Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some Quick Pathfinder News

A bit late to the game, Paizo decides to jump on the intro-set (and possibly boxed-set) bandwagon. That could be huge for them, since they appear to be really popular already. Unfortunately, the general consensus appears to be that selling rules promotes the sale of adventures, and the last thing Pathfinder needs is more rules. Here's hoping the market doesn't push them into a ditch on this front.


Anonymous said...

The idea here would be to produce a set that contains _fewer_ rules, not more rules, so if we do it right I think your concern will be addressed.

Of course, we could still screw it up...

--Erik Mona
Paizo Publishing

trollsmyth said...

Erik: I was thinking more in terms of long-term strategy rather than the intro rules. I'd certainly expect those to be somewhat "rules lite" in comparison to your core books.

Conventional wisdom seems to indicate that you get more bang for your publishing buck by selling rules and rule supplements, but in the even longer term, those tend to make your game harder to get into and run at the table. We were quite happy to hear at GenCon that y'all seem to want to focus on adventures and locations more than rules.

(Of course, it should also be pointed out that conventional wisdom says you can't build an RPG empire around adventures, and look where ignoring that has gotten you. ;D )

Thanks for the comment. I'll be looking forward to hearing more about this project.

Anonymous said...

Conventional wisdom is pretty much spot on, I'm afraid. It's not that you can't build a successful business on adventures (which we have done), but it is true that the market for rulebooks is much stronger on a per-book basis. All of the Pathfinder RPG hardcovers we've released have outsold even our best-selling module or AP volume, for example.

That said, conventional wisdom is also correct that the more rulebooks you release, the larger the barrier to entry for your game, and we've seen plenty of examples of how a "hardcover rulebook a month" release strategy has basically destroyed business and brands.

We definitely don't want that to happen at Paizo, so we're doing our best to strike a balance. Our hearts are in the adventure biz, but that's largely a GM market, and there are an awful lot of players out there.


Anonymous said...

My immediate thought about that black diamond post is not that Pathfinder is popular, but that it's expensive and very pretty, and so close to 3.5 ed that people who were previously playing 3.5 saw a great opportunity to get an updated, prettier version of the same game at half price.

It also, by extension, suggests that 3.5 is still popular - Pathfinder is essentially the same game, just better looking and a bit more flexible. People are trading in for essentially teh same game, which indicates they aim to continue playing 3.5 via Pathfinder.

Interesting about 4e though.