August Update— Team News, OPF News, Spotlights and Conventions!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Lots of news to get to this month, so jumping right in.

Team News

As announced on Saturday night at Gen Con, the organized play team underwent some changes in personnel. After eight years on the team, lead developer John Compton is moving to the Starfinder team as a Senior Developer. With heartfelt thanks for all the energy and effort expended on org play, we wish him the best in his new role at Paizo. As he departs, we experience a smooth transition, as developer Linda Zayas-Palmer steps into the organized play lead developer role. She brings six years of org play experience, as well as several more as a volunteer coordinator for Pathfinder Society, to the role and we are excited to see her influence on our storylines and scenarios. Both Michael Sayre and Thurston Hillman remain part of the organized play team. In the next few weeks, we will be working with Pathfinder Society managing developer Adam Daigle to evaluate further team needs.

Organized Play Foundation News

A few pieces of business as it relates to our relationship with the Organized Play Foundation (OPF) and volunteers.

First, we’ve moved the Pathfinder Society (2nd edition) Guide to Play to the Organized Play Foundation website. The direct link is http://www.organizedplayfoundation.org/paizo/guides/. At present, it is online only, but we are working on a version that is print to pdf. The surveys we did last fall indicated much of the playerbase wanted an online version. Being online also makes it a living document that we can update as needed, instead of once a year.

Which brings us to the second point. We have three OPF volunteers tackling special projects. I’d like to take a moment to introduce them to you and welcome them to their new positions.

Jared Thaler – responsible for the OPF website and online guide. He is currently working on improving the guide for use at games and will be rolling it out shortly. The version on the website now is a temporary version to get the rules to the communities running Pathfinder (2nd edition). He will update the version # and date on the front page when changes are made, so check there first!

Barb Wilkins – responsible for volunteer onboarding. She is working on reviewing current volunteer rosters and sending out new NDAs for signing. If you’ve been waiting for your appointment, there should be an end in sight.

Bob Jonquet – responsible for Event Team coordination for Paizo-sponsored conventions (PAX Unplugged, PaizoCon, UK Games Expo, Origins, and Gen Con). He will work with the organizing committees of those events to ensure a consistent, positive experience for all volunteers and attendees.

Thank you to all three of them for stepping in and filling some gaps in our organizational structure. We hope that having some focused attention on these areas will resolve some of the issues over the past year.

Redistricting the Regions

With the launch of Pathfinder Society (2nd edition) we moved some regions around and appointed several new Regional Venture Coordinators. Check out the new list here: http://www.organizedplayfoundation.org/encyclopedia/volunteer-coordinators/

Campaign Coins

Gen Con gave us the opportunity to recognize several longstanding volunteers with Campaign Coins. While each recipient had individual qualifications for receiving the award, they all shared a love of their communities and a willingness to serve. I hope we created some stardust moments for these individuals. They all seemed shocked at the recognition and I caught a few of them still in the middle of their volunteer efforts in the Sagamore.

Please take a moment to thank the following community members for their efforts on behalf of our gaming community and congratulate them on receiving new Org Play numbers!

Recipient Org Play Number
Quinn Shannon814
Jon-Enee Merrix815
Kevin Baumann816
Heather Vigil817
Brad Fiske818
Shannon Petrosky819
Hilary Moon Murphy820
Marc Waschle821

Stars

Gen Con rang to the sound of games being played and a few 5-star and 5-nova evaluations as well. Over the past month, several GMs reached the summit of 5-star mountain. To achieve this milestone, GMs run 150 games, of which at least 50 must be unique scenarios and 10 special scenarios, as well as run a game for a venture-captain. A conservative estimate of time needed to reach 5-stars is 650 hours! To the GMs listed below, thank you very much for the time and energy you spend running Pathfinder Society games! Three cheers on your achievement!

