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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5/5 ⦵⦵

Xathos of Varisia wrote:
roysier wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:

Do I understand correctly here:

As a GM running Fall of Plaguestone for PFS credit, I can say "All PFS rules and guidelines apply to character creation. You may only use sanctioned material."

So that the players' characters would be identical to characters they could play otherwise.

The only difference is that, instead of Paizo staff making necessary editorial cuts for time/length, it would be my decision.

And I could collaborate with other people in my area to reach a nonbinding consensus as to what to leave out and what to keep in.

And if someone wanted to "play their PFS character", they could create an identical clone, play the clone through the adventure, and then apply all the gains to the "real" PFS character?

Here is the difference I don't know you I don't trust GM's i don't know. I've run into to many GM's who like to play a GM vs player style battle. They are out to get players. I like to play stuff as it is written because even gm's with good intent when they change things they usually screw stuff up. PFS mode protects against all of these concerns. That's why I only play modules in organized play in PFS mode. This decision is literally the last nail in the coffin for my interest in organized play for PF2. I'm only interested in modules and playing a scenario here and there. (I've burned out on the PF scenario model a long time ago).

Congratulations! You can still play Fall of Plaguestone in PFS mode. Enjoy!

You are wrong. No matter how you spin it. There is not PFS mode anymore.

Grand Lodge 4/5

roysier wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
roysier wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:

Do I understand correctly here:

As a GM running Fall of Plaguestone for PFS credit, I can say "All PFS rules and guidelines apply to character creation. You may only use sanctioned material."

So that the players' characters would be identical to characters they could play otherwise.

The only difference is that, instead of Paizo staff making necessary editorial cuts for time/length, it would be my decision.

And I could collaborate with other people in my area to reach a nonbinding consensus as to what to leave out and what to keep in.

And if someone wanted to "play their PFS character", they could create an identical clone, play the clone through the adventure, and then apply all the gains to the "real" PFS character?

Here is the difference I don't know you I don't trust GM's i don't know. I've run into to many GM's who like to play a GM vs player style battle. They are out to get players. I like to play stuff as it is written because even gm's with good intent when they change things they usually screw stuff up. PFS mode protects against all of these concerns. That's why I only play modules in organized play in PFS mode. This decision is literally the last nail in the coffin for my interest in organized play for PF2. I'm only interested in modules and playing a scenario here and there. (I've burned out on the PF scenario model a long time ago).

Congratulations! You can still play Fall of Plaguestone in PFS mode. Enjoy!

You are wrong. No matter how you spin it. There is not PFS mode anymore.

Wrong again. Enjoy PFS mode play.

Dark Archive 5/5

@Xathos Please explain me how I can play my PFS character (not a copy of one) is this module ?

Grand Lodge 4/5

Ilmakis wrote:
@Xathos Please explain me how I can play my PFS character (not a copy of one) is this module ?

It's easy. Just play PFS. You all are just making this far too complicated. You've got a great opportunity here for all kinds of options, but to be honest some of you are either too paranoid or simply inflexible enough to adapt to change.

Change is inevitable. Progress cannot occur without change. We have a great set of rules and a great society. Let's enjoy it.

Scarab Sages 4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

That would be breaking the rules. You can’t impose the restrictions of Event mode on Campaign mode.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
roysier wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
roysier wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:

Do I understand correctly here:

As a GM running Fall of Plaguestone for PFS credit, I can say "All PFS rules and guidelines apply to character creation. You may only use sanctioned material."

So that the players' characters would be identical to characters they could play otherwise.

The only difference is that, instead of Paizo staff making necessary editorial cuts for time/length, it would be my decision.

And I could collaborate with other people in my area to reach a nonbinding consensus as to what to leave out and what to keep in.

And if someone wanted to "play their PFS character", they could create an identical clone, play the clone through the adventure, and then apply all the gains to the "real" PFS character?

Here is the difference I don't know you I don't trust GM's i don't know. I've run into to many GM's who like to play a GM vs player style battle. They are out to get players. I like to play stuff as it is written because even gm's with good intent when they change things they usually screw stuff up. PFS mode protects against all of these concerns. That's why I only play modules in organized play in PFS mode. This decision is literally the last nail in the coffin for my interest in organized play for PF2. I'm only interested in modules and playing a scenario here and there. (I've burned out on the PF scenario model a long time ago).

Congratulations! You can still play Fall of Plaguestone in PFS mode. Enjoy!

You are wrong. No matter how you spin it. There is not PFS mode anymore.
Wrong again. Enjoy PFS mode play.

