Thoughts on Laxing the Replaying Policies


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The Exchange 5/5

some older threads on this same subject in four part time - a one and a two and a three and a four. Anyone else want to add in their favorites?

5/5

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It's a tough issue, since essentially you are torn between "good for your group of vets" and "good to attract/retain new players".

When we got to the point where our Lodge was running into this, I made the choice to focus on recruiting and retaining new GMs and players, over catering to the vets who had played everything and still wanted to play several times a week. We went to Warhorn, and we did not allow vets to show up and expect the game to change to something they could play. (There was no CORE at this time, or we probably would have gone that route.) We lost some vets, but gained a lot more new players. Good decision for the many, bad for the few. (Many of whom were my good friends.)

But here's the thing - now our Lodge has several multi-table venues and a really active V-O crew who is running things as smoothly as silk, and we STILL get vets who drop off, at about the same rate! It's not because anything is wrong - I'll just come out and say the unsayable: sometimes, after a while, people just move on from PFS. One gets married or has kids and their available time changes, another gets a new job on game nights, one just gets bored of PFS and goes and does other things. It happens, it will always happen - even to the players who have so far played everything. Stop taking that on yourself as an organizer - it is not your fault when people leave, and it is not your job to "make" them stay.

Once you realize that retaining players in an OP campaign is IMPOSSIBLE in the long term, it's a lot easier to realize that the new folks (who don't have replay issues) are in the long run the ones you need to nurture. That's where your new GMs will come from as well - and those are essential to having an active lodge. Once this is clear, a lot of these hard decisions just make themselves.

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Quote from behind nosig's spoiler that should not be missed:

nosig wrote:

Mostly it seems to me that this thread is not saying...

"I've played everything, I need to be able to replay to play"

but is rather saying

"I'm having trouble scheduling stuff that everyone can play. If we loosen the re-play restriction it would make my job easier."

This is exactly why organizers need to stop trying to please everyone, and do what is best for their group as a whole. Some people won't be able to play PFS every time, and that's OK. It HAS to be.

4/5

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
nosig wrote:
some older threads on this same subject in four part time - a one and a two and a three and a four. Anyone else want to add in their favorites?

You know, counting this thread 3 out of 5 of those threads were started by people in the Philadelphia Lodge.

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Honestly, I'm not more organized then you are/were Jeff. Instead of having your uncanny memory for what's been played and your patience to sort through four years of Warhorn logs, I pester our regulars for lists of what they can and can't play. :-P

One thing you have to understand is that I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. When I first started I was the only person running PFS outside of Redcap's Corner in the Philly Area. I got into PFS because I got sick and tired of the LFR replay rules where people kept playing the same scenario for the same stagnant crowd just so they could get that +2 Vicious Weapon on their first level character, and their Ant mount.

Eventually you got to a point where once we had four tables of LFR with another table on the wait list because of space, to one table with it being the same six people.

Now PFS hasn't gotten as many people out at one time as LFR did, and their is a few reason for that aren't worth discussing on a public forum. What we do have is a higher quality of player in the sense that we have avoided the players that are generally trying to game the system.

The player base is very cyclical though. Every year, year and a half we get a fresh batch of newer players as the older players tend to step away because they either form home groups or because of jobs, kids, and other personal concerns.

This has repeated itself several times while I've been running PFS. After the second time I realized that your always going to lose some players because of outside issues, but as long as you bring in newer players the store will thrive. Older players will come back when time permits because new scenarios are released every month it just slows down.

Don't be afraid to axe a scenario if it doesn't seem to have any interest some times even scenarios that you know people can play just won't fire because the timing ends up being bad. I've had gamedays that were 4 tables that were all request end up only firing one table with none of the people who requested the scenarios because unfortunately when you plan a month ahead it's hard to expect the random curveballs of life.

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

Hello.

I seem to have missed all the initial discussion. Mostly it seems to have made it to where I would always like to see this discussion go: a general consensus to not crack open the replay door any more than it already has been cracked. So, I'll leave my own (repetitive) voice out of it.

But I could hardly have a replay thread happen without at least having one post from me, could I?

The only thing I'm going to do is point something out to Alexander that is (mostly) unrelated to replay:

I believe (and feel I have proven with anecdotal evidence in the last 6+ years) that if you grow the community then your veterans will have more opportunity to play. By increasing the number of players you are increasing how many scenarios you can regularly offer. You've already acknowledged that the challenge is not that your veterans have played *every* scenario; just *most* of them - and geek sudoku sucks. If you're able to go back to earlier season scenarios and begin running them regularly for a new crop of players it seems likely that you will eventually run one that one of your veterans hasn't played. I think it'd be odd if he passed up the opportunity to play a little extra at that point (assuming he's already playing the two new scenarios each month, this old gem would be "extra" for him).

Growing your community both accomplishes gaining new players *and* keeping veterans in the game. Paizo has a stellar track record of accomplishing this feat. They will always have my backing because of this.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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GM Lamplighter wrote:

Quote from behind nosig's spoiler that should not be missed:

nosig wrote:

Mostly it seems to me that this thread is not saying...

