Changing Sanctioned Module Play

Monday, December 12, 2011

A year ago, Pathfinder Modules were sanctioned for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. As Atlanta Venture-Captain for a year, I appreciated the fact I could offer the sanctioned modules to local players, especially those who had played every scenario that had been released. But the rules that were established bothered me. No negative effects carried over from module play, even death or consumable use. Many players I talked with felt that sanctioned module play was not as good as it could be because of the rules put into place. One of my top goals when hired as Campaign Coordinator was to reevaluate sanctioned modules and see if we could change the way they worked to make them a more valuable part of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign.

What I would like to see in the comments to this blog are what you do and don’t like about the below proposal. How will this proposal affect your game in both a positive and negative way. Once I review feedback over the next few weeks, the Venture-Captains, Venture-Lieutenants, and I can decide what changes we want to make in the upcoming 4.1 update to the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

Spoiler:

Pathfinder modules are produced for a wider audience than just Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Because modules are structured differently from scenarios, the specific rules changes needed for playing sanctioned modules in Pathfinder Society Organized Play are presented below.

How to Play

Sanctioned modules are generally three times the length of a standard Pathfinder Society scenario and will likely take players two or three 4—5 hour sessions to complete. They do not contain Pathfinder Society faction missions, nor are they tiered for play by characters over a wide range of levels. Thematically, modules do not assume the characters are members of the Pathfinder Society. GMs and players are encouraged to create a reasonable plot hook for their characters’ participation.

Legal Pathfinder Society Characters

Players have the following three options when playing sanctioned modules for Pathfinder Society:

  • A player must use an existing Pathfinder Society character (without modification) within one level of the module’s starting level.
  • For modules below 9th level, a player who does not have a character in the correct level range may use a Pathfinder Society pregenerated character available on paizo.com. In this case, the chronicle sheet must be linked to an existing Pathfinder Society character and applied when that character reaches the level of the module. The linked character must be declared before play begins and recorded on the scenario reporting sheet.
  • As mentioned in Chapter 5 of the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, if you have already played the sanctioned module and wish to play it an additional time for any reason, you must inform the GM that you have already played the sanctioned module. If you spoil the plot for the other players at the table, the GM has the right to ask you to leave. You are free to replay the sanctioned module in order to meet a minimum PC requirement (see Chapter 7), but if you already have received a player Chronicle for this sanctioned module for any of your PCs, you do not earn any additional rewards beyond having a good time. The Tier 1 exception still applies for Tier 1-—2 modules.

Conditions, Death, and Expendables

Whether playing your own character or a pregenerated character, all conditions (including death) not resolved within the module carry beyond the end of the module. Likewise, any wealth spent or resources expended during the course of the adventure are tracked and must be recorded on the Chronicle sheet.

If you are using a pregenerated character, calculate the cost of any consumables used and mark this cost on the Chronicle sheet. Any remaining conditions are applied to the linked character when the Chronicle sheet is applied to that character.

The one exception is when a character remains dead at the conclusion of the module. In this case, the linked character is permanently dead and removed from play immediately. In resolving any conditions on a pregenerated character, Prestige Points and gold from the linked character may be used to pay for the cost of the raise dead or resurrection spell.

Applying Credit

All players receive a Chronicle sheet unless, at the GM’s discretion, they are replaying the module for no credit. If a player uses an existing Pathfinder Society character for the adventure, he must apply the Chronicle sheet to that character immediately. A player who uses a pregenerated character must apply the Chronicle sheet to his linked Pathfinder Society character when that character reaches the starting level of the module.

A GM who runs a module may likewise apply the Chronicle sheet to one of her Pathfinder Society characters. The GM must decide which of her characters will receive the Chronicle sheet when the module is completed and the Chronicle sheets are filled out. Playing a module from beginning to end earns a character 3 XP and 4 Prestige Points if that character is on the normal advancement track or 1.5 XP and 2 Prestige Points for characters on the slow advancement track. There are no day job rolls when playing a sanctioned module.

If a character dies and is brought back to life, the GM must determine the rewards for that character. The minimum possible reward is 0 GP, 1 XP and 1 PP on the normal advancement track or 1/2 XP and 1/2 Prestige Point on the slow advancement track. If a character participates in more than 2/3 of the module, he should receive full rewards. GMs and active players are encouraged to hasten the return of a character waiting to be raised from the dead.

Players who do not complete each game session earn 1 fewer XP and Prestige Point for each session missed. This also applies to players who join later sessions; they receive 1 fewer XP and Prestige Point for each session missed. In both cases players earn a minimum of 1 XP and 1 Prestige Point (or 1/2 XP and 1/2 Prestige Point on the slow advancement track). If a character earns more XP than she needs to reach her next level, she may not choose to switch advancement tracks at the new level earned.

As always, each player may receive credit for each module once as a player and once as a GM, in either order. Players must accept a Chronicle sheet for their character the first time they play a module. A player may replay a module at the GM’s discretion, but the player may not receive more than one player Chronicle sheet per module. The only exception is Tier 1—2 modules. A player may only play a Tier 1—2 module for credit once with a 2nd-level character, but may use additional 1st-level characters to replay the same module for credit.

