GM Rewards for Conventions vs. Game Days


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Want free scenarios? Gm at conventions!

(Ducks and starts running)


melferburque wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
John Francis wrote:


I always assumed that the reason VOs got scenarios for free was so that we could print out a hardcopy of a scenario for a GM to use.
Yep. I never had to purchase a scenario if it was at a game day run by a VO. I have only purchased them for personal game groups.

I have never received a free scenario from a VO. then again, I can count on one hand the number of times I even saw a VO at my store in eighteen months.

sure, I picked up a lot of my scenarios when they were on sale, but I've still purchased over fifty scenarios and modules.

I think a major hurdle to free vs not free scenarios is how close is your nearest VO and whether or not they play an active role in your game day.

I used to play in St. Louis and at the two busiest game day locations both the VC and VL were very active in organizing and GMing. As such they brought out the big ass box of scenarios (aka every scenario in print). If you had a scenario in mind to GM they would lend you a paper copy a week or 2 in advance and make sure you had a table with players.

I have also seen game days not supported by active VO involvment to take up the hat and ask for a dollar or two from the players. This kept the organizer from having to fully fund the event out of their own pocket.

Sczarni

Lab_Rat wrote:
melferburque wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
John Francis wrote:


I always assumed that the reason VOs got scenarios for free was so that we could print out a hardcopy of a scenario for a GM to use.
Yep. I never had to purchase a scenario if it was at a game day run by a VO. I have only purchased them for personal game groups.

I have never received a free scenario from a VO. then again, I can count on one hand the number of times I even saw a VO at my store in eighteen months.

sure, I picked up a lot of my scenarios when they were on sale, but I've still purchased over fifty scenarios and modules.

I think a major hurdle to free vs not free scenarios is how close is your nearest VO and whether or not they play an active role in your game day.

I used to play in St. Louis and at the two busiest game day locations both the VC and VL were very active in organizing and GMing. As such they brought out the big ass box of scenarios (aka every scenario in print). If you had a scenario in mind to GM they would lend you a paper copy a week or 2 in advance and make sure you had a table with players.

I have also seen game days not supported by active VO involvment to take up the hat and ask for a dollar or two from the players. This kept the organizer from having to fully fund the event out of their own pocket.

Problem is that in some pfs areas, the people in charge do not care about being generous in this way. If leaders in my area did, I would gm way more often. But I am taking a break from pfs so mute point for me.

Grand Lodge

Free scenarios is a thing that is changing atm, while it isn't directly to the GM they have expanded this to cover participating stores. Many stores have libraries of scenarios that they loan out to GMs in order for gamedays, which they maintained at their own cost. In the near future (maybe already) Paizo is giving all scenarios (ACG & RPG) to retailers (along with base sets of every ACG box and new book specific quests). While this could be extended further to GM's, it may also be a way to get stores to maintain a library that GMs can use and lighten the financial load on individuals.

Edit: I'm in no way advocating either side with this, just a thought (Info from the April 20th blog)

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

Lab_Rat wrote:


I have also seen game days not supported by active VO involvment to take up the hat and ask for a dollar or two from the players. This kept the organizer from having to fully fund the event out of their own pocket.

in my area, we have a fair number of kids, and several adults that are either unemployed or on a very fixed income. one of the biggest draws of PFS is that it is free to play. asking them to foot the bill just isn't an option. it's hard enough encouraging players to support the game stores or restaurants that support us. we definitely have some players and GMs that try to pick up the slack more than others, each to their own ability.

I know there are pirated copies of scenarios out there. if I know someone offering to run is broke, yet they have a folder full of scenarios, I just pretend not to care where it came from. I'm well aware of the issue of piracy being bad and all that, but sometimes you just need that GM at a table more than you need to defend paizo's profit margins.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Quadstriker wrote:

You said "Free scenarios or financial help is impossible". I interpreted that as meaning "There is no way to give out scenarios for free at all."

I don't accept *that* as a blanket statement.

Especially since I get them for free all the time. :)

I estimate we give away somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000-20,000 free PDFs every year to both cons and game days as small as 3 tables.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Lab_Rat wrote:
I think a major hurdle to free vs not free scenarios is how close is your nearest VO and whether or not they play an active role in your game day.

I have regularly run PFS at two different stores in the area. I have *never* paid for a scenario. At one store, the coordinator always gifts the scenarios to the GM (through Paizo). This may be coming out of her pocket, but my assumption is that it is not. (She's a VO now, but she wasn't always.)

At the other, the store owner always gifted the scenarios.

These weren't things I asked for, but I'm very surprised to hear that that isn't standard. Really at this point, if I'm running an adventure that someone else chooses, for their event -- whether that is a game day or a convention -- I expect the scenario to be provided. Now, if *I'm* picking the scenario and pushing the event, then it would make sense for me to provide my own.