Andrew Harasty
Joe Bouchard
Matt Duval
Phil Lucas
Ivis Flanagan
Sean Duncan
Johanathan Kopp
Mark Taylor
Sam Pitcheralle
Matt Wrycraft

As we pivot on the release of Pathfinder Society (2nd edition), Pathfinder, we would like to reiterate that this is not the end of the road for the Society (1st edition) campaign. Just as scenarios still count for event support and players can still earn boons at events, games ran will still count towards star requirements. So, don't worry if you're not quite to your goals, there will still be time to reach for the stars.

Novas & Glyphs

Several GMs completed 5-nova evaluations over the past month. The rubric is working as intended. It looks like we will have the tech updates in the next few weeks, so evaluators will be able to input the results. Until then, please email them to me at organizedplay@paizo.com for compilation.

Convention Listing

We have organized play activities at quite a few conventions in the upcoming months, so if you want to get your game on, check out the list below! The list includes all the event support requests received to date. If you see one missing, ping the organizer and have them submit a request for support or have them email me at organizedplay@paizo.com to discuss their event. All of the conventions on the list maintain some type of web presence, be it website, social media page, or Warhorn listing, so if you are interested in attending in either capacity, check out their websites or contact the local venture-officer for more information!

Game On Expo 19 Phoenix, Arizona 8/9/2019
Goblin New Year 2019 Portland, Oregon 8/9/2019
KuroNekoCon 2019 Spokane, WA 8/9/2019
Summerlodge 2019 Taastrup, Denmark 8/9/2019
GardenCon 2019 Geneva, Switzerland 8/15/2019
AnimeFest Dallas, Texas 8/16/2019
Coulee Con 2019 La Crosse, Wisconsin 8/16/2019
Crit-Con 3 Concord, NC 8/16/2019
Dragonflight 2019 Bellevue, WA 8/16/2019
Sanctuary Con Ottawa, ON Canada 8/16/2019
FanExpo Toronto, Ontario, Canada 8/22/2019
2D Con Minneapolis MN 8/23/2019
Con Voyage 2019 Sydney NSW (at sea on the Carnival Spirit) 8/23/2019
Convocation 4719 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 8/23/2019
Play-by-Post Gameday VIII Online 8/23/2019
Shadowcon 2019 LOndon, UK 8/24/2019
The Convergence Hamilton, New Zealand 8/24/2019
Draconicon 2019 Tel Aviv, Israel 8/28/2019
AB-Con Autumn 2019 Germany/Bavaria/Aschaffenburg 8/29/2019
DragonCon 2019 Atlanta, GA 8/29/2019
Gateway 2019 Los Angeles, CA 8/30/2019
Gateway to Golarion 4 Kutztown, PA 8/30/2019
Grand Con 2019 Grand Rapids, MI 8/30/2019
PacifiCon 2019 Santa Clara CA 8/30/2019
GTEX 2019- Game Theory Events Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake 9/6/2019
TRPG Festival 2019 Japan 9/6/2019
Renton City Comic Con 2019 Renton, Washington 9/7/2019
TotalCon's End-of-Summer Sizzler Marlborough, MA 9/8/2019
Ancient City Con 500 South Legacy Trail St. Augustine, FL 32092 9/20/2019
CogCon 29 Rolla, MO 9/20/2019
Delta H Con Houston 9/20/2019
Saskatoon Entertainment Expo Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 9/20/2019
SkålCon 2019 Roseville, MN 9/20/2019
Saluki Con 2019 Carbondale, IL 9/28/2019

Organized Play Staff Travel

Want to hang out with Paizo staff? Play in a game which they are GM? Check out the list below and come see us at a convention near you. If you are an event organizer and want to invite us out at your event in 2020, there is still time to squeak in your request before we submit the 2020 travel budget. Organizers may email your interest to organizedplay@paizo.com. Note: staff do not attend conventions the last weekend in May or the weekend of Gen Con, due to already being slated to attend those shows.

