Improvements Are A-Comin'

Monday, November 17, 2014


Illustration by Taylor Fischer

Over the past several months, there have been some growing concerns with Pathfinder Society Organized Play. As we would like to take action to correct the concerns instead of let them grow and fester, we reached out to all 395 Venture-Officers a month ago to receive their feedback on what was wrong with the campaign, what was good about the campaign, and what we could do to improve or correct things to make Pathfinder Society even more awesome. Even though there were some difficult opinions expressed, most were true and it caused us to take a hard look at the organized play program.

After receiving feedback from the Venture-Officers, we formed a team of Paizo employees to work on solutions for the concerns that were expressed. This team included Lisa Stevens and Erik Mona, Mark Seifter and Mark Moreland, John Compton, and me. There were 327 responses from our VOs regarding thoughts and feedback on the current state of PFS. I went through each and every post and listed every one of the concerns expressed on a large white board in our conference room. The meeting took upwards of six hours, and through debate, discussion, and some give and take, we came up with some solutions to most of the concerns that were expressed.

The Venture-Officers are aware of many of the initatives we have set forth to accomplish the goals. There are still other topics we are continuing to discuss on the Venture-Officer message board to make sure they are the best we can make them for the campaign at large. I wanted to write this blog to bring the player base up-to-date on some of the initiatives we have set into motion with the awesome collaboration that took place between the VOs and the Paizo team.

Factions

First, let's talk about factions and their roles. After much discussion here at Paizo, specifically on some problems that were brought up in the long discussion with all of the Venture-Officers, we agree that factions currently don't play as important a role as we would like them to. We want factions to have meaning and substance. We think our factions help to set PFS apart from other organized play campaigns. We have strategized a four-pronged plan of attack which we think will help return factions to a more important role in the campaign.

  • The five new factions are receiving a professional makeover for their faction symbols. Grand Lodge and Silver Crusade faction symbols will remain unchanged. If you have suggestions on what they should look like, please start a different thread. The target goal for this to be implemented is by the end of 2014.
  • There will be revised and improved write-ups of each faction for both the PFS landing page at paizo.com and the Guide to Organized Play. We plan to implement these write-ups by the end of 2014.
  • We will be adding "The Story So Far" type of pages to the PFS landing page at paizo.com. John is assembling a team of writers to help him accomplish this goal for all past seasons. These will be spoiler-lite and help to sum up each season for new and old players alike. The target goal for this is end of February 2015.
  • We will be producing Faction Journal cards, similar to the PAXPort or the quests cards we provide at Gen Con. There will be one Faction Journal card for each of the seven factions.
    • The front of the card will list a series of goals (likely 10) to complete for the current season. These goals will be generic enough that they can be accomplished from playing not just the current season, but past season scenarios as well. For example, the Dark Archive Faction Journal may have one of their 10 goals be to find and recover five named manuals to bring back to the archives in Absalom. These could include the Inward-Facing Circle book from Silent Tide, the dozen black vellum scrolls in Voice in the Void, and any other documents or manuals that are found in sanctioned adventures. Each time you accomplish a goal, the GM will check off or initial a box on that particular goal.
    • The back of the card will include three award thresholds for accomplishing a set number of these goals. For example, if a PC completes three of the 10 goals, they will receive a small favor from their faction or a unique, faction-specific item. If they complete six of the ten goals, they could possibly receive a unique title that provides certain benefits or a better unique faction item. If they complete all 10 of the faction goals, their clout with their faction is sufficent to extend benefits to other PCs at tables where the character is present, while making their presence (and that of their faction) important to every character at the table. As a working example, a Silver Crusade PC who has completed all 10 of her faction's goals on her card might be able to use the her renown to call in a favor and reduce the prestige point cost of any PC's raise dead by 4 so long as she's there to flex her faction's muscles. Although this might not be the reward that appears on the Silver Crusade faction card when we finish this project, it gives a good example of the type of reward we're aiming for.
    • To reward GMs, we are considering adding an 11th optional goal that would be applied to the three different thresholds of rewards. For example, we may list 10 check boxes and for each scenario GMed in the current season, one check box could be completed. Once all ten are filled, one goal toward the a reward threshold would be met, leaving only two more to complete through playing the character.
    • The back of the card will also feature a form of the revised write-up of the faction described in bullet number two above, as well as a summation of season-long goals in descriptive text. This descriptive text will explain why the PC is trying to achieve the 10 goals for the faction and how it will aid the faction in the future—likely in the form of the faction head letters.
    • We realize that we are introducing this half way through the current season so everyone may not be able to complete the card for this season. On day one of Gen Con 2015, no more faction goals may be checked off from the Season 6 card. On the same day, a new Season 7 card will become available that may include a bonus reward depending on if the character completed five or more goals from the previous season. We hope this fresh approach will help to build the excitement in factions for future seasons as we plan to introduce updated faction goal cards every season at Gen Con.
    • These Faction Journal Cards will be provided as a free download on paizo.com, so anyone can print one off for a new or existing character at any time.
    • Every character may have one card assigned to him. If the PC changes factions any time in the future, he would lose all benefits from the card.
    • The Faction Journal card would not override the primary and secondary success conditions set forth in the scenario. Those are still in place to continue enforcing the importance of being a Pathfinder. The Faction Journal card will allow for more depth by adding greater meaning to the factions.
    • Use of the Faction Journal card is optional. A PC never has to take one, use one, or try to complete one.
    • The Faction Journal cards should be available by the end of January.

