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


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The problem with GMs not being able to make it to conventions I feel has been covered enough. However, I feel like two other problems have not been properly discussed. First off all, giving convention GMs a special reward is rewarding a GM for running once. To me, something does not seem right that a person who only runs at conventions seems at least to be rewarded better than someone who runs weekly, but only plays at conventions. After all, the standard game day is more important for the overall health of the community then the occasional convention. It seems to me that a more equitable solution would be to have a system where a GM can earn some sort of points that they can use to buy special boons. So then, any thoughts?

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

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.

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

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I've GMed at three conventions now: Convergence, SkalCon, and PbP Gameday IV. Everyone that I've seen who GMed at those cons was also GMing regularly elsewhere. I got my first star at SkalCon, but that was merely a matter of lucky timing.

Offering the boons at a con makes it more likely for me to GM at least once there, when maybe my inclination would have been otherwise to just enjoy the con as a player, because cons are a more pressured atmosphere for GMing for me. For the live ones, I have the pressure of knowing that I am often GMing for people brand new to PFS, who may have NO CLUE what they're doing. I want to make sure that I'm at the top of my game, so I can give them a good time.

Or conversely, I may discover that I have three Venture Flunkies and a bunch of 5 star GMs at my table... Yeah, no pressure there, either...

It's much easier for me to GM my regular game days at Dreamers or Fantasy Flight Games because I'm a) not short of sleep and b) usually have my normal batches of regulars, and so there are fewer surprises. At cons you can either face the all pregen table of new folks who have no idea what they are doing or the table full of crazy, super-optimized builds cobbled together from books that you haven't yourself had the opportunity to read. Or you can get a mixed table with BOTH and try to balance that!

I have great social skills and am awesome with RP and story, but I find GMing for cons more of a challenge. Having a con-based reward for GMs is not a bad idea, especially when there are now online cons.

Hmm

PS That said... Maybe having a race unlock for 2 or 3 star GMs would be a good thing. You get your 2nd or 3rd star, you get to unlock a race boon for that season that would be independent of what is offered at cons.

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

I've recently experienced something similar to both the extremes Hmm describes at the last two Cons I GM'ed at, and so I find myself agreeing that those incentives are a good thing.

Likewise, most of the people I see GMing at Cons also GM a lot outside of them; you might even view ordinary GMing as a stepping stone to get ready for Con GMing. So the "injustice" of GMs who only run at Cons is in my experience not taking place at any significant scale.

That said, I'm still keeping an open mind for incentives to tempt people to take the step from playing in stores to GMing in them as well.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Organizing your own convention isn't that hard (depending on your region and circumstances)

try to realize that on a regular game night i have .1% of my town on 2 tables, and I need to drive 45 minutes to get THAT many. Try to imagine getting .1% of your town together in one place for the entire weekend without anyone wandering off.

The Exchange

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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.

...

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

Someone running a weekly game-day at a venue also has to spend time and money getting there.

Give VO's the ability to award a local-play specific GM boon (new one each season) to any person they deem has earned it. Has the side affect of encouraging people who run non-convention games to be in regular contact with their VO.

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Organizing your own convention isn't that hard (depending on your region and circumstances)

try to realize that on a regular game night i have .1% of my town on 2 tables, and I need to drive 45 minutes to get THAT many. Try to imagine getting .1% of your town together in one place for the entire weekend without anyone wandering off.

Sorry, I meant no disrespect, I know that my region is lucky (or rather that other GMs have worked a lot to build that community) but driving is certainly a factor. I drive at least 45 minutes every time I want to play PFS too.

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

brock, no the other one... wrote:
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.

...

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

Someone running a weekly game-day at a venue also has to spend time and money getting there.

Give VO's the ability to award a local-play specific GM boon (new one each season) to any person they deem has earned it. Has the side affect of encouraging people who run non-convention games to be in regular contact with their VO.

Sounds like a good idea.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The purpose of the special boons is to boost convention attendance.

Making them generally available would kind of defeat that.

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

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brock, no the other one... wrote:
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.

...

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

Someone running a weekly game-day at a venue also has to spend time and money getting there.

Give VO's the ability to award a local-play specific GM boon (new one each season) to any person they deem has earned it. Has the side affect of encouraging people who run non-convention games to be in regular contact with their VO.

