Ratfolk and Catfolk and Race Boons Oh My

Monday, June 3, 2013

Of all the feedback I receive about Pathfinder Society Organized Play, whether it be in person when I am visiting different regions, through emails, or on the messageboards, what I hear most is that non-convention-goers have little to no chance to obtain some of the convention-only boons that are offered at regional shows. The most popular of these boons are the racial boons, which open up the player's options to choose a unique race. I have thought long and hard on how we can even out things for those players who are not able to attend a convention for whatever reason.

First, let me clarify that we will always have special boons that can only be obtained at conventions. These will consist of a multitude of various options, from extending the range of the Day Job earnings chart to unique races. Our regional and national conventions and larger game days are where we garner the biggest PR for our game. But that doesn't mean I don't want to offer the chance of getting cool boons, especially racial boons, to members of our player base who don't attend conventions.

At these regional conventions, players only receive approximately a 10% chance to receive any boon that is provided at the convention. I don't think it is unreasonable to offer a similar chance to non-convention players.

One tool that has finally been opened to me is I am able to filter play of individual scenarios, and to see every reported table and every Pathfinder Society number that was at that table. I am also able to filter dates so I can see exactly how many tables of a specific scenario were reported over a specified time. Playing around with this new tool got me to thinking about how I could utilize it for the benefit of the entire Pathfinder Society player base.

My initial thought is that when a scenario presents something unique, such as helping a race like ratfolk, catfolk, or dhampirs (and no, I am not advising one way or another whether either of these races will make an appearance in Season 5), it might be possible to offer these races (or whatever races were aided in a specified scenario) via a lottery type of system. While I certainly don't want to flood the OP with a zoo of races (such as making them available on a Chronicle sheet for everyone who plays the specified scenario), I don't think it is a bad thing to occassionally give a limited pool of players the chance to play a new race, similar to the Grippli boon at Gen Con this year, as long as we control the flow of how many become available. With that said, my thinking is that after the first month or two of a specified scenario, I would randomly select from all tables that reported success in the specified scenario. All the players and GMs of the randomly selected tables would then have the unique Chronicle sheet sent directly to them.

Maybe this is or isn't the best way to offer unique boons to the entire playerbase, especially those who can't or won't attend conventions. However, it is the start of a working idea I am still toying with that would offer an equal chance to everyone who plays the specified scenario in a specified time limit. If you think this is a horrible idea, please offer a solution for how we can make it better. I would very much like to hear your feedback on what you think of the above system, or hear your thoughts on any other suggestions you might have for how to best utilize this new tool I have been given. As always, your feedback and comments help to strengthen the community at large, and without your feedback and participation, Pathfinder Society wouldn't be as awesome as it is today. I look forward to reading all of your comments.

Mike Brock
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Paizo Pathfinder Society
451 to 500 of 609 << first < prev | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Fromper wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:

I'd just like to state again that race boons are only available to people that participate in convention play. So unless we are aiming to change this rule, there's no reason in discussing anything further regarding race boons for people that don't participate in convention play.

Did you miss the part where this entire thread is a response to a blog post about changing that rule? And despite that blog post from over a year ago, it still hasn't changed.

I apologize for my misunderstanding of this thread so far. Thank you for clarifying it.

Whiskey Jack wrote:


Walter, one of the great things about PFS and the forum community here is that anyone can state what changes they would like to see in organized play policy. I understand the pros and cons to these arguments, but hearing a VC attempting to shut a thread down by saying "...there's no reason in discussing anything further regarding race boons for people that don't participate in convention play." is the kind of "love it or leave it" response that makes organizers feel under-valued.

By quoting only the end of that, you missed this.

Quote:
So unless we are aiming to change this rule, there's no reason in discussing anything further regarding race boons for people that don't participate in convention play.

After hearing everyone's responses it is clear that we aim to change the current rules for distribution of "convention only boons." In which case this discussion is productive. I just wanted to be clear as to what this conversation was about.

I apologize that I was misunderstood, and that anyone thought I was trying to "shut this thread down," that was certainly not my intention.

------------------------------
So Fromper, it seems to be clear that the overall goal here is to distribute previously convention only boons to store coordinators and GMs on regular game days. This would be a nice reward for people that contribute to the campaign but currently don't get much recognition.

If this is indeed the request, then I'd genuinely like to understand your perspective. If you could answer some questions, that would help clarify it for me.

What do we replace convention boons with if we do this? Mike has stated previously of the draw conventions get, in part due to these fabled race boons. If we distribute them for everyone, what 'edge' can we give conventions to still make them attractive?

What are some proposed systems for distribution? There are many instances where a VO is rarely present and where store organizers have more pull over their players than a VO. I'm generally an optimist, but I fear we'll run into situations where Store A is handing them out like candy and Store B is following the guidelines, leading to strife.

How do we police this system to ensure fair distribution? If the boons are distributed digitally, by Paizo itself, what is to stop people from printing off dozens of copies etc? They could be watermarked, but it's easy to change that in Photoshop. This question may be unfair, as I assume the worst, but I think it bears mention if we wanted to go with Paizo itself as the distributor of these boons.

If we are opening up race boons to such a wide audience, wouldn't it behoove us to eliminate them entirely, and open those races up to the general population? I suspect the answer here is no, and that keeping them somewhat restricted would still make them attractive.

Again, I'd like to fully understand your perspective here. I wasn't always a VO, and started out with no stars to my name and a handful of people that wanted to play PFS in my area. So I definitely understand where you're coming from as I was previously a store coordinator that felt under appreciated at times.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Deanoth wrote:
I know in my area it is almost possible to do 10 events before Aug 14th for doing that...

