That Cantina Feel

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ever since Alien Archive was announced, the organized play team has received a veritable flood of questions concerning the legality of this new book. As was recently revealed, Alien Archive contains 22 new playable races for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. So today, I want to take some time to discuss our current and future plans for getting these amazing new alien races into the Starfinder Society.

First off, I want everyone to know that the "cantina feel" is important to the Starfinder Society campaign. We want players to have access to a wide array of fun and unique species to create characters with. We want those characters to explore the similarly diverse universe that is Starfinder. Along with that, we also want to balance the experience for those dedicated people behind the GM screen. Most people are still getting acquainted with the Starfinder rules, so introducing 22 playable races right away can be another layer of complexity for some. So, to start, we will be introducing several of the new playable races in a way that shouldn't overwhelm GMs, while still promoting some of our core goals for the campaign.

Method 1: Regional Convention Support

Conventions are a major source of pride for many communities, and we've repeatedly heard from event organizers and venture-officers that access to race boons is a big draw for many people attending conventions. We'll be providing several Alien Archive races via conventions, but with some additional tweaks to make a wider array of races more accessible to people across the world.

First, over the coming weeks, we'll be creating a group of four informal "mega regions" that group together existing organized play regions; these are just ways for us to organize this distribution, not a new administrative unit with assigned leaders. Conventions in each of these larger regions will receive a GM reward Chronicle sheet that provides access to a choice of two different Alien Archive races, similar to how existing convention support works for the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild but with more options. Because these mega regions will have different available races, it should also provide some additional incentive to travel to different areas in search of new race boons.

If you're concerned about missing a desired race boon because it might be in a different region, fear not! We're aiming to regularly rotate which races are available—roughly every quarter—so that players can still have a chance to collect these boons locally, without having to travel outside their region. For example, Races A and B might start in Region 1, and Races C and D might start in Region 2. After about three months, they might swap so that Region 1 GMs would have access to Races C and D.

Method 2: Player Focused Boon

For those of you who are not able to attend conventions, we recognize that there needs to be other means of accessing playable races. The first method, available today, has its roots in the Regional Support Program GM incentive. Rather than focusing on GMing, this new Chronicle sheet is entirely based on games played. In the same vein as the Regional Support Program, this is a multi-tiered boon that will begin by allowing players access to a ryphorian or wrikreechee after playing in six unique scenarios with any combination of characters. For those holding onto the Chronicle sheet a bit longer, the barathu race becomes available after playing 12 unique scenarios.

There are some key things to note about this boon. First, it is entirely based on games played, so GMing does not count towards completion; we have the Regional Support Program and convention rewards for GMs. Second, while the boon itself requires that you "...play an adventure for which you have not previously received credit on this boon..." it does provide greater progress for playing sanctioned Adventure Path material. Along the same lines, once you apply a boon from this Chronicle sheet to a character, the Chronicle sheet is considered used, but you can immediately start filling in a new copy of this Chronicle sheet. While standard replay rules apply, you can fill in a few of the lines by partaking in repeatable content—so while you can't fill these Chronicle sheets out by continually replaying Starfinder Society Scenario: #1-01: The Commencement, you can still get a few extra lines filled from those repeatable adventures when you start filling in a new Chronicle sheet.

Finally, you'll note that this boon has a limited period of validity. This is intentional, as we hope to swap out the races on this boon to make more available to the general player base. Given this shortened period, it seems appropriate to issue an immediate ruling: previously played Starfinder Society scenarios are considered valid and can be applied to this Chronicle sheet immediately, so long as they follow the required rules listed in the Chronicle sheet. For some of you, this might mean you've already completed the Tier 2 requirements and now have access to the associated races—enjoy!

Download the Alien Archive Player Boon — 533kb zip/PDF

Method 3: You Decide the Future

Finally, I want to open up a discussion in the comments below about future methods of distributing playable races to our players. We're already hard at work planning out scenarios that could allow access to new races, as well as other potential events where we can release Chronicle sheets opening up further options. But, despite our best-laid plans here on the organized play team, I would like to get some feedback on how our players would like to see playable races added into the campaign. As we're really just finishing our "First Steps" (bad pun, sorry) feedback is important, and now is a great time to see what you, the players and GMs, think about how we can proceed.

