JP On Gaming

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

[Rant] Pathfinder 2: Will it suck?

So I have been talking to people about Pathfinder 2.0 quite a lot. Not so much to understand the mechanics, but to see what people think about it.

Overall, I am not overly confident

Let me preface this with the following:

- I have yet to crack open the book ActionMan won as a participation prize at Post-Apocalipticon. I did my best to stay away from all the rules changes until I get to see something final.
- I dismissed anyone's comments going along the lines of "I will never play PF 2e, I'm a PF 1e for life!"
- I dismissed anyone's comments going along the lines of "Paizo is just after my money".

I am not a good target for play-testing. As a small-time publisher, what little free time I have is spent working on my own products. So running a play-test game for someone else's material

The 4th Edition play-test really burned me with their changing of rules that really got me intrigued and that I wanted to see more of. Ever since that time, I've followed such things from a distance rather than involve myself in the nerd raging over things I can't control.


Following the logistics of it all... I believe Paizo has sent their books to their Chinese printers and that they are in the process of being printed as I write this. To get everything in by Gencon, you can't wait for the month of May. That does not worry me too much. Why? Because Paizo has shown itself to be quite willing to amend and correct their books in subsequent printings. That's a good thing.

The illusion that the rules are not already set is something that irks me. That the rules people are testing today match the currently-printing version is an illusion. So Paizo will keep "tweaking" until the very end will keep players intrigued and engaged.

After all, Paizo understands that the purchasing of a book is not the end of it. To stay in business, people must play the game for it to be successful. But more than that, the more people play, the more they will ask for. And Paizo are masters at providing the druggies with their monthly fixes of Adventures, Player Guides, and other source books.

Wizards followed suit, publishing less material, but increasing its quality and focusing on people playing.

As a 3pp, I would love to embrace it, but more and more, Pathfinder = Golarion = Pathfinder Society, with all these elements and words being interchangeable in the gaming community. That is difficult to break as many Pathfinder players do not grasp the idea that the game can be set in non-Golarion. That irked me greatly and was one of the reasons I completely abandoned playing and writing for Pathfinder last year.

I make no qualms that I dislike Golarion as a bland mishmash of rehash of other things. The best elements are hidden among a lot of flavorless stuff. Most nations can be described in a single sentence. I do not think I will ever run any Golarion-based adventure again. (Not that I ever did, outside PFS)

I can also announce that FOE will be working on a new series of products that will be released for PF2. Not too many details yet, but it is coming.

So in my discussions, I can see there are two clans of people: Some will love, some will hate.

Who will love this: Current Pathfinder players who really love the game. The millions and millions of Venture-Everyone will keep playing and running the same adventures (since there are no more Venture-Players, only a massive hierarchy of agents). Even if many complained "I'm staying 1e forever", most are moving or moved to PF2 (Hi Chad!)

Who will not care: Those who abandoned or never embraced Pathfinder or who do not care of the setting. This is the majority of people. PF2 may get them to give it a look as it comes out, but I do not think it will retain a large number of these.

My final comments: This is a product that will have a great production value, look awesome. But like Starfinder before it, will please their current fans, with a small amount of return folk.

Is that bad? No. That is really BRILLIANT. They have hordes of rabidly dedicated fans who are waiting to throw money at them. Why leverage them for a few more years? I'd do it.

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