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The Evolution of the Multipart Scenario

Monday, May 14, 2012


Illustration by Yngvar Asplund

As early as Season 1, the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign has featured a number of multipart scenarios—mini campaign arcs designed to tell longer and more complex stories than a single 4-hour gaming session can provide. Whether in the form of four-part series like The Devil We Know, Echoes of the Everwar, and the Tier 12 retirement arc The Eyes of the Ten; a three-part arc like this season’s The Quest for Perfection and last season’s The Heresy of Man and Shades of Ice; or a two-part story such as The City of Strangers, Shadow’s Last Stand, and Before the Dawn, the level of continuity between segments and the arcs’ overall scopes have varied quite a bit in the last three years.

One of my goals as developer of the Pathfinder Society Scenarios line is to make multipart scenarios feel more cohesive and to provide players with a sense of accomplishment for completing these long format series. But finding the right balance of telling compelling, immersive stories and meeting the needs of the organized play campaign’s unique design parameters hasn’t come easy. And we’re still trying out new things.

Earlier this year, we released the Wonders in the Weave series, a Tier 5–9 two-part arc introducing characters to the Hao Jin Tapestry, the private demiplane the Society won as part of the Ruby Phoenix Tournament at the season’s halfway point. In this series, we tried something new with the mutliparters: we provided a boon at the end of the first installment, The Dog Pharaoh’s Tomb that grants no inherent bonuses. But having this boon on the Chronicle sheet immediately preceding the second chapter in the series, Snakes in the Fold allowed characters to earn a second boon that is only awarded for those PCs playing the story in order and without interruption between.

That method worked okay, but we still felt there was room for improvement. So with the release of last month’s Tier 7–11 scenario, Pathfinder Society Scenario #3–20: The Rats of Round Mountain, Part I: The Sundered Path, we had a chance to try a different tack with multipart boons. We were further motivated to push the envelope by the specific circumstances of this mini-arc’s plot: the PCs travel to the center of a hollow mountain in Part I, and then venture into a ratfolk stronghold within the mountain in Part II. It didn’t make sense for PCs to make a long trek, then magically be outside the mountain and even back on the Material Plane doing other adventures, partaking in a Day Job, or even buying equipment, then suddenly be back in the middle of the mountain at the start of the next adventure. If it were so easy to get back and forth from the mountain’s center to Absalom, why did they need to journey there on foot in Part I?

The solution we came up with is this: at the end of The Sundered Path, PCs are given a choice to remain there, forgoing the ability to purchase equipment or spellcasting services, make Day Job checks, or participate in other scenarios, or to hand-wave their characters’ continuity but sacrifice their ability to get a larger boon as a reward for playing the two scenarios back-to-back. Since PCs inside Round Mountain who choose the former are assumed to have been there continually before the start of Part II, Pagoda of the Rat, they won’t receive a faction handout for the scenario, and only need to complete a faction mission if they want to; players doing both scenarios continuously will automatically receive full prestige for the second part of the series. What the other benefits of sticking it out are, I’m going to keep under my hat, but I think folks will be pleased with the rewards.

Be sure to participate in the discussion of this topic below, or on our Pathfinder Society messageboards, and let us know what you think of this experiment.

Mark Moreland
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Society Yngvar Asplund
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**

When playing these two part arcs, IF you're at the top of the tier range, say 9 2/3 level in the tier 5-9 scenario, can you also hold off leveling up to finish the second half at 9th level? I.E. playing the two together basically as one long scenario?

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Nope. You need to plan ahead and not start a multiparter if playing the first part will level you up. We currently have no mechanics to allow a PC to hold off leveling, and no plans to implement such a rule.

Taldor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Cutest ratfolk ever!

Andoran *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very cool, Mark. :)

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

GeraintElberion wrote:
Cutest ratfolk ever!

+1

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What happens if a character dies in Part 1?

The Sundered Path wrote:
Players who choose not to return to Golarion at the end of the scenario (making no Day Job check and purchasing no equipment) gain an additional boon at the end of the second scenario if they play it as the immediate followup to part one.

For this specific scenario, if raise dead isn't an ability the party possesses, is it assumed that the PC has to travel back to the material plane to get raised? Does that force them to lose out on the boon since they must purchase spell casting services?

edit: Or should I just TPK Bob, Thea, Todd and LeDon this weekend so there isn't any question? (Two 5-star GM VCs, a VL, and a 4-star CatBunnyGnome. Not a bad haul!)