Until next time!

Thurston Hillman
Starfinder Society Developer

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Tags: Alien Archive Organized Play Starfinder Starfinder Society
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Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
Tolar Maedhar wrote:
I am curious if Online is considered a region? And if not, why not? If I run a game on Roll20, why do I not have a chance to get regional boons?

We've not finalized the "mega regions" or how Online factors into this. Part of the problem we've experienced with Online in the past, is that if we put Online together with another region, it reduces the incentive for other regions put together, as someone could just run a game from their home instead of putting in the effort and resources of going to a convention.

I'll be speaking with the team about this, but we don't have anything to announce yet.

That being said, the Player Boon is entirely open to Online play!

Player Boons

Thursty, thank you for opening the Player Boon to Online Play. Do you folks have any recommended best practices or software for gettiing player boons initialed in online play? I am looking into a number of software options, trying to figure out if there are some quality free options that could make the back-and-forth transfer of these boon sheets for initialing easier for us.

I found this Lifehacker article on Document Signing, and will be experimenting with some of them, but I would love any advice and guidance you guys have to offer to us!

Online as a Region

I know that for the moment Online is not considered a true region. (While I strongly believe that the Online community has come of age, that is a discussion for another thread.)

Still, if you include us in this rotation, please make us our own Pseudo-Region. Don’t bundle us with ANYONE else. You’re right, we would cause complications for other regions if we are bundled. Keep us our own weird thing. We cross every national boundary, and have play in languages other than English now. Although we have many players who play exclusively online, many others are hybrids like me.

“No, I’m from Iowa Minnesota. I just work in Outer Space Online.”

One More Thing

Thursty wrote:
someone could just run a game from their home instead of putting in the effort and resources of going to a convention.

I understand what you’re trying to say here. In person conventions need support as they can be an amazing outreach program for enticing new players to Organized Play, and in person conventions have many tangible costs like Convention Fees, Travel Time, Hotels & Meals Away from Home.

In comparison, Online seems much cheaper and easier, since you can GM in your pajamas and in your own cozy den. But it is also not negigible to GM Online. VTT is very complicated to set up. You need special equipment and programs. Creating the maps, lighting, macros etc to run on Roll 20 can easily take many hours of prep time for a single game on top of any other prep that you might do for the scenario and the plot. As for my beloved Play-by-Post, it can be a very challenging and different medium to run as a GM. You’re devoting yourself not just for a few hours, but for weeks. During that time, you have to provide constant updates to keep the players engaged and the story moving. It is a surprising amount of work for what is an outwardly simple-seeming medium.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that there is no “just run a game” about being an online GM. We have costs too. They’re just different ones.

Hmm
Venture Lieutenant of Online Play
Play-by-Post

Starfinder Society Developer

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Shaudius wrote:

Is it possible to get some clarification on this piece, "Once you apply either of the boons present on this Chronicle sheet to a character, you gain no further benefits from this Chronicle sheet, but you can

begin filling out a new copy of this Chronicle sheet"

Does this preclude having two or more of these boons active simultaneously so that we could apply multiple plays of the repeatables while working toward multiple boon races without losing the plays(or applying retroactively as the ruling above allows.)

You cannot have more than one of this Chronicle "active" (collecting credit) at the same time. Once you apply either of the boons (Tier 2 or Tier 1), the Chronicle becomes inert and you cannot apply the other boon.

Starfinder Society Developer

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Morning coffee and time to address some concerns...

Why not make everything/most races available without a boon?
There's several reasons we decided not to go route. Many of these came from discussions with community members, venture-officers, reading the forums, and a variety of other communications. As mentioned in the blog post, one of our major concerns was with "GM overload" in the face of 22 new playable races. While mechanically, these new races might not pose too much of an issue, there's the question of how these races get played at the table. Releasing them now, without ample time for us to at least explore some of these races through additional Starfinder products, as well as within the Organized Play campaign, seemed like a rash proposition.

