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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Paizo Introduces a Retail Incentive Program - Pay to Play (with Bennies) is Here

Yep, Paizo must be feeling the pressure from D&D 5e Organized Play. Why do I say that? They have introduced a Retail Incentive Program. What is that? Basically, make an in store purchase of at least $10 and receive an in game benefit. Spent $50 or more and the entire group gets a bennie. Pay to Play... better...

I understand trying to make hosting Organized Play beneficial for the host, be it a store, a bar or whatever. I don't agree that there should be an in game benefit for patronizing the hosting establishment. It just seems like gaming the system. Shit, did I just type that?
Game stores and other retail locations are an important part of the Pathfinder Society community, and it's important to support them so that there's always a public venue for organized play events. Players can now redeem receipts in exchange for a modest benefit shared by the entire table—all as a way of thanking players for supporting their game stores. 
At any time during an event, players may redeem receipts from their purchases worth $10 or more to gain a single-use benefit that applies to all of the PCs at the table. If the total combined receipts provided by one or more players are $50 or more, all players receive an enhanced benefit. No matter how many receipts the players have, the table can never use the same benefit more than once during a game session; they can, however, gain both benefits during a session. 
All of the PCs gain the following benefit: 
Harder to Kill: Treat the character's Constitution as 5 points higher than normal for the purpose of determining when hit point damage would kill him. For the enhanced benefit, treat the character's Constitution as 10 higher. 
Each player may also choose to use one of the following during the game: 
Cheaper Healing: Before the end of the session, you can use the benefit to reduce the Prestige Point cost of one spellcasting service of the healing subschool by 1 (minimum 0). For the enhanced benefit, you can instead reduce the cost by 2. 
Recover from Wounds: The PC recovers hit points equal to twice their character level. For the enhanced benefit, each PC also recovers 2 points of ability damage to one ability score. This benefit can only be used outside of combat. 
Bonus Wealth: If you do not use the subsidized healing benefit above, you can instead choose to roll twice and take the higher result when rolling a Day Job check. For the enhanced benefit, you also increase the gold you earn from the day Job result by 50% (maximum 300 gp total).
You can read the full post at the Paizo blog, including exchange rate examples for other currencies (Paizo is using USD) in this example.

Yes, most of my readers don't play Pathfinder, but if you game in a retail environment, this might just squeeze you out at some point.

I expect there will be some vocal opinions on both sides of this.


  1. I'm for it at first glance. Anything to bring revenue to FLGS is a good thing.
    For us, gaming is a hobby. For the FLGS owner, it is how they feed their kids.

  2. I'm for it at first glance. Anything to bring revenue to FLGS is a good thing.
    For us, gaming is a hobby. For the FLGS owner, it is how they feed their kids.

  3. PF has been pretty horrible to FLGS's since PFS started. They directly compete with retail stores and players seem to support Paizo not where they play. Happy to see this start to change.

  4. I can't see this as anything more than a win for retailers. Why should the retailers provide you with FREE playing space and many purchase products from Amazon and online? If you think buying one soda at a retailer after playing in a store week after week is a reasonable, then you are stupid. I know I am going to copy this for my company to offer to retailers.

  5. Paizo's org-play has always had some meta-level bennies (rerolls for wearing a PFS t-shirt, for example). This is an extension to provide impetus to play in a store, and spend in a store. The PFS folks I know are psyched about it. Keep in mind also this is coming right after D&D Adventurers' League made changes that mean you _don't_ need to play in a store anymore.

  6. I like the idea. I might just adopt something similar when I run a game at my FLGS. Show me the receipt and you get an in game benefit for that day.

    At Gen Con the Troll Lords do that with their games too. Buy something at the booth and get something for that game.

  7. As an avid Knights of the Dinner Table reader, all I have to say is: