Faction Journal Cards

Monday, April 13, 2015

You may recall that back in November we first announced the idea of Faction Journal Cards, a new way to contribute to your faction's goals while also being able to experience the fun of factions in any adventure—even sanctioned Modules and Adventure Paths. Mike and I have both released some spoilers since then, showing off bits and pieces of the Silver Crusade's card to illustrate how the cards work.

I'm pleased to announce that the Faction Journal Cards are now available for download and use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play! The download includes an introduction explaining how to use the cards, but I'll also break the main concepts into a quick Q&A here.

Do I have to do anything special to get a Faction Journal Card?
Nope, you get one for free so long as you are a member of the faction. These cards are 100% voluntary, so you can ignore them if you want.

How do they work?
Let me summarize this quickly. Each card has three boons that your character can earn by completing certain goals on the back of the card. If you fulfill one of the goals during an adventure, you get to check one of the goal's checkboxes when you're receiving your Chronicle sheet. You unlock the boons based on how many goal's you have completed.

I am the GM more often than I play. Do these cards offer me anything?
Yes, there is a special faction goal that appears on each card and rewards a participant when she is the GM and applies the Chronicle sheet to that character. To get the full benefits of the card, you'll still need to play, but at least you're not missing important opportunities by applying GM credit to a character.

Some of these goals are really open-ended. Is that on purpose?
Yes. As noted, some are open-ended and others are very precise, and that's by design. It broadens the opportunities that PCs have to pursue these objectives, rather than forcing them to cherry-pick the one or two scenarios that would work—even tougher if you've already played that adventure. What this means is that there is a little GM interpretation involved in whether or not a PC actually fulfilled an objective. The Faction Journal Cards' introductory page advises GMs to err on the side of leniency when making that call.

One Liberty's Edge goal requires me to free slaves. Can I just find a random slaver, beat him up, and profit?
No, those conditions need to be part of the adventure you're playing. If the scenario involves slaves or other captives already, get ready to check off a box. If a scenario doesn't involve them, save it for another day. Remember that these goals (and cards) are supposed to be minimally disruptive to the game, and starting a fight that's not part of the adventure puts a burden on the GM and steals the spotlight from the other players.

I changed my faction after earning a few boons. What happens?
When you change your faction, you lose all benefits of any other faction's card.

I completely filled out my Faction Journal Card. Now what?
The good news is that we're hoping to release updated card sets for future seasons, each with some familiar goals and some new ones.

I would also like to thank both our new assistant developer Linda Zayas-Palmer for her valuable assistance in finishing this project and a local group of venture-officers and Pathfinder Society enthusiasts who have provided important feedback and playtesting as we have played through The Emerald Spire Superdungeon.

Get going and download the Faction Journal Cards! I'm excited to hear what you think of these!

John Compton
Developer

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Tags: Factions Pathfinder Society
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Silver Crusade

Magabeus wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:
The GM boxes aren't really intended to "advance your character." They are an alternative added to make GMing more attractive. The final boon for each faction is unlocked when you check off all the "play" goals for that faction. The GM boxes were included to prevent GMing from being perceived as a penalty - "I could have finished the goals on this card but I GMed instead. Guess I won't GM any more."

emphasis mine.

Huh? If I GM 5 sessions and apply those chronicles to the same PC he completes the GM goal and I only need to achieve 5 other goals to get the final boon (for most factions), since the GM goal counts as 2 goals. There is no distinction between 'play' and 'gm' goals as far as the boons are concerned.

Or do you mean that you can get the final boon without GM'ing, but you'd have to check off all 'play' goals for that?

He means that to unlock the final boon you have to check of all play goals for a faction, so if the GM boxes weren't there a few players might've said "Yeah, well, I won't GM then until I checked off all these boxes".

But the GM boxes are there, so everything is cool.

5/5 5/55/5

BretI wrote:
To those complaining about Thugs not having anything in the exchange, I would expect that Intimidate would count as "a similar tactic" in the above check box. The discounts on merchandise could be stuff that "fell off the truck".

