Organized Play at PaizoCon 2018!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Convention planning involves lots of juggling, starting with what scenarios to offer. As an organizer, you want to schedule games players can participate in. The need for schedule juggling amplifies when we look at the Paizo-sponsored conventions—PaizoCon, Origins, and Gen Con. For those, we need several spotlight events, new scenarios, and a balance of the current season's offerings. At one of the organized team meetings a few months back, we decorated a white board with products releasing by August 2018 and started shuffling things around.

One of our top considerations is what the season meta-plot looks like and making sure we have coherent story paths. For Year of the Serpent, we included all the meta-plot scenarios at both PaizoCon and Gen Con. For Year of the Stolen Storm, we tried to make sure we had a variety of elemental scenarios together so that con attendees could see each of the elemental planes. This year, for Year of the Faction, there wasn't an overarching meta-plot outside of the factions helping the Pathfinder Society, and there weren't multi-scenario arcs in the vein of #8-18: Champion's Chalice Part 1 and #8-21: Champion's Chalice Part 2. So we looked at each factions' story arc and tried scheduling them together.

For PaizoCon, we offered the newest scenarios, including previews of #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade and #9-21: In the Grandmaster's Name. I'm especially excited to see the reaction to the latter, as Grandmaster Torch's name elicits such varied responses from our playerbase. Plus, the premier of the third installment of our modular special on Sunday night! 50 tables running the same event—#8-99C: The Solstice Scar—Version C! Come see what has befallen Medda and crew in the past year!

Speaking of premiers—join GMs John Compton, Linda Zayas-Palmer, Lyz Liddell, Leo Glass, and Chris Sims as they preview the first of the Pathfinder Society Playtest Adventures—#1 Rose Street Revenge. These are lottery events using pregenerated 1st level characters. Look for them in the catalog when it goes live. A small teaser from the soon to be product page:

Less than a year has passed since the Fiendflesh Siege, in which Absalom fended off an invading coalition of demonflesh constructs and the living dead. The siege lord offered freedom to any slave in Absalom willing to aid in the city's defense, and since that grand manumission, the city's slave trade has practically disappeared. The Pathfinder Society is one of many organizations that opened its doors to Absalom's newest citizens. However, several of the ex-slaves have been turning up dead, in other cases disappearing entirely. The Society doesn't often investigate serial killings, but one of its newest recruits is the latest victim. It's time for a band of Pathfinders to follow the clues, uncover these crimes, and end this threat.

On the Starfinder side, we have most of the recent catalog and previews of #1-14: Star Sugar Heartlove!!! and Save the Renkrodas. Who doesn't love some Strawberry Machine Cake?

To help you schedule your convention to the fullest, here is the full list of offerings for PaizoCon:

SystemScenario #Title
PFS#6-10The Wounded Wisp
PFS#7-10The Consortium Compact
PFS#8-16House of Harmonious Wisdom
PFSPSAPathfinder Society Academy
PFS#9-09Beyond the Halflight Path
PFS#9-14Down the Verdant Path
PFS#9-15Bloodcove Blockade
PFS#9-16Fallen Family, Broken Name
PFS#9-17Oath of the Overwatched
PFS#9-18Scourge of the Farheavens
PFS#9-19Clash in Kaimuko Wood
PFS#9-20Fury of the Final Blade
PFS#9-21In the Grandmaster's Name
PFS#8-99CThe Solstice Scar, Version C
SFSSFQInto the Unknown
SFS#1-01The Commencement
SFS#1-09Live Exploration Extreme!
SFS#1-10The Half-Alive Streets
SFS#1-11In Pursuit of the Scoured Past
SFS#1-12Ashes of Discovery
SFS#1-13On the Trail of History
SFS#1-14Star Sugar Heartlove!!!

Besides scenarios running in the ballroom, there are many other special events featuring the organized play crew. There are panels on Starfinder Society, Pathfinder Society (with bonus Pathfinder Society Playtest information) and Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. In addition, the 10,000 Lakes Gaming Crew (those Minnesota people!) have sponsored an afternoon's worth of games. If you wish to add a game to the schedule, follow this link for more information.

Interested but haven't gotten your tickets? Here's a handy link to the main PaizoCon 2018 page for all your ticketing and informational needs.

Volunteer Opportunities

GMs should have received their PaizoCon schedules last week. There are a few GMs that are "waitlisted" pending schedule acceptance. We had more volunteers than scheduled games. This is mixed result, as I hate to turn volunteers away, but I'm pleased we won't have empty tables.