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
Cutest ratfolk ever!

Yes, be distracted by their appearance. Excellent..

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I don't want to see a lot of these in a season, makes it very hard to schedule them for Games.

Extremely difficult.

I don't think I have had one successful multi part game where everyone has played through all the parts 1 after the other.

One of the major reasons I am not a fan of scenarios that give boons out like this.

Also that leads to the problem with the current rule with GMs and boons, which I hope we will see change in season 4.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

I don't want to see a lot of these in a season, makes it very hard to schedule them for Games.

Extremely difficult.

I don't think I have had one successful multi part game where everyone has played through all the parts 1 after the other.

One of the major reasons I am not a fan of scenarios that give boons out like this.

Also that leads to the problem with the current rule with GMs and boons, which I hope we will see change in season 4.

You could always schedule multi-part scenarios like you would a module. Block a 8-10 hour slot off for them.

Sczarni *** Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov

Dragnmoon wrote:

I don't want to see a lot of these in a season, makes it very hard to schedule them for Games.

Extremely difficult.

I don't think I have had one successful multi part game where everyone has played through all the parts 1 after the other.

One of the major reasons I am not a fan of scenarios that give boons out like this.

Also that leads to the problem with the current rule with GMs and boons, which I hope we will see change in season 4.

We've found the opposite.. If people know that the second part to a storyline they have started continues next month, they are more likly to come back if they are a 'maybe' player. This is even more apparent in part 3 of a arc that they have already played parts 1+2.

I think we've run all of the multiparters in order except for Devil you know (and maybe everwar) but that's only because of their release schedule.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Kyle Baird wrote:
You could always schedule multi-part scenarios like you would a module. Block a 8-10 hour slot off for them.

Does not work for more then 2 part scenarios, and does not work in my specific area since not all my morning players play in the afternoon and vice verse.

Anyway, it take me 2 days to run a Module.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Kyle Baird wrote:
For this specific scenario, if raise dead isn't an ability the party possesses, is it assumed that the PC has to travel back to the material plane to get raised? Does that force them to lose out on the boon since they must purchase spell casting services?

A PC could buy a scroll of raise dead just in case before departing on this mission (which is reasonable by 7th level) or just buy a 5,000 gp diamond to keep on-hand if you are playing with a cleric of 9th level or higher. In any case, a PC who needs to be raised and who can't have such an effect be taken care of by the party on hand must return to Absalom to get it done and would sacrifice the boon in the process (which seems a small price to pay to get to play Part II at all considering the alternative).

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Cpt_kirstov wrote:
I think we've run all of the multiparters in order except for Devil you know (and maybe everwar) but that's only because of their release schedule.

Oh I always run them in Order, just never had them run with one person completing all the parts in order.

My Most consistent players are my GMs, most times they lose out because they GM instead if playing a part.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Part of the goal of the current approach is to train players to try to play multiparters in order. I encourage folks who've had difficulty getting character continuity with them in the past to inform their players of how a given multiparter works and offer it as normal (or slightly adapting the normal offering model) and report back if it had the desired effect on attendance. You may need to try a few of them to get players used to the new format. Ultimately, they can be played out of order and still function completely fine as independent adventures. But as long as players are informed ahead of time that playing them out of order will result in them missing out on potential rewards, they can't legitimately complain about choosing not to play them in order.

I'm eager to hear folks' feedback on the new system rather than reports on how the old system of multiparters worked (or didn't work). Consider these series playtests to see if this is a system we want to implement more in the future.


Kyle Baird wrote:
You could always schedule multi-part scenarios like you would a module. Block a 8-10 hour slot off for them.

My suggestion would be to just publish these type of scenarios as special "double-size" scenarios to begin with (using the module rules as a starting point, e.g.).

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

So effectively these cannot be played out of order, and have to be scheduled at either cons or multi-session game days.

As a new-ish coordinator who is currently struggling with scheduling the the Devil We Know series over multiple days/weeks/locations (and only beacuse we are running out of 1-5's and 1-7's to play,) I cannot accurately put into words how much I hate this idea. I won't be able to schedule this for the the same reason I can't schedule Modules: no one will commit a character to being locked in to multiple sessions that are not 100% going happen. If I can't schedule and use these, they are just more black holes in the already limited release schedule like the exclusives.