Running Multi-Session Modules

Since sanctioned modules can be multi-session events, Pathfinder Society characters may not be used in other Pathfinder Society events until they receive a Chronicle sheet for the module. This does not apply to a player using a pregenerated character until the linked character reaches the starting level of the module.

GMs are advised to work with players who miss the final session of the module in order for those players to receive their Chronicle sheets.

Retirement and Beyond

In the interest of allowing Pathfinder Society characters to extend their adventuring careers, and to utilize sanctioned Pathfinder Modules to their fullest enjoyment, I would like feedback on allowing Pathfinder Society characters to advance past 12th level for sanctioned module play only.

The level cap for the campaign is still 12. There are no current plans for us to publish any Pathfinder Society scenarios of 13th level or higher. However, there are more modules on the schedule that are 13+ levels. We do have some stand-alone, Tier 12 scenarios on the radar for those that do not wish to play Eyes of the Ten, but wish to play three additional scenarios at 12th level and then retire. Just as with every other Pathfinder Society Scenario, Eyes of the Ten is not open for replay and that isn't going to change. So, the addition of more Tier 12 scenarios, or another retirement arc, allows for players to have options.

This part of the proposal would allow people to play a “retired” character through higher-level sanctioned modules, receive credit, and not have to play an artificially leveled character. This also helps to balance the wealth-by-level curve as presented currently at the end of Eyes of the Ten that presents 13th-level wealth for 12th-level characters. Right now it is difficult for us to plan special retirement events for 12th-level characters mentioned 3 years ago because characters’ wealth-by-level is so imbalanced.

Mark and I have discussed this and here is how I plan to incorporate advancement for 13th level and higher. This will open up the extended career of Pathfinder Society characters if people want to utilize modules in that manner.

Spoiler:

Once you reach 12th level, it would require 3 XP to advance to 13th level and beyond as normal. We will adjust the Eyes of the Ten arc so you receive 2 XP after Part 1 and 1 XP for Parts 2, 3, and 4. Once you complete Parts 1 and 2 of Eyes of the Ten, you may advance your character to 13th level. Mark and I reviewed Parts 3 and 4 and all CRs are higher than 13 so there shouldn't be a significant effect on the play of either of those. Once you complete Eyes of the Ten, you will still be 13th level and one XP short of advancement of 14th level. This will allow you to roll right into playing Academy of Secrets at level for the module. Any character who has completed Parts 1 and 2 of Eyes of the Ten may advance to 13th level.

At 13th level, you can then play your Pathfinder Society character in Academy of Secrets and receive full credit as normal, but you may play it at 13th level. We will be adjusting the gold received at the end of Academy of Secrets.

Upon completion of Academy of Secrets, the character would receive 3 XP and be one short of 15th level.

At the end of Tomb of the Iron Medusa, the character would receive 3 more XP and be one short of 16th level.

In the future, Paizo will release additional high-level modules that will also be sanctioned for play. We will eventually sanction The Witchwar Legacy once it is possible for someone having played everything to reach 17th level. We will make gold adjustments accordingly for those Chronicle sheets.

To help GMs and players use their Pathfinder Society characters in retirement and beyond, both the wealth and Fame tables will be extended beyond their current limits.


The above changes would not go into effect until version 4.1 of the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play is released. Also, I am very aware that people might be in the middle of a multiple-play session for a sanctioned module, or be involved in a play-by-post game that takes months instead of one or two game sessions.

If these changes were to go into effect, I plan to grandfather in modules caught in the middle of multiple sessions when this goes live. I also plan to assign a Venture-Captain as the coordinator for this endeavor. Players and GMs will have a month to register their games as "grandfathered" games. After that time, no new module play should begin under the old rules. These registered "grandfathered" games have until the start of Season 4 to complete their games and report such to the Venture-Captain.

So there you have it. This is a proposal to modify play of sanctioned modules to bring them more in line with standard scenario play, as well as open options for players to extend the life of their Pathfinder Society characters. As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I would like to hear what you do and don’t like about the above proposal, and how this proposal would affect your game in both a positive and negative way if put into place.

Mike Brock
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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Tags: Pathfinder Modules Pathfinder Society
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Grand Lodge 5/5

Also, several of the modules expect players to level part of the way through them (I recall Crypt of the Everflame at least is explicit about this), and thus the final encounters expect characters of module level+1. The increased difficulty this caused was offset by the old module rules. Now, there's no chance to level up mid-module, and no 'safety net' to offset this. Hmm.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

To all and sundry, and particular to address Ninjaiguana's concerns.

there is nothing in the rules, currently or under Mike's proposal, that prevents you from taking your 4th-level character, advancing him to 13th level, and playing Tomb of the Iron Medusa, with no risk of the character permanently dying. The only question is whether the PC gts any PFS credit for the experience. Under the proposal on the table, he would not. Does that make the module less fun?

