PFS Changes i'd like to see


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Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

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Get rid of no replay!
I'm sure this has been debated in the past, but I hope people in charge take another look. And I also know that there are a lot of workarounds around this with evergreen scenarios, core campaign, and GM star replays, but at the end of the day I am still turning away people from playing.

Why? We should be doing everything we can to make it easier to encourage participation and turning away veterans because they've played an older scenario seems counter-productive to me with little benefit.

No Replay seems to be solving a problem that doesn't really exist.
Players already want to play new scenarios. If that wasn't the case then they would replay the evergreen scenarios indefinitely. I still think you shouldn't be able to replay the same scenario on the same pc, but wouldn't it be nice to always know that you can show up and play without having to look through a long list of your play history stored in excel spreadsheets or pfstracker? Or even worse, find out you have to leave after a scenario is switched to accommodate lower level pcs and you've already played it.

Change restriction to applying credit from a higher level scenario from level 1 pcs to level 1-2 pcs

The recent change of allowing higher scenario rewards to level 1 pcs rather than just the 1st chronicle restriction has been really nice. So nice that we should expand it to level 2 as well.

The rewards of 500gp and 1xp will still be the same but will allow those level 2 pcs a way to get their pcs into the 3-7 tier. This will allow pfs groups like mine, which don't always have enough people for 2 tables, the ability to run higher level scenarios as well as the 1-5 tier and please both groups of players instead of tending to always just run 1-5 tier scenarios so we don't leave the rotating batch of new players out.

Adding a way to downgrade a scenario to tier 4-5 might be nice as well, but i haven't thought about any repercussions that would bring.

What about you? What pfs changes would you like to see?

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

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Dan Armstrong wrote:

Get rid of no replay!

I'm sure this has been debated in the past,

Yes it has. Ad nauseam.

Shadow Lodge *****

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The problem with unlimited replay is that people replaying scenarios crowd out new players trying to come in. This has been an observed effect in previous living campaigns, and its very hard to make a speculative argument that holds up against observation.

Quote:
The recent change of allowing higher scenario rewards to level 1 pcs rather than just the 1st chronicle restriction has been really nice. So nice that we should expand it to level 2 as well.

Its been like that for a while. They keep clarifying it and the clarification keeps getting lost.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

BigNorseWolf wrote:

The problem with unlimited replay is that people replaying scenarios crowd out new players trying to come in. This has been an observed effect in previous living campaigns, and its very hard to make a speculative argument that holds up against observation.

Hmm, i wonder how they came to that conclusion. I don't see how it crowds out players. More players just means more tables, more fun, and more opportunity and variety in games.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

Michael Eshleman wrote:
Dan Armstrong wrote:

Get rid of no replay!

I'm sure this has been debated in the past,
Yes it has. Ad nauseam.

Any tldr version of this?

I wonder if their thoughts might have changed a little now due to the pressure of 5th ed.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Dan Armstrong wrote:

Hmm, i wonder how they came to that conclusion.

Watching it happen.

Quote:
I don't see how it crowds out players. More players just means more tables, more fun, and more opportunity and variety in games.

Because people have a limited number of tables, either as physical tables or DMs.

It would be great if you could throw up 5 tables as needed , but most stores don't have that much space and most groups don't have that many DMs on no notice. (or with it. My halleluijha with the regional support program was someone else dming...)

Without that you're doing warhorn/some kind of sign up and planning, and when you do that the people that have played a lot are often the first to sign up, and then the new guys can't. I don't know what kind of set up that has unlimited scaling you're using, but its not the norm.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

Quote:

Because people have a limited number of tables, either as physical tables or DMs.

It would be great if you could throw up 5 tables as needed , but most stores don't have that much space and most groups don't have that many DMs on no notice. (or with it. My halleluijha with the regional support program was someone else dming...)

Without that you're doing warhorn/some kind of sign up and planning, and when you do that the people that have played a lot are often the first to sign up, and then the new guys can't. I don't know what kind of set up that has unlimited scaling you're using, but its not the norm.

Nice reply. I do think that is probably not the right way to solve the issue though. Having 'newbie' nights, adding events, or adding locations would probably solve that problem better without hurting smaller groups like ours (usually just 1 table).

Sczarni *****

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dan Armstrong wrote:
Michael Eshleman wrote:
Dan Armstrong wrote:

Get rid of no replay!

I'm sure this has been debated in the past,
Yes it has. Ad nauseam.
Any tldr version of this?

