Friday, December 28, 2012

"By The Power of Paizo!" - The Struggle to Get the Pathfinder MMO Kickstarter Funded

Look at all the crap I didn't want before, but I can get now, for free with a $100 purchase!
Order NOW! Hucksters... er, Operators are Standing By!

I like Paizo. I like the company. I like that they give PDFs with every Paizo product you buy through their webstore. They've done a lot to keep D&D going strong, without many of the missteps suffered by WotC.

I don't play Pathfinder. Way too crunchy for me. The Beginner Box I could handle, that's about it. But I do like much of what they put out.

All of which is why the Pathfinder MMO Kickstarter bugs the shit outa me.

Let the damn thing live or die on it's own merits. It's a huge money sink, and will only be more so once the project goes ahead (if it goes ahead).  This one project could break the company. I'm damn well sure it's not going to make the company.

MMOs are a dime a dozen these days. They come and go faster then the usual WotC Christmas Purge (I think we escaped that this year). The odds of a Pathfinder MMO resulting in anything but a lot of red ink for Paizo is damn small. The odds of this project funding without some amazing help aren't good, which is probably good for Paizo.

So, what do they do, besides sending me spam from other companies in the industry encouraging me to support this Kickstarter (this pisses me off to no end).

First, they added the the "fake carrot" to the deal - The Emerald Spire Superdungeon, which gets bigger with every $100k pledged as it climbs to the $1Million goal. It's bullshit because it's either funded or it's not, so those steps in between don't mean shit. I'm actually embarrassed for Paizo for going this route.

Now the latest - a bunch of PDFs from (mostly) 3rd party publishers that you either already have (the Pathfinder Rules for example) or a bunch of shit you don't need and probably don't want (you can make your own list). It's like your mom filling your stocking with junk from the dollar store when you're 45. I don't need it, I don't want it and it's going right to the garbage. Save your money and your effort.

I'm surprised they aren't adding stuff to the pot to get some non-Pathfinder gamers to support this. That would actually make sense. Note, I'm not saying the Pathfinder MMO makes much sense either.

I sense desperation on the part of the fine folks at Paizo. Yes, I know Goblin Works is the company behind the Kickstarter, but that's pretty much just Paizo with a trench around it for when this project goes south - jettison Goblin Works and hope that Paizo didn't dump too much money in it keeping it afloat up until that point.

The best result for Paizo is the failure of this Kickstarter. I know that kills a few dreams, but it probably saves the company's longterm health.


  1. Isn't the whole point of a pen-and-paper RPG that you get a fundamentally different game experience than with an MMO? Like, I drive a Honda and I love my car, but I'm not going to buy a bicycle manufactured by them, even though I also love bicycles.

  2. I was under the impression though that the game was going to be made anyway, this KS is just to make the game faster.

    (And my mom actually would just give me junk gifts when I was an adult. Made her happy, didn't cost her anything so I didn't feel guilty, and I got to watch a lot of lousy $1 movies)

  3. I'm a little baffled by the support Paizo is throwing into it as well. What's the point of having a seperate company if your going to be leveraging your brand name and doing all the heavy lifting anyway?

  4. I hear you on the spam mail. I ended up unsubscribing from everything Paizo related I could to make it stop.

  5. Somewhat ironic here.

    Wizards of the Coast failed utterly with D&D 4.0 -- so badly a minor upstart such as Paizo could take nearly half their market from them. One of the main reasons it failed was its promised release of D&D Essentials -- the key of which was its promised online battle map system which would allow players to play online. This would be trivial compared to an MMO. It only needed 2D chess-like maps, the ability to have static figs controlled by players, a join group/search system, online character sheets, dice rolling, and some VOIP. You didn't need 3D, controllers, large worlds, content, characters, rules, etc. Players would to the rest.

    The virtual battle map failed utterly. It was never even released. This despite having WotC with Hasbro behind them funding the project and with Magic the Gathering Online, some 3-4 million people waiting to buy the 4e books, and a massive marketing program. They couldn't figure out how to sell it, fund it, build it, market it, etc.

    If Paizo puts their name on this and it fails (which is so likely these days) it will suffer for it -- even if it can avoid the financial hit.


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