incentivizing GMing


Pathfinder Society

Dark Archive Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle aka melferburque

I coordinate two stores and basically act as coordinator at a third when my roommate is unavailable, so finding new blood to run games is pretty important. I've been working on ways to add an extra carrot for people who step up and run.

typically, I offer personal requests to anyone who runs, that they can pick anything they want to play in the near future and I'll make sure this happens for them. especially if it's a 5-9 or 7-11 that wouldn't get run otherwise (we have a lot of newer players right now).

I've tried pointing out the GM star benefit for replay and re-rolls, but those take awhile to accumulate. I do have a few new GMs that are proud to be approaching their first stars and I'm sure there will be more to come.

but the main reason I GM (other than the whole coordinator obligation thing) is the risk-free chronicle sheet. I haven't played a zero xp character in anything but wounded wisp or confirmation in over a year. hell, I typically don't even play a character until they're third level or higher, and I've had a couple that didn't get played until after sixth when they REALLY get interesting.

is this selfish of me, and something I shouldn't be advertising to new GMs? I think it's a great thing, getting boons and xp without risking characters (especially squishy low level characters or race boons), but in a way it also feels like gaming the system, since you aren't risking anything and reaping the benefits.

thoughts?

Sovereign Court

Using GM credit chronicles to jump-start a character is less "gaming the system" than playing a 22 hit point barbarian for 3 scenarios then blobbing it to whatever build you actually intend to keep.


There is no problem I have with your incentives. If gm'ing meant later I could guarantee a scenario for a specific character to get played I think that would be great. Also I've personally ran 6 games just to get a character on the up and running on a build that would be lackluster before 3. I think it's definitely a good idea because that means others who are normally the gm now get to play their zany characters whether they be lvl 1-5-7 ( as you can apply to any level in tier regardless of which tier was played). As deusvult pointed out its much better than just playing a scenario runner for 3xp then rehashing them.

Over here our local VL's normally have the prep work set for new gm's as well so all they need to do is familiarize.

4/5

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melferburque wrote:
is this selfish of me, and something I shouldn't be advertising to new GMs?

If it makes you selfish then at least you're in good company.

Shadow Lodge

It's no more selfish than getting XP for playing your character.

Just make sure everyone's having a good time as well, and you're laughing all the way to the bank.

5/5 5/55/55/5

I think the lure of risk free chronicles wears off pretty quickly once someone has a couple of 7+s floating around

and the dm star ones are kinda.. meh

4/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:

I think the lure of risk free chronicles wears off pretty quickly once someone has a couple of 7+s floating around

and the dm star ones are kinda.. meh

I still like them for skipping level 1 and nursing raised characters back to health. And I've definitely had the star bonus be the difference in making a save.

There are some who think that wanting any kind of reward for being a GM means you're "doing it for the wrong reasons." I don't subscribe to that opinion.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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redward wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

I think the lure of risk free chronicles wears off pretty quickly once someone has a couple of 7+s floating around

and the dm star ones are kinda.. meh

I still like them for skipping level 1 and nursing raised characters back to health. And I've definitely had the star bonus be the difference in making a save.

There are some who think that wanting any kind of reward for being a GM means you're "doing it for the wrong reasons." I don't subscribe to that opinion.

QUITE the opposite here. I'd like to give game day dms some more of what the con day dms get.

Grand Lodge 4/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:

I think the lure of risk free chronicles wears off pretty quickly once someone has a couple of 7+s floating around

and the dm star ones are kinda.. meh

Depends on the person. I still very much like getting GM credit, especially to skip past the first couple of levels, and I have...8 characters that are level 7+.

5/5 5/55/55/5

I do the same, but if you're dming that often how many characters can you get to play?

Grand Lodge 4/5

At the moment, pretty much none of them, but that's because I'm running one AP and playing in two more. But before that I got to play a decent number of them.

The Exchange 5/5

I seem to be the exact reverse of most judges.

I tend to enjoy my PCs more the lower the level, and tend to start growing less interested in them as they level past 5th...

So my judge credits tend to get dropped on the highest level they will fit on... if I run a Tier 1-7 for the first time, it will end up on a 6th or 7th level PC... Most of my 1st levels do get a judge chronicle from First Steps or one or two of the other re-playables - but mostly that's because they won't go on anything higher (and I haven't-yet- started not takeing the chronicles for re-playables).

4/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I'd like to give game day dms some more of what the con day dms get.

Complete agreement from me on that count.