EDIT: Posted before seeing Mike Brock's post. His numbers sound like what I would expect from general practice in our area.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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John Francis wrote:


I always assumed that the reason VOs got scenarios for free was so that we could print out a hardcopy of a scenario for a GM to use.

If the cost of buying a scenario is giving you problems, ask for help. Somebody at tonight's table might have a copy they could lend you, or be willing to buy you a copy of a scenario as a gift so you can run it for your group next month. Some game stores have a library of scenarios (and maps, and minis, ...) behind the counter that you could use. If your game store has a table fee, they might be prepared to buy the scenario for you. And if all else fails, ask your local VOs. (But don't ask them too often - while the scenario itself might be free, ink and paper most definitely aren't!).

PFS works best when everybody contributes. If the GM workload is spread around fairly evenly amongst all the players then, on average, you're spending perhaps $1/session on buying scenarios. But if you've got players in your area who never GM, or contribute in any way, this is a problem, especially if this is leading to GM burnout. That's when somebody has to make the hard decisions as to how many players the local GM pool can support, and who gets those seats at the table.

Anytime I have been approached by someone who truly could not afford to purchase a scenario, I have assigned the requested PDF for free to their account and usually 5-6 additional.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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grandpoobah wrote:


For me, I would love to get credit for free scenario downloads. Those of us at 1-3 stars spend a decent amount of coin to run these adventures. I think a system where VOs and coordinators can distribute a free scenario credit (or several) would work. Then Paizo can effectively delegate the reward activity to the VOs. I don't know if Paizo's purchase system can handle store credit that can only be used on scenarios - they can certainly COMP specific scenarios (as they do for conventions).

A VO simply needs to make the request to me and it happens a great many times more often than not.

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

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If you live remotely close to my area, and they only thing that is stopping you from GMing is $4, I'll buy you the scenario.

That said, most of our normal game days in The Bay Area we expect our GMs to purchase the scenario, provide minis, maps, chronicle sheets etc. We also expect them to be prepared, and to provide the most awesome experience they can to our community. Obviously we'll provide extra support to help get brand new GMs on their feet and there's plenty of lending maps back and forth.

What you get for GMing, is to be a full and productive member of one of the most awesome gaming communities in the world. It's awesome because everybody contributes.

Looking @ Warhorn stats for Endgame:

Top 10 players for # of Games GMed
Play/GM
66/17
44/16
25/14
51/13
57/13
33/12
29/11
39/19

Nobody GMs all the time, everybody contributes. I get a pretty similar list if I sort by players instead.

At Endgame, arguably our most successful location with 5+ tables most night, gets this by expecting everybody to contribute.

I've pasted below an email from Mitch to one of our other coordinators who was having trouble getting enough GMs for his event.

Why Mitch is the most awesome VL:

Hey guys,

Thanks for bringing me into the conversation. GM retention is tough, but it's been getting way better at Endgame. The past few months, I've only had to ask people by email to GM a slot 2 to 3 times per month. Several players have stepped up in a big way this year. I basically got hardcore about getting people to GM, otherwise I would run too many games and get burn out.

I started out going by
Painlord's Guide to PFS Coordination and
Painlords Guide to Judge Recruitment

I'm well overdue to read these threads again, it's been a while. He prescribed to have everyone GM once for every five games they play. I've changed that to telling everyone to GM once per month. If everyone GMs once per month and everyone shares the responsibility of GMing, then everyone gets lots of chances to play keeps our community strong. That's one of my favorite aspects of PFS, playing and GMing.

Hardcore:
• I verbally tell/remind people on game days that they need to GM once per month. Talking to people TO THEIR FACE (nicely) is the most affective, it also starts good discussions. Usually they don't realize all the resources available and how it's actually easy and fun to GM.
• I also email players who have not GM'd often enough and remind them to GM, along with providing resources for GMing. Emailing is secondary to talking with people and only works with regular GMs... and people who use email. People who rarely GM will always ignore emails.
• After speaking with them in person, I email/facebook/verbal message new players asking to them GM. I believe that new players should be GMing after their 15th session (level 5), unless they are brand spanking new to RPGs. I also recommend season 0-2 scenarios to new GMs.
• SECRET TRACKING DOC: I keep track of every PFS scenario that everyone at Endgame has played. I plug these into a google doc. Usually on Wednesdays (Game is Monday) I'll check Waharn to see the GM situation, and a GM is needed, I can refer to the doc and sometimes find someone who's played x scenario and has not signed up to GM for the month. It's always more fun to play a scenario first and then GM it. I also use profession (miner) on all the local conventions to see what people have already played/GM'd. Lately I've used this doc less and less, instead just asking people to fill GM seats when they're signed up only to play.
• I utilized the Facebook discussion group to reminding people to GM and have hyper local GM discussions. https://www.facebook.com/groups/OaktownPathfinderSociety/
• When Fridays or Saturdays arrive an no one has stepped up to GM, I bcc everyone at the table and let them know that they don't have a GM. If no one steps up, no biggie, they don't play or they can do a pickup game of some evergreen scenario.
• "If you GM you get priority. If you don't GM you get waitlisted." I haven't had to issue this threat in a long time. But early 2014 when I first started proclaiming "GM once per month", I also stressed that people who GM will get first priority, and those who don't meet the monthly minimum won't get priority. Very few times have I had to enforce this. When this has happened I send them a message at least one day ahead letting them know they might not play.

