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Why should I / shouldn't I allow you to re-play scenarios?


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Joshua J. Frost wrote:
What if I opened previous seasons to replay with a different character? So, for example, I opened all of Season 0 to replay for full credit with a different character, but kept Season 1 closed? Then, in Season 2, I could open all of the Season 1 scenarios along with the Season 0 scenarios for replay? That would keep the current, "fresh" scenarios "sacred" in the minds of the anti-replayers, but open older content to be used to bring in new players for those who need replay to do so.

I do like this idea, especially once season two starts up and those of us too lazy to convert season zero scenarios will have season one to replay when necessary. lol

Or maybe make it a straight 12 month delay, so that some of season zero would be available for replay now, and that would still keep any of season one off-limits to replay til after the first month of season two has been released. In other words, anything released up to Dec 08 would be available for replay now, then once it is Feb 1 of this year all scenarios that came out in Jan 09 would become available for replay.

****

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Katharan al-Zawree wrote:
You want to play it again? DM!
To be clear, I'm not interested in the idea that some people just might want to play it again, but am more interested in the idea of replay as a tool to insure legal tables happen. If a group of six players at a game store are all level 8 and a new player shows up with a level 1 ... either the level 1 has to leave (bad) or the level 8s all have to play pre-gens for the next 24+ scenarios to get the level up to their level (so-so). I'd like to find a way that those level 8s could all make level 1s and play up with their new arrival, even if that means playing through scenarios again. If, in the end, they're playing and having fun *and* gained a new player while doing so, where's the harm?

I am strongly opposed to replay and am an organizer.

The answer to that one is simple. Those of us who actually organize game days try to announce ahead of time the mods that are running. That way someone does not waste their time and gas driving to a game to find out there is the kind of table mix described.
For starters the level 8's and the level 1's won't even be playing in the same mod much less the same tier. As an organizer i make sure i have mods in both the morning and the afternoon for the low level characters to play. I also throw in a higher tier or two depending on my judge availability. If there is a shortage of judges i feel that the folks who got to play 20 times already need to step up and judge or sit that week out. Eventually i am sure we will have enough of a player pool that more of the high level stuff will be going off. As long as there are new low tier mods coming out and strong rules to prevent people from playing their tier 8 character in a 1-7 or 1-5 mod there will be an avenue to allow new folks in.
This week was the first week we had to turn away players. This was due to a lack of judges.
I base my feedback on the 10 game days with a total of 50 tables that went off since the end of august. I have bent the rules to make tables go off and let people play.
The problem is not the lack of replay, but the utter lack of rewards for judging from where i sit. Replayers will be the first people i turn away at my game days.

As for what is hurting OP turnout. I'm finding people dropping out because the mods are too similar and kinda boring. It gets annoying to have to play fetch the whatever for some jerk of a venture captain who belittles their abilities and then sends them on their way. Somewhere around mid level they really should start treating the PCs with more respect. People in real life have jerk bosses to deal with. The jerk venture captain hook might have been funny once but got old really quick.
The many people i used to play LG with and have tried PFS a time or two ask if the story lines have gotten any better. As of now i have to say they haven't. Right now the mods are still almost all mods can be described as "go fetch something for somebody who is rude to you". This matters because some of them are very good judges that won't support a campaign they don't want to play in.
The faction missions HAVE been getting better. Credit where credit is due. I like that not all of missions are always slam dunks and that you have to really work at some of them now.

Den

**

Might I ask you to post some suggestions on the types of adventures you'd like to see going forward? Keep in mind that this is Pathfinder Society and not Generic Fantasy Roleplay when giving out ideas. Offering me suggestions along with your criticism is much more helpful. Also, we have an open call. Perhaps submit to the open call?

As for the "jerk of a venture captain" there is really only one (Adril Hestram) and there's a reason for it that plays out in the Eyes of the Ten series.

I appreciate that you organize for game days and what seems to be larger events than a once a week nightly game store game. Thank for your organizing, I wish I had more organizers like you! Obviously in my example the level 8 and level 1 couldn't play in the same scenario. But if a new player walks into a game store, sees folks are playing, wants to get into that game, but doesn't have the tier-appropriate character to play AND the players in that game are willing to play down to give that guy a good experience, where's the fun in them all playing pregens for 24 scenarios to get the level 1 up to level 8? You're assuming there's also 3 other level 1s waiting in the wings--in my example (which is a real example) there isn't. So what do we do about that level 1 player?

**

uncleden wrote:
The many people i used to play LG with and have tried PFS a time or two ask if the story lines have gotten any better. As of now i have to say they haven't.

Wow, that's maddeningly disappointing to read that. I feel that the Season 1 scenarios are a VAST improvement over the Season 0 scenarios and I think, for the most part, that my authors are turning over amazing scenarios this season. Yes, there may be a lot of fetch scenarios ... but this is the Pathfinder Society and the Society finds and records new things, puts away dangerous artifacts in safe-keeping, uncovers new locations, and does what it can to improve its standing throughout Golarion. If these types of stories don't appeal to people, then I'd suggest they try Pathfinder Adventure Path or the Pathfinder Modules where, by their very nature, the stories are more varied and not at all focused on a singular organization with a specific set of goals and desires.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
What if I opened previous seasons to replay with a different character? So, for example, I opened all of Season 0 to replay for full credit with a different character, but kept Season 1 closed? Then, in Season 2, I could open all of the Season 1 scenarios along with the Season 0 scenarios for replay? That would keep the current, "fresh" scenarios "sacred" in the minds of the anti-replayers, but open older content to be used to bring in new players for those who need replay to do so.

