Secondary Success conditions make better Pathfinders...


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Scarab Sages 4/5

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I want to say kudos to the (secret) secondary success conditions.

I'm having a lot of fun GM-ing and playing with them now, especially the newer content (when they're more thoroughly integrated).

One thing I've noticed in my play style, is I'm much more motivated (and eager to motivate others) to get away from the "murder hobo" label and act more like true pathfinders:

- Explore, Report, Cooperate.
- Make a good impression for the society
- Learn whatever we can
- Go above and beyond what is expected of us
- Pay attention to mission briefings, and get as much information as we can.

I think having secret success conditions makes us more cautious about doing something foolish, and more eager to do something "extra". I like to think of it as a reward for "going above and beyond" what is expected of us - sort of a true meritocracy.

Anyone else having similar experience? I really think the (secret) success conditions are helping players be better pathfinders, because they never know what exactly earns them that 2nd prestige.


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I would disagree.

I feel it take roleplay from the game.

Players are metagaming to solve the 2nd presitge item.

It also remove the factions from the older mods almost completely. How your character relates to societ and his faction as a whole is a huge developement piece for characters.

I feel it turns the game into roll-play over roleplay.

Shadow Lodge

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Finlanderboy wrote:

I would disagree.

I feel it take roleplay from the game.

Players are metagaming to solve the 2nd presitge item.

It also remove the factions from the older mods almost completely. How your character relates to societ and his faction as a whole is a huge developement piece for characters.

I feel it turns the game into roll-play over roleplay.

I totally agree.

The faction missions where so integral to my characters, looking for that out of the way thing, a connection to my character goals. It gave me a connection to my faction and through them, an insight into the workings of Pathfinder Society.

The secondary goals seem arbitrary and disjointed.

I really hope we get faction missions back or I'll keep making up my own like I am now. I'm stealing stuff that seems like it *should* be a faction mission to take back.

Our local GM's sometimes print off the letters and hand them out like faction missions, it can help but it's not the same.

Grand Lodge 2/5

I agree with the OP. Definitely thinking more about being a Pathfinder and less about what room I'm going to find the "macguffin of the week" for my faction mission. I'm curious for examples of what people consider great faction missions - I don't remember a single one that made me feel like I was part of larger story.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Finlanderboy wrote:

I feel it take roleplay from the game.

Players are metagaming to solve the 2nd presitge item.

...

I feel it turns the game into roll-play over roleplay.

This is pretty much exactly what people used to say about faction missions.

So when a faction head asked your players to make sure all the dudes survive, players didn't metagame, but when they have to make sure all the dudes survive without being told, they've started metagaming?

This makes no sense to me.


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Bristor Gwin wrote:
I agree with the OP. Definitely thinking more about being a Pathfinder and less about what room I'm going to find the "macguffin of the week" for my faction mission. I'm curious for examples of what people consider great faction missions - I don't remember a single one that made me feel like I was part of larger story.

I have to say, the Cheliax faction mission from Requiem of the Red Raven is the best faction mission ever, in the best PFS scenario ever.

Anyways, the thing about secondary goals... I have always been eager to have my PCs be better Pathfinders and not be bloodthirsty murderers... but I cannot control the actions of my party members. So now I'm losing Fame when someone else decides to massacre everything with a pulse, even when I step out of character to tell him not to.

Yuck. I want Team Taldor back. Then, I could rely on myself to earn my Fame, and not have to deal with others screwing it up. Those people were almost universally on Team Andoran.

-Matt

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

Jiggy,

I think the metagaming comes from not knowing 'in character' the secondary goals.

Old version: Silver Crusade faction mission says "Don't let the goblin die."

New version: Super secret secondary goal is "Don't let the Goblin die."

Because of the secret nature, the players are looking for GM reaction, or out of character hints to figure out what mission 2 is. (Or they get the secondary conditions document for older scenarios).

I myself miss trying to get the Andorans to do the Chelaxian or Taldan faction missions. Or our Osiron PC lamenting "What stupid way is Anemenophis going to get me killed today?"


