GMing Sanctioned Modules Only (Madness!)


GM Discussion

Paizo Employee Canadian Maplecakes

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Earlier this week, our local VC put on an awesome seminar for nearby GMs where we discussed several GMing related topics. Of course, many of us were talking about the recent discussion surrounding Sanctioned Modules, and the conversation slowly turned into several GMs wanting to get more involved in running/playing in modules.

As a GM who runs his own home games and has a job that requires lots of travel, I tend not to get too involved with running PFS mods. That being said, I adore Paizo modules and have already run a handful of them with my home group.

So, a group of four local GMs (including our VC/VL) requested I run them through a module. I agreed, and we started immediate planning.

Now we're thinking of making this a once-a-month affair, where we push our way through full modules using core PFS rules. This brought up the thought of leveling only with Sanctioned Modules...

Taking some time, I devised a 'leveling scheme' for current PFS modules, and it looks something like this:

Godsmouth Heresy - Level 1
Crypt of the Everflame - Level 2
Feast of Ravenmoor - Level 3
Masks of the Living God - Level 4
City of Golden Death - Level 5
Carrion Hill - Level 6
From Shore to Sea - Level 7
Realm of the Fellnight Queen - Level 8
Cult of the Ebon Destroyers - Level 9
The Harrowing - Level 10
Curse of the Riven Sky - Level 11

Assuming the rules remain the same and the group level can be within 1 of the adventure, I think this is the best way to progress a party through modules only.

Any thoughts / comments on this?

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

I have reviewed this possibility as well and hope to experiment with a PFS group through an all (or nearly all) module career. My list looks the same except for possibly substituting First Steps for Godsmouth Heresy and From Shore to Sea instead of Carrion Hill. Depending on when this can happen, I may try to incorporate The Midnight Mirror.

Assuming that the new rules go into effect, I would run them through The Ruby Phoenix Tournament, Eyes of the Ten, Academy of Secrets, and Tomb of the Iron Medusa. They would finish the campaign at level 15. Hopefully by then, there will be a module to allow another level and then finish with Witchwar Legacy. And at that point, there may be modules that can get them to level 20, who knows.

Paizo Employee Canadian Maplecakes

Bob Jonquet wrote:

I have reviewed this possibility as well and hope to experiment with a PFS group through an all (or nearly all) module career. My list looks the same except for possibly substituting First Steps for Godsmouth Heresy and From Shore to Sea instead of Carrion Hill. Depending on when this can happen, I may try to incorporate The Midnight Mirror.

Assuming that the new rules go into effect, I would run them through The Ruby Phoenix Tournament, Eyes of the Ten, Academy of Secrets, and Tomb of the Iron Medusa. They would finish the campaign at level 15. Hopefully by then, there will be a module to allow another level and then finish with Witchwar Legacy. And at that point, there may be modules that can get them to level 20, who knows.

Well look at that....

Shadow Lodge

Looks good. I've also thought about starting with the First Steps. They give a great introduction to the factions in PFS, but honestly I can't justify it since the factions aren't used in the modules. At that point it's merely a face that is giving you access to items as your fame goes up. :\

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

Thursty wrote:
Well look at that

LOL...just waiting on a couple of capstone mods now :-)

Grand Lodge 5/5

Crypt of the Everflame is meant to be starter characters. The whole story otherwise makes less sense. It could even be level 1 only - but not sure about that. Anyhow - I would swap it with Godsmouth Heresy.

Also not sure about the order of Feast and Mask. I'm planning to have a group do Crypt at level 1, followed by some scenarios and later Masks. Masks is a follow on to the Crypt of the Everflame.

Edit: it is level 1 or 2. Still - story wise it is more fitting as a starter while Godsmouth can be later.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

Thod, the problem with that is the consensus is CotE is too difficult for level ones near the end. The assumption is that you will level during the module so it might be "safer" to run it at level two

Grand Lodge 5/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Thod, the problem with that is the consensus is CotE is too difficult for level ones near the end. The assumption is that you will level during the module so it might be "safer" to run it at level two

Thanks for the warning. I will look out for it.

Shadow Lodge

I'm surprised with all the unusual rules for PFS modules when they first came out that there wasn't a midway 'positive level' effect that let you level up unofficially with the XP that you would be receiving on the chronicle.

