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 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
So basically it comes down to you shoving what you want down the player's throat.

If that helps you make sense of the difference, sure.

Creating an actual PFS Mode answers all of those problems.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm just curious whether releasing an XP/GP/Fame-only Chronicle is viable. Then sometime down the road release a No-XP/No-GP/No-Fame Chronicle with a Boon for playing the entire series.

That seems like the easiest answer to me.

Players get modules sanctioned faster, and Campaign Leadership has time to create something special.

Thoughts?

Grand Lodge 4/5

TOZ wrote:
You can have both. And you know it.

They can have both. You know it and they know it.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Not as the rules stand.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka The ShadowShackleton

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Janice Piette wrote:
Glen Shackleton wrote:


I had a conversation with one of my players because I couldn’t fully understand the upset over this. We have never really used a lot of modules or APs locally for game days or conventions and I like the new style of chronicles personally (minus the errors). I do see from others here that there are some areas where this could cause some scheduling issues, but that is not my own experience.

He explained that the people it hurts the most are those (like him) who play online and prefer to “burn through” a few one hour runnings of the low level modules so they can start their characters at 3rd level.

No, you and your player are wrong. Why would you ask a random person why people are upset instead of reading what people here are saying they are upset about??

The people this is hurting are those that want something “special” to put on the schedule at conventions or occasional game days to draw in players for our events. This thread is filled with Venture Critters saying “This hurts my scheduling.”

If the problem is people speed running repeatable adventures — and don’t fool yourself to think it doesn’t happen with scenarios too — the answer is to not to stop giving correct* XP for modules, it’s to stop making them repeatable.

Other than a few modules that were written inappropriately short for the amount of XP given, modules generally give about 1 XP per hour. Emerald Spire is a perfect example of a module that gives too much XP for the time it takes to play each level. The very fact that these power-levelers you speak of used ES to do it only reinforces the fact that most modules did NOT over-award XP for the time spent. You are seeing the exception and making a rule.

When I scheduled modules for our local game days they were always done in 10-12 hour “slots.” At conventions, modules typically get 3 slots or 12-15 hours. And at the end you get one level. Exactly on target for 1XP per hour.

In fact, the 12XP currently being given for...

I asked this player because he has logged hundreds of hours as a player and GM online. He was not a “random person”. You skipped the part where I said that I understand others are pointing out a separate issue of scheduling.

But thanks for letting me know my opinion is wrong. That is sure to win folks over to your cause.

The Emerald Spire example was a separate post where I was pointing out that it was a little easier to make chronicles for. I was not claiming it was being abused in online play. In fact I don’t mind if others play how they like. I think the point stands that we have to be careful not to over-reward modules (especially replayable ones) out of proportion to the 12-15 hours it normally takes to go up a level via scenarios.

More play options is a good thing. I don’t blame them for proceeding with caution. Seen a lot of abusive stuff in my involvement since Season Zero. Your experience may well be different.

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:

I'm just curious whether releasing an XP/GP/Fame-only Chronicle is viable. Then sometime down the road release a No-XP/No-GP/No-Fame Chronicle with a Boon for playing the entire series.

That seems like the easiest answer to me.

Players get modules sanctioned faster, and Campaign Leadership has time to create something special.

Thoughts?

This is very similar to the idea I suggested a couple of hundred (oy) posts ago. I am all for it. It gets things in play for players/GMs faster, it takes pressure off Paizo's OP team, and I believe it makes things easier on everybody, overall.

Edit: Doing this without the keepsakes could make things even better. If the Guide were updated to state that all Adventures/Modules/APs were automatically sanctioned in "Campaign Mode Only" (for a standardized/fixed amount of XP, Fame/Rep, and Gold on a chart or something) the moment they were published. Paizo could release a "blank" chronicle sheet once and never have to update it again. Then the OP team could release the "bonus" chronicles that only had Keepsakes and Boons later down the road, and the Access conditions for the bonus chronicle is having all of the XP/etc. chronicles for playing/GMing the adventure.

It would be a rather efficient system, and be less work for not only the OP team, but the art/layout/web teams as well.

Edit^2: Note that this is only for campaign-mode, which would be the easiest thing to sanction quickly for PFS-credit. Other people in this thread have written far better than I about the desire for a more modular mode of play for Adventures/Modules/APs.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why not for PFS Mode?

Grand Lodge 4/5

TOZ wrote:
Not as the rules stand.

Maybe for your narrow interpretation of them.

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

Glen Shackleton wrote:
Janice Piette wrote:
Glen Shackleton wrote:


I had a conversation with one of my players because I couldn’t fully understand the upset over this. We have never really used a lot of modules or APs locally for game days or conventions and I like the new style of chronicles personally (minus the errors). I do see from others here that there are some areas where this could cause some scheduling issues, but that is not my own experience.

He explained that the people it hurts the most are those (like him) who play online and prefer to “burn through” a few one hour runnings of the low level modules so they can start their characters at 3rd level.

No, you and your player are wrong. Why would you ask a random person why people are upset instead of reading what people here are saying they are upset about??

The people this is hurting are those that want something “special” to put on the schedule at conventions or occasional game days to draw in players for our events. This thread is filled with Venture Critters saying “This hurts my scheduling.”

