PDA

View Full Version : Pathfinder Society



Slipstream
03-19-2010, 08:04 AM
I wanted to broach the subject of the Pathfinder Society (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety) organized play venture. Has anyone participated? What's your experiences thus far? This seems like a viable option for those who may not have available to them, whether because of time or group limitations. Is anyone a member? I actually made my little card, but haven't gone further than that.

I noticed the guide (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/scenarios/v5748btpy84k4) said it required each player to own Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets. Is it really required of just players? $20 for this seems a bit much, but that's not necessarily a breaking point for me. Is this book useful to people?

WhiteTiger
03-22-2010, 11:29 AM
I wish I had an answer for you. I've added a couple of the society scenarios to my campaign as a way to add some fluff & flavor. Overall, I think the scenario's can be a lot of fun but they are very short adventures (generally 3 - 4 hours). I think the potential downside.. is constantly writing up a lot of characters unless the GM is really good at stitching them together.

Slipstream
03-22-2010, 04:33 PM
very short adventures (generally 3 - 4 hours). I think the potential downside.. is constantly writing up a lot of characters unless the GM is really good at stitching them together.
Thanks for your thoughts, WhiteTiger. Time of sessions/adventures isn't an issue to me. Sometimes, my usual five hour games do feel draining (usually not)... but constantly writing up new characters? Yeah that would concern me. I get attached and like to see their stories filled as much as possible. Considering PaizoCon, so figured Society would be quite rampant there.

Rivak
03-25-2010, 12:23 PM
I have a local gaming store who runs a regular society group. I'm hoping to get involved within the next couple of weeks (work has been murder lately), so I will let you know what I find!

Slipstream
03-27-2010, 10:51 PM
I have a local gaming store who runs a regular society group. I'm hoping to get involved within the next couple of weeks (work has been murder lately), so I will let you know what I find!
Thanks, Rivak. And I totally hear your on the work thing. Been pinned down for over a month... had to cancel my seat on yet another board gaming night tonight :(

UURich
04-06-2010, 12:56 PM
Hello Everyone,

I just posted my introduction (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php/15731-Grad-Student-and-Gamer) and I'm really interested in this program and the game system in general. I think there are two, maybe three game shops in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area and I'm going to ask around about it. Most of my gaming groups meet only once a month so we do the 6-8 hour gaming days out of habit so we would probably do two of these things back-to-back if I was to run them locally but I'd like it if they were being run already.

Slipstream
04-22-2010, 11:07 PM
Aside from waiting on those of you who said they'd report back, I'm still pondering whether that Seekers of Secrets book is absolutely necessary to participate. The freebie booklet that gives you the run thru seems quite thorough in what you need to know... so a $20 64 page paper back books seems suspect. I just don't see why it needs to cost so much. Even the PDF is $14. Is my whining justified? :P

I'm definitely asking because I'm considering going to Paizo-Con... and if I buy my ticket, it definitely means I'll check out at least one or two Society games that weekend.

deathboy
04-23-2010, 12:36 AM
I currently run PFS at my home about once a month. Everyone whom plays tends to have a grand time doing such. I personally like how the campaign is run and have yet seen many issues that are not answered quickly. Even the authors of events have been forth coming on informations about events they write, on the Paizo boards.

As for needing the Seeker of Secrets book... I would say that it is great background, but you do not need it immediatly. Then again you can just buy the .pdf versions of the books you want and save some money.

Slipstream
04-23-2010, 12:51 AM
As for needing the Seeker of Secrets book... I would say that it is great background, but you do not need it immediatly. Then again you can just buy the .pdf versions of the books you want and save some money.
Thanks. I like having the print versions though if I do end up buying it. I'll hold off for the time being until I absolutely see the need.

Lesuit
09-14-2010, 09:18 AM
Pathfinder Society: Year of the Shadow Lodge Event, October 2nd.

The Year of the Shadow Lodge is coming! Clear your schedules, you donít want to miss this unique Pathfinder Society event coming up on October 2nd at the Redmond, WA Games and Gizmos at Noon.


For those of you who havenít heard of this event, let me enlighten you. The Year of the Shadow Lodge is a special Society mission in which multiple tables of Pathfinders work together throughout the mission. Pathfinders of all levels (except 12Ö so not really allÖ but 1-11 are fine) are welcome to come join and share their skills to help fight this epic battle.

