More Sanctioned Adventures

Monday, May 19, 2014

Convention deadlines love to monopolize my time, but I can't ignore some of the other great adventures published over the past several months. It's high time we sanction another Pathfinder Adventure Path and Pathfinder Module!

Mummy's Mask opens with "The Half-Dead City," in which the heroes explore numerous abandoned sites in a sealed Osirian necropolis. It's a classic task for Pathfinders, and as a result, I made sure to sanction this as a Tier 1–2 adventure that players can enjoy again and again. Of course, one cannot expect the disturbed dead to remain quiet, and they strike back in "Empty Graves," sanctioned for levels 4–6.


Illustration by Francesco Graziani

Of course, Osirion doesn't have a monopoly on intrigue and adventure. "Tears at Bitter Manor" begins in Cassomir on Taldor's coast and travels deep into the countryside. You may find some similarities to "The Dragon's Demand" in how it is sanctioned, such as the multiple Chronicle sheets that each grant 3 XP and 4 Prestige Points; however, this time the entire module is sanctioned for play—not just a large part of it. “Campaign mode" is still an option, of course, and there's a little something extra for players who are willing to go the extra mile when they play through the whole adventure. You may find the module's campaign cards particularly useful in that regard.

What? No, don't peek! Go play it! You can find the Chronicle sheets on the Additional Resources page or on the respective product pages.

While we're on the topic of sanctioning adventures, let me give you an update on other projects. "Wardens of the Reborn Forge" has gone through several revisions and is almost done, and we'll add that to the Additional Resources page soon. More of Mummy's Mask will also be appearing between now and Gen Con. When these update, we'll post an update on the Additional Resources Updates thread. Also, we wouldn't forget about "Risen from the Sands," which is this year's Free RPG Day module set to debut on June 21, 2014.

What about that Emerald Spire Superdungeon? Yep, the plan is to sanction it, though I'm still in the earlier stages of that process. There's too much dungeon delve goodness for us not to share this with the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign.

Finally, I'd like to thank Nathan King for his hard work behind the scenes to help me sanction these and other adventures. Nathan's been a volunteer author of numerous boons dating back to Gen Con 2013, and he's also contributed to numerous other sanctioning projects. Much appreciated, Nathan!

Happy gaming!

John Compton
Developer

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Tags: Francesco Graziani Mummy's Mask Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Modules Pathfinder Society
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The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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John,

Thank you, and thanks again.

I can appreciate that Emerald Spire might take a while to sanction, but may I request that releasing the Chronicles for the beginning levels take priority over releasing all the Chronicles en masse? I'm guessing that most groups are going to start at the entrance and work their way to the more powerful levels. I'm one of these folks, and I'll be doing so at a convention in early July.

I don't want to tell the players that we're not going to be playing for PFS credit, and I'm worried that, if it takes the campaign staff a while to generate all, say, dozen Chronicles, that might end up being the case.

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

I'm very excited to see a new evergreen scenario. And more modules. And heck, more of everything! Thanks, Nathan, for stepping up to the plate.

Greedy request: any idea when Emerald aspire will be sanctioned? We've been talking about scheduling it at local game days. Something along the lines of "not until after GenCon" would be plenty to go on.

The Exchange 3/5

Thank you.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka RAdeMorris

Excellent. More repeatable 1-2 content from APs. Woot.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Chris Mortika wrote:

I can appreciate that Emerald Spire might take a while to sanction, but may I request that releasing the Chronicles for the beginning levels take priority over releasing all the Chronicles en masse? I'm guessing that most groups are going to start at the entrance and work their way to the more powerful levels. I'm one of these folks, and I'll be doing so at a convention in early July.

I don't want to tell the players that we're not going to be playing for PFS credit, and I'm worried that, if it takes the campaign staff a while to generate all, say, dozen Chronicles, that might end up being the case.

That's a sound suggestion, and I'll keep that in mind as I focus more on that sanctioning project.

Belafon wrote:
Greedy request: any idea when Emerald aspire will be sanctioned? We've been talking about scheduling it at local game days. Something along the lines of "not until after GenCon" would be plenty to go on.

Oof, naming a date now is likely to cause some upsets down the line. With Chris's suggestion above, I'm hoping to get as many levels as possible out to the public near the module's street date of June 25th. Depending on my Gen Con responsibilities—usually pretty considerable—the second "half" might have to wait until after that convention is done.

