GM boons for non-convention play


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nosig wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
nosig wrote:


Ouch! Mr. Brock, some of us judge at stores and also have very little control over who shows up at our table. I'd go so far as to say sometimes we get stuck with people we'd really rather NOT judge for.

Not to say that I do not agree totally with what you say ... just this one thing was maybe a bit off.

I never said anything different than what you just reiterated. You took me saying "home game GMs" and replaced it with you saying "store GMs". That isn't what I said. Read my statement again.

I most humblely retract what I said. You are correct. You said "home game" and I heard "Non-Convention". so I was reacting to something you had not said.

(PFCBG - actually, most of the CONs in my area have pre-signup, on Warhorn. The local venues do not. So, yeah, we do things wierd in St. Louis. ;) I have no idea who will be at my table tonight (well, maybe one guy). Or even if I will be judging. I had a good idea who was going to be at my tables this last weekend at the CON. for that I just checked Warhorn).

yeah ... but you guys are kinda strange in that part of the world .... you going to CCC? lol ...

Grand Lodge

Michael Brock wrote:
Kintrik wrote:


Actually no, you think it is about getting boons. It isn't for me. Getting the boon is more about showing support for those that actually support PFS week in and week out. We would just like to feel equal to convention GMs, when right now we are not. Even though we probably care more about the games we run and the players we kill then they do.

And you are so far off base here I don't know where to start. Home game GMs run for people they like and are comfortable with. Convention GMs make the same exact preparations to GM a game, and GM for whoever shows up.

In the first part of your sentence, you mentioned you wanted to feel equal to convention GMs then you turn around in the same sentence and say you care more about (aka..are better than) the game as opposed to convention GMs. Really?

I wasn't talking about home game GMs. In fact in an early post I mentioned I didn't think private events (home games) should count toward any reward program that came up. I didn't mean better in the sense I do a better job at a running the table. I meant exactly what I said. Cared more about those at the table having a good time with the table I am running, because yes I most likely see them gain in a week or 2 at another game day. Or that they are a new player to my area and I want ensure they keep coming. Building up the community of players and possible GMs.

But anyway I said I was done and I am. My opinion is different and I'll leave it that. That is what makes opinions great, everyone has one.


Kintrik wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Kintrik wrote:


Actually no, you think it is about getting boons. It isn't for me. Getting the boon is more about showing support for those that actually support PFS week in and week out. We would just like to feel equal to convention GMs, when right now we are not. Even though we probably care more about the games we run and the players we kill then they do.

And you are so far off base here I don't know where to start. Home game GMs run for people they like and are comfortable with. Convention GMs make the same exact preparations to GM a game, and GM for whoever shows up.

In the first part of your sentence, you mentioned you wanted to feel equal to convention GMs then you turn around in the same sentence and say you care more about (aka..are better than) the game as opposed to convention GMs. Really?

I wasn't talking about home game GMs. In fact in an early post I mentioned I didn't think private events (home games) should count toward any reward program that came up. I didn't mean better in the sense I do a better job at a running the table. I meant exactly what I said. Cared more about those at the table having a good time with the table I am running, because yes I most likely see them gain in a week or 2 at another game day. Or that they are a new player to my area and I want ensure they keep coming. Building up the community of players and possible GMs.

But anyway I said I was done and I am. My opinion is different and I'll leave it that. That is what makes opinions great, everyone has one.

wow ... so since I mainly GM at conventions I guess that must mean that I don't care that my 150+ tables of gamers had good games or that they had fun ... does that make me a lousy GM then?

People that GM at conventions care just as much as those that GM at home games and at local gamedays ... if we didn't care, we wouldn't GM

The Exchange 5/5

I play/judge in all three of the catagories.
Home Games (both PFS and true Home Games)
Local Venues (PFS events at more than one)
Conventions (though not as much as I used to)

IMHO - Mostly, you see the same types of people at each of these. We're all just gamers. Good, Bad, (and even some Ugly). Often, all in the same person.

;)

Grand Lodge

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Kintrik wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Kintrik wrote:


... Even though we probably care more about the games we run and the players we kill then they do.

...

In the first part of your sentence, you mentioned you wanted to feel equal to convention GMs then you turn around in the same sentence and say you care more about (aka..are better than) the game as opposed to convention GMs. Really?

...I didn't mean better in the sense I do a better job at a running the table. I meant exactly what I said. Cared more about those at the table having a good time with the table I am running, because yes I most likely see them gain in a week or 2 at another game day. Or that they are a new player to my area and I want ensure they keep coming. Building up the community of players and possible GMs.

...

wow ... so since I mainly GM at conventions I guess that must mean that I don't care that my 150+ tables of gamers had good games or that they had fun ... does that make me a lousy GM then?

