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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Society
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Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, California—Los Angeles aka Neume

2 people marked this as a favorite.

HUZZAH!

Scarab Sages 3/5 Venture-Agent, Nebraska—Bellevue aka JohannVonUlm

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Greatly appreciated. However, I have a couple of comments and/or questions

The document states: "Players who complete this adventure, and GMs who run the adventure, gain the Chronicle sheet included with this document which they can apply to any of their Pathfinder Society organized play characters."

By "complete", I assume the players must play the entire multi-level adventure. Is that correct? I don't see any language for partial completion.

I assume a person can get credit twice, once as a player and once as a GM. Correct?

I assume Fall of Plaguestone is not repeatable, as it's not called out in the document. Correct?

Final comment is that the reporting sheet has the PF1 factions listed.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Maryland—Hagerstown aka Z...D...

Per the Product discussion, they are away of the reporting sheet issue.

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

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Sounds like Modules/AP legs will be campaign mode only.

In exchange we get them a lot faster because you don't have to do all the work to make the PFS mode version.

When PFS1 modules we're first sanctioned, we had a similar situation. Did have the problem that playing them was a weird disconnect from other PFS material.

Your consumables didn't get used up, and the risk of death was largely irrelevant. You just made up a character of the appropriate level. It's a strange disconnect.

It seems strange to not at least mention this previous system and lessons learned and problems with that because it feels like we're retreading past mistakes.

I do appreciate that it now gives full rewards instead of 3/4s though like in PF1.

Dark Archive 5/5

6 people marked this as a favorite.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I totally understand the sanctioning group for organized play is understaffed and doing their best. I know we constantly complain that it takes to long after product release to get the community the sanctioning. This just feels like a half-hearted effort to get us something to appease us while taking what is three levels worth of content and smashing it into only one level worth of actual character advancement. To add to that you did away with items in favor of keepsakes, which you can only purchase one from all that are listed on the sheet, and the tier 1-2 list has half the items as common items out of the core book that we could purchase anyway once a character meets the level requirement. If we are playing through 3 levels of character content, I would like 3 levels worth of chronicle sheets, so we can play this, in Society mode or home campaign mode, and still get to then have a level 4 character.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

What was the reasoning behind making what is essentially 3 levels worth of content worth only 1 level of experience in society play? Not that I'm necessary criticizing it I just am not following the rationale. Is that like an XP discount because you don't have to follow PFS rules in the module?

Grand Lodge 4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I am happy with this method of sanctioning. It gives GMs and players an opportunity to enjoy the rules of PF2 in a module or hopefully later, an AP via campaign mode while also allowing them to give credit to PFS2 legal characters. As Robert noted, there was a disconnect in playing modules and AP sanctioned content only. In fact, I've had players tell me they would much rather play the whole thing as they didn't feel like they were getting the whole story they wanted.

Now to run it!

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—QLD—Brisbane aka YogoZuno

3 people marked this as a favorite.

This is a change of mindset, and I don't mind it too much.

About the only issue I see is that it reduces the amount of potential content available for Pathfinder Society 2 games. Even though I can give my players PFS rewards for 2nd ed modules and APs, they can no longer play those games with their actual PFS characters. It's almost like someone totally outside the Society participates in the adventure, and then a PFS chronicler goes out and interviews the participants about what happened. Not terrible, but different.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Personally I like it.

It was always cumbersome at best running an AP for PFS. Cutting out content to fit in a smaller time frame, themes and characters that always did not line up with Pathfinder Society (Organization) was not ideal.

When the modules were 32 pages, it made sense, as those seemed to fit nicely for a day at the convention. (And an all day module at the con will be missed) Now that modules (so far) are larger, it also runs into the problems the APs had.

I think its a good compromise. Content can be run more as it was intended too, while also giving players invested in PFS rewards for playing through the content, and at a faster pace.

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

7 people marked this as a favorite.

More thoughts:

The excitement of seeing progress on one of the many backlogged tasks is quickly wearing off given the quality of the material presented.

Basic Editorial Issues:
Chronicle sheet tier 1-2/3-4 seems irrelevant since you can apply the sheet to any character, not sure why/how the items are split like that.

Wolf Fang Talisman is a level 1 common item that anybody can buy.

Reporting Sheet is from PFS1

---

This really feels like a barebones we wanted to do something, but didn't have enough time to do it right.