There's always online

Quote:
but why would you? To me it is a circumvention of the rules and a work-around. I just don't get why someone would feel the need to do something like this just to get what they want "within" the rules because they "can"

Chaotic alignment, a dislike of rules and the same love of finagling a system that goes into building really oddball characters.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Woran wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:

I just wanted to mention that there are many online conventions that you can attend as well, in circumstances where travel isn't an option.

Looking at the online conventions, it seems pretty much of them are in North America.

It would be a great option for me, were it not that I am in a different time zone, and probably a lot of us are. And I do not mean a one or two hour time difference. Living in Europe, this could mean somewhere between 5 to 9 hours of time difference.

Lets not forget the fact that PFS is a global thing. Conventions as on the massive scale (to us) that happen in North America simply don't exist here.

That's unfortunate :(

I know that there is a large player-base from Australia that plays online, you can find out more about them here. They should be more in your time frame.

I don't know if they've planned or are planning any convention size game days, but I'd definitely communicate with them to get something like that started. I know that Avatar, Mekkis, and Steven Huffstutler frequent their online community and these forums, so you might start by shooting one of them an IM.

You can also contact Jesse Davis, who is the online VC, about finding something in your time frame. I know that online play has been blowing up recently, and that Jesse will have a lot more information about it than me.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Walter Sheppherd wrote:
You don't want to plan a convention? That is fine, and totally your call.

This canard needs to stop.

It is not our call. The simple fact is that many people CANNOT plan a convention that big. Between a small player base and an inability to lay out the cash there are many reasons why people cannot, not do not, plan a convention.

It's not canard, it was in direct response to Fromper, who posted this.

Quote:
I'm really not interested in planning a convention. We really do have enough in our area that we don't really need another one, even if they take some travel, so not everyone can make it.

I was responding to him, which is why I posted directly after him. I apologize that I was unclear, and others regarded my post as relating to a general populace.

I will try to be more clear in the future.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Walter Shepherd wrote:
What do we replace convention boons with if we do this? Mike has stated previously of the draw conventions get, in part due to these fabled race boons. If we distribute them for everyone, what 'edge' can we give conventions to still make them attractive?

There's a few underlying assumptions here that don't bear out. The biggie here being the idea that if someone gets a race boon through stars or played games or standing on their head that they won't go to DM at a con for one. I think this assumption is undermined by the fact that people who DM at cons, dm at cons again. If they're doing it for the race boon, why wouldn't they stop after just one convention?

I think that delaying the boons for a year is far enough into the future to give it value.

Quote:
What are some proposed systems for distribution?

Stars

Lottery
VC/VL
Game day monitoring.

I think the star system is the best one. Paizo is already tracking it so the technological requirements are minimal, it gives you even more incentive to report, and gives people incentive to dm either at cons or at game days.

Quote:
How do we police this system to ensure fair distribution? If the boons are distributed digitally, by Paizo itself, what is to stop people from printing off dozens of copies etc?

The exact same way its handled for convention boons.

I don't think this is fair to bring up for an alternative system, or assume that an alternative system is somehow more prone to being used fraudulently than the current one.

Its like saying we won't have electric cars unless we somehow find a way to stop them from crashing.

I suppose for any boon you could include a few lines to record provenance: this boon was awarded to person X on this date, transfered to person Y on this date and used on character XXXXX etc.

Quote:
If we are opening up race boons to such a wide audience, wouldn't it behoove us to eliminate them entirely, and open those races up to the general population? I suspect the answer here is no, and that keeping them somewhat restricted would still make them attractive.

Its not just that they're restricted, but how they're restricted that irks some. Its not that they require more effort its that they require a completely different kind of effort that's beyond some people if you live in the sticks. Its hard to argue that someone that rolls out of bed and lands in a convention center to dm for 8 hours is putting more work into the campaign than someone driving half an hour (or more) to a game day every saterday for six months strait.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Walter Sheppard wrote:
What do we replace convention boons with if we do this? Mike has stated previously of the draw conventions get, in part due to these fabled race boons. If we distribute them for everyone, what 'edge' can we give conventions to still make them attractive?

I really do not understand the mentality that says that race boons have to be an all or nothing thing. There is no reason why you can't keep race boons as a major con draw if you offer only a limited subset or single separate race boon as a reward for deserving non-con volunteers.

Silver Crusade

Walter Sheppard wrote:


So Fromper, it seems to be clear that the overall goal here is to distribute previously convention only boons to store coordinators and GMs on regular game days. This would be a nice reward for people that contribute to the campaign but currently don't get much recognition.

If this is indeed the request, then I'd genuinely like to understand your perspective. If you could answer some questions, that would help clarify it for me.

What do we replace convention boons with if we do this? Mike has stated previously of the draw conventions get, in part due to these fabled race boons. If we distribute them for everyone, what 'edge' can we give conventions to still make them attractive?

What are some proposed systems for distribution? There are many instances where a VO is rarely present and where store organizers have more pull over their players than a VO. I'm generally an optimist, but I fear we'll run into situations where Store A is handing them out like candy and Store B is following the guidelines, leading to strife.

How do we police this system to ensure fair distribution? If the boons are distributed digitally, by Paizo itself, what is to stop people from printing off dozens of copies etc? They could be watermarked, but it's easy to change that in Photoshop. This question may be unfair, as I assume the worst, but I think it bears mention if we wanted to go with Paizo itself as the distributor of these boons.

If we are opening up race boons to such a wide audience, wouldn't it behoove us to eliminate them entirely, and open those races up to the general population? I suspect the answer here is no, and that keeping them somewhat restricted would still make them attractive.

Again, I'd like to fully understand your perspective here. I wasn't always a VO, and started out with no stars to my name and a handful of people that wanted to play PFS in my area. So I definitely understand where you're coming from as I was previously a store coordinator that felt under appreciated at times.

