Organized Play Preview: 2022 Interactive Events

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Today we’re going to pull back the curtain on our two upcoming multi-table interactive events for the 2022 Paizo Organized Play season. If you’re not familiar, Pathfinder and Starfinder Organized Play release yearly multi-table events that can be played with as few as three tables and well over 150+ tables at the world’s largest events. These are intended to be epic adventures where players can work alongside others to accomplish monumental feats and battle great evils. In the past, these events have often been tied to key story points for Organized Play. Last year, we explored the unique events of a Pathfinder and Starfinder crossover. This year, we’re keeping away from the ongoing metaplots of our Organized Play years and making our multi-table interactive events a bit more standalone, so they can be enjoyed by anyone at any time.

Some of you may notice that the level ranges have dipped down a bit from what we’ve previously offered. There are a few reasons for this. We wanted to make sure these events offered a select level range to make it easier for event organizers to run and to ensure that these can be offered easily as walk-up events for new players at events around the world. Secondly, we’re trying to bridge some of the cognitive load that is required to run these events. As of right now there are effectively four scenarios worth of content in one of these interactives. Adding on additional level ranges makes them exceptionally tricky to slot for events and for GMs to prepare for properly. But worry not, we’ll have more high-level content coming in the future (in addition to the always growing repertoire of sanctioned content). Finally,because the workload on interactives is immense, it takes a lot of time and effort for Paizo’s extremely talented staff of developers, editors, and artists to complete. We want to make sure that these events can still continue without adding undue stress or delays on other projects for our staff, so this change is an important step in achieving that goal.

Pathfinder Society Second Edition: Year of Shattered Sanctuaries - Expedition Into Pallid Peril By Rigby Bendele Starfinder Society Year of the Data Scourge - A Time of Crisis by Dennis Muldoon


Starfinder Society #4–99: A Time of Crisis debuts at PaizoCon 2022 and is Organized Play’s first foray into the upcoming Drift Crisis event. In this adventure, a large group of Starfinders heads out on a routine archaeological mission, only to find themselves caught in the first event of the Drift Crisis. To survive the challenges to come, groups of characters from local communities or around the world need to come together and work as a team. In this exciting event, we’ll be giving characters the opportunity to answer, “Where were you during the Drift Crash?”—an event that kicks off the Drift Crisis and can be followed-up in all aspects of the Starfinder setting. Written by veteran author Dennis Muldoon, this interactive is intended for 1st to 6th level characters and is split into level range 1–4 and 3–6 to better help event organizers.

Pathfinder Society #3–98: Expedition into Pallid Peril is set to release in early August with a GenCon 2022 debut. In this multi-table event, the PCs head into the mountain region of Droskar’s Crag in search of the entrance to a fabled lost dwarven city. Prior expeditions involved lone groups of Pathfinders, such as Pathfinder Society #2–19: Enter the Pallid Peak and more recently Pathfinder Society #3–10: Delve the Pallid Depths. This expedition is the largest yet, with several Pathfinder groups set to explore the mountain ruins in hopes of finding the entrance to the lost dwarven city of Raseri Kanton, which is believed to be lost somewhere within the so-called Pallid Peak. The amazingly talented Rigby Bendele has put together a masterpiece adventure for multiple players. This event is intended for 1st to 6th level characters and is split into level range 1–4 and 3–6 to better help event organizers.

That’s all for today’s blog! Look forward to more information on these interactives as we get closer to the big conventions of the year.

Thurston Hillman
Senior Digital Adventures Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Society Starfinder Society
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5/5 5/55/55/5

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Perhaps some basis for the opinions would enable people to see where other people are coming from rather than is not R2 ?

Reasons can exist for or against most positions, laying them out does a better job of having a discussion than sticking to the answer and assuming anyone in disagreement is wrong and vacuous.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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I suspect they're about as convincing as the reasons for unlimited replay.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

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Years ago, tickets for the interactives we’re not sold by tier. You just bought a ticket and showed up with like 1,200 other people, waited in the hall and then within about 45 min or so you got seated. A few years ago, we changed from that model to selling tickets by Tier. And you should have heard the outcry: “That will never work!” “It will be too confusing!” “Why would you make such a change? Why not just improve the mustering process?” And the change was made and it WORKS.

This, to me, is in the same category. It is a fundamental change, but it’s not designed to be punitive. It is designed to improve the overall experience for the developers, authors, GMs, AND players. Yes, some levels of play are being cut out, with the goal of making overall improvements for everyone.

Will it work? I don’t know. But having GM’ed almost all of the interactive specials for PF1, I can speak from experience when I say that generally anything that tries to improve that product (from layout, to clarity, to a good story, to ease of GMing, etc.) is worth looking at.

