Please do not run new scenarios 5-22 through 5-25 until July 4th


Pathfinder Society

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Nashville aka Wolfspirit

As a head's up to anyone else that downloaded one of the new scenarios that were temporarily available today, Mike Brock has requested that those scenarios not be run until July the 4th. Those scenarios were removed from the Products page (presumably to return next week after the start of PaizoCon)

(My apologies if this isn't the appropriate forum, but I wanted to raise awareness in case anyone else was feverishly prepping the new content for tomorrow :) The only reason I realized what was going on was looking up the Product Forums, as the direct links were removed)

Grand Lodge Contributor

Ohhhhh, that explains everything. I posted on the blog page just now because the links weren't working. Might be a good idea to take that blog down altogether.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Nashville aka Wolfspirit

My guess is that's the best that could be accomplished on a Friday night after-hours ;) I suspect the content of the blog will be updated to avoid confusion.

As a minor update, if anyone *does* try to run the scenarios, they appear to have been removed from the Events page and it's likely those sessions won't be able to be reported for a week.

I was going to create a topic on the GM Discussion Forum about the one of the scenarios that I'd started prepping, but now I'm not sure if I should hold back from the potential spoilers.

****

I don't understand. Our group is/was planning to run 5-22 on the 6th, a week and a half after the previously indicated publication date. What is wrong with letting the GM have a week to prep the scenario?

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Captain, Missouri—St. Louis aka Joshua N Hancock

Wolfspirit wrote:

As a head's up to anyone else that downloaded one of the new scenarios that were temporarily available today, Mike Brock has requested that those scenarios not be run until July the 4th. Those scenarios were removed from the Products page (presumably to return next week after the start of PaizoCon)

(My apologies if this isn't the appropriate forum, but I wanted to raise awareness in case anyone else was feverishly prepping the new content for tomorrow :) The only reason I realized what was going on was looking up the Product Forums, as the direct links were removed)

They don't mind prepping. They just don't want it run before July 4th (bolded for emphasis).

****

Joshua N Hancock wrote:
They don't mind prepping. They just don't want it run before July 4th (bolded for emphasis).

Yes, I got that, but if they make the scenario inaccessible then a person cannot prep either.

Luckily, I found out our GM did make the download during the window of opportunity.

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Mimo Tomblebur wrote:
Joshua N Hancock wrote:
They don't mind prepping. They just don't want it run before July 4th (bolded for emphasis).

Yes, I got that, but if they make the scenario inaccessible then a person cannot prep either.

Luckily, I found out our GM did make the download during the window of opportunity.

If you schedule the new scenario the Saturday after it's initial release, you only have about 48-72 hours to prep, not one week. So, you almost never have a week or more to prep when scheduling it so close to release. This is no different. We just like to have something new to debut at our show.

****

When I scheduled 5-22, the product page said that it's release date was going to be Wednesday, June 25th, which would have been a solid week-and-a-half to our Sunday July 6th play date. The release date then got bumped to Friday, and now to some other time in July.

Unfortunately, during the summer months we have fewer players and it becomes much harder to find something everyone can play. Thus, this is the first time I have scheduled something not yet released, but my actions were not unreasonable based on the information I was provided at the time of scheduling.

Grand Lodge ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Agreed and why I have sent a note to the tech team to make sure it doesn't happen again. For the past several years, the last four scenarios of a season have debuted at PaizoCon. That means the June releases are held a week or so later than usual but the July scenarios are released several weeks early. My apology for the confusion that was caused by the release date that was listed.

****

That's OK. I cannot imagine how much schedule juggling you must do. And, like I said above, I had a Ninja GM who did grab it. So my personal "thank you" to whoever did release the PDF, however briefly, on the second promised day.

***** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

Thanks for the short notice! I tried to buy it today so I could prep it for a scheduled game on Monday. Neither I nor any of my players are going to Paizocon. I don't care what you do there; all I know is that for weeks paizo has been stating its release date. Paizo has it, that's not the problem, paizo just decided to change the release date.

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

I don't plan to run any of the last 4 until after Paizocon anyway but thank you for the heads up.

