Happy to see that the increased number of tier 1-5 adventures is (largely) a good thing, as this is definitely something I championed.
I still think we should see three scenarios a month. I realize there is now Starfinder (though I, personally, am not seeing much interest in this campaign - it seems limited to a half dozen or so players). If there were always a 1-5, always a 3-7, and then alternating 5-9/7-11 scenarios each month, I think a lot of these road blocks would stop popping up. While it makes me happy to see SFS continue Paizo's growth into the new and exciting, I really wish PFS would be seen as more "worth it" to dedicate those resources to.
John Compton wrote:
Silly question perhaps, but is there any chance you can give a rough estimate of how long you expect a table to take? I.E., did you develop it for a 4-hour slot? 5-hour slot? Or should proper attention be given to this by putting it in a double-slot?
I mean, I know what I would prefer myself, but for a coordinator with limited slots available and lots of potential players who will want to jump on this, I could use the advice...
I'm with you, Dale: this AP is awesome. I ran Kingmaker (using your supplements, by the way; thank you), and like you I get that same vibe from reading this one. The story line is so well crafted and tight, thus far. I'm really impressed. And sad that it'll be at least a year before I have the opportunity to run this.
Other than what you've listed the first thing that comes to mind are interesting random encounters. If you go by the book there are going to be two encounters per day, and often one at night. The meager lists at the back of the books isn't gonna cut it. Things will become very stale very quickly. And if you were to include interesting encounter maps to go with the actual encounter, that would be even better.
Next would be a travelling market for PCs to get their custom stuff from (because the vast majority of groups are not going to be okay with only playing with what they find). The seed of an idea is planted for one, but more fleshing out would be good.
Last thing I can think of would be "common" NPCs. If the idea is to get invested in this ragtag band of refugees then there needs to be a large number of personalities and faces to get to know. I recently read the Shackled City AP, and the level of detail that went into the setting was absolutely amazing. It's no wonder that one is popular. I think Rise of the Runelords was similar, and Kingmaker to a certain extent. Again, two very popular APs. This one needs more than just the "special" NPCs that are already listed.
If I think of more I'll hop back on.
Edit: Already thought of something: The Legion are going to be turning their conquered areas into something palatable to them. What does that look like? The likelihood that players want to infiltrate and spy on their enemies is high. Give them interesting locales and situations to find.
Bots. And factoring.
When everyone starts selling out, and it gets to a point where only a few of something are left, the price gets bumped up by a bot, one that is operated by a factor (someone who sells an item they don't own at a markup, then buys a copy to drop-ship from a third party). Then, there's another bot watching that bot, and it wants to be slightly less expensive than the most expensive one out there, but not TOO much less expensive, so it bumps up its price. Just so happens that the first bot sees that price increase, knows its own margin isn't correct any longer, and bumps its price up to compensate. Which, of course, causes the second bot to raise its price. Wash, rinse, repeat. You end up with outrageously priced items.
This blog post back in 2011 does a pretty good job of explaining the occurrence: The $24million Dollar Book About Flies
I see this happen all the time with games that drop out of production temporarily (or permanently). And because of it I always know when a game is suddenly unavailable. It often is a game that has sat on my shelves for months, selling a copy here or there, but nothing noteworthy. Then, one week I go from 6 copies to 0, often in the course of two days. I take a look on Amazon and, sure enough, it's selling for twice MSRP. Speculators come in to buy me out, and list them for slightly less than the bots. Cracks me up because, usually, the game is available again within a couple months.
Anyhoo, if you would like a copy of End of Eternity at MSRP, I may be able to help you out. I believe I still have one in stock. Would you like it?
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I see your point about the slippery slope, though it remains to be seen how slippery it; and also the top of the mountain isn't always the best place to be, somewhere halfway along might actually be better.
I am largely comfortable with where replay is right now. And I understand that the top of the slope for some people is just as bad as the bottom of the slope is for people like me. The problem is that no one really *knows* where the middle is vs where the point of no return is. I would simply rather keep it where it is in lieu of mistakenly taking that final step.
Auke Teeninga wrote:
Yep. And we *still* never had a problem getting GMs. Only issue I saw was that it was the same guys GMing over and over. We were blessed in the sense that those guys really enjoyed doing it, so there was no real problem resulting from that.
