Replay Rules


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Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Ah, OK -- I conflated them. I never did much 2.0, 3.0, or 3.5, so I was never involved in any of those campaigns.

(I do remember at a dinky local (and not very organized) con at one point there was a game about to start, and I asked if I could join in. They said something like, "do you have a character?" and told me basically that I couldn't play if I wasn't already in the organization. The only time I've seen a PFS table do this is when they were about to play Eyes of the Ten. Otherwise, PFS seems to be quiet welcoming of newcomers.)

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

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I suppose I should step in and speak up, seeing as my name is being brought up:

Auke Teeninga wrote:
rknop wrote:
I don't know enough about Living Greyhawk to know what was motivating the constant replay. However, we have to be constantly aware of Drogon's "same faces" (and the wrong faces) showing up to play the same scenarios all the time. That'll kill organized play while it's still going....

Living Forgotten Realms was killed by replay.

Living Greyhawk had no replay whatsoever.

Auke is correct: LFR was, in my store's case at least, buried by the ability to replay without limit.

rknop describes PFS as "quite welcoming to newcomers," and it certainly is; new players can show up and hop onto a table with relative ease. And, in the case of my store (which is admittedly a busy PFS location), there will almost always be space for them to find a seat they can sign up for.

The biggest problem with replay, in my experience, is the fact that there are those people who just don't care about anything except the ability to play as much and as often as they can. Sure, there were "farming" problems with LFR, too (enabled by replay), but what killed LFR for my store was the lack of new players being able to come into the game. The same 6-10 replayers routinely signed up for every game day, without concern for what was being played, and monopolized the available seats. New players were consistently turned away because all the tables were full. When that happens enough, eventually those new players stopped trying. And, actually, occasional players (those who only played once or twice a month) were getting locked out of tables by that same core group, and THEY stopped trying, too. Eventually, those same 6-10 players were the only players at any table, and GMs got sick of being stuck with always having to run and never getting to play (because, due to replay, there was never any reason for those players to make the jump to GMing).

Thus, LFR died.

When I come on these boards an rail against replay, that is why. I understand the fact that replay will likely solve a small play group's problem with finding an adventure that everyone can play. But solving that problem creates a different problem for those of us who have larger groups. And, in my opinion (and my own experience, obviously) that problem leads to a steady decline in attendance and eventually a lack of interest in the campaign itself.

You can mark me down as still firmly against the idea of expanding replay more than it already has been. Which I'm sure is unsurprising to most of you. My reasons haven't changed in the 8 years I have been arguing against it. So, I'll stay out of this debate, having said my piece.

Edit: Living Greyhawk (LG for short - the 3.5 OrgPlay campaign which preceded LFR) was easily as popular as PFS, if not moreso. No, it did not allow replay, and I think that was a key component in it's longevity and popularity. In defense of the small PFS playgroup's problems, LG also had a high number of adventures published on a monthly basis. This, obviously, went a long way toward allowing every group who played the ability to find adventures they all qualified for.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Drogon wrote:

I suppose I should step in and speak up, seeing as my name is being brought up:

Saying your name into the mirror three times works...

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Drogon wrote:

I suppose I should step in and speak up, seeing as my name is being brought up:

Saying your name into the mirror three times works...

That makes me the boogeyman, though...

Shadow Lodge

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Drogon wrote:
That makes me the boogeyman, though...

Are you saying you're not?

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

@Drogon: you mention that one of the factors was that unlimited replay didn't have enough incentives to make the jump to GMing. How is your experience with the more widely available Expanded Narrative? Because that's quite obviously an incentive to GM, and once you start GMing you gain a bigger incentive to recruit more players too.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5 * Venture-Captain, Isles—Online

Drogon wrote:
Living Greyhawk (LG for short - the 3.5 OrgPlay campaign which preceded LFR) was easily as popular as PFS, if not moreso. No, it did not allow replay, and I think that was a key component in it's longevity and popularity. In defense of the small PFS playgroup's problems, LG also had a high number of adventures published on a monthly basis. This, obviously, went a long way toward allowing every group who played the ability to find adventures they all qualified for.

LG had regional adventures - that you could only play in that region (or as part of a 'border' con) - this encouraged player travel to pick up a wider range of scenarios. It also had a rolling scenario retirement after 3 or 4 seasons, so that encouraged players to try harder to complete the older scenarios before they got retired.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Baltic

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
@Drogon: you mention that one of the factors was that unlimited replay didn't have enough incentives to make the jump to GMing. How is your experience with the more widely available Expanded Narrative? Because that's quite obviously an incentive to GM, and once you start GMing you gain a bigger incentive to recruit more players too.