The point is that the Sczarni as we know it was reduced to the back half of a set of conditions for one box - arguably the 'bribery, or a similar tactic', and as you say it is only your expectation, and whilst it would be mine as well - it could reasonably be argued that the intent was not to undertake a threatening stance (hence Diplomacy and Bribery come first - Intimidation or just outright theft and skullduggery not mentioned) - so the arguable Sczarni content is really only 1 in 7.

Now lets pick another faction...

Although recruiting like-minded nobles is its highest priority, the faction benefits from enlisting capable diplomats, spies, and enforcers. Many monarchs would view the Sovereign Court as a rival if not a criminal operation, so it is important that agents avoid publicizing the faction’s existence and goals except when dealing with potential recruits.

Sov Court is the new Sczarni.

Confidante - effectively the "I know a guy" Scazrni trait.

Conspirator - getting you out of jail, recover your body and equipment for free if you died in an urban setting, or purchase and deliver to you - Your fence, your fixer, your henchmen.

Spymaster - just the title.

Now lets look at their activities:

Recruit an aristocrat to the service. (for power)

Recruit the servants (for information)

Recruit fellow agents

Recover blackmail or incriminating evidence against a named NPC aristocrat, noble, ambassador, or similar figure.

Do the above without revealing you are So Co ('in the family')

Possess a number of ranks in one of the following skills equal to your character level (minimum 4): Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Knowledge (nobility), or Sense Motive. - once again tipping to shady strengths.

6/7.

I am fine with whatever, but from a story perspective, the money and the power are with Sov Court - as is the sort of actions and skills that are all part of the organised (and disorganised) activities of the Sczarni network.

the Exchange is just not cutting it for incorporating any of the Thieves Guild stuff we expected, its about setting up licensed and official 'legit' business. At best we could stretch PART of this into dressing it as a fencing operation.

That's why it is annoying.

We lost a great faction into a merger - which stripped it down to nothing, then saw the faction re-emerge somewhere else under a different name doing it better. It feels like a bait and switch.

Now I know how the Shadow Lodgers felt.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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John Compton wrote:
To clarify this point further, it requires the recovery of an object that is actually an artifact-level magic item (i.e. A minor artifact or major artifact); just recovering a flashy magic item MacGuffin is not sufficient.

Are the Sky Key components artifact-level magic items?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Shifty wrote:
Now I know how the Shadow Lodgers felt.

I'll buy you a drink next time I see ya.

4/5

TOZ wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Now I know how the Shadow Lodgers felt.
I'll buy you a drink next time I see ya.

*hmmm... that avatar looks kinda like he's from Razmir*

remember to always stir with a unicorn horn...

4/5

Quadstriker wrote:

Yeah that LIberty's Edge boon is a little too videogamey for my tastes.

Right click this item to summon 3 guys that pop out of nowhere for 30 seconds! (one hour cooldown)

Okay... I need you 3 pig farmers to aid me on this handle animal thingy... I gotta convince my horsie to go up these stairs with giants on 'em... a carrot on a stick you say? hmm....


Stephen Ross wrote:
Quadstriker wrote:

Yeah that LIberty's Edge boon is a little too videogamey for my tastes.

Right click this item to summon 3 guys that pop out of nowhere for 30 seconds! (one hour cooldown)

Okay... I need you 3 pig farmers to aid me on this handle animal thingy... I gotta convince my horsie to go up these stairs with giants on 'em... a carrot on a stick you say? hmm....

Sir, we'll be happy to bring that up at our next bi-weekly meeting and vote on it... you know our pig farmer's union has strict rules as to what we can do for you, I have our pamphlet and bylaws here... *proffers small book*

Andoran Horseman, "nobody told me you'd be Galtish pig farmers!"

Sovereign Court bard in the background is snickering... is there a checkbox for that Mr. GM?

Scarab Sages 4/5

Shifty - You make some good points. Then again, Taldor always had a spy flavor to it (Lion Blades). It's why my ninja chose to go there after the Lantern Lodge disbanded instead of Sczarni. But you do still have a few months to make use of your free faction change if you feel your Sczarni characters fit better in the Sovereign Court.

I haven't moved any of my characters yet. My two Sczarni were very much "family." A Varisian Kapenia Dancer and a half-Orc raised in Varisia as an enforcer for Guaril. Both feel loyalty to Guaril, so having them suddenly start working for Gloriana Morilla would just feel weird.