In the end this might be the only thing the PFS team can manage given it's available resources but that makes me sad.

For AP legs only having a campaign mode and doing something like this seems reasonable but it seems like a big loss to do this for modules which have been a nice change of pace for PFS from normal PFS play.

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

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Campaign mode is the best way to play modules. I appreciate not having to commit a character for 1/3 of their career, leaving them more opportunities to play the regular scenarios.

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

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Let's take a look at this Blog from 2011 on why this method of play for Modules in PFS is bad and how to fix it.

Here

It really feels like we're retreading those same mistakes here.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Just popping by to say I DO like the changes.

Thanks for keeping us informed.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree with Pirate Rob's preference here. While I agree that campaign mode is the best way to play a module, we can't always choose the best way. I have a number of players locally who were hoping to run this module at a convention and will now be unable to as a result of the new sanctioning style. For those of us who run a full module, we're also missing out on a fair amount of experience that we would have gotten in PFS1, which is disappointing.

That said, thank you very much for working on sanctioning. I think we all appreciate having opportunities to play!

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

Robert Hetherington wrote:

Let's take a look at this Blog from 2011 on why this method of play for Modules in PFS is bad and how to fix it.

Here

It really feels like we're retreading those same mistakes here.

And I hated the reasoning for the change back them. I am huge fan if this change.

Edit: That blog actually got me in a bit of trouble I was told I was being a bit too aggressive on my hatred of the change ;).

Edit Edit: Though adding the Campaign Mode kind of removed my objections later. My favorite part of this change is the hope we get the chronicles faster. If it does not work out that way then I have no problem adding the Society mode back as long as there is still a campaign mode. The only time I ever used Society mode is on Modules I was confident I can finish the whole thing in 5 hours which was very rare.

5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I know this is gonna sound like I'm rambling on but here goes.

While I agree that running in Campaign Mode is the most ideal way to run modules, I don't agree with the rest of it.

One level of experience for three levels of content? I know this is the way AP's roll but modules are a different experience with different levels of commitment and expectations.

Putting a 3-4 tier on a module marked as an introduction is confusing.

The rules sheet also seems to be assuming that everyone starting a 3 part adventure that will all finish it. This looks like a solid 16 hours to finish (2 days) as opposed to running 3 scenarios for the same XP that would take 12. What happens if someone only makes one session? Nothing about this is shown in the rules sheet.

This feels like it was thrown together at the last minute. This is after the adventure being out for three months. This should be sent back for revision.

I am in the middle or running this right now. I'm dreading telling my friends that they are only going to get one instead of three for this.

I spent a good bit of money getting maps printed for this because SURPRISE..the flip mat is only good for part three. I had planned to run this a second time. At this rate I won't waste my time with it.

The Exchange 1/5

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm kind of thinking this should have been titled the Good, the Bad and the Ugly! Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I would have rather waited for sanctioning and the three or four chronicle sheets we are use to than ONE compressed chronicle. It is hard to not feel cheated. Should we just stop after Part one of the module and call it good?

If you couldn't do it justice, why just not tell us that we will have to wait and do it right? I'm also not sure how gung-ho myself or any of my fellow players will be to run AP's now if we are only going to get 1/4 credit for them. Why bother with running as PFS at all?

I don't like this "new" sanctioning model and hope that we will return to the way things have been and IMO aught to be done. I was excited and now I'm just disappointed.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Campaign mode is a good way to play modules. A bit more GM freedom compared to standard PFS rules to deal with the way modules are written often as a more loose experience than a scenario with the author intending the GM to have more creative control.

I've always disliked the sanctioned parts setup. I've never ran that way, I've only ran non-campaign mode if the entire module was sanctioned as-is (And even then I've normally said campaign mode just to open up options to go off-book even if I never used them). If I need to crop to fit a convention slot I'll use the freedom campaign mode gives me & tailor the experience to my group.

Regarding 1 level, was a little bit of a surprise but I can see the logic... means they don't have to decide with each module how much XP to give and can get it out faster... but if someone does want to play it through with a PFS character of appropriate level it only really works if the leveling can keep up with the module, and this is a typical approach we take locally with campaign mode (We know they're not technically PFS chars during the module, but outside the rules shuffle the character's personal story tracks). It's a shame to lose that option, but if it helps reduce the load on Paizo sanctioning then it's a worthy sacrifice and we can find a way to square off our character's stories with the fact they can't just transition back to PFS cleanly after a module.

