Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

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Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Havard » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:46 pm

Abadoning 3E for 4E left the door open for Pathfinder. Now that D&D Next (5E) is coming out, will another company try to capture the 4E audience? As 4E doesn't have OGL or an SRD it will be more difficult. OTOH, game rules cannot be copyrighted, so it could be legally possible to create some kind of 4E clone, right?

Has anyone heard anything of anyone toying with this idea?

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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby agathokles » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:17 pm

It seems more difficult than with 3e. The lack of OGL means you cannot reuse the same text, which means you'd have to reword everything -- even many of the retro-clones leverage the OGL, changing the game mechanics but keeping much of the 3e SRD text, but 4e is so different from 3e and AD&D that it would be basically impossible to reuse the 3e SRD text.
Besides, 3e had a large fan-base, of which only a part was captured by 4e. A part of those who switched to 4e are likely to switch to 5e, leaving a much smaller 4e fan-base for a possible third party to exploit, and few third party companies supported 4e.

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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Boneguard » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:52 pm

As both of you highlighted, the lack of OGL and the 'relatively speaking' small fan-base of 4th ed (Let's be honest I cannot name anyome who liked it and -even at Cangames (A 3 day gaming convention in Ottawa with about 400-500 attendee)- we have a lot of pathfinder, a lot of D&D 3.x, some original D&D, a lot of 1-2 shot snenario with various system but no D&D 4th (There was maybe 1 or 2 games with that system last Year IIRC)) so I dont think they will get a "Pathfinder teatment"...at least not easily (unless someone buys the licence.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:19 am

A key thing that 4E is missing, as others pointed out, was its lack of OGL. As such, there weren't any third-party publishers on the level of Paizo (or at all) to jump into that gap. Paizo was already a known commodity in 3E, ever since they stepped in to take over the Dragon and Dungeon publications when WotC chose to drop them as in-house magazines. That team was able to demonstrate a consistent level of quality and output, both through those magazines, and then- as they settled into their own brand- with the Golarion APs (themselves a direct result of their work on Adventure Paths that they started in Dungeon Magazine). Frankly, had 4E not been so intent on pulling back the OGL and monopolizing things, Paizo would never have ventured out into Pathfinder in the first place.

So I think a 4E 3rd-party revival is missing some key components of the 3E/Pathfinder split. Which isn't to say it couldn't happen, but I'm just not sure it will, nor that there will be much interest in it.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby ghendar » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:06 pm

I believe that the base for 4e is not as large as it was for 3x. Because of this, 5e will syphon off more of the 4e base than 4e syphoned off the 3x base. I don't think that bodes well for a "Pathfinder version" of the 4e game.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby ghendar » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:11 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote: Frankly, had 4E not been so intent on pulling back the OGL and monopolizing things, Paizo would never have ventured out into Pathfinder in the first place.


I believe that to be spot on.
Kind of interesting to think that WotC pulling back the OGL led to direct competition with another company (Paizo) and also led to more people going to that competition. WotC effectively had Paizo in their back pocket. They sure don't have that anymore.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Bouv » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:45 pm

I can see someone maybe using portions of 4E into a new game but combat being so miniature intensive leaves a bad feeling in some people's mouths for whatever reason. Plus, if the support of supplying some sort of miniatures (flat tokens, 3d tokens, full on miniatures) might make it difficult to sell as well. "Here's a game that requires miniatures so go out and find some!"
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby night_druid » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:49 pm

While I can see a company making a new game that draws heavily from 4e for inspiration and does its best to mimic the rules and feel, I doubt they'll ever be a big player the way Pathfinder is. 4e had a significantly smaller fan-base than 3e, and most of them will go 5e when it comes out, so I doubt there'll be many hold-outs to poach. Maybe enough for a very small indy company, but that's about it.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Boneguard » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:13 pm

I expect that D&D 4,5 ed (or 4th Ed "Pathfinder") will be more of a fan-based initiative then an official one. The Small -but loyal- fan-base will give it a treatment similar to Dragonlance Nexus, The Burning World of Athas or The Fraternity of Shadow did for their respective world when 3rd ed came.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby agathokles » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:31 pm

I think there may be conceptual followers of the 4e concepts -- 13th Age, according to Wikipedia, is already an OGL game than incorporates certain 4e elements. However, this is different from a clone or evolution of 4e (which is essentially what Pathfinder is w.r.t. 3e).

