Origins—Launching into a New Starfinder Society Season

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

From the first, the organized play team envisioned Starfinder Society as a stand-alone campaign. So when discussing season rotation, we looked for a way to give the event spotlight focus. Putting the launch at Gen Con would overload the team and possibly diminish the impact of the Pathfinder Society season rotation. So we looked to another large event that would have the scope to handle a season premier. Origins Game Faire, June 13-17 in Columbus, Ohio, met our desires. Thus we brought Origins under the umbrella of Paizo-organized conventions. But not only Starfinder Society benefits from the expanded Paizo focus. It also brings an opportunity to play Version C of the Solstice Scar ongoing interactive event and the chance to participate in some Pathfinder Playtest demos. Another benefit is added rewards for GMs, namely store credit for the paizo.com webstore, volunteer t-shirts, and a copy of a Pathfinder or Starfinder hardcover book, in addition to rewards offered in previous years such as hotel rooms and boons.

With 35+ tables of scenarios and 5 tables of Pathfinder Playtest demonstrations running each 5-hour block, and 8 blocks scheduled between Wednesday and Sunday of the event, we need a goodly amount of GMs to run games and demos at the event. Anyone interested in volunteering should check out the Origins 2018 GM Application for a list of benefits and a questionnaire to register interest in volunteering. For GMs interested in running Pathfinder Playtest, please mark PFS Demo on the questionnaire.

For those community members not interested in GMing, I invite you to join John Compton, Thurston, myself, and a couple other Paizo staffers at Origins to experience the adventure first hand.

Now onto a less logistical note, I'll turn the blog over to Starfinder Society Developer Thurston Hillman to discuss specifics for the Starfinder Society launch and what to expect from our ongoing storylines...

Quoting Thurston Hillman, Starfinder Society Developer:

In the wake of all the excitement surrounding the announcement of the Pathfinder Playtest, there have been some questions about the future of Starfinder Society. Specifically, the team's been hearing a lot of questions about our plans for our upcoming interactive special and the transition into our next season. How about we dive into some answers?

We're proud to announce our first Starfinder Society interactive special: Starfinder Society #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion. This event is Starfinder Society's first exclusive scenario, running at select events starting at Origins 2018 up until the end of Gen Con 2018. Shortly after Gen Con, we'll be making this special available to organizers and events across the world. To help with making sure our first Starfinder interactive is one to remember, we've brought onboard veteran freelancer, Mikko Kallio, to tackle this project. Mikko's had experience with writing interactive specials (with the well-received Pathfinder Society #9–00: Assault on Absalom), and the team wanted to get him on this project to help ensure we get a good start with our first Starfinder interactive special. I've been personally working with Mikko on this project and I can already tell that it's going to be a very memorable event!

So with that announcement, you can probably tell that our interactive special is touching on some major elements for our ongoing storyline for Year of Scoured Stars. One important caveat, is that "The Scoured Stars Invasion" is not the end of the Year of Scoured Stars. Instead, we'll be going back to some of the earlier days of Pathfinder's organized play campaigns and extending our inaugural season into 2019. That's right, the Year of Scoured Stars will be getting a full additional year of content behind it. When the team sat down to discuss how we'd end the Scoured Stars storyline, we recognized that the abbreviated season made it difficult to give the full story that we thought the players deserved—something that changed when our schedule adjusted to 2 scenarios per month! We all agreed that extending the season by another year gave us the ability to really tell this defining introduction story for many Starfinder Society players.

Looking ahead, players, GMs and organizers can view "The Scoured Stars Invasion" special akin to the mid-season finales that have become popular in modern media. This event will have some major repercussions that the campaign will explore into the second half of its now-extended season. To maintain a cohesive narrative and not punish players who don't have the chance to attend the events debuting the special, we won't be directly following-up on these events until at least a month after the exclusive window ends. This gives local lodges a chance to run the interactive prior to delving into any scenarios that touch on the ramifications. To give us that buffer, many of the scenarios following Origins will go back to some growing fan favorites. While the details on these scenarios aren't entirely finalized, our current "schemes" involve some of the following:

  • Finishing the "Tour of the Pact Worlds" by exploring some of the remaining planets (sorry Aucturn, you'll have to wait a bit longer.)
  • Providing a second Tier 5–8 scenario (this time with starship combat!)
  • Returning to the false moon of Salvation's End (with a very special guest author appearance.)
  • Yesteryear's Sorrow. (... nope, I got nothing else to say about that one.)

