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Factions – not really working so well anymore -> con organizer feedback from long term PFS players


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Cheliax ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hi all,

We just came back out of the biggest Con/Pathfinder event run in Australia (Ruby Phoenix) - Which was a great success (more stats to follow), and whilst Pathfinder Society is increasingly growing here there is also an increasing disenfranchisement with Faction missions - specifically how they are written and what has happened to them – I normally don’t weigh in too much with this stuff, but I had enough comments/complaints that I felt that I needed to bring some attention to it.

1.The first issue is that of the innate nature of Faction missions as a flavorful plot hook.
In Season 0, these seemed to be geopolitical. Players enjoyed their singular Faction mission as a ‘hook’ into the world of Golarion, with ties to nations, political issues and what was going on. One of the Key benefits is that missions had clear goals and reasons as to why you were doing your mission. The ‘macguffin’ mission wasn’t that common (unless you were Osiriani, in which case that is all you did). A great example of this is the Cheliaxian Faction mission in Slave Pits of Absalom.

This seems to have changed. Faction heads now seem to send people on arbitrary missions for personal or random reasons. Stereotypes have developed. It has literally got to the point where one player was saying to me ‘what random sexual toy does my supposedly powerful fascist nation wish for me to collect now’ – which is the increasing feel for Paracountess Dralneen. The Faction interplay is something that was initially very well received, but now seems to be just a random task that you have to do with little to no serious explanation. That isn’t that fun, as if it is meant to be a Golarion roleplaying hook – then it should be!

2.The second issue is the PROPHETIC nature of Faction missions.
How is your Faction leader able to know exactly that you will have to veer off course in a storm, arrive at a small island and find a small item for them? Or that you will manage to end up somewhere the venture Captain or you aren't intending on going? Faction missions should be related to the plot of the briefing, and should come in AFTER said plothook to allow PCs to maintain suspension of disbelief. These Faction missions seem lazy and arbitrary, and I had several players refuse to do them at the con out of irritation.

3.The third issue is the instruction clarity and occasional rigidity of the missions.
Quest for Perfection Part III is the most obvious example of this, where the players genuinely don’t know how to achieve their Faction goals, and regardless of how smart, clever, or well they roleplay/work together can only achieve them through sheer luck. (See Shadow Lodge Faction mission)

Ideally, it would be nice to reconcile Factions back into golarion, rather than as a mechanical process for item access, and moreover, TIE THE FACTION MISSIONS TO THE PLOT EXPOSITION. There is a lot of opportunity being missed here, and it is obvious Factions are being created as afterthoughts, rather than though being put into how each mission affects each faction, how much each Faction head should know about the mission, and what realistically is a cool plothook to be followed.

I understand this is already being brought up by my VC, Alistair Rigg – but I felt I should have my feedback provided – as we all want to improve this great game we got going here!

Any insight if other people are getting similar feedback would be interesting.

Regards

Dave Metcalfe (Metz)

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

We will be revamping faction missions in Season 4. Look for more info to be revealed very soon.

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

_metz_ wrote:

Hi all,

<snip>

2.The second issue is the PROPHETIC nature of Faction missions.
How is your Faction leader able to know exactly that you will have to veer off course in a storm, arrive at a small island and find a small item for them? Or that you will manage to end up somewhere the venture Captain or you aren't intending on going? Faction missions should be related to the plot of the briefing, and should come in AFTER said plothook to allow PCs to maintain suspension of disbelief. These Faction missions seem lazy and arbitrary, and I had several players refuse to do them at the con out of irritation.
<snip>

The joke in San Diego about this prophetic ability of the faction leaders is the following:

- Aroden is not dead
- The faction leaders had him kidnapped to harness the power of prophesy for their own ends

Silver Crusade **

Eric Brittain wrote:
_metz_ wrote:

Hi all,

<snip>

2.The second issue is the PROPHETIC nature of Faction missions.
How is your Faction leader able to know exactly that you will have to veer off course in a storm, arrive at a small island and find a small item for them? Or that you will manage to end up somewhere the venture Captain or you aren't intending on going? Faction missions should be related to the plot of the briefing, and should come in AFTER said plothook to allow PCs to maintain suspension of disbelief. These Faction missions seem lazy and arbitrary, and I had several players refuse to do them at the con out of irritation.
<snip>

The joke in San Diego about this prophetic ability of the faction leaders is the following:

- Aroden is not dead
- The faction leaders had him kidnapped to harness the power of prophesy for their own ends

Joke? ARODEN IS NOT DEAD!

Why does no one believe me...
>_<

Taldor ***

Alexander_Damocles wrote:

Joke? ARODEN IS NOT DEAD!