*****

Eeeeh. Well, it is a good thing no one showed up to my game day today. I was totally planning on running 5-22 cold, if there was any conflict in running the Glass River Rescue or the Merchant's Wake, and there's always a conflict.

Just lucky people were played out from Origins. Now that I know, I'll be sure to hold it until the official release.

*****

I have found that running scenarios "cold" is a pretty bad idea nowadays... there's a lot of subtleties that GMs and players can miss. YMMV, of course.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

GM Lamplighter wrote:
I have found that running scenarios "cold" is a pretty bad idea nowadays... there's a lot of subtleties that GMs and players can miss. YMMV, of course.

+1. Sometimes, as evidenced in a couple of threads, even prepped can run into forgetting something important.

Did that today, forgot that the weather in the entry into a scenario is considered to provide concealment. And it raised another question, since it didn't go into full effects, and didn't match fog-style concealment, since it took 10' instead of 5' for the concealment to kick in.

Shadow Lodge ****

My only question is if the scenarios will be available for download before Friday (as I print scenarios at work).

Shadow Lodge ****

GM Lamplighter wrote:
I have found that running scenarios "cold" is a pretty bad idea nowadays... there's a lot of subtleties that GMs and players can miss. YMMV, of course.

As far as Assault and Scar, I kind of pity the party that has a DM trying to run them cold. Assault has over 10 pages (after the actual scenario) of extra rules, while Scars has a lot of details that need to be kept track of, to the point I'm thinking a DM is probably going to need a bunch of handouts just to keep track of what players find out, as well as to allow players o keep track of what's going on, (or stop game for a lot of note taking).

Shadow Lodge ****

Sammy T wrote:
My only question is if the scenarios will be available for download before Friday (as I print scenarios at work).

I wouldn't count on it. Generally it's close of business time the day of.

*****

GM Lamplighter wrote:
I have found that running scenarios "cold" is a pretty bad idea nowadays... there's a lot of subtleties that GMs and players can miss. YMMV, of course.

It is, of course, never ideal. But having prepped and run Wardstone Patrol around 10 times, and realizing on the tenth try I still am messing stuff up, I have come to accept a certain margin for error in how things are run.

Something run cold can still be fun. And if six people can have fun instead of 4 I feel it might be worth it.

Shadow Lodge ****

Something run cold can also be a TPK, or far easier than what other tables experience. TPKs are not fun, and for many players GM softballing (even unintentionally) is not fun. I am selfish. I want the best experience reasonably possible, because I can't ever have that experience again.

Edit: I understand that sometimes a GM has to run cold. I just take your post as being far too forgiving of what you refer to as a "margin of error."

Liberty's Edge *****

I wonder what Geoffrey Griffith means by "margin of error" though. Big mistakes are one thing; small ones are another.

I've run over 30 games now; probably 10 through PbP, another 10 through VTT, and 10 in person.

The mistake I keep making, over and over again, in the VTT and in-person games, is forgetting to ask the players for their Day Jobs. (The in-person games were largely Season 1, where the Chronicle Sheet didn't remind you. With VTT games, I typically collect the information, and then fill out the sheets after everybody has signed off and mail them out, as it's a little bit slower editing on the computer than scrawling by hand.) It's always nice when somebody reminds me.

The worst mistake I've probably made is by forgetting a monster's DR. That made a low-level encounter quite a bit easier than it was supposed to be. Over time, I've gotten better at looking for that.

*****

Mystic Lemur wrote:

Something run cold can also be a TPK, or far easier than what other tables experience. TPKs are not fun, and for many players GM softballing (even unintentionally) is not fun. I am selfish. I want the best experience reasonably possible, because I can't ever have that experience again.

Edit: I understand that sometimes a GM has to run cold. I just take your post as being far too forgiving of what you refer to as a "margin of error."

Yeah, in my tenure as a GM I only managed 1 kill. And while I don't have fun GMing if the PCs have it too easy, I have never had one complain to me that they didn't enjoy breezing through something.