Some players who don't GM unfortunately have been weeded out. This sucks. However, I believe if they don't contribute it weakens our community. Recently there is one guy who was an amazing player, every time he played his table filled the room with laughter. I asked him multiple times to GMs and expressed how good he'd be at it—seriously, he has a outstanding personality. He finally responded to one of my requests by email and wrote me a very well written excuses, his work might keep him late and he'd might have to cancel last minute, etc. I told him I'd rather take the chance that he have to cancel last minute and contribute than not. He stopped coming. It sucks. But it happens.

Hope some of this spew helps. It's the fear of my own GM burnout that fuels my rhetoric.

tl;dr; We expect our GMs to be awesome and self sufficient. We also expect everybody to eventually take a turn, and clearly communicate this.

---
Footnote: One of the neat things about PFS, and why I enjoy playing it while traveling is everybody does things a little differently. I'm sure your area/store/astrological sign is different than mine and I have just as much to learn from your area as you do from mine.

While it would be nice to be able to sweeten the pot with some extra bribery from Paizo (I couldn't organize the GMs I needed for Cons without it) we have established a culture where everybody contributes, and that's just part of the price of admission and why we're so awesome.

Grand Lodge 5/5

The store we play at is very generous and has offered to buy one scenario and print it out every time we meet. While I do not take advantage of this, we have GMs that need it but unfortunately their printer occasionally messes up, causing multiple sections to be unreadable. This happens the most for season 5 scenarios, their printer tends to fail with the really dark background season 5's have at the top and bottom of those pages.

Per instructions I've received from Paizo when I asked about their policies, pdfs of scenarios cannot be shared. So when this happens I look at my pdfs and send them the unreadable text of the small sections needed.

A few times, I have purchased the pdf through Paizo's gifting system for our more destitute GMs when the print out is so bad, I would have to send more than a few pages of information.

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

melferburque wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
John Francis wrote:


I always assumed that the reason VOs got scenarios for free was so that we could print out a hardcopy of a scenario for a GM to use.
Yep. I never had to purchase a scenario if it was at a game day run by a VO. I have only purchased them for personal game groups.

I have never received a free scenario from a VO. then again, I can count on one hand the number of times I even saw a VO at my store in eighteen months.

sure, I picked up a lot of my scenarios when they were on sale, but I've still purchased over fifty scenarios and modules.

Well, let's see, shall we share sad stories?

My area is on its 4th VC. The first VC was fairly active in promoting and helping out at the Saturday gaming I was organizing at a local store to fill ion on other Saturdays than the then-monthly Game Day.

The second VC wound up retiring from VCing fairly rapidly, since real life (wife and child, maybe job) kept him from being active. Recent request from him was to remove him from the mailing list I had setup for our local PFSers to send out information on the Saturday and Sunday games being organized at the local stores.

The third VC was doing a fair job, but he was concentrating on trying to get PFS into some of the local conventions that were fringish for gamers, as our local big gaming convention died; and a local convention that was being started as part of a national chain only had one, maybe two, conventions. He retired from VC a little while ago, due to real life time constraints.

Our fourth VC, the current one, is trying to organize, but running into a few of the local time issues, and started by trying to get people involved with online gaming sessions. He is going to be moving back to face-to-face, if I understand his recent emails correctly, and I wish him good luck.

I have gotten a few scenarios free, but, usually, when I was scheduled to run a scenario at a con for one of our VCs, it usually wound up being one(s) I had already purchased. My current scenario collection, IIRC, includes all but the last 2 or 4 scenarios released, including the retired scenarios from Season 0. That is a lot of scenarios, my Paizo Downloads page is quite long. And I am still missing a few of the softcovers, and one or two of the Pathfinder hardcovers on that list.