It would mean that scenarios released later in the year, such as the four PaizoCon scenarios, would only have a few months before they were open to replay. I guess by season is the easiest way to denote what can be replayed and what can't, but I would prefer something like scenario number (maybe the most current 12 or 20 are still "sacred") but that would require everyone to be up to date on the newest scenarios all the time and not everyone follows things as closely as I do.

**

Hmm. Good point, Yoda.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not trying to take things too far off-topic, but that's a complaint I've heard in a few other areas. Not necessarily the 'jerk venture-captain' but the predominance of Fetch-Quests. I think that part of the problem may have been holding back too much info for the "Pathfinder book," IE, "Seekers of Secrets."

It leads to a lot of confusion. Most people come up to the table expecting this to be a generic campaign, and they bring characters appropriate for that, along with a mind-set appropriate for that. It came up in another thread that a player was utterly tired of "artifact hunting," which would seem to be the entire point of the campaign.

There also seems to be a lack of concept as to what the Pathfinder Society really is. I have seen a player (Andoran) almost get up and walk away, believing he was at the wrong table at a con when he was seated next to my Cheliaxan devil-binder. The Society is a really weird thing by 'normal D&D' standards and it could probably stand a much more thorough explanation in the Guide, next chance you get to do a revision. A mention of that mandatory 3-year stay in the Grand Lodge would be nice, for example.

To sum up: A lot of the problems with the 'types' of stories PFS is made up of might be solved by giving a better explanation of what to expect going in.

****

Joshua J. Frost wrote:

Might I ask you to post some suggestions on the types of adventures you'd like to see going forward? Keep in mind that this is Pathfinder Society and not Generic Fantasy Roleplay when giving out ideas. Offering me suggestions along with your criticism is much more helpful. Also, we have an open call. Perhaps submit to the open call?

As for the "jerk of a venture captain" there is really only one (Adril Hestram) and there's a reason for it that plays out in the Eyes of the Ten series.

I appreciate that you organize for game days and what seems to be larger events than a once a week nightly game store game. Thank for your organizing, I wish I had more organizers like you! Obviously in my example the level 8 and level 1 couldn't play in the same scenario. But if a new player walks into a game store, sees folks are playing, wants to get into that game, but doesn't have the tier-appropriate character to play AND the players in that game are willing to play down to give that guy a good experience, where's the fun in them all playing pregens for 24 scenarios to get the level 1 up to level 8? You're assuming there's also 3 other level 1s waiting in the wings--in my example (which is a real example) there isn't. So what do we do about that level 1 player?

Perhaps some day I will submit something. Right now I am trying to give you honest feedback. If you choose to be defensive and go with the kill the messenger approach that is up to you.

Yep Hestram is the guy. He is in about 1/2 the mods? If any of the other guys were say like gushing friendly it might come off better in contrast.

As i have not seen anything remotely like what you describe with PFS i have to regard it as a straw man argument. People who have organized games before know how to prevent these situations. By having newer material available that only supports lower level play and also by having a relatively fast progression through the mods I will have to say that PFS handles the problem of the high level guys not letting new players in BETTER than i saw in LG. Heck i never even got to play living arcanis because i couldn't find a table where I wouldn't be 8 or 9 levels below the rest of the guys. I have not seen this happen with PFS. That is a good thing.

**

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
What if I opened previous seasons to replay with a different character? So, for example, I opened all of Season 0 to replay for full credit with a different character, but kept Season 1 closed? Then, in Season 2, I could open all of the Season 1 scenarios along with the Season 0 scenarios for replay? That would keep the current, "fresh" scenarios "sacred" in the minds of the anti-replayers, but open older content to be used to bring in new players for those who need replay to do so.

I think this would be fine if 'replay' was an issue about allowing a player who wants to replay a scenario to replay it. IMO 'replay' is about making tables. If we have only 3 players at 9th level, new or old scenario, you need a 4th player to make a table. The minimum number of players is not negotiable (as I recall). I would rather have someone replay and make a table so that I could play, not not run a table.

-Swiftbrook
Just My Thoughts

****

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
uncleden wrote:
The many people i used to play LG with and have tried PFS a time or two ask if the story lines have gotten any better. As of now i have to say they haven't.
Wow, that's maddeningly disappointing to read that. I feel that the Season 1 scenarios are a VAST improvement over the Season 0 scenarios and I think, for the most part, that my authors are turning over amazing scenarios this season. Yes, there may be a lot of fetch scenarios ... but this is the Pathfinder Society and the Society finds and records new things, puts away dangerous artifacts in safe-keeping, uncovers new locations, and does what it can to improve its standing throughout Golarion. If these types of stories don't appeal to people, then I'd suggest they try Pathfinder Adventure Path or the Pathfinder Modules where, by their very nature, the stories are more varied and not at all focused on a singular organization with a specific set of goals and desires.

I'm hoping the mods that are part of a series change my opinion. I also think it was a mistake to make the organized play so focused on one organization that will then cause the mods to inevitably feel monotonous. That is making it difficult to retain players.