ConventionLocationStart DatePaizo Staffers Scheduled to Attend
FanExpoToronto, Canada8/22/2019Tonya
DragonConAtlanta, GA8/30/2019John C.
Delta H ConHouston, TX9/20/2019Linda Zayas-Palmer, Mark Seifter
NukeConOmaha, NE10/4/2019John C.
PAX AustraliaMelbourne, Australia10/10/2019Tonya
PaizoCon Asia-PacificBrisbane, SA, Australia10/17/2019Tonya
GameHole ConMadison, WI10/31/2019Tonya, TBD
PAX UnpluggedPhiladelphia, PA12/6/2019Tonya, Amanda, Cosmo, Erik, Jason B., Jeff

*Staffers scheduled to attend may change without notice.

Check out our earlier blog where we shared some of our favorite Gen Con experiences.

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Society
Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

So much Awesome!

Congrads to John and Linda on their promotions!

Big Thanks to Jared, Barb and Bob for stepping up and volunteering!

Congrads to all the new 5 star GMS and Campaign Coin Recipients!!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Congrats to you both, John and Linda! <3

Also, a huge thank you to everyone for all your hard work. Those coins and stars are well deserved!

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulation to all the new 5 Star GMs and welcome to the club to all the new campaign coin recipients ^^

4/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 aka Matt Duval

Yay :)

Congratulations, John and Linda!

Thank you to everyone above for helping make this such a wonderful community <3

Silver Crusade 5/5

I thought I should mention that I believe that there will NOT be any PFS presence at Fan Expo this year.

4/5

Congrats to all.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Congrats to the new coin holders! We earned! (Looking at you Hmm!)

Congrats to all the new shiney 5 star GMs. Thank you for all you have done for your players!

And while it is still not noted, John Compton will be attending NukeCon in Omaha during the first weekend in October! All are welcome!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations to the Campaign Coin recipients. I am especially proud of Quinn and Marc who I have watched grow their GMing skill over the years and are a fantastic example of the very best our community has to offer.

Also, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Heather and Kevin as leaders with the Gen Con team and they are amazing not only as gamers, but as people pouring their heart and soul into providing players and GMs an outstanding experience.

Finally, Brad, Shannon, Jon-Enee, and HMM have all volunteered their time and it was a pleasure working with them.

To all of you, GREAT JOB and thank you for being awesome!

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Congratulations to the recognized and the promoted and the brave souls who have stepped up for greater responsibilities in the organization. May your adventure be painless and enlightening!

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
pauljathome wrote:
I thought I should mention that I believe that there will NOT be any PFS presence at Fan Expo this year.

I'm still going to the convention, running a few games, and hoping others come out to join me.

I would love for there to be a larger presence, but with only 2 weeks to go I don't think we are going to be able to pull it together.

That being said, anyone interested in running a game, please message me at organizedplay@paizo.com.

4/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Greetings!

Tonya Woldridge wrote:
At present, it is online only, but we are working on a version that is print to pdf.

Thank you!

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

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So many 5-stars and campaign coins! Congratulations everyone!

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Cincinnati aka Northern Dreamer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

To the Campaign Coin recipients - congratulations to you all and welcome to the club! To my fellow gms joining the ranks of the 5-stars - We did it! <3


Tonya Woldridge wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
I thought I should mention that I believe that there will NOT be any PFS presence at Fan Expo this year.

I'm still going to the convention, running a few games, and hoping others come out to join me.

I would love for there to be a larger presence, but with only 2 weeks to go I don't think we are going to be able to pull it together.

That being said, anyone interested in running a game, please message me at organizedplay@paizo.com.

It would be nice to play some PFS at this convention. Is there any chance that there will be some advanced warning of what will be running and when as you get closer to the Con?

4/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Southcoast aka JDDyslexia

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm glad to have made the 5-star ranks just in time for 2e.

Next stop: Time to add up those Glyphs.

EDIT: Though my Forum Tag doesn't seem to have updated.

Sovereign Court 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations 5 Star GMs and Campaign Coin recipients!

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT aka Hels

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations to all the new 5 Star Gms, especially Matt and Phil.
I’m lucky that Matt W is one of my main GMs who kindly runs for me. WOW- I’ve said it before, and i’ll deffo say it again- if you can get a game run by him, go for it. Trust me- you won’t be disappointed!