I wish I could say more, but I'm going to remain silent as there's a lot of major changes coming with "The Scoured Stars Invasion." Sufficed to say, the second half of Year of the Scoured Stars is going to be just as big, if not bigger, than the stories we've told over the past months. Now more than ever, the Starfinder Society needs new field agents; if you haven't had the chance to try out some Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild games, I highly suggest taking a look. Between local games and our thriving online community of play-by-post and virtual tabletop games, there's probably never been a better time to get involved and experience the living campaign that is Starfinder Society!

Time for me to get back to scheming. There's a lot more stories to tell and the Year of Scoured Stars is only just getting started!

Convention season is ramping up and I'm working diligently to get everything scheduled and delivered as needed. If your expecting something for any convention, keep an eye on your inbox.

Tune in next week for an update on GM stars, upcoming conventions, and other topics of an organized play nature.

Until next time—explore, report, cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Organized Play Origins Starfinder Society Starfinder Society Scenarios Year of Scoured Stars
The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh this is exciting, and should make it easier to find people to come out to Origins with me.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Sounds intriguing! Looking forward to it, especially the 2nd tier scenarios.

Shadow Lodge ***** RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

Woop!

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...did Starfinder relapse to Stars or is there discussion about PF1 and PF2 coming next month?

Liberty's Edge *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well. Huh....

**** Venture-Captain, Georgia—Savannah

Not that I'm complaining, but if Paizo wanted Starfinder's Big Deal to be somewhere other than GenCon, why not.... PaizoCon?

Just curious. ;-)

Dark Archive ** Venture-Agent, Hawaii—Honolulu aka AFlashInTime

2 people marked this as a favorite.

"Yesteryear's Sorrow"... Crap.

Dark Archive *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Location, Amanda. At least, that's my thought?

Origins is almost as centrally located as GenCon and is in a time-frame that folks could theoretically attend it (and some folks do an either/or between Origins and GenCon) so it hits a decent spot for that.

Unfortunately, between lack of co-workers and three big trips this year (PaizoCon, GenCon, and SKALLLLLLCON!!!) the ability to attend Origins is... not really an option for mental health issues.


I am excited to see a major con being this far east! I feel like I was so far from the other big cons that this one might happen. I hope to make it this year!

That being said, we should start looking into planning a pbp of the multi table special for starfinder for when it leaves the exclusive phase! I am not sure how planning that would work but I just wanted to throw the idea out there.

*** Venture-Agent, Illinois—Vernon Hills aka Lindley Court

I'm excited for all of this! I already applied to GM at Origins, and hope that I can help make it as great of a convention as possible. Although, one question is that the volunteer application caps out at 10 blocks, while the blog post mentions 8 being the total number across the whole weekend. As I'd applied to volunteer for 9 blocks, which is accurate?

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Ohio—Columbus aka Luke Woods - Columbus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We have 13 sots for events at Origins, we’ll work with Tonya to get that corrected in the post. (2 Weds, 3 Thurs, 3 Fri, 3 Sat, 2 Sun)

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Oooooh special!!!!


This is the reason I'm going to Origins instead of Gen Con.

*** Venture-Agent, Illinois—Vernon Hills aka Lindley Court

Luke Woods wrote:
We have 13 sots for events at Origins, we’ll work with Tonya to get that corrected in the post. (2 Weds, 3 Thurs, 3 Fri, 3 Sat, 2 Sun)

Thanks for the hasty reply! I can't wait to see y'all there. :)

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

BTW, what are the check in/check out dates for volunteer hotel rooms? I'm considering going and volunteering for 1/4 of a hotel room.

