Positive Feedback, Data Request & a Modest Proposal


Pathfinder Society

Grand Lodge 2/5

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I’ve been very pleased and impressed with the continued improvement of PFS play. When I think about the changes from when I started playing 3 years ago it’s striking. Some of my favorite things:
• Creative boons and treasure that make the chronicle sheets matter and provide a surprise; this goes double for the creative sanctioning of the new larger modules (Dragon’s Demand, Warden of the Reborn Forge as a retirement arc, etc.).
• The shift to narrative arcs for factions over the “every faction has a secret mission in every scenario” approach (I know not all agree). The forthcoming faction cards sound great, too.
• GM rewards like the boon sheet based on # of GM stars.
• Inclusion of full stat blocks and removing an encounter from high tier play (just only coming online, but I’m happy to call it a success already, having played Of Kirin and Kraken).

According to recent reports from Mike and John, even more is on the way, which is exciting, and I’d like to add to the discussion of the future of PFS.

There have been several threads about the need for more 1-5 scenarios vs. more mid-tier vs. seeker play (to generalize broadly). I have two concerns: lack of mid-tier options and Seeker play. When I look at what scenarios I can play, the numbers break down like this:
1-5: 25
1-7: 6
3-7: 8
5-9: 14
7-11: 26
So, as you can see, I have plenty of ways to start new PCs, and I have just as many 7-11s, but I lack mid-tier options to advance even a portion of my PCs. The simple request is more mid-tier, but I’m curious if I’m unusual, or if others are in the same spot.

Since I don’t need more 7-11 at the moment, you might think I just want to see fewer at that tier and more at 3-7 and 5-9. Maybe, but what I want more than anything, and here is the thing I care most about, would be if each season there was a Seeker level scenario for my 13.2 Inquisitor who has completed Eyes of the Ten. Please note, I’m just asking for *1* scenario that I could play at a standard PFS game night at my FLGS. I don’t need a whole new seeker arc akin to EotT, and it seems most discussion of Seeker stuff assumes a multi-part arc. While that would be nice, just as good for me would be a single scenario, where once a year I could play an old favorite PC. Does this appeal to anyone else?


That would appeal to me. Don't know if it was suggested before and reasons were given for it not being viable, but if not I can say it would be fun to cart my high-level wizard out once a year without needing to play a whole module.

The Exchange 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

1. I'm in the same boat (or bathtub curve) scenario-wise but it's not because I don't have characters to play the 7-11s. I have 4 characters hanging out in that level range - including 2 that can only play 7-11s - but it's difficult to find those scenarios scheduled. Most game days tend to prefer low and mid scenarios as they can serve more players. And it's my own fault at conventions since I GM so much I can rarely fit in the games :)

2. High level content has been asked for before. The answer comes down to time and accessibility. A level 13 scenario takes more development time than a 3. It's a lot more difficult to make sure it's balanced. Also with only around 28 scenarios a year the question is "should we make a 12+ that a relatively small percentage of players can do or another 1-5 that all players can participate in?" Mike and John (and Mark) have said they want to do more high-level stuff, it's just that the resources they have right now can be better spent on lower-level content for more players. Search through Mike and John's posts, you can almost hear the yearning in some of them.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Looking at Scenarios I haven't played:

1-5: 3
3-7: 0
5-9: 1
7-11: 0

Let's just round this to 0 and instead look at the levels of my characters...

17, 16, 15, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 9, 9, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1.

Ignoring the 1s since they can play re-playables and the characters who are seekers I'm at 11, 10, 9, 9, 9, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 3, 2.

Tier 1-5 3
Tier 3-7 6
Tier 5-9 9
Tier 7-11 6

Meaning that a totally oversimplified look that assumed my characters never leveled up again, I need more 5-9s than anything else if I want to play all my characters.

---

I'm not super interested in a single scenario for Seeker level PCs in PFS every year. PCs of that level can reach some of the levers that move and shake the world. It's really hard to tell a compelling story for 4-6 diverse level 12+ PCs that is both challenging and sensible in a 4hr slot.

Even if a scenario only allowed 2 levels (12-13) imagine the difference in story between PCs who have just hit level 12 and who have completed Eyes of the Ten, it's astronomical.

While I'd love to play some of my old favorites like Farak, the Most Powerful Mage in All Absalom some time, I'd want the adventure to be equally epic and I don't think a 4hr PFS scenario is the way to go.

Sovereign Court 5/5

im ok with not havin a lvl 12-13 scenario, id prefer to see more scenario's with hard mode on the same level as waking rune or weapon in the rift.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber

Some anecdotal evidence (so take it for what it's worth):

The Pittsburgh VC was telling me that at a year or so ago, when he scheduled a con, he had a hard time filling 7-11 tables. This con, he had to recruit a backup GM for 7-11 tables.

