Ask the readers: Does not play well with others…

Over in the Paizo Blog I’ve been reading with some interest their proposed changes to the Pathfinder Society Organized Play program. I have never participated on such programs. When I began role playing I was intrigued by the RPGA, joined and got their Polyhedron Magazine. I still have the laminated card and the pin somewhere, but besides reading the magazine I never took any advantage of belonging to the RPGA.

Fast-forward to the days of D&D 3rd edition and the changes they made to the RPGA. I loved the idea of Greyhawk being the default setting, the idea of regions assigned to geographical locations, etc. I even knew friend who were very active, but I never really joined. I had little free time, my campaigns, my adventures; I did not want to switch to a new campaign. I found all the excuses in the world, so that was that…

I took the DM tests the RPGA offered at one time (and passed), and when 4th ed. came along I wanted to be part of that, until I became disenchanted with the system and gave up on DDI. The Pathfinder Society had no presence where I lived so I didn’t pay much attention to it when I began playing the game.

Much has changed since then, I have been blogging for a while now, became active with promoting games in Puerto Rico, and wonder if I should try to participate in some of these organizations that promote and support gamers. I wonder, what have been your experiences? Did you benefit in any form from belonging to them? My inquiring mind wants to know.

6 thoughts on “Ask the readers: Does not play well with others…”

  1. I was much like you. I had never been to a convention before and didn't know any stores in my area that did any of the living campaign stuff. I joined the RPGA primarily to get access to the Saga Edition Star Wars adventures they had.

    I did have a chance to play some Pathfinder Society modules at a Con last year though and found that the adventures were pretty good for dungeon crawls. I'm not a fan of dungeon crawls most of the time, but I took the adventures in the spirit in which i was written and went in to have a good time, which I did. I just grabbed one of the pre-generated characters and had at it.

    However the quality of the GMing left a bit to be desired for those games. The sessions didn't start on time, the GM didn't run the module that was listed on the schedule, and when things did start it was a very very very dry "read boxed text" presentation of what was there. The GM didn't even look at the provided stats for monsters. The guy pulled out a D&D 3.5 Monster Manual to use for monster stats. (Wait, isn't part of this to pimp out Pathfinder?)

    My wife had a similar problem in one of the two pathfinder society games she played in, which were completely different modules and GM's than I was playing in.

    Overall I had fun, because I wanted to have fun, but the presentation of Pathfinder (which was still fresh out of the gate at that time) wasn't very good. I know enough to not judge a game based on the GM and my friends and I just finished up a really great Pathfinder game arc with our home crew. But When I went back to the same Con this year I didn't even bother looking at the Pathfinder Society games.

  2. I played a bit of Pathfinder Society last year. The big bonus of such a game is it's regular and it doesn't rely on the same people being present every time the group convenes. That's a huge benefit.

    But by the same token, you can't rely on getting a GM you like, either. I stopped going when the group line-up changed so that there were fewer GMs that worked for me than there were otherwise.
    My recent post Loot

  3. My name is JP Chapleau and I am the Venture Captain for the Denver region in PFS. Before I served as a Triad for Living Greyhawk(03-08) and Writing Director for LFR (08-09). I have been blogging a lot about this campaign and how exciting I think it is (http://jpchapleau.blogspot.com).

    While the problems reported by ShadowAcid and Tyler do happen, I've always been one to lead by example and drive things I like. Like any public game, some DMs are better than others. One quick way to raise game level: be a good player. That means more than just knowing the rules. Have a character that is interesting to play with.

    Early adventures were almost exclusively crawls, but more recent adventures have allowed more RP into them. Making them more interesting to play – and run.

    One cool thing about PFS is that habitual GMs – like you and me – can also find a home on the other side of the screen once in a while. You can play games online (http://groups.google.com/group/pathfinder-society-online-collective?pli=1) has pretty games running with free software. I don't know of many people in Puerto Rice who play PFS (I'll admit you're the only one I know!).

    I don't know exactly what you want to know, but PFS really does it for me. Good adventures, good people, fun times.

    JP
    My recent post JPonGaming Prediction of Doom- Pathfinder Society!

  4. Thanks for the replies…

    ShadowAcid, I had never been to a con until GenCon in 07 and I did not play in any game. Yeah I know! However these days I’m going to cons locally to promote RPGs and running games for people, mostly simple systems.

    Tyler, I understand the appeal and I want to support that type of activity. One of the things I like about being more involved with the local gaming scene is seeing people get together, groups formin. Locally there are some people playing D&D encounters and I would love to support my current game of choice, Pathfinder, somehow.

    @jpongaming, I hues that last sentence summarizes it. I want to support Pathfinder, trying to set up some demo games locally and was thinking if the Pathfinder Society may be the way to go.

    1. I'm partial, but I think that PFS is a great way to introduce players to the world, and the game. The adventures are vanilla in many cases, but the Faction system really adds another dimension to the game and puts the onus on the players to add to the adventures instead of merely being the thugs (aka the LFR-way). I could tell you all about it, but there's nothing like trying it.

      @Canageek-> The community is smaller (mostly because of the fracture with LFR-ers), however PFS is growing. Paizo is putting more effort into supporting the campaign. Stay tuned as more goodies are coming! This summer is packed with cool announcements!

      JP
      My recent post JPonGaming Prediction of Doom- Pathfinder Society!

  5. I joined the RPGA when Erik Mona took over Dungeon Magazine, just to get the awesome Living Greyhawk Journals. I also received a free module or two after finding a thread that told me when you update the contact info you get a freebie.

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