To answer your question, Lau: I don't really see the Expanded Narative getting used in my area. Honestly, I've been so firmly rooted against replay for so long that I think the people in my area just don't think to pursue the replays they are actually able to have. Even with evergreen scenarios, I am often just offering them as part of the regular rotation. Telling people they are replayable has no effect on getting extra signups for them. Having Expanded Narrative available has likewise not had an impact on my stable of GMs; I have always had a large number of GMs willing to take games regularly.
I'm guessing, however, that you are more interested in my feelings on Expanded Narrative: I have no quarrels with it. GM rewards are important, and if that boon gets people to GM who wouldn't ordinarily do so, I'm all for it. Especially if it helps small play groups with their problems.
Edit: I take it back. I have one quarrel with it. It's existence is one more step down the slope. At the bottom of that slope is unlimited replay, and every step down is closer to the point where there is no reason to not simply give in and finish the fall. I saw that happen with LFR (the giving in part - unlimited replay was not the law of the land from the very beginning of the campaign; instead, it went down the same slippery slope that PFS is traveling, just much more quickly), so I will always chime in with my criticisms of replay in an effort to keep from reaching that point.
I suppose I should step in and speak up, seeing as my name is being brought up:
Auke Teeninga wrote:
Auke is correct: LFR was, in my store's case at least, buried by the ability to replay without limit.
rknop describes PFS as "quite welcoming to newcomers," and it certainly is; new players can show up and hop onto a table with relative ease. And, in the case of my store (which is admittedly a busy PFS location), there will almost always be space for them to find a seat they can sign up for.
The biggest problem with replay, in my experience, is the fact that there are those people who just don't care about anything except the ability to play as much and as often as they can. Sure, there were "farming" problems with LFR, too (enabled by replay), but what killed LFR for my store was the lack of new players being able to come into the game. The same 6-10 replayers routinely signed up for every game day, without concern for what was being played, and monopolized the available seats. New players were consistently turned away because all the tables were full. When that happens enough, eventually those new players stopped trying. And, actually, occasional players (those who only played once or twice a month) were getting locked out of tables by that same core group, and THEY stopped trying, too. Eventually, those same 6-10 players were the only players at any table, and GMs got sick of being stuck with always having to run and never getting to play (because, due to replay, there was never any reason for those players to make the jump to GMing).
Thus, LFR died.
When I come on these boards an rail against replay, that is why. I understand the fact that replay will likely solve a small play group's problem with finding an adventure that everyone can play. But solving that problem creates a different problem for those of us who have larger groups. And, in my opinion (and my own experience, obviously) that problem leads to a steady decline in attendance and eventually a lack of interest in the campaign itself.
You can mark me down as still firmly against the idea of expanding replay more than it already has been. Which I'm sure is unsurprising to most of you. My reasons haven't changed in the 8 years I have been arguing against it. So, I'll stay out of this debate, having said my piece.
Edit: Living Greyhawk (LG for short - the 3.5 OrgPlay campaign which preceded LFR) was easily as popular as PFS, if not moreso. No, it did not allow replay, and I think that was a key component in it's longevity and popularity. In defense of the small PFS playgroup's problems, LG also had a high number of adventures published on a monthly basis. This, obviously, went a long way toward allowing every group who played the ability to find adventures they all qualified for.
I'm a retailer. I own two stores in Colorado. One has been open over 10 years, the other is now in its second full year of operation.
I can say with certainty that the last Humble Bundle actually *created* sales for my business. Additionally, the existence of their PDFs often close the deal on sales of the RPG hardcover line (by "close the deal" I mean that they are the difference maker when making a sale). And I have already seen a bump in Pathfinder sales as a result of this Humble Bundle, as well.
My statement, obviously, is anecdotal. But I'm pretty confident in saying that I'm one of the largest game retailers in the mountain region (two of the largest, actually). I use a POS system that tracks all my data and inventory, and I watch it obsessively for trends. Pathfinder RPG sales have certainly slowed since the launch of 5th Edition. But that is definitely attributable to different things than Paizo's sale of PDF product. And, at least as far as I'm concerned, the two biggest "up-ticks" in Pathfinder sales I've seen have coincided with Humble Bundle traffic.
Also, a bit of a nit-pick here: Paizo does not have reps for stores. No retailer buys directly from Paizo. They sell through distribution and let their distributors handle all their product movement. Paizo does not share their sales trends with anyone. Ever. And speculating on how a promotion of theirs may have hurt brick and mortar stores and what the future repercussions of that would be is not something I've ever seen Paizo do. In other words, I have serious doubts about whether your store owner spoke with anyone at Paizo about any of this.
