Thursday, March 8, 2018

Paizo Announced Pathfinder 2 (But Won't Fix A Damned Thing)

Paizo announces that they're doing a second edition of Pathfinder.

If only I had any faith that Paizo had a competent crew running the show. Then I might find this announcement encouraging.

The way to run a tabletop RPG business now is focus your product development on playable content, not on rules modules. Paizo ought to know this, as they do make their rules available online for free, which means that making a necessary change is quick and easy due to being digital. But no, they insist that they have to print (and not On Demand, but the old way with print runs) rules modules and publish additions on the regular. That, folks is bloat and bloat is the problem.

It also isn't necessary anymore. There is no good reason for a tabletop RPG company to be print-primary anymore when talking about rules manuals and their add-on modules. Digital-primary or Get The Fuck Out. Print is now a legacy business, and should be openly and avowedly treated so.

You want to print the stuff users use to actually play the game: adventures and settings. The rules are useless without content to play the fucking game, and most people (still) don't want to roll their own from scratch; at most they will tinker with something "official", especially if they're the sort that likes go on about how his table did Adventure X when bullshitting at the game store or the local gaming con. The maps, in particular, need to be printed to be made useful at the table.

There is also no reason to not automatically bundle a digital copy of every print product sold; you already made the digital file to create the print product, so shut the fuck up and make it a two-for-one by default. Just offer something other than PDF as a choice and you're golden.

And given that Paizo seems to want to double-down on the density of the fucking math, not offering automated character sheets is a basic bitch mistake that I fully expect them to make. No, Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 doesn't count; I'm talking digital sheets used on tablets, phones, and laptops at the table.

And yes, get used to seeing the widgets in common use. Most folks have one of them on hand, so they're going want to use them; stop being Sisyphus and just come up with a decent app already. The younger folks, and more casual folks, don't have the attachment to dice and paper that we old-timers and veterans do; this will shift with time, so get ahead of the curve already.

This rant's getting a bit long. I'll take some time this weekend to put what a tabletop RPG needs to be now in another post.

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