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Splitting the missions


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

*

This came up in a thread where we were discussing adapting a Season 0 scenario to PFRPG that had two missions.

I suggested splitting the missions along the guidelines stating which new factions used the old factions missions and doing a little re-fluffing to make them sound better. When I was told I couldn't do that, I looked up the rules in the guide.

From the PFS Guide 4.1 wrote:
If a Season 0 scenario has two faction missions per faction, consider one mission that of the faction and the other the overall success conditions for the scenario.
Quote:
Seasons 1 and 2 (Scenarios #29–#56 and #2–01 through #2–26): These scenarios all include two faction missions. For characters using the standard advancement track, one of these should be considered the faction mission and the other the success condition for the scenario, maintaining the 2 Prestige Point maximum."

Looking at that, each faction only has one secret mission, with the other being considered part of the success condition of the overall scenario.

What does that mean exactly? That everyone has one secret mission that they have to complete for their prestige and then one public mission they need to share with the group, so that every single one can be completed for the scenario to be a success, and and if you fail any of them you don't get the other prestige point for winning the scenario? That's what it sounds like.

So which mission do you decide is which, and what happens if all the public missions are not completed?

In every scenario I've played with two missions, the GM has always handed out prestige based on two things.

1. You completed at least one of the faction missions. 1 pt
2. The party won. 1 pt

Have they been doing it wrong?

In the case of two missions, I don't really see the harm in splitting them between the two cooperating factions. The Andoran has to do one, the Silver Crusader the other, the Shadow Lodge has to do one, the Chelaxian the other, etc. etc.

It would be up to the GM to pre-plan which mission goes to which partner, and after that, they're on their own. Running the Season 0 scenarios takes a bit of pre planning anyway, with adapting the monsters and all, so this little bit extra shouldn't be that big a deal.

Let me show you an example I did with the missions from #06 Black Waters

Black Water New Faction Missions:

Qadira Faction Handout

Servant of the Satrap,
As you well know, we seek trade and economic advantage above all else. Collecting debts and supplying the demands of other nations’ peoples is how our great empire has spanned the seas and why thrones around the world crumble to dust at our command. Qadiran merchants seek a private location in Absalom to warehouse vast quantities of less-than-legal wares. A locked down necropolis buried under an abandoned district of the city may be the ideal warehouse and distribution hub. When you enter the necropolis beneath the Drownyard, take detailed notes of the layout. Be aware that our agents will attempt to divine your location magically at some point—be sure to allow them to do so. Go well, and do honor to our satrapy.

Respectfully,
Pasha Muhlia Al-Jakri

Lantern Lodge Faction Handout

Friend to the East,
In order to attain a more perfect understanding of the rituals that govern their lives, and their deaths, our agents are seeking a greater knowledge of the burial practices followed by the natives of the Inner Sea. In particular, there is an Osirian funeral mask made of solid gold that they believe might be in this ancient necropolis, and they wish to examine it. If you should find it, be certain to deliver it to me intact.

Seeking Enlightenment,
Venture Captain Amara Li

Andoran Faction Handout

Most Liberated Soul of Justice,
Greetings, Scion of Freedom. It is with great shame I confess my needs on this dark eve. The Tri-Towers Yard was home to my younger brother Grishan, a young student who fancied himself a spy. After feigning friendship with other students, Grishan collected incriminating information about their families and made regular reports to my predecessor. My brother engaged in shameful acts and any evidence of such must be expunged. If his misdeeds come to light, it will result not only in my family’s great shame, but also my expulsion from this post. Go with haste, and preserve the fires of freedom.

Gratefully Yours,
Captain Colson Maldris

Silver Crusade Faction Handout

Stalwart Champion,
You know our path to victory lies in detecting evil and routing it out wherever it is found. Deciphering communications between hidden cells of evil groups is a paramount activity and we’ve reason to believe our recent decryption techniques have been compromised. It’s a long shot, but we also have reason to believe a famous Gebbite general was buried in the very same necropolis you’ve been sent to. You should recognize him from the distinct ceremonial bronze armor and shield he was buried in. The shield, in particular, is covered in Kelish scrypt. Recover the shield as we believe it holds the key to an ancient cipher we believe is being used by the spies of our enemies.

Faithfully,
Ollysta Zadrian

Taldor Faction Handout

Servant of the Empire,
Taldor possesses a mere fraction of its former glory. One of the keys to restoring the empire’s sense of purpose lies in rediscovering the nation’s august past. As we know the various necropolises beneath Absalom were once used to bury the honored dead of Old Taldor, we hope you might find any evidence of our glory over the Isle of Kortos or victories against any of our ancient enemies and bring it to light. Such evidence might help us stoke the fires of patriotism in the cold hearth of our empire. Your service shall not be forgotten.

