Star Recharge mechanic and what bugs me.


Pathfinder Society

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Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

David_Bross wrote:

There are 6 or more online conventions a year that anyone can play or GM at, assuming an internet connection.

There has been more con support than ever before, and they're doing their absolute best to make sure that people have access to conventions and boons.

I don't think this is a condescending attitude, but please send me a PM if you feel it is.

I've been to two non-virtual conventions in the last year. Paizocon and Winterfest (which is a local convention here). In that same period of time I attended VTT day 1,2,3, Aethercon, Virtuacon, and conline. In a few days I'll be attending VTT Day 4.

They sound very interesting. But are those doable if you have a -4 to -8 time difference? (I'm over in Europe)

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

Netopalis wrote:

For what it's worth, David, I can say that Paizo goes above and beyond in terms of providing for their GMs at major conventions. For GMming 8 games this year (admittedly, an average of 9 hours per day), I received the following:

A GenCon pass ($70)
A hotel room practically adjacent to the PFS room ($210 per night, 5 nights divided amongst 4 people for a total of $260)
$80 in store credit ($80)
One copy of the Advanced Class Guide ($40)
Up to 4 volunteer T-shirts (Estimated $80)
A free copy of my scenarios to prep ($24)

Total value of items easily assigned a dollar value: $554

In addition, I received the following items which are not as easily valued:

One Samsaran race boon
Three ordinary GenCon boons
The opportunity to run sessions for some really interesting people
The opportunity to meet a lot of people I've chatted with around these forums

To my mind, GenCon GMs get plenty of rewards. For me, it's an extremely, extremely cheap vacation. If you discount my spending in the dealer room, I probably spent about $300 total for the convention, from Wednesday to Monday. That's pretty darn good. We don't need additional motivation to attend GenCon (or other large conventions, such as Origins); there's plenty of motivation already.

What Netopalis said. I otherwise got by on about $200 for food/gas/and parking. (It helped on the parking that I carpooled with 2 other folks.

5/5

Kyle Baird wrote:
Sniggevert wrote:
stuff
Did I miss out on the fact that I played Lost at Bitter End with you on Wednesday?

May have...I was the one you ended up getting a free beer for ;)

3/5

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I think my issue with this isn't the same as other con-specific boons (such as races). I personally feel this one is different in that it's entire purpose is to reward people for GMing. This is emphasized both in the reliance on the star system as well as the recharge method. It's a way to reward those have GM'd in the past and to continue to reward them for GMing in the future. I just don't see the... connection, I guess, between that and earning this as a player boon at a con (or requiring con attendance at all). My opinion is that this should exist for everyone for the purpose of encouraging and rewarding GMs. Now, that said, if the predictions that some made are correct... that this is a way to seed the environment with a limited number of recharge-accessing GMs to test for a boonless recharge in future years (still requiring ongoing GMing, but a freely downloadable boon)... then I think it's a great idea. I'm all for testing out concepts before jumping in head-first, and this way (if it doesn't work) the boons can just cease distribution rather than revoking a general rule (which would upset people). So yeah, if this is a trial-method, I'm all for it. But as a permanent structure, I'd much rather see the motivation given to all GMs, and letting the rebuilds and racial boons... things that give you cool ways to play, but are not meant as incentives to continue GMing, being the rewards at Cons.

So no, this is not the same (in my eyes) as the moan that goes up for each and every cool new con boon. I find this one to be quite different, from my perspective at least.

4/5

To address concerns about international play. I commonly GM with European players and daytime (US games) are not out of the norm for usual play. Online conventions are no different.

The online conventions either go over a 24 hour period or a few days (for the major conventions, conline and aethercon). In either case play usually goes over all of those hours, although there will be a distinct concentration on US Eastern hours usually.

For my part I'm GMing VTT Day 4 at 5PM EDT (GMT-5), although my table of 6-01 is currently full.