While I do not disagree with the first part, I have to ask for clarification on the second part.

What about areas without any VOs, nor conveniently located VOs?

To be honest, in my area, I am not sure if the nearby VO covers my area (Las Vegas/Henderson), or if he only works on the adjacent area covered by his VC title (North Las Vegas). YMMV.

Shadow Lodge

brock, no the other one... wrote:

Someone running a weekly game-day at a venue also has to spend time and money getting there.

Give VO's the ability to award a local-play specific GM boon (new one each season) to any person they deem has earned it. Has the side affect of encouraging people who run non-convention games to be in regular contact with their VO.

While I don't disagree, I'm bothered by what I see as shop bias coming into play. Its understandable that vos have their favorite shops, so don't get me wrong.

However, I've seen one shop in my fair city which hasn't seen a vo in 3-4 years. It also had the volenteer since turned burn out most deserving of such a reward.

I wander if getting such a reward would have more to do with being close to the centers of power rather than actual merit, which would create its own problems.

The Exchange 5/5

Several times,I've heard the comment that to get a metal a soldier needs to do something special, and have that seen by someone with authority.

Merit + seen = reward.

5/5 Venture-Captain, Australia—ACT—Canberra aka powell01

kinevon wrote:
brock, no the other one... wrote:
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.

...

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

Someone running a weekly game-day at a venue also has to spend time and money getting there.

Give VO's the ability to award a local-play specific GM boon (new one each season) to any person they deem has earned it. Has the side affect of encouraging people who run non-convention games to be in regular contact with their VO.

While I do not disagree with the first part, I have to ask for clarification on the second part.

What about areas without any VOs, nor conveniently located VOs?

To be honest, in my area, I am not sure if the nearby VO covers my area (Las Vegas/Henderson), or if he only works on the adjacent area covered by his VC title (North Las Vegas). YMMV.

Even before I became a VO or was in contact with the nearest one, I was involved in running games days and even organised a local con or two. At that stage we could only get about 3 tables per session, but it worked. Over the course of three days we qualified for boons and multitables specials with some people travelling in from out of tow. Don't get me wron, it was not easy, but it is doable and is totally worth the effort as it really grows your local community and forges links with people who travel in to your town to play.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Captain, Colorado—Colorado Springs

Nohwear wrote:
The problem with GMs not being able to make it to conventions I feel has been covered enough. However, I feel like two other problems have not been properly discussed. First off all, giving convention GMs a special reward is rewarding a GM for running once. To me, something does not seem right that a person who only runs at conventions seems at least to be rewarded better than someone who runs weekly, but only plays at conventions. After all, the standard game day is more important for the overall health of the community then the occasional convention. It seems to me that a more equitable solution would be to have a system where a GM can earn some sort of points that they can use to buy special boons. So then, any thoughts?

There is a GM Star Boon that is available as GMs gain stars. It is located at http://paizo.com/products/btpy94ix?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

O.J. Pinckert wrote:


There is a GM Star Boon that is available as GMs gain stars. It is located at http://paizo.com/products/btpy94ix?

We're aware of those. Lackluster is the best that can be said of them.

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

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Opinions are awesome! Personally, I really like the GM star boons.

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).

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

I'm looking forward to getting my next GM star boon in five more tables.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Walter Sheppard wrote:
Opinions are awesome!

Deadpan glare

Quote:
Personally, I really like the GM star boons.

I only see this opinion from people who have easy access to other boons.

Quote:
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.

Star 5 has an almost defacto con requirement.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

The ability to buy 10-charge wands is pretty awesome. Holy sword,telekinetic charge, greater invisibility...


I think the system is fine as-is. I like the inequality.

If you are paying money to run everyday normal games for a bunch of randoms at your local game store, something is wrong. For the most part, GMs do it for free and maybe even get a store credit (as Legends Games offers). And they get the GM stars, GM star boons, and so on. So I don't feel any compulsion to reward that beyond what already happens.

However, a convention has an entry fee, a possibly long drive or flight cost, and probably a hotel cost. To suggest that "GMs might need to be enticed to spend that kind of money" is an understatement. Providing boons for doing that? Great. Totally on board. It's probably not enough as it is. There probably needs to be more inequality here, and more advantage for running at cons.