So here's hoping some of the Sczarni flavor returns to The Exchange next season. I know John Compton already commented that he'd take that note about the faction card into consideration.

As an aside, after introducing the faction cards tonight, we had a funny moment where one of the players with a Sovereign Court PC wanted to try out his new toy... By convincing the Andoran NPC they were talking to to join the Sovereign Court at the mission briefing with the rest of the party and a Venture Captain present. I had to explain to him that the Sovereign Court is a somewhat secretive group, and he may not want to tell the Andoran that he's working for Morilla quite so bluntly. Since the cards are new, I let him backtrack and try again. He had a much better approach, but failed the roll. So the NPC responded with something along the lines of, "Your offer is intriguing, but you still carry the stench of Taldor." He was able to check off a box anyway for having enough skill ranks.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Something that came up tonight for the grand lodge faction card

Complete six consecutive scenarios in which you completed both the primary and secondary success conditions. Sanctioned
adventures that do not include secondary success conditions neither interrupt not contribute to this goal.
Recover

Do scenarios played before the cards came out count towards that goal?

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

Good question.. My ruling would be if you gain full prestige in the first scenario after faction cards became live then count back is allowed but only for played scenarios GM credits do not apply.

However probably best to await confirmation from John or Mike

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Something that came up tonight for the grand lodge faction card

Complete six consecutive scenarios in which you completed both the primary and secondary success conditions. Sanctioned
adventures that do not include secondary success conditions neither interrupt not contribute to this goal.
Recover

Do scenarios played before the cards came out count towards that goal?

No, the cards are not retroactive to any play before they were released

Liberty's Edge

If I GM 5 games with a character (before playing said character at all), then decide to build something, can I assign a new faction card to said character and immediately check off all the boxes for GMing games, even though I didn't decide on a faction until after those games?

How do these cards interact with 1st level rebuilds? If I change factions as part of my rebuild, do I lose all credit on the existing card (i.e. if I had, say 1 GM box checked, and I switch factions, can I move that GM box to the new card)? What if I change back? (i.e. start as Dark archives, check one box (doesn't matter which). Decide I don't like that idea, switch to Grand Lodge. Decide to completely rebuild character, now it fits in dark archives again. New card, or use old card?)


My printer does not like the pdf. Are there any plans for a black and white printer friendly version?

Scarab Sages

personwholives wrote:
If I GM 5 games with a character (before playing said character at all), then decide to build something, can I assign a new faction card to said character and immediately check off all the boxes for GMing games, even though I didn't decide on a faction until after those games?
Guide to Organized Play pg 38 wrote:
youdo not need to build the character until you actually play it

So long as the character is only GM credit it shouldn't matter if you have five different ideas and what factions they were, it just matters what faction you are when you actually set down to play the character. Just make sure you have the proper card when you play.

personwholives wrote:
How do these cards interact with 1st level rebuilds? If I change factions as part of my rebuild, do I lose all credit on the existing card (i.e. if I had, say 1 GM box checked, and I switch factions, can I move that GM box to the new card)? What if I change back? (i.e. start as Dark archives, check one box (doesn't matter which). Decide I don't like that idea, switch to Grand Lodge. Decide to completely rebuild character, now it fits in dark archives again. New card, or use old card?)

That is actually a really good question. I'm inclined to say no, because of the "no retroactive credit" and the "if you switch to a different faction you lose all credit on the current card" rules. However, I really don't think it should be that way, at least not to GM credit.

Silver Crusade 3/5

If I GM a game for no credit (ie I have already run the game) do I still get to check a GM'd a game checkbox?

The Exchange 5/5

Dshagins wrote:
If I GM a game for no credit (ie I have already run the game) do I still get to check a GM'd a game checkbox?

Sorry, no - you have to assign a chronical to the PC with the Faction Card

this sort of bothered me too... but I am happy that we got the "run a game" boxes anyway.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Asheville aka mogmismo

These are really hard to print double sided. I ended up having to open each page in photoshop, and cut/paste them so two fronts are on page 1, two backs are on page two, etc... Now I have a document that I can send to a printer on cardstock and then cut down the middle to have the correct factions on the front/back of each 8.5" x 5.5" card. I've spent a lot of time trying to get the correct alignment for the paper-cutter so this technique is not optimal.