Grand Lodge

Any indication if/when Serpent's Skull might be sanctioned?

Any idea how many individual chronicles there will be for Emerald Spire?

Grand Lodge

Also, thanks for all the hard work. :)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Seth Gipson wrote:

Any indication if/when Serpent's Skull might be sanctioned?

Any idea how many individual chronicles there will be for Emerald Spire?

At this time I need to prioritize some of the newer releases over releasing the "next" of the older Adventure Paths, so I do not have a date penciled in for Serpent's Skull at this time.

I anticipate there being a single Chronicle sheet for each level of Emerald Spire.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Jacksonville aka Kyrie Ebonblade,

John Compton wrote:
Seth Gipson wrote:

Any indication if/when Serpent's Skull might be sanctioned?

Any idea how many individual chronicles there will be for Emerald Spire?

At this time I need to prioritize some of the newer releases over releasing the "next" of the older Adventure Paths, so I do not have a date penciled in for Serpent's Skull at this time.

I anticipate there being a single Chronicle sheet for each level of Emerald Spire.

wow.. that is a lot of chronicles. I don't envy you. Thanks for addressing this publicly though John, my players will be happy to see something and know you have been working hard.

Sczarni

John Compton wrote:
Seth Gipson wrote:

Any indication if/when Serpent's Skull might be sanctioned?

Any idea how many individual chronicles there will be for Emerald Spire?

At this time I need to prioritize some of the newer releases over releasing the "next" of the older Adventure Paths, so I do not have a date penciled in for Serpent's Skull at this time.

I anticipate there being a single Chronicle sheet for each level of Emerald Spire.

that sounds fantastic!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sounds like a good plan to me. Keep up the awesome work!

Now. Let's talk about those "Specials" I've been hearing so much about at PaizoCon/Gencon. I would like to learn more about those. :D

Silver Crusade

Is Emerald Spire going to be 1 xp per level or 3?

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

Alex McGuire wrote:
Is Emerald Spire going to be 1 xp per level or 3?

Alex, I would be 99.99% positive that it will be 3 XP per chronicle sheet, unless there is at least one level that is bigger, which might offer more.

Then again, that would also require some special rules for handling a virtual level-up in th emiddle of a level...

Grand Lodge 5/5

Its good to have a PFS post again on a Monday, that being said I understand why we've had the silence with how busy you are with this years conventions.

Will Emerald Spire be playable in campaign mode for PFS credit? My group doesn't do modules unless they are playable in campaign mode.

Thanks,
William Crandall

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

John and Nathan,

Thank you both for all the work you have done on these sanctioning projects.

Grand Lodge

kinevon wrote:
Alex McGuire wrote:
Is Emerald Spire going to be 1 xp per level or 3?

Alex, I would be 99.99% positive that it will be 3 XP per chronicle sheet, unless there is at least one level that is bigger, which might offer more.

Then again, that would also require some special rules for handling a virtual level-up in th emiddle of a level...

Id actually be surprised if that were the case, considering the entire dungeon has 16 levels, but only takes a character to 13. I could definitely see some of the shorter ones only providing 1-2xp.

Actually, I also thought he might decide to cram two levels together or something like that for a single sheet, but with his anticipation being one per level, that doesnt sound likely.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Thanks for all the hard work you've been putting in, it's cool to hear we've got another 1-2 replayable. But I'm not going to lie, I'm more than a little disappointed that Wardens is still just "soon."

Shadow Lodge

Terek wrote:
Will Emerald Spire be playable in campaign mode for PFS credit?

I'm going to second this question.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Jacksonville aka Kyrie Ebonblade,

UndeadMitch wrote:
Thanks for all the hard work you've been putting in, it's cool to hear we've got another 1-2 replayable. But I'm not going to lie, I'm more than a little disappointed that Wardens is still just "soon."

My take is that one might be fairly hard to break up into sections. Remember that it is a fairly new format with the modules and John is trying to get it right.

Once the chronicles are 'in the wild' it is VERY hard to fix them.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Dylos wrote:
Terek wrote:
Will Emerald Spire be playable in campaign mode for PFS credit?
I'm going to second this question.

I anticipate handling this in a manner similar to Thornkeep, in which "campaign mode" was not an option. I'm willing to hear out reasons for why Emerald Spire should be playable in "campaign mode."