People that GM at conventions care just as much as those that GM at home games and at local gamedays ... if we didn't care, we wouldn't GM

That isn't what I meant, and I am sorry I keep coming off that. It is reading like that, but that isn't what I meant. (What I get for forum browsing at work not proof reading my own stuff)

Grand Lodge 3/5

Kintrik wrote:
It just seems that convention GMs are valued greater then local GMs, and I feel that is wrong.

Exactly. The feeling of being second class is the heart of this. Well, at least it is for me.

Michael Brock wrote:


So, if we give boons to GMs that can't make it to conventions but can run regular game days at their FLGS, is that all that is needed to make people happy? If so, then I can definitely look into a program for that.

But, then I think we start getting people that only GM for their home group, and have four stars who advise they GM a good bit and should get the same boons as the store GMs.

Where do we draw the line?

And how about the GM who runs games online? Do we give them boons also, even though the exposure to new customers is even less than the two above?

This says to me that the perception is that convention play brings in more new players of paizo products than does store play. While spending customers might not be the goal of PFS, I understand that paizo needs a stream of revenue or it will cease to exist. None of us want that.

Are there any measurements of profitability of convention games to FLGS games? If it is 4 to 1 (for example), then for every 4 convention boons that gets distributed, make one available to store GMs. It might not be much, but at least it is an attempt to share the love. And I like the idea that FLGS GMs get boons not found at cons. Or at least make some of them available before they are at the cons.

When a new person registers for PFS, note which store it is at and the GMs at that store are eligible. I don't know how the PFS player DB is managed, but that sounds like an easy enough SQL query. Things like "5 games minimum" might be necessary to avoid fraud. And once quarter the local V-O should look at the numbers to say "Yep, that sounds right to me".

As for home games, being open to non-members is the key, and "walk in" traffic is low inside someone's home. New recruits have to be able to see the game being played, and have the option of joining in for something to count. In my humble opinion, of course.

I won't pretend to have a clue about non-USA game play.

Venture-Captain, Germany–Hannover aka Hayato Ken

You know, one day i will visit America. Just to go at Paizocon or something like that. It sounds really awesome what´s going on there.

The store or gameday boons are really cool stuff too i think and i really appreciate that. In my eyes Paizo is doing a great job with PFS and Mike is all over the place. When i read there is PFS in Turkey, i was just amazed for example.

Grand Lodge 3/5

Kintrik wrote:


Some boon ideas:
+1 prestige
Reroll
special item
special consumable
vanity

Stuff like that. Nothing crazy, but fun little stuff.

I had thought of something simple: Your first star gives you a boon to play a single 21 point build character. Star number two is a boon to play a 22 point character. Likewise for the 3rd, 4th and 5th stars.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

@Doug, in the past month, we have had 5 large conventions of 80 or more tables. At each of those, there were between 35-60 new PFS numbers issued. In the past month. From reports I have received from VCs and VLs, there hasn't been more than 2 or 3 new PFS numbers given at a game day in a store. For some, there were no new numbers issued for the entire month.

So, how do we square that circle?

edit

As to number of tables ran, I don't think you can put an equation into place to give game days a percentage of what a game day runs. For example, at Dundracon a few weeks ago, they received 10 different boons to distribute among the players and GMs. They also ran between 125-140 tables. If a FLGS game day runs 5 tables on a Saturday, it isn't the 4:1 breakdown you defined. It is 25:1 at worst and 28:1 at best. There are only 10 boons, not 25.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Kintrik wrote:


I started at a store, but I had already got my number online. So those numbers can be a little off. I have seen the same from most of the new people that show up at our game days, they come with a number already.

I am curious how many of those have played since then? Or bought product?

At one convention, the Dealer hall sold out of the 12 Core Rulebooks they brought with them. I would hazard to guess, if you want to compare sales numbers from new players brought in from a convention compared to the numbers of new players brought in from a FLGS game day, the numbers are going to be far more skewed in favor of the convention than my edit above with the boon comparison.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I was struck with inspiration. The challenge is:

A: Allow minor boons to GMs whether they're convention or not.
B: Don't require resources from Mike Brock or Paizo handing this out, either in coding an automated handing out system or manually performing it.

The answer, just put it out. Make boons that you are good to use with so many games in so much time, and with overall numbers of games run. Put it someplace public, where you can download and print at will. Since your game history is tracked, if someone wants to audit, it can be done.

Cost to Paizo, near zero. I'd say zero, but someone does have to make the boons in the first place.

Long term administration: None.

Good, bad, discuss?


Nuku wrote:

I was struck with inspiration. The challenge is:

A: Allow minor boons to GMs whether they're convention or not.
B: Don't require resources from Mike Brock or Paizo handing this out, either in coding an automated handing out system or manually performing it.

The answer, just put it out. Make boons that you are good to use with so many games in so much time, and with overall numbers of games run. Put it someplace public, where you can download and print at will. Since your game history is tracked, if someone wants to audit, it can be done.