Why does no one believe me...
>_<

I know, right?

Sheesh.

Shadow Lodge ****

I think we decided the faction heads all had a 20th level diviner lich working for them, who had nothing better to do than to determine where Pathfinders were likely to go and then send them messages from their faction leaders. Last I checked I think we were only assuming one lich working for them all.

Silver Crusade **

Aroden Reborn wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:

Joke? ARODEN IS NOT DEAD!

Why does no one believe me...
>_<

I know, right?

Sheesh.

You all heard that, right?!

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

Aroden Reborn wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:

Joke? ARODEN IS NOT DEAD!

Why does no one believe me...
>_<

I know, right?

Sheesh.

Why is Aroden only a 3-star GM?

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew Christian wrote:
Aroden Reborn wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:

Joke? ARODEN IS NOT DEAD!

Why does no one believe me...
>_<

I know, right?

Sheesh.

Why is Aroden only a 3-star GM?

He prefers to play? Scenarios are not released fast enough for him though.

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

Bruce Chung wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Aroden Reborn wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:

Joke? ARODEN IS NOT DEAD!

Why does no one believe me...
>_<

I know, right?

Sheesh.

Why is Aroden only a 3-star GM?
He prefers to play? Scenarios are not released fast enough for him though.

But wouldn’t that be cheating because he already knows the outcome?

looks up to the sky awaiting the lightning bolt for calling the God of Prophecy a cheater

Hmmm…

I wonder if that was the random lightning bolt that hit me last week….

Silver Crusade **

Yeah, some of the faction missions have been kinda lame. We've noticed a trend in my group that season 2 Andoran faction missions seemed to include a lot of "be sure to kill this evil guy", and then the guy we're looking for turns out to be the main villain of the whole adventure. Not much of a stretch to think we'd kill him, even if it wasn't a faction mission.

And the one (and so far only) time my cleric in the Silver Crusade played a season 3 adventure, her faction mission was "Don't kill anyone unless you have to." Umm... Being lawful good, I really didn't need to be told that. So it was like not having a faction mission at all - just a free prestige point.

*

Fromper wrote:
And the one (and so far only) time my cleric in the Silver Crusade played a season 3 adventure, her faction mission was "Don't kill anyone unless you have to." Umm... Being lawful good, I really didn't need to be told that. So it was like not having a faction mission at all - just a free prestige point.

I actually don't mind these these missions and they're not as easy as you would think. You have to convince the party to use non-lethal attacks or to negotiate. In my games, I've had these missions fail twice, because the player misread and another chose not to tell anyone (and then someone crit killed the NPC). Oops?

Also, I like missions that don't always require skill checks. Anything that makes you think or requires negotiating with other PCs in game is ok with me. That's why I think some of the Grand Lodge missions have been so entertaining, not only do they have to do the job, but they have to do the job perfectly, which is extremely difficult!

The kill quests are not always bad, the Osirian one in "Bloodcove Disguise" was actually awesome. Even simple kill quests of guys you were going to beat anyway are not "bad", some PC might take offense and cause some faux-drama that is livable.

Anyway, I guess we all have different preferences.


You don't know the meaning of "step-and-fetch quest" until you work for Baron Taco...

*

TwoWolves wrote:


You don't know the meaning of "step-and-fetch quest" until you work for Baron Taco...

Absolutely. Which made it an awesome faction for my Fighter in seasons 0-2. Not so much so far in season 3. One thing I hope Mike/Mark bring to season 4 is consistency with factions, in terms of the TYPE of missions you may be on.

Regarding fetch missions, I find a lot of the factions missions are fetch missions lately. It's probably because those are easier to write than other missions types and take up less word count.

Btw, I don't want to see another Shadow Lodge mission where we have to find another dead body and determine how he died. That mission has been overplayed.

Cheliax used to have some of the best missions, some of them somewhat edgey, which I loved even though I don't have any PCs of that faction. Lately, they seem really tame, "get this, get that", ensure this person lives (!!), training peasants? Seriously? What happenned to the old devil-worshipping Cheliax? I want to know.

Silver Crusade *

The Problem that I see with faction missions is they have little to do
with what the factions major goal is the takeing over of Absolam.

IF a faction has other goals that fit better with the senario such as the Cheliaxan faction crushing Priates that are interfearing with trade of slaves and other trade goods bound for absloam. The Sliver Knights
aquireing medicines for area that are blighted by Plauge or recuting people to fight at the world wound. Taldens fighting piracy that plages its trade Quardia the most trade dependant faction would pronounce an athama on Piracy as well as try to shaft the trading asperations of Taldore and Cheliax. The Scarzni would want to procrue smugleing route for thie illicit goods bound for Absolam taking over the thieves guild in Absolam.