Any "reward" you put in that is missed for Real-life issues is only a penalty to non hardcore players. Kid sick or called in for work? Sorry, you just missed your opportunity or can't play that character until it gets scheduled again, and then pray there is room in that group who needs to finish it. Rats is now asking you to screw your own character to bet on that future session.

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

I did QfP PI on my February Game Day, and QfP PII & III on my March Game Day.

I’m planning a weekend in which Friday Night I do Wonders PI, and Sat Morning Wonders PII, and then Sat Night Rats PI and Sunday Rats PII.

Sure, they don’t work well for regular 1 session game days in which you may or may not get the same people from game day to game day. So you just don’t schedule them unless you are specifically planning a double header or know you are going to get the same people at the 2nd session.

I like the multiparters. But I agree with Dragonmoon, that having two back-to-back between Wonders and Rat Mountain (while making perfect sense with the Season 3 meta-plot) has made it hard to even schedule our private higher level game days, because a lot of the other 5-9 or 7-11 scenarios have been played by at least one or two of the folks, and the way the game day was set up before part II of Rats is going to come out, so we didn’t want to start that one either.

So if I had anything to say on it (and I know this isn’t possible cause you want to give a mix of levels every month) multiparters would ideally be published in the same month. I would wager that most organizers will wait till the 2nd (or 3rd) part is published before scheduling the first part. Which then can put a hindrance on play in the 1st month if you want to get the metaplot played in sequence.

Andoran *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Part of the goal of the current approach is to train players to try to play multiparters in order.

I brought this up last time Mark.. But I will again.

The problem is not that players don't want play them in order, is that not all players *Most of mine* can play them in order...

Life gets in the way.

They have a Class to go to.

They have to pick up their Kids.

Life in general happens.

It seems to me people think that players make a decision not to play them in order, which just is not the case.

Players Can't always play them in order, and you can try to "train" them all you want, it won't change any of that, but it will punish them and make it more difficult to schedule them because my players won't want to play them.

That is why I am not a fan of these Boons, not because it now makes me have to play them in order, but because most people I know who missed a part it is because of a situation they had no control over or was more important then playing PFS that day.

It seems you are trying to fix a problem that does not exist in my experience at least. I have never heard a player say, "Nah I hate playing multi part scenarios in a row, I think I will skip this so I make sure it does not happen."

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Grolloc wrote:
So effectively these cannot be played out of order, and have to be scheduled at either cons or multi-session game days.

Why can't you schedule them for a single session monthly game day? One month you schedule part 1, the next you schedule part 2? The players can choose to play the same character for 1 and 2 or not and whether or not to play in between game days.

*****

Mark Moreland wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
For this specific scenario, if raise dead isn't an ability the party possesses, is it assumed that the PC has to travel back to the material plane to get raised? Does that force them to lose out on the boon since they must purchase spell casting services?
A PC could buy a scroll of raise dead just in case before departing on this mission (which is reasonable by 7th level) or just buy a 5,000 gp diamond to keep on-hand if you are playing with a cleric of 9th level or higher. In any case, a PC who needs to be raised and who can't have such an effect be taken care of by the party on hand must return to Absalom to get it done and would sacrifice the boon in the process (which seems a small price to pay to get to play Part II at all considering the alternative).

scribbles notes to keep herself alive this weekend

Paizo Employee ** Developer

hogarth wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
You could always schedule multi-part scenarios like you would a module. Block a 8-10 hour slot off for them.
My suggestion would be to just publish these type of scenarios as special "double-size" scenarios to begin with (using the module rules as a starting point, e.g.).

That's an idea Mike and I discussed and there are a number of reasons that it's not something we want to implement. We announce scenarios 4–6 months ahead of time, and both players and GMs should have plenty of opportunities to plan when they will offer or play a given multiparter, even when released over the course of two or more months.

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

Kyle Baird wrote:
Grolloc wrote:
So effectively these cannot be played out of order, and have to be scheduled at either cons or multi-session game days.
Why can't you schedule them for a single session monthly game day? One month you schedule part 1, the next you schedule part 2? The players can choose to play the same character for 1 and 2 or not and whether or not to play in between game days.