Gen Con is a different matter. We still need volunteers! While we filled the demo team and XX, there is still room to run Pathfinder Society Playtest Adventures, Starfinder Society fare, or Pathfinder Society Year of Factions' Favor and the soon to be announced next season! Volunteers receive benefits based on how many blocks they contribute. Rewards include 4-day badges, ¼ hotel rooms in the downtown Westin, credit to paizo.com, a copy of a Paizo print product (choices include Pathfinder Playtest Standard Hardcover Edition, Pathfinder RPG Planar Adventures, Starfinder RPG Armory, or a bundle of 3Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Add-On Decks. Interested? Check here for more information and to complete a volunteer questionnaire.

So I thought there would be room to cover Origins' offerings as well as PaizoCon, but looking at the length I think this blog is long enough. I'll save the Origins' information for another blog.

Tune in next week when we preview April's Starfinder Society and Pathfinder Society scenarios.

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge


Organized Play Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Organized Play Paizo PaizoCon Pathfinder Society Starfinder Society
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Liberty's Edge

I have to plan on making the trip to the Great Northwest sometime in the near future..

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Huzzah!

Grand Lodge

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

Woot! Thanks Tonya. Schedule received and reply sent. Thanks for all of your hard work.

Liberty's Edge

So when can we start signing up? I see that its towards the end of the month and i just wanted to confirm.


Starfinder Superscriber

Wait, it says previews of [...] Save the Renkrodas, but SFS #1-15 isn't actually on the list of scenarios.

Contributor

Is event submission still open? Following the link says that it is closed.

Grand Lodge

Kate Baker wrote:
Is event submission still open? Following the link says that it is closed.

We're you planning on something Kate?

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kate Baker wrote:
I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.

Please, please do. I have been trying to play every Starfinder scenario in order and before I GM them. So far, playing Sanctuary of Drowned Delight has eluded me. First, I was the only player who showed to the table at a local convention. Then, every offering at local venues has conflicted with commitments to work or other games. And now I see it won't be a part of PaizoCon's planned offerings.

Dark Archive

I've been waiting to buy tickets as I did fill out the volunteer form to GM. I haven't heard anything back so I assume that I am not needed this year and should go ahead and buy tickets?

Grand Lodge

Kate Baker wrote:
I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.

That sounds awesome.


Starfinder Superscriber
Kate Baker wrote:
I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.

That would be fantastic! I was disappointed #1-08 wasn't on the list.

Wait, could #1-08 be played with a Morlamaw PC?


I’ve never been to PaizoCon before. I always imagined a much broader offering of scenarios. Is this a pretty typical offering or are there slots missing anticipating a lot of play testing of 2E?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Fairly typical for PFS. The ballroom is nowhere near as big as the Sagamore, so they can’t offer as much per slot and they also have to compete with all of the lottery events for players.

The Exchange

pogie wrote:
I’ve never been to PaizoCon before. I always imagined a much broader offering of scenarios. Is this a pretty typical offering or are there slots missing anticipating a lot of play testing of 2E?

I do believe the number of unique Pathfinder Society scenarios offered is less than the last couple of years. (Which disappoints me personally as 7-11 scenarios are rather difficult to schedule locally and I was hoping to get in a few more at PaizoCon.)

However the difference is made up with all the Starfinder Society scenarios being offered this year.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Super Special Bonus Content!

I'll be running a completely new and unique Tier 3–6 scenario at PaizoCon that will (for now at least) only be run at some select conventions this summer. It's something I've been working on that will also provide a unique Chronicle sheet for completing it!

After all, I needed something to compete with all the PF2 playtest / retired scenario fun that my co-workers get to play with! :D

Grand Lodge

Thirsty why do you do this to me. Ahhhh

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gary Pepper wrote:
Thirsty why do you do this to me. Ahhhh

Because I care?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kate Baker wrote:
I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.

Please do!

I am one of the lucky people who got into the PbP game of this you offered as part of Outpost I and have greatly enjoyed it. I expect a lot of other people would like a chance to do that as well!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Gary Pepper wrote:
Thirsty why do you do this to me. Ahhhh
Because I care?

Ok. That's an acceptable answer :) I would love the opportunity sit at a table you're running.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just hope it's not during one of the four slots I'm obligated for. Three as GM, one as 'trying to get into Hall of Drunken Heroes with my Scarab Sage Caydenite barbarian'...