Is there an easier way anyone has come up with? Some adobe-acrobat-fu that makes this simple?

(the one nice thing is that since there are 7 factions, there was just enough room to add my "Shadow Lodge" faction card to the printable.)


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What I did was in adobe I cropped each page twice separating top and bottom. I labled them front and back and combined them all into a new pdf. I printed four to a page.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Did they decide if going slow negated the cards?

The Exchange

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John Compton wrote:
countchocula wrote:
I have a question when it says "Once per adventure that grants a Chronicle sheet and at least 1 XP" does this mean we do not get a check if we are going slow track? probably reading into it but thanks in advance.
You can still work on your card. That language is intended to prevent someone from earning check box credit when playing a single quest (or checking one box for every part of The Silverhex Chronicles)

BNW this is the answer I received

4/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

I would really like a clearer explanation of how GM credits work with Slow track. Based on the quote in the post above, it sounds like it should work.

I don't mind GMing, but I do want to play my characters. I wouldn't mind if it was always skipping the first two levels, but I would rather not skip two levels on my higher level characters.

If I can go slow track and give the character 6 GM credits in order to complete the card while only gaining one level, that would be great.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Asheville aka mogmismo

KageCM wrote:
What I did was in adobe I cropped each page twice separating top and bottom. I labled them front and back and combined them all into a new pdf. I printed four to a page.

Yep, this is what I ended up doing, but going 2 per page instead of 4 per page. Next time (when I run out), I'll try 4. Also I just found out that most of the huge national print shops (Fedex/Staples) have a cut service that (for my order) was $1 more to cut them horizontally, but I saw the option to have'em cut both horizontally and vertically.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Wisconsin—Pleasant Prairie aka Brew City Crafter

Our local VC introduced our group to these earlier today at our regular Sunday Game Day. Like myself, many of our players were intrigued by the concept, but will need to try them out before forming an opinion.

4/5

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free stuff is free stuff! What's not to like?

You are getting rewards for what Paizo staff thinks you should be doing. No biggie, you can still do what you THINK you should be doing anyways...

I'm sure if there's a common misunderstanding in implementation or direction, guidance will show up in the FAQs.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Stephen Ross wrote:

you can still do what you THINK you should be doing anyways...

Put. The. chinchilla. down. and back. away. slowly.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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It gets lost in the grarg but let me say i can't thank you enough for these things. Factions matter!

4/5

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Stephen Ross wrote:

you can still do what you THINK you should be doing anyways...

Put. The. chinchilla. down. and back. away. slowly.

but see - Chinchilla is on my favoured enemies list! Besides he's so soft and cuddly - the ParaCountess NEEDS a few more for her Comfy Chair of Inquisition...

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

Stephen Ross wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Stephen Ross wrote:

you can still do what you THINK you should be doing anyways...

Put. The. chinchilla. down. and back. away. slowly.
but see - Chinchilla is on my favoured enemies list! Besides he's so soft and cuddly - the ParaCountess NEEDS a few more for her Comfy Chair of Inquisition...

As she watches the nude druid(ess) grapple the succubus...

Grand Lodge 4/5

LucianC wrote:
Can one forgo a day job check if one is not trained in Perform, Craft or Profession?

bump

I'd be interested to know this for a couple of other reasons.

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

LucianC wrote:
Can one forgo a day job check if one is not trained in Perform, Craft or Profession?

According to John Compton in another thread you can forgo a Day Job check if you don't have a Day Job.

John Compton wrote:
Think of a character having a Day Job opportunity at the end of a scenario. Some characters don't have a Day Job, and the opportunity is wasted. Some have a Treasure Map boon and use that instead. Whether a character has the appropriate skill or not is irrelevant to this particular Chronicle sheet; he or she still has that chunk of down time.

This was in response to a question about the GM Star Chronicle, which reads:

GM Star Chronicle wrote:
To earn a boon, the participant must have earned the listed number of stars, must have reached the listed character level, and must either forgo a Day Job roll or spend 1 Prestige Point.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Anecdotal information:

We had a local con this weekend, and had faction journal cards on hand. I ran 4 tables, and made sure each of my players knew about them - a few printed their own, but others got them from HQ.

