What about PFS would you want changed for SFS?


Starfinder Society

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Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Figured this would be an apropos discussion for the new Forum.

Campaign Leadership mentioned they'll be rolling out details as we get closer to the official release. Until then, what would *you* want to see in Starfinder Society that you always felt could be improved about Pathfinder Society?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

Perhaps in place of the various Faction Mission types we have had over the course of PFS; say that SFS has 6 factions, after a mission is given (scenario intro) allow a party to be "courted" by 3-6 of those Factions to perform a "side job" for that Faction, which the Entire Party decides on. Following the completion of the job players receive their reward, perhaps greater rewards for players if the Faction who they performed the job for was the Faction which they are currently aligned with, or less if it was for one they were diametrically opposed to.

Example (Using PFS): Players are charged to travel to an outpost on Azlant Ridge. Both the Andoran and Cheliax factions offer jobs to the party: the Andorans request the party's assistance with rescuing an Eagle Knight who had been captured and sold into slavery and is working somewhere nearby; the Cheliaxians request that the party contact a slave trafficking network, who have a fresh supply of halflings, and make a purchasing deal for them.

Generate Faction Influence Points based on Mission Success; in the scenario above an Andoran Faction Member who participated in a group who chose the Chelaxian job, would gain perhaps +1 Cheliax Influence but lose -1 Andoran Influence, while a Grand Lodge Faction Member might gain +1 Cheliax Influence and a Cheliax Faction Member would gain +2 Influence.

Influence could later be used for favors/discounts/Diplomacy/etc.


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I would like to see more out of game information regarding scenarios that link up to create a larger story. I find nothing worse than discovering a very cool story arc with scenarios only to find out that I've already run a few of them with different PCs and out of order. Perhaps something in the Scenario blurb that connects the missions/scenarios together.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Joseph Yerger wrote:
Influence could later be used for favors/discounts/Diplomacy/etc.

I like the idea but it sounds like it would be more tracking of things by players.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Joseph Yerger wrote:

Perhaps in place of the various Faction Mission types we have had over the course of PFS; say that SFS has 6 factions, after a mission is given (scenario intro) allow a party to be "courted" by 3-6 of those Factions to perform a "side job" for that Faction, which the Entire Party decides on. Following the completion of the job players receive their reward, perhaps greater rewards for players if the Faction who they performed the job for was the Faction which they are currently aligned with, or less if it was for one they were diametrically opposed to.

Example (Using PFS): Players are charged to travel to an outpost on Azlant Ridge. Both the Andoran and Cheliax factions offer jobs to the party: the Andorans request the party's assistance with rescuing an Eagle Knight who had been captured and sold into slavery and is working somewhere nearby; the Cheliaxians request that the party contact a slave trafficking network, who have a fresh supply of halflings, and make a purchasing deal for them.

Generate Faction Influence Points based on Mission Success; in the scenario above an Andoran Faction Member who participated in a group who chose the Chelaxian job, would gain perhaps +1 Cheliax Influence but lose -1 Andoran Influence, while a Grand Lodge Faction Member might gain +1 Cheliax Influence and a Cheliax Faction Member would gain +2 Influence.

Influence could later be used for favors/discounts/Diplomacy/etc.

Sounds like both a recipe for party conflict as well as a reporting/paperwork nightmare.

1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When new products are released in the Starfinder Society, they are *already vetted* for Additional Resources.

As this is effectively a 'new game', heading off the 'bloat-creep/abuse' at the pass will not only help promote the game, but it will also promote folks to purchase product, knowing that their 20-50$ investment isn't 'wasted money'.

On a more positive side, it may also help mitigate some of the more heated discussions on the board if they are already in place.

EDIT: On 'Faction Mission Choice': It would truly and monumentally *suck* to be a Xenologist (druid-type) sitting at a table of tech-heads who all wanted to get the BBFG900x which was a potential reward of doing the 'tech cause' versus the 'natural cause'.

Been through enough of those scenarios Not in PFS, even to know that's toxic to organized play.

Shadow Lodge

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I second the need for pre-vetted Additional Resources.

I also want a full and frequently updated FAQ, containing every rules-relevant bit of information for SFS. No more digging through blog posts, forums posts, FAQs, and errata to figure out a ruling question. If it applies to SFS, it needs to be on the page.

Liberty's Edge 3/5

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As others have said, pre-vetting of additional resources would be great.


