Fall of Plaguestone and Sanctioning

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Greetings everyone! I have some good news, some neutral news, and a general conversation that I’m pretty sure is also neutral (or at least not actively evil), so I’m going to open up with the good news- Fall of Plaguestone is sanctioned! Assuming the technology gods have not conspired against me once more, you should find those sanctioning docs on the Fall of Plaguestone product page. But wait! I know you’re eager to start clicking so you can collect your Chronicle sheet, but there’s a bit more to this conversation.

Cover art from the 'Fall of Plaguestone' adventure: Ezren and Amiri, the Pathfinder iconic wizard and barbarian, face off against a pack of snarling wolves.

You’re going to notice that this Chronicle sheet is a bit different. It doesn’t specify a Tier, and the rewards are a bit different than we’ve structured them in the past. There’s also only a single Chronicle sheet, which is a hair different than you may have seen in past modules. So, here’s the explanation for all of that. We want you to have more stuff that you can play and use in PFS, and we want to get it to you quickly. We also want you to get sanctioned materials faster than has happened in the past.

Flashback to when I joined the organized play team two years ago. At that time, additional resources sanctioning was 15 months out and we had 10-year-old adventure paths that had never been sanctioned. Priorities always focused on scenarios first, convention items second, and sanctioning third. A lot of my early work in the department involved shrinking those numbers and getting materials in player’s hands faster. That was going pretty well right up until around June of this year, when the mad dash towards Gen Con began. The triple hit of increased scenario production, launch of a new edition, and John Compton moving to the Starfinder team took its toll on our workflow. Linda stepped up as organized play lead developer, which meant that she has less bandwidth to help me out with scenario development and so sanctioning slowed down. But it’s important to note, it never stopped. The team spent chunks of our weekly meeting since mid-August looking at ways to get materials sanctioned for use faster and let GMs and players take the shiny modules and Adventure Path (AP) volumes they’ve been buying and use the treasures presented therein with their organized play characters. We also fielded some concerns from other departments about the way we had been sanctioning modules and adventure paths, and those concerns happened to sync up with some of our own scheduling and production issues.

Traditionally, the sanctioning process for an AP or module required a developer to read the entire adventure path or module, figure out a way to cut the material down to about 12 hours per module or volume without making the story indecipherable, and then create the guidelines for that new play window and the various Chronicle sheets that go along with it. This is a pretty time-consuming process and must wait until all publication of all volumes in the Adventure Path. It’s part of why you’re getting Fall of Plaguestone before the final two PF1 adventure paths (which we’re absolutely still working on sanctioning for those of you still enjoying the PF1 organized play campaign). Fall of Plaguestone represents a new adventure sanctioning model that we hope is going to be something you’ll enjoy, and which will allow us to sanction much faster than we have in the past. The Chronicle sheet gives you access to all of the approved treasures and other goodies presented in the module, one level’s worth of experience for a character of your choice, and gold appropriate to a character of that level.

“One level?” you ask. Yep. This Chronicle is set up so that you can play Fall of Plaguestone as it was intended to be played, with a non-PFS character of the appropriate level, level up with that character when the module expects you to, and then when the adventure is complete, take that Chronicle sheet and apply it to any of your Pathfinder (second edition) organized play characters, giving them a level up, a hefty bag of loot, and access to all kinds of uncommon goodies. If this works, we’re going to do the same thing for Age of Ashes, and it’ll mean we can do it a lot faster. We need your feedback on our system to know if this will be the model going forward, so please post commentary below for our team to review.

We realize that this might not be the ideal solution for everyone. Some of you want that streamlined adventure with bits cut out to make it fit in a two or three-block convention schedule. Our current understanding of our player demographics is that those of you looking for thus trimmed versions are both a very small percentage of the player base, but also some of our most dedicated players. Ideally, we’d like everyone to get the full adventure experience as the author intended, but we also don’t want those of you who enjoy those convention marathon playthroughs to feel like you got the short end of the stick. Our potential solution involves adding a section to the organized play guide discussing convention play and providing tips to GMs and organizers on how to run these adventures in a way that fits into your slots and would still allow you to receive and issue Chronicle sheets for completing the playthrough. If that feels like a solution you think will work for you and the way you play, please let me know in the comments below! This program exists for you, our community, and we want to find the version of this that works best for everyone. We cannot do this without comments, so please add your viewpoints on our sanctioning ideas to the thread below.

Next week, join us for scenario previews for both Pathfinder and Starfinder. Thank you all, and until next time, Explore, Report, and Cooperate!

Michael Sayre
Pathfinder Society Developer

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Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Let's use Dragon's Demand as an example:

If it was released for PFS2, you would get three Chronicles as you played through each section. These Chronicles would have Tiers, gold, fame, Reputation, and the items found would be listed in the sanctioning document.

