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New to PFS and lots of questions....


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Hi, have a PFS number, 1884, but because of work, retirement and other things never got to play or DM any sessions, and I since I like DMing, I am interested in starting it up.

There is a local game shop that is mostly MtG, but there are a few Pathfinder games, and it looks like they might have room for a PFS game on Wednesday or Thursday night which would be great timing for me.

However, I have some questions, and some what-ifs since I have not approached the game shop yet to see if I can run the game as I would not be able to start till September.

1) Is it ok to run it just 10 months a year, September thru June.

2) Do I need to buy the "Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide"? ie. is there enough information in it that it is absolutely necessary?

3) I live half way between NYC and Albany. Which VC/VL do I "report" to if I need help or guidance?

4) If someone comes in with a character that uses options in UC or other book not mentioned in the guide, are they required to bring the book or a watermarked print out?

5) What do I do if folks, and I am really concerned since there will probably be a lot of teenagers there, don't have or won't get PFS numbers?

6) Other than the three introductory scenarios, do I really have to buy the others? That can get somewhat expensive fast.

I have others, but that will do for now. Thanks for the answers.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Papa-DRB wrote:

Hi, have a PFS number, 1884, but because of work, retirement and other things never got to play or DM any sessions, and I since I like DMing, I am interested in starting it up.

There is a local game shop that is mostly MtG, but there are a few Pathfinder games, and it looks like they might have room for a PFS game on Wednesday or Thursday night which would be great timing for me.

However, I have some questions, and some what-ifs since I have not approached the game shop yet to see if I can run the game as I would not be able to start till September.

Welcome to PFS!

Quote:
1) Is it ok to run it just 10 months a year, September thru June.

Run games whenever the heck you want! :)

Quote:
2) Do I need to buy the "Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide"? ie. is there enough information in it that it is absolutely necessary?

As it's part of the "Core Assumption", you're expected to have access to it and be reasonably familiar with it. This is because, well, look a couple of answers down.

Quote:
3) I live half way between NYC and Albany. Which VC/VL do I "report" to if I need help or guidance?

Dunno, but I'm sure they'll turn up in this thread.

Quote:
4) If someone comes in with a character that uses options in UC or other book not mentioned in the guide, are they required to bring the book or a watermarked print out?

Alright, that "Core Assumption" I mentioned? That's the CRB and the Field Guide. Everyone's assumed to have them, and GMs are assumed to be familiar with them. Anything else (see the Additional Resources page for what's legal) requires the player to bring either a PDF printout or the printed book. Since they don't have to bring Core Assumption material with them, it's good for you to have a copy available in case there's a question.

Quote:
5) What do I do if folks, and I am really concerned since there will probably be a lot of teenagers there, don't have or won't get PFS numbers?

They don't have to register, but failing to do so will mean they can never play anything but a pregen or a brand-new PC. If they want to keep credit and advance a character, they'll need a number. Somewhere around here (start by clicking the giant PFS logo on the top-left) you can reserve numbers on cards and hand them out. If you write down the number from the card, you'll have a number to report and they'll have one to keep (on the card) even if they never get around to formally registering (which isn't technically required).

Quote:
6) Other than the three introductory scenarios, do I really have to buy the others? That can get somewhat expensive fast.

Yeah, you have to buy them. Some GMs/venues charge a small fee to players in order to reimburse that, while others just eat the cost. Figure out what works best for you and your players.

Good luck, and don't hesitate to ask additional questions!

**

As far as the registration - if you coordinate with the game store or your local rep - get either cards to hand out for them to register later, or take a laptop / see if the store has an extra PC for the players to register then & there - my little laptop has seen so many registrations on some game nights... so many....

Silver Crusade ****

I'm only going to answer the ones where I disagree with Jiggy.

Papa-DRB wrote:

2) Do I need to buy the "Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide"? ie. is there enough information in it that it is absolutely necessary?

You should have this. But, in practice with honest players, you'll very rarely actually need it at the table.

Quote:

4) If someone comes in with a character that uses options in UC or other book not mentioned in the guide, are they required to bring the book or a watermarked print out?

Yes they are. But, as long as you can trust your players, you'll rarely need to actually access the book.

Note that almost all the rules are available online for free (at the paizo site or at d2pfsrd). Lots of people just use their internet access to look up things at the table.

