HINT: if a PbP GM you don't know puts up a muster and says he's running two tables, don't waste your time.
I often see DM's run multiple 'tables' and some were my longest lasting games. It really boils down to individuals involved. I had a 2+ year game with a DM that ran 2 games and co-dmed a 3rd that only ended because the DM had medical issues.
For myself, I look for an interesting sounding game that has rules that I can live with. Since there are ALWAYS FAR more players than slots, it's hard to be too picky [at least short turn]. Long term it's a matter of matching playing styles and personality.
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Wultram wrote:Honestly PFS should really get 0% consideration when it comes to game design in my opinion.
Considering that PFS employees are Paizo employees, it's safe to assume it does not get 0 consideration. What really matters is how much does PFS play contribute to Paizo's bottomline.
That is Wultram’s point, PFS gets far more consideration in the core game than it should. PFS should use the levers at its disposal (its own FAQ, approved play list, campaign structure, guide to play, and its scenarios) to adapt the core game for its purposes instead of influencing development of the rules. Putting PFS’s needs into the core rules just forces the majority of the player base to adjust based on someone else’s house rules.
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That is Wultram’s point, PFS gets far more consideration in the core game than it should.
No...., that's not his point. He said it should get "0% consideration." That's a fundamentally different statement than saying it's getting more than it should. The latter suggests PFS should get some consideration, but it's currently too much. The former says it shouldn't get any consideration, regardless. The former statement is naive if PFS is producing the vast majority of Paizo's revenue under the Pathfinder brand. It's also moronic if Paizo recognizes that the PFS customers and the Cons that PFS members support are a rich and fertile market for other gaming products.
PFS should use the levers at its disposal (its own FAQ, approved play list, campaign structure, guide to play, and its scenarios) to adapt the core game for its purposes instead of influencing development of the rules
No. Paizo wants the PFS staff to be burdened with as little change as possible. PFS' value add is not rules modification, it's content, promotion, and event administration. Yes, some rules will be different between organized play and non, that's unavoidable. But Paizo doesn't want PFS creating a game so different from the nominal rule set that PFS and non-PFS are completely foreign to each other. Paizo doesn't want people who play PFS or the people who do not play PFS to think PFS isn't Pathfinder,
Putting PFS’s needs into the core rules just forces the majority of the player base to adjust based on someone else’s house rules.
Or, maybe the majority of people who support and play Pathfinder are playing PFS. I don't know. I haven't seen any numbers. But Wultram doesn't care. Paizo isn't so clueless.
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I often see DM's run multiple 'tables' and some were my longest lasting games.
I'm not talking about GMing multiple games at once, I'm talking about someone who throws up a public muster and s/he says s/he's running that same game for two different tables at the same time. Yes, in the history of PbP, I'm sure someone's done it. IME, on three different forums, failure rate was 100%. But the sample size was only about a half dozen games.
PbP PFS GMs run multiple tables all the time, even of the same scenario. But a scenario is short compared to most homebrew games which often advertise they'll take the game as high as it can go..
Vidmaster7 wrote:MerlinCross wrote:You don't give expereince for roleplay? Man No wonder you refer to it as a waste. I totally give role play experience.
Hmm my players only hit level 2 in a month of play(Once a week, 4-5 hours). But a good part of that is RP l, heck we wasted a whole session that way.
Which, let me turn my attention back to N N, is another killer. One rules can't help with. My own numbers are very low ball as there not a lot of PFS in my area but including myself, I've see 4 people walk away from 3 different PFS games/GMs. Because of how the game was run(Either due to PFS pacing/rules or the GMs own way of doing things) none of us felt like characters, we felt like whatever number adventurer the system coughed up. All those games seemed to be about was just being numbers and getting numbers to spend on numbers to make your own numbers more numbery.
And this was without the number crunch of Multiclassing.
I actually do give experience for role play or at the the very least I try to give a reward somewhere as I use mile stones. If I gave EXP for role play they'd probably be at or near level 4, which is around the level the AP ends book 1. Level/EXP management for APs is probably a good question to ask but given we are so off topic I'm going to make a topic about it elsewhere.
As for "a waste"of a session, well I loved seeing characters bounce off each other. But on the other hand, I did want to move them to the next location and we were down a player out of 4 so 2 characters just kinda kept talking. No plot was expanded on, they only meet with a side NPC. At the same time I thought it'd be rude to interrupt the team bonding that was happening. Players said they had a good time but there's always a level of doubt in the back of my head.