Three months later, a 4th Chronicle gets released. The requirements for applying this Chronicle are that you as a player earned the 3 previous Chronicles. This 4th Chronicle can be applied to any of your PFS characters, and comes with a spiffy boon (but no XP, GP, etc).

5/5 Venture-Captain, Ohio—Northern aka GinoA

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As a data-point, in my area Modules are frequently run as pure-PFS, game day (or convention slot) tables. I've played or in Dragon's Demand, Ire of the Storm and most of the 32-pagers this way.

APs are usually run as home games and Campaign mode is used to collect chronicles. Roughly half of the players actively use those chronicles and the other half sit on them unless they get a character idea that would be uninteresting below a certain level. Then they use an AP-baby to manifest a new PFS character at level X.

I've done this myself. A build that's, thematically, built around an Improved Familiar just isn't interesting to play before the feat opens up.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Fall of Plaguestone and Sanctioning Blogpost wrote:

We need your feedback on our system to know if this will be the model going forward, so please post commentary below for our team to review.

...
This program exists for you, our community, and we want to find the version of this that works best for everyone. We cannot do this without comments, so please add your viewpoints on our sanctioning ideas to the thread below.

It would be really helpful to the community and to the overall goal of finding the most practical solutions possible if we could keep this thread focused on providing feedback and discussion. "Way to go Paizo way to f~~& over sone of your long term customers," is not helpful to the Organized Play Development Team and its not helpful to keeping further discussion or feedback on track.

5/5 ⦵⦵

Bartram wrote:

Please forgive me if I am overlooking something, I've only ever done modules in campaign mode.

What is stopping people from playing their PFS characters in Campaign mode? Just make an identical copy of your PFS character, call it your campaign character, and play that? Then assign credit to your identical PFS character after the game is over?

Is that not identical to playing it in PFS mode?

No, there are diffeences. Pirate Rob's posts up toward the top of the thread spells them out.

There have been a number of times people have stepped forward and wanted to run something at a store in campaign mode and all the players declined. They would only wanted to play it in PFS/SFS mode.

Sovereign Court 2/5

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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thinking about this more in depth, maybe there is a better way to please everyone, without putting to much pressure on the busy staff members of Organized play.

My Idea comes from a bit how Hardcovers are run in Adventure League (5e Organized Play) (well at least the last time I played it about a year ago) In AL you get credit based on time played in the module. Example 12 hours of play might equal one level worth of XP.

What if (kind of a evolution of Nefreet's idea above) instead of having a chronicle sheet for each AP and Mod as it has been in the past, they made a "generic" hardcover chronicle sheet and use the Adventure League format? (XP = Based on time played)

It could be a generic/blank chronicle you could use with any hardcover adventure based on time played. GM's could write in items found in the session for purchase , and it could even solve the "partial play" problem if it is based on time alone. It would also free up resources from the already busy staff.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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AL long form play is problematic and has changed multiple times in the last couple years due to ongoing issues. It's a dangerous place to take inspiration from at the moment.

Scarab Sages

roysier wrote:


No, there are diffeences. Pirate Rob's posts up toward the top of the thread spells them out.

I'm not seeing it. How is what I described not exactly the same as running it PFS mode? Just use all the rules you would normally use when running a module in PFS mode. Campaign mode gives you the freedom to do that.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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Bartram wrote:
roysier wrote:


No, there are diffeences. Pirate Rob's posts up toward the top of the thread spells them out.
I'm not seeing it. How is what I described not exactly the same as running it PFS mode? Just use all the rules you would normally use when running a module in PFS mode. Campaign mode gives you the freedom to do that.

Consumable use, death, risk/reward, continuity of story etc. Go read the link to the 2011 blog I linked for a more in depth explanation.

The Exchange 1/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why can't they just sanction the Module correctly, like they sanctioned the PFS1 Modules? This was obviously a poorly thought out, slapped together attempt to stop people from asking, "When will Plague stone be
sanctioned?" time and time again. I mean, it doesn't even have a PFS2 reporting sheet in it! The Keepsake system(NOT a fan) should at least be items that are actually that, Keepsakes you can only find in the module itself! Not items you can buy out of the Core Rule book.

PLEASE! Reconsider this and go back to the old sanctioning format. Even if I have to wait I'm fine with it, if you do the content justice and make your GMs and Players feel their time was well spent all the better!

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Marc Waschle wrote:
Why can't they just sanction the Module correctly, like they sanctioned the PFS1 Modules?

This supposes that there is a 'correct' way to sanction.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville aka mogmismo

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Bartram wrote:

What is stopping people from playing their PFS characters in Campaign mode? Just make an identical copy of your PFS character, call it your campaign character, and play that? Then assign credit to your identical PFS character after the game is over?

