Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tome of Horrors Complete for Pathfinder

One of the things I tell people is that they have to support the things they like with money. I can't always do it and my priorities aren't always where they should be, especially on luxury purchases. But when I look at the Tome of Horrors Complete, I see both failure and success.

Failure is on the path of WoTC. Their restrictive licensing, instead of embracing the OGL, put this puppy right into the hands of a third party instead of killing it. Oh sure, it was dead for a while but the potential for it to be released under the OGL under Pathfinder was always there. For 4th ed? No using that license and not apparently by anyone who just wanted to run a book of 4e monsters out there using this material under a heading of "For the world's most popular role playing game" as I've seen some try to avoid the license WoTC is currently offering.

And it's a damn shame and yet a good thing. If such a book had come out at the start of 4e's lifespan, it would be using the 'wrong' math. Yeah, while we haven't got a 4.5 edition (ha!) the game plays differently now in combat and other aspects (rituals anyone) than it initially did.

The sad thing is its not like WoTC couldn't have used more monster support, especially up in the higher levels of things. Perhaps when they were talking about keeping core monsters like the Frost Giant out of the original Monster Manual to insure higher sales for the 2nd Monster Manual, they should have been working on some more epic material?

Anyway, for WoTC, the publication of this book is failure. On their part.

For Paizo, and for Frog God Games, it's a success. Even without cracking it open and talking about what I'm sure needs to be errata'd, the book sold out of its initial Pathfinder print run and went back for a second print. To me, this indicates that the Pathfinder market is healthier than the end run of 3.5. I'm not saying this is AWESOME news or anything but Necromancers games kept things close to the vest in order to avoid over printing at the end of times and well, we didnt' get a lot of reprints. The fact that this book is being reprinted? Good news.

In terms of errata, I'm disillusioned of it. WoTC has put out so much errata for their games that when I see another company or book with errata, I can't really muster a lot of energy to go, "sonofabitch" as opposed to 'm'eh'. Now if it's really game changing errata or just plain damn errors, like missing pages, yeah, the nerd fires get stoked there.

Better news in that if you were a fan of the old books, or a fan of 1st edition monsters and wanted to see them in Pathfinder, well, you've got them. there's a ton of inspiration to be found here. Hell, the book itself is like some primitive printed monolith waiting to be placed on the shelf.

WoTC, I hope that when 5th ed rolls around you realize you're not the producers of D&D being sold in Toys R Us and open up to the OGL again and Paizo, I tip my hat off to you and Frog God for this success.