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

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Liberty's Edge

Kintrik wrote:
Tim Vincent wrote:
Kintrik wrote:
Tim Vincent wrote:
GMs already get enough rewards.
What rewards?
Please refer to Chapter 7 of the PFSGtOP.

So exactly what I said in my original post. The full chronicle. That isn't anything above and beyond what players playing the scenario can get.

So who do you think should be "rewarded" more. The person who pays the $3.99 for the scenario, spends time preparing it, and then running it for 3-7 people. Or the just the character player. One sure does seems to put forth alot more effort than the other, so why shouldn't they be included a race boon lottery from a scenario they bought and ran?

+1

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think we all agree that Tim Vincent's comment was incredibly ignorant.

Lantern Lodge

nosig wrote:
when they come around the tables to ask us to roll a d20 for boons - I ask to Take 10. Really. I given away most of the boons I've won over time.

That sounds very familiar. :)

I'll relate this tale because I'm now thinking that randomness is even less attractive a solution than I did a couple of days ago.

Over the years I learned to Take 1 (not a typo, essentially choosing to not take part) on dice-offs for treasure or other in-game decisions.

My feeling has always been that "dumb luck" is a very poor way to make decisions. Left or right? Fight or flight? Quit or forge on? Who gets the treasure? Do any of these really work well when randomly determined? Roleplay is a much better way to decide such things in RPGs, but RP isn't for everyone. Fortunately this doesn't come up all that often in PFS, but it still pops up frequently in other flavors of OP and in private games.

As near as I can tell, the only real explanations for the popularity of random determination as a rule of thumb in these cases are (boring analysis - skip unless truly interested)::

1) Infused with Chaos: Some people think EVERYTHING is better when it's completely random. This is part of the attraction of gambling. This 'thrill' of having 'a chance to win', even when there's no payoff at all can be a drug for such people.

2) Crapping Horseshoes: Some people somehow manage to do what statistics and probability cannot explain. While the world expects an average of 10.5 on d20 rolls, their results are regularly 13 or even more. I can't tell you how many people I've seen that are incapable of rolling less than 12 on 3d6 (back when that was the method of choice for character creation). If you have a reasonable expectation that you are going to win, why not choose randomness at every turn?

3) I'm Shy, or I'm Not Much of a Talker: If presenting your position is something you have little confidence in being able to do, you will probably seek to avoid it. This can be an aversion to stress or recognition of having a better chance with the "level playing field" of randomness.

4) Innumeracy, or Cognitive Bias: Sometimes we think we've got a better chance at randomness because we don't deal well with numbers. If that weren't enough, sometimes our recall of past experiences suffers from various forms of cognitive bias. For example, we disproportionate remember things that were stressful, bad or rare and underestimate the frequency of common events and unremarkable experiences. (This isn't a bad thing, in fact, it is an evolutionary advantage! Being able to recall, and therefore predict, dangerous situations after limited experience is very helpful for safety! The only problem is that we extend this talent to areas where it isn't as appropriate or helpful, and being able to detect when it is being harmful is difficult.)

This is one of the building blocks of stereotypes. Here's a widely known example. Women are NOT poor drivers, but everyone has heard someone disparage women as a whole for their perceived lack of driving skills. Why?

Generations ago, nearly all driving was done by men. At that time women had very few rights and very little access to anything, and that included the privilege of driving. (In general, in the earliest days of the horseless carriage the few women that had personal access to enough wealth to own their own vehicle and the independence to drive one either chose not to for social reasons, i.e. "it's simply not ladylike", or had enough money to have a chauffeur and not bother!) Still, women drivers emerged in small numbers.

The problem probably began in part when a person had all of TWO close-calls with a female driver over the course of some period of time. For them, the events happened close enough to indicate a pattern. Sure, over a much shorter period of time the same person could have may have had countless close-calls with a man driving dangerously and thought nothing of it! In all likelihood it was the same woman responsible each time (given the relatively tiny number of women that were driving at that time in any small geographic area) but the irate, stressed and scared person will instead adopt a generalization that ALL women can't drive.

Sure there was more to it than that. Discrimination was the norm of the era so most men already had all kinds of false negative beliefs about women and most other groups that suffered from a power imbalance. Even many women believed much of the drivel being spouted. Most of the women that didn't believe the nonsense chose to keep their opinion and observations to themselves for a well-founded fear of negative responses. The "well-known" fact that there were very few woman drivers at the time itself would strengthen the feeling because it promoted an illusion of causality. "Most women don't drive because they're inherently bad at it." That's complete malarkey that ignores every other more relevant and provable reason, including that most women couldn't even entertain the thought of driving, but it's easy to believe given the falsehoods that were widely "known to be true".