All that being said, Starfinder Society is still in its infancy. We'll be taking in feedback, and much as how Pathfinder Society opened additional "core races" in later seasons, I suspect Starfinder will do the same. In fact, I suspect the opened race roster to be far more significant than Pathfinder (note the word "suspect", don't quote this as a promise!)

Wayfinder Alien Boon
I mean, sure, the Wayfinders COULD allow access to one of the Alien Archive races that you've already got playable stats for via the book...

But wouldn't it be WAY cooler if this boon instead eventually allowed access to an entirely new race that had been encountered during the course of the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Season? Wouldn't it be extra cool if that alien race ended up in print in future Starfinder products, along with the Organized Play determined explanations of what happened to that species to bring them into the Starfinder Society?

Come on now. We try to shoot past the moon 'round these parts! :)

**

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Sorry if this is a noobish question, but where can we find information on the regional support program and its associated boons?

Starfinder Society Developer

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I understand what you’re trying to say here. In person conventions need support as they can be an amazing outreach program for enticing new players to Organized Play, and in person conventions have many tangible costs like Convention Fees, Travel Time, Hotels & Meals Away from Home.

In comparison, Online seems much cheaper and easier, since you can GM in your pajamas and in your own cozy den. But it is also not negigible to GM Online. VTT is very complicated to set up. You need special equipment and programs. Creating the maps, lighting, macros etc to run on Roll 20 can easily take many hours of prep time for a single game on top of any other prep that you might do for the scenario and the plot. As for my beloved Play-by-Post, it can be a very challenging and different medium to run as a GM. You’re devoting yourself not just for a few hours, but for weeks. During that time, you have to provide constant updates to keep the players engaged and the story moving. It is a surprising amount of work for what is an outwardly simple-seeming medium.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that there is no “just run a game” about being an online GM. We have costs too. They’re just different ones.

Yeah, I sometimes words bads.

I fully recognize the GMing prep required for online games. I run a Roll20 game every week that we stream on Twitch, where I GM Rise of the Runelords. I've been doing it for over a year now, and I've come to REALLY appreciate the set-up time involved in the process; and can't imagine it with the added concerns of finishing on time / having random players / doing all the Organized Play paperwork. It's certainly a lot of effort.

As someone who remains a huge proponent of online gaming, I'll continue to do my best to offer incentives to online play, while still keeping in mind the importance of physical conventions. Keep watching this space (and others) for potential updates on this!

Scarab Sages *****

Thurston Hillman wrote:


But wouldn't it be WAY cooler if this boon instead eventually allowed access to an entirely new race that had been encountered during the course of the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Season? Wouldn't it be extra cool if that alien race ended up in print in future Starfinder products, along with the Organized Play determined explanations of what happened to that species to bring them into the Starfinder Society?

Come on now. We try to shoot past the moon 'round these parts! :)

Yeah, that would pretty much cover what I mentioned as "What I'd like to see" above.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
as someone could just run a game from their home instead of putting in the effort and resources of going to a convention

Rather than focus on the online play aspect, I want to raise one point on this.

I have a daughter with autism. She loves tabletop RPGs and was really excited to try Starfinder. Her first experience with it was at a convention over Labor Day weekend. She tried twice to play through "Into the Unknown," but in both cases, she had to leave about an hour into the session, because the noise in the room was too much for her to handle. She had a good time at first, but it got to be overwhelming. We even tried headphones to muffle the noise, but found that she simply couldn't continue.

I understand that the convention environment effectively requires multiple tables to be going at the same time in one room. There's not much convention organizers can do about that. The situation is similar in local stores when they hold their game days. I don't fault them for having to deal with the realities of their situation.

Unfortunately, that means that my daughter can't participate in organized play in any way other than via home games. She is therefore excluded from opportunities to earn the majority of boons. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's a shame that she can't get access to things like fun races due to something that she can't do anything about.

I fully admit this is a "special interest" for me. I don't think the affected population is very large, but I don't think I'm alone in this, either.