However, Paizo does do some recognition, besides just putting pretty pictures in front of your name, for their GMs. One of the recent things that they did, for 4 and 5 star GMs, was the arrangement with Syrinscape. Which is much appreciated, and is awesome.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

Ulfen Death Squad wrote:
Problem is that in some pfs areas, the people in charge do not care about being generous in this way. If leaders in my area did, I would gm way more often. But I am taking a break from pfs so mute point for me.

It is not generosity that is the problem in your area (me being in your area) it was mostly the difficulty in getting the scenarios to the GMs prior to the game. Remember he can't send you a digital copy, he needs to print it up and hand it to you.

We tried Leaving them at the store but that did not work either as people behind the counter most of the time would had no clue what we were talking about when it was brought up. They also tried leaving a Locked box at the store but that would still require the VO to be there to unlock it.

The only way for it to have worked is if you signed up to GM 2 weeks prior and asked our Prior VC to bring it in the game day prior to the one you are GMing at, but that never happened, most of the time we do not know who is GMing until the week of the game and by then the majority of the time it was too late to get the scneario to the GMs unless they were willing to meet somewhere.

Edit: It is a viscous cycle, the ones in our area that could use the free scenarios the most due to lack of funds I can see also not being able to afford the gas to go pick up the scenarios, or not even have a car like a few of them.

Edit Edit: How many times Have you asked our Prior VC for a copy of a scenario? I know I have been asked in the past and when I could I gave them out. It has been a long time though since I have been asked and I always suggest the GM buying their own since having a digital copy makes it easier to prep IMO.

Edit Edit Edit: I know one of our GMs used to always ask for print outs of the scenarios he was going to run 2 weeks prior to the game (I was the one that gave them to him) when his only income was from his parents. Once he got his own income he started buying them himself.

Edit Edit Edit Edit: Granted I am not sure if we have advertised in awhile that we can get you free scenarios, I will fix that tomorrow.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Captain, Special Projects—Discord

Mulgar wrote:
Todd Morgan wrote:
There was a time when GMing in PFS granted you no chronicle sheet and no stars and no opportunity to replay. Yet people still GM'd in those times, for no more reward than growing their community and helping grow conventions in their area.

The times they are a'changin.......

Seriously, when you drop out of playing repeatedly to make sure other people have a chance to play, and no on else does......

A little reward would be nice.

There is a reward. As times have changed...

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

I just had this idea pop into my head...

Basically we want recognition for the time and effort we put into making PFS a succes. Goodies are nice, but not always easy to implement.

What if we got an e-mail from mike every time we reach a star? This of course does not have to be a personal e-mail. That would eat into his time something fierce.
But just a nice message pre-written, send to the e-mail aderes linked to your paizo account.

1 star: a thank you for starting GMing, and hoping you will continue the good work.
2 stars: a thank you for continuing to GM and well wishes.
3 stars: again a thank you, and maybe a funny picture of a goblin?
4 stars: a group picturs of the PFS team with their thumbs up?

Random side thought: What if the email contained a picture you could download and use to get printed on a shirt... "I GMd for PFS and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" with the amount of stars you currently have.

4/5 Venture-Captain, South America aka Draco Bahamut

I have many potential GMs that can´t read english (or can´t well enough to run a scenario). Can i translate a scenario, print it and LEND to them so they can GM ?

Silver Crusade 5/5

Yeah, I'm pretty sure no one is going to give you grief for doing that. That seems like it's going above and beyond the call of duty.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Agreed, I think that sounds perfectly reasonable.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Hebert Ricardo Magno wrote:
I have many potential GMs that can´t read english (or can´t well enough to run a scenario). Can i translate a scenario, print it and LEND to them so they can GM ?

Yes


I did think of something that Paizo could do to help us out.

Bundle maps with scenarios. If a scenario calls for a couple of flip mats or map packs then let us buy them all when we buy the scenario. As it stands I need buy the scenario, download it, open it find the GM Resources box and the search through the scenario for all the maps. Why not just let me order them all at the same time? It wouldn't cost them anything and it would reduce the nuisance factor of buying scenarios a little.

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

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People keep saying we need to award gms better to get more people to step up and gm. EVERY TIME, Paizo has increased rewards, this has been the arguement.
Gms AR first got no credit for running, and no scenarios free, nothing.
Then gms started getting 1/2 credit for each scenario, this still wasn't enough.
Then people started getting full credit, Venture officer positions were implemented, and later gm stars ( for recognition) were introduced.
All of these were argued as ways to get people to step up and gm.
A couple of years ago, gm star replay was introduced. This last year Core campaign.
All of these were at least partially argued for as ways to gms to step up. Very few did. Adding one more reward will not get people off their arses and step up if they haven't already.
This is coming from a gm since year 0/1, who volunteers at 3 to 4 local cons a year and the last 3 (?) Gencons and now running PACG every week and gming two to three times a month.I have never done this for the reward, I do it for the community, and consider the rewards a bonus.