<snip discussion about relative XP>

I asked this player because he has logged hundreds of hours as a player and GM online. He was not a “random person”. You skipped the part where I said that I understand others are pointing out a separate issue of scheduling.

But thanks for letting me know my opinion is wrong. That is sure to win folks over to your cause.

The Emerald Spire example was a separate post where I was pointing out that it was a little easier to make chronicles for. I was not claiming it was being abused in online play. In fact I don’t mind if others play how they like. I think the point stands that we have to be careful not to over-reward modules (especially replayable ones) out of proportion to the 12-15 hours it normally takes to go up a level via scenarios.

More play options is a good thing. I don’t blame them for proceeding with caution. Seen a lot of abusive stuff in my involvement since Season Zero. Your experience may well be different.

And I stand by my point. If you wanted to know why people (on this thread) are disappointed/upset, you need to ask the people on this thread. Your friend, no matter their qualifications, does not speak for *me.*

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Xathos of Varisia wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Not as the rules stand.
Maybe for your narrow interpretation of them.

Feel free to explain how GMs can enforce consumable expenditure in PFS Mode.

Extra Credit:
Nefreet wrote:

Xathos, I don't think you're listening to what is being said, and stubbornly claiming you are when people are telling you different is unhelpful.

Try looking at it like this:

Can I offer to run a Campaign Mode module using only PFS legal options? Yes.

Can I have players use proxies of their PFS characters? Yes.

But that's where the similarity ends.

Can I, as a GM, mark the player's PC as dead? No.

Can I, as a GM, ask the player to pay to remove conditions? No.

Can I ask that consumables used in the module be marked off the player's sheet? No.

Can a player sign up for a Campaign Mode module with the security that their GM will run the game using only PFS legal options? No.

Can a player sign up for a Campaign Mode module with the security that their otherwise PFS-legal proxy will be accepted? No.

And, perhaps the biggest differences, can I as the GM give the player's PC full experience, as modules thus far have granted? No.

If four players sit down to a Tier 1-4 module with Level 1 PFS proxies, that's going to be a very unhappy group by the time they're fighting encounters designed for Levels 2+.

Does that help you understand the differences we're talking about?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
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).

I definitely agree with this ... if your character (clone of a PFS character or non-PFS character) dies in the adventure, there is no indication that the death "counts" against the character assigned the chronicle sheet (although if you die, I suppose you don't even get the chronicle).

Scarab Sages 4/5

azjauthor wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
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).
I definitely agree with this ... if your character (clone of a PFS character or non-PFS character) dies in the adventure, there is no indication that the death "counts" against the character assigned the chronicle sheet (although if you die, I suppose you don't even get the chronicle).

You do. Or at least, you would under PFS1, if you had completed enough of the module. In PFS1, even when playing Event mode, if you've completed 50% of the module, you get full rewards. It's unclear if that's the case going forward for PFS2, since neither the blog nor the sanctioning document mention that, and I've still been unable to find if the guide comments on it.

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

Nefreet wrote:
Why not for PFS Mode?

You're right, it could work in a PFS-Mode, too. I stand corrected.

Grand Lodge 4/5

TOZ wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Not as the rules stand.
Maybe for your narrow interpretation of them.

Feel free to explain how GMs can enforce consumable expenditure in PFS Mode.

** spoiler omitted **

It's a simple agreement between players and the GM. Apparently you don't think your players want to play by the rules you want them to play by. That's not the fault of the mode.

Bottom line here is you want to restrict choice. I read Nefreet's points and disagree with them as already explained.

Can you as a GM mark characters dead? YES - if everyone agreed to the mode beforehand.

That's not that hard to figure out. I find it interesting how some want to complain about trusting the GM. Looks to me like some don't trust their players.

5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Not as the rules stand.
Maybe for your narrow interpretation of them.

Feel free to explain how GMs can enforce consumable expenditure in PFS Mode.

** spoiler omitted **

Can you as a GM mark characters dead? YES - if everyone agreed to the mode beforehand.

No they cannot. Rules are rules.

It sounds like you don't believe in rules. Why have saving throws, why roll a d20.

If you don't believe in rules than you are exactly the type of GM I wouldn't want to be anywhere around.

I've been at tables where the GM asked for players consent. a few agreed and no one spoke up with disagreement. As soon as a player died all hell broke loose because PFS rules were not followed. Complaints went up to VO's and the GM was "spoken too" and the results overturned. The dead characters were no longer dead. Having players agree on something with the GM in organized play means nothing if organized rules are not followed.

I have seen GM decision overturned when it comes to boon awards on chronicle sheets because the GM did not follow the rules.

Any player at anytime can go to a VO and say the GM could not mark my character dead because we did not play a legal PFS table and it doesn't matter that the GM marked the character as dead.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

GMs who don't like something under the current set-up for legal PFS2 character rules can prohibit someone from playing their legal PFS2 character.

Players who may have travelled hours or days to get to a convention or game day will then be out of luck if they have a legal PFS2 character.

Neither of these situations helps build organized play, yet currently this is the only option.

Instead of playing games with the semantics, discovering a solution that fits is the ideal outcome.

Continuing to insist that there is nothing wrong with the current set-up indicates either a lack of reading comprehension or a lack of having to deal with 'Surprise Campaign Mode'.

5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Not as the rules stand.
Maybe for your narrow interpretation of them.

