[Proposal] Regional Exclusive Scenarios


Pathfinder Society

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Purpose: To encourage PFS players to travel to new regions to play PFS.

Proposal: Starting at a point in the year where it would have least impact on non-exclusive regions do the following:

  • Divide the world into 12 popular regions of Golarion based number of tables being reported (include 1 region for online play).
  • Each month, the higher level scenario released is only released in one specific region (on an annual rotating basis).
  • After three months, that scenario is released to the remaining 11 regions.

After two months time, every region would see two 'new' releases per month. At any given time, there would be two regions of the world that would have exclusive rights to offer a scenario that can not be played anywhere else.

Q: Why do we care if or want PFS players to have to travel to new areas to play PFS?

A: This is best discussed in another thread, but many players enjoy traveling to new areas to play with new people. Experiencing PFS with new players and GMs makes us all better and conventions increase the exposure of the campaign.
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Q: How are the scenarios going to be restricted exactly?

A: No idea. Perhaps it's as simple as including a note on the chronicle that it isn't valid outside of Region X until Date Y?

Scarab Sages

For online play, we will settle for Hermea.

I think this idea would be particularly difficult to implement, specifically because of the restriction process. It seems awesome but the guidelines for it are another level of difficulty to add onto the game.

Well, take that with a grain of salt. This must be one of those Forgotten Realms throwbacks all the old folks pine after.


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Arthur Perkins wrote:
For online play, we will settle for Hermea.

Sure it wouldn't be Numeria? ;-)

Silver Crusade

This would force the metaplot to be all lower level stuff, so I'm against it.

3/5

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First off I reject the premise that we need to encourage players to physically travel between regions, which runs into problems of feasibility for wide swaths of the player-base. I agree that playing and DMing with new people is vital, but with online play made official there is more than enough chance for PFS players from different communities to come together more than any con can offer.

Anything regional would just threaten to unravel a lot of the work that Mike has done to democratize PFS and try to truly make it one worldwide community.

That said, it seems that the proposal done this way would not actually have any serious downsides beyond the first two months when there is half the new content for most people. I assume that since online would be its own region then the regional scenarios would not be available for online play for the first months of their release. I think that a better idea is to have online not be a region but to allow 4/5 star DMs and VO's to offer their regional scenarios online. This would more effectively encourage people to seek out players from different communities to game with which seem to be the rational behind creating regional content in the first place.

So I would not oppose this proposal as presented, although I find the entire idea to be superfluous given the existence and growing popularity of online play.

Silver Crusade

While this is a great idea in theory, here is why I am against it:

1) Strain on resources that are already limited: We already have only so many adventures in one season year, and we have been told time and time again, that we are not going to be expanding to have more than two episodes a month due to the fact that the development team is already at current maximum. To do a "regional release" would require special development and time that I do not believe Master Compton and Master Brock can add unless they add more staff and people to the campaign. (Which is also something I have heard is not going to be happening any time soon either.)

2) Feeds the "elitist" streak in people: We already have issues with "elitism" in our PFS ranks to begin with. When I state this I am referring to those who feel like they are entitled to certain things because they play PFS. (See all our threads on "Star Rewards" and "boons for conventions vs. non-conventions" for proof) If we made a "regional scenario" we would just be feeding that for three months every year. And quite frankly, it's an annoyance to be told: "Here's an adventure that you cannot play until June, but everyone in that region gets to talk about it." It doesn't make anyone special, it risks making people,players and leaders smug.

3) Who in heck is going to write all these adventures?: So we have tons of adventure writers.. But with PFS Open Call on permanent hiatus and other sources of writing and development remaining within the Paizo realm, getting all of these adventures written and completed and that's a lot of work that is already going to be on top of the set schedule we already have. (See Item #1)

4) Location, Location, Location: Although it would *eventually* be played by all, there are still many who live in the region that a special scenario would be released, but there is no Pathfinder Society chapters near them. And for those who do live in one, what if they cannot get to a convention or game day which would host that? Then what happens? I understand that a lot of people love to travel and game, (I do it too!) but for everyone of the "diehard Pathfinders" there are those who cannot even leave their own towns due to work/life/family.

This is not to say this cannot be done. LG did this and so did LFR for a small time. But it requires additional time and resources that many people do not have. You have to remember, Pathfinder Society is not a career for everyone, (But many of us have been known to put it on our resumes.) so writing, developing and building the community is something we do on our free time because we love it and the community. There is only so much we can do, with only so much time, and so many resources.

Kay, thanks for listening. /soapbox


Apparently it isn't clear that this isn't adding any additional scenarios to the year. It's just releasing the non-low-level scenario in a specific region of the world a few months ahead of it's global release.

I also reject that online play provides anything close to traveling to another region of the world and playing face-to-face.

5/5

Please, no. There are so few resources available to PFS now, and with the Card Game, PFSOnline, Pathfinder Chess (kidding, but who knows, it could be next), we can't split resources into small regions. And for most players, PFs is something they do in their home city. I know a small subset loves cons, travels to game, but most of the player base doesn't.