Personally, I think your 1st, 3rd, and 4th questions can be answered by saying nothing will change. Convention boons can stay exactly as they are, legal races can stay exactly as they are, and I don't think we'll need to police the distribution of boons any more than we already do. As I remember someone pointing out in one of these threads a long time ago (may even have been this thread), what's to stop someone from photocopying a boon they get from a convention today and printing off dozens of copies? We rely on people's sense of fair play with any new system, just as we do today.

As for what will make convention boons special if we distribute them to non-conventioneers, I think we can still save the latest and greatest boons for conventions to make them special. Then hand out the boons that were only available at conventions 2-3 years ago at the local game days.

As for your 2nd question, on proposed systems for distribution, there are various options. The possibility in this blog post of Paizo randomly selecting people who GMed or played in a particular time period and just sending them a boon is one possibility. Or we could just give them out for earning GM stars.

Or we could have an organizer contact Mike and ask for prize support for their local store the same way convention organizers currently do. As I understand it, anyone who GMs at a con with prize support gets a boon today, which would be overkill for local game days. As I said earlier, I think it would be nice if our store could randomly give out 1-3 race boons per month to the GMs of our 20+ tables per month. It would be a nice incentive/reward for GMs without suffering from over-distribution.

Silver Crusade

trollbill wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
What do we replace convention boons with if we do this? Mike has stated previously of the draw conventions get, in part due to these fabled race boons. If we distribute them for everyone, what 'edge' can we give conventions to still make them attractive?
I really do not understand the mentality that says that race boons have to be an all or nothing thing. There is no reason why you can't keep race boons as a major con draw if you offer only a limited subset or single separate race boon as a reward for deserving non-con volunteers.

Agreed. We've got locals around here who would probably be happy to get one of those kitsune/nagaji/wayang boons that flooded the convention scene during season 3.

Heck, I'd be happy to get more of some of the non-race boons that I picked up in the past at conventions, too, like the one that gives Tien as a bonus language or lets you start with a third trait on a new character, as long as it's from the Dragon Empires Primer. In fact, a bonus trait boon like that could be a great way for Paizo to sell books, if they created another such boon for every book that comes out that has 30+ traits listed in it (Inner Sea Gods, anyone?).

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

So I think we're looking to do something like this.

1. We leave convention boons as is, and
2. introduce new "rewards" that are tied to stars, or some measurement of games GM'd or game days organized, and
3. rely on the community to police it, which will
4. show our consistent game day volunteers that we appreciate them.

If that's the case, we just need to fill in the unknown: what should the reward be?

I'm curious to hear some thoughts on this.

Quote:
Heck, I'd be happy to get more of some of the non-race boons that I picked up in the past at conventions, too, like the one that gives Tien as a bonus language or lets you start with a third trait on a new character, as long as it's from the Dragon Empires Primer. In fact, a bonus trait boon like that could be a great way for Paizo to sell books, if they created another such boon for every book that comes out that has 30+ traits listed in it (Inner Sea Gods, anyone?).

As a GM I'd be on board for this.

EDIT: As an aside, it seems like people aren't a strong fan of the current GM boon. I'd also like to know why. What does it do poorly? What could be improved? What did you like about it?

Shadow Lodge 1/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think I can clearly show the issue with the GM boon... (I happen to really like it btw)

My primary character is a lvl 5 Gunslinger, he has 36 chronicle sheets. I have no clue what is on each specific sheet... I am working on building a crib-sheet for my characters to help alleviate this issue.

-

I will also point out that not all conventions get player Race boons and that not Conventions get GM Race boons.

This year, PaizoCon had no Race Boons for the players, last year there were a few different races available. In fact, this year the player boons were not a special batch just for PaizoCon.

This year and last year the GM boon was an extra trait, though the source book changed.

The Exchange Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Austin aka countchocula

Am I the only one who sees the lottery style boon system as a fun and exiting way to spread fun and excitement / encourage a large amount of people to report and maybe have a look into more products than just the core books and isn't having fun what this game is all about?

Grand Lodge

Fromper wrote:
Or we could have an organizer contact Mike and ask for prize support for their local store the same way convention organizers currently do. As I understand it, anyone who GMs at a con with prize support gets a boon today, which would be overkill for local game days. As I said earlier, I think it would be nice if our store could randomly give out 1-3 race boons per month to the GMs of our 20+ tables per month. It would be a nice incentive/reward for GMs without suffering from over-distribution.

This is already allowed, as long as the game day will have at least 15 tables over the course of the day.

The point is that there needs to be some kind of cut off point, else every single time someone runs a table, theyd be getting a boon on top of the existing rewards they already get for playing/running the scenario.

Silver Crusade

countchocula wrote:
Am I the only one who sees the lottery style boon system as a fun and exiting way to spread fun and excitement / encourage a large amount of people to report and maybe have a look into more products than just the core books and isn't having fun what this game is all about?

I agree.

Seth Gipson wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Or we could have an organizer contact Mike and ask for prize support for their local store the same way convention organizers currently do. As I understand it, anyone who GMs at a con with prize support gets a boon today, which would be overkill for local game days. As I said earlier, I think it would be nice if our store could randomly give out 1-3 race boons per month to the GMs of our 20+ tables per month. It would be a nice incentive/reward for GMs without suffering from over-distribution.

This is already allowed, as long as the game day will have at least 15 tables over the course of the day.

The point is that there needs to be some kind of cut off point, else every single time someone runs a table, theyd be getting a boon on top of the existing rewards they already get for playing/running the scenario.

So a local game store generating 3-6 tables every single Monday evening for 2 straight years doesn't deserve any rewards or recognition? That's the current policy, which I'd personally like to see change.