Quote:

6) Other than the three introductory scenarios, do I really have to buy the others? That can get somewhat expensive fast.

There are a bunch of older ones on sale right now.

But yeah, you have to buy them. They're a pretty darn good deal at $3.99 each. Paizo has stated that this barely recoups their costs, they're not intended as a profit item for Paizo but rather as more of a loss leader

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

With respect to the cost of the scenarios, there are a couple of options that you might have, once you've played through the free ones.

1) Ask each player to kick in $1 for the cost of the scenario you ran. $1 for 4 hours of entertainment is a pretty good deal, these days - if you explain to them that you're out of pocket $4 each time you run an adventure, most people are pretty good about kicking in from time to time.

2) Start rotating your GMs as soon as possible. This averages out to the same thing as above - if each GM purchases their own scenario to run, you can go a few weeks without having to buy one.

3) In a similar vein to #1, put out a Pay-What-You-Can jar when you play, and make it clear that whatever donations you get go back to making the game better. Promise (and keep the promise!) that whatever money that goes in the jar will be used to buy scenarios, miniatures, flip-mats, and pay for printing chronicles and whatnot. People can be surprisingly generous.

Lantern Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Australia—Melbourne aka DarkWhite

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Guide to Organised Play page 4 wrote:
In order to utilize content from an Additional Resource, a player must have a physical copy of the Additional Resource in question, a name-watermarked Paizo PDF of it, or a printout of the relevant pages from it, as well as a copy of the current version of the Additional resources list.

Anyone can build their character using the Core Rulebook without bringing it to the table with them, because it's assumed the GM is expected to have it, and other players are likely to also. You could access Core Rules from the website for free without ever buying a physical or pdf version of the Core Rulebook. This is pretty darn generous of a company that pays it's staff's wages by publishing books.

If players wish to use rules from other sources, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to have bought the physical book, or a legally watermarked pdf/printout and have it with them at the table. This helps support the game, without which we wouldn't be enjoying such a massively popular world-wide campaign as we do now.

Otherwise, just use Core. The Core Rulebook is massive and you can build an endless variety of characters without ever running out of ideas using only Core Rules. Many of our longer-running characters dating back to Season 0 were built from Core Rules, many of them expressing flavour and concepts that appeared as Base Classes or Archetypes in later books, eg there were Core Rules Wolf Shaman Druids before the APG was released, and you can just as easily call your Core Rules Rogue a Ninja.

For players on a limited budget (aren't we all?) $9.99 for pdf of a hardcover book is very reasonable - or put it on your birthday/christmas wishlist and let family/friends help you out.

If it comes to my attention that a player at my PFS table is using a feature without the required book for his character, that feature becomes unavailable to his character during that session. Some GMs may be more lenient, but it's being inconsiderate to others at the table who are doing the right thing.

So please don't encourage players to use Additional Resources without proper access, as they may be in for an unpleasant shock if at another table the GM disallows their character.

Shadow Lodge **

I'm not too far from there. If you get something going give me a ping.


Welcome to PFS!

Grand Lodge *****

The Core Assumption requires that every player have a copy of the Core Rulebook and PFS Field Guide. Mike has said that a brand new player may certainly try the game without having to purchase copies of these two books, but if they continue to play PFS it is expected that they will acquire legal copies.

Considering that the PDFs are inexpensive this should not be an insurmountable obstacle to PFS play. And if the player does not have a laptop or tablet or phone, with these two books they could just print a copy of the cover sheet with their watermark as proof that they own a copy. Since these are Core Assumption, they don't need to bring the actual books in order to use features from them, but Paizo expects that they will eventually obtain copies as regular players.

To me, this seems a reasonable request to support the company that provides such a great game to play.

Sczarni ** Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov

Quote:
3) I live half way between NYC and Albany. Which VC/VL do I "report" to if I need help or guidance?

You don't *have* to report to either of them... basically they are there to answer questions and help you organize games (maybe be a guest GM later) whatever you feel comfortable with.... I would contact both and see if either of them know of games in your area, the VC/VLs often share information on games in the 'grey' areas of their coverage.