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Then I apologize for saying yes without also including the fact that it is convention exclusive for the first year of availability. That was my bad for misleading you.
You don't have anything to apologize for. No one has, yet, as I'm hoping this is a misunderstanding.
If I am being misled, it is by the way the 4- and 5-star adventures have been handled up until now. Up until last year there were only 4-star exclusives. Mostly, those exclusives came out mid-season, and could be run at any time (designated 3-S or 4-S) before being added to the regular rotation the following year. Bonekeep changed that, by making it necessary to be run at a convention. There was a lot of griping about that. "What good is it to be a 4- or 5-star?" and comments of that ilk.
Last year #6-99 was introduced as a true 5-star Exclusive, one that specifically had to be run by 5-star GMs, and was NOT allowed to be run by 4-star VOs. There was an additional 4-star adventure (#6-98) that was set up for those GMs, and for VOs to "extra star" qualify for. By the way, if someone tells me that #7-98 is ALSO a Convention Exclusive, merely for 4-stars, I'm going to completely lose my cool.
Now, after a very long and heated discussion in April about how detrimental the new convention policy was toward local stores, one that was supposed to be re-addressed in May and still has not been touched because everyone is "too busy," I am being told that this adventure is YET ANOTHER convention-only exclusive item. And, I'll be honest, at the rate that "convention exclusive" crap is starting to pile up (counting all the different boons that you can ONLY get through conventions), things are starting to stink already. Then going in and making it more difficult to QUALIFY as a convention? I'm calling bullshit.
But, no, you have nothing to apologize for. Frankly, I'm just feeling a bit disenfranchised. I'm unsure what it is that I've done in recent years by trying to keep my community together. It seems, at this point, to be a rather thankless job that I have done, as I see plenty of other people getting rewarded for the same job I do, with less time put in, but due to the glitz and glamour of being part of a "convention" they get the accolades.
And I've obviously just pissed myself off by typing all this...
I'm going to go to bed and try to cool down. I'll take this up in a different thread, where it belongs, tomorrow.
Having to seek permission to run something that is "granted" to me by my 5-star status is a step backward from the "5-star reward" as it used to be. I'm really unhappy about this. Seriously.
Remember that "taking things away is worse than doing things properly" statement I made in another thread? Someone just stepped in it, and it's raised my hackles, I will not lie. Combined with all the talk of altered convention rewards and status, which still has not been addressed, I'm swiftly losing my patience.
Mitch Mutrux wrote:
Well, that last part is grim. I am a 5-star GM without a 5-star scenario to run this year, nor the ability to grant access to it to my player base. How upsetting...
DM Beckett wrote:
DM Beckett, I'm pretty sure you've been part of those discussions over the years, so I'm pretty sure you would have been exposed to my (and others') arguments. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but seeing as I know you to be one of the replay proponents (albeit one of the less strident ones, and one who actually comes up with good alternatives from time to time) I'm pretty certain we've shared space in those threads before. Hopefully rknop's and Pirate Rob's posts have a more lasting impact on your memory than my own.
Seeing as all the links and statements have been made by others I see no reason to add my own to this, beyond saying that I still haven't changed my opinion much in the last six plus years. I hope I'm a bit more politic than I used to be, and I think I've proven that even I can alter my stance on occasion. But as I said a few posts above I believe that not too much more "bend" will result in a break. I don't want to see that.
Edit: This, by the way, proves the veracity of my saying you often suggest reasonable alternatives:
DM Beckett wrote:
I think the best solution I've heard was to make a handful of evergreen scenarios across the level ranges, specifically avoiding levels 1 and 2. That would actually go a long way to solving a few issues, and help alleviate some of the problems with lack of replay for credit.
This, I believe, is actually a suggestion you proposed in the past, and it is one I like myself. It is a "bend" that will forestall a break. (-:
I'm assuming that this adventure is the current 5-star exclusive, but can't seem to find any confirmation of this. Is my assumption correct?
If so, I'll be running this quite a few times in the coming months, and would love to see what pitfalls people have hit (or bypassed) as they've run it themselves at recent conventions. All thoughts and comments are welcome.
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Kifaru was only referring to GM replay credit, not player replays.
If so, then I would not be as opposed. To clarify my own stance, some definitions may be in order.
Replay = players' ability to replay an adventure for credit.
Rerun = GMs' ability to rerun an adventure for credit.
