Last month, we highlighted the UK and Venture-Captain David Harrison's efforts to grow Pathfinder Society there. We now shift our focus to the north and the land of the Vikings. Venture-Captain Diego Winterborg's report on Pathfinder Society in Denmark was a very interesting read for me and I hope all of you find it informative as well.
Denmark is a Scandinavian country made up of a peninsula that is geographically joined to Northern Germany, called Jutland, and a large number of islands southwest of Sweden, the largest of which are Funen and Zealand. Its size and population are roughly the equivalent of Tennessee. Greenland and the Faroe Islands are part of the Danish Rigsfællesskab, or Commonwealth.
The Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign made its arrival in Denmark in February 2010 when a few friends and I went to a small RPG convention in the town of Odense. Danish RPG conventions are, by their nature, rather small events, and are largely dominated by indie games and a lot of deep-immersion, psychodrama players, so it goes without saying that we made quite an impression with our loud combat-heavy, dice-rolling RPG, which we ran in the convention's common area, for all to see. While we fully expected a lot of people would be provoked by our very different approach to gaming, it gave us an excellent opportunity to engage them in a discussion about the merits of “our game.” By the end of the convention, what started out as a four-man event had drawn in a score of new players and totaled some 10 sessions.
During the summer of 2010, we arranged a game day in honor of then Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator, Joshua J. Frost, who was making Copenhagen his first stop on his European tour. His tour culminated at Paizo Con UK that year. Frost was very keen on having a solid PFS presence in Europe, and in Denmark I volunteered for the position of regional coordinator. That is how Denmark, being a small country by most standards, was fortunate enough to be assigned a Venture-Captain with the first round of selections, when the program was born in the fall of 2010.
Early in the fall of 2010, the first game days were planned at the game store, Fantask, in Copenhagen. While the venue is very small and only allows for a single session every other weekend, it has been very reliable and has been a constant for over a year.
Pathfinder Society has since had annual representation in Denmark's two largest gaming conventions, Viking Con and Fastaval, as well as other smaller conventions and game days in and around Copenhagen.
This winter Jacob Trier, who had just recovered from serious illness, volunteered for the position as Venture-Lieutenant based in Jutland. This addition will ensure a stronger presence in the western half of Denmark. By next month, regular store games are expected to start in Dragon's Lair in the city of Aarhus and this year's Fastaval convention will have a locally based Pathfinder Society coordinator.
In 2011, Viking Con and Fastaval had nine Pathfinder Society tables each. This was satisfactory as a very small core of players and GMs drove our continued interest in Pathfinder. This year, however, we are seeing the emergence of more private gaming groups and expect to have a growing GM base for 2012's events.
The primary Pathfinder Society events scheduled for 2012 in Denmark are:
- Spilfestival, on March 24, features Blood under Absalom as its highlighted event. This marks a milestone for the Pathfinder Society in Denmark as it is the first time a Pathfinder Society multi-table special will be run here.
- Fastaval, April 4–8: Danish Pathfinder players will get their first opportunity to play the Season 3 exclusive, The Cyphermage Dilemma. We have 15 tables scheduled over the four days.
- Viking Lodge Game Days are planned for July 28–29. Started in 2010, this is fast becoming a Danish tradition. The plans for this event are still in the planning stages. Participants can count on being among a good number of Paizo fans and having a full day of Pathfinder Society games, followed by a night out in Copenhagen afterward.
- Viking Con 31, October 19—21, is Denmark's largest gaming convention and we will certainly have something special to offer to Pathfinder Society players.
Danish Pathfinder Society events are also receiving a measure of Paizo convention support, which hopefully will increase interest and send a strong signal that Paizo pays attention to its international fans.
To facilitate continued growth of Pathfinder Society, we are making plans with public libraries to start having monthly game days. The success of this plan is still dependant on GMs volunteering to run games. Initially, I am planning game days in Copenhagen libraries only. But, the public library network in Denmark is rather extensive and Pathfinder Society has the potential to reach veritably every Danish roleplayer interested in participating in an organized play campaign.
This brings me to one of my most important points about roleplaying in Denmark. The RPGA and Living Greyhawk never established themselves in our country, and the very concept of an organized play campaign is very new to Danish gamers. According to my friendly local gaming store, Pathfinder RPG sales are increasing, and continued convention scheduling and internet exposition is bound to draw players into the fold one handful at a time. While events to date remain small, we always know we will be among friends as we strive to continue increasing our numbers.
If you live in Denmark or Southern Sweden and are interested in trying out Pathfinder Society Organized Play, you can keep up with our growing community on our website, pathfindersociety.dk. Danish convention organizers and store owners interested in hosting Pathfinder Society events should contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are in another country and do not have a Venture-Captain, but think you can do as good a job as Diego did above, please do not hesitate to send me a write-up about Pathfinder Society play in your area of the world and include some photos.