I know I don't have extra 7-11's lying around just waiting to not play for a month. You can't get the boon is you play any other scenario/module between parts. The whole point of a worldwide linked campaign is that you can go somewhere else and play if the opportunity arises, and this kills the opportunity. I'm trying to encourage players to travel to other lodges, and this gives them a darn good reason NOT to play between months.


I can understand the problems that life can sometimes throw in the way when trying to complete the multi-part arcs, or when trying to game in general, but I have never liked that some of the earlier multi-parters could be played out of order to begin with, other than the final part having to come last, and do not understand why someone would want to play them out of order in the first place. I would like to see all mult-part arcs retroactively changed to being required to be played in order, but not to having the players locked into that arc until it is finished. I think with a two-part arc, like this new one, locking a character into it til it is finished for the extra reward is fine, but do not do this with longer arcs. You could also just limit the release of multi-part arcs to summer releases, when you are publishing four extra scenarios to begin with. That way, the two parts of a two-part arc could be released at basically the same time and the four parts of a four-part arc could all be released with a two month window, rather than over the span of four months at one part a month.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Grolloc wrote:
So effectively these cannot be played out of order, and have to be scheduled at either cons or multi-session game days.

I think you are bordering on a strawman here. This system rewards players who can play in both consecutively, which can also be very challenging. It rewards those who can commit to the in-character dynamic. There is no penalty for those who cannot, unless, of course, a player sees not being able to obtain every reward possible is a "penalty."

Naturally, life gets in the way for all sorts of gaming situations, but that is going to happen regardless.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

I just want to point out that the scenarios can totally be played independently, out or order, or by different PCs. Each is a standalone adventure with a conclusion that awards a Chronicle sheet complete with wealth, XP, item access, and prestige. No one playing them out of order or non-consecutively is punished or misses out on anything they would normally expect for 4 hours of their time and putting their PC at risk.

The intention of these is trying to reward those people who put in the extra effort to play them in order, or to play them back to back at a convention, all-day game day, or in a private game. Since we started offering convention-based special rewards, many people asked for something special that wasn't limited to players or GMs who could afford to attend conventions. This is a response to that: a special reward that isn't a gimme (maintaining its special nature) but that anyone can get in the right circumstances, requiring no additional cost than playing two completely unrelated scenarios.

As I said upthread, I encourage folks to offer these with the explanation of how they work as a long-form story arc and then report back with the results and your players' responses after they've been run.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

I've noticed that two people in this thread have said, "Now I have to play these two in order."

You do not have to play these two in order. There is an additional reward if you are able and willing to do so.

With respect, a boon on a chronicle sheet does not mean that you are entitled to that boon, in the same way as loot or prestige does not mean that you are entitled to that loot or prestige.

Didn't search a room? You missed that item. No one in your party has Sleight of Hand? You miss that faction mission. Can't make it to next month's session? You miss that boon. Ah well, such is life.

[Edit: Sniped by two people, both of whom said it more diplomatically than I.]

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

This is how I see it and my players, and this is why I am posting my concern.

A Boon is a reward, You lose out of that reward if you don't play them in order, many of my players cannot always play them in order so they will skip out of playing them just to hold off for that chance I will run them again when they can play them in order, that leads to a chain reaction where it makes it hard to schedule because players are opting out, want to opt out, whine to me...etc.

This makes it hard for me to schedule them.

You can say it is a reward, but they really are seeing it as a punishment for having more important things to do then play PFS *Life*.

I know that is not how you are advertising them, but that is how they are seen.

I prefer the Quest for perfection method, get the boon for playing all parts no matter what order you play them in, more of my players are then willing to play them.

Edit: In other words, I don't want to see a lot of these in a season, because they are harder to schedule then ones that are not written like these.

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragnmoon wrote:

This is how I see it and my players, and this is why I am posting my concern.

A Boon is a reward, You lose out of that reward if you don't play them in order, many of my players cannot always play them in order so they will skip out of playing them just to hold off for that chance I will run them again when they can play them in order, that leads to a chain reaction where it makes it hard to schedule because players are opting out, want to opt out, whine to me...etc.

This makes it hard for me to schedule them.

You can say it is a reward, but they really are seeing it as a punishment for having more important things to do then play PFS *Life*.