Grand Lodge 5/5

Chris Mortika wrote:

To all and sundry, and particular to address Ninjaiguana's concerns.

there is nothing in the rules, currently or under Mike's proposal, that prevents you from taking your 4th-level character, advancing him to 13th level, and playing Tomb of the Iron Medusa, with no risk of the character permanently dying. The only question is whether the PC gts any PFS credit for the experience. under the proposal on the table, he would not. Does that make the module less fun?

Playing the module in that way effectively bars your character from playing the module for PFS credit. Is it wrong for someone to want to play the module and get a chronicle for it? Especially when other players in the area may have characters who already have a sheet for the module, which they got under the old rules? And don't forget some of the module sheets have fun unique boons on them. People love those, and they want to be able to play with them.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Chris Mortika wrote:

Mike, three questions:

1) Should players plan to raise their "retired 12th-level PCs" who have gone through Eyes of the Ten to 13th level?

2) Would pre-gens be able to access and spend the linked PC's prestige at all? If so, it's possible for a PC to reach the matching level and suddenly find himself with negative gold and/or negative prestige. How would that work?

3) If a pre-gen is linked to a PC who dies before matching level, can the player reassign those rewards to another PC?

1) Yes, you may raise a retired 12th level PC who have gone through Eyes of Ten to 13th level.

2) If you link a pregen to a current PFS character, you can access that linked PCs PPs or gold for the purposes of raise dead, removing conditions, etc....

3) the pregen must be linked to an existing PC at the beginning of the module play. I'm not sure what you mean by this question.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I'm sorry I was unclear, Mike.

Question 3) Let's say the gang is playing "Carrion Hill", and I don't have a 4th-6th-level PC. So I play 4th-level Kyra and link the experience to my 1st-level fighter Damon. I play through the module and come out with full rewards (and a loss of Sanity points for the player.)

Damon would get those rewards when he's either 4th level (the level Kyra was) or 5th level (the level at which the module is intended to be played). But Damon dies catastrophically at 3rd level, and never matches the level at which he could receive the rewards.

Can I re-assign those rewards to my 1st-level PC Fernanda, for her to receive when she reaches the right level?

---+---

And, if I might reiterate ...

Question 2) So, I'm playing the module with 4th-level Kyra, who needs to spend prestige. She has access to Damon's 5 prestige points, and spends 4 of them. But those prestige points aren't removed until Damon hits 4th (or 5th) level. So he can spend them himself at 3rd level. When he reaches the level where the rewards are applied, he can have a negative prestige score. How does that work?

---+---

Question 4) Will we still be able to decide to use slow experience progression with modules? If so, when will those of us using pre-gens need to decide? (I'm hoping the answer is "when the linked PC reaches the matching level.")

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

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I think it will be poor form to use the fairness of existing awards as a basis for not making changes. Rules will change from time to time. And with those changes, sometimes things that were once allowed, will be revoked. Other times things will be added that grant a slight advantage to players who have not already participated because we have little to no replay options. But with the amount of available options, most should have no problem playing multiple characters. Remember, there are quite a few players out there with multiple chronicles from the same scenario as a result of the previously legal replay rules.

I hope everyone realizes one important part of sanctioned module play and play beyond the level cap...these are additional options to allow for more game-play. If you do not want to play modules or above level 12, then don't. It should not impact your ability to enjoy what PFS has to offer.

As the rules have adapted for and incorporated the modules, it has in no way reduced the amount someone can play sanctioned PFS events. Quite the contrary. We have 15 sanctioned modules that were not originally allowed for credit. As a matter of fact, you can nearly play a character from creation to retirement having never played a PFS scenario. IMO, that is an awesome amount of additional play.

Sure there are some minor restrictions, but the availability is there. Module play will never be exactly like scenario play. It can't be. There are fundamental differences in how the two function. But that doesn't mean we cannot have as much consistency as possible. I hope most see that is what is intended.

Also, and this is a more minor point, the rules are not really written to specifically accommodate pregen play. Pregens above 1st level are a luxury and we should not accommodate them any more than necessary, especially if that means taking something away from "legal" characters.

I have also heard mention a number of times to playing "made up" characters to test them out. While, I understand the concept, I do not think that organized play is the place to test theories and play with character builds. IMHO, that is better left for non-sanctioned home-style play.

"If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got"


I like the ideas presented. However, without adding level 12+ scenarios it seems strangely limiting. Right now the only option is to play Eyes of Ten and then the character is retired. The new plan extends to level cap, but only by playing certain scenarios. Is there a plan for modules at or above level 17? Because stopping at level 17 just seems so odd, especially once you're so close to 20.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Chris Mortika wrote:

I'm sorry I was unclear, Mike.

Question 3) Let's say the gang is playing "Carrion Hill", and I don't have a 4th-6th-level PC. So I play 4th-level Kyra and link the experience to my 1st-level fighter Damon. I play through the module and come out with full rewards (and a loss of Sanity points for the player.)

