I attended a two hour chat with Nick Logue, Paizo Organized Play Coordinator and Joshua J. Frost from the Paizo marketing department on the pending release of the “Pathfinder Society” organized play campaign.
This is not edited, so do not blame me for any typos. I also had some technical issues, so I might have missed something, but this is a pretty accurate account of the questions and answers.
I wanted to get this up fast, so I will comment on it tomorrow. Paizo will also post a complete, edited version on their message boards in the very near future.
Q:First of all, do we have a definite date for the Player’s Guide/GM’s Guide? I know several are anxiously awaiting material and scenarios.
Nick Logue› The Player’s Guide should be ready and rolling by August 1st if memory serves…that’s Friday! That still good to go Josh? Josh has the most updated eye on the status.
‹Joshua J. Frost› The drop dead is August 8. If we can have it out before then, we will. We’ll be sneaking a few key items into Friday’s blog, though, as a way to stave off the ravenous hunger of the early devotees of Pathfinder Society.
Q:How soon after GenCon will the scenarios be released for home play?
Nick Logue› The day after Gencon.
Joshua J. Frost› Literally the day after.
Q:As a current registered Paizo subscriber, what do I need to do to “register” myself and others for a home group?
On or before 8/8, we’ll have a system go live at paizo.com/pathfindersociety where folks can sign up for PFS and register their first PFS character. The GM of your home group will need to register as the “coordinator” for that home game and then will be responsible for reporting the scenarios.
Q: Can your group change factions along the way? (Or can this only be done after they retire at 12th level and players start over a 1st level with new characters?)
Nick Logue› In the interim between Seasons anyone can switch the allegiance of their character to a different faction if they like.
Q:How would I organize some PFS adventures to be played at a small local con?
Nick Logue› If Mothy is willing to coordinate them, all he has to do is put the con director in contact with us and register as a coordinator, at which point we can make that month’s Scenarios available to them. If he needs help tracking down volunteer GMs our messageboards are a good place to get the word out.
Q:Is smack talking to be encouraged in-character as the factions try to outdo one another?
Nick Logue› Banter is always fun. As long as banter doesn’t become direct confrontation, it is to be encouraged. Then again, you might not want to let the other players know what faction you are (up to you really).
Joshua J. Frost› We won’t allow PVP, first off.
Joshua J. Frost› So we have to be careful that PFS isn’t a “my team” sporting event where a raiders fan smashes a Jets fan in the face with a chair.
Q:Do people have to be PFS members to sign up to play PFS adventures at a con (stupid question)?
If you just want to get down on an event and have some fun, we’ll have pregens available (the Paizo iconics most likely), or you can whip up a character and play and never register them, and that’s okay too. The only thing is that your Faction Prestige won’t be tracked.
Q:Any PFS members in Australia so far?
Nick Logue› I believe so! I’d have to check with Josh on that one though. I know a few people from Down Under have expressed interest in involving themselves with PFS!
Q:Has the fee for pdf downloads been determined yet?
Joshua J. Frost› The price point has not yet been put through Lisa’s magical pricing calculator
Joshua J. Frost› Under $5 is the target, though
Q:My question regards the modules. Will these be produced entirely in-house or will ou be using the “volunteer writer” system used by other persistent campaigns?
Nick Logue› The first several are in-house, but there will be chances to get involved in the writing.
Q:Will scenarios contain spoilers for other scenarios? Could a group have 1 DM one scenario, and then another DM for another scenario? (I am thinking in the context of a home game here where we have the same group of people from game to game.)
Joshua J. Frost› You may find something in one scenario that rewards you again later for having it, or making the right contact earlier — we reserved the right to loosely link scenarios with easter eggs.
Q:How level dependent are the scenarios going to be. Assuming one levels up after three scenarios, the four (?) level one scenarios per season will remain the same, and anyone starting a new character in, say, January would be using a 6-month-old scenario? Or will there be scaling information to use scenarios from any point in the season for any level of play?
Nick Logue› The scenarios are in tiers. The first four are written both for Levels 1-2 and Levels 4-5.
Q: How does one get their local FLGS involved?
Joshua J. Frost› Look for that info after Gen Con UK — but they’ll be able to do so via paizo.com/pathfindersociety and someone at the store will have to act as a coordinator for any sessions of PFS run in-store.
Q: You referenced the home GM earlier for home play. What about home games where people take turns GMing?