"I've played everything, I need to be able to replay to play"

but is rather saying

"I'm having trouble scheduling stuff that everyone can play. If we loosen the re-play restriction it would make my job easier."

This is exactly why organizers need to stop trying to please everyone, and do what is best for their group as a whole. Some people won't be able to play PFS every time, and that's OK. It HAS to be.

So this!

The, "Everyone must be able to play, all the time, no matter what," is a huge fallacy. This is why I really suggest using a strict RSVP system. That way you don't worry about Geek Sudoku. Because people who can't play what you are offering that day, won't sign up to play, and won't show up to play. And that's ok.


This is why we need sites like Warhorn.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Nohwear wrote:
This is why we need sites like Warhorn.

Yup. Our region uses Meetup, which does a really good job as well.

Just some sort of site that requires an RSVP to guarantee you a spot at the table.

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

Nohwear wrote:
This is why we need sites like Warhorn.

Yeah, without warhorn (or sites with similar functionality) the work of an organizer cane be quite taxing.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber

I haven't read all the previous threads on this topic, but I've read this one and was surprised not to see something mentioned: a per-character replay option. Not "unlimited replay", which sounds a bit much, but also making it where you never have a situation where you can't level a character up because they've played everything they can reach.

Or perhaps an option to replay a scenario you played at the lower subtier, but you have to play at the higher subtier and you only get the difference between the two - ST 6-7 gold MINUS the ST 3-4 gold, plus you get the 6-7 items but you don't get a second of each "limit 1" from the 3-4, and you can't claim the same boons again but if you complete a different boon you can get it.

I know as a bit of a "completionist" myself I'm already wary about running in the lower subtier because I'm permanently locking off rewards from all my characters every time I do. My highest level character only has three Chronicle Sheets and I'm already worried about it, even though I plan to also GM, so that helps mitigate it a little. A per-character replay would also allow those items that fit perfectly into certain builds to be discovered and then obtained, so there's a lot less guesswork in trying to pick the right character to get the right rewards.

I imagine this has probably been advanced as a theory before, but not having seen it yet myself, I might as well throw it in the ring.

PS: It might be better imagined as something like 3 or 5 runs of the same scenario, but none of them on the same character. This would be more complicated (you'd have to check more than just the one character's Chronicle Sheets), but also prevent "unlimited replay" by virtue of making 20+ characters.

The Exchange

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gatherer818 wrote:

I haven't read all the previous threads on this topic, but I've read this one and was surprised not to see something mentioned: a per-character replay option. Not "unlimited replay", which sounds a bit much, but also making it where you never have a situation where you can't level a character up because they've played everything they can reach.

Or perhaps an option to replay a scenario you played at the lower subtier, but you have to play at the higher subtier and you only get the difference between the two - ST 6-7 gold MINUS the ST 3-4 gold, plus you get the 6-7 items but you don't get a second of each "limit 1" from the 3-4, and you can't claim the same boons again but if you complete a different boon you can get it.

I know as a bit of a "completionist" myself I'm already wary about running in the lower subtier because I'm permanently locking off rewards from all my characters every time I do. My highest level character only has three Chronicle Sheets and I'm already worried about it, even though I plan to also GM, so that helps mitigate it a little. A per-character replay would also allow those items that fit perfectly into certain builds to be discovered and then obtained, so there's a lot less guesswork in trying to pick the right character to get the right rewards.

I imagine this has probably been advanced as a theory before, but not having seen it yet myself, I might as well throw it in the ring.

PS: It might be better imagined as something like 3 or 5 runs of the same scenario, but none of them on the same character. This would be more complicated (you'd have to check more than just the one character's Chronicle Sheets), but also prevent "unlimited replay" by virtue of making 20+ characters.

Originally (waaaaayyyyy back in the day) you could replay each scenario once per faction -- so 5 times with a different character of a different faction. That, quite honestly, created tons of problems (personally I'm happy to retire the two characters that have cross-over chronicles it was confusing).

The biggest problem with doing this was that by the third time you played a scenario it was hold hat.. you knew what was going to happen, you knew how to prepare your character and the only thing different was the faction mission; which wasn't all the interesting.

I was happy when the replay rules were changed and don't see a reason to change them. My opinion is that, while everyone gives back in their own way to their community, stepping up to GM if you've played 6.5 seasons of scenarios might be a good idea.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
Alex Augunas wrote:
While many people agreed with me that coordinators need a way to reward GMs more, a surprising number of people seemed utterly against rewarding people who take time out of their busy lives to prepare our games for us on a regular basis.

Er.

Probably a better way to say it would be, "...a [large] number of people seemed utterly against [opening up PFS to the trap that has ruined the experience of previous organized play campaigns]."