Paizo Employee Canadian Maplecakes

Nickademus42 wrote:
Looks good. I've also thought about starting with the First Steps. They give a great introduction to the factions in PFS, but honestly I can't justify it since the factions aren't used in the modules. At that point it's merely a face that is giving you access to items as your fame goes up. :\

Luckily the people I'm GMing at the moment are already quite knowledgeable about PFS (well, at least I hope the VC/VL are...), so we're going to skip First Steps entirely for this crazy attempt. Plus that buys us an extra module to run!

Nickademus42 wrote:
I'm surprised with all the unusual rules for PFS modules when they first came out that there wasn't a midway 'positive level' effect that let you level up unofficially with the XP that you would be receiving on the chronicle.

To go along with the 'experienced group', we're going to try something pretty hardcore with this. Four players only, no dump stats/minmaxing.

If things go as we'd like, we're probably going to take down notes about each Module along with suggestions for handling them in a PFS environment.

Also, since it's a group of GMs if anyone does get killed, they should have enough GM credit to quickly level a new character ;)

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Thursty wrote:
Well look at that
LOL...just waiting on a couple of capstone mods now :-)

Hmmm...

Paizo Employee Canadian Maplecakes

Actually, the thought was (depending on how crazy / fast we are) that we might end the Tournament module as the finale of this attempt. Though, you know how things go...

Honestly, it's just hard for our local GMs to PLAY in PFS. This was my nice offer of actually running them through some games in a setting that would work for them.

Oh, and get to murder their PCs... can't forget that. :)

Shadow Lodge

Mark Moreland wrote:
Hmmm...

*NDA senses tingling*

5/5

Thursty wrote:

So, a group of four local GMs (including our VC/VL) requested I run them through a module. I agreed, and we started immediate planning.

Now we're thinking of making this a once-a-month affair, where we push our way through full modules using core PFS rules. This brought up the thought of leveling only with Sanctioned Modules...

Taking some time, I devised a 'leveling scheme' for current PFS modules, and it looks something like this:

Any thoughts / comments on this?

Looks good to me! :^)

Thanks again for even considering this - I know this is a big undertaking, and we really appreciate the offer. We're all very excited to start!

Shadow Lodge

You're forgetting Master of the Fallen Fortress! If ever there was a time to pick it over First Steps, this would be it.

And at only 1xp, it couldn't possibly screw up your level progression.

Paizo Employee Canadian Maplecakes

We've just started with Godsmouth Heresy (finished our first session about 2 weeks ago, with our next sometime this week). It's been prety interesting so far with some of the decisions / composition of the party.

Two PCs took some ability Drain which we think may be a bit of an annoyance until they get the Prestige to buy it off. Otherwise, pretty good so far! :D

Grand Lodge

According to PFS Rules, lesser restoration costs a mere 60gp - why use prestige? I havent read/played it so I dont know if they can make it to somewhere to get it cast.

4/5

We're doing the same thing over here in the NYC region with our VC and VL and couple of the other area GM's: Playing an all Cheliax group.

We played CotE 1st this Saturday and we're going to move to Godsmouth Heresy next. We're also going to alternate GM's so that everyone get to play and GM.

The only issue is that losing the possibility of 2 Prestige points will matter since if you play only mods by lvl 5 you will be 7-10 pp short based on mission success. It will affect the ability of the characters to get better equipment.

We'll see how this goes.

Dark Archive

Shivok wrote:


The only issue is that losing the possibility of 2 Prestige points will matter since if you play only mods by lvl 5 you will be 7-10 pp short based on mission success. It will affect the ability of the characters to get better equipment.

We'll see how this goes.

It will, and it won't... Yes if you play all modules your total accrued PA could be less than someone playing scenarios for 6 PA per trio rather than 4 PA per mod. However attaining full PA from a scenario isn't an automatic thing. It is assumed that players will only get their 2nd PA 50-70% of the time. That pretty much works out to 4PA per 3 scenarios. In addition the equipment listed on module chronicle sheets is in much greater quantities than you would find on three standard scenario sheets combined.

Playing all modules you may have less Fame earned overall, but you unlock a greater number of specific chronicle sheet items to choose from.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Aaron Hale wrote:
However attaining full PA from a scenario isn't an automatic thing. It is assumed that players will only get their 2nd PA 50-70% of the time. That pretty much works out to 4PA per 3 scenarios.

