An Argument For Why Offering Special Boons Only At Conventions Is Actually A Bad Thing.


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Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka skyshark

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Please consider that GMs who travel to a convention actually spend their own time and money to entertain other people (as well a sacrificing their time at the convention) while the players just have to be there and have fun.

And usually when the GM gets a GM boon, players get the chance to earn a player boon.

Organizing your own convention isn't that hard (depending on your region and circumstances) and you can earn boons by GMing at an online convention.

That said I am not against a system for GMs who can't attend conventions, to somehow acquire boons.

Agreed to all points made here.

Where in Wuerzbug do you run games? I lived there for three years and the only store I ever saw that I would consider a "gaming" store I think was on Platttnerstrasse or Muenzstrasse. I can't recall the name though. It was more of a toy/game store though if I remember correctly.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Okay, we've cycled round and round in these conversations, so let's discuss common ground and start reaching a consensus.

OUR COMMON GROUND

1) Everyone in this thread agrees that we should reward GMs at Conventions.
2) Everyone in this thread agrees that we should reward regular gameday GMs.
3) Everyone in this thread acknowledges that there is a difference in the reward system for convention GMs and gameday GMs, and that the level of difference is causing dissent.

STILL UNDER DISCUSSION

There have been discussions, in this thread and other threads, about how it is harder to recruit GMs for conventions without boons.

There have been discussions, in this thread and other threads, about intrinsic and extrinsic rewards for GMs (though no one has yet called them that, until now.)

Intrinsic Rewards (GMing as its own Reward):

  • The joy of showing people a good time;
  • The joy of telling a great story;
  • The chance to play a variety of NPCs and do voices;
  • The chance to play the bad guys in a combat and challenge the PCs.
Let's acknowledge that all GMs enjoy these benefits or they won't GM long term. There is some concern, and it is valid, that by offering extrinsic rewards for GMing, we've devalued how some people view their intrinsic rewards.

Still, we need to bring more good GMs into PFS, and extrinsic rewards can bridge the gap to entice people into playing, so they discover how much they can enjoy GMing. It also makes up for the costs inherent to GMs of purchasing scenarios and putting in all the prep time that good GMing requires.

Extrinsic Rewards (Stars, Boons & Other Incentives):

  • The Entire Star System;
  • Assigning a Chronicle Sheet to the Correct PC;
  • Boons.
Where the disconnect lies is in Boons, specifically Race Boons. By offering Race Boons only at conventions, Game Day GMs feel left out.

A MODEST PROPOSAL

I watch the boon trading thread with great interest, even though I've never traded there. Here are some trends that I've noticed. The least valued race boons are the plane-touched elemental race boons. They've been kicking around the con circuit for quite some time. Many Con GMs have acquired so many of them that they've burned them on other boons, like creating Sulis or using them for those Xenophobia Boons.

Why not open those elemental race boons up as GM Star Rewards? We've already moved on to Aasimars and whatever the Winter Con race boon will be. Simply stop offering elemental race boons as Con Rewards, and make them GM Star Rewards. Offer 1 race boon for every star achieved.

I would NOT offer them for the first GM star. Getting to that first star is ridiculously easy. I got there without even realizing that I'd made my correct number of tables because I'd GMed four modules! Besides, getting that first star is its own reward. A lot of people congratulate you, and suddenly recognize that you're serious about GMing when you reach that milestone. It made me feel so good to see that Star by my name, that I didn't feel I needed any other reward.

Here's how I would reward the races boons, tied into the GM Star System:

  • One Star -- No race boon -- But hey, you're a star!
  • Two Star -- Undine. Why? It's the least popular plane-touched race. They make good kineticists, gunslingers and wisdom-based casters, but what they offer doesn't excite many players. Their amphibious nature is felt to be situational. On the other hand, I think that an undine would thrill someone who has never gotten a race boon before. (My undine certainly thrilled me.) It's a good starter boon.
  • Three Star -- Ifrit. It's another Cha/Dex race, but a lot of people enjoy their fire blasters.
  • Four Star -- Sylph. It's an Int/Dex race, that can fly later and has some great Sylph-only spells. Lots of people love these.
  • Five Star -- Oread. Str/Wis is a rare combination and is a good starter for fighty divines and other martials. Very popular.

This way, you can give Gameday GMs their own reward that takes many, many tables to actualize and still have people motivated to GM at Cons.

Hmm

Sovereign Court

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I have been to one convention: GenCon 2014. I ran six sessions and got a convention boon for doing so.

I have four GM Stars from running regular games in my community. I got 4 GM Stars for doing so.