Scenario Length

Over time, scenarios have become longer, both in terms of word count dedicated to the adventure (rather than to faction missions, for example) and in terms of run-time. To an extent, it's also tied to the increased number of lengthy role-playing scenes and tougher combats intended to match the six-player assumption (i.e. more PCs means more enemies means more time spent in combat). In most circumstances, the longer scenarios are, the harder they are to schedule and run.

We are taking the following steps to address this issue and bring the expected run time (time from mission briefing to the resolution of the final encounter, not including set-up and paperwork) to four hours:

  • Cut one encounter from Tier 5-9 and Tier 7-11 scenarios. These higher-level scenarios run over most often, and it's mostly a matter of high-level combat taking longer.
  • Revise encounter expectations for Tier 3-7 to minimize long, drawn-out encounters resulting from especially high challenge ratings. If necessary, we will cut an encounter from Tier 3-7 scenarios, but preferably these can still work under approximately the same model.
  • There are no changes expected on this front for Tier 1-5 scenarios, which generally fit the four-hour model without much trouble.
  • You should start seeing these changes implemented in scenarios in December 2014 or January 2015.

Scenario Difficulty

We have heard your feedback that scenarios have become harder to just pick up and run. In part this is due to a large number of scenario-specific subsystems that require the GM—and sometimes the players—to learn a new set of rules during the scenario. In part, it's also a result of the reliance on the Pathfinder Reference Document when providing only short stat blocks for encounters. There's also the matter of the increasingly involved stories that scenarios are telling.

We are taking the following steps to mitigate these issues:

  • Provide an appendix that includes the full Bestiary and NPC Codex pages referenced in the adventure as well as an un-tagged copy of any custom maps that appear in the scenario.
  • Cap the number of required GM resources at four books per scenario (including the Core Rulebook). This should be relatively easy if the Bestiary pages are already included in the back of the adventure, as in most cases approximately half of the books referenced are Bestiaries.
  • Include full stat blocks for creatures modified by the advanced, giant, or young simple templates. The exception to this would be modifications that appear in the "Scaling Encounter XYZ" sidebars. For example, if the adventure says that there should be an advanced otyugh, the full stats for an advanced otyugh will be there and ready to go. If the scaling notes say that a four-person group should instead face a young otyugh, those stats would not appear. This should at least cover the essential modifications and reduce the amount of on-the-fly adjustment that a GM needs to do.
  • Limit the number of rules subsystems in scenarios. Subsystems aren't going away entirely, but we need to avoid relying on subsystems and simply save them for the times that they'll have the greatest impact. Should an especially large subsystem such as mass combat appear in a scenario again for whatever reason, it would be advertised on the product page. Simple point-tracking mechanics that only the GM sees (for example, keeping track of how many clues the PCs uncover) are likely to show up a little less often but are still a useful tool.
  • You should start seeing these changes implemented in scenarios in December 2014 or January 2015.

Season Plotline

Over the past four seasons, the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign has based its season-long plotline on the most recent Adventure Path products. In some ways this has worked well due to the new campaign setting content available to players, GMs, and authors, but nearly as often, this decision has caused problems—either by binding the story of the campaign to that of a different product (and the continuity difficulties that can arise), driving the Society to do things that don't necessarily fit its mandate, or subjecting the community to a long storyline when many participants begin losing interest after the first several months. As the list of scenarios grows longer, the list of metaplots grows as well, providing a barrier to newer players getting involved.