Cost to Paizo, near zero. I'd say zero, but someone does have to make the boons in the first place.

Long term administration: None.

Good, bad, discuss?

In order to be legal for PFS play, the boons still need to come from Mike and Paizo, which means they still have to create them, edit them, and do whatever else it is they do to them.

Where do you propose the boons would come from?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You could just pick some of the lesser con boons. But then, I already said that it's 'near' zero instead of zero because the boons do need to be selected and/or created.

However, once selected and posted, that's it. You're done. People can then print out as need be without any further paizo involvement. Minimal fuss or muss for all involved.


Having them out there like that just opens the boon system up to abuse and won't happen to be perfectly honest with you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You mean like the book boons, that are already out there? Freely available and printable at any moment.

The platform already runs on and assumes the honor system.


Nuku wrote:

You mean like the book boons, that are already out there? Freely available and printable at any moment.

The platform already runs on and assumes the honor system.

Not going to argue the point ... other than, I can guarantee you that without a really valid reason Mike isn't going to offer boons up like the book boons.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
asthyril wrote:
Myles Crocker wrote:
Asthyrl, Hello I hope everything is going well. I think, especially if you played at C4, I may very well know you, not your screen name, but you.

yes you definitely know me myles. tall. military jacket. i was at the table of 'we be goblins!' at the escapist expo when they had us in that obscure room for the first day :)

The guys at c4 games told me they didn't have the revenue to continue past the end of the year, so they closed at the end of december.

Of course. I hope everything is going well with you Asthyril. We be goblins must have made an impression on you, because your avatar is of one of the goblins in that module :D

Well I'm sorry that store closed. I liked the place.

Grand Lodge

Michael Brock wrote:
Kintrik wrote:


I started at a store, but I had already got my number online. So those numbers can be a little off. I have seen the same from most of the new people that show up at our game days, they come with a number already.

I am curious how many of those have played since then? Or bought product?

At one convention, the Dealer hall sold out of the 12 Core Rulebooks they brought with them. I would hazard to guess, if you want to compare sales numbers from new players brought in from a convention compared to the numbers of new players brought in from a FLGS game day, the numbers are going to be far more skewed in favor of the convention than my edit above with the boon comparison.

You must have been mid reply when I deleted. I was going to reword it.

Anyway, I am glad the numbers are there for cons. It makes me think, where are these 300 players going to play after the con? They will either wait till the next con, start a home game, not play anymore, or look up their local games day group.

That is what I was trying to get at. While the cons bring in far more new players then a weekly games day could ever dream, we are there for them to keep playing. We help keep them interested and buying more product. We try to foster our local communities and keep them going.

I just don't see why it is so out of the question to recognize this kind of GM out side of the stars.


Kintrik wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Kintrik wrote:


I started at a store, but I had already got my number online. So those numbers can be a little off. I have seen the same from most of the new people that show up at our game days, they come with a number already.

I am curious how many of those have played since then? Or bought product?

At one convention, the Dealer hall sold out of the 12 Core Rulebooks they brought with them. I would hazard to guess, if you want to compare sales numbers from new players brought in from a convention compared to the numbers of new players brought in from a FLGS game day, the numbers are going to be far more skewed in favor of the convention than my edit above with the boon comparison.

You must have been mid reply when I deleted. I was going to reword it.

Anyway, I am glad the numbers are there for cons. It makes me think, where are these 300 players going to play after the con? They will either wait till the next con, start a home game, not play anymore, or look up their local games day group.

That is what I was trying to get at. While the cons bring in far more new players then a weekly games day could ever dream, we are there for them to keep playing. We help keep them interested and buying more product. We try to foster our local communities and keep them going.

I just don't see why it is so out of the question to recognize this kind of GM out side of the stars.

I don't think it's out of the question to recognize the GMs ... what is out of the question is the way you are wanting to do it.. imo

Grand Lodge 3/5

Michael Brock wrote:
@Doug, in the past month, we have had 5 large conventions of 80 or more tables. At each of those, there were between 45-70 new PFS numbers issued. In the past month. From reports I have received from VCs and VLs, there hasn't been more than 2 or 3 new PFS numbers given at a game day in a store. For some, there were no new numbers issued for the entire month.

If the numbers are really that skewed towards cons, then I guess I have to admit to being in a tiny minority. Of the 20 people signed up for this Friday, only 4 of us were there a year ago. I don't know how many of the others are new here, or got a PFS number someplace else.

BTW: Last month at the 2/16 PFS Teen Event at Gamer's Armory, a single table was scheduled. We had a larger turn out than expected, so I ran a second table where all four players were new with new PFS numbers. That is event 13918 session #5. I don't know if any of them have ever logged in, or if any of them will return, but that is always a unknown. I doubt if any of them bought anything that day.