My vote is change nothing. It's correct as is, and working as intended.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

outshyn wrote:

However, a convention has an entry fee, a possibly long drive or flight cost, and probably a hotel cost.

Consider the cost of 30 trips to a game day if you live outside of a city (which is the normal case for people who can't roll out of bed and land in a convention)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Paizo feels that conventions are an important facet to growing the brand and the organized play campaign.

If you disagree, then please develop that argument.

If you agree, then please offer an alternate incentive to get people to want to GM at conventions. Because "there's this goodie, and I'd like to have it, and it's only available at cons." is actually a pretty good reason to keep it as a convention exclusive.


Jayson MF Kip wrote:
The ability to buy 10-charge wands is pretty awesome.

Holy crap. It also lets you increase the caster level, which is unheard of in PFS. Sadly, I will never get enough stars to achieve this.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Chris Mortika wrote:

Paizo feels that conventions are an important facet to growing the brand and the organized play campaign.

If you disagree, then please develop that argument.

Is ANYONE saying, hinting, suggesting, implying, that cons are not important? If so quote them.

I am tired of seeing the argument deliberately deflected to somehow be an attack on conventions.

Quote:
If you agree, then please offer an alternate incentive to get people to want to GM at conventions.

That is not the only possible solution here. Giving game day dms something is NOT taking food out of the mouths of con dms.

Split the Con Boons: If you're doing elementals, game day dms get Earth. Con Dms get Air Fire water. There's 20 kinds of aasimar and tiefling. Pick 4 of them out of ahat, hand them out to game days.

Alternately Give the game day dms last years boons at a 5:1 or 10 to 1 or on a per star basis. You have last years race boons, as well as boons like treaasure map extra trait, tien weapon training floating around. Trickle them down a bit.

Quote:
Because "there's this goodie, and I'd like to have it, and it's only available at cons." is actually a pretty good reason to keep it as a convention exclusive.

Then why is there no comparable game day goodie?

Silver Crusade

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outshyn wrote:
If you are paying money to run everyday normal games for a bunch of randoms at your local game store, something is wrong. For the most part, GMs do it for free and maybe even get a store credit (as Legends Games offers). And they get the GM stars, GM star boons, and so on. So I don't feel any compulsion to reward that beyond what already happens.

Are you aware that the scenarios cost money to download? I know $4 each isn't a huge amount, but if someone's run enough of them to get a star or two, they've probably spent at least as much money buying the scenarios as they'd spend on a convention entry fee. And from what I've seen, entry fee discounts for GMing at conventions are far more common than store credits for running at a local game day.

Obviously, conventions are always going to be more expensive. And as Chris Mortika pointed out, Paizo sees conventions as their best way to grow the brand. So that's why Paizo uses convention rewards to try and have a bigger presence at gaming cons.

Personally, and I've said this many times before, I'm not convinced that conventions are actually the best way to grow the brand. Someone shows up to a convention, tries out a game once, but what are the odds that they'll play again any time soon? But if they try a game at a local game day that meets regularly, then they'll know where to get a regular game, and be more likely to stick with it.

I'm not saying that Paizo is definitely wrong about this, just that they should do some serious analysis of the data. But then, data analysis is part of what I do for a living. And I've learned from experience that every company analyzing their business data for the first time discovers that there's at least one major assumption about their business which is flat out wrong. The smart ones figure this out, so they can adjust their business accordingly.


In addition not everyone can go to the Cons due to Work Schedules, Vacation availability, etc
If you want to reward your consistent everyday GM's and players they open up some of the boons....Have GM's get some as they get their Stars or have random players get some.
If the VO's had the ability to hand out a minor boon that would be great.
Maybe implement a a system where once a player gets their Dash-1 character to 5th level give them a boon for sticking with the game.
The current system is heavily skewed towards Cons an essentially treats the everyday GM's / players who cannot or chose not to attend such events as second class players

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

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My boyfriend Bret and I are here because of conventions. At Convergence in 2014, my boyfriend went off to try out a PFS game. (I was doing something else.) He liked it. He then went off to a couple game days. He kept talking about this PFS thing, so I agreed to make a character to play with him and try it out.