Shadow Lodge

John Compton wrote:
Dylos wrote:
Terek wrote:
Will Emerald Spire be playable in campaign mode for PFS credit?
I'm going to second this question.
I anticipate handling this in a manner similar to Thornkeep, in which "campaign mode" was not an option. I'm willing to hear out reasons for why Emerald Spire should be playable in "campaign mode."

Well, for one, you mention a chronicle per level, which means 16 chronicles, but the product description mentions only going to level 13. This means that if each level gives the standard 3 xp and 4 pp that in order to do the full Emerald Spire on a single character, that character would have to do slow track for a couple levels.

The advantage of allowing campaign mode here would be taking a single character (in a static group, in a home game) through the Emerald Spire in its entirety, without having to tell the group "Ok, in order to play the next level, everyone is going to have to be on slow track for this part."

Beyond that, I can only spectate why it might need a campaign mode because 1. I have not yet seen the product, and 2. I don't know if there are any parts that might not be used in PFS.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
I anticipate handling this in a manner similar to Thornkeep, in which "campaign mode" was not an option. I'm willing to hear out reasons for why Emerald Spire should be playable in "campaign mode."

I also don't see why it's needed. Every level was designed (to my knowledge) to be like a Thornkeep level, and Thornkeep worked great as a module-only playstyle.

My biggest reason for not allowing campaign mode is that honestly, it has been VERY hard to sell any of the multi-part modules and APs here for playing at a game day. For all the modules and APs that have sanctioned content, nobody wants to do it. Everyone would just rather do it in campaign mode (for both the freedom and the extra rewards...) so getting things like Dragon's Demand or AP books in the PFS schedule has been nigh impossible.

Conversely, Thornkeep modules have been immensely popular. We run them at game days, and we run them at conventions. It would be great to have a direct replacement for these, as TK is getting quite stale and less and less people can play in them anymore.

Sovereign Court 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Carlos Robledo wrote:
John Compton wrote:
I anticipate handling this in a manner similar to Thornkeep, in which "campaign mode" was not an option. I'm willing to hear out reasons for why Emerald Spire should be playable in "campaign mode."

I also don't see why it's needed. Every level was designed (to my knowledge) to be like a Thornkeep level, and Thornkeep worked great as a module-only playstyle.

My biggest reason for not allowing campaign mode is that honestly, it has been VERY hard to sell any of the multi-part modules and APs here for playing at a game day. For all the modules and APs that have sanctioned content, nobody wants to do it. Everyone would just rather do it in campaign mode (for both the freedom and the extra rewards...) so getting things like Dragon's Demand or AP books in the PFS schedule has been nigh impossible.

Conversely, Thornkeep modules have been immensely popular. We run them at game days, and we run them at conventions. It would be great to have a direct replacement for these, as TK is getting quite stale and less and less people can play in them anymore.

+1 to everything in this post for both online and Philly.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

+1

Dark Archive

Thank you for all the hard work, both John and Nathan.

I'm looking forward to appreciating the fruits of your labor, both current and upcoming.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
Dylos wrote:
Terek wrote:
Will Emerald Spire be playable in campaign mode for PFS credit?
I'm going to second this question.
I anticipate handling this in a manner similar to Thornkeep, in which "campaign mode" was not an option. I'm willing to hear out reasons for why Emerald Spire should be playable in "campaign mode."

I would enjoy the opportunity to continue a character through the River Kingdoms, Brevoy, Mendev, or Numeria as an after campaign. If four or five people cleared out the Spire, it is my guess these peeps would become instant movers and shakers in that part of the world, drawing the attention of the various petty kingdoms, warlords, and other intelligent critters in the area. Also, being that close to Iobaria after meeting a forgotten master of creation makes me want to try my hand at nation building. There's a lot of open space in that part of the world.

Plus, if there are extra chrons/boons for campaign mode then they can deal specifically with the aforementioned nations. PFS will spend a bit of time in Numeria, was just in Mendev, and the other scenarios in nearby environments makes this at least a possibility. Maybe a bonus on day job checks (more if you have the caravan or shady business vanities?), or access to poisons from Daggermark, options to keep parts and craft a minor clockwork creation (prestige or the apropos skill check) beyond what is already available. I am aware this possibility exists currently so maybe an upgrade to any PC who has that clockwork already? Also, there is no reason the extra chrons must come at the end. Why not give out a campaign mode chron when the PCs reach level 4, 8, and 12?