EDIT

Also, do we know which slots the SFS and PFS specials will run?

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Ohio—Columbus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As Luke mentioned, there are 13 regular slots. However for Demos, we are only running them for a total of 8 slots on a slightly different time schedule.

Check in will be Wednesday afternoon and checkout Sunday morning. There are a couple people who come in early on Tuesday night and pay for a room at the Hyatt. We can work to connect anyone who does come in early and try and get folks the same room at the Hyatt for the rest of Origins.

PFS 8-99C will be Friday night and SFS 1-99 Saturday night.

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

Michael McNerney wrote:
PFS 8-99C will be Friday night and SFS 1-99 Saturday night.

Doh, this information is in a popup if you hover your cursor over the slot times...

The Exchange ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Michael McNerney wrote:


Check in will be Wednesday afternoon and checkout Sunday morning. There are a couple people who come in early on Tuesday night and pay for a room at the Hyatt. We can work to connect anyone who does come in early and try and get folks the same room at the Hyatt for the rest of Origins.

I signed up to GM and my flight gets in on Tuesday afternoon, so I am interested in getting in on one of these Tuesday night rooms.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Amanda Plageman wrote:

Not that I'm complaining, but if Paizo wanted Starfinder's Big Deal to be somewhere other than GenCon, why not.... PaizoCon?

Just curious. ;-)

I think it’s because PC is already crammed full of cool new stuff, and because it’s somewhat focused on the hard core Paizo customer. Having you big releases at major industry events like Gen Con and Origins gives you access to a lot of players who would not ordinarily play OP. If the are enticed by a massive multitable special it becomes a recruiting tool to expand the community.

***

I've signed up to run at Origins this year. Looking forward to exploring Columbus as well.

.... quick checks email for latest update ....

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If PbP Gameday VII is after GenCon 2018, may we potentially run the new Starfinder Special?? Is it going to be open to all conventions then?

Hmm

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...did Starfinder relapse to Stars or is there discussion about PF1 and PF2 coming next month?

The 1st of the month blog tends to list all the GMS earning their 5th star, hence the reference.

Starfinder Society is still Novas!

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Manager

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Amanda Plageman wrote:

Not that I'm complaining, but if Paizo wanted Starfinder's Big Deal to be somewhere other than GenCon, why not.... PaizoCon?

Just curious. ;-)

I think it’s because PC is already crammed full of cool new stuff, and because it’s somewhat focused on the hard core Paizo customer. Having you big releases at major industry events like Gen Con and Origins gives you access to a lot of players who would not ordinarily play OP. If the are enticed by a massive multitable special it becomes a recruiting tool to expand the community.

Bob has the jist of it, but there were a few other factors as well.

Time to pull back the curtain a bit...

When we looked at how many tables of Society run at each event, we find Gen Con is #1 (no surprise!) and Origins, PaizoCon, and UKGE are the next three big events with roughly equal table counts. PaizoCon already benefits from the Preview Banquet, access to almost all the Paizo staff, PFS 8-99C premier, PFS Playtest 1 premier, and lots of other goodies. UKGE has a Paizo booth with demos of our newest thing (this year it's Pathfinder Playtest), as well as a robust Org Play room (which hosts the European premier of 8-99C). Which made Origins the one of the three that had limited special opportunities, but had the infrastructure to support multiple table demos and a large interactive special. Hence we chose Origins to highlight SFS!

Liberty's Edge *

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I brought this to the attention of our local VC and VLs. Being Pacific Northwest its unlikely many local players will be able to make it to Origins.

For planning purposes has a decision been made yet on requirements to run SFS #1-99? Minimum tables, GM nova requirements, etc?

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Arc Riley wrote:

I brought this to the attention of our local VC and VLs. Being Pacific Northwest its unlikely many local players will be able to make it to Origins.

For planning purposes has a decision been made yet on requirements to run SFS #1-99? Minimum tables, GM nova requirements, etc?