Lady O made all of my other points.

3/5

Kyle Baird wrote:
I also reject that online play provides anything close to traveling to another region of the world and playing face-to-face.

You are right that playing in person is better than playing online by a wide margin. But if we are talking about the good that people crossing between different communities does for PFS the online play is going to win out over cons because online play is what is available to the vast majority of PFS players. Therefore that is what the leadership should continue their work to encourage rather than reneging on the work they have already done in that direction in order to push physically traveling to other regions which is all but irrelevant to the PFS experience of most players and would not necessarily become more possible even if it were made more desirable. Scott and Lady Ophelia have the right idea, especially in regards to the diversion of resources from things that benefit everyone.

I obviously don't know any exact numbers, but I agree with Scott that jetting off to cons in various other locations is not the way that most players experience PFS. Furthermore I think that we need to cater to the player base at large rather than to what those who can afford to regularly travel in order to play think the campaign needs.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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For those of us in Australasia (I'm sure we'd be clumped together), this would provide no perceivable benefit. It's only useful if there are nearby regions that you can actually travel to to experience these "exclusive" scenarios.

Additionally, would this actually inspire people to seek out PFS in other locations? If they're "hardcore" enough about PFS to put aside the time and money to do this then they're probably either helping drive local play or are already travelling to other areas to play PFS.

Silver Crusade

Kyle Baird wrote:

Q: Why do we care if or want PFS players to have to travel to new areas to play PFS?

A: This is best discussed in another thread, but many players enjoy traveling to new areas to play with new people. Experiencing PFS with new players and GMs makes us all better and conventions increase the exposure of the campaign.

A few follow-up questions:

Q: How would this proposal facilitate traveling to new areas to play with new people for those many who enjoy doing so? (I.e., what is holding those players back, and how does this proposal address that obstacle?)

Q: Is it inherent that travel is the best means to play with new people?

I have only been involved with PFS for about a year now, and I only play one to two games per week. But I have managed to play with at least one new player or one new GM just about weekly. I live in a middling metropolitan area (about 1/7th the size of Minneapolis-St. Paul, for instance).

Just last night, there were 4 local players I had never even seen before at a table with me. The night before, I played at a table under a GM I had never played with before (I think we have yet to be players at the same table), and I GMed a table with two players I met for the first time. Are my experiences unique?

Sovereign Court

Proposed fix: Rather than doing 12 nations across the globe, split it up a little more. Have all 12 regions represented in each continent, that way all the region 1's get region 1's scenario at once and all the region 2's... you get the idea.

Reason: There is already enough grief on these self-same forums for handing out convention exclusive boons. How much more grief will it be for players to be excluded because they cannot travel out of country for a specific event? A listed reason is to coerce players to other regions. This is defeated by high costs of international travel right out of the gate and only creates a "they get it, I can't" mentality in players. So split North America (dammit, I keep typing the US. Must be more inclusive, Sior!), split up Europe, split up Asia (maybe 12 regions twice there?), etc etc. Yes, it is still a ways for people to travel, but travel within country or within continent is MUCH more viable for getting players to travel from region to region.

Scarab Sages 3/5

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I don't have the time, resources, or desire to travel out of state in order to play PFS when I have it nearby. I see no convincing argument in this thread why it matters in the least to either Paizo or the general state of PFS to encourage it.

You like traveling to play with different people? Then do it. But don't try to add complexity and bureaucracy to the game just so you can be rewarded for what you feel like doing.

Dark Archive

Once all of this real world geography is divided into metaregions, what then? Sure PFS could emulate prior systems, but those systems are effectively dead. I have no idea whether the metaregions hindered those organized games or if they delayed the games' demise. Regardless, the event horizon for deciding what sort of gaming society we wanted to play in has long since passed.

I will admit, I haven't been in PFS even six months yet. I do not know what is best for PFS, but I can say with absolute certainty that this proposal is not in the best interests of the game's future.

On a slight tangent, newb question: why is open call on indefinite hiatus? I skimmed the boards there, but I lack the context from prior to my joining PFS that would aid in my understanding.

Grand Lodge

I kept on posting in the thread where this idea came up. I'll info-dump to keep all the discussion in the right place:

Andrei Buters wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Why, as a company that sets it's goals to produce high quality products that our name is attached to, would we want to give up control of quality of products that are going to have our company name and logos attached to it?

By extension of this logic, all the folks who work on Wayfinder magazine better find another creative project, because Paizo doesn't like having their fan communities create something they can't edit directly.

I think Regional Specials are realistic. This is the sort of work-flow process I am thinking of.

Step 1. Paizo sets up an open call "Regional Special" PDF template, chronicle sheet template and hard non-negotiable rules for word count, wealth limits for each tier, including a hard limit for CR encounters and guidelines on not altering Golarion canon.