I can not think of a time I got to particpate in the greater story because I did not randomly have a character to play that adventure in season 5

Yes, many of the factions missions were written poorly, but I could usually roleplay my faction mission into something big and grander than it was.

I had to have lizard people show me how to make their drug. So I spent the whole mission talking to lizard people how to make meth. I roleplayed it and had a a balst and the whole table was laughing. This was a meh faction mission made entertaining with roleplay

Now compare that faction mission with listening to a dialoge between two people where you have NO/ZERO/ZIP control over. Now you can argue those are poorly written to, but having a faction mission that requires no effort is pointless as well. This encourage you to only play the scenario with a character of that faction just for a meachanical benefit. If you do not have that character well then you get to watch the others that do.

This is pushing towards the GM just reading the players a book. Not activily making me "me feel like I was part of larger story."

Personally I think forcing people watch them play their part and never getting one of their own is horrible design. You will find many people that agree with me that a great GM will give every player their moment. Now the season 5 make shows the GMS not able to do this and makes for a worse game when they can not.

I prefer being in control vs not. If I am given a poorly written faction mission i can spice it up. If I am given a script i have to listen to, not so much.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The old faction missions alot of them were very vague. I see a lot of the players asking the gm if there mission was there, so they will not hold the the group pointlessly. At lest with it this way it is not just something one person needs to do but the group.


Jiggy wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:

I feel it take roleplay from the game.

Players are metagaming to solve the 2nd presitge item.

...

I feel it turns the game into roll-play over roleplay.

This is pretty much exactly what people used to say about faction missions.

So when a faction head asked your players to make sure all the dudes survive, players didn't metagame, but when they have to make sure all the dudes survive without being told, they've started metagaming?

This makes no sense to me.

In my opinion and understanding.

Given a piece of paper that tell the PC somehting is not metagaming. Their character were given that information. To me I do not understand how that could possibly be metagaming since it is the exact opposite.

Now I have stopped murder hobos at my table from killing everything by sayign hey do not kill this person it could be our hidden faction mission.

I have had DMs not fully read things to my group so after the fact the DM decided to reward us the poitn because they missed it.

I have heard people say they plan to read every secondary mission befor ehtye play it. Now this is the exact definition of metagaming right there.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

We would do well to steer clear of absolute value judgements. A player can always make something of a secondary mission / faction assignment and turn it into a fun role-playing side quest. Likewise, a player can always treat these assignments as mechanical conditions to advance his or her character's "Fame" counter.

The question I pose is: which game mechanic does a better job of helping the player role-play? Is it better for different PCs to have diferent side missions, or should they they all work together? Should the briefing officer explain what the secondary assignment is, or should they be blind to the hidden condition? Do hidden agendas keep people engaged, or does it just put stress on them to open all the doors and double-check the p's and q's?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Matthew Morris wrote:
New version: Super secret secondary goal is "Don't let the Goblin die."

If a goal of keeping your charge alive is "super secret", the problem is not with the system.

4/5

How much is it metagaming to have players wondering how their pathfinders can better serve the pathfinder society while on mission from them?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

@Finlanderboy - From your descriptions of what you don't like, it sounds like you're talking about the faction-specific boon things, rather than the Secondary Success Conditions.


Jiggy wrote:
@Finlanderboy - From your descriptions of what you don't like, it sounds like you're talking about the faction-specific boon things, rather than the Secondary Success Conditions.

I am sorry but that was a responce to Bristor Gwin. He refered to season 5 as being an advantage.


Chris Mortika wrote:
The question I pose is: which game mechanic does a better job of helping the player role-play? Is it better for different PCs to have diferent side missions, or should they they all work together?

Having a personal objective was very nice. The faction missions would give me cues for starting interesting in-character interactions, and would allow me to really ask myself how my character would solve the presented problem. It was fun to examine the slip of paper and think "How am I going to pull this off?"

With group objectives, the tendency is for their solutions to become overly generic. With faction missions, I could make the solution my own. It was much more fun that way. And I didn't have to watch my Fame point go away because someone decided to show off how much damage he could do and couldn't stand the possibility of taking -4 to his attack roll.

