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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 to 50 of 1,039 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
**** Venture-Agent

One question is will you need to have a group all playing in one mode or the other?

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

Finally! Been waiting for this to go live for months...

David Neilson wrote:
One question is will you need to have a group all playing in one mode or the other?

The entire table must be Core-only to play Core and vice versa.

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

OK, the obvious question: can characters of Core Campaign and regular PFS sit at the same table to play?

EDIT: Ninja'd!

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

5 people marked this as a favorite.
David Neilson wrote:
One question is will you need to have a group all playing in one mode or the other?

They all have to play either Core or existing mode.

Lantern Lodge ***** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 aka Black Powder Chocobo

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Huzzah for the news!

"Huzzah!"

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Huzzah! Glad to finally be able to share this! :)

My favorite things about the Core Campaign:

1 - Great for newer GMs who don't want to be buried with characters that have "stuff" from 40+ books.

2 - Great for newer players to RPGs/PFS who can also benefit from 1.

3 - A fantastic challenge for veteran players! Imagine some of the 5-9 and 7-11 scenarios that have come out over the last few years. Now imagine tackling them without "staple" items/feats/classes from books other than the Core! :)

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

8 people marked this as a favorite.
GM Lamplighter wrote:

OK, the obvious question: can characters of Core Campaign and regular PFS sit at the same table to play?

EDIT: Ninja'd!

No, the reporting system cant handle a mix. It was the only downside of this initiative and one I can live with.

Additionally, one of the goals of Core Campaign is to make running games easier for new GMs. A mixed table defeats the purpose of that goal.

Liberty's Edge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Glen Allen aka Slothsy

I'm extremely excited for this initiative and now have a Paladin of Abadar ready to roll!

**** Venture-Agent

I assumed as much, but I am glad to see I was not the only one unclear. I would be curious on what the decay rate of characters from Core Mode to Expanded Mode. Especially given that you have a roster of characters already using all the various options.

Also given that if you show up for game day with a Core character and everyone else is going Expanded there is the obvious temptation to just play even if it breaks the seal so to speak.

*****

I figured that would be the case. Means it will be a bit harder to accommodate players switching games at the last minute when a table collapses, so everyone should probably have a "Core only" character as a backup just in case. A non-Core PC can't just sit down because it would prevent any replay at that table.

Lantern Lodge ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting solution to the complaints of optimization and replay. Will be interested to see how it is received and used.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds interesting...

Ruyan.

*****

Another question: can we not start playing Core games yet, or can we just not report them yet?

Silver Crusade ****

Look forward to seing how this works out w/ scheduling. Hopefully Warhorn is ready to accommodate it.

I already have a Handling monk ready for play. :)

Grand Lodge

I hope not. I think that would be counter to the spirit and intent of the core idea.
Edit: I was responding to David Nielson's 1st post. (Geez you guys are quick!)

*****

Someone needs to type in all the scenario data AGAIN with "Core Campaign" appended to each title... glad I'm not doing *that* any more!

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Another question: can we not start playing Core yet, or can we just not report them yet?

I don't see any reason why you can't start playing today. However, the reporting system will not be updated to report Core games until later this week.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville aka mogmismo

21 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, Yes, a 1000 times, Yes. Now, who's up for playing Bonekeep with me with only Core characters?

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, Florida—Orlando aka Shane M.

Hooray!

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

Michael Tracey wrote:
Yes, Yes, a 1000 times, Yes. Now, who's up for playing Bonekeep with me with only Core characters?

You're an evil man!

****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Best. Announcement. Ever.

Liberty's Edge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Richard D Webb

Huzzah!

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

Awesome announcement! Looking forward to starting this new option as soon as possible.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Captain, Tennessee—East Tenessee

It says nothing can be used except from Core Rulebook, traits web enhancement, and guide to organized play ...
...
unless you get it on a chronicle sheet
...
So
...
If I get something on a chronicle sheet beyond those 3 resources and want to use it ... do I still have to have the book that goes with it?

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

Michael Tracey wrote:
Yes, Yes, a 1000 times, Yes. Now, who's up for playing Bonekeep with me with only Core characters?

Evil but has potential!!

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thea Peters wrote:

It says nothing can be used except from Core Rulebook, traits web enhancement, and guide to organized play ...

...
unless you get it on a chronicle sheet
...
So
...
If I get something on a chronicle sheet beyond those 3 resources and want to use it ... do I still have to have the book that goes with it?

Yes

**

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

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.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Captain, Tennessee—East Tenessee

Michael Brock wrote:
Thea Peters wrote:

It says nothing can be used except from Core Rulebook, traits web enhancement, and guide to organized play ...

...
unless you get it on a chronicle sheet
...
So
...
If I get something on a chronicle sheet beyond those 3 resources and want to use it ... do I still have to have the book that goes with it?
Yes

Danke

Scarab Sages **** Venture-Agent, Online

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very very cool! As a GM who has run every single scenario (as well as most of the modules and several of the APs), I was really hurting for material to run for credit. I've also played all but a handful so this will be a nice challenge to me to create core-only characters and replay some of my favorites!