Living Greyhawk also didn't have GM credit.

Oh, and if you ran an adventure, you couldn't play it afterwards, so some people had to 'eat' them. AKA run the adventure, because noone else had played it yet and losing the ability to play it yourself.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Auke Teeninga wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
@Drogon: you mention that one of the factors was that unlimited replay didn't have enough incentives to make the jump to GMing. How is your experience with the more widely available Expanded Narrative? Because that's quite obviously an incentive to GM, and once you start GMing you gain a bigger incentive to recruit more players too.

Living Greyhawk also didn't have GM credit.

Oh, and if you ran an adventure, you couldn't play it afterwards, so some people had to 'eat' them. AKA run the adventure, because noone else had played it yet and losing the ability to play it yourself.

Yep. And we *still* never had a problem getting GMs. Only issue I saw was that it was the same guys GMing over and over. We were blessed in the sense that those guys really enjoyed doing it, so there was no real problem resulting from that.

To answer your question, Lau: I don't really see the Expanded Narative getting used in my area. Honestly, I've been so firmly rooted against replay for so long that I think the people in my area just don't think to pursue the replays they are actually able to have. Even with evergreen scenarios, I am often just offering them as part of the regular rotation. Telling people they are replayable has no effect on getting extra signups for them. Having Expanded Narrative available has likewise not had an impact on my stable of GMs; I have always had a large number of GMs willing to take games regularly.

I'm guessing, however, that you are more interested in my feelings on Expanded Narrative: I have no quarrels with it. GM rewards are important, and if that boon gets people to GM who wouldn't ordinarily do so, I'm all for it. Especially if it helps small play groups with their problems.

Edit: I take it back. I have one quarrel with it. It's existence is one more step down the slope. At the bottom of that slope is unlimited replay, and every step down is closer to the point where there is no reason to not simply give in and finish the fall. I saw that happen with LFR (the giving in part - unlimited replay was not the law of the land from the very beginning of the campaign; instead, it went down the same slippery slope that PFS is traveling, just much more quickly), so I will always chime in with my criticisms of replay in an effort to keep from reaching that point.

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

I see your point about the slippery slope, though it remains to be seen how slippery it; and also the top of the mountain isn't always the best place to be, somewhere halfway along might actually be better.

I guess what I like about it is that it encourages to continue GMing. Right now for me it means three replays per year (on an average of playing 1.5 times a week) so it's not dominating the play experience but it's nice to use to replay especially nice scenarios.

But I also think that the biggest drive towards GMing in our local scene comes from GMs spreading the word that GMing is fun in itself, not just because of perks. And players expressing their appreciation :)

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I see your point about the slippery slope, though it remains to be seen how slippery it; and also the top of the mountain isn't always the best place to be, somewhere halfway along might actually be better.

I am largely comfortable with where replay is right now. And I understand that the top of the slope for some people is just as bad as the bottom of the slope is for people like me. The problem is that no one really *knows* where the middle is vs where the point of no return is. I would simply rather keep it where it is in lieu of mistakenly taking that final step.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Auke Teeninga wrote:

Living Greyhawk also didn't have GM credit.

Oh, and if you ran an adventure, you couldn't play it afterwards, so some people had to 'eat' them. AKA run the adventure, because noone else had played it yet and losing the ability to play it yourself.

Oh, that would have stunk.

I would not be the prolific GM that I am if I had to lose play opportunities because I was GMing. I am so glad that PFS allows for GMs to play after they have GMed.

Hmm

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

I would just have far fewer characters. Which some would consider a loss.

The Exchange 4/5 5/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I would just have far fewer characters. Which some would consider a loss.

Really? :P

Dark Archive 4/5

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Our GLORIOUS Pathfinder Society would find itself in dire straits without THE POWER OF THE EFREETI to bring victory to all of its agents!

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 * Venture-Captain, Netherlands

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:


But I also think that the biggest drive towards GMing in our local scene comes from GMs spreading the word that GMing is fun in itself, not just because of perks. And players expressing their appreciation :)

Who doesnt want to cackle madly for four hours and be rewarded for it too ;)

The Exchange 4/5 5/5

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I never participated in LFR or LG or any other Organized Play Campaign prior to PFS. But even with the limited amount of replay allowed in PFS I still dislike replay.

Not because of "boon-farming" (though I vehemently oppose the practice) or knowing about the BBEG's "trick" (though it annoys me when a replayer is standing in just the right spot to not be affected).

