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Six Sells

Monday, March 12, 2012


Illustration by Yngvar Asplund

One of the largest benefits of working as developer on a shared-world campaign like Pathfinder Society Organized Play is having the ability to gather data about how the community uses our products and improve them based on that data. In addition to the extremely helpful Pathfinder Society messageboards, where Campaign Coordinator Mike Brock and I can interact directly with some of our most active and engaged GMs and players, we also have the benefit of looking at literally thousands of tables’ worth of reported session data entered by GMs and event coordinators. This goldmine of information lets us keep a close eye on campaign trends, such as what level scenarios are most often played, which are particularly deadly, and what factions have a higher rate of success in their respective missions. When combined, the synergy of objective data from session reports and subjective feedback from the messageboards, direct email and personal interaction with players and GMs, and a mixture of the two from our growing network of volunteer regional coordinators is nearly unmatched, at least compared to the level of feedback we can get on our other product lines.

About this time last year, prompted by community feedback, I started looking closely at the average size of tables in Pathfinder Society games. Specifically, I was looking at what percentage of reported sessions were played by six or more PCs. The evidence was staggering. While seven-person tables are a relative rarity (as they should be), six-person tables are undoubtedly the norm in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. So I took that data and let it simmer for a while as I continued my routine development tasks.

A few months ago, in a conversation with Mike and a few other members of the editorial team, we were bouncing around the idea of giving GMs a little bit more power to scale adventures to accommodate parties of different sizes. Coming up with a means for GMs to scale encounters up proved incredibly difficult, and there wasn’t an elegant or easily implemented solution. But putting in guidelines for scaling encounters down was much easier.

Thus, beginning in Season 4, all Pathfinder Society scenarios will be designed with six PCs in mind, effectively increasing the CR of all encounters to accommodate larger parties. Each adventure will provide specific changes to apply for parties of four PCs, maintaining consistency in how the scenarios are altered, but giving a bit more latitude to account for table variance. Because five- and seven-person tables are both reasonably equipped to handle a six-person challenge, tables of both sizes should be run without any changes.

So that’s the plan! In true Pathfinder Society fashion, however, we’re eager to hear what the community thinks, so be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below! And because we like you all so much, here’s a piece of art from the recently released Pathfinder Society Exclusive Scenario: The Cyphermage Dilemma, which your local regional coordinator or 4- or 5-star GM can run for you.

Mark Moreland
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Society Yngvar Apslund
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Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Drogon wrote:
nosig wrote:

I fear the venues that are running 6 player tables will now use this to increase table sizes to 7 players. (and up them to 8 around the edges - "just reverse the reduction for a 4 player table to make it work for an 8").

Yeah, I know, I'm a pessimist sometimes. Sorry.

Hope for the best, fear the worst.

Ugh. I can't even imagine. I know I won't.

As they are able to watch the numbers, I'm sure Mark and Mike will notice the uptick in 7-player tables if that happens. It'll be pretty easy to identify the offenders and send them a "cease & desist" order.

Mergy wrote:
Could there be possible rewards to 4 person tables who play hard mode for effectively "playing up to 6"?

Sorry, Mergy, but I can't agree with you, here. This will simply encourage people to boot other players from their table so they can squeak in more money on their chronicle sheet. Or, worse, allow for GMs to "mistakenly" mark the 4-person award rather than the 6-person award.

I thought that may be the response, and coming to think of it, the idea is more bad than good. The few organized, challenge-loving and hard-working players who would benefit would be overshadowed by those who just want more loot.

Grand Lodge *

Quote:
This goldmine of information lets us keep a close eye on campaign trends, such as what level scenarios are most often played, which are particularly deadly, and what factions have a higher rate of success in their respective missions.

Suggestion: crowdsource the tremendous resource you have in the Pathfinder community and open up that data set for everyone to data mine. I bet the number of good ideas resulting will be dramatically larger than what just the two of you can accomplish alone. Release it as just a mongo csv or tsv or json file or something, and prepare for Shock and Awe as the community dissects it and discovers all sorts of ways to improve the game we love.

Andoran *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Mergy wrote:
Could there be possible rewards to 4 person tables who play hard mode for effectively "playing up to 6"?