It is fair to say that the overwhelming response was exceptionally positive. They liked the fact that factions were getting more attention, and they liked the fact that each pathfinder could best decide how to meet the faction's goals in his or her own way, from the many options provided. That way, if a character didn't think a given method was appropriate to his or her character, he or she could choose to skip that option. They liked that they could choose which objective they could check off in that scenario, instead of only having one choice (the old faction missions.)

At any rate, from the 25 players or so I talked with at my tables, they loved the faction journal cards.

From a format perspective, I had some smaller ones on hand (more than one to a sheet, which I then cut apart). Some who printed their own had the full size ones. Most preferred the smaller cards, but really, it wasn't a deal-breaker or a complaint. I had some who preferred the full-size cards, so I think it's safe to say this is probably just a matter of preference.

At any rate, having deployed the cards the weekend after they were released, the response from our players here was overwhelmingly positive!

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

I've been handing them out to players at games over the last week, and responses ranged from 'awesome' to 'meh', but there were no negative reactions. I printed five sets and have handed out most of them (very few Scarab Sages or Sovereign Court handed out though).

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

For the faction cards can we make our own ones of these? The same words but our own custom card using Art allowed by the CUP.

I think they look a bit bland ;).

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

I have to chime in at this point with a negative reaction.

Last Friday was the first occasion we had to use the faction cards at one local game store, and several players at each table came prepared to do so. My wife and I ended up playing at different tables, and when we compared notes afterwards we found we each had a similar experience.

It was like going back to the worst days of the "hunt the teapot" faction missions. Every time we began a new encounter the scenario plot got derailed while the GM was pestered with questions to see if any particular NPC or item fitted certain criteria (different, of course, for each of the factions). This wasted time (which was already quite tight), distracted the GM, and turned the party from a team focused on the mission objective to a group of individuals competing for attention.

This may have been because the faction cards were the new shiny toy, and matters may improve once the most distracting objectives have been checked off. I hope so, because I think they do serve the purpose of keeping the players aware of their faction goals.

One thing I'm considering is not answering questions related to faction goals during play if I'm GMing a scenario - I'll tell the player that they'll have to exercise their own best judgement, and we can resolve any questions they may have after ther scenario is complete.

4/5

I don't think user-created cards would be allowable - there were issues with Chronicles like that a while back.

4/5

John Francis wrote:
One thing I'm considering is not answering questions related to faction goals during play if I'm GMing a scenario - I'll tell the player that they'll have to exercise their own best judgement, and we can resolve any questions they may have after ther scenario is complete.

I thought this is how it is supposed to work? Although, since the player and not the GM does the "checking off", there's no real reason for them to ask the GM anything. It seems that these cards are really a player-only item, and the GM shouldn't need to have anything to do with them. Maybe I'm misunderstanding?

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Ugg, I did not even think about that John. If this brings us back to the old stop everything to do my faction mission thing again, that will drive me crazy!

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Steven Lau wrote:
If this brings us back to the old stop everything to do my faction mission thing again, that will drive me crazy!

Like Lamplighter said, don't enable it. Don't even entertain questions about faction cards until there is a lull in the slot.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

GM'd two games after the cards have been announced. So far, I haven't had any derailing of my games due to the cards. No players breaking immersion to repeatedly ask if an NPC qualified for a goal.

At the end of the game, everyone looked at their respective cards to see if they had completed any of their goals and checked off a box if they had.

From what I've seen so far, they've been well received here and I haven't gotten any reports as troubling yours regarding them.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

I did have a couple of questions in game, and so I worked them into the story so I didn't have to break immersion.

During one scenario, after getting the briefing, one player asked if where they were going was outside Absalom. Because we were still in the briefing part, I had the Venture Captain in the scenario pointedly, but politely, point out that members of the Society should spend time getting to know the lands in which they travel, but more knowledge would come with more experience, and then proceeded to pull out the map, show him where it was on the map, in relation to Abaslom.

Going that route, for the whole 30 seconds it took, answered his question, kept it in-character, and let the entire table get a better idea of the geography.

Now, candidly, like Walter, I did not have the problem of people asking over and over again on this and that - I did get a few questions when the scenario was over if something they found or did qualified. And the best part was most of them took notes during the game, specifically so they could ask at the end.