Phil is a fabulous GM too. I’m honestly looking forward to a next con in the UK I know he sometimes attends, to see if I can get some games in with him!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Joe Bouchard wrote:
...my Forum Tag doesn't seem to have updated

Its a switch Tonya/Paizo has to flip. Seeing as it was announced, I would expect it to happen soon, but you might need to nudge them as a reminder given the hectic recent schedule.

Liberty's Edge 2/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Congratulations all. Well deserved

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Cincinnati

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats to all you deserving folks, with special shiny ones to our local yokels: Heather, Ivis and Sean.

Grand Lodge

Congratulations to Linda for the big promotion! Please come back and play with us at Strategicon in L.A. soon!

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

4 people marked this as a favorite.

> At present, it is online only, but we are working on a version
> that is print to pdf. The surveys we did last fall indicated
> much of the playerbase wanted an online version. Being online
> also makes it a living document that we can update as needed,
> instead of once a year.

Please make the PDF version very soon, or just put it all on one URL so we can easily print it! The majority of places I play at don't have wifi. The current layout of spreading the document across many pages makes barely unusable. For example, if you want to search for a term, you have to do it ten times to make sure. (Are you willing to wager large sums of money that your Glossary is complete?) Speed is also an issue. It took me 30 seconds to open the page just now (wired to cable modem), so it would have been faster to look something up in a print version.

When you do update it please, please, please announce it loudly and widely. One temptation of "living documents" is to make frequent, minor tweaks, so it becomes not a just question of "which season's Guide do you have" but "which version", or "what day", or even "I have the today's 11:15AM version, which one do you have". Intentionally making an update difficult is often the only way to slow that down. I once did software development at a company where the documentation was in a Wiki, management encouraged us to not do up-front design but design and change as we wrote code, and chaos ensued.

For example, even now, after just two updates, the TOC page says the Guide is
"Current Version: 0.03
Current Version Date 8/6/2019 – 22:00"

but the individual chapters say they are

"Current Version: 0.02
Current Version Date 8/5/2019 – 18:00"

You're already getting chaos.

Scarab Sages 1/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Ok, I'm sorry to be the grumpy Gus here, but you guys have really missed the mark with the new 2E PFS rules for GMing. Challenge points and treasure bundle calculations are two of the most convoluted systems I have ever seen in an organized play system. Space-X could launch a rocket into orbit with less math/steps than what you propose for calculating subtier/level adjustments and awarding chronicle gold.

These systems feel absolutely against the spirit of a simplified gaming experience that 2E presents. You have taken all of the complexity that was removed from the game experience and dumped it onto the GM's head. I highly, highly request that you not overthink these things and revamp them for simplified systems.

Also, I noticed we have already begun the list of things banned from PFS. I would also humbly request that consider limiting this list as more resources come out. The first addition "additional resources" list reads like the IRS schedule-C tax code. If you want to watch a new player's head explode, try having a conversation with them about that resource list and explaining why a half-dozen character options on the character they created aren't legal because of amendments on pages 7, 11, 22, and 34 of the resources list. I know you guys are trying to "level out the playing field" and I get that some things should be banned, but also understand that some players enjoy min-maxing and some enjoy playing sub-optimal characters, and we have to cater to different play styles.

In short, please help us help you bring more people into the game by keeping the rules simple, friendly, and accessible at all levels.

Thanks for listening to the feedback.

4/5

Who can I contact for additional information on how Paizo games are going to be offered for at PAX Unplugged this year? I see the staff presence has continued to increase which is great and I’m hopeful that means we will have organized play available in some capacity. I’ve tried reaching out to a few people without much luck. Thanks!

Dark Archive 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Rising Phoenix wrote:
Who can I contact for additional information on how Paizo games are going to be offered for at PAX Unplugged this year? I see the staff presence has continued to increase which is great and I’m hopeful that means we will have organized play available in some capacity. I’ve tried reaching out to a few people without much luck. Thanks!

The information is here.

Dark Archive

So,I’m finding that my 2 PF2 events from GenCon have not been reported. Anyone else having this problem? Our first GM did not advise us of the 2001 numbering. Could that be the issue? My character sheets were numbered 201. Thanks!