Link?

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

More of a concern that the bad change that's unproven and unpredictable is worse than a good change that helps build the community.

Not an opposition to change, but to change that will require a lot more work and trust when history argues against such things.

How do you know its been unproven and unpredictable? Its not like the people working on the rules weren't you know experiencing these "issues" first hand.

1/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So, something for people to think about:
To sanction something that's not a scenario for PFS play, what work needs to be done? There's the content curation: figuring out which parts (encounters) of the mod should be sanctioned to provide the core of the content in an appropriate time chunk for the chronicle issued. We've talked about this some.

What I don't think we've mentioned yet is the work to set the level range, and adjust difficulty a-la the Challenge Points system. Presumably, when a PFS scenario is written, part of the writing of the encounter is figuring out the low-tier/high tier and scaling for number of PCs. Now a module will only have one "tier", but someone who isn't the author of the module needs to determine how to scale these encounters based on Challenge Points, and include that information with the sanctioning document. Also, since the math is a lot tighter in PF2 vis-a-vis PF1, the allowed levels being intended module level +/- 1 paradigm likely won't work as well anymore.

I'm not saying these are insurmountable issues, just pointing out some of the work that would need to be done to sanction these to be played by PFS characters. And unless this is somehow crowdsourced, this work would be done by the (understaffed and backlogged, imo) PFS developers.

Now, if we want to have a discussion on this, I guess I'd ask: are there any easements the community would be willing to accept in order to get these sanctioned for PFS characters? For instance, lets say Plaguestone was sanctioned as 3 parts, so 3 chronicles. Each part was roughly a 4 hour chunk of content that awarded 4XP, so even with scenarios on that front. The parts could *only* be played by characters of the correct level, to narrow down the amount of encounter adjusting that needed to happen. So you wouldn't be able to play the whole thing in one go; you'd need to play other content in between. (This already true for PF1 Adventure Paths when played with PFS characters).

Scarab Sages 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That would be better than the current situation, yes.

I don’t think individual encounters are being balanced that way currently for PF1 content, so that seems like additional work. I haven’t looked over sanctioning documents for things I haven’t played, though, so maybe that was happening and I don’t know about it. Modules have a range, within 1 level of the intended level of the module. It’s always been up to the player to decide if they want to take the risk of bringing a character at the low end of that level range or not. Some modules, like Gallows of Madness, include adjustments based on level. But those were written into the modules.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
That would be breaking the rules. You can’t impose the restrictions of Event mode on Campaign mode.

I don't understand.

What about my example cannot be done.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Ilmakis wrote:
@Xathos Please explain me how I can play my PFS character (not a copy of one) is this module ?

Could you please explain to me the practical difference between playing an adventure with an identical clone of your PFS character and playing it with your actual PFS character? As far as I can see, the end results would be identical. The only thing you couldn't do 'technically' is claim you are playing it with your PFS character, but why would that matter and who would care? I get this might be an issue if you only play sanctioned content at conventions, as other people at the table may not hold themselves to the same restrictions, but in a home environment or local game group, the players can all agree to these self-imposed standards.

Scarab Sages 4/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

CrystalSeas - Your example is fine. Any individual group can, under the campaign mode rules, run using all of the content that is PFS-legal, etc. if that works for you, then fantastic. Go for it. It does not make it a PFS mode/Event mode game. That comes with the additional rules governing society play that I mentioned in my response to you.

A campaign mode GM cannot mark a character dead.

A campaign mode character expends no resources off of the actual PFS character.

Etc. the things that have been mentioned multiple times in this thread as the things that lead to issues 8 years ago.

No one can decide to run content that isn’t sanctioned as Event Mode content in Event mode. That would be against the rules. That is what Xathos has repeatedly told people to do, and it is not possible currently with this module.

1/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Okay, still spitballing here, since I haven't read Plaguestone (I plan to run it in Campaign Mode in the spring, and if I get a chance to play it before then, awesome). If I were sanctioning this, here's what I'd do: pick encounters that are mostly PCs vs a group of NPCs/monsters, so I could say for each PC above 4, add one X to the encounter. Maybe if there's a boss fight, add mooks in similar fashion.
If I had to make the level range +/-1 of intended, I suspect I'd import the Challenge rating system. In a 1-2, if the party tended toward 2, the mod gets a level bump. In 2-4 and 3-5, I guess I'd treat it as high subtier and give the 2/3 a level bump (but maybe no Mentorship boons? Dunno). So, seems doable, though for sure more work than just saying there is 1 or 2 allowed levels per part. On the plus side, having your gold determined by your level instead of mod tier removes the WBL disparity you'd see if you always played up or down...