It's the same thing that makes you sincerely believe that the bus/train is ALWAYS ~just~ leaving your stop when you get there. Let's make some number guestimates... You can probably see the stop for about 1 minute before you can actually snag that ride, and the schedule has them arriving every 10 minutes, so unless both your schedule and the transit schedule are operating like clockwork, you have about a 1-in-10 chance of seeing the bus as you are nearing your stop, but are still too far to actually board it.

You remember the 3 times this happened this month but for the 30 times you got to your stop without seeing your ride you don't have any specific memories. Similarly, if you are forced to wait far longer than the schedule would indicate or end up being late for something important, the inconvenience and/or consequences of being late make you remember those rare situations vividly.

As a result, a great many regular users of public transportation believe that they ALWAYS miss their bus/train and that the few times that they don't miss that connection by 'seconds' the bus/train is ALWAYS late! Common extensions of these perceptions are "I'm cursed" and "the system is completely broken and worthless".

The less often a person uses public transportation the more vulnerable they are to a bad experience. For them, it stands out that much more! So, regular users tend to be moderately satisfied with the system and infrequent users more often think it is terrible and wish it would go away.

Coming back to RPGs, people will remember the times that they coveted a particular treasure item and didn't get it, or begged to rest instead of forge on because they had run out of resources, or whatever. This may have been because someone else had a better claim for it (e.g. they had Weapon Focus and Specialization for that weapon), or it may have been for any other logical and/or social reason for the decision, including many gems like "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", "time is of the essence", "we asked you not to waste your resources and you ignored us".

In the end, all one tends to remember is that they didn't get what they wanted. Going forward, they may choose to ask for literally every treasure item. They may choose a contrary position just to be contrary and create an opportunity to "have it their way", or be punitive to someone they think didn't adequately hear / heed their opinion / preference. They may think that there will always be someone who manages to sound like they have a better reason to claim that item, or they may believe that they are being discriminated against and don't get their way even when they clearly should for the benefit of everyone. So, if they can't have it their way, they figure that they'll put in a claim for everything in the hope that they manage to snag enough stuff that they can trade or sell it for the things they want or need, or that after doing it their way enough people will earn to acknowledge their wisdom in making future decisions. Further, once the perception that fairness has been lost sets in, the most commonly chosen way to defeat the better claims, better arguments, group dynamics and "favoritism" is to propose and use random determination.

Once this process starts, the pattern is no longer relevant because it isn't generally isn't tracked and even when it is, it is dismissed since it contradicts a firm belief. They might now be getting everything going their way (massive luck, a biased die, people choosing to avoid conflict and let the person get away with everything rather than butt heads to no avail) and they'll fail to notice the dissatisfaction others have with the situation. The fact that their initial perception of unfairness may have been completely spurious isn't relevant either. It was adopted as "truth" and will probably exist in perpetuity.

5) Avoidance of conflict / confrontation: Some people are more or less allergic to disagreement. Rather than disagree on anything for any length of time, they believe it's better to let "the gods" decide things. The hope is that it will all come out in the wash, and that no one will have hard feelings, regardless of outcomes. After all, who can you blame when it was random? Unfortunately, it often results in *everyone* having both a skewed perception and memory of how things happened and instead of being a good solution that satisfies everyone equally, it becomes a problem that dissatisfies everyone and each thinks that they are more dissatisfied than everyone else, regardless of outcomes.

I'm not sure there is any way to stop people from adopting a really poor perception of random events. That is simply human nature. We have a really hard time understanding and explaining how "bad things happen to good people", and an even harder time with good things happening to bad people. Some embrace this more than others, but it is present in everyone.

I guess it comes down to a formula that can never be stated in a meaningful way, let alone solved!

Yes, randomness is enjoyed and appreciated by everyone, especially in our community due to the nature of our hobby, but only so long as the outcomes are seen as favorable. That's excitement. Randomness just as easily, and by nature even more often, leaves people feeling empty and/or bitter when the outcomes aren't seen as favorable. That's disappointment. The "value" or "size" of these feelings will always defy measurement. People can't even accurately assess their own impression of these things, so how can we find a way to express them for the generalized person? It is probably safe to say that for most people the individual positive feeling will be greater in magnitude than the individual negative feeling. Just how much greater is impossible to know. How long these feelings last is also hard to predict.