I never said every organizer should get rewards to give out for every table. But as I said, if an organizer contacts Paizo and says that they'll be running 15-20 tables over the course of a month, maybe they could get a couple of boons to give out at random along the way.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Seth Gibson wrote:
is is already allowed, as long as the game day will have at least 15 tables over the course of the day.

If you wonder why the people for smaller groups seem a little annoyed, or feel like the folks in the inner circle aren't listening, its because of stuff like this.

Ok, there is no, nadda, zilch, ZERO reason that the cut off needs to be tied to the table size.

Quote:
The point is that there needs to be some kind of cut off point, else every single time someone runs a table, theyd be getting a boon on top of the existing rewards they already get for playing/running the scenario.

Absolutely not. This is not the case, there is no excuse to try pretending this is the case, and there is no excuse for you to be this far into the thread and still think this is the case.

No one is saying you get a boon every time you run. We are asking for some other alternative to large gatherings. It doesn't need to be easy, it doesn't need to be fast, its certainly not going to be every scenario.

I cannot take your objections with any value, at all, if you have no idea what it is that's being argued for.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Seth Gipson wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Or we could have an organizer contact Mike and ask for prize support for their local store the same way convention organizers currently do. As I understand it, anyone who GMs at a con with prize support gets a boon today, which would be overkill for local game days. As I said earlier, I think it would be nice if our store could randomly give out 1-3 race boons per month to the GMs of our 20+ tables per month. It would be a nice incentive/reward for GMs without suffering from over-distribution.

This is already allowed, as long as the game day will have at least 15 tables over the course of the day.

The point is that there needs to be some kind of cut off point, else every single time someone runs a table, theyd be getting a boon on top of the existing rewards they already get for playing/running the scenario.

I agree there should be a cut off point. The problem is the ruler isn't necessarily being applied evenly. If I were to organize a small con that did 15 tables in three days, but did nothing else the rest of the month, I would get boons. If I take those same 15 tables and spread them out over that same month, I don't get any. In both cases I organized 15 tables over a month period but one case rewards me, the other does not.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Let me see if I can articulate the "we'd like a change" position.

Right now, if a store were to run a 4-day event (Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday) with four PFS tables per day, the event would be eligible for boon support from Paizo, including some presents for GMs who would run at the event.

So, is that so very different from holding a coherent event at a game store, spread over 4 Saturdays? Again, at least four tables per day. The schedule would be posted for the whole gradual-con.

That strikes me as something that could attract attention, garner a sizable number of new players, and grow PFS in the area, in ways that a regular game-day can't. It might be worth Paizo's efforts to support something like that.

BNW, trollbill, is that what you're suggesting?

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chris Mortika wrote:

Let me see if I can articulate the "we'd like a change" position.

Right now, if a store were to run a 4-day event (Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday) with four PFS tables per day, the event would be eligible for boon support from Paizo, including some presents for GMs who would run at the event.

So, is that so very different from holding a coherent event at a game store, spread over 4 Saturdays? Again, at least four tables per day. The schedule would be posted for the whole gradual-con.

That strikes me as something that could attract attention, garner a sizable number of new players, and grow PFS in the area, in ways that a regular game-day can't. It might be worth Paizo's efforts to support something like that.

BNW, trollbill, is that what you're suggesting?

Yes, a convention is a flashier event, more likely to garner attention, and (arguably*) more likely to attract new players. Nobody's saying conventions shouldn't continue to have more rewards than game days. We're just saying regular game days deserve more than the ZERO rewards they currently get.

* I'm still not convinced by the "Conventions attract more new players than game days" argument. As I said a couple of pages ago in this thread, analyzing business data to get companies to challenge their preconceived notions is something I do professionally. I'd love to see Paizo actually go through their database and compare the number of first time players at conventions to the number of first time players at regular game days, when comparing a comparable number of tables. ie In your example of a 4 day convention with 16 tables vs 4 consecutive Saturdays with 4 tables each, you could compare to see which had more new players show up for their first ever game.

More importantly, how many of those first time players went on to become second time and third time players? It's safe to assume that at least half of the people who try out a new game at a convention won't play it again. But at a weekly game night at a local store, the new players know exactly where to go every week to play it again, so they should be much more likely to return. Which of those two groups of first timers are more valuable? Without properly analyzing the data, we'll never know, and from conversations here, I doubt if Paizo has done that kind of analysis.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chris Mortika wrote:
Let me see if I can articulate the "we'd like a change" position.

You're not getting it.

I would like a path that is decoupled from the number of tables required to be run at once. Something that values the long hard haul as well as the flash in the pan.

This is incredibly frustrating because it can not be simpler. Run X number of games, get a boon. Or since stars are already a thing, get X number of stars get a boon. What about that isn't grocking ?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

I am not sure what you mean by a 'coherent event' rather than simply regularly scheduled game days.

My position is that if a location is drawing in numbers over a given period of time comparable to a small con then it would behoove Paizo to support such efforts with at least some high quality boons.

I want to make it clear that I understand that Cons, due to their nature, usually have a higher per table expense both to the DM & players than game days and that they are great advertisement for PFS. And, thus, they should certainly have some of the best rewards. So giving local gamedays the exact same level of rewards as Cons would be detrimental.

But at same time, there are organizers and GMs who do just as much, or more, to promote PFS as Con goers but who simply cannot make it to Cons. I feel these people are deserving of at least a limited subset of what Cons are receiving. In this particular case I am looking at quality over quantity. So while a Con may get 3 difference race boons in enough quantity so that all of their GMs & volunteers get at least one, a prolific game day organizer might get only a 2 or 3 copies of 1 race boon they could hand out to their dedicated GMs and volunteers.