I do play the adventure paths and like them. As it stands now I will continue to play PFS. I just don't expect to play something that has actually been playtested or unique. By playtested i mean ran by somebody who did not write it for a group of players that are good at finding the holes. There are a bunch of us in Detroit that would happily help get this done if it was welcomed.
Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible is the stand out in year 1 for quality so far. You could tell it had been through a good trial run.
I had a lot of fun playing and running that one.

Den

*** RPG Superstar 2010

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
uncleden wrote:
The many people i used to play LG with and have tried PFS a time or two ask if the story lines have gotten any better. As of now i have to say they haven't.
Wow, that's maddeningly disappointing to read that. I feel that the Season 1 scenarios are a VAST improvement over the Season 0 scenarios and I think, for the most part, that my authors are turning over amazing scenarios this season. Yes, there may be a lot of fetch scenarios ... but this is the Pathfinder Society and the Society finds and records new things, puts away dangerous artifacts in safe-keeping, uncovers new locations, and does what it can to improve its standing throughout Golarion. If these types of stories don't appeal to people, then I'd suggest they try Pathfinder Adventure Path or the Pathfinder Modules where, by their very nature, the stories are more varied and not at all focused on a singular organization with a specific set of goals and desires.

Hey Josh, just thought I would give a differing opinion. I've used to play LG (a lot, I retired a charcter) and I find the story quality of PFS scenarios are overall higher than LG scenarios. I also like that you get told to do this mission and as part of the society you go and do it. I find the missions varied enough to make it interesting and memorable.

On replaying scenarios, no thanks, unless for the reason of making a legal table. For your example of the level 8s and the level 1, can't they play a different low-level scenario with new characters (or pre gens)?

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
One wrote:
On replaying scenarios, no thanks, unless for the reason of making a legal table. For your example of the level 8s and the level 1, can't they play a different low-level scenario with new characters (or pre gens)?

Well, the problem being run into at my local game store is just that: They can't. Everybody's played most of the old scenarios, but nobody's played all of them, and because they missed different weeks the group as a whole can do barely any of them without someone having to go home (or play a pregen.) Within a few sessions, the group will be out of playable scenarios entirely.

Qadira *****

It's times like these that I am glad I am not the Events Manager at Paizo. Josh does deserve a lot of credit for the work that he does, but he's also a target for all the frustration as well. Being responsive to the customer can make you a bigger target. I have said it before though; we are passionate about this game, and if we sound ungrateful or cross it is only because we enjoy it so much and want to see it improve. PFS is constantly being held up against Living Greyhawk and Living Arcanis as the standard for organized play. One difference is that those campaigns had tiers of staffers, and PFS is a one man show.

One way that we can help Josh is to get PFS a larger share of the Paizo budget. I'm sure he has a lot of great ideas on how to improve the Society, but he only has so many hours in a day so he has to prioritize. A full-time assistant would help him greatly. The only way that will happen (unless we blackmail Lisa) is to increase the active membership and sell more Scenarios.

What Josh has been trying to do is figure out a way to get new members into the Society without losing the established ones. Most of us who played previous Living Campaigns are naturally against replay, at least for credit. The trick is how to allow replay without it being abused and turning players off. It seems like a localized problem though. If there's a coordinator like JP or Dennis who is having success organizing players, replay is not necessary because new players are constantly joining. This does not happen magically. A lot of effort goes into finding those players, and more effort into keeping them coming back.

I know that it sounds insensitive, but I think PFS would grow faster if the members who are trying to organize gamedays at their FLGS made more of an effort to be outgoing and look for new players instead of expecting them to wander up to the table. At the end of 2008 our local PFS Yahoo! Group had 20 members. We have 68 now. I advertised at game stores and ran PFS at 8 conventions last year (not including Origins or GenCon). People want to be part of something growing and dynamic, but they have to see it around before it sinks in. "Hmmm, I keep seeing this 'Pathfinder Society' thing at conventions, I wonder what that's all about." Most of our players had never been to the Paizo website before playing PFS at one of our tables or joining our Yahoo! Group. You don't have to be in a metropolitan area for this to happen, some guy from North Dakota posted and said he's got a big group in his town. It takes effort, but the future of this campaign is in our hands.

If Pathfinder Society stagnates it won't be from lack of effort on Josh's part. Yes, there's room for improvement but I don't think that new members are looking for the same thing as the veterans are. In time I think we will wear Josh down and weasel in some meta-orgs or new Factions. We might even get him to eat the words "Living Barbie". But if he never gets any help because PFS can't financially support itself that might not ever happen.

At the risk of sounding disloyal, I agree with JP and Dennis on much of their comments.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All right. As someone who hasn't extensively done living campaigns before (My only prior one is SRM) I'm afraid I'm a little lost as to what the abuses would be beyond the blindingly obvious, most of which a simple rule against them should be enough to stop that. Would someone care to enlighten me?

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
It would mean that scenarios released later in the year, such as the four PaizoCon scenarios, would only have a few months before they were open to replay. I guess by season is the easiest way to denote what can be replayed and what can't, but I would prefer something like scenario number (maybe the most current 12 or 20 are still "sacred") but that would require everyone to be up to date on the newest scenarios all the time and not everyone follows things as closely as I do.

Maybe make it always available on the 1st (or the 15th) of the month it was published in the next year. Then you could print the "Replay Open" date right in the PDFs for new modules starting the month you put this rule into effect. Open up all of Season 0 at the same time, probably the start of Season 2, and you only need to track S1 scenarios for one year.

