June 2021 Organized Play Update

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Pathfinder illustration of a bear in the woods and Starfinder Illustration of a battle taking place on the top of a high speed train

Artists Sebastian Rodriguez and Mark Molnar

OPA Musings

I thought about writing “no musings, head empty, only PaizoCon” in this space but Tonya told me I couldn’t I decided against it. Instead, I’m going to take this space to give a shout-out to some people who went above and beyond in making PaizoCon Online happen this year. Please note that I’m writing this two days before the convention due to deadlines, so if I forgot someone, I can still blame Convention Brain.

First up, the PaizoCon Online Organizing Committee: David Peevers, Ivis Flanagan, and Mike Bramnik, who volunteered days of their lives (probably weeks, if we total them up) to coordinating all our GMs for Organized Play games. The event literally would not have happened without the three of them, and they all deserve a tropical vacation somewhere.

Next, our HQ volunteers for PaizoCon Online: Aerine Caerwyn, Barb Crase, Nicole Heits, Katrina Hennessy, Sebastian Hirsch, Alex Lenz, Rich Lowe (Stunt Monkey), Elizabeth “Betsy” Nold, and Betty Osthoff. You’ll recognize these names as “those people who were everywhere on the Discord server,” as they got walk-ups seated, coordinated with GMs, and just generally made sure all the machinery was running smoothly. Eric Nielsen gets a special shout-out to himself, as he programmed the reporting tool used by our GMs to report their games.
[Tonya’s Note: We really couldn’t pull off an event without all our volunteers—the organizing committee, GMs, and HQ—and we thank them from the deepest depths of our hearts! A huge huzzah to them for stepping up and providing over 800 games to our attendees! I’m honored to be part of such a fabulous community!]

Finally, I want to recognize some of our Paizo staffers. First, I want to thank Aaron Shanks and Leah Beckelman, our Marketing team, put together the streams, blogs, and emails for the weekend, as well as John Feil for the giveaways you all enjoyed. Linda Zayas-Palmer, Thurston Hillman, Jenny Jarzabski, and Mike Kimmel are my colleagues on the Organized Play Team who worked their tails off to get scenarios out to our GMs much earlier than ever before. Finally, a big thank you to all our Paizo staff who moderated or participated in panels and Discord discussions; the staff participation is what makes PaizoCon what it is.
[Tonya’s Note: And a huge thanks to Alex Speidel for taking on the bulk of the Org Play planning and organizing so I could focus on pulling things together. He is amazing and an integral part of our operations! To Alex and all the Paizo staff for doing such a fantastic job on PaizoCon, hooray!]

All right, that’s enough words from me. Let’s do this again next year, yeah?

Starfinder Society Year 4

Last weekend at PaizoCon Online, we launched Year 4 of Starfinder Society! Remember that the rules in the latest Guide update are now in effect, and all scenarios played from this point on should not award Fame, but do award Achievement Points for Starfinder Society.

We hope you enjoyed the new scenarios at PaizoCon Online, and we look forward to unraveling the mysteries of the Year of the Data Scourge!

Pathfinder Society Year 3

Now that Starfinder Society’s new storyline has launched, our attention is turning to Pathfinder Society. We encourage Pathfinder Society players to read the blog next Thursday to learn exciting news about Year 3!

Sanctioning

In the lead-up to PaizoCon Online, we put our various noses to the grindstone to get plenty of new content sanctioned for play! The following content has been sanctioned in the past month:

Pathfinder Society (second edition)

Starfinder Society

Do note that while Chronicle Sheets and reporting are now available for the Starfinder Adventure Paths, their character options are not yet; we aim to have these out by the end of the month, but they are taking just a little bit longer due to PaizoCon preparations.

