Buy race boons with Prestige Points


Pathfinder Society Playtest

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Members of the community feel passionate about the topic of race availability in organized play. Many wish for an open availability for new races while others feel concerned about "opening the floodgates." But I feel most agree that the current system is unsatisfactory. So I make the same suggestion as I did for Starfinder.

Allow race boons to be purchased with Prestige Points at reasonable prices.

1. Compromise between more open availability without making all races immediately available.

2. It's simple. It uses the existing prestige system. No needing to figure out regional rotation system. No messing with extra paperwork requiring signatures from Venture Agents. No having to obtain a boon and sacrifice three boons to the boon gods to get your race boon. You pay Prestige Points; you get a race.

3. GMs can still get benefits by awarding GM boons that reduce race prestige costs or offer other major perks. There also could be a rule that allows a GM to spend an unplayed character's PP to apply a race boon to them.

4. Other programs can tie with race purchasing. Maybe some PFS seasons can reduce the price of certain races when it fits the narrative, like reducing the price of geniekin for Year of the Stolen Storm? Maybe participants of the playtest get a discount for a single race purchase? Perhaps there could be an exchange rate of spending 1st Edition prestige? This system is simple and elegant enough for other programs to hook into it.

5. Good prestige sink for players with retiring characters or unplayed GM characters with lots of prestige. Many players (like myself) tend to spend very few PP because they either feel they don't need to or there's no vanities that interest them enough for a character.

6. It makes sense from both an in-character and out-of-character perspective. Your ability to play exotic races is directly tied to the number of games you run or play. As a character's connections increase, they gain the ability to recruit exotic new members. It's intiuitive.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Where it is not good is where players are saving their money for the 'res' fund or whatnot.

Starting characters 'in the hole' to play an Ancestry makes it a bit difficult for said Ancestry.

This would probably have a detrimental effect on the willingness of Society members to buy consumables that may benefit teams 'in the field' if they are 'saving up for their Assimar'.

While it seems like it would be a decent way to handle it, how does it address the *brand new* player that just sat down at say, a convention, and wants to play their Ratfolk Ancestry character.

Do they get a pass?

Do they get told "Oh, well, first you need to play all this other stuff before you can get a Ratfolk"?

Does making it 'P(l)ay To Win' make the Society more inclusive or more exclusionary, as those who have the means to play a *lot* more have many options to acquire a different Ancestry, whereas the individual that may only be able to from sheer RL obligations might only be able to get it in the space of five years?

Any player who has had a character death is more than likely going to be banking that PP to make sure said character doesn't die, once essentials to promote survival are acquired.

I know I don't have a bunch of characters sitting around with huge PP 'slush funds', at least?

However, as a possible ammendment to look at the idea, what if it's a 'set number of PP spent during a given time increment unlocks a certain group of races for the entire Society' Explore, Report, Cooperate with the race groups available put up to a vote by the Society members?

I want to like this idea, but right now based on my PFS1 play, my characters would never have gotten to the races they are at if they had to pay a PP 'unlock' fee.

...and I'd probably have indulged my WoW addiction or given up on gaming entirely if the race I'm particularly keen on wasn't available.

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

This process is already in place, to an extent, in Starfinder Society. There are two factions that provide race boons as a capstone. It takes a while for a character to get to the capstone of a faction so it is not available immediately.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Where it is not good is where players are saving their money for the 'res' fund or whatnot.

Starting characters 'in the hole' to play an Ancestry makes it a bit difficult for said Ancestry.

This would probably have a detrimental effect on the willingness of Society members to buy consumables that may benefit teams 'in the field' if they are 'saving up for their Assimar'.

While it seems like it would be a decent way to handle it, how does it address the *brand new* player that just sat down at say, a convention, and wants to play their Ratfolk Ancestry character.

Do they get a pass?

Do they get told "Oh, well, first you need to play all this other stuff before you can get a Ratfolk"?

Does making it 'P(l)ay To Win' make the Society more inclusive or more exclusionary, as those who have the means to play a *lot* more have many options to acquire a different Ancestry, whereas the individual that may only be able to from sheer RL obligations might only be able to get it in the space of five years?