Starfinder Superscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:

Super Special Bonus Content!

I'll be running a completely new and unique Tier 3–6 scenario at PaizoCon that will (for now at least) only be run at some select conventions this summer. It's something I've been working on that will also provide a unique Chronicle sheet for completing it!

Ok I was kinda bummed at not getting a GM email and seeing a published list of SFS games with only 3 I haven't played yet, thinking my first PaizoCon would be pretty boring, but now I'm psyched - when is the lottery opening? :-)

Liberty's Edge

Arc Riley wrote:
Kate Baker wrote:
I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.

That would be fantastic! I was disappointed #1-08 wasn't on the list.

Wait, could #1-08 be played with a Morlamaw PC?

If you had GMed it and assigned it to a character that meets the requirements, sure!

But I think it would be highly unlikely that it will happen any time soon.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kate Baker wrote:
I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.

Last year they contacted scenario authors by e-mail to ask if we wanted to run our scenarios as special events, even though the event submission window was closed. I'm not sure what the timeline is for that this year, or if they're handling it the same way. Last year's e-mail was in early April.

I'm thinking of running at least a few pickup games or events if my volunteer services aren't needed. And of course I'll be playing your scenario, Kate!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber
Gary Bush wrote:
But I think it would be highly unlikely that it will happen any time soon.

That's exactly it; I GM'd it a few days after it released, applied the chronicle sheet to my -701 Wayfinder who reached reputation tier 3, and now have a -706 Morlamaw Solarian who'll reach level 3 by PaizoCon.

I fell in love with Morlamaws after running #1-08. I've even been working on a model of my Morlamaw PC in Blender, plan to send it to Shapeways to 3d print a mini before PaizoCon.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Mike Kimmel wrote:
Last year they contacted scenario authors by e-mail to ask if we wanted to run our scenarios as special events, even though the event submission window was closed.

Correcting myself: the event submission window was *almost* closed at that point.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Thurston Hillman wrote:

Super Special Bonus Content!

I'll be running a completely new and unique Tier 3–6 scenario at PaizoCon that will (for now at least) only be run at some select conventions this summer. It's something I've been working on that will also provide a unique Chronicle sheet for completing it!

After all, I needed something to compete with all the PF2 playtest / retired scenario fun that my co-workers get to play with! :D

I want to go to there. This will be at the top of my list for the lottery!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Indeed.

Even if I have to pregen to get my stable of 1-2s the credit.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kate Baker wrote:
I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.

While I am unsure I will have a level 3 character, I would burn a replay for this!

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Silbeg wrote:
Kate Baker wrote:
I was thinking about submitting an author slot of Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. I can always run it as a pickup game if it's too late to have it official.
While I am unsure I will have a level 3 character, I would burn a replay for this!

I GM'd this within a week of it coming out, and am finally going to play it Saturday with Kate GMing. I am super excited!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The offerings for PFS are down this year as we have half the usual space taken up with a thing called Starfinder Society.

The chart got cut off at 1-15, Save the Renkrodas. It is on the schedule, though, so there will be tables every block for it.

Paizo Employee Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:

Super Special Bonus Content!

I'll be running a completely new and unique Tier 3–6 scenario at PaizoCon that will (for now at least) only be run at some select conventions this summer. It's something I've been working on that will also provide a unique Chronicle sheet for completing it!

After all, I needed something to compete with all the PF2 playtest / retired scenario fun that my co-workers get to play with! :D

I'm also running a pair of adventures not listed above, Bid for Alabastrine and Reaping What We Sow, special editions using the Pathfinder Playtest rules. These will officially count as participating in playtest adventures, similarly to Rose Street Revenge.

Contributor

Oh dang, and those are two of my favorite scenarios!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've played in both of those, I've run both of those, I'm weird locally in that I jumped on running both of those. All in PF1, of course!

It would be interesting to see what it works like in PF2.


Tonya Woldridge wrote:
The offerings for PFS are down this year as we have half the usual space taken up with a thing called Starfinder Society.

Hopefully that half actually gets used - PaizoCon can be pretty different crowd to normal. About half the tables at last year's special could have been 10-11's if there'd been enough GMs for it.

On the plus side, we've actually been staying mostly current on this season's PFS here, so most of the other potential offerings we've already run.


Starfinder Superscriber
Majuba wrote:

Hopefully that half actually gets used - PaizoCon can be pretty different crowd to normal. About half the tables at last year's special could have been 10-11's if there'd been enough GMs for it.