Taldor *****

Don Walker wrote:
The Core Assumption requires that every player have a copy of the Core Rulebook and PFS Field Guide. -- Other good stuff --

Don, I'm not sure that your statement is exactly right. I beleive that what was stated was that because they are Core Assumptions it is assumed that the GM has them available and as such the player isn't required to bring them with him/her to the game to use material from those references.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Todd Lower wrote:
Don, I'm not sure that your statement is exactly right. I beleive that what was stated was that because they are Core Assumptions it is assumed that the GM has them available and as such the player isn't required to bring them with him/her to the game to use material from those references.

Todd..

PFS Guide pg 3 wrote:

The Core Assumption

Pathfinder Society Organized Play assumes that every player has the following resources.
  • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
  • Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide
  • Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play (this document)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Thank you all for the answers. I have downloaded the PRD using HTTrack and I have PDF for the Core Rules Book so I have the latest, but I do not have a copy of the PFS Field guide so I'll order the PDF for that. I always run my games from my laptop, so that would be enough.

When we get back from vacation, I'll approach the store and see what I can set up for September.

Thanks guys,

-- david
Papa.DRB


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
I'm not too far from there. If you get something going give me a ping.

Will do. You can PM me your email if you would like. It is Dragon's Den in Poughkeepsie, if they will let me run the game.

-- david
Papa.DRB

***

David,
Just got you email and replied. I'm slowly pushing south towards your area but don't have anything going yet. I have talked to a bunch of people from both Poughkeepsie and New Palts who are either in or what to start up a PFS game. They mostly contact me through our Facebook page.

My VL Brett McLean and I were actualy just talking about trying to get down there for a recruitment style event in September so let me know what you want to plan and we'll work together to set something up.

Talk to you again soon,
Venture-Captain
Evan R Whitefield

***

Also I'll see what I can do about getting you some of the scenarios I have printed out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Evan Whitefield wrote:
Also I'll see what I can do about getting you some of the scenarios I have printed out.

Evan,

Got your email. I'm going to use the three free ones when I start up in September. If you and Brett want to do a recruitment event in September, I'm in as long as it is not a Monday night, Friday night or Saturday (*). This is thru Columbus Day.

-- david
Papa.DRB

* Monday night is my home game. Friday night thru late Saturday, my wife and I are out of town....

***** Venture-Captain, New York—New York City aka Silver-hawk

Hello,

I also emailed directly.

It looks like you all have a plan going forward.

If I can help, support or be a guest GM please advise

Art

Grand Lodge ****

Evan Whitefield wrote:

David,

Just got you email and replied. I'm slowly pushing south towards your area but don't have anything going yet. I have talked to a bunch of people from both Poughkeepsie and New Palts who are either in or what to start up a PFS game. They mostly contact me through our Facebook page.

My VL Brett McLean and I were actualy just talking about trying to get down there for a recruitment style event in September so let me know what you want to plan and we'll work together to set something up.

Talk to you again soon,
Venture-Captain
Evan R Whitefield

Hello Evan,

I would be up for coming up to Pughkipsee to GM for Papa and his crew.

Keep me in mind for September.

Nathan
NYC Player/GM

Grand Lodge *

Hi, David, Evan et al.,

What timing! The game I have been running in New Paltz for about a decade (3.5, then 4.0, then we gave up on 4.0 and went to Pathfinder... and there was much rejoicing) just fell apart, so I was considering GMing the *occasional* PFS session and was also about to talk to Dragon's Den about the possibility of doing so but hadn't talked to their event guy yet.

Long story short, please keep me in the loop as a future potential player or occasional/guest GM for PFS games at the Dragon's Den.

(PS, I live in the town of Newburgh)

~Doug

Grand Lodge *

Checking in - has anything happened yet with PFS in the Mid-Hudson region (e.g., Dragon's Den in Poughkeepsie)?

I teach at SUNY New Paltz so running something occasionally on campus there would also be a possibility. I know there is a student gaming society but am not sure if they've done anything with Pathfinder/PFS.

~Doug

Grand Lodge **

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Doug: It may be worth you posting in the Grand Lodge.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Doug Maynard wrote:

Checking in - has anything happened yet with PFS in the Mid-Hudson region (e.g., Dragon's Den in Poughkeepsie)?

I teach at SUNY New Paltz so running something occasionally on campus there would also be a possibility. I know there is a student gaming society but am not sure if they've done anything with Pathfinder/PFS.

~Doug

We have had an overly busy August, September, so not from my end, although I hope to start something up later this month if things calm down some.

-- david
Papa.DRB

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