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Dealing with the Unexpected

When you are looking over the character record sheets and Chronicle Sheets of your players at the start of an event slot, if you notice anything that seems amiss, you can ask the player to explain any errors to you. If you believe a player to be cheating, please call over a coordinator to make a ruling.

If you are both the coordinator and the GM, it’s your call how to proceed, though we recommend that you do so calmly, nicely, and with an open mind. The player might have simply made a mistake, or you might have made a mistake in your understanding of her Chronicle Sheet and character record sheet.

Remember that the game is supposed to be fun, so waste as little time as possible on drama and spend as much time as possible providing an exciting, action-packed scenario for your players.

If you find a mistake on a Chronicle Sheet or character record, resolve it as fairly as possible, such as having the character spend additional credits needed to meet the full purchase price of the item, retrain any feats using the guidelines presented in the “Playtests and Errata” section of this document, or replace any prepared spells not legal for play. Check with your event coordinator or a venture-officer if you are unsure of how to fix a mistake.

Dealing with Death

Given the dangers characters face once they become Starfinders, character death is a very real possibility (and a necessary one to maintain a sense of risk and danger in the game). Consider, however, that for a player new to Starfinder Society, or to the Starfinder RPG in general, having his character experience a violent death during his first game can sour him on the campaign and the game altogether. While we don’t advocate fudging die rolls, consider the experience of the player when deciding whether to use especially lethal tactics or if a character is in extreme danger of death, especially when the player is new to the game. Most players whose first experience in a campaign results in a character death don’t return to the campaign.

A dead character’s player receives a Chronicle Sheet for the adventure with no XP, Fame, Reputation, credits, or boons. The GM should report that character as dead when reporting the adventure and note the death on the character’s Chronicle Sheet.

Similarly, if the entire party is killed and can’t be brought back to life, then the slot is over for everyone in the party. This means those players may have a substantial span of time before their next event at a convention with no game to play. Obviously, we hope that such total party kills never happen (and strive to balance the scenarios to make it unlikely)—but, sometimes, the dice just aren’t with you and everyone passes into the Great Beyond.

Dealing with out of game problems

Sometimes circumstances prevent a player from completing a scenario. Reasons include—but are not limited to—personal emergencies, device battery issues, venue problems, and bad timing. To mitigate the impact on the table, GMs can exercise their discretion by adjusting the scenario’s level range or Challenge Point Adjustment to accommodate the table’s new Challenge Point Total, bring in the pregenerated character that most closely resembles the lost PC, or postpone the game until all players are able to complete the scenario. In the event that a character sheet is no longer accessible due to a loss of battery power, the player can play the pregenerated character and apply the scenario’s rewards to their original character. In all cases where the GM applies one of the above remedies, rewards for all players are based on the lowest level range played during the scenario.

GMs should work with players who do not finish an adventure to receive their Chronicle Sheets. When filling out this chronicle the Player should receive 1 XP. They receive any reputation rewarded for the tasks the party has completed up to that point, as well as any credits earned to that point, and any items found that were listed on the chronicles.

Players receive partial credit for Adventures and Adventure Path volumes based on the amount of sanctioned material they completed. If they complete less than half of the adventure, they receive half of the adventure’s credits, XP, and Fame, and they gain full access to the items that they found during play. If they complete more than half of the adventure, they receive full credit for the adventure

In the (hopefully rare) case of a medical emergency (defined as a player needing immediate, unexpected, professional medical treatment) the chronicle should be filled out as if the player stayed for the rest of the game, receiving the same benefits as the rest of the table.  

Dealing with Distractions

No game table is completely free of distractions. However, if something (like an electronic device) creates an ongoing distraction, a GM can request that the player put it away or police their use of the device (such as not also using a tablet computer to play a video game). If the device continues to be a distraction, the GM has the right to ban that particular item for the duration of the game.

Cheating

Cheating is rare, and it can be a rather heated topic. If you suspect that a player is cheating, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and consider the possibility that they are instead making an honest mistake. Inaccurate numbers on a character or mistakes on a Chronicle are far more likely to be math errors than deliberate cheating. When you see these issues, keep an open mind and work with the player to resolve them. Other issues, such as lying about the results of a dice roll or the contents of their character sheet or breaking the rules even after being informed of what they are, are more clear-cut. If you believe the player to be cheating, record the organized play number of the player in question and then ask them to leave your table. Afterward, send an e-mail to the Pathfinder Society staff at organizedplay at paizo.com, including the player’s number and detailing as much as you can remember about the situation.

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