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Introducing the Core Campaign

Monday, January 26, 2015


Illustration by Grafit Studio

As the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign and the Pathfinder RPG itself has developed over the last several years, players have expressed increasing concerns about the availability of replay, new players being overwhelmed or overshadowed by over-optimized characters, Chronicle sheet rewards not having much meaning, and other concerns related to the sheer amount of information and options available to PFS players. With the help of our dedicated venture-captains, the team here at Paizo has developed a solution designed to solve all of these problems—and more. We call this solution the Core Campaign, a new mode of PFS play that utilizes all of the campaign's current scenarios and resources—only with a significantly lower barrier to entry. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The current Pathfinder Society campaign remains unchanged with use of all of Additional Resources. It is still named Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The new option will be titled Pathfinder Society Core Campaign. Both campaign "modes" use the same scenarios, modules, and other sanctioned adventure resources.
  • Every new and veteran player may participate in both the current and Core Campaign at the same time.
  • For players participating in the Core Campaign, only the Core Rulebook, Character Traits Web Enhancement, and Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play may be utilized for character creation.
  • At no time may any trait, feat, equipment, magic item, skill, animal companion, familiar, or any other character option come from a source beyond these three resources unless it appears on a Chronicle sheet. Race boons found on Chronicle sheets may not be used in the Core Campaign.
  • If an item appears on a Chronicle sheet, a PC may purchase and use it regardless of the book it comes from, with the exception of a boon that opens up a different character race.
  • Just like in the current campaign, a player may receive credit once for playing and once for GMing a scenario in the Core Campaign; this credit is independent of player and GM credit in the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign. This means a player can play once in each of the two campaigns and GM for credit once in each of the campaigns (four credits total, two per campaign), not including any limited replay opportunities established in the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.
  • At any point a player wants to transition their character from the Core Campaign to the existing campaign, they may do so. However, they may not bring that character back to the Core Campaign. As set forth in the current rules, a character may not have two of the same Chronicle sheet assigned to him, regardless of whether it was earned in the Core or existing campaign.

  • Illustration by
    Jason Rainville
  • GMs may utilize whatever books a scenario, module, quest, Adventure Path, or other sanctioned adventure utilizes.
  • The Core Campaign offers limited replay opportunities for players who have already experienced an adventure in the standard campaign. There have been comments that veteran players have limited opportunities to play with new players and "show them the ropes." Opening up every adventure for replay an additional time allows for veteran players to play a scenario with a new player and still receive credit.
  • This initative allows for an immediate influx of four new play opportunities every month—two new senarios playable in the existing campaign and the same two scenarios avalable for play in the Core Campaign.
  • Game mechanics outside of the Core Rulebook, such as reposition and dirty trick, are not allowed unless a Chronicle sheet specifically opens it as a character option.
  • Retraining may be utilized as the rules currently allow, but only when a PC retrains to take an option from one of the allowed Core Campaign resources.
  • GMs will receive star credit for GMing a game, regardless of whether it was an existing campaign or Core Campaign game.
  • If a Core Rulebook option advises that something found in the Core Rulebook is clarified in the Bestiary 1, then the player uses that specific option out of the Bestiary 1 to meet the requirement set forth in the Core Rulebook. That would include, but is not limited to, animal companions, special abilities, summon spells, etc... Only the Bestiary 1 is available for these extra options outside of the Core Rulebook.

The next question I think people will ask is: when we will be able to start playing games in the Core Campaign? We're planning to have this system publicly available and ready for you to use later this week! When creating a new event, the new system will allow you to select if a scenario is being run in the existing campaign, Core Campaign, or both (for multiple tables of the same adventure). Likewise, when reporting data from completed sessions, the system allows the person entering data to choose to report which campaign the session was run in.

We hope that this new initiative, along with the new faction journal cards highlighted in last week's blog, will bring an exciting new energy to the campaign on a global scale. I look forward to reading thoughts about the new Core Campaign and how it will help your local Pathfinder Society community.

Mike Brock
Global Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Grafit Studio Jason Rainville Pathfinder Society
1,001 to 1,041 of 1,041 << first < prev | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | next > last >>
*

"Race boons found on Chronicle sheets may not be used in the Core Campaign."

What about other chronicle/sheet based awards?

Specifically, can a certain (non-Core) Eyes boon be used to create a new Core character?

