Why were First Steps 2 and 3 Retired?


Pathfinder Society

Grand Lodge

Hi all, played pathfinder for a while but new to PFS. Why would modules be retired and what does it mean for a module to be retired?
Thanks in advanced

Sovereign Court 5/5

0time wrote:

Hi all, played pathfinder for a while but new to PFS. Why would modules be retired and what does it mean for a module to be retired?

Thanks in advanced

The two factions that will be retired as of 8/14 play a prominent roll in those two scenarios so it might be confusing to new players.

If a scenario is retired it means that after the retirement date you can no longer play that scenario for credit in Pathfinder Society play. You can always use this for a home campaign, or just for fun if you want to play them, just not in Society play.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Because the missions are each given out by retired faction leaders. Part II was assigned by Amara Li. Part III heavily involved information given to the party by Grand Master Torch. Seeing as those two factions no longer exist, and the NPCs are doing other things, the confusion these scenarios would offer was not worth the hassle.

There were other complaints, as well, garnered over the course of two years of playing with them, but those were the main reasons.

Edit: Guh. Why are all these throwing stars sticking out of me?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

All of First Steps will be retired on 14Aug2013, when Season 5 begins. They felt that 1.) a three part intro was too long and also because with the great Shadow Lodge and also the Lantern Lodge going away for PFS play, it also was no longer a good representation of the game. At some point, there will be a new Intro Scenario (probably a 1 or 2 parter).

Technically it is NOT retired yet, but for reporting, for some reason #2 and #3 are showing up as retired, and can not be reported. If you are having that issue, get into contact with your VC's/VL's or Mike and request they report it for you.

5/5

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
All of First Steps will be retired on 14Aug2013,

This is incorrect. Part 1 will be available until something is published to replace it, which (per previous posts from the coordinators) will not be happening this calendar year.

Sovereign Court 5/5

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
All of First Steps will be retired on 14Aug2013, when Season 5 begins.

Unless there has been a change recently, only parts II & III are being retired now.

To Drogon: Because you failed your perception, maybe?

Edit: Damn, now I've those pesky stars in my back too. :-)

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Todd Lower wrote:
Edit: Damn, now I've those pesky stars in my back too. :-)

HAH hah!

Grand Lodge

All right that makes sense. Thanks for the answers. So any recommended scenarios recommended for a new pfs player?

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

0time wrote:
All right that makes sense. Thanks for the answers. So any recommended scenarios recommended for a new pfs player?

Master of the Fallen Fortress.

Alternatively: Mists of Mwangi, Frostfur Captives, Black Waters.

5/5

0time wrote:
All right that makes sense. Thanks for the answers. So any recommended scenarios recommended for a new pfs player?

Frostfur Captives, Frostfur Captives, Frostfur Captives, and perhaps Frostfur Captives.

Not that I have a favorite or anything. :D

Edit: Also, We Be Goblins! (which has the added advantage of being free).

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Drogon wrote:
Because the missions are each given out by retired faction leaders.

So is every mission assigned by or involving either of these ex-Facton leaders being retired? Since I know the answer is no, why not? The same logic applies.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Mystic Lemur wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Because the missions are each given out by retired faction leaders.
So is every mission assigned by or involving either of these ex-Facton leaders being retired? Since I know the answer is no, why not? The same logic applies.

Fair point. I suspect we will find out whether that is the case at some point.

In the meantime, these occupy a different position than all those others; they are often used specifically to introduce someone to PFS. If you have to follow that up with, "By the way, you can't pick either of these two factions after you're done with these scenarios," the introduction becomes a little off. To say nothing of the issue raised above: the fact that it's a three scenario long "introduction" doesn't really work. So, the two scenarios where those two factions are involved are convenient scapegoats in this contest of which of the three continues to exist.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

I think the point is that First Steps was specifically designed as an introduction for new players to PFS, and in particular an introduction to the factions. So, the Lantern Lodge focus of II and the Shadow Lodge role in III made them not so appropriate for the role that their title suggests.

Of the three First Steps, I think II was my favorite. It's a really nicely-done old-fashioned dungeon crawl, done in such a way that it's entirely possible to complete in four hours. I'll miss it.

I look forward to seeing the new intro Tier 1 scenarios. I'm hoping that as they build these up over the next year or two (or three or whatever), they do manage to get different "tones" of adventures as they did with First Steps. (I is the urban/errand adventure, II is the dungeon craw, III is the overland/environmental hazard/dangerous picarseque sort of adventure).

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

First Steps is being retired because 12 hours of scenario is too long for an 'introductory' adventure. So they are taking the lessons learned from them and applying them to the new 'evergreen' Tier 1 scenarios, of which one will be released each season and is intended to capture the theme of that season.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
All of First Steps will be retired on 14Aug2013,
This is incorrect. Part 1 will be available until something is published to replace it, which (per previous posts from the coordinators) will not be happening this calendar year.