If someone is using the word "replay" my assumption is that it is for players (and GMs would obviously gain the benefit as well, as "replay" crosses those bounds easily). This is why I responded the way I did, not because I don't support GM rewards.
To further state how much I support the idea of GMs continuing to get rewards for games they run, I will direct you to this post which very clearly lays things out, including a bullet-point list of options for GM rewards for rerunning adventures. I made that list because they are reasonable suggestions, and I would not have personally posted them if I did not support them in some way.
The only thing I would add to that post if I could is the fact that I would prefer to see any kind of character credit option be the last of the options that is explored. I would vastly prefer to see a reward card that unlocks things based on number of reruns.
Kifaru, you have my support. It is obviously not in exactly the same place your own wishes are, but I'm on your side. And I think a lot of people here are, actually.
I also don't support this for GMs, if it is something people feel the need to grant to players.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Same here. I guess I should put this on the schedule...
Whatchu talkin'bout, BNW?
You either quoted the wrong thing or I'm terrible at writing, because that's not what I was discussing.
Edit: I suppose it's possible you have a "convention" twitch equal to my "replay" twitch...
Re-Edit: I see. You're saying GMs can do this already due to star-recharges. I'm still alluding to a different problem, but can see your point. I still think that an annual 4-5 star re-charge doesn't compare to a 6 month run of All The Creditz, especially if that 6 months doesn't count against star re-charges.
Keith Apperson wrote:
Locally, I could actually see a benefit - people pulling out things that they ran years ago to run again (thus putting it back in rotation) or someone who visits multiple stores running the same scenario at each one, so multiple groups got a chance to play it.
This is the benefit to implementing the idea. So, as I said, implement it correctly and don't bother taking it away.
Keith Apperson wrote:
I recruit GMs ahead of my game days. I pick the scenarios to be run. I usually offer the two newest adventures at 6 out of the 12 tables I offer, and choose recent adventures otherwise, with the occasional sprinkling of "classic" adventures. But if no GM wants to take the new stuff because he is now always able to get credit on older stuff he's already run, I will have a fight on my hands to get those 6 of 12 tables helmed. It's already sometimes a chore, as I find that most of my GMs prefer to run something they've already either played or run before (thus, the "eat a scenario" problem that Hmm pointed out above).
Like I said already, it'll be a problem for me that I would rather not see.
It makes everything you've already run an "evergreen level 1" adventure, but only for a short time. Thus, the reverse incentive would actually hold sway: GM's would want to get in all their re-GM credits before they were no longer available, and would be unwilling to run new adventures (not everyone, of course, but you see my point I hope). I know that in my stores, if I were unable to get GMs to run new scenarios for a six month stretch, I would have a hard time keeping consistent game days going.
That's one example, and one I think is very likely, really.
In fact, I would actually only put it in place for 6 months. Have a scheduled beginning and end of the test run. Start it the first of September and run it through the end of February. This gives a 6 month sample set to see what the repercussions are and another 6 months for the Paizo decision makers to contemplate before the start of the next season.
I dunno, man. This feels like an Aasimarpalooza FUBAR just waiting to happen, to me. Way too many things could go wrong with this scenario, I think.
I'd like to see this implemented as a test run for a season. If it causes the feared disruptions, it could be discontinued.
Taking something away from people is significantly harder than implementing the correct procedure in the first place. For reference, see the ongoing debate about GM star-recharges. Even though this was never something that was promised, and was mistakenly not edited out of a *preview draft* version of the GtoPFSOP, people still see this as something that was taken away, and regularly bring this up. For further reference, see the complaints that come up every time Paizo releases hardcover errata and "takes away" components of the game. If you need even more proof, let's talk about aasimar and tieflings a bit.
Implement it, or don't. But if you implement it, do it properly so that it does not need to be taken away.
You are entirely correct.
Replay proponents won't care about the differences.
Keith Apperson wrote:
Drogon, I certainly understand as I was involved in LG some, but I think you're waving the fear flag a bit too much - especially when you seem to be implying that somehow we could pressure this into effect past the Paizo staff.
I don't see it as a fear flag. I see it as an eventuality that needs to be understood in order to be prepared for. Honestly, I made the post so I have something to refer to if and when the replay argument comes up.
And in no way do I think we could pressure Paizo staff to do something they don't want to do. Again, realistic expectations need to be stated, else the discussion devolves into presumptions being made that may not ever be realized.