I don't have to be Stephen Hawking to do the math on which has promoted PFS more, and by definition put money in Paizo's pockets, which directly correlates to the relative over inflation of convention value verses local support value.

Silver Crusade

outshyn wrote:
Fromper wrote:
And as I've said several times before, I'm not ready to believe that conventions really are better for marketing than local game days, without a real data analysis that I'm sure Paizo has never done.

I hope you never get that data. And again, I fear that this might come off as hostile, when I'm just negative. Maybe that differentiation is obscure for some people, but I mean this: I'd like to express in a very friendly way that this is a waste of time and if a developer's salary was spent on this trivial "give us more compensation for our $4 investment" line of thinking, that would just... well... I'd be shaking my head. This is silly to bother with.

You think it would be a waste of time for Paizo to analyze their business data to see what they can learn about their customers and use that data for marketing purposes? I hope you don't work in the business world.

As I said, this sort of data analysis is part of what I do for a living. There are all sorts of business metrics Paizo could be analyzing just by looking at who plays PFS at conventions, local game days, who GMs regularly, who only GMs sporadically, whether first time PFS players from conventions or game days are more likely to become regular players, who buys scenarios, who buys pdf versions of various books, who orders hard copies to be mail ordered to their home, whether stores that host game days buy/sell more hard copy products from Paizo or not, etc.

I can tell you from experience that almost every company analyzing their data in this kind of detail for the first time finds at least one major unexpected surprise. There's always at least one major assumption of their business that turns out to no longer be accurate, even if it was accurate 5 years ago.

This isn't just about seeing if local game days are more important to Paizo than they realize, and maybe deserve more attention. It's about analyzing all aspects of the business, as there are sure to be unexpected surprises.

Sovereign Court 4/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jack Amy wrote:

1-star: Two exclusive quests, one for 4th level characters and one for 7th level pregens. They could be structured and include tips to help these budding PFS GMs learn how to handle higher level scenarios.

2-star: 2 more quests, this time for 7th and 11th level pregens.
3-star: Exclusive 15th level quest. GMing all 5 quests awards a GM with a chronicle that can be assigned to a new 1st level character, make it snazzy.

One thing that I've run into in some instances. Just because GM's don't have a high number of stars doesn't mean they do not have a lot of experience running games. Adding this into an assumption makes more than a few GMs I've run with prickly, that the only experience that matters is if it has a star attached to it.

Many of the GMs I've run into have been around since before Pathfinder and running 3.5 for years, and PFS was not the first thing they jumped into with Pathfinder. There are a lot of groups out there that like to have fun and play things that are not 'sanctioned' - Kingmaker, Second Darkness, and Rise of the Drow come to mind and a lot more than have been published or advertised by Paizo.

Telling them that you don't have enough stars to say run high level is the easiest way to tell them their assistance is not wanted.

Liberty's Edge Venture-Agent, Online

Hmm wrote:
Extrinsic Rewards (Stars, Boons & Other Incentives):
  • The Entire Star System;
  • Assigning a Chronicle Sheet to the Correct PC;
  • Boons.
Where the disconnect lies is in Boons, specifically Race Boons. By offering Race Boons only at conventions, Game Day GMs feel left out.

A MODEST PROPOSAL

Why not open those elemental race boons up as GM Star Rewards? We've already moved on to Aasimars and whatever the Winter Con race boon will be. Simply stop offering elemental race boons as Con Rewards, and make them GM Star Rewards. Offer 1 race boon for every star achieved.

I would NOT offer them for the first GM star. Getting to that first star is ridiculously easy. I got there without even realizing that I'd made my correct number of tables because I'd GMed four modules! Besides, getting that first star is its own reward.

I suppose that's great for those players that already have more elemental race boons than they know what to do with them. It would drive up their trade value considerably.

One star was not trivial for me. It took over 9 months and that was only because I managed to get to a con and GM 5 slots. Most of my GMing happens over play by post, which is about a 45 to 60 day commitment to finish 1 adventure. It will probably take me at least another year to earn my second star. I'd get a lot more race boons GMing once a year at a local con, plus the occasional online con or pbp gameday.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Colchester

Incendiaeternus wrote:
Jack Amy wrote:

1-star: Two exclusive quests, one for 4th level characters and one for 7th level pregens. They could be structured and include tips to help these budding PFS GMs learn how to handle higher level scenarios.

2-star: 2 more quests, this time for 7th and 11th level pregens.
3-star: Exclusive 15th level quest. GMing all 5 quests awards a GM with a chronicle that can be assigned to a new 1st level character, make it snazzy.