Finally, it gives those of us who primarily play the organized play campaign the option to color outside the lines.

We have not had a problem scheduling APs or Dragon's Demand at our local stores. At the store where I help organize, we advertised Thornkeep and DD as a chance to play the module with the same group. It took some extra work, but was worth it and the players enjoyed the opportunity. We will likely advertise/schedule Emerald Spire as we did Thornkeep and DD.

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

jon dehning wrote:

I would enjoy the opportunity to continue a character through the River Kingdoms, Brevoy, Mendev, or Numeria as an after campaign. If four or five people cleared out the Spire, it is my guess these peeps would become instant movers and shakers in that part of the world, drawing the attention of the various petty kingdoms, warlords, and other intelligent critters in the area. Also, being that close to Iobaria after meeting a forgotten master of creation makes me want to try my hand at nation building. There's a lot of open space in that part of the world.

The problem with creating chronicles for such a situation is that Emerald Spire (if it is like Thornkeep) has encounters for the dungeon levels only. The rest of the material is adventure hooks. How the dungeon levels tie together is really up to the GM. (I personally created VC briefings for the first level of Thornkeep and "letters from past explorers" for the others.) Creating chronicles for that material would involve writing, editing, and developing a LOT of stuff.

Now, I definitely think taking my character who has conquered the Emerald Spire and continuing to play him in a home game is an awesome idea.

Now maybe I'm misunderstanding. Maybe those who want a "campaign mode" just want an additional chronicle to be assigned if they finish all the levels with the same character.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Carlos Robledo wrote:
John Compton wrote:
I anticipate handling this in a manner similar to Thornkeep, in which "campaign mode" was not an option. I'm willing to hear out reasons for why Emerald Spire should be playable in "campaign mode."

...

My biggest reason for not allowing campaign mode is that honestly, it has been VERY hard to sell any of the multi-part modules and APs here for playing at a game day. For all the modules and APs that have sanctioned content, nobody wants to do it. Everyone would just rather do it in campaign mode (for both the freedom and the extra rewards...) so getting things like Dragon's Demand or AP books in the PFS schedule has been nigh impossible.
...

In the group at the store where I coordinate games, we don't run any modules except for free RPG day modules because multiple people have the opinion that modules are not well balanced for PFS characters. Opinions may vary, but that is what is prevalent here.

If campaign mode is allowed I am positive our players will play it. Dragon's Demand is the only module outside of free RPG day modules they have played. There doesn't even have to be any extra rewards for campaign mode to get them to play it.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Belafon wrote:
jon dehning wrote:

I would enjoy the opportunity to continue a character through the River Kingdoms, Brevoy, Mendev, or Numeria as an after campaign. If four or five people cleared out the Spire, it is my guess these peeps would become instant movers and shakers in that part of the world, drawing the attention of the various petty kingdoms, warlords, and other intelligent critters in the area. Also, being that close to Iobaria after meeting a forgotten master of creation makes me want to try my hand at nation building. There's a lot of open space in that part of the world.

The problem with creating chronicles for such a situation is that Emerald Spire (if it is like Thornkeep) has encounters for the dungeon levels only. The rest of the material is adventure hooks. How the dungeon levels tie together is really up to the GM. (I personally created VC briefings for the first level of Thornkeep and "letters from past explorers" for the others.) Creating chronicles for that material would involve writing, editing, and developing a LOT of stuff.

Now, I definitely think taking my character who has conquered the Emerald Spire and continuing to play him in a home game is an awesome idea.

Now maybe I'm misunderstanding. Maybe those who want a "campaign mode" just want an additional chronicle to be assigned if they finish all the levels with the same character.

Sorry, I needed to be clearer. The paragraph you quote I meant as independent of PFS. I was not advocating creating chrons/boons that allow you to become a petty tyrant. Venture Captains are bad enough. It is likely I would not get to run this for people if we did not schedule as part of a game day. I just want an opportunity to have people play a Red Mantis Assassin, or an orc, or anything else not deemed legal for PFS and give myself the opportunity to kill them. Win win.