Just a thought.

**

uncleden wrote:
Perhaps some day I will submit something. Right now I am trying to give you honest feedback. If you choose to be defensive and go with the kill the messenger approach that is up to you.

Please don't read emotion into my posts. I'm not being defensive--I'm curious about specifics that you think might help us improve. If you say, "These scenarios are bad!" that's fine but following that up with, "And here are the types of scenarios I think are good ..." is much more helpful for me to establish a framework around your ideas and use them to improve the Society. I can appreciate that some people might not like the way we do things--but I can't fix it if no one gives me some ideas of how to do it better. :-)

uncleden wrote:
Yep Hestram is the guy. He is in about 1/2 the mods? If any of the other guys were say like gushing friendly it might come off better in contrast.

By contrast the other venture-captains are a bit more studious, though Osprey is mysterious. None of them are gushingly friendly--this is a pseudo-military organization where leaders hand out assignments of exploration, discovery, and artifact retrieval. I'm explaining my viewpoint here, not being defensive, mind you. :-)

uncleden wrote:
As i have not seen anything remotely like what you describe with PFS i have to regard it as a straw man argument. People who have organized games before know how to prevent these situations. By having newer material available that only supports lower level play and also by having a relatively fast progression through the mods I will have to say that PFS handles the problem of the high level guys not letting new players in BETTER than i saw in LG. Heck i never even got to play living arcanis because i couldn't find a table where I wouldn't be 8 or 9 levels below the rest of the guys. I have not seen this happen with PFS. That is a good thing.

Not to be terribly semantic here, but I'm not actually refuting anything you said nor am I inventing a similar position and refuting it as well (straw man). I'm saying that I have been contacted by store coordinators who have a problem and I'm wondering if replay couldn't solve that problem. Your experience is vastly different than the store coordinator's experience. You seem to be able to set up more frequent and more extensive Society events, which is awesome, and the store coordinator in question can set up one game a week. He has a stable group of players and because they're higher level it's harder for him to include lower level players because while his higher-level players are willing to play down for the new guy(s), they're a bit grumpy about having to do so without credit (via pregens). You assert that people "know how to prevent these situations" and I'm asking you to explain how he prevents that situation. Let's focus on specifics and less on generalities in our discussion here. :-)

Now, you can say I'm shooting the messenger and that I'm being defensive and there's nothing I can do to assuage you of that opinion other than to say that's not my intent blah blah blah. But, really, I'm looking for feedback and hopefully we're all adult enough here to accept occasional challenges to our assertions. I know I do it on a daily basis right here on these boards. :-)

**

One wrote:
Hey Josh, just thought I would give a differing opinion. I've used to play LG (a lot, I retired a charcter) and I find the story quality of PFS scenarios are overall higher than LG scenarios. I also like that you get told to do this mission and as part of the society you go and do it. I find the missions varied enough to make it interesting and memorable.

That's good to hear, thanks. :-)

One wrote:
On replaying scenarios, no thanks, unless for the reason of making a legal table. For your example of the level 8s and the level 1, can't they play a different low-level scenario with new characters (or pre gens)?

I'm only interested in the concept of replay as it pertains to making legal tables. In the example above, the level 8s have all played the low-level scenarios and can't replay them with the level 1.

****

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
By contrast the other venture-captains are a bit more studious, though Osprey is mysterious. None of them are gushingly friendly--this is a pseudo-military organization where leaders hand out assignments of exploration, discovery, and artifact retrieval. I'm explaining my viewpoint here, not being defensive, mind you. :-)

I've seen the stats on some of these bookworms. For sure they could be giddy when they finally get a team of people who can actually fight to go get that object they have been coveting for a long time. :)

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Not to be terribly semantic here, but I'm not actually refuting anything you said nor am I inventing a similar position...

I'll clarify that i don't think you are inventing a straw man problem, merely accepting others statements in a way to believe this is actually a problem.

How i muster events. Some of this again but this time i'll be more specifc.
1 Play in a place that allows more than one table to go off at a time. Lack this and what you are running is a home game, not a game day.
2 Make sure you have low level mods available so that new people can play. This allows new people to play by forcing a portion of the existing base to be in the level range that lets them in.
3 Only offer the higher tier mods as extra judges become available. Your higher level players need to step up and be the judge pool.
4 Announce your event at least 10 days in advance. Gamers need to check with their moms, wives or SO, or arrange to get a ride to the event or whatever. The more lead time the better.
5 Whatever you can prove you will need for judges 5 days ahead of time you might want to double. Everyone still signs up at the last minute.
6 If you are short a player at a low tier mod get a backup judge to play a pregen. If someone agreed to be a judge they are usually ok with running the pregen and they can be impartial on how they do so.

Really from where i sit it is not the lack of replay that is the problem. It is the utter lack of rewards for judging that is. If running a mod for someone offered 1 faction point to the character of their choice and running a pregen to make the 4th player at the table did likewise that would make organizing a bit easier. This would allow access to better gear but not give the gold to buy it. Potentially useful but not all that unbalancing.
Allowing replays in the style of LFR would not actually make people more receptive to new players. They would just choose to play with they 4 or 5 people they know they like to play with since there is nothing to force them to do otherwise.

