Secondary Success Conditions

Monday, September 30, 2013

At the onset of Season 5, the means by which characters earned Prestige Points changed dramatically. No longer was fame tied to performing faction missions, but rather its award would be tied to secondary success conditions—"secret" missions that were tied to going above and beyond the primary success condition or seeking out additional, perhaps unforeseen ways to further the goals of the Pathfinder Society. As part of this change, we retired the existing model of faction missions, but the earlier scenarios did not have any secondary success conditions established already as replacements.

I'm pleased to announce that we will have the Secondary Success Conditions—all 126 of them—available for download. After considering how best to distribute these, we decided it would be best to make the entire file available for download instead of adding an extra file to each download. I recognize that this makes it easier for the unscrupulous to peek at the secondary missions, but it also makes it far less onerous for GMs to acquire the updates all at once. I'm trusting the community to use this resource responsibly

These will become available tomorrow, so this means that the the temporary fix issued in August will no longer be in effect. Any games started on or after October 1, 2013 must use these secondary missions.

No doubt some of you are curious as to what these look like but don't want to spoil any scenarios by peeking at the reference document. To provide some examples, I shall recreate here the entries for three scenarios that do not exist.

#3–14159: Death by Pie
Primary: The PCs recover at least three pastries and return them to Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch.
Secondary: The PCs use the cipher found in area B3 to learn the next five digits in the sequence: 2–[blueberry]–5–[rhubarb]–5, thus giving the society advance warning of a major attack on the Grand Lodge.

#5–513: The Doppelganger's Prey
Primary: The PCs defeat the doppelganger.
Secondary: The PCs accidentally slay no more than one of the following during the course of the adventure: Sheila Heidmarch, Drandle Dreng, or Ambrus Valsi.

#4–117: All the Doors are Trapped
Primary: The PCs successfully escape the dungeon.
Secondary: The PCs trigger and are damaged by no more than two of the traps in the scenario.

My thanks to those campaign volunteers who helped out in reviewing my drafts and suggesting lots of possible secondary missions.

John Compton
Developer

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Grand Lodge

Will these missions be at least somehow "glean-able" based on the underlying Pathfinder creed or something? I would hate to find out that it is only something that you can accidentally complete...

Scarab Sages

Download them and find out. I am sure you will be impressed! :D

Thanks for all your hard work John, and everyone else that helped contribute to the list of awesome primary and secondary missions.

3/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I just want to go on record as saying that I am 100% against secret, or veiled goals that can generally only be stumbled upon.

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

I am in agreement that prestige should be based on the characters choices and not dice rolls. I look forward to seeing how well these execute that goal.

Scarab Sages

The Fourth Horseman- I would like to point out that this is how all of the season 5 scenarios work. I have run all 3 several times and my groups got both pp. Everyone is far to used to getting every PP when you are NOT SUPPOSED TO and to be honest the secondary success conditions are not designed to be stumbled upon, should be secret, and have been extremely well implemented and these will as well. If you are upset by these then you have obviously not played season 5 scenarios yet.


I guess I'm a little confused by this. Why go through the trouble of giving every scenario before Season 5 secondary success conditions if it was possible to just keep the previous factions missions?

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

Continuity of the experience. Rather than sometimes getting faction handouts and sometimes having to look for secondary objectives, players are always looking for secondary objectives.


Doesn't that just repeat the problem that was caused by the faction missions then? Games were slowed down because everyone kept checking every room for their faction mission and then once you found your faction mission you just focused on the main mission. At least before people had a general idea of what they were looking for.

5/5

9 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd go out of my way to accidentally kill Drandle Dreng.

Scarab Sages

In previous seasons it was a little confusing. Before season 5 if you ran a season 1-2 you had 2 faction missions and each one would give you 1 pp, the if it was season 3 or 4 you had a primary mission and a faction mission each awarding 1 pp. If they kept it the same rules you would have an additional rule for a primary and secondary. With this no matter what season you run it is all the same, you have a primary mission and a secondary mission. In season 5 the Factions are still important but they don't always come in to play in every scenario. Faction missions in previous seasons were often felt like they were tacked on and did not integrate with the scenario well. With season 5 the primary and secondary and faction mission are much easier integrated into the story.

3/5

Thanks guys. I've been ready to get my hands on this for a while, especially since I've picked up GMing for the Society more and more.

~NPEH

Grand Lodge

I must say that I like the idea. I hated the faction missions and how they didn't always fit the scenario, or the faction's goals.

I have only seen the secondary mission for #5-01, and I must say that I appreciate it.