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—QLD—Gold Coast aka DanielB

I like the new system looks good streamlined and easy to understand it, but reading the applying credit section it sounds like i could attach this chronicle to a level 5+ character if i played it?

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

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I do like the shift to "campaign mode" for modules, as Steven said above, allowing PFS characters to continue to engage in normal scenarios without being held-up elsewhere. That said, I'm also firmly in the camp of people who would rather wait longer for things to be done "right" rather than be finished sooner, as several others have alluded to.

I am not a fan of condensing modules that run through multiple levels down to a single 12xp chronicle sheet, even though I do recognize that this brings modules more in-line with AP chronicle sheets (1 level per book). For sanctioning in the past, having modules "worth" more for PFS players is what made them easier to sell at FLGSs and easier to work into monthly schedules, even beyond convention planning. Chronicles for APs always felt like a "bonus" whereas module chronicles were more balanced as a 1-for-1 (level/reward/content-wise) when compared to scenarios. All in all, this feels like a step backwards, sacrificed at the altar of "publish or perish," so to speak.

Seeing that Plaguestone is not repeatable under this new format, though, is rather disappointing especially given how the Keepsake mechanic is presented. Not everybody likes to GM. As such, some players will only get access to a single item from this book, ever, and that isn't a choice that can be revisited through retraining options.

Also, this document does not appear to give any guidance for partial rewards if a party isn't able to make it through the whole adventure. As written (Applying Credit), it seems to suggest that a party that does not "complete the adventure" in full will not receive any rewards at all.

---

One Plaguestone reward-specific question, separate from the above:

Can a PC who does not have access to the "Hunt Prey" action opt to take the "Relentless Stalker" feat at all? If yes, does the feat even work if they are unable to hunt a target?

2/5

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I was hoping for either:
a) each section independently chronicle'd
b) repeatable

We got neither.

However, in practice it seems to be running on the faster side, at least from groups I've talked to -- 4-5 sessions, with some rushing to fit it into 3. So had it been repeatable AND 3 levels worth of credit, its way too efficient and could have led to abuse to skip levels 1-3.

I think the boons are reasonably done, but I'm not a fan of the keepsake approach. Nor of the concept of tiering in a chronicle you apply to a completely independent character, just seems an extra complication. If it had been repeatable, I think the keepsake approach would have been great.

It doesn't mention downtime, do you get days at the same days/exp ratio as scenarios? None? Something else?

Final thought -- it feels closer to a Convention Boon than a chronicle. With players _wanting_ to be able to hold it for the right character given how interesting/exciting some of the boon/keepsakes are. However you need to pick at the time you finish to report it, so if you'd like to take it at the higher tier, you can't unless you already have an appropriate character for it.

Lantern Lodge 4/5

I like this. I agree some of the editing on the chronicle may need to be tidied up though. The tier description for example probably needs eliminating, and common items maybe should be removed. It's kind of long finding a +1 longsword on your PFS(v1) chronicle sheet.

Also, clarification: in a couple of years time, can I play this and then apply the credit to a level 11 character to get them to level 12?

As a note: You can still effectively play your PFS character in this module, just make "copy" as you would for a campaign mode game today.

I especially like how some of the benefits can apply to other characters that you might have, that is nice.

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

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My only worry is they say they will come out faster, but that actually does not happen.

I am not a huge fan of the Keepsake rule, and I am not sure of the purpose of it instead of the normal way chronicles work.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Bothell aka Pinstripedbarbarian

I remember the long wait for Dragon's Demand chronicles (which is why I changed my pic to good ol' Teppy over there) and certainly wouldn't want to relive that delay. I love campaign mode modules, and even if the levels are reduced it's nice to get a boost to society characters. I wonder if there could be a happy medium in the form of later modules' "bonus" sheets? For example:

The House on Hook Street's Bonus Sheet wrote:
When you earn this Chronicle sheet, you may choose whether or not to receive XP, Prestige Point, and gold rewards; you may instead choose to gain no XP and gold, but you instead earn 2 Prestige Points and still qualify for all of the boons and items on this sheet. If you elect to earn the full rewards, you gain 3 XP, 6 Prestige Points, and 14,862 gp (7,431 gp for characters use the slow track method of advancement).

