With a month to go, it doesn’t look like the Pathfinder Online Kickstarter will reach it’s $1,000,000 goal. Granted, the online game based on the Paizo game is about a third of the way there (including 31 backers willing to pony up $1,000 for the privilege of alpha testing the game, among other things), but I just don’t see it happening, and I don’t even see what the plan was, here.
Pathfinder is a tabletop roleplaying game, the heir to Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). Thanks to a flurry of flubs by Wizards of the Coast (owners of D&D), Pathfinder seems to be even outselling D&D, albeit by turning D&D fans into Pathfinder fans, so I can see the interest in trying to get a game to complement Dungeons and Dragons Online. Most of Pathfinder‘s success as a tabletop game, however, is it’s popularity amongst players who loathed the “computer game like” changes WotC made to D&D in the fourth edition rules. The market for players that wanted a D&D-like game online is already absorbed into Dungeons and Dragons Online, and there’s just no money in another game that does the same thing. That, and the sad track record of online games that don’t have “Warcraft” in the title make this a scary way to spend a gaming dollar.
The kickstarter also has daily deals in an attempt to wring even more money from gamers, but…no, just no. The tendency of online games to suck, along with the tendency for them to spend years in development make this a hard sell to the wrong market. With the online game likely a bust, there’s still plenty of stuff planned here that I hope will see print someday. The best by far is the multi-level megadungeon, Emeral Spire, with each level planned by top RPG designers like Rich Baker, Ed Greenwood, Mark Rein-Hagen, and others. I know if I see that on a hobby shop shelf, I’ll be reaching for my wallet, just to see the work of these guys side-by-side.
Even if you’re not likely to part with your money, take a look at the Kickstarter to see the cool gaming stuff will be coming out, eventually.