I will download it tomorrow, since I am running #2-01 and #3-10 for the Official PbP Online Gameday on Saturday. I would just hate for them to be something that is too easy to miss. But it sounds like you guys have that well in hand!

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Aeshuura wrote:
Will these missions be at least somehow "glean-able" based on the underlying Pathfinder creed or something? I would hate to find out that it is only something that you can accidentally complete...

Most of the faction missions are things that are already part of the main mission, but they typically involve the PCs' doing an exceptional job (don't just save 5 of 9 hostages required for the primary success; save 7+ of 9), preserving the society's reputation (the PCs complete the primary success condition without killing the noblewoman), or acquiring important information that arises in the course of exploring the adventure site (We sent you to beat up Aspis agents, but you meet the secondary condition if you also discover the missive that details where they'll strike next).

As a result, I believe that the vast majority are "glean-able" by paying attention to the mission briefing, remembering what the Pathfinder Society (organization, not the organized play) is about, and trying to avoid causing international fiascos.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Man, I totally want to play 3-14159 Death by Pie now. This needs to happen.

Silver Crusade

Thank you so much John!

Scarab Sages

Product availability - unavailable. Hmm..... Suppose I should check back later then.

Grand Lodge

It says in the blog that it will be available tomorrow. ^_^

The Exchange 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Important question for 5-513:

If I deliberately kill Drandle Dreng (and one of the others accidentally) do I still meet the success condition.?

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hiedmarch and Ambrus, and you choose Dreng? Whats the world coming to.

As for the new style, honestly not a fan. Faction missions where generally my favorate part of the scenarios, both as a player and as DM. So far the Season 5 style just isnt even close, and I really hope that they deside to go away from this style soon. It just, I dont know. Kind of meh.

Liberty's Edge

Can I use the Pie option for our upcoming Charcon convention? I run the Orc and Pie event each year, expanding upon Monte Cook's original most famous and shortest, yet technically complete, adventure. This year I created an unofficial Pathfinder Quest involving Grandmaster Torch and acquiring orcish pie recipes from Grask Uldeth. A fake quest number for a fake quest. Perfect.

5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I almost stabbed Dreng in the face when he walked into a mission briefing after sunrise. I was convinced he was a doppleganger at that point.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
Aeshuura wrote:
Will these missions be at least somehow "glean-able" based on the underlying Pathfinder creed or something? I would hate to find out that it is only something that you can accidentally complete...

Most of the faction missions are things that are already part of the main mission, but they typically involve the PCs' doing an exceptional job (don't just save 5 of 9 hostages required for the primary success; save 7+ of 9), preserving the society's reputation (the PCs complete the primary success condition without killing the noblewoman), or acquiring important information that arises in the course of exploring the adventure site (We sent you to beat up Aspis agents, but you meet the secondary condition if you also discover the missive that details where they'll strike next).

As a result, I believe that the vast majority are "glean-able" by paying attention to the mission briefing, remembering what the Pathfinder Society (organization, not the organized play) is about, and trying to avoid causing international fiascos.

Glad to hear that being a Pathfinder no longer means being a murder hobo who happens to also be an errand-boy for a random third party. Now people will have to actually be, you know, Pathfinders.

Down with murder hobos!

Sovereign Court

Jiggy wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Aeshuura wrote:
Will these missions be at least somehow "glean-able" based on the underlying Pathfinder creed or something? I would hate to find out that it is only something that you can accidentally complete...

Most of the faction missions are things that are already part of the main mission, but they typically involve the PCs' doing an exceptional job (don't just save 5 of 9 hostages required for the primary success; save 7+ of 9), preserving the society's reputation (the PCs complete the primary success condition without killing the noblewoman), or acquiring important information that arises in the course of exploring the adventure site (We sent you to beat up Aspis agents, but you meet the secondary condition if you also discover the missive that details where they'll strike next).

As a result, I believe that the vast majority are "glean-able" by paying attention to the mission briefing, remembering what the Pathfinder Society (organization, not the organized play) is about, and trying to avoid causing international fiascos.

Glad to hear that being a Pathfinder no longer means being a murder hobo who happens to also be an errand-boy for a random third party. Now people will have to actually be, you know, Pathfinders.

Down with murder hobos!

Agreed! I hate that terms for Pathfinders...

Dark Archive

Is there a reason this isn't in the Pathfinder Society forums? :-/

Anyway, I'm very happy that we have these secondary missions. I still occasionally throw in faction missions, but I like that our Pathfinders will be held to some sort of standard that doesn't involve obtaining baubles and planting love notes.