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

CrystalSeas wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
That would be breaking the rules. You can’t impose the restrictions of Event mode on Campaign mode.

I don't understand.

What about my example cannot be done.

By the rule, as so far written, you have to play the module with a non-PFS character. So a GM requiring the players to play with their PFS characters would technically be a violation. That, however, doesn't prevent the players from self-imposing restrictions on themselves that effectively, if not technically, require them to play their PFS characters, or the GM refusing to run the module if the players don't self-impose those restrictions. Both are legal, though the latter might be a bit on the rude side.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ferious Thune wrote:


A campaign mode GM cannot mark a character dead.

Where does it say that?

Quote:
A campaign mode character expends no resources off of the actual PFS character.

Nothing is stopping you from marking that stuff off yourself, or voluntarily retiring your character if it dies in the mod. And if you choose not to do those things, then you didn't really care about playing your actual PFS character in that mod in the first place. If you just can't bring yourself to do those things without the rules telling you that you have to, then the problem isn't the rules.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Bill Baldwin wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:


A campaign mode GM cannot mark a character dead.

Where does it say that?

Quote:
A campaign mode character expends no resources off of the actual PFS character.
Nothing is stopping you from marking that stuff off yourself, or voluntarily retiring your character if it dies in the mod. And if you choose not to do those things, then you didn't really care about playing your actual PFS character in that mod in the first place.

I’m pretty sure the PFS1 guild guide (I’ll look when I’m not on my phone). It certainly spells out that those things apply in event mode. If a campaign mode GM can do things like Mark a character dead, then that’s a major flaw with campaign mode. As a player I’m certainly not going to be comfortable playing in a game where the GM can change any rules they want and still mark my unrelated PFS character dead. That’s inviting conflict, which is what the concern is about.

I’m not certain it’s legal for a player to just mark their character dead, but they effectively could stop playing them.

The larger issue is with everyone else at the table. No matter what the players and GM agree to ahead of time, no one is bound to follow those rules. A GM can still decide mid scenario to change statblocks or add creatures, and they haven’t broken any PFS rules. A player can still act like there’s no risk to their own character and do foolish things impacting everyone else, and at the end walk away with their PFS character intact, but having ruined the experience for everyone else at the table. Those are the types of things that lead to the rules being what they were.

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

6 people marked this as a favorite.

For your home-game group, Campaign Mode may work just fine. For FLGS / convention play this is could be a real mess.

Most players do not read the full game descriptions on Warhorn (or other signup system), and will show up at a table not knowing the highly detailed rules the GM has set up for their Campaign Mode, even if those highly detailed rules say, "I'm pretending this is PFS, you should have a PFS character of X level", or perhaps "I allow all standard PFS rules, and I also allow Leshies, but not Tieflings!"

It would be really helpful to have a PFS Mode that is standardly understood by all parties, GMs, Organizers, and Players. Otherwise scheduling a module at a convention or gamestore will take up everyone's time with custom rules and disagreements.

We need a baseline for convention/gamestore play so that when attending an event where you know noone, you don't have to come to a consensus on what rules you are playing under. Traditionally, that's been PFS mode.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ferious Thune wrote:


The larger issue is with everyone else at the table. No matter what the players and GM agree to ahead of time, no one is bound to follow those rules. A GM can still decide mid scenario to change statblocks or add creatures, and they haven’t broken any PFS rules. A player can still act like there’s no risk to their own character and do foolish things impacting everyone else, and at the end walk away with their PFS character intact, but having ruined the experience for everyone else at the table. Those are the types of things that lead to the rules being what they were.

This would, or as least should, only be an issue with strangers at a convention. If you have this kind of problem with the local players you play with regularly, your problem is bigger than any PFS rules can save.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Since it is best to look at both the upsides and downsides of things before making a decision, I will now completely reverse direction. What would be the downside of Paizo simply allowing you to play the adventure in PFS mod with your PFS character and regular PFS requirements, but with no changes to the published adventure?

Scarab Sages 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bill Baldwin wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:


The larger issue is with everyone else at the table. No matter what the players and GM agree to ahead of time, no one is bound to follow those rules. A GM can still decide mid scenario to change statblocks or add creatures, and they haven’t broken any PFS rules. A player can still act like there’s no risk to their own character and do foolish things impacting everyone else, and at the end walk away with their PFS character intact, but having ruined the experience for everyone else at the table. Those are the types of things that lead to the rules being what they were.