That would be more along the lines of the arguments made by people who are against more replay. (Read some of Drogon's posts.) Your perspective is that they are meanies who don't want to reward people. But what they are saying is that experience has shown that too much replay kills organized play campaigns, and any short-term benefits GMs might get from feeling more rewarded would be outweighed by the medium- and long-term drawbacks of the whole campaign going to hell.

Honesty, I don't fully get the whole idea that GMs have to be given more replay and more rewards to want to GM. If you don't enjoy GMing for its own sake, why are you doing it? Yes, GM credit is a nice and great thing. But I GM a lot of repeat scenarios without credit, and I'm happy to do it, because, well, this is my hobby. I know that some people prefer to play to GM; those people really probably shouldn't be GMing any more than they are.


I would appreciate it if people would politely and constructively attack my idea for a one time total wipe of your number. If it is a bad idea, or just too much hassle, I would like to know why.

The Exchange

Nohwear wrote:
I would appreciate it if people would politely and constructively attack my idea for a one time total wipe of your number. If it is a bad idea, or just too much hassle, I would like to know why.

My personal opinion in the idea of a total wipe is no.

I think it creates a layer of meta game that doesn't need to be there with knowing what happened within the scenario. In addition, as one who has played games after I've GM'd them, it's honestly just not as much fun to play a scenario when you know what's coming; there is no challenge.

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

It would probably also involve the tech team, who has enough on their plate already.

The Exchange 5/5

Nohwear wrote:
I would appreciate it if people would politely and constructively attack my idea for a one time total wipe of your number. If it is a bad idea, or just too much hassle, I would like to know why.

I'm not much of a person for ATTACKS... if you want OPINIONS, those I can supply.

1) We already have a "reset" button that allows you to Replay everything. Just switch from Standard to Core (or vice versa). Restart PCs and replay everything. If you just start all your PCs in CORE you can do this by PC. Play a PC thru 12 scenarios as CORE and then play a different PC thru the same 12 as Standard. (Now think of all the problems we had with tracking Core/Standard differences. This change just creates more of those).

2) This does not address the many problems of Replay ("I know what's coming..." etc.). It's still doing the same scenarios over again.

3) Most of the players who are running out of scenarios DON'T want this fix, and have expressed it. Why are we trying to force it on them? to make scheduling easier? If it's not currently "Broke", why are we wanting to "Fix" it?

5/5 5/55/55/5

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) We already have a "reset" button that allows you to Replay everything. Just switch from Standard to Core (or vice versa).

And this was one of the big complaints against core, that it would stop paizo from working on a solution to the problem.

4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

okay - to be honest I skipped most of the middle of this thread as it's a rehash of an old discussion...

PFS coordinators have repeatedly said open replay is not for PFS.

You can get 4 chronicles off every scenario AS IS via standard play and CORE... so 4 isn't enough?

You can get about 10 replays, 5 GM stars and star recharges. I don't know that there's a limit on star recharges, so GM at PaizoCon or GenCon.

lastly, you can replay any scenario as often as you like... so long as it's a home game (not within PFS).

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

...and, for that matter, if you're going to go home game, there's a wealth of 3.5 modules that are not hard to convert to Pathfinder, not to mention more than a lifetime's worth of adventure paths already published just by Paizo, plus more by third party companies.

4/5

I'd have to agree that several living campaign players/coordinators who's opinion I value have said that replay was not a good thing.
My personal experience wasn't along those lines but I do recall people that valued repeating something they knew they could "win" and get a good reward. They were happy to be in a rut and thought it was a good thing. hmmm... IF they made money at it, sure... but for entertainment?...

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

rknop wrote:
Alex Augunas wrote:
While many people agreed with me that coordinators need a way to reward GMs more, a surprising number of people seemed utterly against rewarding people who take time out of their busy lives to prepare our games for us on a regular basis.

Er.

Probably a better way to say it would be, "...a [large] number of people seemed utterly against [opening up PFS to the trap that has ruined the experience of previous organized play campaigns]."

Truth be told I don't really buy that it killed the previous organized play campaigns because those had numerous issues beyond just replay.

Grand Lodge 2/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Colorado—Northern Colorado aka treidenb

Since we're in caucus season, I think all of you seeking more replay options should understand the unlimited replays or replays per character aren't getting anywhere. Come rally around the "one credit per sub-tier" movement. Freedom for all! :)

Seriously, though, I would be interested to hear some honest opinions of it or even the following:

We all just want to play the game and have fun. I would be completely fine with a generic chronicle for replaying. It would have no boons or items, half the earned prestige, and have a set amount of gold based on the tier at a lower than minimum level. If the lowest Tier 3-4 across all seasons, for instance, is 1,200 gp in normal progression, then only give 1,000. It eliminates the chronicle farming, won't disrupt the use of GM star replay, and even penalizes you slightly for replaying. A player is not going to want to do it a lot, but at least it gives them the option to do it.