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I have almost stopped taking GM chronicles. I only get to play a couple of times a month & want to play when I get the chance. I skipped a level or two of my -1 for GMing and felt cheated. My -2 got one recently just because I like the shield the chronicle offered. My -3 was all GM chronicle until he got dragon disciple because that was the interesting part about his character for me. As I get ready to start my -5 though I am thinking I would rather start him at 2nd level.

As for other GM rewards, I pass on most of the race boons I get (PbP Game days). I try to encourage players to buy their GM a soda (but that is more difficult to do if I am the GM :)

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5

Our local game store provides incentives for GMs (and players also get a minor incentive too).

For playing or GMing a RPG you get points, 10 points for playing and 20 points for GMing (you also get points for buying stuff, tournaments, playing demos and so forth). People with the most points earned get a store discount, and the points you earn through out the year can be used to get treats, drinks, dice, heck I cashed in 1100 points and got a copy of Munchkin. For players this is more on a side benefit but if you GM 3 or 4 times a month those points add up.

Also if you GM a RPG with 3 or more people at the table you get a free drink.

5/5

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I have seen both the upside and downside of this aspect. When you are short of GMs, anything that incentivizes it is a good thing. When you have a decent number, though, you will get a few folks who GM just for the risk-free Chronicle or so on.

As a coordinator, the key thing to look for is that your GMs are providing a great game for your players. If they are just cranking theough the motions to get to the Chronicles, AND the players don't enjoy that style, then you are doing more harm than good to the community. Also watch for GMs who will only run double-credit scenarios like the one-session "modules" for Free RPG day. Rewards are important, but once they become the only reason for GMing you need to start training a new crop.

Dark Archive Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle aka melferburque

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GM Lamplighter wrote:

I have seen both the upside and downside of this aspect. When you are short of GMs, anything that incentivizes it is a good thing. When you have a decent number, though, you will get a few folks who GM just for the risk-free Chronicle or so on.

As a coordinator, the key thing to look for is that your GMs are providing a great game for your players. If they are just cranking theough the motions to get to the Chronicles, AND the players don't enjoy that style, then you are doing more harm than good to the community. Also watch for GMs who will only run double-credit scenarios like the one-session "modules" for Free RPG day. Rewards are important, but once they become the only reason for GMing you need to start training a new crop.

fortunately, we don't have anyone that seems to be gaming the system that way yet. we do get we be goblins run fairly frequently, but that's more because a) it's short and b) it's fun. getting the second table of GM credit is just gravy.

I'd love to see more stores give discounts to GMs, but that seems to be rare in our area.

I admit, the risk free chronicle definitely helps ease the burden of GMing for me, but as a coordinator I'll run regardless. there are numerous scenarios I've run multiple times for no xp because they're fun to run, or because someone requested them. I prefer to get a chronicle for running, but I'll never deny someone a request just because I've already run it.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Well GMs have to get the adventure, prepare the map, get minis and pawns.. etc. And preparing an adventure can take hours.

I am all in favor of more GM rewards, maybe something like boons? Personally I think that GMs should benefit from the communal snack pool without being expected to contribute to it, it is really the least we can do. Of course at tables I am attending, the level of snack consumption is rather high.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Well GMs have to get the adventure, prepare the map, get minis and pawns.. etc. And preparing an adventure can take hours.

I am all in favor of more GM rewards, maybe something like boons? Personally I think that GMs should benefit from the communal snack pool without being expected to contribute to it, it is really the least we can do. Of course at tables I am attending, the level of snack consumption is rather high.

Thats just a given if the players want to live

Grand Lodge

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Lo, I the Game Master am thy god, whom thou may appease through offerings of pretzels and beer. Yea, if thou dost wish to survive my Temple with thine character, may thine gifts be plentiful and preferably a stout.

Dark Archive Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle aka melferburque

when I first started playing, long before I discovered PFS, I hosted at my place but never GMed. I provided beer/soda and snacks, and sometimes we'd all kick in for pizza or chinese takeout.

I'm a bit more skeptical of taking snacks at PFS from total strangers. it's just a weird thing about me and food, I guess. if it's people I know, it's different.

I never turn down a bribe of beer, however.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Yeah I recently brought a dessrt the PFS and the reception wasn't great. However, baked goods or candied fruit are usually quite the draw.

My experiences with fatty food like pizza are mixed, it is important not to make your GM to tired or drunk.

Disclaimer: Disregard the preceding, if your GM is a big wolf, and you have to weight your chance of escaped with the potential loss of a chronicle sheet^^

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

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I am totally suseptible to bribery with food.

2/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It would be cool if each scenario had a GM boon that was slightly better then the game boon but less then a con boon.


The FLGS provides a $5 matching credit on store purchases for every table a GM runs. It greatly offsets the cost of maps and minis.