Feel free to explain how GMs can enforce consumable expenditure in PFS Mode.

** spoiler omitted **

It's a simple agreement between players and the GM. Apparently you don't think your players want to play by the rules you want them to play by. That's not the fault of the mode.

Bottom line here is you want to restrict choice. I read Nefreet's points and disagree with them as already explained.

Can you as a GM mark characters dead? YES - if everyone agreed to the mode beforehand.

That's not that hard to figure out. I find it interesting how some want to complain about trusting the GM. Looks to me like some don't trust their players.

Lets make this simpler. Table consent cannot overturn organized play rules. Table consent is not a legitimate way for a GM to change organized play rules.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Xathos of Varisia wrote:

It's a simple agreement between players and the GM. Apparently you don't think your players want to play by the rules you want them to play by. That's not the fault of the mode.

Bottom line here is you want to restrict choice. I read Nefreet's points and disagree with them as already explained.

Can you as a GM mark characters dead? YES - if everyone agreed to the mode beforehand.

That's not that hard to figure out. I find it interesting how some want to complain about trusting the GM. Looks to me like some don't trust their players.

1) It's not what I want. I'm on your side of the argument. Please speak to the position, not me.

2) As said, no the GM cannot. If he does, the player can absolutely point to the rules and say "this death was not legal according to the guide".

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
It's a simple agreement between players and the GM.

That is a very, very small percentage of games. This is Organized Play. We're only interested in universal rules that don't vary from venue to venue.

The parts you and I agree on wrote:

Can I offer to run a Campaign Mode module using only PFS legal options? Yes.

Can I have players use proxies of their PFS characters? Yes.

You and I agree that these points are possible. I can invite players to my house for a private game, gentleperson's agreement, shake hands, and play.

But the vast majority of Organized Play relies on public venues that are advertised ahead of time. GMs and players alike could be total strangers. Often times the organizer doesn't know who will show up, who will GM, or who will play.

That's where you "honor system" breaks down.

Scarab Sages 4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

There is already a simple agreement between players and GMs in PFS. The agreement that by participating in the campaign, you will follow the rules of the campaign. The rules of the campaign are very specific about what you are supposed to do when you hand out a chronicle for Fall of Plaguestone. They list what you can cross off the chronicle. The blog tells us it is for non-PFS characters. Those are the rules that we've been provided, and by participating in the campaign, we agree to follow them. Those rules do not include limitations on what house rules a GM can use, whether or not the GM has to allow every class at the table, or whether or not they can change the written module.So by the rules that we have agreed to follow, a GM cannot be made to do those things. A GM is agreeing that they will hand out a chronicle sheet as instructed in the sanctioning document, which means that the character is not assigned until after the module is over. By participating in PFS and running this module, the GM has already agreed that for this module the player is not running their PFS character.

For scenarios, however, those limitations DO exist. And by participating in a public scenario, either as a GM or player, we are agreeing to follow those restrictions. That includes a player not being allowed to bring an option to the table that is not PFS legal, but it also includes a GM not being able to turn someone away from a public game because they don't like an option that is legal. The choice the GM has is to not offer the game publicly.

Campaign mode was added to allow a GM the ability to run a game how they want, but still grant players a chronicle sheet. Part of the tradeoff for that was that the characters in the game are not the actual PFS characters. They are receiving a chronicle sheet with rewards on it, but that's where it stops. As a GM, you can do whatever you want running the game, but you can't change that chronicle except as instructed in the sanctioning document. If there's a negative boon on the chronicle, then it affects the character the chronicle is assigned to. But a GM can't add a negative boon onto the chronicle that doesn't already exist.

All of these things were hashed out years ago, because of issues that were going on in the campaign. Some of it was the stuff that's already been linked. Some of it had to do with banning classes at the table. The ruling was that if you're listing the game sign-ups publicly for a public event, then you can't restrict who attends based on character options and without a specific reason why that person shouldn't be able to attend (such as a behavior problem at past events, etc.)

That brought a level of consistency to public games and that conflict largely died down 7 1/2 years ago as a result. Campaign Mode was intended for home games. In other words, private games. In a private game, you can control who attends by only inviting people you want to attend. You can do all of the things that are being suggested in this thread (though still dubious to me whether you can impose penalties on a character that wasn't played).

But the point was that as a player signing up for a public event, you knew that there weren't going to be any weird rules, because the GM, by listing the event publicly, was agreeing to follow all of the PFS rules. If the GM doesn't want to do that, they can run it as a private game.

What do I have to back all of this up? The as far as I know still binding rulings by the campaign leadership at the time.

Mike Brock post:
Mike Brock wrote:

If you are GMing in a private setting, such as your own home or apartment, you have the discretion to invite whom ever you want to participate in that game; we can not tell you anymore who to invite into your home than we can tell you what to watch on tv. With that said, if you plan to report that session or distribute Chronicle sheets as an official PFS session, you are required to follow the rules as outlined in the Organized Play Guide.

In a private game, because of the tacit agreement between the GMs and players to participate at all in the private environment, you may place whatever additional restrictions you want on the game because everyone who is present at the private event is understood to have agreed to those restrictions. To clarify, if a player wishes to impose additional penalties or restrictions on his or her character, that is the players prerogative.