Grand Lodge

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Kintrik wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Kintrik wrote:


I started at a store, but I had already got my number online. So those numbers can be a little off. I have seen the same from most of the new people that show up at our game days, they come with a number already.

I am curious how many of those have played since then? Or bought product?

At one convention, the Dealer hall sold out of the 12 Core Rulebooks they brought with them. I would hazard to guess, if you want to compare sales numbers from new players brought in from a convention compared to the numbers of new players brought in from a FLGS game day, the numbers are going to be far more skewed in favor of the convention than my edit above with the boon comparison.

You must have been mid reply when I deleted. I was going to reword it.

Anyway, I am glad the numbers are there for cons. It makes me think, where are these 300 players going to play after the con? They will either wait till the next con, start a home game, not play anymore, or look up their local games day group.

That is what I was trying to get at. While the cons bring in far more new players then a weekly games day could ever dream, we are there for them to keep playing. We help keep them interested and buying more product. We try to foster our local communities and keep them going.

I just don't see why it is so out of the question to recognize this kind of GM out side of the stars.

I don't think it's out of the question to recognize the GMs ... what is out of the question is the way you are wanting to do it.. imo

I am really just throwing out ideas. I thought I said that already, boons or not it doesn't matter. Just some way to recognize them. I thought that was what Mike wanted brainstorming. That is how I was taught you throw out ideas until one sticks that the majority likes.

From what I was reading the non convention GMs wanted boons so I started there, then it sort of devolved from there. (I take responsibility for that) If character boons aren't it then what else? What would you consider appropriate?

Grand Lodge

Perhaps there is a way to track new numbers issued at FLGS's. I know that where we are in southern Indiana, we issued four on Feb. 2 and one on Mar. 2. So there are five in a 30 day period. Now we did not have any V.O.'s there to report back to Mike, so I'm guessing there is not a mechanic in place to track that, so that would mean more work for IT. I also know from reporting the last event that some of the people still haven't registered.
I personally am ok with the system as is, but I do see some possibility of tracking number of sessions reported or new numbers issued that could be a metric for some sort of Boon support. Honestly the way it worked for our group, another player on the boards read my post about trying to garner interest in my area and contacted me and sent me five Boons, including a triple race boon. Now that kind of selflessness and sense of community is why I'm such a believer in PFS. I mean the guys lives in the Dever area and sends some of his boons to a small town in southern Indiana, how cool is that? I owe him big time and the players in my area who will probably never make it to GenCon, were able to win a boon in a raffle. My point? There is always a way if you try and think out of the box.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
wow ... so since I mainly GM at conventions I guess that must mean that I don't care that my 150+ tables of gamers had good games or that they had fun ... does that make me a lousy GM then?

That is not what makes you a lousy GM... ;)

Sovereign Court

Kintrik wrote:

I am really just throwing out ideas. I thought I said that already, boons or not it doesn't matter. Just some way to recognize them. I thought that was what Mike wanted brainstorming. That is how I was taught you throw out ideas until one sticks that the majority likes.

From what I was reading the non convention GMs wanted boons so I started there, then it sort of...

Why is it up to Paizo alone to reward GM's? There are other sources of recognition.

Personal:
I GM because I like to GM, and I have fun! What more reward do I need?

Players:
I had to cancel a game this week because I suddenly got a job interview. The people signed up to play, with whom I had only ever run no more than 4 games and played in perhaps 3, were congratulating me and even offering to be references for this new job. All because I took time to run them through adventures. The sense of camaraderie is a reward unto itself.

Organizers:
Every store in the area here gives GM's a small gift card to help offset the cost for materials, whether it be new resources that are used in scenarios, scenarios themselves, miniatures, new dice when the old ones are only rolling 1's and 3's, etc. One game store even has something where you get a PFS shirt for running x number of games. Tell me THAT isn't a reward.

Boons:
As mentioned before, the first time you run a scenario, you get credit for one of your characters as if you completed it at their sub-tier, full gold, full Prestige and Fame, etc etc.

Paizo:
They have the stars which are a good set of goals to strive for. And the 4+ star GM special scenarios a year before everyone else.

So there are many avenues to be rewarded for GMing. Not everything has to come from the mother hen of Paizo itself.

Now I will confess that I did sign up for Gen Con because of some of the rewards, but in my mind the greatest reward won't be any of it, not even the weekend badge. It'll be experiencing the convention and running the games. The rest is just gravy, and some helps me even be able to go at all. But then, that's getting more into a "Ask not what Paizo can do for you, ask what you can do for Paizo" thing.

Wow, that got long fast... Apologies.

Shadow Lodge

Michael Brock wrote:
At one convention, the Dealer hall sold out of the 12 Core Rulebooks they brought with them. I would hazard to guess, if you want to compare sales numbers from new players brought in from a convention compared to the numbers of new players brought in from a FLGS game day, the numbers are going to be far more skewed in favor of the convention than my edit above with the boon comparison.