To combat these trends, we are taking the following steps:

  • Stop tying the campaign's story to those of the Adventure Paths. Player responses suggest that the Destiny of the Sands model of using a current Adventure Path as inspiration for a three-part series is about right, and even then it's not mandatory that every Adventure Path receives this treatment.
  • Provide Pathfinder Society its own storyline using its own existing plot threads and creating new ones.
  • Expand the number of stand-alone scenarios that explore a wide variety of locations rather than get tied down in one location with an ongoing story that is tough to follow if one misses a few pieces.
  • Provide a "The Story Thus Far" handout that provides a low-spoiler summary of each season's storyline so that a player can quickly catch up on the critical plot concepts when sitting down to an adventure that deals with ongoing metaplot elements. The working length for each handout is about four paragraphs or 300-400 words. There would be one such document for each season and perhaps one for a few of the most complex ongoing metaplots (Grandmaster Torch, for example).
  • You should start seeing these changes implemented at the beginning of Season 7, though some like "The Story Thus Far" handouts are likely to appear sooner.

Quests

From our feedback about the success of the Silverhex Chronicles quest line, we are aware we need more Quests and Quest-like events. Since we already have nine different Beginner Box quests broken up into parts one and two, this was topic was a no brainer.

We have added two Chronicle sheets to the development schedule for the Beginner Box Demos. One will be for the four demos in part one and the other will be for the five demos in part two. These should allow for you to draw more interest from players wanting to try the system out, as well as give you another two sets of quest-style adventures to run, bringing the immediate total of quests to three sets with the inclusion of the Silverhex Chronicles quests. Look for these two Chronicle sheets by the end of 2014.

We have quite a few more changes and additions in the works, and I can't wait to tell you about them. However, some are more ideas than polished action plans, so we need a bit more time to make sure we get the other exciting changes to PFS in order before we release the rest of this information publicly.

As always, we look forward to trying to create the best Organized Play experience we can for all of you. Please read our collected thoughts above and let us know what you think, how we might improve upon the ideas, and what we could change to make them better. Thanks again for being the best fanbase any game company out there has. Without your input, as well as that of the awesome Venture-Officer corp, we certainly could not make PFS the best organized play campaign available anywhere in the world.

Mike Brock
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Factions Pathfinder Society Pathfinder Society Quests Pathfinder Society Scenarios Taylor Fischer
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Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Booyah!

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Switzerland—Geneva aka bengrow

Really nice news !!!

Liberty's Edge **** RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I'm really excited about these changes that are coming!

Silver Crusade *****

Yesss!

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Chicago aka thunderspirit

Exxxxxcellent. <steeples fingers>

Dark Archive *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mike says things most awesome wrote:
Include full stat blocks for creatures modified by the advanced, giant, or young simple templates. The exception to this would be modifications that appear in the "Scaling Encounter XYZ" sidebars. For example, if the adventure says that there should be an advanced otyugh, the full stats for an advanced otyugh will be there and ready to go. If the scaling notes say that a four-person group should instead face a young otyugh, those stats would not appear. This should at least cover the essential modifications and reduce the amount of on-the-fly adjustment that a GM needs to do.

and the announcement of our own plot line are what I am most excited about.

Liberty's Edge *****

Why is this in website feedback? Shouldn't it be in PFS General Discussion?

Dark Archive ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The Reduction of subsystems, inclusion of modified stat blocks and reduction of books makes me happy. I like occasional introduction of new things, like Mass Combat, but it shouldn't be put into a scenario with entirely new mechanics for monsters. (Troop mechanics, I'm looking at you.)

Liberty's Edge ***

I am impressed. I look forward to seeing how the additional faction task and reward system plays out in-game. Just reading it has made me more interested in the factions of the characters that will be joining mine on missions.

Sovereign Court ****

Quote:
Provide an appendix that includes the full Bestiary and NPC Codex pages referenced in the adventure as well as an un-tagged copy of any custom maps that appear in the scenario.

Celebrate good times, come on!

*****

Lots of exciting improvements. Seems like an elegant way to make factions more relevant without taking away from the group unity that has resulted from prestige being tied to the Pathfinder mission.

I know that there are 5 seasons' worth of spoiler-light season summaries on pathfindersociety.net, in case anyone wants them... :)

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Those are nice improvements but what happened to making more playable content? As an experienced player I really only have the new scenarios to play, I already GM 3 to 4 times a month.

