Back in November, the Pathfinder Society team met for a marathon meeting to discuss campaign changes that would improve the organized play campaign by making it easier to prepare, run, and play scenarios. Rather than unleash a huge number of changes all at once, I have been introducing these changes gradually over the course of several months, and the recent December scenarios are a good way to check in and observe the progress toward these goals.
Lower Reference Count
The goal is to reduce the number of referenced hardcover books to four per scenario, including the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. I definitely got close to that with Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-10: The Wounded Wisp, which had five listed sources; I admit having to exceed this metric here just because the replayable scenario has a much longer roster of monsters and therefore references three Bestiaries, though a GM can run the adventure using only one. Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-11: The Slave Master's Mirror also has five (upon further review, I cut the Pathfinder RPG NPC Codex reference), but in a way there are only four such books required. Why? Keep reading.
Another goal is to provide an appendix that includes all Bestiary and NPC Codex stat blocks, making it less of a burden for a GM to bring all of the necessary references to a game and prepare the adventure. As always, The Wounded Wisp is a strange exception just because of the randomized encounter tables, so the adventure includes the necessary stat blocks for at least one option in each encounter. The Slave Master's Mirror includes full pages from the gnoll chapter of the Monster Codex, which is a fair representation of what we'll see in scenarios in the future.
The third and final goal that I want to address is scenario length, which has gradually become longer and longer over time. We didn't publish any Tier 5-9 or 7-11 scenarios last month, so it's a little early to start counting encounters to see if I truly began reducing the number. Nonetheless, I paid special attention to The Slave Master's Mirror, a Tier 3-7 scenario, to ensure the types and number of encounters it contains were conducive to completing the adventure in around four hours. Next month we'll see the first Tier 7-11 adventure of 2015, and we'll put the revised scenario writing guidelines to the test.