This is part of my RPG series of entries here at SOB. See the inaugural entry in the series for more details.
I found the way Paizo named today “P-Day” on the front page of the site amusing. The people at Paizo are, of course, referring to the fact that today is the official release date for the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.
Here’s a screenshot of the relevant announcements at the top of the main page of paizo.com:
In case of difficulty reading (it should be clear, but I know I sometimes get visitors using Lynx or something like that), the smaller text in the topmost paragraph says:
The PDF for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook is now available for purchase and download. We are experiencing a lot of traffic today, and the messageboards are disabled to help keep the site running smoothly. Anyone who can wait until Friday or later to get their PDF is encouraged to do so.
Since we already have one hardcopy of the book, with another expected to arrive by mail any moment now, I’ll probably wait a couple days. Apparently, Paizo didn’t expect the kind of traffic hammering its servers as people download the PDF in record numbers, if the company had to actually shut down the forum temporarily to cope with it.
PRPG has been the number one bestseller in RPG books for a while at Amazon. I sent an email asking for details about how amazon calculates its bestsellers, but haven’t heard back. Color me curious.
I rather suspect that the $9.99 introductory price for the PRPG PDF will introduce a metric assload of players to the game that might otherwise have given it a pass. $50 might seem like a pretty hefty price to invest in one shot, even if it is a pretty good deal for the money, so those hesitant to fork over the full price for the hardback CRB might be a lot more willing to pay a fifth that for the PDF to evaluate it before paying for the tangible product. Of course, since the SigO and I have been using the playtest PDFs for a while and have quite a few other Paizo products (so we know the production quality first-hand), we knew we’d like what we got when we preördered two copies of the CRB (plus the “complimentary” PDF that comes with the book we ordered directly from Paizo).
Toward the end of the P-Day: The Invasion of Gen Con! post in the Paizo Store Blog, more stuff is announced:
Pathfinder RPG Reference Document — the PRPG version of the D&D SRD, containing the OGL material from PRPG
Pathfinder RPG Conversion Guide — “that will show you the best ways to use your existing 3.5 library with the new Pathfinder RPG rules.”
Pathfinder RPG Bestiary Preview — the Bestiary will be PRPG’s version of the Monster Manual, of course
Updated Character Traits — a system of “mini-feats” used to help flavor a character and define its background
. . . and other stuff. That’s just most of the freebies; there’s a crapload of other announcements of recently, currently, and soon-to-be released books.
The release of the PRD on the same day as the release of the CRB itself is a nice symptom of one of the things I like so much about Paizo as a game company: it really seems to get the open content development model the OGL facilitates, whereas the executives and managers at WotC/Hasbro seemed to have their heads up their fourth points of contact on the whole matter even before they basically started trying to “undo” the release of D&D under the terms of the OGL.