Damon would get those rewards when he's either 4th level (the level Kyra was) or 5th level (the level at which the module is intended to be played). But Damon dies catastrophically at 3rd level, and never matches the level at which he could receive the rewards.

Can I re-assign those rewards to my 1st-level PC Fernanda, for her to receive when she reaches the right level?

---+---

And, if I might reiterate ...

Question 2) So, I'm playing the module with 4th-level Kyra, who needs to spend prestige. She has access to Damon's 5 prestige points, and spends 4 of them. But those prestige points aren't removed until Damon hits 4th (or 5th) level. So he can spend them himself at 3rd level. When he reaches the level where the rewards are applied, he can have a negative prestige score. How does that work?

---+---

Question 4) Will we still be able to decide to use slow experience progression with modules? If so, when will those of us using pre-gens need to decide? (I'm hoping the answer is "when the linked PC reaches the matching level.")

3) no, you can not reassign a chronicle sheet to a different character. It is the same as a GM credit. If you GM a 7-11 scenario and apply it to a 4th level character and are holding it until that character hits 7th level, and then it dies at 5th level, you do not get to assign it to a different character.

2) once you spend linked prestige, they are from the current pool, not a future pool of points, and once spent, they're gone.

4) Slow progression for modules levels 1-12 is legal. Modules that are 13+ in level are not open to slow progression, only normal.

2/5

Chris Mortika wrote:
"We be Goblins" is a fun module. Part of the wackiness is the disposable quality of the PCs. Once players understand that getting your goblin killed will also kill the PC that you've linked it to, I imagine that people will be much more conservative in that module.

I also agree. When I GMed it, one PC died and we came close to a TPK twice.

goblins:
Especially when Mogmurch discovered the firework cache midfight, alone... lol.

The player didn't end up doing it, but it wouldn't have made a memorable ending.


That ending would never have been an option with the new rules.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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We Be Goblins is the only exception to the module rules listed in the blog. Since it is required to use goblin pregens, it will remain as it currently is with no changes.

Shadow Lodge 2/5

M. Brock - thank you very much for these changes. Decisions matter and that should include the modules as well as the scenarios. No system is perfect, but thanks for making ours even closer to the ideal!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Bob wrote:
Also, and this is a more minor point, the rules are not really written to specifically accommodate pregen play. Pregens above 1st level are a luxury and we should not accommodate them any more than necessary, especially if that means taking something away from "legal" characters.

With respect, Bob, it is the combination of "leveling a character to match the module" and pre-gens that make module-play viable in anything other than home games.

.
I look to the current situation in the Iowa City game day, which may be emulated in one of the Chicago game days: in anticipation of the upcoming convention, the coordinator has switched over to modules for normal gameday play. This weekend, we're playing Masks of the Living God, set at 3rd Level.
.
  • Normally, the gameday features a low-level scenario and a mid-level scenario. So, running scenarios, it's open to anybody willing to play a pre-gen (typically 1st level), or who has brought a character of between levels 1 - 7 or 1 - 9.
  • Under the current rules, the current module is open to anyone who can build a legal 3rd-level PC, play a PC betwen levels 2 and 4, pr play a 4th-level pre-gen.
  • Under the proposed rules, this week's gameday would be open only to players with PCs of levels 2 - 4 (and may the gods help anyone who decides to go in with a 2nd-level PC), or to anyone willing to play one of the pre-gens, linking that pre-gen to a low-level PC.

If the module rules were to be revised so that temprary levelling of a PC were not allowed, and pregens were strongly discouraged ("a luxury ... we should not accomodate ... more than necessary"), then module play would be much less viable.

Liberty's Edge

Mike - I dig it. I was never a big fan of the modules due to no risk and the lack of any connection to the Pathfinder Society. When I played Godsmouth, I chose to use consumables like any other scenario. I assume that each module will have a range similar to what they have now (Carrion Hill 4-6?) which leaves plenty of options. I like the retirement options too.

@DougDoug - Played one, Ran three.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

I guess that is a difference in how everyone views the modules. IMO, they are a bonus, an additional method of play outside the "normal" scenario play. The fact that we can play them at all is an awesome boon. Having the rules for them be as consistent with core PFS rules is the best way to go. That will mean either having rules that indirectly discourage pregen play or have wonky rules (like we have now) to accommodate the uniqueness of their existence.

I have not heard anything from Paizo that indicates module sales increased a measurable amount when PFS legalized them for play, so I have no reason to think that the rule proposals will result in a decrease in sales.

Pregens, are primarily intended for players who either have never played PFS before, targeted at 1st level, or for casual players to be able to play with their higher-level friends. For the casual player, the chronicle/rewards are likely of little importance. A fundamental part of PFS is "earn your rewards." Creating your own characters and investing time into developing them is a key part of that concept.

Of course, it is always important to remember that everyone's experience with modules and pregens is not the same. All we can do is try to formulate rules/guidelines that appeal to the largest cross-section of players. No matter the final version of rules, there will be those who disagree with them. My hope is that those disagreements are not serious enough to drive existing players away nor discourage new players from joining.