It goes on to list a couple boons you get and a selection of items. The FoP's sheet could be split so the bonus sheet gives one of the boons listed and one of the subtier's items along with (optionally) another level's worth of XP, fame, and gold. Folks who want more levels get more levels, and folks who don't still get thematically appropriate rewards for playing.

I liked the jump-start a character could get from a module, but I agree that higher-level characters get 'used up' quickly by multi-level-modules. Either way, I'm happier with faster chronicle releases.

EDIT: I want to add that I really dislike the Keepsakes thing. If the Achievement Points to re-access them is very low cost, it could work, but until I see that I gotta say it rubs me the wrong way.

Scarab Sages 4/5

12 people marked this as a favorite.

If modules and APs can’t be played in PFS mode, then they aren’t additional content for PFS. The biggest benefit of sanctioned content was that it made more things available to play with your PFS characters. The chronicle is now just a bonus for playing the content if you would have anyway. It’s really only of benefit to people who have time for a home game, which means it’s not of benefit to the majority of PFS events.

Low level modules, and especially the repeatable 1-2s, get run A LOT in PFS1E, because many of the individual parts fit into a single slot. Gallows of Madness, Emerald Spire, Ire of the Storm... without those, there would be far, far fewer games running online. They are go to content when there’s not something else players can all play.

If you only get a chronicle for playing it outside of PFS, and the reward isn’t important, then why does it need sanctioned at all? There’s no more content available for PFS now than there was before it was sanctioned. Just a reward for people who have time to play outside of PFS.

Count me in the group that sees this as a step backwards.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, I’m mostly okay with the campaign mode only thing, but I do wonder about the keepsake thing. I get that the idea is to replicate a more normal “divide up the loot” style thing, but PFS doesn’t do that in other places, so why do it now? Beyond that, I have literally zero clue why the rules for it go in the sanctioning document as opposed to in the organized play rules site, you know, the thing that exists because it’s easier to update and the place a player might look for an explanation long after they receive the chronicle and almost certainly don’t have the rest of the doc.

Also, yeah, this should be replayable and there needs to be a bunch of clarification on how partial plays work, it’s 16 hours of content, not everyone is going to show up for the whole thing.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Fairfax aka Karhaz

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I do like the idea of not playing this just to level a character up in PFS. It will allow more content to come out of modules.

Now I didn't see it above (I don't think it was mentioned) Can you use this on multiple characters as a GM or a Player? As in I can play it multiple times just not to the same character like earlier Modules? That way players can enjoy a free flow game of any character then apply it to a character they have in the back ground or a new one.

And for GM credits - If you Report this - does it could like a 1st ed 64 Page Module? or Is this just 2 GM credits?

looking forward to allowing the game to slow down and enjoy the RP not the leveling!

Scarab Sages 4/5

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Nicholas Ruchlewicz wrote:
looking forward to allowing the game to slow down and enjoy the RP not the leveling!

You realize that you could already do that, right? Either with any 1st edition module/AP that has campaign mode, or with this before it was sanctioned.

Sanctioning evolved into what it was because players were running out of content. Campaign mode is a nice bonus that a lot of people like, because they can get some PFS credit for their home games. But it doesn’t help the issue of not having enough PFS content to play at all.

People in this thread are talking like somehow you’ve been given something more than what you already had, when you’ve only had a play option taken away.

I appreciate that the team is taking a look at things and trying to figure out a way to get through the enormous pile that has accumulated. That is a good thing. But if the content isn’t going to be sanctioned for PFS play, I’d much rather see the time being spent addressing the many other issues that do affect PFS (like getting books added to Additional Resources) than on this. People who are going to play APs outside of PFS are going to play APs outside of PFS whether there’s a chronicle sheet or not. If all this is going to be is a nice bonus for them, then treat it like a bonus that is nice to have, but not necessary, and put it behind more important things in the priority list.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I really like the philosophy behind the new sanctioning procedure. For me, the attraction of applying AP credit to PFS characters was the access to neat new items and boons, not the gold and XP that I could pick up anywhere. Since feats, spells and other class abilities are now in the mix for rewards, it makes a lot of sense to have the chronicle be level-agnostic, so my character with the most interest in a unique ability or item can get access to it when I like.

Lantern Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Illinois—Chicago (Suburbs) aka michaelane

11 people marked this as a favorite.

I want to acknowledge that I do appreciate all the work you and the the entire Organized Play team is doing while understaffed.