I would also like to point out that I am NOT one of those people who can't make it to Cons and who doesn't get race boons himself. I have 3 race boons I am currently using and a spare I plan on giving out as a reward to stand out locals. I usually keep a portion of my Con swag to give out locally as a reward.

Finally, I would like to point out that this does not seem to be quite the same as BNF's stance.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Trollbill:

Your stance seems to be one possible solution that I'd be ok with.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree with BNF.

Local stores in our area just have too many competing (and more profitable) games to support to cede enough consecutive days for a in-store "mini" convention. Magic, War Machine and now the return of D&D are all getting top billing and leaving little leftover days for scheduling meaningful PFS.

GMing 24 tables over a year at a store (1 gameday with 2 sessions per month) is much more of a commitment and personal contribution than going to a convention at GMing a single table (which is all that's required for a seasonal race boon).

I do believe there's data to show that a GM who runs 5 tables at a convention brings in more new players than a GM who runs 20 tables at a game store. Eespecially not a heavy gaming convention, but a mixed media one... for example Comic Con is this month, will have folks running PFS and I imagine will register a lot of PFS IDs for new players - although there is a question of how many of those become regular players afterwards.

That's why I proposed some sort of point system (not related to GM stars) where GMing a table at a store earns something like 1 point, and GMing a table at a convention earns something like 4-5 points. GMs working up the "boon rewards track" would still be heavily motivated to go out to conventions to accelerate their progress, but those who could not would still know they would eventually reach their goal(s).

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Quote:
Run X number of games, get a boon. Or since stars are already a thing, get X number of stars get a boon. What about that isn't grocking ?

BNW, there's already a boon for GMs based on stars. 5 of my PCs are students of one of the Grand Lodge masters.

Otherwise, what doesn't make sense to me is that you're not distinguishing between a public game day at a store, library, or game club room at a college, versus a campaign run in someone's basement or dorm lounge. So, here's my mental image: John the GM runs a homebrew campaign, inspired by Paizo's Adventure Paths but running in D&D 4th Edition, or Green Ronin's True 20 or whatever. He has the same group of friends play AP after AP. He hands out Chronicles for the games being run "in campaign mode," but he's never downloaded the GtOP. One of the players registers the campaigns with an event code.

You need to either (a) convince me that John should get cool boons, or else (b) explain how Paizo can automatically distinguish between John and somebody running faithfully every week at a game store.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

wakedown wrote:

I agree with BNF.

Local stores in our area just have too many competing (and more profitable) games to support to cede enough consecutive days for a in-store "mini" convention. Magic, War Machine and now the return of D&D are all getting top billing and leaving little leftover days for scheduling meaningful PFS.

GMing 24 tables over a year at a store (1 gameday with 2 sessions per month) is much more of a commitment and personal contribution than going to a convention at GMing a single table (which is all that's required for a seasonal race boon).

I do believe there's data to show that a GM who runs 5 tables at a convention brings in more new players than a GM who runs 20 tables at a game store. Eespecially not a heavy gaming convention, but a mixed media one... for example Comic Con is this month, will have folks running PFS and I imagine will register a lot of PFS IDs for new players - although there is a question of how many of those become regular players afterwards.

That's why I proposed some sort of point system (not related to GM stars) where GMing a table at a store earns something like 1 point, and GMing a table at a convention earns something like 4-5 points. GMs working up the "boon rewards track" would still be heavily motivated to go out to conventions to accelerate their progress, but those who could not would still know they would eventually reach their goal(s).

There is a small disconnect here that is running at cross purposes. If I organize a Con, Paizo sends me stuff, including race boons, to hand out as rewards to people who GM and attend those Cons. These are meant to be an increase draw to those Cons. Paizo is not rewarding the GMs directly, but rather indirectly through the organizer who can also use those items to reward people who benefit the Con in ways other than GMing and as an enticement for paying players. I am suggesting something similar for non-con organizers and this would still allow, albeit indirectly, for valuable GMs who can't make it to Cons to have at least a chance at getting a race boon.

This is not the same thing as rewarding GMs directly, as your proposal would do. And would not necessarily accomplish the same things.

I also don't think Paizo needs to change how they are currently rewarding Con goers as this system seems to work. This is a request to support valuable volunteers who may not be able to make it to Cons.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Chris Mortika wrote:

BNW, there's already a boon for GMs based on stars. 5 of my PCs are students of one of the Grand Lodge masters.

1) They would be an ok boon if they were on an adventure. (partially charged wands already are, and thats one of the best things on there). They are not remotely as good as the convention boons, much less the race boons.

2) Con DMs get these as well.

3) If they're so good why aren't they sufficient reward for con dms? I mean in one day you can get in months worth of game day DMing towards your next star reward.

Quote:
Otherwise, what doesn't make sense to me is that you're not distinguishing between a public game day at a store, library, or game club room at a college, versus a campaign run in someone's basement or dorm lounge.

Make it for running public game days then. there's already a checkmark for public/private games. Public games bring in new people and help keep old ones. Strictly home games don't.

Quote:
So, here's my mental image: John the GM runs a homebrew campaign, inspired by Paizo's Adventure Paths but running in D&D 4th Edition, or Green Ronin's True 20 or whatever.

No. I am not taking an attempt to disingenuously defraud the system as a legitimate argument here. The entire organized play effectively runs on the honor system. Saying "this would rely on the honor system!" isn't an argument. At all. There's nothing that would prevent me from photo copying my con earned Efrieet or spirit of the shadow lodge boons either, but inexplicably that's not a problem with those boons for some reason.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Chris Mortika wrote:
You need to either (a) convince me that John should get cool boons, or else (b) explain how Paizo can automatically distinguish between John and somebody running faithfully every week at a game store.

Event listings with addresses and confirmations from store coordinators.