Maybe GMs could establish that at the front end; perhaps that would alleviate the problems that John had and, honestly, ones that others may likely have as well. If it has happened in one area, it's likely to happen in others, so maybe a little education/clarification/expectation-setting on the front end would help?

Lantern Lodge 4/5

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Mark Stratton wrote:

Anecdotal information:

We had a local con this weekend, and had faction journal cards on hand. I ran 4 tables, and made sure each of my players knew about them - a few printed their own, but others got them from HQ...

I have to say, being one of the attendees at that same con, I have to agree with Mark's assessment. I think the cards went over very well, and I, personally, thought it was cool to work in the special goals in with normal scenario play.

I think there may have been some cases of people focused on the cards when they're first getting used to them...and perhaps when they're aiming for trying to accomplish a difficult or rare goal ("Was that guy we rescued a divine caster? D'oh!"). Once the rarer, harder-to-accomplish stuff is done, or once the players have gotten more familiar with their cards, I think people will back off 'looking over' or focusing on them so much. Even then, I don't think it takes up too much time.

Thanks for providing those last weekend, Mark!

Scarab Sages 4/5

I ran one session on Friday. It was mixed, but mostly positive. There were a few questions during gameplay, but they mostly centered around understanding how the cards work, and not derailing to try to complete a mission. As I think I mentioned upthread, I had a Sovereign Court player try to convince an Andoran Librarian to join the cause in the middle of the mission briefing. Once I explained to him that a) the Sovereign Court is a secret organization, and b) I wasn't sure a librarian qualified as a noble or politician (though I let him treat the character like a servant of a powerful person for a different checkbox), he waited until after the briefing for the attempt. He missed the DC by 1, but quickly realized he could check off the ranks in skill box for the scenario.

Other than that, some positive moments were, when the goal of the scenario was revealed as recovering a stolen manual, the Dark Archives character proclaiming, "I need to find that book!" Given that the Dark Archivrs character in question was a Barbarian, I think the faction card was successful in getting him to act toward his faction goals. It was the goal of the scenario, anyway, but he seemed to feel more personally invested in it.

There were several Grand Lodge characters, who mostly checked off one of the boxes for traveling outside Absalom. They collectively decided to actually write down where they adventured on the card, and I think that's another positive.

Once the scenario actually got past the briefing, no one was trying to search every room for a macguffin, and they all stayed focused on what was happening in the game.

Overall, I was happy with how it went, and I think once the cards aren't the new shiny they won't ultimately be disruptive at all.

5/5 5/55/55/5

One thing I found really really useful for cutting down on searching the zombie for teacups syndrome was to have the players trust you to point out when things like that might come up.


As someone who lobbied for this specific change to factions over a year ago, very happy to hear about all the positive feedback.

I think one that that might help GMs is to become familiar with what goals could be accomplished in any scenario they are running and then be ready to work that in as part of the story. As others have mentioned, once everyone becomes more familiar with the cards, things may go smoother.

Sovereign Court 2/5

GM Lamplighter wrote:
John Francis wrote:
One thing I'm considering is not answering questions related to faction goals during play if I'm GMing a scenario - I'll tell the player that they'll have to exercise their own best judgement, and we can resolve any questions they may have after the scenario is complete.
I thought this is how it is supposed to work? Although, since the player and not the GM does the "checking off", there's no real reason for them to ask the GM anything. It seems that these cards are really a player-only item, and the GM shouldn't need to have anything to do with them. Maybe I'm misunderstanding?

*typo corrected

remember: Explore, Report, Cooperate!
I would make it clear that the items on the faction card are like an addendum to your report to the lodge. Players/characters should keep their own notes during the mission and afterward decide which goal they would like credit for completing. Double check with the GM to make sure it's legit, record it as a 'condition gained' on the chronicle and then x the box on the goal card. I view this as similar to how purchases work now with the ITS
--just this schlub's opinion

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

For the Grand Lodge faction, do the various city-states in the Mwangi Expanse (e.g. Nantambu) count as different nations? What about areas outside of national boundaries, like the Kaava lands?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Michael Eshleman wrote:
For the Grand Lodge faction, do the various city-states in the Mwangi Expanse (e.g. Nantambu) count as different nations? What about areas outside of national boundaries, like the Kaava lands?