This would, or as least should, only be an issue with strangers at a convention. If you have this kind of problem with the local players you play with regularly, your problem is bigger than any PFS rules can save.

Strangers wherever you’re playing. I drop into local games fairly often when traveling where I don’t know anyone. We have people show up at our loca games occasionally from other areas. I’ve run into a lot of variation with regards to following the rules.

The organized play rules exist so that someone can decide to play a game anywhere and have close to the same experience. Right now if I see Gallows listed online, or in another state, or walk into a shop and a game is about to start, and I know it’s being run PFS mode, I can join the table knowing roughly what to expect without having to have signed up days or weeks earlier and worked out with the GM what house rules apply, etc. That’s not true for campaign mode.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
It does not make it a PFS mode/Event mode game.

Are you still talking about my "Plaguestone" example? As far as I know there is no Event mode option for that.

Bill Baldwin wrote:
So a GM requiring the players to play with their PFS characters would technically be a violation.
I wrote:
I can say "All PFS rules and guidelines apply to character creation. You may only use sanctioned material."

Please don't distort what I said to make your debate point seem valid.

Scarab Sages 4/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CrystalSeas wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
It does not make it a PFS mode/Event mode game.

Are you still talking about my "Plaguestone" example? As far as I know there is no Event mode option for that.

Bill Baldwin wrote:
So a GM requiring the players to play with their PFS characters would technically be a violation.
I wrote:
I can say "All PFS rules and guidelines apply to character creation. You may only use sanctioned material."
Please don't distort what I said to make your debate point seem valid.

CrystalSeas - People aren’t saying you’re doing anything wrong. People are responding to Xathos’s claim that PFS Mode still exists for Plaguestone, when the blog tells us the sanctioning is for non-PFS characters.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CrystalSeas wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
It does not make it a PFS mode/Event mode game.

Are you still talking about my "Plaguestone" example? As far as I know there is no Event mode option for that.

Bill Baldwin wrote:
So a GM requiring the players to play with their PFS characters would technically be a violation.
I wrote:
I can say "All PFS rules and guidelines apply to character creation. You may only use sanctioned material."
Please don't distort what I said to make your debate point seem valid.

I didn’t distort anything. You asked a question, I answered it to the best of my ability. I don’t understand what the problem is.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Bill Baldwin wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
It does not make it a PFS mode/Event mode game.

Are you still talking about my "Plaguestone" example? As far as I know there is no Event mode option for that.

Bill Baldwin wrote:
So a GM requiring the players to play with their PFS characters would technically be a violation.
I wrote:
I can say "All PFS rules and guidelines apply to character creation. You may only use sanctioned material."
Please don't distort what I said to make your debate point seem valid.
I didn’t distort anything. You asked a question, I answered it to the best of my ability. I don’t understand what the problem is.

There is no problem except for those who who need a problem.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Xathos of Varisia wrote:


There is no problem except for those who who need a problem.

Now, now. I am trying to de-escalate this, not aggravate it.

Scarab Sages 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here is what the PFS1E Guild Guide has to say on Campaign Mode vs Event Mode. I haven't been able to find rules in the 2E guide. That doesn't mean they aren't there. I just haven't figured out how to best search it yet.

1E RPG Guild Guide page 13 wrote:

Campaign mode is intended to allow

a group to experience adventure content in the manner
most enjoyable to the player, even if it is not within the
normal bounds of Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild
rules. Campaign mode is available for all sanctioned
Adventure Paths and for Pathfinder Modules that
specifically include this option in their sanctioning
documents. In Campaign mode, GMs can use their own
rules for character creation and running the presented
content (the entire book or series). They are not even
required to use the Pathfinder RPG rules, but they must
run the adventure using a tabletop roleplaying game
and use the Adventure Path or Pathfinder Module as the
primary source for adventure content.
After running a game in Campaign Mode, the GM
should report sessions on paizo.com as usual and distribute
Chronicle sheets to her players. A player may apply the
earned Chronicle sheets to an appropriate Roleplaying Guild
character in-tier for the Chronicle Sheet. Alternatively, they
may use the sheet to create a new character.
This is similar
to applying credit to a pregenerated character (see Applying
Credit on page 7), except that players can apply Campaign
mode credit to characters of the same level or lower and they
do not need to expend resources on their earned Chronicle
sheets to resolve conditions. GMs receive full credit for the
adventure as normal (see page 17).
Event Mode: Only Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild
characters may play in games run in event mode, and all
Roleplaying Guild rules must be followed. Most modules
can only be played in event mode.
Standard pregenerated characters are allowed for use
in event mode play in any module for which the character
would be in the module’s level range. Higher-level
content requires a legal Roleplaying Guild character in
the appropriate level range.