I got hooked because he dragged me in. Now I'm GMing, and I try to make certain to GM at every convention that comes by because I want to give newcomers a great time. At Convergence in 2015, I gmed for two teenage girls who joined my goblin game because it sounded silly. They had a blast, and both went on to make characters in PFS, and one of the kids dragged her dad in. Similarly, at Skalcon, we picked up an 11 year old boy who has since returned to our regular game days, and he dragged in his mom to play too.

Yes, this is all anecdotal. I have no idea what the conversion percentage is of regular game day vs convention. Still, I feel strongly that cons are a great place to recruit.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

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While I don't believe that convention-only boons are the root of all evil in PFS <--tongue in cheek; I know no one has actually said that - just implied by the thread title I *do* think they are played a bit close to the vest.

GMs everywhere do good things simply by running games. I'm willing to bet that a single person is ultimately responsible for all the people in BigNorseWolf's area who now play PFS. Unless they all spontaneously appeared in the same place at the same time, looked at each other and said, "You know, we should play PFS together." There was *someone* who started it, and beyond getting to play regularly, he hasn't gotten the accolades for recruiting all those people into the game that he deserves every bit as much as the convention GM who gets a kid to drag her dad into the campaign with her.

An uneven system of distribution of rewards merely leads to hard feelings. That's pretty apparent, as these threads pop up regularly.

Precedent has been set to hand out race boons outside of conventions. Does anyone remember the Beginner Box Game Day? That was an excellent event. GMs were all rewarded with a boon giving them the right to play a damphir. And I'll bet that single event recruited more players into the game than any convention outside of GenCon, and might even give that convention a run for its money, considering the fact that it was a worldwide event.

So, if something like that event can be done, why not do it every now and then and put hard feelings to rest?

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—NSW—Sydney aka sanwah68

I am not sure anyone is arguing that cons are not a good recruitment tool, but arguing that it is game days are equally important for keeping players once they are recruited, and that game day GMs should be rewarded for their constant presence and enthusiasm.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Pennsylvania—King of Prussia aka Alexander Augunas

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I don't think that a good argument can be made for dropping Convention Boons because in the long run, there IS no good argument. People who put the time and energy into traveling to a convention, paying an exuberant amount of money, and combating the anxiety of having no clue over who is going to be at your table is commendable and deserves a reward.

The problem, however, is that Convention GMs aren't the only GMs who make sacrifices and work hard to make the Pathfinder Society great. If Convention GMs are the face of the Pathfinder Society, then Local GMs are the heart and soul. Despite the press that Conventions get, far, far more PFS games happen locally then at a Convention, and the message that we're sending those GMs by not offering them anything aside from a small bonus on rerolls, a lone boon, and a small number of scenario replays is that their effort and sacrifices aren't valuable to the Society, which should never be true.

I made a thread about creating a new GM Rewards system. It was battered by a bunch of naysayers who don't seem to want Organized Play to grow and evolve. This perplexes me, as those same Convention GMs deserve to be rewarded for the work they do on the local front too. Simply put; Convention games aren't the only games that matter. If local games didn't happen, then no one would go out to those big, fancy Conventions to play Pathfinder.

It is also important to remember the difference between something that is rewarding and something that is a reward. It is rewarding when I open a Player Companion that I contributed to and see my name listed as a contributor. But just because I find my accomplishment rewarding doesn't mean that said feeling of accomplishment is adequate compensation for the work that I did; I expect the reward of monetary compensation for my work in addition to my personal feeling of satisfaction. To put it another way, when we give Con GMs proper compensation for their time and effort while simultaneously giving local GMs nothing for their own hard work and determination, are we truly any better than the multimillion dollar corporation that asks an artist to create for them for nothing other than "exposure?"

The Pathfinder Society Organized Play Program should reward everyone who volunteers their time to make it great; its outstanding regional coordinators and Venture Officers, the men and women who take time out of their busy Convention schedules to run Pathfinder Society games, and the local GMs that keep the hobby alive and well. I am not saying that these people should be rewarded in exactly the same ways. I am saying, however, that everyone deserves a reward for their hard work, time, and effort, and currently local GMs get nothing for doing what they do for us, and that aspect of organized play needs to change.


Fromper wrote:
Are you aware that the scenarios cost money to download?

Yeah, but $4 pales in comparison to $50 (con fee) + $300 (plane fee) + $300 (hotel fee). If you run 160 games at $4 each, you've equaled a single convention run. Congrats, you are now a 5-star GM and have enough influence to get some boons.