Maybe this happens and we find it doesn’t work. Maybe this happens and we find it works better than we thought and that will lead them to figure out a way to include those tiers in the future?

So, just like making ticket sales by tier for the interactives, maybe we should give this thing a chance and see what happens. And we can have discussions about that, rather than conversations about who loves PFS more, or without derisively calling people “casuals” or without telling people that they are wrong. We don’t need to do that, do we?

Grand Lodge 4/5

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If this works, I look forward to another interactive down the line like Siege of Gallowspire, designed for only 9-12 or something like that. An ongoing effort to match interactive specials to a narrow level range that suits both the appropriateness of the story and the space in the development schedule.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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TOZ wrote:
I suspect they're about as convincing as the reasons for unlimited replay.

People expressing that other campaigns had done it before and it turned out badly was a good reason to avoid it.

Other people expressing legitimate needs for replay added some replay options.

The middle ground is NOT by definition better, but seeing why some people needed or wanted more replay helped get a few aimed replayable options in. (repeatables that weren't 1-2s) that met those needs without becoming running the same dungeon 45 times.

So I found those discussions helpful.

Second Seekers (Roheas) 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Appalachia

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I mean I feel like two entirely different questions are being debated here and the little bombshell Thursty dropped in his 2nd post is largely being overlooked.

The rub being felt is "this is even one less play opportunity for my level 7+ character who just started to *really* get fun." And not just mechanically like others might imply but by then, at least for me personally, that's when a characters narrative really begins to blossom into something special.

A lot of avenues for high level play that used to exist don't any longer and the 7-10 content is still pretty sparce and that's frustrating.

But ultimately interactive specials probably aren't even the solution for that. For one thing, if I am getting to bust out a higher level character that's been on the shelf a while, my goal is likely not just to get to cast heightened +2 fireball again, its to get to roleplay my beloved once more.

To that end the solution probably is more narrative focused capstone material that Thursty was talking about it and even hearing that that's being discussed internally again is f~%%ing exciting.

You may now continue snarking.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Excellent point. The best part of All For Immortality was not the combat, but the party having to argue amongst themselves for ten minutes at PaizoCon about which choice to take, without any input from me. More adventures like that please.

3/5

For me, as a player dating back to at least PF1 season 3, if not earlier, the interactive specials have always been a highlight for me. While I’ve enjoyed the stories these last couple of years, they haven’t felt particularly interactive to me because I’ve played them online. For me, what makes these events great is the camaraderie of working together en masse towards a shared goal, with different groups each performing necessary tasks to help the whole succeed. The most successful interactives, in my opinion, are those where the low levels acted as the grunts making sure the foundation of the mission was taken care of, mid-tiers handled lieutenants and slightly more specialized assaults (or the relevant equivalent), and the few highest tables were there heroically y fighting off the BBEG or Final Armageddon, with all of the hopes and dreams of the rest of the society cheering them on and helping out by competently and efficiently handling their missions.

Such an arrangement always felt good to me, as part of a team, no matter if I was playing high or low. It made the interactives feel epic, and made them more than just a scenario with wide level ranges and a couple of oft forgotten buffing slips of paper being passed around. I played in an org-play L5R game once, and they also structured that way (only maybe more so), and by the end, we all (even myself as a first time player) were completed and watching the final two high tier tables with baited breath and cheers alnd gasps all around as they finished their epic battle.

I understand that interactives should aim to be great enticing draws for new players that help bond them to the community, and to realize that we aren’t just GMs and Players, but that we ARE a community. I also feel like interactives need to be kept Special. A time when favorite characters can be brought back into the community to feel part of the collective and encapsulate the same pride and connection to the society that drove people to have their characters become Venture Captains or First Seekers or other NPCs enshrined in our community’s lore.

Alongside these goals are two others. We need to keep specials manageable (both for running/organizing and writing/developing). Furthermore, given the relatively recent changes allowing replays of interactives at different tiers, I think having those tiers being more than just copies of each other with higher DCs and CRs to be desirable, making the replay value really count.

I believe, given all of this, that perhaps the earlier suggestion of having two non-contiguous tiers may be beneficial. The low tier should either be 1-4 or 3-6, as Level 3 pregens are still fairly accessible for new players. While 1-4 would be easier on new players, and require less pregens as people could just make new characters if needed, 3-6 would allow for the low and high tier tables to be a bit closer together, which may aid on the organizing side of things. The high tier will never suit everyone, and I would probably recommend still keeping the top of the tiers a bit below current expected max ranges, again to help with organizing. If both tiers have separate, important, and interrelated goals, then it will be important to make sure that there is at least one high-tier table in any given running of the interactive (not an issue for PaizoCon or GenCon, but potentially an ask on the smaller cons). So right now I’d probably say something like 1-4 and 7-10 for PF2 and either that or maybe 3-6 and 9-12 for SFS?

