Adventurers in Mid-Missouri, we have a ray of light in the gloom of this pandemic finally! Valhalla’s Gate is extending their Saturday hours to 7:00 PM starting on September 11th. This means we can finally start conducting 2 sessions at our PFS Smackdowns. We have been waiting for this to happen ever since VG reopened their event center in July. Unfortunately for the 11th, we do not have enough lead time to change the schedule to include a second scenario. We will have the first Introduction scenario and a couple of quests ready for you on Saturday though, so come on to the Gate for some PFS2 fun. Since this scenario is part of a two scenario story arc, you will want to play in this first introduction scenario before you play the second introduction scenario at the October PFS Smackdown.
What? You haven’t signed up yet for Saturday’s PFS Smackdown? Now is the perfect time to do that and reserve your seat at the tables! Just click on this handy Valhalla’s Gate PFS Smackdown Warhorn link and sign up. What’s that? You are new to PFS2 and don’t know if you are welcome? Adventurer, you are always welcome at our tables even if you are an oversized halfling with large furry feet or maybe a snow goblin with light blue skin unperturbed by the cold. All you have to do is come to PFS Smackdown. We have everything you need to play your first scenario, except you of course!
This is our scenario in the first slot this Saturday. It is a L1-2 scenario and forms the first part of two connected introductory scenarios. You do not necessarily need to play them in order, but if you like your story lines to flow in the proper order, this one is first. It is also a repeatable scenario which means you can play it multiple times as long as you use a different character each time. The second introductory scenario is a L1-2 repeatable as well and it will be in the first slot in October’s PFS Smackdown.
In order to run two scenarios in the 8-hour time window we will have starting in October, we need to be pretty efficient in getting started, moving between sessions, and wrapping up the scenarios. Most run 3.5 to 4 hours, so we have to start as close to 11 AM as possible. Hopefully, VG staff will let the GMs enter a few minutes before 11 so we can get set up and ready to go quickly. Unfortunately, this is going to eliminate any sort of meal break between sessions. However, let’s look at the good side of this. We will be done by 7 PM and we can all pick a place to eat after the Smackdown. We have plenty of eating establishments close by to choose from too! This will be the last time we do six players at a table as well. If you remember, we did 5 players per table before the pandemic and it really allowed us to get done with most sessions in less than four hours. That also should allow us to get a bite in between sessions.
Finally, let’s address the thing that eats up some time at the end of the games. Yes, the dreaded paperwork! As you know, I do a lot of GMing at multiple conventions, including those held online. I think there is a better way to get those chronicle sheets filled out for you which will save time at the game table and provide a much more efficient system of record keeping for everyone involved. We’ve been using RPG Chronicles for our online conventions. This is an easy tool for both players and GMs to use. The GM will put a link to their RPG Chronicle Sign-Up sheet in the PFS Smackdown Warhorn. Once you as a player signs up on Warhorn, just click the RPG Chronicles link and fill out that page with the character information needed by the GM to generate a chronicle sheet. There is no fee for this although you will need to create an account for RPG Chronicles. There is an optional fee if you want to store characters on the service, but again, this is purely optional. It is a pretty nice way to load characters into the system quickly though.
Once the session is over, the players can put in any notes for their character regarding downtime or purchases they want the GM to place on the chronicle sheet. The GM will take care of the rest by finishing up any reporting for the session, generating the chronicle sheets, and e-mailing them to the players. Then they can report the session on Paizo.com via the GM reporting section and it’s done. This works well because we don’t have to waste any time on it after the game. We can just pick up and move to the next table. The GM has all the information they need to get you a chronicle sheet as well as to report to Paizo. On top of everything, the e-mail gives us two digital backup copies of the sheet as well in case one is lost down the road. Again, I am using this at online cons with several hundred other GMs and it works wonderfully. It has made my life as a GM much easier and really eliminates all the problems at the end of a session.
We will start doing that in October. For this month, we will do things the way we always have. Also, I did find out that Pathbuilder 2 has a browser version available now. I built a character on it the other day to see how it worked. It worked very well. It printed out the sheet I have posted here above this paragraph.
With that said, I hope to see you on Saturday at PFS Smackdown! We have enough GMs for three tables of Intro 1 if necessary too. Sign up now so we can be ready for you!