This issue is further complicated by the fact that the negative feeling happens more often than the positive feeling — unless each 'event' has 1 'winner' for every 'loser'. The biggest fly in the ointment is that successive 'wins' likely suffer from diminishing returns, and successive 'losses' likely weigh heavier and heavier as they mount. It is a rare person who won't say that 'winning' for the tenth time is going to be just as thrilling as the 9 times before did (especially the 1st time). Likewise, most people will report that the incremental impact of losing for the 9th time is greater than it was for the losses that came before.

So, we have bad dynamics and no meaningful metrics to determine whether the cumulative positive effects exceed the cumulative negative effects. How do you decide? Anecdotal evidence? Experience? Trial and error? Faith? No one way is better than the other. You do what you think is right regardless of how you arrived at that conclusion.

I think the idea of expanding access is an AWESOME idea. My best guess is that pure random assignment will prove to be a social hornet's nest even in a community who should by its nature appreciate that. At the same time, some element of randomness is probably still a good thing.

I trust Mike and the rest of PFS leadership to implement something that will be workable and empowering for lots of people who currently have nothing. I also trust that if an unforeseen problem arises that they will respond to it and make a change that makes sense given the new data. I'll be OK with whatever is chosen, though I now appear to have a clear bias for self-determination over the excitement/disappointment trade-offs of randomness.

In the end, if some choose to see the change or the specific method chosen as a negative I don't think there's anything that can be done about it. If they have more access than they had before and still choose to be upset, perhaps their peers can in the most warm and friendly way persuade them that their view isn't fair, reasonable or helpful?

Shadow Lodge

Tim Vincent wrote:
GMs already get enough rewards.

How much PFS GMing have you done, Tim?

Shadow Lodge 1/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Under the current system I run and report my sessions. The 'rewards' I get are a chronicle sheet identical to my players' and the fact that we had fun.

A reward system would only encourage me to be more punctual in reporting. As it stands, I jot down notes about who was playing what of which faction and eventually get around to inputting the info.

-

I, personally, feel that there should be some reward for GMs. But, rewards or not, I will continue the GM.

I also dislike playing under GMs only running for Rewards... you can usually tell, as if just seems to be less fun.


Perhaps split the difference on the random boon vs certain boon acquisition and do random boons that also have a conversion value to upgrade to a preferred boon. This could be a bonus to next boon roll or if boons are tiered, a value could be placed on each tier for additive purposes.

3/5

Michael Brock wrote:
But most gamers like the randomness of rolling a d20 in my experience. I just don't think there would be as much excitement over choosing a boon instead of rolling for one. Maybe I'm wrong so I will keep watching this thread.

I find it hard to believe that this is universally true. I know that as someone to whom the chance to attend a convention at all is especially precious, the con would be fun on it's own merits but it would absolutely lessen my experience if I were to trade in my tickets and get diddly-squat. Now I would likely DM as well, since that is half the fun I feel, so it would be unlikely that I actually walked away with no boons, but I am trying to illustrate the other perspective.

Again, I feel that this feedback that you have gotten, likely from regulars at big cons, lacks the perspective of those who don't get to circulate on the big con circuit and all that fun stuff. Another dimension of this is that I strongly agree with Mistress Ashley about the negative v. positive effects of merciless randomness.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

a D20 is boring...

I have found making some kind of game or other cool method of randomness is better received then rolling a d20.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

There's also the difference between seeing the polyhedral god bounce around in front of you, and electronic ones and zeros "don't look behind the curtain!"

Liberty's Edge

Personally, I'm fine with the proposal (however it'll end up being implemented under) to open up any boons to be expanded beyond what it is currently.

One suggestion against the time-limited nature of reporting (but not against the actual reporting itself) is that a maliciously-minded individual could decide to "delay" doing the online reporting if they don't agree with the idea of expanding the distribution of racial option boons (somehow thinking that such an act will somehow "stem" the tide of "non-standard characters").

That being said, I'm certain that it would just be a very extremely limited subset of individuals who would even do such a thing (something along the lines of PFS GM's who would actually substitute Monstrous humanoid enemies with 3.5 Beholders in any given scenario).

2/5

Mistress Ashley the Sage wrote:

So, we have bad dynamics and no meaningful metrics to determine whether the cumulative positive effects exceed the cumulative negative effects. How do you decide? Anecdotal evidence? Experience? Trial and error? Faith? No one way is better than the other. You do what you think is right regardless of how you arrived at that conclusion.