If you are interested in participating contact Blake Davis at: karuikage AHT karuikage DHOT net

simonsusmc
11-03-2010, 12:28 PM
I play and GM PFS frequently. Players only need the Core Rulebook and free Guide to PFS Organized Play from the Paizo website, while GMs also need to purchase the Bestiary and any scenarios. Seeker of Secrets, like most of Paizo's other books and supplemental materials, is legal for play (with some restrictions stated in the Guide) and can be handy, but I don't think it should be required. The Advanced Player's Guide should be the next book on any player's and DM's shopping list, in my opinion, it expands the options of every race and class from the Core Rulebook in addition to introducing new classes...

agoraderek
11-11-2010, 10:06 PM
Thanks for your thoughts, WhiteTiger. Time of sessions/adventures isn't an issue to me. Sometimes, my usual five hour games do feel draining (usually not)... but constantly writing up new characters? Yeah that would concern me. I get attached and like to see their stories filled as much as possible. Considering PaizoCon, so figured Society would be quite rampant there.

Asgard Games, by any chance? Or are you with either the Clearlake group or the Woodlands group?

I run PFS games at OwlCon (actually GMed the first PFS scenario ever run at OwlCon :) ) and I've found it to be satisfying. I would splurge on Seeker of Secrets if you're seriously considering getting active, it has a lot to offer for PFS players.

---------- Post added at 10:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:04 PM ----------


Pathfinder Society: Year of the Shadow Lodge Event, October 2nd.

The Year of the Shadow Lodge is coming! Clear your schedules, you don’t want to miss this unique Pathfinder Society event coming up on October 2nd at the Redmond, WA Games and Gizmos at Noon.


For those of you who haven’t heard of this event, let me enlighten you. The Year of the Shadow Lodge is a special Society mission in which multiple tables of Pathfinders work together throughout the mission. Pathfinders of all levels (except 12… so not really all… but 1-11 are fine) are welcome to come join and share their skills to help fight this epic battle.

If you are interested in participating contact Blake Davis at: karuikage AHT karuikage DHOT net

I know you :)

tesral
11-16-2010, 06:28 PM
I've see it in action. Organized play does awful thing to role-playing. Pathfinder Society is a creature in the same genus as RPGA, and for my money just as corrosive to good play.

rabkala
11-16-2010, 06:55 PM
:rolleyes:
The RPGA and pathfinder games are good. They have a noble purpose. The couple pathfinder Society games I have played were fun.
Of course, it helps to know the game to play!

tesral
11-16-2010, 10:06 PM
The Crusades had a noble purpose, look how that turned out. It has been my experience that players nurtured through the Pathfinder/RPGA type system cannot handle anything else. They don't think out of the box, if they think. They expect a very mechanical gamist experience. The kind of game you more or less have to play given what pathfinder/RPGA are doing. It's not role-playing as I have come to understand the animal, it is a combat game with role-playing characters.

Slipstream
11-17-2010, 02:16 PM
The Crusades had a noble purpose, look how that turned out. It has been my experience that players nurtured through the Pathfinder/RPGA type system cannot handle anything else. They don't think out of the box, if they think. They expect a very mechanical gamist experience. The kind of game you more or less have to play given what pathfinder/RPGA are doing. It's not role-playing as I have come to understand the animal, it is a combat game with role-playing characters.
I agree that some Society games can be strickly dungeon delve, but I've been in a few, namely at PaizoCon where I was able to play with some really good roleplayers... and its fun when the GM is into it too. There's been some fun moments where the GM and a few of the players would just go at it, all in character. Quite enjoyable and memorable. The idea that five factions come together for a semi-humanitarian adventuring group (Pathfinder Society) is just asking for prejudices to pour forth.

jdbailey
11-17-2010, 05:28 PM
The Crusades did not have a noble purpose. :P

I've yet to try out PFS. I like Pathfinder, but our group plays it frequently so it's not something I actively search for in other groups or gaming sessions.

tesral
11-17-2010, 10:21 PM
Yes they did, from the official press, to make the way of pilgrims safe to and from the Holy Land. That was the propaganda anyway. They thought it noble, at the time. I agree BTW that war is never noble.

jdbailey
11-18-2010, 02:39 AM
That was one of many excuses, and to me, excuses are not reasons or purposes. Propaganda I'll agree with. :) Or are you calling PFS is an RP publicity stunt? :D

tesral
11-18-2010, 11:10 AM
Tournament style play is a hunchback deaf cousin to the elegant dancer that is role-playing. If seen this in both RPGA and now in Pathfinder Society. It skews the kind of game played, elevates the mechanics of the game to an unnatural importance. Taking the GNS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNS_Theory) model (admittedly flawed, link for those that don't know it) The RPGA/PFS style play mugs both Narrative style play and Simulationist (admittedly D&D is anything but a simulation) in favor of the gamist approach.

