Pathfinder Society 2: Replay, Rewards, and Rebuilds

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

There's been a lot to follow, not only with the twice-weekly preview blogs for Pathfinder's second edition, but also in the many discussions about how these might affect Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. If didn't already see it, check out our earlier blog about Pathfinder Society in Second Edition, where I laid out some of our preliminary thoughts and inspirations with the invitation to give us feedback, brainstorm ideas, and help build an even better campaign.

Over the past few weeks, the team's been discussing some of the trickier topics with our venture-officers, and I'd like to share some of the ideas we've been batting around as well as some of the prospective challenges.

Three Competing Interests

The transition to the second edition campaign has to balance three competing interests: old player loyalty, new player accessibility, and ease of implementation.

Established Player Loyalty: People have put a lot of effort into the first edition campaign, from building characters to earning GM stars to seeking out rare race boons. There's a lot of investment, and many have a strong desire to hold onto those investments indefinitely—or at least have them mean something in the new edition.

New Player Accessibility: The announcement of second edition is driving a lot of interest. With an outwardly easier level of entry (one book as opposed to hundreds) and an opportunity to join a new campaign on equal footing, we can attract many new players. The campaign needs to remain accessible to these players and GMs, and that includes not locking a huge number of rewards behind having played in the first edition.

Ease of Implementation: Our team's larger than ever before, and there's a lot of time between now and the second edition's release, but we're not kidding ourselves; there's a lot of work ahead, and a lot of that depends on the playtest and what the final version of the game looks like. We have to consider the ease of implementing each change, including the resources required from the development team, the technological requirements to implement a solution, the burden placed on the venture-officers, and the effort required of the individual players.

For some topics, these three interests see largely eye-to-eye. For others, they're in opposition. Collectively, they all contribute to the health of the campaign and are part of our assessment about how to build the second edition organized play experience. With that, let's look at some of the tougher decisions that lie ahead and what the team's currently thinking.

GM Stars

When Starfinder Society started up, we recognized that five GM stars wouldn't necessarily correspond to proficiency with the Starfinder rules. Certainly GM stars conveyed dedication to organized play as a whole and comfort "behind the screen," yet we needed a separate means of tracking one's Starfinder Society accomplishments. As we look toward the second edition of Pathfinder RPG, we're seeing similar indicators.

That means a few things. First, it means that we're looking to introduce an additional means of tracking GMs' efforts in second edition games. Second, it means that first edition GM stars aren't disappearing; their principle impact is on the first edition campaign, and they remain the celebrated badge of honor for a GM's contributions. Third, we recognize that this may disappoint some folks, and we're looking at ways to balance this by making players' experiences and GMs' ongoing efforts relevant in the new campaign. We've been following the conversation in several places, and we're opening another thread that focuses the discussion—let us know your thoughts in this [https://secure.paizo.com/community/forums">GM Stars thread.

Option 1—New Metric: Everyone retains their GM stars, which correspond to the first edition campaign. For the second edition campaign, we introduce another 0–5 scale metric that's similar to stars/novas. We've tossed around several names for these, including glyphs and sigils, but there's no final decision on this matter. Glyphs/Sigils would have a fairly similar role to GM stars but be specific to the second edition campaign.

Option 2—Subsidized Metric: This functions as Option 1, but the GMs stars reduce the number of games required to earn glyphs/sigils. Two stars reduces the number of games run to earn one's second glyph/sigil by 10. Likewise three stars reduces the number of games run to earn the third and fourth glyphs/sigils by 10 respectively. Finally, a five-star GM reduces the number of games needed to earn the fifth glyph/sigil by 20. It ends up looking like this for a five-star GM.

  1. 1st Glyph/Sigil: 10 games
  2. 2nd Glyph/Sigil: 20 games (10 less than normal)
  3. 3rd Glyph/Sigil: 40 games (20 less than normal)
  4. 4th Glyph/Sigil: 70 games (30 less than normal)
  5. 5th Glyph/Sigil: 100 games (50 less than normal)

Basically, having a bunch of GM stars conveys that you're already an accomplished GM, so attaining a similar rank in the second edition would be easier.

