I spent two hours last night in the Pathfinder chat session and carefully read all of the responses offered by the campaign staff to publicly-submitted questions. The questions ranged from character tracking to running modules in a game store.
There were no surprises in any of the answers. Regardless of the new name, it is a “living” campaign in the vein of “Living Arcanis” and “Living Greyhawk.” Characters are tracked, modules released on a regular basis and there is a long-term storyline.
One item I found unusual were factions. Factions are secret societies with their own goals that the member PCs must advance. These factions also are in a sort of “race” based on player success or failure in modules to “win” the campaign. I like this a lot as it actually makes the PCs behavior impact a larger goal. I am curious to see the final implementation of this, as it could lead to some PVP issues unless handled very carefully.
As with other living games, PVP is banned. Too bad, a campaign that included the ability to kill other players would be fun. I understand that it is difficult to implement, but I can always hope.
The key item for me that distinguishes Pathfinder from other living games is the cost. Paizo will charge somewhere around $5.00 for a module, probably less. This is the single most important aspect of the campaign, for me at least. It forces the campaign to have the one thing all the other “free” living campaigns lack.
Market-driven quality control.
Downloading and playing a free module that sucks is tolerable, so long as it is free. At least you earned experience for your PC. Spending money on a module, even a token amount is another matter entirely. Paying for the priviledge of bad editing, railroading plots and TPK encounters will kill the Paizo campaign almost instantly.
We shall see if Paizo is up to the challenge.
Trask, The Last Tyromancer