Is that not identical to playing it in PFS mode?

That would work until your GM at the convention you are attending says it doesn't. They are bound by the campaign mode rules, not PFS rules, so may say something like, "I don't like goblins, they can't be played at my table". You, the player with the PFS legal character, may be out-of-luck, even though you signed up weeks ago for the event on warhorn (or other system).

Campaign mode has always had more leeway for the GM running content the way they want to run it, which is sometimes nice (Hey, roll up strange races or try these awesome pregens I made that fit right into the scenario!), but in this context could cause convention organizers mountains of trouble managing different GM expectations.

Scarab Sages

Robert Hetherington wrote:


Consumable use, death, risk/reward, continuity of story etc. Go read the link to the 2011 blog I linked for a more in depth explanation.

I still don't follow.

If I drink 3 potions while playing in campaign mode, I can cross those consumables off of my tracking sheet. (If you need to justify it, say you drank them at the beginning of the next PFS module you play)

If you die, you can mark your PFS character as dead. (If you need to justify it, say you died at the beginning of the next PFS module you play. Just pick a repeatable one and mark that you died.)

Following the above two the risk/reward is the exact same. You get the same loot, and your can still kill your character.

Continuity of story: you can still role play your character as having done all the things you did in campaign mode. How you role play your character is not regulated by the rules. Continuity of story persists.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Adding to the list: playing 1 part of the module on one character, and another part on a different character (and getting chronicles by part). The GM and all of the players have to agree to do PFS mode, otherwise you’re trying to bring a PFS character to a game that isn’t using PFS rules. PFS has structure for a reason that campaign mode doesn’t (for different reasons). As soon as some hears that’s campaign mode and says, “Oh, can I play a drow? Can I PvP? (Or whatever character option),” it ceases to be PFS. Having the restrictions of PFS mean the experience is protected by those restrictions. Having the freedom of campaign mode means that the GM can run thins how they want. Neither is wrong. They just aren’t the same things.

Dark Archive 5/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Columbus aka Cirithiel

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Bartram wrote:

Please forgive me if I am overlooking something, I've only ever done modules in campaign mode.

What is stopping people from playing their PFS characters in Campaign mode? Just make an identical copy of your PFS character, call it your campaign character, and play that? Then assign credit to your identical PFS character after the game is over?

Is that not identical to playing it in PFS mode?

Because when I play the module with the new rules, my character is expected to end as a 4th level character.

And I only get one level of PFS credit for my “real” PFS character.

Playing the module with my PFS legal character under the new rules would be perfectly possible if we just got 3 levels of PFS credit.

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

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Bartram wrote:

Please forgive me if I am overlooking something, I've only ever done modules in campaign mode.

What is stopping people from playing their PFS characters in Campaign mode? Just make an identical copy of your PFS character, call it your campaign character, and play that? Then assign credit to your identical PFS character after the game is over?

Is that not identical to playing it in PFS mode?

The main difference is the character level vs challenge rating of the scenario. A level 1 PFS character would not do very well against content designed for level 3 characters.

Scarab Sages

Janice Piette wrote:


Because when I play the module with the new rules, my character is expected to end as a 4th level character.

And I only get one level of PFS credit for my “real” PFS character.

Playing the module with my PFS legal character under the new rules would be perfectly possible if we just got 3 levels of PFS credit.

Oh, I wasn't referring to XP given. On that I totally agree. This should either be one chronicle sheet with 3 levels worth of XP, or three chronicle sheets with 1 level of XP each.

I was referencing the difference between campaign mode and pfs mode, which i see as a totally separate issue.

2/5

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Setting the hyperbole and book burning aside, it does seem there's an overall level of discontent with how PFS is handling this.

Problem 1: I'd say the Keepsake system is all around rubbish. Scenario chronicles seemed to have scaled back on the items, which is probably for the best so I can see the logic of not having a chronicle loaded with options. That said, everything about the execution is some combination of unintuitive and unrewarding.

You have a level 1 common item, subtiers for a thing with no subtiers, and a system called "keepsake" in which you buy something. It doesn't feel like a keepsake. It's confusing and really lends itself to the argument that this was rushed.

Solution Suggestions: Get rid of the subtiers unless you're gonna use them and explain how they're supposed to work. Make a Keepsake an actual keepsake. Yes, that'll put a PFS character ahead on the wealth curve. Pick careful as to what those things are and set its resale value to 0 GP. The players and GM are putting in more work for less PFS credit, throw them a bone.

Problem 2: Sanctioned Mode. There seems to be a lot of people upset over the lack of a sanctioned mode and the "we'll put something in the guide later" is a refrain I think a lot of people are sick of hearing.

