Last month, we highlighted Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia, and Venture-Captain Zrinka Znidarcic's efforts to grow Pathfinder Society there. We now shift our focus back to the northwest and the land of the Dutch. I present to you, Venture-Captain Auke Teeninga's report on Pathfinder Society in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is a small country in northwest Europe. It borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom. The country's capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague. The Netherlands, in its entirety, is often referred to as Holland, although North and South Holland are actually only two of its twelve provinces. The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 25% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, and its name literally means "Low Country."
In 1602 the Dutch East India Company was established. This chartered company is often considered to have been the first multinational corporation in the world and was the first company to issue stock. Its mercantile fleets challenged the best in the world for supremacy, and due to the companies success the Netherlands, enjoyed a so-called "Golden Age" of prosperity. Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer perfected their crafts. Christian Huygens and Anton van Leeuwenhoek made amazing discoveries in science. Cities like Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht, and Delft started to grow, and their distinctive canals were dug to provide both infrastructure and defensive capabilities.
Nowadays, these same cities are still used as a home base for expeditions. Multiple times each month, teams of explorers from the Pathfinder Society are sent to Golarion to search ancient ruins, collect art and artifacts, and gather knowledge to bring back to the Grand Lodge of Absalom.
I started playing Pathfinder Society at GenCon UK in 2008, and continued to do so at various conventions in the United Kingdom. I wanted to share my enjoyment (and cut back on flight costs to the UK), so I started organizing regular games in the Netherlands in 2010. The Dutch Pathfinder Society has been growing ever since, and currently we've got more than two dozen active players, half of which GM regularly. I've got big plans for 2013, which includes a multi-day, multi-table, Pathfinder Society-only convention like PaizoCon UK, and get players from across Europe to join and share their Pathfinder experience, while at the same time helping us to grow our player base.
Although we have a few stores in the Netherlands willing to host Pathfinder Society games, most of games are run from private homes. The games, however, are open to everyone (as long as they RSVP) and no one has been turned down yet!
In the Netherlands there are also quite a few roleplaying conventions, and the Pathfinder Society presence at these conventions is increasing slowly but steadily. Some of these conventions include:
Meetup, Utrecht & Amsterdam
If you live in the Netherlands and are interested in trying out Pathfinder Society Organized Play, join the Pathfinder Society NL forum on Google Groups or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Convention organizers and store owners interested in hosting Pathfinder Society events should send an email to email@example.com.
If you are in another country and do not have a Venture-Captain, but think you can do as good a job as Auke 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.