-Matt


Having a moment each player got to do something was what made faction missions great.

In a game where you are unable to do anything because other are better than you this gives you another chance to to do something constructive.

4/5

I've played and run probably 5 or 6 scenarios since Season 5 started, and not once has anyone (GM or player) mentioned the secondary success condition until the conclusion of the adventure. Maybe that's a regional thing.

I agree that some of the old faction missions had some fun RP possibilities. But for every one of those, there were 9 missions that amounted to "player asks if there's a tea set every time we enter a room."

I like that you don't know what you need to do. I just stop worrying about it and try to be a good Pathfinder. If I succeed, cool. If I don't, it's a single PP. Not a big deal.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Finlanderboy wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
@Finlanderboy - From your descriptions of what you don't like, it sounds like you're talking about the faction-specific boon things, rather than the Secondary Success Conditions.

I am sorry but that was a responce to Bristor Gwin. He refered to season 5 as being an advantage.

Ah, okay.

So back to SSC's, can you give any examples of how they're metagamey? I haven't played every S5 scenario, but I've played a few, and I haven't encountered this (that I can recall off the top of my head).


Finlanderboy wrote:


In my opinion and understanding.

Given a piece of paper that tell the PC somehting is not metagaming. Their character were given that information. To me I do not understand how that could possibly be metagaming since it is the exact opposite.

Now I have stopped murder hobos at my table from killing everything by sayign hey do not kill this person it could be our hidden faction mission.

I have had DMs not fully read things to my group so after the fact the DM decided to reward us the poitn because they missed it.

I have heard people say they plan to read every secondary mission befor ehtye play it. Now this is the exact definition of metagaming right there.

A quote from me above for you jiggy

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Finlanderboy, that was perfectly true only when everybody was in a different faction. If you were one of three Taldor operatives in a party, thee was still the tendency to let someone else figure out the necessary thing or do the secret action.

But I agree with your point: everybody-working-together missions let you slide more than secret missions where the Sapphire Sage wants you to keep everybody else in the dark.

--

It strikes me that one aspect of the Season 5 Faction boons is that, because they're public (with the scenario blurbs announcing things like "This adventure advances the Grand Lodge story arc.") they attract PCs of the relevant factions. If I have a Taldor-faction PC and an Osirion-faction PC, and I know that 4-05 advances the Taldan cause, I'm more likely to play my Taldor PC. And so are you, and our other friends. So there are lots of Taldor PCs choosing to go on that mission. It lets us talk shop with one another.

And it counters some pressures to make a balanced party. A lot of paladins chose the Silver Crusade faction. If there are three paladins in a party already, it seems odd to bring in another, but that's what the faction-specific boons encourage.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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redward wrote:
I've played and run probably 5 or 6 scenarios since Season 5 started, and not once has anyone (GM or player) mentioned the secondary success condition until the conclusion of the adventure. Maybe that's a regional thing.

This has been my experience as well. As the GM is filling out chronicles, we're told "Hey, remember when you did X? That was actually your second PP." And typically my internal response is something like "What kind of a person wouldn't have done X?" Or the one time I missed it, the GM said "If you'd managed to do [thing we were already trying to do], you'd have gotten it." And my internal response was "Yeah, it was hard; that would've been impressive, worthy of extra fame."

Silver Crusade

I might get some flak for this...I like BOTH!

At the lodge where I play, some GMs still hand out the faction missions. They are fun. Some of them are poorly written, and some of them are awesome. That is to be expected.

I also like the secret secondary conditions. I feel that the players in my area are better Pathfinders for this reason. They tend to leave no stone unturned, and are much more cautious of traps, etc. They also seem to be less inclined to "burn it all down!"

That said, it would be nice to have a mix of the two going forward. In Season 5, I don't mind that there are only two or three factions featured in each scenario. But it also might be nice to increase that a bit, AND throw in some KNOWN faction missions. I think it would be a cool combination. Some factions know specifically what they need to do, some don't know specifically what they need to do, and others don't need to do anything extra at all.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Finlanderboy wrote:


In my opinion and understanding.