I agree with your last statement. Campaign mode should not equal more chronicles. But, campaign mode allows a group to loot the Spire with out you needing to create VC briefings, letters from past victims, or anything of the like. You received one command from Drandle Dreng in the middle of the night, "Clean it out. Come back when you're done. Or we'll send a body recovery team." For something this large, the chance to play something out of the ordinary should be reward enough and should not mandate an extra chronicle or two giving one an extra level.

Grand Lodge

I can see two reasons for allowing campaign mode for Emerald Spire. First, it allows those of use who primarily play Pathfinder within the confines of PFS (in my case it is because of time) to stretch our legs and try new and different things without losing any progress on our PFS characters.

The second reason is something that I see as a real benefit. Campaign mode allows for an easy introduction into Pathfinder and PFS. One of my wife's friends is interested in playing in PFS, but who is very self-conscious about not knowing rules, not being familiar with the flow of play, etc. I have been using Dragon's Demand to help her get used to those things. Every once and a while some other people join us, but playing in campaign mode has allowed us to take things at a slow and forgiving pace, yet still be working towards PFS credit. This means that when she is ready to jump into PFS, she will have a character that has leveled up some and she will not have to feel that she put in all that work and have nothing to show for it.

I have also found that having something available in campaign mode has had no negative impact on what people want to play in my local area.

The Exchange

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I miss the old module format.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Carlos Robledo wrote:
John Compton wrote:
I anticipate handling this in a manner similar to Thornkeep, in which "campaign mode" was not an option. I'm willing to hear out reasons for why Emerald Spire should be playable in "campaign mode."

I also don't see why it's needed. Every level was designed (to my knowledge) to be like a Thornkeep level, and Thornkeep worked great as a module-only playstyle.

My biggest reason for not allowing campaign mode is that honestly, it has been VERY hard to sell any of the multi-part modules and APs here for playing at a game day. For all the modules and APs that have sanctioned content, nobody wants to do it. [b]Everyone would just rather do it in campaign mode (for both the freedom and the extra rewards...)[\b] so getting things like Dragon's Demand or AP books in the PFS schedule has been nigh impossible.

Conversely, Thornkeep modules have been immensely popular. We run them at game days, and we run them at conventions. It would be great to have a direct replacement for these, as TK is getting quite stale and less and less people can play in them anymore.

I know you are arguing against allowing Campaign mode in Emerald Spire, but if your PFS players prefer to play it in campaign mode, isn't that a good argument for allowing campaign mode?

Now your comment doesn't emphasize exactly why your players would prefer campaign mode. If it is just for the extra rewards, then I probably would reluctantly agree with you, but if it is because they would prefer the freedom of campaign mode then I think it might be better to allow it since the players prefer it that way.

So maybe we could just try campaign mode vrs PFS mode. Release it with the same reward either way. But for Paizo to really know which is preferred they would have to have us report if it was run in campaign mode or not. Maybe they could have those that run in PFS mode mark box A and those that run it in Campaign mode mark box B when reporting it. That way if people forget to mark the box, it doesn't skew the statistics to either side. If they did this, they would be able to know which way it gets run more.

However, what it comes down to the most is Paizo is a company, yes they care about their customer base's opinion more than I believe most companies do, but they do need to make money so they can afford to keep making their product for us. The real question they need to find the answer to is this: do they sell more modules if they allow campaign mode versus if they only allow PFS mode? I have no idea which way would sell more and because I have already pre-purchased this product, their decision either way won't prevent me from purchasing it.

P.S. I tried to bold the comment in your quote but I am either doing it wrong or it isn't working. I didn't want to just quote only the thing I was referencing because I didn't want to take your quote out of context.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Terek wrote:

I know you are arguing against allowing Campaign mode in Emerald Spire, but if your PFS players prefer to play it in campaign mode, isn't that a good argument for allowing campaign mode?

Now your comment doesn't emphasize exactly why your players would prefer campaign mode. If it is just for the extra rewards, then I probably would reluctantly agree with you, but if it is because they would prefer the freedom of campaign mode then I think it might be better to allow it since the players prefer it that way.

So maybe we could just try campaign mode vrs PFS mode. Release it with the same reward either way. But for Paizo to really know which is preferred they would have to have us report if it was run in campaign mode or not. Maybe they could have those that run in PFS mode mark box A and those that run it in Campaign mode mark box B when reporting it. That way if people forget to mark the box, it doesn't skew the statistics to either side. If they did this, they would be able to know which way it gets run more.