Honorably,
Baron Jacquo Dalsine

Scarnzi Faction Handout

My Good Friend,
The most adroit swordsman is well skilled at turning aside a foe’s attack, and the best schemer can stoke the ire of an enemy and send it surging at a rival. My mission for you this day involves sparking old enmities between two of our business rivals. You shall find with this message a missive, properly falsified and aged. This meticulously forged letter appears to be from the last Headmistress of the Tri-Towers Yard, an Osirion named Kiwu, and is written to the Qadiran Pasha Muhlia Al-Jakri demanding complete payment for necropolis treasures that Muhlia requested and Kiwu sent. We intend this letter to implicate Osirion and Qadira in grave robbery. Plant it secretly somewhere in the necropolis, but where it can easily be discovered.

Fuggedaboutit,
Gueril Karela

Cheliax Faction Handout

Delicious One,
You’ve been assigned a most distasteful task by this tiresome Society you swear allegiance to. Thankfully for us all, Asmodeus finds glory in even the darkest shadows of the world. A certain loyalist to our faction, Lady Miranda Dacilane, lost her only child, her beautiful daughter Junia, to the disaster that befell the Tri-Towers Yard. We believe Lady Dacilane to be a spy for the Taldans and need an object from her person to better help our agents keep track of her movements. Without doing any harm to the Lady Dacilane and without arousing her suspicion, acquire the bejeweled skull broach that she so often shows off at Absalom dinner parties. Hurry now in your task—I have further pleasures to show you.

Deeply Yours,
Paracountess Zarta Dralneen

Shadow Lodge Faction Handout

One of my Sharpest Tacks,
I’ve long suspected that the earthquake responsible for the collapse of Beldrins Bluff was no natural occurrence, there are far too many dead things creeping around that area at night for their not to be some kind of connection to a greater evil at work. I want you to acquire some of the putrid black liquid that it said to pool about the grounds of the Drownyard. Particularly, there is a pool there that is said to bubble most unnaturally and I suspect it has some kind of necromantic property that can be used to track this evil to its source. Take the flask attached to this note, fill it up, and bring it to me.

For the love of the Gods don’t drink any of it,
Torch

Osirion Faction Handout

Wise One,
The Tri-Towers Yard was an institute of great learning for Absalom’s elite—it was also a source of important intelligence offered to the Ruby Prince’s cause by the Headmistress, a woman of Osirion birth named Kiwu Quadin. Kiwu was a highranking spy among my inner circle. It is of grave import that you collect her records, if they still exist, and not allow them to fall into Pathfinder Society hands. Beware the restless spirits of the Tri-Towers Yard and may Pharasma’s shroud shield you from their rancor.

Eternally,
Amenopheus, The Sapphire Sage

Grand Lodge Faction Handout

Fellow Seeker,
Our necromantic researchers are seeking samples of a variety of undead from across Golarion, trying to ascertain what spawns and sustains them under different conditions. They believe you’ll find a variety of specimens in the necropolis beneath the Tri-Towers Yard. Find a living corpse of obvious noble birth—a king, perhaps—and bring a sample of that corpse’s body to me. Doing so will give our scholars greater insight into the world of the dead, which may be put to good use by the Society in combating and destroying them.

Respectfully,
V.C. Ambrus Valsin

If you're at all familiar with the original missions, you'll see that the only thing that has changed is a small bit of fluff explaining the reasoning behind the mission for the new faction and perhaps a little clarification.

I see this as a simple and effective way to create missions for every faction in the older scenarios without really changing anything.

Shadow Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Wraithcannon wrote:


In every scenario I've played with two missions, the GM has always handed out prestige based on two things.

1. You completed at least one of the faction missions. 1 pt
2. The party won. 1 pt

Have they been doing it wrong?

My understanding is that for the scenarios which include two faction missions those are the only ways to earn prestige points, and you get one prestige point for completing each of the faction missions. For those scenarios you get XP for completing the overall mission, but no PP. For scenarios with only one faction mission you get one PP for completing the faction mission, and one PP for completing the overall mission (just as is the case for the season 3 scenarios).

Osirion ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Wraithcannon wrote:


In every scenario I've played with two missions, the GM has always handed out prestige based on two things.

1. You completed at least one of the faction missions. 1 pt
2. The party won. 1 pt

Have they been doing it wrong?

