PFS1 going forward from here?

Pathfinder Society


I know that no new material is coming for PFS1, just has what's been released to date. I do have a few questions.

1) Will there be convention support for PFS1? If there is, will the PFS2 guide have a section on PFS1 for what support is given?

2) Since there will be no more releases, have you considered opening up replay for 1-9 characters?

3) Will PFS1 just be abandoned beside the open road as PFS2 moves along?

We have created a number of friends in the characters we played and would like to give them a chance to continue their adventures. To go places that before where access was blocked to them because others had gone there already.

Opening up the line would keep a revenue stream on the product already developed. It will take time for enough materials to be developed for PFS2. This would allow for play of PFS1 which players can revisit the great adventures they had played but on a different character. With a greater depth of replay it will give more choices to the players that wish to stay with the PF line.

It's some what unclear and confusing just how PFS1 is being handled. A section in the PFS2 guide would be a good spot to make that clear and keep undated easier.

Grand Lodge 4/5

It has already been stated that PFS1 continues onward using the Season 10 Guild Guide.

1. That is up to the convention organizers. RSP continues, so it is more than likely con support will continue as well.

2. A limited number of replays were just granted to all players near the end of July. There will not be unlimited replay allowed any time soon.

3. It is all up to the players. If a bunch of players want to continue playing PFS1, they are more than welcome to do so. No one is going to stop them from playing PFS1.

Please note that Paizo is a relatively small company with a finite amount of resources operating in a business sector that has razor thin profit margins. As much as I don't want to say it, everything comes down to whether or not what they publish sells and generates a profit for the company. To sustain both product lines along with Starfinder, they would have to have three teams operating. Judging by previous edition changes over time in this sector, the audience tends to move along to the newer edition. That means the older edition is far less likely to generate enough revenue to sustain itself profitably.

On top of that, PFS is only a subset of the larger Pathfinder player base. It may be a large subset, but it is definitely not the entire player base. Therefore sustaining PFS1 would require a team producing new content and trying to make the lore in that new content match up with the lore generated in the PFS2 line. That would be extremely difficult. They could do the alternative universe thing, but in the long run, it is plain to see that PFS1 would not be profitably sustained. AT that point those on the PFS1 development team would have to be terminated as it is doubtful there would be enough room to absorb them into the PFS2 development team financially.

Sorry to say it, but it just comes down to sustaining a profitable business line. We have a historical example in what took place with TSR near the end of its lifespan. Personally, I would much rather see Paizo continue to profit and publish the high quality, intensely lore rich content they have been producing. That means PFS2 is going to get the focus and the development team. Since PF2 is a very good and fun game system, it makes a lot of sense.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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My advice would be to play what you haven't already played and always wanted to play, use your replays to your heart's content, and then maybe check out the new edition ^^ Personally I have not been that excited for PFS in years ^^

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

I love Pathfinder 1 and as an organizer, I plan on playing and scheduling it for as long as I can. A lot of VOs (and even Paizo staff!) are in the same boat--remember, a lot of us got into this gig because we liked Pathfinder 1. And as far as ongoing support, we've heard some things about it, like the grant of replays, and there may be more to come in time.

That said, we're seeing some pretty strong interest in Pathfinder 2e and you should definitely check it out. There's something cool about playing a new scenario just as it's released and being able to influence the direction of the campaign. You may also want to try Starfinder, which lives in the design space between PF1 and PF2 and is also a lot of fun to play!

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka The ShadowShackleton

I polled my area to see what the interest was and got a surprising amount of interest in all three campaigns (surprising since it seemed like Starfinder had not drawn new players). I would expect for the rest of the year at least it is going to divide fairly evenly between tables and many players will be happy to play both systems.


For whatever observed convention data right after the release of PF2 is worth, at Dragonflight last weekend out of about 30 tables scheduled (not including a multitable Starfinder special) about 4 or 5 were PF2 and the rest looked like about a 60/40 split between PF1 and SFS, but I don't remember how many of the scheduled tables fired other than that the tables I ran of Halflight Path and What Prestige is Worth both had players. I suspect as more content gets played and people start using up replays, mostly the "popular" or "interesting" scenarios will be the ones that get run at conventions.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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A rough guess (I’m still compiling results) indicates a 40:30:30 split between 2E:1E:SFS at Gen Con if that is any indication of interest. Virtually every event we scheduled sold out so our artificial limitations due to GM resources, etc may have affected what true interest looks like.


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Part of a problem I see is with the PFS1 information being static now that there is no need to do a yearly guide it makes it appear that PFS1 is being abandoned. This is why I suggested a section in the PFS2 guide to point out how PFS1 will be supported.

There are a number of people that have no interest in moving on to PFS2.

As a games store owner put it to me, 1E was founded because they saw a market of people that did not like the direction that D&D had went. Now Paizo is doing 2E and expecting those same people to switch.