*****

As I understand it if a boon is earned in a Core Game it can be used. So if you complete the Eyes of the Ten in Core Mode you could apply that boon to a new Core character.

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Byakko wrote:

"Race boons found on Chronicle sheets may not be used in the Core Campaign."

What about other chronicle/sheet based awards?

Specifically, can a certain (non-Core) Eyes boon be used to create a new Core character?

Boons are now campaign specific. Anything that is on the chronicle sheet of a scenario or module that was played in non-Core cannot be applied to a Core character.

So, in answer to your final question, no, that boon could not be applied to a character in a different campaign.

Freestanding boons however, such as convention boons and the like, can be applied to Core characters, provided they are not race boons.

Currently, no race boons are legal in Core.

Hope that helps!

**

If one of the major issues was burn out or replayability, such as players (several in my area) who have played/run pretty much anything but the newest scenario this month, then a better solution is this:

Any chronicles applied to a level 12+ character are available for replay.

This opens up scenarios to players after the character who also has that same chronicle is "Retired".

Should be easy to add a button to the character reporting to do this.

*** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

andreww wrote:
As I understand it if a boon is earned in a Core Game it can be used. So if you complete the Eyes of the Ten in Core Mode you could apply that boon to a new Core character.

How long do you think it will be before the first Core "Eyes of the Ten" game is reported? With Emerald Spire, I'm sure there are people power-leveling Core characters, and they could be ready in just a couple of months.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Captain, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

Has someone collected Mike's rulings in one post? I hope they all make it into the next Guide to OP.

Mike

*****

Joseph Kellogg wrote:
andreww wrote:
As I understand it if a boon is earned in a Core Game it can be used. So if you complete the Eyes of the Ten in Core Mode you could apply that boon to a new Core character.
How long do you think it will be before the first Core "Eyes of the Ten" game is reported? With Emerald Spire, I'm sure there are people power-leveling Core characters, and they could be ready in just a couple of months.

There is an online group doing just this right now.

**

Just wanted to 'chime in' and say that I really like the idea of Core and it will be really useful getting back into the game as both a player and GM.

Although mechanics are sometimes fun to tinker with, the best games I've ever had have absolutely nothing to do with the mechanics.

****

Joseph Kellogg wrote:
How long do you think it will be before the first Core "Eyes of the Ten" game is reported? With Emerald Spire, I'm sure there are people power-leveling Core characters, and they could be ready in just a couple of months.

I've heard rumors of people marathoning Core characters through the Spire. No idea if running Eyes of the Ten was a motivation behind it.

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

We aren't marathoning Spire, but just playing and GMing at our weekly game nights, I already have a level 7 and level 6 in Core, as well as a level 1 that's an experience shy of 2.

I'm expecting to run Eyes for our Core guys some time this summer.

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

Qstor wrote:

Has someone collected Mike's rulings in one post? I hope they all make it into the next Guide to OP.

Mike

I have the three blogs in one file but nothing else at the moment. Yes, core will be in the next guide.

Lantern Lodge

The Fourth Horseman wrote:

TBH, I'm concerned about this.

How many players and GMs are going to walk away from regular PFS to play and run in Core Campaign?

We don't know what the overall effect will be, but I am concerned about Paizo possibly splitting the player and GM base. I guess we'll see.

I agree with death here's assessment, especially with core and non-core characters not being allowed to mix. This is both in my own opinion as a novice player...and from what i have witnessed at our society event.

Core practically killed our PFS. It very much alienated both the older hats and the new players. We used to have enough people that we oft had to go to three tables...sometimes four. But ever since they tried instituting core, we've barely had one table if that much, and the core games were as barren as a desert...could see tumbleweed blowing around the store.

This honestly feels like a poorly thought out gimmick rather than a fun new experience.

I would have enjoyed it more if the restriction on replaying scenarios was lifted some. perhaps a time limit, or requiring each playthrough be with different characters?

(ps) I call BS on you guys claiming that you couldn't work a simple way to allow gm's to report mixed groups. I have a little bit of programming knowledge and I can't imagine it would have been that hard to modify.

**

spartanfury1 wrote:
Core practically killed our PFS. It very much alienated both the older hats and the new players. We used to have enough people that we oft had to go to three tables...sometimes four. But ever since they tried instituting core, we've barely had one table if that much, and the core games were as barren as a desert...could see tumbleweed blowing around the store.

