Posts by: "Ryan Kappler"

In the latest Paizo blog post, Tonya is asking for our opinions about our Pathfinder Society characters.  The blog post, and link to the survey, can be found HERE.  What’s in it for you?  Why, a shiny new free boon!

From today’s Paizo blog:

Immediately after the announcement of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game last PaizoCon, our community started speculating about an organized play program to support the new game. We spent the ensuing months looking at workflow and charting out a course that would enable us to have both Starfinder and Pathfinder organized play programs. It delights me to end speculation and announce the launch of Starfinder Society at Gen Con 50!

Introducing the Starfinder Society logo, designed by the talented Sarah Robinson!

Before the questions flood in, I want to note that we are still in the active planning phase, and may not have answers to everything yet. Over the next few months, the team will release more information via blog, podcast, and forum posts. If you have questions, please put yours in the comments section, and we will work to get them answered.

Who is working on Starfinder Society?

The structure is very similar to the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. Tonya Woldridge will oversee the program, with John Compton taking on the role of lead developer of both the Pathfinder and Starfinder organized play campaigns. Developer Linda Zayas-Palmer will continue to focus on Pathfinder Society. We’ve added Thurston Hillman to the team as the dedicated developer for Starfinder Society. Thurston has been a part of Pathfinder Society since Season 1, when he authored Pathfinder Society Scenario #55:The Infernal Vault. Since then, he’s both contributed many scenarios (and special events) to the Pathfinder Society as well as writing regularly for various other Pathfinder RPG lines. Thurston brings his depth of experience to the team, along with a bit of zany humor.

Is it going to be called “Starfinder Society?”

The official name is Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, or SFSRPG for short. The Starfinder game takes place in the distant future of the Pathfinder world, and while much has changed (or been forgotten), the Starfinder Society traces its mysterious history back to the Pathfinder Society of present day. The campaign’s official name reflects this connection.

Are you making two separate organized play programs?

Yes. Although many similarities exist in structure and format, including a shared volunteer team, they are two separate campaigns with different rules, documentation, and characters.

Do I get to keep my same Pathfinder Society number?

Yes. What was your Pathfinder Society number will now be your number for all three of the Paizo-operated organized play programs: Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild, and Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. Starfinder character numbers will have a unique starting number, most likely 700, making your first Starfinder character XXX-701. The number 700 works really well for this, not only because it leaves space for plenty of Pathfinder Society roleplaying characters, but also because the PZO number (the number we assign to each of our products) begins with 7. Who knows, this bit of trivia may make it in to the PaizoCon quiz.

How much is staying the same from Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild?

We still have quests and scenarios with Chronicle sheets. Adventures will be broken into tiers, grant XP, and provide other rewards. Three experience points (XP) grant a level. There are fairly cooperative factions within the Starfinder Society, based on their worldview and goals. We will reveal more information about the campaign as we get closer to its launch in August 2017.

Illustration by Sebastien Hue

If all that is the same, what is different?

Starship combat!

On a more serious note, we made a couple major changes for Starfinder Society. The first is the tier system. We are closing the gap between subtiers that resulted in so much confusion and consternation with calculating average party level (APL). Starfinder scenarios will include the following tiers: Tier 1-2, Tier 1-4, Tier 3-6, Tier 5-8, Tier 7-10, and Tier 9-12—perhaps more as higher-level play grows in popularity.

The second most noticeable change is that characters have a means of belonging to more than one faction at a time. Unlike the current Pathfinder Society faction rules, Starfinder Society characters will be able to gain favor with multiple groups, choosing which they want to champion on a scenario-by-scenario basis. But just like multiclassing, focusing on several groups won’t see the same benefits as focusing on a primary faction. These changes to the faction system tie in with another issue that we are addressing: the handling of boons. One of our goals is developing a way to make the boons on Chronicles more relevant, and not just a stack of paper player’s stick in the back of their folder. We’ll reveal more about these changes in… the future (see what I did there?)

What is the release schedule?

The Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild launches with 3 scenarios, 1 pre-generated character special, and 1 quest pack at Gen Con. From there, we will publish one scenario a month. Moving to a slower release schedule allows us to spin up the program and settle into the groove of running three organized play programs. During this time, we will solicit feedback and assess the rate of publication for 2018 and beyond.

When can I start playing Starfinder Society?

The fun begins Thursday, August 17th, at 8:00 AM Pacific time in the Sagamore Ballroom at Gen Con. After Thursday morning, anyone, anytime, anywhere, may schedule Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild events.