That unlimited replay won't ever become a thing with PFS.

Dan Armstrong wrote:

I wonder if their thoughts might have changed a little now due to the pressure of 5th ed.

That pressure came and went.

When 5th first poked its head and AL started there was a genuine dearth of PFS players.

Then people lost interest in AL.

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Southwest

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The topic of allowing unlimited replay (as opposed to the limited replay currently in place) seems to get brought up every few months like it is a new idea.

This topic gets covered and recovered in a seemingly endless loop, like a haunt that we just can't put to rest.

The TLDR version of why we don't have unlimited replay boils down to:
- The people that made this decision have arguably the most experience with supporting/fostering/maintaining OrgPlay environments of anyone in the world today.
- From this lived experience they have concluded that unlimited replay is "Not a good thing", may quiet possibly be hazardous to OrgPlay environments (again from their own lived experience), and have put in place the limited replay rules that we have in PFS / SFS today.

For more information, some simple searching on the forums will show that requests to change the current replay rules are a regularly recurring topics.

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Southwest

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To quote nosig in the December 2017 replay thread:

nosig wrote:

wait - is it time for the Replay thread already?

has it been a year already?.

maybe I missed one or two others in that time - the boards have been getting me down lately so I am tending to avoid them some...

there are lots of older threads on this... .

has anything changed from then?.

but... anyway, I'm kind of conservative. I don't want to brake what we have, trying to "fix" something that I think works fine now...

My vote (not that it really maters) on this is no. If we get it anyway, I'll hold out for as large a time span as possible. replay after 10 years maybe?

*****

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I see more pressure from Starfinder than I do from 5E around here... we have a lot of folks interested in Starfinder, and so some of our physical tables run that, which de facto reduces the number of tables running PFS. (Yes, we can add more tables, but that really means adding different venues or different time slots, which means more GMs and coordinators...)

When we first ran into the issue a few years back, a lot of people started playing modules and APs. Some of them do so as home games, and we hardly see those folks anymore except at big events and cons. That's not failure, that's success. The key is, to not lose all your GMs at once.

It also means a Lodge always needs to be recruiting, and in some sense putting beginners before veterans. I've stepped away from a table when a new person shows up unannounced, and when I'm GMing and someone wanders by, I try to stop and introduce them to the concept and tell them when the next game is. (Or, hand them a pregen and let them join!)

*****

Replaying really doesn't help anyone in the long run. Even if you can avoid actively meta-gaming, you still aren't surprised by much, and you already know the story. Yeah, some few would abuse it to put certain Chronicles on every PC they have, or whatever, but really the biggest issue is "been there, done that". As a GM, I hate it when everyone has already played the scenario - not so much in the new evergreens, which have a lot of variations, but the earlier ones, or when Core Campaign came out and people could replay. You know people are just going through the motions in some sense, and that doesn't make for an exciting campaign.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

Eric Brittain wrote:

The topic of allowing unlimited replay (as opposed to the limited replay currently in place) seems to get brought up every few months like it is a new idea.

This topic gets covered and recovered in a seemingly endless loop, like a haunt that we just can't put to rest.

The TLDR version of why we don't have unlimited replay boils down to:
- The people that made this decision have arguably the most experience with supporting/fostering/maintaining OrgPlay environments of anyone in the world today.
- From this lived experience they have concluded that unlimited replay is "Not a good thing", may quiet possibly be hazardous to OrgPlay environments (again from their own lived experience), and have put in place the limited replay rules that we have in PFS / SFS today.

For more information, some simple searching on the forums will show that requests to change the current replay rules are a regularly recurring topics.

Thanks for the reply and clarification on the reasons (and your patience on answering the same question every year). I did search the topic and found a list of rules discussions on replay but not the change the PFS rule topic that i wanted to see.

Maybe we can have a sticky post "Why PFS will not allow replay"?

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

Now that the No Replay rule has been effectively answered...

What other PFS changes would you like to see?

*****

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A sticky post is probably a good idea, actually.

Changes I'd like to see:

* I'd like to see PC death be a bigger deal. Not that I want to lose characters more often, but between breath of life and gloves of first aid and the prestige bank, it's like it never happened. I'd love non-permanent PC death to also be tracked by the reporting system, since that would show which scenarios are most dangerous. I'd also love to see a Paizo-run "Wall of Names" to replace the Facebook one I made.