The problem I see is that communities trying to introduce too many core tables. Should only be 10-25% of tables, max. So in your case, 1 core table every 2-4 weeks.

Instead it seems like 50% of the tables at some events are core. This will fracture the player base similar to what would happen with a new edition of Pathfinder.

Core is a great idea but it's not being implemented very well.

If it's a problem for your store events, just ignore Core, or reduce it to 1 table every 2-4 weeks.


spartanfury1 wrote:
Core practically killed our PFS. It very much alienated both the older hats and the new players. We used to have enough people that we oft had to go to three tables...sometimes four. But ever since they tried instituting core, we've barely had one table if that much, and the core games were as barren as a desert...could see tumbleweed blowing around the store.

How? Why? Can you elaborate?

*****

If this is the case, your organizers need to adapt to the community's wishes. No one has to run Core tables, especially if no one wants them. But I fail to see how you are only mustering 1/3 to 1/4 of your usual numbers by doing this... there must be other factors at play.

Lantern Lodge

Jason S wrote:
spartanfury1 wrote:
Core practically killed our PFS. It very much alienated both the older hats and the new players. We used to have enough people that we oft had to go to three tables...sometimes four. But ever since they tried instituting core, we've barely had one table if that much, and the core games were as barren as a desert...could see tumbleweed blowing around the store.

The problem I see is that communities trying to introduce too many core tables. Should only be 10-25% of tables, max. So in your case, 1 core table every 2-4 weeks.

Instead it seems like 50% of the tables at some events are core. This will fracture the player base similar to what would happen with a new edition of Pathfinder.

Core is a great idea but it's not being implemented very well.

If it's a problem for your store events, just ignore Core, or reduce it to 1 table every 2-4 weeks.

1 table every 2-4 weeks was all that was implemented jason. Our gm has since decided to drop it all together...but the damage has been done.

Caps...no i cannot. I do not know the reason or the why...only that the instant it was implemented everything crashed.

Lamplighter, they have since been dropped. And while it is very possible that other factors are at play, I can not know them or if they had any effect on the attendance.

It still feels...gimmicky to me in any case, regardless of issues with people playing it

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Bummer to hear, Spartan! Core's been just another flavor of whats available in our area. Our play group has oscillated around the same number of participants (~25) that make it to somewhere between 1 and 3 of our weekly game nights. On any given nights we typically have 3 tables, and the introduction of Core hasn't change this.

All we've seen is a trend where people that previously didn't try PFS decide to start with Core. At least a half dozen people have joined our community in the last couple months since Core went live.

I agree with what Lamplighter said above. If the population has died off so abruptly, there are likely other factors present. It doesn't make sense to me that an area with consistently 3+ tables on game night would die out because 1 table of Core was added. If anything, you would lose one table. Given no further data, I'd optimistically chalk it up to this period of the year where people focus more on school (finals week where I am), getting ready for the summer and travel, or finding a new place to live. However, I do live in an area with a large ratio of students to population (more than 1 in 2 people here is a college student--19k students out of 32k people).

Since you are definitely concerned with the state of PFS in your area, I'd advise communicating with the coordinators and see if they can track what caused PFS play to die out. If it was Core, what caused it to fail? The implementation? The system? The support? At the end of the day, even if I like Core (and I do), if it's hurting the community we need to figure out why. Hopefully its something like implementation or support, which can more easily be addressed than the system itself.

Grand Lodge *

Michael Brock wrote:
andreww wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
You can assign Core Chronicle GM sheets to a core character only. However, that character can then be switched to a normal mode character, So, you could GM 12 Core mode games, assign them all to a Core mode character, and then switch that Core mode character over to normal mode and go from there. Granted you wouldn't be able to assign him future Core mode chronicles, but it is an option.

That does raise a GM credit baby question.

Lets say that I have those 12 chronicles on my nebulous GM character. He is technically level 5 but I haven't built him yet. Can I decide to switch him to non core at the point I build the actual character and make, say, a Magus or do I have to wait until he has played a non Core game before he can use non Core options?

You have to make a Core character with those Core Chronicles. You can't apply 12 Chronicles to a GM baby and then make a Magus from it.