    * A more relaxed crafting system. Arbitrary crafting is a terrible idea, but being able to say, upgrade from a Ring of Hacking, Lesser, to a Ring of Hacking, Greater, would be nice. So would the ability to do off-slot item variants at double the price, or combine two items at a cost of 100% of the cheaper item and 150% of the more expensive one.

    * A system for crewing a spaceship with your fellow Starfinders. I have no idea how the rules are going to work in Starfinder, but a vanity or entire subsystem based on customizing your personal ship could be really fun and provide a lot of character customization. At the very least, a system of vanities (10 prestige for a basic ship, 5 prestige for a stealth module, 5 prestige for teleporters, etc...) would be great.

    * Re-balance the fame/prestige system, or do away with fame altogether. The way it works in PFS at present is for your first couple of levels, you're restricted from getting anything fancy, which for spell casters typically means you're just sitting on your money, maybe buying a pearl of power, until you hit the fame requirement for a +2 headband/+2 belt. After you hit level 4 or so, the fame limitations increase so much faster than your income that they become meaningless almost immediately.

    * If there are scroll/potion/wand analogues, allow purchases at variable caster level. Otherwise you end up with shenanigans like buying a riffle scroll of resist energy, communal - not because you want to be able to cast a resist energy silently for all your friends, but because that's the only way to get a caster level 7 resist energy scroll.

    * Related to that, get rid of the "purchasable items" on chronicle sheets, unless they're unique.

    * If a boon grants +1 on diplomacy checks with the Mi-go tribe of Arsenius VI, ensure that it will be relevant in a future scenario in either the current season or the one following.

    * (I know people will disagree, but a personal wish) Get rid of "once used, cross this boon off your chronicle sheet" type boons that grant a minor bonus. Ever finish a role playing game with ten thousand mana/health potions in your backpack at the end that you save "just in case"? Yeah. Look at your chronicle sheets for a character that's reached retirement age and tell me how many one-time-use +1 bonus on saving throws against devils/may add 2 to handle animal checks vs bees type boons you have. Either make them permanent or don't grant them at all.

    * Allow GMs to make day job roles, if day jobs are a thing.

    * If starting traits are a thing, allow retraining of them

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

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DrSwordopolis wrote:
As others have said, pre-vetting of additional resources would be great.

+1

DrSwordopolis wrote:
* A system for crewing a spaceship with your fellow Starfinders. I have no idea how the rules are going to work in Starfinder, but a vanity or entire subsystem based on customizing your personal ship could be really fun and provide a lot of character customization. At the very least, a system of vanities (10 prestige for a basic ship, 5 prestige for a stealth module, 5 prestige for teleporters, etc...) would be great.

+1

DrSwordopolis wrote:
* Related to that, get rid of the "purchasable items" on chronicle sheets, unless they're unique.

++1

DrSwordopolis wrote:
* If a boon grants +1 on diplomacy checks with the Mi-go tribe of Arsenius VI, ensure that it will be relevant in a future scenario in either the current season or the one following.

+++1

Grand Lodge 5/5

While I would love the idea of full vetting of new sources on release, I'm really not sure that would be worth the development resources that might take away from things like additional module content. I think they've learned a lot of lessons from 9 years of PFS, so SFS will start in a better place, but I think prevetting is a big ask.

I'm also not for any monkeying with the crafting system unless Starfinder handles it very differently. Will have to wait and see there.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Meunier wrote:

While I would love the idea of full vetting of new sources on release, I'm really not sure that would be worth the development resources that might take away from things like additional module content. I think they've learned a lot of lessons from 9 years of PFS, so SFS will start in a better place, but I think prevetting is a big ask.

I'm also not for any monkeying with the crafting system unless Starfinder handles it very differently. Will have to wait and see there.

The problem is this:

If things are not pre-vetted, then initial 'buy-in' will be less than optimal, as many folks have seen what the 'buy-and-pray-the-thing-you-want-makes-the-cut' turns out like.

If it is cut and dried, sure, some sales will be lost. But it will be made up for with the certainty that others will have knowing that a given product will suit their needs.

It also helps the SDT make a determination on campaign direction, as well.

Sovereign Court 3/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

When new products are released in the Starfinder Society, they are *already vetted* for Additional Resources.

What do you mean by this?

An Additional Resource document gets published day-of-release? Or all developed content is kept appropriate for organized play?

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

When new products are released in the Starfinder Society, they are *already vetted* for Additional Resources.

What do you mean by this?