One difficulty in this proposal (on what would otherwise make an interesting experiment) is that you're suggesting one the biggest sanctioning projects in PFS history be performed as a test run to see if that's the right model. I would be more open to considering this experiment for a module, for example. In fact, the virtual identicalness of "campaign" vs. "module" rewards just happened for Tears at Bitter Manor, so perhaps we can see how that shakes out over the next month.

Liberty's Edge 3/5

Many thanks, John, my players were eagerly waiting for Tears to be sanctioned! I appreciate the chronicles and the ability to run in "campaign mode", this is awesome.

Spoiler:
The fact that the gloves from the module made it into the chronicle is just a cherry on top for my gunslinger.

Grand Lodge 5/5

John Compton wrote:
Terek wrote:
...
One difficulty in this proposal (on what would otherwise make an interesting experiment) is that you're suggesting one the biggest sanctioning projects in PFS history be performed as a test run to see if that's the right model. I would be more open to considering this experiment for a module, for example. In fact, the virtual identicalness of "campaign" vs. "module" rewards just happened for Tears at Bitter Manor, so perhaps we can see how that shakes out over the next month.

The question though is how would you know which way it was run? The cat is already out of the bag on that one, and people won't necessarily know that they should mark A if they ran it in PFS mode or mark B if they ran it in campaign mode. Unfortunately if you just watch the boards, you won't really know how much people prefer it either way because only the people who feel strongest about it will truly make an effort to post their opinions.

Besides, the experiment I proposed doesn't have to be done with Emerald Spire, nor does it have to be done soon or ever. If you want to know what your PFS players prefer is put the instructions in the a future sanctioning document where there is no reward difference between campaign mode and normal PFS mode.

Also, I don't know how it would be much more difficult to allow both campaign mode and PFS mode if the only difference between the two is you must run all with whatever rules you want and you have to wait for us to finish all of the chronicles vrs you can run it piecemeal in normal PFS mode. Then again, I truly do not know how things work at Paizo and there may be some underlying reason why it is more difficult to allow campaign mode that I am just not aware of.

Emerald Spire is a big product of yours that I have been excited for, hoping you'd allow campaign mode. I really would like to have the option to get PFS credit, but not be limited to the PFS rules which is what campaign mode allows.

I do like how well your scenarios are balanced for PFS rules, but have felt that modules aren't really balanced well for it and when I run modules I like to be able to adjust things as I see fit.

That being said, said you'd consider allowing campaign mode if we could make well enough a case for it which is why I am trying. I think I have exhausted all the reasons I can think of and leave it up to everyone else.

Sovereign Court 4/5

Just throwing my hat into the ring to say thankyou for all the hard work you put into the Chronicles for sanctioning. I love a charactful and interesting Chronicle sheet and it's an area I would rather have quality over quantity. That being said, I'm also happy to see the experimentation with campaign modes etc.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I love campaign mode, and I am more likely to want to run/play modules when campaign mode is available.

Bottom line is many players like it, and it's no skin off the back of those who don't to make it available. More options > fewer options.


I kinda wish there was a way to submit modules because damn do we need more of them. Either that or some sanctioned adventures for PC's BEYOND 11th level.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Charlie Bell wrote:

I love campaign mode, and I am more likely to want to run/play modules when campaign mode is available.

Bottom line is many players like it, and it's no skin off the back of those who don't to make it available. More options > fewer options.

More options is not always better than fewer options. Thornkeep has been really useful for scheduling 2 slot modules and have been really popular draws for gamedays. However, we've seen with Dragon's Demand that it's really hard to get the sanctioned sections off in conventions because of campaign mode. Since the structure of Emerald Spire is very similar to Thornkeep, it would be better for us if we imitated Thornkeep's sanctioning as much as possible. While in general campaign mode is a good thing for these larger modules, for Emerald Spire fewer options > more options.

Shadow Lodge

James McTeague wrote:
Charlie Bell wrote:

I love campaign mode, and I am more likely to want to run/play modules when campaign mode is available.

Bottom line is many players like it, and it's no skin off the back of those who don't to make it available. More options > fewer options.