Option 3—New Metric with Reward: This functions as Option 1, but the GM stars provide a carry-over benefit as a thank you for a GM's efforts in the first edition campaign. Assume that the benefit is something interesting and flavorful but not something that grants an overtly significant power boost. This might be a special character background, fancy item, title, or the like.

Option 4—Something Else: We can, of course, explore other options. As noted in the "Three Competing Interests" section, there's a balancing act between old player loyalty and new player accessibility—ensuring that GMs feel they're getting their due without locking too much away from newer players who never had the same opportunity.

Where We Are Now: Our discussions so far have brought up sundry variations on the Subsidized Metric and other models. That's sparked ongoing conversations with our tech colleagues to assess what's possible and with what required resources. We can cook up clever ways to connect GM stars and the glyphs/sigils, but ultimately we need to ensure that our solutions work for our co-workers. In the meantime, we're continuing to debate the merits of each approach, and we're interested in your feedback.

Character Rebuilds

As we stated in the Pathfinder Playtest FAQ, we are not converting first edition characters into second edition characters. This may be the toughest decision we've had to make. There are a bunch of participants (like many of us, no doubt) who have tons of character folders and Chronicle sheets, and that also translates to some characters who won't reach especially high character levels.

Fresh Start: The news of a second edition is causing a lot of buzz, including in groups that haven't tried Pathfinder before because of the large perceived buy-in. Avoiding character conversions means everyone starts at (or very near—see the playtest credit section) the same level, and that means that newer participants aren't perceptibly "punished" for having joined now rather than years ago.

Conversion Options: For practical purposes, the second edition Core Rulebook will have a limited number of pages, and that means that there's space for only a fraction of the classes and races present in the entire corpus of first edition books. While the Core Rulebook will contain lots of cool options, it won't present contain the full breadth necessary to adapt a player's ganzi bloodrager or merfolk kineticist. For some of those class + ancestry combinations, those options might not even be available in the first year or two. On top of that, there are plenty of character builds reliant on combos that might function differently in second edition. Even with the characters who would convert into the new edition fairly cleanly, there's a lot of messiness involved in making these changes.

Publishing Schedule: The odds are good that Pathfinder Society's second edition release will look a lot like that for Starfinder Society's first year, albeit with at least two scenarios per month. Namely, we're hoping to provide a bunch of low-level scenarios right out of the gate and gradually expand into higher and higher tiers over time. Allowing character conversion would leave us with numerous characters ranging from levels 1–20. We'd either have nothing for the higher level PCs to play for a long while, or we'd be releasing content that's exclusively for first edition conversion characters (and that assumes that everyone converted characters that fall in the same tier).

First Edition Boons

There are a lot of convention boons out there, and the common perception's that there's not enough time left to use them all—much less provide much incentive for earning more of them. There are a few approaches we've considered, and from that have spun at least a dozen sub-variations.

Option 1—No Transfer: In this model, first edition boons would apply only to first edition. Use them now while there's still a good opportunity. From the perspective of new player accessibility and ease of implementation, this option's very good. The "clean break" nature of it makes it tougher for established players.

Option 2—Boon Currency: In Season 4 there was a convention boon called Xenophobia that allowed someone to irrevocably sacrifice race boons to it in order to gain favored enemy benefits. We might be able to use this model to let players use First Edition boons—perhaps only those of certain types—gain some kind of long-term reward based on the number of boons used (for the sake of discussion, let's say 10 boons maximum). This would allow someone who doesn't want to use her remaining boons in First Edition to still enjoy some payoff in Second Edition. That's certainly nice for an established player, particularly for someone who made it to lots of conventions. It's not great for newer players, and it requires a modest amount of design work.

Option 2 Variant—Expanded Boon Currency: This is really more of a variation on the Boon Currency mechanism, not a new way to make use of first edition boons. Specifically, the Expanded Boon Currency model takes everything above and allows someone to trade in specific second edition boons to qualify for whatever rewards we would present for this system. This variant could also be applied to any of the other Boon Currency options that follow.

Option 3—Rotating Boon Trade-In: This model resembles the Boon Currency option. However, instead of being able to use a pile of boons to purchase a variety of benefits, the first year or two would have a few rotating second edition boons that one could secure by expending any one first edition boon of a similar style—most likely exchanging any race boon for an ancestry boon. This would let us keep any boon conversion limited but interesting. It seems to strike a respectable intersection between established players, newer folks, and staff resources—particularly if boons available in this way were eventually released through other channels that didn't require this exchange.