An Additional Resource document gets published day-of-release? Or all developed content is kept appropriate for organized play?

Either/Or/Both

A way to keep sales 'up' while also ensuring customer satisfaction.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

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I think it would be neat if it was set in space.

Paizo Employee Contributor—Canadian Maplecakes

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Jayson MF Kip wrote:
I think it would be neat if it was set in space.

I don't think the rest of the team will mind...

Spoiler:
I'll confirm that this is happening.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
I think it would be neat if it was set in space.

I don't think the rest of the team will mind...

** spoiler omitted **

Dangit! There goes our big reveal on Know Direction!

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Will pigs be a playable race in SFS?

Liberty's Edge 3/5

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

When new products are released in the Starfinder Society, they are *already vetted* for Additional Resources.

What do you mean by this?

An Additional Resource document gets published day-of-release? Or all developed content is kept appropriate for organized play?

Either/Or/Both

A way to keep sales 'up' while also ensuring customer satisfaction.

The latter's not really going to work - there are always going to be feats/options/whatever that are evil (antipaladin) or disruptive (leadership), but it should be possible, especially with the slower pace of Starfinder releases, to vet as products hit shelves.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrSwordopolis wrote:


The latter's not really going to work - there are always going to be feats/options/whatever that are evil (antipaladin) or disruptive (leadership), but it should be possible, especially with the slower pace of Starfinder releases, to vet as products hit shelves.

The important thing is a paradigm shift in thinking to 'product ready for SFS upon arrival' vs. 'Well, we have this nifty Starfinder *stuff* but we're not sure QUITE what parts are going to be okay but please buy the items so we can continue producing them!'

1/5

I believe there should be a cleaner way of handling experience awards for slow advancement, quests, etc.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

John Compton wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
I think it would be neat if it was set in space.

I don't think the rest of the team will mind...

** spoiler omitted **

Dangit! There goes our big reveal on Know Direction!

Cool. Keep everything else, and we're good.

Silver Crusade 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Michael Meunier wrote:
Joseph Yerger wrote:

Perhaps in place of the various Faction Mission types we have had over the course of PFS; say that SFS has 6 factions, after a mission is given (scenario intro) allow a party to be "courted" by 3-6 of those Factions to perform a "side job" for that Faction, which the Entire Party decides on. Following the completion of the job players receive their reward, perhaps greater rewards for players if the Faction who they performed the job for was the Faction which they are currently aligned with, or less if it was for one they were diametrically opposed to.

Example (Using PFS): Players are charged to travel to an outpost on Azlant Ridge. Both the Andoran and Cheliax factions offer jobs to the party: the Andorans request the party's assistance with rescuing an Eagle Knight who had been captured and sold into slavery and is working somewhere nearby; the Cheliaxians request that the party contact a slave trafficking network, who have a fresh supply of halflings, and make a purchasing deal for them.

Generate Faction Influence Points based on Mission Success; in the scenario above an Andoran Faction Member who participated in a group who chose the Chelaxian job, would gain perhaps +1 Cheliax Influence but lose -1 Andoran Influence, while a Grand Lodge Faction Member might gain +1 Cheliax Influence and a Cheliax Faction Member would gain +2 Influence.

Influence could later be used for favors/discounts/Diplomacy/etc.

Sounds like both a recipe for party conflict as well as a reporting/paperwork nightmare.

Agree that this sounds like a terrible idea. Just reading it, I was like, "If I had to traffic slaves at a table because everyone else wanted to, it would ruin my experience completely."

5/5

As a guy who didn't like the faction missions in early PFS... surprisingly, I like the idea that you can work for more than one in Starfinder Society. Although, as a caveat: I mean the broader goals known in advance, not the individualized "Bring me a tea set" missions of the early PFS seasons.

Although, perhaps there's a middle ground: if the broad factions goals did not change from season to season, each scenario could have a note identifying potential check boxes for each faction. This would eliminate the faction mission knowing what's going to happen before the mission, but would still highlight opportunities for each faction to achieve their goals in each scenario (or in some subset of scenarios). Or, the goals could be very broad, such as "make mercantile contacts in different cities", which would allow a PC to achieve this type of goal in most scenarios, even if there isn't a specific merchant NPC involved.

Really looking forward to hearing the team spill the beans on Know Direction, though!

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

I imagine this is an overall thing that has likely been decided but I'm really curious as to what Pathfinder Society looks like in the future. Or Starfinder Society, if that's what it's called now, has become.