The problem comes from the player for whom the RPGA/PFS is their only or majority gaming experience. they are lost outside the structure of the gamist environment. Give them a situation they cannot roll their way out of and they flounder. I've seen it repeatedly. My style of out of the box, use your head play leaves them floundering on the beach. Yet one of my players did RPGA for years, successfully, and finally gave it up in disgust of the whole "Living" concept.

For the player that RPGA/PFS is a mere diversion it is just that, a diversion. When it is your school, you lose.

Slipstream
11-19-2010, 01:19 PM
While tesral's comments are his opinions, I don't think he's necessarily off topic. I can say as the thread starter, I asked for people's experience. So his comments are on topic. I think they are a bit heavy handed however. It really comes down to the experience of the GM's and their players for a PFS session to nail the roleplay feel. I say experience because new players will still be getting used to the rules, and often it is organized play at a game store that draws new players in.

Much of my mind for a new game is trying to focus on how to best play my role, regardless if its a RPG or board game. Thinking about roleplaying comes secondary. Later on as I get used to the rules of play, it's then that I can start making RP flourishes. My first RPG campaign character is actually pretty wooden. My second and third characters that came after are way more colorful; full of dimension and interest.

Sure, there is no question that a percentage of it is railroaded. There are factional objectives, as well as end-session objectives that need met. But many modules are sandboxy, especially in this post-Kingmaker season of time. I have a feeling Paizo will be adding that mentality more into PFS modules in the future. To swear off the entire experience completely, I believe, would be missing out on some great experiences and player community opportunities. But to each is own. In the end: have fun!

InvestFDC
11-19-2010, 03:42 PM
The Crusades had a noble purpose, look how that turned out. It has been my experience that players nurtured through the Pathfinder/RPGA type system cannot handle anything else. They don't think out of the box, if they think. They expect a very mechanical gamist experience. The kind of game you more or less have to play given what pathfinder/RPGA are doing. It's not role-playing as I have come to understand the animal, it is a combat game with role-playing characters.

This is spot on with my experience and the experiences of friends of mine. In one RPGA game I played, the other players actually got mad when I tried to have my charater do what he would naturally do. It reminds me of the saying "modules are like train tracks". Well, in RPGA they are traintracks with 100 foot high cliffs on each side.

jdbailey
11-19-2010, 04:41 PM
I think differences in "module v. homebrew" isn't the same as gaming mentality. A friend of mine runs modules exceedingly well. He gets what he needs for the module and fills in the rest with his imagination and responds appropriately to our role playing. Modules are meant to be guides. Now, if PFS groups specifically use them to railroad an adventure (and as I've never played in a Pathfinder Society group, I can't say either way), that's one thing. But that can happen with a module or with a homemade campaign/adventure.

tesral
11-19-2010, 06:12 PM
Agreed, but that is not how the tournaments are run. Every player is as much as possible to have the same experience. Ergo the GM has blinders on as well as a track with 100 foot cliffs. It is not a good environment for the use of imagination, GM or Players. So it is not a good environment to develop same. Players that play in nothing but are handicapped. It is simply the nature of tournament play. I use modules, like your friend does as suggestions and guides. With a gourp were we can take out time, digress have fun and invent new ways around things. Home play, no time pressure. A GM that is not bound to do it as the writers intended.

RPGA/PFS have their uses. I dislike them as the primary teacher of the RPG hobbiest becasue of the limited and stilted version of the rules they teach. Yes, I remember well the real D&D rules vs, what the RPGA used. It was not the same book. Having looked through Forry it is plain that RPGA play styles had a heavy influence on the rules themselves. I'd like to have a look at the PFS rulebook.

Slipstream
11-20-2010, 03:21 PM
I'd like to have a look at the PFS rulebook.
Here it is (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/scenarios/v5748btpy84k4). Free download.

tesral
11-21-2010, 09:30 AM
Will get and read.

tesral
11-22-2010, 02:24 AM
Well I read it, top to bottom.

Frankly about what I expected. A very restricted box for organized play. Variant rules for "legal" play not as loose or unlimited as the core game. And to the critic, no, you are not playing the same game as people not playing the organized system. Organized play is not superior. Let's see you whip up a "legal" scenario in half an hour that takes three 6-hour sessions of rollicking good play to get through. The very box of organization is a limitation, a set of blinders. It has to be in order to work as an organized system.

