Announcing the Regional Support Program!

Tuesday, February 13, 2017

Happy Monday! Reading over social media posts, it looks like Pathfinder Society events last weekend went wonderfully and those that attended them had a great time! OwlCon in Houston, Texas, saw a return of the Skeleton Moon, run by designer and honorary PFS Team member Stephen Radney-McFarland. No deaths, but some difficult combat and a few sticky situations. From all accounts, LodgeCon was successful as well and many people enjoyed playing PFS in Illinois this weekend.

Last spring, we rolled out a Game Day initiative for the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. Our intention was to respond to player requests for boons outside of conventions, for those that could not afford time or money to attend a show. From the outset, the program had issues. From it's unfortunate name, which was already being used to refer to a one day function where Pathfinder Society was played, to the convoluted system of goals and rewards, the Game Day initiative caused more headaches than it solved.

We went back to the drawing board and discussed the issue quite a bit. As a result, we changed the name to Regional Support Program (RSP), which better describes the program, and overhauled the requirements. What emerged is sleek and simple, aimed at maximizing the programs reach while keeping administration to a minimum.

This time the Regional Venture-Coordinators will oversee the program. Any location running public games may apply for RSP event status, provided they have a venture-officer associated with the location. The venture-officer may be any rank, from agent to regional coordinator. Once the RVC receives the information necessary to log the event, such as location, organizer, dates, and number of sessions, the RVC will update the log form and will send the package of boons and cards out to the organizer. The overseeing venture-officer will advertise the event as a RSP event, so that players and GMs know if events are participating or not.

As a RSP event, the overseeing venture-officer receives a package of player boons to distribute to the players, as well as a GM boon. Each venue determines their method of player boon distribution and provides that information to players. The basic criterion is that a player has a 10% chance per game played of earning a boon. For the GMs, they have a tiered boon three levels of rewards. If a GM runs 6 games at qualifying events, they earn Reward A. If they GM 12 games at qualifying locations, they earn Reward B. If they GM 24 games at qualifying events over the course of the year, they earn Reward C.

The portability of the program becomes an asset. GMs count games run at any advertised RSP event towards their total, but may only earn one check box per game ran. Our graphic designer, Emily, made a fantastic tracking card that the GM may slip into their wallet and carry with them. Thus they are always ready to chart their progress and work towards their chronicle.

The full policy is posted on the Pathfinder Society policies page. Any questions should be directed to your local venture-officer. If you would like to have the RSP program in your area but do not have a local venture-officer, consider joining the ranks of volunteers. To do this, contact your Regional Venture-Coordinator (you can find a listing of regions and their respective RVCs here).

I'm off for San Ramon on Thursday, to visit the lovely Bay Area Pathfinder Society Lodge and attend DunDra Con. While there, my plans include running a few games, playing a few games, and hanging out with fantastic people. If you're in the area and don't have anything planned, consider coming out and joining in on some games. Information for the con is on their website.

With February being a short month, scenario release is almost upon us. Join us next week for John's sneak peek at February's scenarios!

Until then—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Coordinator

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Tags: Community Pathfinder Society
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Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maybe the confusion is because the earlier iteration of the program (the one that was shouted down) stated that it was meant to promote weaker venues that need a bit of a leg up.

The current program doesn't talk about that AFAIK, but I get the feeling the idea is still buzzing around in a few peoples' heads.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

The updated DM reward chronicle with the punch card built into it* says
Only games GMed between 1 February 2017 and 31 January 2018 are valid , does that make it retroactive to February? (which would be really handy for the 24 game mark becoming a possibility: miss one week of a bi monthly game night and you're off scheduel)

* of course, i just had the other cards made up on cardstock

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Manitoba—Brandon aka kevin_video

BigNorseWolf wrote:

The updated DM reward chronicle with the punch card built into it* says

Only games GMed between 1 February 2017 and 31 January 2018 are valid , does that make it retroactive to February? (which would be really handy for the 24 game mark becoming a possibility: miss one week of a bi monthly game night and you're off scheduel)

* of course, i just had the other cards made up on cardstock

That's what we did. Except ours started Feb 13th for this block. It was good to get retroactively all the games we did. That said, we're still waiting on clarification for Emerald Spire and Thornkeep.