Are their still lodges, Venture-Captains, etc? What are our missions going to look like? Something Star Trek esque? Where we are exploring exciting new worlds and strange life, studying and reporting but staying out of local politics. Or something more like Firefly or Guardians of the Galaxy? We are there to get paid and wind up acting like good to neutral aligned space bandits. Both seem enjoyable, and it'd be interesting if both were possible. Maybe that's what the factions will wind up looking like? One scientific faction, one smuggling faction? Maybe another that's about xenos and one that's about history? Who knows! It's all so cool!

As far as mechanical changes go, I'd like to change only minor things. PFS has been under revision since Season 0 and a lot of where it is now is the result of continual trial-and-error. I don't think a lot needs to change with SFS if they're working off the same framework. Personally, I'd like the following to be true, at least as a GM (which is my de facto position at most tables):
• No item crafting
• No Leadership
• No individual faction missions or competing goals between factions at the table
• A limit of one new mini-system or mechanic per new scenario so as not to overwhelm both myself and my players

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Really enjoying the discussion going on here, folks.

There's obviously a lot we can't talk about yet, or are saving for announcements in the future (such as on Know Direction). That being said, please feel encouraged to post your thoughts in this thread and others. John, Tonya, and myself will be watching and compiling a list of questions to get answered, as well as ideas for the campaign.

No promises on getting to EVERYTHING, but I really want to do my darnedest to be as transparent and open to community feedback as possible with this campaign. So, while I'll try to pop in as much as I can, I apologize if I can't spill ALL the beans right from the get-go.

Now, I should probably get back to outlining some things :)

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber

One free kitten for each GM star!

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka RAdeMorris

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To dodge the replay train early, can there be a Core Campaign at the start of this?

I know there's more limited playing options at the start, but rather ask now to have it built in so areas that have a huge sci-fi turn out may help increase play.

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

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I would like more of the boons on chronicles for unique items to be moved to another character without requiring a special boon. So far, I haven't played with a character that could make good use of it yet.

I like the recent chronicles that open up an option do it for any character.

A really corner case was recently pointed out where a character played at low tier with the correct character for the item, but unfortunately the item was at high tier. If you give a special item that changes by tier, perhaps allow someone to upgrade to the higher tier one?

Make the chronicle sheets so that it is easy to adjust them. The stuff that is on all tiers should be separate from the stuff at low tier and separate from the stuff at high tier. This helps with the paperwork at the end since then the GM only has to cross out the box that doesn't correspond to the tier played at.

Make it so there is a single place we are tracking expenses and equipment. Currently you double enter expenditures -- once on the chronicle and again on the ITS. Duplicating the information is bad.

Try to categorize things so that we don't have anything like the current situation with Familiars and Wand use. Hopefully in the future we learn how to better future-proof the game!

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka RAdeMorris

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BretI wrote:
Make it so there is a single place we are tracking expenses and equipment. Currently you double enter expenditures -- once on the chronicle and again on the ITS. Duplicating the information is bad.

To tag along with this idea, help character creation with a "chronicle zero" that has the starting wealth/basic gear grid.

Dark Archive

We need Goblins. Goblins in Space.
Let this be a thing.

Silver Crusade

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We Be Space Goblins.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Manchester aka Merisal The Risen

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I would rather dodge the geek soduko by having half the first years scenarios be evergreens possibly some being a mix between the paths we choose kinda deal introducing some of the factions. And possibly a 'routine space patrol' type mission where we might run into a number of bad guy factions.

But with only 14 scenarios planned first year I am a littl worried that if mission 7 goes sideways and I have to start again with only seven new scenarios I would be more likely to leave than stick at it

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Merisal The Risen wrote:
I would rather dodge the geek soduko by having half the first years scenarios be evergreens possibly some being a mix between the paths we choose kinda deal introducing some of the factions. And possibly a 'routine space patrol' type mission where we might run into a number of bad guy factions.

Gotta agree I'd like the first 3 scenarios to be a First Steps style replayable intro arc.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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I too am hoping that 3 of the first 5 or 6 scenarios are replayables. And honestly I can't think of any downsides to making it the first three scenarios. Everyone playing at GenCon is going to be level 1 anyway.

There is going to be tension in Season 2 between those players who will want all the scenarios to continue increasing in level (so their only character will be around level 10 by the end of Season 2) and those who want low level scenarios to try out new character ideas (or because their -1 characters are dead).