I would rather no see this idea. There is decent amount of treasure / gold now and skewing the wealth by level curve more would be a mistake in my opinion.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

We do not release sales and marketing data, but Painlord recently did a survey of a very small portion of the Pathfinder Society community and released that data. Ultimately, having more people looking at the data might reveal other things, but we know what we're looking for, and can only realistically manage so much at a time, so getting a dump of a bunch of analysis wouldn't help us act on any of it any quicker.

Grand Lodge ***

Drogon wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Could there be possible rewards to 4 person tables who play hard mode for effectively "playing up to 6"?

Sorry, Mergy, but I can't agree with you, here. This will simply encourage people to boot other players from their table so they can squeak in more money on their chronicle sheet. Or, worse, allow for GMs to "mistakenly" mark the 4-person award rather than the 6-person award.

As stated above, there is no higher reward for six-player difficulty. In my opinion, there never should be. This is what playing up was all about, but that's limited only to edge cases.

nosig wrote:

I fear the venues that are running 6 player tables will now use this to increase table sizes to 7 players. (and up them to 8 around the edges - "just reverse the reduction for a 4 player table to make it work for an 8").

Yeah, I know, I'm a pessimist sometimes. Sorry.

Hope for the best, fear the worst.

An eight-player table sounds like it would be a fustercluck, fated to only end in disaster.

Mergy wrote:
I will also be one to add that I almost always push to have 3-4 person tables, even if we need to strong-arm some of our players into GMing; that's simply because we typically have 3 1/2 to 4 hours per slot, and a 6-7 person table means not enough time for anyone.

Mergy, are your tables running in sequence or concurrent? If you're running three three- to four-player tables in a row, two six-player tables in a row would provide an extra two hours to play at each table. Granted this only applies well to a twelve-hour span.

Some People wrote:
stuff

Sadly, there's no pleasing everyone. Mike and Mark (and probably a number of other people) found that six-player tables represent a larger portion of tables reported. And y'know, the existence of four-player tables is why they're going to add rules to scale back encounters for four-player tables.

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Alabama—Birmingham aka Grolloc

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Michael Brock wrote:
Drogon wrote:

Yay!

Thank all the powers that be.

Now, for the inevitable: how do we apply this to Season 0-3 scenarios? 'cuz, you know, give a mouse a cookie...

They will remain as they are. Currently, we don't have the resources to update past scenarios.

I just don't understand this. Every time a large-scale rule change happens that potentially could affect the older scenarios, we get this response.

You are currently planning a single event for thousands of players. There are also hundreds of GMs you trust on a daily basis to run the campaign with no real supervision. You also have a core group of semi-ordained area coordinators and 5 star GM's who have proven their dedication and quality of opinion.

So why can't we find a handful of volunteers to re-tune some old scenarios, maybe playtest a few times, then update a non-print product? There is no rush, especially since right now the response is "no, never," but there is a demand and an opportunity.

I agree that rules and guidelines should be done by the leadership, and scenario/module creation should be left in the hands of experts, but surely we can find a handful of people willing to do a little more work to make the Society experience better.

Qadira ***

Drogon wrote:
nosig wrote:

I fear the venues that are running 6 player tables will now use this to increase table sizes to 7 players. (and up them to 8 around the edges - "just reverse the reduction for a 4 player table to make it work for an 8").

Yeah, I know, I'm a pessimist sometimes. Sorry.

Hope for the best, fear the worst.

Ugh. I can't even imagine. I know I won't.

As they are able to watch the numbers, I'm sure Mark and Mike will notice the uptick in 7-player tables if that happens. It'll be pretty easy to identify the offenders and send them a "cease & desist" order.

Mergy wrote:
Could there be possible rewards to 4 person tables who play hard mode for effectively "playing up to 6"?

Sorry, Mergy, but I can't agree with you, here. This will simply encourage people to boot other players from their table so they can squeak in more money on their chronicle sheet. Or, worse, allow for GMs to "mistakenly" mark the 4-person award rather than the 6-person award.

8 player tables now get reported as two 4 player tables - sometimes run on different days. I've seen this (not in the last 2 months, but I don't go play there any more, so I have no real idea how they are doing it now).