I think the idea of expanding access is an AWESOME idea. My best guess is that pure random assignment will prove to be a social hornet's nest even in a community who should by its nature appreciate that. At the same time, some element of randomness is probably still a good thing.

I trust Mike and the rest of PFS leadership to implement something that will be workable and empowering for lots of people who currently have nothing. I also trust that if an unforeseen problem arises that they will respond to it and make a change that makes sense given the new data. I'll be OK with whatever is chosen, though I now appear to have a clear bias for self-determination over the excitement/disappointment trade-offs of randomness.

I did read through your spoiler'ed analysis but it is these three paragraphs above that strike notes for me (bolded for emphasis). Thank you Mistress Ashley for stressing these points- I also would prefer a solution which favors self-determination. You know, if I remember correctly (and maybe I don't), the minimum number of tables that have to be mustered in order for "special boons" to be given out is 15... which means usually that only conventions are able to do so. Many regular "game days" at local stores are in the 3-5 table range... and unfortunately they don't qualify under the requirement. If a VC is responsible and can work with Mr. Brock, I don't see why special boons couldn't be given out in some manner for smaller, regular venues (where people who don't go to conventions might go).

Other than race boons, most of the other boons are not even "all that awesome" (imo), and it seems much ado about something that should be thought of as "a nice, optional addition" to the core PFS play. But it sounds more and more as though people are thinking of them as entitlements which bothers me.

Grand Lodge

Dragnmoon wrote:

a D20 is boring...

I have found making some kind of game or other cool method of randomness is better received then rolling a d20.

I really got a kick out of the easter eggs a few cons ago, and even when I did not recieve a boon, I still got some candy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pulling cards out of the harrow deck at a local con was pretty neat too. You basically called out an alignment, and pulled a card for tokens turned in. If any of the cards matched, then you'd get a boon.

Sczarni 4/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Curaigh wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
But most gamers like the randomness of rolling a d20 in my experience. I just don't think there would be as much excitement over choosing a boon instead of rolling for one. Maybe I'm wrong so I will keep watching this thread.

Agreed.

Incorporating that into David's idea it could be that: 2 tokens = 1d20
and that 3(4/5/?) tokens = 2d20 choose one
or that 1 token + one boon = 2d20 choose one

But this thread is about non-con boons. :)

I like this idea. The "2d20 choose one" option would be a cool and interesting way to handle the extra tokens if someone plays an odd number of games. You're still not giving out any *more* boons, but giving the player some choice is a nice bonus!


Michael Brock wrote:
But most gamers like the randomness of rolling a d20 in my experience. I just don't think there would be as much excitement over choosing a boon instead of rolling for one. Maybe I'm wrong so I will keep watching this thread.

Random is good in many cases. However, there are certain things that many players don't want randomized. Many people simply don't roll random ability scores or hit points anymore. I think that many people who want to play a specific race don't want their chances of getting that race left to random chance.

Silver Crusade

What ever method is decide on. I hope that we can trade them. For two reasons. I have no real desire to play most of the none core races. Mainly due to the over abundance of Tieflings, and Aasimar. In PFSP right now they are the dominate races in my area. Two I would like to give them to some that will use the boon and not just sit in my folder for ever. The only race boon I'm interested in is the Ratfolk boon. Just to make a oddball character. So people can look at me like what did you make?


kinevon wrote:
Tim Vincent wrote:
Kintrik wrote:
Tim Vincent wrote:
GMs already get enough rewards.
What rewards?
Please refer to Chapter 7 of the PFSGtOP.

I did. Pages 32-38 are all about Game Master Responsibilities.

Page 39 includes a section labeled "Game Master Rewards"...

Ooops. I was in a hurry and just looked at the Table of Contents. Thanks pointing out the correct page.

Dark Archive 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nosig wrote:

Wakedown asks above: "Everyone should get a boons in their PFS career. Who wants to be the guy with 100 games played and no boons sitting next to a guy who's excited (rightfully so) sharing that he picked up 2 at his first convention?"

raises hand

when they come around the tables to ask us to roll a d20 for boons - I ask to Take 10. Really. I given away most of the boons I've won over time.

I have played over 100 games... and I very much enjoy "...sitting next to a guy who's excited ...that he picked up 2 at his first convention..."

going back to the peanut gallery again now... just had to chime in a moment

I'm the same way. At just about every convention I've attended I gave away my chances at winning a boon. Usually there is a new player at the table, or I prefer that others have a chance at winning the shiny widget. I have received three boons, total, two of which were the same thing (a kitsune race boon). I gave one away to a player that really wanted a kitsune boon (I still have the other, don't know what I will do with it yet). I will likely end up giving the others away as well.

