Introducing the Core Campaign

Monday, January 26, 2015


Illustration by Grafit Studio

As the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign and the Pathfinder RPG itself has developed over the last several years, players have expressed increasing concerns about the availability of replay, new players being overwhelmed or overshadowed by over-optimized characters, Chronicle sheet rewards not having much meaning, and other concerns related to the sheer amount of information and options available to PFS players. With the help of our dedicated venture-captains, the team here at Paizo has developed a solution designed to solve all of these problems—and more. We call this solution the Core Campaign, a new mode of PFS play that utilizes all of the campaign's current scenarios and resources—only with a significantly lower barrier to entry. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The current Pathfinder Society campaign remains unchanged with use of all of Additional Resources. It is still named Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The new option will be titled Pathfinder Society Core Campaign. Both campaign "modes" use the same scenarios, modules, and other sanctioned adventure resources.
  • Every new and veteran player may participate in both the current and Core Campaign at the same time.
  • For players participating in the Core Campaign, only the Core Rulebook, Character Traits Web Enhancement, and Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play may be utilized for character creation.
  • At no time may any trait, feat, equipment, magic item, skill, animal companion, familiar, or any other character option come from a source beyond these three resources unless it appears on a Chronicle sheet. Race boons found on Chronicle sheets may not be used in the Core Campaign.
  • If an item appears on a Chronicle sheet, a PC may purchase and use it regardless of the book it comes from, with the exception of a boon that opens up a different character race.
  • Just like in the current campaign, a player may receive credit once for playing and once for GMing a scenario in the Core Campaign; this credit is independent of player and GM credit in the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign. This means a player can play once in each of the two campaigns and GM for credit once in each of the campaigns (four credits total, two per campaign), not including any limited replay opportunities established in the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.
  • At any point a player wants to transition their character from the Core Campaign to the existing campaign, they may do so. However, they may not bring that character back to the Core Campaign. As set forth in the current rules, a character may not have two of the same Chronicle sheet assigned to him, regardless of whether it was earned in the Core or existing campaign.

  • Illustration by
    Jason Rainville
  • GMs may utilize whatever books a scenario, module, quest, Adventure Path, or other sanctioned adventure utilizes.
  • The Core Campaign offers limited replay opportunities for players who have already experienced an adventure in the standard campaign. There have been comments that veteran players have limited opportunities to play with new players and "show them the ropes." Opening up every adventure for replay an additional time allows for veteran players to play a scenario with a new player and still receive credit.
  • This initative allows for an immediate influx of four new play opportunities every month—two new senarios playable in the existing campaign and the same two scenarios avalable for play in the Core Campaign.
  • Game mechanics outside of the Core Rulebook, such as reposition and dirty trick, are not allowed unless a Chronicle sheet specifically opens it as a character option.
  • Retraining may be utilized as the rules currently allow, but only when a PC retrains to take an option from one of the allowed Core Campaign resources.
  • GMs will receive star credit for GMing a game, regardless of whether it was an existing campaign or Core Campaign game.
  • If a Core Rulebook option advises that something found in the Core Rulebook is clarified in the Bestiary 1, then the player uses that specific option out of the Bestiary 1 to meet the requirement set forth in the Core Rulebook. That would include, but is not limited to, animal companions, special abilities, summon spells, etc... Only the Bestiary 1 is available for these extra options outside of the Core Rulebook.

The next question I think people will ask is: when we will be able to start playing games in the Core Campaign? We're planning to have this system publicly available and ready for you to use later this week! When creating a new event, the new system will allow you to select if a scenario is being run in the existing campaign, Core Campaign, or both (for multiple tables of the same adventure). Likewise, when reporting data from completed sessions, the system allows the person entering data to choose to report which campaign the session was run in.

We hope that this new initiative, along with the new faction journal cards highlighted in last week's blog, will bring an exciting new energy to the campaign on a global scale. I look forward to reading thoughts about the new Core Campaign and how it will help your local Pathfinder Society community.

Mike Brock
Global Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Grafit Studio Jason Rainville Pathfinder Society
51 to 100 of 1,044 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Since I have complete, free rebuilds until I reach level two, can I take my existing level one character with 1-2 chronicles applied, and rebuild it as something else, but CORE only?

Dark Archive 2/5

Excellent, and thank you (AFAIK I am down to only two level 1-5s that I can play, and I like low level adventures)!

1/5

Michael Brock wrote:
I don't see any reason why you can't start playing today. However, the reporting system will not be updated to report Core games until later this week.

In that case, perhaps being explicit about exactly how GMs are to annotate chronicles to indicate Core Campaign play would be worthwhile (if for consistency's sake, if nothing else)?

Grand Lodge

I'm super excited about this option! I'm starting to run out of regular scenarios to play, especially finding things to play at Cons. Looking forward to making some new core characters.