Solution Suggestion: Let GMs make it up. That's effectively what "campaign mode is" anyways. The lack of content and personnel seem to a ongoing problem that isn't changing anytime soon. It gives organizers the flexibility to put it on so that there's stuff for players to do in a way that suits their environment. It's all giving 1 level's worth of stuff anyways.

If that's too loose, say "Part 1 is Sanctioned" and be done with it. People who are only interested in playing it for PFS credit get their credit. That frees you up to add chronicles for parts 2 & 3 later if there's the right mix of time and demand or to say "play Part 1 at lvl range A-B, get 1 lvl's worth of XP/Fame/GP. play Part 2 at lvl range B-C, get another, and so on through the content. That way, you'd satisfy the "I'm not getting my XP out of this game" crowd (though honestly, I'm not a fan of this option).

Problem 3: I'm getting the impression that the lack of content is feeding this discontent.

Solution: Well, I don't have one. I can't imagine organized play brings in enough money for more resources to be approved for to grow it. Maybe make this repeatable for year 1? That way people can experiment with different builds over the course of a few levels and come out with a lvl 2 version of a character ready to go for future PFS content. It's not great, but its something.

The Exchange 1/5

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TOZ wrote:
Marc Waschle wrote:
Why can't they just sanction the Module correctly, like they sanctioned the PFS1 Modules?
This supposes that there is a 'correct' way to sanction.

I believe there is a "correct" way to sanction a module and my opinion is that the way Plague Stone was sanctioned is "wrong". Again my opinion. YMMV

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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I believe there are many ways to sanction content, with pros and cons to each. My mileage most certain does vary.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville aka mogmismo

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I'd like to round back to what Campaign Mode currently is, and perhaps present a possible middle ground by altering what Campaign Mode is in the new PF2 world. More like a "Hybrid Mode" Currently the guide has just this:

Guide wrote:
Adventure Paths often offer the opportunity to experience them in Campaign Mode, which does not use Pathfinder Society rules, allows the GM to freely modify the encounters and story, and still awards a Chronicle sheet afterward.

We would be in better shape if we went ahead and offered full XP for the experience, much as we do now. Don't care if it's on a single sheet or three, but the important part is that you get credit for the sections you play. GMs would be required to accept PFS characters, but could, much like current campaign mode, allow people to roll up characters to suit. This way, in a convention setting, there isn't a situation where a GM denies a valid PFS character to the table because "I don't run for Gunslingers", or the new "I don't run for Goblins" and the modules work for conventions / long blocks at gamedays.

As long as those players are seated, people without characters could work out what to play (PFS pregens or crazy Campaign Mode characters the GM accepts).

For anyone going through the adventure in this mode, but choosing to bring a PFS character would loose resources as normal, and get credit for all the levels played (checkboxes on a single sheet if three sheets is too much). Non-PFS characters could still get the less experience as shown in the Plaguestone sheet to entice them to play in the campaign, but not start with an over-powered PFS character.

I'm just brainstorming here, I'm sure there are plenty of issues I haven't thought through yet. Trying to find some middle-ground where it all works. Anyone, feel free to riff on this idea any way you like and point out where I may be misguided.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

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Michael Tracey wrote:
or the new "I don't run for Goblins"

Um, are people with legal PFS characters being denied seating because the GM doesn't like their legally selected ancestry?!?

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Keep in mind what I mentioned earlier. The PFS restrictions are also protections. If I bring a PFS character to a PFS game, then I know that the GM is not going to bring a tarrasque out and insert it into the scenario. Unlikely as it is, that restriction is not there in campaign mode. Much more likely is that the GM gives all enemies max hit points (which was the case through reign of winter, because our party was over powered), adds enemies to encounters, adds their own villains, or even runs the AP under PF1 rules. It’s just hard to count on a GM abiding by society rules while at the same time telling them they don’t have to abide by society rules. Right now, if a problem comes up on a ruling in game, we can escalate to a venture officer. But in campaign mode, the mechanics of Pathfinder can change, and the GM is not wrong to do so. That means there is no way going into a campaign mode game that you are randomly signing up for to know how things are going to work.

The simplest solution to me is to say you can play each part (assuming modules still have parts) in PFS mode. GMs can shorten it as they see fit, but cannot add things. As long as you play either all of the content or a full four hour session and complete 50% of the content, then you get credit. And then giving each section a chronicle sheet that advances the character enough to reach the next section. I don’t particularly care what items are on it, or if there is a boon, or any of that. I just want to be able to play the module with my PFS character and PFS rules (for me and the GM) and to get a chronicle sheet when the session is over.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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As a side note being in a Plaguestone game, I don't think it would be well suited to be a Repeatable.

---

So Plaguestone has 3 chapters, and the whole adventure normally takes you from 1-4.

So that seems an easy 3 chronicle sheets, each worth 12 xp. Just split up the 2 boons and items between those 3 sheets as appropriate.

