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Why Did Paizo Never Make A Pathfinder/Starfinder Magazine?

Kaodi

Adventurer
This subforum seems kinda dead right now, and I guess that maybe will not change a lot until we start getting either serious previews of PF2 or until the game actually releases. But I was just sort of thinking...

Why has Paizo never tried to more closely replicate Dungeon and/or Dragon Magazine for their own system? Obviously print magazines are kinda dead themselves, and yes they do do the subscription model in the form of the Adventure Paths so it is not like they just ditched the format entirely. But could there still have been room in particular for a submission based adventure anthology like Dungeon was, or would that have just required too much manpower to maintain the quality they desired?
 
Maybe there was some sort of non-compete clause in their original Dragon/Dungeon magazine contract?

Or maybe they were already putting out so much content that a magazine seemed superfluous?

As I do in every thread that mentions Dragon magazine, I'll say that it's a shame that Dragon magazine is no longer a printed product. I mean, I read Dragon+ now and then, but I never get excited over it like I did when a new issue of Dragon came out.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Well, they do adventure path subscriptions, which is essentially their replacement for Dungeon. IIRC it was originally even the same subscriber list which got transferred over automatically.
 

amethal

Explorer
Well, they do adventure path subscriptions, which is essentially their replacement for Dungeon. IIRC it was originally even the same subscriber list which got transferred over automatically.
As I recall, they had subscribers but no magazine, so they pretty much had to transfer the subscribers over, or at least give the option to them (I have an idea they may have offered refunds as well - I'm not sure because I had cancelled my subscription by that point, because distribution issues meant my FLGS got theirs weeks before I did, and sometimes mine never arrived at all).

Some of the things Lisa Stevens wrote about the print magazine business, in the USA at least, made me wonder why anybody ever went into it. (It might have been in one or more of the Paizo "year in review" articles on their website.) They found it hard enough with a well established brand like Dragon; they clearly had zero appetite for trying it with a new publication.
 
I was one of the Dragon / Dungeon magazine subscribers who transferred over.

My recollection is that I had two choices:
1. apply my remaining subscription to Pathfinder and get as many issues of Pathfinder as that would pay for
2. get my money back

For the record I chose #1 but after the OG Rise of the Runelords run, I decided to cancel and spend my money elsewhere.

But anyway, I'd argue that the adventure paths basically are the magazines nowadays.
 

Jer

Explorer
Since others have pointed out half of an answer to your question, I'll try my hand at the other half:

But could there still have been room in particular for a submission based adventure anthology like Dungeon was, or would that have just required too much manpower to maintain the quality they desired?
As far as a submission based adventure anthology goes - I think the OGL model kind of killed it. Without the D&D branding what do you have? A curated selection of short d20 adventures. Which you could get at the time from a variety of different publishers as standalone products rather than monthly adventures. Plus who could ever use all of those adventures? I still have shelves of Dungeon magazine short adventures that I've wanted to run but have never had the opportunity to.

So I could see why they would go in on the "Pathfinder Adventure Path" subscription model and not the anthology of short adventures model - plus at the time it felt like the "Adventure Path" idea was the exciting part of the magazine to a lot of the subscribers, and the smaller adventures were not as attractive (I know this is something that Dungeon magazine struggled with over the years).
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
The adventure paths were really it. Look at the early ones, 100 odd pages of which just over half was the actual adventure the rest of it was fluff mostly related to the adventure.

Later on the adventures had a theme (Egypt, pirates, rulership etc).

Not a magazine in the traditional sense but functionally similar to Dragon/Dungeon.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I was one of the Dragon / Dungeon magazine subscribers who transferred over.

My recollection is that I had two choices:
1. apply my remaining subscription to Pathfinder and get as many issues of Pathfinder as that would pay for
2. get my money back
This was the massively fortuitous advantage they had — the whole subscription base of Dragon and Dungeon magazine who wanted to keep playing 3.x. And why Pathfinder can’t be repeated, even if the other circumstances were to somehow repeat themselves.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
IIRC Paizo said around 2/3rds of the magazine subscribers transferred over. Paizo did a retroactive on their website a few years back.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
In many ways the early Pathfinder volumes could also be seen as a conglomeration of both Dragon and Dungeon, but for a more generic D20 type setting (as Golarion was being fleshed out). The early ones not only had the main adventure path, many of them had other smaller adventures/dungeons as well as articles and stories much like a Dragon would have.

In many ways, though they call it Adventure Paths, one could actually see their APs as a magazine. It comes out every month, you can get it via subscription, and it has several different portions/articles as well as a letter from the editor/author of that particular issue. In almost every practical definition it would fall under the idea of a magazine in the same way Dungeon or Dragon used to be magazines. They just happen to call it the Adventure path rather than the Pathfinder/Golarion magazine.
 
This was the massively fortuitous advantage they had — the whole subscription base of Dragon and Dungeon magazine
Yes. Getting the client list is hugely valuable, and it's pretty shocking Wizards was willing to give that up.

Somebody negotiated a very good deal for Paizo, either in the original negotiations when they started publishing Dragon / Dungeon magazines, or in the negotiations when they stopped publishing those.
 

Staffan

Explorer
Yes. Getting the client list is hugely valuable, and it's pretty shocking Wizards was willing to give that up.

Somebody negotiated a very good deal for Paizo, either in the original negotiations when they started publishing Dragon / Dungeon magazines, or in the negotiations when they stopped publishing those.
The former, I think. As I understand it, Paizo operated as a separate company from Wizards from the start, and published the magazines under a license from Wizards. They did not publish the magazines for Wizards. So they inherited the original subscriber list when they took over publishing the magazines, but after that they maintained it on their own.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
The former, I think. As I understand it, Paizo operated as a separate company from Wizards from the start, and published the magazines under a license from Wizards. They did not publish the magazines for Wizards. So they inherited the original subscriber list when they took over publishing the magazines, but after that they maintained it on their own.
Yeah, the reason WotC gave up the magazine publishing in the first place was a desire to divest it completely, so they sold all that to Paizo along with the licensing contract. As to why Paizo didn’t continue a magazine, it was already not a great money-maker for them to produce in that format (paper costs, subscription prices, etc.) they already had the vending web site by the time the license was being pulled, so just continuing to produce a magazine with the same form factor and no official D&D license, as far as Paizo knew, was business suicide.

So as Russ said, perfect storm of subscriber lists, vendor site, writing staff, and the burgeoning adventure paths that were just showing signs of taking off (Shackled City, Age of Worms, that-sea-one-I-can-never-remember).
 

Hussar

Legend
[MENTION=158]Henry[/MENTION] - Savage Tide. :D

But, yeah, the print magazines were brutal, apparently. The US Postal service and the distribution channels were insane. Something like a 6 month lead in time - a magazine is published in January and you don't get paid until June sort of thing. Meaning you have massive amounts of capital wrapped up that you can't actually use. Constant issues with delivery and whatnot. From the editorials from [MENTION=42043]Eric[/MENTION] Mona and posts that I used to see around, the whole magazine business was just brutal as heck.

And, really, it shows. Most of the genre magazines are gone now or have gone mostly or totally digital. It's just far too much money to try to publish a magazine on the scales of Dungeon or Dragon.
 

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