I also liked Ragoz's comments on the sub-tier play being different experiences. For many of the scenarios, it is more than just adding another baddie or two, but tactics and spells can vary quite a bit. I know after playing or GMing something in low tier, that we would have enjoyed the challenge of seeing what the scenario was like in high tier.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Stephen Ross wrote:

okay - to be honest I skipped most of the middle of this thread as it's a rehash of an old discussion...

Which is why your answer keeps missing the point.

Its not about an individual playing multiple times, its about getting something the group can all play without laying out a Sudoku chart.

The Exchange 5/5

Todd Reidenbach wrote:

Since we're in caucus season, I think all of you seeking more replay options should understand the unlimited replays or replays per character aren't getting anywhere. Come rally around the "one credit per sub-tier" movement. Freedom for all! :)

Seriously, though, I would be interested to hear some honest opinions of it or even the following:

We all just want to play the game and have fun. I would be completely fine with a generic chronicle for replaying. It would have no boons or items, half the earned prestige, and have a set amount of gold based on the tier at a lower than minimum level. If the lowest Tier 3-4 across all seasons, for instance, is 1,200 gp in normal progression, then only give 1,000. It eliminates the chronicle farming, won't disrupt the use of GM star replay, and even penalizes you slightly for replaying. A player is not going to want to do it a lot, but at least it gives them the option to do it.

I also liked Ragoz's comments on the sub-tier play being different experiences. For many of the scenarios, it is more than just adding another baddie or two, but tactics and spells can vary quite a bit. I know after playing or GMing something in low tier, that we would have enjoyed the challenge of seeing what the scenario was like in high tier.

there is no problem with this. Just play it again with the same group at the higher tier. Wait... you mean you want to do it again for credit? That causes problems...

Sovereign Court

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The only thing that used to bug me about no replay is when a bad GM made a mess of a scenario and the experience sucked, with no chance to really get anything out of it. One chance. Gone.

Now with Core, there's another chance! So I'm all good with the current status quo.

The term "geek sudoku" though, that's a good one.

The Exchange 5/5

here's an early PFS experience with Replay...I ripped this from my post about First Steps many years ago...

First Steps spoilers:

I recently ran First Steps (one) in a local shop. A mix of players as you would expect at a shop. Mostly the characters are fresh (no games at all, and newbie players), though one player was bringing in a Gnome Cavalier with an adventure or two already played (Judge credits I think, he was one of the regular judges at that store), and he is the root of my questions.

encounter info:
During Silver Crusade assignment, the experienced character slipped away from the group while the talker keep the old lady busy to "search" the house. It was a bit odd - plainly to the other players he knew something that they had missed. Upon finding the OTHER medical supplies he stated that his character was "removing it so that he could bring it back to he S.C. faction leader as proof of the old Ladies criminal background." One of the other players pointed out that they were only asked to establish the trustworthiness of her, not steal stuff from the Orphanage. He explained that he was not telling anyone else in the party that he was doing this, just collecting the stuff and returning to the party. And besides, "that's what we need to do", and he gives a knowing smile. - so... other than an irritation to the Judge (me) is there a problem with this picture? What is it? What should/could I do as the judge to "fix" it? ... I admit I was tempted to send them back to "return" the stuff -though I did not.

final encounter info:
As the characters are heading into the final encounter in the alley - the Gnome Cavalier drinks a potion that he had bought at the start of the mod (blur I think - he got access from an earlier scenario), and moves to the front of the party. The final encounter went something like, Encounter starts as Bad Guys Draw weapons (roll Init). Cavalier wins Init and charges Ledford and between the lance and the dogs attack put him down (I think). Next round the Cavalier drops the Sorcerer...etc. In fact I think the encounter may have lasted 3 rounds - two of the new players (in the back of the party) didn't even know they were in combat before it was over. This encounter (which should have been tough) was easier then the Imp encounter. One of the new players kept trying to find out what the Bad Guys had done - or were they just killing people in the street?

As the Cav. was setting up to move into the ally, I was so tempted to make it a different encounter - it was plain he had read the scenario (in fact I found out he had run it before) and knew what was coming and was buffing for a fight. I so wanted to move the fight two streets down in the city, but I try real hard to Run-as-Written. Any advice on this?


[sarcasm alert]
Great way to introduce 4 new players to the game right?

Grand Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:

) We already have a "reset" button that allows you to Replay everything. Just switch from Standard to Core (or vice versa).

And this was one of the big complaints against core, that it would stop paizo from working on a solution to the problem.

Core is a solution to the problem. If your group doesn't want to view it that way and it doesn't work out for you, that sucks, but that doesn't make Core any less of a viable solution to the problem.

5/5 5/55/55/5

godsDMit wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

) We already have a "reset" button that allows you to Replay everything. Just switch from Standard to Core (or vice versa).

And this was one of the big complaints against core, that it would stop paizo from working on a solution to the problem.

Core is a solution to the problem. If your group doesn't want to view it that way and it doesn't work out for you, that sucks, but that doesn't make Core any less of a viable solution to the problem.

If a solution doesn't work that does make it less viable by definition.