I also do this with any Pathfinder RPG items being given away at conventions. I tell the table if I win something, it is the table's prize and they can determine who gets it. Again, usually the brand new player at the table goes home with a new Core Rulebook or Inner Sea World Guide.

I would rather see other people smiling, happy, and going home with fond memories of playing Pathfinder.


I think it would be cool to see races like Dhampir and Catfolk be more opened up to the public. I got a bunch of friends who loved playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and to a lesser extent Vampire: The Requiem. I would think if they could play a Dhampir they would have actually a rather fun time playing in Pathfinder Society as I can see opening up other races can cater to larger audiences who would feel more invested in the Pathfinder Society if they had to access to them. Plus its actually very fun to see what Class/Race combination a RP-heavy player is willing to come up with for a more enjoyable roleplaying experience.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Where is the list of accepted races? The PFS player guide says all races and classes from Player's Guide, Advanced PG, and Advanced Race are not available, but this is never clarified. This is the first time I've seen these "special race" boons and I have some players that were planning on rolling a Catfolk and a Changeling. I didn't realize there was a limited list somewhere? The fact that this is not on the PFS player guide seems an oversight.

"Select your character’s class and race from the choices
offered in the Core Rulebook. You may also select aasimar,
tengu, or tiefling as your character’s race with access to
the proper Additional Resources book. Additional class
and race options from resources like the Pathfinder RPG
Advanced Player’s Guide, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic,
Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat, Pathfinder RPG Advanced
Race Guide, and Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner
Sea World Guide are generally available with few or no
alterations, as well."

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

Quote:
Select your character’s class and race from the choices offered in the Core Rulebook. You may also select aasimar, tengu, or tiefling as your character’s race with access to the proper Additional Resources book.

This is the list of races available by default.

Quote:
Additional class and race options from resources like the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat, Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide, and Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide are generally available with few or no alterations, as well.

This is stating that 'race options', e.g. alternative racial abilities, race traits, racial archetypes, feats with race requirements etc. from other books are available to be selected; it's worth seeing the Additional Resources page (referred to on page 5 of the Guide) for more info.

Additional Resources also gives guidance on other races, e.g. these statements in the section on the ARG:

Quote:
To create an dhampir, fetchling, goblin, ifrit, kitsune, nagaji, oread, sylph, undine, or wayang character, you must have a Chronicle sheet that opens the race as a legal option at character creation.
Quote:
In Chapter 2, nothing from the catfolk, drow, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, and ratfolk entries are currently legal for play.
Quote:
In Chapter 3, nothing from the changelings, duergar, gillmen, gripplis, merfolk, samsarans, strix, sulis, svirfneblin, vanaras, and vishkanyas entries are currently legal for play.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Amusing aside.

When I had a shot at a GM boon from the weekend, I grabbed the Cinderfell survivor, and didn't even look for any potential race boons.

The idea of Ksenia being able to ignore cold (Winter Witch) and heat with endure elements was too good to pass up.

5/5

Galnörag wrote:
Majuba wrote:


On topic: Encouraging reporting is great. Spreading the wealth is good. Giving chronicles and trusting people to print just one is iffy. Race Boons are bad.
If a boon is generated from the system have it be personalized with the PFS#-#, and stick it into the reporting system to boot.

That would work. {Requires new code of course}

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Majuba wrote:
Galnörag wrote:
Majuba wrote:


On topic: Encouraging reporting is great. Spreading the wealth is good. Giving chronicles and trusting people to print just one is iffy. Race Boons are bad.
If a boon is generated from the system have it be personalized with the PFS#-#, and stick it into the reporting system to boot.
That would work. {Requires new code of course}

recap what is lost to the thread above:

-Granting participants (gm and players) a sort of fame/prestige that allows prestige to be spent on buying boons made available at certain fame levels.

-Granting this fame/prestige even for replay encouraging participation when there is no other reward available (read chronicle)to fill tables

-using the DB to track and tie expenditures to certain PFS #-#

Yeah, I guess the feeling that that idea came out of was one that percolates in the MMORPG space, the dichotomy between casual and hard core players. Where the casual folk can't participate enough to get access to the gear that would let them access certain content, so they can in fact not access the whole game. When steps are taking to bridge this gap, the hardcore players get angry that the effort they have expended is devalued. So they enable a system where players could grind away in lesser content at their own pace, and slowly but surely progress towards the better content, where the hard core folks got it earlier and faster and could take there chances with the better random stuff.