Option 4—Boons for Benefits: This model also riffs on the Boon Currency option. However, instead of opening access to options that only established players can access, this allows players to expend boons in order to secure temporary/instantaneous benefits that could benefit any number of characters at the table. Conceptually, compare it to the Retail Incentive Program, where rewards focus more on giving everyone a little boost or averting a catastrophic stroke of bad luck. The venture-captain who pitched this variant referenced the benefits of breath of life at the cost of a first edition race boon, calling it "Life for a Life." This is a pretty charming approach because it allows players to carry over some benefits to the new edition, but it does so in a way that nobody's really holding exclusive options over newer participants.

Legacy Boons: During Seasons 9 and 10, we're including some legacy boons on Chronicle sheets. Each of these presents some combination of a fun carry-over benefit and/or a lasting narrative repercussion for having done something important. You've already seen one in a Season 9 scenario, and we expect more in the coming months as appropriate.

When I presented this remark about the legacy boons to our venture-officers, I received a few remarks that the one legacy boon so far seems underwhelming. I can see where that comment's coming from; that particular boon is more a feel-good acknowledgement of selfless action than it is an awe-inspiring boost in personal power. I would keep one key thing in mind: the final Second Edition rules don't exist yet, and they won't exist until after our community's been able to playtest the system. While we're able to design some boons based on the current rules, we're cautious about laying out boons that could prove incompatible or disproportionately powerful, diminished, or even invalidated based on the Core Rulebook's final text. That means that the more rule-oriented components of legacy boons would need to appear in a supplemental document in the final days leading up to Second Edition's launch at Gen Con 2019.

Where We Are Now: As I mentioned above, folks have pitched a lot of variations on these ideas, each of which aims to balance our goals in different ways. Each one—including the No Transfer option—has merits for the short-term and long-term health of the campaign. This topic really brings another dynamic to the fore: cosmetic rewards (e.g. titles and fancy wayfinders) vs. mechanical rewards (anything granting a notable edge, such as free gear, bonus gold, or stat boosts). Just as we're examining the means by which to address first edition boons, so too are we looking to what rewards feel the most worthwhile and the impact of not having access to those rewards—either ever or at a later opportunity—as would be the case for a newer participant. Let us know at our First Edition Boons thread.

Replay in First Edition

We've seen several threads regarding replay in the first edition campaign. This seems to stem from two different attitudes.

"There won't be enough new scenarios to finish my favorite characters' stories."

"Paizo has taken the stance that unfettered replay damages campaigns. Once Paizo moves to Second Edition, they will have already ended the first edition campaign. There's nothing to lose."

Even once Second Edition launches, we're not interested in opening up unlimited replay. However, we are interested in providing folks a chance to explore a favorite character's story to its fullest. There are a few ways forward.

Option 1—No Further Replay: There are already some replay options out there, and everyone would be able to fill out a new Expanded Narrative boon (i.e. "recharge the GM stars' replay" boon) each year. However, there wouldn't be any additional allowances for replaying beyond what already exist.

Option 2—Favored Character: This model allows each participant to select one Pathfinder Society PC to ignore all replay restrictions. That could mean playing a new PC all the way from 1st level to 20th, or you could make an 8th-level PC your favored character in order to play through all of the Tier 7–11 and higher adventures. Whatever the case, everyone would be able to fulfill that limitless story with another PC.

Option 3—Heightened GM Star Recharge: In this model, the Expanded Narrative opportunity continues but has some capacity for more recharging than normal. That might mean someone could instantly begin a new Expanded Narrative Chronicle sheet the moment she fills out the first one, not waiting for a new season. It might instead mean that there's a limit of one sheet per season, but the sheet grants more than one replay for each GM star. There are likely other variations on this approach.

Option 4—Unlimited Replay: As noted above, we're unlikely to institute unlimited replay in First Edition, even after the new campaign launches. If that's something you'd want to see anyway, go ahead an say so, but please also convey what you'd want to see were unlimited replay not selected.