Aaron, can you walk me through that calculation?

For (a) assuming a completed main mission and (b) assuming a faction mission success from 50% to 70%, I get an expected Fame return of 4.5 to 5.1 per level.

Dark Archive

Chris Mortika wrote:
Aaron Hale wrote:
However attaining full PA from a scenario isn't an automatic thing. It is assumed that players will only get their 2nd PA 50-70% of the time. That pretty much works out to 4PA per 3 scenarios.

Aaron, can you walk me through that calculation?

For (a) assuming a completed main mission and (b) assuming a faction mission success from 50% to 70%, I get an expected Fame return of 4.5 to 5.1 per level.

First lets assume that a levels worth of scenarios will net a minimum of 3PA by succeeding at each. Then we have another 3 possible from faction missions. At a 50% average success for those, you're looking at another 1.5 PA for 4.5 average. While this is more than you would earn from a module, modules offer a larger variety of specific items on their chronicle sheet. Make sense?

Paizo Employee Canadian Maplecakes

Helaman wrote:
According to PFS Rules, lesser restoration costs a mere 60gp - why use prestige? I havent read/played it so I dont know if they can make it to somewhere to get it cast.

Alas, it was ability DRAIN and not damage. This means that a full on Restoration is needed, and something that's out of reach for quite some time...

The Exchange

I can't recall, but somewhere on these boards is a discussion where it is mentioned that for every level you go through, you're ideally supposed to average 4.5 PA per level. Hence why the modules give you 4 PA per level, because there is no real way to be like "ok this one gives you 4 and this one gives you 5." It's just much easier to give a blanket 4.

Maybe someone with good search monkey skills can find the relevant discussion.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

No one has even mentioned the fact that two (plus some 0) seasons worth of scenarios that even one PP is not guaranteed. I've only run 17 sessions so far, and I've had several players not get any PP in scenarios. Sure its not as likely that they'll fail both missions, but it is a possibility, so I don't see a gain of 4 pa without having to worry about the faction missions as a bad thing.

Sczarni 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
No one has even mentioned the fact that two (plus some 0) seasons worth of scenarios that even one PP is not guaranteed. I've only run 17 sessions so far, and I've had several players not get any PP in scenarios. Sure its not as likely that they'll fail both missions, but it is a possibility, so I don't see a gain of 4 pa without having to worry about the faction missions as a bad thing.

As of guide to organized play version 4.0 players would get 1 pp for completeling the pathfinder mission and one for the faction mission.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Captain Kirstov,

The Guide, version 4.0 did not change the qualifications for gaining Fame in earlier seasons' adventures. It changed the name of the missions. Now, if the scenario was written to have two faction missions, one of those faction missions is renamed to be "the primary Pathfinder mission" and the other is renamed to be "the faction mission". But successfully completing the assignment that the Venture Captain sends you on still doesn't provide any Fame.

Sczarni 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov

Chris Mortika - your right, I misread Eric's post and thought he talking about season 0s only having 1 faction mission. I apologize.

Although, I'll also point out that we had a PC get 0 PP this weekend in a scenario thats only 2 months old (but he didn't get XP either dying in the second encounter far from town will do that to you... at least he had the PP for a raise)

Liberty's Edge 4/5

Thursty wrote:
Helaman wrote:
According to PFS Rules, lesser restoration costs a mere 60gp - why use prestige? I havent read/played it so I dont know if they can make it to somewhere to get it cast.
Alas, it was ability DRAIN and not damage. This means that a full on Restoration is needed, and something that's out of reach for quite some time...

Restoration should be only 380 gp or 2 PP, either of which should be in reach of the PCs after even that first module, unless they totally blew it.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Sure its not as likely that they'll fail both missions, but it is a possibility, so I don't see a gain of 4 pa without having to worry about the faction missions as a bad thing.

Yes - it is possible to end with zero PA.

In my last home game I had a group of 3 players (+1 NPC). The group decided to 'survive' in the last encounter (run away). This saved three lives but cost 1 PA each.
In addition they made a few bad decisions earlier. So I reported a game with zero PA overall.

Yes - three different factions - 6 total faction missions (season 2) - zero fulfilled.

This is VERY unlikely - and I doubt it will ever happen at my table again. But yes - sometimes the dice fall as they fall.

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