As a GM, I'm excited about this option too. I often end up with new players at my table and sometimes, I think they get overwhelmed by all the extra things the optimized/experienced players do. This will help.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Since I have complete, free rebuilds until I reach level two, can I take my existing level one character with 1-2 chronicles applied, and rebuild it as something else, but CORE only?

No. You can't rebuild a Core character using Chronicle sheets obtained from an existing campaign reported scenario.

Dark Archive 2/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
The Fourth Horseman wrote:
How many players and GMs are going to walk away from regular PFS to play and run in Core Campaign?

I was going to have to walk away anyway.

At least now I get to do something PFS-related on the side, and not have to go do Adventurers League stuff only.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Motta wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
I don't see any reason why you can't start playing today. However, the reporting system will not be updated to report Core games until later this week.
In that case, perhaps being explicit about exactly how GMs are to annotate chronicles to indicate Core Campaign play would be worthwhile (if for consistency's sake, if nothing else)?

Write the word "CORE" on the top.

1/5

Michael Brock wrote:
Write the word "CORE" on the top.

Easy enough; thanks for the quick reply. BTW, while I get that that sort of thing may seem to go without saying, I wanted to make sure that we're consistent from the start.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Brilliant idea!! As say David Haller many people leave the PFS because many characters become overpower with the optimization, and some we want more role playing than Roll Playing. This is Awesome initiative!!

I want to applause the minds that thoght this!!! Many thanks team!!!

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Virginia—Richmond aka Slothsy

I know the reporting system isn't up yet, but will there be anything players need to do when creating a character to mark it as part of the Core Campaign, or is that going to be done automatically based off of their chronicle sheets?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rigby Bendele wrote:
I know the reporting system isn't up yet, but will there be anything players need to do when creating a character to mark it as part of the Core Campaign, or is that going to be done automatically based off of their chronicle sheets?

The reporting system will keep track and mark whether a character is no longer Core when it is reported as having being played in an existing mode scenario. And we added a warning box so the reporter knows he is about to report a Core character as having played in an existing mode adventure.

For the player, as long as all chronicles are marked with CORE at the top, there isn't anything else they really need to do.

Scarab Sages

Michael Tracey wrote:
Yes, Yes, a 1000 times, Yes. Now, who's up for playing Bonekeep with me with only Core characters?

Plus all the battle interactive/multi-table games - or the former EX games?

Lots of possibilities.

No more boon companion, wayang spellhunters, and zen archers (are any archtypes)

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Paco Sanchez wrote:

Brilliant idea!! As say David Haller many people leave the PFS because many characters become overpower with the optimization, and some we want more role playing than Roll Playing. This is Awesome initiative!!

I want to applause the minds that thoght this!!! Many thanks team!!!

I haven't left PFS but I have been getting overwhelmed with so much new material lately. We just got 10 new classes with the ACG and before the dust settles the dev teams goes and releases the Occult playtest? Too soon in my opinion, but this isn't really the place for that discussion....

It will be a nice reprieve to return to a more basic RPG style with the same great adventures we've all come to love.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

I for one have played seasons 0 to 5 in existing mode already... This is a very welcome change to an ever-awesome campaign!

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

Joseph Kellogg wrote:

A nitpicky question here, but can I use the boon that lets me make

** spoiler omitted **
on a Core PC?

Bump, looks like this question got lost in the shuffle.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

Joseph Kellogg wrote:

A nitpicky question here, but can I use the boon that lets me make

** spoiler omitted **
on a Core PC?

As long as you bring the required reference books, yes.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/55/5 Venture-Agent, Michigan—Jackson aka fine_young_misanthrope

I'm happy this mode is here, but odds are my players won't like it. It does eliminate some power gamer problems, but overall most of my players want the power game stuff.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Basically, everyone gets a replay of everything, but they have to run a Core Rulebook character in order to do so with a table of people with characters from only the Core Rulebook, which are segregated from regular PFS?

The novelty of this will wear off quickly compared to just simply making a blanket one replay of everything for everyone.

Hashtag: not fawning, mostly yawning.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If DC Comics owned paizo, they would call this 'Golarion 2'. :P

I think that idea fits pretty well, actually. An alternate universe, which occassionally has someone cross over to the 'Prime' one. Hmmm.

Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Blacksburg aka FingersCrossed

Can you run an AP in Campaign mode, and then have the players apply the credit to Core Campaign characters? Or would you need to play Core Campaign in the AP to apply the credit as Core Campaign credit?

Ninja Edit: And do you still get favoured class bonuses? I would assume not since those aren't in the core if I recall.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
fine_young_misanthrope wrote:
I'm happy this mode is here, but odds are my players won't like it. It does eliminate some power gamer problems, but overall most of my players want the power game stuff.