The big reason we do the larger 3 day conventions is so we can support the specials that require 50+ tables. Typically on an individual VTT day there are 20-35 tables, although Jesse Davis, Brandon Cecil, and Arthur Perkins would be better sources of information on this than I am.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Kyle Baird wrote:
My never humble opinion: If you have enough time to argue about this on these messageboards, you have enough time to GM for an online convention. If you do that, ask the organizer for this boon specifically. I'm willing to bet a replay that you can obtain it.

Time yes. Technical proficiency....?

I probably can this year, having picked up enough familiarity with roll d20 to muddle through it.

My last attempt at computer programming went over like a blackross museum opening.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

David_Bross wrote:

Here is the link to VTT Day 4. I watch the PSOC for information about gamedays and general play online.

Basically they are people getting together to play games online on VTTs. Individual games are basically no different from any other game, but the specials really work well (we use youtube for the overseer GMs and individual google hangouts (usually, other voice clients are used as well), and everyone of them I've been involved with has worked well.

I did Conline? a few months ago and it worked well. The problem RE dming is that they like to set up DMs in advance and I never hear about these things till they're set.

Silver Crusade 2/5

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Kyle Baird wrote:
My never humble opinion: If you have enough time to argue about this on these messageboards, you have enough time to GM for an online convention. If you do that, ask the organizer for this boon specifically. I'm willing to bet a replay that you can obtain it.

Is there a coordinator/VC/VL for online PFS play? If so, that person ought to be all over this thread.

4/5

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The online VOs have put together tutorials on how to fit maps (the hardest part of GMing is prep as always), and the community is usually very supportive of people attempting to GM or play for the first time.

Furthermore if you get involved with an online community you can ask others for their put together VTTs for a given scenario. In fact for the specials I've been involved with for the major gamedays the VTT was built by Arthur Perkins for our use.

There are several tutorials on how to both play and GM online. Roll20 is the standard as it is the easiest and (I believe) most commonly used VTT (at least it is on the PSOC I linked earlier).

If you want to do an online game simply sign up to play in one and show up a bit earlier than the game and the GM will go over what you need to know. It is very simple, and I've never had a hard time teaching it to anyone.

The hardest part is generally getting people to make the one necessary macro, which is initiative.

Initiative macro, in full roll20 glory:

select your token and use a macro with the following text, where 4.4 if your initiative modifier
[[1d20+4.4&{tracker}]]

Sovereign Court 2/5

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I don't know. I do understand the desire to reserve the star recharge for people who continue to GM, but there are actually very dedicated GMs out there who simply can't go to these conventions, but probably deserve this boon because of their service to the campaign.

What if it was changed such that every season, you re-earn one replay spent the previous season after GMing X scenarios, and you may only re-earn an amount equal to your GM stars a season?

The wording is kind of dicey, but say you're like me and you have two spent replay stars. New season rolls around.

I GM X games (or whatever value) and get a replay. Cool.
I GM another X games, and get another replay. Joy.
I spend a replay on some game I like, say, The Sealed Gate because I have a new PC that needs to be humbled by the Fun Sponge.
I GM another X games. I already got two replay refills this year and I have two stars. Nothing earned.

I can see this being difficult to track, but there's surely a way to get a simple program to do this.

There's also a precedent already for boons that require the recording of many scenarios to acquire, such as the one from last year's gencon that increased your int and gave you knowledges (?) by asking players at the table to tell you a cool story, and then recording it and the scenario on the sheet. Something similar could be implemented for this.

I don't know, it seems that would meet the goals management has? Maybe I misunderstood John's post from a couple of weeks back.

PS. Digging the new alias, Baird.

EDIT: If you GM at Tier 1 level, Paizo pays for your room. So that takes off a lot of dollars for the cost to go to the con to GM and receive this boon. But that of course doesn't account for food, and travel, and you are tied up for the vast majority of the convention.

EDIT 2: If you're actually looking for a way to get people to go to the convention to GM/give GMs at the convention rewards through the replay system specifically, perhaps the gencon boon could still stay the same (they get all their replays refilled) or the gencon boon could make it easier for them to re-earn replays (like X/2 games GMed) or something. We can do both the things!!!