You can play it in Campaign mode however you like, or in PFS mode.

If future modules don't break up as easily into a level for each chapter that's fine. Maybe 1 chapter is 6 xp, maybe another is 15. The guide even supports differing amounts.

Obviously 3 sheets is more work than 1, but I'd hope not insurmountably so.

For the rewards adding a chart to the Guide to Organized Play with NonStandard Rewards or whatever, with Current XP on 1 axis and XP gained on the other axis, with gold gained as the result.

Dark Archive 5/5

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One solution could be to have a "generic chronicle sheet" for each level of play of a module completed by the "campaign mode" chronicle sheet.

For exemple, for Plaguestone, which gets you from level 1 to 4, worth 36XP.

-> You played in campaign mode, you get the "campaign mode chronicle sheet" (as it is today) worth 12XP that you can applied to any of your PFS character of any level.

-> You play in PFS mode
-You played all module with the same character: you get two "generic chronicle sheet" worth 12XP for the level 1-2 & 2-3 and the "campaign mode chronicle sheet" that you must applied to the same character. You level up between session after receiving each chronicle.
-You played part I or II or III or any combination of the three (but not all, or not with the same character), you only get the "generic chronicle sheet" for the levels you played.

A "generic chronicle sheet" would be a blank chronicle that gives you 12XP and the gold appropriate for the level of your character.

Liberty's Edge 2/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
The blog states that the belief is that modules running in short slots is an uncommon thing, and I don’t think that’s the case. Posts from others in this thread are helping to confirm that.

While I'm staying out of the way of the larger discussion, I wanted to take issue with this attitude. Given how reporting modules works, Paizo's information on this is likely to be as close to perfect as anyone could ask for. I would encourage everyone not to allow their confirmation biases to take up too much space in this conversation.

5/5 ⦵⦵

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Shisumo wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
The blog states that the belief is that modules running in short slots is an uncommon thing, and I don’t think that’s the case. Posts from others in this thread are helping to confirm that.
While I'm staying out of the way of the larger discussion, I wanted to take issue with this attitude. Given how reporting modules works, Paizo's information on this is likely to be as close to perfect as anyone could ask for. I would encourage everyone not to allow their confirmation biases to take up too much space in this conversation.

It’s probably area dependent. And how you define rare.

It’s been done for years and now suddenly Paizo doesn’t have the time.

Well the skin is on their sales department. It will equate to less sales and less players.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Shisumo wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
The blog states that the belief is that modules running in short slots is an uncommon thing, and I don’t think that’s the case. Posts from others in this thread are helping to confirm that.
While I'm staying out of the way of the larger discussion, I wanted to take issue with this attitude. Given how reporting modules works, Paizo's information on this is likely to be as close to perfect as anyone could ask for. I would encourage everyone not to allow their confirmation biases to take up too much space in this conversation.

They have never been able to express reporting numbers in the past, and to my knowledge there is no “campaign mode” checkbox when reporting. So I’m far less confident than you that this data exists in any meaningful way.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville aka mogmismo

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NightTrace wrote:
Um, are people with legal PFS characters being denied seating because the GM doesn't like their legally selected ancestry?!?

In Campaign Mode, the GM has greater leeway. This has been discussed previously in numerous places. The general consensus is that "Campaign Mode" is up to GM discretion.

The old guides had entries like this:

PF1 Guide to Organized Play wrote:
Campaign Mode: For sanctioned modules and Adventure Paths, GMs are allowed to use their own rules for character creation and running the presented content (the entire book or series). Credit is applied to an appropriate Roleplaying Guild character as if the character created were a pregenerated character.

which seems to me to indicate that (if we don't change the definition of Campaign Mode), a GM could certainly ban goblins from their tables for AP segments or goblins. Which is why I was suggesting a Hybrid Mode, that requires the GM to accept PFS characters.

Dark Archive 5/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Columbus aka Cirithiel

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Ferious Thune wrote:


The simplest solution to me is to say you can play each part (assuming modules still have parts) in PFS mode. GMs can shorten it as they see fit, but cannot add things. As long as you play either all of the content or a full four hour session and complete 50% of the content, then you get credit. And then giving each section a chronicle sheet that advances the character enough to reach the next section. I don’t particularly care what items are on it, or if there is a boon, or any of that. I just want to be able to play the module with my PFS character and PFS rules (for me and the GM) and to get a chronicle sheet when the session is over.

I really like this idea. This is a good compromise that will work for those of us who want to run this under PFS rules.

It seems to me that the most cumbersome part of the old process was figuring out how to trim down the module to fit into a certain number of play hours and still make sense. This idea leaves the plot trimming up to the GM, and still allows us to work within the PFS play restrictions. (With a loose interpretation of Run As Written.)