This DOES NOT mean you can run an official PFS game with fewer restrictions than are outlined in the Organized Play Guide or other campaign documentation. For example, you can not run an evil character, you can not use Words of Power or Hero Points, or any other specific rules that are not permitted in the campaign.

LINK

Mark Moreland follow-up:
Mark Moreland wrote:
KestlerGunner wrote:
Furthermore, if the ruling is, 'Hey online GM, you have to accept all those synthesist players' the GM can easily just stop publicly offering to GM online. There's not enough people offering to GM online as it is. I know, because I've been waiting to get in on a game.

To this specific point I'd like to ask, if you were restricted from playing a publicly advertised online game (which you indicate you want to get in on) because the GM didn't want to play with a summoner, would that upset you?

Whether online or in meatspace, a game is private if it's not open to the public. Whether that means its at your home and you only let in your friends, in a game store where you and your friends play cause no one has a big enough dining room table, or on the internet where you use a virtual gaming table that only you have access to, if only a select few know about it or have a chance of getting into that game, then it's private.

If, however, you put up a posting on paizo.com, the Pathfinder Society Online Collective, meetup.com, warhorn, or the LFG board at your FLGS, saying, effectively, "we'll be running an official Pathfinder Society game at [insert location]. Contact [insert email] to join" and then you add other restrictions to who can and can't play, that's where Mike and I draw the line. If you want to apply additional restrictions to your game, whether that means you won't GM for a summoner or that you don't like playing with people who wear glasses, you need to either 1) not run that restrictive game as an official Pathfinder Society game or 2) not open it up to the public.

You're right that we can't force anyone—whether online or in meatspace—to do anything (have you ever tried to get even a dozen volunteer gamers to shower before showing up at your con and representing your campaign?). That doesn't mean that publicly offering a game and then imposing your own personal restrictions on it doesn't work against the welcoming and open attitude that best serves the campaign.

LINK

What is happening now, with these new rules, is that the line between private games (do whatever you want organizing the game, but still follow org play rules if you're handing out chronicles) are blurring with public games (We ask you not to restrict who can play, what they can play, change the rules of the scenario, etc.).

PFS Mode/Event Mode gives us a structure wherein everyone is agreeing to the rules that are already established. You don't have to negotiate with your GM or worry about what they might do differently in a game, because both of you have already agreed to follow the rules as they are set out. Campaign mode specifically removes those restrictions from a GM and allows them to run the game how they want. If you sign up for the game, then you are agreeing to that.

Having PFS Mode/Event Mode formalizes the agreement to follow all of the PFS rules governing gameplay for both the players and the GMs in order to avoid the conflicts that were happening before campaign leadership stepped in and clarified how a public event should operate. I really, really, really don't want to see the campaign open itself back up to the kind of vitriol I saw flying around when this was unclear, and yet that appears to be the direction things are heading.

I want modules going forward to be able to be offered publicly with the consistency of experience that PFS provides without having to contact and negotiate with every GM what is or is not allowed at their table, and without having to self-impose restrictions on myself that the rest of the table is not bound by. That does not stop anyone else from running the game in campaign mode if they want. I don't even see an issue with listing that publicly, as long as it's clearly labeled campaign mode. But without campaign leadership also giving us a rule by which we can choose to list the module for PFS play with PFS characters, we can not do that, because no one can enforce those restrictions. There is no guarantee that it won't be "PFS play, except..." no Goblins, or no Alchemists, or in the past no Gunslingers, or no Summoners, or no Necromancers, or no take-10, and on and on.

(Don't let the short length of those threads fool you. There was a lot of debate on the google group that is mentioned before it ever hit the boards, much of it heated and at times pretty toxic. The only reason those threads weren't longer is that it was a time when the campaign leadership was far more active on the forums than they are now, and once the rulings were issued within a day of the threads starting, Mike locked them).

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

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Ferious Thune wrote:
What is happening now, with these new rules, is that the line between private games (do whatever you want organizing the game, but still follow org play rules if you're handing out chronicles) are blurring with public games (We ask you not to restrict who can play, what they can play, change the rules of the scenario, etc.).

Or to put it differently: there is currently no convention-friendly mode available. Chronicles are basically a reward for playing a separate home game, even if it's done with clones.

I think the "run using PFS character legality/run as written" rules is not the hard part to implement. The difficult parts are:

- How to cut up a module into 1-2 slot sized chunks, given that the original was probably not written with chapters intended to accommodate PFS slot sizes?
- How to level up characters/level bump them so that they're appropriate level for the part of the module they're currently in
- Should parts of the story be cut to make sure the whole thing fits into a reasonable amount of slots? You can't really schedule a 6-slot module at a convention, at that point some of those people are basically playing a homegame for the whole Con and waving to people passing their table.
- How much XP is fair to give if you see that a lot of people are reporting running modules much faster than the official/recommended runtime, but also talking about how they cut parts to make it fit slots?
- Paizo's new policy seems to make things evergreen if they have variable components that make every run different. But most modules set aside a lot of that variability to tell a focused story that's "new" only the first time.

As it stands now, I think that not every module is suitable for PFS mode conversion. The oldest PFS1 format (12 hour, 1 level/3XP) seems fine. APs (chop out lots of material to try to keep 12 hours for 1 level) is more work and even then I'm skeptical you can do justice to the original. And the "L1 mill" things like ES1 are really in obvious violation of the 1XP/1H and "evergreen only if it's variable" policies.