This is one way to "pad" up the numbers of tables at a venue... though it is done mainly to over utilize a Judge.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Grolloc wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Drogon wrote:

Yay!

Thank all the powers that be.

Now, for the inevitable: how do we apply this to Season 0-3 scenarios? 'cuz, you know, give a mouse a cookie...

They will remain as they are. Currently, we don't have the resources to update past scenarios.

I just don't understand this. Every time a large-scale rule change happens that potentially could affect the older scenarios, we get this response.

You are currently planning a single event for thousands of players. There are also hundreds of GMs you trust on a daily basis to run the campaign with no real supervision. You also have a core group of semi-ordained area coordinators and 5 star GM's who have proven their dedication and quality of opinion.

So why can't we find a handful of volunteers to re-tune some old scenarios, maybe playtest a few times, then update a non-print product? There is no rush, especially since right now the response is "no, never," but there is a demand and an opportunity.

I agree that rules and guidelines should be done by the leadership, and scenario/module creation should be left in the hands of experts, but surely we can find a handful of people willing to do a little more work to make the Society experience better.

Getting the info is not really the problem. I know a lot of conversions have been done for Season 0 scenarios because I've seen them. The problem is getting that info inputed into our inCopy files on our internal database after a developer (read only Mark) has a chance to make sure everything is good, getting editing to go through every scenario again, having art go through and relayout the scenario including updating every Chronicle sheet, having editing go back though once it is layed out to make sure everything is in place as it should be, and finally having digital assets get them put into PDFs. There will be more than 100 scenarios at that point and we only have 24 hours in a day. It is a monumental undertaking that would have to be added to the schedule of what we currently keep up with and we just don't have the ability currently to get all of that done.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Digitalsabre wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Could there be possible rewards to 4 person tables who play hard mode for effectively "playing up to 6"?

Sorry, Mergy, but I can't agree with you, here. This will simply encourage people to boot other players from their table so they can squeak in more money on their chronicle sheet. Or, worse, allow for GMs to "mistakenly" mark the 4-person award rather than the 6-person award.

As stated above, there is no higher reward for six-player difficulty. In my opinion, there never should be. This is what playing up was all about, but that's limited only to edge cases.

nosig wrote:

I fear the venues that are running 6 player tables will now use this to increase table sizes to 7 players. (and up them to 8 around the edges - "just reverse the reduction for a 4 player table to make it work for an 8").

Yeah, I know, I'm a pessimist sometimes. Sorry.

Hope for the best, fear the worst.

An eight-player table sounds like it would be a fustercluck, fated to only end in disaster.

Mergy wrote:
I will also be one to add that I almost always push to have 3-4 person tables, even if we need to strong-arm some of our players into GMing; that's simply because we typically have 3 1/2 to 4 hours per slot, and a 6-7 person table means not enough time for anyone.

Mergy, are your tables running in sequence or concurrent? If you're running three three- to four-player tables in a row, two six-player tables in a row would provide an extra two hours to play at each table. Granted this only applies well to a twelve-hour span.

Some People wrote:
stuff
Sadly, there's no pleasing everyone. Mike and Mark (and probably a number of other people) found that six-player tables represent a larger portion of tables reported. And y'know, the existence of four-player tables is why they're going to add rules to scale back encounters for four-player tables.

We play on weekday nights starting at 6 or 6:30. On particularly disorganized days we don't get started until 7, so the fewer the players the better.

Grand Lodge ***

Mergy wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Could there be possible rewards to 4 person tables who play hard mode for effectively "playing up to 6"?

Sorry, Mergy, but I can't agree with you, here. This will simply encourage people to boot other players from their table so they can squeak in more money on their chronicle sheet. Or, worse, allow for GMs to "mistakenly" mark the 4-person award rather than the 6-person award.

I thought that may be the response, and coming to think of it, the idea is more bad than good. The few organized, challenge-loving and hard-working players who would benefit would be overshadowed by those who just want more loot.

