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RPG Superstar 2015

What to do: Playing Up and then someone walks out.


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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So I ran a season 0 scenario for 6 players. APL was around 2.9 and people decided to play up. Three encounters in, one of the players was called away on an emergency and had to leave. He was playing a L3 character. Do you continue to run at the upper tier or do you bump it down for the remainder of the scenario? How should it get reported?

*****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The player that left gets 1 XP (for the 3 encounters) and whatever gold and prestige they earned up to that point.

The rest of the table depends on what the new APL was. If it's still in the middle, they should probably continue at the higher subtier. If down or if the players are really scared, let them play down at that point, but change all the rewards gained for the entire scenario (even those already completed) to the lower subtier.

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Thanks Kyle, that was my thought as well. Just wanted to get another sane mind's perspective.

*****

5 people marked this as a favorite.
GM Hands of Fate wrote:

Thanks Kyle, that was my thought as well. Just wanted to get another sane mind's perspective.

chokes on her coffee and crueller

wow .. I've never heard Kyle called sane before

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it's a matter of perspective, PFCBG

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

I recently had to leave during the middle of a game due to a personal emergency. The table was running rather long, and we were approaching the final encounter anyway. I left my mini and my character sheet, and asked the GM to finish the last encounter (which we were just getting ready to start)with the GM playing my character. Could you have asked this player to do something similar?

Grand Lodge ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Netopalis wrote:
I recently had to leave during the middle of a game due to a personal emergency. The table was running rather long, and we were approaching the final encounter anyway. I left my mini and my character sheet, and asked the GM to finish the last encounter (which we were just getting ready to start)with the GM playing my character. Could you have asked this player to do something similar?

No because that is not allowed. If you leave you get the credit for what you completed. Having a GM bot your PC isn't allowed.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Netopalis wrote:
I recently had to leave during the middle of a game due to a personal emergency. The table was running rather long, and we were approaching the final encounter anyway. I left my mini and my character sheet, and asked the GM to finish the last encounter (which we were just getting ready to start)with the GM playing my character. Could you have asked this player to do something similar?

You would get 1 XP, 1 PP if you completed your faction's mission, 1 PP if somehow the Society's goal had been met w/o the final encounter (it happens), and any treasure you had acquired up to the point where you left.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kyle Baird wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
I recently had to leave during the middle of a game due to a personal emergency. The table was running rather long, and we were approaching the final encounter anyway. I left my mini and my character sheet, and asked the GM to finish the last encounter (which we were just getting ready to start)with the GM playing my character. Could you have asked this player to do something similar?
You would get 1 XP, 1 PP if you completed your faction's mission, 1 PP if somehow the Society's goal had been met w/o the final encounter (it happens), and any treasure you had acquired up to the point where you left.

The GM let me have the whole thing, but in part because the scenario that was supposed to last 4 hours had already lasted 6, and because it was basically a done deal.

Grand Lodge ****

Netopalis wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
I recently had to leave during the middle of a game due to a personal emergency. The table was running rather long, and we were approaching the final encounter anyway. I left my mini and my character sheet, and asked the GM to finish the last encounter (which we were just getting ready to start)with the GM playing my character. Could you have asked this player to do something similar?
You would get 1 XP, 1 PP if you completed your faction's mission, 1 PP if somehow the Society's goal had been met w/o the final encounter (it happens), and any treasure you had acquired up to the point where you left.
The GM let me have the whole thing, but in part because the scenario that was supposed to last 4 hours had already lasted 6, and because it was basically a done deal.

PFS scenarios can run longer than 4 hours. In fact they usually do. Your GM should not have implied or stated it would take only 4 hours.

You should only receive 1 XP and 2PP and full gold if everything was already earned before you left the table. If not, your GM made a mistake. It happens.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Netopalis wrote:
Could you have asked this player to do something similar?

No.

Netopalis wrote:
The GM let me have the whole thing, but in part because the scenario that was supposed to last 4 hours had already lasted 6, and because it was basically a done deal.

