Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pathfinder Online in Trouble

Tenkar's Tavern has linked to an announcement from Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens about the future of Pathfinder Online. The future doesn't look good. While Goblinworks, the company created to produce the MMO, is still working on development versions of the game, most of the staff has been let go and Ryan Dancey has resigned as CEO and been replaced by Stevens. While Dancey's departure appears to be for personal reasons, the massive layoffs do not bode well for the future of the game.

Since I don't play MMOs, I only find this news interesting for what it says about the ability of tabletop RPGs to translate to MMOs and vice versa. D&D Online has never really taken off, though it seems to have had a dedicated cult following. And that appears to be the most successful crossover attempt between the two genres. The World of Warcraft tabletop RPG doesn't appear to have been spectacularly successful, and now this effort seems on the verge of going belly up. Do these two kinds of game mix in any way, shape, or form?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Vurt: A New Cypher System Game

Monte Cook Games published a blog post promoting a new RPG called Vurt, based on MCG's Cypher System. The game is set in a world where people can ingest feathers that take them to imagined worlds.

I'm on the fence about this development. On the one hand, I'm not entirely sure how this setting is that much different from that of The Strange, one of MCG's major Cypher System games. On the other, I'm encouraged by the idea of third-party games for the Cypher System. The only thing I would like better would be if the core rules for that system were released under an open license, allowing other publishers to freely make games for it without going to Monte Cook Games for permission. Though Monte Cook was one of the lead designers of D&D 3rd Edition, which was the first game released under the OGL, I haven't seen any signs of this happening.