I can guarantee that without the healthy player base PFS currently enjoys, conventions wouldn't draw in anywhere NEAR that many new players.

And you couldn't maintain that player base off of convention play alone.

Local (and online) game day events are what keeps players hooked on the campaign on a long-term basis. The GMs and shops running these events are a large part of the continuing popularity of the Pathfinder Society campaign, which in turn ensures more new players get drawn in at the larger events.

I know a few regular game-day GMs that simply can't afford to attend conventions, but put time in week after week to keep players hooked on PFS. They deserve to be rewarded for their continued efforts.

Lantern Lodge

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Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Nuku wrote:

You mean like the book boons, that are already out there? Freely available and printable at any moment.

The platform already runs on and assumes the honor system.

Not going to argue the point ... other than, I can guarantee you that without a really valid reason Mike isn't going to offer boons up like the book boons.

To piggyback on this, it is the job of the GMs at both the stores and Conventions to make sure that their players are adhering to this honor system. There are rules in place to prevent someone from using any sort of boon they want from these (besides the boons being one-use items generally).

Right now, you are correct in saying that everyone is able to download the Novel Boons. However, to be able to use it at any PFS table (whether home game, gamday, or convention) you need to produce the Novel in some format or another. Will that always happen? No, because as you said yourself, we operate on the honor system. We trust people not to lie, cheat, and steal their way through the 12 levels of their career. Enough of my thoughts on that.

Transitioning to my thoughts on rewarding GMs, here's some background on where I lie with that:

A little over a year ago, I started PFS with my wife. My wife, Katie, managed to bring one of our local game stores back from the brink of PFS destruction at their location and now the store is now one of the biggest PFS attractions in our area, holding weekly games of 3-4 tables, whereas it used to hold games MAYBE once a month with MAYBE one full table. Katie put in so much effort saving PFS at that location that she actively burnt herself out. Alas, she's GMed and played in maybe ten games in the last six months.

My wife didn't burn herself out because of some boon or even because her characters gets ALL of the rewards with NONE of the risk. She burnt herself out because she cared about the people she had played with, the people she GMed for, the people at Paizo, and Pathfinder Society in general. Likewise, I don't GM because I want or expect a boon. I GM because together with my players I get to create a story (whether it's the "Tale of the Crispy Raptor" or "Golarion's First Ever Golden Corral") that is going to be unlike the next time I run a scenario.

Personally, I burn through my wallet faster than I can make the cash by driving to and supporting a variety of game stores within my area. In the past year since I've been a Venture-Lieutenant, I've gotten to see one store come back from the brink of PFS destruction, watch two new stores rise up to form their own monthly game day, watch one of those two stores fall out of PFS grace because of uncooperative ownership only to see it rise again when new more supportive ownership took over. I've gotten to watch the players that first sat down at my Anthem Games table create characters that rose to 12th level and are now going to be participating in Eyes of the Ten this weekend at one of the biggest cons in our region. Their characters out-leveled even the character I first created. I GM at conventions, game days, and home games (trying to build up the confidence of my friends who have social disorders, so that they can one day participate).

As was stated already, it's understandable if you can't make it to a convention to receive said boons. It's understandable if you don't want to. However, I don't GM at conventions for any of those reasons and, if I'm playing, and you are one of those people GMing for even the slightest fraction of those reasons, I don't want to be at your table and I hope that you hang up your GM hat now.

"Explore, Report, Cooperate." Those are our tenets as Pathfinders. If we have to add the subtext of, "but only if boons are available," then I no longer want to be a Pathfinder at the table of those who follow that newfound tenet. If boons are this big of a problem, then I personally say we do away with them altogether.

Thank you to everyone who GMs whether you do it at a home game, game day, or Convention. You're the backbone of the Society. Without you, there'd be no players. Without you, there'd be no reason for us Venture-Officers or even for a company like Paizo to exist and continue operations.

Take what I say with a grain of salt if you want, but thank you if you've read this far.

---Beazy---

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

To all one-star GMs, rejoice! You may now get a +2 competency bonus to Diplomacy when used to quell crowds in Galt, but only on Oathday and only if you are playing a Kitsune Barbarian with at least one arcane and one divine spell on their spell list. Also, a minimum of 13 skill ranks in Fly.

(Note: This boon does not exist. It's a joke.)

Sovereign Court

Robert Beasley wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Nuku wrote:

You mean like the book boons, that are already out there? Freely available and printable at any moment.

The platform already runs on and assumes the honor system.

Not going to argue the point ... other than, I can guarantee you that without a really valid reason Mike isn't going to offer boons up like the book boons.

To piggyback on this, it is the job of the GMs at both the stores and Conventions to make sure that their players are adhering to this honor system. There are rules in place to prevent someone from using any sort of boon they want from these (besides the boons being one-use items generally).