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Personally I'd like to see "story arcs" intended for you to play the same character all the way to level 12 (13?). They wouldn't finish in a single Season, the first one would probably not finish until Season 3 or 4.

I did some back-of-the envelope math and it's almost doable.

Spoiler:
Season 1 - 14 scenarios take character 1 to level 5.
Season 2 - double the scenarios. 12 take Character 1 to level 9, New arc of 12 take character 2 to level 5.
Season 3 - triple scenarios (36+). 12 take Character 1 to level 13, 12 take Character 2 to level 9, and New arc of 12 take Character 3 to level 13.
Season 4+ - same as Season 3 but with a the level 13 "retired" you start a new arc.

The sticking points are that you would actually have to produce more than 12 for each "track" in a season (because people will miss some). And of course Paizo doesn't have the resources for 36 PFS scenarios so 36+ SFS scenarios is just my pipe dream.

5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northeast aka Shivok

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I also would like to see story arc and I would like no metaplot - perhaps it can be replaced with the occasional faction storyline.

I also would like a character tree where you can link up to 3 of your SFS characters to achieve goals/share equipment/use boons earned (maybe they are all on the same ship, or belong to the same faction, are one big happy family) when completing scenarios.

No character could be more than 2 levels from each other.
No swapping of personal equipment other than expendable items. (grenades, stim vials, etc)
No playing of scenarios more than 1 tier from each other.
Characters cannot not make profession rolls at the end of each scenario

Example: June has 3 characters as part of his tree:

Xanthal the Starunner (Human Male Technist 1)
Valkron of Arun (Kasatha Male Psiblade 1)
Myallene Lorthen (Lashunta Female Starknight 2)

Xanthal goes on a mission/scenario SF-01: Into The Breach and earns a purchasable item: Blades of Enrath (+1 Durasteel Psiblade)

Valkron goes on a mission/scenario SF-02: The Many Chambers of Xoth-Karuun/ and earns an item: Galactic Starunner (5% off all biotech equipment), He also gets on the chronicle a boon - Memory Chip, +1 to Navigation skill in the Arden Sector

Myallene goes on a mission/scenario SF-03: Return of the King Xeros and earns a Story boon: Echoes of Old Azlant .

June decide to buy the Blades of Enrath that Xanthal earned in his chronicle for Valkron because he can use it (which gets crossed off from the chronicle sheet). He in turn gives the Galactic Starunner boon to Xanthal because it fits his character goals as a galactic trader. (annotates it on the chronicle sheet). Myallene earned he Echoes of Old Azlant story boon, and although it hasnt been detailed yet to players all characters on the tree qualify as having it for Story Arc purposes on future scenarios.

Hopefully it wasnt too confusing.

DISCLAIMER: I know nothing of Starfinder development and made scenario/race/class/boon names as an example.


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GM Lamplighter wrote:
Although, perhaps there's a middle ground: if the broad factions goals did not change from season to season, each scenario could have a note identifying potential check boxes for each faction. This would eliminate the faction mission knowing what's going to happen before the mission, but would still highlight opportunities for each faction to achieve their goals in each scenario (or in some subset of scenarios). Or, the goals could be very broad, such as "make mercantile contacts in different cities", which would allow a PC to achieve this type of goal in most scenarios, even if there isn't a specific merchant NPC involved.

I think the current faction cards are a really good example of this and definitely hope something similar shows up in Starfinder.

That said, if we're doing several factions, the cards might be a bit overwhelming. Boiling a faction down to one broad goal could work, though, like the Exchange-equivalent tracking a list of named merchants you've made friendly. The more names the list, the higher your Exchange rank and the bigger benefits you gain. And, if a merchant shows up again, you have their name to key any effects.

WalterGM wrote:
No individual faction missions or competing goals between factions at the table

Yeah, as tempting as it sounds to have players choose between the factions they support during the mission, making the whole party choose would cause some unpleasantness.

That said, if there's some way to make each individual PC choose who they support without it causing drama, that could make the faction situation much deeper. Even if it's just something like every party member getting a copy of some star charts, but each PC chooses which interested faction to turn them over to.

Cheers!
Landon


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I would like Factions to matter more. Choosing a faction is supposed to be this grand cause your character undertakes, it's part of who they are. I like that they're considering letting you work for more than one but give me real, solid benefits for putting so many points into a certain faction. Make them MATTER.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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thecursor wrote:
I would like Factions to matter more. Choosing a faction is supposed to be this grand cause your character undertakes, it's part of who they are. I like that they're considering letting you work for more than one but give me real, solid benefits for putting so many points into a certain faction. Make them MATTER.