*****

Our RVC informed us that we were not to retroactively credit games run before we received the final boons.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My understanding is that the program is valid from 1 Feb to 23 Jan, but the individual games only count after the program has been approved for those locations. A general versus specific thing. If I am mistaken, I will happily allow my GMs to take credit for their February games.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

The programme was only announced in 13 Feb (14 Feb in my timezone) so rewarding sessions from before that is pushing it…

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

I would certainly frown on anyone trying to take credit retroactively for games played before a location was approved as an RSP-eligible site!

***** ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Francis wrote:


I would certainly frown on anyone trying to take credit retroactively for games played before a location was approved as an RSP-eligible site!

Fine, but i'm blaming you next january when i'm camped out in an igloo in albany trying to get those last 2 games in. :)

***** ⦵⦵⦵

Fine, but when i'm shoveling an iggloo to sleep in in albany next year to get those last 2 games in, i'm blaming you! :)

***

What do you recommend if your local venture officers don't sign up for it? I ask them every time I see them and they keep saying they'll get around to it?

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

Scott Howland wrote:
What do you recommend if your local venture officers don't sign up for it? I ask them every time I see them and they keep saying they'll get around to it?

The same as you would do with any other problem with VOs - work up the chain.

If it's a VA who is holding thing up, raise the issue with your VL. If the VL is the problem, take it to your VC. If that doesn't work, talk to your RVC. Finally, if all else fails, you could appeal to Tonya.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fine, but when i'm shoveling an iggloo to sleep in in albany next year to get those last 2 games in, i'm blaming you! :)

Well, there's your problem - you're wasting time shoveling when you could be GMing!

***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fine, but when i'm shoveling an iggloo to sleep in in albany next year to get those last 2 games in, i'm blaming you! :)

Alaska lodge says no excuses, especially involving igloos!

***** ⦵⦵⦵

Scott Howland wrote:
What do you recommend if your local venture officers don't sign up for it? I ask them every time I see them and they keep saying they'll get around to it?

Bribery

***** ⦵⦵

2 people marked this as a favorite.

As VC I mad sure all the local sites got their paperwork in nice and quickly so I could make one submission to the RVC. A couple of VA's were going to be a bit delayed, so I did the docs for them to get it done.

Doing things onesie-twosie just chews up time and is a real pain in the backside - the form takes like five minutes tops.... git-r-done :p

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Scott Howland wrote:
What do you recommend if your local venture officers don't sign up for it? I ask them every time I see them and they keep saying they'll get around to it?
Bribery

Diplomacy is for civilized people; roll Intimidate.

Grand Lodge **

Was there ever an update to this regarding online games?

*****

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Was there ever an update to this regarding online games?

I asked Tonya if there was a plan to roll this out for online games at the Paizocon UK dinner and was told no.

Grand Lodge **

Ah, that's unfortunate but understandable.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

pfschat.com has a convention every few months, there's aethercon, etc. Getting boons that way is WAY easier than weekly store Dming. (i say that as someone who's gotten 2 race boons that way but is still plunking away on the subway card for the shapeshifter boon)

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Ohio—Dayton aka The Usual Suspect

I have had one of my players ask if there will be a Starfinder equivalent to the Regional Support Program soon.

Liberty's Edge *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

I was told by a VO in my area that there will be and that they (the VOs) where working on getting it implemented.

Sovereign Court

“The venue determines player boon distribution”... This doesn’t necessarily mean all the players have a fair chance at boons. What’s to keep VOs from distributing the player boon package amongst his friends and inner circle?

Scarab Sages *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thunder Badger wrote:
“The venue determines player boon distribution”... This doesn’t necessarily mean all the players have a fair chance at boons. What’s to keep VOs from distributing the player boon package amongst his friends and inner circle?

If they are being irresponsible or nepotistic like that, then you complain up the chain of command. If its a VA, then you complain to the VL in charge of that area. If its a VL, then you complain to the VC. If its a VC, then you complain to the RVC.

