Welcome to the New Year! We took a hiatus from the blog the past few weeks as the team took some time off to recharge the batteries and spend time with family and friends. But vacation time is over and now we are back, jumping in and getting things done. So this blog is a bit of a hodgepodge and includes some kudos, some updates, and lots of information.
Five Star Promotions
One of the best parts of being OPC involves congratulating GMs when they reach milestones. I love watching players make the transition to the other side of the screen, though it can be daunting at first, and seeing their excitement when they run their 10th game and earn their 1st star. I also enjoy hearing about GMs reaching their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th star achievements. But the emails I receive when a GM qualifies for their 5th are some of my most enjoyable to read. They are filled with anecdotes and examples of the quality of our GMs. They embrace many of the reasons I love working with the organized play program. Friendly, helpful, patient, supportive—all adjectives used to describe our current batch of of recipients. I am extremely pleased to award a 5th star to the following GMs:
- Keith Apperson
- Matt Lewis
- Helen Yau
As a note, that makes 123 new 5-star GMs in 2016 and 271 total 5-star GMs. Whoot!
Pathfinder Society is bigger than ever. We ended the year with 771 Venture-Officers in 50 US States, 36 countries, and 6 continents. The breakdown was 11 Regional Venture-Coordinators, 155 Venture-Captains, 241 Venture-Lieutenants, and 364 Venture-Agents. To the current Venture-Officers corps, thank you for taking time to coordinate organized play in your area. Your efforts are GREATLY appreciated
Despite these numbers, we are not everywhere. So if you are reading this, don't have Pathfinder Society in your area, and think you would like to help organize some PFS activities, send an email to your Regional –Venture Coordinator and let them know your interest. Their emails are found on the Coordinator's Page.
Thank you to all who responded to my call for convention lead/sub lead applications a few blogs back. I sent a reply to all those received, so if you submitted it and didn't hear from me, please drop me a line asap and let me know. Our next step is reviewing the applications and setting up interviews with the applicants, the current convention leads, and the Pathfinder Society team. Will have more information soon on our selectees.
Speaking of conventions—we are gearing up for another great year of events. This year, the Pathfinder Society team is soliciting directly for volunteers at Gen Con, PaizoCon, and PAX West. Watch this space fore more information—Gen Con will go out by the end of January, PaizoCon is slotted for Feb/March, and PAX West for March/April.
Besides the three above, which I take a direct hand in organizing, there are many other great conventions throughout the world. UK Games Expo, Origins, PaizoCon Oz, PAX East/South, PaizoCon UK, DragonCon, Kublacon, Contingency, TotalCon, Con of the North, OrcCon, MegaCon, Who's Yer Con, DundraCon, Winter War, and U-Con are just a few of our conventions with huge numbers of Pathfinder Society events. We encourage you to volunteer for other conventions in your area. If interested, contact a Venture-Officer local to the convention, who will know who to get in touch with to volunteer.
Regional Support Package Update
Last year, we rolled out an initiative that we originally titled "Game Day" support, but changed to Regional Support Packages (RSP) as the term "Game Day" had different connotations depending on the people involved. The RSPs met with favor, but the program was decidedly clunky and difficult to implement. So we went back to the drawing board. After much brainstorming and feedback from the Regional Venture-Coordinators, we think we have a revised program that is user-friendly and supports Pathfinders in every region. This week, we are taking it to the Venture-Officers as a whole. Provided they don't put major holes in the plan, we will roll it out for Society use in February.
Guide to Roleplaying Guild 8.1
Still working on this one. While overall opinion of the new structure is positive, the drastic change left some necessary pieces on the cutting floor. Add in a few new ideas and you get a bit of a muddle. We are working on revising the wording and replacing the missing pieces, but time is at a premium and other projects, like getting scenarios out the door and keeping convention support flowing, take precedence. I'm hoping to buckle down and get moving on this project. There are lots of great message board threads that outline the biggest issues, so I'm reading those and going forward. Will update everyone when we have progress.
Pathfinder Society Academy
Last year at Gen Con, we released the third in a series of lessons for new gamers, targeting our younger gamers but useful for anyone new to the game. With it came a new series of quests Angel's Flight, written specifically to accompany the Transitions lessons. Over the past few months, we returned to Beginner and Advanced Lessons and melded them into a harmonious three-part arc. What is still missing is the overarching "How to use" document. It is being written and once we have it, PSA will be ready for launch! Until the program is officially released, component pieces are not sanctioned for PFS play.
One of the biggest barriers in getting Additional Resources updated is getting the team together to discuss publications and what is right for inclusion in our Organized Play programs. The holidays play havoc with scheduling, but now that things are a bit settled, we hope to have an update soon.
I intended to include a spotlight on one of our fastest growing areas, but the blog is already chockablock with information. I think I will save the profile for another day, but will leave you a hint of where I'm talking about. Let's see if you can guess it before next week's blog:
This location has average summer temperatures ranging from 14-25 C (57-75 F).
Don't forget, John Compton is out at S.C.A.R.A.B this weekend. If your attending, stop by and say hi!
Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!
Organized Play Coordinator