Of course, this is one anecdote. However, I can also see a reason why there might be more and more demand for 7-11 play. I suspect that we're starting to reach a critical mass of 7+ characters, for a couple of reasons. One, it seems that PFS continues to grow. Two, as time goes by, players who don't play all that often but who do stick with the campaign are finally getting some characters up to level 7+. I fall in this category, although this year I've been playing quite a bit more than I had previously. Before this year, I'd been in PFS for a couple of years, and even managed to get to a couple of GM stars, but it was only late in 2014 that I finally got a character up to level 7.

Assuming there are more like me, historical trends as to what levels of scenarios people are looking for may be somewhat misleading. There will always be demand for low-level scenarios, yes, but I suspect the demand for higher level scenarios will be growing compared to what you had in the past.

I would also suspect that the number of players who have made it through EotT and who are looking for more things to do (*) is growing as well, and at some point it may be worth thinking about that. (Would it be possible, for instance, to sanction the older 3.5 modules?)

( (*) When people talk about "retirement", modules and APs are always brought up. Well, yes. But there are a very limited number of high-level modules. And, frankly, I have to admit that I really don't think that playing a fragment of an AP as a PFS character is all that appealing. The most appealing thing about an AP is the long story arc, and that's something best appreciated in Campaign Mode-- which means you can get PFS credit for it, but unless you're willing to "waste" the experience of playing an AP on pulling out fragments for PFS characters, they don't provide much opportunity for high-level play.)

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, there are gripes we all have with some aspect of the game, but overall it's good to have a post like this highlighting the positive changes. Good one, Bristor!

Sarvei taeno wrote:
im ok with not havin a lvl 12-13 scenario, id prefer to see more scenario's with hard mode on the same level as waking rune or weapon in the rift.

I'd prefer to see more scenarios with easy mode on scenarios like those :)

4/5

I like the "new directions" and I think it's going to be very popular. Season 7 is not that far away.

Some evergreens have been retired and new ones brought out. I'm hoping we can see some more, particularly like 5-08. So much runs at low tier. If they are higher level maybe we'll see some high tier play (within the scenario range).

I personally think it's easier to do higher level scenarios as you have more flexibility with monsters to meet a targeted CR number and it can be more thematic/dramatic.

Grand Lodge

I know that the stats in the past have stated that 7-11's are the least played scenarios, and people like Drogon have said that they fill up by far the slowest. Is this still true everywhere (besides where I (and a few others) play I guess)? What I mean is most weeks we have either a 5-9 or 7-11 running in addition to at least 1 or 2 low tier tables. Additionally, in the past 6 weeks we've run 3 10-12 modules (Ashes at Dawn, twice and the Ruby Phoenix Tournament), and are talking about having 3 different Eyes of the Ten runs going on simultaneously.

I understand that this is the uncommon compared to other places, but am curious as to why? Is this due to lack of play opportunities some places, players that don't stick around, lack of GM's who want to run high tier material, or something else? (Of course a combination of things is the most likely IMO)

(I'm not forgetting that some other places are having the same issue, where they are able to consistently run high level content or are even running out of it as noted above, more curious why some places are able to run so much of it and other places not nearly as much)

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

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Due note that Wardens of the Reborn Forge can be run in a special "seeker mode" for people that are looking for a variant retirement arc while waiting to see if another is coming down the pipe.

While there is no specific PFS tie in, any GM worth his salt can come up with a good one. Our GM this weekend certainly did a good job!

Glav's PFS intro for Wardens:

We were contacted by Ambrus and told that he needed us to report to some coordinates in Nex, just outside the mana-wastes. After arriving, we were met by a lower-level field wizard (one of the GM's own PFS PCs), that used sending to confirm that we had arrived. A few minutes later, Ambrus and Kreighton arrived in a puff of smoke, fresh from their teleport.

Ambrus told us that with the latest exploration into the Jormundun, the dwarven sky citadel tie in from the end of Season 5, he was selecting groups of seekers to look into the other known sky citadels. One, Dongun Hold, exists just outside the city of Alkenstar. The dwarves residing within are notorious for not allowing guests inside their walls. They do, however, hold a standing trade agreement with the people of Alkenstar. Specifically, some of the officially recognized Alkenstar trade guilds, such as the Gunworks and the Brass Guild. He requested that we head to Alkenstar and offer our services as veteran adventurers to the guildleaders there in an attempt to cultivate a longstanding relationship with them and, through extension, the dwarves in Dongun Hold.

To lead us through the wastes and into the city, Ambrus had also arranged for a local guide to take us on foot towards the city. Our guide informed us that the mana wastes are prone to areas of dead magic or primal magic, and attempting to teleport there-in is often a fools errand.

Our travel by foot lead us into a random encounter which enabled us to see the effects of primal magic first hand. After playing for over four hours we reached the walls of Alkenstar, well-seasoned in primal magic and the nature of the Mana Wastes. It was only then that our GM revealed that we had only reached page 1 of the actual module, and everything we'd enjoyed thusfar was just an excellent introduction to the scenario.