Would you like to elaborate on what 'Make them MATTER' would constitute, in your opinion?

I'm all for hearing feedback/speculation on faction changes, but I'm also interested in hearing actionable and clear ideas. Beyond mentioning information about working for multiple factions, we've yet to go into any detail on other (potential) changes to how factions will work in this organized play. Obviously, there's A LOT of considerations for adding/changing rules for a new organized play campaign, so not every suggestion is something we can action. Now, with that being said, getting a clear idea of what people want to see, is important to me in my new role.

So once again, continue with the thoughts and questions. Even if we're not individually responding to everything here, rest assured that the Starfinder Society team is talking internally about most of what's being brought up in these threads!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:
thecursor wrote:
I would like Factions to matter more. Choosing a faction is supposed to be this grand cause your character undertakes, it's part of who they are. I like that they're considering letting you work for more than one but give me real, solid benefits for putting so many points into a certain faction. Make them MATTER.

Would you like to elaborate on what 'Make them MATTER' would constitute, in your opinion?

I'm all for hearing feedback/speculation on faction changes, but I'm also interested in hearing actionable and clear ideas. Beyond mentioning information about working for multiple factions, we've yet to go into any detail on other (potential) changes to how factions will work in this organized play. Obviously, there's A LOT of considerations for adding/changing rules for a new organized play campaign, so not every suggestion is something we can action. Now, with that being said, getting a clear idea of what people want to see, is important to me in my new role.

So once again, continue with the thoughts and questions. Even if we're not individually responding to everything here, rest assured that the Starfinder Society team is talking internally about most of what's being brought up in these threads!

Okay, sure, but this is gonna sound harsh and for that I apologize: factions as they are now are meaningless. They are literally a box you check when signing in at the table. None of the rewards you get from those faction cards represent anything more than a superficial, temporary bonus. They are tied to faction missions that become increasingly less exclusive with each new season. The leaders of the factions are a fun group of characters who some how seem both irrelevant while also being distracting. As a gm at the table, I often have to force players to give a darn about their own faction, even during roleplay. If factions are there for flavor than why do I need to keep spicing this up? They don't grow with the characters, the rewards are static, and there's no real hook here. I think deep down the pfs peeps know this too because they never updated the introduction mission when they updated the factions. I love you guys, I love PFS, but this is a mechanic that kind of isn't working as intended most of the time. The only time it did work was when the Shadow Lodge turned out to be the bad guy in it's own season. Now that was cool because the factions was suddenly a major plot point. Tldr, my point is... there is no uniqueness or reward I get from a faction other than an icon next to my name when I surf the board as my character.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Sorry, factions are a major sticking point for me as a Pfs player and gm and my being vague earlier was my way of not blowing up about it. I apologize if I insulted anyone.

Silver Crusade

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I definitely liked the factions a lot more when we were getting faction mission handouts on every adventure. While some of the missions on those handouts were lame, I miss the constant communication with the faction leaders, and having a reason for every PC to care about their faction.

Right now, there are a whole lot of players who just don't care about factions at all, and don't even bother downloading the faction cards. I made sure to print out a faction card for every PC, but even I forget about it half the time during a game.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Like here's a proposal: scalable faction scenarios. Lord Malbolge of the Hellknights has a large scale planetary mission he needs help with and when it's done, you take a look at your faction card. No boxes checked off or if this is your first time fighting with the Hellknight faction: "You're still alive? Very well, here is some extra gold, I shall keep an eye out for you next time, for you have talent!" Five boxes checked out: "I had no doubt of your success brother-devil, I confer you access to our sacred armory where you may purchase one these unique items only reserved for Asmodeus' chosen." All of the boxes checked out gets you "Welcome to the inner circle brother, I have been authorized to grant you membership within the Signifiers, an exclusive prestige class only authorized by those who have completed by those who have fulfilled this journal card and this scenario."

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber

I really did not like the old school faction mission handouts. Some were fun, some were interesting, but mostly they were a big downer. My experience was that players were so focused on making sure that they completed their faction missions that it distracted from the overall *Pathfinder* mission of the scenario. And, as noted, a huge number of them were just silly and boring.

I've liked it much more as the factions have faded into the background and the missions that we're supposed to be focusing on are actually what we focus on.