One thing's likely. You'd see a lot more deaths and definitely a rise in TPKs. GMs might be more likely to realize that their players are doing something ill-recommended (at best), but "it seemed like a good/safe/fun idea at the time" is still rather unfun. Players themselves can't know what's in a scenario unless they've played it before—if they have, they get no benefit from playing at the higher difficulty anyway.

nosig wrote:
8 player tables now get reported as two 4 player tables - sometimes run on different days. I've seen this (not in the last 2 months, but I don't go play there any more, so I have no real idea how they are doing it now).

This is something to contact your VC about. Failing that (or if your region doesn't have a VC) it's something Mike should know about.

Grand Lodge ***

Mergy wrote:
Digitalsabre wrote:
Mergy wrote:
I will also be one to add that I almost always push to have 3-4 person tables, even if we need to strong-arm some of our players into GMing; that's simply because we typically have 3 1/2 to 4 hours per slot, and a 6-7 person table means not enough time for anyone.
Mergy, are your tables running in sequence or concurrent? If you're running three three- to four-player tables in a row, two six-player tables in a row would provide an extra two hours to play at each table. Granted this only applies well to a twelve-hour span.
We play on weekday nights starting at 6 or 6:30. On...

Fair enough. I'm in a similar situation. Plus, the past two sessions here I've been in a state of waiting for players as late as 8pm. We run five hours with four players. Could be less if I was better prepared, but that still means we'd run until midnight at best. We've been lucky that the Magic Tourney running the same night (in a different area of the store) has also run late both weeks.

**

1 person marked this as a favorite.

1) I love the idea of expecting a 6 player table and adjusting.

2) Don't change the APL calculations, change what's in the adventure. Changing the APL calculation formula affects everyone and we need to ask if this is a season 0 to 3 scenario or a 4+. Whereas it only affects the authors, editors, etc. if they need to adjust the adventure for the new expected APL.

3) It seems it's taken ten year, but someone has finally realized (and is willing to try to change) that a 6 player table does not equal a 4 player table +1 to APL. It's a dynamic two dimensional process, not a linear scaling when you add people. More people means more targets for the bad guy to hit, more opportunities for the PCs to hit the bad guy (even if their more powerful) etc.

4) Don't change the APL reward system. If four players play at APL 3-4 want to play the six player version of APL 3-4, fine but they don't get any extra rewards. If four APL 3-4 players want to play up to a four player APL 5-6 adventure (and it's legal), fine. However, if the party is playing up or playing a bigger table size, no tears if they lose a PC or a TPK occurs.

5) Understand that this is going to take all of season 4 to work out the bugs and comment on, but done complain, about the potholes along the way. Right now I expect Mike and Mark are starting to work on the season 4 scenarios. By the time Gen Con rolls around and season 4 begins, one-third to one-half the season 4 scenarios will already be in the pipeline. It won't be until November or December when they will start to get a real good idea how the changes are affecting the scenarios and begin to make adjustments. So please be patient with then and remember these changes are going to take time with growing pains.

6) I like the changes!

7) More ideas on how you might implement this as they come .... :-)

-Swiftbrook

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

nosig wrote:
Drogon wrote:
nosig wrote:

I fear the venues that are running 6 player tables will now use this to increase table sizes to 7 players. (and up them to 8 around the edges - "just reverse the reduction for a 4 player table to make it work for an 8").

Yeah, I know, I'm a pessimist sometimes. Sorry.

Hope for the best, fear the worst.

Ugh. I can't even imagine. I know I won't.

As they are able to watch the numbers, I'm sure Mark and Mike will notice the uptick in 7-player tables if that happens. It'll be pretty easy to identify the offenders and send them a "cease & desist" order.

Mergy wrote:
Could there be possible rewards to 4 person tables who play hard mode for effectively "playing up to 6"?

Sorry, Mergy, but I can't agree with you, here. This will simply encourage people to boot other players from their table so they can squeak in more money on their chronicle sheet. Or, worse, allow for GMs to "mistakenly" mark the 4-person award rather than the 6-person award.

8 player tables now get reported as two 4 player tables - sometimes run on different days. I've seen this (not in the last 2 months, but I don't go play there any more, so I have no real idea how they are doing it now).

This is one way to "pad" up the numbers of tables at a venue... though it is done mainly to over utilize a Judge.