Anyhow, that’s my two cents. It helps keep down development load so that we quality can be maintained; it helps draw new players into not just the game, but also the community; it allows higher level characters to shine within the community and help act as the leaders that many of them are becoming in-game; and it helps reinforce the epic scale and cooperation that to me have always been the earmark of what makes the interactives truly special.

2/5 *** Venture-Agent, Texas—Austin

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While I completely understand the need for tighter tiers, I would think that a 3-8 instead of a 1-6 for PF2 would probably have been as inclusive for new players (with level 3 and 5 pregens) while embracing a wider range of pre-existing characters stuck in the 6-7 level range. Hopefully that can be considered for future specials.

That said, I am looking forward to this scenario because I like how the Pallid Peak arc is developing and think it's cool to have 'side-quests' along the meta arc.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

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I would also be okay with an interactive that takes place in the Gloomspires, regardless of levels :)

I have confidence in Thursty and his team to give us a first-class RPG experience, all the while looking for ways to continually improve the experience for everyone. He has demonstrated that quality in the past, and I’m sure he will do so again.

Maybe we could cut him and his team some slack.

Ps: we still need more Hats!

5/5 5/55/55/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
eddv wrote:
I mean I feel like two entirely different questions are being debated here

They're related in a few ways

1) If i have less and less chance to break out the big guns, the special WAS one chance to do that and now it's not. It's also apparently no longer a chance to break out even the medium guns.

2) It's a little immersion breaking when the special has this big important thing we're throwing the entire society into , this is important or everyone's going to die ... but we're NOT meeting the threat with our most powerful members because.....? Gandalf can only fall into the balor pit so many times.

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

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Mark Stratton wrote:
...the implication is that people with high level characters are the ones who love the game is flipping arrogant

I don't think someone expressing an interest in more high-level options suggests that they are any more/less a lover of the game than those who prefer low-level content. Seems to be a rather large leap there. This isn't a zero-sum issue.

UllarWarlord wrote:
...y'all certainly have a right to your opinion (exclusionary and elitist as it is)

Yep, nothing like labels and insults when someone expresses a difference of opinion. Sheesh. There is no intent to exclude anyone, merely an attempt to promote more high-level play. There is nothing Machiavellian going on here.

UllarWarlord wrote:
...how many of the folks who share your fringe belief

No one, not even Paizo knows the distribution of the personal preferences of the community. They probably know what the authors/developers prefer since they are there and can be asked about it directly, but to suggest they know the predominant game-play preferences of the greater community is wrong. That data simply does not exist.

Mark Stratton wrote:
Years ago, tickets for the interactives were not sold by tier. You just bought a ticket and showed up with like 1,200 other people, waited in the hall and then within about 45 min or so you got seated. A few years ago, we changed from that model to selling tickets by Tier. And you should have heard the outcry: “That will never work!” “It will be too confusing!” “Why would you make such a change? Why not just improve the mustering process?” And the change was made and it WORKS.

This is a good point and an example of our demonstrative experience. We know from the past few years, at least those prior to the Covid issue, that if the community is given unrestricted access to a special, the largest interest (generally speaking) will be for levels 5-10. Often times, the lower tiers do not see significant registrations until they are the only ones left. Given the opportunity, the general player-base WILL gravitate towards mid-high levels for specials. The data is undeniable.

Mark Stratton wrote:
Will it work?

I am quite sure the new special will work. Players adapt to the options and if the options only include levels 1-6, then that is what they will do. At the end of the day, playing is almost always better than not playing but that is not the same as selecting based on preference.

The simple fact is that the restrictions to the level range for specials has nothing to do with player interest. It is primarily because of the challenge to producing specials and making it easier on the authors/developers. Secondarily, it will encourage new players, at least theoretically. There has never been an adequate analysis of whether or not specials actually do promote new player participation to any meaningful amount.

It is important to note that this change is not based on community preference, but campaign convenience. I am not saying that is necessarily a bad thing. Having an appreciation for the challenges the authors/developers face is only right.

All I am suggesting is that there certainly is a significant portion of the community that would like to play high-level specials, someone will even prefer it. That is not to say there are people with the opposite preference, but given the current trend, we are only catering to the later and IMO that is not the "best" solution for the widest swath of the community. Again, this is not a zero-sum issue. Having a lower-level special does not mean we cannot have a higher-level special or vice-versa.