Step 2. Either the regional lead team (see step 3 below) or an aspiring PFS player and wannabe game designer/writer crafts their Season Special. They write the story, box text, encounters and use graph paper to draw up some maps for combat. When they are happy with it, all the images are scanned into a word document. It's time to be sent to their regional lead!

Step 3. The regional lead consists of at least one Venture Officer and at least three experienced PFS volunteers. They open up their emails and read the rough word document Special. After an initial reading, they decide whether it has potential or not. If it doesn't make the grade, they inform the writer. If the regional lead is responsible for crafting the scenario in the first place, they must rely on the editing eye of a regional lead of a different region.

Step 4. If they agree it has potential, they then closely read the document, editing for grammar, stat blocks, wealth and coherency and cohesiveness. They send their track changes back to the author to make the edits required.

Step 5. Playtesting. The team gives the scenario a crack and decides if their invention actually works out of the laboratory. Further edits ensue.

Step 6. When the Writer/Writer team and the regional lead are in approval of their document, they then send it to PFS central for it to receive the green light. A Paizo staffer, Editor-VO or Contributor reads the special, marking any areas that requires immediate attention. Once the Paizo representative has approved the document, it is now time for it to be made... fancy.

Step 7. Regional lead source someone with basic training in electronic publishing to convert the document to the pre-made scenario template, using a style guide set by Paizo. If the regional lead can find a talented graphic designer, the maps are converted to a more aesthetically pleasing image. It is worth noting there are some great cartography how-to documents for Photoshop on Deviantart and across the web. If the team cannot find someone local, they can always find a talented user on the Paizo messageboards and gift them a pdf or two for their work converting the document to an e-publication.

Step 8. The team reviews the finished document once more. With the Paizo representative's blessing, it is then confirmed as a regional special scenario and may be run at a local con.

Step 9. Regional specials that receive a high degree of player love can then be circulated across the world 'on tour' before being retired.

From my limited knowledge, the Open Call resulted in an enormous amount of material flooding the inbox of one Paizo staffer who already had full-time duties without having to go through a slush-pile of entries that had no final product release plan in place anymore.

For that reason, the most complicated part of the work process steps above is assuming that Paizo will have a staffer, editing VO or Contributor ready and willing to read a regional special scenario and grant it approval or not.

I have to say, I don't like the idea of regional specials that do not 'travel' once say, six to twelve months are up. If Boston has a fantastic regional special, I want to one day be able to play it, even though I am based in Australia.

I don't understand any claims that this would lead to elitism. It may encourage some areas to rally their forces and elect a VO?

As for the idea with pre-existing scenarios having limits placed on them for where and when they are released... I am totally against it. I want the worldwide community to play Season 5 scenarios all at the same time.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

Andrei Buters wrote:
Step 3. The regional lead consists of at least one Venture Officer and at least three experienced PFS volunteers. They open up their emails and read the rough word document Special. After an initial reading, they decide whether it has potential or not. If it doesn't make the grade, they inform the writer. If the regional lead is responsible for crafting the scenario in the first place, they must rely on the editing eye of a regional lead of a different region.

From what I understand, the core skillset of a Venture Officer is being able to arrange PFS representation at conventions, working with game store owners to offer PFS play at those venues, and generally promoting PFS and being a point of contact for PFS players and GMs in their area.

While I'm sure some of these people have some scenario design/review skills as a result of their experience, taking it for granted seems like a dangerous assumption to make.

The quoted poster isn't the only one to suggest something like this, but this was the easiest example to find.

Grand Lodge

Oh for sure!

Most VO's do not have editing experience, but they do have hundreds of hours of GMing experience. That makes them a good pick for readers who will have thousands of tiny alarms go off when they read combat encounters that are clearly sisyphean, treasure hauls and spell trigger items that are totally unbalanced and encounters that seem great in a vacuum but swiftly fall apart as soon as any spellcaster touches them.

The question is, if it isn't VOs coordinating the regional specials, who is it? Anyone who sticks their hand up? That gives us exactly the same problem but also adds another one: the potential for people with no PFS experience to be trying to craft something for a style of play they don't understand.

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

Paz wrote:
From what I understand, the core skillset of a Venture Officer is being able to arrange PFS representation at conventions, working with game store owners to offer PFS play at those venues, and generally promoting PFS and being a point of contact for PFS players and GMs in their area.

That is why I am not a VO, my Core Skillset is kicking ass and taking names! or is it the other way around?

In fact right now I am going through intense training with Naval trained Dolphins to take out some Sharks with freaking lasers on their heads.

Which brings up a very important questions... How do you take the name of a Shark and where is their ass? Or is that the other way around?.. ;)


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Regional play was one of my favorite parts of Living Greyhawk and it is something I have missed since them. I would love to see regional modules though implementing it could be quite tricky at this phase in the game.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

So, let's skip to one of your steps really quick before we look at the rest in detail.