Grand Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
godsDMit wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

) We already have a "reset" button that allows you to Replay everything. Just switch from Standard to Core (or vice versa).

And this was one of the big complaints against core, that it would stop paizo from working on a solution to the problem.

Core is a solution to the problem. If your group doesn't want to view it that way and it doesn't work out for you, that sucks, but that doesn't make Core any less of a viable solution to the problem.

If a solution doesn't work that does make it less viable by definition.

The viability is not based on the success of it at a single venue.

4/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Stephen Ross wrote:

okay - to be honest I skipped most of the middle of this thread as it's a rehash of an old discussion...

Which is why your answer keeps missing the point.

Its not about an individual playing multiple times, its about getting something the group can all play without laying out a Sudoku chart.

lol... that's just the problem of playing a lot. Perhaps they could GM? that doubles the rewards.

I'd also suggest a handy play/GM tracker. Then you can just count up through the scenarios verbally (or use a difference comparator/database compare).
When you verbally do this it's best to start with the person with the most play history as they'll have the most restrictive list. That player announces possibilities and you see if you get unanimous agreement. Once you've got the playable list you can choose from that.
At worse there's the evergreens.

Let's see, 26*8 scenarios +43 modules +9 free game day products +3 quests = at least 263 possibilities... 263/3=87 levels/11= 8 characters to 12th level in just standard play, or 32 characters(minimum) via standard play & GM and CORE play & GM... and every year there's more...

3/5

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rknop wrote:

Honesty, I don't fully get the whole idea that GMs have to be given more replay and more rewards to want to GM. If you don't enjoy GMing for its own sake, why are you doing it? Yes, GM credit is a nice and great thing. But I GM a lot of repeat scenarios without credit, and I'm happy to do it, because, well, this is my hobby. I know that some people prefer to play to GM; those people really probably shouldn't be GMing any more than they are.

This line of thought isn't on topic, but I'm going to address it anyway because this is the single most common, "Lazy Man's excuse" that I see whenever someone doesn't want to change the way we reward GMs. (This came up in my "Game Day Boon" thread as well, so I apologize; you struck a nerve with me.)

So here's the dirty secret of life: the time we spend to do anything is the time we lose from something else. For that reason, time is the most valuable possession we as humans have, because all time is restricted. Tomorrow, I could get hit by a bus and my days of freelancing and GMing could instantly come to an end. Every day is a gamble, and so every day every person should get the most out of their time, and that goes beyond mere satisfaction.

For instance, I love writing for Paizo. I can't describe the amount of satisfaction I feel when I see my name printed in the front cover a Player Companion or a Core Rulebook, or whatever. That being said, do you think I shouldn't get paid for the time I spent working with Paizo developers in creating that product just because I enjoyed the process? Should the Paizo developers not get paid simply because they love their jobs? Should the artists that make the art for your book not get paid, or the graphic designers who lay the products out, or anyone else working at Paizo simply because working in the Game Industry is immensely fulfilling? The answer for all those questions is no.

When you're a GM running a game, there's a very real opportunity cost that you're spending. Without going into detail about all of the other things you could be doing with the 4 to 8 hours you likely spend running the game, or the 1+ hours you likely spend prepping it, you're paying for the privilege to GM with the ability to play in a game, the ability to be creative and to actually define an experience. The GM sets the stage, but its the players who really create the experience; a plot is meaningless without players. Furthermore, if you're a creative type who likes to RP, you're missing out on roleplaying as a character you wrote and that you enjoy. You've got some pretty tight constraints on your roleplaying as a Pathfinder Society GM, and that lack of freedom can be frustrating and intimidating. You also aren't always on the receiving end of "fun," and if its fun for you to make your players sweat, you might not get that experience based upon the nature of the scenario you're playing. (For example, Wounded Wisp is an amazing game story-wise, but combat wise a good barbarian completely owns all but the final encounter.)

Finally, I'm a teacher, and one of the first things they teach you at University is that reteaching a lesson you've taught before is the most essential thing that you can do in regards to becoming a master teacher. If you don't get an opportunity to reflect upon your mistakes and shortcomings as a teacher, you never grow. You'll never make superior lessons the first time around. That's the big thing that I don't like about the "no rerunning for credit" rule that GMs have; that it literally goes against everything I learned in college as an educator. We should encourage GMs to better themselves by taking advantage of the unique opportunity that PFS provides to perfectly rerun a game session that we've run before, and we should reward people who take real steps towards becoming better GMs.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber
Alex Augunas wrote:
rknop wrote:

Honesty, I don't fully get the whole idea that GMs have to be given more replay and more rewards to want to GM. If you don't enjoy GMing for its own sake, why are you doing it? Yes, GM credit is a nice and great thing. But I GM a lot of repeat scenarios without credit, and I'm happy to do it, because, well, this is my hobby. I know that some people prefer to play to GM; those people really probably shouldn't be GMing any more than they are.