@DougDoug...played two...GM'd seven

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Doug Miles wrote:
I would be interested if everyone who is commenting like/dislike could state how many of the modules they have played or GMed under the current OP rules.

I have GMed The Godsmouth Heresy and I am getting ready to run Feast of Ravenmoor. I have played We Be Goblins! and I am currently playing The Harrowing with a leveled-up version of one of my characters.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Mike

Thanks for the changes. I'm overall in favour of them.

Resources do count and players should play accordingly. Godsmouth Heresy with 3 wands of CLW and everyone up to full HP after each individual fight makes it hard to challenge a group at all. I always feared one day I would have a player who would try to game the system.

In regard to module play and getting players together: I started JensCon as a weekend meeting at our place for Godsmouth Heresy. Modules are a great opportunity to invite fellow gamers from further away and get together and play. Not everyone will have the options to do that - but I now played at two different private venues (with option to stay over) and enjoyed it a lot.

Overall this will mean play is closer to real PFS.

We be Goblins GMed and played
Master of the Fallen GMed and played
Godsmouth Heresy GMed and played 2 times
Cult of the Ebon Destroyer GMed

Currently planned to GM:
Crypt of the Everflame (between the years with a group of kids who hopefully will get the Beginner Box for Christmas. They all got the Beginner Box boon in case they die)
Feast at Ravenmoor or Curse of the Riven Sky (next gathering early January at my place)

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Ok Now that I have time I will list out why I don’t like the changes.

Any rule change to Pathfinder Society Module play needs to keep into account the original reason why Modules where added to PFS, specifically 2 of them.

Adds more chances to play outside of Scenarios

Allows groups with a large disparity of levels to be able to play together when they normally can’t due to Tier restrictions. Edit: People seem to be forgetting this reason for modules in the posts I see above but it was highly appraised for a reason for Module play.

This new rule fails at these reasons on why Modules where added, that is why I don’t like the rules and I think it would be a terrible idea to implement.

The restrictions added to playing Modules now reduces those chances and the “option” giving for others to play that don’t have characters of level of the Module might as well not even be there. Granted the new rule still adds more beyond the scenarios but in conjunction with extremely limiting allowing those to play that don’t have the appropriate level PC it is a limited addition.

The meat of it is by only allowing Pre-gen PCs as available to play if you don’t have a PC the new rule fails right there. The Pre-gens as many will say is a death sentence to play, not only for the players PC playing the Pre-Gen but to others playing their regular characters because of the reduced use of them. This is especially true with Modules which are not made with the limiting rules accounted for PFS play. Even Mike says he would not suggest someone play with a Pre-gen. The chance of death are so much higher with pre-gen that not many will do that ruining the second reason and I feel most important reason Modules where added to PFS play “Allows groups with a disparity of levels to be able to play together when they normally can’t due to Tier restrictions.”

This new rule is a failure because of this and if implemented you might as well forget the reason why Modules where sanctioned in the First place.

Now I am also going to make some suggestions.

You can go 4 ways from here.

1. The Reason for Modules is not Important and implement the new rule. Obviously I think this is a bad idea.

2. The Reason for Modules is important and Scrap the whole idea. Though I personally am fine with this I understand that those that want change to the Module rules would not be appeased by this.

3. The Reason for Modules is important and implement the new rule and keep the Old rule. This I think is the best idea, and truth is this where I thought Mike was going when he hinted changes where coming, I was not expecting what he actually announced. This is how it would work. For those that play by the current rules they still get the reduced reward or the group can decide to use the new rules for the increased reward and all the other changes. Still allowing the old rule would still let groups play higher than normal play but if they decide to do so they lose that chance to use the Modules to advance their level 12 Characters. Now I will admit this may add production time to making the rules per module and would require 2 different scenarios sheets per Module, 1 for the old rules 1 for the new, but I think it is worth it.

4. Last option is re-doing the rules for Modules from the bottom up and come up with some mixture that appeases both groups and sticks to the original reason why Modules where added to PFS play. I will admit I currently have no ideas on this but if I do I will post them here.

Like I said I think implementing these changes go against the Idea behind Modules and will not like any rule that does that. This will only reduce play of them and/or increase the amount of PC death, not only that make it very confusing for Death/Consumable tracking.


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Doug Miles wrote:
I would be interested if everyone who is commenting like/dislike could state how many of the modules they have played or GMed under the current OP rules.

I don't play or GM modules or PFS scenarios. I just like arguing about PFS rules on message boards.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Dragnmoon

Sorry - I regard the 'Pre-Gens are a Death Sentence to play' as melodramatic in tone. I have seen them used - and I have seen them beating some of the regular characters in games I have GMed or participated in.
And at least 30% of characters here where I play (a lot of non-experienced players) did originate from the Pre-Gens. Both my kids started with Pre-Gens at level 1 that slowly evolved. So did several of the other players here who started under me as GM.
Valeros as PreGen (level 4 or 7) does beat the average charater at my table. Yes - players here are not optimized - so at different tables you might have different experiences.
I can attest to have seen players enjoy the PreGens and have a great time.