Andrei Buters wrote:

Step 6. When the Writer/Writer team and the regional lead are in approval of their document, they then send it to PFS central for it to receive the green light. A Paizo staffer, Editor-VO or Contributor reads the special, marking any areas that requires immediate attention. Once the Paizo representative has approved the document, it is now time for it to be made... fancy.

You want a Paizo staff member to read through 10-15 regional special scenarios that will most likely be between 50-75 pages each, approve all 10-15, and do this on top of an already extremely busy work load, for a product that makes $0 to very little profit, for a product that may end up splitting the player base and making PFS worse to satisfy the needs of a handful of players? Am I misunderstanding that?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Andrei Buters wrote:

I kept on posting in the thread where this idea came up. I'll info-dump to keep all the discussion in the right place:

Andrei Buters wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Why, as a company that sets it's goals to produce high quality products that our name is attached to, would we want to give up control of quality of products that are going to have our company name and logos attached to it?
By extension of this logic, all the folks who work on Wayfinder magazine better find another creative project, because Paizo doesn't like having their fan communities create something they can't edit directly.

There is a bit of a difference. The model of regional specials would be that it would most likely be free to that region and be able to be purchased by other regions to run, similar to a Special after it has run its year of con use. Since people would be paying for it, it has to be polished to Paizo's complete standards.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Michael Brock wrote:

So, let's skip to one of your steps really quick before we look at the rest in detail.

Andrei Buters wrote:

Step 6. When the Writer/Writer team and the regional lead are in approval of their document, they then send it to PFS central for it to receive the green light. A Paizo staffer, Editor-VO or Contributor reads the special, marking any areas that requires immediate attention. Once the Paizo representative has approved the document, it is now time for it to be made... fancy.

You want a Paizo staff member to read through 10-15 regional special scenarios that will most likely be between 50-75 pages each, approve all 10-15, and do this on top of an already extremely busy work load, for a product that makes $0? Am I misunderstanding that?

Clearly, you just need a PFS intern to do all this work for free. As a professional intern in my earlier life, I'll vouch for the efficiency of underpaid, energetic employees.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Walter Sheppard wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

So, let's skip to one of your steps really quick before we look at the rest in detail.

Andrei Buters wrote:

Step 6. When the Writer/Writer team and the regional lead are in approval of their document, they then send it to PFS central for it to receive the green light. A Paizo staffer, Editor-VO or Contributor reads the special, marking any areas that requires immediate attention. Once the Paizo representative has approved the document, it is now time for it to be made... fancy.

You want a Paizo staff member to read through 10-15 regional special scenarios that will most likely be between 50-75 pages each, approve all 10-15, and do this on top of an already extremely busy work load, for a product that makes $0? Am I misunderstanding that?
Clearly, you just need a PFS intern to do all this work for free. As a professional intern in my earlier life, I'll vouch for the efficiency of underpaid, energetic employees.

Most, if not all of the interns we have had come through the door have had no PFS experience. Probably not the best selection of someone with no PFS experience giving final sign off on a PFS special.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Michael Brock wrote:
You want a Paizo staff member to read through 10-15 regional special scenarios that will most likely be between 50-75 pages each, approve all 10-15, and do this on top of an already extremely busy work load, for a product that makes $0? Am I misunderstanding that?

Mike, is there a freelancer you trust enough (I'm thinking someone like Larry or Tim) to do most of that work, with a Paizo employee required only to do a final continuity-pass?

Is there any way to make this viable with fewer than 10 scenarios? Or shorter ones (akin to the length we saw in Season 1)?

The product may not make any more money than the annual exclusives and Bonekeep products. (Or the Specials, for that matter. I'm guessing they don't sell very well once they're released to the public.) But, like Bonekeep, they serve the purpose of getting people to conventions, and that in turn gets people enthusiastic about Paizo product.

So, I see where you're coming from, and in the end it might be that Andrea's idea doesn't work. But I think it has more merit than you're giving it.

The Exchange

You all heard Mike, we need to have a PFS Bake Sale to raise money for regional scenarios! Cue the zany montage video!!


works on making fluffy fudgeballs

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Chris Mortika wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
You want a Paizo staff member to read through 10-15 regional special scenarios that will most likely be between 50-75 pages each, approve all 10-15, and do this on top of an already extremely busy work load, for a product that makes $0? Am I misunderstanding that?

Mike, is there a freelancer you trust enough (I'm thinking someone like Larry or Tim) to do most of that work, with a Paizo employee required only to do a final continuity-pass?

Is there any way to make this viable with fewer than 10 scenarios? Or shorter ones (akin to the length we saw in Season 1)?

The product may not make any more money than the annual exclusives and Bonekeep products. (Or the Specials, for that matter. I'm guessing they don't sell very well once they're released to the public.) But, like Bonekeep, they serve the purpose of getting people to conventions, and that in turn gets people enthusiastic about Paizo product.

So, I see where you're coming from, and in the end it might be that Andrea's idea doesn't work. But I think it has more merit than you're giving it.

