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Trenloe
May 6th, 2013, 19:57
Moved from a game discussion thread:


As ever the Guide to the Pathfinder Society on page 38 gives similar instructions to what I have proposed sharing the talk between the players and the GM. I am however open to suggestions
That's geared for face-to-face games where all of the players and the GM have compatible editing tools (pens and paper) and can review data before signing. In practice it is very rare for a face-to-face game to fill out more than just the base data and the player will fill out purchases etc. and do the maths later before their next game.

Asking players to mess around with the PDF chronicle sheet and then give it back to you will probably end up with more errors and more headaches on the GMs side.

From seeing this from many angles I think the lesser of all evils is to get the players to provide purchase info etc. usually based off an initial skeleton chronicle sheet (so they know how much gold and PP they have to spend), the the GM can add the relevant data the player provides to the skeleton chronicle sheet, post for final review and then sign and close the PDF when the player agrees it is OK.

I know this is essentially 3 releases of the chronicle sheet but it will probably help to ensure that players get a correctly filled out chronicle sheet with the info they want.

It's a pain be sure, all part of the "joys" of being a PFS GM. But, if each GM does a good job of the chronicle sheets then it will aid the players in keeping good records and will help the next GM who runs a game for that PC.

Mgrancey
May 6th, 2013, 20:56
And yet it isnt that hard or much to simply add text to a chronicle sheet, all some has to do is "add text" under the sign tools, and close it using the "Send Signed Document".

Its not complicated, yes it requires a bit of training, but frankly I don't think its that much to ask someone to learn this. I've seen more effort put into training customers than it would take to learn to do this.

It simply seems like an excuse or justifying laziness more than simplifying the process. The hoops I had to jump through is part of the reason I had quit running PFS through FG and will likely make me quit again. GM's, and yes I know you GM as well, already do tons of work prepping, especially into FG as that adds even more work to prep, so no I don' think asking Players to learn to do a simple process is too much.

Mgrancey
May 6th, 2013, 21:14
Additionally, your request is putting double duty on the GM's since they have to check the chronicle sheets before a game, and the characters (which I have yet to find anyone cheating, mistakes to their benefit yes but no cheating) and then doing it all over again at the end.

Adding in that PFS GM's don't seem to last here on FG (myself included), I'm wondering if your "suggestions" have caused more harm than good. Not personal attack, just honest question.

lachancery
May 7th, 2013, 01:35
Adding in that PFS GM's don't seem to last here on FG (myself included), I'm wondering if your "suggestions" have caused more harm than good. Not personal attack, just honest question.

My own 2 cents on this topic: the hurdle vs face-to-face for me is having to convert the scenario into FG. I marvel at how simple it must be in comparison to host a live PFS game. I don't mind much the chronicle sheets; I can easily get those done in the train on my way to work.

If Paizo's community policy allowed GMs to share converted scenarios with each other (after confirmation of purchase of course), then it would go a long way 1) for me to host games regularly and 2) for me to spend the time to convert scenarios that will be useful for others as well.

I have come to accept that I suck at the FG conversion in comparison to other GMs who can do it in a couple of hours. It probably was never the intent, but in my case anyway, Paizo's copyright/IP policy ties the hands of Trenloe and SmiteWorks, and it is self-defeating...

Rose Claymore
May 7th, 2013, 02:21
I'm looking forward to the challenge of work with FG as GM (only "days" left until have my license, and them a game from Dust Raven will be Coming Soon™).

As for sharing, I think it's possible and reasonable to share prepared scenarios, but it's tricky, especially with people you can't meet with face to face. My wife and I share purchased scenarios, and my son often runs tables at events I organize locally. I also have no problem handing over a printed scenario to another player to run so long as I get it back (though I don't really concern myself with it if I don't).

I imagine it could work the same online. If I prep a scenario to run on FG, I should be able to send it to a player I trust to run it, provided I'm still somehow responsible for the event. I have no idea if this would just create more headaches than it's worth or not (especially considering I have yet to prep anything in FG myself yet).

Trenloe
May 7th, 2013, 04:02
As for sharing, I think it's possible and reasonable to share prepared scenarios, but it's tricky, especially with people you can't meet with face to face. My wife and I share purchased scenarios, and my son often runs tables at events I organize locally. I also have no problem handing over a printed scenario to another player to run so long as I get it back (though I don't really concern myself with it if I don't).

I imagine it could work the same online. If I prep a scenario to run on FG, I should be able to send it to a player I trust to run it, provided I'm still somehow responsible for the event. I have no idea if this would just create more headaches than it's worth or not (especially considering I have yet to prep anything in FG myself yet).
To be clear here - sharing anything that you have created that contains copyright material is an infringement of copyright.