The way we've been doing it, based on what our event coordinator has said ({cough} Dragnmoon {cough}) is that you get one PP for finishing the overall mission, and one PP if you do BOTH faction missions.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Dragnmoon is mistaken.

Back in July, a Season 2 scenario worked like this:
VC Hamshanks: Recover the fruit dish of Abadar.
Faction Leader: Free some slaves, and take the prince out for a night of bowling.
1 Prestige: Freeing the slaves.
1 Prestige: Taking the prince out bowling.

Now, in Season 3, scenarios look like this:
VC Hamshanks: Recover the fruit dish of Abadar.
Faction Leader: Free some slaves.
1 Fame "Success Condition": Recovering the fruit dish.
1 Fame "Faction Mission": Freeing the slaves.

But if you play a Season 0,1, or 2 scenario with two prestige points, it works like this:
VC Hamshanks: Recover the fruit dish of Abadar.
Faction Leader: Free some slaves, and take the prince out for a night of bowling.
1 Fame "Success Condition": Freeing the slaves.
1 Fame "Faction Mission": Taking the prince out bowling.

That is to say, nothing's changed. This is one of the rules in the Guide most in need of a clarification / rewrite.

The following is not the case:
VC Hamshanks: Recover the fruit dish of Abadar.
Faction Leader: Free some slaves.
1 Fame "Success Condition": Recovering the fruit dish.
1 Fame "Faction Mission": Freeing the slaves AND taking the prince out bowling.

If you're going on slow progression, you halve the prestige, rounding down.


Yeah, it seems there is a thread with this question at least once a month since the start of Season 3.

Like others have explained, if a scenario has two faction missions, a character must complete both of them in order to ear full Prestige. In these scenarios, completing the actual scenario makes no difference on earned Prestige. Successfully completing the scenario counts for a point of Prestige ONLY if there is just one faction mission, like in Season 3 or in some Season 0 scenarios.

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

And it is largely undocumented, but I believe that Mark (and maybe Mike) noted somewhere on the message boards, that the faction success mission should be the more difficult one.

And in season 0 through 2, there was usually a gimme mission and a difficult mission. If you split them, how do you determine which faction gets the gimme?

*

Andrew Christian wrote:
And in season 0 through 2, there was usually a gimme mission and a difficult mission. If you split them, how do you determine which faction gets the gimme?

That's the only hiccup, you're leaving that one question up to GM fiat.

In the example I provided, I tried to split them according to what made sense in the fluff (the Andoran recovering the diary) but honestly you could have had the Silver Crusader picking it up because they want to investigate the "real" Maldris family, or switched it to Cheliax because Zarta want's something to hold over Colson's head.

It doesn't really matter which faction gets which mission, as long as you don't use any foreknowledge of which factions will be played along with the strengths and weaknesses of the characters trying to accomplish them. It wouldn't be fair to give the mission that requires a DC 20 diplomacy check to the fighter with zero ranks and the gimmie mission to the bard who excels in it. It would also be unfair to switch that around. When a player sits down at a table, they have no idea what their mission will be, and the GM should take same the "blind" approach or flip a coin if he is playing with a smaller group.

Does anyone see a problem in letting a GM make that type of decision?

Shadow Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Andrew Christian wrote:
And it is largely undocumented, but I believe that Mark (and maybe Mike) noted somewhere on the message boards, that the faction success mission should be the more difficult one.

That's just fluff. It doesn't make any difference which one you call the faction mission - you still get one Prestige Point for completing each of them. If you succeed in the overall mission objectives, but only succeed in completing one of the two faction missions, you get one XP and one PP no matter which of the faction mission objectives you achieved.

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

Wraithcannon wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
And in season 0 through 2, there was usually a gimme mission and a difficult mission. If you split them, how do you determine which faction gets the gimme?

That's the only hiccup, you're leaving that one question up to GM fiat.

In the example I provided, I tried to split them according to what made sense in the fluff (the Andoran recovering the diary) but honestly you could have had the Silver Crusader picking it up because they want to investigate the "real" Maldris family, or switched it to Cheliax because Zarta want's something to hold over Colson's head.

It doesn't really matter which faction gets which mission, as long as you don't use any foreknowledge of which factions will be played along with the strengths and weaknesses of the characters trying to accomplish them. It wouldn't be fair to give the mission that requires a DC 20 diplomacy check to the fighter with zero ranks and the gimmie mission to the bard who excels in it. It would also be unfair to switch that around. When a player sits down at a table, they have no idea what their mission will be, and the GM should take same the "blind" approach or flip a coin if he is playing with a smaller group.

