Starfinder Society announcement and its impact on PFS


Pathfinder Society

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

For those who not see it, here is a link to the Paizo blog entry announcing the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. While this blog is very interesting, I found this part of it particularly relevant to PFS.

As Tonya Woldridge wrote:

Quote:
On a more serious note, we made a couple major changes for Starfinder Society. The first is the tier system. We are closing the gap between subtiers that resulted in so much confusion and consternation with calculating average party level (APL). Starfinder scenarios will include the following tiers: Tier 1-2, Tier 1-4, Tier 3-6, Tier 5-8, Tier 7-10, and Tier 9-12—perhaps more as higher-level play grows in popularity.

Would this be a useful change for the future for PFS if the same changes were adopted?

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, Florida—Jacksonville aka Corax "the honest thief"

I would lean towards No. Systems are different. That configuration may change like the Tier1-7 was changed. Things I thought have been rather good with how PFS has organized the tiers both in power and current formula. Seems that to adopt this lay out they would have to change how scenarios were done altogether

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, Florida—Jacksonville aka Corax "the honest thief"

But you never know :)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Perhaps they intent to "play-test" this new tier arrangement in SFS and if it works as intended, migrate it over to PFS. At least, I hope that is the plan. I'm not a huge fan of having a different tiering structure between the two campaigns as it will create at least some confusion, but I'm willing to wait it out if there is a long-term plan.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Perhaps they intent to "play-test" this new tier arrangement in SFS and if it works as intended, migrate it over to PFS. At least, I hope that is the plan. I'm not a huge fan of having a different tiering structure between the two campaigns as it will create at least some confusion, but I'm willing to wait it out if there is a long-term plan.

I wonder if that is the plan. I know that when there is a gap of a few levels between characters, say a 3rd level character playing with three fifth level characters, it can sometimes be a problem to have the 3rd level character keep up with his peers. (In one amusing scenario, I played a ranger who was the front line as everyone else were not fighter types. Let me say that having people use the Cure Light Wound wand was a very common event as I played up -- and there were a few bouts of unconsciousness.)

My hope is that both Organized Play programs go well. I already had one player at Lightspeed Hobbies TONIGHT express an interest in Starfinder Society.

Paizo Employee Contributor—Canadian Maplecakes

The Starfinder Tier system, a brainchild of Linda (credit where credit's due), was something that came up in our initial brainstorms on how we could come up with a reasonable spread of scenarios in an assumed 1-scenario-per-month Starfinder roll-out. Condensing the Tiers made it easier to allocate scenarios over the course of the charted Starfinder Society season.

The Pathfinder Society campaign is entirely on-board with gauging the reaction to some of the changes implemented in Starfinder Society, and potentially implementing them in the Pathfinder Society campaign. John summed it up nicely here, albeit in response to a different question.

3/5

Expanding PFS scenarios to level 12 would be very much welcomed! =D

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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FiddlersGreen wrote:
Expanding PFS scenarios to level 12 would be very much welcomed! =D

Might I introduce you to the latest seeker-level content?

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

Sidebar from all this discussion: I imagine each tier (save the 1-2) will have two subtiers (e.g. 3-4 and 5-6 for the 3-6 tier). Which is what T means when she says no gaps, which is super cool.

We are also going from 4 tiers (not including the archaic 1-7) to 5 tiers though, which could prove difficult. Hopefully the content getting released will keep up with the demand, which I can only assume to be of ravenous levels. Just 1 SFS scenario per month seems low, my advice is to replace Thursty's alcohol supply with water and remove his internet connection until more scenarios are produced.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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Walter Sheppard wrote:
Just 1 SFS scenario per month seems low, my advice is to replace Thursty's alcohol supply with water and remove his internet connection until more scenarios are produced.

Internet connection is also the key to Thursty communicating with me, assigning scenarios, and getting developed text to Paizo for layout, so...I'd reconsider cutting his connection.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Walter Sheppard wrote:

Sidebar from all this discussion: I imagine each tier (save the 1-2) will have two subtiers (e.g. 3-4 and 5-6 for the 3-6 tier). Which is what T means when she says no gaps, which is super cool.

We are also going from 4 tiers (not including the archaic 1-7) to 5 tiers though, which could prove difficult. Hopefully the content getting released will keep up with the demand, which I can only assume to be of ravenous levels. Just 1 SFS scenario per month seems low, my advice is to replace Thursty's alcohol supply with water and remove his internet connection until more scenarios are produced.

It does look like the tier system will reduce the likelyhood of that "purgatory" level that haunted the early days of PFS. As for replacing Thrusty's alchohol supply, somehow I think that might reduce the quality of the modules. I for one enjoy what the booze input produces :)

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

John Compton wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Just 1 SFS scenario per month seems low, my advice is to replace Thursty's alcohol supply with water and remove his internet connection until more scenarios are produced.
Internet connection is also the key to Thursty communicating with me, assigning scenarios, and getting developed text to Paizo for layout, so...I'd reconsider cutting his connection.