I know it's challenging, but I would be extremely grateful if any consideration could be given to folks who can't do the big events because of a disability.

* RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Why not just let players buy race boons with Fame?

They could be something akin to vanities. That seems like the simplest way to allow players to earn new races. The Wayfinder boon already works like this. And if there's a concern that players can't do this without a high level character, then maybe have a rule where players can spend Fame from multiple characters to earn a new race?

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
As someone who remains a huge proponent of online gaming, I'll continue to do my best to offer incentives to online play, while still keeping in mind the importance of physical conventions. Keep watching this space (and others) for potential updates on this!

Thank you, Thurston. I've been delighted with the way that the Organized Play team has embraced Online Play, particularly with the Dataphiles boon.

Thank you as always for being awesome and supportive.

Yours
Hmm

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

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I love everything about this...except the fact that GMing sessions doesn't contribute towards it. In some regions, GMs for Starfinder Society are few and far between and the same 1-3 people end up doing it without much of a chance to play themselves, which might make earning these a bit rough on them.

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Mike Bramnik wrote:
I love everything about this...except the fact that GMing sessions doesn't contribute towards it. In some regions, GMs for Starfinder Society are few and far between and the same 1-3 people end up doing it without much of a chance to play themselves, which might make earning these a bit rough on them.

Yep. I am unlikely to ever earn a Ryphorian. I GM far more SFS than I play. But I am getting one credit from playing in your game, Mike! Who knows? Maybe I'll scrape together the other five sometime in the next year!

Hmm

**

i want to play an ewok type character

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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ronkay wrote:
i want to play an ewok type character

Skittermanders may be what you want, Ronkay. Of course, I think just about EVERYONE wants to play Skittermanders!

Hmm


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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
ronkay wrote:
i want to play an ewok type character

Skittermanders may be what you want, Ronkay. Of course, I think just about EVERYONE wants to play Skittermanders!

Hmm

Fact.

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

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I am a bit concerned that this a disincentive to GM. If you GM a home game you get nothing, but players get to tick off a point towards the race. If you GM at a store it takes you 12 games to get your race, but it only takes players 6.

So suggestion: home GMs can be treated like players and tick off a point towards the race , store GMs can elect which boon sheet they put the game against.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
as someone could just run a game from their home instead of putting in the effort and resources of going to a convention

Rather than focus on the online play aspect, I want to raise one point on this.

I have a daughter with autism. She loves tabletop RPGs and was really excited to try Starfinder. Her first experience with it was at a convention over Labor Day weekend. She tried twice to play through "Into the Unknown," but in both cases, she had to leave about an hour into the session, because the noise in the room was too much for her to handle. She had a good time at first, but it got to be overwhelming. We even tried headphones to muffle the noise, but found that she simply couldn't continue.

I understand that the convention environment effectively requires multiple tables to be going at the same time in one room. There's not much convention organizers can do about that. The situation is similar in local stores when they hold their game days. I don't fault them for having to deal with the realities of their situation.

Unfortunately, that means that my daughter can't participate in organized play in any way other than via home games. She is therefore excluded from opportunities to earn the majority of boons. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's a shame that she can't get access to things like fun races due to something that she can't do anything about.

I fully admit this is a "special interest" for me. I don't think the affected population is very large, but I don't think I'm alone in this, either.

I know it's challenging, but I would be extremely grateful if any consideration could be given to folks who can't do the big events because of a disability.

My suggestion in special cases (most particularly where a disability is the cause of the special case) is to reach out to Tonya in email directly with your circumstances and see if there is any kind of dispensation she can grant to help. If she can't, it's not because she doesn't want to, but likely because of setting boundaries on how often she can and where the line is drawn. But it is possible she might be able to send you one of the multiple options available to the general player base for your daughter due to her inability (which is literally out of her control, not just a 'I don't/can't travel that far') to progress any of the other options. Can't hurt to ask anyway. :)

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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I will say that online conventions are still a possibility here. There are several VTT ones, and some excellent VTT GMs.

