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Organized Play / Living Campaign other than Pathfinder Society: Would you be interested in playing


Homebrew


This one is simple and to the point, what would it take for you to be interested in playing in an Organized Play / Living Campaign other than Pathfinder Society? Please let me know. Thanks!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Here's what such an organized play campaign would need to net someone like me:

  • A huge community, both online and in person, with tons of others who play.

  • It has to be the RIGHT community: Giving, Fun, Helpful, Dedicated. I have made friends with so many people in the greater PFS community because there are so many wonderful people here -- both locally in Minnesota, and internationally online.

  • There has to be regular scenarios and a kick-ass shared storyline.

  • There cannot be universal replay of scenarios, though some evergreen scenarios are needed. We want new people to discover the storylines.

  • Awesome volunteers.

  • Awesome campaign staff and lots of dedicated resources and adventures.

  • Have a jerk-free framework that encourages teamwork and cooperation.

  • Have portable characters and shared storylines.

  • Sane rules to keep all characters on a mostly even keel -- no rolled stats, point buy, vetting of new options to make sure that nothing is over-powered.

  • Ideally, it would be a sane gaming system like GURPS rather than Pathfinder or D&D. I'll admit freely that I'm in PFS because that is where the games are, and where the community that I love is. I'm not excited about Pathfinder itself, even though I enjoy the storyline.

    = = = = = = = = =

    You see that what I would want is something that looks an awful lot like PFS, because I really love the PFS community and PFS players. If something like this existed for GURPS or Champions, I''d be all over it. What makes PFS for me is the stories and the wonderful people that I've met.

    Now back at you: why are you asking this? What do you want from a non-PFS organized play campaign?

    Hmm


  • Hmm wrote:

    Now back at you: why are you asking this? What do you want from a non-PFS organized play campaign?

    Hmm

    Because we are in the process of creating one. And we would like to get it right.

    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

    You need a really big community and the ability to support it. I play organized play because it's easy to find games and make friends.

    Of course, the game and campaign setting need to be enticing and interesting to play. At the same time, it should be easy to pick up and play. You don't need to know anything about the setting to play PFS. In fact, it's actually sometimes fun to play a character that doesn't give a drek about politics and just wants to finish a mission and get paid.


    LMPjr007 wrote:
    This one is simple and to the point, what would it take for you to be interested in playing in an Organized Play / Living Campaign other than Pathfinder Society?

    In today's day and age?

    You'd have to develop an easy reporting and record keeping system that is easy to use. You'd have to be open to trust your GMs and players in regards to adventure loot rather than to centralize the distribution. I mention this because I play in another living campaign (using Pathfinder rules) who has this Achilles' Heel.

    I think creating an online gaming presence as a top priority is a must. That will achieve the biggest impact. It's largely an under-utilized market as well. It's hard today to find an online game for even PFS, which does have some online game support.

    However, that will create a high demand, which will create a high demand for GMs. That is the real bottleneck. So, in order to attract GMs, you'd have to provide decent incentives. That's tricky.

    Option: Given the socio-economic status of today's gamers (some of us are getting much older now), having a game that you could join where you pay admission to play (which has the benefit of attracting more GMs) might actually be a potential. My guess would be that a person could run a 4-hour session and fill those player slots even with a $5 or $10 or maybe even $20 admission fee if the GM was quality. Let the GM collect the lion's share of that.

    You would need to implement a feedback rating system so GMs would have compelling reason to run quality rather than quantity games. It should be something the players can see to have a feel of confidence in the quality of game that might be expected from the on-line game.

    (posterity note: people do pay a pretty penny per game at GenCon, and that is in a crowded, noisy, and pot-luck environment)

    Of course, allowing non-fee games should be an equal potential for those that want to GM and/or run games on-line or on-site.


    Cyrad wrote:
    You need a really big community and the ability to support it. I play organized play because it's easy to find games and make friends.

    Well that is something that develops over time. We are focusing on the larger cons like Gen Con and Origins the moving down to the medium and smaller local cons.

    Quote:
    Of course, the game and campaign setting need to be enticing and interesting to play. At the same time, it should be easy to pick up and play. You don't need to know anything about the setting to play PFS. In fact, it's actually sometimes fun to play a character that doesn't give a drek about politics and just wants to finish a mission and get paid.

    Well one of our strengths is that we are not looking to recreate PFS. We are looking to make something that is familiar but at the same time making it unique enough that is just isn't "kill monster, get treasure". We are looking to make our actions matter and what you do in one adventure will have further ramifications in future Adventures. We wanted to be very organic and feel like it's always changing and adapting.