Can you go into detail on this? He hasn't played a game yet so he should be able to retrain it. If he wants to drop Core and play a magus, why wouldn't he be able to retrain into a magus?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Because you must build a legal character when rebuilding, and Mike is saying you cannot rebuild the character AFTER he switches to Normal campaign, only before.

I understand the new guide will have some clarifying text about the Core campaign.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Could I play a PreGen in a Core Game, then apply the Credit to a Non-Core PC?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

No, as it still has to be reported with the other Core characters. You can probably convert him to Normal afterwards, but then can no longer apply Core credits from pregens.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, if I play a Pregen, apply the credit to a 0XP PC, then decide to convert the PC to Non-Core, I lose the XP?

*****

blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, if I play a Pregen, apply the credit to a 0XP PC, then decide to convert the PC to Non-Core, I lose the XP?

I don't believe so.


You don't lose the XP, but it's possible that you can't use it to take non-core options. You definitely could use the XP to make a Core human barbarian and then play him in a non-Core game, and later take non-core options.

I think the argument is that you couldn't take the Core XP and make a magus, for example. It's not entirely clear. The above example references a GM baby with 12 credits. It might be that a character with Core credit could use the 1st level rebuild rules to switch to a non-core class/race/whatever.

The normal rule, as I understand it, is that even with pregen or GM credit, you apply them in order and once you take a non-core option or apply non-core credit, you can't apply any further core credit.

*****

thejeff wrote:
I think the argument is that you couldn't take the Core XP and make a magus, for example. It's not entirely clear. The above example references a GM baby with 12 credits. It might be that a character with Core credit could use the 1st level rebuild rules to switch to a non-core class/race/whatever.

This you definitely cannot do. I asked exactly this question somewhere in this thread I think and Mike confirmed that Core GM credit babies must be created as core characters. They can later take non core options or retrain into them if they leave the core campaign but you cant just start up a Magus or something with a pile of Core credit.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Captain, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

thejeff wrote:
I think the argument is that you couldn't take the Core XP and make a magus, for example.

I'm playing an adventure path (non PFS parts but for PFS credit) with my only Core character who hasn't finished. After the 1st part he'll be level two. So for part 2 of the AP if the chronicle which I'm assuming it is, is for HIGHER than level 2...I CAN'T apply the chronicle to a NON Core PC? I have to wait to level the character or apply it to a different new CORE PC?

Just wondering....


andreww wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I think the argument is that you couldn't take the Core XP and make a magus, for example. It's not entirely clear. The above example references a GM baby with 12 credits. It might be that a character with Core credit could use the 1st level rebuild rules to switch to a non-core class/race/whatever.
This you definitely cannot do. I asked exactly this question somewhere in this thread I think and Mike confirmed that Core GM credit babies must be created as core characters. They can later take non core options or retrain into them if they leave the core campaign but you cant just start up a Magus or something with a pile of Core credit.

Yeah. That I agree with. It's the using 1 or 2 Core credits, then the 1st level rebuild to take non-Core options, that I'm not sure of.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

thejeff wrote:
Yeah. That I agree with. It's the using 1 or 2 Core credits, then the 1st level rebuild to take non-Core options, that I'm not sure of.

Probably the best way to do that is take your 2 Core credits, then play a Normal scenario for your third credit. That would allow you to rebuild to a non-Core option before playing at 2nd level.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Qstor wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I think the argument is that you couldn't take the Core XP and make a magus, for example.

I'm playing an adventure path (non PFS parts but for PFS credit) with my only Core character who hasn't finished. After the 1st part he'll be level two. So for part 2 of the AP if the chronicle which I'm assuming it is, is for HIGHER than level 2...I CAN'T apply the chronicle to a NON Core PC? I have to wait to level the character or apply it to a different new CORE PC?

Just wondering....

Not quite sure I understand your post. Let me see if I am understanding, first:

Playing an AP in Campaign Mode, so using non-PFS PCs, although the PCs were built on the same rules as a PFS Core PC?

Applying the AP Chronicles to a Core PFS PC?

And your Core PC won't be high enough to have played the section, below the lowest level on the chronicle sheet?

You can still attach the credit to him, he just won't be able to apply it until he reaches the lowest level on the Chronicle.

If your group has agreed to apply the chronicles for the AP in Core mode, then you definitely don't want to give the coordinator/GM/reporter the number for a non-Core PC, as that could, if they aren't paying attention, cause all the PCs reported to no longer be Core.