Sorry to be the copyright police here, but making PFS scenarios in FG and sharing them is not just lending someone a printout of the original product PDF, but it is completely changing the form of the original product which is actually an infringement of copyright itself. If you do this for your own personal use that is not an issue, but if you distribute it to anyone at all (even if you are 100% sure they have purchased the scenario PDF) it is a violation of copyright and therefore illegal.

The Open Gaming License (OGL) provides for some re-use of material, but this only really covers statblocks and game mechanics. The Paizo community use policy goes a little bit further, but not enough to cover what would be needed to run a full FG game - the main items being artwork and maps, and the story/names.

I'd love for us to be able to have a library of PFS scenarios converted to FG, but until there is a way for us to do this with Paizo sanctioning/control we have our hands tied beyond providing only material that is covered by the OGL.

Rose Claymore
May 7th, 2013, 04:55
I'll go over the OGL a bit more thoroughly later when I have more time, but would maps count the same as stat blocks/mechanics? I'm not imagining the entire scenario would need be converted into FG, just those things you need for encounters, and everything else can be typed in by the GM as needed (included boxed text and other word for word quotes from the original pdf).

I'm not planning on distributing scenarios at all in this way, except between family members who are part of my household, and even then only on the rare and unlikely circumstance they'd actually GM on FG. But if an online friend wanted to run something I had already prepped (or I wanted to run something an online friend had prepped) I'd like to know what my options and limitation are, even if they ultimately are restricted to all GMs must do all their own work.

Trenloe
May 7th, 2013, 05:12
I'll go over the OGL a bit more thoroughly later when I have more time, but would maps count the same as stat blocks/mechanics? I'm not imagining the entire scenario would need be converted into FG, just those things you need for encounters, and everything else can be typed in by the GM as needed (included boxed text and other word for word quotes from the original pdf).
Maps are artwork and are classed as "product identity" which cannot be distributed under the OGL. See section 1e of the OGL where product identity is defined: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/openGameLicense.html

In theory you could re do the maps yourself in a mapping application and include those as images in an FG module (as long as the map doesn't use any artwork from the original maps). But, this is a lot of work. Also, if you use Paizo specific names, you'd need to release the module under the Paizo community use policy: http://paizo.com/paizo/about/communityuse

Things like faction missions are product identity and cannot be provided even as part of the community use policy.

Rose Claymore
May 7th, 2013, 05:18
So it's doable, provided the initial prep guy does a lot of extra work, and still leaves a lot of work for the guy actually running it. So its probably not worth the effort. :o

Rose Claymore
May 7th, 2013, 05:22
As far as online chronicle sheets are concerned (I just noted the thread title)...

I'm happy with the method of the GM filling them out (they already have the character info from the previous sheet) and just taking into account anything purchased before/during/after the scenario before signing. It definitely takes more effort and time than how we usually do it face to face, but the chronicles I've received for play online tend to be far more organized and accurate.

Blackfoot
May 7th, 2013, 06:55
Filling out the Chronicles is a pain to be sure but really the biggest hassle of the whole thing is getting the information about purchases and whatnot. I find that when I'm organized with the information I request... it goes quickly and easily... unless the player really doesn't care enough to give you any information... at which point you are waiting around to finish up until they respond. These are the exception rather than the rule and generally the chronicles go very smoothly if you (as the GM):
A: Get all the players info up front.. preferably off their previous chronicle... or as a clear post with specific question answered.. (I actually like this better... it means I don't have to manage extra files)
B: Get a clear list of what their purchases are after the game.

As long as you get those two things.. the chronicles are no big deal... I usually try and get them done BEFORE I run the game so that all that is required at the end is to drop in the purchases and sign them. Last minute entries and the like make this harder, less organized, and a bit more frustrating.

JohnD
May 7th, 2013, 14:05
Not ever having done this personally, but it sounds like a repetitive process. Everyone is going to have their own best way of routinizing it.

Personally I would establish cut-off drop dead times both pre and post game to get your information submitted and go from there.

All the extra effort does seem to be an additional impediment to being able to carve the time out of a busy schedule to prepare, DM, evaluate entering sheets/PCs and author exiting sheets and provide adjusted PC files back (is that part of it?).

I can see why there aren't more that get started, or why people choose to stop. But those are the realities of "organized" gaming.

Trenloe
May 8th, 2013, 14:53
Additionally, your request is putting double duty on the GM's since they have to check the chronicle sheets before a game, and the characters (which I have yet to find anyone cheating, mistakes to their benefit yes but no cheating) and then doing it all over again at the end.