Does anyone see a problem in letting a GM make that type of decision?

Other than it is specifically against the way the Guide tells you to do it you mean?

The official answer is yes. Because the guide has a specific way to do it.

However, if you aren't changing any mechanical numbers within the scenario, and it is fair across the board, you are largely just creating fluff and a more immersive atmosphere for players of the new season 3 factions. But I can't condone doing it.


From page 26 of the Guide:

Quote:


Grand Lodge faction PCs should treat Osirion faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

Lantern Lodge faction PCs should treat Qadira faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

Sczarni faction PCs should treat Taldor faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

Shadow Lodge faction PCs should treat Cheliax faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

Silver Crusade faction PCs should treat Andoran faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

This is the way it is meant to be done, but notice they all say "should", not "must" or "are required to". This wording makes me think you would not be cheating if you changed them around. So if you feel you can fairly switch around who gets which missions and nothing in the mechanics or the main story is effected and your switch does not end up costing someone a point of Fame, then I do not think you will get in trouble for it.

Shadow Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Chris Mortika wrote:

If you're going on slow progression, you halve the prestige, rounding down.

I don't believe you round Prestige Points. The guide explicitly talks about fractional PP in one section on Applying Credit:

Guide to PFSOP 4.1, p23-24 wrote:

The minimum possible reward is [...] 0 GP, 1/2 XP, and 1/2 Prestige Point on the slow advancement track.

While this is specifically talking about applying credit for modules, I'd take it to imply that fractional PP awards can also occur for scenarios.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Gornil wrote:
The way we've been doing it, based on what our event coordinator has said ({cough} Dragnmoon {cough}) is that you get one PP for finishing the overall mission, and one PP if you do BOTH faction missions.

grrrr, no that has not what I have been telling you...grr

Scenarios with 2 Faction missions you don't get PP for completing the scenario, you only get PP for completing the Faction missions. There was that one time I was confused for 1 second when you asked, but I cleared that up almost immediately.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
Dragnmoon is mistaken.

Dragnmoon is not mistaken... Gornil is mistaken with what I said..

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Very well. The character of "Dragnmoon", as written by Gornil during one of his spasmodic coughing fits, was mistaken.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
Very well. The character of "Dragnmoon", as written by Gornil during one of his spasmodic coughing fits, was mistaken.

That is better...Dragnmoon approves.

Shadow Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

From page 26 of the Guide:

Quote:


Grand Lodge faction PCs should treat Osirion faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

Lantern Lodge faction PCs should treat Qadira faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

Sczarni faction PCs should treat Taldor faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

Shadow Lodge faction PCs should treat Cheliax faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

Silver Crusade faction PCs should treat Andoran faction
missions as their own for all Season 0, 1, and 2 scenarios.

This is the way it is meant to be done, but notice they all say "should", not "must" or "are required to". This wording makes me think you would not be cheating if you changed them around. So if you feel you can fairly switch around who gets which missions and nothing in the mechanics or the main story is effected and your switch does not end up costing someone a point of Fame, then I do not think you will get in trouble for it.

Changed them around how? If there is only one faction mission then everybody gets one Prestige Point for completing the overall mission, and the faction mission must be completed for faction members to earn their second Prestige point. If there are two faction missions then there is no Prestige Point award for completing the overall mission; the only way to earn Prestige Points is to complete faction missions, and faction members get one Prestige Point for completing each of the two missions. But then every faction member has two different faction missions to complete - there's not any split of the Andoran faction missions into "One for the Andorans, one for the Silver Crusade".

Nor do Silver Crusade faction members get to pick and choose among the five faction missions; they are lumped in with the Andorans.

*

JohnF wrote:
Nor do Silver Crusade faction members get to pick and choose among the five faction missions; they are lumped in with the Andorans.

I realize that, I was just saying that if you were going to do this, that it wouldn't matter who actually got which mission as long as they were re-skinned to fit into the theme of the factions over all goals and weren't set out biased in or out of favor to any PC you knew was coming to the table.

It was just an example.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

I've removed a post that linked to fan-made handouts that violated the Community Use Policy. While making your own faction handouts is fine, you may not distribute artwork not included in the Community Use Package nor replicate our trade dress.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Carbondale aka Disturbed1

I love it when this question comes up. The examples people come up with (like the ones Chris made near the top of the thread) are always funny.

I think the last time this came up someone said the mission was that Baron Jacqueau (The Taldor guy, since I obviously dont know how to spell it) wanted you to say hi to his mom for him.

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