Where We Are Now: We're still in internal discussions about the right way forward for replay, balancing the health of communities, the desire to wrap up a few select characters' stories, and ways to transition toward the second edition. We're interested in hearing your take on what replay considerations would be best for the organized play campaigns and community at our First Edition Replay thread.

Earning Playtest Credit

We intend to incentivize playtesting, much as we have incentivized playtesting new character classes in the past. The especially tricky consideration in this endeavor is that we won't have a finalized Chronicle sheet format, wealth-per-level expectation, or any number of other key variables until after the playtesting has concluded. As a result, you won't see a Chronicle sheet for each playtest scenario, as it would be full of IOUs. What's more, the playtest scenarios and the printed playtest adventure Doomsday Dawn cover a wide range of levels, which would be strange to array in any meaningful way—much like assigning a new character a Tier 16–18 Chronicle sheet.

Instead we're looking at more of a "prize table" model. Much as one could redeem tickets at a pubic arcade for prizes, players and GMs alike would earn points for special options in the second edition. Each quest played or run would earn 1 point, and each time someone plays or runs either a Doomsday Dawn chapter or one of the scenarios, they'd earn 4 points. Prizes might include a special background, a special wayfinder, the ability to start the campaign with a single character at 2nd, or the ability to start with a single character at 3rd level. The catch? A player can only select each prize once.

This comes with a few considerations. First, this does strain the Ease of Implementation goal somewhat, as it represents another thing the organized play team would need to design. Second, there is the possibility of giving everyone who earns a handful of points (let's say up to 10 points) an additional one-time point boost equal to (or double) their number of GM stars as a modest way of rewarding GMs in the past campaign.

Where We Are Now: So far, this approach has been going over well. There are still many details to work out, but the system is equipped to advertise our playtesting incentives in a clear way, finalize the exact mechanics for the rewards once we have the final game rules in hand, and let people playtest as much or as little as they like and still have options for what they earn.

John Compton
Organized Play Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Playtest Pathfinder Society
101 to 129 of 129 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
1/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Exclusionary: You can't play 'x' because you can't GM at conventions whether it be due to logistics, lack of support, etc.

Inclusive: The following are the things that everyone has access to, regardless of convention/FLGS/online status...

Have I GM'd solely to pick up a Race Boon? Yes.

Have I GM'd solely to help out the local PFS area? Yes.

But I *had the option*, the *opportunity*, and *the resources* to do so.

Those are not givens, especially the way the current third-hand view of convention support appears to run.

I could be mistaken, things may not have required getting support packets after some conventions, or not having them issued at all because conventions weren't 'big enough to matter'. I'm only a player that GMs to help out, because I burnt out *horribly* in two organizations from lack of support from those organizations. Coordinating all of this sort of thing is no picnic, and mad props to keeping the trains running.

2/5 5/5 **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

You can't apply those terms to the system of Pathfinder Society or Starfinder Society, though.

I am 0.1% magnesium. That doesn't mean that I have a melting point of 1202 degrees F.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

3 people marked this as a favorite.

No offense but that smells an awful lot like everyone gets a trophy just for participating. While that make some people feel good, it also creates a lack of incentive to excel and by excel I mean contribute extra time (i.e. GM). I would certain prefer a world were we don't need incentives for people to GM, but I'm told time and time again that is not reality. So, unless/until we come up with an alternative reward for GMing that has the same value as access to restricted race boon, I have to continue to promote it as the best available solution. All knowing that there are some people due to geography or other personal limitations who will not have an opportunity to earn them. I am sorry about that, but I will always decide in favor of the majority on cases like this as that maximizes our efforts and our limited reward opportunities.

1/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Arguably, it's a 'trophy' for anyone that has already 'paid' to 'win' once already because the purchase of the source material to use said hypothetical Ancestries would be the pre-existing 'gate' for it, rather than requiring someone to pay 'twice' for the same privilege.

What alternatives could be brought forth that would be 'worthwhile to GM for' that are not Ancestry Boons and avoid this?

I brought out a few ideas earlier, but didn't hear a lot back on them.

I'll try to think of more when I'm at work tomorrow.

Scarab Sages 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Anytime you come up with an idea, first ask, "would I give up playing something I really, really want to play, to GM because of what I'd get?" And assume you don't usually altruistically GM. If you even for a second hesitate, just assume it's not good enough.