    Rory wrote:

    In today's day and age?

    You'd have to develop an easy reporting and record keeping system that is easy to use. You'd have to be open to trust your GMs and players in regards to adventure loot rather than to centralize the distribution. I mention this because I play in another living campaign (using Pathfinder rules) who has this Achilles' Heel.

    Can you say what living campaign that is?

    Quote:
    I think creating an online gaming presence as a top priority is a must. That will achieve the biggest impact. It's largely an under-utilized market as well. It's hard today to find an online game for even PFS, which does have some online game support.

    That would be more of a long term project instead of right of the start.

    Quote:

    However, that will create a high demand, which will create a high demand for GMs. That is the real bottleneck. So, in order to attract GMs, you'd have to provide decent incentives. That's tricky.

    I think we may have found a good way to handle that but we can't talk to that yet.

    Quote:
    Option: Given the socio-economic status of today's gamers (some of us are getting much older now), having a game that you could join where you pay admission to play (which has the benefit of attracting more GMs) might actually be a potential. My guess would be that a person could run a 4-hour session and fill those player slots even with a $5 or $10 or maybe even $20 admission fee if the GM was quality. Let the GM collect the lion's share of that.

    We are planning to offer the adventures for free to GMs. These Adventures would be for our con based Adventures. The GM's running them would get the majority of the money due to run in the car we wouldn't get any money from that. But at a big show like Gen Con, we were they're supplying the GMs then we generate funds that way.

    Quote:
    You would need to implement a feedback rating system so GMs would have compelling reason to run quality rather than quantity games. It should be something the players can see to have a feel of confidence in the quality of game that might be expected from the on-line game.

    Thanks for the idea.


    Question about our upcoming Organized Play Kickstarter for Pathfinder Society fans: Are these enough rewards for $35 funding level?

    Cert: +2 to one roll per adventure

    Cert: One failed re-roll per adventure

    Cert: Omni-tool: A mundane, but a useful item that provides one character with a +2 bonus to a non-Combat, non-Arcane skill - Only one item can be assigned per character.

    Cert: Heirloom weapon that is historically important to a battle for the setting. The weapon is passed down from person to person at the wielder's death. +1 to damage with weapon

    Access to play 4 Kickstarter exclusive adventures for Year One

    And if not, what more would you want at this donation level?

    Shadow Lodge

    I'm intrigued by the idea, but a few key things I would look for:

    A lot of non-convention, home or game store support (after time to get itself establish). To be honest, outside of initial garnering interest, I'd suggest making conventions nothing special, as a large population of your possible base simply does not go to conventions, or not often. I'd also think there would realistically just be too much competition for another organized play system to nudge itself in with convention focus.

    Some good options for replay, but without it being free or easy to do too often. Especially if there is a focus on the adventure's playing out differently each time.

    Good storylines, but ditching the seasonal plotlines which are more miss than hit, and instead focus on exploring new parts of the world.

    That it either fully supports or outright forbids dark, evil, (or evil-lite), morally questionable, or corrupting character options. PFS has allowed some of these things and then sort of sat on the fence when they become issues at the table, (for instance Infernal Healing, the Darkive, and a lot of the issues with things like Paladin vs Necromancer, using evil spells/items/options without consequences). Again, either fully support it, including consequences or fully disallow it to keep it from being an issue.

    I think it might be interesting if the base assumption is that characters do not all work for any one organization as the set up such as the pathfinder society, but rather possibly multiple different ones.

    I am of course making assumptions that as an organized play system that there will be pretty strict character creation rules, rules for leveling up, buying/restricting gear, spells, options, etc. . . Again, I'm assuming this is fairly standard.

    LMPjr007 wrote:
    Cert: +2 to one roll per adventure

    These sorts of things really don't interest me. It's not bad, but it's something I'd probably forget I have. Now, that being said, I know there are plenty of folks that love this sort of reward. To make it more interesting for me, instead try to focus on giving a +2 to a specific roll, and an interesting reason for it, (For example +2 Know Religion because as a child you found a relic holy symbol that imbued you with a greater sense of the spiritual)

    LMPjr007 wrote:
    Cert: One failed re-roll per adventure

    These are always nice, BUT, I'd rather this be a reward I can earn, either through play or by running games, not one I can buy, and especially not one I can buy by just happening to get in early.

    LMPjr007 wrote:
    : Omni-tool: A mundane, but a useful item that provides one character with a +2 bonus to a non-Combat, non-Arcane skill - Only one item can be assigned per character.