By showing that PFS1 still being used, Paizo will keep a revenue stream from a already developed product that can be distributed in PDF. No need to keep a physical form once they sell all they have on hand.

Dark Archive 2/5

Having no stake in this conversation at all (I am just some random dude, who is already all-in on PFS2) my advice to you would actually be just replay the PFS1 scenarios you really like as home games and abandon the "organized" part of it.

I'm not going to sugar coat it - PFS 1 is dead. This happens with every edition change, it happened with D&D 3.5(LG); D&D 4.0(LFR) and it's happening here. It may linger on for months, sure, but by the time GenCon 2020 roles around - I would bet good $ PFS1 will have 0 tables officially scheduled at any major events.

Paizo needs to sell the next new things, not the things from last year let alone 5-10 years ago. That's not a path to staying in business. PFS (and organized play in general) is all about pushing new product, new stories, and in this case the new Edition. It may be an ugly transition. We will lose good players, but this is already a done deal - anyone thinking otherwise is deluding themselves.

P.S. The revenue from selling any old PF1 PDFs at this point is negligible. There isn't enough money left to come from that particular avenue to waste anyone at Paizo's time on it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

One thing that I hope we see in the not too distant future is the promised chronicle sheets for Return of the Runelords and Tyrant's Grasp.

I have some ideas that I'm kicking around for running book 6 of each of these as modules for high-level PFS play.

I tend to agree with Shadrick. I was hoepful that PF1 would retain a robust player base, and when PF2 was first announced it seemed that was a real possibility, but the relative success of PF2 launch has killed that thought. I am not sold on PF2 but will be giving it a fair try. I am definitely not sold on having to re-purchase evrything again but I am waiting until PF2 is properly put through its paces. I plan on running PF1 on the PbP boards for a while though, still really enjoy playing and GMing PF1.

What I suspect is that eventually someone will "Paizo Paizo" in that they will publish their own setting and just incoporate their own version of PF1 PFS. Third edition still has a fairly contant player base so probably a good chance a smaller but sizeable PF1 player base remains even after PF2 is running full steam.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Shadrick Hawkins wrote:
I would bet good $ PFS1 will have 0 tables officially scheduled at any major events.

Sorry, but you would lose that bet. We are currently finalizing the schedule for Pax Unplugged and it will have PFS(1) events scheduled. It is still way too early to speculate what the schedules will be for PaizoCon, Origins, Gen Con, and UK Games Expo, but I can almost guarantee that all will see at least some PFS(1) being offered and might add more depending on demand, available GM resources and table space. Certainly the demand for PFS(1) will decline as more PFS(2) content becomes available, but we do not see it going away in the foreseeable future.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Wicked Brew wrote:
What I suspect is that eventually someone will "Paizo Paizo" in that they will publish their own setting and just incoporate their own version of PF1 PFS. Third edition still has a fairly contant player base so probably a good chance a smaller but sizeable PF1 player base remains even after PF2 is running full steam.

Releasing a game system is REALLY expensive and a major undertaking. Since a majority of the material is OGL since it is based on v3.5 I would more expect 3PP to continue to produce content that used the PF1E system. From modules, to expanded player options, to even their own version of APs, if there truly is a market for it, someone will fill it. However, if we see little to no production using the PF1E system, then it will be safe to say the market just isn't there. I'm sure publishers like Purple Duck, Legendary Games, Frog God, etc will explore that nitch.


Shadrick Hawkins wrote:
It may linger on for months, sure, but by the time GenCon 2020 roles around - I would bet good $ PFS1 will have 0 tables officially scheduled at any major events.

It's not really relevant if you (general you) don't play online but I feel reasonably confident in saying that the Online region will continue to offer PFS1 content during our scheduled conventions for as long as there's interest in it :)

And pretty much what Bob said about conventions in general.

Dark Archive 2/5

To be clear, I was talking about next summer (August 2020) - not what Cons are scheduling for later this year. And you're right, it is very early to speculate about next summer, but that's kind of the point of this thread, right? "PFS1 going forward from here?"

I am tangentially involved in the scheduling of 2 fairly large conventions (one that annually had over 150 PFS tables back in it's heyday 4 or 5 years ago), so I've seen the inner workings. And sure, I may be wrong, but I think it overly optimistic to assume that with no new content PF Society 1 will see enough of a player and GM pool to support it. I've seen enough of the player base slide over to DDAL over the past few years (when PF1 DID have new content), that I can't really imagine stale content holding enough interest - at least at the conventions that I attend each year.

And no, I am NOT saying that PF1 is dead (yet), just Society. I agree that there can/will be non-Paizo supported PF1 content. But that just goes back to my initial point; play "home games and abandon the 'organized' part of it."

If you want Organized Play, PF2 is your way "going forward from here" - and my bet is that will be the state of affairs roughly a year from now (When all of PFS2 Season 1 content is available, and Paizo is launching PFS2 Season 2 along with whatever new source books 2020 has to offer).