However, I think I speak for most of our local community when I say that this is a disappointing solution to sanctioning content.

We have experimented locally with both playing the sanctioned content and all content for modules and APs. In our area, we have definitely come down in favor of playing all content for modules and APs. You simply lose too much of the story to play it any other way. This does force some compromises when it comes to convention play as you need to schedule modules or APs across enough slots to be able to complete them, but seeing the whole story through is worth it. Hence, I do support the idea of sanctioning the entire length of a module or AP versus just arbitrary portions of it.

However, the idea of providing one level of credit when people are playing through many hours of content is disappointing. GMs put too much time into prepping and running. Players put too much time into playing. Fall of Plaguestone should provide three levels of credit and leveling points after Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Ideally future modules would include leveling guidance (like APs) and we could simply grant a level of credit at each leveling point in the module or AP. Characters should level at the same rate as the module or AP was designed whether they are playing it for PFS credit or just for fun. For APs, people can take half credit if they would like to be able to get play the character who they are applying credit to in other scenarios. For modules, you generally aren't going to receive more than 3-4 levels of credit so you'll have many opportunities to play the character outside the module even if you do take full credit.

I think you'll get a wide range of different opinions on what beyond the leveling credit should be provided. While I love the boons for each part and there have been some quite creative ones over the years, I'm a lot more willing to forgo extra boons than chronicle sheets. Perhaps it is a nice compromise to just provide experience, gold, reputation and fame for the "intermediate" sheets and then to provide boons and items on the final chronicle sheet for a module or AP section. That might simplify the sanctioning process (for modules at least) and encourage completion of the module or AP section.

Additionally, I'd like to echo the call for repeatable content. In general, I feel like PFS has been overly conservative in the amount of repeatable content, but especially now, when we are trying to get traction on a new system, it would be great to get as much as possible in organizer hands. I understand that you are designing more repeatable scenarios during Season 1 than normal, Please use the modules and APs to maximize the amount of repeatable content.

Grand Lodge 4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I would like to point out that Mr. Lane does not speak for me.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My initial thoughts were, "Cool. I'm willing to try something new. And faster sanctioning is what everyone on the Forums is asking for...", but reading these comments so far has made me rethink my initial assessment.

I GMed the first floor of Thornkeep and Emerald Spire literally dozens of times each during my 6-7 years of PFS1. Veterans didn't want to sit around for three 1xp sessions on their 25th character, especially if that meant three replayable scenarios they'd already done multiple times. A 3xp Module or AP Book that could be run in the same time as your average scenario was a very nice reprieve.

That being said, it *was* usually just veterans. New players could, obviously, sit down and enjoy those intro replayables that had grown stale for more experienced players. So, if we do away with the ability to grind 1st Level characters to 2nd Level, what effect will that have on the diverse community we have now? What is the target audience of this more limited rollout?

Instead of the handful of items found on the Chronicle, can we just have every item from the Module listed by bullet point and/or level in the sanctioning document? That would be a nice incentive for people finding the 1 level of credit to be distasteful.

I'm not clear on who these Chronicles can be applied to. My PFS2 character is 2 games away from 5th level. When I saw that the Chronicle is still Tier 1-4, I lost hope that he'd have any content to enjoy soon. Can they be applied to a character of any level? If I play this later on, could I theoretically apply this 1 level to a 12th (or higher) PC? If I can, that might also be a nice incentive for people balking at the amount of XP.

But I suppose, regardless of what ends up making the cut, I'm open to trying something new ^_^

Dark Archive 4/5

I'm mostly confused about keep sake and tier 1-2 and 3-4 being separate. Like, if I give chronicle to level 1 character, does that mean I'm unable to every obtain any of items on tier 3-4? Or does it mean I can purchase that keepsake once character reaches level 3-4 provide I didn't buy other keepsakes?

Former would kinda suck since I don't think anybody even has level 3 characters yet(unless they played all scenarios on single character I guess) and it would be annoying to "Okay, I can't run or play this module yet because I don't get access to all cool stuff for my pfs character if I do"


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've played all currently published scenarios and quests on one single character (and applied the #1-00 credit to that character as well), and she's level 3 now. Those who had playtest credits available could even have a single level 5 character by now (starting at level 3).

Still, the subtier division doesn't make sense to me at all.