On the plus side, we've actually been staying mostly current on this season's PFS here, so most of the other potential offerings we've already run.

Unfortunately, I think you might be right.

In our local group (Portland, OR) many of the SFS players/GMs don't really like Pathfinder (more than a few also play 5e Adventure League). Despite PaizoCon being so close to us (3 hour drive), I've heard SFS players say they're not planning to go because they've already played most of the SFS scenarios being offered.

As of this Wednesday we'll only have 15 playable scenarios (including Quests and #1-00 special) and 3 sanctioned APs to cover 35 weeks of games. Without something big and new to play, like the upcoming #1-99 midseason finale, PaizoCon just doesn't have much to offer SFS players.

I'd love to see PFS players react to the lineup by making a Starfinder PC to play a few of the 9 SFS scenarios rather than complain about the shortage of PFS material being offered.

But I suspect instead there'll be a surplus of SFS GMs who've played most of the offerings already, not enough SFS players who haven't already played the scenarios to reach minimum table sizes, and hear refraining complaints from PFS players about how much space was "wasted" on Starfinder games.

I would love to be wrong.


Arc Riley wrote:
I'd love to see PFS players react to the lineup by making a Starfinder PC to play a few of the 9 SFS scenarios rather than complain about the shortage of PFS material being offered.

A solid suggestion, much similar to ones issued to those who have complained about the predominance of PFS games over staff/custom games offered. Applicable to anyone interested in Starfinder.

Arc Riley wrote:
But I suspect instead there'll be a surplus of SFS GMs ... not enough SFS players..., and ...complaints about how much space was "wasted"...

That would match the first year that CORE was offered, though it was exacerbated by too many high-tier scenarios just months after the campaign was announced. Starfinder is significantly more popular though, so we'll see. Contingencies would be good.

To compare with your experience, my local store here in Seattle had one SFS gameday go off, and I think there is one, or maybe two, gamedays trying to dedicate to it.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Contingencies.
That’s a good idea. I know with my late volunteering, I didn’t get anything. However, i could still prep something PFS that I could run on short notice.

I will probably do just that, but am expecting to play most slots at this time. And at least half of that will be SFS!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gedden wrote:
I've been waiting to buy tickets as I did fill out the volunteer form to GM. I haven't heard anything back so I assume that I am not needed this year and should go ahead and buy tickets?

My recommendation would be to email the organizing team email for an update, just to be sure. Sometimes emails get gobbled up by the spam monster


Majuba wrote:
Arc Riley wrote:
I'd love to see PFS players react to the lineup by making a Starfinder PC to play a few of the 9 SFS scenarios rather than complain about the shortage of PFS material being offered.

A solid suggestion, much similar to ones issued to those who have complained about the predominance of PFS games over staff/custom games offered. Applicable to anyone interested in Starfinder.

Arc Riley wrote:
But I suspect instead there'll be a surplus of SFS GMs ... not enough SFS players..., and ...complaints about how much space was "wasted"...

That would match the first year that CORE was offered, though it was exacerbated by too many high-tier scenarios just months after the campaign was announced. Starfinder is significantly more popular though, so we'll see. Contingencies would be good.

To compare with your experience, my local store here in Seattle had one SFS gameday go off, and I think there is one, or maybe two, gamedays trying to dedicate to it.

Friendly sidetrack here

I find it interesting that so many people in the seattle area keep saying things like Starfinder does not go off. I have been to one SFS event and a couple of game days right after launch and cant seem to find anyone willing to run since. I hear some stores are running but when I check they are only running PFS and the local website has been less than helpful with finding games (one store runs semi regularly but on the weekends I am busy so that's on me). I signed up for Paizocon exclusively to get some SFS games in because in my experience I cant get people in the area to run. While my friends organizing in other cites are saying its super popular and needs its own day so I am hoping to catch some of that vibe.

Not meant to be any kind of dig on the seattle area community I just am not seeing what other people are and I find it interesting.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

For those people who are interested in volunteering for Origins, where would we sign up?

Kthxbai


Starfinder Superscriber
Kingbrendarr wrote:
I have been to one SFS event and a couple of game days right after launch and cant seem to find anyone willing to run since.

We were almost in the same boat.

In early September several GMs ran Quest: ItU and #1-01, but stopped. Later we learned that there was a decision to not run further Starfinder scenarios until a big local SFS launch at a local convention later in the Fall. When that convention came, there were not enough GMs volunteering to run Starfinder so it didn't happen.