I applaud the effort to encourage creative play. More difficult when you are not the creating GM and are never likely to be. Top down is again not the best of circumstances to build a game world. As a Pathfinder Society GM it is never your world. It is their world.

I have written scenarios for convention play. I know what makes a good one and what doesn't work. You need focused games with clearly defined goals and not a lot of time to smell the roses. Encounter, encounter, encounter. Knock them off like clockwork. Characters need to be focused to the game. I used pre-gens to save time. I'm not running an "organized play" deal. I always try and make them a bit quirky and easy to grasp. IMHO that is a terrible way to learn to play the game.

My experiences since the creation of the RPGA have proved it. RPGA molded players are too goal oriented and too dependent on the game mechanics of the RPGA (I read their document too.) NOT D&D, but the RPGA. Like Pathfinder Society they changed the rules of the game to better suit the structure of their style of play. The difference is that Pathfinder Society had the RPGA experience to learn from, and they made their modifications quicker.

My recommendation? Do not learn the game from Pathfinder Society. Find a good fun home game and learn to play. build a good solid grounding in the freer more creative environment of an unrestricted game. Then, once you have that grounhding, have fun with organized events, but never let them rule your gaming world.

stldnder
01-21-2011, 10:58 AM
I wanted to broach the subject of the Pathfinder Society (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety) organized play venture. Has anyone participated? What's your experiences thus far? This seems like a viable option for those who may not have available to them, whether because of time or group limitations. Is anyone a member? I actually made my little card, but haven't gone further than that.

I noticed the guide (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/scenarios/v5748btpy84k4) said it required each player to own Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets. Is it really required of just players? $20 for this seems a bit much, but that's not necessarily a breaking point for me. Is this book useful to people?

I play regularly (monthly) in a PFS group at my FLGS. It's a lot of fun. It's definitely different than a home game/campaign in that you often play with different people, which sometimes makes for unbalanced parties (can you say three rogues and no cleric/healer?). Once you reach 7th level, making tables becomes a bit more difficult as many players run lower level characters. But I have yet to see anyone turned away, as everyone tries to remain true to Paizo's "Play, play, play" ideal. Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets is not required, but I own a copy and it is useful for background information and special items, such as wayfinders. The GMs who normally run for us have copies in case players need them.

If you played Living Greyhawk, this is quite similar. It's a good time, but currently characters cannot advance beyond 12th level (modules basically run to 11th level, with only a handful of mods for 12th level characters). I hope this changes in the future.

---------- Post added at 10:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:43 AM ----------


Well I read it, top to bottom.

Frankly about what I expected. A very restricted box for organized play. Variant rules for "legal" play not as loose or unlimited as the core game. And to the critic, no, you are not playing the same game as people not playing the organized system. Organized play is not superior. Let's see you whip up a "legal" scenario in half an hour that takes three 6-hour sessions of rollicking good play to get through. The very box of organization is a limitation, a set of blinders. It has to be in order to work as an organized system.

I applaud the effort to encourage creative play. More difficult when you are not the creating GM and are never likely to be. Top down is again not the best of circumstances to build a game world. As a Pathfinder Society GM it is never your world. It is their world.

I have written scenarios for convention play. I know what makes a good one and what doesn't work. You need focused games with clearly defined goals and not a lot of time to smell the roses. Encounter, encounter, encounter. Knock them off like clockwork. Characters need to be focused to the game. I used pre-gens to save time. I'm not running an "organized play" deal. I always try and make them a bit quirky and easy to grasp. IMHO that is a terrible way to learn to play the game.

My experiences since the creation of the RPGA have proved it. RPGA molded players are too goal oriented and too dependent on the game mechanics of the RPGA (I read their document too.) NOT D&D, but the RPGA. Like Pathfinder Society they changed the rules of the game to better suit the structure of their style of play. The difference is that Pathfinder Society had the RPGA experience to learn from, and they made their modifications quicker.

My recommendation? Do not learn the game from Pathfinder Society. Find a good fun home game and learn to play. build a good solid grounding in the freer more creative environment of an unrestricted game. Then, once you have that grounhding, have fun with organized events, but never let them rule your gaming world.

I completely agree with you on your points. PFS, like RPGA (Living Greyhawk, Living Forgotten Realms, etc.) is by its very nature restrictive. It's like playing a session at a convention, when you know you only have four hours to complete everything. D&D Encounters does exactly the same, as well. But it is what it is - a fun time for folks who may not have the advantage/luxury of a regular group and home campaign.