Thoughts on Pathfinder Society?

General discussions about role-playing games. Share stories, ask for advice, talk about the industry, etc.
Post Reply
Spectrum
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:08 pm

Thoughts on Pathfinder Society?

Post by Spectrum » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:08 pm

I came across a group doing the official Pathfinder campaign thing and well.. one part of me is screaming that they're doing it wrong by roll rather than role playing but I also miss tabletop. I've looked into it a little and it seems to be pay for win, where you have to buy books in order to get effective characters.

Anybody have experience before I start paying for it?
Last edited by Spectrum on Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We rise from the ashes so that new legends can be born.

User avatar
Doctor Malsyn
Posts: 855
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:42 pm
Location: Thunderdome, Texas

Re: Pathfinder Shared Campaign Experience?

Post by Doctor Malsyn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:28 am

Your impression of the game is an unusual one, I feel. By official pathfinder campaign, do you refer to the Pathfinder Society groups? There are many "Official" campaigns that take place on or in relation Pathfinder's core setting, thus I find myself confused on what you refer to.

In regards to "Pay to win", I wouldn't really say that. It's as much a "Pay to win" game as any sort of established tabletop game, including M&M or World of Darkness. Plenty of different sourcebooks for it, and buying everything for hero lab would cost you a pretty penny, but you can find pretty much everything to really play the game online.

Archives of Nethys is a particular standout, though it holds no third party material. You can also search for the pfsrd online, which contains a large amount of content 3pp. and otherwise.
Am I dead? Am I alive? The answer may surprise you!

Spectrum
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:08 pm

Re: Pathfinder Shared Campaign Experience?

Post by Spectrum » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:19 pm

Sorry, yes- Pathfinder Society.

The policy in question is:
What do I need to bring to a game to use material that is not from the Core Rulebook for my character?
In order to use material that does not appear in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook for your character, you must bring a physical copy of the book, a name-watermarked PDF copy of the book, name-watermarked printouts of all relevant pages of the PDF, or electronic access to the Pathfinder Reference Document along with a screenshot of your My Downloads page proving that you own the source of the material.

A photocopy of a physical book does not satisfy this requirement, nor does Hero Lab or any other form of electronic character builder. Content reproduced in other sources under the Open Gaming License (such as an online reference document or a homemade omnibus) also do not qualify.

In addition to a copy of the rules themselves, you must provide an electronic or physical copy of the relevant sections of the Additional Resources page that indicate that the options you have selected for your character are legal for play.

If family members, significant others, or other members of the same household living together (such as roommates) are playing at the same table, they may share the same resources instead of having duplicates of the same resource at the same table. A group of friends that always plays together at the same table fulfills the requirement, as long as there is at least one sourcebook that covers each rule for every character at the table. However, if they are playing at different tables, each of them must each supply the necessary materials to their table.
and the group was very (perhaps unwittingly) open that to get a really good character you had to go outside of the base book. So, I'm starting to suspect that they have very carefully spread out anything competitive across as many books as possible. Buy more books!

Anybody with any real experience?
We rise from the ashes so that new legends can be born.

Phylotus
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:17 am

Re: Thoughts on Pathfinder Society?

Post by Phylotus » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:03 am

(casts Animate Dead on the thread)

Hey Spectrum, I have been playing PFS for a few years now and can where your concerns are coming from.

Addressing the Pay-to-Win concern, you don't have to buy anything you don't want to other than the Core Rule Book. You can make a perfectly effective character using those options alone, and in fact there is a mode of play called the "Core Campaign," where only core options, the Guide to Organized Play, and the character traits web enhancement, found here or here. That being said, if you do want to use character options from other sources, you will need to buy the source that it is from. I personally have not bought very many books and don't feel like my characters are hamstrung or that they hinder the party in any way (other than my Bramble Brewer who makes a 25ft area difficult terrain on occasion, but that's a different question entirely).

As to the "roll play vs roleplay," you're going to get a mixed bag, unfortunately. The group that I usually play with do much more roleplay than roll play, but at conventions I have run into a number of the roll play crowd. As with all RPG groups, you will have a mixed bag as to what sort of players you are going to find, but it will have more turnover in play styles than in a regular group, unless you have with a regular group that you play PFS with, as I do. Admittedly, the scenarios are written to be played in a 4-5 hour slot, so in many scenarios you won't have the time to interact with a favored NPC as much as one may like unless the group has more time to burn (and is willing to), but there are others where roleplay is highly encouraged, or in fact necessary (I can think of at least one wedding, a dinner party, an infiltration into a Chelish embassy, and an auction). So as the saying goes, "expect table variation."

I personally have found PFS to be very rewarding, being that I am able to take my characters anywhere that PFS is being played around the world and still be able to play with people and not having to worry about navigating the houserules that change from table to table, and it has been much easier on me than running a traditional campaign, as it is difficult for me to get people together to play on a regular basis, so the scenario structure has made my play fulfilling. The campaign definitely isn't for everyone, but I would give it a chance before you write it off entirely. After all, it'll only cost you a CRB (which now comes in a cheaper, lighter, paperback pocket edition) and 5 hours of your time.

Spectrum
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:08 pm

Re: Thoughts on Pathfinder Society?

Post by Spectrum » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:19 am

*eeeks at the undead thread!*

Phylotus, thank you for taking the time to write out such a thoughtful response. It is very much what I was looking for. The group seemed very friendly (and I really need an outside social outlet) even if they're 'playing it wrong' (in my narrow scope). I think that I'll give it a real chance sometime soon. If that doesn't work, there are a few other games in this area.

Thankfully, while I'm hardly made of money, I have enough available cash to pay out the ten dollars here and there to buy into the enhancements if I really need to.

Thank you again!
We rise from the ashes so that new legends can be born.

Post Reply