Plots versus storylines. Let me say that PFS mods are better than many of the core LG mods were. Where they lack is in the storylines. A storyline stretches across multiple mods. All of the PFS mods I am played with the exception of 2 have be stand alone episodes. Not matter how good the plot of an episode is there is still no storyline unless the mods are interconnected. The regional storylines in LG were typically pretty good. They were interconnected and did not apologize for it. They also allowed the illusion that your choices matter and can affect the direction of the world. The LG players that have dipped into PFS and then left have usually left because of this reason.

Mod spoiler:
In The Devil you know parts 1 and 2, even though it was implied that they were part of a series they were very weakly connected in any way except the location and who they were fighting. It really is OK to make a mod that will warn you in the blurb that you should try to play part 1 before part 2. For this pair it completely did not matter. Thus in my opinion there was not a storyline, just a pair of lookalike plots..

Thats long enough for now.
Den

**

50% of all future scenarios will be part of a 2-to-4 part story arc. #29 and #30 didn't need to be played in a specific order--but they need to be played before you can play parts 3 and 4. With the Echoes of the Everwar series, you can play the first three in any order, but the fourth can only be played after the first three. This gives GMs and coordinators some flexibility.

Your example above is a great example, but not all organized PFS events are game days. An in-store game that has just one table is just that: an in-store game with one table. We have to be sure that, whatever our rules or policies, our org play system is as open and easy for a hardcore game day group that can run 4 slots of 6 tables each as it is for a weekly store game that can only muster one table. Most Pathfinder Society is being played in one-table groups right now--your example is amazing, but not the norm (not yet anyway).

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
uncleden wrote:
1 Play in a place that allows more than one table to go off at a time. Lack this and what you are running is a home game, not a game day.

Unfortunately, for many store owners/groups this is simply not realistic. Space is ludicrously expensive up here, to rent enough for one evening to run extra tables would mean we would have to charge upwards of 50 dollars a seat. I also think you're missing who's having the issues, but I'll get back to that later.

Quote:
2 Make sure you have low level mods available so that new people can play. This allows new people to play by forcing a portion of the existing base to be in the level range that lets them in.

We do. The problem is that we've played them all, between everybody showing up.

Quote:
3 Only offer the higher tier mods as extra judges become available. Your higher level players need to step up and be the judge pool.

Irrelevant: Nobody is in the 7-11 tier yet. These mods are not legal for play.

Quote:
4 Announce your event at least 10 days in advance. Gamers need to check with their moms, wives or SO, or arrange to get a ride to the event or whatever. The more lead time the better.

Our venue is consistent and regular: A local game store, every other week. The announcements for the games are posted quite prominently, and in fact there is a regular stream of new people coming and going. The problem is that we can't stop them from 'going' because setup is taking over an hour trying to find something we can play, even with two judges (usually the maximum number our attendance can support.)

Quote:
5 Whatever you can prove you will need for judges 5 days ahead of time you might want to double. Everyone still signs up at the last minute.

Number of judges doesn't really matter when you consistently have 9-10 people.

Quote:
6 If you are short a player at a low tier mod get a backup judge to play a pregen. If someone agreed to be a judge they are usually ok with running the pregen and they can be impartial on how they do so.

That would be nice, and both I and other players have volunteered to do it simply to get things moving, but it's acknowledged we would much rather have a far easier time setting up a table or two where everyone can get their credit.

Josh already pointed this out, but you're talking about a scenario where, including judges, you have over twenty players showing up for only a semi-regular event. With that many people, there's enough flexibility to find something for everyone to do. But the game day, put simply, isn't the lowest tier of organized play - the game store is. And, arguably, it's easily the most important outside of the major announcement/release events like Paizocon and GenCon (I'm not an industry man, so I'll let Josh field whether those are really important at all.)

Why? Simple: Having a regular, local level event pulls people into the store. It's free advertising for someone who desperately needs it. This earns the store-owner's good will, which encourages them to sell more books from Paizo. And let's not kid ourselves too much here, from a business perspective that's what this is really all about. No more Pathfinder books being sold, no more PFS.

****

Chris Kenney wrote:
uncleden wrote:
1 Play in a place that allows more than one table to go off at a time. Lack this and what you are running is a home game, not a game day.

Unfortunately, for many store owners/groups this is simply not realistic. Space is ludicrously expensive up here, to rent enough for one evening to run extra tables would mean we would have to charge upwards of 50 dollars a seat. I also think you're missing who's having the issues, but I'll get back to that later.

Quote:
2 Make sure you have low level mods available so that new people can play. This allows new people to play by forcing a portion of the existing base to be in the level range that lets them in.

We do. The problem is that we've played them all, between everybody showing up.

Quote:
3 Only offer the higher tier mods as extra judges become available. Your higher level players need to step up and be the judge pool.

Irrelevant: Nobody is in the 7-11 tier yet. These mods are not legal for play.

Quote:
4 Announce your event at least 10 days in advance. Gamers need to check with their moms, wives or SO, or arrange to get a ride to the event or whatever. The more lead time the better.
Our venue is consistent and regular: A local game store, every other week. The announcements for the games are posted quite prominently, and in fact there is a regular stream of new people coming and going. The problem is that we can't stop them from 'going' because setup is taking over an hour trying to find something we can play, even with two judges (usually the maximum number our attendance can support.)

Chris,

It still sounds to me like the problem is a lack of planning. You wait to see who shows up before you even pick the mods? This is something that should be announced when you announce the event. No wonder you are having problems. If people knowingly show up for mods they can't play they should not be surprised that it does not work right.

