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Pathfinder Society in Turkey

Monday, September 10, 2012


Illustration by Eva Widermann

I had a great time at Dragon*Con two weekends ago and then spent several days in Birmingham working some things out with Books-A-Million. It’s going to be an exciting time for Pathfinder Society in 2013. One topic that came up in both Atlanta and Birmingham was international play of Pathfinder Society. It seems many people are genuinely interested in reading about Pathfinder Society Organized Play all over the world. So, we are going to publish another international Pathfinder Society blog post this week.

This time, we go to one of the oldest regions in the world, but one of our newest regions for Pathfinder Society. I always had Turkey, specifically Istanbul, as one of my geographic goals to get Pathfinder Society up and running. Istanbul has five million more people than New York City, an internationally renowned university, and a lot of young people hungry for RPGs in general, and campaign play specifically. So, watching the growth that Venture-Captain Can Sungur and his Venture-Lieutenants have helped facilitate is just awesome. They have grown from a new lodge 4 months ago, to one of the top five Pathfinder Society lodges in the world! Without further ado, I present to you Can Sungur’s report on Pathfinder Turkey.

This is Can Sungur, the Venture-Captain for Turkiye. I am a digital marketing consultant with past experiences in social media marketing and your classic, analog ad business, taking the title of strategist in all of these positions. I have been playing world’s oldest roleplaying game since 1999, when I played Baldur’s Gate 2 on my computer for the first time, and I have been a passionate d20 player and GM ever since.

I found out about Pathfinder and what Paizo was trying to create back in 2009, when Selçuk Gözübüyük, who was one of the eldest members of the Turkish roleplaying community, and who unfortunately passed away in 2011, introduced me to the Alpha version of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Since then, I have been advocating Pathfinder by my personal effort and that effort was fading away with the constant pressure of my professional life. That changed 4 months ago, since the day we got the “go!” from Mike Brock, our coordinator.

Pathfinder Society in Turkiye is in its fourth month as of this blog post’s date. Let me tell you about the community in Turkiye and what’s been going on!

Pathfinder Society in Turkiye started in Istanbul. Spread on two continents and with a population count of 13 million, Istanbul is the cultural capital of Turkiye and the best place to start our Society operations. Of course, I haven’t been alone in this. I would like to thank my two partners in crime, the Venture-Lieutenants for Istanbul, Yücel Okçu and Mustafa Yılmaz. Also, a thank you goes to our team of voluntary Society agents: Mert Erten, Necati Burak Gücer, Caner Ünsal, Boğaçhan Aydın and Muvaffak Kıral. We got everything rolling together and I want to thank each of my friends for sharing my passion about Golarion.

The roleplaying community in Turkiye is quite small considering European countries and USA, but in the late years, Turkiye has been in the spotlight of many online gaming companies, especially free-to-play games, due to its great youth population. As a head start, we decided we would be targeting young players to our Society games.

Before we started gaming, we went into a month of preparations, planning on how to announce our program, designing launch posters and flyers, and opening communications with different universities. We launched Pathfinder Society games in the end of June in KONTAKT, a sub-culture convention.

Since June 30th, we have been through three organized play days, with the number of simultaneous sessions increasing steadily. Currently, we hold two biweekly organized play events each month. İstanbul Technical University is now hosting us in our organizations. So far, we have reached 74 players. And why are 74 players important? Well, probably most of our readers are in their thirties or more, with a more or less established roleplaying community in their local areas. Even being a metropolis, Istanbul and Turkiye is far from that. As we guessed before we started, most of our community is between 18–22 years, and most of our players have played their first roleplaying game with us! Imagine that! And in September, we have started monthly Pathfinder and Golarion Workshops to get our young GMs and players going. So many questions about all the lore and the systems and everything!

Here is a group photo from our third organized play event at ITU.

Also, the current community in Istanbul is very, very active! We have a couple of very talented people in our community. Here is a little goblin figure made by my girlfriend for my birthday—our lovely goblins are as popular as everywhere in Istanbul!