I know that is not how you are advertising them, but that is how they are seen.

I prefer the Quest for perfection method, get the boon for playing all parts no matter what order you play them in, more of my players are then willing to play them.

If you and your group chooses to look at this as a negative thing, that is something that tends to be a common thread of your area as almost any change is met with it being a negative thing specific to your group and therefore should change, despite it being a positive thing overall. Most people look at this as a positive and respond as such.

M&M cannot look specific to your group to make their choices and there are going to be some things that are going to take an adjustment. Everyone has to work around these changes, not just you.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

Dragnmoon wrote:
You can say it is a reward, but they really are seeing it as a punishment for having more important things to do then play PFS *Life*.

I can see your point. Let me offer a counterargument in the form of an over-exaggerated analogy:

Earning 100% on an exam is a reward for studying long and hard. It's not fair if I don't get 100% on an exam because I had other things to do than study 24/7 for the three weeks leading up to the exam.

The problem (and to be clear, it's only a "problem" from my perspective) is with your player's attitudes. If they choose to see anything that is offered to them not as a reward, but rather as something that they're entitled to, then they're never going to be happy anyway.

My attitude towards scheduling is pretty autocratic. I choose what runs at the FLGS I coordinate, and then run it or find a GM to do so. If people don't sign up or don't show up, then it doesn't run. And if that happens... well, meh. I get the night off. Does it make me happy? Not really. But it's not as stressful as trying to keep every player happy all the time.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

We were asked on our thoughts, so that is what I am doing. Of course I can't say this is the same for everyone, but I can say it is for us. Those that are not witnessing the same could be in the majority or minority, they won't know unless we post about it, so disputing my experience is less helpful then posting your own.

I am willing to take advice on helping this, but I have yet to see any I have not tried, or would not work for us.

Edit:

I think it is reasonable to be upset on missing out of something that is enjoyable to have *Boon*, especially when it is something they lose out of because of something out of their control.

I am not saying it is the end of the world because of these, it just makes it harder to schedule because everyone wants me to wait until everyone can play them in order which is a nightmare to schedule just perfect.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I just want to post a bit of sympathy for folks like Grolloc. Although I see this blog's topic as a good thing, I can certainly feel for those who see a benefit arriving which they're personally unable to claim.

*****

Dragnmoon wrote:

We were asked on our thoughts, so that is what I am doing. Of course I can't say this is the same for everyone, but I can say it is for us. Those that are not witnessing the same could be in the majority or minority, they won't know unless we post about it, so disputing my experience is less helpful then posting your own.

I am willing to take advice on helping this, but I have yet to see any I have not tried, or would not work for us.

Edit:

I think it is reasonable to be upset on missing out of something that is enjoyable to have *Boon*, especially when it is something they lose out of because of something out of their control.

I am not saying it is the end of the world because of these, it just makes it harder to schedule because everyone wants me to wait until everyone can play them in order which is a nightmare to schedule just perfect.

Sorry ... chalk it up as a reaction to yet another "dire consequences this should be changed" post by you on a another rules/game change.

My opinion

I think it's a good idea ... it doesn't hurt people to have a higher level character locked down for a couple of games, they can take the time to play another character.. or in this case they are given the option so they can choose to lock the character down or not.

It'll be interesting to see what the majority of people choose in different areas.

***** Venture-Captain, New Jersey aka Shivok

Jeff Mahood wrote:
My attitude towards scheduling is pretty autocratic. I choose what runs at the FLGS I coordinate, and then run it or find a GM to do so. If people don't sign up or don't show up, then it doesn't run. And if that happens... well, meh. I get the night off. Does it make me happy? Not really. But it's not as stressful as trying to keep every player happy all the time.

Same here.

Silver Crusade **

Personally, this makes me glad I didn't sign up to play part 1 at Oasis in two weeks, where part 2 isn't being played. When is part 2 going to become available?

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:
We were asked on our thoughts

Mark should have said, "Everyone except D'moon."

Dragnmoon wrote:
..something out of their control.

It's almost never completely out of their control. It's a matter of choices and priorities.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

Fromper wrote:
Personally, this makes me glad I didn't sign up to play part 1 at Oasis in two weeks, where part 2 isn't being played. When is part 2 going to become available?