And if you get no love, you kick your complaint up the next level (the OPC would be the end of the line if you want to complain about an RVC.)

VO's should be making sure they are being fair with distribution, and if they are not, then send it up the chain. My experience is that if a VO is being dishonest or unfair, it gets handled pretty quickly.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

Thunder Badger wrote:
“The venue determines player boon distribution”... This doesn’t necessarily mean all the players have a fair chance at boons. What’s to keep VOs from distributing the player boon package amongst his friends and inner circle?

That quote is wrong.

Actual quote wrote:
Each venue determines their method of player boon distribution and provides that information to players.

So the method can be:

roll a d20, 19 or 20 gets a boon
or
Every player gets a token every time they play. 10 tokens equals 1 boon.

The boons are digitally distributed to the VOs, so they can be printed equal to the demand. So somebody else getting a boon doesn't affect your chances of getting one.

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

The problem, of course, is that in a local area there are several venues, and the reward distribution method needs to be the same at all of them. If one game store rolls dice and awards boons on a 19 or 20, while another hands out a token, there is a problem.

In our area we award boons by rolling dice at the table at all the stores. But even that doesn't mean we couldn't run into problems - a lot of our players and GMs don't only play at our stores - they also play at stores on the other side of the bay, which are in a different locale (same region, but a different VC).

***** ⦵⦵⦵

John Francis wrote:


The problem, of course, is that in a local area there are several venues, and the reward distribution method needs to be the same at all of them. If one game store rolls dice and awards boons on a 19 or 20, while another hands out a token, there is a problem.

.. because...? I mean if there's any hobby where you can expect people to gain an understanding of statistics in a real hurry..

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

Because, amongst other things, we see complaints from players who want to be absolutely sure of getting a boon after 10 games, so they want to collect 10 tokens. Ten chances to roll for a boon, with a 10% chance each time they roll, doesn't guarantee them a boon - there's about a one in three chance that they'll come away empty-handed. Equally, some players can have collected a couple of tokens, but expect them to be redeemable at a venue that doesn't use tokens.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

If they're going to both regularly won't they eventually hit 10 tokens and then have had their randoms too?

you've also got a problem that a lot of games are going to share players and you're going to put the border somewhere.

***** ⦵⦵

If they go to both they will get a hold of a boon soon enough - either by hitting 10 or scoring one in a roll, so I don't see it as a huge problem.

Are people really getting that hung up on the boons?

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Magabeus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some people will complain whatever system you choose. You just can't please all the people all of the time.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

John Francis wrote:
the reward distribution method needs to be the same at all of them

I disagree. The exact nature of the distribution method is left up to the regions, and in mine, up to the store organizers. As long as the players in attendance have a 10% chance, they comply whether or not the method is the identical to the one across town. Tonya trusts the RVCs to manage this process, and I trust my local VOs to know their communities better than I do. Until/unless they violate the trust we have placed in them, I see no reason to mandate how this works. Will the method please everyone, every time? Of course not, and it never will. We will address complaints as they come in and verify compliance, but that's as far as it goes, IMO.

That is not to say, YOU have to do the same thing. The great thing about this program is that if you find the inconsistency in your area is problematic, then your community leaders can discuss the issue and come to a compromise. Simple, and it should work for everyone...assuming you can reach said compromise.

John Francis wrote:
Because, amongst other things, we see complaints from players who want to be absolutely sure of getting a boon after 10 games

Except that's not exactly how "chance" works. Having a 1 in 10 chance does not equate to a guarantee after 10 tries. Don't set that expectation and it shouldn't be an issue. And if players are making that assumption, correct them. As long as no one is "cheating" and issuing rewards outside the established process, its fair for everyone. Luck of the draw is still luck.