I joined our local PFS group in order to play Starfinder. My first time GM'ing PFS was on Free RPG Day last year in order to get a copy of Starfinder First Contact. But GMs are volunteers, and I can't be upset that people aren't volunteering to run the game I wanted to play.

So with few exceptions I was the only SFS GM from mid-September through January, trying to run at least a scenario every other Friday, and then one table every week. In February the regular SFS players started to GM, and now we have a group of about 6 SFS GMs usually running 2 SFS tables every Friday.

The moral of this story is, if you love Starfinder and want to see it run in your area you need to be willing to GM it yourself to build up interest. This is true of volunteer organizations in general.


At the same time, it is important to respect the boundaries that GM volunteers have set for themselves, and realize that not everyone has the same mastery or comfort level 'out of the gate'.

For PFS, to give an example, it took me nearly two years to feel 'comfortable' enough with play before I took up GMing. I suspect it will be something similar for Starfinder -- I don't want to take on the duties before I'm ready for them.


Starfinder Superscriber

Certainly, you should never feel forced to do something you don't feel ready for.

But also realize Starfinder is still quite new. We're all still learning, even 9 months in, and many people are in the same boat in not wanting to GM until they have more experience playing. They won't get that experience unless there's local games to play.

When nobody else is GMing Starfinder in your area, the only choice you are left with is to volunteer to GM or wait until someone else does.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
GM Wageslave wrote:


At the same time, it is important to respect the boundaries that GM volunteers have set for themselves, and realize that not everyone has the same mastery or comfort level 'out of the gate'.

For PFS, to give an example, it took me nearly two years to feel 'comfortable' enough with play before I took up GMing. I suspect it will be something similar for Starfinder -- I don't want to take on the duties before I'm ready for them.

all the more reason I want to play more so I can be comfortable GMing. Also very interesting when I keep hearing "no on shows up to days when we are running."

so people are running somewhere and other people are not showing up sounds like a problem for all of us.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

In a way I feel bad for not volunteering to run SFS instead of PFS at Paizocon after hearing this sentiment. I try to GM a SFS game once a month with my PFS/SFS group and I've only done about five games so far. We have had 2-3 players signing up most weeks and have had to cancel a few times.

It has led me to prefer PFS just because we usually can get a full table for that, but I really want to get into the nuts and bolts of Starfinder.


xrayregime wrote:


It has led me to prefer PFS just because we usually can get a full table for that,

This is why I want to start getting non pathfinder players in Starfinder games. I dont want to take anyone away from the game they want to play. But if we have our own sub community AND players that do both things get a lot easier on Starfinder


Starfinder Superscriber
Kingbrendarr wrote:
so people are running somewhere and other people are not showing up sounds like a problem for all of us.

These posts inspired me to see what Seattle is running, its a short enough drive I could realistically take a half day of work and drive up for an early evening game.

First problem, Seattle has absolutely nothing showing up on http://paizo.com/organizedplay/events -- the city isn't even listed.

I found http://nwpfs.org/ on Google but after 10 minutes of searching I could only find locations, not which games were being run. The website has a phpbb in which apparently each planned game session has a thread and we're suppose to dig through to find games by forum thread, but only after a new account has been verified by an administrator?

Its rather confusing, why is this information so secretive? Why does access to your game schedule require approval by your leadership?


Arc Riley wrote:
Kingbrendarr wrote:
so people are running somewhere and other people are not showing up sounds like a problem for all of us.

These posts inspired me to see what Seattle is running, its a short enough drive I could realistically take a half day of work and drive up for an early evening game.

First problem, Seattle has absolutely nothing showing up on http://paizo.com/organizedplay/events -- the city isn't even listed.

I found http://nwpfs.org/ on Google but after 10 minutes of searching I could only find locations, not which games were being run. The website has a phpbb in which apparently each planned game session has a thread and we're suppose to dig through to find games by forum thread, but only after a new account has been verified by an administrator?

Its rather confusing, why is this information so secretive? Why does access to your game schedule require approval by your leadership?

I cant speak to the logic behind the choices I asked the same things but only in a room by myself.

Once you get through the wall of secrecy the forum is a very helpful tool putting me in touch with all the area organizers allowing me to interact with planning as well as sign up and suggest events. I do like the product and that secrecy may just be a cost to keep nigerian princes and russian political tools out of our role play.

Scarab Sages

Do we know when signups begin for the PFS organized play scenarios?

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