Eh, just put him in a LAN.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

something something Shax's Space Station of Pain

That is all.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

There have been occasional calls for more PFS scenarios. The SFS 1/month will partially fit that need. Sure, I expect some players to only be interested in SF, and more only interested in PF, but a lot will be interested in both. For the latter, this is an additional scenario each month. Given the calls for more scenarios, I'm guessing that adding SFS will not decrease the amount of PFS playing very much.

I'm also happy that Paizo hired somebody new to develop the SFS scenarios. If they hadn't, I'd have been dubious that they could keep up.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
William Ronald wrote:
For those who not see it, here is a link to the Paizo blog entry announcing the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.

Equally as relevant, there's a new SFS Forum!

Dark Archive 4/5

I think I get to be first, when will the first Starfinder adventure path be sanctioned on additional resources?

3/5 Contributor aka Alexander Augunas

Ever since this was announced, I've heard people rumbling for some Sky Key Shennanigins involving an interactive special that combines the Starfinder Society and the Pathfinder Society....

What? 12 hours is plenty of time for rumblings!

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The concern I've seen voiced elsewhere, and will also bring up here so it is not missed:

If there is going to be a separate 'GM-credit track', will it dilute an often-times thin 'GM Pool' to the point of insolubility?

If so, what steps are in place to mitigate this potential campaign-destroyer?

One does NOT want to become enamored of *yet another* system and then have to try and grind towards yet another badge that may not ever happen if there's not enough player support in a given region for it.

Dark Archive

Will we be seeing more seeker levek content? Or more 7-11 ? I have 6 level 10 characters. Ten seems to be where charactwrs go to die.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sin of Asmodeus wrote:
Will we be seeing more seeker levek content? Or more 7-11 ? I have 6 level 10 characters. Ten seems to be where charactwrs go to die.

3, 6, 10

4/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

I think the SFS tier system would be nice in Pathfinder, as it would be more balanced with respect to spontaneous vs. prepared casters. It is also nice to see level 1-2 being a separate tier.

Silver Crusade

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On the subject of a very different impact of SFS on PFS:

We've got a solid group that meets every Sunday afternoon at a local gaming store, and usually has 2 tables of PFS. Occasionally, it's only 1 or as many as 3. On very rare occasion, we'll get 5 tables together for a multi-table special. But 2 is definitely our norm.

Today, our Venture-Agent asked if there was interest in Starfinder Society. Most people said they were interested (out of 2 nearly full tables today). When discussing if we should add it into the rotation of Pathfinder Society scenarios on Sundays or meet on a different day for SFS, the majority opinion seemed to be to try and squeeze the SFS games in on Sundays. Meaning that we'll probably do SFS once a month instead of PFS.

So the total tables of Paizo organized play at our store will probably stay around the same, but there will be a 25% drop in PFS tables played, since they'll be replaced by SFS.

I know that's only one store, and if it really catches on enough, we may end up changing plans to have SFS do its own thing separate from PFS, but I consider that a bad sign for the future of PFS.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

Fromper wrote:

On the subject of a very different impact of SFS on PFS:

We've got a solid group that meets every Sunday afternoon at a local gaming store, and usually has 2 tables of PFS. Occasionally, it's only 1 or as many as 3. On very rare occasion, we'll get 5 tables together for a multi-table special. But 2 is definitely our norm.

Today, our Venture-Agent asked if there was interest in Starfinder Society. Most people said they were interested (out of 2 nearly full tables today). When discussing if we should add it into the rotation of Pathfinder Society scenarios on Sundays or meet on a different day for SFS, the majority opinion seemed to be to try and squeeze the SFS games in on Sundays. Meaning that we'll probably do SFS once a month instead of PFS.

So the total tables of Paizo organized play at our store will probably stay around the same, but there will be a 25% drop in PFS tables played, since they'll be replaced by SFS.

I know that's only one store, and if it really catches on enough, we may end up changing plans to have SFS do its own thing separate from PFS, but I consider that a bad sign for the future of PFS.

If there is interest in PFS at my shop, we will likely have a table of SFS monthly. We are at a smaller venue that usually runs two tables, and seldom a third on a given session every other Saturday.

I am planning on trying to recruit players and train GMs. However, Fromper, I believe that you do have a legitimate concern. The question is can we have SFS succeed without negative impact to PFS? It may be possible to add tables and players, but finding GMs can be a challenge at some places.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

Let me use a simple analogy well known to many gamers to help clarify my last post. I think the analogy involves thinking of all Paizo Organized Play as a pie. (Insert joke about Orc and Pie and hope that Monte Cook does not have his lawyers demand a share of the royalties. ;) )

Will PFS and SFS compete for the same slices of players and GMs, with PFS perhaps having fewer tables? Or is it too be hoped that PFS and SFS together will make a larger pie and we will not see a drop in PFS GMs and players? It may be possible to do so. I am planning on helping another player at my venue become a GM and we will work on recruiting players.