Sigh. You break my heart every time you do this, you know. I just can't fathom doing this kind of thing.

You at least reported them, I hope?

Grand Lodge ***

Michael Brock wrote:
Getting the info is not really the problem. I know a lot of conversions have been done for Season 0 scenarios because I've seen them. The problem is getting that info inputed into our inCopy files on our internal database after a developer (read only Mark) has a chance to make sure everything is good, getting editing to go through every scenario again, having art go through and relayout the scenario including updating every Chronicle sheet, having editing go back though once it is layed out to make sure everything is in place as it should be, and finally having digital assets get them put into PDFs. There will be more than 100 scenarios at that point and we only have 24 hours in a day. It is a monumental undertaking that would have to be added to the schedule of what we currently keep up with and we just don't have the ability currently to get all of that done.

That's a lot of work. I guess I should not ask you to consider identifying baddie starting locations on the maps, then... xD

Grand Lodge *

Quote:
getting a dump of a bunch of analysis wouldn't help us act on any of it any quicker.

Fair point. Paradoxically, I think its less about what you would do with analyses, and more about empowering the community with a rich data set upon which data-driven opinions are based. This is happening all around the US right now, with local, state and federal governments releasing their data sets, (Recently in Chicago, the Chicago crime data was used by a non-profit to help inform where new schools should be created.) The net result is More Pie for everyone - even if you can't eat that pie fast enough, its still pie for the rest of us.

Quote:
We do not release sales and marketing data

I don't know how much of a competitive advantage an open sourced PFS data set would give up for Paizo, but if it were substantial, then this is a legitimate concern.

EDIT: conclusion from the European Commission: "the best way to get value from your data is to give it away."

Quote:
The advance of knowledge is based on the open flow of information. Only when a researcher shares data and results with other researchers can the accuracy of the data, analyses, and conclusions be verified. Different researchers apply their own perspectives to the same body of information, which reduces the bias inherent in individual perspectives. Unrestricted access to the data used to derive conclusions also builds public confidence in the processes and outcomes of research. Furthermore, scientific, engineering, and medical research is a cumulative process. New ideas build on earlier knowledge, so that the frontiers of human understanding continually move outward. Openness speeds and strengthens the advance of human knowledge.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
In the case of this change, it will add extra time to the development process, but our hope is that it addresses enough ongoing issues with the campaign (assessed from both reporting data and feedback) that the extra expenditure of resources will be worth it. Only one way to find out, though.

Quick question, will this change eat into the word count of the scenarios? Or will you add to the word count to accommodate this change?

Shadow Lodge **

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Not a big fan of changing the baseline which I suspect will only lead to even bigger tables. Seems like it makes sense though if that's what most people are running already. Seven players 2 eidolons, 1 animal companion... the new norm.

To me its less the lack of challenge and more that I don't care for the big tables.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
0gre wrote:
To me its less the lack of challenge and more that I don't care for the big tables.

I'm with you Ogre, 4, maybe 5, players is the 'sweet spot for me. I'll run 7s when I have to but I refuse to play in them. I can live with 6.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

I like more players. I like short combats and a chance to roleplay the interesting bits of mods.

I also like fracturing adventures that have been stretched up into the wrong tier of "expected party capability", but that's a Story for Another Day....

Cheliax

I think this is a good thing, it will make 6 and 7 player tables more interesting, but not simply slay 4 player tables. With 5 players I think the GM need to look at the PCs and make the call, since not all PCs are not the same level of combatants.

Andoran ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not a big fan of this change.

I don't see pushing things towards bigger tables being a good thing for the campaign.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Dragnmoon wrote:
Quick question, will this change eat into the word count of the scenarios? Or will you add to the word count to accommodate this change?

People are always asking about word count, but the truth is, the length of our Pathfinder Society Scenarios already varies from adventure to adventure by thousands of words sometimes. We use as many words as we need to to get GMs the information they need to run the adventure and will continue to do so. That said, the target number will remain the same.

Silver Crusade **

Feral wrote:

Not a big fan of this change.

I don't see pushing things towards bigger tables being a good thing for the campaign.