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
roysier wrote:
Those are nice improvements but what happened to making more playable content? As an experienced player I really only have the new scenarios to play, I already GM 3 to 4 times a month.

Check the second to last paragraph.

Grand Lodge *****

Huzzah!

****

I feel that this is a big step in the right direction for Pathfinder Society. It will be good to see these changes in force.

One thing though:

Quote:
Include full stat blocks for creatures modified by the advanced, giant, or young simple templates.

I hope that this extends to creatures modified by other templates, such as various Mythic templates that seem to occasionally pervade monsters out there.

Dark Archive *****

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

I feel that this is a big step in the right direction for Pathfinder Society. It will be good to see these changes in force.

One thing though:

Quote:
Include full stat blocks for creatures modified by the advanced, giant, or young simple templates.
I hope that this extends to creatures modified by other templates, such as various Mythic templates that seem to occasionally pervade monsters out there.

I read this as for any monster affected by any template, minus those for the various for player adjustments. I could be wrong. I hope I am not.

Sovereign Court

Good news indeed. Looking forward to the changes.

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

Sounds amazing to me!

I'd really like to see that a variety of NPCs get more re-use. For example, Eando Kline has been an interesting person to chase after in more than one scenario. There's history there. But a whole cast of characters... more than just Torch. There's a rich history full of characters out there... we should use as many as possible!

Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't get to meet new folks as well!

All sounds great! Can't wait to hear the rest of this!

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Mekkis wrote:

I feel that this is a big step in the right direction for Pathfinder Society. It will be good to see these changes in force.

One thing though:

Quote:
Include full stat blocks for creatures modified by the advanced, giant, or young simple templates.
I hope that this extends to creatures modified by other templates, such as various Mythic templates that seem to occasionally pervade monsters out there.
I read this as for any monster affected by any template, minus those for the various for player adjustments. I could be wrong. I hope I am not.

I think the main exceptions to this standard are the resolute, entropic, fiendish, and celestial simple templates, which only add a few resistances but do not modify the ability scores or derived attributes (AC, attack bonus, saves, etc.) of a creature. For non-Bestiary simple templates, I anticipate adding or not adding a full stat block based on this standard.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Bothell aka Pinstripedbarbarian

Really awesome stuff to read. John Compton said something big was coming at yesterday's game; I had no idea it was THIS big!

I'm really happy to see the focuses here. Shorter "big boy" scenarios, more quests, faction rework, all of it. Great to hear!

I do hope that the rule subsystems don't get pulled back too much though. Re-examining them is certainly a good thing, but I personally LOVE scenarios where point-tracking things come into play. For example:

Spoiler:
In Quest for Perfection part 3, PC's can earn Defense Points by doing various tasks around the town of Nesting Swallow before the onslaught. This grants advantages in the final battle like reducing the number of enemies or letting players expend Defense Points to give them direct bonuses in combat.
This was AWESOME. It allowed non-combat rules to really influence the scenario without excluding the BSF, murder-hobo types (who definitely had their challenge with the boss).

Doing things like that in more - not necessarily all - scenarios would be a refreshing mix of combat and social stuff. People who focus characters on skills and quirky tricks could accomplish tasks that still help in combat indirectly, while the full-combat folk still get to have the limelight in the end. And if everyone just wants to murder things? They get more challenging, more satisfying combats.

****

I'm glad to see these changes coming. I liked everything that was mentioned above, and I'm greatly looking forward to seeing these changes in action!

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:
roysier wrote:
Those are nice improvements but what happened to making more playable content? As an experienced player I really only have the new scenarios to play, I already GM 3 to 4 times a month.
Check the second to last paragraph.

Got it, I guess it helps if I read everything.

***

Like, like... a thousand times like!

Grand Lodge *****

Best.
Update.
Ever.

Dark Archive *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Mekkis wrote:

I feel that this is a big step in the right direction for Pathfinder Society. It will be good to see these changes in force.

One thing though:

Quote:
Include full stat blocks for creatures modified by the advanced, giant, or young simple templates.
I hope that this extends to creatures modified by other templates, such as various Mythic templates that seem to occasionally pervade monsters out there.
I read this as for any monster affected by any template, minus those for the various for player adjustments. I could be wrong. I hope I am not.
I think the main exceptions to this standard are the resolute, entropic, fiendish, and celestial simple templates, which only add a few resistances but do not modify the ability scores or derived attributes (AC, attack bonus, saves, etc.) of a creature. For non-Bestiary simple templates, I anticipate adding or not adding a full stat block based on this standard.