As for "margin of error", I am thinking of things that are fairly small without too much impact. (Specifically I think the error I was thinking of involved the number of Pig Farmers one is supposed to have in an encounter.)

That said, I had a friend that had his experience of Horn of Aroden (which I loved) under someone who ran it under prepared and I don't want to say it ruined it, but I had to explain to him why the scenario was awesome.

I say that to say, don't run things cold if you can help it. But I take personal responsibility for people having fun at my store, and if by running something cold people can play something instead of playing nothing, well, why not give it a try.

**

Michael Brock wrote:
Agreed and why I have sent a note to the tech team to make sure it doesn't happen again. For the past several years, the last four scenarios of a season have debuted at PaizoCon. That means the June releases are held a week or so later than usual but the July scenarios are released several weeks early. My apology for the confusion that was caused by the release date that was listed.

Mike,

While I appreciate that some things happened that were perhaps out of your control, it's very unfortunate that the way Paizo has decided to handle it is by further inconveniencing everyone.

There are several posts here and on Facebook stating that this release structure has been in place for years, but seemingly no acknowledgement that there might be new people who have no idea what Paizo's normal battle rhythm is. I, for one, didn't know that Paizo, Pathfinder, Pathfinder Society, or PaizoCon even existed until late 2013; I certainly didn't know that Paizo tried to hold last 4 scenarios until PaizoCon. It should have come at no surprise to you or anyone at Paizo that scenarios with release dates prior to the convention were scheduled by organizers across the country.

In the future, Paizo should consider dealing with an accidental mistake in a way that doesn't leave their volunteer organizers scrambling to compensate. As it was, my local group had less than 36 hours to figure out what to do with a table of players.

Liberty's Edge *****

Geoffrey Griffith wrote:
That said, I had a friend that had his experience of Horn of Aroden (which I loved) under someone who ran it under prepared and I don't want to say it ruined it, but I had to explain to him why the scenario was awesome.

It's more than the GM.... You can run the same scenario with two different groups of players, have it be awesome one time, and have it fall flat another time. This doesn't even require the extreme case of a player who's just out to break the scenario (attacking civilians for no reason, etc., the sorts of horror stories we've seen), but just if the players are "into" the right sorts of things that make the scenario Gel.

I've played Delerium's Tangle once and run it twice. When I played it, it was awesome. One them when I ran it, it was pretty good. The other time I ran it, it was only OK, partly because the players wanted to get all meta about how badly it was written because they couldn't make the die rolls about getting lost in the maze, whined that they were going to fall into traps, and it was all a bunch of boring die-rolling anyway. If your players are sort of into the game, but whine rather than playing along, it can turn a cool scenario into an OK (or worse) scenario, and there's only so much as GM you can do about it.

Shadow Lodge ****

Geoffrey Griffith wrote:
Yeah, in my tenure as a GM I only managed 1 kill. And while I don't have fun GMing if the PCs have it too easy, I have never had one complain to me that they didn't enjoy breezing through something.

Odd, I've had that happening a lot. The game I ran two weekends ago, the entire party actually asked me to start adding extra things for them to do, because a lot of the combat was unsatisfying. BBG was literally killed (not neg HP, dead in the first attack of the surprise round). We blitzed through Destiny of the Sands in under 3 hours (simply having the Vanish spell, and the potion of Invis in the scenario basically knocks out like 75% of the scenario's challenges), too, which left us with a lot of extra time, but not enough to run anther game. The inability to choose to play up is leading to some really poor experiences, I think.

Shadow Lodge ****

rknop wrote:
It's more than the GM.... You can run the same scenario with two different groups of players, have it be awesome one time, and have it fall flat another time. This doesn't even require the extreme case of a player who's just out to break the scenario (attacking civilians for no reason, etc., the sorts of horror stories we've seen), but just if the players are "into" the right sorts of things that make the scenario Gel.

Very true. A lot of my players, (and I know it's true for me), really just need to be in the mood for certain scenarios. It also matters a lot which character they are playing, and what the group has, especially with the way Season 5 has been which are tending to be a lot less varies in playstyle and types of challenges.

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