More options is not always better than fewer options. Thornkeep has been really useful for scheduling 2 slot modules and have been really popular draws for gamedays. However, we've seen with Dragon's Demand that it's really hard to get the sanctioned sections off in conventions because of campaign mode. Since the structure of Emerald Spire is very similar to Thornkeep, it would be better for us if we imitated Thornkeep's sanctioning as much as possible. While in general campaign mode is a good thing for these larger modules, for Emerald Spire fewer options > more options.

I strongly suspect that if there is nothing extra gained from campaign mode (i.e. no additional chronicles) that there would still be few issues firing off emerald spire at a convention, especially since I imagine the first floor will be an evergreen.

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

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Carlos Robledo wrote:
John Compton wrote:
I anticipate handling this in a manner similar to Thornkeep, in which "campaign mode" was not an option. I'm willing to hear out reasons for why Emerald Spire should be playable in "campaign mode."

I also don't see why it's needed. Every level was designed (to my knowledge) to be like a Thornkeep level, and Thornkeep worked great as a module-only playstyle.

My biggest reason for not allowing campaign mode is that honestly, it has been VERY hard to sell any of the multi-part modules and APs here for playing at a game day. For all the modules and APs that have sanctioned content, nobody wants to do it. Everyone would just rather do it in campaign mode (for both the freedom and the extra rewards...) so getting things like Dragon's Demand or AP books in the PFS schedule has been nigh impossible.

Conversely, Thornkeep modules have been immensely popular. We run them at game days, and we run them at conventions. It would be great to have a direct replacement for these, as TK is getting quite stale and less and less people can play in them anymore.

I am confused here... You don't want campaign mode because your players like the campaign mode?

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

While I can't read Carlos' thoughts, that's exactly my reasoning. Campaign mode is a popular option and if we make it an option for players, many players will save it for campaign mode and not play Emerald Spire levels at conventions or gamedays - which was the strength of Thornkeep, the predecessor of Emerald Spire. This is absolutely the case of restricting options to promote better play.

Dylos - if that's the case, then why aren't we seeing more sanctioned area adventure path play? On the collective, I only ever see the 1st book of adventure paths being run. I've done parts of Shattered Star and Rise of the Runelords, but that was because they were the only high level options for my characters at the time. Otherwise, it's just evergreen sanctioned areas that get run.

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

As a GM who absolutely hates running modules at conventions because they always feel rushed, taking them off the convention schedule I think is a great idea.

As an organizer, other then free rpg day modules I never add modules even thornkeep to game days or conventions because I think it ruins the experience of them.

Offering campaign mode still encourages PFS play, albeit at home more often, and seems to me sells a product, though I am only guessing on that.

Who cares if it is happening at home instead of a convention, it is still happening and encouraging PFS play to include normal game days because players are still going to want to play those characters outside that module in normal PFS play. If they didn't they would not care if they were getting PFS credit.

Edit: let me restate that I tried thornkeep at a game day, did not go that well so I have not added it back.

3/5

I would assume that a lot of the campaign mode play happens in home groups, either as a break from the strictures of PFS, or as a way to wean groups off of PFS.

Obviously that would not be apparent on the collective beyond the threads recruiting for private groups, leaving only the separate play of the evergreen areas apparent as is presumably the case. I see nothing either surprising or wrong with this.

I still don't think that there should be campaign mode for Emerald Spire since it is presumably not actually a campaign any more than Thornkeep is. The model of loosely connected dungeon levels is perfectly tailored for the paradigm of PFS play with discrete adventures for each level like in Thornkeep. I have always assumed that the purpose of campaign mode was to allow groups strongly wedded to PFS play to experience the APs and new modules without slice-and-dicing them up into PFS sized chunks and completely bowdlerizing the story.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

As a GM who absolutely hates running modules at conventions because they always feel rushed, taking them off the convention schedule I think is a great idea.

As an organizer, other then free rpg day modules I never add modules even thornkeep to game days or conventions because I think it ruins the experience of them.

Offering campaign mode still encourages PFS play, albeit at home more often, and seems to me sells a product, though I am only guessing on that.

Who cares if it is happening at home instead of a convention, it is still happening and encouraging PFS play to include normal game days because players are still going to want to play those characters outside that module in normal PFS play. If they didn't they would not care if they were getting PFS credit.

Edit: let me restate that I tried thornkeep at a game day, did not go that well so I have not added it back.