Any player who has had a character death is more than likely going to be banking that PP to make sure said character doesn't die, once essentials to promote survival are acquired.

I know I don't have a bunch of characters sitting around with huge PP 'slush funds', at least?

However, as a possible ammendment to look at the idea, what if it's a 'set number of PP spent during a given time increment unlocks a certain group of races for the entire Society' Explore, Report, Cooperate with the race groups available put up to a vote by the Society members?

I want to like this idea, but right now based on my PFS1 play, my characters would never have gotten to the races they are at if they had to pay a PP 'unlock' fee.

...and I'd probably have indulged my WoW addiction or given up on gaming entirely if the race I'm particularly keen on wasn't available.

It's become painfully clear that you hate Race Boons. You've been very vocal about it through multiple threads. You're against unlocking races via PP. I'd like to know what would make you happy with regards to uncommon and rare races.

Do you want rare races gone entirely? Do you want unlimited access to races? Should they be somehow gated? What sort of options are we missing that might be a better solution?

On the OP:
I think having an Option to sirens prestige for unlocks isn't necessarily the worst idea, but I'm concerned that folks with "harder" local groups will have a disadvantage to folks with softer groups. Some games will be more demanding, requiring more prestige expenditures to get by. It introduces an element of table variation, and ancestry so far has been kept to a volunteer reward, not an in game unlock.

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Gary Bush wrote:
This process is already in place, to an extent, in Starfinder Society. There are two factions that provide race boons as a capstone. It takes a while for a character to get to the capstone of a faction so it is not available immediately.

There's a number of problems with that, including lack of transparency. It's more complicated than it needs to be. Considering that Starfinder is a game meant to invoke the cantina effect, that makes it much worse.

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

Cyrad wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
This process is already in place, to an extent, in Starfinder Society. There are two factions that provide race boons as a capstone. It takes a while for a character to get to the capstone of a faction so it is not available immediately.
There's a number of problems with that, including lack of transparency. It's more complicated than it needs to be. Considering that Starfinder is a game meant to invoke the cantina effect, that makes it much worse.

Lack of transparency? Not sure about this since no one has reached the capstone yet and the race(s) have not been identified.

I see it as pretty straight forward: Once you get enough <Fame / Prestige / Reputation> you get to create a new character using a different, limited race.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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We already have precedence with the oread race boon unlock on a chronicle. I could see this being a standard option, but do not know what we would do for convention incentives.

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

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And given that SFS also has a race unlock on a couple of chronicles, I can see that as an avenue in PFS2.0. I actually like it.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Having the occasional race boon unlock on a high-level Chronicle (especially as a capstone for a multi-part scenario series) is a cool idea that I wouldn't mind seeing more. Not too often, of course, but just once in a while... maybe once every couple of Seasons. (And presumably only once per Chronicle, though this might lead to replay abuse.)

Rats of Round Mountain:
I recall being kinda surprised that Rats of Round Mountain didn't do this...

I also had thoughts about being able to combine multiple non-race boons into a race boon, suli-style - imagine if you could combine Hang In There, Mounted Tradition, and Extra Hours (for example) into a grippli boon. Doesn't help non-convention players though, I suppose.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Gary Bush wrote:
This process is already in place, to an extent, in Starfinder Society. There are two factions that provide race boons as a capstone. It takes a while for a character to get to the capstone of a faction so it is not available immediately.

It's more directly implemented in SFS with the Alien Archive player reward boon, which unlocks based on playing a number of games. This also avoids taking Prestige away from other desirable purchases.

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

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Yes, the player reward boon is a great idea and I DEMAND ... urr, I mean sincerely request, that something similar be included in PFS2.0.

3/5

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I want to second the request for PF2 race boons to work like they do on starfinder. With a combination of races appearing on chronicles (most impressively a custom race introduced in-scenario) and 7nlocks based on games played and maybe run to supplement the traditional boons for running games at events.

The one fault I have with the starfinder system is that most of the con boon races are not available to online players. Online and meatspace players should have the same opportunities to access material.

1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MrBear wrote:


It's become painfully clear that you hate Race Boons. You've been very vocal about it through multiple threads. You're against unlocking races via PP. I'd like to know what would make you happy with regards to uncommon and rare races.