Freelancers cost money. The more experienced freelancers cost more money. What selling points do I have to present, that a product that will make no money should have a few thousand dollars thrown at it for scenarios that can only be run in a very limited format and that our entire customer base will not get to experience? Again, assuming if you have a minimum of 10 scenarios, at 50 words each, you are asking for a Paizo employee to read at minimum 500 pages for a final continuity pass. That is time they could spend on 500 pages of several products that all make money. I'm open to suggestions on how to get that approved. And, before anyone suggests it, no we aren't going to do a kickstarter. Please don't ask.

If we are going to allow regional specials, then we have to open it up to all regions to have their own special. With the layout everyone has presented of what they thought would make good regions, the least I've seen is 10. If we are going to have less than 10 regions, then do these regional scenarios lose the attraction people are touting them to have if every one on the US east coast in their own region, east of the Mississippi River, can play it? That doesn't sound very regional to me.

If Bonekeep and the current year specials are already getting people to conventions, why do we need more, even more limited specials restricted to regions that get less exposure to the entire 60,000+ player base? Now you are talking about the same amount of effort for a few hundred people at most.

I'm trying to give the idea as much merit as I can, but so far, I haven't been given answers that are good enough that I can take to my boss and get it approved. The investment of resources for the return just isn't adding up yet as far as I can see.

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

Mega Dungeon:

Paizo Produces into there Product schedule *I know that makes it unlikely but follow me*, a Mega Dungeon Product each year. Before the product releases each region gets a level of it to run at their conventions as either test play through or just the finish product. After a certain point the product is released as a printed Mega Dungeon for sale with all the dungeons together.

Rinse Repeat yearly.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Dragnmoon wrote:

Mega Dungeon:

Paizo Produces into there Product schedule *I know that makes it unlikely but follow me*, a Mega Dungeon Product each year. Before the product releases each region gets a level of it to run at their conventions as either test play through or just the finish product. After a certain point the product is released as a printed Mega Dungeon for sale with all the dungeons together.

Rinse Repeat yearly.

People have made it quite clear they don't want just dungeon crawls. Only allowing for dungeon crawls for regional specials is something I don't think most, if any, regions want.

Grand Lodge

Michael Brock wrote:
And, before anyone suggests it, no we aren't going to do a kickstarter. Please don't ask.

Thank goodness.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Michael Brock wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

So, let's skip to one of your steps really quick before we look at the rest in detail.

Andrei Buters wrote:

Step 6. When the Writer/Writer team and the regional lead are in approval of their document, they then send it to PFS central for it to receive the green light. A Paizo staffer, Editor-VO or Contributor reads the special, marking any areas that requires immediate attention. Once the Paizo representative has approved the document, it is now time for it to be made... fancy.

You want a Paizo staff member to read through 10-15 regional special scenarios that will most likely be between 50-75 pages each, approve all 10-15, and do this on top of an already extremely busy work load, for a product that makes $0? Am I misunderstanding that?
Clearly, you just need a PFS intern to do all this work for free. As a professional intern in my earlier life, I'll vouch for the efficiency of underpaid, energetic employees.
Most, if not all of the interns we have had come through the door have had no PFS experience. Probably not the best selection of someone with no PFS experience giving final sign off on a PFS special.

Fair.

I don't know how I feel about the idea of regional scenarios; ATM I'm fairly indifferent. But I do know that I definitely wouldn't want someone who doesn't know/care about PFS to have any oversight in the campaign. That said, if you had someone passionate about PFS that would work for peanuts, that'd be pretty ideal.

Grand Lodge

What I find amusing about this entire thing is that there is a fairly regular outcry of not enough content being produced for people to play, yet now people are clammoring for exclusive content which will only further reduce the number of scenarios a non-travelling person will be able to do on a regular basis.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Let me mull over some points:

Number of Scenarios -- Stop thinking "region" and think "convention" instead. Imagine, after Bonekeep runs its course, a set of 5 scenarios, available to regional conventions that offer 50 tables of PFS. When a convention organizer contacts you, offer one of the five scenarios, and choose the one that hasn't been offered in that area.

Example: Bob Jonquet says he's running a convention in Bloomington, Illinois.
Scenario A was run at a con in Chicago, 134 miles away
Scenario B has been run in Indianapolis, 170 miles away.
Scenario C was run two months ago at Archon in St. Louis, 162 miles away.
Scenario D will be run a few weeks before Bob's convention, in Fort Wayne, 228 miles away.
Scenario E is scheduled to be run the week after Bob's convention in Milwaukee, 210 miles away.

Send Bob Scenario D.

This gets players going to more cons. It gets GMs going to more conventions. It works better than "regions" because nobody's nuts enough to go to conventions in South Carolina and then Minnesota, and then California, just to play different regional scenarios. But someonemight decide to go to Bloomington and Chicago and St. Louis for the chance.

--

Makin' Money -- Dragnmoon has the gist of it. After a decent interval, turn the five scenarios into a bundle and sell it openly, like the Exclusives and Specials. It should sell better than they do, because there will be many completist GMs who haven't gotten the chance to run all five scenarios.