One thing that I've run into in some instances. Just because GM's don't have a high number of stars doesn't mean they do not have a lot of experience running games. Adding this into an assumption makes more than a few GMs I've run with prickly, that the only experience that matters is if it has a star attached to it.

Many of the GMs I've run into have been around since before Pathfinder and running 3.5 for years, and PFS was not the first thing they jumped into with Pathfinder. There are a lot of groups out there that like to have fun and play things that are not 'sanctioned' - Kingmaker, Second Darkness, and Rise of the Drow come to mind and a lot more than have been published or advertised by Paizo.

Telling them that you don't have enough stars to say run high level is the easiest way to tell them their assistance is not wanted.

True, but some GMs are new, with their 1st GM star contributing to the only 10 tables they've ever run, and not necessarily having even looked at a running a level 6+ table. I would be far more interested in getting content out there that encourages new GMs and helps them hone their skills than withhold that content to pander to a few veteran GMs who might be offended by being associated with newbie GMs because of a shared 1-star status.


Hmmm, I completely disagree that there should be no other boon until one's second star. I agree that a GM boon that can be achieve fairly early would be a good way to help incite new GMs, a carrot that will help those who are thinking about GMing to finally give it a try.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrParty06 wrote:
LazarX wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


This is a prime example, again, of assuming that everyone lives in a city. The people that live in cities are the ones where cons are already there, could theoretically make a con with relative ease, and forget that going places takes money.

I live just outside of New York, which most people would agree is a city of considerable size. The big cons don't happen here. Going to one of them would be as much of an expense for me as it would be for most everyone else who doesn't happen to live in Indiana or Seattle. When we do go to Indiana, it's by pooling together to rent a van for those days, which still requires a considerable personal investment from everyone chipping in.

So no, we haven't forgotten.

Come up to AnonyCon in Stamford, CT the first weekend of December.

I used to go to ConCon, but it's become to expensive to volounteer there for my taste.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Right now, there's no distinction between a GM running a public game at a game store, versus a GM running a home campaign and registering the games as PFS sessions. Does anybody think we should be making this distinction?

If a GM runs two APs and two modules, that's enough GM credit for a second star. (Those can even be using house rules, or a different game system.) I don't see any need to offer incentives for that.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
LazarX wrote:


I used to go to ConCon, but it's become to expensive to volounteer there for my taste.

I'm sorry, but I just find this funny in regards to the whole thread.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Chris Mortika wrote:

Right now, there's no distinction between a GM running a public game at a game store, versus a GM running a home campaign and registering the games as PFS sessions. Does anybody think we should be making this distinction?

If a GM runs two APs and two modules, that's enough GM credit for a second star. (Those can even be using house rules, or a different game system.) I don't see any need to offer incentives for that.

Slippery slope.

I am not seeing any rationale for the con only crowd, only means of ignoring, deflecting, and evading the entire discussion.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Nohwear wrote:
Hmmm, I completely disagree that there should be no other boon until one's second star. I agree that a GM boon that can be achieve fairly early would be a good way to help incite new GMs, a carrot that will help those who are thinking about GMing to finally give it a try.

Hear hear.

In fact, here's a wild thought. One of the complaints about non-Con-GMs and boons is basically that they don't have something to boon-trade with; if only they had something to trade with then they'd also have a shot at Con boons by trading for them.

So what if the thing you give people on their first star is something (that can be traded) that is actually relatively hard to get for people with more stars?

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Once upon a time..

Mike Brock had an idea to use the enhancements to the reporting tools to send out boons to the folks reported in the system. Say.. maybe a dozen a month or so. It was proposed.

It went down in horrible horrible flames because one group or another disliked it.

I think that using the reporting tool to 'award' via email could be a good idea.. assuming the mechanism could be figured out.

Won't happen.. cause haters will hate. Loudly. Constantly. Till whoever would do the choosing throw up their hands and give up.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Opinions are awesome!

Deadpan glare

Cmon man, you make bold comments all the time and I'm not allowed a little fun in my responses? I thought all this foruming would lighten us up :)

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Personally, I really like the GM star boons.
I only see this opinion from people who have easy access to other boons.

Eeep! 'Easy access?' Everyone that GMs at conventions aren't having an easy time of it. That's a fact. Convention GMing is probably the hardest arena of GMing--random people, angry people, misstated people, 3 slots a day, yelling all the time, getting sick, paying for overpriced hallway beers--it's a trial, dude. Also, you have to *get* to a convention. And yes, some people have it easier than others (conventions are closer, etc etc)--however, since you were talking about me, I'll elaborate my circumstances a bit.