Given a piece of paper that tell the PC somehting is not metagaming. Their character were given that information. To me I do not understand how that could possibly be metagaming since it is the exact opposite.

The metagaming usually came in one of two forms:

1) The omniscient faction head's request reveals by its very nature something they couldn't actually know yet, and so the player prepares for other aspects of the adventure based on metagame conclusions drawn from the word choices used in the faction mission.
2) In-game decisions based on the OOC awareness that everyone at the table will always have exactly one side task to perform that has nothing to do with the mission at hand (such as not being perturbed that PC so-and-so is delaying the mission to dust some cobwebs in a cave).

Quote:
Now I have stopped murder hobos at my table from killing everything by sayign hey do not kill this person it could be our hidden faction mission.

The only metagamey thing here is your word choice: if instead of "Don't kill him, he could be our 2nd PP" you were saying "Don't kill him, you f+$!ing psychopath", then voila! No more metagaming! The fact that you choose not to do so is not the system's fault.

Quote:
I have had DMs not fully read things to my group so after the fact the DM decided to reward us the poitn because they missed it.

I've had GMs do that with the old faction missions. In fact, it was probably more likely because there were more of them to try and find/remember. This is a point against your position, not for it.

Quote:
I have heard people say they plan to read every secondary mission befor ehtye play it. Now this is the exact definition of metagaming right there.

Do you have any examples of SSC's where this was necessary to get it? Because in my experience with what the SSC's have been like so far, anyone who needed to know ahead of time in order to not fail... well, let's just say I'm okay with campaign policy not rewarding them.

5/5

Finlanderboy wrote:

I would disagree.

I feel it take roleplay from the game.

Players are metagaming to solve the 2nd presitge item.

I find that the same players who metagame to solve the secondary success condition also metagamed to solve the faction missions.

In neither case did they roleplay.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Fox wrote:
But it also might be nice to increase that a bit, AND throw in some KNOWN faction missions. I think it would be a cool combination. Some factions know specifically what they need to do, some don't know specifically what they need to do, and others don't need to do anything extra at all.

To be honest, the faction letters are pretty explicit about a lot of missions. On top of that, Stolen Heir has a faction letter in it for Taldor.


I never liked the old fraction mission. Unless someone else was doing it I usually failed.
Reason 1 not having the skill to pass the test and not having anyone at the table willing to help me.
Reason 2 not realizing that doing x was not fulfilling my mission but actually making me fail it did that 2x.
Reason 3 not finding the mission because the gm skipped over it to save time cause we were running out of time and realizing at the end what happened.

So all in all having every one on the same secret mission works a lot better for me.

3/5

I kinda like the old style faction missions in principle, but I certainly don't miss having that precious prestige point contingent in having ranks in Profession (Miner) or such similar nonsense.

glass.


I liked the old style when the missions provoked certain characters to put themselves into danger.
I liked the old style were almost guaranteed for well built characters.
I did not like the old style of asking over and over again, is there an X in here.
I did not like the old style make a DC 25 stone crafting check.
I do like the new prestige missions being more fluid to the story (or at least only have one distraction.)
I do like the new faction missions only applying to a couple of groups at a time to help keep the story more fluid.
I do like the new faction missions being more a scattered selection of boons than something that cripples your buying/raising power.

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

Jiggy wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
New version: Super secret secondary goal is "Don't let the Goblin die."
If a goal of keeping your charge alive is "super secret", the problem is not with the system.

Actually Jiggy, to use a specific example, in RotGG, the Silver Crusade's mission is to witness to Ekkie. (and just Ekkie) If that was the second faction point, there's no way of knowing her (and only her) should be kept alive, and the rest of the goblins encountered aren't.

Shadow Lodge

When I'm running a scenario, I'm inclined to draw more attention to the secondary success objective as they come across it. I like to sort of subtly present it as a choice; they can take the easy road and ignore this little thing or take regular effort in doing it, or they should pay close attention, consider this an Important Thing, consider a healthier impact on the society if they focus on it.