That being said, do you think I shouldn't get paid for the time I spent working with Paizo developers in creating that product just because I enjoyed the process? Should the Paizo developers not get paid simply because they love their jobs? Should the artists that make the art for your book not get paid, or the graphic designers who lay the products out, or anyone else working at Paizo simply because working in the Game Industry is immensely fulfilling? The answer for all those questions is no.

Yes, agreed. But I don't think the situations are comparable. While I'd love to live in a post-money world where the respect and satisfaction you got writing for Paizo was all that was necessary, and where there would be no worry about being able to eat and house yourself, that's not the world we're in. So, if people are doing work, they should be paid for it.

But I don't see GMing as being like that. GMing isn't work. If it is work... you shouldn't be doing it. I know that the pay scale for RPG designers and authors is really low as these things go, but there are people who make a living at it. You're not going to make a living with the comped con admissions, occasional bits of swag, boons, and scenario credit you get for GMing. Those are just perques. They're not pay. As such, I don't think comparing it to a thing where you get paid to work makes sense.

Yeah, there's an opportunity cost. And if you find that you don't want to do it because you aren't rewarded enough, again, you really shouldn't be doing it. If you want to be a GM who makes the players sweat, probably PFS is not right for you as a GM. (There are a couple of scenarios that will do it, and some groups sweat in lots of places, but PC groups overpowering scenarios is far more common.)

It's a hobby. If you aren't finding your hobby, on balance, rewarding enough, you should find another hobby, or you should approach your hobby differently (don't GM so much, for instance). Even if GM rewards are increased, in no way are they going to come anywhere close to being comparable to compensation for actual work.

The Exchange 5/5

MadScientistWorking wrote:
nosig wrote:

[sarcasm alert]

Great way to introduce 4 new players to the game right?/QUOTE]
Considering you picked the such a horrible scenario in the first place no it wasn't. That scenario is bad and I can't blame anyone who knows what's bad with it to cheese it.

I actually rather like that scenario. Very much so in fact.

but that is totally off topic.

it is your contention that it's ok to "cheese it" if you don't like the scenario? If you don't like it, why are you re-playing it in the first place?


edit: wait, did I just respond to a deleted post?


Sorry for the brick of text...

I feel that the current replay system has some flaws that penalize GMs and players alike.

Spoiler:
Muser wrote:
There's always other organized play campaigns. I've been wanting to try DnD for a while. Too bad about the venue restriction.

I'm not sure this is a great suggestion. "You like this system enough to play just about everything... go do something else."

What if they've tried other systems and don't like them? They are just "too bad, so sad"?

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
So it'd have to be simple, non-punitive, and inclusive. Perhaps an option to take either the cash OR the access to the items on a given chronicle? The only drawback is that will put some characters well behind on WBL, and that does stack up over time.

I like this line of "how can we make this work," better then the dismissive replied that I usually get. Thanks!

I think flat-out removing the chronicle items is best, but with a limited use ability to " deactivate" the things your losing. Like the ability to use the Expanded Narriative boon to get full rewards from the scenario instead of the super limited rewards from the Sky Key replay option.

Wouldn't something similar to this reduce farming? Play for 1 XP, std PP, and std gold, but no boons and items (or reduced XP/PP (like 50% of both), reduced gold, no day jobs, etc.)?

Jessex wrote:
Why not play Pathfinder outside of PFS? I know this might shock some people but that can be fun and with people that dedicated to playing surely you can get a couple of tables for ongoing campaigns.

Many people have not enough time for non-PFS play, or live in vastly different areas part of the year. There's obviously more reasons out there. Mine? Besides limited availability, I have a horrendously bad memory (medical conditions). Long term outside games usually don't go well for me.

How does that suggestion help many of these kind of people and myself? (Obviously, a business shouldn't cater to a smaller group, but there should be flexibility somewhere.)

Also, I'm comfortable with this system and the people i'm around. I've quite a few other systems, but nothing but 3.x and PF interest me.

Andrew Christian wrote:
2) It sounds like you proclaim a game day, and pick GMS and tables based on who showed up and what you can play. Move to a strict RSVP system. I know all the arguments against, and the idea that players may stop coming back if they can't play. The fear might be founded for a few, but frankly we are better off in our community without players whose play rate is both untenable and irresponsible. The majority of people will shrug and say, "Ah, already played it, see ya next time." Some days you might just get one table. But you'll know it based on who RSVPs for which scenario(s) you've decided to organize that day.
Andrew Christian wrote:
Nohwear wrote:
This is why we need sites like Warhorn.

Yup. Our region uses Meetup, which does a really good job as well.

Just some sort of site that requires an RSVP to guarantee you a spot at the table.

We also use Meetup, but ~25% of the players don't/rarely RSVP (or RSVP for extra people). It'd be downright cruel to these people and others "sorry, you chose not to RSVP or didn't know to. Maybe you'll learn your lesson next time, goodbye." That would reflect badly for the group, especially people visiting from out of town/state/country and just want to drop in for a quick game.