Next week sees John holding down the fort while I travel to the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas to chat with retailers about our organized play programs. The following Wednesday, March 22, at 7 pm PDT, John, Thurston, and I join the Know Direction crew for a Question and Answer session about all things organized play related. If you have topics you wish us to cover, feel free to drop me an email at tonya.woldridge@paizo.com and we will fit as many answers on the show as possible.

Check out the blog next Monday for more exciting organized play news!

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Coordinator

Con on the Cob? What the goose is a Con on the Cob?

That, my friend, is a very good question. To put it simply: Con on the Cob is a coalescence of all Human experience, refined and distilled into an essential cloud of pure smiles. To put it even more simply: it’s a FOUR DAY CELEBRATION OF GAMES, ART, FREAKS, AND FUN!

Con on the Cob has been invading northern Ohio with corny goodness since 2005. Average attendance is 800-900 for the weekend, with over 70 vendors, artists, and exhibitors.

Con on the Cob is all things to all people. It’s a gaming con, chock full of RPGs, board games, card games, party games, and all sorts of that kind of jazz. It’s also an art fair, with a large selection of talented artists in attendance and an amazing abundance of fantasty, science fiction, horror, and geeky art and art activities. Oh, and it’s The Mother of All Marketplaces, with over 50 vendors showcasing a wide variety of jazz, snazz, and zazz, boosting the geekonomy like old school Robin Hoods (but without the stealing and the giving stuff away for free (ok, not like Robin Hoods. I failed analogy class in Kindergarten). Don’t forget the parties… Did I mention the parties? There are parties. A LOT of them. Also there are other things, like our amazing special Guests, the Children of the Cob, the Comedy Music Extravagasm!, a super sweet Auction, a Games Library, free snacks in the Con Suite, Panels, Workshops, and Demos, a whole track of Cosplay and Fandom related activities, and a massive horde of potential friends and peeps who dig the same things you dig!

Hours of Operation

Con on the Cob begins at noon on Thursday November 10, 2016 and doesn’t end until 5:00pm on Sunday November 13. Actually, there’s some sneaky stuff going on on Wednesday as well, so maybe consider getting there a day early. Please see the schedule for a more detailed listing. Many events run 24 hours, but here are the hours for the main rooms:

Registration / Raffle / Gift Shop

Thursday: 12pm-8pm
Friday: 8:30am-8pm
Saturday 8:30am-8pm
Sunday: 8:30am-5pm

The Mother of All Marketplaces (Vendor Room)

Thursday: Setup 10am-2pm, Open 2pm-6pm
Friday: Open 10am-6pm
Saturday: Open 10am-6pm
Sunday: Open 10am-5pm, Teardown 5pm-??

The Artitorium (Art Show)

Thursday: Setup 10am-2pm, Open 2pm-6pm
Friday: Open 10am-6pm
Saturday: Open 10am-6pm
Sunday: Open 10am-5pm, Teardown 5pm-??

Auction Schedule

Item Drop Off

Thursday: 3pm-6pm
Friday: 3pm – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – noon

All items for action have to be submitted by noon on Saturday.

Open Bidding

Thursday: 3pm-6pm
Friday: 3pm – 8pm
Saturday: 10am-12pm & 2pm-8 pm

Bidding Ends:

Saturday 8PM

Item Pick up:

Saturday 8:15pm – 9pm
Sunday: 10am – noon

Cash out for items entered:

Sunday 1pm -3:30pm

Location

Days Inn & Suites
4742 Brecksville Rd
Richfield, OH 44286

Reservations:*
(330) 659-6151

*EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!
Make sure to tell them you are with Con on the Cob to get the best rate. I can not stress this enough. It is so extremely important the planet may actually implode if you do not follow this direction (actually, it will just cost us a lot more to rent the venue and that would suck).

2016 Room Rate Schedule

Until July 1st: $99/night
July 2nd – November 9th: $109/night
At the door: $119/night

*Please note: All room reservation deposits are non-refundable.
**Originally, the hotel was going to charge the first night room deposit at the time of registration (at their insistence). After speaking with them further on the matter and the effects it is having on our visitors, this is no longer the case. You WILL NOT be charged for your hotel stay until you check in. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Andy at andy@andyhopp.com.

Barratt and Lee from Underhill’s Games will be showcasing the board games that they will be bringing back from this year’s Spiel Essen in Germany.  Spiel Essen is the world’s largest board game trade fair.  To share the love, they generously decided to host our very own two-day game event right here in northeast Ohio!

But wait!  There’s more!  Some of you may not know this, but Tonya Woldridge, the Organized Play Coordinator for Pathfinder Society, is also originally from northeast Ohio.  She will also be in town to attend this special event.