That's about it... the recent blog revealing the Scarab Sages weren't being removed would have been the only other one I'd say. The PFS team has been doing a great job and there's not a lot that needs adjustment as far as I can see.

*

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Respectfully,
Shorter delays between a product's release and its inclusion in Additional Resources.
I'm aware that there are several factors that cause this, but the delay of "probably a couple of months or whenever we get around to it" kills a great deal of excitement for new products.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

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I'd like to see standard items available on the chronicle sheets have a slight discount (10% - 25%?)

This is similar to a boon available on Down The Blighted Path (20% discount there on a couple items).

The discount would reflect that you aren't losing any money selling the item back and would look forward to seeing even standard loot, not just unique loot like wands with less than 50 charges and the such.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

I'd like to see an update to "Find a Game" page using geographic search i.e. 50 mi from Reno, NV

Shadow Lodge *****

Eyup he broke

*checks the pool*

I had 3 weeks from now. Anyone closer?

Shadow Lodge *****

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Dan Armstrong wrote:

I'd like to see Update to "Find a Game" page using geographic search i.e. 50 mi from Reno, NV

that ones easy

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dan Armstrong wrote:

I'd like to see Update to "Find a Game" page using geographic search i.e. 50 mi from Reno, NV

that ones easy

Nice.

Scarab Sages *****

Weird.


I believe PFS used to have replay, you could always replay with a character of a different faction. That was a long time ago, before I was even playing Pathfinder.

***

First off I would like to say thank you for hearing the other side of the argument and moving on so quickly. I found it quite refreshing. :)

Dan Armstrong wrote:

... Why? We should be doing everything we can to make it easier to encourage participation and turning away veterans because they've played an older scenario seems counter-productive to me with little benefit.

Change restriction to applying credit from a higher level scenario from level 1 pcs to level 1-2 pcs

What about you? What...

We have only recently become a more than 'usually only one table' so I will share a couple suggestions that worked for us.

We meet once a week. We set aside one of those per month for high tier (5-9) and we have set aside one week for 1-5. Suggestion 1: encourage slow play with the regulars to keep them in the 1-5 range longer. Suggestion 2: encourage pregens as a way to test-drive new classes. The 4th level pregens give more options than the first levels, so you (IMHO) get a better feel for what the class does. Yes you end up sitting on a chronicle until later, and you may skip a level or two when they all come at the same time (see playing slow), but I think 4th level range is a better introduction for new players anyway.

Third suggestion: have an ad-hoc 'home game.' If you have enough players to not quite make two tables, you can run a second table with 3 people as long as it is not for PFS credit. Modules work well for this because they are a little longer than scenarios, but not full AP long. This may go off only 1 week in 3, but if the regulars know you have a back-up plan for them they will continue to show. (Since it is a home-game & not for PFS credit players can experiment with some non-PFS-legal builds. drow half-dragons anti-paladins maybe?) The PFS scenarios can even be used to make it easier to rotate who is in the ad hoc campaign and who plays PFS from week to week. One point of to be wary of: do not let the ad-hoc game become a clique. Some people got tired of always sitting at the 'kids table' and quite coming to our games.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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The character death one and the 'discounted standard items on chronicles' have been my big 2.

I really barely see the point of even having standard items listed on the chronicles at all beyond core campaign (and even then the rogue +1 weapon or Cloak of Resistance +1 still finds its way onto the sheets). There have recently been major exceptions to this with UNIQUE items appearing on chronicles more regularly, like those dual-effect potions.

In Previous Living Campaigns access was far more limited and those items were the only access that existed, that was the purpose of it. I DO appreciate that we aren't emulating that here because the problem of 'oh darn I played this on the wrong character' would only get amplified, but as it is that feels more like a Legacy thing than something Useful and it feels really easy to fix.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

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Changes?

- Update 0 season scenarios to PFS like Mists of Mwangi was.

- Bring back/update the First Steps evergreens.

- Retire some of the 4th and 6th season scenarios that have out of tier/hard monsters and situations. (King of the Stovial Stairs) The "TPK" scenarios.

- Kobold Race Boons!!

All I can think of right now, sleepy.


Nefreet wrote:
When 5th first poked its head and AL started there was a genuine dearth of PFS players. Then people lost interest in AL.

What is "AL"?

(I'm suffering from Sudden Acronym Deficiency Syndrome: SADS.)

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Adventurers League.

*** Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

Douglas Edwards wrote:

The character death one and the 'discounted standard items on chronicles' have been my big 2.

