Minimum Number of Players


GM Discussion


The Guide to Organized Play says a legal game consists of 4 players or 3 players with one GM run NPC.

This seems simple enough, but I can't find anything that says if those are registered players or just players. The reason I am asking this question is that I am wanting to try and put together some organized play for a local home group and may be in the situation where a couple of the players will be registered and a couple might not be.

Can I run a game with mixed registered and non-registered and the registered players still get credit for the scenario, while the others don't?


While you may get some variation on this, I am pretty sure that for a table to be legal, all characters must be built by the PFS rules or be a PFS pregen. It does not matter whether they are registered or not, or ever get registered, so long as everyone is using a legal build.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Yeah, for the table to be legal and those PFS players who want to get the credit for playing/Gming the scenario, all characters at the table must be pfs legal.

We have a home PFS game every week. So far I think I'm the only one that has gone to any conventions and played my characters elsewhere, but even so, the option is there for all our players. It might feel a bit restrictive to begin with, but it seems a lot of the restrictions are ones that we might have house ruled anyway. I'd suggest you at least give it a try. If you don't like it, there's nothing stopping you from playing the scenarios without applying credit to characters.


I figured they all had to be legal builds, but wasn't sure if I could have a mixed group. You could always run the scenerios unofficially of course, but I wanted to reward both myself and at least 1 or 2 other players for already being registered. But have a couple of other players that can round out a legal table, but won't be registered.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Ultimately, we want everyone participating in the campaign to be registered, but we can't force someone who doesn't want a Pathfinder Society Number to get one. It's in everyone's best interest for them to do so, though, especially if they're already making a legal character. If they never play another Society game, it doesn't hurt anything for them to be registered for the one game they are playing.


I will encourage everyone to get registered, it is free after all. Just wanted to make sure everyone that is registered, even if not everyone playing will get credit if I GM the scenerio officially.

Dark Archive

I have run several "mixed groups", They all start with a legal character to play, then I used to tell them all the benefits their characters receive from joining the PFS(ie. fame & prestige pts, etc).
By the end of the encounter at least 90% of the people playing would join the PFS.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Don't forget, too, that as an organizer, you can get a sheet of ten ID cards, so you can get the numbers, and give the cards to the players, so they have a number, even if they never follow through and activate the number.

Grand Lodge 5/5

That's what I do at cons... the person gets a number that I can report, even if they throw the card away they have a number as far as I am concerned. if they alater come back, I can look them up to continue with their old number.


Thank you. I am not new to Pathfinder or the rules it was based on, but I am new to organized play.

3/5

The biggest problem I'm seeing in trying to run home games under PFS is that since we've been running for a couple of months new players won't have a character of the appropriate level to join my game (most won't have any PFS char at all). So once one of my players leaves this August, anyone replacing him will be 3 or 4 levels below the rest of us (having to start at 1st level) unless they play a pregen AND will only get credit as a 1st level char anyway. Or we run other lower level scenarios / modules to allow them to get up to our level, which means constantly rebooting to 1st level anytime someone else joins in, & we never get to higher levels (& have a bunch of low level startups) - this also breaks up the flow of char progression. Or we tell the new players they must be PFS legal but won't get any official PFS XP, just leveling when we do. Or we can just run what we want & ignore PFS. Am I correct that those are the only options?

The Exchange 5/5

beamersrq wrote:
The biggest problem I'm seeing in trying to run home games under PFS is that since we've been running for a couple of months new players won't have a character of the appropriate level to join my game (most won't have any PFS char at all). So once one of my players leaves this August, anyone replacing him will be 3 or 4 levels below the rest of us (having to start at 1st level) unless they play a pregen AND will only get credit as a 1st level char anyway. Or we run other lower level scenarios / modules to allow them to get up to our level, which means constantly rebooting to 1st level anytime someone else joins in, & we never get to higher levels (& have a bunch of low level startups) - this also breaks up the flow of char progression. Or we tell the new players they must be PFS legal but won't get any official PFS XP, just leveling when we do. Or we can just run what we want & ignore PFS. Am I correct that those are the only options?

or you pick up a player with an existing PFS character. For example, if you were in the St. Louis area, I would suggest stopping in to Game Nite on a Tuesday, looking over the players and picking one you think you might like to invite and saying "We've got this PFS home game... ".

It also means that if you have a visitor from out of town, he can join in to your "home group" and play - even if it's only for one evening.

3/5

Unfortunately we've never had any organized PFS in the area, closest is 50 miles away, though I & others are working to change that. So even most seasoned players don't have PFS characters. And my 2 most recent players have never played ANY RPG's - D&D, PF, nothing. I don't want to be turning away brand new players just for the sake of gaining PFS XP. Guess I'll just run my weekly game as unsanctioned & save the PFS for cons.

2/5

beamersrq wrote:
The biggest problem I'm seeing in trying to run home games under PFS is that since we've been running for a couple of months new players won't have a character of the appropriate level to join my game (most won't have any PFS char at all). So once one of my players leaves this August, anyone replacing him will be 3 or 4 levels below the rest of us (having to start at 1st level) unless they play a pregen AND will only get credit as a 1st level char anyway. Or we run other lower level scenarios / modules to allow them to get up to our level, which means constantly rebooting to 1st level anytime someone else joins in, & we never get to higher levels (& have a bunch of low level startups) - this also breaks up the flow of char progression. Or we tell the new players they must be PFS legal but won't get any official PFS XP, just leveling when we do. Or we can just run what we want & ignore PFS. Am I correct that those are the only options?

I think everyone encounters the same problem. This is what I did:

1) For levels 1-5, use tier 1-5 scenarios, which will allow everyone to play. Don't use tier 1-7/3-7, because you'll need them later.

2) Once the main group gets to level 6, all players need to be level 3
to play tier 3-7 (or tier 1-7) scenarios. At level 8, everyone needs to be level 5. I'm going to assume you have a steady player base at that point, so you plans for leveling people will be custom.

3) Players can play scenarios using a pregen and apply them to a PC at a later time. Not ideal, but it means you can mix in a few upper tier scenarios while the new PC levels.

4) Inevitably to catch up, the main group has to start new PCs. I find that using modules is the best way to quickly level, because you get XP faster (even if you have to miss a session). You can also use short scenarios (and have a double scenario night) to level PCs faster. This is what I do when my casual players can play and one of the main players is missing.

5) If 1-2 players are ahead of everyone, have them GM so that everyone can catch up and you get to play a little too. This is important because I think players don't appreciate the amount of work and prep that goes into sessions. It's also important because GMing is fun and makes you a better player. Ideally, I want all or most of my players to GM at least once, even if it's First Steps.

6) At any one time, I have 7-8 players. As it turns out, not everyone can make it every week so although the threat of a 7 player table has been there, ultimately I end up with 5-6 players (the same 4 players always show up, the other 3-4 sometimes).

If you're perpetually gaining/losing players, keep recruiting players or explore other venues (stores, websites, etc) to get players. If you're a good GM, hopefully your player base becomes more steady over time. Ask your steady players if they know anyone, I've recruited 2 people so far that have never played RPGs before and they like it.

Good luck, have fun.

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