Hmm

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

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Shaudius wrote:

Is it possible to get some clarification on this piece, "Once you apply either of the boons present on this Chronicle sheet to a character, you gain no further benefits from this Chronicle sheet, but you can

begin filling out a new copy of this Chronicle sheet"

Does this preclude having two or more of these boons active simultaneously so that we could apply multiple plays of the repeatables while working toward multiple boon races without losing the plays(or applying retroactively as the ruling above allows.)

You cannot have more than one of this Chronicle "active" (collecting credit) at the same time. Once you apply either of the boons (Tier 2 or Tier 1), the Chronicle becomes inert and you cannot apply the other boon.

I think it would be helpful if this restriction was put on the boon, or on boon #2 when it comes out.

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

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
ronkay wrote:
i want to play an ewok type character

Skittermanders may be what you want, Ronkay. Of course, I think just about EVERYONE wants to play Skittermanders!

Hmm

Fact.

+1

**

I just wish we could get ther GM RSB so we could encourage more people to GM in my area , there are only like 3 of us GMing Starfinder and 3 of us GMing Pathfinder.

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

Gamerskum wrote:
I just wish we could get ther GM RSB so we could encourage more people to GM in my area , there are only like 3 of us GMing Starfinder and 3 of us GMing Pathfinder.

Contact, your local VL/VC/RVC about the program.

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

Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
as someone could just run a game from their home instead of putting in the effort and resources of going to a convention

Rather than focus on the online play aspect, I want to raise one point on this.

I have a daughter with autism. She loves tabletop RPGs and was really excited to try Starfinder. Her first experience with it was at a convention over Labor Day weekend. She tried twice to play through "Into the Unknown," but in both cases, she had to leave about an hour into the session, because the noise in the room was too much for her to handle. She had a good time at first, but it got to be overwhelming. We even tried headphones to muffle the noise, but found that she simply couldn't continue.

I understand that the convention environment effectively requires multiple tables to be going at the same time in one room. There's not much convention organizers can do about that. The situation is similar in local stores when they hold their game days. I don't fault them for having to deal with the realities of their situation.

Unfortunately, that means that my daughter can't participate in organized play in any way other than via home games. She is therefore excluded from opportunities to earn the majority of boons. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's a shame that she can't get access to things like fun races due to something that she can't do anything about.

I fully admit this is a "special interest" for me. I don't think the affected population is very large, but I don't think I'm alone in this, either.

I know it's challenging, but I would be extremely grateful if any consideration could be given to folks who can't do the big events because of a disability.

Contact your local Venture Officers, it might be possible to plan a table in a side room, I know I can sometimes do this at some locations.

Some regular public locations also just have one table, which might be an option, and as others have mentioned there are always online tables which can sidestep the issue.

Grand Lodge

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So from this, I can infer that:
the time I spend as a GM at monthly games (which is bringing in a ton of new players), plus the cost of things like maps and pawns (which is bringing revenue), plus the 3 to 4 hour prep time for me (which is time out of my life), is worth less reward than someone who shows up and plays?
And I cannot do conventions do to cost and time constraints, so the multiple Starfinder games I have already run are worth less than someone who can put down a ton of money to go to DragonCon or similar conventions?
This boon needs to be equal for players and GMs.
And online has to be given equal footing to physical.

**

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Gamerskum wrote:
I just wish we could get ther GM RSB so we could encourage more people to GM in my area , there are only like 3 of us GMing Starfinder and 3 of us GMing Pathfinder.
Contact, your local VL/VC/RVC about the program.

We were told no.

The Exchange * ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent aka Shaudius

Hacklemonster wrote:

So from this, I can infer that:

the time I spend as a GM at monthly games (which is bringing in a ton of new players), plus the cost of things like maps and pawns (which is bringing revenue), plus the 3 to 4 hour prep time for me (which is time out of my life), is worth less reward than someone who shows up and plays?

There are other benefits to GMing, namely, you get maximum rewards for a character with no risk to said character, you get credit toward GM Novas which allow you to replay an adventure one time per Nova (and probably unlock the ability to run certain scenarios in the future), and this is the big one and also the big if, if the place you GM has the Regional Support Program you get access to a racial boon that is inaccessible to players (this year's is legacy race).