Adding in that PFS GM's don't seem to last here on FG (myself included), I'm wondering if your "suggestions" have caused more harm than good. Not personal attack, just honest question.
I replied to this the other day, but it doesn't seem to have populated in the forum. :(

Ironically, we tightened up the whole chronicle sheet process (some details in this thread: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17754) based on GM feedback/requests at the time - PFS GMs actually wanted it. This is also something that is happening more and more in face-to-face organised PFS games - in Colorado we are bringing in brief character audits at the beginning of a game, which is done by the GM. For Fantasy Grounds, asking for the PC's last chronicle sheet is really not much of an overhead on the GM's time and it gives them all of the info they need (except sales and purchases) to be able to complete the chronicle sheet after the game - if a GM is really well organised they could even have most of the chronicle sheet ready to go before the adventure to speed up the process afterwards.

Yes, the process after the game can be longer - and how each individual GM arrives at a final, completed and signed chronicle sheet is up to them. I would ask GMs just to be clear what they expect from players to be able to complete the chronicle sheet after the game - we all may use slightly different processes, so let the players know what that process is. Be it just providing a quick list of what the scenario result was (gold, PP, items available for purchase) or a skeleton chronicle sheet to allow the players to decide on sales/purchases, then create the chronicle sheet with the data for player review and then final sign off.

Mgrancey, looking at your useful video (thanks for uploading that), the processes we are taking about are very similar - whether GMs use the chronicle sheet exported from the scenario PDF or use one of the blank forms.

In the end, the fact of life is that PFS does require admin tasks from the GM. The end result which should be an accurate, fully completed, and signed chronicle sheet for each player. How we arrive at that can be done differently by each GM.

hawkwind
May 8th, 2013, 19:21
well I think its down to the individual Gm on how the sheets are filled out .Personally I don't see it as unreasonable to ask a player to fill out his or her id details and their purchases. Yes I am being a lazy GM who doesn't have a lot of spare time due a funny thing called real life. I don't see the point of a player posting to the forum with his purchases and then me copy and pasting the purchases on to their sheet. Cut out the middle man and leave me time to do other stuff like prepping for games

on the subject of sharing adventures I would refer people to this thread on the Paizo boards http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pcro?GM-Shared-Prep

GM's are sharing stat blocks ( very useful resource for preping templated monsters) on this thread so i can't see why sharing modules that only contain stat blocks and no other text or art would be a problem

Trenloe
May 8th, 2013, 19:33
GM's are sharing stat blocks ( very useful resource for preping templated monsters) on this thread so i can't see why sharing modules that only contain stat blocks and no other text or art would be a problem
Sharing statblocks only isn't a problem (as mentioned in a couple of posts above) as these are covered by the OGL.

To be honest, with the parser, statblocks are a minor portion of the prep time used to create a PFS scenario in FG. But, if people want to share just statblocks (perhaps just share the module created by the parser) then a few minutes saved here and there would be cool...

Trenloe
May 8th, 2013, 20:05
GM's are sharing stat blocks ( very useful resource for preping templated monsters) on this thread so i can't see why sharing modules that only contain stat blocks and no other text or art would be a problem
Thinking about it, this is a good idea - new thread created to upload NPC statblock (OGL content only) modules: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?p=148437

Rose Claymore
May 8th, 2013, 20:15
A question about how to get those chronicle sheets into the player's hands. It is better to use a service such as dropbox or to just upload the sheets as attachments to a post on the FG forums?

hawkwind
May 8th, 2013, 20:26
either works, I prefer the forum. Some tmies I work on sheets at work and Drop box and sites of that nature are blocked

Trenloe
May 8th, 2013, 20:28
A question about how to get those chronicle sheets into the player's hands. It is better to use a service such as dropbox or to just upload the sheets as attachments to a post on the FG forums?
Whatever you want to use. I tend to attach them to the forum - then players can get them again in future if they need them. Of course, this is still the case with something like dropbox - as long as you don't delete the files!

You are limited to 5 attachments per forum post so if you have 6 players you need to spread them across 2 forum posts, which is a little bit of a pain.

Dropbox or similar could have an advantage if you just share the directory where the chronicles are and then you can update the files as you wish and the players can go to the same directory.

hawkwind
May 8th, 2013, 20:42
Thinking about it, this is a good idea - new thread created to upload NPC statblock (OGL content only) modules: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?p=148437
I will post the few I have done when I get time, got to do a few chronicle sheets first!

Skellan
May 14th, 2013, 21:38
Chronicle sheets are a pain in the... but its part of the organised play thing. I found that being strict about getting full chronicles from players before the session helped a lot.
It does get easier though (well it did for me, apart from my habit of getting player names wrong hehe)

hawkwind
May 15th, 2013, 08:53
Good to see you back on the forum again Skellan

Skellan
May 15th, 2013, 09:09
Nice to be back. I will run something soon....