I really barely see the point of even having standard items listed on the chronicles at all beyond core campaign (and even then the rogue +1 weapon or Cloak of Resistance +1 still finds its way onto the sheets). There have recently been major exceptions to this with UNIQUE items appearing on chronicles more regularly, like those dual-effect potions.

In Previous Living Campaigns access was far more limited and those items were the only access that existed, that was the purpose of it. I DO appreciate that we aren't emulating that here because the problem of 'oh darn I played this on the wrong character' would only get amplified, but as it is that feels more like a Legacy thing than something Useful and it feels really easy to fix.

The cloak of resistance +1 is not always available. So I try to drop a GM credit chronicle with that item on new characters that don't use weapons (ones that would have that cloak as their first big purchase).

Shadow Lodge *****

Square squares on the maps. I don't know why they're projected oddly, but it makes them hard to line up on an online table top

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Square squares on the maps. I don't know why they're projected oddly, but it makes them hard to line up on an online table top

Ah, that reminds me of Mapping Improvements in Scenarios

Have fewer circle rooms because they are a pain to draw.

Include the dimensions of rooms for faster drawing, i.e. 20'x35' labeled next to the rooms

*

Dan Armstrong wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Square squares on the maps. I don't know why they're projected oddly, but it makes them hard to line up on an online table top

Ah, that reminds me of Mapping Improvements in Scenarios

Have fewer circle rooms because they are a pain to draw.

Include the dimensions of rooms for faster drawing, i.e. 20'x35' labeled next to the rooms

Circle rooms aren't as bad as the irregularly-shaped hallways on a slant other than 45 degrees. Often the grid lines will be hard to see on those maps, too. Maybe minimize those, if possible? That's more of a "scenario" change than a "PFS" change, though.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

I draw circles using plates. I don’t mind them at all. I also don’t mind weirdly slanted hallways. I do mind not knowing dimensions!

What I want most of all is dimensions to a map written in the scenario!

*****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In addition to dimensions, it would also be helpful to put ceiling height on the map.

A symbol indicating if a door is locked would also be helpful. You could even put that in the text of the scenario. Maybe a little padlock symbol by the room number?

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

waltero wrote:

In addition to dimensions, it would also be helpful to put ceiling height on the map.

A symbol indicating if a door is locked would also be helpful. You could even put that in the text of the scenario. Maybe a little padlock symbol by the room number?

Ceiling height would be nice.

Dark Archive ****

Dan Armstrong wrote:
waltero wrote:

In addition to dimensions, it would also be helpful to put ceiling height on the map.

A symbol indicating if a door is locked would also be helpful. You could even put that in the text of the scenario. Maybe a little padlock symbol by the room number?

Ceiling height would be nice.

...default ceiling height is 3' unless otherwise posted.

message care of Society for Equal Hieghts

* Starfinder Society Developer

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*wanders in*

We continue to try and fight the valiant battle of ensuring dimensions (especially ceilings) are recorded for GMs. _Generally_ these can be found in the overall area description (like Area B), with specific area (like area B7) might include notes on how that specific area deviates from the assumed area measurements. Again, this can sometimes get overlooked, but we try to do out best to get those entered.

As far as map decisions, it's a bit of a weird situation. Overall, maps that lack circular curves or angles tend to look really bland when they end up in print. Yes, perfect square-based areas are super easy to map out and play really well, but there's a visual element that gets lost if those types of areas are all you see.

Admittedly, one of my WIP sketches for Shax's House of Pain include a room that's made up entirely of circles. You see, for THAT adventure, GMs need to suffer as much as players. :)

The Exchange ****

then there's the scenario map that draws perfectly on a square grid ... after it's rotated 27.5%.

It's like it was originally drawn on a square grid, then the grid was lifted and rotated just slightly 1/8 of a turn... GAH!

Tried for more than two hours to pre-draw that map. Then after I gave up and rotated it back into line with the grid it took 10 minutes to draw. (even with the Diagonal halls, and the curved outer walls of the building).

Thankfully, there have been no more maps (that I have seen) like that one.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

Thurston Hillman wrote:
As far as map decisions, it's a bit of a weird situation. Overall, maps that lack circular curves or angles tend to look really bland when they end up in print. Yes, perfect square-based areas are super easy to map out and play really well, but there's a visual element that gets lost if those types of areas are all you see.

Good explanation.