Wonderful. Again, this is most exciting in my world.

Shadow Lodge *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
GM NMP wrote:

Best.

Update.
Ever.

At least until the NEXT one. :)

Silver Crusade ***

So much good news in one place! Bravo! Bravo!

Grand Lodge *****

TOZ wrote:
GM NMP wrote:

Best.

Update.
Ever.
At least until the NEXT one. :)

+1 to that. :P

Silver Crusade ****

I'm enthralled with the news about getting the summary information in an easy to digest form for faction/season related stuff.

Everything else looks great too, especially the appendix for GM's.

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.

All good news, but...

Quote:
  • Provide an appendix that includes the full Bestiary and NPC Codex pages referenced in the adventure as well as an un-tagged copy of any custom maps that appear in the scenario.
  • Cap the number of required GM resources at four books per scenario (including the Core Rulebook). This should be relatively easy if the Bestiary pages are already included in the back of the adventure, as in most cases approximately half of the books referenced are Bestiaries.
  • Include full stat blocks for creatures modified by the advanced, giant, or young simple templates. The exception to this would be modifications that appear in the "Scaling Encounter XYZ" sidebars. For example, if the adventure says that there should be an advanced otyugh, the full stats for an advanced otyugh will be there and ready to go. If the scaling notes say that a four-person group should instead face a young otyugh, those stats would not appear. This should at least cover the essential modifications and reduce the amount of on-the-fly adjustment that a GM needs to do.
  • Limit the number of rules subsystems in scenarios. Subsystems aren't going away entirely, but we need to avoid relying on subsystems and simply save them for the times that they'll have the greatest impact. Should an especially large subsystem such as mass combat appear in a scenario again for whatever reason, it would be advertised on the product page. Simple point-tracking mechanics that only the GM sees (for example, keeping track of how many clues the PCs uncover) are likely to show up a little less often but are still a useful tool.

...are particularly welcome. Great update!

**** ⦵⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, United Kingdom—England—Peterborough aka dmwcarol

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sounds good, there's lots there that is really encouraging for future play

Scarab Sages *****

Awesome news, cant wait!

****

Overall, I think there are alot of changes here that are positive. I like the idea of making faction related stuff optional, although if you manage to complete it, then you get some perks. Its reminiscent of how it was with LFR 4e.

"Story So Far" segments are a big one. I can't recall how many times I've been asked for storyline stuff or background info that I just don't know anything about. Even then, I always felt listless as a participant in PFS.

GMs around the world are rejoicing over providing more stat blocks in scenarios. Possibly my biggest gripe was having to look through all sorts of various materials just for one mook and then finding its template to adjust it. Honestly, if PFSPrep.com didn't exist, I probably would've quit GMing for PFS a long time ago.

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

*applause*

Shadow Lodge ***

Quote:
If the scaling notes say that a four-person group should instead face a young otyugh, those stats would not appear. This should at least cover the essential modifications and reduce the amount of on-the-fly adjustment that a GM needs to do.

For regions that regularly run only 4-player groups, this is still going to be a problem. Maybe a decent half-way measure is to include somewhere in the scenario how to adjust to a young template (or whichever template is relevant for that scenario).

Grand Lodge *****

Avatar-1 wrote:
Quote:
If the scaling notes say that a four-person group should instead face a young otyugh, those stats would not appear. This should at least cover the essential modifications and reduce the amount of on-the-fly adjustment that a GM needs to do.
For regions that regularly run only 4-player groups, this is still going to be a problem. Maybe a decent half-way measure is to include somewhere in the scenario how to adjust to a young template (or whichever template is relevant for that scenario).

Templates are all in the back of each Bestiary as well as on the PRD already.

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

Just to be contrary, because you need a little of that in every post...

I hate these changes!!!!!

Edit: I Kid, I kid! ;)

Shadow Lodge ***

Seth Gipson wrote:
Avatar-1 wrote:
Quote:
If the scaling notes say that a four-person group should instead face a young otyugh, those stats would not appear. This should at least cover the essential modifications and reduce the amount of on-the-fly adjustment that a GM needs to do.
For regions that regularly run only 4-player groups, this is still going to be a problem. Maybe a decent half-way measure is to include somewhere in the scenario how to adjust to a young template (or whichever template is relevant for that scenario).
Templates are all in the back of each Bestiary as well as on the PRD already.

I know, but not having to look up other books is exactly what this improvement is trying to resolve.