Until you do that, a $4 expense don't merit concern. It's not worth giving out more boons (since such GMs already do get boons), not worth further addressing. If we lose someone over $4, or $8, or $20, then that person was in too fragile of a financial state to retain anyway; let them go. However, if we lose someone over $650, well, that just makes sense. So that rises to a level of concern that needs addressing.

So again, since the discussion has been opened here, I hope I can counter the other opinions here by simply saying to leadership: don't. The system is working as-is. Someone spending $4 doesn't need more boons. What that person really needs to do is go to that store and work with the store owner to offset that cost. Nothing more needs to be done.

(Apologies if my tone is at all hostile. I am not hostile but I am negative. I would like to express my super-negativity in as friendly a way as possible. I've seen this discussion multiple times and it bores me now. When I see it, I just want to jump in and say "this is a waste of time and I hope this discussion suffocates from lack of participation from management." However, if management finally buys into it after years of not buying into it, kudos.)

Silver Crusade

outshyn wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Are you aware that the scenarios cost money to download?
Yeah, but $4 pales in comparison to $50 (con fee) + $300 (plane fee) + $300 (hotel fee). If you run 160 games at $4 each, you've equaled a single convention run.

I don't know what cons you're attending, but GenCon's the only convention I've ever attended where I spent anywhere near that much to attend. For any smaller con, there's no way anyone should be paying even half that much, especially if they're GMing and should be getting free entry fee and the scenarios for free.

As I said, the $4 per scenario doesn't seem like much, but it does add up for someone who does this regularly.

And again, the issue isn't that convention GMs don't deserve a reward for doing it. It's that local game day GMs deserve a reward, too. Right now, 100% of the boons are given out to convention GMs, while 0% are given out to local game day GMs. The only boons that someone can get by GMing at their local stores is the GM star boon that most people dismiss as being underwhelming at best.

By this, Paizo seems to be implying that conventions are everything, and local game days don't matter at all. Even if conventions really are better than local game days as a marketing tool for Paizo, the local game days are still clearly essential for player retention, and worthy of some consideration, which they just aren't getting.

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.

Scarab Sages Venture-Agent, Washington—Ballard aka WiseWolfOfYoitsu

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Fromper, do you have local cons with PF prize support? If you do, have you not seen that you get more players joining the local games after them, than at any other time? After PAX and ECCC, we see a large spike in new players for the past couple of years. Not all of them stick to it, but many do. I've seen our local community more than triple in the past two years, and the spikes are after the larger conventions, like the two above. A big portion of this is due to the prize support. We got way more people to play our games than D&D did, and the three major factors contributing to this were:

- Shorter games (Everyone wants to see what the con has to offer, not just spend)

- Prize support (D&D was only selling books, no free stuff)

- Our criers, calling folks over (Can't get new people if you aren't trying to get them into it)


Fromper wrote:
And again, the issue isn't that convention GMs don't deserve a reward for doing it. It's that local game day GMs deserve a reward, too. Right now, 100% of the boons are given out to convention GMs, while 0% are given out to local game day GMs.

But that flatly isn't true. Right in this thread there is a link to a boon you get. The star system itself is a boon for GMs.

Fromper wrote:
The only boons that someone can get by GMing at their local stores is the GM star boon that most people dismiss as being underwhelming at best.

What? You just said the boons don't exist. Hmm. OK, you seem to saying that they "might as well not exist" because you think the boon sucks. OK. Going from that argument, got it, you've made that point. I again won't argue the point. I will simply say that if anyone from Paizo is reading this and thinking it over, my input is that the boon is perfectly legit and no more needs to be done.

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.

Having said that, I think I should bow out of the conversation. Since this was posted in a discussion forum, it's going to get discussed, and the original author has no right to expect support. So I feel great posting a contradiction, and I hope my point of view wins the ear of Paizo. However, I also hate threadcrapping, and if I keep posting how much I hate this line of thinking, I will eventually move into that category. I would rather not be there.

So... barring any other new developments here in this discussion, I think I've made my opinion clear and I should bow out. Carry on everyone.

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

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So, correct me if I'm wrong, but to qualify for convention support, all that needs to be done is run 15 tables over an undefined length of time.