    The Traveler's Anytool costs 250gp. The only way I'd really see this as useful is if this reward specifically did something that normally you can not have a masterwork tool for. I guess it really depends more on what you intend here. I like the concept of a permanent +2 to a skill, but if you limit it too much, such as "non-arcane", it can become less interesting for some characters than others. My suggestion might be to simply say any one skill, period, so it remains relevant to all classes fairly equally.

    LMPjr007 wrote:
    Cert: Heirloom weapon that is historically important to a battle for the setting. The weapon is passed down from person to person at the wielder's death. +1 to damage with weapon

    Depending on the degree of background "historical importance" the player is able to control, this could be very cool or rather dull, and if the player gets to pick the weapon. If, for instance I'm playing a monk worried about carrying capacity, getting stuck with a 15lbs Orc Double Axe I can't use and am essentially stuck with until death would sort of suck until I can afford a Bag of Holding or something, which would also basically make that a mandatory item.

    LMPjr007 wrote:
    Access to play 4 Kickstarter exclusive adventures for Year One

    Really depends a great deal on various factors, such as how many adventures you expect to be presented in year 1, or more honestly years 1-3. PFS already sort of has an issue with not enough Scenarios, so if your system expects say 12 adventures a year, and 4 of those are off limits to a large population of the player base, I wouldn't expect your OP system to take off or last.

    t might also be a better idea to have these as DM rewards rather than player rewards, which is to say that instead of you being granted the right to play 4 exclusive adventures, which you might then not actually get a chance to play at all, (for instance not getting to GenCon that year, and not having anyone or enough players in the area), this suddenly becomes more of a monkey's palm reward. If, instead, those folks are allowed access to run 4 exclusive adventures, (or play them), even a limited number of times in year 1, that suddenly becomes a much better reward for everyone who is much less likely to miss out. It's unclear at this point if "online play" would be supported, so I'm not assuming it is in your system.

    However, as with the focus on Cons, it's something I highly suggest you consider up front.


    I'm not playing in PFS (or any of the like), I feel like it's too restrictive (and I don't really know of a table close to me). I'm also lucky enough to have my own group.
    What could interest me in organized play / a living campaign, however, would be to make it feel like other groups are playing in the same world as me. Stories that allows for inter-party effects and communication, in-game. I want the villagers to be talking about the last group who walked through town.
    I know that's a big scope and probably not what you're aiming for. But that's at least the only thing I can think about that would make me interested in organized play / a living campaign at this moment.


    DM Beckett wrote:
    I'm intrigued by the idea, but a few key things I would look for:

    I will do my best to answer your questions.

    DM Beckett wrote:
    A lot of non-convention, home or game store support (after time to get itself establish). To be honest, outside of initial garnering interest, I'd suggest making conventions nothing special, as a large population of your possible base simply does not go to conventions, or not often. I'd also think there would realistically just be too much competition for another organized play system to nudge itself in with convention focus.

    Honestly, the reason for focusing on con play is "Bang for Buck". At cons, the ability to get so many similar people in one place is hard to say no to in an exposure mindset. And the more people that see and get interested, the more people play in general. Home games are normally limited to people who are already fans of what you are doing. It is just that simple. We are in the business of exposure and generating new sales.

    DM Beckett wrote:
    Some good options for replay, but without it being free or easy to do too often. Especially if there is a focus on the adventure's playing out differently each time.

    That is something I am looking into and ways we might be able to pull it off. Thanks!

    DM Beckett wrote:
    Good storylines, but ditching the seasonal plotlines which are more miss than hit, and instead focus on exploring new parts of the world.

    Our storyline is very important to us, but the most import thing that I want to do is make people understand their actions have consequences, good and bad. Something that you think is easy and not important might be the lynchpin to causing the greatest dangers.

    DM Beckett wrote:
    That it either fully supports or outright forbids dark, evil, (or evil-lite), morally questionable, or corrupting character options. PFS has allowed some of these things and then sort of sat on the fence when they become issues at the table, (for instance Infernal Healing, the Darkive, and a lot of the issues with things like Paladin vs Necromancer, using evil spells/items/options without consequences). Again, either fully support it, including consequences or fully disallow it to keep it from being an issue.

    Since we are focusing on heroes and heroic acts, playing evil is NOT a focus of what were are doing. BUT placing PCs in a situation where they may have to comprise themselves and/or their moral IS something I want to make front and center. Let me paraphrase my mind set of NeoExodus Legacies (thanks to Deep Space Nine for this):

    "It's easy to be a saint in paradise, but the PCs of NeoExodus Legacies do not live in paradise. All the problems haven't been solved yet. Out there, there are no saints — just players. Angry, scared, determined players who are going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with other's approval or not!"