Next on our agenda are Lost Omens Mwangi Expanse, the Fists of the Ruby Phoenix Adventure Path and the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path for Pathfinder Society (second edition), the character options from Fly Free or Die and Devastation Ark, the Galaxy Exploration Manual and Junker’s Delight for Starfinder Society, and the outstanding Pathfinder Society (first edition) content. Now that we’re caught up with the content in both active programs, we hope to continue sanctioning at or near the product release dates going forward.

Campaign Coins and Order of the Wayfinder

At the end of PaizoCon Online, we gave out several Campaign Coins to exemplary volunteers. These volunteers have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and are recognized with a metal coin and an updated Organized Play ID number.

Jared Thaler    842
Mark Koopman    843
Eric Nielsen    844
Michael Tracey    845

In addition, each year we select one person to receive the Order of the Wayfinder. This award recognizes a volunteer whose efforts on a particular project merit the highest honor the Society can give. We consult with the previous recipients to make our determination.

For 2020, we have awarded the Order of the Wayfinder to Jesse Davis, RVC of the Online region. Without Jesse’s work setting up the Online region, we never would have made it through the transition into online play during the pandemic. He has been a tireless advocate for online play, and we’re happy to grant him this award, as well as Organized Play ID 105.

GM Recognition

Whether stars, novas, or glyphs, achieving a 5 ranking in any program involves a substantial amount of time. To achieve their fifth milestone, a GM must run 150 games, of which at least 50 must be unique scenarios and 10 special scenarios, as well as run between one and three games for venture-captains (program dependent). A conservative estimate of the time needed to reach the fifth milestone is 650 hours!

Two GMs received their fifth star in the past month. In addition, we are pleased to announce our first 5-Glyph GM for Pathfinder Society (second edition)!

5th Star (PFS1): Erika Emrick, Dave Williamson
5th Glyph (PFS2): Eric Nielsen

Congratulations to our new 5-Star and 5-Glyph GMs, and thank you for your dedication! If you believe you have achieved your 5th rank but haven’t been announced, email us at organizedplay@paizo.com.

Upcoming Conventions

Last week, we posted an update on PaizoCon Online Europe. If you’re interested in GMing or playing at this event, where we’ll be launching Year 3 of Pathfinder Society, check out that post!

In addition, we’ve got a new shiny page for you: our brand new Paizo Conventions calendar! This page will list any convention that has filed for event support. Clicking on the event will list its location, website, and more, just like we used to in this blog. If there’s an event not listed there, get in touch with the coordinator and ask them to file for support from us!

Come back to the blog next week for news about Year 3 of Pathfinder Society. Until then, Explore! Report! Cooperate! and start earning that Starfinder AcP!

Alex Speidel
Organized Play Associate

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Pathfinder Society Starfinder Roleplaying Game Starfinder Society
Grand Archive

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

HUZZAH!
PaizoCon was awesome to play in PFS! Kikji really got a lot of time to shine during these 9 games! :3

Exo-Guardians 2/5 5/5

Congrats to the new crop of elite GM's.

Here in MN we are awaiting SkålCon, Oct 29-31. I can't promise it won't snow but we will have fun either way.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

Congratulations all 5 Star and 5 Glyph GMs!!

Congratulations all you new Campaign Coin holders!! Well deserved!!

2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston

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wolaberry wrote:

Congrats to the new crop of elite GM's.

Here in MN we are awaiting SkålCon, Oct 29-31. I can't promise it won't snow but we will have fun either way.

I can't wait for SkalCon, planning for it to be my first return to in-person conventioning!

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT

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Huge thank you to everyone who helped pull off Paizocon Online 2021!

Congrats to the 5 star/glyph GM's, new campaign coin holders, and Jesse for the Order of the Wayfinder!!! What phenomenal accomplishments!