  • Is it then possible to organise a 'convention' that consists of 4 players, playing 3 games a day over 5 days (and maybe hire the Order of the Amber Die to help you with this one)?
  • How about 8 players playing 1 table a day over a week, with a second table on one of the days to make the count 15 tables?
  • 12 players playing 3 tables on a Saturday, and 2 tables on a Sunday?

    If 'convention' was more clearly defined, and the support packages by size clearly advertised, then perhaps more small lodges would try their hand at running a small con in order to bring in those boons and reward GMs for their hard work. I know I would.

    Maybe if the rewards for reaching GM milestones was greater we could end this unnecessary feuding between 'Game day GMs' and 'Convention GMs'.
    4 and 5 star GMs are rewarded with exclusive content in Bonekeep, We Be Aspis & We Be Kobolds, and I expect more exclusives will be added over time. I believe these also count as specials so it's possible for a GM to reach 5 stars without attending a convention.
    Maybe there is something more that can be done for our 1, 2 & 3 star GMs though that isn't a convention boon. Star replays are exhaustive, and the GM star chronicle is fine (certainly appreciated but it isn't a game changer), but how about something that a GM can use like those exclusives? Some (terrible) examples:

  • 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.

    Like I said, terrible examples to round out my idea. Only downside here is the cost to the dev team, so they would probably have to charge for these quests, but depending on size I'd guess they'd be around the $1 mark.

  • Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

    I think you are incorrect about the undefined length of time bit Jack Army, IIRC it's 15 tables over 3 days.

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

    Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
    I think you are incorrect about the undefined length of time bit Jack Army, IIRC it's 15 tables over 3 days.

    I assumed I was wrong about that, I just couldn't find it written down anywhere. I'm also going to go ahead and assume that all tables at a convention have to at the same venue ;)

    So, if the challenge is to run 15 tables in 3 days, we can rule out a marathon session from a group of 4-5. 5 sessions a day would just be too much (although, maybe if you ran only season 0s plus thornkeep 1 and emerald spire 1 assuming that a module counts as 3 slots it would be doable).

    The smallest number of bodies you could work with would be 2 GMs and 6 players.

  • Friday evening: You need to run 3-4 sessions here, so Silent Tide and Mists of Mwangi. Assuming people have already tackled these, play them core, and play them fast.
  • Saturday: 6 sessions, easy peasy. If a module counts as 3 tables for conventions purposes, now is the time to run one. Organise players to keep those two tables going. 9-10 sessions down.
  • Sunday: The gruelling finale, 6 more tables. Throughout this ordeal, try to switch up GMs as much as possible, keep the tea & crumpets flowing freely. After the last session is done, relax and enjoy your boon(s), it was well earned.

    So, is the above event structure eligible for convention support?

  • Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

    That reminds me of groups spamming Master of the Fallen Fortress for aasimar and tieflings.

    It might be legal... but I doubt it would endear you to campaign leadership.

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

    I 26.67% agree with you there Kalindlara, my Friday evening suggestion isn't exactly above board. But the core concept here, if you can run 15 tables in 3 days, regardless of the final player count or the content that is run, should that lodge be handed some boons for their efforts and commitment to the campaign? After all, only dedicated Pathfinders are going to consider participating in this kind of marathon session and it might actually be fun to see what other lodges can come up with to unlock those convention boons at their FLGS.

  • 2 tables
  • 3 days
  • 15 adventures
  • Could you Survive? DUN DUN DUN

  • Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

    Jack Amy wrote:
    So, is the above event structure eligible for convention support?

    If you're aiming for the absolute minimum, you probably won't get support. If you actually try to make a decent effort you could probably have more than 15 actual sessions and have Boons!

    I see you organise games in Colchester? That's only 1/1.5 hour from either London or Cambridge right? You should contact one of the UK venture officers to see what's possible.

    5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    outshyn wrote:


    Yeah, but $4 pales in comparison to $50 (con fee) + $300 (plane fee) + $300 (hotel fee). If you run 160 games at $4 each, you've equaled a single convention run. Congrats, you are now a 5-star GM and have enough influence to get some boons.

    That level of expense would only be necessary for something like gencon. Even taking your numbers as correct, I would run that cost in 24 game days (20 dollars gas +4 dollar scenario, more if i have to use public transport)

    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.