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

Jessex wrote:

I did think of something that Paizo could do to help us out.

Bundle maps with scenarios. If a scenario calls for a couple of flip mats or map packs then let us buy them all when we buy the scenario. As it stands I need buy the scenario, download it, open it find the GM Resources box and the search through the scenario for all the maps. Why not just let me order them all at the same time? It wouldn't cost them anything and it would reduce the nuisance factor of buying scenarios a little.

Interesting idea, but if they did that, I'd have 5 to 6 copies of waterfront tavern by now.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Maryland— Baltimore aka DrParty06

Tim Statler wrote:


Interesting idea, but if they did that, I'd have 5 to 6 copies of waterfront tavern by now.

Whoever it was that made the Profession (Architect) check to design those taverns all over Golarion has got to be mega rich.


Tim Statler wrote:
Jessex wrote:

I did think of something that Paizo could do to help us out.

Bundle maps with scenarios. If a scenario calls for a couple of flip mats or map packs then let us buy them all when we buy the scenario. As it stands I need buy the scenario, download it, open it find the GM Resources box and the search through the scenario for all the maps. Why not just let me order them all at the same time? It wouldn't cost them anything and it would reduce the nuisance factor of buying scenarios a little.

Interesting idea, but if they did that, I'd have 5 to 6 copies of waterfront tavern by now.

You wouldn't have to buy the maps every time obviously. But the option to buy the maps and have them shipped to you as soon as you buy the scenario would reduce the hassle when you do want to buy the maps with the scenario.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

I agree it would be nice if there was a quick way to determine what map products would be needed for any scenario. But I don't think it would be necessary to create a separate line item for a scenario/map bundle. Most of the time there's only one map, so a quick way of finding out what it is (so you can add it to the order when you're buying the scenario) would serve almost as well. And if there are multiple maps, the chances are that many of the people ordering the scenario would already own one or more, so a bundle would be of no real use to them.

And if you're doing that for maps, why stop there? When my wife prepares to run a scenario she creates a manifest listing not only all the maps needed, but also the monsters encountered (showing which set(s) of miniatures or pawns have an appropriate figure). If Paizo created such a list (linked from the scenario page), with "add to cart" buttons beside each product (and maybe an "add all to cart" button) would that do?


John Francis wrote:


I agree it would be nice if there was a quick way to determine what map products would be needed for any scenario. But I don't think it would be necessary to create a separate line item for a scenario/map bundle. Most of the time there's only one map, so a quick way of finding out what it is (so you can add it to the order when you're buying the scenario) would serve almost as well. And if there are multiple maps, the chances are that many of the people ordering the scenario would already own one or more, so a bundle would be of no real use to them.

And if you're doing that for maps, why stop there? When my wife prepares to run a scenario she creates a manifest listing not only all the maps needed, but also the monsters encountered (showing which set(s) of miniatures or pawns have an appropriate figure). If Paizo created such a list (linked from the scenario page), with "add to cart" buttons beside each product (and maybe an "add all to cart" button) would that do?

Sure. That is functionally what I'm talking about. Just make it so I don't have to make multiple trips into the Paizo store when I prep scenarios.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Jessex wrote:
Tim Statler wrote:
Jessex wrote:

I did think of something that Paizo could do to help us out.

Bundle maps with scenarios. If a scenario calls for a couple of flip mats or map packs then let us buy them all when we buy the scenario. As it stands I need buy the scenario, download it, open it find the GM Resources box and the search through the scenario for all the maps. Why not just let me order them all at the same time? It wouldn't cost them anything and it would reduce the nuisance factor of buying scenarios a little.

Interesting idea, but if they did that, I'd have 5 to 6 copies of waterfront tavern by now.
You wouldn't have to buy the maps every time obviously. But the option to buy the maps and have them shipped to you as soon as you buy the scenario would reduce the hassle when you do want to buy the maps with the scenario.

Are you talking about physical maps or PDF's? If PDF's, I could see it maybe working, maybe just some links to the maps used could be helpful. One thing I've noticed is that scenarios being made still sometimes use out of print flipmats, so that would be a definite problem if you're talking about physical stuff. One neat thing I saw that they are doing is releasing a line of reprinted classic flipmats, which is good.


UndeadMitch wrote:
Jessex wrote:
Tim Statler wrote:
Jessex wrote:

I did think of something that Paizo could do to help us out.

Bundle maps with scenarios. If a scenario calls for a couple of flip mats or map packs then let us buy them all when we buy the scenario. As it stands I need buy the scenario, download it, open it find the GM Resources box and the search through the scenario for all the maps. Why not just let me order them all at the same time? It wouldn't cost them anything and it would reduce the nuisance factor of buying scenarios a little.