Your GM was in error. If it was "bascially done" then the GM should have ended it at 4 hours and awarded treasure accordingly. If you don't face an encounter, you don't get the rewards for that encounter. Period.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

sveden wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
I recently had to leave during the middle of a game due to a personal emergency. The table was running rather long, and we were approaching the final encounter anyway. I left my mini and my character sheet, and asked the GM to finish the last encounter (which we were just getting ready to start)with the GM playing my character. Could you have asked this player to do something similar?
You would get 1 XP, 1 PP if you completed your faction's mission, 1 PP if somehow the Society's goal had been met w/o the final encounter (it happens), and any treasure you had acquired up to the point where you left.
The GM let me have the whole thing, but in part because the scenario that was supposed to last 4 hours had already lasted 6, and because it was basically a done deal.

PFS scenarios can run longer than 4 hours. In fact they usually do. Your GM should not have implied or stated it would take only 4 hours.

You should only receive 1 XP and 2PP and full gold if everything was already earned before you left the table. If not, your GM made a mistake. It happens.

In that case, you guys should totally stop setting them for 4-hour blocks in conventions.

And take this out of the Guide to Organized Play:
Your Duties as Game Master
As a Pathfinder Society Organized Play Game Master
running a session at a convention or an in-store event,
you have the following duties.

...

Play for no more than 5 hours. (Note: home games and
online games do not necessarily have to follow this
restriction, and some conventions may run longer slots.)

(p.31)

*****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"You guys?"

One of the first lessons in the GM 101 curriculum is placing an emphasis on running within your allotted time.

GMs can't always control the amount of time they have. Stores set hours, conventions set slots, players show up late. It's the GM's job to run the best game they can in the time they have. Sometimes that means encounters get skipped and treasure values awarded to the players are less than maximum.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

"You guys" meaning Pathfinder Society people.

And my point was not in response to you, it was in response to Sveden saying that it is unreasonable, as a player, to expect a scenario to conclude within 6 hours.

**** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

Tangent,

If you're on the border level wise, doesn't it have to be unanimous to play up?

Grand Lodge ****

Netopalis wrote:

"You guys" meaning Pathfinder Society people.

And my point was not in response to you, it was in response to Sveden saying that it is unreasonable, as a player, to expect a scenario to conclude within 6 hours.

I never said that Netopalis.

I'm trying to be patient with a new enthusiastic user but my patience is wearing thin. Do not misquote me again.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:

Tangent,

If you're on the border level wise, doesn't it have to be unanimous to play up?

It's up to the GM and table how it gets decided. If, by some means it is determined to play up and you don't want to, you have every right to walk away from the table.

Liberty's Edge *****

Netopalis wrote:

"You guys" meaning Pathfinder Society people.

And my point was not in response to you, it was in response to Sveden saying that it is unreasonable, as a player, to expect a scenario to conclude within 6 hours.

Not all conventions are coordinated by Paizo, or even the volunteers (yes, we don't get paid squat) that are the Venture-Officers.

And even when Paizo (read Mike Brock) or the Venture-Officers are directly involved, it doesn't mean the conventions have to comply. Many conventions take a very hard line attitude toward 4 hour slots.

Fortunately, the local convention Con of the North (shameless plug) that I'm coordinating PFS presence at, is very flexible and is allowing us 6 hour slots.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Andrew Christian wrote:
Netopalis wrote:

"You guys" meaning Pathfinder Society people.

And my point was not in response to you, it was in response to Sveden saying that it is unreasonable, as a player, to expect a scenario to conclude within 6 hours.

Not all conventions are coordinated by Paizo, or even the volunteers (yes, we don't get paid squat) that are the Venture-Officers.

And even when Paizo (read Mike Brock) or the Venture-Officers are directly involved, it doesn't mean the conventions have to comply. Many conventions take a very hard line attitude toward 4 hour slots.

Fortunately, the local convention Con of the North (shameless plug) that I'm coordinating PFS presence at, is very flexible and is allowing us 6 hour slots.

Oh, I realize that everybody here is a volunteer. I greatly respect and appreciate it. I was just trying to explain my point of view above. I in no way meant disrespect (Including for the GM, as there were some extenuating circumstances. A particular faction mission took...a while.)

Liberty's Edge *****

What Kyle and Andrew have said are true, it is often not up just to the PFS organizer to determine how long the slots are. The game store owner might set a 4 hour limit cause they have people coming in for other games. Cons normally have shorter time slots as well, to squeeze in more slots per day.