I guess i could try to adapt and make a bunch of cardboard circles to make the circular maps drawing somewhat easier...
(And hopefully the room dimensions included will tell me which one to pick...)

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

You want really weird angles, try drawing out a certain map in Tide of Twilight sometime. I took a look at it, thought about it for a second, and said "yep, I'm predrawing that one!" Took me the better part of 30 minutes. Still made all kinds of mistakes, made some areas wider than they should have been, some passageways that looked like medium creatures would need to squeeze, and ended up drawing more straight lines than the. . . organic look the original has. I suspect most GMs just end up drawing all straight lines on map square vertices.

Since I usually print and laminate maps, irregular lines aren't a huge deal for me (that particular map just didn't lend itself to printing). In fact I like it when the natural cave wall or forest edge isn't a purely straight line. And odd angles can be handled by rotating before printing.

The only downside is when there are squares that are 25-75% full of obstacle. I don't have a problem making a judgment call, but it seems like there's always at least one player at the table who wants to argue if I say he can't fit in the square.

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Admittedly, one of my WIP sketches for Shax's House of Pain include a room that's made up entirely of circles. You see, for THAT adventure, GMs need to suffer as much as players. :)

Circles? That's just one dimension of mapping pain. You could supplement that with some elevated archways--with rooms in them!--for the VTT crowd, some outer rings that rotate around a static central room... sneak in a "1 square = 10 feet" interior map into the middle somewhere, in fine print; and then do whatever the heck the PDF producers did with the Season 1 maps where each image is broken up into tiles that need to be reassembled. Ugh, I hated those.

Or I guess you could borrow the map from Overflow Archives? That would work too.

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Agent, Ohio—Columbus aka Cirithiel

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For those who need a hand drawing circular rooms. You might one to grab a tool to help you out. I bought one of these (https://www.dickblick.com/products/helix-circle-ruler/?clickTracking=true& amp;wmcp=pla&wmcid=items&wmckw=55740-1012&gclid=Cj0KCQiAwKvTBRC 2ARIsAL0Dgk3lvkInrDjxx8CdyuNSpw5oe282_N1outS517-UbXnItN3GObMGWFAaAnLiEALw_w cB) a few years ago. The holes are even big enough to use my wet erase marker with.

The intended use is to draw up to a 6 inch radius circle by putting your finger on the small “button” in the middle and your pencil in one of the tiny holes marked for the radius you want. Spin it around and you get a perfect circle with the exact radius you need.

But, with a bit of care, I found that I can get up to 12 inch radius circles if I put my “pivot” finger inside one of the 1/2 in cutout circles on the one end, and put my pencil/marker in the tiny holes as usual, then spin.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nevada—Cold Springs aka Gorignak227

Janice Piette wrote:

For those who need a hand drawing circular rooms. You might one to grab a tool to help you out. I bought one of these (https://www.dickblick.com/products/helix-circle-ruler/?clickTracking=true& amp;wmcp=pla&wmcid=items&wmckw=55740-1012&gclid=Cj0KCQiAwKvTBRC 2ARIsAL0Dgk3lvkInrDjxx8CdyuNSpw5oe282_N1outS517-UbXnItN3GObMGWFAaAnLiEALw_w cB) a few years ago. The holes are even big enough to use my wet erase marker with.

The intended use is to draw up to a 6 inch radius circle by putting your finger on the small “button” in the middle and your pencil in one of the tiny holes marked for the radius you want. Spin it around and you get a perfect circle with the exact radius you need.

But, with a bit of care, I found that I can get up to 12 inch radius circles if I put my “pivot” finger inside one of the 1/2 in cutout circles on the one end, and put my pencil/marker in the tiny holes as usual, then spin.

It looked like a risky click but that tool looks like it would be perfect.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Thurston, is there any chance that maps could be marked with dimensions indicating that they are 45 squares long and 23 squares wide (or whatever dimensions they happen to be? I don’t mind circles, arches, diagonals... I just don’t want to have to count squares every single time to figure out how your maps are going to fit on my mats.

I actually LIKE the circles and visual interest bits, but I am known to be kind of nutty and obsessive when drawing my maps! Maps are very zen for me. I like drawing them, then washing them clean away after the game is over. It’s very satisfying!

Hmm


Circles are easily drawn with a piece of string and a pen/pencil.

pin one end of the string in the center of the circle, and tie a small knot at the correct radius.

Wiggle your pencil into the knot and inscribe the circle.

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