Would you be at all open to applying credit to as high as maybe 3rd level? Mainly because a stable of a couple dozen 1st level characters is just depressing. Or is that a 'bridge to far' for you?
Like Keith said, you can get them to level 2. The suggestion is not that it has to be the very first chronicle; only that it has be be on a 1st level PC.
By the way, for the record: This is another "bend" toward replay. Even this little bit makes me nervous. I truly hope that replay proponents do not see this as the rallying cry that I worry they will see it as. I think this should be the final option, implemented after all others prove too costly, time-consuming, or unwieldy. And, obviously, no idea should be implemented if Paizo staff feels it is not necessary.
I would love to see more ideas that do not involve character credit.
First: How bizarre that I typed those words twice. I seem to have a typing-stutter...
Second: I appreciate the acknowledgement. Thank you. I promise I'm not frustrated. Just bumping. Frustration can be staved off for another month.
The people on this thread are trying to discuss the value of a possible change. I believe you are a 5 star GM, and I feel your experience could be quite worthwhile. I understand that in debates emotions can run high. I didn't take the insults personally. I assume in person you would never be so impolite. I implore you to continue the discussion, but please I would request that you refrain from further personal attacks.
I'm pretty direct. So I suspect you would have received the same comments in person. But tone and visual cues matter so much in conversation, so you would have also seen genuine interest in the things you are saying. Which, I'm sure, is true of your side as well.
I apologize for attributing a poor attitude to you. :-) <--that last bit is the "happily" part
A (very brief) history of my dislike of replay credit:
I'm utterly opposed to it. Many would call it bias; I call it a non-negotiable consideration. Despite this I have bent, many times, in those negotiations (which occur regularly as certain players ask for it repeatedly). I now believe that this cannot bend very much more before it breaks.
The reason I point this out:
The same players who want replay credit will not stand for a system in which GMs get character credit for re-running scenarios (no matter how "partial" that credit is) while they cannot get any consideration for replaying the scenarios that are currently limited to one play per person. And they shouldn't. Unequal entitlement is not a healthy way to promote a program.
I firmly believe that PFS will not survive the slide in to replay. Rehashing my reasons can be done, but I hope you don't find that necessary. Enabling re-run credits for GMs is another step onto that slide.
However, I will acknowledge the issues many have with getting GMs to run things more than once (and have already stated such, way back at the beginning of this thread and again, later on).
Here are some of the ways I can think of to reward GMs for re-running that have been discussed in this thread:
This is probably not exhaustive, but it's what I could find right now. Early on in this thread the discussion was robust, and John and Tonya posted, as well. I think an expectation that GMs get something for running without character credit is a not-unreasonable expectation. And I think you will see it implemented sooner than later. But I also think you will get far more traction with your requests if you leave unfettered character credit (again, no matter how "limited" the gp and/or xp may be) off the list.
Yeah. But it's been in the back seat since May for much the same reason (Dragon Con, Origins, Paizocon).
I, and many of the people of the people who posted in this thread, have events of our own that we are were working on. This kind of thing can have a pretty big impact.
I understand being busy, as I am often too busy for many things myself. But eventually I need to set aside something I'm "too busy" with in order to pay attention to things that are important to those who rely on me. Formatting a document should not be a months-long chore. Finding the time to address it should not be something that interrupts business to the extent that these conventions will suffer the consequences.
Tonya Woldridge wrote:
Just checking in...
There are lots of rewards for GMing something again. They've already all been listed throughout this thread multiple times, so I won't get into it again, but suffice to say that if credit is all you're after you have plenty of options and there is no need to GM something more than once. It's a stance I certainly don't understand, but you're allowed to take it.
As to the disparity of 4- and 5-star GMs pooh-poohing this idea vs the 1- and 2-stars lauding it, I think it comes down to what Auke said: Personally, I have long experience in the campaign (and in other campaigns), and am absolutely opposed to adding in something that is so obviously disproportionate to what players get. The moment something like this is realized the players who want unlimited replay will cry foul and be impossible to placate - rightfully so, as one group being entitled to something another group cannot have is the worst position to put a system in.
And the day the unlimited replay proponents are on the right side of the argument will be a bad day, indeed.
I'm not interested in seeing things change so that GM credit is out of alignment with player credit.