Scarab Sages 2/5

I'm gonna miss faction missions. Although as a GM they means extra work, specially season 3 and 4 where trere were 10 factions,and some times they made my sessions run slower.

I relly have lot of fun playing them. They give lot of flavor to the game and break the linear sequence of society's scenarios.

I remember one scenario where two players need to contact the same guy. They both go secretly by night and hear the other making noise. After the game, we all had lo of laughs when they realize who was making that noise.

I will look forward how this will work. I have just played a season 5 scenario but it's too soon to evaluate new system.


Jiggy wrote:
John Compton wrote:


Glad to hear that being a Pathfinder no longer means being a murder hobo who happens to also be an errand-boy for a random third party. Now people will have to actually be, you know, Pathfinders.

Down with murder hobos!

I've already missed out on 1 PP and most of the scenario's gold specifically because we weren't murdering hobos even though we did loot the 'big boss' that we captured before sending them on their way.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber
Quote:


Secondary: The PCs succesfully slay at least, and ideally more than, one of the following during the course of the adventure: Sheila Heidmarch, Drandle Dreng, or Ambrus Valsi.

Fixed it for you.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Running a game in less than an hour, still unavailable. Guess I'll stick with the old way. Or just give them faction missions and let them fiddle at those.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

gothalo wrote:

I'm gonna miss faction missions. Although as a GM they means extra work, specially season 3 and 4 where trere were 10 factions,and some times they made my sessions run slower.

I relly have lot of fun playing them. They give lot of flavor to the game and break the linear sequence of society's scenarios.

I remember one scenario where two players need to contact the same guy. They both go secretly by night and hear the other making noise. After the game, we all had lo of laughs when they realize who was making that noise.

I will look forward how this will work. I have just played a season 5 scenario but it's too soon to evaluate new system.

Gotta heartily disagree, both as player and GM.

Stupid, omniscient faction missions all-too-often disrupted the game, and caused serious meta-gaming, along with aggravating time over-run issues.

Just played a game, Saturday, where the faction I played had two faction missions, one of which was to kill the BBEG. Seriously? Kill the BBEG? And, no, I am not kidding.

Spoiler:
Game was City of Strangers, Part 1: The Shadow Gambit, the faction was Andoran, and, yes, one of the two faction missions was kill the evil Bard named such-and-so. Guess what? The final combat encounter was a fight with Bard such-and-so. Meh.

Meh.

"Hi, oh faithful Pathfinder! I have heard (despite your being summoned to the mission briefing at 2 am with no warning) that you are going to such-and-so a place. Our spies have discovered that the artifact/ledger/notes/letters/compass of dewm/etc. is known to be held by some-such person who is ALSO at such-and-so place. Your side mission is to acquire X information/teacup set/secret ledger/etc."

As to choosing Drandle Dreng, it is probably because Heidmarch is fairly recent, and evil but not so irritating, and, honestly, Ambrus is virtually invisible on people's radar.

Also, despite Heidmarch's reputation, Dreng has, undoubtedly, got a much higher kill rate and ratio. And a lot longer to acquire it in.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Sior wrote:
Running a game in less than an hour, still unavailable. Guess I'll stick with the old way. Or just give them faction missions and let them fiddle at those.

If you're running a game today--one that you're expecting to finish today--and you don't see this download available by the time you finish Act 1, stick with the earlier dispensation. I imagine the download will not be available until at least mid-afternoon PST.

Sovereign Court

Understood. Thanks, John.


kinevon wrote:
Just played a game, Saturday, where the faction I played had two faction missions, one of which was to kill the BBEG. Seriously? Kill the BBEG? And, no, I am not kidding.

Agree with you 100%! As soon as I saw this I knew exactly which one you were talking about... played it fairly recently as well. It just served to make the scenario longer than usual (which really sucks given our strict 3.5 hour time slots) with everyone asking every single person we talked to about the various people we were supposed to find.

Silver Crusade

How about a mass e-mail to all pfs accounts about this? Not everyone reads the boards and studies the guide to org play.

Shadow Lodge

Well, take a look at Season 5's alternative and it looks like a lot of your complaints will just be worse of, not better. I mean 2 out of 3, where one you may not even encouter, one is a pretty rediculous skill check, and the last you shouldnt really know to even do. Then add in all they hey do you as a group want to do A, B, or come up with C?

I personally though it was kind of cool to have the, "Hey so you are going to_____. We had a contact there. Could you check on them". Or "we left a wierd black stone, and would rather it not be found now. Nab it please."