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Acedio wrote:
I don't know. I do understand the desire to reserve the star recharge for people who continue to GM, but there are actually very dedicated GMs out there who simply can't go to these conventions, but probably deserve this boon because of their service to the campaign.

While I more than agree with you, I think we should put the torches and pitchforks on layaway till next year. Definitely keep the receipt if the policy doesn't change, but give the campaign the chance to see how the more limited DM replays do or don't change anything in the campaign.

Sovereign Court 2/5

No torches here sir, just ideas!

4/5 Venture-Agent, Idaho—Moscow aka Flaming Duck

My original comment in this thread may have been a bit disingenuous. Handing out boons at conventions as a way to reward players and GMs is both reasonable and good. Also, I've had friends that have given me some boons that I've been particularly happy to get (Thanks Kigvan!). I was grousing because, at times, there seems to be all these arbitrary cool things that other players can get because they have the cash and the time - and yes, people do make sacrifices to go, but I can't afford either. So I have few options to get cool stuff other than the charity of others, although I can probably do some GMing at our Winterfest this year if I'm still around. I think there are a lot of people that share that position.

The short of it is - I'm not really upset, just kinda annoyed that I never even have a shot at some of the cool boons out there. I think this is one of those cases where all sides might have a point, eh?

Sovereign Court 2/5

If you're in Kingvan's area, there's also SpoCon out in Spokane. Not too far away.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Idaho—Moscow aka Flaming Duck

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I know of it. I'm just that short on cash! I've been finishing up grad school, so some of you might know what that does to a person's resources!

Spoiler:
Also...Acedio doesn't know me on the messageboard, lol. I sat across from you for Eyes of the Ten! The monk?

Scarab Sages

This is the first time I've played PFS at GenCon - played about half a year prior to the con. I did find it kind of odd to randomly get this particular boon since I've only been a player so far, so I traded it almost immediately to someone posting in the boon trading thread. I wanted to play a non-standard race, that player had several options, I told them to pick one and send that in exchange for the recharge boon. Without commenting on the con / non-con distribution, it may have been better to only give the boon to GMs since it seems like it would matter most to people who have GMed a lot.

5/5

Leganduil wrote:
This is the first time I've played PFS at GenCon - played about half a year prior to the con. I did find it kind of odd to randomly get this particular boon since I've only been a player so far, so I traded it almost immediately to someone posting in the boon trading thread. I wanted to play a non-standard race, that player had several options, I told them to pick one and send that in exchange for the recharge boon. Without commenting on the con / non-con distribution, it may have been better to only give the boon to GMs since it seems like it would matter most to people who have GMed a lot.

This I can agree with for this specific boon ..

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

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Woran wrote:
They sound very interesting. But are those doable if you have a -4 to -8 time difference? (I'm over in Europe)

Absolutely; many online cons operate a 24-hour schedule to allow people in all time zones to play.

This thread is giving me deja vu.... weird.

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Time yes. Technical proficiency....?

I probably can this year, having picked up enough familiarity with roll d20 to muddle through it.

My last attempt at computer programming went over like a blackross museum opening.

Roll20 has lowered the bar on required technical proficiency significantly, when compared with other tools. I'd try running a 'practice' (non-con) session first to make sure you've got the hang of it and then volunteer for the next online con. Keep an eye on the 'Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge Online Play' forum (4 below this one).

I GMed for Virtuacon '13 and got an ifrit boon for my troubles.

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

Leathert wrote:
Sometimes the player base is so small, having the 15 tables is not possible. Here in Finland, that amount is only reachable once a year in the only large RPG convention we get. (And perhaps at this other anime/RPGcon, but there there's no guarantee that the tables actually happen).

Mike Brock has stated in the past that there is some degree of flexibility on numbers of tables to take into account the size of the player population.