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

Without knowing more details, its hard to point out flaws one way or the other (If the scenario had an optional encounter, did the GM run it? If they did, than they shouldn't have. What scenario was it? Some notoriously run longer than others. What caused the extra two hours? Was it a newer GM who needed to keep looking things up? Was it a roleplay heavy scenario with a roleplay heavy group?)

Usually we ask for 5 hour slots, 4-4.5 hours to play and 0.5-1 hour for paperwork, some cons agree, others don't (some only have 12 hours in the convention center due to union rules)


The means to run longer than slot length scenarios is to take 2 slots in your planning and schedule the same with the con. Players that want 'to move on' or walk away from your event have provisions to do so within PFS guidelines. Personally, I consider it rude behavior on the part of players to leave an event to play in another one. Equally, it is rude of GMs/Tournament managers to not provide adequate time for enjoyment of their scenario. An emergency is one thing, double booking your time is another. When someone suddenly announces without notice that they are leaving, I feel let down and wonder if there might have been another player denied a place at the table. After some 40 PFS scenarios played, I have found that it is very very rare that only 4 hours is taken to run through a 6 player event, more likely 6 hours. I have only played out two modules, each taking nearly 12+ hours.

Liberty's Edge *****

Again Matteo, it is the conventions that determine slot lengths. Not the organizers of PFS for those conventions.

We can ask, beg, wheedle, whine, cajole, cry, demand, threaten, and/or petition a convention scheduler to allow longer slots.

If they refuse, we are stuck.

Those conventions that stick strictly to 4 hour slots, often only get 3 per day, because they have to close by a certain time, and have 1 hour between slots.

You will sometimes see a convention try to squeeze four 4-hour slots into a day. Those are some pretty rough days.

What it boils down to, is the convention trying to sell more tickets, rather than make things easy on their GM's and other slot organizers.

Setting up a PFS slot in two 4 hour slots is also incredibly inefficient.

There isn't a perfect answer. And there are ways to run even the longer scenarios in 4 hours. But as a GM you gotta be on the ball, in control of the table, set the pace, make sure every player is ready with their action, limit looking things up, be super prepared with knowledge of your creatures and NPC spells and abilities, have your maps predrawn or printed out, never run the optional encounter, et. al.

But many GMs don't take into account 4 hour slots when they are preparing a scenario. Many players don't take into account 4 hour slots when they are taking character actions and wasting time doing so, arguing rules, and arguing what the team should do next.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Well, that's when the GM should shut them down, really. As I quoted above, the Guide to Organized Play does state that scenarios should conclude in under 5 hours. It's not just about cons, it's about play in general.

** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

Back to the original question:

Would it be OK for the GM to play the character as an NPC so the party gets the benefit? But the player for the exiting character would only get the experience and gold for the scenarios they played?

Liberty's Edge *****

Gwen Smith wrote:

Back to the original question:

Would it be OK for the GM to play the character as an NPC so the party gets the benefit? But the player for the exiting character would only get the experience and gold for the scenarios they played?

No

Liberty's Edge ***

Kyle Baird wrote:
The rest of the table depends on what the new APL was. If it's still in the middle, they should probably continue at the higher subtier. If down or if the players are really scared, let them play down at that point, but change all the rewards gained for the entire scenario (even those already completed) to the lower subtier.

So why wouldn't you give them the treasure for the encounters completed at the higher tier and the treasure for the end encounter at the lower tier, if they changed tiers after the guy left? With this method the person leaving the table may get more gold and access than the people that stayed.

Grand Lodge ****

Netopalis wrote:

"You guys" meaning Pathfinder Society people.

And my point was not in response to you, it was in response to Sveden saying that it is unreasonable, as a player, to expect a scenario to conclude within 6 hours.

Ahem! Please show me where I said to not "expect a scenario to conclude within 6 hours". Why do you feel it is OK to make things up?

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington , Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka WalterGM

Relevant link -- "Play is organized into Seasons, throughout which the actions and achievements of you and your fellow Pathfinders create an ongoing storyline. Each season consists of at least 28 Pathfinder Society scenarios (short, 4-hour adventures) set in a variety of exotic locations across Golarion."