No, what I dislike is what happens during the role-playing and puzzle-solving parts. People using a star replay or who have GMed the scenario before often completely withdraw from the decision-making dynamic. It's usually out of the best of intentions. They don't want to spoil the plot for the rest of the table. So they don't speak in social situations and don't offer suggestions to overcome obstacles. It's tolerable when it's just one player (especially at a six-person table) is replaying. But when it is two or more it often feels like a dead table.

Not always, mind you. Some people have a gift for being engaged without giving away information. But as just one example, I GMed a scenario not too long ago with a pretty serious puzzle in it. Four people, three of whom were replaying. Replayers knew the trick instantly. The one person who wasn't struggled mightily and eventually I encouraged the others to give subtle hints. It was a really down vibe and it didn't feel like they had really accomplished anything.

My one and only Adventurer's League experience:
I was GMing at a con. My table didn't make so I decided to sit at an AL table and try it out. I probably would have rated the experience a 3 on a 1-5 scale. I was by far the most engaged in the social parts and a lot of the players did the same thing over and over in combats. I was ready to chalk it up to the difference in the campaigns or even local norms until we finished and I found out that 3 of the 5 (counting me) were replaying. They knew that the social gambits I was trying didn't actually matter to the plot and they knew what spells/abilities were most effective in the combats. One was clearly just in it for the item reward.

1/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Re: A.L. Experience:

Oddly enough, I had a v. similar experience, save that in my case it was that 'my character wasn't optimized' and 'why would you do that, that's not anything to do with the module?' Even though it made perfect sense and the GM was at least willing to entertain the idea... In addition, one of the replayers kept trying to tell me what I should roll, when I should roll it -- AFTER my introduction when I said I'd played 5E in a home campaign and was familiar with the rules!

I've run into the dilemma of running an evergreen table where there was *one* person who had not played the scenario before and three experienced folks who were 'playing dumb'.

...that lasted until the first encounter which is one of a number of a things from a given chart, and pretty much most GMs toss one thing all the time... and the thing I brought out was COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

...queue the combination WTF moment of player reaction plus the "OH WOW" moment... and the new person even got a few awesome moments of rp out of the encounter...

3/5

I'd still like to see some sort of a timer to allow a replay (ex. 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, etc.) since the credit was applied (and obviously not on the same character).

This may have gotten me at least a half dozen former players when I was a store coordinator, all of whom played in Season 0/1, but couldn't remember what they had played and had lost their chronicle sheets and didn't want to expend the effort of trying to track down those they played with in other states that many years ago.

-TimD

Silver Crusade 4/5

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

I've run into the dilemma of running an evergreen table where there was *one* person who had not played the scenario before and three experienced folks who were 'playing dumb'.

...that lasted until the first encounter which is one of a number of a things from a given chart, and pretty much most GMs toss one thing all the time... and the thing I brought out was COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

...queue the combination WTF moment of player reaction plus the "OH WOW" moment... and the new person even got a few awesome moments of rp out of the encounter...

I'll bite. What did you use for that first combat?

I tend to use:
the Giant Flea

5/5 5/55/55/5

Drogon wrote:
dit: I take it back. I have one quarrel with it. It's existence is one more step down the slope. At the bottom of that slope is unlimited replay, and every step down is closer to the point where there is no reason to not simply give in and finish the fall. I saw that happen with LFR (the giving in part - unlimited replay was not the law of the land from the very beginning of the campaign; instead, it went down the same slippery slope that PFS is traveling, just much more quickly), so I will always chime in with my criticisms of replay in an effort to keep from reaching that point.

Just keep in mind that in order to get 4 replays the DM has to run 20? games. So even if they are somehow clogging the pipe they have to open up 5 times as many new ones.

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Kentucky—Lexington

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Auke Teeninga wrote:

Living Forgotten Realms was killed by replay.

Living Greyhawk had no replay whatsoever.

All of my 4e friends have different reasons for the death of LFR including replay, errata frequency, new editions, etc.

LG had 1000+ scenarios, if you came into it late you had tons of material to play. It also had region specific material that came out frequently so replay ceased to be an issue for all but the 15 year veterans of LG.

Drogon wrote:

The same 6-10 replayers routinely signed up for every game day, without concern for what was being played, and monopolized the available seats. New players were consistently turned away because all the tables were full.

In defense of the small PFS playgroup's problems, LG also had a high number of adventures published on a monthly basis.

The first problem is solved by a coordinator that prioritizes new players over players who have played a scenario. If the replayer objects to that concept and you publicized which scenarios were available online or on a BB, then you don't want those players in your store. You want the new players and the respectful players and eschew the rest.

I agree on the second, I never had an issue with LG and running out of content like I've perpetually had with PFS in the 9 years I've played PFS and 7-8 years I played LG.

