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If you are going to represent us as gamers...you're going to have to accept our criticism of your performance in your position and just deal with it
Um, NO. Neither Del nor any of the Venture-Officers are employees of Paizo. This is not our job. We are VOLUNTEERS. Meaning we give of our valuable and often limited personal time to help provide YOU with an enjoyable gaming experience. Constructive criticism is certainly welcome, but what happened in this thread and what seems to be an ever-growing trend is viscous personal attacks towards individual campaign organizers/GMs/leaders. No, you are not entitled to blast another player just because they happened to be a Venture-Officer and they just have to "deal with it."
Perhaps you meant your comments to be "softer" than they appeared, but its hard not to assume the worst in a thread as escalated as this one.
Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
Players should build whatever type of character they desire...
Not exactly. First, your character should thematically work with the Pathfinder Society. Meaning that you have to have some skills/abilities that the organization would be interested in utilizing. Otherwise, you never would have been permitted entry into the training program (or received a field commission) in the first place. Having a character that is at least moderately effective is clearly a rule as intended even if the RAW for character creation does not come straight out and say it. If, for example, your gimped character's most effective contribution is using aid another and flank, you are not PFS material and have no business going on missions (technically being a legal character notwithstanding).
Sure, players are encouraged to be creative and build unique characters. There is no requirement to min/max or "uber-"optimize your PC, but there is a reasonable limit to how much you can intentionally create an effectively "useless" character without breaking the "don't be a jerk" rule.
I was hoping that we would be seeing a change toward 4 hour blocks. I would be fine with 8pm to midnight for the specials.
The five-hour blocks is largely a function of the length of scenarios. Feedback is consistent that scenario run-times average closer to five hours than to four. We are merely accommodating the standard game time. While it might be more convenient to schedule four hour blocks, it would have a negative impact on actual gameplay. Many GMs would be rushed to push through the material and many tables would run out of time. One of the "downsides" to having excellent authors, developers, and product is that they need to time to present an awesome story with interesting encounters. I hope most would agree that a little inconvenience on slot times and a slightly longer day is preferable to a poor experience at the game table.
Jeff Morse wrote:
did that many GMs have more than one time in which had to go till 1am and back in morning?
Just for clarity, for RPG we had151 GMs scheduled on Thursday night of which 91 were scheduled for Friday morning
160 GMs scheduled on Friday night of which 92 were scheduled for Saturday morning
152 GMs scheduled on Saturday night of which 102 were scheduled for Sunday morning
Additionally we had 56 GMs who were scheduled Thursday night, Friday morning, Friday night and Saturday morning.
There is a lengthy list of points to consider when assigning GM schedules and all are of different importance to different people. There is no "right" way to allocate the GM resources, but I continue to consider options. With over 1800 tables to assign I'm just not going to be able to give everyone the "perfect" schedule. In many cases, its up to the GM to review their schedule and determine how to address it. That being said, we are looking at the online application and what can be added to provide more useful information. With the number of events offered vs. the limited resources available, running the morning after an evening slot is going to continue to happen at a relatively high rate of frequency.
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Any chance of seeing those kid friendly adventure here at some point? I for one know I could use them.
If you are referring to the Kid's Track adventures, the first two sets of quests are available as free downloadsBasic
The third series called "Transitions" will be debuting at Gen Con and are not yet available.
John, Linda, & Tonya are working diligently to get all new materials to the GMs ASAP. The hope is everything will be done by the 22nd. Of course, sometimes sh*t happens and its possible something could be later than that, but so far, they have been releasing scenarios a little at a time and a head of schedule so just keep your eyes on your email for that Paizo notice.
I perceive some sarcasm there, or at least I hope so. Yes, it would be great if a GM always had an answer for every question asked by a player or action taken by a character, but sometime y'all (like kids) ask the darnedest questions and we just don't have a believable, cognizant answer in the moment. It's in those situations the GMs gotta just shrug and say it's beyond the scope of the scenario
Jared Thaler wrote:
This really has been hashed out in the rules forum many, many times. It really is kosher and legal.