The other reason you cite is much more valid in my eyes. It really helped me to have a player go through Godsmouth Heresy and apply it to her level 3 character to reach level 4 and (with 2 more scenarios) finally catch up with players who played a lot longer.

But also keep in mind - there are now A LOT more scenarios out there. Godsmouth Heresy, Crypt of the Everflame, Mask of the Living God, Feast at Ravenmoor are all now available for low level.

At the start of the year with only Godsmouth Heresy and Cult of the Ebon Destroyer it was more difficult to get players with the right level. Even then I had all apart of a single player for Ebon Destroyer at the right level. And in 3 games of Godsmouth Heresy I only know of a single player (see above) who played a pregen to apply the chronicle to a higher level character.

Keep in mind - Module play was opened up when there was hardly any new low level play options for a while and players complaining of having played every single low level mod. This situation has eased a lot since.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Thod wrote:

Dragnmoon

Sorry - I regard the 'Pre-Gens are a Death Sentence to play' as melodramatic in tone. I have seen them used - and I have seen them beating some of the regular characters in games I have GMed or participated in.

I will admit At first Level is is less of an Issue, but becomes more pronounced at higher levels, and will be even more noticed with Module play because if the additional difficulty in those.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Captain, Special Projects—Discord

The new rule still adds more chances to play outside of scenarios, just not as widespread as before. So the new rule is not a complete failure as you see it, just more limiting.

The second can be fixed by using the new updated pre-gens that are being made up. Or as Chris Mortika stated earlier, if you don't care about getting credit, play for no credit. Again, not a complete failure as you see it, just more limiting.

Am I correct in that?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Dragonmoon,

I'm going to speak here as someone who more or less agrees with you.

You have said your piece and articulated your reasons well.

I am hoping that this conversation engages as many people as possible, as civilly as possible. And it won't do that if it falls into being a handful of people repeating their positions over and over.

Therefore, I'm pledging that I'm going to keep my peace unless (a) someone asks me something, or (b) I have something new to add. I invite you to join me in this.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Dragnmoon wrote:


I will admit At first Level is is less of an Issue, but becomes more pronounced at higher levels, and will be even more noticed with Module play because if the additional difficulty in those.

I think you have problems to comprehend as alien when I said at my table that a PreGen Valeros outperforms the average build of my local players.

You are right - the difference between a weak build and an optimized build becomes bigger and bigger by level. So if you build characters that are stronger as the PreGens then the difference will also get bigger each level.
At the same time if you build charaters that are weaker as the PreGens then the difference also becomes more and more pronounced the higher the level.

A player who is unable to optimize actually can end up with a stronger character using a PreGen and then reduces the difficulty for the rest of the party. So where you see an issue - I see a relief (for some of my players here).

Yes - maybe not a good idea to send them in a module as a group of 4. But as long as there are 5 or 6 they tend to be okay.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

I support these changes.

I have played in five and judged zero.

Sovereign Court 4/5

In favor of making death and consumables in modules mean something.

NOT in favor of allowing society characters to level past 12.
7th level spells (gotten at 13th level) are too complicated for organized play, even in modules. (Limited Wish anyone?)

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Todd Morgan wrote:

The new rule still adds more chances to play outside of scenarios, just not as widespread as before. So the new rule is not a complete failure as you see it, just more limiting.

The second can be fixed by using the new updated pre-gens that are being made up. Or as Chris Mortika stated earlier, if you don't care about getting credit, play for no credit. Again, not a complete failure as you see it, just more limiting.

Am I correct in that?

Todd, I am not sure they are actually going to "Fix" the pre-gens or just add more classes, Mike comment seemed to me the later. And Playing for no credit is not an option, Most players won't do that and not going to ask my players to waste 2-3 days on a Module and get nothing out of it, and I know My players feeling on Pre-gens so that is not an option either.

Edit: Modules Greatest Strength was the ability to get anyone no matter the PC level to be able to play together and still get credit for it, these restrictions have almost fully removed that and that is my biggest problem with the changes. In my Experience Pre-Gens are not just a Viable Option for Module play, especially at Higher levels. The Lower levels it is less a problem because more people will have their own characters to play. Also I am not a fan of now waiting until Level 12 to play the higher level ones because I enjoyed Running them and my players enjoyed playing them and it could be years in my local area until we have enough players now to play them.

4/5

VanceMadrox wrote:


NOT in favor of allowing society characters to level past 12.
7th level spells (gotten at 13th level) are too complicated for organized play, even in modules. (Limited Wish anyone?)

Limited Wish --a Gm;s dream come true. Word it correctly or ...well we'll just say things always dont turn out so well. muahahahahah

The Exchange 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

I love the idea of having a higher level cap. I feel level 10-12 is the point when the fun really starts. I am disgruntled at the idea that I was not able to plan for it. I bought items and feats that mirror class abilities granted at level 13+.

