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Pathfinder Society at ReaperCon


Rapheal
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I would like to play a game, but I am not sure Pathfinder is for me.  I played once at GenCon with a pre-gen character.  The GM rammed the adventure path down our throats. It was like we had no choice about the outcome of each encounter. Half the table was upset because my first level chr rated the adventure and XP down.  The one other guy who was in my guild  turned into a backstabbing SOB and ran off with the treasure at the end of the session. Not that I was going to play that chr again, but it pissed off everyone else and left a bad taste in my mouth. 

 

Is all Pathfinder like this, or did I just get lucky?

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Inarah, by necessity, the Pathfinder Society scenarios run at conventions tend to be somewhat constrained on what's going to happen. You generally have GMs scheduled to fit these games into planned time blocks and running them several times a day. This is how it went at PAX when I hung out for a few different scenarios. For the most part, the GMs I've met try to be helpful and instructive with new players. Conventions are a great time to introduce a new player to the game. It sounds like you just got a couple players who forgot that, and one jerk that probably never gets to play in a home game. I'd very much recommend giving the game another shot.

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how do PFS characters differ from standard pathfinder?

 

PFS imposes a bunch of additional restrictions in the interest of fairness, and of making record keeping simple for organized play. Paizo has a free document on their weibsite that provides instructions for how to build your character, and what is different in PFS vs. regular Pathfinder (not a ton, but, for example, there is not player-driven crafting, so feats like "craft wonderous item" or "scribe scroll" are not available.) There is also a page that provides an exhaustive list of the things that are legal, or not legal, for play, but you shouldn't need to worry about it for your first few games. In the unlikelly event that it comes up, your GM will be able to help you out.

 

The other major difference, again in the interests of parity, is that you do not get to keep the loot you find in-game. You can use as much as you like during the scenario, but at the end you get a "chronicle sheet" that details how much cash-value you earned, plus xp or special boons you might have earned. It will also list a number of items that appeared throughout the scenario that you can buy using your accumulated cash (either now, or later). This means that if you find the Big Honking Sword of Twilight Doom, any, or all, of the players can wind up with a copy of their own after the game, and there is not negotiation over who wants it. This also means that you cannot permanently transfer money or items between players. If I hand you my wand of cure light wounds at the start of the game and we all share it, the charges get used up like normal, but the wand returns to me at the end of the game with whatever charges remain in it. Nobody can steal it, or "forget to give it back."

 

As has been stated, some PFS scenarios can get a little rail-roady, in the interest of finishing up in 4-5 hours, but a good GM can usually keep the fun going, and I really like some of the ones they have published. I have GM'd around 50 tables of PFS, and played a bunch more. I can't say it's perfect, but I think it's fun.

 

http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/playerResources

Edited by klarg1
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the Pathfinder Society rules tweaks are to make things a little smoother for a campaign that basically allows anyone to move from table to table in real time, and still be playing in a relatively balanced manner with everyone else. A few things are adjusted to account for game time passing and keeping someone from saying "I spent an in-game year researching this all powerful item, of course I get one" or other things that a GM in a home game could track, that are impossible to keep straight from table to table.

 

Mostly it's very small things from class to class, to keep things in balance. Also a very important rule "Nobody gets to play an evil player character." That's supposed to be in place to keep someone from being a complete butt-hat at the table.

 

Edit: Klarg1 said it better, i got to the reply button late.

Edited by RouterMike
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I would like to play a game, but I am not sure Pathfinder is for me.  I played once at GenCon with a pre-gen character.  The GM rammed the adventure path down our throats. It was like we had no choice about the outcome of each encounter. Half the table was upset because my first level chr rated the adventure and XP down.  The one other guy who was in my guild  turned into a backstabbing SOB and ran off with the treasure at the end of the session. Not that I was going to play that chr again, but it pissed off everyone else and left a bad taste in my mouth. 

 

Is all Pathfinder like this, or did I just get lucky?

 

I didn't address this directly:

Inarah, assuming you were playing Pathfinder Society organized play, and not a home-designed game, adventure tier (meaning the precise level-appropriate challenge rating) is affected by the average level of characters at the table, and that can affect gold awards, but not by all that much under the revised, season 5 rules (which also prevent you from getting massive bonus awards for playing up-level). This is primarily done to keep a level 1 character from being dragged into an adventure scaled for level 6-7 characters, which might, theoretically, have been possible, under earlier rules. It has never been possible for a player to steal from others in a permanent way, so I'm not sure what that's about (maybe one person just grabbed a useful set of in-game items?).

 

PFS has plenty of warts and limitations, but, mostly, it sounds like you wound up playing with a bunch of jerks.

 

ETA: For what it's worth, unlike WotC's Living Forgotten Realms, XP in PFS is entirely fixed. You get 1xp per scenario, and 3xp grants you a level. Leaving aside double-length modules, and other oddness, 33 scenarios will bring you to 12th level, and character retirement.

Edited by klarg1
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This thread makes me miss the old days of the RPGA and the Living City campaign. :down:

 

There was always the chance that you could be stuck at a table with one or more jerks, but more often than not, that was not the case. And usually, at least in my experience, the ability to play a campaign (swapping your characters out, if you wanted) with a wide variety of players offset this occasional drawback. It was fun to play locally with friends, and equally fun to go to "big cons" (GenCon, Origins, etc.) and play with other people, new and old. Some of my most memorable gaming experiences came during those 4-hour blocks of play.

 

~v

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Shakandara,

I would equate it very much to RPGA. We will be having help making characters this year so you don't have to play a pre-gen. The GM is very important to the fun level of the game. In past events with limited GM's by the later stages of the Con burn out is gonna happen. We haowever have started getting more GM's so this effect should lessen. I have been involved in RPGA and Paizo Organized play and they are very similar in my opinion. My two cents.

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Yeah, I'm aware that PFS stuff is similar to the old RPGA/OP format; several of the people that I used to play the old "Living" campaigns with migrated to PFS when those campaigns died/moved on to other editions. There's a thread elsewhere on the forums (Beekeepers) about the various editions of D&D and why people play what they do. I'm stuck at 3.0/3.5 (by choice). If I were ever to move forward from there (which I am unlikely to), Pathfinder would be the route I'd choose.

 

I'm just getting a little misty-eyed and nostalgic. :;):

 

~v

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I'm hoping I can squeeze in one or two PFS games at the RCon, but, between classes, banquets, GM'ing and painting, it may be tight.  :unsure:

 

Of course I've played and GM'd "midnight madness" convention slots in the in the past at TotalCon and OGC. I'm sure nobody here would be fool enough to try that...

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