It would be unsettling to me if someone could run a game using 5E rules and mark my PFS character dead. Even if that's the case, unlike with scenarios, you choose which character to assign the chronicle to after the game, so it could just be assigned to a blank 1st level character.

As opposed to the Event Mode section, which makes it very clear that everything applies, just like in a normal PFS scenario game.

There's not a separate set of Campaign Mode rules for running a game that approximates Event Mode. There's the Event Mode rules. So anything that applies to Campaign Mode applies to Campaign Mode. If a GM can mark a character dead, because you were using a clone of your PFS character, then a GM can mark a character dead in any Campaign Mode game. Unless there are new rules published (edit: to be clear, I don't think either of those things are allowed, but since the conversation has gone in the are you sure? direction, I'm pointing out the pitfalls in allowing them with the rules we currently have).

This blog is the only thing for second edition that I've been able to find, and it says "Non-PFS character." It does not lay out any process to report changes to a PFS character linked to that. Just assigning/applying the chronicle. Which, again, it's very unclear if that has to happen before the game or happens after like in PFS 1E campaign mode.

Scarab Sages 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bill Baldwin wrote:
Since it is best to look at both the upsides and downsides of things before making a decision, I will now completely reverse direction. What would be the downside of Paizo simply allowing you to play the adventure in PFS mod with your PFS character and regular PFS requirements, but with no changes to the published adventure?

That would, again, be better than what we have right now. It still means we're losing the 3 chronicles vs 1 chronicle. Which, again, for me is not an issue of the amount of credit, but is more about being able to divide it into smaller pieces so that I actually have hope of playing it some day. And being able to play the parts individually, so that if I can make session 1, but not sessions 2-3, I can still get credit. If I can later make a session 2 elsewhere, I can get credit for that, maybe on the same character, maybe on someone different.

Yes, that means the story gets broken up, but I don't see that as any different than a 3 scenario arc, which I've had to do similar things in order to play all of them in the past. I've still never had a chance to play City of Strangers 2, and City of Strangers 1 was my second PFS scenario played.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Ferious Thune wrote:


Yes, that means the story gets broken up, but I don't see that as any different than a 3 scenario arc, which I've had to do similar things in order to play all of them in the past. I've still never had a chance to play City of Strangers 2, and City of Strangers 1 was my second PFS scenario played.

I am not just talking about the down side to players, but the down side to Paizo, as well. Remember, the whole point of this is to cut down how much resources have to be devoted to sanctioning, which, in turn, benefits the players by having faster sanctioning. Breaking it up into 3 parts would be more work (though how much would depend on the adventure and how it was broken up), and at least partially defeat the purpose.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Bill Baldwin wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:


Yes, that means the story gets broken up, but I don't see that as any different than a 3 scenario arc, which I've had to do similar things in order to play all of them in the past. I've still never had a chance to play City of Strangers 2, and City of Strangers 1 was my second PFS scenario played.
I am not just talking about the down side to players, but the down side to Paizo, as well. Remember, the whole point of this is to cut down how much resources have to be devoted to sanctioning, which, in turn, benefits the players by having faster sanctioning. Breaking it up into 3 parts would be more work (though how much would depend on the adventure and how it was broken up), and at least partially defeat the purpose.

Of course. And I (and I think others) have stated earlier in the thread that we'd be happy with chronicles that don't have boons or special items. So most of what we're asking them to do is to find a point to break the module into parts (roughly 16-21 pages long based on existing modules), and to generate a couple of extra chronicle sheets with basic information on them. Paizo is free to decline to do so, and we're free to be unhappy about that, as we are unhappy about what has been given to us here. They asked for a discussion, so we're offering our thoughts. Whether they take them into account or make any adjustments based on them is completely up to Paizo.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Ferious Thune wrote:
Here is what the PFS1E Guild Guide has to say on Campaign Mode vs Event Mode.

Which is great historical information for evaluating the rules of PFS 2E but not actually binding to play.

I understand it is just semantics in some ways, but until this sanctioning, you did not have the ability to play Plaguestone. So saying something has been taken away is not accurate, even if it feels like it.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo) 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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I've been trying to stay out of this since I don't organize or play much PF2 but since it occured to me that these pants on head sort of sanctioning tactics might make their way to Starfinder Society I figured I would weigh in.