What does this mean for you?  Two days of peace, love, and gaming.

The dates are October 22nd and 23rd.  The first day will be held at the Doubletree hotel in Fairlawn, and the second day will be held right at Underhill’s Games.

We’ll have 21 table of Pathfinder Society over the two days, ample board games, prizes, charity events, special events, and demos.  Follow the link below to purchase your tickets:

This just in!  The scenario that Tonya Woldridge will be running for charity is #19:  “Skeleton Moon”.  It is a 1st to 7th level scenario, and it was retired a long time ago.  So, this may be the only time that you have a chance to ever play it.  The six seats will be chosen through a raffle, with the proceeds going to the Childhood Diabetes Foundation.

Board & Book

board_and_book

Hey Team,

The Venture-Officers in the greater Cleveland area are planning something really cool for the local players.  We now have enough Venture Officers and 4-star GMs to run Specials outside of a convention, so here’s the basic idea:

  • Schedule a one-day event, so that people don’t have to get a hotel.
  • Host it at a store, so that we don’t have to rent convention space.
  • Run Specials and modules, which we don’t get to play as often.

Please follow the link below and vote in the survey to narrow it down to which month(s) you would prefer to have this game-day.  We’ll get more specific on the exact weekend, location, and the events that would be run, in the near future.

One-Day Game-Day Survey

Thank you!

Your convention for Sci-Fi, gaming, comics…and more!

The local Pathfinder Society agents are proud to announce that Pathfinder Society will be at this year’s ConCoction.

Details:

When:  March 11th, 12th, and 13th, 2016.  That’s a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Where:  Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel, 5300 Riverside Drive, Cleveland, OH 44135

ConCoction’s website

How to get involved:

This is our first time at this convention, so we are hoping to make a good first showing, and to build upon it in future years.

We are currently looking for GMs, so if you would like to GM, the absolute deadline to commit is by February 1st. Scott Zimmerman, the Venture-Agent of Critical Hits Games, is organizing the GM roster. Please go HERE to list the scenarios you would like to run.

*SPECIAL! I will be hosting the Special “Race for the Runecarved Key” at 3 PM on Saturday. I will need several table GMs for that. 3 PM on Saturday, March 12th. It’s a four-hour event.

See you there!

 

Hey Everyone,

I believe the time has come to announce some really cool changes to the Pathfinder Society hierarchy, and how the changes open up all sorts of new opportunities for our gaming community here in Ohio.

First, as most of you already know, but I feel obliged to mention it in writing, due to personal issues, Mike Brock stepped down as the Organized Play Coordinator for Pathfinder Society at Paizo. Tonya Woldridge was selected to replace him. There was a period of overlap, but now that we are in the new year, Tonya is now the full-time OPC.

This year also introduces a new role, the Regional Venture-Coordinator. The globe was divided into ten regions for organizational reasons, and Ohio falls into the Great Lakes Region. The person that is our RVC is Bob Jonquet, from Decatur, Illinois. Congrats to Bob!

The new year also sees another new position, the Venture-Agent. The VA is a role where an individual is responsible for a specific gaming location. They are responsible for such things as organizing gaming sessions for Pathfinder Society at that location, campaigning for and welcoming new players, making sure everything runs smoothly at the gaming location, mentoring new players and GMs, and overall problem-solver and troubleshooter. There are some benefits that come with this new position, including free access to Pathfinder Society scenario PDFs.

So, how does this all pull together? Well, let’s get the bureaucracy out of the way. Here is the hierarchy, and the associated acronyms:

  • Organized Play Coordinator (OPC)
  • Regional Venture-Coordinator (RVC)
  • Venture-Captain (VC)
  • Venture-Lieutenant (VL)
  • Venture-Agent (VA)

If there are any issues, in general, you should go to the person directly above you. There might be exceptions to this hierarchy based on the specifics of the issue.

But, the beauty of the new hierarchy, and this is the most important part, is that the organization operates from the bottom up, instead of from the top down. So, what does this mean?

This means that the OPC and RVC, or even the VC, are not going to recruit or assign people to the VL or VA positions. The organization is leaving it up to each specific and individual area or location to petition for any new VL or VA positions, based on the need in that area. Paizo is letting us tell them what is needed.

So, as a player or GM in an area, if you see or feel a need for a new VL or VA, and you feel that you would make a good fit for the role, it is up to you to go to an existing VL (or VC, if your area is not covered by a VL) and describe the need for this position, and to argue the case that you should be a good candidate for one of these positions. It is being left up to us to organize our own areas.

You would just need to review the requirements here:

Get Involved!