Paizo doesn't seem to want to make the old school 32 page modules anymore. I've heard that it's basically because their bindings don't allow spines that can be read from the side, which is bad for physical sales. But 64 page modules with multiple levels are a pain to deploy at conventions.

I don't think there's one single way to do this that will make everyone happy. I don't think all modules can be made into great fits for PFS2. That leaves some options:

- Accept that some will be awkward fits and do it anyway.
- Chop into 1 chronicle = max 12 hours/12 XP/1 level sized chunks. Probably with tighter rules about what material a GM is allowed to cut; we don't want people trying to squeeze 12 hours into 4-8 hours. At some point you cross the line from "we would have won that encounter anyway" to "well, we could also hand out chronicles for XP instead of actually playing".
- Modules could be written with modularity in mind: what would be an obvious story break and levelup milestone in campaign mode, is a good moment for a chronicle for part of the module in PFS mode.
- A 64 page book could instead contain several separate but thematically related modules, and you don't have to run all of it at once. Say, a Saga Lands module that has an adventure in New Thassilon, one in Varisia and one in the Land of the Linnorm Kings. They'll work quite nicely for characters with regional affinity but there's no strict need to do them all on the same character or at the same convention.
- Most modules would not be evergreen, they would have to be written for that on purpose. Or, drop the current evergreen policy.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pip Hip Hooray wrote:
There was a boon for retraining that no one was able to take advantage of before it expired, because ACP boons never went live. We have so much hanging on this, and it really worries me for the future of Organized Play.

Okay, random aside? THANK YOU. I thought I was a nutter for not being able to find/activate/use said boon.


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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
- Modules could be written with modularity in mind: what would be an obvious story break and levelup milestone in campaign mode, is a good moment for a chronicle for part of the module in PFS mode.

I wonder if the "hybrid" approach could work like this: one section of each module (perhaps the final one so that all the story keepsakes are included) is designed with PFS in mind and fits into the 12 hours/1 level paradigm, the rest are freeform. And GMs have a choice of either running the whole module in the campaign mode, cutting as they see fit, or running that one section as written in PFS mode, for the same chronicle.

The downside is that 1st-level characters might be excluded from PFS mode, at least until a module with Part 1 sanctioned is published, or an "anthology" module as you suggest.

The upside is that additional OP team work is reduced by offloading it into the module writing guidelines, while preserving the adventure variety at least partially, and the convention crowd gets their content quicker and at reward parity with the home game crowd.

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

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So... We've been really running back and forth on all of this, and we keep retreading some of the same ground, over and over. It's frustrating for all concerned.

So let's address these things and find common ground, shall we?

Easy Sanctioning Ideas

I really liked Mike Bramnik's idea of the generic chronicle that would allow everything to be automatically be sanctioned, with the idea that Paizo can then publish lists of keepsakes later. Let's make this easier. I am willing to forgo fancy boons to see this content come out.

Campaign Mode vs PFS Mode -- finding a new middle ground

How about this? Let's institute a new middle ground called 'PFS Module Mode'. PFS Module Mode in my mind is the hybrid of campaign mode and our formerly sanctioned PFS mode, and here is how it would work:

1) All PFS Rules apply. You may only use your own characters.
2) You can die, and consumables matter.
3) However, like Campaign Mode, GMs may make what cuts they see fit to ensure that the module fits within a double convention slot. Unlike Campaign Mode, they may not add or change encounters. But they are free to make cuts and choose which sections of the storyline to highlight, and which to offer a quick narrative summary of to keep the game moving.

In other words, I am proposing a new form of a campaign mode that would allow GMs and conventions to impose PFS restrictions while still allowing us to make a few story cuts for space. In some ways, this has existed all along. In the old days of PF1, modules could be done for full credit if the party finished 2/3rds of the module, so sometimes as a GM I would cut a non-challenging combat at the beginning to ensure that the party could still do the boss fight at the end. I'm certain that I am not the only GM to do this.

I think this would combine the best of campaign mode -- allowing us to make small cuts for time -- while also allowing us a PFS module mode with real consequences for characters.

Please note though, that I still want the campaign mode option! I love having a bit more GM freedom with storylines and adding my own brushstrokes in to personalize things a bit for my players.

Hmm

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

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Well there's two ways to do milestones, one of which makes it easier than the other.

One: "by the time the PCs get to scene X they should have enough XP to be level Y" - so typically you go level up just before a bossfight.

Alternative: "at the end of [this book/chapter] you should have enough XP to be level Y", so typically after a bossfight.

The second approach is much, much easier to port to PFS mode, because it means you're supposed to level after each big chunk, not at about two-thirds of it. So if you give up a chronicle in between chapters, people can do their leveling between slots instead of in the middle.

Scarab Sages 4/5

And since sleep is apparently not a thing for me anymore, one more link to the campaign leadership on the topic. Mike Brock’s post from later that year when Campaign Mode was added clarifying that you cannot mix PFS characters and campaign mode. In other words, the things that people have been saying we can do we were explicitly told that we can’t do. Current leadership can change that if they want, but at this point they have not. Excuse the lazy quoting. On my phone now and it’s really a pain to divide up every quoted section in this message. The conversation is with Dragnmoon, who has posted in this current thread as well and maybe remembers some of this.