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

BartonOliver wrote:

I understand that this is the uncommon compared to other places, but am curious as to why? Is this due to lack of play opportunities some places, players that don't stick around, lack of GM's who want to run high tier material, or something else? (Of course a combination of things is the most likely IMO)

(I'm not forgetting that some other places are having the same issue, where they are able to consistently run high level content or are even running out of it as noted above, more curious why some places are able to run so much of it and other places not nearly as much)

Big issue we have is that people want to play them, but the venue's we hold game evenings at often close relatively early. 5-9 and 7-11 tend to take up more time then a regular scenario, due to various reasons.

Its no fun to rush them.

So most often they get run at people's homes, or at game days, were you can take up two slots and ejoy the scenario to the fullest.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

Woran wrote:
BartonOliver wrote:

I understand that this is the uncommon compared to other places, but am curious as to why? Is this due to lack of play opportunities some places, players that don't stick around, lack of GM's who want to run high tier material, or something else? (Of course a combination of things is the most likely IMO)

(I'm not forgetting that some other places are having the same issue, where they are able to consistently run high level content or are even running out of it as noted above, more curious why some places are able to run so much of it and other places not nearly as much)

Big issue we have is that people want to play them, but the venue's we hold game evenings at often close relatively early. 5-9 and 7-11 tend to take up more time then a regular scenario, due to various reasons.

Its no fun to rush them.

So most often they get run at people's homes, or at game days, were you can take up two slots and ejoy the scenario to the fullest.

This is what we see, also.

Then there's issue of trying very hard to avoid spoilers in the seeker level modules. We would never just schedule Eyes of the Ten at our regular game days even if we had the time, because that type of story line is nowhere near as much fun if you overheard half of the plot at the table next to you. (We're already having problems with players just talking about the seeker arcs and spoilers getting out; as more players finish Eyes, we're trying really hard to make sure the experience doesn't get ruined for new groups.)

Grand Lodge 2/5

I've been playing (as in PFS) pretty much once a week since gencon 2013. The characters I've got are 6, 6, 4, 4, 4, 2. Needless to say I've never played a 7-11. I don't have any input on the conversation, just throwing this out so you guys can get some perspective on a random person.

Obviously I jump between characters. The store I frequent always has a low tier, a high tier, and then a third that's either mid or low tier.

Grand Lodge

Dorothy Lindman wrote:


Then there's issue of trying very hard to avoid spoilers in the seeker level modules. We would never just schedule Eyes of the Ten at our regular game days even if we had the time, because that type of story line is nowhere near as much fun if you overheard half of the plot at the table next to you. (We're already having problems with players just talking about the seeker arcs and spoilers getting out; as more players finish Eyes, we're trying really hard to make sure the experience doesn't get ruined for new groups.)

I doubt we will actually run Eyes at the game day, but we are lucky enough to have a couple of private rooms at our venue as well. So it is possible to do without everyone overhearing. (The Ashes games were run in one, and I have no clue what happened)

4/5

hopefully we'll get a new retirement arc, but I can see where it's not a priority. There are APs and Modules. I'm not a big fan of EotT having played it once.

Scarab Sages Venture-Agent, Washington—Ballard aka WiseWolfOfYoitsu

My first Chronicle is from mid-late November 2013, but then I was out of state for a month and a half. So about Jan 2014 is really my start of PFS. I have a 14.2, 12.1, 10.1, 9.1, 9, 6.2, 6, 5.1, 4(dead), 3, 2.2, 2.2, 2.2, 2.1, 2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.1. Maybe I've been lucky; but with 5 level 9+ in just over a years play, I don't have much in the way of trouble playing higher tier scenarios. I'd have to count to be sure, but this is about 30 played and about 5-10 GMed 7-11 games if my count isn't off.

5/5 5/55/55/5

WiseWolfOfYoitsu wrote:
My first Chronicle is from mid-late November 2013, but then I was out of state for a month and a half. So about Jan 2014 is really my start of PFS. I have a 14.2, 12.1, 10.1, 9.1, 9, 6.2, 6, 5.1, 4(dead), 3, 2.2, 2.2, 2.2, 2.1, 2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.1. Maybe I've been lucky; but with 5 level 9+ in just over a years play, I don't have much in the way of trouble playing higher tier scenarios. I'd have to count to be sure, but this is about 30 played and about 5-10 GMed 7-11 games if my count isn't off.

Do you have a particularly large venue? Usually I have to struggle to get together a second table which means going over 1-5 will exclude some people.

Scarab Sages Venture-Agent, Washington—Ballard aka WiseWolfOfYoitsu

I'm in the Seattle area, so there is no shortage of games to be played if you don't mind a drive now and then. Most of our stores run a minimum of 2 tables a week, while a few of them run up to 5. I'm running a game once or twice a week, as well as playing once or twice as well.

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