In the following months, Pathfinder Society is planning to expand to Ankara, Eskişehir, and İzmir, all three being centers of attention for roleplaying gamers. This will be very exciting for me, as we will be seeing new Venture-Lieutenants creating a community in their own city. Also, we are planning to merge our organized play events with conventions hosted at different colleges and universities.

A year ago, I felt like I was alone with all my knowledge about Golarion and I had the chance to chat about the game only with a couple of gaming friends. Now, all around me, I see Pathfinders coming up with questions about the nature of positive and negative energy, the secrets of the Mwangi, questions about aboleths, and of course crazy character builds! Just seeing people around me talking about optimizations, quarreling about factions, and of course, discussing various rules makes me very happy!

Can Sungur (gyrfalcon)
Venture-Captain, Turkiye

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all of the Venture-Captains and Lieutenants, coordinators, players, and GMs for making Turkey an amazing area for Pathfinder Society with phenomal growth. Keep up the awesome work all!

Mike Brock
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Eva Widermann Pathfinder Society
Shadow Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Is Pathfinder published in Turkish or Arabic?

Andoran *****

That's a lot of people for only the third event. If we had that many people turn up to play, I don't think we would have enough room to seat them all. 0_o

Andoran *

I hope it will in the future, but right now it is not published in Turkish. Not sure about Arabic.

Andoran *

Before launching our events, we secretly worked on our stuff. Like the logo, handouts and event place. We have talked with several stores and cafe but at the end we started our events in Old library at Istanbul Technical University. Which is quite a big place that can hold an entire convention with 40-50 tables at once.

I hope that after 16th our numbers will be grown just a little bit more :)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Gözübüyük

That is officially, hands-down the most umlauts I've ever seen in one place.

Glad to hear about Pathfinders across the globe! More of this would be nice.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My good sir Mazlith, i had to step down from my very own pet camel to get on the bicycle that generates power that my computer needs to stay on, just to be able to help you.. We TURKish people speak TURKish.. ARABian countries on the other hand, they speak ARABic.. People don't usually get offended by this, but it is good to have simple knowledge about the subject, so that you are welcomed by every Turkish member..

Have a good day!

P.S: I do not own a camel, since it would be hard to take care of such big animals in Istanbul, which is a city very similar to New York, hence the comparison by Mr Brock..

Taldor **

Wow, 74 players in 4 months! Keep up the great job!

Andoran *

Actually less than 3 months, we were working for our launch at July 1:)

Shadow Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mad Jack "The Gath" Erring wrote:

My good sir Mazlith, i had to step down from my very own pet camel to get on the bicycle that generates power that my computer needs to stay on, just to be able to help you.. We TURKish people speak TURKish.. ARABian countries on the other hand, they speak ARABic.. People don't usually get offended by this, but it is good to have simple knowledge about the subject, so that you are welcomed by every Turkish member..

Have a good day!

P.S: I do not own a camel, since it would be hard to take care of such big animals in Istanbul, which is a city very similar to New York, hence the comparison by Mr Brock..

I did already know that Turkish people speak Turkish, and not Arabic. I was curious if pathfinder was published in those languages.

Now I must reduce person and ride my bald eagle into the sunset. Şerefe!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Wow, that's awesome growth! Congratulations, and may it continue!

***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

Amazing work Sungur and staff, look forward to more updates.

Andoran **

Sungur and team, thank you for an update on Pathfinder in Turkey. I hope that the efforts to expand Pathfinder Society work well.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I lived in Turkey for 3 Years (Adana) and my wife is Turkish so I was very excited when Mike told me about the PFS in Turkey.

I am glad you guys have grown so fast and very much look forward to playing with some of you when next I am in Turkey visiting my wife's family.

Keep us informed if you guys ever set up in Antalya, I know one of my brother-in-laws would love to play!

Also to answer a question above I do know that at least D&D 3.0 was translated into Turkish, I have a copy of it on my bookshelf.

Andoran *

As far as I know only, dnd 3rd edition core rulebook translated to Turkish.

Grand Lodge ** Venture-Captain, Australia—Adelaide aka buzzby

Those pull up banners look fantastic!