4/5 *

Remind me, was Living Greyhawk the one where pretty much anyone could write a sanctioned scenario for their region? (I only played 1 game of it personally, since it was mostly dead in my area when I finally discovered OP, but it led me to PFS. )

The Exchange 5/5

GM Lamplighter wrote:
Remind me, was Living Greyhawk the one where pretty much anyone could write a sanctioned scenario for their region? (I only played 1 game of it personally, since it was mostly dead in my area when I finally discovered OP, but it led me to PFS. )

Each regional triad would have one member that managed editing all of their regional adventures, and they would usually recruit writers from the local player base.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quinn Shannon wrote:


I'll bite. What did you use for that first combat?
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Two young hippogriffs.

New player was playing an elven wizard and when the party was about to murder-hobo them hard(one character wanted to make boots out of them!) he jumped between the two incapacitated creatures and gave a stirring speech about how the party shouldn't kill them, but instead heal them up enough to let them survive -- it wasn't the hippogriffs' fault that the party stumbled into their territory, after all.

Also, in that fight Janira is supposed to give advice... so the advice turned out to be "One should be careful using burst weapons in close combat with fellow Pathfinders" after the party grenadier accidentally scattered a bomb into the party.

So later on, when they were at the model, the elven wizard quoted Janira's helpful advice to fulfill a particular requirement...

Have to say, haven't seen them used any other time.

1/5

I like the idea of limited replays - I would happily play Pathfinder and not get boons if it meant that I could play scenarios again... Maybe make a much more limited number of replays if you want to get the original boon from a scenario..

By if I had to not be able to get boons in order to replay things, it would be an acceptable compromise for me...

By way of example, in the next two weeks, I have 2 tables per week of different scenarios tables scheduled to fire at my local store - none of which that I can play and GMs are already covering them - they do not need extras. I will be staying home instead. Even if I've played the scenario before, I'd much rather be out there killing monsters. Most of the 40% of scenarios which I have not played are in Season 1 and 0, where the game was... less refined.

+1 to being able to play. There are plenty of GMs where I am.

1/5

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I find replays beyond the 2nd time to be generally boring as a re-player.

In groups with 1st timers and re-players, I find one of two outcomes. Either the re-players trivialize the scenario by providing solutions or at least hints to solutions, or the burden of finding solutions is concentrated, perhaps unfairly, on the few 1st timers at the table. This is less of a problem in combat-oriented re-playable scenarios (e.g. MotFF), but more of a problem in more puzzle-oriented scenarios (e.g. Wounded Wisp).

IMO replay as it stands now in PFS still manages to stay in the side of beneficial, because replay is centered on 1st level scenarios and on incentivizing GM's. However, generalizing replay would be a bad idea, even with regimes to reduce boon farming and the like.

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

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I recently replayed Wounded Wisp and had an unusually good experience. I'd told the other players I was replaying so they should take point in puzzles and negotiations. I did counsel the group a bit, in the likes of "sure, we could run back to Dreng and report all that, but wouldn't be he more impressed if we investigated a bit more first?".

The scenario does have one somewhat contrived clue that only makes sense if you've read the Guide to Absalom (new players, yeah right). So when I happened to ace that knowledge check I was able to deliver the explanation from an IC point of view that made a lot more sense.

---

Bottom line: it can be fun replaying those evergreen into scenarios as a sort of mentor "N"PC.

1/5

Lowly gamers thoughts. Personally I have been having a lot of difficulty finding games to play.

I joined PFS so I could play more as I had no local GM to play with regularly. It was amazing in the beginning but now I am stuck.

Was wondering if the venture captains are sure there are no problems. I have never mentioned it to my Venture Captain but I will now.

I don't really enjoy GMing so I don't have the rewards of many replays.

I do think unlimited replays is wrong.

I do think there needs to more replay options for players but maybe I am missing something. Missing a convention cause there is nothing to play sucks.

I would REALLY like to see more evergreens in the 2-5 or 3-7 range. Tome of Righteous Repose has been a god send.

I am happy that this is an on going discussion and am confident that the issue will be resolved correctly for all.

Thank you
Pathfinder Addict

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

@Daeth: what kind of system do you people use to schedule games?

In my experience, using a good system to choose scenarios to schedule makes a world of difference. It's hard for a lodge with about 30 people to schedule scenarios just from memory - nobody's that good that they can remember what everyone hasn't played yet.

In our lodge we developed the session tracker which makes this a lot easier. You plug in the people who've signed up for a table, and get the list of scenarios they can still play. It's become quite popular.

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