Race boons are something tangible. They allow you new mechanics to play with. New stories to play with. The represent a bit of pride for earning this cool new toy that you can show off to others. That last is probably, unfortunately, the most important.

So, if the new ideas don't represent a new mechanic that can represent a new thing for new stories that nobody (or few) else have so you can show off, it's likely not good enough. Small bonuses, rerolls, titles, etc, don't really check enough of the boxes. Rebuilds are too circumstance specific, because not everyone could use one.

So what would make someone who normally wouldn't GM say, "I want to GM for that!"

So far, rare races is about it without making some boon that's overpowered.

2/5 5/5 **

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
I brought out a few ideas earlier, but didn't hear a lot back on them.

Here's the secret: it doesn't matter what you reward the GM volunteers with. Some portion of the player population will argue that it is unfair and that they don't have the same access to those rewards, be it a +1 to a knowledge check, a race boon, or a +10 stat boost. So, on the issue of "solving" that problem, there is no solution.

Race boons are, at least, valuable enough to lure GM volunteers and power neutral (i.e. they don't give GMs an advantage in play over other players).

2/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Two bits of data that I'd love to know and which I assume could be extracted from the organized play database

I'd be curious to know what % of PFS sessions are at conventions and what % take place in non-convention settings.

For individual players what's the mean % of convention PFS sessions out of total PFS sessions, and what's the standard deviation. In other words, how important is convention play at the individual level and do most PFS players have similar amounts of convention play or is there a broad range where a number of players have a lot of convention sessions and another set of players have very few.

This would give us an empirical base for looking at how, when, why, and to whom GM boons should be awarded.

4/5 5/5

Why would you change the method for GM boon awarding based on those metrics?

If it should be based on info from the Paizo database I think that the following metrics are more important:
A: % of players in a year that have their first reported game at a convention
B: as A, but with number of games played per year since starting and dollars spend
C: as A, but with number of games GMed per year since starting and dollars spends

To name just a few things

2/5

Gerard van Konijnenburg wrote:

Why would you change the method for GM boon awarding based on those metrics?

If it should be based on info from the Paizo database I think that the following metrics are more important:
A: % of players in a year that have their first reported game at a convention
B: as A, but with number of games played per year since starting and dollars spend
C: as A, but with number of games GMed per year since starting and dollars spends

To name just a few things

A couple of thoughts/responses:

1) I'm not proposing these as metrics for awarding boons. I'm saying they would be useful data in order to discuss the metrics used for awarding boons.

2) I think A would be a useful piece of data, as recruitment is important. However, retention is also important. One could ask, what's the mean number of PFS sessions per year for those whose first game was at a con as opposed to those folks whose first game was in a non-con setting.

3) I think B and C would be very difficult, if not impossible, to calculate for two reasons:

a) Dollars spent per individual is getting in to sensitive proprietary data territory, and Paizo might not want to release such info.

b) Players and GMs may purchase a lot of Paizo products indirectly through physical and online game store, rather than directly through Paizo. Thus there would probably be a lot of sales that would impossible to link to individuals.

I would just like to have this conversation be based more on data and less on individual experience and speculation

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

Between unreported sessions (yes, there are people who simply don’t report), human error in reporting, and technical errors in reporting (we recently suffered through 6+ months of a damaged database) I don’t know that we can rely on the integrity of the reporting system at this time. Based on high level observations I can say with some confidence that non-convention play is significantly higher than con play. What the precise number are, I don’t think anyone could say. Also, many new players either don’t register their characters right away or fail to use the confirmation code on the card we issue and wind up with a different number which skews the data. Most decisions like this have to largely be based on feedback from players taken from various forums (here, Facebook, etc) and first hand knowledge gained from attending a lot of events, something Tonya, John, Linda, Thursty, the RVC, and some VC do and help Paizo staff decide on the parameters for the campaign.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Between unreported sessions (yes, there are people who simply don’t report), human error in reporting, and technical errors in reporting (we recently suffered through 6+ months of a damaged database) I don’t know that we can rely on the integrity of the reporting system at this time. Based on high level observations I can say with some confidence that non-convention play is significantly higher than con play. What the precise number are, I don’t think anyone could say. Also, many new players either don’t register their characters right away or fail to use the confirmation code on the card we issue and wind up with a different number which skews the data. Most decisions like this have to largely be based on feedback from players taken from various forums (here, Facebook, etc) and first hand knowledge gained from attending a lot of events, something Tonya, John, Linda, Thursty, the RVC, and some VC do and help Paizo staff decide on the parameters for the campaign.

