Is it acceptable to play in a PFS PbP without being in PFS?


Online Campaigns General Discussion


I'd like to try out play-by-post, and a PFS scenario seems like a good way to do that -- a comparatively short-term commitment compared to a full-length module or an AP.

But I'm not part of PFS, and don't really have any interest in joining.

So -- Is it acceptable to play in a PFS PbP without being in PFS? I'd be happy to just play an iconic, maybe with a fresh name and backstory.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yes, absolutely.

Anyone can use any Paizo materials any way they like.

The problem you might run into is that the GM might not want to run a version that isn't part of the PFS system. If you could find a GM and enough other players who don't care about it being a PFS-legal game, then sure, you could do that

The second problem you run into is that if you change your mind in the future, I believe you would not be allowed to play that scenario for credit.

But you're not going to be able to jump into a game and play as a non-PFS player if everyone else is playing for PFS credit.

If you're willing to play a pre-generated character that is PFS-legal, then I don't understand what your hesitation about becoming a PFS member is.

There aren't any requirements for you to keep playing in PFS-sanctioned games if you don't want to.


My hesitation about joining PFS has to do with two things:

1) The extra bookkeeping. Credits, chronicle sheets, boons, etc -- it all sounds incredibly tedious.

2) My town is too small to support regular PFS games, and the closest place that does is over 300 miles away. Driving five hours to play a four hour game and then driving five hours back does not appeal.

Thanks for the input. I'll keep an eye out for people recruiting for non-sanctioned PFS play-by-posts.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

If you are looking short "mini-dungeons" there is a kickstarter that will have 130+ mini-dungeons and comes in at 270 pages, so each one is about 2 pages long.

Mini Dungeon Kickstarter Link

-- david

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Tinalles, you don't have to go to any in-person Pathfinder Society games to be part of our online PFS community. In order to try it out, there are only two things you need to do:
1. Register for a PFS number. This takes just a few clicks on the website.
2. Build a PFS legal character. The guide does a good job of walking you through this.

This is enough to be legal for your first game. At the end of your first game, the GM will send you a piece of paper called a chronicle that shows you played that adventure. If you choose to play a second adventure with that character, you will need that piece of paper and the numbers on it. There are a lot of PFS rules, but most of them don't really make a difference while you're starting out. Also, most GMs on our play by post games are really good at helping out new players with the paperwork.

If you're interested, please send me a private message or else come talk to us at the Flaxseed Pathfinder Lodge.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
CrystalSeas wrote:
The second problem you run into is that if you change your mind in the future, I believe you would not be allowed to play that scenario for credit.

Not exactly true. As long as the GM was informed ahead of time and is okay having you at the table, it is okay to have played it before.


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Tinalles, you are welcome to play in Pathfinder Society games while using a pregenerated character. As Redelia has said the online community is very helpful. You can be part of Pathfinder Society completely online and without actually meeting anyone. That should take away your second concern. As for your first concern: yes, Pathfinder Society comes with a modest amount of bookkeeping. This is done to ensure that everyone plays by the same rules and characters of similar level are roughly able to contribute to the same level in a scenario (note that there are a lot of people who will say that certain classes are inherently better than others at a certain level, but that is not the discussion at hand}

If you look in the Flaxseed Lodge there are often games offered. In your case I would try a game where a lvl 1 pregen can play. Be open to the GM that you do not have a PFSnumber (yet) and want to try out a PbP game. He or she is probably happy to help you out.

If you have further questions or remarks, feel free to post them here, or ask me or Redelia in a PM. Both Redelia and myself are Venture Officers, volunteers who try to make sure that everyone has a good time playing the game on the Paizo forums.

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