So in the end I wouldn't say that your GMing is worth less reward, its just worth different rewards.

I think at the end of the day not opening this up to GMs makes it so there is an incentive to GM swap so that your GM can get copies of this boon to, and since you can only apply each non-repeatable once, they'll be plenty of time to get your player credits as a GM.

"And I cannot do conventions do to cost and time constraints, so the multiple Starfinder games I have already run are worth less than someone who can put down a ton of money to go to DragonCon or similar conventions? This boon needs to be equal for players and GMs. "

There are online cons which reward the current quarterly boon, there were 3 (FGCon, TPKon, and Pbp Gameday 6) in October and 1 in November (Aethercon).

The Exchange *

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I do wish this didn't exclude GMs, there are several people in my area who run 90% of the games and get to play maybe 5%. They put in most of the time, effort and expense, and they're unlikely to earn these boons. If they refused to run because they wanted to try and earn this then the games might not happen. Or since our area isn't huge if they run one then try to come back to play it it'll be months before they can because filling out a table with with people who haven't played will be an issue. I suspect that's the same for other areas. They may have other boons they can gain, though as has been mentioned they might not actually get to access them, but they're doing the work, they ought to get extra benifits, not need to choose between two sets of them. Particularly when if they decide they really want this one benefit then maybe the game doesn't happen at all.

The Exchange * ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent aka Shaudius

Darkling36 wrote:
If they refused to run because they wanted to try and earn this then the games might not happen... Particularly when if they decide they really want this one benefit then maybe the game doesn't happen at all.

If the only reason games are running is because one person keeps spending their resources to make them run, I think it's only fair that other people step up. Sure, there are some people that physically or mentally cant run games for whatever reason, but the vast majority of people don't do it because they just don't want to. If there's a chance that games won't happen unless they maybe shoulder the burden of running every once in awhile I feel as though the community can only benefit from more people GMing.

I personally would stop running at a place that relied on me solely where no one else was ever willing to run games instead of me on occasion.

Now if your situation as you seem to state is one where there is a group of Gms, I guess I'm not understanding if there's a group of Gms how are there not enough players to run each event multiple times?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Redelia wrote:
I know this is rather against the usual mindset of organized play, but why not make most races available with no boon?

My experience with PFS play (once a year at a convention) is that race boons provide bragging rights and increases ones "geek cred". I see no real point in them personally.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I just want to play a Skittermander. How long will I have to actually wait till it is available? Will it require a boon(I hate the boon system) or will it become an always available race like most races in PFS? I really hope all races, besides core, don't end up where they require a boon to be played.

Silver Crusade *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

I think if you surveyed current VC/VL/VA for input on whether to have race boons in Starfinder, you would probably be talking about a skewed sample. Among those people, you are going to be avoiding people who are so against race boons that they either don't participate or else participate very little. You also are going to be surveying people who see race boons as relatively easy to get, because that is more often their own experience.

I also am not suggesting opening all the races at once, because that could lead to GM burnout. I am suggesting something more like every 3 months making 5 more races legal to everyone without withdrawing any of the previous ones. I also understand that a few races just may not be right for organized play. However, if a race is OK enough to be opened to large numbers of players with a boon, it should be just fine to open it to everyone.

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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I am new enough to Organized Play that I remember squealing with delight when I got my first boon race. I made Nixie, an undine watersinger bard, who is still one of my favorite characters.

I am old enough in Organized Play that I now have a folder full of GM boons, but not enough time to make characters from all of them to play because I GM most of the time.

That’s why Charli Poshkettle had a contest to give away a Legacy Race Boon: because I wanted to give someone else that thrill.

So I guess I can say that I understand both perspectives really clearly still. I know that the Leadership team needs to reserve some boons for giving away as convention rewards because GMing at most cons is far more work and stress than GMing at your home location. So there are going to be some races that will be reserved for those... and you want some of those options to be popular.

It’s a complicated issue.