Agreed. The metrics, unfortunately, that are useful for determining what is good for the campaign, are largely anecdotal.

From my experience in being on the leadership team in the Twin Cities for 5 years, Conventions supply more new players than game day play. And we ran enough tables in a week to equal a 30 table convention on a good week. So while our two largest conventions are topping 100 to 110 tables now, we hit that many tables in a month of regular play.

That being said, we don't run 110 table conventions without enough GMs willing to show up and GM 110 tables. And while many in the Twin Cities are willing to GM 2 or 3 tables over the course of a 5 to 7 slot convention just to be helpful, I am positive that at least a few pick up enough tables to qualify for a race boon, because they want the race boon.

I'm not sure any other type of boon would be as powerful in recruiting convention GMs without making that boon able to make more powerful characters just because it adds power.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Out here, we've got a few other incentives for GM's. At our 3 big local cons, GMing 3 games gets you a free badge. The big one though is that we have 2" diameter metal coins cast each year based on the season logo, and give those to anyone who runs 5 games.

2/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, based on anecdotal data (which seems to be the best available), cons are more important for recruitment and non-con play is more important for retention. Is this a reasonable conclusion?

How about my second question - to what degree is con involvement distributed equally through the PFS membership? Which of the following scenarios seems to be more accurate?

1) With a hypothetical PFS of 1,000 members and 3,000 con play/GM slots per year, does each member play/GM at a con 3 times per year (the case with con experience is equally distributed).

2) With the same hypothetical 1,000 members and 3,000 con slots, do

a) 333 of members play/GM a total of 2,000 con slots per year with each such player having 6 con experiences per year,

b) 334 of the remaining players play/GM the remaining 1,000 con slots and thus have 3 con experiences per year,

c) Finally, the last group of 333 players doesn't go to any cons and thus obviously has 0 con experiences per year (this second case is clearly the scenario where con playing/GMing is not equally distributed throughout the PFS community).

Is there any sense whether scenario 1 or scenario 2 is a better description of the current state of affairs? Based on my own limited experience, I would say that scenario 2 is more likely.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Minnesota

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh conventions are certainly not evenly distributed. That’s part of the reason that there is so much excitement when people learn that the online region offers cons... A very large percentage of my online folks can’t get to any other conventions.

To have Conventions, you need:

  • Population density of gamers (almost said dense population of gamers)
  • Large venues
  • Marketing
  • Organizers
  • Excitement that brings people out.

Most locations cannot get the population density or venues to support a lot of cons.

But conventions can be great. They bring in new players, and they can bring a community together to do something awesome. Skalcon raises money for charity, but all kinds of conventions do neat things.

The same convention locally brought in me, Bret, Rosc, Kyle and Stephen. We played. We liked it. We followed PFS to various gaming stores, and then we turned into GMs. Kyle and Stephen dragged two friends in, and they became GMs too. Three of us are now VOs who organize PFS.

I think that daily GMing is important. I GM in my store and in my region regularly without rewards. But con GMing is important too, and I would not be here in PFS without it.

Hmm

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

I think pjrogers is making some interesting observations: conventions and regular local play are both important, but we're having this discussion without much real data to go on. It's rather speculative.I

I also think Tallow has a strong point: whatever incentive you give people who GM at conventions has to be really good. So good that you can use it to convince people to try it for the first time, and to do it again next time. Is it even possible to invent such a reward that other people won't be jealous of?

Finally there's a particular turn of thought I'm seeing in the "but I made a catfolk" - in any home campaign, the GM isn't going to allow everything either, and a player coming to the table with a character without any consultation is going to run up against that.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not a huge race boon person, but I can appreciate the reasons for keeping certain races rare, and also a certain level of I paid for the book I want to be able to use it (I find Starfinder has been way too stingy in opening access to the races). I did like that they introduced a race in a scenario that does not exist in any source book. If the GM race boons were handled that way it would certainly feel very special and not invalidate any part of a book you paid for.