And then send the next highest and geographically closest Venture-Officer the following information:

  • Name:
  • Paizo.com email:
  • Paizo.com username:
  • Position Desired:
  • Location:
  • I have read the requirements (yes/no):
  • Justification:

For my greater Cleveland folks, for more important information, please follow this link!

Hey Team,

At Con on the Cob, I had a chance to meet the owners of a new gaming store that is located in Hudson.  The name of the gaming store is That Game Shop, and it is located at 186 North Main Street, in Hudson, Ohio.  Their website is www.thatgameshopllc.com.  They are located beneath Dave’s Cosmic Subs.

They opened up only a couple months ago, and are looking to get some solid Pathfinder Society going there on Sunday afternoons.  The first session will be this Sunday, November 1st, at noon.

I will be there, and I will have the first Pathfinder Scenario, Silent Tide, prepared to be run.  I put an event on the calendar, and we’ll also be looking to eventually get a solid gaming schedule going there.

Tell your friends!

Hey Everyone!  I know it seems like we just finished with AnCon 2015 (that’s because we did).  But, it is already time to start gearing up for Con on the Cob 2015!

The dates are October 15th through October 18th.  That is a Thursday through a Sunday.

I have been in touch with the owner and organizer of Con on the Cobb, Andy Hopp, and he is very excited to have the legions of Pathfinder Society agents attend this year’s Con on the Cob.  Here are the details:

First, Con on the Cob has moved!  It is going to be at a Days Inn in Richfield:

Days Inn & Suites
4742 Brecksville Road
Richfield, OH 44286

I’ve never been there, but everyone I talk to says that it is a really nice venue for a gaming convention. Andy has set aside a dedicated gaming location just for Pathfinder Society.

Next, there is all sorts of more information about the convention located both at the Con on the Cob website and in the event that I created on the calendar, but really, this is a call to muster the GMs.

The success of our local conventions fall heavily upon the participation of the GMs. As you know, it is very rewarding and prestigious to volunteer to GM at our local conventions.

I myself have already registered to run the second level of the Ruins of Bonekeep several times over the weekend.

To volunteer to GM, it is a very simple two steps:

1.  We are keeping it just as simple as we did with AnCon.  You get to choose which scenarios you are running, and when you are running then.  Just go to the “Gaming” tab on the Con on the Cob website, and fill out the form. It’s very similar to the same form you filled out for AnCon. It’s short, and all of the fields are pretty self-explanatory. The only thing you have to make sure you do is put “Pathfinder Society” in the “Rules System” field.

Con on the Cob operates a little differently than AnCon. For Con on the Cob, you have to register to GM by August 1st, and the discounted GM badge is $25. All of the games are free to all of the convention participants, so there is no payment or reward for players at your tables. You also have to commit to running two events to get that discounted $25 GM badge. That badge gives you unfettered access to the entire convention for all four days.  You can register your events and purchase your badge all at the same time.

2.  But, as always, we will have swag that is provided by Paizo for our convention!  I need to register the convention with Paizo almost immediately after that August 1st deadline.  So, as soon as you register to run some events, please send me an email with the scenarios you are running, and the email address that you use on Paizo’s website. This is to ensure that I can get the scenarios to you, for free – and it determines how much swag Paizo will send.

So, August 1st is only a couple weeks away. We have to act quickly!

Malted Meeple – which is named after malts (the alcoholic and non-alcoholic kind) and the little meeple from Carcassonne – is a brand new gaming location.  It’s a gaming café, and it just opened in March.

It is a beautiful place.  They serve beverages of all sorts, and have plenty of comfortable room for gaming.  I met with one of the head meeple in charge – Karington – and he is very interested in getting some Pathfinder Society gaming going there on Monday nights.

I know that that conflicts with Underhill’s schedule, and Lee has been very good to us, and so I don’t want take anything away from Lee.  So, I figure that we can grow the player base overall, and share players between locations.

It’s on Darrow Road in Hudson.  So if Underhill’s is close to you, then so is Malted Meeple.

It’s a gaming café, so it’s $5 per person, per night.  There are all sorts of benefits to GMing there, too.  Karington has all the information on that, but it is highly beneficial to GM at Malted Meeple.  He needs GMs for Pathfinder Society, and he rewards them well.

I am still not available on evenings, so I am putting a call out to the community.  It takes a village.  We want to get some Pathfinder Society going at Malted Meeple on Monday nights.  The first scheduled session will be Monday, July 13th.  The times are the same:  between 6 and 10 PM.

Who can bring a friend, or relative, or anyone who has shown interest in Pathfinder Society – but just needed a nudge?  This is the perfect opportunity.