Silver Crusade

Chris Mortika wrote:
Quote:
Run X number of games, get a boon. Or since stars are already a thing, get X number of stars get a boon. What about that isn't grocking ?

BNW, there's already a boon for GMs based on stars. 5 of my PCs are students of one of the Grand Lodge masters.

Otherwise, what doesn't make sense to me is that you're not distinguishing between a public game day at a store, library, or game club room at a college, versus a campaign run in someone's basement or dorm lounge. So, here's my mental image: John the GM runs a homebrew campaign, inspired by Paizo's Adventure Paths but running in D&D 4th Edition, or Green Ronin's True 20 or whatever. He has the same group of friends play AP after AP. He hands out Chronicles for the games being run "in campaign mode," but he's never downloaded the GtOP. One of the players registers the campaigns with an event code.

You need to either (a) convince me that John should get cool boons, or else (b) explain how Paizo can automatically distinguish between John and somebody running faithfully every week at a game store.

First of all, I thought the current GM star boon was a one-per-player deal. So you had to pick one of those boons, assign it to one of your PCs, and that's it. Was I wrong about that?

Second, are you trying to say the current GM star reward is as good as a race boon? I think it's safe to say that at least 95% of PFS players/GMs would disagree.

Third, who cares if the guy who only GMs for his friends and doesn't follow PFS rules gets a boon? It's not like he'll have any impact on actual PFS players at any point. And really, why would anyone bother to game the system for a system they don't actually participate in? If I wanted to, I could sign 4 imaginary friends up for PFS id #s, claim that I ran them through 50 scenarios, report the results, and pick up two more GM stars that way. Do we really need security measures in place to be sure that doesn't happen? Pretty much everything about PFS is based on trusting each other to play fair, and every result that matters is based on that.

But again, basing boons on GM stars is just one suggestion. My own suggestion was to have the local store organizers request prize support the same way convention organizers do. If the store has previously hosted some minimum number of tables, then Paizo knows they're legit, and grants the prize support. It wouldn't be as high quantity or quality as convention support, to keep conventions special, but it would be something.

And something I don't think I've mentioned earlier, since Trollbill brought it up. Like him, I'm not arguing about this to try and get more race boons for myself. I've already gotten four for GMing at conventions, and given one away, along with several non-race boons. But there are enough people who can't get to cons that I think we should try to include them in the good swag eventually, even if they don't get it when it's brand new.

Dark Archive 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

I sign all of my boons with metallic marker. I believe GenCon boons are also signed with such, at least the GM boons. This does make it harder to be photocopied. For the rare boons, Mike Brock uses a raised seal to hand stamp each boon and notes that the boon is not valid without a raised seal.

I don't think rampant copying of "Spirit of the Shadow Lodge" is comparable to photocopying race boons. One is valued way more than the other by the majority of players and they DO run a higher risk of photocopying and theft. As an organizer that has had experienced both theft and photocopying of boons in different areas around the country, I make darn sure that any I hand out in the future are tough to abuse.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Todd Morgan wrote:
I sign all of my boons with metallic marker. I believe GenCon boons are also signed with such, at least the GM boons.

That was a complaint about last years gencon boons, they were cheap photocopies. (its how you spot a fraud, it looks too good!)

Quote:
This does make it harder to be photocopied.

15 minutes on paintshop harder.

Quote:
For the rare boons, Mike Brock uses a raised seal to hand stamp each boon and notes that the boon is not valid without a raised seal.

Those boons are 700 bucks. I don't think anyone is looking for that level of security with a kitsune boon.

Quote:
I don't think rampant copying of "Spirit of the Shadow Lodge" is comparable to photocopying race boons. One is valued way more than the other by the majority of players

And now you know why non con goers are trying to get in on it too.

3/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:


2) Con DMs get these as well.

Umm... wouldn't your proposal of giving race boons for stars suffer from the same logic?

BigNorseWolf wrote:


Quote:
So, here's my mental image: John the GM runs a homebrew campaign, inspired by Paizo's Adventure Paths but running in D&D 4th Edition, or Green Ronin's True 20 or whatever.

No. I am not taking an attempt to disingenuously defraud the system as a legitimate argument here. The entire organized play effectively runs on the honor system. Saying "this would rely on the honor system!" isn't an argument. At all. There's nothing that would prevent me from photo copying my con earned Efrieet or spirit of the shadow lodge boons either, but inexplicably that's not a problem with those boons for some reason.

I believe that running campaign mode in another system is legal and grants Chronicles and Star credit. How would this be defrauding the system?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

DrakeRoberts wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


2) Con DMs get these as well.

Umm... wouldn't your proposal of giving race boons for stars suffer from the same logic?

No. Because its apparently a given that con dms will earn more than game shop dms and I'm ok with that.

What I'm not ok with is the difference with regard to race boons that amounts to an infinite amount of preference towards con dming.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Quote:
But again, basing boons on GM stars is just one suggestion. My own suggestion was to have the local store organizers request prize support the same way convention organizers do. If the store has previously hosted some minimum number of tables, then Paizo knows they're legit, and grants the prize support. It wouldn't be as high quantity or quality as convention support, to keep conventions special, but it would be something.

As a new store owner myself, this is something I could work with. But we're going to be dumping a lot of work on Mike and the staff if they have to handle a hundred such requests a week.

I'd be more supportive of a proposal that involved the regional VOs getting involved in boon distribution at some level. That way we can take more off Mike and John's already full plates, and give our eager volunteer base something to do with all that energy.

Shadow Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

OK, I like to solve problems. Here's another attempt:

Fictional Spring 2014 GM Boon

The exact details are up for debate - it's the concept open for criticism.

My thoughts:

1. This allows someone who GMs a lot more games in a store to receive a reward similar to someone who GMs much less games in a convention setting.