Hmm

Silver Crusade *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

My reaction when I got my first race boon was almost the exact opposite. I was very grateful to the wonderful person who gave it to me, but at the same time just so angry and frustrated to have to jump through such hoops just to make a character. And I was terrified to play the character because of how irreplacable that character was.


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have to admit, while I understand the reasons for boons existing, I find it kind of absurd that they're required for the legacy races. We're talking about races that are literally in the core rulebook here.

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

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What is wrong with playing the core races for a while?

There is not enough content available at this time to support opening ALL the races to be played.

A measured approach is a good approach.

Silver Crusade *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

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The issue is, we're not talking about 'for a while.' I could understand if it was core races only for a few months. What I am objecting to, and think others are also objecting to, is core races only until we do whatever particular things earn us a boon.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the core races.


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Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes, a "6 months from now we're going to open up legacy races" sort of policy would be way more appealing than "here are some hoops you can jump through to earn a boon", for a variety of reasons.

Also, the legacy races are also canonically pretty common in the setting. IIRC, Halflings are actually more common on Absalom Station than Vesk.

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

Redelia wrote:
The issue is, we're not talking about 'for a while.' I could understand if it was core races only for a few months. What I am objecting to, and think others are also objecting to, is core races only until we do whatever particular things earn us a boon.

I appreciate this but you didn't answer the question.

I was not around when PFS first started. How soon was it that the first non-core races in PFS appeared? Three months after the core rulebook was released?

Because that is what we are talking about here. Starfinder has been out three months.

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

rooneg wrote:

Yes, a "6 months from now we're going to open up legacy races" sort of policy would be way more appealing than "here are some hoops you can jump through to earn a boon", for a variety of reasons.

Also, the legacy races are also canonically pretty common in the setting. IIRC, Halflings are actually more common on Absalom Station than Vesk.

And those are coming. Why can't we just enjoy the core races for a little first? I just don't understand it.

Silver Crusade *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

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To answer your question very specifically, there is nothing wrong with restricting things to the core races only for a few months. What there is something wrong with is requiring boons to access races as they are made available. They have not said that the legacy races are coming just by waiting. They are saying that the legacy races are coming if you have the proper boon.

Scarab Sages *****

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Redelia wrote:
To answer your question very specifically, there is nothing wrong with restricting things to the core races only for a few months. What there is something wrong with is requiring boons to access races as they are made available. They have not said that the legacy races are coming just by waiting. They are saying that the legacy races are coming if you have the proper boon.

Legacy races aren't coming via boon. They are already here via boon. The GM boons for running starfinder scenarios at conventions is the Legacy Race boon.

The organized play team doesn't owe us anything in the way of explanation for future availability. Would it be nice if they would? Sure. But they don't owe it to us at all. Getting all bent out of shape over this feels like an entitlement issue.

Sovereign Court ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I can understand sticking to the Core races for the first season or two. I would be pretty surprised if legacy races weren't opened up for play in Season 2 or 3.

Silver Crusade *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

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The organized play team asked for our input. I gave mine, and have since responded to others responding to my post. I think 'getting bent out of shape' and entitlement are a bit extreme a description of that.

I realize that the legacy races are already available by boon. I had to trade mine away in order to get a flavorful pathfinder race boon. For all I know, I may never get a chance for another one. For me, the choice of a character's race is where much of the character's basic flavor comes from. If there were enough interesting races available, my first ten characters would all be of different races.

Scarab Sages *****

Redelia wrote:

If there were enough interesting races available, my first ten characters would all be of different races.

This probably reflects the way I'd create characters as well.

****

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Why can’t that boon say something like, “The first time you apply a Chronicle from any qualifying adventure, check one of the boxes on this Chronicle.”?

I’m not sure I understand why this reward was designed to be limited to players only.

Due to my GMing, I believe I’m the only one in my little Starfinder group that hasn’t earned those first two races. That isn’t going to change my commitment to GMing Starfinder; however, it does make me wonder why my commitment isn’t being recognized in a comparable manner.

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

GM Eazy-Earl wrote:

I’m not sure I understand why this reward was designed to be limited to players only.