Just some ideas for some of the Factions.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Stay tuned for next Monday's blog.

**

_metz_ wrote:
Quest for Perfection Part III is the most obvious example of this, where the players genuinely don’t know how to achieve their Faction goals, and regardless of how smart, clever, or well they roleplay/work together can only achieve them through sheer luck. (See Shadow Lodge Faction mission)

The Sczarni one was actually quite challenging, and the problem was trying to work out how to get it done and still retain some shred of decency. I could see a lot of players being pretty uncomfortable, especially your fellow players at the table as it is rather overt and blatant.

Lantern Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, South Dakota—Rapid City aka Black Powder Chocobo

Michael Brock wrote:
Stay tuned for next Monday's blog.

Blog tease!

Andoran ***

Michael Brock wrote:
Stay tuned for next Monday's blog.

Why does it always seem that he is always saying this?

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.
jjaamm wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Stay tuned for next Monday's blog.
Why does it always seem that he is always saying this?

And everytime ivevsaid this, it is followed by a blog with more info.

*

jjaamm wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Stay tuned for next Monday's blog.
Why does it always seem that he is always saying this?

Because he likes to tease us with little tidbits. We then spend the next week wondering what Mike is planning and create huge threads on possible changes that might happen (Looking at you ARG thread). All the while Mike sits back and chuckles to himself. He is the puppetmaster.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Lab_Rat wrote:
He is the puppetmaster.

I knew there was something creepy about him!

Andoran ** Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Fayetteville

The joke with Andoran faction missions was "whose corpse are we bringing back this time?"

To the point that the party joked that they were unconcerned about a TPK because some Andorans would just get tasked to bring their bodies back to get raised.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

Lab_Rat wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Stay tuned for next Monday's blog.
Why does it always seem that he is always saying this?
Because he likes to tease us with little tidbits. We then spend the next week wondering what Mike is planning and create huge threads on possible changes that might happen (Looking at you ARG thread). All the while Mike sits back and chuckles to himself. He is the puppetmaster.

Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)

Andoran ***

Jeff Mahood wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Stay tuned for next Monday's blog.
Why does it always seem that he is always saying this?
Because he likes to tease us with little tidbits. We then spend the next week wondering what Mike is planning and create huge threads on possible changes that might happen (Looking at you ARG thread). All the while Mike sits back and chuckles to himself. He is the puppetmaster.
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)

But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

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

jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
JohnF wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Nope

****

Michael Brock wrote:
JohnF wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Nope

Are we there yet?

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Mike Lindner wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
JohnF wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Nope
Are we there yet?

Nope.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:

Are we there yet?

Nope.

I just got the Inside track on the what is coming Monday...

All Factions are being removed, there has been a secret war going on between the Venture Captains in PFS and all PFS characters will be aligned with a Venture Captain.

How this is going to work is that an in game Venture Captain will be associated with a real world Venture captain and players will automatically be aligned with the closest venture captain to them. The Venture Captain with the best % completed missions will win the war, while the one with the worse will lose their job, to include the real world associated venture captain.

Though PVP is still not allowed we will be allowed to thwart those aligned with other venture captains from completing their missions.

I suggest we all gain up on the Venture Captain of Illinois—Central/Southern.

;)

Silver Crusade **

Michael Brock wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
JohnF wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Nope
Are we there yet?
Nope.

How about now?

Qadira *** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Sydney

Dragnmoon wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

Are we there yet?

Nope.

I just got the Inside track on the what is coming Monday...

All Factions are being removed, there has been a secret war going on between the Venture Captains in PFS and all PFS characters will be aligned with a Venture Captain.

How this is going to work is that an in game Venture Captain will be associated with a real world Venture captain and players will automatically be aligned with the closest venture captain to them. The Venture Captain with the best % completed missions will win the war, while the one with the worse will lose their job, to include the real world associated venture captain.

Though PVP is still not allowed we will be allowed to thwart those aligned with other venture captains from completing their missions.

I suggest we all gain up on the Venture Captain of Illinois—Central/Southern.

;)

Sydney's VC is easily going to win.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Brendan Missio wrote:
Sydney's VC is easily going to win.

I see brutal competition happening in Australia between Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. It will be deadly down there... ;)

Silver Crusade **

Dragnmoon wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

Are we there yet?

Nope.

I just got the Inside track on the what is coming Monday...

All Factions are being removed, there has been a secret war going on between the Venture Captains in PFS and all PFS characters will be aligned with a Venture Captain.