    Quote:
    Until you do that, a $4 expense don't merit concern. It's not worth giving out more boons (since such GMs already do get boons), not worth further addressing. If we lose someone over $4, or $8, or $20, then that person was in too fragile of a financial state to retain anyway; let them go. However, if we lose someone over $650, well, that just makes sense. So that rises to a level of concern that needs addressing.

    Whats missing from your analysis is that PFS isn't just a tool for selling scenarios: its a tool for selling pathfinder. People buy other books to be able to use in PFS as well, thats most of the point for it.

    Quote:
    So again, since the discussion has been opened here, I hope I can counter the other opinions here by simply saying to leadership: don't. The system is working as-is. Someone spending $4 doesn't need more boons. What that person really needs to do is go to that store and work with the store owner to offset that cost. Nothing more needs to be done.

    Most of my pathfinder purchases are through PDF. I think the shop is doing us a favor just letting us use the table.

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

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Auke Teeninga wrote:

    If you're aiming for the absolute minimum, you probably won't get support. If you actually try to make a decent effort you could probably have more than 15 actual sessions and have Boons!

    I see you organise games in Colchester? That's only 1/1.5 hour from either London or Cambridge right? You should contact one of the UK venture officers to see what's possible.

    I'm actually attending 3XP in Cambridgeshire in a few weeks time to get a feel for what a PFS convention is like before running one here, and when I do run one, naturally I'll make a real go of it.

    My posts above are mainly theorycrafting event structure, and what constitutes a convention in terms of support as I cannot find a clear definition anywhere other than '15 tables'. A good size event for our FLGS would probably be 4 tables, with 2-3 sessions being run at each of these tables over 2 days. That's roughly where I'd like to be for a first con anyway.


    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    While it might be nice to expand boons to non conventions I think this should be done very rarely. Boons are supposed to be very rare and special. The fact that I have a lot of boons is a testament to the number of cons I attend.

    Another thing to consider is that a lot of the boons have things that don't make sense for a lot pathfinders to have/be.

    I think that race boons and other unique should continue to be limited to conventions where paizo can keep a good control of how any are in circulation.

    I think that it might be worth while for paizo to consider releasing some seasonal boons that do small stuff.


    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    BigNorseWolf wrote:

    Even taking your numbers as correct, I would run that cost in 24 game days (20 dollars gas +4 dollar scenario, more if i have to use public transport.

    This cannot be right unless you are paying close to five dollars a gallon, assuming your earlier statements about driving 45 to get to games are correct and your car gets better than 20 mpg highway.

    Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

    Jack Amy wrote:
    I'm actually attending 3XP in Cambridgeshire in a few weeks time to get a feel for what a PFS convention is like before running one here

    Have fun! :-)

    5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Mahtobedis wrote:
    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    outshyn wrote:


    Even taking your numbers as correct, I would run that cost in 24 game days (20 dollars gas +4 dollar scenario, more if i have to use public transport.

    This cannot be right unless you are paying close to five dollars a gallon, assuming your earlier statements about driving 45 to get to games are correct and your car gets better than 20 mpg highway.

    hahhahahaha....

    I am not small norse wolf. I do not fit in a prius. We tried.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    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.

    5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

    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.

    But smaller cons are fairly easy.

    You have rewards for big conventions (Paizo con/Gencon)
    Rewards for conventions
    ... then dming rewards.

    The Gen/paizo con boons trickle down the next year or two to regular cons but that's as far as they go.

    Quote:
    So no, we haven't forgotten.

    The above quote was in response to someone assuming that there was no cost/little associated with getting to game days. I don't know what catching a train to NYC pfs would cost you (but its 35ish round trip here

    Dark Archive 5/5

    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.

    Liberty's Edge Venture-Agent, Online

    Mahtobedis wrote:
    BigNorseWolf wrote:

    Even taking your numbers as correct, I would run that cost in 24 game days (20 dollars gas +4 dollar scenario, more if i have to use public transport.

    This cannot be right unless you are paying close to five dollars a gallon, assuming your earlier statements about driving 45 to get to games are correct and your car gets better than 20 mpg highway.

    In the UK, gas was averaging about £1.09 a liter at the end of October. That's £4.13 per gallon, which is equivalent to about $6.36 using today's exchange rate.

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