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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:58 am

Havard wrote:As 4E doesn't have OGL or an SRD it will be more difficult.


Actually, that's not correct Havard. 4th Edition does have an SRD. It doesn't have the OGL, but it does have the GSL. Here is the The Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Game System License page.

As for anyone taking the 4e System Reference Document and using the 4e Game System Licence to make some sort of 4th Edition answer to Pathfinder, here is where you need to compare the two SRDs and also compare the GSL to the OGL.

There was actually a bit of a backlash against the GSL when it came out (with some publishers putting out 4e-compatible content without using the GSL - this is actually legal BTW - you just have to have lawyers that help you avoid breaking the law).

I believe that one of the objections to the GSL was Section 2, which could easily be used to force all GSL users to update to a licence that self-destructs:
GSL Section 2 wrote:Updates or Revisions to License. Wizards may update or revise the License at any time in its sole discretion by posting the updated License on its website page located at http://www.wizards.com/d20. Wizards will indicate on the License the date it was last updated. Licensee is responsible for checking theLicense regularly for changes, and waives any right to receive specific notice of changes. Licensee’s continued use of any Licensed Materials (as defined below) after the “Last Updated” date above, including without limitation any publication or distribution of Licensed Products (as defined below), confirms Licensee’s acceptance of any changes to the License and Licensee shall be bound by such revised terms. If Licensee does not accept such changes, the License will terminate pursuant to Section 10.1.


That's a "we can change the rules at any time and if you don't like it, get out of the 4e business" clause.

Contrast that clause with the OGL, which, underpinned the 3.0 SRD, the 3.5 SRD the MSRD and the 5e SRD (which IIRC has already been published as the 5.0 SRD and the 5.1 SRD). It is impossible for WotC to revoke the OGL. And that means it is impossible for them to ever stop people from using any of the SRDs published under the OGL. The 4e SRD was published without the OGL specifically in order to create a self-destruct option. As far as I know, WotC never used that self-destruct option. (They have actually started to let the 4e SRD/GSL pages fall offline, which I think means they are just going to ignore 4th Edition and hope it goes away. Personally I think that's a shame - despite not being a 4e player. But that seems to be their approach.)

Anyhoo, if Paizo - or a similar company - had spent a year doing a public playtest of a 4e SRD replacement, that would have given the WotC lawyers plenty of time to simply add in one of more clauses to make publication of 4e core rules impossible. Boom!

And anyone financing a company that wanted to make a 4e SRD update would know that full well and would want to protect the company from that risk.

Havard wrote:OTOH, game rules cannot be copyrighted, so it could be legally possible to create some kind of 4E clone, right?


I think this route is actually more likely.

What with the various 3rd Edition Era SRDs and the 5th Edition Era SRDs we actually have a fairly large number of 4th Edition terms available under the OGL. Anyone who can use the 3e SRD to make a retro-clone could use any of those SRDs to make a 4th Edition clone.

I just don't know 4th Edition well enough, but I do know that I struggle to understand some of the 4e concepts because they don't exactly relate to concepts available under previous rulesets. So I can imagine that a few terms might be a bit hard to use as-is.

But with the critics of 4e trying to bash it by saying that it plays like a computer game, I'm guessing that a lot of things in the game would be replacable by a mathematical formula of some sort. (And if you can replace any game mechanic with a mathematical formula, I believe that is the basis of saying that something is "uncopyrightable"*)

* = IANAL - TINLA - YMMV - CMSIT - TPMCN

Anyhoo, if you - or any 4e fan - wants to continue the discussion of a hyperthetical OGL/SRD clone of 4e, I would be very happy to continue this discussion and going down to the level of specific game mechanics to see how viable a clean clone would be.

As well as the "viability" you also have the "feasibility".

Even assuming that a 4e clone is possible, it needs to have a market. If you look at Pathfinder, you had a situation where Paizo, MWP, Kenzer & Co and Sword & Sorcery Studios all had independent agreements to create 3rd Edition material without using the OGL/SRD. And every company except Paizo bailed out on 3rd Edition.

Paizo put a lot of effort into creating the Pathfinder world under the OGL/SRD...and then reworking the SRD to create the PRD. I'm not sure who could fill that role for 4th Edition.