2. GMs should still be very motivated to GM slots at a convention in addition to a store, since they are worth so much more.

3. This PDF can be made freely available to download from Paizo each quarter, eliminating the logistics of distribution which are a big problem. Many GMs cite they ran at a convention and never received the boon from the coordinator. Now, it's up to them to get it.

4. PFS largely relies on the honor system. If I asked someone "hey let me see your oread boon", I feel like this form completed is much more genuine that the current ones (which are easy to photocopy). In a region, at a glance, we'll know the person in question here has "done the work" because their entries will be recognizable. Since we are already relying on the honor system, why bog down coordinators/VLs with logistics for these boons?

I now place this example boon at the firing line. Fire away.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
wakedown wrote:

OK, I like to solve problems. Here's another attempt:

Fictional Spring 2014 GM Boon

The exact details are up for debate - it's the concept open for criticism.

My thoughts:

1. This allows someone who GMs a lot more games in a store to receive a reward similar to someone who GMs much less games in a convention setting.

2. GMs should still be very motivated to GM slots at a convention in addition to a store, since they are worth so much more.

3. This PDF can be made freely available to download from Paizo each quarter, eliminating the logistics of distribution which are a big problem. Many GMs cite they ran at a convention and never received the boon from the coordinator. Now, it's up to them to get it.

4. PFS largely relies on the honor system. If I asked someone "hey let me see your oread boon", I feel like this form completed is much more genuine that the current ones (which are easy to photocopy). In a region, at a glance, we'll know the person in question here has "done the work" because their entries will be recognizable. Since we are already relying on the honor system, why bog down coordinators/VLs with logistics for these boons?

I now place this example boon at the firing line. Fire away.

It's a solid proposal—one of the better ones I recall coming across. I might be inclined to tweak the points system (I'm split on how to feel about it), but the concept is overall agreeable. I'd be interested to see how this might cross over with commentary in a few other threads (e.g. the organizer/liaison rewards).

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

wakedown wrote:

OK, I like to solve problems. Here's another attempt:

Fictional Spring 2014 GM Boon

The exact details are up for debate - it's the concept open for criticism.

My thoughts:

1. This allows someone who GMs a lot more games in a store to receive a reward similar to someone who GMs much less games in a convention setting.

2. GMs should still be very motivated to GM slots at a convention in addition to a store, since they are worth so much more.

3. This PDF can be made freely available to download from Paizo each quarter, eliminating the logistics of distribution which are a big problem. Many GMs cite they ran at a convention and never received the boon from the coordinator. Now, it's up to them to get it.

4. PFS largely relies on the honor system. If I asked someone "hey let me see your oread boon", I feel like this form completed is much more genuine that the current ones (which are easy to photocopy). In a region, at a glance, we'll know the person in question here has "done the work" because their entries will be recognizable. Since we are already relying on the honor system, why bog down coordinators/VLs with logistics for these boons?

I now place this example boon at the firing line. Fire away.

This looks pretty good, Wakedown.

I like that it places no onus on the already taxed Paizo staff (aside from John, making a few more boons each year) and I like the mechanic for still making conventions attractive but in general rewarding people that GM frequently.

I would likely include a column for event number, so that it could be verified (if needed) by a VO.

Nice work :)

3/5

I'm intrigued by the idea. Granted it'd make it even harder for me to get a race boon (as it would impose a minimum of 4 games in one con for those that generally GM only at cons, for example), and it would make race boon trading or giveaways from GMs awkward...

Perhaps something like that for non-con games, and just keep con ones the way they are now would be better? Doing that would allow things like the GenCon tiered boons to happen much more easily. Also it would allay any concerns that this might detract from GMs volunteering at cons. The con ones would also provide boons that were tradeable (or giveable) to newer players or non-GMs.

As for a way to award dedicated GMs without much overhead/distribution issues, it's a pretty smart idea though.


I agree with Drake (edit: in keeping conventions the same). I like the format and the idea. Just need some sort of verification. Maybe even a spot for event code to allow verification in that way. But overall, it's the best concept I've seen thus far.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Something like wakedown's proposal would be great.

3/5

wakedown wrote:

OK, I like to solve problems. Here's another attempt:

Fictional Spring 2014 GM Boon

The exact details are up for debate - it's the concept open for criticism.

My thoughts:

1. This allows someone who GMs a lot more games in a store to receive a reward similar to someone who GMs much less games in a convention setting.

2. GMs should still be very motivated to GM slots at a convention in addition to a store, since they are worth so much more.

3. This PDF can be made freely available to download from Paizo each quarter, eliminating the logistics of distribution which are a big problem. Many GMs cite they ran at a convention and never received the boon from the coordinator. Now, it's up to them to get it.

4. PFS largely relies on the honor system. If I asked someone "hey let me see your oread boon", I feel like this form completed is much more genuine that the current ones (which are easy to photocopy). In a region, at a glance, we'll know the person in question here has "done the work" because their entries will be recognizable. Since we are already relying on the honor system, why bog down coordinators/VLs with logistics for these boons?

I now place this example boon at the firing line. Fire away.

Wake, buddy! This idea is awesome! I'd high five you, but you don't have any hands, and those teeth look like murder!

Shadow Lodge

The Fourth Horseman wrote:
Wake, buddy! This idea is awesome! I'd high five you...

Moo!

Because every idea needs revisions, here's an update with event codes. It still has my ghetto thick lines since I just did this in Paint real quick.

Fictional Spring 2014 GM Boon v2.0

I updated the point system with a simpler model because simpler is always better (1pt for stores/home games and 2pts for cons).