I'm really not all that interested in this conversation since I find it ridiculous, but I've seen comments similar to this recently and I will ask if Paizo actually commented on the legality of said conversations? Just because something has been "hashed out in the rules forum" does not make it cannon. The opinions of players, even the most insistent and prolific in the forums does not necessarily mean what they "decide" is official anything. Perhaps you could link some sources for those who's search-fu is not that great.
Before we start dropping sensitive words like "cheating" directed at some one we just met and who gave us a mere couple of sentences regarding what is certainly an extremely unusual character, let's take a moment. The venue and players involved in this issue have immediate supervision from a Venture-Offericer and the RVC is aware of the reported incident. I think it in everyone's best interest to let them do their job and evaluate the claims and perform any necessary character audits. It's almost never helpful for us to speculate on things like possible cheating based on the incomplete information we see in a forum thread.
For my craziest character, a goblin magus who thinks he's the reincarnation of Durvin Gest, I start out in character and set the stage for who and what he is and his antics. Then I try to watch reactions and decide if the other players are enjoying it or it's getting to be too much. It's usually not too hard figure out. Then I adjust from there. Once they can imagine what he sounds and acts like based on my depiction I don't HAVE to keep doing it, but since I enjoy it so, I will unless it's not being enthusiastically received. More often than not it continues through most of the scenario. I've receive a lot of requests to play with him.
There's also something to be said for letting people have fun the way they want to. Just because YOU don't role-play doesn't mean you can/should impose your style of play on them. If the barbarian wants to yell "Leeeroy Jenkins" every time he charges is not hurting you in the least. Let them have their fun. If their role-playing is getting too lengthy or inappropriate the GM should take action, but I don't see either of the two examples being that level of distraction.
Were chronicle sheets issued? Was this a scenario or an adventure path? Was it possible this was an ongoing campaign you stepped into under the auspices of PFS? The rules for those are a bit different. As others have said, this is not a typical PFS session. I would encourage you to reach out to the store organizer and the local Venture-Officer for help. If this is a PFS group not following the rules, action should be taken. If however it's just a miscommunication, they can get you in contact with a "real" PFS group. I'm sure you'll find our community has quality GMs and is very inclusive
In past years we were not given the opportunity to make changes to the hotel roster after it was submitted to GenCon. That means if there was a cancellation, not only were we unable to replace that volunteer with one who earned a hotel space, but we could not adjust the room assignments. Thus a few people may have experienced less than "full" rooms.
Fortunately, that has changed for this year. We are expecting to have the ability to replace/move names in response to cancellations. This will help us maximize our available hotel space as well as replace GMs with a new one and provide them a full benefits package including a room. It is an exciting improvement over the frustration of the last couple of years.
You clearly have a signup mechanism for a reason, why should this person be penalized or targeted when they've followed all of the relevant rules and just want to have fun like anyone else?
First come-first serve is a mechanism most of us use for signups, but it is not always the most fair way to manage tables. It is the reason why Paizo goes to a lottery system for PaizoCon. Not everyone can be sitting by their computer the minute an event goes live and by the time they can get there it could be booked solid. So this is where local organizers have to balance the needs of the entire community. Its not unreasonable to ask someone who is on replay to vacate their seat for someone who has never played it before. Or it could be. Too much depends on the dynamic of the players involved and community attitudes. There is no "right" answer to this because none of us know the players involved like the OP does. All we can do is make suggestions that may help, but we should stop short of making definitive statements regarding what is right/wrong.
Auke Teeninga wrote:
In 2013 we had Goblin Attack which unfortunately was never released for general use. It was a lot of fun but was restricted to core pregens. We also after having seen it run often "forgot" to include Amiri is an option because of her penchant to one-shot the encounters. There were a few minor grumblings about playing a custom character but most had a good time playing the material. Sometimes it's important to remember that the GM/author are limited in the presentation of the scenario/Quest material and unable to make many, if any, adjustments in consideration of the PCs being used. In those cases, limiting to pregens can improve the quality of play by both knowing what the PCs can do and emphasizing the skills and abilities they posses and restricting the PCs that may not have those abilities.