I don't have easy access to conventions. I block out my vacation time around conventions. I plan for it a year in advance. As the sole employee of a 50+ hr a week job (an FLGS, so we know the money isn't the best), leaving to go to PaizoCon or GenCon costs me a lot more than the admission fee (the second con is a plane flight down and back every year). I have to either hire a temp or close the business. It basically costs me double to go to conventions. And I still do it. And I would do it without convention boons. So don't discount my opinion because I go to conventions.

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They're among my favorite PFS boons for a few reasons. First, they fit really well into the lore and tie my characters into the canon of PFS, provide some unique mechanical gains for my PCs, and are a "badge" that I've been contributing to the community for some time (more stars = more boonage unlocked).
Neither of these would preclude the boon more useful or character defining, or coming with a reward that goes with the player rather than just one character (who needs to be near/at retirement to use some of thm) As it is they're on the high end what you get from running or even playing a single session.

I totes agree! No need to discount the GM boons we have now because they "don't do enough." The argument should be "we want more boons like the GM star ones!" Not, "the GM star boons suck, we only want race boons," which is what I'm sick of hearing in these semiannual race-boon threads. We're on the same page here, my man.

Quote:


Star 5 has an almost defacto con requirement.

I understand that folks don't like conventions or can't attend. We're all different, though and through. Fortunately, there's a bunch of 4-star exclusive games (bonekeep, kobold scenario, aspis scenario, etc) that are becoming more and more available, not to mention online "convention days" which just equate to GMing online at a specific time.

---------------------
I like the proposal that includes giving scaling rewards for more stars in the form of more boons. I don't know if race boons are the way to go, because race boons are single use things that are pretty bland. That's 100% my opinion by the way. I have made exactly 4 race boon characters over the last 4 years, and that's out of 26 characters. I'd prefer more boons that follow the same format as the current ones, but are perhaps faction or region specific. For example:

Szcarni
1 Star / Level 1 - As a new recruit, you're often called upon to do sneaky stuff and things. Become specialized in either bluff, sleight of hand, or stealth.
2 Star / Level 3 - Word's gotten around you aren't afraid to rumble when push comes to shove. As a result, you're a better collector than you were before. You deal an extra amount of non-lethal damage equal to 1/2 your BAB when choosing to deal non-lethal damage, or attacking a foe who is flat-footed to you.
3 Star / Level 5 - Sometimes, tapping that crowbar into your hand does the trick. Pick a masterwork item or weapon and note it below. When used as a prop for intimidation or any day job checks made to browbeat people into "donating" their money, gain a bonus equal to your stars on the check.
4 Star / Level 7 - You've arrived! You're untouchable--a made man--the only thing that can stand in your way is your own ego. But you won't let that happen, will you? Gain a permanent +2 bonus to Will saves against mind effecting. If you ever fail such a will save, you may immediately reroll and take the second result. Once you have rerolled, cross this boon off your sheet unless you immediately spend 2 prestige to keep it.
5 Star / Level 9 - The families have gotten together and decided you're irreplaceable, at least for now. They have arranged a bonus in the form of 10,000 gp in untraceable assorted gemstones or access to their private physicians. If you choose the latter, you cross off the gems but gain the ability to have your body recovered and revived (as per resurrection) a single time.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Walter Sheppard wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Opinions are awesome!

Deadpan glare

Cmon man, you make bold comments all the time and I'm not allowed a little fun in my responses? I thought all this foruming would lighten us up :)

Quote:
Quote:
Personally, I really like the GM star boons.
I only see this opinion from people who have easy access to other boons.

Eeep! 'Easy access?' Everyone that GMs at conventions aren't having an easy time of it. That's a fact. Convention GMing is probably the hardest arena of GMing--random people, angry people, misstated people, 3 slots a day, yelling all the time, getting sick, paying for overpriced hallway beers--it's a trial, dude. Also, you have to *get* to a convention. And yes, some people have it easier than others (conventions are closer, etc etc)--however, since you were talking about me, I'll elaborate my circumstances a bit.

I don't have easy access to conventions. I block out my vacation time around conventions. I plan for it a year in advance. As the sole employee of a 50+ hr a week job (an FLGS, so we know the money isn't the best), leaving to go to PaizoCon or GenCon costs me a lot more than the admission fee (the second con is a plane flight down and back every year). I have to either hire a temp or close the business. It basically costs me double to go to conventions. And I still do it. And I would do it without convention boons. So don't discount my opinion because I go to conventions.