And again, they're not pushing things. They're just reacting to what's already there. The majority of tables are 6 player tables, so we may as well have adventures designed for that fact.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Grolloc wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Drogon wrote:

Yay!

Thank all the powers that be.

Now, for the inevitable: how do we apply this to Season 0-3 scenarios? 'cuz, you know, give a mouse a cookie...

They will remain as they are. Currently, we don't have the resources to update past scenarios.

I just don't understand this. Every time a large-scale rule change happens that potentially could affect the older scenarios, we get this response.

You are currently planning a single event for thousands of players. There are also hundreds of GMs you trust on a daily basis to run the campaign with no real supervision. You also have a core group of semi-ordained area coordinators and 5 star GM's who have proven their dedication and quality of opinion.

So why can't we find a handful of volunteers to re-tune some old scenarios, maybe playtest a few times, then update a non-print product? There is no rush, especially since right now the response is "no, never," but there is a demand and an opportunity.

I agree that rules and guidelines should be done by the leadership, and scenario/module creation should be left in the hands of experts, but surely we can find a handful of people willing to do a little more work to make the Society experience better.

Since this same suggestion was made on another thread this morning, I'll just paste my response here.

Mark Moreland wrote:
We have tried it, on a number of initiatives, from redesigning pregens to updating 3.5 scenarios to Pathfinder RPG to retrofitting current campaign rules onto Season 0-2 scenarios. In every case, that development/layout/editing hurdle is simply too high to clear, or the volunteers' efforts die in the water. Turns out enthusiasm from even the most trusted and qualified volunteers only goes so far when what someone's doing is real work that we actually pay people for. I'm not opposed to using the community for projects like these, but we have still never found a system that works and doesn't just waste the volunteers' time and add to our already significant workload here in the office.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm onboard. Our group size in normally 5-7 players. A 4 person table is the exception rather than the norm. I think that this will make the scenarios more challenging and a more rewarding experience for both GMs and players.

I cannot tell you how many scenarios that have been advertised as hard on the forums that have been cakewalks for the large table. Most recently the BBEG in Quest for Perfection parts 1 & 2 were not much more than speed bumps. I hope that this change will help with that situation.

Silver Crusade ****

I will chime in that this is a good deal. We cap our tables at 6, and don't tend to bother splitting tables unless we start looking at a 7 player table.

Osirion ****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think this is a great idea, and will allow us to challenge our 5-6 player tables more often. Yay!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I'll echo a previous statement, will this be effecting the adventure paths? As I routinely have like 7 players and having the APs set for 6 would be ideal.

Shadow Lodge ***

Do 5 player tables get treated as 6 player tables or 4 player tables in terms of the "specific changes to be applied to 4 player tables"?

Paizo Employee ** Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DJEternalDarkness wrote:
So I'll echo a previous statement, will this be effecting the adventure paths? As I routinely have like 7 players and having the APs set for 6 would be ideal.

Nope. This is just a change we're implementing in Pathfinder Society Scenarios. The only exception to the assumed 4-person party is the forthcoming Dawn of the Scarlet Sun Free RPG Day module, which is also designed for 6 PCs. That's because last year we put 4 goblin pregens in We Be Goblins and people asked for two more for all the times they ran it for 6 PCs. And rather than give players 6 pregens but design the adventure for 4 players, we brought both the adventure and number of pregens into line.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Avatar-1 wrote:
Do 5 player tables get treated as 6 player tables or 4 player tables in terms of the "specific changes to be applied to 4 player tables"?

5-player tables can generally handle an encounter designed for 1 more, and the difference between an encounter designed for 5 and one designed for 6 PC is so negligible, that only tables of 4 PCs will be altered.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey Mark, thanks for reviewing the data and pushing forth a plan to improve play for the majority of our little society.

Taldor *

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Great change. Thanks for listening and being responsive.

*

Great news, I obviously agree with this change.

Grand Lodge ****

This is wonderful news. Bravo Mark & Mike!

Taldor ***

This is good. However, I'm curious whether 4 player teams are obliged to follow the "lesser version" of the scenario with eased combats? Or will it remain an option for the GM and players?