Do you want rare races gone entirely? Do you want unlimited access to races? Should they be somehow gated? What sort of options are we missing that might be a better solution?

On the OP:
I think having an Option to sirens prestige for unlocks isn't necessarily the worst idea, but I'm concerned that folks with "harder" local groups will have a disadvantage to folks with softer groups. Some games will be more demanding, requiring more prestige expenditures to get by. It introduces an element of table variation, and ancestry so far has been kept to a volunteer reward, not an in game unlock.

I do not care for Race Boons EDIT: Hate is too strong a word. Just because I'm passionate about the topic, doesn't mean I don't understand the reasoning behind the existence of them, as a necessary evil., because it gives a negative message to folks who are wanting to join the campaign that the money they spent on Paizo Pathfinder product was wasted until they 'jump a hurdle' that they may have not known was there to begin with.

I didn't start play until the time after the favored race I prefer to play was 'unlocked' for general use, thankfully.

If I had sat down at my first table to play PFS and was told "Oh, do you have a Boon for that" and my blank response earned a "Here's a nice shiny pregen for you to play" that probably would have been my last PFS table, in all honesty.

Rare races should be rare.

Uncommon races should be uncommon, and I wouldn't be adverse to a *limit* of a number of characters that a given player may have of a given race.

If Campaign Leadership came down, and for example said "Ye shall only have two tengu characters under normal circumstances in your character roster" then that'd be fair, imo. EDIT: It would also prevent 'Ancestry Speed-farm races' to beat campaign deadlines for characters to join play, too!

It doesn't invalidate the people who loyally and faithfully paid their money to get the source material to play the race.

Then there could be 'unlocks' via Boon for 'additional Ancestry slots' to allow more characters of said Ancestry via GM Boon or even a PP-bought Boon.

Highlighted was one of the concerns in the response to the OP, that some communities burn through every PP keeping alive, and others have 'banks' of unused PP. That is one of the dangers of such a proposed system, and does one want to be the one that didn't buy that 'Oil of Daylight' that ends up screwing the party because one bought a Ratfolk Ancestry unlock?


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
MrBear wrote:


It's become painfully clear that you hate Race Boons. You've been very vocal about it through multiple threads. You're against unlocking races via PP. I'd like to know what would make you happy with regards to uncommon and rare races.

Do you want rare races gone entirely? Do you want unlimited access to races? Should they be somehow gated? What sort of options are we missing that might be a better solution?

On the OP:
I think having an Option to sirens prestige for unlocks isn't necessarily the worst idea, but I'm concerned that folks with "harder" local groups will have a disadvantage to folks with softer groups. Some games will be more demanding, requiring more prestige expenditures to get by. It introduces an element of table variation, and ancestry so far has been kept to a volunteer reward, not an in game unlock.

I do not care for Race Boons EDIT: Hate is too strong a word. Just because I'm passionate about the topic, doesn't mean I don't understand the reasoning behind the existence of them, as a necessary evil., because it gives a negative message to folks who are wanting to join the campaign that the money they spent on Paizo Pathfinder product was wasted until they 'jump a hurdle' that they may have not known was there to begin with.

I didn't start play until the time after the favored race I prefer to play was 'unlocked' for general use, thankfully.

If I had sat down at my first table to play PFS and was told "Oh, do you have a Boon for that" and my blank response earned a "Here's a nice shiny pregen for you to play" that probably would have been my last PFS table, in all honesty.

Rare races should be rare.

Uncommon races should be uncommon, and I wouldn't be adverse to a *limit* of a number of characters that a given player may have of a given race.

If Campaign Leadership came down, and for example said "Ye shall only have two tengu characters under normal circumstances in your character roster" then that'd be fair, imo....

Thanks for the well thought out reply. I've been having a hard time trying to see your viewpoint but between this and another recent reply I feel like I'm really understanding your issues, and I'm finding myself swayed by your arguments.

3/5

Do most people really buy the ARG and the "blood of ..." books just for PFS before they start to play PFS or read the campaign rules?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Yes, sometimes they do.

Sovereign Court 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

guilty here...

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Being one of the ones who has done it, yes.

It worked out for me, but it kind of makes me feel queasy inside when I think of how many folks it may NOT have worked out for.