I don't use those words, just draw attention.

That's usually enough to consider the secondary mission and prestige point to be the real deal that players can pick up on, without having it hamper the whole game if, as players, they don't notice it, though their characters probably would.

The problem with leaving players guessing is that they could probably do a number of things in the scenario that go above and beyond, but miss on what they actually need to do because of a silent GM who lets the cards fall where they may. I think some players might feel robbed if this happens (and this thread probably has some evidence of that).

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Avatar-1 wrote:

When I'm running a scenario, I'm inclined to draw more attention to the secondary success objective as they come across it. I like to sort of subtly present it as a choice; they can take the easy road and ignore this little thing or take regular effort in doing it, or they should pay close attention, consider this an Important Thing, consider a healthier impact on the society if they focus on it.

I don't use those words, just draw attention.

That's usually enough to consider the secondary mission and prestige point to be the real deal that players can pick up on, without having it hamper the whole game if, as players, they don't notice it, though their characters probably would.

The problem with leaving players guessing is that they could probably do a number of things in the scenario that go above and beyond, but miss on what they actually need to do because of a silent GM who lets the cards fall where they may. I think some players might feel robbed if this happens (and this thread probably has some evidence of that).

That's what I tried to do in The Glass River Rescue

Spoiler:
The secondary success condition was to discover the secret compartment behind the secret door, and destroy the scrying samples that had been taken of the captive Dwarves. I pointed out that even though they had unlocked all the doors, there was still one key left on the keyring. But they ignored it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Matthew Morris wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
New version: Super secret secondary goal is "Don't let the Goblin die."
If a goal of keeping your charge alive is "super secret", the problem is not with the system.
Actually Jiggy, to use a specific example, in RotGG, the Silver Crusade's mission is to witness to Ekkie. (and just Ekkie) If that was the second faction point, there's no way of knowing her (and only her) should be kept alive, and the rest of the goblins encountered aren't.

Killing someone for running off with a pouch of coins should cost you some prestige. If you need orders to tell you that, you're not good-aligned, and probably shouldn't have joined the Silver Crusade.


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I don't like the attitude that "It's just one prestige point." Missing these can be the difference between raising a 5th level character from the dead and permanently losing an 8th level character due to lack of prestige (if you missed all of your 2nd points). Especially since those points are no longer explicit and are subject to the stupidity of all of your table-mates.

Tell me what I need to do, or give the GM the option to reward me for something clever, inventive, or especially Pathfinder-like. But don't tell me I've lost out on purchasing power and the ability to rez my character because I wasn't psychic enough to guess the "secret mission"...

3/5

I've found that most missions aren't that "secret". Most are actually hinted at in the VC briefing. I am sad that they took out the language saying that you could get the 2nd prestige point if your GM thought you were successfully forwarding your factions goals.

Grand Lodge

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So far I've found the new system forces players to be more aware of their overall meaningful faction goal. They must also be more alert to look for any clues as to how they can push their mission forward - it is not spelt out for them in one paragraph. They actually have to think about how to attain an overall goal with the opportunities that they have in the mission.

5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Hamburg

As for the special boons that members of certain factions can get vs. giving every PC a faction mission, I clearly like the new system better.
Having to create a mission for every faction often resulted in more than ridiculous missions.
In many cases, characters had to fetch random objects (like the tea set already mentioned in this thread) or hide "scrying devices" or "false evidence" at some rondom point in a dungeon, just because the scenario's plot didn't create much to actively advance the faction's goal.
I think, when a scenario happens to not deliver much to advance a faction goal, it's ok if members of that faction don't get a big advantage out of it.