Sczarni 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

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Flaming Duck wrote:

I know of it. I'm just that short on cash! I've been finishing up grad school, so some of you might know what that does to a person's resources!

** spoiler omitted **

You know Walter and myself have a ton of boons that all you have to do is ask us for and make a case as to why you should receive one. Get on it sir!

4/5 Venture-Agent, Idaho—Moscow aka Flaming Duck

Steven Huffstutler wrote:
You know Walter and myself have a ton of boons that all you have to do is ask us for and make a case as to why you should receive one. Get on it sir!

That's legit! There's no one in the Pullman / Moscow area that are jerks about these things, but I just can't honestly say I deserve boons any more than anyone else.

Perhaps the more truthful and slightly stupider reason is that it isn't really the ownership of boons that I'd like, it's the opportunity to acquire them. I want to be on even footing to get some of these things, so even if I don't get it, I don't feel cheated because I had the chance. Which is a reflexive and naive argument.

It's not as if a lack of boons stops my Pathfinder shenanigans, anyway :)

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a few back and forth posts. Please be civil to each other, there's no reason to make this discussion personal. Let's keep it on track, please.

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

Woran wrote:
They sound very interesting. But are those doable if you have a -4 to -8 time difference? (I'm over in Europe)

I can vouch for all my fellow PFSOC GMs being extremely flexible about scheduling for non-US players.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

To add to TOZ's post:

VTT Game Day 4 is August 30th, IIRC.

I have seen games posted as starting anytime during the day, some starting as early as 10 or 11 pm the night before, and others starting at various times during the day.

Note that, since it hasn't been explicitly mentioned, the membership of the PSOC is, itself, international. Members, including both players and GMs, are from all over the world. Some of them are members mainly because they don't have much of a local player base to pull from. Others do, but may be in the PSOC because it gives them the rare chance to play instead of GM.

Hope to see you online!

Edit: Forgot to comment on some other peoples' posts:
Some of us have very little disposable income, due to various issues in our lives. Myself, I have been watching my money pogo around the number 0 for the past several months. I am hoping, this month, to stay in the black. I almost got to go to PaizoCon this year, but the person who was arranging transportation and board wound up with real life interfering, so I wound up with a week's vacation at home, instead of traveling to Seattle.

The local scene is pushing it, at present, to get three concurrent tables of PFS at the same time. It has happened once in the past few months at the local game day. Our most recent local Con was pushing to get a few tables at all in. The next local Con on the schedule is sort of in limbo, as they appear to have decided to change venues, due to an ongoing labor dispute, and that may cause them to change dates, as well. Then again, one of the organizers for the Con told me that I was one of the few people who had actually registered for the Con to begin with.

Due to a recent change in my work schedule, the regular game day is at a bad time for me. It is, effectively, in the middle of my night during my work week. I am attempting to run some games at my home, at a good time for my schedule, but that may be a bad time for most of our local players. The results are currently to be determined, as the first game I have scheduled is for next week...

Silver Crusade 5/5

I think that the point of giving players and GMs equal opportunity to acquire the boon (at Gen Con at least) is intentional; it sets things up so that players who went to GenCon will bring back recharge boons to trade. If they just gave the boons to the GMs, they would mostly remain in the hands of the GMs. I'd be willing to bet that by March the boon trading thread will be swimming in them, and anybody (even people who don't go to cons) will be able to acquire one cheaply.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Alex McGuire wrote:
I think that the point of giving players and GMs equal opportunity to acquire the boon (at Gen Con at least) is intentional; it sets things up so that players who went to GenCon will bring back recharge boons to trade. If they just gave the boons to the GMs, they would mostly remain in the hands of the GMs. I'd be willing to bet that by March the boon trading thread will be swimming in them, and anybody (even people who don't go to cons) will be able to acquire one cheaply.

I'm not so sure about that. I saw people being asked if they GM after rolling a 4, and when they answered no they were allowed to reroll. This upset me a little as I was ready to offer them a trade for it.

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