If a GM wishes to not run an adventure more than once due to lack of credit, despite all the other incentives, then that is their right. Saying that they are being *punished* for having to prep an adventure and only get to run it once is a bit over the top. I see the fact that it's already prepped as one of the incentives, but if credit is stopping you from offering that game again, so be it. Let someone else run it who will have more interest in it (whether it's because they'll actually get credit or merely because they truly enjoy GMing is a moot point).
But this circular argument is just as bad as the unlimited player credit argument and reeks of entitlement. There is no need to act this way.
I don't get it.
Continuing the Hun Derail:
Most of the women I know would consider being called "hun" to be a condescending form of address. Kind of like being called "bub" can be taken as coming from someone who is trying to be confrontational, or simply as coming from someone who is a big fan of Wolverine comics. Context matters, and as we know the internet is terrible at putting context across correctly. I knew DM Beckett wasn't trying to be condescending, so I thought to make fun of his Southern charms. And, in a fun example of irony, context came across incorrectly and some here thought I was actually offended.
One thing I get to take away from this: Hmm will now be known in my mind as Hmm The Hun. (-:
DM Beckett wrote:
Heh. Sorry. I honestly thought it was a funny auto-correct. I've been reading your posts long enough to know you meant no offense. Sorry to stir things up. (-;
Vexx Malificum wrote:
...there are few things like a munchkin character steamrolling all the encounters...
I'm sorry, guys, but I just can't get behind the idea that there are munchkin/tricked-out/all-powerful 1st level builds.
Again, there are plenty of things in the Core Pre-Gens that perform that function just fine: sleep cast by Lem, Power Attack from Amiri, entangle cast by Lini, Smite Evil combined with Power Attack from Seelah, a scroll of color spray from Seoni, or a bonded object recall of color spray from Ezren.
Every single one of those options can "steamroll" the one-encounter model that is a Quest. Stop obfuscating the issue.
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Well, I liked the ones that I've played and run. Except Rivalry's End, but I don't think that ending to the Shadow Lodge was your fault. So I'm still looking forward to this.
I hope his feedback helps, though.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
100% agree. The right tweak and we're all able to use these the way we each want to use them.
Okay, I feel the need to put down exactly what I am actually looking for. Hopefully this will help shed light on where my arguments come from, with relation to the Quest line.
I feel that the concept of a "delve" or a "quest" or an "encounter" is an awesome way to show people how to play a tabletop RPG game. As mentioned above, you can have it all set up at a convention on a front-and-center table, and when people ask what you're doing you can say, "Hi. Want to see what it's like to play Pathfinder/D&D/Shadowrun? It'll take less than an hour to show you the ropes." As is being proven in many conventions, this model is helping draw a great number of people into the game.
I want the ability to set this up at a local store.
Now, don't get me wrong: I am fully aware that I have that ability already. I merely have to pick a lineup of quests/delves/BeginnerBoxBashes and throw them on my schedule, have a batch of pre-gens ready to hand out, and get the ball rolling. I don't even need to even worry about structure, credit, character rules, or what-have-you. That's why this stuff was developed.
However, a store environment is very different than a convention environment. A convention is pretty much designed as a showcase. People can attend one to immerse themselves in a weekend of non-stop gaming, or attend one merely in an effort to find out "what all the fuss" is about. Sure, some conventions break this mold and begin creating a community out of their attendees (Paizocon, in particular), but most still operate as a showcase environment - a "one and done," if you will, where being noncommittal is not a sin and is actually encouraged.
A store, on the other hand, must foster a community in order to truly thrive. We will learn each others' names, talk about our pets and kids (and politics), and have an expectation of seeing the same people on a regular basis. The "one-and-done" model doesn't work at a store, at least not as a long-term plan.
So, to put the quest/delve/encounter concept to good use in a store, you need a story. You need a series of events that will draw the same crowd back a few times, so that they become a part of that community. D&D Encounters did this phenomenally well. I will not go into details (again), as there is no need to beat a dead horse.
I want to see a Pathfinder lineup that I can implement to the same effect.
Again, I know I already have the ability to do this. I could take the Quests that are available and just put them on the schedule. I can let people play pre-gens, or play custom-built PCs. I can even extend the stories with my own writing, or tag them to an existing module so that things can continue on for a couple months.
The problem with that idea (which, I realize, no one is espousing), is that my existing community of Pathfinder players will have no measurable desire to join in. Any new players coming along will be making all these baby steps by themselves, and while they may end up a part of the store community, overall, they won't be a part of the PFS community in the way that I want to engender. Eventually? Sure. But the process will be much longer and more drawn out, and will ultimately NET far fewer players than something more efficient like what I'm talking about.