Terminology:
Attach: Assign a chronicle to a PC who is not high enough level to be able to have played the session, without switching it to a first level modification.
Apply: When the gp, XP, PP, item list, and boons become available to the PC, as he is now high enough level to have played the game.
Core: PFS mode where little more than the CRB is legal to use for PCs without chronicle access.
Standard: Regular PFS, but moving a PC to STandard form COre is (usually) a one-way street.
Campaign or Home Game mode: Playing the entirety of an AP or 64 page module with a single set of non-PFS PCs, including both sanctioned and non-sanctioned material, with character creation rules as determined by the GM, rather than PFS. In this mode, chronicles for each completed sanctioned section can be applied to a PFS PC, either Standard or Core, as long as all PCs belong to the same PFS sub-campaign.

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka UndeadMitch

Qstor wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I think the argument is that you couldn't take the Core XP and make a magus, for example.

I'm playing an adventure path (non PFS parts but for PFS credit) with my only Core character who hasn't finished. After the 1st part he'll be level two. So for part 2 of the AP if the chronicle which I'm assuming it is, is for HIGHER than level 2...I CAN'T apply the chronicle to a NON Core PC? I have to wait to level the character or apply it to a different new CORE PC?

Just wondering....

This is how I understand it:

If you're running / playing an AP, you can get it as core credit only if the entire table takes core credit. Half the table cannot take core credit while the rest take classic credit.

If everyone is applying the AP credit to core characters, you must apply it to a core character.

If you don't have a character in the correct level range you can either assign it to an existing character to be applied at the correct level, or apply it to a level one character (for reduced gold, of course).

So to answer your question, no, you cannot apply the chronicle to a non-core character. You have to either assign it to a character to be applied at the correct level, or apply it to a level one character. This is, of course, assuming that everyone at the table is applying to core characters. If people aren't all applying to core characters, then none of you can apply to core characters.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Captain, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

UndeadMitch wrote:


So to answer your question, no, you cannot apply the chronicle to a non-core character. You have to either assign it to a character to be applied at the correct level, or apply it to a level one character. This is, of course, assuming that everyone at the table is applying to core characters. If people aren't all applying to core characters, then none of you can apply to core characters.

That's what I thought..I'll have to "hold" the chronicle to my Core PC later on.

Dark Archive

If I play a Core PFS scenario with a pregen character, can I apply the chronicle sheet in a non-Core PFS character?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

No, as the table has to be reported as Core together. You can't report one character as Core and one as Normal in the same session.

Dark Archive

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Yeah. That I agree with. It's the using 1 or 2 Core credits, then the 1st level rebuild to take non-Core options, that I'm not sure of.
Probably the best way to do that is take your 2 Core credits, then play a Normal scenario for your third credit. That would allow you to rebuild to a non-Core option before playing at 2nd level.

Is this PFS legal?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

You can always play your Core character in a Normal scenario. It then becomes a Normal campaign character and can never return to the Core campaign. You must be able to play the Normal scenario (have not previously played in Normal with another character) and after completing the session you may rebuild before playing the next scenario.

The Exchange **

This blog post is obsolete. The revised rules for the Core Campaign are in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide (page 20).

Most of the revised Core Campaign rules are the same as the rules in this blog post.

http://paizo.com/products/btpy84k4

Sovereign Court ****

Revised Core Campaign rules

Scarab Sages ****

nightdeath wrote:
Revised Core Campaign rules

any major changes?


The Wayfinder was in the Pathfinder Society Guild Guide v7 but it's not in v8. So if you strictly apply the rules it seems that new characters in v8 cannot buy a Wayfinder without a chronicle that opens that choice because of the core campaign Limited Resources rule. If Wayfinder is allowed due to its being listed in the Always Available Items rule due to it specifically being listed, one could argue that the same logic should open up the additional deities and all those rules in the "6. Religion" rule and other areas in the RGG that list other sources by name; and it's pretty clear that the purpose of Core Campaign is to restrict all these sources.

Can I have an official ruling on this one way or the other for new characters for Core Campaign season 8?


I saw an official post in another thread that mostly cleared it up. It said the missing Wayfinder in v8 was an editing omission. It didn't say that it was an omission in error, and that is should still be considered legal, but I think that was the intent of the post. It did say that a future version will have it restored.

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