John Francis wrote:
some players can have collected a couple of tokens, but expect them to be redeemable at a venue that doesn't use tokens

IMO that is not a system problem, its a communication issue. The store organizers just need to do a better job of informing the players how the program works and that it will vary from location to location. Its really no different than any other variations like some venues require pre-registration for their events, some don't. Some venues only advertise five seats for a table leaving the 6th open for a walk-in, some don't. Some are scheduling PFS & SFS to run at the same time, some are keeping them separate. Some allow digital dice rollers, some don't.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Thunder Badger wrote:
“The venue determines player boon distribution”... This doesn’t necessarily mean all the players have a fair chance at boons. What’s to keep VOs from distributing the player boon package amongst his friends and inner circle?

It does if they are following the guidelines that all participants have a 10% chance to win one. If the venue is issuing boons to friends, inner circle, or any other method that does not comply with the 10% model, I would recommend you report it to the RVC who is responsible for the management of this program.

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Southwest

3 people marked this as a favorite.
John Francis wrote:
... some stuff ...
Bob Jonquet wrote:
... some more stuff ...

The great thing about this program is that the people who are the most knowledgeable about their local gaming communities have the flexibility (within the bounds of the program) to implement a boon distribution mechanic that works best for their specific community (as long as the chance of winning a boon stays 'in bounds').

Gaming is not the same everywhere. Every community has a regional flavor as well as its own idiosyncrasies. This is what makes playing with new people in new areas such a refreshing thing as you never know how things will evolve as you experience the story together.


I wish wet could get involved in this locally. Our store is new to society play, and we've been told we won't be able to get a local venture officer in time to have any chance at the current sheet.

Liberty's Edge *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
does the wet dog shake and tranq darts fall out

My blood-soaked werewolf in a TORG game actually did that. The rest of the party members were less than amused.

The judge laughed hysterically.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, South Carolina—Columbia aka Hawk1223

What happens if we have a GM that has already gotten the 24 table boons, and is almost at 36?

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Magabeus

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hawk1223 wrote:
What happens if we have a GM that has already gotten the 24 table boons, and is almost at 36?

You make sure he or she knows that you are grateful for having such a wonderful person in your community.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Magabeus wrote:
Hawk1223 wrote:
What happens if we have a GM that has already gotten the 24 table boons, and is almost at 36?
You make sure he or she knows that you are grateful for having such a wonderful person in your community.

Buy them their favorite snack.

Scarab Sages ****

What is the cutoff for the current boon sheet? I’ve run a handful of games at a location that qualifies, but never got my card. I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth asking the VO to do the paperwork, or just wait until it cycles over to start a new card. I’d maybe have 3 or 4 games in the current period, so a long way still from hitting the first mark.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tineke Bolleman wrote:
Magabeus wrote:
Hawk1223 wrote:
What happens if we have a GM that has already gotten the 24 table boons, and is almost at 36?
You make sure he or she knows that you are grateful for having such a wonderful person in your community.
Buy them their favorite snack.

Thank them publicly and offer to schedule games for them play and enjoy... also snacks^^

Sovereign Court **** ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

Ferious Thune wrote:
What is the cutoff for the current boon sheet? I’ve run a handful of games at a location that qualifies, but never got my card. I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth asking the VO to do the paperwork, or just wait until it cycles over to start a new card. I’d maybe have 3 or 4 games in the current period, so a long way still from hitting the first mark.

Seconded.

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—NSW—Sydney aka sanwah68

My sheet says 31 January. Currently I will be one game off. Boo hiss....

Scarab Sages ****

And you need 12 games ? Yeah, I won’t get there. I’ll just wait for the next one.

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

Ferious Thune wrote:
And you need 12 games ? Yeah, I won’t get there. I’ll just wait for the next one.

For the Skinwalker. The first boon on the sheet that you earn is just six.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Alaska—Anchorage aka 1bent1

Any word on the Next Regional GM Incentive race?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Current theory is aasimar and tiefling. ^_^

Shadow Lodge *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

SOON(tm)

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Fairfax aka Karhaz

TOZ wrote:
SOON(tm)

is there an updated form to submit to the RVC?

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Manitoba—Brandon aka kevin_video

Karhaz wrote:
TOZ wrote:
SOON(tm)
is there an updated form to submit to the RVC?

I don't think so. I just used this one with my VO to renew for 2018 and it was fine.

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