It is no secret that the specials with the widest level ranges are/were incredibly hard to pull off. Encounters that work at 1-4 do not at 9-12, and vice versa. Anyone who played in those knows first hand that low-level parties are primarily responsible for the success because they can resolve challenges so quickly. High level play simple takes longer and is rarely resolved in the time allotted. So, I can certainly agree with tighter level ranges. I just do not think it is the best solution to simply eliminate higher level play. We should be looking to provide special quality content, not at the expense of lower-level content, but in addition to it. I hope that the more restrictive special works in all the ways the staff want it to and that they take that experience and apply it to high-level play as well.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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My own thoughts, from seeing and organizing a lot of interactives over the years for Houston:

* High-level play has a very different pace from low-level play, which makes it hard to have the same number of encounters at every tier in a 1-12 or even 1-8 interactive.

* While a player with a high-level character can always create a new 1st-level character, the reverse is not true for a new player, who may not have the system knowledge to play a high-level pregen effectively.

* Often the high-system-mastery players who have high-level characters are exactly the ones you want to encourage to GM for something as complex as an interactive.

Thus, the 1-2 and 3-4 tables tend to make the majority of tables at events locally, with only 1 or 2 high-level tables for flavor.

So in general, I think having a low-level focus in the interactives will work for the best in real-world conditions.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

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TK-

Advocating for higher level play, which is what you did, is not what I am referring to. I am OK that you and others express your desire for a higher level play and the disappointment that at least the interactive this year will not have. I get that. However, others in this thread who referred to casuals and implied that casual players don’t care about the game and the casual players play low level and that really only the higher-level players are the ones committed to organized play, those are the comments I have an issue with, none of which you said.

4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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I would prefer to see the specials catering for high level play again, 1-6 is pretty uninspiring.

I've played all the PF1 and Starfinder Multis and also GM'd and Overseered a heap of them too.

Siege of the Diamond City was a high point, and after that they started getting overly busy with way too many moving parts to prep (mostly the vast number of missions) and when the group only touches a small portion of what you had to spend ages prepping for it is disappointing. Maybe tone them down a bit and reduce the sheer volume of options to make a tighter game?

Cross table interaction would be nice to see come back too.

On a side note, seems odd that 1-99 : The Scoured Stars Invasion was never made replayable like the others since.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed some posts and quotes for being off topic or name calling. This is to be a celebration and civilized discussion of two products, not a discussion on Paizo business practices. Please keep the comments and discussions respectful and on topic

Grand Lodge

Considering that I have only played these Mega-Table games F2F I am wondering how (or even if) those of us that will be playing online during Gencon 2022 will play this game? Will, there be a single VTT used? Are VTTs even taken into consideration in the design? I could easily understand why it might be a huge amount of work to include it.

Oh, I am also wondering when I could pre-Order this game.

GregDC

1/5 *

Grcles de Cross wrote:

Considering that I have only played these Mega-Table games F2F I am wondering how (or even if) those of us that will be playing online during Gencon 2022 will play this game? Will, there be a single VTT used? Are VTTs even taken into consideration in the design? I could easily understand why it might be a huge amount of work to include it.

Oh, I am also wondering when I could pre-Order this game.

GregDC

played online the last two years, worked out pretty well, you play on you vet, and then tune in to twitch to watch the house announcements. The best part was not having them hold up the event so the C-Suite could get their standing ovation.

5/5 5/55/55/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Grcles de Cross wrote:

Considering that I have only played these Mega-Table games F2F I am wondering how (or even if) those of us that will be playing online during Gencon 2022 will play this game? Will, there be a single VTT used? Are VTTs even taken into consideration in the design? I could easily understand why it might be a huge amount of work to include it.

Oh, I am also wondering when I could pre-Order this game.

GregDC

people playing online can use whichever vtt they prefer, Someone in a chat room keeps score and keeps getting updates from the individual tables, and they can communicate pretty easily with the person tracking the meatspace games

So I'll be on roll20, My group will pick the lock, I'll tell the online coordinate in discord "Door 3 b open ". Someone playing on google slides is also in discord and tells the same person "Door 3 b open" , when x number of people open the door they tell the coordinator and they tell all the tables via twitch " Door 3 b open, move on if you're stuck". It makes no difference to the coordinator which vtt the person reporting to discord is coming from.

if anything it's slightly easier to track than sending baseball signals across the sagamore. I don't need to wait to see if i was seen the message is in text for the coordinator to see whenever they look back in the room.