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They're among my favorite PFS boons for a few reasons. First, they fit really well into the lore and tie my characters into the canon of PFS, provide some unique mechanical gains for my PCs, and are a "badge" that I've been contributing to the community for some time (more stars = more boonage unlocked).
Neither of these would preclude the boon more useful or character defining, or coming with a reward that goes with the player rather than just one character (who needs to be
...

I cannot like this comment enough. It sums up my view more eloquently than I probably could, and has an awesome idea for a Sczarni boon to boot.

Sczarni 4/5

I really don't see a single problem with GM's receiving boons for their hard earned work on convention. If someone is really that desperate for it, he can GM himself or perhaps trade the boon with the GM. GM's should be encouraged and that's what boons are for, a small non-material reward for their time well spent.

Adam


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I don't understand why people see other people getting a good deal and complain about it. Can't we just be happy for them? Jealousy is ugly my friends.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I really like Walter's ideas surrounding this. I have not used my gm boon because I am waiting for the correct time. And he is also correct that getting to a con is not easy.

I think it would be nice to give gm stars something similar to faction cards where you get small benefits depending on how many stars you have. And I do mean small. Power creep here would not be a good thing.

Things like once per scenario you can sending Kreighton Shane to ask a question, getting berated by him for wasting his precious time, but the incite he gives you grants a +1 untyped bonus on a single knowledge check.


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Maybe I am being stubborn, but I feel like one big question is being dodged. Why do Con GMs deserve ALL of the best toys? Why is it a bad idea from them to give Game Day GMs race boons. Even Hmm's suggestion feels like, "work your but off and you will get the unwanted leftovers."

5/5 5/55/55/5

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StFrancisss wrote:
I don't understand why people see other people getting a good deal and complain about it. Can't we just be happy for them? Jealousy is ugly my friends.

The greed of "I got mine, so you can't have yours" is worse

5/5 5/55/55/5

Walter Sheppard wrote:

Cmon man, you make bold comments all the time and I'm not allowed a little fun in my responses? I thought all this foruming would lighten us up :)

Someone has to play the strait man in this conversation...

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I don't have easy access to conventions. I block out my vacation time around conventions. I plan for it a year in advance. As the sole employee of a 50+ hr a week job (an FLGS, so we know the money isn't the best), leaving to go to PaizoCon or GenCon costs me a lot more than the admission fee (the second con is a plane flight down and back every year).

Thats like the third time in this thread someone has treated gencon or paizocon as the only level of convention.

They're not. And they're not the only level of dming that gets rewarded. Local cons get rewards too.

Paizo con IS a local con for you. You're a venture captain that owns a game store. You could set out three tables, run some games and then deduct the beer as a business expense.

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I have to either hire a temp or close the business. It basically costs me double to go to conventions. And I still do it. And I would do it without convention boons. So don't discount my opinion because I go to conventions.

I go to conventions too. I don't dm at them as much as I'd like because its very hard for me to plan 3 months out when the DM mustering starts. (I think about a third of my con dming has come from "crap, we just lost the DM....)

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I totes agree! No need to discount the GM boons we have now because they "don't do enough." The argument should be "we want more boons like the GM star ones!" Not, "the GM star boons suck, we only want race boons," which is what I'm sick of hearing in these semiannual race-boon threads. We're on the same page here, my man.

I'm really pushing for at least some other path to the race boons besides the convention.

The DM star boons are thematic, they are flavorful, they are a nice thing to have on a character. That does not preclude the DM star boons from sucking as motivation to get people into dming. which is what I'm really looking for.

Quote:
I understand that folks don't like conventions or can't attend. We're all different, though and through. Fortunately, there's a bunch of 4-star exclusive games (bonekeep, kobold scenario, aspis scenario, etc) that are becoming more and more available, not to mention online "convention days" which just equate to GMing online at a specific time.

The kobold requires 5 stars to start with. I can run we be aspis 2 MAYBE three times locally and then try to talk them into bonekeep... I'll still be short until 2018.

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I like the proposal that includes giving scaling rewards for more stars in the form of more boons. I don't know if race boons are the way to go, because race boons are single use things that are pretty bland.

Again, the only people that say that are people that have them already. You even admit thats the boon everyone's clamoring for, running a race is the single most asked for thing i see in PFS, and it would be the single biggest carrot i can imagine to lur...erm.. encourage someone into the dms spot.

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1 Star / Level 1 - As a new recruit, you're often called upon to do sneaky stuff and things. Become specialized in either bluff, sleight of hand, or stealth.

New guy: ok, so i spend 40 bucks to download 10 scenarios, run every low table for the next 4 to 5 months instead of playing, and then sneakyfingers gets a...+1 to his sleight of hand?