Right now, you are correct in saying that everyone is able to download the Novel Boons. However, to be able to use it at any PFS table (whether home game, gamday, or convention) you need to produce the Novel in some format or another. Will that always happen? No, because as you said yourself, we operate on the honor system. We trust people not to lie, cheat, and steal their way through the 12 levels of their career. Enough of my thoughts on that.

Transitioning to my thoughts on rewarding GMs, here's some background on where I lie with that:

A little over a year ago, I started PFS with my wife. My wife, Katie, managed to bring one of our local game stores back from the brink of PFS destruction at their location and now the store is now one of the biggest PFS attractions in our area, holding weekly games of 3-4 tables, whereas it used to hold games MAYBE once a month with MAYBE one full table. Katie put in so much effort saving PFS at that location that she actively burnt herself out. Alas, she's GMed and played in maybe ten games in the last six months.

My wife didn't burn herself out because of some boon or even because her characters gets ALL of the rewards with NONE of the risk. She burnt herself out because she cared about the people she had played with, the people she GMed for, the people at Paizo,...

Well said Beazy!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

SCPRedMage wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
At one convention, the Dealer hall sold out of the 12 Core Rulebooks they brought with them. I would hazard to guess, if you want to compare sales numbers from new players brought in from a convention compared to the numbers of new players brought in from a FLGS game day, the numbers are going to be far more skewed in favor of the convention than my edit above with the boon comparison.

I can guarantee that without the healthy player base PFS currently enjoys, conventions wouldn't draw in anywhere NEAR that many new players.

And you couldn't maintain that player base off of convention play alone.

Local (and online) game day events are what keeps players hooked on the campaign on a long-term basis. The GMs and shops running these events are a large part of the continuing popularity of the Pathfinder Society campaign, which in turn ensures more new players get drawn in at the larger events.

I know a few regular game-day GMs that simply can't afford to attend conventions, but put time in week after week to keep players hooked on PFS. They deserve to be rewarded for their continued efforts.

I completely agree. What suggestions do you have?

Grand Lodge

Michael Brock wrote:


I completely agree. What suggestions do you have?

What kind of reward do you feel is appropriate?

Maybe we need to start a different thread that gets away from the whole boon thing and brainstorms a way to show support to the game day GMs?

First we'll need some ground rules, can't start a constructive brainstorming session without something to keep it focused.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Kintrik wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:


I completely agree. What suggestions do you have?

What kind of reward do you feel is appropriate?

Maybe we need to start a different thread that gets away from the whole boon thing and brainstorms a way to show support to the game day GMs?

First we'll need some ground rules, can't start a constructive brainstorming session without something to keep it focused.

What I think is appropriate and what is doable are two completely different things. As a VC in Atlanta, I started a GM reward program that mirrored the GM stars and included mugs, travel coffee cups, tshirts, polo shirts, etc... It isn't feasible on an international level. So, that is why I am asking for suggestions.

If you think it best to start a new thread, go for it.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Last year, I made a proposal for GM support. At the risk of repeating myself:

Repeating Myself wrote:


My suggestion:
Every two-month period, Paizo could put PDFs in the accounts of people who have GMed some threshhold of scenarios over the past period.

For sake of argument, let's say the threshhold is 3 scenarios. So, if I GM (and report) 3 scenarios in the months of January and February, Paizo would drop some PDFs in my downloads at the end of February.

Which PDFs? I would be giddy if they were full-scale maps from some upcoming scenario. So, at the end of February, I could download a map, which would come from either one of the scenarios on sale that last week of February or else one of the March scenarios, as sort of a teaser.

Right now, we have to either hand-draw, or else print out enlargements of the maps in the scenarios, using Acrobat to strip out the labels. Doug Miles enjoys the hand-drawing. I think Thea does, too. I'd rather spend my time studying NPC stat blocks and preparing hand-outs.

Notice that this incentive doesn't have anything to do with the star-rating of the GM involved. If I, at 5 stars, don't report any sessions during that period, I don't get the download. If a newbie GM does, he gets the reward for doing so. It keeps people consistently active.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

Suggestion: For every GM who runs 4 sessions in a month, a store credit good for one scenario? Non-stacking, of course.

Lantern Lodge

Júlíus Árnason wrote:
Well said, Beazy!

Thank you, Julius. It's just one of those things I'm a wee bit passionate about.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

I like that idea Chris; it promote activity as you noted and makes GM'ing easier for future events, which is always good.

Now to play Devil's Advocate, that would also mean coming up with the code/scripts to check each PFS player's GM activity on a monthly basis. Follow that up with then having Customer Service having to add each flip map or related map (either manually taking person effort, or via script taking an initial effort), then it could get cost prohibitive.