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

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Like everyone else, I have thoughts on specials, high tier and playing characters. But I'm going to express other opinions.

High Tier Play and Beloved Characters

I love having opportunities to play my beloved characters. Chances are, if a character has made it to high-tier, it was because I loved roleplaying the character. What makes a character beloved? For me, it had to have the right chemistry between personality (is it fun?), background (does it fit into the setting in an interesting way?) and mechanics (do the mechanics fit the concept, and can I contribute meaningfully, in and out of combat?) If everything clicks together for me, this is a character that I want to come back and play with.

Are specials the place to provide those high-tier options?

I am going to be weird and say that specials are not necessarily where I want to trot out my high-tier characters. In order to help the house make their successes, there is less time for roleplay or reflection in specials. They are fast-paced and exciting, and you move from event to event like a race.

However, I recognize that some folks only get to do high-tier stuff at conventions rather than at their regular lodges, where there is likely always some new player who needs to start off in low tier. Specials are a guaranteed place to play, so I am certain that specials provided many reunions of high-tier characters in the past.

But personally, I want to play my high-tier characters in stand alone scenarios where there is time for roleplay and reflection. They don't all have to be killer scenarios with ten billion hard fights, in rapid succession either. Let's look back on some high-tier stuff that I have loved:

1) Doom Comes to Dustpawn

Yeah, it's a module, best done over an entire day or split between two sessions. But it allowed for roleplay, investigation, puzzles, traps and had some challenging and wild combats. It was a lovely mix of mood and just a lot of fun. Some may argue that being a level 8-10 it was not high tier enough... but really, it felt epic.

2) Future's Fall

Man.. This one was wonderful! So many moving parts, and people in jeopardy, a mystery, roleplay and a couple of really tough fights.

3) Through Sea and Storm

Another investigation, with plot twists and moments for reflection. And it gave the heroes a chance to ride around on pastel-painted trikes that had been built for Cloud giant toddlers.

4) Feast of Dust

Yeah, another module, but such a good Seeker arc, with great roleplay, ongoing things to solve, lots at stake and also a surprising amount of humor.

Balancing Tiers of Play

Though I love high-tier play, if we are going to accommodate newcomers and veterans at the same tables in our local lodges, we have to have a LOT of Tier 1-4 scenarios. I get that. I just want to see more opportunities to move people to higher level scenarios as we go.

Storyline Closure

When we were going after Datch in Season two of Starfinder Society, Trusty Trashbot (the character most invested in the Datch storyline) nearly leveled out before he could play the special where we get to take care of Datch. I wound up slow-tracking him so that he could have his confrontation.

If you are going to wrap up a storyline in a special, it would be nice if those characters who contributed to that storyline could also get closure. One thing that I did like that you did in Season 2 was provide a high-level mission that characters who had leveled out of the Special could do. (I just wanted that high-level mission to be able to give folks a chance to punch Datch in the face, but we cannot have everything.) Still providing a high-level mission that contributed to that storyline was very much appreciated. More of those, please!

Specials, Statistics and Sustainability

First Statistics

There were some numbers tossed around in this thread that surprised me, especially when it was stated that high-tiers were the most popular seats in Specials. I think that is true at PaizoCon and other big show conventions where the most dedicated players and GMs in Society show up. But I have seen the opposite at any convention where we may be pulling in new players. At Con of the North, the low-level tables filled out first, and I've even seen this in some of our PBP conventions.

If I had my druthers, we would not be seating newcomers at Specials. We'd find exciting standalone scenarios and ease them in where they have time to learn the pregens that they are playing, and get sucked into the adventure. But... The specials attract newcomers like crazy. Is it the marketing? Probably. We have made this into a big event, and there is palpable excitement surrounding it, so of course this the place where they show up.

I don't think we can give up having Tier 1-2 at specials, as much as I would love to send the new agents somewhere else.

Then Sustainability

I've not written a special. I have written a 3-6 PF2 Scenario, and my goodness that was a lot of work. What I found most challenging was figuring out the proper PF2 scaling, and how to up the challenge for different challenge points. I am trying to imagine now writing a large interactive special, and right now my head is exploding at the thought of doing all those challenge points for all those different encounters and tiers.

Specials do take time to write and develop. If collapsing the tiers makes it more sustainable for my fellow freelancers and for Paizo staff, then collapsing the tiers is what we should do.

TL/DR

Like everyone else, I want high tier play, and I want storytime closure for my characters who have invested in a season. But I don't think that this needs to happen within the confines of a multi-table special.

I look forward to seeing what paths we take with planning our Organized Play storylines. No matter what, if you guys write it, I will try to play it. I can't wait to see what Rigby and Dennis wrote for us!