5/5 5/55/55/5

Nohwear wrote:
Maybe I am being stubborn, but I feel like one big question is being dodged. Why do Con GMs deserve ALL of the best toys? Why is it a bad idea from them to give Game Day GMs race boons. Even Hmm's suggestion feels like, "work your but off and you will get the unwanted leftovers."

Leftovers would be last years race boon. Can't even get anythinig that good.

5/5 5/55/55/5

-We need race boons to get DMs at conventions

Most conventions seem to have people who have already stockpiled up on race boons dming. They're still running games.

-If we gave out last years race boons, what would happen to cons at the end of the year?

You'd be treating con dms almost like Game day Dms. WHich this line of reasoning says is badly.

If you had to get a star to pick upa race boon, you would "only" be treating the con dm ten times better than the game day dm. For a few months. Really? This is how much better people need to have it to make a convention?

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

Nohwear wrote:
Maybe I am being stubborn, but I feel like one big question is being dodged. Why do Con GMs deserve ALL of the best toys? Why is it a bad idea from them to give Game Day GMs race boons. Even Hmm's suggestion feels like, "work your but off and you will get the unwanted leftovers."

As you know, Nohwear, since you are part of the Indianapolis Lodge, we have 8 game days a month, generally: every Friday night at one store, and then every Saturday (except the fifth Saturday of each month) at alternating stores. And, we're adding another game day on Sundays.

Can you imagine the sheer number of boons that would be distributed if we put them out on game day?

Now, conventions are good venue to distribute race boons - it is an encouragement for people to GM (in this area, EVERY person who GMs even one game at a con gets a race boon, if we qualify for con support.) I know that hasn't been the case in every region, but it will be the case here.

We have smaller cons here, but at least two of them qualify for Con support. Scotty's, which is effectively one huge game day, gets them because that event has enough tables to qualify for con support. Our regular games days don't come close.

So, in my mind, the issue isn't giving cons to GMs who GM on game days, but to find something else. I'm okay locally working on some sort of GM incentive program (though, the more games you run, the faster you earn stars for the GM rewards that Paizo does.) But I'm okay with looking into something locally, but I don't think distributing race boons for our regular games days is a good idea. If an event doesn't qualify for con support, then it shouldn't get items that are con support items.

YMMV.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Mark Stratton wrote:
Can you imagine the sheer number of boons that would be distributed if we put them out on game day?

Do them on a per star, or 1/10, or 1/50 basis but do something. You are still treating the Con dm way better. I don't see anyone asking for a boon every game.

Grand Lodge

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Assumption Con boons should remain a draw for GMs and players
Assumption Con GMs rewards should feel special
Assumption Gameday GMs should be rewarded in some way

Currently race boons are the standard gm reward, I don't think this should change. Also, I don't think the leftovers works as a gameday reward as in the past race boons have been the same across years, so a new system would have to be put in place.

Instead how about a single GM boon that is tiered similarly to the GenCon GM boon. The tiers would be based on number of public (non-convention or possibly including cons) games run in a calendar year (GenCon to GenCon, likely). Races included would not be available via Convention boons, but could include races that previously were or were the lower tier rewards on previous GenCon boons. (That list would possibly now include the Elementals (at least 2 of which aren't in this years rotation), Vishkanya, Ratfolk, and others, but could also include new races). Previously distribution and tracking of said boons would have been more difficult as there are many locations where the VO was rarely if ever able to be present, but with the advent of the Venture Agent position would actually be more doable.

Potential Tiers
Tier 5 - 1 Game - Expanded Narrative
Tier 4 - 10 games - Race X
Tier 3 - 15 games - Race Y
Tier 2 - 20 games - Race Z
Tier 1 - 25 or more games - Race A(comes out to basically 1 game every 2 weeks)
These numbers could be adjusted.

There could still be problems in the distribution in cities where GMs are able to run at more than one site, in which case I would suggest the VAs communicate with each other and their VO to distribute the boon. This would also give the opportunity to honor all of the GMs at a location after GenCon and thank them for their contributions during the previous year. Finally, the boon would be tradeable. This way the boons distributed are different from the Con boons but still give back to the GMs who do the most to keep the system running on a regular basis. Convention GMs may still get more race boons, but the races offered to Gameday GMs may actually be more desirable. (Also, you would be able to pick a lower race than the tier you qualify for - but it should be a 1 use boon (at least for the race, the expanded narrative part could be separate IMO))


I have my own proposal. Every time someone runs a game, they earn a point. These points can be traded in for boons at a cost that depends on the boon. The more stars that you have, the more options that are available. I am sorry that it is just an outline, but given my own limitations I thought that a outline was best. One thing that can be added to that is a special boon that grants extra points. To earn this boon, you must attend a GM 101 seminar and run. This boon may only be earned once.