Any chance of a limited rebuild upon reaching 13th level? Perhaps allowing players to add an archetype if they don’t already have one, swap one feat or selling one piece of equipment at full value. I'm not talking about a full rebuild. No changing ability scores or class levels.

Grand Lodge 5/5

VanceMadrox wrote:

In favor of making death and consumables in modules mean something.

NOT in favor of allowing society characters to level past 12.
7th level spells (gotten at 13th level) are too complicated for organized play, even in modules. (Limited Wish anyone?)

Limited Wish, along with another 7th level spell, is already an option and has been around for months through a Chronicle sheet from a Tier 7-11 scenario. There has been no concern expressed about them since the release of that scenario.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Drizzt1080 wrote:


Any chance of a limited rebuild upon reaching 13th level? Perhaps allowing players to add an archetype if they don’t already have one, swap one feat or selling one piece of equipment at full value. I'm not talking about a full rebuild. No changing ability scores or class levels.

Sorry, but we are not going to go down the slippery slope of limited rebuilds.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

I very much like the fact that you're intending to make module play more "Normal"

If I take an existing character in to a module then clearly any expendables spent and any conditions gained (including death) should affect that existing character.

But it feels very strange and wrong that if I play with a pregenerated character who dies then suddenly another character of mine dies. They're different characters, it just makes no sense

Quite frankly, if this becomes the rule, then I'd almost certainly just create a new PFS character and assign the module to that character.

This is especially the case since the pregens seem generally to be underpowered a little. Combining that with a module makes the chance of character death fairly high.

I'd much prefer that if I play with a pregen I just get no chronicle to apply to any character.

The issue is fairly academic for me, however. I much prefer playing with my own character rather than with a pregen and would be quite unlikely to ever play with a pregen. This preference gets stronger the higher level a character gets.

I have absolutely no opinion on L12+ play. I suspect that I'll never get a character to tbat level anyway.


pauljathome wrote:


If I take an existing character in to a module then clearly any expendables spent and any conditions gained (including death) should affect that existing character.

But it feels very strange and wrong that if I play with a pregenerated character then suddenly another character of mine dies. They're different characters, it just makes no sense

No more or less sense than the other character getting experience, prestige and access to gear from the module when you play a pregen.

If you really don't want to risk a real character or care about the rewards, I don't see any reason you can't just link a new PFS character to any module you play with pregens.

It's more about having fun playing the module than claiming rewards for it anyway.


Dragnmoon is right about his players not playing pre-gens. I am one of his players, and unless there is some major (and I mean major) overhaul to the current pre-gens, or some kind of option to customize them ourselves before playing them in a higher level module, there is no way I would touch any of them.

Personally I think it is kind of ridiculous that if you play a character (pre-gen) completely different and very possibly very sub-par compared to your regular characters, and that pre-gen dies, that your linked character immediately dies as well. So now you not only have a reduced reward at the end of the module, but you also have to spend PP or gold to get raised even to play your actual character again?

Nope. No way. Won't be playing in any more modules if these rules are implemented as-is.

I'm not saying there should be no penalty for death, but there already is a penalty for death. A lower reward at the end of the module. If there needs to be something more than that, fine, but it shouldn't be "hey I played a 9th level rogue that was built in such a way that I'd never play a rogue and I died so now my 5th level oracle is dead."

Grand Lodge 5/5

There is no reduced reward for dying. Also, the other option is to eliminate use of pregens altogether but we are trying to allow some flexibility. We are also looking at the pregens but I haven't been here 3 months yet. Give me some time.
If module play isn't for you, I hope you will enjoy scenario play then as that is still our focus for PFS.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

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Michael Brock wrote:
If module play isn't for you, I hope you will enjoy scenario play then as that is still our focus for PFS.

Part of the problem is some of us feel like it was for us but now it is not.

We very much enjoyed running it the way it was but don't see that as the case as it will be.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Luckily there are still a lot of scenario options.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Michael Brock wrote:

Luckily there are still a lot of scenario options.

I guess I was not Clear, Sorry.

We Enjoyed the different type of Play Modules Brought, now that is being taken away in our eyes.

Scenarios are Nice, but they are not Modules.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

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Dragnmoon wrote:
Part of the problem is some of us feel like it was for us but now it is not.

I would counter that there are a lot of "us" who feel like the existing rules are not for "us", but the new version will be.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

Dragnmoon, I am a but confused. You seem to indicate that your group prefers modules over scenarios. Modules were not written with PFS as an intended audience. It sounds like your group would be better served to have an ongoing home-style campaign that uses the modules as its foundation.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Dragnmoon, I am a but confused. You seem to indicate that your group prefers modules over scenarios. Modules were not written with PFS as an intended audience. It sounds like your group would be better served to have an ongoing home-style campaign that uses the modules as its foundation.

For more Clarity...

We Enjoy Module Play in conjunction with PFS..