Hugs and love,
Hmm

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville

As we get past the abnormal sequestering and have normal interactions with human beings (seemingly delayed until 2023), my overall disappointment in the specials is that they will not address the lost crossover for the season that got shunted out of basic human interaction time.

The level tiers (and being the total of 1-6) are fine by me. I am assuming that the 1-4 and 3-6 are using the normal tiers that would be for a scenario, with the normal adjustments for the table counts and to determine lower or higher play for that tier. I could see future specials having the next tier inline for higher level play. (5-8)

Even if the specials stay at this level range, I can see why higher level play had become a problem, especially with the Season four of PF1 having problems of the higher tables not being able to have the time to escape at the end of the Second part. I got cheated out of a Goblin boon myself because our GM graded us on the wrong tier. (A character leveled up between sessions)

With the time constraints in running the special, and the more time needed to run higher level content, I think the lower level specials may end up being a better experience for all involved.

I still think that the future PF2 high level content should be a single level stat, with the three levels being the character levels for that content, like the PF1 modules did (before they became 64 page Monsters.

Level 11 scenario being for 10-12, for example.

I hope to play/run one of the specials in a future con, and look forward to seeing how it all pans out.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Some specials being 1=6 and others being 9-12 would seem unlikely because of the focus on new players.

New players can't currently play a pregen above 8. At BEST, playing in a time crunchy special is rough on newguy. Playing a high level character is REALLY rough on newguy. The two together? Forgetaboutit.

The point of a special is the whole room doing the same thing. At best half the room doing a thing while you're not would be distracting or off putting. So I can't see going that route either.

Hence the general conclusion here that specials will be for low level characters now.

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

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I fail to understand some people's inability to grasp or realize that the level range is a logical conclusion.

Level 1 is a necessity. A shorter range is all that is feasible. Therefore, 1-6 is a logical conclusion. It never reaches a point where player preference is a factor to be considered.

While I am similarly extremely disappointed at not being able to play my high level character(s), I understand that the decision has nothing to do with me. It just unfortunately is.

Scarab Sages 1/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond

If reducing the workload that goes into specials is a priority, then having fewer tiers makes sense.

If higher-level content is that much more demanding to create than low-level content, then it makes sense to restrict specials to 1-6, rather than 1-2, 7-8, and 9-10.

But I though one of the design goals of 2E was that it's easy to write a run high-level content. No more page-long statblocks, rocket tag, or one round of combat taking an hour.

And this adds to the ongoing problem of a lack of content for mid-level PCs.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:

If reducing the workload that goes into specials is a priority, then having fewer tiers makes sense.

If higher-level content is that much more demanding to create than low-level content, then it makes sense to restrict specials to 1-6, rather than 1-2, 7-8, and 9-10.

But I though one of the design goals of 2E was that it's easy to write a run high-level content. No more page-long statblocks, rocket tag, or one round of combat taking an hour.

And this adds to the ongoing problem of a lack of content for mid-level PCs.

I would guess that writing a standard scenario for levels 9-12 is probably a different, and perhaps easier, exercise than writing part of an interactive that includes levels 9-12 and having to fit that part with the other tiers. I don’t think the two things are the same.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5

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I don't know if the 2E tables had the same problems as 1E tables often ran into where the high level tables really couldn't finish encounters a lot of the time (or sometimes they ended things crazy fast). But it is an additional challenge potentially. One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that reducing the level range actually opens up some different types of stories. With the full span or even a large span you are restricted to 'all hands on deck' type stories. Which are fun, but after 10 or so years of only those types of stories something new could be fun.

1/5 *

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I’m going into this with a “We’ll see” approach. My initial reaction was negative, Gencon is typically my only real chance for high level play, but since I don’t even have a mid-level PC in PF2, I have no horse in the race. Let’s see what happens, Thursty has already said that they haven’t forgotten about those of us who want high level capstone adventures, let’s have a little trust,

Also, it’s nice to not be frantically trying to play all the metaplot before gencon

Scarab Sages 1/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond

Mark Stratton wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:

If reducing the workload that goes into specials is a priority, then having fewer tiers makes sense.

If higher-level content is that much more demanding to create than low-level content, then it makes sense to restrict specials to 1-6, rather than 1-2, 7-8, and 9-10.

But I though one of the design goals of 2E was that it's easy to write a run high-level content. No more page-long statblocks, rocket tag, or one round of combat taking an hour.

And this adds to the ongoing problem of a lack of content for mid-level PCs.