I wanted to give a special thanks and congratulations to Mark Koopman aka MorkXII. Mark has done so much for the Pathfinder Card Game -- both society and non-society. On the society side of things he has not only run just about every adventure for organized play, he has also handled the bulk of our card game society reporting for the online region conventions. He also was the one who ran all of our playtests for both society content and non-society content. To be clear-- This was a huge task. It involved playtest card data that had to be put into the database and then hack it all together in a way that worked. Then he ran the box for us when we were frequently going through scenarios via play-by-post in a week or less (read: fast!). Honestly It's amazed me how he has managed to stay on top of it all and I don't think I've ever heard him complain. With all of that, and more, I can confidently say that the pathfinder card game wouldn't be the same without his help.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Great Lakes

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To all that helped with PaizoCon Online 2021 - HQ, GMs, Players, my fellow committee members - thank you. It would not have been the event that it was without each and every one of you. Now to rest, and then look forward to 2022!

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

How's that final 1e sanctioning coming? Or did I miss the announcement?

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Thank you, Ivis and everyone else for your hard work at PaizoCon Online!

Also, is that 1st Edition sanctioning I see? Oh, yes yes yes!

**

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

At what time will this Wed Jun 9th stream start, please and also thank you?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Houston

Congrats Jesse!

Congrats to all coin winners and new 5 stars also.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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Congratulations Jesse! Get use to saying the phrase, "yes, that is my org play number—its not a typo." It might come up...A LOT :-)

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

With respect to the shiny new calendar, is it correct that it will only list conventions that have been approved for org play support? So, we shouldn't be concerned that Origins, DragonCon, and SkalCon are absent, its just that they are pending?

Silver Crusade

Yay! Thanks organisers, especially Mike and Ivis. I hear Sarusan is nice at this time of year, should go see it and defs come visit me.

Also thanks to the HQ people, especially Nicole and Barb. I saw you two working so hard, so often. You deserve a cuppa and someone to massage your claws feet.

Congrats to new 5 stars/glyphs. I gotta catch up to all you PF1e and SFS Gms on 5. *looks hopeful*

I am however in same boat as Alex, "no musings, brain empty, only Paizo Con" still. I'm hoping everyone who had a lovely time can get back their brain from the official PaizoCon Brain Collectors in time for Con Current ;)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Associate

TwilightKnight wrote:
With respect to the shiny new calendar, is it correct that it will only list conventions that have been approved for org play support? So, we shouldn't be concerned that Origins, DragonCon, and SkalCon are absent, its just that they are pending?

Events will be added as an organizer requests event support via the form the VOs have access to (and which I can provide to anybody else upon request). Typically organizers don't request support until they have a good idea of how many tables they'll be running, so yeah, SkalCon in particular we're aware of but I haven't added to the calendar yet.

2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston

It might be nice to figure out a work flow that doesn't overwhelm you with too many updates, that would allow posting 'expected' or 'announced' conventions before you have the event support request.

It would definitely be useful for players trying to find conventions to attend, or organizers of smaller events trying to pick dates to see what's already known further out than the ~1-1.5 month lead time that event support usually means.

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

Congrats to Eric! 5 gyphs. A goal I hope to reach..

And to all who help to make PaizoCon 2021 as fun as possible considering the times we are in.

Looking forward to next year when we can game in person.

Grand Lodge 3/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

Congrats all!! Thank you to all the HQ, especially Aerine. You go, mom!

Envoy's Alliance **

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks for an awesome PaizoCon Online! I had a great 10 games this year and loved that I was but one of many Foundry VTT GMs this year, rather than one of two :D Looking forward to the next one y'all <3

Possibly monumentally silly suggestion ahead, but I've noticed that the very busy GMs have simply mountains of ACP to spend. I have a "small" suggestion to help people use this resource they've been gaining by contributing so much of their time and energy to keeping organized play sessions happening. Hold onto your butts:

Free Archetype *Slots* purchasable with ACP
- For some ACP, you can purchase a level 2 archetype slot for a single character.
- For some MORE ACP, you can purchase a level 4 archetype slot for a single character.
- Etc.