Liberty's Edge *****

This all sounds good. I like the idea of "Story So Far" handouts, although part of me worries about spoilers. I see that the intention is to keep the spoilers to a minimum, so I trust that this will all be good. Just a bit of feedback to encourage the idea of keeping the spoilers to a minimum.

As a possible additional suggestion, if there are scenarios that are best played after other particular scenarios for reasons of spoilers and such (e.g. "Among the Dead" after "Among the Living", the Blakros Museum sequence, etc.), having a list of those at the beginning of each scenario would be nice. I know that often the ordered scenarios come as a set ("The Devil We Know I" through "IV" for example), but they don't always. (I suspect for existing scenarios there are message board posts that provide that information; anybody have a link handy?) That would allow players who have options for which scenarios to play to choose the order, and might also encourage GMs to run things in a certain order. (As a set of online games, I ran the three "Among the..." scenarios with more or less the same ground. Was jolly.)

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It would help immensly with problems getting GM volunteers if Full Statblock(of relevant stats, skills they aren't going to possible used don't need included) for every single monster in a scenario were published. PFS is the only living campaign I've ever played in that doesn't have full statblocks of every monster in each adventure, and it's also the only living campaign I've ever played that there is a problem getting judges to volunteer. Rewards can help bribe judges into volunteering, but nothing will help more than removing obstacles to judging, and lack for monster full stat blocks is a big obstacle.

It would increase game quality too. All the time I spend prepping the monsters for a scenario (which is the vast majority of the couple hours I spend prepping for running a game) I could instead spend on getting to know the scenario better and think about ways to provide a better experience for the players.

It would also greatly assist situations where a GM is forced to run something with mimimal prep time. I realize that in PFS games in the areas where the Paizo Staff live are very well organized and this isn't a problem. But it is a very different situation for a large chunk of your players. Sometimes only 4 people show up to an event, and 1 person has already played what you prepped. Sometimes a judge is a no-show at an event and you have to scramble for a replacement. Sometimes someone could be really familiar with a scenario and able to run it with little prep, if only all the material they needed to run it was presented in the scenario itself.

I understand that word count is important, and even if I don't quite understand why, you seem like you are trying to shorten the length of scenarios. If the word count freed up could go towards complete monster stat blocks, it would be greatly appriciated, and immensely helpful. Especially for monsters that aren't in the Beastiary 1, if you have to exclude some statblocks.

Shadow Lodge ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's actually an excellent question - why is word count important on a published PDF-only scenario?

Sovereign Court ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope the next announcement is about how gunslingers, swashbucklers, and summoners will not be legal after season 6. The power creep is definitely the biggest problem I've noticed with society play.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka The Great Rinaldo!

Victor Zajic wrote:


I understand that word count is important, and even if I don't quite understand why, you seem like you are trying to shorten the length of scenarios. If the word count freed up could go towards complete monster stat blocks, it would be greatly appriciated, and immensely helpful. Especially for monsters that aren't in the Beastiary 1, if you have to exclude some statblocks.

Actually the reference to shortening the scenarios isn't about the word count, but the time required to play the higher tier scenarios. In fact, removing an encounter from a 7-11 could even potentially free word count up to give more background, better descriptions, or the like.

And I *believe* the intent is to either not tie the stat blocks into the word count, or give the authors some "wiggle room" for them.

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Avatar-1 wrote:
That's actually an excellent question - why is word count important on a published PDF-only scenario?

Because developers still need to develop and editors still need to edit.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Demoyn wrote:
The power creep is definitely the biggest problem I've noticed with society play.

I think you'll enjoy our solution once we finish hammering out the creases.

Avatar-1 wrote:
That's actually an excellent question - why is word count important on a published PDF-only scenario?

Development time required, as Mike just said. The more words, the more time needed to edit and layout. So you can't just add more wordcount endlessly or you end up missing deadlines.

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Avatar-1 wrote:
That's actually an excellent question - why is word count important on a published PDF-only scenario?

This came up in a related thread, actually. Take a look at my first response and then a second one.

Awww…ninja-ed while searching for proper documentation!

Shadow Lodge *****

Wo-pah!

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Chicago aka thunderspirit

TOZ is definitely a ninja's ninja when he can ninja John.

**

I have never been so proud to be part of an organization as I am now, seeing these changes (with others to come) becoming a reality. ^_^

Sovereign Court **

This all sounds pretty awesome.. Just would like to see how it goes once implemented

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