So in this idea, participants gain a certainty that no matter how infrequently they play they will eventually gain access to the boons, and the die hard players will get them faster, and get more of them as they have extra prestige from all they play. The casual folks won't get all the shiny toys, but they will get to judicially pick the ones they want, and since boons are often races, and you can't have more than one race, then the casual player who has less characters because of how little they play, making the choice of which boon they take won't be as penalizing.

Shadow Lodge

Galnörag wrote:
So in this idea, participants gain a certainty that no matter how infrequently they play they will eventually gain access to the boons, and the die hard players will get them faster, and get more of them as they have extra prestige from all they play. The casual folks won't get all the shiny toys, but they will get to judicially pick the ones they want, and since boons are often races, and you can't have more than one race, then the casual player who has less... So in this idea, participants gain a certainty that no matter how infrequently they play they will eventually gain access to the boons, and the die hard players will get them faster, and get more of them as they have extra prestige from all they play. The casual folks won't get all the shiny toys, but they will get to judicially pick the ones they want, and since boons are often races, and you can't have more than one race, then the casual player who has less characters because of how little they play, making the choice of which boon they take won't be as penalizing.

This idea assumes that the players who can't get to a convention to get a chance to receive a boon actually play less than those that do, which is an unfounded assumption.

I, for one, play or run PFS every Friday night, and run a Runelords game every Saturday, but as I am currently unemployed, I cannot afford either the time or the money to travel to a convention. Thus, I am unable to get a shot at a race boon.

I've only been playing PFS since December of last year, but so far I'm up to five characters, all of which are at least level three, and I've got more concepts I'd like to play around with, should I get the chance; at least one of THOSE (secret-agent kitsune) can't even be done without a race boon that I am simply unable to get.

So, yeah... having a one race boon limit to such a system WOULD be painful to at least one player out there.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
SCPRedMage wrote:
Galnörag wrote:
So in this idea, participants gain a certainty that no matter how infrequently they play they will eventually gain access to the boons, and the die hard players will get them faster, and get more of them as they have extra prestige from all they play. The casual folks won't get all the shiny toys, but they will get to judicially pick the ones they want, and since boons are often races, and you can't have more than one race, then the casual player who has less... So in this idea, participants gain a certainty that no matter how infrequently they play they will eventually gain access to the boons, and the die hard players will get them faster, and get more of them as they have extra prestige from all they play. The casual folks won't get all the shiny toys, but they will get to judicially pick the ones they want, and since boons are often races, and you can't have more than one race, then the casual player who has less characters because of how little they play, making the choice of which boon they take won't be as penalizing.

This idea assumes that the players who can't get to a convention to get a chance to receive a boon actually play less than those that do, which is an unfounded assumption.

I, for one, play or run PFS every Friday night, and run a Runelords game every Saturday, but as I am currently unemployed, I cannot afford either the time or the money to travel to a convention. Thus, I am unable to get a shot at a race boon.

I've only been playing PFS since December of last year, but so far I'm up to five characters, all of which are at least level three, and I've got more concepts I'd like to play around with, should I get the chance; at least one of THOSE (secret-agent kitsune) can't even be done without a race boon that I am simply unable to get.

So, yeah... having a one race boon limit to such a system WOULD be painful to at least one player out there.

I wasn't proposing an actual limitation, only implying that a casual player (one who plays maybe once or twice a month) would be limited by their own lack of playing to only having so much of these player prestige points as to afford a single boon. If your gaming once a week your far from casual, and certainly would have the fame and prestige to buy more than one boon.

Shadow Lodge

After playing

this scenario:
Red Harvest
last night and haveing some awesome roleplaying conversations with multiple Nagaji characters, this scenario would be prime for some sort of role-playing based boon. I absolutely loved being able to speak Nagaji to a little known race, albeit choppy and muddled to learn of their plight. There was so much culture flavour in this scenario I think it could make for an awesome opportunity or at least a postmarked boon for a later scenario.