I do think it needs pointed out that this does effectively kill modules or 'Adventures' or whatever the nomenclature is this week as options for us to run at conventions.

This has been a staple for nearly every small to mid size con I've ever been to or run, including my own crit con which got a lot of mileage out of Ire of the Storm and Daughters of Fury and they've been fun and rewarding experiences. More importantly they've proven time and again to be draws for these sorts of events.

Maybe it was too much credit for too short an adventure but it seemed to me like this was a functional system and that the new system lacks a lot of answers for what it's broken here. Its also disturbing to me how many people are trying to quash dissent on a post that was openly about soliciting feedback and criticism.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Here is what the PFS1E Guild Guide has to say on Campaign Mode vs Event Mode.
Which is great historical information for evaluating the rules of 2E but not actually binding to play.

All we have for PFS2E is this blog, which says "Non-PFS Characters" and gives instructions for assigning chronicles. So by this blog, you cannot mark someone's character dead, because they are not playing their PFS character.

If you know if rules exist in the PFS2E guide, please post them (or a link) here. I'll gladly read through them.

EDIT because you edited your post: It's the going forward aspect of the blog that indicates things aren't going to be sanctioned like they were in the past. I'm happy for people who can use the new chronicle and play something for credit that they couldn't get credit for before. But if the answer (as it seems to be) going forward is that this is all we'll have, then yes, something has been taken away. If the blog had stated that they're sanctioning it for campaign mode now, but still intend to sanction it for Event mode later, then there would be less of an issue. But what they said is they're working on guidelines to let you fit it into a convention slot. That's helpful, but not what we're asking for or were expecting given the way things have operated for the last 8 years.

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

Douglas Edwards wrote:
This has been a staple for nearly every small to mid size con I've ever been to or run, including my own crit con which got a lot of mileage out of Ire of the Storm and Daughters of Fury and they've been fun and rewarding experiences. More importantly they've proven time and again to be draws for these sorts of events.

I on the other hand have seen them rarely at conventions, so different people from different areas experience may differ. And the ones I have seen don't go well, Either they don't finish because they don't work well in the time slots or they don't get the players.

There are many sides to this, and I actually trust Paizo when they say...

"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."

Though I am curious how they reached that conclusion.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Having disagreements is not quashing dissent.

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

Looking at the content and comments... maybe this particular module is an outlier, and only really covers 2 levels worth of content.

Adam Daigle wrote:
Unikatze wrote:

Also here to know what Level it goes up to.

Trying to decide if I should start my new 2E group with this or jump in straight to the AP.

If the PCs do everything, they should get to 4th level (or at least really close to 4th).

I think this may include the quests at the back.

With what I am seeing on suggested play time, and an intial read over, Maybe Part 1-2 should be one chronicle, and part 3 should be another. So, two chronicles, not three. Which would be different than anything else I am aware of, but may match the timing better of actually played content.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Steven Lau wrote:
Douglas Edwards wrote:
This has been a staple for nearly every small to mid size con I've ever been to or run, including my own crit con which got a lot of mileage out of Ire of the Storm and Daughters of Fury and they've been fun and rewarding experiences. More importantly they've proven time and again to be draws for these sorts of events.

I on the other hand have seen them rarely at conventions, so different people from different areas experience may differ. And the ones I have seen don't go well, Either they don't finish because they don't work well in the time slots or they don't get the players.

There are many sides to this, and I actually trust Paizo when they say...

"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."

Though I am curious how they reached that conclusion.

Edit: I missed that you qutoed the blog when I hit reply (maybe edited to add on?). Didn't mean to quote it back at you. The rest of the comments still apply.

That seems to be the opinion shared by Paizo: "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." The more people who speak up to say how useful modules have been in helping schedule events, the more likely it is to change that opinion. And, of course, the more to speak up stating otherwise, the more likely to confirm it.

I really wish that this had been included in the rounds of surveys that were done prior to 2Es release. That would have made the whole thing at least feel a lot more scientific and given people a chance to express their dissatisfaction (or satisfaction) in a less public way. Even conducting a poll now might be a good thing.

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

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I think Paizo are in a no win situation here.

According to their Data it is a small percentage of the player base that actually really cares about PFS Mode but those are who we will see the most here on the forums, but they know everyone hates the chronicle sheets take so long to come out.

So they fix that and now they can come out quicker helping the majority (according to them) get to sanctioned content but we will see a lot of the vocal minority now (according to them) complaining that this now hurts the majority (according to the forums).

They can't win this.

If they go back to the way they were doing it at first people will get quiet here that got what they wanted but then after a few modules taking 6-12 months to come out sanctioned we will here the complaints again..