And then the ramification that perhaps long-term it's had a corrosive effect on public relations for the campaign -- if people think things are effectively inaccessible (and no, again, not railing for Drow or Assimar/Tiefling, even) but are 'Featured Races'... there's a bit of a disconnect there.

I'd rather not see anyone leave/not join the campaign for this sort of thing, which could possibly be corrected for.


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Tangent:
You may not be railing for drow, but I gotta say... I'd hand Paizo back a fat slice of one of my paychecks for a Redeemed Drow charity boon. ^_^

Scarab Sages 5/5

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Its the individuals fault for paying money for PFS specifically without first consulting the Guide, a VO, a GM, another player, the PFS specific message boards, etc. Im glad it worked out for you.

But creating policy around supporting that mindset is not a good idea.

You are essentially saying, "We are going to open up all races because someone might try to play a race we don't allow before first checking on what's allowed." That's lunacy.

3/5

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Tallow wrote:
Its the individuals fault for paying money for PFS specifically without first consulting the Guide, a VO, a GM, another player, the PFS specific message boards, etc. Im glad it worked out for you.

... or they checked, made sure it was legal, real life interfered and when they came to play that character found out that they now can't play those characters.

[Edited to reduce grar]

3/5

I like how Starfinder did it: instead of making the boon cost lots of prestige, they have a modest prestige cost, but only once per character with a high fame requirement.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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TimD wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Its the individuals fault for paying money for PFS specifically without first consulting the Guide, a VO, a GM, another player, the PFS specific message boards, etc. Im glad it worked out for you.

... or they checked, made sure it was legal, real life interfered and when they came to play that character found out that they now can't play those characters.

[Edited to reduce grar]

Sure, that is certainly a possibility. But that isn't what is being discussed or postulated by Wei Ji. Were I a VO and that happened to a player, I would work with them to find someone willing to trade a boon to them (possibly even putting up one of my own to facilitate) or just give them one of my own Boons.

This doesn't have to be a zero sum game where if you lose out through no fault of your own your screwed. But when a person is not willing to invest any time in figuring out what's allowed in a campaign before spending time and energy on it, then they have nobody but themselves to blame if they are disappointed by something.

And yes, I realize if circumstances were different, this might mean that Wei Ji would never be part of the campaign. And that would be unfortunate, because I know Wei Ji (at least I've met him and GMd for him and played with him a couple times) and enjoy his company. But frankly, and not meaning to impugn anything about Wei Ji, he's an upright fellow, it would have been his own fault if things worked out poorly for him instead of the way they did work out. And frankly, again, having been a part of several other organized play campaigns, he should have known better.

2/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

People keep alluding to the era of seasonal races. The OPC has very publicly learned their lesson and explained their new take on race legality. So there will never again be an Aasimar-rush or someone losing out on a race because they missed the deadline.

To me, making arguments against the system by citing problems that have already been corrected holds no weight.

EDIT: Back to the point of this thread, I suppose.

I wouldn't mind purchasing ancestry access with Prestige or even the limited rare ancestry slots.

The core problem that needs a solution is how to draw players to the GM screen for conventions.

The prestige purchased races seems interesting. Players can get the race if they play long enough. GM at a Con and you get a boon to create a character of that race without spending prestige.

I think the toughest part of the rare ancestry slots is tracking. Then the question out there is whether a rare ancestry slot is enough of a draw for GMs.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Blake's Tiger wrote:

People keep alluding to the era of seasonal races. The OPC has very publicly learned their lesson and explained their new take on race legality. So there will never again be an Aasimar-rush or someone losing out on a race because they missed the deadline.

Not sure what you are actually saying here. I don't recall the OPC saying anything publicly that they will never pull a legal race from legality again. Just that they had no plans currently to do so when Season 8 rolled out. Sure, they learned from the Aasimar debacle, but the result was that they were no longer going to give people a window in which to comply, not that they would never remove an option from legality.

2/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No, there have been quite a few posts and blogs about both PFS and during the development of SFS making the very point: taking things away from players such as race access is bad for morale. They may have been careful to not use the word never, but they've been quite clear and contrite.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Blake's Tiger wrote:
No, there have been quite a few posts and blogs about both PFS and during the development of SFS making the very point: taking things away from players such as race access is bad for morale. They may have been careful to not use the word never, but they've been quite clear and contrite.