Interesting. I had heard that all three parts where to be retired, but that does explain the issue with reporting only #2 and #3.

So, just out of curiosity:
How are they going to handle Part 1. Technically you do not get a Faction, Xp, or the second PP until completing part 3, right?

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Conventions—Gen Con

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

Interesting. I had heard that all three parts where to be retired, but that does explain the issue with reporting only #2 and #3.

** spoiler omitted **

No, you get a faction the first time you play something that's not First Steps. You get the XP and PP as soon as you play them. (It's been said that whatever faction you go to will honor your prestige from first steps).

Shadow Lodge 4/5

rknop wrote:
I think the point is that First Steps was specifically designed as an introduction for new players to PFS, and in particular an introduction to the factions.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
First Steps is being retired because 12 hours of scenario is too long for an 'introductory' adventure. So they are taking the lessons learned from them and applying them to the new 'evergreen' Tier 1 scenarios, of which one will be released each season and is intended to capture the theme of that season.
Drogon wrote:
To say nothing of the issue raised above: the fact that it's a three scenario long "introduction" doesn't really work. So, the two scenarios where those two factions are involved are convenient scapegoats in this contest of which of the three continues to exist.

That's my take on it. A three scenario introduction does run a little long, but many people don't really like playing first level. Whatever they do, they really need to find a way to get new characters to level 2 without undue risk of death.

I just don't see the point in blaming the faction retirement when it can't just be that.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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A key reason is the time it takes for a new player to devote to playing the arc. Last year's Gen Con numbers were very telling.

Part 1 had 45-50 tables reported.

Part 2 had 20-23 tables reported.

Part 3 had 11-15 tables reported.

Those aren't exact numbers but they are close.

That is consistent with the percentages with each scenario's play numbers we have seen over the last year across the glob. What feedback I have been provided is a good many new players experience part 1. Why less than half of those return for part 2 is various reasons, from wanting to do other things at a con to wanting to play a different PFS scenario with their friends. Where we do see a lot of all three parts being played is people just trying to get out of first level. It isn't about the intro to the Society. So, we are looking at other ways to address people wanting options to get through first level quickly.

Twelve hours is just too long for a brand new player to devote to an introduction to PFS and that is what the series was designed for.

The removal of the factions also presents some problems as well.

So, this is a perfect time to start introducing some evergreen, tier 1 scenarios that don't tie in specifically with factions (similar to MoFF) so we have more flexibility with the storyline in future seasons.

1/5

Drogon wrote:
0time wrote:
All right that makes sense. Thanks for the answers. So any recommended scenarios recommended for a new pfs player?

Master of the Fallen Fortress.

Alternatively: Mists of Mwangi, Frostfur Captives, Black Waters.

I will second all your alternative choices, but would respectfully disagree with the Fallen Fortress. I did that at a game day as a last minute choice out of lack of other things to play. We had all level ones and a lot were pregens. We had to sleep repeatedly because of the long grind and no effective healing, the story was almost non existent, and you get no fame or prestige for it. Every time I look at my character that played it with I get a little nagging sensation in the back of my brain that I have put him at a small disadvantage by even playing that scenario.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Sitri wrote:
Drogon wrote:
0time wrote:
All right that makes sense. Thanks for the answers. So any recommended scenarios recommended for a new pfs player?

Master of the Fallen Fortress.

Alternatively: Mists of Mwangi, Frostfur Captives, Black Waters.

I will second all your alternative choices, but would respectfully disagree with the Fallen Fortress. I did that at a game day as a last minute choice out of lack of other things to play. We had all level ones and a lot were pregens. We had to sleep repeatedly because of the long grind and no effective healing, the story was almost non existent, and you get no fame or prestige for it. Every time I look at my character that played it with I get a little nagging sensation in the back of my brain that I have put him at a small disadvantage by even playing that scenario.

You do get PP and Fame for it, just like any other Free RPG Day module. Check the Guide. It's been in there for quite awhile. It's on page 31 of Guide 4.3 and page 29 of Guide 5.0.

1/5

Oh wow thank you.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Sitri wrote:
Drogon wrote:
0time wrote:
All right that makes sense. Thanks for the answers. So any recommended scenarios recommended for a new pfs player?

Master of the Fallen Fortress.

Alternatively: Mists of Mwangi, Frostfur Captives, Black Waters.

I will second all your alternative choices, but would respectfully disagree with the Fallen Fortress. I did that at a game day as a last minute choice out of lack of other things to play. We had all level ones and a lot were pregens. We had to sleep repeatedly because of the long grind and no effective healing, the story was almost non existent, and you get no fame or prestige for it. Every time I look at my character that played it with I get a little nagging sensation in the back of my brain that I have put him at a small disadvantage by even playing that scenario.