Liberty's Edge 1/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Michael Tracey wrote:
Things that I now grok

We're on the same page now. I thought you meant it was currently happening at PFS open table games haha.


Robert Hetherington wrote:


So that seems an easy 3 chronicle sheets, each worth 12 xp. Just split up the 2 boons and items between those 3 sheets as appropriate.

For the rewards adding a chart to the Guide to Organized Play with NonStandard Rewards or whatever, with Current XP on 1 axis and XP gained on the other axis, with gold gained as the result.

This is a great suggestion.

I just want to say that being able to apply XP from low-level content to high-level characters on a like-for-like basis rubs me the wrong way. Maybe there should be another chart for diminishing XP returns when applying credit to higher level characters.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I don't have as much skin in this race, since I exclusively GM PF2, and don't play it, but here are my thoughts:

When running PF1 modules / APs, I always preferred the freedom of campaign mode, because it allowed me to add things / try out new ideas (such as porting in the old AD&D Reincarnation table, or adding in stamina points / resolve points as a mechanic for small parties).

However, when I played them? I always preferred doing the sanctioned content, particularly when I was at conventions, since it meant that I had a decent level of quality control when it came to the GM (whom I might not otherwise know), and rules consistency that I could rely on.

It also gave me the only way I had to play my high level PFS characters, since there wasn't exactly a lot of PFS scenarios for PCs over 12th level.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵

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I agree with every bit of this post. Most of this seems to originate from a lack of content and reducing the credit for a long module seems really disingenuous. Not looking forward to more modules played in PFS "campaign" mode if this this the new norm.

Most/all of my Pathfinder players locally are PFS players, and I assure you that none of them will like this change.

zeonsghost wrote:

Setting the hyperbole and book burning aside, it does seem there's an overall level of discontent with how PFS is handling this.

Problem 1: I'd say the Keepsake system is all around rubbish. Scenario chronicles seemed to have scaled back on the items, which is probably for the best so I can see the logic of not having a chronicle loaded with options. That said, everything about the execution is some combination of unintuitive and unrewarding.

You have a level 1 common item, subtiers for a thing with no subtiers, and a system called "keepsake" in which you buy something. It doesn't feel like a keepsake. It's confusing and really lends itself to the argument that this was rushed.

Solution Suggestions: Get rid of the subtiers unless you're gonna use them and explain how they're supposed to work. Make a Keepsake an actual keepsake. Yes, that'll put a PFS character ahead on the wealth curve. Pick careful as to what those things are and set its resale value to 0 GP. The players and GM are putting in more work for less PFS credit, throw them a bone.

Problem 2: Sanctioned Mode. There seems to be a lot of people upset over the lack of a sanctioned mode and the "we'll put something in the guide later" is a refrain I think a lot of people are sick of hearing.

Solution Suggestion: Let GMs make it up. That's effectively what "campaign mode is" anyways. The lack of content and personnel seem to a ongoing problem that isn't changing anytime soon. It gives organizers the flexibility to put it on so that there's stuff for players to do in a way that suits their environment. It's all giving 1 level's worth of stuff anyways.

If that's too loose, say "Part 1 is Sanctioned" and be done with it. People who are only interested in playing it for PFS credit get their credit. That frees you up to add chronicles for parts 2 & 3 later if there's the right mix of time and demand or to say "play Part 1 at lvl range A-B, get 1 lvl's worth of XP/Fame/GP. play Part 2 at lvl range B-C, get another, and so on through...


Thanks for thinking of new ideas for clearing content more quickly! Would it be safe to assume that it would be perfectly fine to play our PFS characters (or a carbon copy)? I think some folks will want to play their PFS characters, and I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t, but only apply the chronicle sheet benefits in subsequent Society scenarios.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Janice Piette wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:


The simplest solution to me is to say you can play each part (assuming modules still have parts) in PFS mode. GMs can shorten it as they see fit, but cannot add things. As long as you play either all of the content or a full four hour session and complete 50% of the content, then you get credit. And then giving each section a chronicle sheet that advances the character enough to reach the next section. I don’t particularly care what items are on it, or if there is a boon, or any of that. I just want to be able to play the module with my PFS character and PFS rules (for me and the GM) and to get a chronicle sheet when the session is over.

I really like this idea. This is a good compromise that will work for those of us who want to run this under PFS rules.

It seems to me that the most cumbersome part of the old process was figuring out how to trim down the module to fit into a certain number of play hours and still make sense. This idea leaves the plot trimming up to the GM, and still allows us to work within the PFS play restrictions. (With a loose interpretation of Run As Written.)

I second this! Adding this granularity the new sanctioning model would allow Adventures and Adventure Paths to be played with PFS characters without wildly increasing the workload for developers. Just whip up five sheets instead of one!