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

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After chatting with a couple of my players this evening, where I shared my personal opinions, one of them said something that gave me an idea I wanted to post, so that I'm not just saying what I like/dislike, but also trying to be forward-thinking.

A potential happy medium between wanting more streamlined sanctioning and players wanting modules to be "worth more" could be to simply stretch out the rewards that are more time-consuming on the developer's side.

Using Plaguestone as the example: have one chronicle sheet per part, with the Keepsakes distributed by when they appear during the adventure, but save all boons for the final chronicle sheet, as the "bonus" players get for completing the whole thing. Yes, it's three sheets instead of one, and the summary section of each sheet changes a tiny bit, but overall it's not much more work than what's already been presented.

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

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Organized Play is kinda like an Ice Cream Shop. Every time you play a scenario you get a punch on your card. Get enough punches and you level up etc.

Sanctioning Modules for PFS play is like adding an ice cream sunday to the menu. It's bigger, more expensive and is worth a few punches. It makes a nice change of pace and a cool special occasion.

Sanctioning material for Campaign Mode is saying when you buy a sandwich we'll still punch your ice cream card.

Both are nice, but they don't fulfill the same need.

---

Cutting down the APs into 12 hour chunks is clearly problematic, messes with the story, leaves PCs without expected story items, is difficult and time consuming.

I have no objection to leaving APs as sandwiches (campaign mode only) but Module ice cream sundays have been a staple at local conventions and a big draw for our most fervent players.

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Savannah aka KitsuneWarlock

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I like this quite a bit!

The only complaint is that players can lose lots of gold if they are already mostly through a level of experience. An obvious solution would be to wait to apply the chronicle, but when a convention comes calling many players will find themselves panicking to stay in tier with their friends.

I do understand this could also happen in 1e, but with Earn Income being tied to level and partial quest XP, it can cost a character in this edition far more wealth.

For example, a character with 34 XP* will earn 121 gold. If they just completed 2 more quests, they'd earn 204 gold. That's 83 gold! That's 20% of a 4th level character's wealth!

Currently the document states:

Quote:
[...]30 Treasure Bundles appropriate to a character of that level (before adding the level from this Chronicle sheet)[...]

It could instead say:

Quote:
[...]30 Treasure Bundles appropriate to a character of that level (applied in batches of 10 Treasure Bundles at each 4 XP interval)[...]

(34 XP is how much you'd have right now if you used the "start at level 2" playtest boon and played all the currently sanctioned material for PF2, sans Plaguestone.)


I'm a casual PFS player/GM so maybe the many-starred participants of the thread can tell me why it would be a bad idea, but:

Why can't the campaign mode chronicle give exactly the amount of XP/Gold to bring the character up to the level they should be at the end? So when it is applied to a fresh character it gives 36XP and full gold allowance, if it is applied to a level 2 character with 20XP then it gives 16XP and approximately 600gp, and a level 4+ character would get nothing except access to options/items/boons.
This would work even better if each part of a module/AP book would get each own chronicle as many posters suggested.

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Savannah aka KitsuneWarlock

CyberMephit wrote:

I'm a casual PFS player/GM so maybe the many-starred participants of the thread can tell me why it would be a bad idea, but:

Why can't the campaign mode chronicle give exactly the amount of XP/Gold to bring the character up to the level they should be at the end? So when it is applied to a fresh character it gives 36XP and full gold allowance, if it is applied to a level 2 character with 20XP then it gives 16XP and approximately 600gp, and a level 4+ character would get nothing except access to options/items/boons.
This would work even better if each part of a module/AP book would get each own chronicle as many posters suggested.

This is how they were done in 1st edition. They even included a special boon if you applied all the chronicle sheets to the same PC, depending on the product and how it was sanctioned. The article above seems to suggest the problem was the staff had to meticulously analyze each product very carefully, and finding four-to-eight hours to do that was difficult while prioritizing conventions, campaign clarifications, volunteer organization, additional resources and printing new scenarios.

With the new system, they can handle sanctioning products much faster, while offering us more flexibility in how many adventures we get to use our neat goodies before our character's retire.

As an added bonus, more casual players who can't make as many sessions as their friends can add these to characters regardless of tier! This means you could theoretically add all six Age of Ashes Chronicle Sheets to a single character, instantly getting to level 7 and joining your friends for the Tier 7-8 multi-table they all wanted to play at your local convention!