As for the secondary success conditions vs. faction missions, the secondary success condition is mostly kept closer to the actual scenario. Also, it prevents "omniscient" faction heads from predicting everything that will happen.
For example, if the PCs' mission is to secure some diplomatic assistance at a local social event, there's no way the Venture-Captain would know someone is going to violently interrupt. But of course, it will be clear the PCs have to fight the intruder to save the day, which will grant them their 2nd PP.
The GM can do a lot of roleplaying work to make secondary success condition "visible" during the scenario. In the above example (RotGG), the GM should roleplay Ekkie as a harmless, frightened character that was forced into stealing by peer-pressure and doesn't really want to fight. Once it's clear this isn't a cold-blooded expert thief who'd murder anyone in his path, any non-evil character should think about questioning her instead of simply killing her. A character who will still kill that harmless, frightened goblin has good reason not to gain that PP.

Sovereign Court

Eirikrautha wrote:

I don't like the attitude that "It's just one prestige point." Missing these can be the difference between raising a 5th level character from the dead and permanently losing an 8th level character due to lack of prestige (if you missed all of your 2nd points). Especially since those points are no longer explicit and are subject to the stupidity of all of your table-mates.

Tell me what I need to do, or give the GM the option to reward me for something clever, inventive, or especially Pathfinder-like. But don't tell me I've lost out on purchasing power and the ability to rez my character because I wasn't psychic enough to guess the "secret mission"...

It has been stated several times in the past by Paizo staff that you are not (and never have been) assumed to get 100% of your possible prestige. The target is about 75%. Individual faction missions missed the mark and now people assume they should be getting every point every time. I'm sorry, but not getting prestige should not stop a character's advancement nor their ability to be raised from the dead. That's what gold is for.

That said, going from faction missions to secondary success conditions is a very good step. It removes the polarization of different factions so everyone is under one group:the Pathfinder Society. Factions are still important, but at least now our characters are Pathfinders first.

Plus, as mentioned, it keeps PCs a little more on track. Case in point:
Yesterday I ran a game and decided to use the faction missions for flavour. One player very nearly derailed the adventure by going well outside the city they were set in just to find an item that I had explicitly stated he'd come across during the course of the scenario. Three times he wanted to leave the city just to grab the item of his faction mission. Each time I was kicking myself for including them. Not that it mattered anyway, they weren't there for Prestige awards.

Same has happened pre-secondary success conditions, and I think everyone here knows it. I think we've all been at a table where the Andoran needs to get the bell from a scuttled ship and, while in the briefing room with Aram Zey takes 20 (real time) minutes trying to find the scuttled ship within the room, then checking every room on the way out. (Dramatized and exaggerated, but you get the point.)

Shadow Lodge

Personally I hate the secondary success conditions. The individual faction missions had been one of the key draws that new players liked about getting into PFS, and made the experience better and more personal.

Ive never really experienced this concept of asking at every new room.

I hate that some scenarios have faction missions, because they tend not to match up with what character I have available or in the right level range, leaving be just missing out and resenting it, except when I GM and cant contribute or control anything.

Shadow Lodge

I also just ran Night Marches, and as far as I can tell its impossible not to get the secondary mission, but there is no hint about it at all.

Glass River:
Im pretty sure that that last key unlocks the manacles and has nothing to do with the secret compartment.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Are you sure about Night March? I've heard of plenty sessions where the party failed that one.

I do think I will start handing out faction missions for flavor from now on, if for no other reason to not let all my cardstock printouts go to waste.


redward wrote:


I agree that some of the old faction missions had some fun RP possibilities. But for every one of those, there were 9 missions that amounted to "player asks if there's a tea set every time we enter a room."

I see I am still giving you nightmares. I won't ever forget one Osirion mission asking for a something with a butterfly or bee for his daughter's birthday gift.

Beginning
Me: "I'm going to keep looking for this bee or butterfly thing. Should I keep asking if I see anything related to it":
GM: "I think it adds something to the mission if I don't simply tell you when faction missions come up."

Room 1
Me: "Do I see anything with wings on it in the room?"

Room 2
Me: "Do I see anything with wings on it in the room?"

Room 3
Me: "Do I see anything with wings on it in the room?"
GM: I'll tell you when you see something.