--

Again, this may not be the right strategy. But there is some merit there.

The Exchange

Seth Gipson wrote:
What I find amusing about this entire thing is that there is a fairly regular outcry of not enough content being produced for people to play, yet now people are clammoring for exclusive content which will only further reduce the number of scenarios a non-travelling person will be able to do on a regular basis.

UNLESS... the Bake Sale is a success! Bake, my minions! I'm registering for the title "BakeStarter" immediately. Old Man Brock won't let us do a KickStarter, but my crew of misfit bakers will melt Paizo's heart of ice! We'll raise enough money to hire all the WOTC employees who get canned as soon as D&D Next is shipped to the printer.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Chris Mortika wrote:

Let me mull over some points:

Number of Scenarios -- Stop thinking "region" and think "convention" instead. Imagine, after Bonekeep runs its course, a set of 5 scenarios, available to regional conventions that offer 50 tables of PFS. When a convention organizer contacts you, offer one of the five scenarios, and choose the one that hasn't been offered in that area.

Example: Bob Jonquet says he's running a convention in Bloomington, Illinois.
Scenario A was run at a con in Chicago, 134 miles away
Scenario B has been run in Indianapolis, 170 miles away.
Scenario C was run two months ago at Archon in St. Louis, 162 miles away.
Scenario D will be run a few weeks before Bob's convention, in Fort Wayne, 228 miles away.
Scenario E is scheduled to be run the week after Bob's convention in Milwaukee, 210 miles away.

Send Bob Scenario D.

This gets players going to more cons. It gets GMs going to more conventions. It works better than "regions" because nobody's nuts enough to go to conventions in South Carolina and then Minnesota, and then California, just to play different regional scenarios. But someonemight decide to go to Bloomington and Chicago and St. Louis for the chance.

--

Makin' Money -- Dragnmoon has the gist of it. After a decent interval, turn the five scenarios into a bundle and sell it openly, like the Exclusives and Specials. It should sell better than they do, because there will be many completist GMs who haven't gotten the chance to run all five scenarios.

--

Again, this may not be the right strategy. But there is some merit there.

Now let's think internationally.

Denmark, Croatia, Portugal, Germany, France, Canada, South Africa, Spain, and Finland only have 1 major convention a year. So, for players in those regions, they now have to travel internationally for more than one.

Eastern Australia only has 2, maybe 3, that would qualify. Any players in Perth, Western Australia, would have it fly the equivalent of Los Angeles to New York to play in one.

The UK has 3 that would qualify, I think. So, now they also have to travel internationally to experience all five convention specials. It isn't a matter of jumping in a car for a five hour drive.

Oh, and Turkey has no conventions that would qualify as far as I am aware, even though they have several hundred active players and a larger player base than most regions here in the US. Are those several hundred players out of luck?

Also, Holland doesn't have any major conventions I'm aware of.

Dark Archive

The idea of travel and disconnected story arcs would be a big turn off for me. To the point most likely I would seek to find a different primary game. I just don't have the disposable income to be going from one convention-region to the next. As is I am lucky to go to a convention in a 2 or 3 year period. I love this game very much, but this would be a large turn off for me.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

What? Wes is not a typical example of an Australian fan's travel?

Well, Mike, that sounds like an incentive for people in far-flung places to hold more conventions. Eastern Australia has three conventions. They see three of the five adventures. With Bonekeep, if they hold another convention, they offer the same terrifying killer dungeon as they had at the first three cons. Under the 5-scenario proposal, they'll see a new convention special, Scenario D, if they hold another con that year.

I don't think that "lots of players get to see all five scenarios" is a reasonable goal in places with sparse PFS coverage, difficult travel, and far-flung conventions; unless (a) players drive a commensurate distance, or (b) localities grow enough activity to hold several 50-table conventions. If the folks in Turkey can get one convention weekend, they can get one of the Scenarios. And who knows, Wes might show up.

In any case, we've gone from "there's too much work, expecting Paizo staffers to develop 500 pages" to "there's logistics issues with Croatia." I consider this to be progress.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Maybe, Chris, but with Convention specials as opposed to Regional specials, I think you've moved away from what people really want. The way I'm reading things is people want an exclusive that is available only to their region, that an author can write region specific things into the regional scenario (such as retired characters and meta-regional plot lines). Without this region-specific focus, the five "general convention specials" you are advocating for are just five more generic adventures that aren't going to get people to really travel to a convention for. Am I misreading that?

And asking people in far-flung places to just "hold more conventions" is pretty unfair as a response. In some international locations, the cost for a facility to host a convention can be €5000-€10000.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

All right. I've probably moved the goalposts. Sorry about that.

If people want regional metaplot and retired characters, I think round-robin fiction is probably the way to go.

Grand Lodge

I used to organize Living Greyhawk here in Edmonton, and LG had a mix of General and Regional adventures. Because of how the regions were assigned, if I wanted to play out-of-region I had to travel to the US. Not just over the border, either; I had to go a state or two south in most cases to leave our region.