There was a 4th Edition version of Blackmoor and - in theory - if Blackmoor had continued, we could have had a "4th-moor" clone that would have allowed someone to publish "4.5 style" roleplaying books for the Blackmoor Campaign Setting. Something like that could have underpinned a year-long playtesting phase. Imagine Blackmoor: The MMRPG having adventures that each playtest new 4e clone rule candidates. I think it could have worked.

But we didn't get a 4e Blackmoor that was in a position to outlast 4e, so I have to ask (and I don't know here) what 4th Edition campaign settings were in a position to outlast 4e? I know there were some products that were released as both Pathfinder and 4e versions. So I guess that one of them could have underpinned a one-year 4e clone playtesting phase.

But, even if we did get a setting that could support a 4e to 4e-clone transition process, would the fans help it - or would the fans get in the way. I seem to recall a number of "Pathfinder is better than 4e" conversations going on over the 4th Edition Era. Would that sort of thing continue and undermine a 4th Edition retro-clone? Or would anyone attempting to bring back an abandoned D&D system be considered a hero to be supported?
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby ghendar » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:48 pm

Big Mac wrote:Even assuming that a 4e clone is possible, it needs to have a market. If you look at Pathfinder, you had a situation where Paizo, MWP, Kenzer & Co and Sword & Sorcery Studios all had independent agreements to create 3rd Edition material without using the OGL/SRD. And every company except Paizo bailed out on 3rd Edition.

Paizo put a lot of effort into creating the Pathfinder world under the OGL/SRD...and then reworking the SRD to create the PRD. I'm not sure who could fill that role for 4th Edition.


I enjoyed your post Big Mac. I wanted to comment specifically on the parts above.

I don't think a 4e clone would have a significant market. I simply don't see that opportunity for a, for lack of a better term, "Pathfinder 4e" version. The market, if it exists, is likely too small to be viable. Especially now that were farther removed from 4e.

Lots of people were pissed off about 3.5 going away. I mean really pissed off. They weren't done with 3.5 and they sure as hell weren't going to just switch to 4e, especially when it became clear just how different the 4e system would be. Paizo tapped into that and provided a home for those disaffected fans. Many people scoffed at them and thought they were being foolish. "Pathfinder would fail" they said. It didn't fail. It thrived.

Had there been that level of uproar about 4e going away, there might have been a 4e clone, or pathfinder-type version created.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:09 pm

ghendar wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Even assuming that a 4e clone is possible, it needs to have a market. If you look at Pathfinder, you had a situation where Paizo, MWP, Kenzer & Co and Sword & Sorcery Studios all had independent agreements to create 3rd Edition material without using the OGL/SRD. And every company except Paizo bailed out on 3rd Edition.

Paizo put a lot of effort into creating the Pathfinder world under the OGL/SRD...and then reworking the SRD to create the PRD. I'm not sure who could fill that role for 4th Edition.


I enjoyed your post Big Mac. I wanted to comment specifically on the parts above.

I don't think a 4e clone would have a significant market. I simply don't see that opportunity for a, for lack of a better term, "Pathfinder 4e" version. The market, if it exists, is likely too small to be viable. Especially now that were farther removed from 4e.


I think that a 4th Edition clone is inevitable at some point. But it will never be able to be as big as Pathfinder RPG, because no big company had a 4th Edition product range that they tried to continue (the way that Pazio did with Pathfinder Campaign Setting).

The lack of a big company means that you couldn't have a big public playtest like Pazio had. But if you look at what Blacky the Blackball did with Dark Dungeons, I think that a 4th Edition clone (or a "Beyond Essentials" product that tries to be a "4.75 ruleseset") could be constructed in the public eye.

Probably the biggest challenge to a 4th Edition clone (and every D&D retro-clone) is that DMs Guild are going to make the original rules available as Print on Demand versions. I think that a big part of the reason that retro-clones (and things like Pathfinder RPG) have succeeded, has been that the clone RPG has been the only economically viable version for a lot of people.

