhu. That game and Chaosium are so closely bound in my brain that I really don't even think about Runequest, Stormbringer, or any other game.

Its kind of important though, because the truth is, CoC has less moving parts than most of their other games. There's a magic system, but, honestly, its usually a good idea to stay the hell away from it for the most part. So most twiddling on CoC editions have been pretty borderline at best (I heard that's a little less true of the most recent one, but don't know from personal experience). Short of just deciding a BRP basis was a mistake from the get-go (and people that feel that are already in other Lovecraftian games already, so there's little motivation for Chaosium to even consider it) there's just not much to usefully fiddle with.

This tends to be less true with a full-featured fantasy game, which usually has significantly more moving parts.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I just realized that I didn't mention I was referring to Call of Cthulhu. That game and Chaosium are so closely bound in my brain that I really don't even think about Runequest, Stormbringer, or any other game.
Those games haven't been subjected to undue changes, either.
 

Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
PF2 is a great game. We're on session 52 of a homebrewed PF2 campaign based losely on the PF1 AP, Serpent's Skull.
Few conversations on this board seem very interesting to me. The most I've seen in the past year are complaints about specific subsystems, which seem to really be non-issues.
I'm sure many folks enjoy their DD5 games. That's great. But the hobby is broad enough to cater to many tastes. I can still remember when, back in the early 80s, we migrated away from D&D to other games like Chivalry and Sorcery, MERP, and Stormbringer/Elric. But at the end of the day, the only question really worth asking is, does your group enjoy the game experience?
For us, the important thing is the stories we tell together, the edgy encounters that keep us on our toes, and the hidden secrets the DM keeps hinting at and that the players keep trying to elucidate.
 





Rune

Once A Fool
Its perfectly legitimate for people to be focused on 5e here; since Morrus first put this up in the 3e days its been D&D-centric after all.
And even before that, when we were flocking to Eric Noah’s (the E. N. in EN World) 3rd edition news site while that edition was still in development.
 

willrali

Explorer
I’ve found some excellent discussion over on reddit, with people posting their experiences and characters. I do like this site, but there just aren’t a whole lot of fans of the system here. There are a lot of people here saying, in various degrees of detail, ‘here’s why PF2 is dead.’

But this started as a D&D site, and it stands to reason it would continue to be a D&D site. C’est la vie.
 

JThursby

Adventurer
I've thought about this for a while, and I've come up with a few reasons why discussion around PF2e on this forum and a few others is low:

The system is great, the world is awesome, the marketing is terrible:

Paizo's designers have made a truly great product in the TTRPG space, I fully believe that. Paizo has unfortunately done an awful job marketing their stellar product to the public. Pathfinder 1e directly compared itself to D&D 3.5 as it's functional replacement as well as supporting a more dark and subversive tone in the published story material. Now it's been over a decade since 3.5, D&D is well into the second replacement to that edition. Paizo hasn't adequately answered the question of what audience is in the position to benefit from PF2e the most. Is it for players of 1e that want less bloat? Is it for players of 5e that want more crunch? It certainly isn't for the dark storytelling because the setting has gotten noticeably lighter in tone. The elevator pitch is very weak as there isn't a concrete one sentence mission statement that Paizo has focused on as their sales pitch to the public. This is frustrating because there are many they could have chosen from to compare it to either game, i.e. a better item system with crafting, martial characters that matter, or a more fleshed out and realized setting. Instead the marketing material is generic fantasy roleplay stuff, and slogans like "unleash your hero" don't communicate anything about what makes this game worth buying and playing over 1e or 5e. If Paizo wants their game to take off they need to pivot their marketing to something that highlights the games' actual strengths. They should also consider more modern approaches to marketing, such as utilizing influencers like independent content creators more fully.

Controversy cows creativity:

This affects both Paizo itself and fan discussion of the game. The controversies that Paizo has either courted or had inflicted upon it recently doesn't need to be recounted, but how the new climate of social media affects discussion of the game is worth noting. To be blunt, there are an increasingly large number of topics I don't feel comfortable engaging with fully anymore on lots of boards, including this one. As an example, I had an idea for a Gray Corsair campaign that would revolve around disrupting the slave trade of the Inner Sea a while back, but now I feel it would be co-opted by bad actors looking to score internet points, or get me banned by a mod for bringing up a taboo topic. A lot of what makes Golarion interesting is the inspiration it pulls from Earth's history and the kind of conflicts it creates, but unfortunately history is messy and nuanced, which makes it a poor choice for discussion when all nuance gets stripped away from conversations by rabid internet tribes.

Adventure Paths are outdated:

What was once the core product of Paizo is now an outdated relic. The pandemic has proven that more and more players are moving to virtual tabletops. Pathfinder 2e is very lucky to have a fantastic fan implementation of it's ruleset into Foundry, but that isn't for effort on Paizos part. Paizo is still interested in being a traditional publishing company, as if any of their customers are buying their products from local game stores. The player base is almost entirely online, and Paizo should be pivoting toward catering to where their audience actually plays. Instead they release what should be single-purchase adventures as multiple installment adventure paths. Adventure Paths were great when the main movers of your product were game stores with highly active tabletop scenes that served as hubs of discussion for newest stuff. Now the internet is your main customer, and your players are all going to discord and reddit and playing on Foundry VTT. Make the adventure content in a way that enables discussion better across the internet and caters to your existing customer base, which frankly you could do by just combining adventure paths into larger campaigns.

Few good fan shows:

This is how new fans get made and existing fans participate when they can't play in a game. I have tried desperately to find a good live play or parody show of Pathfinder 2e. None have been at all palletable. The best Pathfinder fan content I can find on Youtube is Tower of Tomes which does in-universe lore explorations of factions and locations. I'd love for a more active fan scene around the game/lore, but barring that I'd settle for Paizo just paying noteworthy live play groups like Critical Role or Adventure Zone to do some one shots or mini series in their game setting.
 

On the one hand: even in the relatively lively reddit PF2 sub, it's mostly just rules clarifications and game tales - neither of which generate much discussion. Rule questions in PF2 usually have quick, clear answers (the question is most often because someone missed a general rule when looking at a specific situation). Game tales are interesting, but the response is usually just "cool!"

For broader topics (table etiquette, adventure design, story ideas, worldbuilding), there's no need to stick to a PF2 forum in particular, because the answer is usually the same for any DnD-like game. And you'll get more answers on a 5e-friendly forum because a lot more people go there.

This is definitely a big part of it, I think. For the former, PF2 is just fairly straight-forwards in how things interact with each other, which is a feature or a bug depending on how you like to run a game. But it doesn't really require a whole bunch of in-depth discussion compared to certain questions in 5E. Similarly it's way easier to make interesting build choices because PF2 is built to support that stuff out of the box; you don't need to create a thread on how to build certain things or what classes to dip into to get a certain effect like you might in 5E.

On the latter, it's part of why I don't post here as much: while I think there have been some really good discussions on rules and such here, it's just easier to get a bigger discussion out of the main forum because there are plenty of topics that are independent of system. When you talk about alignment, there's just no real reason not to put that in the 5E forum where most people will get to see it.

If I'm being honest, I kind of wish all d20 stuff was in one forum, or all 5E stuff in one forum and the rest of d20-based systems in another. I think it's just easier to get better discussion when the board has broader scope so you can get casual people from other games coming in to comment.

I mean, this can also be a bad thing (Look at that recent Paizo news post that was largely about s**tposting rather than discussing the topic), but I'd rather take that risk than not.
 

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