2/5 5/5 **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Davor Firetusk wrote:
If the GM race boons were handled that way it would certainly feel very special and not invalidate any part of a book you paid for.

I wish that was a solution, but it would only lead to the inevitable outcry, "Why do only GMs get to play that cool race?"

Also, in SF, they've done a good job so far at making classes and feats race-neutral. You might need 4+ arms to take a certain feat, but there are at least 3 races with 4+ arms and there may easily be more in the future, so it's better than requiring the race Kasatha for the feat.

PF2, however, seems to be baking ancestry feats into the system, so either the OPC would need to develop entire feat lines for their unique PFS2 GM ancestries. They are more likely to co-opt the published ancestries as they're released like they did with races in PFS1.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5

I agree that there would still be an outcry, but it address a part of the issue and maybe makes it easier to keep things away from the current situation where there is a dozen or 2 special races that are all partially locked away. I'd like to see a lot less total in PFS, and experience more of the Cantina feel in SFS.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd prefer to see the 'reasonably common/uncommon' races that are not CORE readily accessible, and the 'outliers' accessible via Reward.

ie, Tengu, Kitsune*shudder*, Geniekin, etc = 'ok' with limitations on the number players may have and Assimar/Teethling tier characters available only via some sort of GM Reward.

Either that, or write the flavor around the races EXPLAINING why they aren't available like they used to be. ...that sounds like it would be a lot more work, imo.

4/5

GM Stars - I know I personally have put a lot of work GMing for 1st Ed. I would like to see something to transition to 2nd, the subsidizing sounds half alright.

Boons - I am ok with a complete fresh start here, but the idea for trade for benefits seems nice too.

Replay - There is quite literally, absolutely no reason that you should not allow unlimited replay. With the definition of a limited library of scenarios to choose from in a dead campaign, why not allow people to play through them how they see fit? Also, I would open up all races and classes to 1st edition society. Again, with a dead campaign, there is no reason to keep policing it, you are creating more work for yourselves and the GM's.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

4 people marked this as a favorite.
CheeseStalker wrote:
Replay - There is quite literally, absolutely no reason that you should not allow unlimited replay.

No. It is not "quite literally." There are a number of reasons not to allow unlimited replay and most/all of them have been expressed dozens of times over the years as well as in this thread. No one should be telling anyone else their OPINION is wrong. Some people like the idea of unlimited replay, many people don't. The fact of the matter those opinions are valid from the perspective of the individual. We need to stop acting like one side is "right" and the other "wrong." The only thing "wrong" about this conversation is the insistence that this is anything other than a difference of perspective.

1/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think the 'singular' replay (if things have not already been replayed via other means) might be one of the better compromises out there, but the reporting system would probably need to be a bit more robust to be able to handle it?

However, not firmly camped on it, the idea of allowing GMs to give a 'replay' (via 'stars method')to players is another option for GMs that like to GM, I guess?

Definitely do not want factory-style exclusionary boon-farming unlimited replay.

Silver Crusade ** Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hello and I realize I am joining this a bit late. I've Played RPGs for 35 years and one of the things that drew me to Pathfinder was the 3.5 rules set up and Organized Play. I have never seen such a net worked game.

The ability for my best best friend I and to take our post and play characters to Gen Con, and have them accepted at any table was massively impressive. After one year of Pathfinder, I was hooked.

That said, I am the casual gamer, I cannot play like I used to in high school, college, deployed and before kids.

I would caution against a total clean slate and total restart with 2nd Edition. While I am optimistic that many of changes will be great for mechanics and spirit of the game, a lot of hard work, time and investment went into where our group of 35-45 something "old dudes" is at. I am not sure I, or the core group I hang out with and play want to start over completely.

While I recognize that some business decisions have to be made, I encourage the leadership at Paizo to conduct a survey of registers registered Pathfinder society players to get the wildest possible feelings, ideas and opinions on this subject.

TSR did not do this with 2nd Edition D&D to my knowledge, or with 4th Edition which in my humble opinion turned a lot of folks off. I thought 2nd and 4th sucked and I wont bother to look at 5th while there is Pathfinder.