That's a huge improvement over the largely useless 15-18 tier sheets we got back in Pathfinder 1, but it still let's us potentially level characters to 20 by applying the sheets after level 11.

TLDR: I love how these aren't tied to a tier.

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Ireland—Newtownabbey aka Ampersandrew

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I don't play sanctioned content in PFS mode, mostly because I have no interest in butchering a story to fit in a time constrained blob.

Back when modules where first sanctioned for PFS, I played a module under the rules where you make an appropriate character, play the adventure and then get a chronicle. I thought that was excellent way to use the content. I didn't like the system as it was subsequently amended.

I have also played APs in campaign mode and taken chronicles for them. This new system seems to be a pretty good fit for the way I use modules.

I don't like the Keepsake thing. I really, really don't like the keepsake thing. Pick one of these things and lose all the rest. That sucks. I also don't like that the module isn't re-playable. I would probably find the keepsake thing more tolerable if it was.

I also think we need better rules for partial completion of a module.

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

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Hot take after looking at the Chronicles and reading the blog post: I can see why you might want to write it the way you did to save time, but as an event organizer and GM... I'm going to be running the module in 1 hour chunks, due to the needs of some of my players to come late for the Starfinder game. This means it will take roughly 16 sessions to complete. Due to the way things are scheduled at the store, this will take me roughly 8 months to complete the content, yet at the end, I can only give 1 chronicle sheet with 12xp on it. That will make tracking who made it and who all players during the 16 week period a huge headache. Planning on 12 weekly sessions, with a chronicle after every 4 would be challenging enough... But now, this content gives less rewards per time played than a dozen quests (from an XP perspective)

Also, how many GM points towards glyphs will be given out per report? 2?

Why not just break it up into a number of sections based off the milestones in the book?

Thanks for your time,

Glen

Scarab Sages 4/5

Dustin Knight wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:

I'm a casual PFS player/GM so maybe the many-starred participants of the thread can tell me why it would be a bad idea, but:

Why can't the campaign mode chronicle give exactly the amount of XP/Gold to bring the character up to the level they should be at the end? So when it is applied to a fresh character it gives 36XP and full gold allowance, if it is applied to a level 2 character with 20XP then it gives 16XP and approximately 600gp, and a level 4+ character would get nothing except access to options/items/boons.
This would work even better if each part of a module/AP book would get each own chronicle as many posters suggested.

As an added bonus, more casual players who can't make as many sessions as their friends can add these to characters regardless of tier! This means you could theoretically add all six Age of Ashes Chronicle Sheets to a single character, instantly getting to level 7 and joining your friends for the Tier 7-8 multi-table they all wanted to play at your local convention!

It’s very unclear whether a casual player benefits from this at all. If they are a casual player, chances are they may not be able to show up for the 4-16 sessions that it takes to complete a module. And right now it’s unclear whether they should be rewarded a chronicle if they don’t complete the whole thing.

Dustin Knight wrote:

That's a huge improvement over the largely useless 15-18 tier sheets we got back in Pathfinder 1, but it still let's us potentially level characters to 20 by applying the sheets after level 11.

TLDR: I love how these aren't tied to a tier.

Again, it’s unclear whether you can apply the chronicle to any level character, because the chronicle has tiers on it. Also, what is the point of advancing a character to level 20, if there is no content to actually play the character in (Edit: along the way)? Modules/APs made up the majority of the Seeker level content for most of PFS1s existence. They were the opportunity to play your character that had been sitting around since they hit 12 (or 13.2). Sure, under this system you could keep adding credit to the character, but if you aren’t actually playing the character, then what does that get you?

Again, this is taking play opportunities away from people, not giving them more. Even if you can assign the chronicle to any level character, that doesn’t remove the need to have a PFS mode. If you’re not playing PFS mode, you’re not playing PFS. Even if PFS mode were just “play everything” as it was for modules for a long time, and the chronicles were broken down by part, that would be a much, much better situation than what’s presented here.

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

Ferious Thune wrote:
Again, this is taking play opportunities away from people, not giving them more. Even if you can assign the chronicle to any level character, that doesn’t remove the need to have a PFS mode. If you’re not plying PFS mode, you’re not playing PFS. Even if PFS mode were just “play everything” as it was for modules for a long time, and the chronicles were broken down by part, that would be a much, much better situation than what’s presented here.

This does sound about right.

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