---
Also mentioned, if a scenario goes afoul, wouldn't it be nice to be able to replay and see what happens?


.

In the end, I feel like a replay system that is controlled but less restrictive would alleviate some of the mentioned fears of cheating, farming, etc. But would also allow players to continue to enjoy playing PFS and grow their characters beyond RP only). Playing scenarios too much and losing that fun would be more of a self-restricting side effect of a more open replay system.

The idea of replays on different tiers is another decent option, IMHO. The traps, encounters, and tasks even vary just between tiers.

But this also goes beyond players and GMs, it affects the venues' customers. Turning away players reduces their desire to purchase products, even may discourage them from coming back. This may discourage venues from opening up times for PFS games, preferring games that help their business.

P.S. thanks John and Drogon for responding to this thread

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Actually, a strict RSVP system works very well. People learn not to just show up. We make sure that all the stores know our policy, so when they suggest people check us out, they point them to our Meetup page. The only reason you have people not RSVPing is because you allow it. Sending them home if there aren't any seats available is a perfectly acceptable option. And it works.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Thames Valley aka chris manning

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More GM rewards?

i have run well over 100 society games, and in that time i have amassed so many GM boons that I'm now actively giving them away, and I've stopped taking GM credit as I'd rather play my characters through their levels.

I don't GM for the rewards, I GM because I enjoy it.

Grand Lodge

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How about a proposal that allows replays, but not exactly unlimited? A lot of the problem comes from people who have been playing for a long time and have run out of scenarios they haven't played. If they have been playing for years, then there are going to be a lot of scenarios that they haven't played for years. Allow replays of scenarios that they have not played for at least 12 months.

By limiting it to waiting a year to replay a scenario it also gives time for them to forget the details within the scenario, thus making it more enjoyable as well.

GM stars can still be used for scenarios that the GM has played within the last 12 months, or another alternate reward can be worked up to replace it.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

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If you have run out of scenarios to play, you'd make an excellent GM.

Pay it forward.

@WhoeverIsKeepingScore: Mark me down as 'no further replay is needed.'


Andrew Christian wrote:
Actually, a strict RSVP system works very well. People learn not to just show up. We make sure that all the stores know our policy, so when they suggest people check us out, they point them to our Meetup page. The only reason you have people not RSVPing is because you allow it. Sending them home if there aren't any seats available is a perfectly acceptable option. And it works.

Not really a valid tactic when you're only plopping down 8 or so people.

When sending one person home means that an entire table can't play, it is not an option.
If I had OVERSTUFFED tables, RSVPing would be a great way to handle it.
But that's not my small store experience.

A)We have the few "always there"s.
B)A couple "Will be there unless something comes up, but I'll let you know earlier that day"s.
C)And one or two "I may show up, I may not. It will totally be last second"s.
Some of these guys carpool in, some of these guys drive in themselves, some of them are dropped off by their parents and left with us for a few hours.
A hard RSVP system will drive away the Cs, not just from the session but from the game entirely. It works fine with the As, but falls apart entirely when one of the Bs has something come up. It's no problem to send a self driver home, but a carpool member or a drop off is another story.
In the end, the Sudoku of a small store just cannot handle a rigid system; we need something more flexible, something with wiggle room.
We ended up going over to Adventure Paths, where we can at least play characters out or in as needed.

As I said, I understand the arguments for the current rules set.
I understand that massive Cons and big city stores need to have the replay rules as they are for a plethora of reasons.
I just want it to be understood too just what us folks in small stores have to deal with, and how the current rules affect us.
Ideally, the rules would be modified in such a way as to work for all situations.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Actually, a strict RSVP system works very well. People learn not to just show up. We make sure that all the stores know our policy, so when they suggest people check us out, they point them to our Meetup page. The only reason you have people not RSVPing is because you allow it. Sending them home if there aren't any seats available is a perfectly acceptable option. And it works.

Not really a valid tactic when you're only plopping down 8 or so people.

When sending one person home means that an entire table can't play, it is not an option.
If I had OVERSTUFFED tables, RSVPing would be a great way to handle it.
But that's not my small store experience.

A)We have the few "always there"s.
B)A couple "Will be there unless something comes up, but I'll let you know earlier that day"s.
C)And one or two "I may show up, I may not. It will totally be last second"s.
Some of these guys carpool in, some of these guys drive in themselves, some of them are dropped off by their parents and left with us for a few hours.
A hard RSVP system will drive away the Cs, not just from the session but from the game entirely. It works fine with the As, but falls apart entirely when one of the Bs has something come up. It's no problem to send a self driver home, but a carpool member or a drop off is another story.
In the end, the Sudoku of a small store just cannot handle a rigid system; we need something more flexible, something with wiggle room.
We ended up going over to Adventure Paths, where we can at least play characters out or in as needed.