Because of this experience, exclusive scenarios just don't do it for me. If we are somehow going to create more and different content, then why not create content everyone can use? Why opt for a "solution" that only benefits population dense areas?

I have a similar issue with making exclusive con scenarios. I think it's great that there are regional cons that can pull 50+ tables over a weekend. I don't have any cons in Alberta that can do that yet, and there might never be one (I'm working on it, and I live in hope). That makes the probability of any of my local players getting to play one of those scenarios small, again, unless they travel. So I generally don't even mention Bonekeep exists; why taunt my players with material they can't play?

This idea of "exclusive" content, whatever the flavour, seems counter-productive. Mike has already pointed out why it won't work from Paizo's stand point, and no one seems able to craft a selling feature he can take back in order to change minds.

I don't know what the solution is here, but I really think "exclusive" isn't it.

Scarab Sages 3/5

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We're almost 50 comments deep and I'm still waiting on someone to make a single argument why encouraging "PFS players to travel to new regions to play PFS" is a goal worth any attention at all.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I love that fact that PFS players at home, in stores, or at conventions are, for the most part, treated as equals. It is a valuable feature, not a problem that needs to be "fixed." I'm willing to make occasional (and temporary) exceptions for special occasions, but that's the size of it.

3/5

Chris Mortika wrote:
I don't think that "lots of players get to see all five scenarios" is a reasonable goal in places with sparse PFS coverage, difficult travel, and far-flung conventions; unless (a) players drive a commensurate distance, or (b) localities grow enough activity to hold several 50-table conventions. If the folks in Turkey can get one convention weekend, they can get one of the Scenarios. And who knows, Wes might show up.

Why is it a good thing to spend time developing content that is designed to be inaccessible to wide swaths of the PFS community who are in places like Turkey or Croatia or China? "Lots of players seeing all the content" is exactly what we should be aiming for. That is why there is online play and VO's in international locations in the first place.

This problem is slightly solved by online play now that there are official virtual cons but still it is unnecessary and serves only to divide the community.


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The Golarion Union of Murderhoboes for the Betterment of Others, GUMBO, condemns the policy of discriminatory distribution of scenarios that is espoused by this proposal. GUMBO believes and practices equal opportunity policies for all, regardless of location or any other traits, feats, skills, races, classes, levels, and so forth. We stand strong with the 99%, the OCCUPY ABSALOM movements, the Golarion Civil Liberties Union, and every other group that would likely be outraged by this elitist measure's implementation. We are already dealing with a growing disparity of wealth due to the 1%'s flagrant disregard for the WBL chart. Let us not exacerbate this problem! Let us remember to always play it SAFE!
Scenarios Are For Everyone!
Thank you.
Sincerely yours,
~Jaspar "Shank Him Louis" Kahrdboordebachs~
your local GUMBO representative

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Murderhobo Union Representative wrote:

The Golarion Union of Murderhoboes for the Betterment of Others, GUMBO, condemns the policy of discriminatory distribution of scenarios that is espoused by this proposal. GUMBO believes and practices equal opportunity policies for all, regardless of location or any other traits, feats, skills, races, classes, levels, and so forth. We stand strong with the 99%, the OCCUPY ABSALOM movements, the Golarion Civil Liberties Union, and every other group that would likely be outraged by this elitist measure's implementation. We are already dealing with a growing disparity of wealth due to the 1%'s flagrant disregard for the WBL chart. Let us not exacerbate this problem! Let us remember to always play it SAFE!

Scenarios Are For Everyone!
Thank you.
Sincerely yours,
~Jaspar "Shank Him Louis" Kahrdboordebachs~
your local GUMBO representative

Massster Torch. Light kept on for you.

Silver Crusade

Murderhobo Union Representative wrote:

The Golarion Union of Murderhoboes for the Betterment of Others, GUMBO, condemns the policy of discriminatory distribution of scenarios that is espoused by this proposal. GUMBO believes and practices equal opportunity policies for all, regardless of location or any other traits, feats, skills, races, classes, levels, and so forth. We stand strong with the 99%, the OCCUPY ABSALOM movements, the Golarion Civil Liberties Union, and every other group that would likely be outraged by this elitist measure's implementation. We are already dealing with a growing disparity of wealth due to the 1%'s flagrant disregard for the WBL chart. Let us not exacerbate this problem! Let us remember to always play it SAFE!

Scenarios Are For Everyone!
Thank you.
Sincerely yours,
~Jaspar "Shank Him Louis" Kahrdboordebachs~
your local GUMBO representative

I don't think I have an answer for this one.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Duiker wrote:
We're almost 50 comments deep and I'm still waiting on someone to make a single argument why encouraging "PFS players to travel to new regions to play PFS" is a goal worth any attention at all.

I can't answer much of anything else, but I think I can address this.