How this is going to work is that an in game Venture Captain will be associated with a real world Venture captain and players will automatically be aligned with the closest venture captain to them. The Venture Captain with the best % completed missions will win the war, while the one with the worse will lose their job, to include the real world associated venture captain.

Though PVP is still not allowed we will be allowed to thwart those aligned with other venture captains from completing their missions.

I suggest we all gain up on the Venture Captain of Illinois—Central/Southern.

;)

VC Azymuth for Decimvirate! After all, he's got freaking *ARODEN REBORN* on his staff!

Osirion ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Rafael

All Praize Aroden!

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
JohnF wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Nope
Are we there yet?
Nope.
How about now?

Nope

Paizo Employee ** Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Michael Brock wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
JohnF wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Nope
Are we there yet?
Nope.
How about now?
Nope

Don't make me turn this thread around. Be quiet and stop bothering your campaign coordinator.

Silver Crusade **

Mark Moreland wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
JohnF wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Nope
Are we there yet?
Nope.
How about now?
Nope
Don't make me turn this thread around. Be quiet and stop bothering your campaign coordinator.

Dragnmoon's touching me! Jiggy's breathing my air! And Painlord is reading *my* spellbook!

Osirion ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Rafael

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
JohnF wrote:
jjaamm wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Also, if he reveals all of the information in forum posts like this, he won't have any content for the Monday Blogs. :)
But that is 5 more DAYS!!!!

Are we there yet?

Nope
Are we there yet?
Nope.
How about now?
Nope
Don't make me turn this thread around. Be quiet and stop bothering your campaign coordinator.
Dragnmoon's touching me! Jiggy's breathing my air! And Painlord is reading *my* spellbook!

Punch Dragon Blue!

Taldor

What even happened to this thread?

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Nope

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My friend Colin used to take his family on car trips. When his kids were younger, they would call out from the back seat "Are we there yet?" as the car was barreling down the interstate. He found the reply "Yes. Get out." to be an effective reply.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Jiggy's breathing my air!

Am not am not am not am not am not am not am not am not...!!!

*

Dragnmoon wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

Are we there yet?

Nope.

I just got the Inside track on the what is coming Monday...

All Factions are being removed, there has been a secret war going on between the Venture Captains in PFS and all PFS characters will be aligned with a Venture Captain.

How this is going to work is that an in game Venture Captain will be associated with a real world Venture captain and players will automatically be aligned with the closest venture captain to them. The Venture Captain with the best % completed missions will win the war, while the one with the worse will lose their job, to include the real world associated venture captain.

Though PVP is still not allowed we will be allowed to thwart those aligned with other venture captains from completing their missions.

I suggest we all gain up on the Venture Captain of Illinois—Central/Southern.

;)

That would be rockin. I would love to see factions tied to regions and real life VC's. It would allow people to get off their faction soapbox at local events and help each other out while at the same time make for some serious shadow pvp at cons. You could then give out rewards to well performing factions. Maybe some kind of awesome boon for the top VC and their players that can be applied to a character for the entirety of the next season.

As a side note.....Stop kicking the back of my post! P.s. Pass me some cheesy puffs, I am hungry and this post is going no where until Monday.

*****

Chris Mortika wrote:
My friend Colin used to take his family on car trips. When his kids were younger, they would call out from the back seat "Are we there yet?" as the car was barreling down the interstate. He found the reply "Yes. Get out." to be an effective reply.

I prefer using the line from The Incredibles, "We get there when we get there!"

Silver Crusade ****

Wow...I leave for an evening to go scout out a game shop and this happens...

Andoran *****

Dragnmoon wrote:

I suggest we all gain up on the Venture Captain of Illinois—Central/Southern.

;)

Thokkjr the Indomitable, Lance Corporal of the Andoran Eagle Knights stands ready to defend his VC against silly 'Dragn' type people.

As long as Bob doesnt have to be Drandle Dreng, then Im completely fine with all of what you said. I like my sleep, and dont like it being interupted.

;)

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
godsDMit wrote:
As long as Bob doesnt have to be Drandle Dreng

I don't yet have that information, but I was thinking that Drandle would be a perfect fit for Bob...

Andoran *****

Dragnmoon wrote:
godsDMit wrote:
As long as Bob doesnt have to be Drandle Dreng
I don't yet have that information, but I was thinking that Drandle would be a perfect fit for Bob...

*&#$!!!

Bob, I swear, if you send messengers to my house in the middle of the night to send me on a mission, you wont see the messenger again!

:P

Osirion **

I gotta pee!

Personally, I'd like to see factions go the way of the dodo.

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