Have other pregen options been considered?

Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild

(originally posted in the pregen thread, but moved here to avoid clutter)

The existing pregens are cool and extremely helpful, but they are also limited to the extent that they are only available for certain characters and for certain tiers.

Has there been any thought to simplifying the pregen process? I'm trying to imagine a procedure that would be less work-intensive for Paizo employees, would allow any character to be a pregen, and would still keep things fair (in terms of card upgrades, feats, etc.) for people who started an OP campaign from the beginning.

For example, you could prescribe a card and feat distribution for each tier, like so: (for *any* character, which would be neat)

Tier 2: 15 cards total: two level 2, four level 1, nine level B; no card, skill, or power feats

Tier 3: 16 cards total: two level 3, three level 2, seven level 1, four level B; any one card feat, any one skill feat, and any one power feat

Tier 4: 17 cards total: two level 4, three level 3, six level 2, four level 1, two level B; any two card feats, any two skill feats, role card, and any three power feats (two from original card, one from role card)

(etc. through tier 6)

Note: These distributions are completely made up, not actual suggestions. Also, the total number of cards/feats per tier is less than the total number a character would receive by progressing through the campaign from the start - thus keeping things fair for everyone.

One thing I like about such a system is that players would have the fun of creating their own pregens themselves based on the required card distributions.

Is there a reason why something like this wouldn't work? (There are probably a dozen reasons, but it doesn't hurt to ask.)


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The main purpose for the pregens is to let people unfamiliar with the game jump in and play with as little friction as possible. Building characters takes time and familiarity with the game rules, the character powers, and the cards available in the deck. New players won't have any of this; experienced players would still need to read through the cards if they're unfamiliar with that specific character deck.

Ok, that's interesting. Thanks for the reply. This has me wondering a few things.

The pregen model seems to be adapted from RPGs. In RPGs, a one-shot adventure/scenario/module (at a con, in a Meetup group, or wherever) can be at any level. So it makes sense that a newcomer would need to bring a pregen character at the appropriate level, as a level 1 character wouldn't cut it.

PACG is a different scene, though. There aren't really stand-alone scenarios.* (Or maybe there are at cons?) There is just the campaign.

Fundamentally, I'm curious how many times pregens have actually been used - and if so, who is using them (new vs. experienced players).

I used a pregen myself recently, as I joined an OP campaign in mid-season. I suspect that's highly unusual, though, and in my case I would have been just as happy cranking out a pregen myself. In fact, it would have been fun. :)

Still, I totally see your point. If pregens are primarily for brand new players (joining in mid-campaign?), then my suggestion would be completely crazy. I'm just wondering what the data says about how often pregens are used by newcomers vs. anyone else.

Or maybe it would just be nice to have an alternative pregen "build your own" model for experienced players. I know: silly, complicated, and impractical - but just a thought.

*Thinking about the future, I would think that having additional access to one-shot, stand-alone scenarios might be a good way to recruit new players. You can get them playing individual adventures with unique (but still easy to understand) characters, and then slowly coax them into a longer campaign. I know that a few one-shots exist, but there aren't many.

Parody wrote:
The main purpose for the pregens is to let people unfamiliar with the game jump in and play with as little friction as possible.

One last thing. The organized play guide states explicitly that OP is for experienced players, and that players should already know the rules.

I think that's an odd attitude - one could make it tough to recruit new players to the brand - but that is the stated philosophy.

I'm starting up a newbie-friendly OP campaign at a local store in 2-3 weeks (and am giving demos at the store this weekend on Free RPG Day to help recruit), but that appears to be more the exception than the rule.

But as usual, I'm happy to be wrong if that's the case. :)

Silver Crusade ** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

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It is definitely not a common thing to use pregens of any character higher than Tier 1, but I have definitely seen it happen at conventions, simply because there was a Tier 3 table being run and there was someone curious enough to sit down and say "will you teach me?"

The pregens should be used to help introduce a new player to the game, and the reason for tier 3 and 5 pregens are basically so that you can do that at any table. Of course you should always try to seat brand-new players at a Tier 1 table first, but failing that as an option, my philosophy is DON'T TURN AWAY NEWBIES if you can help it! Having these higher-tier pregens definitely helps with that.

Tyler Beck wrote:
...my philosophy is DON'T TURN AWAY NEWBIES if you can help it! Having these higher-tier pregens definitely helps with that.

100% agree. Thanks.

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