Pathfinder RPG books are pretty expensive. If 3.5 core rulebooks had been flooded out, back when Paizo was trying to establish Pathfinder RPG, I think they would have had a harder time establishing market share.

ghendar wrote:Lots of people were pissed off about 3.5 going away. I mean really pissed off. They weren't done with 3.5 and they sure as hell weren't going to just switch to 4e, especially when it became clear just how different the 4e system would be. Paizo tapped into that and provided a home for those disaffected fans. Many people scoffed at them and thought they were being foolish. "Pathfinder would fail" they said. It didn't fail. It thrived.

Had there been that level of uproar about 4e going away, there might have been a 4e clone, or pathfinder-type version created.


I was really disappointed at the 3rd Edition Era being wound up (as there were lots of campaign settings that had not come back). I was disappointed for the same reason, when the 4th Edition Era was wound up (mostly because the Nentir Vale Gazetteer line got pulled) but I was less surprised by that. And I now have zero faith in 5th Edition ever being "completed" to my satisfaction.

But, as someone who has come to really despise Edition War nonsense, the "3rd Edition Thrives" marketing of Pathfinder always disturbed me, as did the people on other websites who wanted to put Paizo on a pedestal and make out that every single decision that Wizards of the Coast ever made was designed to "kill D&D". That stuff has made it pretty painful to look at comparisons of Pathfinder and 4th Edition, in the past, as you never know when you are going to read a positive comparison that sets out the best of both systems - and you never know when you are going to stumble into some nerd-rage conspiracy theory rant.

For me, the interesting thing about Paizo was that they took the dead end magazine subscription model that they had been pushed into buying and turned it into a viable business for selling a campaign setting via subsciptions. That was a "lemonade from lemons" solution IMO. And the Pathfinder RPG was a second "lemonade from lemons" solution, after WotC announced that it was going to pull the d20STL and when they delayed the GSL and 4e SRD creating a real risk of bankruptcy in the entire 3rd Party Publisher market.

I'm glad that Paizo managed to make a 3e clone system, but I do not feel that they "own" 3rd Edition D&D. 3.5 is good enough for me.

I guess that the number of 3rd Party Publishers that have flocked to Paizo's system proves that people do not agree with me. :)

But lets see how many of those 3PP stay exclusively with Pathfinder. And lets see how many of them put out 5th Edition compatible versions.

(I don't think that will be an indication that 5th Edition will be doing better than 4th Edition. I think the main problem with 4th Edition was the poorly designed GSL licence.) Don't forget that a 4th Edition clone is most probably going to need to use the GSL. And I believe that the GSL has specifically been designed to stop anyone "Pulling a Pathfinder" on 4e.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby ghendar » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:50 pm

It's interesting you mention edition wars. I find it endlessly fascinating. What makes one person stick with an edition as opposed to just adopting the new one? What sparks the anger or the acceptance? Even more interesting is what makes someone go from being an adopter to a resister? I bought into every edition from BECMI and 1E up through 3E but then after that I was done. What made me accept those earlier versions but then resist 4E?

I get why people don't like it but I find it intriguing in a sociological way.

Getting back to a 4e clone, I really believe that as we get farther and farther out, the chances of a clone diminish. I agree with you that not being able to "pull a Pathfinder" with 4e will being a major stumbling block to this. Besides, is the juice really worth the squeeze at this point? You can still get the 4e core books on ebay for a good price. If someone were to try making a clone, they will have to devote a sizable amount of personal time to get this done. I just don't see it happening.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby rmckee78 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:30 am

I do not see why there would be a reason to clone it unless WotC pulls the nonsense they pulled a few years ago and yank all of their pdfs again. As long as the original is available, we probably don't need a clone. I think that, were there a market, companies could easily still publish 4e compatible material as long as they were careful about how they called it out. I think there were companies that did this during the run of 4e anyway.

What I would like to see is a cleaned up 4e. I really wanted to like 4e when it came out, and I really did like it on paper. It obviously had not been play tested enough, and while Essentials fixed a lot of the problems, it still needed some work when the lined ended. I would love to see a streamlined version that is still largely backwards compatible. There were some people working on something called FrankenFourth at one point, I lost track of it though.

If someone released a streamlined 4e that would allow me to use the setting books etc and moved faster, I would use it.
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Big Mac » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:46 am

ghendar wrote:It's interesting you mention edition wars. I find it endlessly fascinating. What makes one person stick with an edition as opposed to just adopting the new one? What sparks the anger or the acceptance? Even more interesting is what makes someone go from being an adopter to a resister? I bought into every edition from BECMI and 1E up through 3E but then after that I was done. What made me accept those earlier versions but then resist 4E?