The game day I organize for is on sunday. It is not my first choice but the game store that lets us use the space had this as an open day so we claimed it. We have brought lots of business their way according to them so everybody is happy. There is also plenty of room for us to play, but there are at least 4 other stores within a 50 mile radius that could support 2 tables at a game day.
Our format is 2 slots, 10am and 2pm. We often get 4 different mods to go off. We get off 2 or 3 tables in each slot. Our highest level players are hitting the 8-9th range. We play every other Sunday. The mods offered are announced typically 12 or more days in advance. People show up knowing what they are going to play. We did an experiment with wildcard slots but it ended up with the headache you described where it took almost an hour to decide what to play and then nothing worked for everybody. Rather than waste peoples gas the mods will be preselected going forward.
We also keep track of who has played what to give a better guess what to offer. If someone is looking for a mod they request it and it shows up within a month.
For what it is worth this is how i have seen it done in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit for years of LG. For sure none of these are unique ideas.

Andoran *

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
What if I opened previous seasons to replay with a different character? So, for example, I opened all of Season 0 to replay for full credit with a different character, but kept Season 1 closed? Then, in Season 2, I could open all of the Season 1 scenarios along with the Season 0 scenarios for replay? That would keep the current, "fresh" scenarios "sacred" in the minds of the anti-replayers, but open older content to be used to bring in new players for those who need replay to do so.

I want to be opposed to replaying scenarios, but considering we generally rotate a few new players every month in my home game PFS games while our core group keeps leveling up (except for one player who is on his fourth character due to character deaths) the possibility of going back to play first level again in scenarios I haven't played in for a year, or ate before we had the new GMing rules is appealing.

This idea of opening up the previous season is the best I've seen here, but otherwise I would say no replays at all.

Andoran **** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Cape Girardeau aka Arnim Thayer

The problem we are seeing at our FLGS is that the same players are signing up again and again, only for new scenarios. Trying to get new players active would require that ability (and rewarding) of other players to re-play those scenarios again. And possibly the rewarding of GMs too, to prevent "scenario burn-out."

As the local coordinator for PFS at our FLGS, I never seem to find time to enjoy playing my character, as I am always running scenarios. My character has stayed "behind the curve" of established players, unable to afford the basic +1 weapons and armor that the regular players have access to (since I am only rewarded half to gp of an active character). I have a fairly large stable of GMs that also run (7), but on alternate days or weekends from me due to scheduling issues. As PFS coordinator, I enjoy the game and am a strong supporter of Paizo product. Rarely is there PF product on the shelves if it has PFS allowable content inside and even the other GMS have begun purchasing the Gmae Mastery maps after seeing them in play.

As a player though, I am increasingly frustrated by the perceived shortcomings my character has in comparison to those in active play. Any suggestions to fix that are welcome.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

We really appreciate all of this feedback. As I'm in the middle of writing the first installment of the 12th-level Eyes of the Ten series, I've been focusing a lot of Pathfinder Society. Josh has been sharing some of his ideas on where things should go, and together we've bashed out a ton of good ideas and idea kernels that I think address a lot of the concerns listed in this thread.

Please stay tuned, folks! There are some really exciting developments on the horizon.

Grand Lodge *

A few things from a new Society guy:

1) Taking another look at the design of Pathfinder Society while considering the fact that Players are getting a steady stream of "go fetch" missions is a good thing.

In the same way that I'll use meta-game thinking to fix a problem in my Homegame -- maybe a PC's character concept of an alchemist who needs to stay in his lab runs contrary to the party who moves around alot -- by talking with the Player about slightly altering his concept so he can "be with the group", Paizo can discuss how to slightly alter the Society so it's not all about retrieving relics and info. For meta-game reasons.

2) In my own experience there are considerably too few tier 1 adventures unless we run every single Tier 1 scenario. I like being able to browse for "just the adventures in Absalom" and play only those. But there's no way, at this point, to do so.

3) To Paizo: For us, fall back on the lessons you learned while producing the best issues of Dungeon Magazine ever -- Prison Mail was a great vehicle for us to vent and praise, and a good tool for you to learn how to make a better magazine. The premise every editor had was Let's listen to what the readers want.

Qadira *****

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
50% of all future scenarios will be part of a 2-to-4 part story arc. #29 and #30 didn't need to be played in a specific order--but they need to be played before you can play parts 3 and 4. With the Echoes of the Everwar series, you can play the first three in any order, but the fourth can only be played after the first three.

Wow... another thing to be excited about. I like the idea! I am definitly anxious to see more of the Season 1 and on...

JP
still playing through S0s

**

W E Ray wrote:
... Paizo can discuss how to slightly alter the Society so it's not all about retrieving relics and info. For meta-game reasons.

Erik's Tier 12 adventure coupled with a conversation Jacobs and I had about my upcoming sequel to Among the Living (gasp!) gave me some awesome ideas about how *exactly* we can change the culture of the in-game Society to suddenly free up a wide variety of what I call "generic D&D" adventures (and I don't mean generic in a bad way, either). These ideas will kick into full gear starting with Season 2 this coming August, but those of you playing the Tier 12 arc that starts in March will get some previews of that change. Stay tuned.

W E Ray wrote:
2) In my own experience there are considerably too few tier 1 adventures unless we run every single Tier 1 scenario. I like being able to browse for "just the adventures in Absalom" and play only those. But there's no way, at this point, to do so.