Mike Brock post Dec 2012:
Mike Brock’s post wrote:


Dragnmoon wrote:
Hey Mike.. I am confused by this part..
Quote:
Alternatively, if you are participating in a Pathfinder Adventure Path with an ongoing home group undertaking the entire campaign, you may receive credit for playing the sanctioned portions of the adventure as if you had played a pregenerated character. In this case, GMs running the Adventure Path are not bound to the rules of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign when running the campaign or the sanctioned portion of the adventure. Pathfinder Society characters and characters from an ongoing Adventure Path campaign may not play in the same adventure.
So is this part saying I can run an Adventure Path using the Normal Core Rules and EXP + Home rules and players and GMs can get credit for a PFS character not being played in the AP, similar to the old Module Rules?
Correct. We couldn't find an elegant solution to allow players to port a PFS character into and out of an AP while playing a home game. So, for APs only, we elected to allow GMs the freedom to run their home group as they see fit, while offering up a solution to award PFS credit. We still encourage players to use their PFS characters to play through sanctioned content in APs, but understand if they do not want to play in a home game, and then turn around and play again with PFS characters. We leave that decision to the players to decide what is best for their play experience.

Dragnmoon wrote:
Also you can use PFS rules throughout the entire campaign?
If your GM wants to choose that option, it is their home campaign. I am doing something similar in my home Shattered Star group.

Dragnmoon wrote:
And I don't understand the bolded line at all... What exactly are you trying to say there...
We didn't want to cause disruptions with home games, where a player said, "I can't use my normal character for our home campaign in this part. I need to use a PFS character for it, so GM, find a way to bring in this PFS character just for rooms B1-E10."

Dragnmoon wrote:
Also so characters can play any part of the AP that has a chronicle for it in any order as long as the meet the level requirement?
That is correct.

That is correct regarding using home rules.

LINK

And later from that thread from Mark Moreland

Mark Moreland:
Mark Moreland wrote:
If it's a home group running through the whole AP, what happens to the PCs in the game has no effect on the character receiving the Chronicle sheet. If it's a PFS-specific game, then the effects don't carry over to the next adventure.

LINK

tl;dr - I’m not making this stuff up. We’ve been told what we can’t do. If Mike S. wants to clarify whether or not they meant to change any of that, I’d welcome anything he has to say on the matter.

I’m going to stop posting on this aspect, as I think I’ve made my point. If there’s information out there I’m not aware of changing any of this, I’d be happy to hear it. In the meantime, I’ll focus on the systems people are proposing in an effort to try to move the conversation forward.


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@Hmm - to be clear, do you propose that the modules still provide 1 chronicle worth 1 level regardless of how long they are? Or that each part gets its own chronicle according to its length?

I just want to point out that the Fall of Plaguestone has 39 encounters (including areas where you just need a skill check to find something or overcome a hazard). I can't imagine how cutting all of it to fit a double slot could work. I think I've cut all of the non-essentials from my online run of it and I'm left with 22 encounters which is still 5 scenarios worth of content. I suppose I could cut down to 16 or so but then I'm just left with massive empty areas where nothing is going on between plot-critical encounters. Is it really better to run it in such a barebones way than to run one full part?

If the PFS characters run through such a compressed version of the module which only gets one chronicle, would they not experience a haphazard and inconsistent challenge between early moderate 1 encounters to the late severe 3 ones, and increased risk of death if they started at level 1?

If they get all 3 chronicles for such a marathon, does it not become a powerleveling shortcut to progress the characters 3x faster compared to scenarios?

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
<good stuff>

Yes. This is similar to what I and others proposed back on page 1? of the discussion, and I’d be happy to see some version of this implemented. The current standard for PFS1 is actually 50% of a module for full credit, though that’s not really meant as you can cut 50%. I’m happy with 2/3 or 3/4 or whatever is appropriate for the given module, and if they want to err on cutting less, that’s fine. As long as we can cut something to try to get things down to where we can make use of them at events. And as long as a mode is offered that is played with PFS characters following PFS rules.

I further suggested using level bumps instead of actual character leveling during the module based on either the APL of the party or the level of the character vs. expected level at that point in the module, since stopping to level 6 characters who may not have been expecting it that day because they could sign up last minute could consume the time that is saved by trimming the module down.

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

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I wanted three chronicles when we were talking about a campaign mode throughout the whole module as the norm. But if we're looking for a way to have this be able to be done at conventions... Let's go with the compressed rewards for everyone. I am willing to give up full rewards for GMing the whole thing in order to have something that works for everyone. Instead of actually leveling up the characters, let's use the level bumps that Ferious Thune proposed. We can make this work.

I loved Gallows of Madness when it was first released, taking the time to make the story fun for everyone. But then I saw GMs running it into the ground as a leveling tool, and I got upset. Rather than have excessive rewards for a PFS Module Mode that reward speed running, let's go with the reduced rewards for everyone to ensure that modules never again become a fast leveling tool where story and wonder are sacrificed for the sake of faster XP.

I want common ground and consensus, and am willing to give stuff up to make it happen.

Hmm

Scarab Sages 4/5

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I’m am perfectly happy throwing out unlimited replay for modules. I can see where that was an issue with Emerald Spire and Gallows, and there will be much more replayable content now, anyway.