This is something that I see more and more of. GMs thinking that optional encounters aren't just that -- optional. If your game is at 3 hours, and you hit the optional encounter, skip it. They are often the deadliest (aside from the BBEG) and the most time consuming. Unfortunately, some of them are right by the start (Haunting of Hinojai), so it's difficult to guage if they should be included or not. My personal rule of thumb -- plan on not using them unless the PCs clear an encounter in a round or two (with a slumber hex or whatever), then feel free to add them in. Otherwise, there's no need to make a game longer for the sake of a drawn out fight.

Without optional encounters, games run about an hour shorter on average.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

sveden wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
I recently had to leave during the middle of a game due to a personal emergency. The table was running rather long, and we were approaching the final encounter anyway. I left my mini and my character sheet, and asked the GM to finish the last encounter (which we were just getting ready to start)with the GM playing my character. Could you have asked this player to do something similar?
You would get 1 XP, 1 PP if you completed your faction's mission, 1 PP if somehow the Society's goal had been met w/o the final encounter (it happens), and any treasure you had acquired up to the point where you left.
The GM let me have the whole thing, but in part because the scenario that was supposed to last 4 hours had already lasted 6, and because it was basically a done deal.

PFS scenarios can run longer than 4 hours. In fact they usually do. Your GM should not have implied or stated it would take only 4 hours.

You should only receive 1 XP and 2PP and full gold if everything was already earned before you left the table. If not, your GM made a mistake. It happens.

You imply here that a player should expect games to go longer than 4 hours. SIgnificantly longer. But none of this is relevant to the main point.

*****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Walter Sheppard wrote:
They are often the deadliest (aside from the BBEG)

Gugs. *evil laugh*

Silver Crusade ***

Yeah, I'm still constantly amazed by the posts on these forums from people who talk about how scenarios are supposed to last over 4 hours. In my experience, the time limit for a scenario is either 4 hours at a convention, or unlimited if you're playing some place that doesn't have a specific time limit. I've never seen anything in between.

To me, 5 hour slots are some sort of mythical beasts, seen in the wild as commonly as unicorns - on Earth, not Golarion.

As for optional encounters, as a GM, I don't see them as optional any more. I just see them as wasted paper. I don't even bother to read them when prepping adventures any more.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I've seen more and more of the people who organize PFS in the midwest shoot for 5-hour and 6-hour time slots for scenarios. That's great.

When I am asked to GM a Season 2 or Season 3 adventure in a 4-hour time slot, I try to get the feel of the table: do the players prefer a leisurely game that might be called on time, or a more rigid-paced game that get done on time but won't afford the luxury of too much role-playing and tactical dithering. (Remember the old "Dragnet" TV show?)

If I'm playing at your table, I prefer a middle ground. I don't mind a little hustle, but If time is called in the middle of the last encounter, and we had fun along the way, I count that as a good session.

--

Relevant to the OP: I have found that the smaller the party, the smarter the party and the faster the combats play.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

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Removed some back and forth posts. Please revisit the messageboard rules.

Grand Lodge ****

Thanks for responding to my flags Chris. But you forgot a few posts.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
nosig wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed some back and forth posts. Please revisit the messageboard rules.
Thank you chris!

Flagged!

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
nosig wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:

(...deleted offending post....)

Flagged!

Sorry Mr. Baird,

Deleted - now the only lasting record is your post, could you please delete my portion of it? ...

Double flagged!


While this conversation began discussing players walking out of an event at will, it turned to time block scheduling issues quickly.

I find that PFS has already accommodated the walk out situation in its rules. It definitely hurts the group effort to finish the scenario, but that happens.

As for completing scenarios within the schedule of a 4 hour block, that becomes a Procrustan bed that the GM controls. GMs have to choose a scenario that is playable in that time length, cutting and trimming optional items well before the event starts. Many of my hardest GM experiences were in ending a good game just to accommodate a schedule. It is tough to discipline a motley crew of fun seekers, but someone has to do that.

PS: Andrew, I am originally from Minnesota. In 1972-1980 I played in groups with the usual suspects in St. Paul/Mpls and in my home town of Duluth.

Grand Lodge ****

A reasonable time for a PFS scenario to wrap up is under 6 hours. Usually closer to the four to four and half hour mark.

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