Again, like the idea, Chris. It provides a positive circular loop to encourage people to GM (GM to get a free map for upcoming scenario -> purchasing said upcoming scenario to see how it's used -> GM'ing the new scenario -> another free map, etc). However, I think it may be something that would be too cost-prohibitive despite the awesomeness it would be.

Grand Lodge

Netopalis wrote:
Suggestion: For every GM who runs 4 sessions in a month, a store credit good for one scenario? Non-stacking, of course.

That makes Paizo loose money, I assume we need to come up with something that does not.

However a % off coupon usable on predetermined GM tools would be nice. (like flip-mats, map-packs, minis, gamemastery branded stuff)

Something that doesn't cost anything, or require any coding. Use one of their character names as an NPC name in a scenario. Nothing major, could be as simple as "Farmer Bob". Then if they GM an awful lot over a year it could be someone more significant to the scenario.

Dark Archive 3/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I am wondering if it would be possible for there to be a way for, at least, venture officers and, maybe even, higher starred GM's to access some kind of boons from the Paizo website without having to bug or interrupt the great and always busy Paizo staffers. These boons could be just for new GM's or regular ones. They could even be for event organizers or shop owners discretion for handing out.

Sczarni

I like the idea that Chris set forth about VC/VLs having download capability for boons to reward their GMs. I especially liked the idea of rewarding new GMs. After they have GM'd say 10 events if they have done a good job reward them with a boon.

My thoughts.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

If you can get a boon for judging some number of tables at a convention, it doesn't seem unreasonable to expand the idea to award a boon at, say, the time you qualify for a star.

It would also, IMO, be a good idea to ask the VOs to hand out such a boon; strange as it may sound, some GMs have no idea who their local venture officers are!


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Perhaps it would be possible to do a boon in a similar fashion to the way people get stars. Maybe you could get a boon after each star you get. Of course there is the problem of what would happen after you get 4 or 5 stars. But there are already a lot of cookies associated with those star levels too.

I thought about maybe rewarding aboon for recruiting a new player, but given how easy it is to forge accounts that may not be a good idea.

Maybe Paizo could have a down loadable birthday boon for venture officers to sign and give to their players/gms on or around their birthday. I know that I would be super stoked if one of my venture officers gave me a boon as a present from Paizo.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

What do we do about areas with no VC or VL? How would those players receive boons if they have no VO to award them one?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

hmmm good point.

Thinking about it a little bit more a birthday boon would be pretty much the same as a holiday boon.

What if certain scenarios started including boons in them? Boons which could be reassigned to other characters. It could be a thing where you play the scenario and then unlock a boon for another character.

To limit access you could limit the extra scenario boon to within the first month after a scenario is released. That way you wouldn't have a perpetually growing amount of people with a given boon.

It would also serve the purpose of driving sales of new scenarios. I know I would be much more interested in playing a scenario right away if there was a boon in it that could be given to any of my characters.

Grand Lodge

I don't actually like this idea, but just brainstorming. What if you let people purchase certain boons? They would have to specify that they could only apply on one character and only one per player like Holiday Boons. People typically pay to go to Cons, at least the bigger ones. Just issue a small subset of boons available for purchase. The might help quell the clamor from people unable to attend Cons, nothing for the GM's comes to mind at the moment.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

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Michael Brock wrote:
What do we do about areas with no VC or VL? How would those players receive boons if they have no VO to award them one?

Local stores would be a good choice, killing two birds with one stone (I'm referring to the thread asking about support for those stores who run PFS).

Additionally, you already have a built-in method to handle giving out GM rewards: the people who coordinate the games. Yes, often they are one and the same, especially in small areas with no Venture Officer or any local store, but as they are doing the coordinating, it seems like a good point of contact for you.

Create a package that is given to any 1-star GM who qualifies (ran 10 games, got no thread created about how terrible he was) and send that package to any coordinator who asks for it. Ask for the name of the GM it is going to be given to so you can verify his account. Do the same for 2-star, 3-star, etc.

So long as the package is static there is very little extra work on your end. It can be changed yearly to reflect the current story or things that Paizo wants to highlight.

PS - Not to be a downer to everyone who is asking for this, but I'm going to chime in on something. Pathfinder Society gives more to its GMs than any other organized play system I've ever seen (in the form of character credit, alone, but also due to 4-star and 5-star rewards and recognition). When character credit was asked for, everyone said, "That will make us happy and shut us up." Now, five years later, everyone wants more. This is AFTER annual changes that have increased the support given (going from half-credit to full credit, to full PA, to access to all the boons in varying steps until FULL credit was given even on things like Eyes of the Ten or Bonekeep chronicles that are incredibly difficult for players to max out). If Paizo institutes this kind of reward system, you will be getting even MORE than "The Most Credit Given By an OP System." When will it stop?