I would much rather three chronicles so that I can have three shorter opportunities to play instead of 1 long opportunity (which is harder to work into someone’s schedule). I’m fine with each of those chronicles granting 4XP as long as the character is in-tier for each part of the module (possibly with level bumps).

I would settle for anything that involves running PFS characters by PFS rules and a module that is short enough to run in 12 hours or less so it can be done in a single day.


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What would be the best place to educate myself about what are the level bumps and how they work?

Scarab Sages 4/5

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CyberMephit wrote:
What would be the best place to educate myself about what are the level bumps and how they work?

The PFS2 guide to organized play

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

Ferious Thune wrote:
I’m am perfectly happy throwing out unlimited replay for modules.

Agreed.

Ferious Thune wrote:
I would much rather three chronicles so that I can have three shorter opportunities to play instead of 1 long opportunity (which is harder to work into someone’s schedule). I’m fine with each of those chronicles granting 4XP as long as the character is in-tier for each part of the module (possibly with level bumps).

Alright, but make it 4XP to be consistent with the new XP calulations for PF2.

Ferious Thune wrote:
I would settle for anything that involves running PFS characters by PFS rules and a module that is short enough to run in 12 hours or less so it can be done in a single day.

So three smaller chronicles, one for each part, with the ability to still cut encounters?

Hmm

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

ONE MORE THOUGHT

By allowing three generic chronicles of 4 XP a piece for these long adventures, and allowing GMs to make cuts where needed in the adventure, and level bumps for players... We vastly reduce the Organized Play Leadership sanctioning workload. Everything gets sanctioned, we get our module pieces the right length for a convention slot, and it all works out. Later at their leisure, the campaign can release a list of keepsakes from an adventure that can be picked up with ACP. We can make this work.

I like special little chronicle boons, but I am willing to give all that up in order to have the content work for everyone. I want Campaign Mode as the default for those of us doing the whole thing, with the option of a 'PFS Module Mode' for those who want to make their adventures part of the PFS campaign.

Hmm

Scarab Sages 4/5

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
I’m am perfectly happy throwing out unlimited replay for modules.

Agreed.

Ferious Thune wrote:
I would much rather three chronicles so that I can have three shorter opportunities to play instead of 1 long opportunity (which is harder to work into someone’s schedule). I’m fine with each of those chronicles granting 4XP as long as the character is in-tier for each part of the module (possibly with level bumps).

Alright, but make it 4XP to be consistent with the new XP calulations for PF2.

Ferious Thune wrote:
I would settle for anything that involves running PFS characters by PFS rules and a module that is short enough to run in 12 hours or less so it can be done in a single day.

So three smaller chronicles, one for each part, with the ability to still cut encounters?

Hmm

Sorry. I keep thinking in PFS1 terms for XP. I edited it, but not before you responded.

I’d like to maintain being able to offer module parts in a single game day. Other than the low level ones, my experience has been that even running 1 of 3 parts and trimming a little, it can easily go 6+ hours. So my hopes of running an entire 64 page module in a single day are slim.

Plus, as I’ve mentioned, if something is going to be scheduled over multiple days, being able to get a chronicle and not attend the second session without losing access to someday play the content in the rest of the module is an important part of the flexibility we have currently in PFS1.

5/5 ⦵⦵

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I also would like to point out that in my area Starfinder would not have picked up like it did without the Dead Suns sanctioning like PF modules for additional orgainized play items.

This came up yesterday in my home game when I was expalining how Paizo changed module sanctioning and the response was something like "that sucks, I wouldn't have stuck with Starfinder without the AP sanctioning". I have to agree with him without the Dead Suns sancioning of all content(Starfinder AP's are shoreter than PFS content) I don't think I would have been sold on Starfinder either.

I sure hope this decision is related only to PF2 and is not also applied to SFS. We get a lot of play and enjoyment out of the SFS AP's sanctioned the way they are. And I know most players that I play iwth want to play their SFS characters and rotate them between scenarios and AP's. Both myself and most of the players I play with would not play the AP's at all if they couldn't use their SFS characters with SFS rules. We wait until sanctioning happens before anyone wants to play them.

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

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Yes, Dead Suns made a difference locally as well. It really did provide a bridge for all of us to cross over on. Having all content be sanctioned was great.

Hmm

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
You can't really schedule a 6-slot module at a convention, at that point some of those people are basically playing a homegame for the whole Con and waving to people passing their table.

We can, and do, schedule multi-day modules at our conventions.

It gives people who live in areas where they don't have enough local players to run a module (especially one that will require many game nights to run - not everybody can commit to attending every weekly game night for two or three months) a chance to play them. It has proved to be very popular - we have no difficulty filling a table if we put it on the schedule.
We also schedule one-day modules, although many of these are the older 32-page modules. We've done this at all our major local conventions for longer than I've been playing PFS. Originally we used to have "Module Sunday" (with the multi-table special on Saturday night), but that's more complicated now we have multiple campaigns wanting to run multi-table specials. This last year we've experimented with running single-day modules on Friday, which seemed to be well received.

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

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I would not have been able to get my Tuesday evening Starfinder game started without the Dead Suns sanctioning, especially the repeatable aspect.