So, I want a PFS sanctioned lineup of 1-2 hour adventures (a series of 8-12, ideally) that I can put down on the schedule that will draw in new players, and encourage veteran players to join them by virtue of getting credit in the game campaign they already enjoy. I want a two to three month long, weekly playing session, that will draw all these elements together (new players, old players, players just getting back into the game, and players who do not have the time to commit to 4-hour sessions), and put them all in the same room. My room, by the way: the stores that I care about, and the community that I spend so much effort to foster and grow.
I chose to jump on the "open up quests" train because that train looks like the most likely vehicle to achieve what I want. I know that Paizo doesn't have the ability to develop a new Encounters season every 3-4 months. I know that the PFS resources are already stretched thin. So, I look at the Quests and I see a group of 12 adventures that are already there and, with just a few tweaks, will accomplish what I want. No extra money from Paizo. No concern about lack of credit from veterans. No worry about "too much commitment" from new players. Everyone wins.
Does this help to shed light on why I'm so adamant about this?
I hope so.
I still want to see whether it is possible that Quests get opened up to custom characters. I acknowledge that maybe they are not the best vehicle for that. However, they are the best vehicle that currently exists, with the flexibility to be on both a convention schedule (with pre-gens, only) and on my community's schedule (where it can set up a group of new PFS veterans). As much as I would love to see Paizo write all-new content for this program, I just don't see that in the cards. A little tweak to the existing Quest rules, however, and we have a pilot program. Perhaps its success will convince Paizo to commit a bit more to future versions that will better cross the bridge between what I want and what convention organizers want.
So, that means you can activate them to use a spell that is on your spell list. If the spell you want to use isn't on your spell list, then you have to use the UMD skill to activate the staff.
Do I have this correct?
If I do, then this staff is giving me fits: Ember Staff
Produce Flame is not on the spell list of any of the classes that can use Fireball or Scorching Ray. So how would this staff be useful to cast more than two spells (if you're arcane) or one spell (if you're a druid/hunter/shaman)? Would you really have to UMD it to get it to cast the spells that *aren't* on your list in order to get full value out of the staff? Well, that would be kind of odd, as druid, hunter, and shaman don't have UMD on their class skills, and likewise there are only a couple classes that have fireball/scorching ray on their spell list that have UMD as a class skill, so the likelihood that someone finds this item and has UMD all primed and ready to go to make full use of it is slim.
By the way, there are several other staves just like this, utilizing a mix of arcane- and divine-only spells.
Because of this, I feel like I am getting the staff rules wrong.
Please enlighten me.
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
There is always a push to lift any restrictions. :(
Very true. And is something I tend to dislike, myself.
Jon, Bob, and others posting on the merits of their stance, I've read everything you're saying, and am contemplating my own (evolving) stance. I'll be back in a bit to put it into writing.
jon dehning wrote:
It only took over 100 posts to repeat what I advocated way back in the olden days of this thread.
I don't know that you *exactly* said what Bob said, Jon. When I first read your post I marked you down in the "opposed" column. Bob's post I think puts him in the "for" column. You both make statements that indicate your opinions can be swayed, and it looks like you're both swaying around about as much as I am.
TOZ's comments that the quests aren't built for custom PCs built to anticipate the use of earned gold or items makes sense.
In line with that thought is your own (and Bob's) suggestions that only 0 xp, brand new characters should be brought in.
Your statement in your first post about what to do after that first Quest gets played is very indicative of the problems that TOZ is highlighting, and not necessarily solved by Bob's written suggestion.
*IF* the quest line opened up to custom PCs, people will want to play their PCs through all parts, potentially. Does each part of the Silverhex Chronicles grant something? (I fully admit ignorance, here, as I have yet to read them, despite this discussion). If so, that becomes a growing problem as the games progress, a problem that keeps someone like TOZ from being at all willing to consider the idea of opening up tables to non-pre-gens. If so, are there rules that withhold the rewards until all parts of the series have been played? If not, *can* rules be put in place that withhold rewards until all the parts have been played?
I still want to see a lineup similar to Quests be made available for what I have advocated (1-2 hour sessions, allowing for more new-player flexibility). But if Quests, as they currently exist, can't fill that role, then I would want to see something different developed. I don't want TOZ to lose his flexibility just for my gain; that is not a NET gain for the campaign.