Obviously there is not going to be any system or set of rules that are going to suit everyone 100%. I personally probably would not play in modules much anymore but as others have stated, there would be other people who don't play in modules now who would under the new rules. Michael asked for our opinions, we are giving them. I'd be a little disappointed in not being able to do PFS sanctioned modules anymore, but that doesn't stop me from running them in my home game if I really want to play through one, so it isn't a huge loss to me.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Dragnmoon, I am a but confused. You seem to indicate that your group prefers modules over scenarios. Modules were not written with PFS as an intended audience. It sounds like your group would be better served to have an ongoing home-style campaign that uses the modules as its foundation.

For more Clarity...

We Enjoy Module Play in conjunction with PFS..

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Dragnmoon, I am a but confused. You seem to indicate that your group prefers modules over scenarios. Modules were not written with PFS as an intended audience. It sounds like your group would be better served to have an ongoing home-style campaign that uses the modules as its foundation.

For more Clarity...

We Enjoy Module Play in conjunction with PFS..


Obviously there is not going to be any system or set of rules that are going to suit everyone 100%. I personally probably would not play in modules much anymore but as others have stated, there would be other people who don't play in modules now who would under the new rules. Michael asked for our opinions, we are giving them. I'd be a little disappointed in not being able to do PFS sanctioned modules anymore, but that doesn't stop me from running them in my home game if I really want to play through one, so it isn't a huge loss to me.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Dragnmoon, I am a but confused. You seem to indicate that your group prefers modules over scenarios. Modules were not written with PFS as an intended audience. It sounds like your group would be better served to have an ongoing home-style campaign that uses the modules as its foundation.

For more Clarity...

We Enjoy Module Play in conjunction with PFS..

Many of us Already Have our Home games, this is an addition to that.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Dragnmoon, I am a but confused. You seem to indicate that your group prefers modules over scenarios. Modules were not written with PFS as an intended audience. It sounds like your group would be better served to have an ongoing home-style campaign that uses the modules as its foundation.

I still think we can have Both..

Me from Ealier wrote:
The Reason for Modules is important and implement the new rule and keep the Old rule. This I think is the best idea, and truth is this where I thought Mike was going when he hinted changes where coming, I was not expecting what he actually announced. This is how it would work. For those that play by the current rules they still get the reduced reward or the group can decide to use the new rules for the increased reward and all the other changes. Still allowing the old rule would still let groups play higher than normal play but if they decide to do so they lose that chance to use the Modules to advance their level 12 Characters. Now I will admit this may add production time to making the rules per module and would require 2 different scenarios sheets per Module, 1 for the old rules 1 for the new, but I think it is worth it.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

Why would the new rules stop people from playing the modules? Granted, you will no longer have the opportunity to level up/down at your leisure, but since there are more modules, sometime multiple, available now at every level, there should be ample opportunity to play if you're interested.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Personally, I've GMed and played in 4 different scenarios, Godsmouth I did three times.

The chronicles you get for these are pretty sweet, some of the best chronicles around and you get them for no risk. My alchemist picked up bucket-loads of extracts at an early level for dirt cheap. The higher level modules were kind of fun, but there is a huge disconnect between your character and play. I enjoyed doing it and wouldn't mind if the option remained but I would suggest if it did the chronicles not include items acquired because that seemed pretty easy to game for no risk.

For me, the idea of playing modules in a way that is actually relevant to my character is awesome.

We will definitely be playing modules less often, but IMO it will be more engaging when we do manage to get the chance.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In an effort to make the modules rules as consistent as possible with the core PFS rules, I do not think that maintaining two sets of rules, that allow player choice, is the best course of action.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

Bob,

I think the reason his group uses the modules is the one he cited as being mostly removed by the proposed new rules:
Using a module to allow a group of players with charcaters of different levels to be able to play together on a more-or-less level playing field.

For a local example, in my area:
I have an 11th level PC. Rich has a 10th level PC. Issak has a 10th level PC. I am not sure, don't recall anyone mentioning having, any other local PCs over 8th level.

So, in order to play with these PCs, we either have to play down with them, where at least two of them are already on the low end of the WbL chain due to playing down & paying for multi-ple deaths and above average consumable purchases, or get together a group with pseudo-PCs of a similar level to play a module but still get or regular PCs more-or-less normal rewards for their actual level.

As an example, even at a recent convention, I was at a table where I had originally signed up to play my then-10th level PC, but, other than a non-optimized 10th level Rogue/Bard (great RP, not very useful in combat), all the other PCs were 7th level pregens or 7th or 8th level PCs. Fortunately, I had a 7th level PC I could switch to, but this is the type of thing that is already a problem.

In addition, I GM at a game store, about 2 times a month (most I can usually do without risking burnout), but either have to play tier 1 & subtier 1-2 modules, due to new players & walk-ins, or use modules to play at higher levels, with special built PCs for the new players. This rule change would disallow that. It would also, I am sure, affect which PC I can apply credit to for running a module.

I have run:
MotFF
WBG
TGH

I have played:
MotFF
WBG

I was planning on running some of the other modules, but not sure if that plan will survive the new module rules, since it was going to be an effort to allow players a chance to see what their characters would be like at higher levels....

Marty, with too many PFS PCs with 1 XP each...

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