In the end game, I trust the organizer to know their community better than me. So, while opening up the Quests for custom PC play is fine, I don't want it forced on anyone either. Dragon should be able to allow custom built PCs at his venue if it'll improve play and increase butts in seats. At the same time, TOZ should be able to limit his event to pregens only if that prevents the optimizers from ruining the experience for new/casual players. It is an option that is flexible without being disruptive.
One caveat that may need to be included is that custom PCs must be new with zero XP. The Quests were not developed to take into account added power for scenarios played and we all know there is a huge difference between a new 0 XP character and one with 2 XP, 4 Prestige, and roughly 1000gp in rewards
My primary objection to letting non-pregens play Quests is their use in introducing new players to Pathfinder and to some extent PFS. I don't want characters that have instant "win" abilities to step in and ruin the experience for the new players who are relegated to spectator because their iconic build, while competent, does not have all the advanced bells and whistles that a custom built PC often does.
I am not entirely opposed to the idea of allowing custom PCs play Quests, however, I would like there to be a clause whereas the table GM and/or organizer could choose to limit to pregens only for the purposes of their event. If you want to assemble a group of custom characters and play a Quest series, great, I don't want to stand in your way. OTOH, if I am organizing a Quest table with the intention of introducing or focusing on new players, I want the ability to limit it to pregens.
Quinn Shannon wrote:
Basically, there are large signs with Scenario Title and Level information...
Actually, this year at the behest of the convention nearly/all the floor signs are being eliminated. We will have most information scrolling on the big screens inside the room. This will reduce the log-jam at the doors where traditionally everyone clusters to read the signs while other people are trying to get into or out of the room and others are just peeking in to see the room. Since the information will be HUGE and up off the floor there should be no delay in finding the information you are looking for quickly so you can move on to the appropriate mustering station.
It would certainly be great if all GMs were capable of running any of the three evergreens should their scheduled table cancel since we cannot predict which, if any of them a table of walkin players may want to play. If said players have already played 5-08, it would be less than ideal if the only scenario a GM could run was 5-08. Since realtime cancelled tables and walkin/generic tickets are a complete unknown we can only ask for the widest possible latitude from our GMs. We are doing everything we can to minimize the amount of prep a GM has to do for these scenarios by providing the maps, minis, printed material, etc. and almost all of the encounters are with uncomplicated stat blocks. All we ask is that GMs have read and are familiar with the scenarios. At this point, I'm sure the vast majority of our GM community has at least played if not GM'd (perhaps multiple times) 5-08 & 6-10. That number is likely smaller for 7-10, but still probably a significant amount.
I don't think Paizo intends to drop the evergreens into the account of every GenCon GM on the chance they'll need it, but there is some expectation that local area GMs and organizers would have those scenarios already to support the expansion of new player acquisition. It is also important to note that if your FLGS is a registered retail, they may already be getting the scenarios. It should be a relatively simple process of borrowing the evergreens to read if you do not already own a copy of the scenario and return it when you're done. Remember, these are not complicated high-tier scenarios. The story arcs are relatively straight forward and most of the encounters are simple.
We just do not want a repeat of a few years ago where we asked all GMs to prepare the three First Steps scenarios as backups and one GM who happened to experience numerous cancelled tables took it upon himself to prep something else and refuse to run any of the First Step offerings. As most of the players we were trying to seat were new to PFS it was not an inviting atmosphere.
The bottom line; we cannot predict what will be needed to fill cancelled tables and if we have players willing to play we need your assistance to make that happen. Please help us provide the best possible experience for all possible players. Thx
Explore! Report! Cooperate!