Use the regions presented in the Inner Sea World Guide (or the list presented on PathfinderWiki's Geography page) as a guideline. Although I find it somewhat distasteful to paint the entire Mwangi Expanse as a monolithic region, it's rather difficult to delineate what counts as a "new region" otherwise. Even with this in mind there are dozens and dozens of distinct regions that would qualify.

For the Scions of the Sky Key series:
Remember that Parts 1 and 3 take place in Sargava, which is considered a different region than the Mwangi Expanse (for Part 2).

Scarab Sages 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Evan Tuly wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
John Francis wrote:
One thing I'm considering is not answering questions related to faction goals during play if I'm GMing a scenario - I'll tell the player that they'll have to exercise their own best judgement, and we can resolve any questions they may have after the scenario is complete.
I thought this is how it is supposed to work? Although, since the player and not the GM does the "checking off", there's no real reason for them to ask the GM anything. It seems that these cards are really a player-only item, and the GM shouldn't need to have anything to do with them. Maybe I'm misunderstanding?

*typo corrected

remember: Explore, Report, Cooperate!
I would make it clear that the items on the faction card are like an addendum to your report to the lodge. Players/characters should keep their own notes during the mission and afterward decide which goal they would like credit for completing. Double check with the GM to make sure it's legit, record it as a 'condition gained' on the chronicle and then x the box on the goal card. I view this as similar to how purchases work now with the ITS
--just this schlub's opinion

I think that would work with about 80% of the faction missions, and normally I'm inclined to play that way. It would require a GM be up-front about how he/she wants to handle it, so you know to wait until later (or not to if that's how the GM handles it).

However, I thought these were intended to add some RP spice back into the game. While Season 5-6 tend to run long, Season 0-3 could use some added flavor again. And me making a half-hearted Diplomacy check while filling out Adventure Records relegates the Faction Goals as no more interesting than a silly Day Job. I had hoped they could be integrated into the game in a fun and interesting way that encourages (not takes away from) some good RP.

I sympathize with GMs dealing with players shouting out in the middle of an encounter "I HAZ FACTION GOALZ! CAN IZ FACTION U?", but I have faith that most players can objectively look at their goals and mentally decide if they should interject some 1:1 roleplaying with the GM for a few seconds at a thematically appropriate time.

I know this will be an additional burden on GMs - as (unlike with old faction missions), they don't have the faction objective explicitly called out in the adventure text. So all these random questions "Does this guy count as a hostage/prisoner/slave?" seem to come completely out of left field.

When I played with the Faction Journal Cards in a home game with players I know well, it went really smoothly. I don't have enough data to say good or bad though (everything at this point is going to be anecdotal, and heavily influenced by the "figuring out how it works" factor).

Liberty's Edge

On the Liberty's Edge Card the second task reads:

Quote:
Adventure in two of the following locations: Andoran, Cheliax, Okeno, Numeria, or the River Kingdoms.

There are 2 boxes there..

Does this mean adventure in 2 of these places twice or 1 of these places once and 1 of these places another time?

IE... I go on a Mission to Andoran... do I check a box? Or only if I go on a mission to Andoran and Cheliax (or some other combo of places)

I'm not sure I've seen too many scenarios with that much travel in them... so I'm wondering. The two boxes 'seem' to represent the two places.. but it could also be read the other way.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Blackfoot wrote:
On the Liberty's Edge Card the second task reads:
Quote:
Adventure in two of the following locations: Andoran, Cheliax, Okeno, Numeria, or the River Kingdoms.

There are 2 boxes there..

Does this mean adventure in 2 of these places twice or 1 of these places once and 1 of these places another time?

IE... I go on a Mission to Andoran... do I check a box? Or only if I go on a mission to Andoran and Cheliax (or some other combo of places)

I'm not sure I've seen too many scenarios with that much travel in them... so I'm wondering. The two boxes 'seem' to represent the two places.. but it could also be read the other way.

I'm pretty certain it's one location once and another location once. It seems to me to work like the Grand Lodge objective, only with fewer boxes (and without the ability to check off a second box).

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