Imagine a campaign where every table is a home game. (I think the TORG interactive campaign was built around that model: hundreds of home campaigns, but no in-store game-days or convention support.) If Steve is a kick-butt GM, four to six people know. If Dan comes up with a fun character, no other players see it. If a GM doesn't know how to handle some feature of the game, she never gets the opportunity to see how other GMs handle it.

Imagine a campaign the supports local game-days, at stores or college gaming clubs, but never extends beyond that. Localities form their own personalities based around one or to charismatic GMs and their readings of the game rules, their table customs, and the local attitudes. If there's no support from outside the groups, and no interaction, everybody plays the same way with the same folks. If local custom is to shun gunslingers, or anything out of Chronicles of the Righteous, then people don't realize how cool some options are, and those books don't get sold. If a GM has a great way to track initiative, or display NPCs, nobody outside the local group notices.

It's also true that, if people don't travel, if they always play with the same GMs, those GMs stop asking to see Chronicle sheets or sources. (I know this, because I do ask to see Chronicle sheets at conventions. The more a player travels to cons, the more likely she is to have her ducks in a row. It's the people who only play home games, or who play only with the same local gamers, who say, "I've never had to keep Chronicles before. I throw them away.")

The more the playerbase is isolated, the less healthy it is. If GMs travel, they can see other people doing things right, and can bring those ideas home. (Or they can see other people doing things wrong, and know what not to do!) If players travel, they get exposed to other play styles, other character builds, and friends in far places. It's the single biggest source of networking. And it keeps the campaign cohesive.

Secondly, when a whole bunch of players congregate, it's worth while to break out the big guns. I'd never build a dungeon with Dwarvenforge pieces for a home campaign: it takes too much time. But I'd do so for a big convention. That's where you see people cosplay as Golarion characters. That's where you see 6-foot-long dioramas for terrain. That's where you see all the stuff to get you to wonder: hey, I could do something like that, and it would be awesome.

And thirdly, that brings in new players as well.

Grand Lodge

Michael Brock wrote:


Freelancers cost money. The more experienced freelancers cost more money. What selling points do I have to present, that a product that will make no money should have a few thousand dollars thrown at it for scenarios that can only be run in a very limited format and that our entire customer base will not get to experience? Again, assuming if you have a minimum of 10 scenarios, at 50 words each, you are asking for a Paizo employee to read at minimum 500 pages for a final continuity pass. That is time they could spend on 500 pages of several products that all make money. I'm open to suggestions on how to get that approved. And, before anyone suggests it, no we aren't going to do a kickstarter. Please don't ask.

The outlined plan had a few options for the Paizo gatekeeper to give approval to finalised scenarios. The best case scenario was a Paizo staffer. This seems unrealistic due to lack of return on investment.

The next option is a proven contributor. While this keeps the Paizo machine working smoothly and ensures quality in the scenarios, it still costs money and the ROI will need to come in somewhere.

The last option is have an Editor-VO. We currently have over 300 VOs and I do not doubt that many of them are highly experienced with scenario expectations and quality guidelines. They do not need to be wizards with electronic publishing and photoshop to be able to give gatekeeper approval to a good scenario. There is an inducement for VOs to step up to be Editor-VOs -- as they are volunteers enthusiastic about the scheme, they would likely be working on their own Regional Special. They know without someone filling out this important role, the process won't get far ahead enough. In addition, it also leads to what all those people running for the Open Call were after - a name credit on a Paizo Publishing affiliated product.

So the last option may be risky because in the past the VO group hadn't been swift to help edit Season 0. I think that was before my time? I don't know the specifics.

Let's say we want this to be the best that it can be, so we opt for our Contributors to take the reins to act as Paizo approval. In order to recoup their pay, we decide that after 12 months on the con circuit, the regional special becomes available as a pdf available on the PFS website. These are clearly separated from the Season product line (eg RS-01, RS-02, etc) These scenarios may be grouped with other RS scenarios, it may be cheaper than a fully fledged scenario and it may not feature the awesome artwork, but the experience is still there for the PFS completionists. In addition, word of mouth marketing from the cons has been building up for a year, giving the regional specials free advertising to sell well.

I am really against limiting the area a RS can run in for an extended period of time. Give a year of exclusivity, sure, but then make that content work for you.

Another idea - we know there has been a recent trend in organizers asking for a consistent flow of 1-5s. This can be tough when the metaplot is getting pretty epic and demonic. Why not limit the RS range to 1-5 in it's first year? It's not an immediate benefit, but it will help as it is released widely. In addition, it makes stat block editing easier.


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Chris Mortika wrote:
Things

It really doesn't take much thinking to realize that players sharing stories and play styles across a global campaign has merit. Thanks for putting it into words so some people can make that connection.


Vic Wertz wrote:
I love that fact that PFS players at home, in stores, or at conventions are, for the most part, treated as equals. It is a valuable feature, not a problem that needs to be "fixed." I'm willing to make occasional (and temporary) exceptions for special occasions, but that's the size of it.

Can't say how much I wish that were more true.

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