In my area, it hasn't been my experience that players are completely uncaring about their faction. They do keep their faction cards in mind. And, I do see some of them legitimately roleplaying for their factions. I've seen a few unlikely (until you think about it, and then it works) people recruited into both the Sovereign Court and the Dark Archive. (In one scenario, the final boss was captured and brought back as a prisoner... and recruited into the Dark Archive.)

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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I'd like to see a simplification of a the paperwork. Specifically all the possible various modifiers related to scenario boons, faction journal cards, and convention boons.

Ideally this wouldn't include reducing the rich complexity of such things, but rather the complicated and convoluted tracking involved. I often find myself swapping between my Season 6, 7, and 8 Faction Journal cards to see if I met any goals, looking through my "cheat sheet" of one-time scenario boons for that character, and completely forgetting about the Convention boon I was supposed to use at the start of the scenario.

Something like an online tracking mechanism would be ideal. The GM reports that Player 1 completed goals A and C, Player 2 got A and B, Player 3 got A, B, and C, etc. You go online and get a standardized printout with all your earned boons.

I think this could work really well for factions in particular. For those who don't like to be spoiled you wouldn't even know what potential future boons you might get by supporting one faction over another.

Shadow Lodge

rknop wrote:

I really did not like the old school faction mission handouts. Some were fun, some were interesting, but mostly they were a big downer. My experience was that players were so focused on making sure that they completed their faction missions that it distracted from the overall *Pathfinder* mission of the scenario. And, as noted, a huge number of them were just silly and boring.

I've liked it much more as the factions have faded into the background and the missions that we're supposed to be focusing on are actually what we focus on.

In my area, it hasn't been my experience that players are completely uncaring about their faction. They do keep their faction cards in mind. And, I do see some of them legitimately roleplaying for their factions. I've seen a few unlikely (until you think about it, and then it works) people recruited into both the Sovereign Court and the Dark Archive. (In one scenario, the final boss was captured and brought back as a prisoner... and recruited into the Dark Archive.)

I think a large part of this is that one of the larger selling points of PFS was for the Factionss which used to make the play feel like you where actively contributing to something, and choices mattered. Compare that the the Pathfinder Organization, a plot device literally there to get everyone going instead of a bunch of strangers meeting at the inn. I generally tend to care little about it other than a background detail Im somewhat forced to write into my background in some way, whose tenets are literally "Do what you where going to do anyway, just take notes, and um . . . don't have strong personal beliefs!"

I'm hesitant to say "a lot ot" or "most" people, as it might most of the folks Ive interacted with, but some of us just don't care about the Pathfinder Society in setting organization at all. I just find it really hard to blame people for finding other things much more interesting.

So, while I am not really interested in Starfinder or SFS, Id say simply remove any such set up. No one is a manditory member of anything.


Belafon wrote:

I'd like to see a simplification of a the paperwork. Specifically all the possible various modifiers related to scenario boons, faction journal cards, and convention boons.

Ideally this wouldn't include reducing the rich complexity of such things, but rather the complicated and convoluted tracking involved. I often find myself swapping between my Season 6, 7, and 8 Faction Journal cards to see if I met any goals, looking through my "cheat sheet" of one-time scenario boons for that character, and completely forgetting about the Convention boon I was supposed to use at the start of the scenario.

Yeah, I'm always a bit conflicted with PFS boons. On one hand, boons that really hook into the scenarios are awesome and flavorful. On the other hand, they add another layer of complexity to an already complex game.

Boons: Going through Chronicle Sheets and seeing the results of past adventures is a lot of fun. But I find doing it during the game can be a giant drag, although I should put together a cheatsheet like yours.

In the spirit of offering actionable suggestions, I'd say to remove Chronicle Sheet boons that have to be remembered during the session.

New items would obviously be there, maybe even some spells or feats or the like. There might be some design space for filling a limited number of "training" slots with permanent feat-like boon bonuses.

That covers a lot of ground, but what about the political and social ramifications of adventures?

Factions: Expanding my thinking earlier, situational boons from scenarios could be rolled into factions. There'd still be some bookkeeping, but it'd always be on a limited number of sheets (and conveniently categorized by faction).

So, instead of gaining a boon that grants a bonus on Diplomacy checks with space leshies, you introduce them to whatever faction likes making first contact. Then the faction gives you bonuses on all species you've contacted. And even if those leshy never show up again, you've got a point towards faction rewards.