My thoughts:
* If you GM two scenarios a month for a quarter, that's pretty good to qualify (that's 8 scenarios in a quarter).
* If you GM two convention scenarios in a quarter, that's pretty good (and actually slightly harder than it is now, except you can also just GM 1 convention table, and augment with 4 regular store tables to hit 8 points).

The actual amounts that feel are reasonable would of course be up to John and Mike.

I honestly feel like if this chronicle existed, we could get more store GMs working towards the reward.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Fromper wrote:


First of all, I thought the current GM star boon was a one-per-player deal. So you had to pick one of those boons, assign it to one of your PCs, and that's it. Was I wrong about that?

Second, are you trying to say the current GM star reward is as good as a race boon? I think it's safe to say that at least 95% of PFS players/GMs would disagree.

I have GM credit for over 350 games. Each 50 beyond 150 gives me an extra character I can apply the boon to.

I'm not saying anything about quality of boons. The argument on the table is "GMs who run at shops should get boons." My response: they already do.

--

BigNorseWolf wrote:


2) Con DMs get these as well.

3) If they're so good why aren't they sufficient reward for con dms? I mean in one day you can get in months worth of game day DMing towards your next star reward.

2) Your point? So you want in-store GMs to get a special boon that other people don't get? That's a different argument.

3) So, just to be clear, the discussion has moved from "For the health of Pathfinder, it is important to offer convention GMs incentives, but it would be fair to offer in-store GMs an incentive, in some way, too" to "Incentives for in-store GMs are just as important for the health of Pathfinder as incentives for convention GMs." That's what you mean, when you argue that a boon for in-store GMs should be "good enough" for convention judges.

I just flatly disagree. I understand that position, and -- as somebody who has seen convention play and also coordinated in-store games -- I know that's wrong. Not only do conventions get the word out to new players more dramatically, but it is much easier to fill the ranks of in-store GMs than it is to find people willing to travel to conventions.

Quote:
No. I am not taking an attempt to disingenuously defraud the system as a legitimate argument here.

John the GM is hardly hypothetical, and he's not defrauding anyone. He's a legitimate 2- or 3-star GM, and he's never bought a single PFS scenario or run the Pathfinder game system. I don't think he needs a little boon incentive to keep on running his home game, because he's never going to play a PFS character.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Chris Mortika wrote:


I'm not saying anything about quality of boons. The argument on the table is "GMs who run at shops should get boons." My response: they already do.

This is a mathematicians answer. Technically correct, devoid of meaning, and an evasion of the discussion rather than a continuation of it.

The disparity is too much. Those boons are horribly lackluster, and are barely any different than no boons at all.

Quote:
2) Your point? So you want in-store GMs to get a special boon that other people don't get? That's a different argument.

I want them to get some of the good stuff. Maybe not as quickly as a con DM or perhaps waiting a year, but eventually.

3) That's what you mean, when you argue that a boon for in-store GMs should be "good enough" for convention judges.

Store DMs are X as percent important as con Dms. They should get X % of the rewards. At present that X is set near zero. I think anything under 50% is a slap in the face.

Shadow Lodge

one thing we don't have is Rotational information

I think Last year was the 1st year where racials were handed out as Event GM Rewards as a standard - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong

I think we have 7 Retired Race boons (Tengu, Aasimar, Tiefling, Wayang, Kitsune, Nagaji, Damphir) currently ... not counting limited #'s like Fetchling and Goblin

we have 5 in circulation now (4 Elemental + Suli)

I like the Idea ... but TBH it would only work if the elemental races filter out and a new batch filters in - which would be optimal

but due to VO NDA We (Most of us) Just dont know whats coming ... and if whats coming would be valid

I can tell you from personal experience a big problem with the regular game days is lack of volunteers I believe a system like this would help promote volunteers at game stores and prevent some of the longer running GM's from hitting burnout due to no volunteers

is there an Answer - Im sure there is
what is the answer ... I have no Idea - but I'd love to see one come about

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

I like Wakedown's tiered race proposal a lot; it needs some tweaking (scenario doesn't matter, event organizer signoff might be a thing... or might not).

Glad to see a solid idea knocking around, that's based on current-season boon tech!

Dark Archive 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

The only issue I see with wake's boon is that GMs that currently attend a convention don't need any points to get a race boon. They just get one GM boon that has that quarter's race on it, currently. It defeats the purpose of attracting GM volunteers to the convention. It basically flips the table by rewarding non-con GMs and punishing con GMs.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Todd Morgan wrote:
The only issue I see with wake's boon is that GMs that currently attend a convention don't need any points to get a race boon. They just get one GM boon that has that quarter's race on it, currently. It defeats the purpose of attracting GM volunteers to the convention. It basically flips the table by rewarding non-con GMs and punishing con GMs.

I can't follow your logic here. Where would the punishment be in earning the rewards twice as fast as a non con dm ?

Dark Archive 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

Because currently you just attend one convention to get a race boon. Now you need to go to four.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

TetsujinOni wrote:

I like Wakedown's tiered race proposal a lot; it needs some tweaking (scenario doesn't matter, event organizer signoff might be a thing... or might not).

Glad to see a solid idea knocking around, that's based on current-season boon tech!

For non conventions, the DM is very likely also the event organizer.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Todd Morgan wrote:
Because currently you just attend one convention to get a race boon. Now you need to go to four.

I believe the boon tracks scenarios, so you'd have to DM 4 slots, which is probably ~ half the convention.

Dark Archive 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

currently you just need to volunteer for one slot at a convention to pick up the GM race boon.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Todd Morgan wrote:
currently you just need to volunteer for one slot at a convention to pick up the GM race boon.

Maybe I'm mistaken but I think at KublaCon at least we required people GM 3 slots to get their GM boon.

451 to 500 of 609 << first < prev | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Paizo Blog: Ratfolk and Catfolk and Race Boons Oh My All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.