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

If the chatter over the past few months about PFS(1) as well as replay is any indication, it will have a presence for quite a while. As I have said from the beginning, it will decrease over time and some areas might maintain a very strong PFS(1) presence for much longer than others. We'll only know over time. We intend to continue to offer PFS(1) tables at any event I am involved in for the foreseeable future. If/when the time comes that our offerings are no longer selling tickets, then we can begin to talk about stopping the practice. While I do not intend to play much PFS(1) now that PFS(2) is running, its not up to me (or any other individual) to decide when PFS(1) will truly die. All we can ask of our organizers is to be a good steward of the game and give the community what they want.

Explore! Report! Cooperate!

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
its not up to me (or any other individual) to decide when PFS(1) will truly die. All we can ask of our organizers is to be a good steward of the game and give the community what they want.

One of the problems this will face is the discrepancy between the attitudes of regular and non-regular players.

Regular players are going to run out of PFS2 scenarios; many regular players are going to play more than 24 sessions/year, which will exceed what Paizo will put out.

Non-regular players won't run out of PFS1 scenarios for years / decades. Someone who plays 6 sessions/year has 40 years of material to play through.

I assume Paizo has considered this next proposal (and is either working on it or has reason to reject it), but converting the past seasons to PFS2 would both increase the number of scenarios available to play through PFS2 and take away a major motivation to "backslide" to PFS1.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Watery Soup wrote:
Regular players are going to run out of PFS2 scenarios

Perhaps, but its no more a problem in PFS(2) than it was in PFS(1). There is replayable content (2 already for 2E) plus Plaguestone (sanctioning pending), APs (sanctioning pending), etc. not to mention more replayable content scheduled. They have even added a quest to the two scenario a month release schedule. The fact of the matter has always been that if you play too regularly, you'll run out of content. The supply is limited so be responsible.

And maybe that is going to artificially keep PFS(1) going for longer. Newer/casual players will have a lot of unplayed 1E content for years to come. The addition of expanded replay options will allow hyper-active players who run out of 2E content to continue to support 1E play. Sounds like this may actually be a good thing.

Watery Soup wrote:
Paizo has considered...converting the past seasons to PFS2...

According to Tonya, yes they considered it and decided not to do so at this time. Given the same thing was asked for ten years regarding the season zero v3.5 scenarios (update to PFRPG) and never happened (outside of #5), it strongly suggests we will not see it in this case either. Paizo is simply unable or unwilling to invest the effort it would take to do it.

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

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Actual Advice
What others have said is solid. Play it if you like it, organize games just like before, if you drain the well just play unofficially with unlimited replay (just don't report this or expect RSP support for it). Play it at conventions when offered, play it online. If you don't like v2, don't play v2. If enough people still like v1, expect to see v1 games organized around the world and you shouldn't have difficulty getting games off the ground.

Here's my crazy thoughts

1. Paizo is a company that, ultimately, wants to offer their customers products and services their customers desire -- because they can profit from this.
2. Reporting for PFSv1 is still a thing, and the metrics of how many times those scenarios get played now that v2 will certainly be looked at within the company.
3. If it is found that PFSv1 is still popular, it may prove popular enough to provide content for at some point down the line, as Paizo will be able to profit from it.

But it's probably just my addled mind, because I also think we'll see the announcement of products for "Pathfinder Classic" at some point, which will be new modules, sourcebooks, whatever for PFv1. Because they've already spend X amount of dollars laying the foundation for the v1 system, and there's still "gold in them hills" that Paizo can mine by producing "Classic" content. I don't imagine anyone at Paizo rubbing their hands together like a goblin and cackling with glee over the prospect of raking in the cash, but realistically there are still consumers that would devour up more v1 content.

*shrugs* But who knows? Blizzard is doing it right now with World of Warcraft on it's 15 year anniversary -- WoW Classic drops literally today. Maybe we just gotta wait another 4 years to see v1 stuff start cropping up. But in the meantime, report those PFSv1 games still!

Dark Archive 2/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:

All we can ask of our organizers is to be a good steward of the game and give the community what they want.

Explore! Report! Cooperate!

Here, here! I 100% expect that our organizers will do what's best for the community. PFS (no version needed) has a great set of volunteers working on all of this.

As I mentioned, I am already all in on PFS2, so I don't personally care. I'm basing my prediction on what I've seen in my local area in both the recent history (a decline in PFS1 tables over the past 3 or 4 years) and the history I experienced with what happened with previous OP organizations I played with (3.5's LG & 4.0's LFR) when newer editions came out.

Perhaps I came on a bit too strong with my wording and stark predictions, but I still stand by the overall message that I was trying to convey:

Over the next 12 months, I would expect a significant decline in PFS1 tables at game days and conventions, leading to the likelihood that by this time next year PFS1 was not offered much, if at all, in most areas.

As a result of this, if you want to play more Pathfinder 1 content, including re-running PFS1 scenarios, I would highly recommend doing this in a home game setting, instead of as part of Organzied Play.

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