** Venture-Lieutenant, Denmark—Ringsted

Wow, that is an amazing growth over such short time! Did you have to train and recruit new game masters or did you have enough experienced GMs available?

Andoran *

Erik Ingersen wrote:
Wow, that is an amazing growth over such short time! Did you have to train and recruit new game masters or did you have enough experienced GMs available?

I can explain this with some detail.

When we started to work on our events, we decided that we should have at least 7-8 GM's that can work as PFS GM's. The names of these people are given in the blog post. In this group, some of us started GM'ing with Pathfinder Society, some of us (like me) coverted from other systems or settings but have quite an experience and at last some of us were already a Pathfinder GM.

Before the launch, we worked as a group to increase everyone's GM'ing ability, to a same - minimum level. Can was the main mentor for this issue, because he is the one who was playing Pathfinder, when we don't even know it.

After the launch, we have stabilized 7-8 tables for our events because of this workout. Also, in last 2 events and some daily rpg events (2 table at max PFS gaming days - we have done a few so far), a few experienced GM's started to GM PFS tables. These new GM's will help us a lot in the future.

Right now, we will have our 4th organized event at 16th of september. We have 6 tables with 6 players already registered and I think we can also fill at least 2 more tables, but we are lacking GM's because of personal life issues.

In my opinion, we did the right thing for delaying our launch for like 1-1.5 month. With this, we have achieved at least a good core and worked around that.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

I am so happy to hear all this, and congratulate you on your success! I've known that there are roleplayers in Turkey for a long time, but always assumed it was a small community. It's certainly growing!

Looking forward to hearing more about the Istanbul and Ankara and Izmir groups!

Andoran ** Venture-Captain, France—Paris aka Dritzz

Great job !!!

Paizo Employee ** Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you folks could see how excited Mike gets when he gives us updates on how much growth Turkey and other international Pathfinder Society communities are experiencing, I'm pretty sure they'd all have even better success rates. I thought he only got that happy when the Falcons won, but he might even be more proud of his international venture-captains than of his hometown team.

Keep up the good work, everyone, and congrats on such a stellar start, Turkey Lodge!

Taldor

Great job, I love the goblin figure!

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:

If you folks could see how excited Mike gets when he gives us updates on how much growth Turkey and other international Pathfinder Society communities are experiencing, I'm pretty sure they'd all have even better success rates. I thought he only got that happy when the Falcons won, but he might even be more proud of his international venture-captains than of his hometown team.

Keep up the good work, everyone, and congrats on such a stellar start, Turkey Lodge!

I could tell myself he was excited about it when I talked to him about it Through email, at PaizoCon and GenCon.

Silver Crusade

Wow! i remember my highschool of going to turkey. went to the grand bazaar. anyway! great job! was thinking of taking a trip to turkey sometime next year. trying to learn the language again. Gule gule!

Andoran **

Very interested to read this. I must admit, I never realised the RPG (and Pathfinder) was so prominent in Turkey.

Out of interest, what is the female player mix like in Pathfinder Society games in Turkey?

Qadira

Matthew Pittard wrote:

Very interested to read this. I must admit, I never realised the RPG (and Pathfinder) was so prominent in Turkey.

Out of interest, what is the female player mix like in Pathfinder Society games in Turkey?

As far as i can count, it's about 10%..

** Venture-Lieutenant, Denmark—Ringsted

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It looks like you had a really nice strategy for this. You could easily have drowned in success if you hadn't gathered a nice GM force before launching. Really well done!

Taldor *

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Bravo Can Sungur and all the Turkish Pathfinders: very very impressive. All the best for your future growth there.

Qadira ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Amazing work! Keep it up! I shall tell my friends visiting Istanbul next Summer to be sure to take their character sheets!


I might be moving to Ankara this year. Has the Pathfinder Society made it out there yet?

Andoran * Venture-Lieutenant aka yilmazmus6

Thyrkill, yes we have settled PFS in Ankara.

There is at least 4 tables in biweekly organized events which is organized by volunteers from different university FRP clubs (which is an amazing thing).


Wow, that is amazing. I currently live on the Big Island in Hawaii, where there is no PFS. Great news for me, if it all pans out.

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