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

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Michael Sayre wrote:
Mike Bramnik wrote:
Stuff about keepsakes

This is an area that we actually hope to address through the ACP system. ACP will ultimately give us a tool to allow players to access additional options on Chronicle sheets, or even introduce options that we couldn't/didn't approve up front later once errata or other changes have modified the field.

Similarly, it's very likely that going forward we'll be focusing on only having repeatables that were actually written to be repeatable. This season has already seen a big bump in the number of repeatable scenarios that we produce, written to have rotating elements that keep the adventure fresh and relatively unpredictable.

Quote:
Stuff about partial rewards
This is where the "Our potential solution involves adding a section to the organized play guide discussing convention play and providing tips to GMs and organizers on how to run these adventures in a way that fits into your slots and would still allow you to receive and issue Chronicle sheets for completing the playthrough" bit above comes into play. We can look at guidelines for fitting these playthroughs into tighter blocks, but we want to know what tools are you going to help you all out the most when doing so.

See, that all sounds great. Can you show us any of it?

I'm not trying to be snide here. If these are areas you've already identified that can be addressed with ACP or by adding sections to the guide, that's fantastic. But why aren't we seeing those simultaneously (or, preferably, prior) to the release of sanctioning documents for APs and Modules, if they will be so intrinsically connected and/or reliant upon one another?

I really don't want to derail the discussion from sanctioning to the guide/ACP stuff, or suggest to anybody reading that the OPF team isn't working full-time to try and get stuff out to the players. But to me, personally, having these baseline systems in place before sanctioning documents go live would make for a much more stable foundation, and would have likely resulted in a lot fewer replies in the negative/confused vein.

As before, I am still firmly in the camp of people who would let sanctioning documents and such get extra incubation time to make sure everything lines up, rather than risk something being "off" and either then having to just live with it or then needing more time for addendums/errata/corrections to be made later.


I do think it would be good if we could at least give GMs credit for the hard work they put in here. Assuming some localities will schedule module play alongside regular PFS scenarios, giving folks their due for hard work is important.

Any way to accomplish that?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I just wanted to pop in for a quick update on a fairly relevant thing-

There is a fairly significant error in the Chronicle sheet that went up, primarily due to the fact that it was using the unmodified scenario template instead of a modified module template. There should not be Subtiers listed alongside the two loot columns; what is currently tagged as Subtier 1-2 is available to everyone with the Chronicle sheet, and what is currently listed as Subtier 3-4 should be the Keepsakes section, which is comprised solely of uncommon (and one rare) items. I've had an update pushed to correct the template, clarify that Fame is one of the resources completing the adventure grants you, and implement the excellent suggestion from Dustin Knight earlier in the thread to break up the Treasure Bundles so that characters on the verge of leveling up don't suffer a drop in wealth.

If you have already received a copy of the Chronicle for playing through this module and your GM is not available to sign a corrected version, you can print off a copy of the corrected Chronicle sheet and keep it with your original signed sheet, updating your gold received as appropriate to this change.

Note: You may need to clear out your cache/cookies or open up a new browser window to download the updated file.

2/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Can you clarify/confirm the downtime earned too? Is it 24 days? (ie 3 times the single scenario amount)

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

NielsenE wrote:
Can you clarify/confirm the downtime earned too? Is it 24 days? (ie 3 times the single scenario amount)

That is already in the Guide

Pathfinder Society Guide to Play (Second Edition) wrote:
A quest grants 2 days of Downtime, a scenario grants 8 days, and a sanctioned Pathfinder Adventure or Adventure Path typically grants 24 days of Downtime.

If you are hung up on the word "typically" they will call out when it does not give 24, most likely like for Free RPG day Adventures.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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NielsenE wrote:
Can you clarify/confirm the downtime earned too? Is it 24 days? (ie 3 times the single scenario amount)

Yes, you gain the typical 24 days of Downtime.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Thanks, Michael for the quick edits and posting of the new document. I think this is going to be the best way forward and I am looking forward to running Plaguestone for the players in my area as well as online since I bought it on Roll20.

Liberty's Edge ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Fairview Heights aka Freedom Snake

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It seems weird to me that the mentality is that playing something that is neither written for nor intended to be an OP scenario entitles you to OP credit.

Here's a less pessimistic lens that I prefer to look at it through. Thanks for buying and playing our product! We know how much you also enjoy OP, so here's a chronicle sheet giving you an entire level, fame, gold, and access to some items that have absolutely nothing to do with the OP campaign for your OP character. We appreciate your interest in our non-OP products and want to thank you by giving you this entirely unrelated reward as a way of saying thank you.

Thank you, Paizo for giving us OP players/GMs an extra bonus to our OP characters for purchasing and playing your non-OP product. I appreciate it!