No Win...

Scarab Sages 4/5

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It doesn't have to be either or. They can issue campaign mode chronicles now and PFS mode chronicles later. Or they can change how PFS mode chronicles are put together. There are a lot of options in-between Campaign Mode only and having to work exactly as it did in the past.

EDIT: Even dropping into the thread now to a) confirm whether or not the blog means there is no more Event mode, and b) state that they're willing to consider an Event mode that still reduces the work required to put it together would be extremely helpful and could maybe steer the conversation away from people arguing about whether or not PFS Mode/Event Mode still exists and onto trying to figure out a system that works for everyone.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Glen Parnell wrote:

Looking at the content and comments... maybe this particular module is an outlier, and only really covers 2 levels worth of content.

Adam Daigle wrote:
Unikatze wrote:

Also here to know what Level it goes up to.

Trying to decide if I should start my new 2E group with this or jump in straight to the AP.

If the PCs do everything, they should get to 4th level (or at least really close to 4th).

I think this may include the quests at the back.

With what I am seeing on suggested play time, and an intial read over, Maybe Part 1-2 should be one chronicle, and part 3 should be another. So, two chronicles, not three. Which would be different than anything else I am aware of, but may match the timing better of actually played content.

House on Hook Street has 3 chapters, but 2 chronicles (and a bonus chronicle). If 2 chronicles is what fits best for this module, then 2 chronicles would be great.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Bill Baldwin wrote:
By the rule, as so far written, you have to play the module with a non-PFS character. So a GM requiring the players to play with their PFS characters would technically be a violation. That, however, doesn't prevent the players from self-imposing restrictions on themselves that effectively, if not technically, require them to play their PFS characters, or the GM refusing to run the module if the players don't self-impose those restrictions. Both are legal, though the latter might be a bit on the rude side.

I believe the specific written rule here is:

Sanctioning document wrote:
These adventures are therefor offered outside of the standard organized play environment and can be played with characters who do not conform to organized play requirements.

"can be played with characters who do not conform to organized play requirements" does not mean "have to play the module with a non-PFS character." A GM running the adventure can place whatever restrictions they want ... so long as they can get the players to agree to play with those restrictions. So if the GM says the characters may play with a clone of their PFS character - and then level that character up for the module as needed - there is nothing written in the rule that prohibits that, so far as I can see.

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

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I personally think there best option is to just go as is.

release the chronicle sheet once it is ready then later come out with rules how it can be cut down for Game Day/Convention use and still get full credit.

We get the speed of quick release then later the more time consuming rules for people who want to play at game day and conventions.

The big problem with that is that does not appease the players who want to play these with full PFS rules, it just allows them to take up slots at conventions and game days.

Even though I think playing PFS mode is a horrible way to play modules I understand people don't agree with me on that.

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

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Steven Lau wrote:
Either they don't finish because they don't work well in the time slots or they don't get the players.

I can imagine that problem, but haven't seen it locally. We regularly plan and run modules, but never rarely in regular game slots. We have a whole convention (10+ tables per slot) that is nothing but high-level modules and seeker scenarios, but we know what we are getting in for; We schedule multiple day long slots for the big ones.

As an organizer, I can tell you it is much harder to organize a table that is in Campaign Mode than PFS Mode. After a player signs up, I have to contact them asking if I can share their contact info with the GM to start creating a character. The players have to reply to me with permission, then the GM has to contact the party and begin to settle on what everyone is going to play. A single player ignoring a pre-planning email (or escalating to a text or even phone-call) can set up frustration table-side when the game starts. It is quite a bit of overhead, and honestly, I avoid scheduling anything in Campaign Mode if I can help it.

For home-groups, Campaign Mode is just fine. I've enjoyed it when I've done it. But that is not all that Society Play is.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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azjauthor wrote:
Bill Baldwin wrote:
By the rule, as so far written, you have to play the module with a non-PFS character. So a GM requiring the players to play with their PFS characters would technically be a violation. That, however, doesn't prevent the players from self-imposing restrictions on themselves that effectively, if not technically, require them to play their PFS characters, or the GM refusing to run the module if the players don't self-impose those restrictions. Both are legal, though the latter might be a bit on the rude side.

I believe the specific written rule here is:

Sanctioning document wrote:
These adventures are therefor offered outside of the standard organized play environment and can be played with characters who do not conform to organized play requirements.
"can be played with characters who do not conform to organized play requirements" does not mean "have to play the module with a non-PFS character." A GM running the adventure can place whatever restrictions they want ... so long as they can get the players to agree to play with those restrictions. So if the GM says the characters may play with a clone of their PFS character - and then level that character up for the module as needed - there is nothing written in the rule that prohibits that, so far as I can see.