Due to my GMing, I believe I’m the only one in my little Starfinder group that hasn’t earned those first two races. That isn’t going to change my commitment to GMing Starfinder; however, it does make me wonder why my commitment isn’t being recognized in a comparable manner.

I think an assumption being made by the Organized Play leadership is that GMs will have access to race boons because of conventions or Regional Support Program (and yes I know what "assume" can do to me.).

From the posts I see here, that may not be a valid assumption.

And yes, I know it take more effort to get a boon as a GM. I think that is appropriate because GMs already get a reward for the adventure: a chronicle for a character at FULL value.

Starfinder Society Developer

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One thing to keep in mind is that we can only reveal so many incentives at a time. All of these rewards have to be crafted in the few work hours we have that aren't dedicated to the ongoing development of scenarios, outlining new scenarios, planning season arcs, working on additional resources, and a variety of other processes that Organized Play supports.

One request that we've heard a lot from a variety of means (and yes, this includes from folks outside the Venture-Officer corps), is a rewards that is player-focused. This is our first attempt at such a reward and we'll be carefully monitoring the results, as well as listening to feedback from all corners of the Roleplaying Guild.

Alien Archive provided us with an excellent opportunity to test and release this player-focused boon. Similarly, we had requests from before Gen Con, if there would be a Regional Support boon for this campaign. At that time, the only thing that really fit into that incentive boon was legacy races—there was almost nothing else to call upon at that time. We also didn't have much time to base the format on anything beyond the existing PFS version of the reward.

Given that we're only 3 months into the campaign, we've already released a significant amount more of organized play specific supporting content than Pathfinder Society ever saw at launch. We'll be continuing to bring in more supporting options, including other avenues of allowing race boons and unique rules options, as the campaign continues to grow and our time allows. So, just because we've announced this as one or two additional avenues to unlock certain races, doesn't mean it is our only options. If anything, we're just opening up access points as quickly as we can, without disrupting the regular release schedule of the campaign.

Scarab Sages *****

If bandwidth is an issue for creating all the methods and boon chronicle sheets for releasing new races to the wild, why not do away with that entire mechanic for awhile? Sure, hold back 10 or 11 (50%?) of the new races from Alien Archives and release them in this fashion in about 6 or 8 months.

But for now, why not a limited release schedule of 2 or 3 new races every 2 or 3 months. They simply just get released. This should create a situation where the GMs don't immediately get overwhelmed by all these new choices.

I think one of the biggest complaints I've had from PFS (and looks to not change in SFS) is the coyness used with upcoming changes. Releases are looked at like something that must be sprung as a surprise (treated as a big reveal.) I think I'd appreciate and enjoy it more if there were a release schedule released for the upcoming 6 months (of course it can be added to as things change or new material becomes available--obviously you don't want to spoil new product that hasn't been released yet by Paizo.)

I think the idea of using boons and play/GM time is antiquated and doesn't really fit this particular campaign or the intent to create a cantina feel.

**

Is my region the only one that was told no you can't have the regional support boons for gm's? The talk on here seem to pretty much say most places have them.

The Exchange * ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent aka Shaudius

Tallow wrote:


I think the idea of using boons and play/GM time is antiquated and doesn't really fit this particular campaign or the intent to create a cantina feel.

I'm not sure how not, some races are more common than others, if anyone could play any of X races at any time you'd end up with tables of nothing but for the popular things, I would like to refer to this as the Skittermander problem. I personally think my personal enjoyment would be hurt if I sat down at a table and everyone was playing a skittermander because cute or whatever. I personally, don't have a problem with skittermanders but I think you'd run into that.

It also doesn't feel special, if anyone can play anything, and nothing is locked behind a hoop, then nothing feels earned or special. This isn't restricted just to races but any unique thing they try to do through event/chronicle.

Beyond that, I think the player boon to unlock races is very fair. You are rewarded for playing (and GMs have their own rewards for GMing), everyone who plays X amount regardless of location can unlock Y or Z race (their choice.) Maybe those races will be open later for everyone but for now, its an earned choice.

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