Also, this method happens to remind me of Living Greyhawk, which broke the modules down into even APLs instead of tiers.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Deussu wrote:
This is good. However, I'm curious whether 4 player teams are obliged to follow the "lesser version" of the scenario with eased combats? Or will it remain an option for the GM and players?

Already answered in this thread:

Michael Brock wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
So quick question, can a 4 player group still decide to play the scenario at the CR of the 6 player group?
I don't see why not. There is no additional treasure. The only change would be more of a challenge. So, if a group of 4 wants to take on a scenario written for 6, good luck!

Andoran *****

I'm pretty happy about this change. Good move, guys. :)

Cheliax ***** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

I'm excited about this and can't wait to see the new challenges in Season 4!


I don't play PFS but I do use the scenarios as modules in my own campaigns. This is a great idea!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another call of "that picture rocks"!

"Six-shooters sell" (okay so maybe it's a flintlock, but still...)


As an old-school DM who is used to running 8-player games, this decision makes me all toasty inside! I've never understood why scenarios are written for four players. Six makes much more sense. Sure there are the logistics and crunchy bits to work out, but they will get worked out. All of you who are already whining and worrying about adding +1 here and "what if" there, just chill the hell out and roll the dice! Everything will work itself out.
Great job M&M! Keep it coming, fellers!

Andoran

I think this is a VERY appropriate answer to the real number of players at a table and the way to go in the future for all modules ands APs.

****

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Overall I am pleased with this change, yet I have one major concern.

Time to complete the scenario. If the 6 man just has more monsters than the 4 man, then the time for each battle will go up as there will be more players. When these are designed for 6 players I really think that care must be taken that the 6 man is balanced for 4 hours of play. If the 4 man takes less time then I am ok with that.

My groups often are more than 4 hours. People joke around say OOC stuff thus lengthening the time it takes to complete a scenario. I really do wish we could get it down to 4 hours, and we often have 6 players at our tables. If this makes it harder to get in 4 hours then I probably would consider only doing season 1-3 scenarios.

Terek

Cheliax ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Tampa aka Dominick

At a convention it has to be under 4 hours. At a game store or house you have more flexibility. It takes practice to keep people on track in the adventure.


Dominick wrote:
At a convention it has to be under 4 hours. At a game store or house you have more flexibility. It takes practice to keep people on track in the adventure.

Tjat actually depends on the convention. Some will schedule games into 5-hour slots, such as GenCon, and maybe PaizoCon as well.

Qadira *

I haven't gone to the trouble of reading all the posts yet. I'd just like to say I approve of this upcoming change and am excited to see it come to fruition.

*

Dominick wrote:
At a convention it has to be under 4 hours. At a game store or house you have more flexibility. It takes practice to keep people on track in the adventure.

Not at the game stores where I live. It's a struggle sometimes to keep the time at four hours.

Osirion

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The time is the biggest factor that this affects.
I appluad the campaign organizers for responding to the actual number of players at a table.
But, the thing of it is, six players often are too much to begin with. This just gives an unwritten implication that it's expected that there must be six players at a table. When this goes into effect, four-player tables will almost cease to exist. I'm not saying that there won't be any at all, I'm just saying that this validates larger tables, making that be the expectation. The message it gives is "we want you to play with six, but if you have to play, and there's not six, you can technically do it with four, but, you have to make the adventure smaller, or less dangerous, and go through work to modify it." If GMs percieve that they have to do extra work to run a four-person table, they will be less likely to do so. I know that there are some GMs who won't mind, but, I would almost garauntee that you're about to see the number of six-person tables absolutely skyrocket, and four-pplayer tables all but disappear.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

W. Kristoph Nolen wrote:
I would almost garauntee that you're about to see the number of six-person tables absolutely skyrocket, and four-pplayer tables all but disappear.

Given that they already account for an overwhelming majority of reported tables, a skyrocketing number of 6-person tables will mean a skyrocketing of Pathfinder Society Organized Play tables in general, so I'm all for that.

Were the percentage of 6-player tables out of total tables less than it is, I would agree that we may see a large shift in the 6-person:4-person ratio, but there's not very much room for leeway at this point. You'd be surprised to see just how high the 6-person to 4-person ratio really is.

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