Interesting idea, but if they did that, I'd have 5 to 6 copies of waterfront tavern by now.
You wouldn't have to buy the maps every time obviously. But the option to buy the maps and have them shipped to you as soon as you buy the scenario would reduce the hassle when you do want to buy the maps with the scenario.
Are you talking about physical maps or PDF's? If PDF's, I could see it maybe working, maybe just some links to the maps used could be helpful. One thing I've noticed is that scenarios being made still sometimes use out of print flipmats, so that would be a definite problem if you're talking about physical stuff. One neat thing I saw that they are doing is releasing a line of reprinted classic flipmats, which is good.

Either. if you want PDF you would download them right along with the scenario. If you want the physical maps they would be shipped to you ASAP.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis aka Mulgar

Woran wrote:

I just had this idea pop into my head...

Basically we want recognition for the time and effort we put into making PFS a succes. Goodies are nice, but not always easy to implement.

What if we got an e-mail from mike every time we reach a star? This of course does not have to be a personal e-mail. That would eat into his time something fierce.
But just a nice message pre-written, send to the e-mail aderes linked to your paizo account.

1 star: a thank you for starting GMing, and hoping you will continue the good work.
2 stars: a thank you for continuing to GM and well wishes.
3 stars: again a thank you, and maybe a funny picture of a goblin?
4 stars: a group picturs of the PFS team with their thumbs up?

Random side thought: What if the email contained a picture you could download and use to get printed on a shirt... "I GMd for PFS and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" with the amount of stars you currently have.

And of course that shirt would be an allowable rerouter item.

Silver Crusade

Joe Ducey wrote:
To give some frame of reference to what I'm going to say. Let me start out with this, I'm extremely lucky to be part a a very active lodge. We run 2 game days a week, generally with a total of 4 tables. In our lodge we have accumulated nearly 50 gm stars across about 100 players (though not all 100 generally active at one time due to a large University population, more like 20-30 very active at any given time).

Interesting. I'm about a hundred miles south of Bloomington. One of the co-owners of the local shop here where we play PFS lives up there because his wife was going to IU (she just graduated) and he observed a new player get browbeaten for playing a fighter at the Common Room (I think, might have been the Game Preserve) and concluded your meta was toxic, so now he just plays when he's shuttled down here for event weekends at the shop.

Shadow Lodge

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I've DM'd plenty of games for Game Days, but being in the military and also the fact that there are no Cons in the immediate area, I simply can't go to Cons. Not complaining, just explaining that it requires a lot of work to be able to be able to even attempt to go to a Con, and it's not feasible in the practical sense.

I remember I think I walked away with 4 Boons from the first Game Day, but I also gave them away to other people that hadn't won any. It was partially because I wasn't that interested in them, a lot because the people I gave them to where very new to PFS and where sad they hadn't won anything, and also because like others had said, I DM far, far more than I play. I also tend to play a lot of Divine Characters, and most Boons just really don't apply. Even the DM Star Boons, I have a set printed out for each character I had at the time they came out, and I just have never seen any need to use them, they really don't do anything for me.

Because I play far less than I DM, there is only a handful of Race Boons I really want, but I generally do not find them that enticing. I also gave away all the Boons I received in the last two Game Days I played, again wanting to try to gift them to people that where pretty new to PFS and hadn't won anything, even the two I did really want, (one allowed me to roll a Day Job check even when I DM, and one dealt with sending stuff to Mendev which was just really in character).

Now that the base Aasimar is not legal, (I have one or two still left for myself), that's one I do want, as I love the concept of the Aasimar, even just the base type. I'd also like to be able to have a Dhampir and also a Grippli, and in both cases it's because I want to build a legal "Concept Character" for the fun of it, much more than actually to play it, per se.

But, I also agree that I do feel the "average gamestore PFS DM" is PFS's bread and butter, but also tends to be less rewarded for what they do. And someone mentioned offering a few suggestions.

Here are a few things I would love to see as someone that Runs games more than plays:

1.) The ability to do a Day Job check, but you are required to "Take 10" for the result.

2.) I think it would be pretty awesome sometimes to (as a 1 time, but permanent thing) be able to grant one of your other characters a Chronicle Sheet reward as a gift. This would only be Boons, Gear, etc. . . that was actually found by the GM character, and that they actually earned and/or purchased, and only for Chronicle Sheets assigned to the character through DMing.

