Shaping the Society: Rewards

Whew, it’s been a busy week! Where has the time gone? No matter! Today we’re taking a break to talk about the future of the Pathfinder Society! With the release of Pathfinder 2 next year, there’s going to be a lot of changes to Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Lucky for us, Paizo wants our input! A while ago we did a recap of all the surveys you can give them your feedback on, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly suggest you do! This week there’s one more topic to add to the list: Rewards.

GrandLodgeSymbol
The Glyph of the Open Road, symbol of the Pathfinder Society.

For those of you who don’t know, GMs who run adventures are rewarded Stars in Pathfinder Society Play, or Novas in Starfinder Society Play, to show their experience and dedication to the game. Achieving a star brings with it some benefits, bragging rights and, in the case of that coveted fifth and final star, a shout out on Paizo’s blog. Obtaining five star GM status is a TON of work, and those gamers who earn one deserve every bit of prestige that comes with it. But those stars are for Pathfinder. Not Pathfinder 2. With the games being so different, they need a new symbol to track GMs experience with the new system. Currently there’s two main suggestions: The Gylph of the Open Road, which is the logo of the Pathfinders (and will be called ‘glyphs’) and the Sihedron, which is the seven pointed star of the ancient Thassilon (which will be called sigils). Personally, I’m fully behind the GLYPHS option. It just makes sense. And the Gylph of the Open Road looks awesome! Want to let your opinion on the matter be known? Vote in the poll and let your voice be heard.

Sihedron Rune
The Sihedron of Ancient Thassilon.

So what else is changing? Well, this next one is huge. The fate of the current Pathfinder Society Organized Play. There are ten seasons worth of awesome adventures available for us to play. But what happens if you’ve played most of them and you want to keep going? What happens if you don’t want to play Pathfinder 2? The good news is you can keep playing Pathfinder Society Scenarios as long as people keep GMing them. But what happens when you’ve played them all? Should replaying scenarios be much easier? In short, Paizo has three options for future replays, which I’ll quote below:

  • Option 1: A modest, fixed number of replays that would renew on a seasonal basis. These replays would not be level or character locked and would give opportunities to progress new characters through old stories or seat players who have already completed an adventure so that a full table can be formed.
  • Option 2: A more generous but fixed number of replays for all players and GMs. This would work much like option 1, except instead of a small pool that would refresh each season, you’d get a larger pool to spend at your discretion. However, with this option once you’ve used all of your replays, that’s it.
  • Option 3: A sliding scale, fixed number of replays based on a percentage of total games played. This option would work much like option 2, except instead of everyone getting the same number of replays, the quantity of replays offered would scale up based on the number of games you’ve completed. This option would likely include a weighting mechanism whereby the number of GM stars you possess add some number of additional replays, rewarding our most devoted players and GMs with additional replays. One distinct benefit we see in this option is that it will help normalize the progress of groups with a mix of new and long-time players; long-time players will have more replays since they have fewer unplayed scenarios available to pick from, and newer players should find that it’s easier to get tables for the remaining scenarios they still haven’t played.

Now, all those options seem viable, but only the top option would allow players to continue playing indefinitely. I’m fully behind Option 1. Got an opinion? Head on over to Paizo’s blog post on the topic and leave a comment with you vote!

Also on that same blog post you’ll find information for a model they’ve created to reward experienced players who have unused convention and GM boons, by using them instead in a sort of prize table to cause powerful, limited use effects in Pathfinder Society 2 Organized Play. For full details I suggest reading their blog. Like the idea — I know I do — then leave a comment! They want to hear your feedback.

Thanks for tuning in today!

Jessica