The Exchange

what about the option of buying available racial boons with PP/GM PP?

this would provide an outlet for some of your more dedicated players, provide an avenue to encourage people to step up and GM more, as well as give characters the weighed choice of either buying 10 lvl 1 wands or that one specific race boon.

players could only cash their PPs on this website (increase site traffic), and only with PPs that have been officially recorded on their accounts.

this would reduce need for additional admin work for a lottery system, and give the illusion of control back to your players


I think it would be neat to see more playable races. Seems like a good incentive for players who get tired of playing the core races or the T/A/T races.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
jon dehning wrote:
I have received three boons, total, two of which were the same thing (a kitsune race boon). I gave one away to a player that really wanted a kitsune boon (I still have the other, don't know what I will do with it yet).

Burn it. It's the only humane thing to do to a Kitsune boon.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

jon dehning wrote:
I gave one away to a player that really wanted a kitsune boon (I still have the other, don't know what I will do with it yet). I will likely end up giving the others away as well.

Have any need for a painted mini?

Sczarni

Gnomes are the only race I really like to play, but I would love to see more rp/trait style boons.

Dark Archive 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MisterSlanky wrote:
jon dehning wrote:
I have received three boons, total, two of which were the same thing (a kitsune race boon). I gave one away to a player that really wanted a kitsune boon (I still have the other, don't know what I will do with it yet).
Burn it. It's the only humane thing to do to a Kitsune boon.

Hm. Maybe....


I'm sure you can find someone else who would want it.

Shadow Lodge

Hell, I'll take it. I've been sitting on a Kitsune concept for a year.

Of course, I had a triple race boon, but I made a Nagaji instead. #noregrets, as the kids say.

Dark Archive

I like the idea of unlocking a 1 time racial boon for gm stars ( ranking)... perhaps more folks will give back to the community and gm?

Sovereign Court

wellsmv wrote:
I like the idea of unlocking a 1 time racial boon for gm stars ( ranking)... perhaps more folks will give back to the community and gm?

While probably true, I feel bad for players sitting at a table run by a GM who's only GMing for the reward of running x number of tables...

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

wellsmv wrote:
I like the idea of unlocking a 1 time racial boon for gm stars ( ranking)... perhaps more folks will give back to the community and gm?

Come for the race boon, stay for the dming? A lot of the problem is getting someone to dm for that first time.

Shadow Lodge

wellsmv wrote:
I like the idea of unlocking a 1 time racial boon for gm stars ( ranking)... perhaps more folks will give back to the community and gm?

Have you seen this thread?

Scarab Sages Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka skyshark

I'm going to have to disagree with giving out Racial boons for non-con goers. For me personally, knowing that there was a chance to get a race boon by going to a convention really pumped me up and made me anxious to get to a convention to try and earn/win one. It's the rarity of getting one that really draws on doing what it takes to get one. I do think that the chance to get one at a Con should be slightly increased though.

Keeping racial boons at the Con level will help draw larger crowds out to support the Cons.

Now i'm not saying that there shouldn't be a lottery or player star/points/fame system for boons, but none of them should be racial. Use a system that awards the extended day job rewards, a minor artifact, a magical item with limited charges or even maybe an ability point increase. (I like a lifetime point system that takes more than one charater to earn enough points to afford a nice boon, and will cost enough that it will take a while to EARN another reward instead of being able to do it after 10 games.)

But please leave the racial boons at the Con level, they are definately one of, if not the most desirable boons and should be left at the Cons and reward players for attending/supporting the Con.

*I will have to strongly disagree with another idea given...awarding boons for playing/GMing an entire season before the next season starts. This will result in fighting amongst GMs as to who gets to GM the scenario. If there is a venue that has 4 or 5 people who GM often, there is going to be a rare chance that all 4-5 GMs will get the chance to GM all scenarios of a season. This will result in nothing but fighting for GM slots among the community and do nothing but hurt it.

Silver Crusade

I'm one of the GMs for my area. I personally am all for any thing that will get us more GMs. As this will let me play more and run less. For the past 4 months or so I have got more GM credits then player credits.

Silver Crusade

Skyshark, I have to disagree with you completely. Some people just can't make it to conventions. Either they don't live in an area that has any, or they don't have the money to attend, or whatever. Why should they be denied the opportunity to get things that are available convention goers?


I'm surprised they haven't decided to hand out boons like race boons in the same style like they did with the Quest For Perfection. Instead of *omitted* it would have been being able to play a Tengu when you normally couldn't but thanks to the paperwork, you could.

3/5

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skyshark wrote:
Stuff about cons

As Fromper said, a large and increasing proportion of the PFS cimmunity consists of people who just are unable to go to cons. They don't need a race boon carrot, they would go to a con if they could just for the ability to play alongside the wider community. Frankly I think it is condescending and shows very little faith in the attitude of the PFS community that people would only support the game we love at a con since we can take home exclusive things. Have a little more faith in your fellow gamers.