I'm hoping it'll be set low, at three tables perhaps. Although Starfinder has gained some traction in our lodge and I'm confident we can seat three tables, I don't think we can expect to fill five of them. But for Starfinder to continue to grow I think it's good if the special can take place. (This compared to us usually seating around 6-9 tables for a Pathfinder special.)

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Manager

Arc Riley wrote:

I brought this to the attention of our local VC and VLs. Being Pacific Northwest its unlikely many local players will be able to make it to Origins.

For planning purposes has a decision been made yet on requirements to run SFS #1-99? Minimum tables, GM nova requirements, etc?

We are still discussing options and look to have something published in the next month or so.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Good. We look forward to hearing about it, Tonya! There’s lots of enthusiam already in the Play-by-Post community. Heck, I’m psyched!

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

It probably depends on how the scenario is viewed. Is SFS essentially the same as PFS with an X-00 scenario to launch the season which is referred to as the “special” and an X-99 scenario that is more akin to an “exclusive?” If so, the requirements to offer them are slightly different. X-99 would probably have a three table minimum, be open to offer anywhere, and not require RVC approval. Similar to the rules for 8-99.

*** Venture-Agent, Illinois—Vernon Hills aka Lindley Court

Michael Eshleman wrote:
Michael McNerney wrote:
PFS 8-99C will be Friday night and SFS 1-99 Saturday night.
Doh, this information is in a popup if you hover your cursor over the slot times...

...Where are you finding the slot-times for Origins 2018? I can't seem to find them.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Ohio—Columbus aka Luke Woods - Columbus

Sasha Hall wrote:
Michael Eshleman wrote:
Michael McNerney wrote:
PFS 8-99C will be Friday night and SFS 1-99 Saturday night.
Doh, this information is in a popup if you hover your cursor over the slot times...
...Where are you finding the slot-times for Origins 2018? I can't seem to find them.

The slots are:

6/13 (weds) - 1:30pm-6:30pm, 7:00pm-12:00pm
6/14 (thurs) - 8:00am-1pm, 1:30pm-6:30pm, 7:00pm-12:00pm
6/15 (fri) - 8:00am-1pm, 1:30pm-6:30pm, 7:00pm-12:00pm
6/16 (sat) - 8:00am-1pm, 1:30pm-6:30pm, 7:00pm-12:00pm
6/17 (sun) - 8:00am-1pm, 1:30pm-6:30pm

The schedule of Pathfinder/Starfinder events hasn't been published yet, but hopefully the times above will help you plan around any other events you would like to attend at Origins.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Bob Jonquet wrote:
It probably depends on how the scenario is viewed. Is SFS essentially the same as PFS with an X-00 scenario to launch the season which is referred to as the “special” and an X-99 scenario that is more akin to an “exclusive?” If so, the requirements to offer them are slightly different. X-99 would probably have a three table minimum, be open to offer anywhere, and not require RVC approval. Similar to the rules for 8-99.

I think the number should be tailored to Starfinder being a growing but still new game. Using the same numbers as for Pathfinder could mean that in a lot of places, the special just won't be run. And this won't push all of those people to go elsewhere to play it - it'll mean most of those people just won't get to play it at all.

The table minimums aren't carved on a stone tablet that was handed down to Paizo from heaven. They're a tool to ensure the special doesn't get diluted by being run too casually everywhere. But the ultimate goal is that people do get to play it. So picking a an arbitrary number "because that's how it's done in Pathfinder" is not a good way to draft your policy. The number should be one that succeeds at both goals: keeping it special but also within reach.

And I think three tables is better for that, in this early part of SFS, than five.

Liberty's Edge *

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I can't speak to other areas, but the primary venue in Portland OR is Friday nights at a game shop. We have 6 tables, and on a regular Friday night we've had 3 of them running Starfinder. We have roughly a dozen regular SFS players and another 20 or so infrequent SFS players.

So long as only the two already announced tier 5-8 scenarios are released before this the maximum achievable character level will be 8.

Obviously level 7-8 characters shouldn't be excluded, a special run with four tables for tiers 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8 would seem a good fit. If such a requirement were announced, it'd set a goal for us in recruitment and promotion to ensure we can run the special locally.

