In the past I have have publically derided Paizo Publishing for falling short on their delivery of Pathfinder, their D&D 3.X clone. My contention was that Paizo should have gotten Pathfinder, which has been in development for some time, out before D&D 4.0 was released and everyone jumped ship. My thought was that people who had made the $50 investment in Pathfinder would be less likely to plunk down $120 for the three core rulebooks for 4.0
Well, I was wrong. If I had to deconstruct what has happened, I’d say that Paizo waited until the 4.0 furor had ended and the inevitable critical ebb tide began to release their product. WotC isn’t adding anything strong to their lineup (the Monster Manual 2 notwithstanding), so Paizo has the field in terms of people’s disposable income.
What does this seem to say to me? That third edition still has a lot of juice left in it and that people who are looking at the hundreds of dollars in third-party supplements under the OGL aren’t quite ready to box it all up and put it in the attic.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s my son’s RPG of choice, but you can blame the Order of the Stick for that.