There were some fun faction missions however.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

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Generally, I like how Factions are being handled in Year 5. What I don't like is that they are no longer being handled at all in Year 0-4. One thing Faction missions did succeed in doing was make you feel like you were part of that Faction. But now, for the vast majority of existing adventures, Factions are now completely irrelevant. There are maybe a handful of Pre-Year 5 adventures where your Faction can actually be relevant to the mission outside of Faction Missions.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Wisconsin—Madison aka Totenpfuhl

Andreas Forster wrote:


As for the secondary success conditions vs. faction missions, the secondary success condition is mostly kept closer to the actual scenario. Also, it prevents "omniscient" faction heads from predicting everything that will happen.
For example, if the PCs' mission is to secure some diplomatic assistance at a local social event, there's no way the Venture-Captain would know someone is going to violently interrupt. But of course, it will be clear the PCs have to fight the intruder to save the day, which will grant them their 2nd PP.
The GM can do a lot of roleplaying work to make secondary success condition "visible" during the scenario. In the above example (RotGG), the GM should roleplay Ekkie as a harmless, frightened character that was forced into stealing by peer-pressure and doesn't really want to fight. Once it's clear this isn't a cold-blooded expert thief who'd murder anyone in his path, any non-evil character should think about questioning her instead of simply killing her. A character who will still kill that harmless, frightened goblin has good reason not to gain that PP.

I totally agree. Not only is there less divergence from the core mission, there is also less destruction of surprises that were written into the scenario but are subsequently broken by a faction mission giving it away.

Scarab Sages 4/5

So far I've been happy with the secondary success conditions. I've mostly played Season 5 scenarios since they were published, though. It's definitely kept everyone more focused on the primary mission and not running off or delaying things trying to figure out what skill check they need to get some random object. For the most part, in Season 5, the secondary conditions are things I'd have done anyway, or things that I should have done.

What I've seen is that the lack of having a mission for every faction has opened up things like multiple paths through the scenario, and that's been a good thing.

Wardstone Patrol:
We accidentally killed Ilivan after failing to properly convince him to continue. When my first attempt to convince him using diplomacy failed, one of the other PCs decided to Intimidate him, instead, since he had a higher bonus in that. Had we made the necessary Diplomacy rolls, we'd have faced a different final battle. Either one allows the completion of the primary objective. Now, clearly at some point we should have switched to doing non-lethal on him, as he was an ally who was clearly troubled. We just guessed wrong as to when (or should have been doing it the whole time), and the last hit on him took him to negative con. So, no secondary prestige, and I'm good with that. Neglecting and actually berating a troubled ally, then killing him, carries consequences. That's a good thing.

The faction specific boons have also been interesting, but they aren't so great that I feel like I missed out on something big if I don't play the scenario with a character from that faction. What has been disappointing is that apparently success in those faction missions isn't always tracked in the success conditions of the scenario. It's tracked individually for the characters on their chronicle, and I can see that information being used on future scenarios (If the PC possesses the Sczarni boon from You Have What You Hold, then such and such). But I think I'd be much more motivated to play a scenario with a PC from that faction and succeed at the faction missions if I knew they were being tracked and used to shape the future of the faction like the prestige earned by each faction affected which were retired after season 4. Now that prestige isn't tied to faction missions, there appears to be no way for the campaign to know what percentage of faction missions for a given faction succeed.

The faction missions thus far have also seemed pretty clear based on the faction head letters.

Wardstone Patrol:
If you're Cheliax, and you know that Zarta wants to know the strength of both sides, you should probably take the time to ask questions and count troops while you're at one of the defense outposts. Otherwise, you just weren't paying attention.

It does help, and I do appreciate, when the GM hands out a copy of the faction goals before the start of the scenario, though, for more casual players. And if a scenario doesn't have a faction mission for your faction, you can still role-play as a member of that faction. My Andoran character had plenty to say and do that was relevant to his faction in You Have What You Hold, despite there not being an Andoran faction mission.

For older scenarios, some of the old faction missions were fun. But many more of them amounted to a die roll. So, while it's a shame to lose some of them, I'm glad to see the majority go.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Are you sure about Night March? I've heard of plenty sessions where the party failed that one.