"Outside of the standard organized play environment" pretty clearly means outside of the standard organized play environment, though. And elsewhere in the blog it states it is intended for "non-PFS characters."

Edit: The rest of your statement is true. I'm not saying it isn't. But it's a clone of your PFS character, not your PFS character, and I don't believe that a GM can impose penalties (like death) onto your PFS character when you aren't playing it (or a pregen in a regular scenario).

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

Michael Tracey wrote:
But that is not all that Society Play is.

Personally that is not really a care of mine... I just care if the players have fun playing the modules... It is just an nice bonus that we get chronicle sheets and easier for me to drag from a larger pool of players.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Steven Lau wrote:

I personally think there best option is to just go as is.

release the chronicle sheet once it is ready then later come out with rules how it can be cut down for Game Day/Convention use and still get full credit.

We get the speed of quick release then later the more time consuming rules for people who want to play at game day and conventions.

The big problem with that is that does not appease the players who want to play these with full PFS rules, it just allows them to take up slots at conventions and game days.

Even though I think playing PFS mode is a horrible way to play modules I understand people don't agree with me on that.

It's a simple enough request to ask that when they release those guidelines, they also allow them to be run in PFS/Event Mode with all of the restrictions and protections that come along with that. What is the advantage to not doing so, if the content is already shortened to fit into a convention schedule?

Sovereign Court 2/5

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm curious.

Do people run AP's and 32+ Page longer adventures at conventions?

The 32 page format was great for an all day game at a con. I have ran Ruby Phoenix Tournament and played in Fangwood Keep and Murder's Mark. All were fun. I have not seen an AP ran at a convention however (Though I have not been around past few years, so not sure if that has changed) I have seen people playing APs at the shop in "Campaign mode, however (Over multiple sessions or weekends)

As it stands on the schedule right now, the 2 modules have a page count closer to an AP rather than the 32 page module. Is it even feasible to run (An AP or current module) at a convention without cutting a large portion? Do people run these at conventions?

Scarab Sages 4/5

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32 page modules, yes. Often as a double slot, which could be anywhere up to 12 hours if you play through the normal breaks. I've played and run Fangwood Keep at a convention.

AP parts are less common, and I'm honestly less bothered by this change where APs are concerned. Though I still hate to lose that content for regular PFS play, I can see a lot more work having to go into getting those down to a manageable length, and even then a lot of the 1E AP parts take longer to run than is practical without cutting them even further.

Losing the flexibility that modules provided is pretty huge, though.

EDIT: We also often use 32 page modules as a Sunday last game of a convention, because we generally can't fit two full slots in, but might be able to get 7 hours or so, which for some is enough.

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

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Jib916 wrote:
Do people run AP's and 32+ Page longer adventures at conventions?

Yes. We've run individual books of APs, not a whole AP at a convention, and we've run 64 page modules. Just this Memorial Day Weekend (May for non-US readers), we had a table do all of "Wardens of the Reborn Forge" in 4 days of epic gaming. I prefer scheduling the 32 page modules, for sure. We run *many* of those locally.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

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Jib916 wrote:

I'm curious.

Do people run AP's and 32+ Page longer adventures at conventions?

The 32 page format was great for an all day game at a con. I have ran Ruby Phoenix Tournament and played in Fangwood Keep and Murder's Mark. All were fun. I have not seen an AP ran at a convention however (Though I have not been around past few years, so not sure if that has changed) I have seen people playing APs at the shop in "Campaign mode, however (Over multiple sessions or weekends)

As it stands on the schedule right now, the 2 modules have a page count closer to an AP rather than the 32 page module. Is it even feasible to run (An AP or current module) at a convention without cutting a large portion? Do people run these at conventions?

While running single modules as an all day slot at a Con is more common, I have seen Cons that run parts of APs (usually the first parts). In some cases, when the Cons are organized by the same people and only a few weeks or months apart, I have seen running an entire AP spread out across multiple Cons.

Sovereign Court 2/5

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Michael Tracey wrote:


Yes. We've run individual books of APs

Awesome. Yeah I meant individual AP books, though marathoning a whole AP over a weekend sounds... interesting lol

Ferious Thune wrote:


Losing the flexibility that modules provided is pretty huge, though.

Doesn't having bigger modules in 2e change that flexibility too?

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