Scheduled release date is the 30th of May.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Kyle Baird wrote:
It's almost never completely out of their control. It's a matter of choices and priorities.

So we are all aware, PFS, is more important to Kyle then Children, School, Work, Wives, etc..

So we should see more Gming from you then right? ;)

When are you visitng us to GM? I keep threating it to my players to get thier acts straight, but the threat won't last much longer if you don't atually come!

Luckily for me I don't have much that get in the way of PFS, but I am a rarity in my area.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
It's almost never completely out of their control. It's a matter of choices and priorities.

So we are all aware, PFS, is more important to Kyle then Children, School, Work, Wives, etc..

So we should see more Gming from you then right? ;)

I never said PFS was more important than my wife, but that doesn't make it out of my control. I'm choosing to drive to Iowa this weekend instead of helping at a garage sale which is earning the ire of my wife a bit. Choices.

Your players could choose to skip class and play, but chances are their priorities aren't such and that's perfectly okay! Not everyone can get to do everything and get every gold star in the world.

People need to stop feeling entitled to everything they want.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:
When are you visitng us to GM? I keep threating it to my players to get thier acts straight, but the threat won't last much longer if you don't atually come!

Maybe next year unless you're offering to pay for the flight. :)

*****

sits down with her gaming badger and watches

Silver Crusade ****

I don't see the loss of the tertiary bonus, a huge reason to get upset. I see it as more if you are able to, and I wasn't for Hao Jin Tapestry one. (I chose to GM for a group of players who showed up last minute instead, and missed my opportunity to play the sequel). That it's more power to you for being able to. I will someday play part 2 of snakes in the fold, but I will lose the extra hoo ha majigger. Not the end of the world...

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

So as a coordinator if I run these out of order, or with no info to the players that there is a restriction on these for the rewards, whether "entitled" or not, exactly how much trust do you think that leaves with players? My job as coordinator is to make sure my players have a good time, and this only makes my job harder through restrictive scheduling and planning.

For a normal boon on a chronicle I totally agree: No one is entitled to any reward from a scenario, but these series modules which now have publicly stated rewards and restrictions to get those rewards. Players don't know (or aren't supposed to) about specific boons on single scenarios, but they have to know these because there is advanced planning involved. If it's on a chronicle and they missed or screwed up they are disappointed, but if it's on there and they can't get it because I schedule screwed them, or didn't warn them about play restrictions, heads will roll.

A publicly stated reward is no longer a gift, it is a goal. Making it harder to reach that goal may even make it worth more to the players, but harder on the people who make it happen, GMs and coordinators.

As a player, I know with limited playtime I will never see this, and that already leaves me with a bad impression of the series. It could be the best story ever, but all I see is missed opportunity before I even get dragged out of bed for a mission briefing.

*****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Grolloc wrote:

So as a coordinator if I run these out of order, or with no info to the players that there is a restriction on these for the rewards, whether "entitled" or not, exactly how much trust do you think that leaves with players? My job as coordinator is to make sure my players have a good time, and this only makes my job harder through restrictive scheduling and planning.

For a normal boon on a chronicle I totally agree: No one is entitled to any reward from a scenario, but these series modules which now have publicly stated rewards and restrictions to get those rewards. Players don't know (or aren't supposed to) about specific boons on single scenarios, but they have to know these because there is advanced planning involved. If it's on a chronicle and they missed or screwed up they are disappointed, but if it's on there and they can't get it because I schedule screwed them, or didn't warn them about play restrictions, heads will roll.

A publicly stated reward is no longer a gift, it is a goal. Making it harder to reach that goal may even make it worth more to the players, but harder on the people who make it happen, GMs and coordinators.

As a player, I know with limited playtime I will never see this, and that already leaves me with a bad impression of the series. It could be the best story ever, but all I see is missed opportunity before I even get dragged out of bed for a mission briefing.

Noone is saying to not tell your players that there is a boon for playing them all together ... that was a small leaping conclusion there lol

Also I'd like to point out that no where in the defination of coordinator does it say "doormat". Your players are adults (or should be) and as such know how to wheedle with the best of them to try and get their way. There is no reason you can't just state that way X is the way it's going to be from now on to make things as simple as possible. If they don't like it, tough, they can either pull up their big boy panties and deal with it or move on to another game day.

If someone is going to act like a child I don't want them at my gameday or my gaming table that much anyway.