If the factions had clear enough missions, this could just mean one evergreen sheet per faction with a list of species, worlds, contacts, Venture Captains, or whatever and enough room for rules text up top. There might even be room to sneak in bonuses from special faction missions somehow.

Arcs: Now, there are still going to be some times boons are needed to bridge scenarios. For example, the boon in Devil We Know Part III that carries through to Part IV or the boons that make intro quests into proper mini-arcs.

I personally feel those work pretty well already, so no need to reinvent the wheel there. Hopefully indirect callbacks could hook into faction missions from earlier or even faction rank directly, to keep the chronicle shuffling during play to a minimum.

Cheers!
Landon

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

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Here's my thoughts on factions. Someone smarter already had and/or expressed these, I'm sure. But Thursty knows I love to talk, so deal with it.

What's cool about them now? Vanities. Vanities are dope. I love having titles for my higher level characters, and small bonuses all around. Introducing my character as "Silver Crusader Ismaire!" is a proud moment every time.

I also like the faction check cards. Those were a good addition. It's something generic enough that it applies to alot of things, and it changes each year a bit to encourage me to keep in the faction mindset that is part of my characters.

I also LOVE scenarios that have faction specific rewards. It's easily my favorite thing to see on a chronicle sheet these days. I really appreciate that there are typically 1-2 faction boons per chronicle, and each faction has around 3-4 unique boons per season.

What's lame about them now? The cost to change faction is absurd. Like, really absurd. And I understand that it's supposed to represent the time and trust you've invested with that faction, but honestly, factions never felt like more than a job to me. I feel that, if anything, if I had more fame it would easier to switch factions.

Like if I'm at a company for 3 years and want to swap jobs, they'd write me a good review if I was a good employee. "Oh, 2 prestige a game for 5 levels? Yeah, he's a great hire! You'd be a fool not to take him Zarta!" And if that's not how factions are supposed to be perceived, then they need to have more of an impact overall.

Design space for that would be terrible though, as it could mean things like faction-specific scenarios. Which we've already had (season 4 I'm looking at you) and which were cool... at the time. But now, those S4 scenarios that deal with Torch and Amari Li are rarely run (at least locally) because they're so odd and out of place.

So I guess either factions are causes that your character wholeheartedly supports, in which case you should never change factions (unless you want to have character growth or be influenced by decisions your faction makes in scenarios). Or, factions are more like clubs that you can belong to and you should be allowed to swap as needed.

What might be cool to consider?
If factions are like clubs, let players be in more than one at a time. Let people accrue two forms of prestige (or honor, or whatever). One form is your generic Starfinder Society (or whatever the organization is called) prestige. This is used for wand purchases, starship upgrades, space fuel, whatever.

The second pool would be similar to the factions from World of Warcraft if you are familiar with that. Basically, whenever you complete jobs or favors for these secondary factions, you gain reputation within that faction. At certain tiers, various things are unlocked (identical to how vanities in PFS work), and certain rewards are given (these could be boons on chronicles, which could be restricted or scaling based off reputation tier).

Scenarios in SFS could allow for the players to choose between one or two (or more!) factions to gain reputation with as a result of their decisions. Allowing for a more player driven campaign (more check boxes, more "did they side with A or B") and allow players to develop the kind of character they want over the course of their SFS career.

I don't think the design space would be too difficult for this, but projecting future scenarios could be hard depending on how impactful player decisions are on the overall story arc (which is likely a problem already being hashed out in PFS).

Anyway Thursty, enjoy your new job!

5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

What about instead of Factions, you are assigned to Ships. Working your way up the chain of command on a ship provides you access to different armaments/holodecks/etc. Some things or boons you can gain access only from certain ships or types of ships.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

WalterGM wrote:
Scenarios in SFS could allow for the players to choose between one or two (or more!) factions to gain reputation with as a result of their decisions. Allowing for a more player driven campaign (more check boxes, more "did they side with A or B") and allow players to develop the kind of character they want over the course of their SFS career.

Ask and ye shall receive! Did you see this part of the blog post?

SFS Blog wrote:
The second most noticeable change is that characters have a means of belonging to more than one faction at a time. Unlike the current Pathfinder Society faction rules, Starfinder Society characters will be able to gain favor with multiple groups, choosing which they want to champion on a scenario-by-scenario basis. But just like multiclassing, focusing on several groups won't see the same benefits as focusing on a primary faction.

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