I'm sorry that they weren't working out for your region, but from what I've observed in Philly, New Jersey, and on the online collective - module play has been extremely popular. Last month I helped run a con in Philly where our offerings were entirely modules and it was very well attended despite the fact that it was Easter weekend. The problem is while the old modules seem to work well (although you have to be careful with some of the higher level ones - I worked with the con organizer to make sure that there was ample time to run all of them without being rushed), we haven't gotten anything we can use in almost a year - when I was at DEXCON, I know that Dragon's Demand was having trouble firing. I have never seen Dragon's Demand fire on the collective in sanctioned module mode. Dragon's Demand has been run at least once in Philly in story mode and Tears at Bitter Manor is getting run at least once in story mode here. I'm glad those games are happening, but they're going to make offering the sanctioned parts in my region much harder.

Sorry you're having trouble offering them in your region. Thornkeep in particular has been an amazing boon to our region, and we welcome Emerald Spire with open arms because we would love to have more Thornkeep levels.

IMO, the advantages of being able to run actual campaign mode (as opposed to "pseudo campaign mode" where you still follow PFS rules and just only play with one group) is outweighed by the inability for anyone to ever run them at conventions ever. Let Emerald Spire fill in the place that Thornkeep filled for the past year.

EDIT:

Saint Caleth wrote:

I would assume that a lot of the campaign mode play happens in home groups, either as a break from the strictures of PFS, or as a way to wean groups off of PFS.

Obviously that would not be apparent on the collective beyond the threads recruiting for private groups, leaving only the separate play of the evergreen areas apparent as is presumably the case. I see nothing either surprising or wrong with this.

Right, but I wasn't talking about campaign mode play, I was talking about sanctioned portion play. The only parts you ever really see of AP sanctioned portion play on the collective is the evergreen ones.

(That being said, I'm pretty sure we still agree with each other.)

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

Campaign mode for Emerald Spire:

Pros: Allows the Spire to feel more coherent, promotes groups playing through the entire thing, in order.

Allows people to play non-PFS legal options.

Cons: Would limit possible attendance for Emerald Spire levels run at public events, whether Game Days or conventions.

Since Emerald Spire is capped at 13 (12-14, presumably, for that final level), and there are 16 levels, it is probable that in normal PFS mode, a player would not be able to make it all the way through the entire Emerald Spire with a single PC, unless they choose, at certain points, to run that PC in slow mode, and, in addition, not use that PC for anything else besides Emerald Spire anyhow.

Side notes: For Emerald Spire, there is no request in the pipeline for giving anything "extra" for having run it or played it in campaign mode. Same Chronicles, applied to one or more PFS PCs.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Folk, a reminder: campaign mode is only an option for parties who are planning to go through the entire AP / module. (Go ahead; look it up. I'll wait.)

If you're running parts of an adventure at a convention, you should always be in module mode, unless you intend to run the full adventure, perhaps outside of the convention time frame but for the same players.

Kinevon, one other aspect to campaign mode is that the GM is allowed to add, alter, or eliminate encounters as he or she sees fit.

Grand Lodge

kinevon wrote:

Campaign mode for Emerald Spire:

Pros: Allows the Spire to feel more coherent, promotes groups playing through the entire thing, in order.

Allows people to play non-PFS legal options.

First off, assuming you havent seen the thing yet, how do you know it needs anything to make the levels feel coherent?

Secondly, why do we need campaign mode for people to play non-PFS legal options? Thats called a 'homegame'. Make up whatever you want on your own, and have the players run through that.

The thing to take from this is that for their to BE a campaign mode for PFS to allow you to play through, it is something that would already have to be written into the book. Asking for it now, around a month before the thing comes out, isnt going to get you anywhere.

Shadow Lodge

James McTeague wrote:
Dylos - if that's the case, then why aren't we seeing more sanctioned area adventure path play? On the collective, I only ever see the 1st book of adventure paths being run. I've done parts of Shattered Star and Rise of the Runelords, but that was because they were the only high level options for my characters at the time. Otherwise, it's just evergreen sanctioned areas that get run.

Because in pfs mode people feel that they are missing out on the adventure path since the sanctioned part of an adventure path is less then the whole story of the chapter it corresponds to. If the Emerald Spire is not missing any story elements in pfs mode then I suspect that players will be more willing to play it in pfs mode even if campaign mode is offered.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If its anything like Thornkeep then it won't be an issue. I have no insider knowledge, but my expectation is that it will largely be a stacked dungeon.

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