Sovereign Court

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In my area there are about half a dozen game stores that host PFS. It's convention around here that each participant at a store-hosted session chip in $2 "entry fee", and the pot goes to the store in the form of credit for the GM.

Dark Archive Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle aka melferburque

stores offering incentives is one thing, but I'm not a fan of charging players (even donations). if a player wants to buy me a beer or something, sure.

one of my stores offers an awesome 25% discount for coordinators, but not for GMs. my other store doesn't offer anything. another store I regularly GM at has a 20% coordinator discount, 15% GM discount, and 10% "pathfinder" discount on PFS nights.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

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GMing is never selfish, regardless of the rewards. GMing is selfless...spending twice the time (and possibly money...maps and minis aren't free) as anyone else to make sure everyone else has a good time.

It's not a free chronicle.

And this goes double for people who travel to make a convention table possible. Chronicles don't fill gas tanks.

So enjoy the XP, the PP, and the no-risk character advancement.

You've earned it.

Grand Lodge

deusvult wrote:
In my area there are about half a dozen game stores that host PFS. It's convention around here that each participant at a store-hosted session chip in $2 "entry fee", and the pot goes to the store in the form of credit for the GM.

It's the same in my area. I feel like $2 for an at least 4 hour game session is the cheapest entertainment one can buy in 2015.

50 cents an hour is less than you'll ever pay anybody to put that much effort into any project ever. And for that, GMs, I thank you.

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

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I GM for the backstory. There is so much info in the scenarios that never see the light of day on the player's side of the table. Also, the time and expense of gming more than outweighs any concern I have about "gaming" the system. For example, Im prepping 3 scenarios right now for Con. I will run 2 on one day and 1 on another. I will only actually play in 1 scenario. Add my prep time with the costs of minis, maps, resources, etc...I think both sides get a fair bargin.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

To be honest I started PFS to get a chance to play Pathfinder myself because at that time (1 1/2 year ago)I Gmed 3 Homerounds and got to play in 1, which at the time was my first Pf game ever and we only got to play one 4 hour seesin every other month. So I had the problem to Gm levelregions I never played myself and I joined PFS to get some experience in these levels of play.

Now I Gm 1 slot at our local Gamedays regulary, have my own PFS-Homegroup and offered to two of my VLs that I can GM if they want to play at their "weekly" tables because I myself have also much fun at Gming. So I got to master Emerald Spire on a roughly 2-3 weeks basis at our weekly Pfs event. I do not know if it is a local occurence but I have the feeling that in our area we have some people that Gm almost always but we also have enough people that will gladly offer to Gm a slot or session if they are asked.

So I think it might be very nice to get some of the Gm-boons outside of convention Gming. (We have next to none big conventions at our area -> I hink the only one that is appliciable for the boons is one in september where I will first Congm.) I personally hope that there will be an opportunity to get a way to refill the starreplays. (I know that there is a boon for that) About the benefits for the Gm stars, I have almost never seen the addition of the stars to make a real difference and I was a bit shocked how fast you can get your stars if you have 2 homecampaigns who are willing to play Campaignmode. And I have realised that if I Gm all of the requested Emeraldspiremodules (4 groups asked -> 1 has already started) I will have far more tablecredit than needed for the 5th star -> even if the other requirements will be a bit more difficult. But this might be the problem if you Gm modules/APs on a nearly 2:1 basis compared with PFS scenarios.

Sovereign Court

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The biggest incentive that makes me want to GM is good players.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Quadstriker wrote:
The biggest incentive that makes me want to GM is good players.

Mythical is not allowed in PFS

OW OW OW kidding ow ow ow

Dark Archive

Quadstriker wrote:
The biggest incentive that makes me want to GM is good players.

The opposite is certainly a disincentive.

Dark Archive Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle aka melferburque

Duncan7291 wrote:
I GM for the backstory. There is so much info in the scenarios that never see the light of day on the player's side of the table. Also, the time and expense of gming more than outweighs any concern I have about "gaming" the system. For example, Im prepping 3 scenarios right now for Con. I will run 2 on one day and 1 on another. I will only actually play in 1 scenario. Add my prep time with the costs of minis, maps, resources, etc...I think both sides get a fair bargin.

100% on board with this. I feel bad for the writers of scenarios that put so much flavour and fluff into scenarios that never see light of day at the table. I love the NPC backstories and the locations and settings and how they're described.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I gm because locally no one else can pry the diamonds from the pile that is season 2. Yeah I do some season 0 and 3 too but that's just tasty gravy. Season 2 is where it's at.

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