Ferious Thune wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
What would be the best place to educate myself about what are the level bumps and how they work?
The PFS2 guide to organized play

Thank you, I haven't read the GM section in detail until now. It does indeed go a long way towards improving module/AP play experience for PFS characters without leaving a permanent effect on the campaign.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka The ShadowShackleton

The generic chronicles idea makes a lot of sense. As long as the rewards are in line with the play time I would be in full support of this approach.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
John Francis wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
You can't really schedule a 6-slot module at a convention, at that point some of those people are basically playing a homegame for the whole Con and waving to people passing their table.
We can, and do, schedule multi-day modules at our conventions.

For as long as I've done PFS this was the norm. Those module slots typically fill up faster than anything else.

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

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CyberMephit wrote:

@Hmm - to be clear, do you propose that the modules still provide 1 chronicle worth 1 level regardless of how long they are? Or that each part gets its own chronicle according to its length?

I just want to point out that the Fall of Plaguestone has 39 encounters (including areas where you just need a skill check to find something or overcome a hazard). I can't imagine how cutting all of it to fit a double slot could work. I think I've cut all of the non-essentials from my online run of it and I'm left with 22 encounters which is still 5 scenarios worth of content. I suppose I could cut down to 16 or so but then I'm just left with massive empty areas where nothing is going on between plot-critical encounters. Is it really better to run it in such a barebones way than to run one full part?

If the PFS characters run through such a compressed version of the module which only gets one chronicle, would they not experience a haphazard and inconsistent challenge between early moderate 1 encounters to the late severe 3 ones, and increased risk of death if they started at level 1?

If they get all 3 chronicles for such a marathon, does it not become a powerleveling shortcut to progress the characters 3x faster compared to scenarios?

This makes me want to actually put in a rule that you can't just schedule a module in a slot vastly smaller than the module's content. Like, if a module gets rated 24 XP, you can't schedule it in just three slots.

This talk of cutting non-essential bits to force a module into a schedule makes it seem like the point of the module isn't to play it but to get the chronicle sheet.

To keep the quality of play high I think it would be better to be strict about not cutting corners. If that means that some modules are ungainly long and take up a lot of slots if you want to slot them at conventions, so be it. I've just been shown that there are enough conventions where multi-day modules are not a dealbreaker like I thought they would be.

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

CyberMephit wrote:
What would be the best place to educate myself about what are the level bumps and how they work?

here

Grand Archive 1/5

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Getting back to Fall of Plaguestone specific feedback, for a moment:

I am unhappy with the sanctioning of 'The Fall of Plaguestone'. It took my PFS play group the same amount of time to play through as Gallows of Madness, for 1/3 of the rewards.

If this was meant to be a one experience level adventure, why do you have characters level up and then fight opponents that are also leveled up? This is looking a whole lot like bait-and-switch.

I do not in the least understand the Keepsake section. These are commonly available items once your character is fifth level. What is the purpose of putting them on the chronicle at all? In my experience, putting a fifth level item on a third level chronicle is both infuriating and wastefull. Infuriating, because a third level character cannot afford a fifth level item. Wastefull, because a fifth level character doesn't need a chronicle to make them available. You waste space on the chronicle sheet to no purpose.

Can it be possible that I have misunderstood the keepsake mechanism? Is one of these items available _for free_ to the character that receives the chronicle? I have two problems with this thought: I don't read this from the chronicle or Plaguestone notes I have downloaded, & it would make the keepsakes much more valuable for second level characters than for fourth level...

Why are Plaguestone keepsakes commonly available items (regardless of level)? Why aren't they something unique? To quote Meriam-Webster “keepsake noun: something kept or given to be kept as a memento”. What about these items is worthy or a fond memory?

An effective use of keepsakes (regardless of a poorly used descriptor) would perhaps be:
- if applied to a 2nd level character, a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with 10 charges, price ___, limit 1
- if applied to a 3nd level character, a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with 15 charges, price ___, limit 1
- if applied to a 4nd level character, a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with 20 charges, price ___, limit 1
Or something of the sort. Something unique, difficult to get a hold of, or too expensive to purchase fully charged.

* * * *

To summarize:
This should be a three level adventure with three chronicle sheets.
I either don't understand the keepsake section, or if I do it is pointless. (Suggested improvement shown above.)

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

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@Morton - make sure you have the current/correct version of the chronicle sheet for Fall of Plaguestone, which Michael Sayre posted about HERE (it's right in the middle of this massive discussion so I understand that many people may have missed it). Apparently the original chronicle wasn't supposed to have all the items as Keepsakes - only the Uncommon/Rare items that only appear in the Plaguestone adventure itself. The other ones are just "item-access" as if it was from any other quest/scenario/etc.

Hope that helps (at least on that one point)!

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
the point of the module isn't to play it but to get the chronicle sheet.

Is that wrong?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Nefreet wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
the point of the module isn't to play it but to get the chronicle sheet.
Is that wrong?

It'd earn some side eyes.

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

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Nefreet wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
the point of the module isn't to play it but to get the chronicle sheet.
Is that wrong?

We've all occasionally played some adventure because you need 1 more XP to be in tier for something else. But when you start thinking "I've played it before and I know the story by heart and it's kinda dull by now, but it's the most efficient way to go straight to level 2 in one slot", you're crossing a line.

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