View Full Version : Should I sanction my home game?

February 18th, 2013, 16:16
I've been running a 3.5E Age of Worms campaign using FG, with a group of friends, for several years. We're nearing the end of that, and I'm just about to start running the Rise of the Runelords anniversary edition with the group. None of us are members of the Pathfinder society, but I've been aware of the society for a while, and I was wondering whether I should join up and sanctioning my home game? What would be the benefits and/or drawbacks of doing this?

S Ferguson
February 18th, 2013, 17:01
There's no stigma in joining up with the Pathfinder Society. They issue you a number and a "card" with your faction on it and you're under no further obligation. As for PFS sanctioned play, I don't think that Rise on the Runelords counts. Most PFS modules come with a Legacy Record accompanying them. If the 20th Aniversary doesn't come with one (I can't confirm - I own the originals, which was just a path) then it's safe to say it's not PFS sanctioned.

As for the benefits, the PFS site on paizo.com sums it up. It's "organized" play, which means the character generation and modules are a mite different to those you've probably seen, as this style of play allows a character to hop GM's and make your mark on the world centered around Absolom. The Pathfinder Guide to Organized Play is a free download you get upon signing up (like I said, it doesn't hurt) and should answer any further questions you might have.

February 18th, 2013, 17:57
Certain sections of the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition have been sanctioned for Pathfinder Society (PFS) play. Basically, one section of each of the 6 parts is made self-contained and treated like a PFS sanctioned module - giving enough experience to rise gain a level.

You can play through just the sanctioned portion as stand-alone with a PFS character or if you are playing a home game you can give a PFS chronicle sheet to the players to apply to a Pathfinder Society Character that matches the levels played.

To be honest, if you or your players never intend to play Pathfinder Society Play; there isn't much point in doing this. If, however, you or your players do want to play Pathfinder Society then this might be of use to you as you will get chronicle sheets that you can apply to Pathfinder Society PCs and so level them up faster.

However, the sanctioned portions of the adventure paths jump in PC levels so it is not possible to apply the adventure path chronicle sheets to a PFS character and level them up purely based off adventure path chronicle sheets. PCs will have to play a mixture of adventure path and PFS scenarios in order to progress through levels.

February 18th, 2013, 17:59
The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition is indeed sanctioned.

But if you're not planning to play any other Pathfinder Society games, there's not much use in sanctioning your home game.
Here's the reason why: only certain parts of the adventure path can be played as Pathfinder sanctioned games (about 3 game sessions, which is the equivalent of a sanctioned module). If you run the adventure path with PFS pregenerated characters (which you can do for the first 2 sanctioned contents) or regular PFS characters, you'll only run the sanctioned parts.
If you run it as a regular campaign (which I assume you're planning), you'll play it as normal and gain credit for the sanctioned parts as if you played with a pregen once you finish the sanctioned part.
As only part of the campaign is sanctioned, those parts have to be credited to PFS characters with a few levels (for example, the first credit has to be applied to a level 3-5 character).

So in order to gain all the credit, you'll have to do some PFS gaming besides Rise of the Runelords.
But if you're interested in Pathfinder Society, and are planning to play Rise of the Runelords anyway, you should definitely sanction your home game. That way your players' characters (as well as your own character) gain a "free" level just because you also enjoyed an adventure path in a home campaign.

February 18th, 2013, 18:00
For your old game I don't think it would be worth it or even possible because I'm pretty sure you can't create characters above 1st level that don't have all the chronicle sheets to go with it.

For a new game I definitely think it is worth it for the portability and consistency alone. I have a very large collection of 1-5th level characters that are non playable because the GM moved on to some thing else.

February 18th, 2013, 18:31
Anyone who is interested in this please read chapter 6 of the Pathfinder Society Guide to Organized Play, available for free here: http://paizo.com/products/btpy84k4?Guide-to-Pathfinder-Society-Organized-Play

February 19th, 2013, 13:02
Thanks for all the feedback and info. One thing I'm still not sure about is whether it's possible to run it as sanctioned for some of the players, alongside some who aren't interested in joining the society? How about if none of the players want to join, but I (as GM) do?

February 19th, 2013, 13:20
I suppose you could sanction it as long as there are enough players at the table who want to join PFS to get a legal table. When reporting the sessions, you just ignore the fact that more players were there.
A legal table is 4 players, but you could also report tables of 3 people. When there are only 3 people at a table, it is assumed the GM runs a pregen to get a group of 4 characters.

If you, as the GM, are the only one who wants PFS credit, you can't legally report the session (you can't report a session with no players). You'll have to be able to report a legal table to gain GM credit.

February 19th, 2013, 14:49
Thanks for all the feedback and info. One thing I'm still not sure about is whether it's possible to run it as sanctioned for some of the players, alongside some who aren't interested in joining the society? How about if none of the players want to join, but I (as GM) do?
As Malkavian_Andi says you need a minimum of 3 players to make the minimum PFS requirement. If they're not interested, ask them to at least get a PFS number so you can report the game on the Paizo website with them as players. Give them a chronicle sheet which they can do with as they please - who knows, some time in the future they may get into PFS and make use of the chronicle.

S Ferguson
February 19th, 2013, 17:08
In addition to the posts below, re the number of players, it's a fairly addictive way to play. Get your minimum 3 players and when the others see the benefits they might want to join in the fun! One of the "grand" perks is to have your character's name printed in an official Pathfinder product.... Try it. They'll like it.

February 19th, 2013, 19:35
One of the "grand" perks is to have your character's name printed in an official Pathfinder product
Really? Never heard of that. How does that work?

S Ferguson
February 19th, 2013, 19:42
I haven't read it in detail, but if your character rises through the ranks and become known as "movers and shakers" in the pathfinder world, the PFS Site at Paizo said that your character could be eligible to be mentioned in a published product. I assume by that they meant the "Flavor Text" that opens chapters in modules or sourcebooks. It's a nice perk.