So a "waste" might be over reaching but I'm unsure how to "grade" that session when talking about it to other GMs.Neriathale wrote:...Deadmanwalking wrote:I'm really not sure why people are
I see what you mean. I don't run AP's very often so I can't speak much about that.
I'm talking about someone who throws up a public muster and s/he says s/he's running that same game for two different tables at the same time.
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about too. For instance, I see a DM taking/accepting 12 players and dividing them into 2 groups to play the same adventure side by side. I can't DM that way but some DM's seem to thrive doing that.
PS: I've also seen people DM multiple different adventures/games too. The Dm in my last post actually did both: run 2 of the same game and co-dm a different one.
Yes, in the history of PbP, I'm sure someone's done it. IME, on three different forums, failure rate was 100%. But the sample size was only about a half dozen games.
For me, it's worked several times and in general seem to have results/success around the same as a single table: That said, I HAVE seen DM's consolidate multiple tables/games into a single game before but I've seen people prune the number of players in a game too so it's not a real difference there IMO.
PbP PFS GMs run multiple tables all the time, even of the same scenario.
Same with non-PFS DM's.
But a scenario is short compared to most homebrew games which often advertise they'll take the game as high as it can go..
Non-PFS games run the gamut of official AP's to 100% homebrew, from one shots to the full 1-20 levels [in theory]. Length is really up to the DM, not the type of game.
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Character=Class isn't really a defensible concept in Pathfinder where you have "classes" like Rogue or Barbarian. Clearly these are mechanical packages and not in-setting professions or callings. Calling someone a "Barbarian" in character almost certainly doesn't mean a character with Barbarian class levels. If character=class then everyone should have mandatory NPC class levels and then advance as a Rogue while adventuring as they aren't currently practicing their profession in favor of being some variety of murder hobo grave robber.
Obviously the degree to which character=/=class varies from class to class. Any game where character=class would require some very tight world building and much narrower focus to assumed playstyle than has ever existed.
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Paizo doesn't want people who play PFS or the people who do not play PFS to think PFS isn't Pathfinder
In my experience, it isn't. The GMs handled it so badly I left and had to be dragged/kidnapped into playing a homebrew game before I was willing to give Pathfinder as a whole a chance. And I can't be the only one to have walked away from a PFS game and thought "Well, yeah not going to play that system".
I can tell I'm not going to change your mind about anything at this rate. But PFS would have left me disinterested in the system or bitter at worst about it. Change the rules as much as you want, not one of those GMs could have sold me on the product unless they bought it themselves and shoved the book into my bag.
My first Pathfinder experience was PFS. I was at a convention and was looking for a way to spend two hours before the next panel I wanted to go to. I wandered into the game room and Pathfinder was one of the games they had there. I tried it and thought it was kind of fun. And my only previous Tabletop RPG experience was a session of D&D that I had to leave because it was also at a convention (different one) and I had to go home. After the con was over, I looked Pathfinder up online, found the Roll20 site, and joined a game there.
The only people who are threatened by fixes to the multi-class system are min/maxers who can't stand the idea of coming in second at anything.
There are min/maxers who don't ruin games and just want to play the game the way their local group prefer. These min/maxers, or optimisers, fit in with the local dynamic just fine. The loss of these options diminishes the game for every one in that area.
It is easier for a GM to say no to one level dips than it is to try to adjust every class.
Not everyone has the time or ability to fix perceived problems in an extensive way.
Oh I don't expect it to be 0%. That is just what I think it SHOULD be. And the implied context of that statement with rest of the post was at the expense of the norm.
Just as an example GMs have very little leeway inside PFS. So something that could be resolved with a bit of GM fidling is an issue in PFS. The other issue is that PFS scenarios are cakewalks, so this amplifies any results of optimization. Granted I am not that familiar with all of the scenarios but from the few I have read(and one I played, though not in PFS context.) I could easily see it being possible to optimize to the extenct that you could solo it, sure it would be limited options and require some effort but could be done. And this illustrates the problem of keeping PFS in mind when designing a game, it is static to take out unfairness. And because it has to be static, it has to be made for the lowest common denominator. Now I personally am not interested in a system that is built with that in mind.
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Just as an example GMs have very little leeway inside PFS. So something that could be resolved with a bit of GM fidling is an issue in PFS.