Alex McGuire wrote:
How about a mass e-mail to all pfs accounts about this? Not everyone reads the boards and studies the guide to org play.

The newest guide to organized play actually has a link to the "document" in it, and provides instructions with the assumption that this document IS available. In that regard, John and Mike were able to think ahead of the game, and should make it easier for everyone going forward.

The anomaly was actually what we were doing between Gencon and today.

My assumption is that this will get out there just like most things PFS. Word of mouth. GMs who do frequent the boards will do it, which will get his/her players to tell their next GM, who will then look the document up and teach new players about it and so on.

No, it will not be instantaneous. Tomorrow, there will be games run with the "wrong" rule. But as a recent thread on the season 5 faction missives proves, even sending out emails doesn't reach everyone.


CRobledo wrote:
Alex McGuire wrote:
How about a mass e-mail to all pfs accounts about this? Not everyone reads the boards and studies the guide to org play.
No, it will not be instantaneous. Tomorrow, there will be games run with the "wrong" rule. But as a recent thread on the season 5 faction missives proves, even sending out emails doesn't reach everyone.

Sending an email blast won't reach everyone, but it will certainly reach more people than a blog post will, it will reach more people than a link to a previously nonexistent page in the Guide will, it will certainly reach some people before word of mouth does. I'm sure VOs are going to be letting their people know, but that's still going to miss people.

It's simply good policy to advertise rule changes, especially significant rule changes, as broadly as possible. I agree that there should be an email. And I'd also like to see a sticky in either the General forum or the GM Discussion forum.

Liberty's Edge

What about modules and APs? Are they listed in this document as well?


Modules and APs always award 4 fame/pp so no need for a document.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
EricMcG wrote:
What about modules and APs? Are they listed in this document as well?

Modules and Adventure Paths are not included in this document. At this time, the rules for earning Prestige Points in these non-scenario adventures have not changed. Perhaps in the future, I might revisit how we earn PP in those, but that's likely a discussion for another time and another thread.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Since others have beaten me to the primary joke, I'll introduce efficiency to it:

The Secondary Goal of Scenario 5-513 works best if you simply remove the word "no" from it. No messy rewrite of the whole sentence, just take that one word out and it suddenly works much better. Best of all, it even becomes a thematic bonus for followers of a certain deity that delights in arranging 'accidental' deaths.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

The Secondary Success Conditions document is now available for download.

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

Interesting. I see a lot of original faction missions being used for the secondary missions. Some are no brainers, some are hard, some are obscure. Looking forward to playtesting them.

Dark Archive

One issue I see with the formatting is that a GM runs heavy risk of spoiling other scenarios just by checking what the secondary success mission of one scenario is. Then again, we won't have this problem moving on with subsequent seasons.

3/5

Should definitely be interesting. Noticed in Season 0, Frozen Fingers of midnight

Spoiler:
Shouldn't Fire of the North be Beacon of the North?

Shadow Lodge

The new document looks seriously cool. I was sceptical. Will be good to see how it works out at the tables.

Scarab Sages

Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
One issue I see with the formatting is that a GM runs heavy risk of spoiling other scenarios just by checking what the secondary success mission of one scenario is. Then again, we won't have this problem moving on with subsequent seasons.

I agree, but it is far easier to have them all in 1 document than have to go back through ever scenario and edit them, and probably would have taken significantly longer to get to us. Great Job John!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can I request that this document be categorized under "Paizo Publishing, LLC: Free Products" in the Downloads page, where the GtOP is? Right now it's showing up in the Season 4 Scenarios category, which is not at all where I expected to find it.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Can I request that this document be categorized under "Paizo Publishing, LLC: Free Products" in the Downloads page, where the GtOP is? Right now it's showing up in the Season 4 Scenarios category, which is not at all where I expected to find it.

That's a good point. I've alerted the proper authorities.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Awesome job by John and his volunteers, as well as editing and art/layout getting this document produced. Thanks for all the hardwork everyone.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Manchester aka Merisal The Risen

1 person marked this as a favorite.

First off +1 to both Mike and Jeff's posts above

Kind I just clarify the intent is no primary goal achieved is no prestige even if the players or a player meets a secondary goal. That seems to be the implication of additional prestige on the secondary but someone is going to argue 'you can add to zero' and I want this to be clearly consistent.

I hope its not even be possible but with 126 examples the likely hood of a corner case cropping up is good and for something as important as prestige a clear ruling would be helpful.

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