As I said, I understand the arguments for the current rules set.
I understand that massive Cons and big city stores need to have the replay rules as they are for a plethora of reasons.
I just want it to be understood too just what us folks in small stores have to deal with, and how the current rules affect us.
Ideally, the rules would be modified in such a way as to work for all situations.

It certainly would work. And will be less stressful for the organizer. We only started at 2 tables total in the Twin cities, and many of our game days still only get two tables at a time.

The way a strict RSVP system works, is you set up how ever many tables you think you can pull off. Indicate what scenarios are being run at least 2 weeks in advance so GMs have time to prep. And then let folks RSVP. And if a day out, one or more tables don't have enough RSVPs, you cancel it.

It's about changing the culture of making a commitment to play. You don't allow for folks just showing up. Meetup has the ability to RSVP with guests, so you can RSVP for more than one person.

There really isn't a circumstance where a strict RSVP system won't work. Unless the venue actually requires you to accommodate walk ins.

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

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I've dealt this issue before myself (check those threads, my posts are there), as my play area is voracious when it comes to PFS, with three PFS nights a week.

Initially, our solution was to start playing Core, which worked for a while before we had a dozen new players that wanted to start using additional material, so we shelved our Core PCs and went back to running regular PFS on our game nights.

What's happened now is that the "PFS die hards" have transitioned into one of several weekly adventure path nights. We have also begun dabbling into other RPGs. Currently on our schedule looks like this, with one more more PFS participants in each game*:

Monday - Regular PFS
Tuesday - Serpent's Skull
Wednesday - Legacy of Fire / Regular PFS
Thursday - FF Star Wars RPG
Friday - FF Star Wars RPG / Skull and Shackles
Saturday - Dragon Age RPG
Sunday - Hell's Rebels / Regular PFS
*I participate in 6 of these 7 game nights myself

Now, there is no "one size fits all" solution for this problem, shy of Thursty uploading his consciousness to a robot and us manufacturing Shax-Slaughter-Author-Bots which churn out a new scenario every day, so if you're hitting the bottom of the well with PFS you're going to need to play around a bit and see what works.

It doesn't sound like Core is that popular--which is fine--so instead I'd recommend nabbing an AP and playing that. Personally, Wrath of the Righteous and Hell's Rebels have both been very enjoyable. Not to mention Skulls and Shackles, which comes with chronicles!

Alternatively, grab a different system and work with that a bit. It's refreshing and enlightening to play a rules light system like Dragon Age or the SWRPG from time to time. Makes you appreciate all aspects of what RPGs have to offer. Honestly, after a month with the DARPG I don't know how I lived without it, and the SWRPG doesn't even have numbers on their dice, how wild is that?!

Anyway, hope this anecdotal information can apply somewhat to what people are experiencing.

Grand Lodge 4/5

The longest running organized play campaign, Living City, ran with the following replay rules:

1) No replay for players.
2) If you GM a scenario, you don't get to play it, ever.

That campaign not only survived, but thrived up until it was effectively killed off by RPGA in favor of Living Greyhawk.

Just sayin'.

Edit: and as I was reminded, LG had the same replay rules and was massively successful until Hasbro killed it off in favor of their 4E OP campaign.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Forgive my asking but aren't the introductory scenarios unlimited for replays with 1st-level characters? Aren't the quest series unlimited for replays with 1st-level iconics? How is it hard to schedule scenarios that everybody can play, when there are a half-dozen adventures that everybody can play, week after week?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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How many weeks of The Confirmation can you put up with?

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

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My Confirmation Credits:

10 Player Normal
4 GM Normal
2 Player CORE
2 GM CORE

Luckily there is also First Steps, We Be Goblins, The Consortium Compact, Wounded Wisp, Master of the Fallen Fortress, Silverhex Chronicles, Phantom Phenomena, Mummy's Mask p1, Reign of Winter p1, Murder's Mark, Crypt of the Everflame, Ambush in Absalom, Godsmouth Heresy, Thornkeep p1, Emerald Spire p1.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's all fine and dandy to have a bunchmetric crud-tonne of L1 'evergreens' for bringing in new people.

But what happens when *everyone* has played through to L2 and doesn't want to use their 'one time only @ L2' run of an 'evergreen'?

Would relaxing 'evergreens' restrictions on L2 help alleviate this? ie, 'evergreens could be played by L1 or L2 characters without restriction'?

I don't know, it's just a thought. Problem might arise though is that the can that's been kicked along doesn't happen until L3... but there's a bunch more things available by that point that players could play, right?

Grand Lodge

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


But what happens when *everyone* has played through to L2 and doesn't want to use their 'one time only @ L2' run of an 'evergreen'?

Then they create new level 1 characters.


I really like the idea of replays only after a certain period of time. 12 mths, 24, whatever. Most people won't remember the specifics of them, beyond a general time line of the plot.

Don't get me wrong, I totally see both sides of this argument. I just feel some sort of limited/unlimited replay for flexibility for small venues with typically 10 people only or whatever. That'd be 2 bare min tables an no single table option w/o kicking people out of the whole event

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