3.) If we ever see any more Holiday Boon, it might be pretty cool to have a special note on them like, "additionally, if you apply this to a character that you are also applying DM Credit for at the same session: Because of your effort to make sure the ________ Holiday went off without trouble, you have earned a measure of respect from the church of ________, granting you a <maybe +2 Diplomacy to followers of _________> or something like that", kind of playing on the idea that the character was both DMing, but also in-game working at the Holiday event. Or possibly an extra use of the Holiday Boon on the character it's assigned to

4.) Something that could be really awesome would be to be able to hand out minor Pathfinder agent or even Faction ranks/title. Maybe one character per DM Star, and then something like a free "title" for every 3 DM Credit Chronicles applied. No real benefit, or if so, maybe it's like a +1 on any social roles to members of that Faction. But titles are cool. Also, sort of like a minor version of the EotT idea. Some of my games are with an established group in a home setting, and sometimes they like seeing some of my characters in an NPC capacity that they have adventured with way back when. Example: 2 Star = Venture-Assistant, 3 Star = Respected Mentor, 4 Star = Team Leader, 5 Star = ____ Ambassador, but only applies when the character's levels are equal to at least twice the number of stars, so no 2nd level "Team Leaders".

5.) Something I personally would love is maybe for every DM Star you have, you can RUN a single "retired" scenario for Credit. This is something that would really help in cases like mine where it can be difficult to find a game that everyone can play.

6.) I personally really like the idea of a number of DM stars unlocking either old Boons or new Races, but not tied to any sort of Con or Event. I think the most appealing thing is that it's the sort of thing that offers a small handful of options, which means that DM's can pick one that they might want, but also it sets a sort of goal to work towards. Just speaking for myself, the only real goal I have (as a DM) is working towards my 4th Star, (soonish), possibly VL, (difficult due to military & deployments, but I'm also the only thing close to it in the area and constantly rotating player base), and long term, but already in progress, the 5th Star. Not complaining or anything just saying, it would be kind of cool and reinvigorating in a burn-out sense to have an established goal post like that concept DM reward.

7.) A Boon that not only forbids VC NPCs from berating you in the into briefing, but forces them to nod/salute in respect, either for past accomplishments/contributions or for who you know. Ha ha

8.) A long while back there was talk about a Boon Lottery, but it was shot down. :( Might be cool to revisit this idea, but only counting DMing credits for the "lottery ticket", and especially only non-Con and non-Game Day DMing Events. Cool and fun.

9.) Could be amazing to (in the flavor sense only) have the option to continue on with official (if dual) membership in Retired Factions like the Shadow or Lantern Lodge, or even Andoran or Taldor vs Liberty's Edge or the Sovereign Court. Maybe they are given a special (trophy) brooch that's engraved with "I said, I DO THIS FOR TALDOR!!!" or a personalized letter/certificate that ends (unsigned) with "The Shadow Lodge has fallen, but the mission continues. Aid the fallen." Or, a small unique jade Ioun Stone (otherwise powerless) that bears the message (in Tien) "There are still Tea Cups to find. . ."

Grand Lodge

Renegade Paladin wrote:
Joe Ducey wrote:
To give some frame of reference to what I'm going to say. Let me start out with this, I'm extremely lucky to be part a a very active lodge. We run 2 game days a week, generally with a total of 4 tables. In our lodge we have accumulated nearly 50 gm stars across about 100 players (though not all 100 generally active at one time due to a large University population, more like 20-30 very active at any given time).
Interesting. I'm about a hundred miles south of Bloomington. One of the co-owners of the local shop here where we play PFS lives up there because his wife was going to IU (she just graduated) and he observed a new player get browbeaten for playing a fighter at the Common Room (I think, might have been the Game Preserve) and concluded your meta was toxic, so now he just plays when he's shuttled down here for event weekends at the shop.

This hasn't been my experience in games at the store, other players houses,local cons, or on our Facebook group. In the store, I've never seen a disagreement worthy of remembering, occasional disagreements about which feat is better, etc., but even those are rare. (though obviously on Facebook, I've seen things be taken in an unintended manner, it is after all still the internet) Generally, though I'd consider this lodge to be one of the most inclusive environments for hobbies I've been around. If he would have any interest in checking it out again, he's always welcome to come by on a Monday for a game, or contact Mike Bramnik our VC or me.

Edit: And yes the local store is the Common Room (we've looked at having games at the Games Preserve, but their space is not very conducive to RPG's as they generally favor MTG and Warhammer, and the acoustics are not good.)

Silver Crusade

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Actually the Game Preserve stopped 40k tournaments not too long ago since that meta definitely was toxic. (I went to a tournament up there once. Once.) I don't know, he just told me he was playing M:tG across the room from the game in question and didn't say anything. That's all I really know about it; glad to hear it wasn't representative. :)

5/5 5/55/55/5

Quote:
and concluded your meta was toxic

Thats kinda harsh from one comment from one player that may have just been taken the wrong way.