Silver Crusade

BigNorseWolf wrote:


Paizo con IS a local con for you. You're a venture captain that owns a game store. You could set out three tables, run some games and then deduct the beer as a business expense.

I think you need to work on your geography of western states.

Edit: But I do like the idea of Walter buying beer for his players and writing it off to the IRS. That might encourage more frequent trips down from Spokane. ;)

So far, that is the single best thing to come out of this thread, I think.

5/5 5/55/55/5

The Fox wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Paizo con IS a local con for you. You're a venture captain that owns a game store. You could set out three tables, run some games and then deduct the beer as a business expense.
I think you need to work on your geography of western states.

4 and a half hour drive. I can do that in my sleep!

Silver Crusade

I misunderstood. I thought you were suggesting that he participate at PaizoCon from the comfort of his own store.

Shadow Lodge

It's kind of funny how many of these propositions I've made in the past few years. :P

I don't mean that to be antagonizing, it's a bit of a walk through memory lane.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jayson MF Kip wrote:

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?

Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?

5/5 5/55/55/5

Jayson MF Kip wrote:

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?

No.

All of our PFS Dms deserve something more than the DM stars, not just the con Dms.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Nohwear wrote:
Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?

Perhaps because Paizo wants to limit the number of special boons in circulation, and conventions happen far less than game days. There have certainly been suggestions on how to address that, but most seem to have increased overhead on Paizo's management and/or technical teams.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nohwear wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?

Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?

Because it works. PFS is the most successful that it's ever been, GenCon attendance is an all-time high (i expect the same at other cons), at least 'locally' (within a 6 hour drive) conventions are successful.

Why rock the boat?


Jayson MF Kip wrote:
Nohwear wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?

Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?

Because it works. PFS is the most successful that it's ever been, GenCon attendance is an all-time high (i expect the same at other cons), at least 'locally' (within a 6 hour drive) conventions are successful.

Why rock the boat?

Are you saying that you would not run at a con unless you got something that that a lot of other people did not?

EDIT: Does the current system work so well? Maybe the problem seem worse then it is, but I have herd about a large number of areas that are having trouble getting people to GM. If boon really are such a great incentive, maybe this would fix the problem. But please tell me why offering incentives is vital for cons, but will attract the wrong GMs for game days.

5/5 5/55/55/5

TOZ wrote:
Nohwear wrote:
Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?
Perhaps because Paizo wants to limit the number of special boons in circulation, and conventions happen far less than game days. There have certainly been suggestions on how to address that, but most seem to have increased overhead on Paizo's management and/or technical teams.

Get a star get a boon. A venture captain (or anyone with a PDF of th eboon) can handle that with less fuss than handing out online chronicle sheets for a game. At worst we're asking for a new star chronicle sheet to go up, which is a more than reasonable amount of work

Shadow Lodge

Well, there is a lot of changes going on now, and even different leadership, so now seems to be a pretty good time to re-evaluate Conventions, and especially big Conventions overall importance comparatively to everything else.

For my part, every single time this comes off, there is a certain degree of undeserved elitism that seems to come up with keeping Convention Boons rare.

I do think that most folks will agree with keeping those Boons rare, just not that Convetion DM rewards are the best way to go in general, but even for the good of the Organized Play. The problem tends to come after that much as BNW surmised after that. There doesn't seem to be any actual argument, reason, or rational for not changing it from that model, but rather just means of evasion, deflection, or false accusations at any other sides.

It also, falsely, assumes that things like the big Conventions are standards for all Conventions, and that for <reasons> Conventions incur more cost, time, effort, etc. . . to make happen.

An additional Factor is assuming that Conventions are very important to the hobby, thus more heavily rewarded, it seems to be the exact opposite in reality. That is, if I where going to a Con, I would NOT being purchasing any new shine. For one, because it's a lot less likely that I would be able to use it, read it, or even have much need of it at a Convention. The material would just be to new for me to utilize very well, and most likely most GM's would either simply allow something to fly that probably shouldn't just because they do not have time to go through it. Secondly, there is just too much other stuff I'd want to use my money on that I might not be able to get so easily anywhere else.

Now, if I go to a local gamestore game, or even a special event Game Day, I am absolutely more likely to pick up a book or two on the spot, either after giving PFS/PF a try for the first time, or because as a long time fan, I see a book I want and have a desire to use.

There is also the fact that while a Convention might be a big draw for some, it's also a thing to avoid for others.

The world is just not the same place as it was a decade ago. So what is the harm of re-evaluating and changing? How else do you (general you) expect things to improve?

