Some Thoughts on Pathfinder
This morning I was reading the most recent interview with +Erik Mona and I noticed something that's been pestering me ever since. The section that bothers begins shortly after Mona is asked about the current RPG market:
. . . Of course when 5th Edition comes out, presumably this summer, there’s definitely going to be a lot of competition for people’s attention in the traditional sword and sorcery RPG realm. We’re aware of that and we are doing the best we can to keep people focused on the game they’re playing currently, which in many cases is Pathfinder.
We’re taking a three-pronged approach to make sure that we have something of interest to current Pathfinder players wherever they fall on the spectrum of dedication and interest. There are a lot of different reasons people enjoy playing fantasy roleplaying games, so we try to do something that appeals to you no matter what interest is primary in your mind . . . (Paizo's Erik Mona: The ICv2 Interview)
Mona is, of course, being sly in his comment about Dungeons and Dragons as we all know that it's coming out this summer. What's important here though is Paizo's approach in how they're trying to keep hold of their leading position in the industry.
. . . in August, we’re going to be releasing the Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide, which is a hardcover rules expansion that will introduce ten new classes to the Pathfinder game. The idea is if you are a very dedicated Pathfinder player, the kind who is super-excited every time we put out new rules (emphasis added - Charlie), or maybe you’re someone who feels like they’ve seen it all already, we’ve got ten brand new classes in the Advanced Class Guide. Those were put through a rigorous public play test this winter so there are tens of thousands of people who have tried those classes out and are looking forward to the final edition that will incorporate some of the changes suggested from our play testers . . . (Paizo's Erik Mona: The ICv2 Interview)
In recent months I've seen comments in forums and blogs - even in the comments on my own blog - where people are already complaining about the increasing bloat in the Pathfinder system. That's an incredibly dangerous trend to be occurring in a game that's six years old, especially when a major competitor is getting ready to release a new edition of the old standard. So why is Paizo adding to the glut? Why are they feeding the Rules Lawyers and the Min/Maxers?