Grand Lodge

melferburque wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
John Francis wrote:


I always assumed that the reason VOs got scenarios for free was so that we could print out a hardcopy of a scenario for a GM to use.
Yep. I never had to purchase a scenario if it was at a game day run by a VO. I have only purchased them for personal game groups.

I have never received a free scenario from a VO. then again, I can count on one hand the number of times I even saw a VO at my store in eighteen months.

sure, I picked up a lot of my scenarios when they were on sale, but I've still purchased over fifty scenarios and modules.

Move to central or southern Illinois. Between us and E/SE Missouri, we have a lot of VOs over here who travel to a lot of each other's game days and conventions.

And personally, I give out free scenarios to my GMs at least once or twice a year. Anything I've accidentally printed a second copy of (though those are loaners) and at the end of Gencon, I take a stack of scenarios home to give out to GMs, since Paizo doesn't want to ship them back to Seattle.

1/5

I'll throw out an idea. It would require some initial work, but once the system was in place, it would mostly run itself.

Create a pool of GM specific boons that can ONLY be obtained through this GM reward system. Tier the boons based on GM stars (1* boons, 2* boons, 3* boons, etc.) For every 5 (or 6 or 10 or whatever) games you run, you can apply one boon from any tier you have unlocked to one of your reported characters. It would be a digital boon that autopopulates the header fields before it's even printed out (name, character name, faction, PFS #).

These boons could be special race boons (that you'd apply to a fresh character or level 1 character), special gear boons that allow the purchase of otherwise illegal items (Bracers of Falcon's Aim anyone?), disallowed racial traits (darkvision for elves!?!), disallowed feats or traits (Divine Protection from ACG on your oracle?), "treasure caches" that provide free items (ie. select 1 item from this list) or just a chunk of cash that scales based on the level it's applied.

This is all at minimum cost to Paizo, particularly once the system to support it is in place. These GM boon tiers could be expanded with new boons and boons could be retired out, to continually add new incentives to GM.

If you're handing out a "free" boon every 5-10 games someone GMs, regardless of whether that's at a game shop or a convention, that seems like a pretty solid reward. I think it may be a good idea to give a pretty nice boon out for the first time you GM as well, applied the same way the other boons described above would be. Getting someone to try it out once is the first step to getting them to GM regularly.

Just an idea. Sounds cool to me but it's certainly possible I am overlooking something or underestimating the amount of work involved in implementing such a system.


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Sigh...this thread won't die.

I have seen this thread about
every 6 months since I started playing.

First, every one picks sides:
Rewards are just fine / I don't need rewards to enjoy GMing
VS
We need more rewards to recruit more GMs / keep me at the GM seat.

Then every one brings out the same arguments:
When I was a starting GM we rolled d20's uphill both ways
More Boons! I wanna play the new crazy fox frog angel race
Convention GMs get all the cool stuff
Convention GMs deserve them
I need more rewards to get players to GM
GMing is its own reward
................
SIGH

Nothing ever resolves to a point that people are happy.
We don't get any additional rewards and complain that they cant recruit GMs.
We get a reward bump and people complain that they cant recruit GMs.

GMing is not something that everyone wants to do. As an organizer your job is to sift through all the people that walk through your door and encourage them to GM. However, if they don't enjoy it, no amount of boons will get them to do it. Take the players who show interest and teach them how to GM. Show them how to prep a scenario, how to handle a table, and let them see how much you enjoy doing it. Hopefully this catches and they start to enjoy GMing in the same way they enjoy playing.

Remember that players and GMs are setting aside 5-6 hours out of their day to HAVE FUN. No amount of rewards will substitute for that simple fact.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Tim Statler wrote:

People keep saying we need to award gms better to get more people to step up and gm. EVERY TIME, Paizo has increased rewards, this has been the arguement.

Gms AR first got no credit for running, and no scenarios free, nothing.
Then gms started getting 1/2 credit for each scenario, this still wasn't enough.
Then people started getting full credit, Venture officer positions were implemented, and later gm stars ( for recognition) were introduced.
All of these were argued as ways to get people to step up and gm.
A couple of years ago, gm star replay was introduced. This last year Core campaign.
All of these were at least partially argued for as ways to gms to step up. Very few did. Adding one more reward will not get people off their arses and step up if they haven't already.
This is coming from a gm since year 0/1, who volunteers at 3 to 4 local cons a year and the last 3 (?) Gencons and now running PACG every week and gming two to three times a month.I have never done this for the reward, I do it for the community, and consider the rewards a bonus.

I agree. It is not so much about the physical reward itself. I consider rewards a sign that Paizo cares. That what I am doing matters to them. So how much they reward me when I GM at a Con compared to how much they reward me when I GM a game day says, to me, how important each of those are to Paizo.

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