I get why people don't like it but I find it intriguing in a sociological way.


It is an interesting thing. But I don't think it is as simple as "anger or acceptance". I think we have people wanting to stick with things for a variety of reasons. And we have people wanting to try new things for a variety of other reasons. And both those choices are valid ones.

I'm quite capable of having conversations with people who like an older ruleset, like BECMI, without them telling me I'm an idiot for liking 3rd Edition and without me telling them they are an idiot for liking BECMI. It seems alien to me that people would behave like this.

I think that some of this is down to people being frustrated that they can't find gamers to play the kind of game they want to play and attempting (rudely) to cajole people into supporting the sort of gaming material they want to see more of. (I've seen the same thing happen with discussions about different campaign settings. Back in the day someone over at the WotC forums would say that they liked on out of print setting and a person would try to shout them down with praise for another setting. Presumably, some of these people who post negative stuff bashing D&D products believe that someone at WotC listens to the rabid ranting of angry fans and goes to business meetings to tell the top brass to throw the business plan away and start selling whatever these angry people are demanding.

I think that these people (at least the subset that complained about 4th Edition) are given too much credit for the rise of Pathfinder RPG. I think that they made a lot of noise, but I think that what made Pathfinder work was Paizo building a successful 3e compatible campaign setting and then deciding to "complete" the SRD, so that they could support that. What the Edition War crowd did is make a heck of a lot of noise.

Now that WotC have moved onto 5th Edition, the anti-4e/pro-Pathfinder noise has dropped (if not vanished) and I think that we can finally judge 3rd Edition, Pathfinder and 4th Edition by talking to those people who are sticking with those three systems and listening to the positive things that people say about their gaming experience.

ghendar wrote:Getting back to a 4e clone, I really believe that as we get farther and farther out, the chances of a clone diminish. I agree with you that not being able to "pull a Pathfinder" with 4e will being a major stumbling block to this. Besides, is the juice really worth the squeeze at this point? You can still get the 4e core books on ebay for a good price.


I think that the end of the 4e product line caused the value of of 4e books to collapse. People like eBay bandits like to push the myth that D&D books are collectable (and that they go up in value) but it's really only obscure books and awesome books printed in low supply, where the fanbase pushes up the prices. WotC did a good job of putting out 4th Edition books, so I think that the supply is going to be good for 4e grognoids, for quite some time.

And I presume that WotC have all the original markup files and can simply pass the over to DMs Guild for quick conversion into Print on Demand format. So again, 4e looks like it is going to remain available in contrast to 3rd Edition, where the end of the d20STL and the previous block on the sale of PDFs brought down the shutters on the customers still trying to buy 3e material. Were I a player in a 4e group, I would simply make a wishlist, watch the prices rise and fall, and ping the people in my group to tell them when something was cheap enough to buy. And I would be looking to DMs Guild PoD prices to establish a "base price" to avoid going over.

ghendar wrote:If someone were to try making a clone, they will have to devote a sizable amount of personal time to get this done. I just don't see it happening.


Ha! Well, you say that, but back before I joined The Piazza, I never dreamed that I'd surf onto a topic here and see some dude boasting that he was going to build a BECMI clone. I still remember reading Blacky the Blackball's first posts and thinking: "That is a heck of a lot of work. There is no way he is going to do that." And then I remember seeing more and more posts and thinking: "He is putting a lot of effort into this. Maybe I'm wrong. Let's see where he goes with this." Then before I knew it, he had a Dark Dungeons forum, and was working on Darker Dungeons and Darkest Dungeons (which ended up turning into something else). And a bunch of other awesome stuff happened that I've not even been able to keep up with.

So, all it takes for a 4e retro-clone is for someone with the same sort of skills and determination as Blacky the Blackball to come along. The question is, does such a person exist?

As for a Pathfinder-like version of 4e, that would kind of be like what Blacky did with Darker Dungeons. A merger of a clone with something else.

The big problem we have (for our hypothetical Blacky-of-4e) is that there is not a full-size SRD of 4e released under the OGL (which 3e and Pathfinder use). So it would be a matter of taking all the concepts of 4e and Essentials and reproduce them, without actually copying the IP of 4e that is not available as OGL content.