I love the Free Archetype ruleset, very much wish it was part of the core rules, but alas, it isn't. I also know that just opening the floodgates and saying "okay everyone has Free Archetypes now" both likely won't happen and would probably unbalance the carefully tuned challenge point system in favor of the players. Opening up Free Archetype slowly to the GMs and the most dedicated players could incentivize more people to GM their own games.

Just a little something that popped into my head during Paizocon that I wanted to get in front of eyeballs.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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Arshean Ardent wrote:


Free Archetype *Slots* purchasable with ACP

I'm one of the people with hundreds of ACP accumulated.

And I'd vehemently oppose this suggestion.

It would create two tiers of characters and totally unbalance things and be very unfair.

Whatever rewards are extended to GMs they should NOT include having characters notably more powerful than non GMs

2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston

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100% agree with pauljathome.

Yes Free Archetype is cool, but its unbalancing to allow for some characters, but not all. It should be an all or nothing. And I think were the campaign/CP balance points are now, we shouldn't change the default assumption.

5/5 *****

As someone who is sitting on 1100ACP I agree entirely with Paul.

Envoy's Alliance **

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Fair Enough :)

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

The boon-only ancestries should already be a good way to encourage people to spend their AcP, though if you have multiple characters and buy a hireling or two for each one plus a few pragmatic boons like Emergency Draught, Treasure Bundle insurance, special wayfinders, etc. you'll burn though quite a few AcP, and have a more pragmatic character.

**

I do wish though that there was more stuff to spend AcP on for existing characters. It's hard to justify, at least for me, spending 80-240+ AcP on a character that I can only play in repeatable or unreleased low-level content at this point.

Or basically, I have these high-level (for society) characters that are always going to be what I consider my "main" characters, the ones I'm most excited about when there's new content out they can participate in, and I'd like to spend AcP on them, as they are my focus. But I don't actually have good ideas for what that would look like. More uncommon access stuff? That's really all I got.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

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Alex Speidel wrote:
TwilightKnight wrote:
With respect to the shiny new calendar, is it correct that it will only list conventions that have been approved for org play support? So, we shouldn't be concerned that Origins, DragonCon, and SkalCon are absent, its just that they are pending?
Events will be added as an organizer requests event support via the form the VOs have access to (and which I can provide to anybody else upon request). Typically organizers don't request support until they have a good idea of how many tables they'll be running, so yeah, SkalCon in particular we're aware of but I haven't added to the calendar yet.

Guess I need to get that form sent in!

SkålCon will be October 29-31 this year... we had to move because of GenCon

Grand Lodge 4/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Columbia

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Grats to Eric for attaining that fifth glyph.

Grats to the new five star GMs!

Thanks to all that helped run PCO so it was a success. I enjoyed it and had no issues running or playing at PCO again.

Dreading GCO if GC folks are the ones running it instead of Paizo folks. I would much rather have had Paizo at Gen Con live instead.

Paizo Employee 3/5 * Organized Play Manager

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Darth Krzysztof wrote:
At what time will this Wed Jun 9th stream start, please and also thank you?

Apologize for any confusion. We submit blogs a few weeks out and I forgot to request a text update when our announcement plans changed just after PaizoCon. Confirming that we are now announcing PFS Year 3 in Thursday's blog and will have a follow-up interview with OP team member Mike Kimmell. Check out Thursday's blog for all the info!

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ** Contributor

I am so excited that Jesse earned the Order of the Wayfinder. Congratulations, my dear friend, for all the hard work that you continue to do for all of us!

A huge congratulations to our new Campaign Coin holders!

Jared Thaler 842
Mark Koopman 843
Eric Nielsen 844
Michael Tracey 845

Also... Eric, you're at five glyphs already? Wow. Just wow! Thank you for all your hard work!

Hmm

2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston

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I think I'll be at 200 tables by the end of summer, and I'm even getting a chance to play a bit more. Think I'm down to 4 unplayed scenarios, which is a nice change in the last ~6 months or so.

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