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Get a star get a boon. A venture captain (or anyone with a PDF of th eboon) can handle that with less fuss than handing out online chronicle sheets for a game. At worst we're asking for a new star chronicle sheet to go up, which is a more than reasonable amount of work

Imminently reasonable. It does raise the question of 'what about areas with no VCs?' but that can probably be addressed.

Now the question is 'what boon would you feel properly rewards a GM?' since you have disparaged the current GM star boon.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Jayson MF Kip wrote:


Because it works. PFS is the most successful that it's ever been, GenCon attendance is an all-time high (i expect the same at other cons), at least 'locally' (within a 6 hour drive) conventions are successful.

Why rock the boat?

Oddly enough convention boons work if you go to conventions .

Do you honestly think you're going to lose convention DMs if you offer a boon for running 10, 20, 30, or 40 game day events instead?

Lantern Lodge 5/5

Nohwear wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
Nohwear wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?

Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?

Because it works. PFS is the most successful that it's ever been, GenCon attendance is an all-time high (i expect the same at other cons), at least 'locally' (within a 6 hour drive) conventions are successful.

Why rock the boat?

Are you saying that you would not run at a con unless you got something that that a lot of other people did not?

Most likely.

I certainly wouldn't be taking vacation to do it without the knowledge that I'm being rewarded for time, money, and extra effort.

Exclusivity helps a lot.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
Nohwear wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
Nohwear wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?

Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?

Because it works. PFS is the most successful that it's ever been, GenCon attendance is an all-time high (i expect the same at other cons), at least 'locally' (within a 6 hour drive) conventions are successful.

Why rock the boat?

Are you saying that you would not run at a con unless you got something that that a lot of other people did not?

Most likely.

I certainly wouldn't be taking vacation to do it without the knowledge that I'm being rewarded for time, money, and extra effort.

Exclusivity helps a lot.

To me this feels a lot like, "It is not enough to win, others must fail." Perhaps taken a bit extreme, but the basic point stands.

Silver Crusade 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nohwear wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?

Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?

It doesn't spurn game day GM's. It rewards convention GM's. There is in fact a difference.

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:


Because it works. PFS is the most successful that it's ever been, GenCon attendance is an all-time high (i expect the same at other cons), at least 'locally' (within a 6 hour drive) conventions are successful.

Why rock the boat?

Oddly enough convention boons work if you go to conventions .

Do you honestly think you're going to lose convention DMs if you offer a boon for running 10, 20, 30, or 40 game day events instead?

The same boon? Yes, without question. It's hard enough getting enough convention GMs even with the attraction of an exclusive boon.


UndeadMitch wrote:
Nohwear wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:

I have a suggestion.

How about we keep things as they are?

Because the current system completely spurns the game day GMs. Why do you think that only con GMs deserve special boons?
It doesn't spurn game day GM's. It rewards convention GM's. There is in fact a difference.

And yet, you seem to be arguing that giving any race boons to game day GMs would take away from con GMs. How is that any different?

5/5 5/55/55/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Get a star get a boon. A venture captain (or anyone with a PDF of th eboon) can handle that with less fuss than handing out online chronicle sheets for a game. At worst we're asking for a new star chronicle sheet to go up, which is a more than reasonable amount of work

Imminently reasonable.

Now the question is 'what boon would you feel properly rewards a GM?' since you have disparaged the current GM star boon.

Hold on now, I'm on the pointy end of that lynch mob. Even Walters aplpogia of them could be easily considered damnation by faint praise.

What i think would be fair would be a chunk of this years race boons: If plane touched are in, divide them up by type, pick 4 out of a hat, those go to gamedays or by stars.

If elementals are in, game days get earth, conventions air fire water

If Grippli ratfolk samsarans and vanara are in, give the vanara as star rewards.

Failing that, You could hand out last years race boons.

Doing it on a per star basis isn't ideal, but it does have the advantage of not requiring any additional technical or administrative support (which i think is a requirement for change, considering the protectiveness around the race boons as a con lure)

I mean seriously. The con dm still gets

Their per game contribution weighted at aproximately 10 : 1

(possibly)) gets the boons a year ahead of time

How is that not enough to incentivise con DMing?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Do I get new boons every year, or only the year I earn my star?

Lantern Lodge 5/5

So the neat thing from Con GMing I can get by not exerting any extra effort (or by trading my now-exclusive thing for another)? I can skip out on GammaCon, PretzCon, and whatever theyre doing in KC, and just trade the thing your proposal gives me for free. Nice!

I can't help shake the feeling you want something [else] free.

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