Joshua J. Frost› Each time someone acts as GM, they’ll need to be responsible for reporting results at paizo.com/pathfindersociety — at least for season 0, though, someone has to eat the scenario with no rewards.
Q:Can GMs play in scenarios they’ve ran, or is that a no-go?
Nick Logue› No go
Joshua J. Frost› You can play then GM a scenario, but you can never GM then play a scenario.
Q:How will players in a game know their faction objective for that scenario? Will there be handouts for the GM to give out? And will each player know the goals of the other factions, or just their own?
‹Joshua J. Frost› Handouts and they will only know their faction’s objective.
And the objectives are generally designed to avoid bizarre entanglements that will lead to the PVP realm
Q:How do you foresee players from various factions interacting at the gaming table? How do you see the faction rivalry enriching the Pathfinder Society organized play environment?
Joshua J. Frost› But we expect people to get along. You character is a Pathfinder first and they’re a pathfinder because they want to be. How they’re embroiled in the secret shadow war is entirely up to character background, but they’re pawns in it and are just doing small favors for a faction boss in order to gain access to greater rewards.
Q: How does it work to have characters from different factions adventuring together? Wouldn’t the characters know if someone was from a different faction?
Joshua J. Frost› When your boss says, get me the red mcguffin and three dudes including you all try to get the red mcgufffin … you’ll know.
Q:If a character is taking a 20% reduction in experience because of multiclassing does it effect the progression of one level every three adventures?
Joshua J. Frost› Anything that imposes an XP penalty to leveling, is just simply not allowed in Season 0. This is on the list of things that PRPG may fix for Season 1.
Q: Will there be rules for Raise Dead or is it when a character dies just make a new one?
Joshua J. Frost› There will be rules for raise dead as well as a variety of other spells you can purchase to have cast on you.
Q:How long do you have to play a game once you order it?
Joshua J. Frost› There is no time limit to scenario play.
Q:If being part of the winning faction is advantageous, what’s to prevent everyone to switching to the “top” faction between season n and n+1?
Joshua J. Frost› There will, indeed, be a small advantage to being on the winning team after each season. Right now, we’re thinking about a unique chronicle reward. But that’s not set in stone.
Joshua J. Frost› You can switch if you want … but you lose your Prestige Reward and have to start over on a new faction’s gear reward chart. And also every faction goes back to 0 Prestige when I new season begins.
Q:Cpt_kristov wants to know if there will be a Pathfinder Society Scenario subscription?
Joshua J. Frost› Answer unclear, ask again later.
Q: Why aren’t we using the PFRPG rules to make characters for Season 0?
Joshua J. Frost› Scenarios are PDF only
We’re using 3.5 in season 0 because the beta isn’t a final rules set
Players also get cranky when we change their characters every month because of beta errata so PFS is going to use 3.5 to playtest its own season and then we’ll go PRPG with Season 1
Q: If you order a scenario can you run it several times or do you have to re purchase it for each running?
Joshua J. Frost› I think requiring people to buy a scenario multiple times to run it multiple times is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
Q: How detailed will the Pathfinder Society rules be (using the set of Living Greyhawk rulings as a benchmark)? Who will make rulings? Is there the equivalent of a Living Greyhawk “triad”? Will there be a large list of Limited or Restricted spells, items, etc.?”
Joshua J. Frost› I don’t know how to answer the first, other than: read the Guidebook. Rulings will be made by GMs and coordinators onsite — any outside-the-con drama will go through me and a yet-to-be-announced system of super volunteers. No triad. There will be restricted and limited stuff for Season 0 — see the guidebook on 8/8.
Q: How are magic items and loot going to be handled in Pathfinder Society? It has already been stated there will be no crafting of magic items in the society, but will there be opportunities to purchase minor magic items i.e. potions, scrolls, etc.?”
Q: We have seen some pretty graphic content in the AP’s will Pathfinder Society be younger gamer friendly?
Joshua J. Frost› PFS will be PG13 and we won’t push the envelope like Pathfinder does. (And for the record, I love it when PF pushes the envelope but, yes, we’re shooting for a younger
Q: PFS modules will be distributed as PDFs, correct? Can you make them with clear background and limited graphics for ease of printing?”
Joshua J. Frost› yes and we already have
Q: Is Pathfinder Society planning on using Adventure Sheets (like the current implementation of Living Greyhawk) or log-sheets and certs (like Living Kalamar, Jungle, Death, Force, etc.)?
Joshua J. Frost› We’re basing ours on the current LG sheets that Paizo’s own Jason Bulmahn designed.