I do think I will start handing out faction missions for flavor from now on, if for no other reason to not let all my cardstock printouts go to waste.

Spoiler:
Unless Im missing something, the secondary mission is to make sure Sulianna survives, something thats not hinted at at all, (no one knows she is even there). She is trapped inside of a magic circle which none of the monsters can pass. If the party stumbles on to her before the fight, it activates the fight. If not, there is no threat to kill her. Either way, the circle has something like 5 Hardness and 50 HP, that would need to be destroyed before the enemy could even hurt her, and since its implied she collapsed after falling back into the circle, shes probably at close to -1 HP. The only real way I can see her dying is if the party willingly murders her. However, it specifically says that the gnome weaves her into his story as a friend, and does not try to get the party to kill her.
Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Spoiler:
The undead dragon is forbidden from destroying the circle. Koth'vaul is not, as the circle only traps outsider from the inside. It can be destroyed from the outside. If they free him, his first action is to break the circle, finish her off, and then laugh at the PCs.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Upper Midwest aka Silbeg

I have to agree that the retrofitted secondary conditions (at least those I have played or GMed) have actually helped us in role-playing.

You Only Die Twice:

The secondary success condition says complete 2 of 3 (not a rare thing for these): 1) avoid or talk your way out of the encounter with Corvalos (the leader of the conscription patrol), 2) convince Kurlyn Jexel (the Pharasmite leader) to parley, or 3) destroy Joktan's Haunt.

When I played this (not in the current season), we just killed off the patrol for #1 (just hiding didn't seem to work). For #2, we succeeded at that... though almost didn't. #3 - and here's the real RP thing... we didn't even consider destroying the haunt. Of course, the GM had no way to really tell us how to do it, because the Kn: Religion check is added with the secondary condition.

I am sure we would have tried to destroy the haunt (free the lost soul of Joktan) had we had a clue as to how to pull it off, but as it was, we were scared (by the massive damage caused), and didn't know how to proceed. We left the scene feeling bad for Joktan, but without anything we could do.

Assault on the Impossible Kingdom:

This is one where roleplaying over rollplaying helped. The clue to the secondary condition was in the briefing. Basically, try and co-opt him from the Aspis Consortium, or if you cannot, then destroy his operation.

Order of this meant everything to Faustus, my Inquisitor of Asmodeus. Our team was working hard at converting EVERYONE to the Pathfinder Society (got one of the ambushers, the enslaved wizards, etc). With one of the guards, Faustus told him, "Run up the stairs. Pick a direction at random. Run until you drop. Do not let me see you again, or I shall not be as friendly" -- with an Intimdate check that totaled in the mid-twenties, said guard ran quite quickly, I tell you!

As soon as we saw the bandit lord Zamir, we tried to negotiate. Even before... we politely knocked on the door! But, when the door was opened, his pet tiger attacked our fighter, ending up with a dying tiger. Faustus (having blown his first negotiation attempt) healed the tiger. Of course, at this point, with our barbarian prepared to cut Zamir in twain, the tiger got up and attacked again. The fighter then put it down, again, this time with nonlethal damage.

Throughout this scenario, we didn't worry about the secondary mission. We worried about being good Pathfinders, and succeeding at the mission in general.

Sorry... one more!

Wardstone Patrol:

This one, where I played Magnus Landos, Paladin of the Silver Crusade, there really was little chance of us failing. Nothing was going to stop him from going down to help the poor villagers. Magnus sees things in a very clear fashion... he never doubts, and he never fails to go directly to the problem. At every turn, his path was chosen for him by his creed, and his understanding of the world. It happened, perhaps, that this was the direction that the story wanted us to go. Unfortunately for us, we never learned the back story of the Cavalier, but with Magnus's help, our team showed him the way back to honor and glory.

Magnus shed a tear for the fallen hero, who died gloriously in battle with the forces of Corruption and EVIL.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Should have been more clear. I was talking about only failing the secondary condition. :)
Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

DM Beckett wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

Oh, well that's just the way some scenarios work out. The Waking Rune comes to mind.

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