The amount of leeway a PFS GM has is a function of perspective. I actually think PFS GMs have lots of leeway. PFS just doesn't teach GMs how to use it, or when to use it. But the cornerstone of organized play is fairness and consistency. You can't have some GMs banning or disallowing rules that others allow. Players have to know how their characters are going to work mechanically before that player sits down at the table. Unfortunately, that isn't 100% true given the ambiguity which revolves around some builds/mechanics, but it's true for probably 95% of the PCs people play. Plus, PFS has shown a propensity to address ambiguity if enough players identify it as a problem.
The other issue is that PFS scenarios are cakewalks, so this amplifies any results of optimization.
Yes and no. It really depends on the season. I think Season 4 killed off a LOT of PCs because earlier seasons where too easy. I can tell you, as a GM, that is unequivocally easy to kill of PCs if a GM wants to. There is a tremendous amount of soft-balling that goes on in PFS. Most GMs don't want to kill off PCs and will actively avoid it. Dice Gods happen, so there are deaths and TPKs, but it's not the norm. I'd liken it to shark attacks on humans, several orders of magnitude fewer attacks and deaths than could happen if sharks actually wanted to eat humans.
I'll also point out that majority of BBEG encounters have coded sub-optimal tactics intentionally. The reason for this is complex and to which I think multi-classing problems contribute. In short, it's not easy to get the challenge level correct. The more build options that are out there, the greater the variability in party effectiveness. Usually the scenarios get it close enough so that GM tactics can fine tune it. Every encounter doesn't have to be perfect. Not everyone is in it for the tactical combat or the last second natural 20 crit that saves the day (and I've had those as well). There are plenty of people that enjoy the storylines, the problem/puzzle solving, and what little roleplaying that can manage.
But the real attraction of PFS is it's reliable and accessible. It's usually first come first serve in PbP, VTT, or F2F. The scenarios don't require specific classes. The GMs are required to follow RAW (obviously some don't). And, you don't have to reroll a character for each scenario. It's not perfect, but it scratches that itch for lots of people and I have to think it brings in a lot of revenue for Paizo.
I could easily see it being possible to optimize to the extenct that you could solo it, sure it would be limited options and require some effort but could be done. And this illustrates the problem of keeping PFS in mind when designing a game, it is static to take out unfairness. And because it has to be static, it has to be made for the lowest common denominator. Now I personally am not interested in a system that is built with that in mind.
PFS introduced a "Hard Mode" in some of the scenarios. Obviously this is dominated by caster heavy groups. But organized (cooperative) anything is designed for a low common denominator so that it includes the largest number of people. Even the rule system has to set the bar at a level that will appeal to the largest group of people. In a system like PFS, the lowest common bar is a function of many things, the need to support story-driven multi-classing is certainly one of them.
PFS has a lot to offer fans of Pathfinder. You just have to recognize what it is and enjoy it for those reasons, rather than expect it to be what it is no.
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Yeah I learned after playing with strangers that things like PFS may not be best for me. I don't like running for strangers. Some people are cool and some people are train wrecks.
You know, that has been my experience at the LGS, but in PbP it's been different. First off, I think PbP intrinsically attracts an older, more mature crowd. Younger players struggle with the slow place. Older players, have RL to deal with, and appreciate being able to play, but not having to commit 4-5 hours in a single sitting for every scenario.
I've noticed that most people in PbP games are easy to get along with and enjoy talking about the game. PbP is also a much better roleplay experience, imo. Mainly because you can separate the IC dialogue from the OOC dialogue. Also, there isn't the 4-5 hour time crunch to get the game done. This may seem like a contrivance, but I've heard lots of PbP players agree, roleplay is generally better in PbP than F2F. Again, I'm talking within the context of PFS games. I can imagine if you have a private group, there may be a higher level of roleplaying than in PFS.
If you're interested, the group on Mythweavers is pretty solid. There are also great players on RPGGEEK. Some very knowledge/skilled players and few if any train wrecks at higher levels. There's also a lot of PbP here on the Paizo forums, but that is, imo, a lot more unpredictable. Also, as your character gets higher in level, the quality of player usually improves. So if you can get past 3rd level, you're generally dealing with committed and invested players.
Now, GMing is always a bit of crap shoot. But no worse than non-PFS GMs, imo, and a fair bit better because their is less random house-ruling that goes on.
I think it goes without saying that if you have a solid outlet/ability to play Pathfinder with friends, then PFS isn't probably not going to offer you much.