Congratulations! We always make a big deal about 5 stars, and it is a huge accomplishment, but IMHO, getting the first one is just as big a deal. It shows you are willing to step out of the comfort zone of just being a player and taking on a much greater support role to your gaming community. It can be a scary transition for some and having the courage to put yourself out in front of other players who often know more about the game than you do is awesome. I salute you Adam and your 1 star!
Kevin Willis wrote:
Even the "Druma Lodge" table with the scenario author as the GM adjourned to the hallway and finished in about 8 or 9 hours total.
To be fair the level of shenanigans going on at that table is not indicative of a "typical" table and should not be used as a basis of comparison. That group could probably make any scenario last 8-9 hours (or more).
I've always been in the camp of no unlimited replay, especially for players as I've seen first-hand the damage it can cause between chronicle farming and increased meta-gaming (intentional or otherwise). However, GM re"play" seems to be a different thing. Meta-gaming is already a risk since you can GM before you play. The same can be said of boon farming as well. I don't think most of the objections really hold much water. Considering a few:
* Boon Farming again I don't see this as an issue since most boons are minor benefits and often circumstantially specific. Having an extra character or two with said boon is unlikely to create an imbalance when compared to the expansive list of player options available.
I tend to take a hard stance on GMing and I only want GMs who WANT to run games. Meaning their primary reason for GMing is that they enjoy the experience and opportunity to provide an exciting, fun game for the players. As opposed to the GM who is just doing it to earn a reward. I find that the latter tend to invest less in the quality of their prep and even rush through the game to "get it over with" so they can move on to playing their newly "boon buffed" character. So because of that (and some other mostly personal reasons) I have always opposed unlimited replay for the GMs.
However, I have also heard a lot of feedback about problems getting people to step up and GM. The number one objection is the lack of "incentive" to GM a scenario a second time. So, setting aside my personal objections, perhaps unlimited GM credit IS a good idea if it'll mean more GMs will GM more events. Some might say if we did that it would cause an over-abundance of selective boon-infused characters. I'm not sure that is the case. Remember, if you're GMing you are not playing. So the more people GM, even if their incentive is credit farming, the less they play. It sort of becomes a self-limiting program.
For those of us who don't "need" credit as an incentive to GM, nothing would change. However, for those GMs who only GM when they can earn a reward, unlimited GM credits would encourage them to run more games which would especially help with filling slots at conventions both local/regional and national.
Keep in mind we already have some replay options available with the star-replay program so it's not like replay isn't already a thing, albeit not unlimited. The expanded narrative is an awesome boon, IMHO, but in some areas it is not driving more GMing, at least not when its a repeated scenario.
Having a GM "faction" card and/or an escalation boon for GMs are certainly interesting ideas, but we would need to see what the benefits are before evaluating if they would have the "punch" needed to incentify GMs to run more games. Let's face it, not all boons are created equal.
All-in-all I do not think there would be a significant negative impact on PFS if we allowed unlimited GM re"play." I suggest the pros outweigh the cons. That being said, I am still firmly in the no reply camp with regards to players. I do not see the two equating to each other nor do I see perceived fairness disparity that would encourage us to extend unlimited reply to players.
Keep in mind that the PSA program is not ONLY focused on youth gaming. It is also a program by which adult gamers can be brought into Pathfinder with a lite version of the rules using the Beginner Box materials and the expanded lessons can add elements as they progress until they are ready for the full rules set. Surly, most applications of PSA will be focused on youth gaming as its foundation is the Kids Track program, but it doesn't HAVE to be.
At GenCon, since we have 150 tables of RPG running in each slots, plus Quests, PSA will be focused more on youth gamers, but that does not mean a table of adults who want to learn how to play couldn't sign up for PSA. They would be welcome as well. In addition to the evergreen scenarios that are running in the "normal" RPG area, we have a few tables of them running in the PSA area as well.
As the materials for PSA are made public, local areas will have the opportunity to apply the included quests and lessons to both adult and youth gamers as needed.