In the end, I think that all of the posters in this thread want many of the same things. We want players and GMs to have fun. We want to see PFS and SFS succeed. I do realize that there are concerns and perhaps a few challenges. However, let's keep this dialog going. I think that we can address any concerns, tackle challenges and hopefully see more people involved with PFS and SFS.

Dark Archive 4/5

That doesn't really seem like an argument against the long term health of PFS. Undoubtedly a few places will find Starfinder is more their cup of tea, but it is also a chance to bring more scenarios into play for all of the people who are nearly played out. If you have a weekly game switching to 1/4 for Starfinder just adds longevity into both as it slows the burn rate.

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

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The way I see it, the amount of new scenarios per month goes up, which helps me a lot.

Silver Crusade

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I'm just not seeing people run out of PFS scenarios to play. Even us old timers who have played a ton of them usually have a few here and there in the older seasons that we can play. Or we play all the new ones as they're published. Or we GM when there's nothing on the schedule that week that we haven't already played.

I'm just worried that Starfinder will cut into Pathfinder's market share for PFS playing time, and that will also hurt sales of other Pathfinder books. I know I generally only buy new PF books when I want to use them for specific PCs, and I mostly just play PFS. So if I'm not playing as much PFS, I won't need as many of those books.

But it'll lead to more Starfinder books sold. So it may be a zero sum game for people like me, but subscribers and non-organized play folks will still bring in a greater profit for Paizo. I don't know. We'll see.

Mostly, I'm just worried about less PFS being played at stores and conventions because SFS will replace some of those tables.

Silver Crusade 5/5

I'm actually vaguely optimistic that SFS will find an audience beyond the PFS players.

Especially up here. Our biggest convention of the year is Fan Expo (basically the equivalent of ComicCon) which is a couple of weeks after Gencon. That gives us the chance to show off the new shiney to new players and hopefully garner interest.

Edit: Please Please Please Please make sure that all the SFS stuff, especially the Quest Pack, is released for general consumption as of GenCon.


Paul Jackson wrote:

I'm actually vaguely optimistic that SFS will find an audience beyond the PFS players.

Especially up here. Our biggest convention of the year is Fan Expo (basically the equivalent of ComicCon) which is a couple of weeks after Gencon. That gives us the chance to show off the new shiney to new players and hopefully garner interest.

Edit: Please Please Please Please make sure that all the SFS stuff, especially the Quest Pack, is released for general consumption as of GenCon.

I'm fairly interested in SFS. Suggesting running it at FanExpo increases my desire to shun FanExpo this year by several orders of magnitude.

Silver Crusade 5/5

p-sto wrote:


I'm fairly interested in SFS. Suggesting running it at FanExpo increases my desire to shun FanExpo this year by several orders of magnitude.

Uh, I don't understand. If you're interested in it why would you not want it run at Fan Expo?


Because we can't accomplish something as simple as getting the current multitable special within weeks of GenCon. Adding a brand new form of organized play into mix so close to its release compounds the complexity of FanExpo significantly.

And avoiding FanExpo this year was something I had already decided on. I just really hate seeing our local community setting itself up for failure which is why I chimed in.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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William Ronald wrote:
Fromper wrote:

On the subject of a very different impact of SFS on PFS:

We've got a solid group that meets every Sunday afternoon at a local gaming store, and usually has 2 tables of PFS. Occasionally, it's only 1 or as many as 3. On very rare occasion, we'll get 5 tables together for a multi-table special. But 2 is definitely our norm.

Today, our Venture-Agent asked if there was interest in Starfinder Society. Most people said they were interested (out of 2 nearly full tables today). When discussing if we should add it into the rotation of Pathfinder Society scenarios on Sundays or meet on a different day for SFS, the majority opinion seemed to be to try and squeeze the SFS games in on Sundays. Meaning that we'll probably do SFS once a month instead of PFS.

So the total tables of Paizo organized play at our store will probably stay around the same, but there will be a 25% drop in PFS tables played, since they'll be replaced by SFS.

I know that's only one store, and if it really catches on enough, we may end up changing plans to have SFS do its own thing separate from PFS, but I consider that a bad sign for the future of PFS.

If there is interest in PFS at my shop, we will likely have a table of SFS monthly. We are at a smaller venue that usually runs two tables, and seldom a third on a given session every other Saturday.

I am planning on trying to recruit players and train GMs. However, Fromper, I believe that you do have a legitimate concern. The question is can we have SFS succeed without negative impact to PFS? It may be possible to add tables and players, but finding GMs can be a challenge at some places.

I think that as long as there is Paizo Organized play going on at a regular pace, then everything will be fine.

My opinion, playing LESS PFS per month is actually better as long as some organized play is going on.

5/5

As long as it doesn't result in a reduction frequency and quantity of PFS scenarios being released, I don't think that it will have a particularly bad impact on PFS.

I do get the impression that the market for rules-heavy high fantasy is probably larger than the market for rules-heavy scifi.

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