This is going to be one of those ranty posts, so if you aren't a fan of those then I would just move along.
So over at Paizo's messageboards they for some reason have elected to keep the 4th Edition sub-forum, which means that from time to time I duck it and scope things out (sometimes they do adventure conversions, which are kind of nifty). A thread titled "Pathfinder 4E?" caught my attention, in which someone asks the question of whether or not Paizo would do an adventure path intended for Dungeons & Dragons. The immediate answer was a flat-out no. This was expected, as were the follow up comments of thank god, why would they, 4E is probably too boring to write for, etc.
Not far down, a poster (who is also a publisher?) pitched in the following:
From the trunk of D&D 3E has sprung two very different branches: 4E and Pathfinder. And more than just rules divides them. Design philosophy divides them. I dont think you could actually make the adventures Paizo makes using the 4E rules. The two just don't go together. 4E is all about set piece combats. Just see their adventures. Its so true they even changed the format of how they publish and present adventures. Gone is story and character and development and anything not related to the game table. Paizo is all about story and character. And there is a belief (that is clearly held, whether or not 100% true) that you can't do what the developers at Paizo want to do with the 4E rules.
While I agree that there is a design philosophy difference (ie, character balance and usability), I think that Clark is outright wrong in his observations. I cannot tell if he is deliberately trying to misinform or is simply ignorant. Probably both. What is even more fucked up is that on the next page, he states that he does not intend to make absolute statements (despite making several), and is actually congratulated by Sean Reynolds two posts down.
Of course it all made sense after doing some research and discovering that this guy wanted to do 3rd-party material for Dungeons & Dragons. Since WotC didn't release a license permitting this for quite awhile (I guess since it was done in all of one Edition, that it must be a mandatory thing?), he was not able to do so and is now bitter about it. So bitter that he is resorting to disguising his heavily biased opinions as facts after they had already been challenged and refuted. Seriously. He isn't even being creative about his trolling; it is the same shit that was being slung back in 2008.
What I would like to know from an alleged publisher (with a website that hasn't been updated since 2009) is the same damned thing that I have wanted to hear from the haters since 4th Edition was released: why do you think the game limits character development and storytelling? What about Pathfinder makes it "all about story and character"? I'd heard from someone at Paizo that one of the purported reasons that they wanted to stick with 3rd Edition is that they couldn't do the adventures that they want. You know, those same adventures that people are having an apparently easy time converting, sometimes on the fly?
The truth is that there is no valid reason why Paizo couldn't make an adventure path for Dungeons & Dragons, except for perhaps spite and bitterness, which makes more sense because of the magazine licenses being pulled (despite giving them time to wrap up Savage Tide) and releasing a new edition. The fact that WotC did not include a third-party license probably just made things worse, but then they were never required to do so in the first place (and I am of the mind that most third-party content in 3rd Edition was ass, anyway). I know Clark thinks that Paizo hoisted the magazines to new heights, but I never used any content from Dragon, and only bothered with the adventure path content in Dungeon. Nowadays I use content from Dragon all the time, and have run plenty of adventures out of Dungeon, so at least for me it has gotten a lot better.
It is funny to see him throwing around comments like, "Paizo gets it" or that they are "gamers to the core". I guess Chris Perkins's Iomandra campaign wiki, and all those podcasts and videos don't mean shit? The best part I think, is where he goes on about how he is glad that he "cannot" support Dungeons & Dragons. Oh sure if he could he'd "probably have to"...except he then follows up by saying that even if WotC did make an OGL for D&D that'd still probably go with Pathfinder. You know what? I am also glad that he "cannot" support Dungeons & Dragons. I think we are better off for it.