    DM Beckett wrote:
    I think it might be interesting if the base assumption is that characters do not all work for any one organization as the set up such as the pathfinder society, but rather possibly multiple different ones.

    While everyone is employed by the same source (as an Alliance Freelancer) their movies are normally determined by the faction that has pledged allegiance to. And sometimes the goals of the factions are diametrically opposed to each other.

    DM Beckett wrote:
    I am of course making assumptions that as an organized play system that there will be pretty strict character creation rules, rules for leveling up, buying/restricting gear, spells, options, etc. . . Again, I'm assuming this is fairly standard.

    It will be strict but there will be ways to shine is very non-typical organized play ways. Just wait and see.

    Rub-Eta wrote:
    I'm not playing in PFS (or any of the like), I feel like it's too restrictive (and I don't really know of a table close to me). I'm also lucky enough to have my own group.

    That is very lucky.

    Rub-Eta wrote:
    What could interest me in organized play / a living campaign, however, would be to make it feel like other groups are playing in the same world as me. Stories that allows for inter-party effects and communication, in-game. I want the villagers to be talking about the last group who walked through town.

    That is really difficult to do because this is a massive undertaking of trying to make it possible that everyone has a "similar" experience when they play the adventure.

    Rub-Eta wrote:
    I know that's a big scope and probably not what you're aiming for. But that's at least the only thing I can think about that would make me interested in organized play / a living campaign at this moment.

    Thanks for the input. I hope once you see what we are doing and how it is going to be very different from what you expect with Pathfinder Society that will have you playing.


    So after talking with our lead designer on this project, Michael McCarthy, we can up with these rewards:

    $10 - Civilian the Empire
    - Discount of 50 gp / level one-time purchase of an in-game magic item or weapon

    $20 - Citizen of the Empire
    - +2 to one roll per adventure
    - Discount of 100 gp / level one-time purchase of an in-game magic item or weapon

    $35 - Alliance Freelancer
    - Discount of 200 gp / level one-time purchase of an in-game magic item or weapon
    - One failed re-roll per adventure
    - Alliance Freelancer Badge: Able to play 4 Kickstarter exclusive adventures
    Access to exclusive rare and unique certs and rewards when playing NeoExodus Legacies.
    - Omni-tool: A mundane, but a useful item that provides one NeoExodus Legacies character with a +2 bonus to a non-Combat, non-Arcane skill - Only one item can be assigned per character

    Shadow Lodge

    No offense, and I honestly wish you well, but I will then not be participating. I am sincere when I see this. I was not sure if this might have been a way for me to play Pathfinder after finding so many failing with PFS that seem to keep building, but your focus likewise doesn't seem to be what I'm looking for, and that's perfectly fine. :)

    I'm in the military, and I simply do not have access to Cons. I know there is a pretty large population that likewise simply does not or can not access Organized Play via major or local cons. Even if I did, and regularly, having to pay money in order maybe get to play is simply unreasonable to me, when I can run and play other settings for free and feel rewarded, at least on paper for devoting my time to doing so.

    I view competition like this as a good thing, either forcing one group to come up with a much better way of doing things or the other to earn their place to stay on top. Your model seems to be based on restricting the amount of play, and not expanding it, which by nature leaves me and everyone I know and play with outside of the scope of being involved.

    I've worked so hard to get and make online play a viable option for organized play that taking such a HUGE 10 steps back is simply detrimental to what I'm working towards. I already pay a great deal of money for the books, and also the adventures. I already devote a great deal of my time to preparing things so that others can play. Being asked to pay more money for "exclusiveness" and ground level entry, and very limited ability to actually play or utilize these rewards (I can't imagine many folks going to large Cons that often), just seems off to me.


    (Little necro as I was looking for organized play alternatives using the PF rules)

    I will say the #1 thing that I need from Organized Play to start it in my area is availability of the rulebook and scenarios. There are way too many "Organized Play" campaigns where you have to jump through way too many hoops to play the game.

    There needs to be a clear listing of scenarios somewhere with easy-to-get-to links on how to download (and purchase, if needed) and have it be convenient to find.

    Also, the game needs to be able to be played outside of conventions as much as it can be played inside of conventions.

    Making a campaign where only certain people and volunteers can access the scenarios and it can only be played at conventions is an instant turn-off to me. It needs to be available.

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