That's perfectly fine, the current PFS campaign will still be around for them to go nuts in. :)

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

FingersCrossed wrote:
Can you run an AP in Campaign mode, and then have the players apply the credit to Core Campaign characters? Or would you need to play Core Campaign in the AP to apply the credit as Core Campaign credit?

You can play any AP in Campaign mode and apply it to Core Campaign characters. And then do it again and apply it to a non-Core character.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

12 people marked this as a favorite.
RoshVagari wrote:

Basically, everyone gets a replay of everything, but they have to run a Core Rulebook character in order to do so with a table of people with characters from only the Core Rulebook, which are segregated from regular PFS?

The novelty of this will wear off quickly compared to just simply making a blanket one replay of everything for everyone.

Hashtag: not fawning, mostly yawning.

This wasn't just about replays. A large part was to address the concerns of new players and GMs feeling overwhelmed with the tons of books needed to participate. The Core mode allows both new players and GMs to ease into PFS play, and then if they want to add more rules when they become more experienced, then they can easily transition into existing mode. Being able to open up more than 300 replay options is a bonus to this new play mode.

Additionally, it gives a natural transition for players who start with the a Beginner Box, use the conversion guide for PFS, and move into Core Campaign mode.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

12 people marked this as a favorite.
RoshVagari wrote:

The novelty of this will wear off quickly compared to just simply making a blanket one replay of everything for everyone.

Hashtag: not fawning, mostly yawning.

Methinks you are underestimating the GMs who are tired of gunslingers and summoners.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Finally!

I'm still relatively new to Pathfinder as a whole and this allows me a way to get into Pathfinder Society play as a Core player and ease into all available options.

Thank you!

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Virginia—Richmond aka Slothsy

6 people marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:
RoshVagari wrote:

The novelty of this will wear off quickly compared to just simply making a blanket one replay of everything for everyone.

Hashtag: not fawning, mostly yawning.

Methinks you are underestimating the GMs who are tired of gunslingers and summoners.

Or the number of players who have option fatigue. Or the players who are tired of competing with characters made using every source imaginable. Or the ability to attract new players and show just one book off instead of an entire bookshelf.

3/5 5/5

So if I understand this correctly, the only traits allowed are those in the Guide and the character traits free download?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
So if I understand this correctly, the only traits allowed are those in the Guide and the character traits free download?

Unless offered on a Chronicle sheet, that is correct.

Grand Lodge

A friend just pointed out to me that as per the post above, there cant be any animal companions/familiars/mounts in the Core Campaign, as it doesnt say anything about the Bestiarys...

Similarly, that would work the same for Wild Shape/ the 'Form' spells.

I assume this likely means stuff from Bestiary 1 is legal for those purposes?

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
FingersCrossed wrote:
Ninja Edit: And do you still get favoured class bonuses? I would assume not since those aren't in the core if I recall.

The only favored class bonuses you will be able to choose are the hit point or skill point.

1/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
One question is will you need to have a group all playing in one mode or the other?
They all have to play either Core or existing mode.

If you have a "core compliant" character and you play it in a non core game, can you later use the character in a core game if it only progresses from Core sources?

4/5

The classes that have such things list the options, I do believe.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Danbala wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
One question is will you need to have a group all playing in one mode or the other?
They all have to play either Core or existing mode.
If you have a "core compliant" character and you play it in a non core game, can you later use the character in a core game if it only progresses from Core sources?

That's been answered already: No, you can't.

Grand Lodge

GM Hills wrote:
The classes that have such things list the options, I do believe.

They do, but the stats arent included in the Core, IIRC.

3/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So if I purchase a Wayfinder, which is available in the PGTOP, and slot an ious stone in it, from the core rulebook, I'm guessing that there are no resonate powers, it's just safe in the wayfinder.

Currently it's hard to find tables for my mid/high level PC. I can see this taking away some of those few players and the table running new lower level Core adventures making it harder to play the mid/high level PC.

GenCon and other conventions may be more challenging as well. Now it's what adventure and what tier. Soon it will be what adventure, what campaign and what tier. For example, you have three tables of 6-44: Escape from Absalom (Tier 5-9). You have nine "core" PCs and nine standard PCs show up-how do you make up the tables? Or worse, three "core" PCs and fifteen standard PCs. GenCon will have enough spare GMs to make this work, other conventions will probably need to specify core or traditional in their ticket/sign-up process.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle aka Taenia

I am looking forward to this and have been for months.

Plan to run lots of Confirmation/Silverhex/Wounding Wisps to get people started.

Also have fun with arcs for storylines that I know go together. Also starting everyone from scratch should be a lot of fun.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Seth Gipson wrote:

A friend just pointed out to me that as per the post above, there cant be any animal companions/familiars/mounts in the Core Campaign, as it doesnt say anything about the Bestiarys...

Similarly, that would work the same for Wild Shape/ the 'Form' spells.