Ugh. What a bummer. I've always thought that adventure was a hoot. I've played it once and run it several times, and never had a party retreat and rest in any of those games. And I think the story is great, if you know how to present it. Like all scenarios and modules a GM runs for his party, this is a key element of making a game fun. In the case of MotFF, the key to presenting the story is the Pathfinder who went in ahead of them and got captured.

MotFF story spoilers:
I had him leave behind little signs that he was there (a rope and grappling hook between the third and second levels, scuff marks where he climbed up from the first level, footprints in the rooms of the first level, the potion he drops as he flees one room). Then, when the PCs find him, he's beaten up too badly to continue with them, but will give them all the information he can about who tortured him and why (the crazy troglodyte that seems to think there is a secret way into Absalom so that it can be conquered).

Then, the fight against the BBEG on the top becomes important, and even epic for that little group of 1st level characters. And the way it ends, of course, is usually awesome.

I suggest you get it and read it. It may prove enlightening. And, of course, it's free, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try.

Edit: I will admit I cheat just a little bit when I run it to make it fun. Here is a picture of me running it at a local con. Having a to-scale tower makes a little bit of a difference in players' views of the story. (-:

The guy on the far side of me is a regular judge during the GenCon Iron GM competitions. He liked it so much he recommended I compete, as he was sure I had a very good chance to win. So, I think presentation matters quite a bit for everyone.

1/5

I am sure the fact we were so ill equipped led to the very long battles and multiple resting sessions; I can only remember ever seeing a handful of level 1 pregens and I was playing one of about three in this scenario. Of course this led to the game running long and probably why the story bits were so condensed and non-memorable for me. Now that I know there is no lost fame for it I won't have that eating at me either. I also have to admit the 3-d tower you set up does look kind of fun.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Drogon wrote:

** spoiler omitted **...

Edit: I will admit I cheat just a little bit when I run it to make it fun. Here is a picture of me running it at a local con. Having a to-scale tower makes a little bit of a difference in players' views of the story. (-:

Nice product placement on the T-shirt. :-)

Scarab Sages 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Master of the Fallen Fortress was fun, but it does seem like it could be difficult for a party of brand new PFS players running their first scenario (and thus, without things like Masterwork weapons or Wands of CLW). As Mike pointed out, it does provide prestige, but it's only 1 prestige, so even that's not enough to get them a CLW wand before their second scenario, and if they are playing as a group, that means still no wand between them. My recommended order would be First Steps I while it's still around, MotFF, and then either a regular scenario or We Be Goblins if you want to stick to something replayable. I haven't played any of the 3XP Tier 1-2 replayable modules, so I don't know if one of those would be a better choice.

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

Part of the problem is that First Steps 2 and 3 are really, really weak.

First Steps 2 is a very easy dungeon crawl with only one particularly interesting encounter.

First Steps 3 is a series of unconnected events that are tenuously joined by a mission that turns out to be a failure at best and a fiasco at worst.

Silver Crusade 3/5

0time wrote:
All right that makes sense. Thanks for the answers. So any recommended scenarios recommended for a new pfs player?

If you have more time to devote to it, the module Crypt of the Everflame is a good intro adventure. It takes 6-8 hours of game time, but grants 3 XP and 4 PP. It works best if you have a party of at least 5, preferably 6. Super fun dungeon crawl.


Netopalis wrote:

Part of the problem is that First Steps 2 and 3 are really, really weak.

First Steps 2 is a very easy dungeon crawl with only one particularly interesting encounter.

That depends entirely on your party. First time I was there, none in the group had played it before, and we almost wiped, and spent forever in there. I enjoyed it alot.

Silver Crusade 2/5

Crypt has a couple of dubious encounters in it for me to qualify it as an intro adventure. Like all modules, you want to play them with characters on the leading edge of the level limit.

Silver Crusade 4/5

I'd like to add Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible to the list of scenarios to highly recommend at level 1. If you're going to be at GenCon, I'll be happy to GM it for you on Friday morning. :)

Scarab Sages

I think Murder on the Throaty Mermaid is a pretty good scenario to start players off with. Its not too challenging and, if properly role played, can be a blast.

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Mists of Mwangi is one of the scenarios I carry with me everywhere cos I can run it at the drop of a hat and it's still fun.

Frozen Fingers is pretty good too. And I think Frostfur is a great scenario with the right GM.

I'd have some reservations about Crypt of the Everflame at level 1. Seen a few too many wipeouts with that one.

Digital Products Assistant

First Steps Part 2 & 3 are back for reporting purposes, but will go away as planned on the correct date.

Silver Crusade 4/5

Chris Lambertz wrote:
First Steps Part 2 & 3 are back for reporting purposes, but will go away as planned on the correct date.

Would that be Wednesday? I'm just worried about people running these early this week, and not being able to report those sessions if they don't do them fast enough. My local group is intentionally run them one last time before they get retired, and the sessions don't always get logged immediately. Especially with GenCon this week, people might be too distracted to get tonight's sessions logged right away.

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