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Will the new chronicle allow for multiple levels of XP? I love campaign mode and can just mandate copying PFS characters for it. But I don't understand why a module this long only offers 1 level of rewards.

I love GMing modules usually, but this reward structure won't encourage me to do modules. Given that I have limited time to GM, I am going to want to focus my time on PF2 adventures that allow me to progress my GM sigils. (I'm absurdly motivated by my table count. I love the story, love helping others, love being a GM... but this is too little reward for my time.) I'm likely not going to choose to GM this module because there will be other content that allows me to better use my time.

I just don't understand the reasons for a compressed reward structure. I could accept all the other changes happily but the compressed rewards just don't make sense to me.

1/5

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Will the new chronicle allow for multiple levels of XP? I love campaign mode and can just mandate copying PFS characters for it. But I don't understand why a module this long only offers 1 level of rewards.

I believe someone mentioned upthread that the module only took about 4 or sessions to finish. I feel like giving 3 levels of XP for ~4 sessions of play is excessive.

It's the same as Campaign mode has always been, really. I only got 6 GM credits for the Dragon's Demand, despite running far more than 6 evening sessions. The same for APs: 2 GM tables per book far less than the time it takes to do an AP chapter.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Jacob Rennels wrote:

It seems weird to me that the mentality is that playing something that is neither written for nor intended to be an OP scenario entitles you to OP credit.

Here's a less pessimistic lens that I prefer to look at it through. Thanks for buying and playing our product! We know how much you also enjoy OP, so here's a chronicle sheet giving you an entire level, fame, gold, and access to some items that have absolutely nothing to do with the OP campaign for your OP character. We appreciate your interest in our non-OP products and want to thank you by giving you this entirely unrelated reward as a way of saying thank you.

Thank you, Paizo for giving us OP players/GMs an extra bonus to our OP characters for purchasing and playing your non-OP product. I appreciate it!

I can't be that upbeat about the whole thing. There's just not any way I can look at this as anything other than an option that has been provided for the last 7+ years was just taken away without warning or discussion prior to doing so. This conversation could have occurred before decisions were made.

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

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Will the new chronicle allow for multiple levels of XP? I love campaign mode and can just mandate copying PFS characters for it. But I don't understand why a module this long only offers 1 level of rewards.

I love GMing modules usually, but this reward structure won't encourage me to do modules. Given that I have limited time to GM, I am going to want to focus my time on PF2 adventures that allow me to progress my GM sigils. (I'm absurdly motivated by my table count. I love the story, love helping others, love being a GM... but this is too little reward for my time.) I'm likely not going to choose to GM this module because there will be other content that allows me to better use my time.

I just don't understand the reasons for a compressed reward structure. I could accept all the other changes happily but the compressed rewards just don't make sense to me.

100% agree

Liberty's Edge 1/5

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm unable to select this adventure when creating an organized play event. And I'm unable to select it as well when reporting for said event. My players are likely to finish this adventure tomorrow and I want to issue them chronicles for their characters but I'm not sure how to report it online.

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

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Janice Piette wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:


The simplest solution to me is to say you can play each part (assuming modules still have parts) in PFS mode. GMs can shorten it as they see fit, but cannot add things. As long as you play either all of the content or a full four hour session and complete 50% of the content, then you get credit. And then giving each section a chronicle sheet that advances the character enough to reach the next section. I don’t particularly care what items are on it, or if there is a boon, or any of that. I just want to be able to play the module with my PFS character and PFS rules (for me and the GM) and to get a chronicle sheet when the session is over.

I really like this idea. This is a good compromise that will work for those of us who want to run this under PFS rules.

It seems to me that the most cumbersome part of the old process was figuring out how to trim down the module to fit into a certain number of play hours and still make sense. This idea leaves the plot trimming up to the GM, and still allows us to work within the PFS play restrictions. (With a loose interpretation of Run As Written.)

I agree with most of this as well - if I recall correctly, the PFS 1 Guild guide states that to get a complete chronicle sheet, a player needs to complete 75% of a scenario (because life happens). If we're able to institute a similar option for running these in PFS mode - must complete X amount of story for your sheet, I think that would help. Also, while I understand some people having concern about having a module part that can be run in a 5-6 hour block giving you a level, some of the sanctioned PF1 modules do just that (see Emerald Spire). That being said, allowing one sheet/level per chapter of the module I think would be fair, possibly gating the keepsake items behind the third sheet - making them the "bonus" for completing the entirety. That way, people who aren't able to make all three pieces still get credit, but those who dedicate the time to the entirety are rewarded for it. The sheet could also be added to by another GM later, as long as you haven't started another scenario (like with Phantom Phenomena or Fallen Family, Broken Name in PF1). Also, this would help with convention planning, because it would give flexibility in scheduling for the planners as well as the players.

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