I assume this likely means stuff from Bestiary 1 is legal for those purposes?

Druid animal companions are listed on pages 53-54 of the CRB.

If an entry, such as paladin or ranger, that lists a bonded mount or animal companions., and it doesn't list stats in the CRB, it automatically defaults to the Bestiary.

Scarab Sages

If a player plays Confirmation as their first chronicle for their fisrt Core character, do they

Spoiler:
get the Wayfinder for free?

Grand Lodge 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Seth Gipson wrote:
GM Hills wrote:
The classes that have such things list the options, I do believe.
They do, but the stats arent included in the Core, IIRC.

The animal companion stats for the core animal companions are in the CRB.

1/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jeff Merola wrote:
Danbala wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
One question is will you need to have a group all playing in one mode or the other?
They all have to play either Core or existing mode.
If you have a "core compliant" character and you play it in a non core game, can you later use the character in a core game if it only progresses from Core sources?
That's been answered already: No, you can't.

What is the reasoning for this assuming that the character remains Core compliant following the non core game? It seems like an unnecessary barrier to play.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
Seth Gipson wrote:
GM Hills wrote:
The classes that have such things list the options, I do believe.
They do, but the stats arent included in the Core, IIRC.

i actually think they do ..... i am looking a the PRD and they are listed there. but i don't have my core rulebook open as i am at work

ninja'd :)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Danbala wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
One question is will you need to have a group all playing in one mode or the other?
They all have to play either Core or existing mode.
If you have a "core compliant" character and you play it in a non core game, can you later use the character in a core game if it only progresses from Core sources?

No. It's covered in the blog.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Swiftbrook wrote:

So if I purchase a Wayfinder, which is available in the PGTOP, and slot an ious stone in it, from the core rulebook, I'm guessing that there are no resonate powers, it's just safe in the wayfinder.

Currently it's hard to find tables for my mid/high level PC. I can see this taking away some of those few players and the table running new lower level Core adventures making it harder to play the mid/high level PC.

GenCon and other conventions may be more challenging as well. Now it's what adventure and what tier. Soon it will be what adventure, what campaign and what tier. For example, you have three tables of 6-44: Escape from Absalom (Tier 5-9). You have nine "core" PCs and nine standard PCs show up-how do you make up the tables? Or worse, three "core" PCs and fifteen standard PCs. GenCon will have enough spare GMs to make this work, other conventions will probably need to specify core or traditional in their ticket/sign-up process.

That is correct. There are no resonant powers for slotted ioun stones unless a chronicle sheet becomes available to allow for it.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Danbala wrote:
What is the reasoning for this assuming that the character remains Core compliant following the non core game? It seems like an unnecessary barrier to play.

Because games can only be reported as "Core" or "Not Core" with no option to mix. This was covered in the blog.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Danbala wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
Danbala wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
One question is will you need to have a group all playing in one mode or the other?
They all have to play either Core or existing mode.
If you have a "core compliant" character and you play it in a non core game, can you later use the character in a core game if it only progresses from Core sources?
That's been answered already: No, you can't.
What is the reasoning for this assuming that the character remains Core compliant following the non core game? It seems like an unnecessary barrier to play.

I've answered earlier but I will answer again. The reporting system is not set up to allow reporting of mixed tables. It also creates unnecessary confusion with characters flip flopping back and forth. I would rather avoid that confusion and have the "unnecessary barrier to play" than vice versa.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can a multi-table special event such as 'Legacy of the Stonelords' mix core and non-core tables? (So long as each individual table does not mix core and non-core players.)

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Georgia—Augusta aka MatthewHudson

I didn't see it as a bulleted item but a thought...

If I run a game and everybody is Core Campaign except for one new player that wants to play PFS Campaign, that one-off player can't play. I'm guessing unless they opt to play a pregen to use towards a new Core character. Question:

Are the Core Pregens going to be the only ones allowed for those playing them in Core Campaign scenarios? The obvious answer would seem, "Yes, duh" but it would seem beneficial to spell these things out too :)

Also as a VO, I'm anticipating that some GM's may opt for running Core only games (specifically newer GM's worried about being overwhelmed by the same concerns as new players alongside over optimized players), I plan to embrace that option and choice and am assumign that would be the right path for many? Neither players nor GMs should be bullied into an option they don't want in my opinion.

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

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Can we ask everyone to consider the upsides of simplicity before they try to start picking apart the blog to make their characters more powerful?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Kelly Youngblood wrote:
Can a multi-table special event such as 'Legacy of the Stonelords' mix core and non-core tables? (So long as each individual table does not mix core and non-core players.)

Yes and what we are planning for at Gen Con. As long as the table is all core or all existing mode, every table can participate in the same special.

For instance, my initial plan at Gen Con is to have 150 tables of existing mode and 40-50 tables of Core mode for the Season 7 special.

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