Yes, my stance is harsh.. but people have to realize that coordinators are gamers too and aren't there to be walked all over.

****

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Mark Moreland wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
For this specific scenario, if raise dead isn't an ability the party possesses, is it assumed that the PC has to travel back to the material plane to get raised? Does that force them to lose out on the boon since they must purchase spell casting services?
A PC could buy a scroll of raise dead just in case before departing on this mission (which is reasonable by 7th level) or just buy a 5,000 gp diamond to keep on-hand if you are playing with a cleric of 9th level or higher. In any case, a PC who needs to be raised and who can't have such an effect be taken care of by the party on hand must return to Absalom to get it done and would sacrifice the boon in the process (which seems a small price to pay to get to play Part II at all considering the alternative).

If a character dies and needs to go back to town to be raised, does that force a choice of: someone else in the party must carry them back, themselves forgoing the chance at the boon vs. the dead person must pay the (additional) 5 PP to have their body recovered?

On a different note, if there are additional restrictions placed on getting the boon beyond just playing them back to back, please note this in the scenario description; I'm talking specifically about being stuck "in scenario" and not being able to purchase spellcasting services, perform day job checks, etc. DMs/coordinators should not have to dig into the scenario to provide the up front info to potential players that you are asking them to do.

Along those same lines, if a player does choose to stay "in scenario" and they then miss the chance to player the subsequent part, can they opt out at that point? If not then there is the real potential of making a character unplayable until the local coordinator decides to reschedule that scenario (if ever).

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

With respect to those who are arguing that characters who play out of sequence or with interruption are still getting everything they might normally be expected to get: it doesn't feel that way. There's a reward on your Chronicle that's scratched out, like loot you didn't find.

I liked the way things went in "Quest for Perfection". There was a push for completing all three scenarios, but characters weren't hamstrung.

My paladin PC played through "Dog Pharaoh's Tomb" at a convention in January. As soon as I received the Chronicle sheet, I knew that I was going to have to forgo something. The next day, I had a choice between (a) playing that PC through an adventure before completing the two-scenario sequence, or else (b) leaving another table in the lurch. I chose (a), knowing that I was sacrificing something. (What was the reward for playing through both parts consecutively? I didn't know, but another GM assured me that it was "really worth it!") The specialized awards as they're currently lined up reward players for taking their PCs out of play for a while, and they do so unpredictably. In this case, the rewards would have encouraged me to leave the other table one PC short.

It seems that Mark is eager to push ahead on this policy, and I'm learning that by the time these issues hit the general forums, there's not a lot of sway we have. So, here are my suggestions to minimize the problems.

1) Even though it's a little more paper, I would offer the "you played there in order / consecutively / without going back to Absalon / whatever" sheet as a separate Chronicle sheet. So, rather than "here's a record of the boon you don't get", we get one sheet, and the folks completing the special requirement get two.

2) Make it predictable, so players can make an informed decision. Right now, a player can sit down at a table for "Snakes in the Fold", not having played "Dog Pharaoh's Tomb", and get hosed (no special reward for you, ever) without realizing that she's done anything wrong. (Just bad luck.) Starting "Rats of Round Mountain I" with a character who has to go back to civilization afterwards (say, he earns a new experience level) is likewise hosed, and has no reason to expect that until the Chronicle sheets are handed out.

(If they'd played other multi-part scenarios, they might well have come to expect that there would be no difficulty.)

Silver Crusade

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Entitlement sure sounds loud.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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What's your point, Winter Born?

**

Andrew Christian wrote:
So if I had anything to say on it (and I know this isn’t possible cause you want to give a mix of levels every month) multiparters would ideally be published in the same month.

+1.

I think you try to release different tiered scenarios each month. Even so, I think it would be better to release a two part arc in the same month.

Also, if scheduling multi-part scenarios was such an easy thing to pull off, we would have them at GenCon.

I think I may hold off on playing the Sundered Path pair until U-Con. I'm sure they will be scheduled back-to-back and hopefully Kyle will GM. But then again, Kyle may kill my character in the Special at GenCon anyway.

-Swiftbrook

Andoran *****

Why would you have to go back to town just because you level?

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

I don't know that it's unpredictable. It does say in the scenario description for both of those multi-part scenarios that they are intended to be played in order.

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