2/5

Drogon wrote:
PS - Not to be a downer to everyone who is asking for this, but I'm going to chime in on something. Pathfinder Society gives more to its GMs than any other organized play system I've ever seen (in the form of character credit, alone, but also due to 4-star and 5-star rewards and recognition). When character credit was asked for, everyone said, "That will make us happy and shut us up." Now, five years later, everyone wants more. This is AFTER annual changes that have increased the support given (going from half-credit to full credit, to full PA, to access to all the boons in varying steps until FULL credit was given even on things like Eyes of the Ten or Bonekeep chronicles that are incredibly difficult for players to max out). If Paizo institutes this kind of reward system, you will be getting even MORE than "The Most Credit Given By an OP System." When will it stop?

I kind of see the same pattern and feel similarly. (+1)

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Michael Brock wrote:
What do we do about areas with no VC or VL? How would those players receive boons if they have no VO to award them one?

Make the request for the support to your Nearest VC, even if it is 1000's of miles... The support for boons does not have to be a physical presence, it can be done through emails.

Before I had a VC near by in Austin I would talk to Bob all the time, and he is no where near me!

Shadow Lodge

Michael Brock wrote:
I completely agree. What suggestions do you have?

There's nothing I can suggest that won't require extra work; either from campaign staff doing it manually, or (preferably) to update the system to automate it.

That said, I think they should get boons similar to con boons (or possibly even the lesser con boons themselves). As to how to give them out, here's two options.

1. Give them out at set intervals. Minimum number of tables to get con boon support is 15? For every 15 games one person GMs, give them a (random) minor boon, maybe a race boon at a (much) higher mark. Think that's too often, or worried people might game the system by running a lot of games in a short period? Increase the number of games needed, or limit how many games you get credit for in a week. At one table a week, it'd take nearly four months to get a boon this way.

2. This would DEFINITELY require updating the web system, but you could "gamify" it. GMing a table could give a number (or fraction) of points, possibly modified by event size, which could be saved up and spent on boons. Let's say you GM one table at a four table game day, so you'd get 1 point (for one table) times, oh let's say 2 for event size (in this example, a 3 table event could have a 1 or 1.5 multiplier; if you don't want to reward private events, give them a 0 multiplier), meaning you earned 2 points; get 30-50 points and you can spend them on a boon, either randomized, or chosen from a list (with better boons costing significantly more).

Either way, you'd need to figure out how frequently you'd want people to get rewards this way, and makes sure whatever system you use can throttle them.

EDIT: If you update the web system, you wouldn't need VOs to award boons; update the Guide to specify they're a one-character reward, have the system add them to their account's downloads section.

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

Whiskey Jack wrote:
Drogon wrote:
PS - Not to be a downer to everyone who is asking for this, but I'm going to chime in on something. Pathfinder Society gives more to its GMs than any other organized play system I've ever seen (in the form of character credit, alone, but also due to 4-star and 5-star rewards and recognition). When character credit was asked for, everyone said, "That will make us happy and shut us up." Now, five years later, everyone wants more. This is AFTER annual changes that have increased the support given (going from half-credit to full credit, to full PA, to access to all the boons in varying steps until FULL credit was given even on things like Eyes of the Ten or Bonekeep chronicles that are incredibly difficult for players to max out). If Paizo institutes this kind of reward system, you will be getting even MORE than "The Most Credit Given By an OP System." When will it stop?
I kind of see the same pattern and feel similarly. (+1)

I think there's always going to be a push for 'more'. The GM credit made sense to me, since GMs are the ones 'eating' the cost of the scenarios and prep time. Then we got access to the boons on the chronicle sheets as well. I pushed for the tieflings/aasimars to be 'opened up' because of Blood of Fiends/Angels, and we got Tengo too! I've said here and elsewhere I'd love to play a kayal but won't lose sleep if I never see him.

Giving the VCs/VOs more flexibility in rewards would be nice. Would it be prone to abuse? Certainly. OTOH, Paizo already trusts them to some extent. Would areas w/o a VO suffer? Maybe, but it also gives incentives for someone to step up and be that VO.

Sure it would be nice to have the local VC say "You've really rocked Matt, have a tengu on me." I personally don't need it.

Let's also not forget, that we do have very responsive leadership. Look at the reversals on a) Snowball b) Mephits c) familiars (too late for Talyn, but I've a witch who would look cool with a Rhamphorhynchus) to see the quick response and openness.

Giving the VO's super secret squirrel access to boons to give out, sure. A 'here's your star, here's your boon' I don't think we need.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Why does it seem that a large number of defenders of the way it is have the stance of 'I am getting the rewards, but I would do it anyway. Even if you don't get the rewards, you should be happy to be doing it.'

It seems easy to point a scolding finger at the have nots from your position of having and scold them for desiring to also have.

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

@Nuku,

Are you reading the same thread I'm reading?

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