Ironically, with the Pathfinder Reference Document being a complete document (as opposed to the 3e SRD that has some elements missing) it might actually b easier to start with the PRD and add in elements that make it feel like 4th Edition. Maybe that sort of "Fourthfinder" hybrid would be somewhat different from what Havard was imagining, back when he started this topic, because it would be more of a "step backwards" than a "step forwards", but I'd be very interested to see if someone could throw these concepts together and build an audience for them. :D
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Big Mac » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:50 am

rmckee78 wrote:I do not see why there would be a reason to clone it unless WotC pulls the nonsense they pulled a few years ago and yank all of their pdfs again. As long as the original is available, we probably don't need a clone. I think that, were there a market, companies could easily still publish 4e compatible material as long as they were careful about how they called it out. I think there were companies that did this during the run of 4e anyway.

What I would like to see is a cleaned up 4e. I really wanted to like 4e when it came out, and I really did like it on paper. It obviously had not been play tested enough, and while Essentials fixed a lot of the problems, it still needed some work when the lined ended. I would love to see a streamlined version that is still largely backwards compatible. There were some people working on something called FrankenFourth at one point, I lost track of it though.

If someone released a streamlined 4e that would allow me to use the setting books etc and moved faster, I would use it.


This FrankenFourth that you talk about sounds interesting. It's probably the closest thing to "Pulling a Pathfinder on 4e" that has happened. Does anyone know if they have a website for it? Maybe we can get one of the FourthFinder team to come over and tell us how things are going on.

I wonder if it is going to turn out to be that "streamlined 4e" that you are hoping for! :D
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Tim Baker » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:29 am

Big Mac wrote:The big problem we have (for our hypothetical Blacky-of-4e) is that there is not a full-size SRD of 4e released under the OGL (which 3e and Pathfinder use). So it would be a matter of taking all the concepts of 4e and Essentials and reproduce them, without actually copying the IP of 4e that is not available as OGL content.

If anyone is ever interested in pursuing a project like this, they should consider starting from 13th Age's SRD. It already did much of the work, finding different terms for 4e mechanical concepts ("healing surge" became "recovery," "bloodied" became "staggered," "second wind" became "rally," "long rest" became "full heal-up," "short rest" became "quick rest," etc.). The Archmage Engine compatibility license already allows anyone to expand upon the work the 13th Age designers did (one of whom was the lead designer for 4e).
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Big Mac » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:15 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Big Mac wrote:The big problem we have (for our hypothetical Blacky-of-4e) is that there is not a full-size SRD of 4e released under the OGL (which 3e and Pathfinder use). So it would be a matter of taking all the concepts of 4e and Essentials and reproduce them, without actually copying the IP of 4e that is not available as OGL content.

If anyone is ever interested in pursuing a project like this, they should consider starting from 13th Age's SRD. It already did much of the work, finding different terms for 4e mechanical concepts ("healing surge" became "recovery," "bloodied" became "staggered," "second wind" became "rally," "long rest" became "full heal-up," "short rest" became "quick rest," etc.). The Archmage Engine compatibility license already allows anyone to expand upon the work the 13th Age designers did (one of whom was the lead designer for 4e).


Nice. It says on the page for The Archmage Engine – 13th Age SRD, that it is released under the OGL. That's great, because it would allow someone to port in content from the 3e SRD, the PRD or d20 Modern.

Do the designers of 13th Age consider their game to be a 4e clone? Could they already be the "Pathfinder of 4e" that Havard is looking for?
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Re: Will anyone pull a Pathfinder on 4E?

Postby Tim Baker » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:59 pm

Big Mac wrote:Do the designers of 13th Age consider their game to be a 4e clone? Could they already be the "Pathfinder of 4e" that Havard is looking for?

No, while there are some elements from 4e, it's definitely its own game. For example, there's no easy way to convert characters or monsters from 4e to 13th Age in a one-to-one way. 4e is very tactical with its mandatory gridded combat and everything measured in squares, whereas 13th Age uses abstract distances throughout. For me, 13th Age is like 4e with all the rough edges smoothed down, blended with an Indy game that gives players more narrative control.
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