Grand Lodge 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

None of them have been reported as of yet. It will be once the system is updated so that PFS2 sessions are in it.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrads to all the new 5 star GMs

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Scott Romanowski wrote:

> At present, it is online only, but we are working on a version

> that is print to pdf. The surveys we did last fall indicated
> much of the playerbase wanted an online version. Being online
> also makes it a living document that we can update as needed,
> instead of once a year.

For example, even now, after just two updates, the TOC page says the Guide is
"Current Version: 0.03
Current Version Date 8/6/2019 – 22:00"

but the individual chapters say they are

"Current Version: 0.02
Current Version Date 8/5/2019 – 18:00"

You're already getting chaos.

The Version on the front page reflects the most recent revision to any part of the guide.

The version on each page reflects the most recent revision to that page. This was done at the request of several people who are compiling the guide in PDF or other formats so that they only have to update / recode the pages that have changed.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Missouri—St. Louis aka Joshua N Hancock

No mention of improvements in prize support distribution...

4/5 Venture-Agent, California—Folsom aka avagdu

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Romanowski wrote:

> At present, it is online only, but we are working on a version

> that is print to pdf. The surveys we did last fall indicated
> much of the playerbase wanted an online version. Being online
> also makes it a living document that we can update as needed,
> instead of once a year.

Please make the PDF version very soon, or just put it all on one URL so we can easily print it! The majority of places I play at don't have wifi. The current layout of spreading the document across many pages makes barely unusable. For example, if you want to search for a term, you have to do it ten times to make sure. (Are you willing to wager large sums of money that your Glossary is complete?) Speed is also an issue. It took me 30 seconds to open the page just now (wired to cable modem), so it would have been faster to look something up in a print version.

When you do update it please, please, please announce it loudly and widely. One temptation of "living documents" is to make frequent, minor tweaks, so it becomes not a just question of "which season's Guide do you have" but "which version", or "what day", or even "I have the today's 11:15AM version, which one do you have". Intentionally making an update difficult is often the only way to slow that down. I once did software development at a company where the documentation was in a Wiki, management encouraged us to not do up-front design but design and change as we wrote code, and chaos ensued.

For example, even now, after just two updates, the TOC page says the Guide is
"Current Version: 0.03
Current Version Date 8/6/2019 – 22:00"

but the individual chapters say they are

"Current Version: 0.02
Current Version Date 8/5/2019 – 18:00"

You're already getting chaos.

It appears that the versions are only changing on the pages that have changed, as well as the main page. Additionally, there is a changelog posted which says what the differences are from the previous version:

Pathfinder Society (2nd edition) Guide to Play wrote:

Changelog

0.04 – Player Basics – Clarified Boon Slots Text
— Faction Boons – Updated Promo Boon text
— Volunteer Coordinators – Added Washington DC to Northeast region
0.03 – Volunteer Coordinators – updated page with correct RVC emails and location titles

Knowing Jared (he's my VC), the team he's building to help handle the OPF website and online guide will be working hard over the next few weeks to get everything ship-shape and to a version 1 state.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

Jared Thaler wrote:
The Version on the front page reflects the most recent revision to any part of the guide.

At the time I posted, the top level was 0.03 but each subsection was still at 0.02, except for two subsections that have no version number!

Jared Thaler wrote:
The version on each page reflects the most recent revision to that page. This was done at the request of several people who are compiling the guide in PDF or other formats so that they only have to update / recode the pages that have changed.

Yes, I know they are trying to do this. However, not every page has a version.

Jason Rapp wrote:
It appears that the versions are only changing on the pages that have changed, as well as the main page. Additionally, there is a changelog posted which says what the differences are from the previous version:

And they took the smart step of duplicating the changelog on the pages that changed. :-)

Short of allowing us RO access to their VCS so we can diff the revisions, there is something called "change bars" which would indicate the _exact_ pieces that changed at the point where they changed.

The software industry went through these problems decades ago and, if Paizo wants to avoid the same problems and hassles, they should use the current best practices for release management.

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