I would guess that writing a standard scenario for levels 9-12 is probably a different, and perhaps easier, exercise than writing part of an interactive that includes levels 9-12 and having to fit that part with the other tiers. I don’t think the two things are the same.

I wasn't suggesting adding 11-12 content to interactives (very few people have PCs that are ll-12, so creating content for that subtier makes little sense, IMO). I was pointing that restricting interactives to low-level PCs, in spite of the improvements PF2 made to beyond-low-level play, necessarily means fewer opportunities for mid-level PCs.

And what you say is true,that it's easier to have mid-level content as regular scenarios rather than interactive specials, then I hope we see more scenarios at the 5-8 and 7-10 level than we currently have.

As of right now, there's been two 5-8 release this season and just two 7-10 scenarios released ever.

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

Level 1 is a necessity. A shorter range is all that is feasible. 1-6 level range for interactives is logical. It seems to have nothing to do with the ease with which 7+ play can be made.

Currently there are around 11 scenarios that can be played at levels 7+. There are just about 3 seasons. That makes around 4 scenarios per season that can be played at levels 7+. I do not consider that a bad ratio.

I would encourage folks to look at the stats and be reasonable.

1/5 *

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

Level 1 is a necessity. A shorter range is all that is feasible. 1-6 level range for interactives is logical. It seems to have nothing to do with the ease with which 7+ play can be made.

Currently there are around 11 scenarios that can be played at levels 7+. There are just about 3 seasons. That makes around 4 scenarios per season that can be played at levels 7+. I do not consider that a bad ratio.

I would encourage folks to look at the stats and be reasonable.

I think most people have been reasonable, just not happy. If we share our displeasure, things might change, if we do not, than nothing will change

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

medtec28 wrote:
...if we do not, than nothing will change

That is a curious assumption. How did you arrive at that conclusion?

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
medtec28 wrote:
...if we do not, than nothing will change
That is a curious assumption. How did you arrive at that conclusion?

in my experience change seldom happens without a reason. They made this change because it makes things easier for them. If everyone likes it, why would they change it again. If people respectfully object, we might get high level specials back. Then again we might not. If everyone appears to think that low level specials are the right decision, then low level specials will clearly be here to stay.

4/5 ***

PFS Scenarios(Includes intros, specials(as 2 scenarios each), doesn't include one shots, quests, Adventures, APs etc):

Season1 (26):
1-4: 15
1-5*: 1
3-6: 7
5-8 3

Season2 (26):
1: 1
1-4: 8
3-6: 9
5-8: 6
7-10: 2

Season 3 (23):
1-2: 2
1-4: 7
3-6: 8
5-8: 3
7-10: 1
9-12: 1
? : 1 (I think all scenarios except 3-18 have been announced

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

I suppose I view it differently. I simply trust Paizo and the OP team.

Edit: ...and am curious why others don't.

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

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Hey Leo --

I trust the O.P team too. But I have found that when I have had problems with something in the past, writing a polite post detailing the problem and talking about why it's a problem has been very effective in causing change to happen.

Hmm

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It has nothing to do with trust or lack there of. If one is ignorant to a problem, one cannot address it, regardless of the amount of good will or good intentions. Most of the posts in this thread have been polite and respectful. If we did not trust the OP staff, why would we be wasting our time here at all?

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

What is the problem the posts in this thread address?

Grand Lodge 4/5

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The lack of high level content, I assume.

Scarab Sages 1/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
The lack of high level content, I assume.

I'm advocating for mid-level content, specifically for levels 7-10 but also 5-8. I have a level 9 PC and several level 7s and I want to be able to play them more than once a year or so.

It seems to me the reduction in scenarios came at the expense of 5-8 and 7-10 content.

As for why I'm saying this, it's becasue 1) the Organized Play people aren't mind readers and 2) may need convincing.

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

Slight tangent, but it relates...

NECR0G1ANT wrote:
I'm advocating for mid-level content, specifically for levels 7-10 but also 5-8.

What constitutes high level content to you?

Should there be society content that high?

Why?

1/5 *

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I thought one of the big selling points for this not-quite-so-new system was that it better supported high level play?

So I would ask Why Not?

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

I suppose the answer depends on what is considered high level play. Maybe answering those questions in turn will help lead to an answer.

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Well, in interest of full disclosure, my highest PF2 character is lv4 and I only had 2 PF1 characters at level 12, so there is that.

But, for me, the game of PF2 feels very same-y. My character diesn’t feel all that unique compared to others,that feeling decreases as I go up in levels because the composite of all my choices make things feel different. As to how high, I would say it should go all the way to 20, because why are those levels there if not to be played? And if they are meant to be played, than why not in the awesome multitable specials that are typically the highlight of my Gencon experience?