Sure, I get that, but your extrapolation does not really fully represent what happened and what was said.

What I think, my opinion, was really learned through it all, is be careful about what you allow from the get go. Make sure that an allowed option will not overly impact the campaign negatively and that if you don't plan for it to be an "always" option, make sure that everyone knows that up front when its offered.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And the danger with letting everyone know up front that it's a 'limited time offer' leads to the same situation.

Humans are weird entities and if they are told something is 'limited' they immediately go on some gut-instinctual level to 'hoard' status.

If a few 'Ancestry slots' were available to everyone, it does possibly present an issue with tracking, but so do Boons given some of the paperwork I've seen show up at convention tables.

This is a campaign built on Trust.

If we can't Trust our fellow players then we have a deeper problem in our community than whether or not an Ancestry or two is valid for all players, with additional 'unlocks' for experienced players/GMs.

Scarab Sages 5/5

To some degree there is always going to be a have/have-not paradigm unless they get rid of the need to own the material to use it.

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

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Tallow wrote:
To some degree there is always going to be a have/have-not paradigm unless they get rid of the need to own the material to use it.

And thus the source of money that supports the game that we all enjoy.

4/5

Allowing races to become unlocked and playable through an expenditure of prestige points would encourage some to play as much possible (and possibly create player-GM arguments when less than the full amount of prestige is awarded), while removing much of the incentive to give back to the community through convention GMing (the current way the majority of race boons are earned).

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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I am sympathetic to Wei Ji and Cyrad's positions but as of right now ancestry has proven to be the one effective way to motivate people who COULD GM at conventions to ACTUALLY commit to doing so in any sort of noticeable way.

If we want to open up exotic ancestries, then we need to revisit GM incentive packages since Replay was opened up to everyone and free full rebuilds is way too big to give out to every small con in the country.

I do see some good appeal in Wei Ji's idea that each player gets say 2 free "exotic race" slots given that we have some sort of way to ban the races that aren't player-character appropriate at all like monstrous races, evil races, brokenly good races, and drow.

3/5

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GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
Allowing races to become unlocked and playable through an expenditure of prestige points would encourage some to play as much possible (and possibly create player-GM arguments when less than the full amount of prestige is awarded), while removing much of the incentive to give back to the community through convention GMing (the current way the majority of race boons are earned).

The races given out as player boons don't have to be the same as the ones given to GMs, so people have incentive to be both GMs and players. That's how Paizo does it already.

If a player goes all the way to level 12 to get a boon, that may take a couple of years in real time. In that time, the player may well buy a couple more books.

3/5

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The most positive thing I can say about the aasimar/ tiefling mistake is at least it wasn't the "we are going to penalize you for GM'ing instead of playing" that the APG Summoner mistake was.

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Highlighted was one of the concerns in the response to the OP, that some communities burn through every PP keeping alive, and others have 'banks' of unused PP. That is one of the dangers of such a proposed system, and does one want to be the one that didn't buy that 'Oil of Daylight' that ends up screwing the party because one bought a Ratfolk Ancestry unlock?

That's a good point, but it's an issue with any expenditure of PP on things other than items and services. Perhaps there should be a discussion about how players are forced to choose between life-saving expenditures of PP and expenditures of PP meant for flavor or fun, like vanities, noble titles, or retraining-to-gain-that-alcohol-alchemist-archetype-for-your-brewmaster-tha t-did-not-exist-when-you-created-the-character?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My preference would be to get rid of race boons altogether. If a race can work for one player, it should be available to all players.

There aren't feat boons, class boons, or skill boons. What does it matter if a lot of rare races show up to a scenario? Like people are concerned that 4 ratfolk at a table might be too much fun. Lorewise, it wouldn't be any weirder than a group of any one of the non-human "core races" that are variously described as rare, isolated, or some combination of the two.

If a race creates some overpowered combination, do what is done to everything else: Nerf it or ban it.

If GM's really need more incentives, make boons that provide benefits that are created specifically for society play. Reward GMs, don't punish players.

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