Additionally, I have said it before and I will say it again. The place that PFS needs to go is continuing to shift its focus away from the big con circuit and towards outreach to far-flung places that are traditionally a metaphoric desert when it comes to gaming. Mike and the current leadership are doing an amazing job of this, just look at the number of new international VO's from the last year as well as all the free materials and boons they provide to help organizers in creating new centers of PFs activity. This kind of thing leverages the advantages of organized play over a real campaign, namely that it is modular and does not require regular attendance in a particular group. The kind of con-focus that you are advocating works directly against this needed direction and inhibits the growth of PFS as a campaign.

For several years I lived a ten hour journey from the nearest place with a VC and thus my PFS playing was exclusively online with at the time when there was minimal official support for online play. Now I live in a city with a small PFS community which only exists because of how great a job the leadership has been doing with their international growth. The reason that I am so convinced of the importance of a focus on outreach over con-exclusivity is that I have seen the positive benefits of the outreach strategy.

Just some perspective to consider that you might not have seen before.

3/5

skyshark wrote:
I'm going to have to disagree with giving out Racial boons for non-con goers. For me personally, knowing that there was a chance to get a race boon by going to a convention really pumped me up and made me anxious to get to a convention to try and earn/win one. It's the rarity of getting one that really draws on doing what it takes to get one.

As long as you reserve certain races strictly for convention rewards you'll still be able to maintain the "specialness" of that boon while rewarding hard working GMs for a job well done. As others have already stated the measure of success of an organized play system is a vibrant and active playing community; the foundation of which is built by those in the trenches who are organizing weekly or monthly games at their FLGS and/or small, local conventions.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

An idea I had for distributing boons to players.

GM's get stars for GMing a lot of games. This now has the mechanical impact on the game with the rerolls.

Why not reward players who play x amount of games with a lesser boon. Maybe make the boons better as they participate in more and more games. The amount of games required could be set at whatever level is preferred to control how quickly they flow out.

The biggest problem I see immediately with my suggestion is that players who have been around for a while will suddenly have an influx of boons. Unless the boons are not applied retroactively.

Liberty's Edge

I agree with the folks who are talking about GM boons for certain amount of games GM'ed. The racial boons, I had always thought, was an incentive for people to get out and go to the cons, boost numbers. Well, at least in my area, we are having difficulty getting people to get up and GM. We are running tables of 6, multiples every time, sometimes even 7. We just cant get people enticed to GM. I think GM boons would be a great incentive to do just that, similar to the con boons. I do believe race unlocks should be a pretty high tier of stars though, probably start at 3 or 4 stars.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Mahtobedis wrote:

An idea I had for distributing boons to players.

GM's get stars for GMing a lot of games. This now has the mechanical impact on the game with the rerolls.

Why not reward players who play x amount of games with a lesser boon. Maybe make the boons better as they participate in more and more games. The amount of games required could be set at whatever level is preferred to control how quickly they flow out.

The biggest problem I see immediately with my suggestion is that players who have been around for a while will suddenly have an influx of boons. Unless the boons are not applied retroactively.

It looks like this is exactly what they're doing with the Year-End Boons they just handed out (and said to expect for next year).

Grand Lodge

The new guide already lists new bonuses for GMing. The replays and bonuses to rerolls are an awesome reward.

Scarab Sages Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka skyshark

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Fromper wrote:
Skyshark, I have to disagree with you completely. Some people just can't make it to conventions. Either they don't live in an area that has any, or they don't have the money to attend, or whatever. Why should they be denied the opportunity to get things that are available convention goers?

I never said that you shouldn't get any boons period if you can't attend a Con, you just don't get a chance at a racial boon. By keeping racial boons at the Con level, you keep the rarity and specialness of racial boons.

If you can't make it to a Con, too bad. There are people who save up all year so they have the ability to go to Con when it comes up. It's a reward for those people who attend and support the Cons.

I would love to go to Blizz Con and get some of the swag they offer for Con goers, but it's exteremly difficult to get tickets. Do I complain on their forums that i'm "entitled" to have a chance at something because I can't get a ticket to attend their Con, no, I suck it up and drive on.

People need to stop feeling that they are entitled to something or entitled at having a chance at something because they can't attend a Con. If you can't make it, that sucks, i'm sorry, but it's something you have to deal with.

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