Grand Lodge ** Venture-Agent, Washington—Tacoma aka Pakishi

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, I guess since Origins is in June, that a peek at the SFS special during PaizoCon is out of the question?

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

If by peek you mean the product page material, I think we might see that by PaizoCon. If you mean actually seeing the contents, I wouldn't count on that unless you are GMing it at Origins.

The Exchange ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Bob Jonquet wrote:
If by peek you mean the product page material, I think we might see that by PaizoCon. If you mean actually seeing the contents, I wouldn't count on that unless you are GMing it at Origins.

The product page for 1-99 is already up.

Liberty's Edge *

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Ok so the information on this is now contradictory.

Tonya Woldridge wrote:
This event is Starfinder Society's first exclusive scenario, running at select events starting at Origins 2018 up until the end of Gen Con 2018. Shortly after Gen Con, we'll be making this special available to organizers and events across the world.
Tonya Woldridge wrote:
To maintain a cohesive narrative and not punish players who don't have the chance to attend the events debuting the special, we won't be directly following-up on these events until at least a month after the exclusive window ends. This gives local lodges a chance to run the interactive prior to delving into any scenarios that touch on the ramifications.
John Compton wrote:
Multi-table interactive specials like these typically release in the summer, are available to play at conventions, and then become available for purchase one year later. #1–99 debuts at Origins 2018 and will feature at dozens of conventions worldwide until June 2019, when we expect to release it to the public for sale.

So, is the exclusivity window over after Gencon 2018 or Gencon 2019? Do we have the month of August 2018 or July 2019 to run it at our local game nights while still being part of the global narrative?

*****

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber
Arc Riley wrote:

Ok so the information on this is now contradictory.

Tonya Woldridge wrote:
This event is Starfinder Society's first exclusive scenario, running at select events starting at Origins 2018 up until the end of Gen Con 2018. Shortly after Gen Con, we'll be making this special available to organizers and events across the world.
Tonya Woldridge wrote:
To maintain a cohesive narrative and not punish players who don't have the chance to attend the events debuting the special, we won't be directly following-up on these events until at least a month after the exclusive window ends. This gives local lodges a chance to run the interactive prior to delving into any scenarios that touch on the ramifications.
John Compton wrote:
Multi-table interactive specials like these typically release in the summer, are available to play at conventions, and then become available for purchase one year later. #1–99 debuts at Origins 2018 and will feature at dozens of conventions worldwide until June 2019, when we expect to release it to the public for sale.
So, is the exclusivity window over after Gencon 2018 or Gencon 2019? Do we have the month of August 2018 or July 2019 to run it at our local game nights while still being part of the global narrative?

Not contradictory at all really. They're sort of talking about 2 different things.

Multi-table specials for PFS have not been made available for purchase by the general public until a year after their debut at a GenCon. It sounds like they're going to do the same with SFS, which is what John was stating, with the debut being Origins 2018.

Tonya was talking about the exclusivity of not being able to run the multi-table exclusive at events (conventions or special game days) until after GenCon 2018. But, there would be the month after GenCon 2018 for those events to do so, before the monthly scenarios start advancing the storyline started by the special. When local conventions and game days run the special during this first year time frame, they have to request the scenarios from their RVC/VC/Tonya and point to the specific event and provide information about the event, and then the scenario was usually dropped into the GM's running it at your special event at no charge. Again, this is how it was done in the past for PFS specials, so I'm going by assumption that is what they're talking about here as that is what it sounds like.

Liberty's Edge *

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

That does clear it up, though in the future calling the prior period something other than "exclusive" would make this clearer.

Is there documentation for what's required for a special game day? The convention requirements on http://paizo.com/organizedplay/policies are rather onerous for hosting an event with the core purpose of running this special.


Thanks for sharing this interesting stuff with us. Starfinder Society Season.


Thanks for sharing this post.This post is very informative for us.

Grand Lodge ****

Some new visitors in character as androids, I see.

Sczarni *** ⦵⦵

What do you have against Androids and Constructs, sir?

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