Question:

Will the character numbers remain the same? i.e. Will there be a 'regular character #1' and a 'Core character #1' or will there just be a mark somewhere to indicate that characters #1-10 are regular, #11 is core, #12-13 regular, #14 core, etc?

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Chicago aka thunderspirit

YES! :-D

* Contributor

9 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

Likely as intangible a number as the number of people who stop playing PFS due to perceived power creep :)

I for one, welcome our new Core Overlords.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Michael Brock wrote:
Additionally, one of the goals of Core Campaign is to make running games easier for new GMs.

I've felt "the need to know everything ever" to be one of my biggest fears about trying to start GMing, so thank you!

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Mike Tuholski wrote:

Very very cool! As a GM who has run every single scenario (as well as most of the modules and several of the APs), I was really hurting for material to run for credit. I've also played all but a handful so this will be a nice challenge to me to create core-only characters and replay some of my favorites!

Question:

Will the character numbers remain the same? i.e. Will there be a 'regular character #1' and a 'Core character #1' or will there just be a mark somewhere to indicate that characters #1-10 are regular, #11 is core, #12-13 regular, #14 core, etc?

Numbers remain the same. Your first core character will be whatever the next number is for you. For example, I currently have six characters, my first Core characte will be -7.

Scarab Sages ****

When one GMs a game - one gets one chronicle sheet for their character regardless of whether it is Core or Not?

Or do you get a chronicle sheet for a Core Campaign character when you GM Core games, and an other when you judge other games? or can you mix? or do you get one for each?

Tia

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Dhjika wrote:

When one GMs a game - one gets one chronicle sheet for their character regardless of whether it is Core or Not?

Or do you get a chronicle sheet for a Core Campaign character when you GM Core games, and an other when you judge other games? or can you mix? or do you get one for each?

Tia

You receive a Core Chrinicle if you GM a core game. You receive an existing mode chronicle if you GM an existing mode game. If you place an existing GM credit chronicle on a core character, it then defaults to existing mode character and is no longer a core character.

***

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I like it.

I have recently moved to D&D Adventure League for the very reason that Pathfinder had gotten so bloated - this will give me some PFS to play from time to time.

Hope it catches on!

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Nice solution that doesn't totally tank the current campaign. I am interested to see how many people go that route.

Liberty's Edge **

1 person marked this as a favorite.

:happy dance:

I have been waiting for this! I look forward to this!


In retrospect, my only fear is that people will start doing even more crazy stuff in PFS Organized Play now, since PFS Core Campaign will be more limited.

Kind of like how we saw a rush of tieflings and aasimars being played before Season 6 came out, I worry a bit that PFSOP will shift [EDIT: even] more towards base classes and hybrid classes, since PFSCC will be limited to core classes.

With that being said, imagine doing some of the harder scenarios without casting wacky spells or using guns!

***

8 people marked this as a favorite.

This is great! I suddenly want to rejoin and play and GM PFS again!

-Matt

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My question is this. I just so happen to have a character that I just built using.... Core only, but have played her in the normal PFS games. Does this disqualify my character from playing in the Core Campaign, even if I don't have anything outside of those three resources? It would certainly be a bummer if I had to make a new character to join the CC because I was a week too early, you know?

**** Venture-Agent

So there will be a check mark on the chronicle sheet saying "Core Mode" versus "Regular" mode? If so I will be curious if there will be different boons aimed at the different campaign modes going forwards.

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doombringer the DM wrote:
My question is this. I just so happen to have a character that I just built using.... Core only, but have played her in the normal PFS games. Does this disqualify my character from playing in the Core Campaign, even if I don't have anything outside of those three resources? It would certainly be a bummer if I had to make a new character to join the CC because I was a week too early, you know?

Yes. Because you have existing mode Chrinicle sheets, and it was reported as an existing mode character, you would be unable to play that character in Core mode.

But, you can play those scenarios again with another new character built for Core only.

*****

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Mattastrophic wrote:

This is great! I suddenly want to rejoin and play and GM PFS again!

-Matt

OK, this makes the whole thing worthwhile for me right here!

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

A nitpicky question here, but can I use the boon that lets me make

The Waking Rune:

a Thassilonian specialist wizard

on a Core PC?

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.
David Neilson wrote:
So there will be a check mark on the chronicle sheet saying "Core Mode" versus "Regular" mode? If so I will be curious if there will be different boons aimed at the different campaign modes going forwards.

Eventually for new scenarios. Until then, the GM can write "CORE" at the top of the Chronicle.

As for old scenarios, we won't be going back and adding it.

Shadow Lodge *****

Mattastrophic wrote:

This is great! I suddenly want to rejoin and play and GM PFS again!

-Matt

I thought you might. ;)

Silver Crusade *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Michael Brock wrote:
Numbers remain the same. Your first core character will be whatever the next number is for you. For example, I currently have six characters, my first Core characte will be -7.

Today I found out I have more characters than Michael Brock...

I like this idea, I have a lot of people in my home group (where we occasionally run PFS scenarios for credit at our home table) who would like to play but worry about all the complicated rules. This will be a big help both for new GMs, and for players like myself who don't want to keep track of all the pieces of a complicated multi-source character. Will also cut down on stinky cheese.

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