If the larger player base does not feel that they at least had a chance to voice or vent their concerns, 2nd Edition might be slow going at first.

Replay I do not see the harm in replaying. Sure, you might have a few spoilers, but its still fun and the dice always get a vote too!

Rewards and Rebuilds I recognize that not everything will translate, but recommend a conversion system be developed and actually put in the final approved 2nd Edition core rule books. Boons could be tough. Cosmetic ones like different races and minor things should be pretty easy. Things that give significant player advantages, perhaps not. I do think that rebuilds should be allowed. If I have a 8th Level Magus or Fighter, I should have the option to rebuild that character under the new rules. I really don't care about equipment and gear, give me a bag of gold and my prestige points and let do what I can to replace, etc.

I don't have all the answers, but I hope my recommendations are at least considered.

Grand Lodge 2/5 *

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't hate race boons, but I do want them to be more flexible. And I don't mean just "each has multiple race options".

I have race boons sitting in my binder just slightly younger than some of the players at my tables. Of those, 3/4 of the races on them are currently legal without a boon at all.

Why do I still have those boons? Mostly because I didn't want to start a new character. There are only so many scenarios available to be played, therefore only so many characters I can advance. I want(ed) to focus on the character I was playing at the time, not start a new one, so the race boon sat in my binder until it was forgotten about.

Xenophobia was a step in the right direction, but you had to earn it separately from the race boon in question. And to be honest, how often do those exotic races appear?

I would like to see all race boons contain multiple options.

Option 1: The ability to start a new character with a special race. The option should be either several uncommon races, or one exotic.

Option 2: A more 'powerful' ability, but one limited to the races in question in Option 1. (IE: Favored enemy bonus against the races in Option 1.)

Option 3: A 'minor' ability themed based on the races in Option 1, but not dependent on scenario writers using the race more frequently. (IE: The races in Option 1 are the elemental races. The bonus here is minor once-a-day elemental resistance versus one element.)

Options 2 and 3 should be attachable to preexisting characters, or to new characters who aren't going to start as one of the races in Option 1.

Dark Archive 2/5

Boons: I like the idea of boon currency or for trade ins. I know quite a few people with xenophile/xenophobe boons that would love to cash those in for a random 2E store support boon. p.s. I am in love with the Extra Hours boon.

GM Stars: I think a rework of the system would be great

I think we keep GM stars but make them global to all Paizo products.
keep novas novas. Then create individual system Glyph or Rune with a reduced number for 2E and 1E. Stars where intended as a way of showing experience and dedication at running games for/with Paizo.

Character conversion: 100% agree with start fresh with a few "legacy boons" or boon trade ins from pfs1.

Replays: I could totally see either going to unlimited or jumping the number to 1 free replay. Functionally keeping track of the 1,2,3,4 extra replay rule might get cumbersome so just go unlimited and let people play their favorite scenario arcs/adventure paths as much as they want. (Though you may have to put a limit on legacy boon replays or boons that apply to other characters if you are no longer limited by stars) example lets say in season 10 on an adventure you go find some druids and they promise to reincarnate you and it lets you play from a list of special races in 2E. someone plays it 5 times and gets 5 cool race boons for 2E. Just a thought.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5 * Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth

Has any new information about the actual effects of the Legacy boons that people earned been released? 2E is out, but haven't seen any new information, so left wondering what they actually do.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Australia—QLD—Brisbane

You can see all of the details of the PFS2 playtest boons on your Organized Play area, on the Boons tab.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Jacksonville

Michael Clarke wrote:
You can see all of the details of the PFS2 playtest boons on your Organized Play area, on the Boons tab.

Not ALL the details. The excavation boon doesn’t show everything. Which is why my 2001 pc has seen 0play and I REALLY want to try him out but some booms have a short life span in terms of play/level. I love LOVE my solar cannon boon for my mechanic but I’m creeping up on a level where it simply isn’t going to be useful anymore. I figure one or two levels more

4/5 ****

Boon Text

Good news is Ramlock's tower scales with your level.

101 to 129 of 129 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society Playtest / Paizo Blog: Pathfinder Society 2: Replay, Rewards, and Rebuilds All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Society Playtest