I don’t have the luxury of a home gaming group, or a stable schedule that would support one, so Org Play is literally all I have. I know it isn’t my game, but I intend to keep pushing to make it one I can enjoy as much as possible. I’m trying to do that in a more polite and dare I even say better way than the vitriol and venom I was know to spew on these same boards a few years ago, but my intentions have always been to make PFS the best campaign it can be.

So that is my answer to why? What is your reason for not having higher level content?

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

Ah, you failed to answer the first question: What constitutes high level content to you?

The staff, when PF2 society emerged, expressed plans for society to reach 20. So it would seem that they agree with you on that.

As for the why not those levels at the interactive specials, that has already been addressed. It is currently not feasible. I fail to see how expressing a desire for interactives to cap at higher levels changes the feasibility, but maybe I'm missing something.

Lastly, currently, every season they have produced at least 1 scenario that is a higher tier than any in the previous season. That would seem to indicate that they are in fact considering progressing into higher and higher levels of play.

So, what is the issue?

1/5 *

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This issue lies with the words “not feasible”. What does that mean? Not possible? Clearly not. Too hard? Likely, but how is that determined? Well, for me too hard means effort > value. What I, and I believe some others, are trying to do is emphasize the value as being greater than they perceive. That might alter the “Too hard” equation.

That is my intention here. I will tell you that every year for the gencon special, the high and mid tier tables sell out, and I can always find low level seats available. Seems like their is some demand. I am accepting of this in the now, just hoping it will not be a forever answer.

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

Do you propose that they exclude tier 1-2?

As was expressed, they only have so much staff time that they can spend on the interactives as a project. That is probably what the 'feasible' means.

Do you propose that they ignore other projects or overwork their staff for your sake?

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

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High level play, to me, is roughly level 15+. I expect society to get there; but I don't expect society to get there soon. High-level society play, right now, is probably level 8+ -- just based on where characters top-out without using adventure path credit, etc.

From Pirate Rob's numbers upthread, seasons 1 and 2 followed pretty much exactly the distribution of levels I would have expected and though were healthy for the campaign.

This year the distribution has been off, IMO. If they want to support a 9-12, there should aim to have 6 7-10s in existence, in order to support characters reaching level 11 w/o using Adventure/Adventure Path content. So the first 9-12 came faster than I expected. I probably would have traded one of this seasons 1-4 and ones of its 3-6s for 2 more 7-10s, to build up a better support for 9-12s and above. (alternative this year's spread looks about right if they weren't adding the first 9-12 and just bulking up the pyramid in general)

While I haven't enjoyed this year's metaplot, it has done a done job of spreading the metaplot out across levels in a way that doesn't force you to carefully craft a characters season (well I guess it does if you try to play all of it on one character, but it was designed to be spread around).

I feel season 4 will probably need to have a 'high level for current times' (ie 7-10 or 9-12) arc (3 parter would be nice, metaplot or not).

For specials in particular, I still would like to see more innovation/risk taking in their design -- I don't particular care about the level range. I've liked the SFS model of 'choose your own mission' for part 1/2, though I don't think PFS when its tried it has given enough support to table GMs to brief/guide their parties in making the choices, so most just go in whatever order the GM wants/has prepped. I'd like to see a structure that doesn't incentivize/require rushing through encounters in order to feel like your table is hitting their quota of successes. -- like HMM said, if I bring a favored character out especially for the special, I want time to RP and have fun with them. Sure I also want a chance to do their crazy high-level combat nonsense, but I don't want to have to mechanically churn through 8 encounters in a 4-5 hours session. Especially as you expect characters/GMs to have a bit more adjudication to deal with some of of the high level stuff.

I think I'd rather see more multi-part high level arcs, with their capstone or kickoffs at PaizoCon/GenCon as the solution for high level play, rather than shoehorning them into an interactive special, unless its specifically a high-level special.

Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

My dream for interactives is each 4 level bracket has 50-80% it's own story. Maintain the bracket replayablility. This way it is more conceptually cohesive with the higher level pf agents dealing with things more appropriate to their skill level. This would also give a motivation to play in each bracket.

This is a big ask, which is why it is not an expectation. It would require tons of work.

side note: I view the 9-12 as essentially being in the 7-10 realm as there is no way (aside from AP credit) to achieve level 11).

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

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medtec28 wrote:

I thought one of the big selling points for this not-quite-so-new system was that it better supported high level play?

So I would ask Why Not?

The game system supporting high-level play and the Organized Play model supporting high level play aren't the same thing. The game itself may handle high level play quite well.

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