Out of the currently released 40 scenarios, 26 of them include Tier 1-2. That's 65% of them! I can't release more scenarios yet because the Society hasn't grown to a point where that's warranted and I can't increase the number of Tier 1-2 scenarios because I'd necessarily restrict the leveling ability of folks who are staying up to date, so we'll have to stay right where we're at. But I hardly think 65% of the scenarios being written for level 1 characters is "too few" though I'll allow that you and I might both be framing the term "too few" in two different connotations.

W E Ray wrote:
3) The premise every editor had was Let's listen to what the readers want.

I don't want to get too snarky here, but what in these messageboards, this thread, the fact that 2.0 of the Guide was written entirely by the feedback generated in the 1.0 FAQ thread, the fact that I'm talking to you guys every single day right here on the boards ... what in all these experiences gives you the idea that I'm not listening?

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
... what in all these experiences gives you the idea that I'm not listening?

I'd say it's because you

Spoiler:
Explosive Runes!!!
**

Old tricks are the best tricks, I always say.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
What if I opened previous seasons to replay with a different character? So, for example, I opened all of Season 0 to replay for full credit with a different character, but kept Season 1 closed? Then, in Season 2, I could open all of the Season 1 scenarios along with the Season 0 scenarios for replay? That would keep the current, "fresh" scenarios "sacred" in the minds of the anti-replayers, but open older content to be used to bring in new players for those who need replay to do so.
It would mean that scenarios released later in the year, such as the four PaizoCon scenarios, would only have a few months before they were open to replay. I guess by season is the easiest way to denote what can be replayed and what can't, but I would prefer something like scenario number (maybe the most current 12 or 20 are still "sacred") but that would require everyone to be up to date on the newest scenarios all the time and not everyone follows things as closely as I do.

There are 28 releases in a year, right? So allow (Current Release)-14 and under maybe?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

LOL. I actually pulled that trick in a Living City adventure once, on a handout.

Worked, too.

****

W E Ray wrote:
2) In my own experience there are considerably too few tier 1 adventures unless we run every single Tier 1 scenario. I like being able to browse for "just the adventures in Absalom" and play only those. But there's no way, at this point, to do so.
Joshua Frost wrote:
Out of the currently released 40 scenarios, 26 of them include Tier 1-2. That's 65% of them! I can't release more scenarios yet because the Society hasn't grown to a point where that's warranted and I can't increase the number of Tier 1-2 scenarios because I'd necessarily restrict the leveling ability of folks who are staying up to date, so we'll have to stay right where we're at. But I hardly think 65% of the scenarios being written for level 1 characters is "too few" though I'll allow that you and I might both be framing the term "too few" in two different connotations.

Having about 1/2 of the mods going forward support low tier play is great by me. Since that seems like what is being done, and since i have seemed like I am on your case recently i feel I must say keep up the good work.:)

You are managing the range of tiers with a limited resource so that everyone gets some chance to play something new now and then.

Den

**

The tiers are structured in such a way that if you're keeping up on a monthly basis, you'll have something to play with 1 or more characters 1-to-2 times each month (and 1-to-4 in June and August only).

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you do allow replays, I agree with:

It has to be a different character. The same character can never replay any scenario.

Start with Season 0 when Season 2 kicks off. Every year when you kick off the new season, allow the season from two years ago to be replayed. A season three years earlier can be retired.

The GM's will obviously need to get credit for it as well. So they could get their usual 1/2 credit deal.

The GM must mention that if a replay character is acting on game knowledge from playing it before, he or she will not get credit for the scenario.

Another option to make a table legal by adding a player who has already played it - The replay player must use a new character and only gets half credit like the GM.

A possibility: Give the GM's who "eat" the slot 0 adventure full credit. Give a GM who already played it, but then GM's it, half credit (for a different character) for running it the first time. Maybe this would encourage others to try running a game too.

Overall, replays are not a big issue in our area yet, but that may change once we start burning through all of the available options.

Grand Lodge ***

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

I think you should be able to replay and get credit for the character. I played a lot of RPGA and this was one of the most annoying features...not allowing replay with other characters forced behavior they did not want.

Since magic items access is based on the scenarios you played people use to make sure they played the right character on the table as opposed to the one that would make the most sense or the one they really wanted to play. I know certain people that would not play a scenario until they saw the cert and decided which character it make sense to play.

I think if someone has played the scenario the GM should be able to decide at the table if the person "game away" to much or effected the game in a way a negative way and then hand out credit based on that.

Seems silly to not allow this, it is a game! People are suppose to have fun...do not treat us all like children (lol even though my kids play more mature then me sometimes).

Not sure it matters but I thought would weigh in anyway!

***** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—Boston aka Harley Quinn X

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow... Someone apparently used Gentle Repose on this thread.

