Monday, August 24, 2009

Fine Corinthian Leather

This is my fan opinion. As a store owner, I should root for anything in print that I can sell, right?

So I read Pathfinder RPG, with hopes of playing a Planescape campaign. It bored me to death, honestly. It's awfully pretty though. It has Monte Cook writing a forward giving it momentum into the future and links to the past. In the end it seemed like someone was selling me a used Camaro with new seats. Hey, check out the seats! They're now power and leather. Sit down and feel how comfortable they feel, like old shoes. Ignore that smell of gas fumes, bad mileage and the lack of crumple zones and air bags. You never wanted crumple zones at the time, right? That's fine Corinthian leather, my friend! Big, emphatic, meh from me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's a great extension of 3.5. But why? I liked 3.5 and if I'm going to dig my feet into the sand, do I really want to extend my game to something so similar? I might try Conan instead. Or Iron Heroes. It also defies one of the best arguments for not switching to 3.5. Look at all these books? Sure, they're mostly compatible with Pathfinder, but mostly doesn't cut it for most D&D players. There's a near crunch science that requires a list of approved and banned sources. A website perhaps, of house rules and holy texts.

Ah hah! He's a 4E loyalist; no surprise from a store owner. Not entirely true. In my group, our 4E games have fallen flat. I've played three campaigns (ran two) in the last year and they've all failed due to terminal lack of enthusiasm for 4E. We're looking at running a Planescape campaign, and leaning towards 2E actually. That's my group. My choices are to find a game they like, or find another group.

At the store, we have a gigantic 4E crowd for RPGA and a huge number of people who buy the 4E books. It's loved by story gamers, preferred by those who hated 3.x and generally sells well, if you've made that jump. Sales of 4E are down about 25% from 3.5. Then again, RPG sales in general are down by quite a lot, and D&D has sucked up a lot of market share (about 75%, compared to 50% with 3.5). That's all local though (all RPGs are local).

So the community is divided. My group is not on the 4E side, where I wish them to be. However, in my opinion, there are currently no new solutions to my problem. I just want to play.