**

Mark Moreland wrote:

Not everyone is capable of playing with character knowledge and not player knowledge. While I like to think I tend to play with people who can separate what their PC knows and what they know as players. In an OP campaign, one doesn't know who their fellow players will be, nor their capabilities at keeping OOC knowledge out of the game. In a campaign where death is a real threat, knowing something that can save your PC is a hard thing to resist. I would be disappointed, and frankly annoyed, if someone playing with me spoiled an adventure by blabbing on what was coming next, or obviously metagamed to have an unfair advantage. Sure, I could just go through with a different character and play the same scenario with the same advantage, but it wouldn't be any fun for me. At first, I was upset that I might miss scenarios or my PC wouldn't have received all the potential XP, but now that we are on the verge of retirement for lvl 12 PCs (next month?) and most players have second or third PCs for playing in different tiers, it's clear to me that no PC will ever have it all. And thus, my 8th level monk doesn't need to play through the same scenarios my 3rd level wizard did. They can play different ones and each get their own rewards, but I had fun playing both and as long as I can play the scenarios I'm happy with that. Furthermore, now that access to magic is determined by prestige and not chronicle sheets, what specifically you get from one scenario and not the next is no longer an issue.

I think allowing players to play scenarios is a slippery slope and not one I'd trust my own balance check on. I like this aspect of PFS just the way it is. Some other things might need to be looked into, but not this one.

Yet, we allow people who have run the mod to play it. I've actually had to put down the mod to start playing it, as I was prepping to run it later in the day.


Honestly even with this thread being so old I'll toss in my $.02

I would love to see the no replay rule taken out back and shot.

We can play it after running it, and anyone that wants to cheat is only 4$ away from reading the mod.

There have been several game days that my wife and I have had to skip due to already running all the adventures that are on tap.

Sadly we have other characters of the correct tier but due to the no repaly rule had to skip it.

I don't see it changing, but god I would LOVE it if it did.

Shadow Lodge ***

I would like to see the rule relaxed to where it is clear you may replay (but not for credit) as many times as you want. I can run a scenario as many times as I want, so why shouldn't I be allowed to play it?

Could it be abused? Sure, but that's why the GMs have the right to tell you to buzz off if you've played it before.

I don't think scenarios should be replayed for credit, except in unusual cases.

Grand Lodge ***

I'm okay with replays, but not for credit. Even then, as a GM I'd only allow someone to replay a scenario if they'd help fill the table to a legal size, or if they'd leave they take another player with them (maybe one is the other's ride) or similar situations. And I'd never allow someone I knew who'd spoil the scenario to reply it, and ask anyone who ultimately did to leave the table.

I'm a little iffy of those who have GMed but not played the scenario who later plays it for credit.

As far as trying to game the rewards to put them on the "right" character, I just think that's silly. Play who you have with what is run, and if you didn't get the rewards on the character you wanted them on, run the scenario yourself and put your GM rewards where you want it.

Sczarni **** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

Having played a scenario more then once before, naturally once for credit and then just being a warm body at a table. It would be nice to get credit for those sessions. I know the abuse that getting credit could be.

When we(mostly the GMs) play First steps at the local shop. We know the list of people we have to see and no longer need it, we make perception checks, acrobatic checks, initiative checks nearly before the GM asks for them because we have played them so much. I don't want to see the rest of PFS scenarios come down to that, and that's what I think could very easily happen if you allow replaying of scenarios.

If my vote counts, I'm voting no.

Cheliax ****

I would appreciate the replay rule relaxed so you could play with a different character. In Toronto, some of our people play twice a week, and sometimes there just isn't something they've never played before.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, California—San Diego

You can replay as many times as you wish.

You can only receive credit once as a player and once as a GM.

My understanding is that the replay rules were abused in the past and it is highly unlikely that they will ever be made less restrictive.

Qadira *** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Thorkull

What Eric said.

I'll also add that you should on replay a scenario if the other option is "the table doesn't make." I understand that some people don't like that you don't get credit for multiple plays, but LFR allowed unlimited replay for credit, and that created its own host of problems. Both Living City and Living Greyhawk went for years (in the former's case, decades) with no replay allowed, including for GMs, and they both thrived the entire time they existed. No replay is much closer to the experience of a home game, and while there are many aspects of organized play that require adjustments when compared to a home game, this is not one of them.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Anoka

David Montgomery wrote:
Wow... Someone apparently used Gentle Repose on this thread.

And apparently they cast it 206 times.

Andoran ****

It would be nice to be able to replay scenarios but I can understand why its restricted. That said I have gladly sat in on a table short a player and joined in for the fun alone. I just took a back seat to problem solving and strategy and had a blast with the RP.

Sczarni **

out of all the arguments presented here, I just haven't found any argument against replay that honestly makes sense.

To everyone that says it ruins the experience, so does having the PDFs available to anyone with a wallet/internet connection/friend that's played it/gm'd it themselves.

Shadow Lodge ***

lantzkev wrote:

out of all the arguments presented here, I just haven't found any argument against replay that honestly makes sense.

Well I don't think you make sense. :P

Specifically, your rejection of the arguments presented in this thread without so much as a nod to why you feel they're incorrect. Your point has already been brought up. In fact, it's in the Guide. DMs are expected to kick out players who ruin the plot for others.

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I find the fact that you can replay certain scenarios with new characters for credit undermines the arguments against replaying all scenarios with new characters for credit.

Andoran

I'm not in favor of additional replays with character credit. Modules can already be played both as a player and as a DM for character credit. Additionally, a player can replay a module for no credit in order to fill out a table. PFS is now in year 4, so there are many old modules still available ( over eighty, including various specials and modules which were originally published in book form). There is also an introductory series of three goblin themed modules which can be played for an unlimited number of times for new first level characters. If players replay modules they become staler and more uninteresting/unchallenging. Once players have played dozens of modules they should be encouraged to try their hand at DMing- thus helping newer players and helping the hobby to grow.

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