|Craig Stokes Venture-Captain, Alabama—Mobile|
So far, I have only read Prince of Wolves and Winter Witch, which I just completed last night. In addition to just being awesome stories I love how they help flesh out the game world. I think the books are starting to help me, as a GM, deliver a more robust setting description during game play and understand some of the NPC motivations a little better.
Doug, I love the blog and am now following it. :-)
Greetings Pathfinders! Pathfinder Society will be invading MOBICON in Mobile, Alabama May 17-19. Come take part in three days of awesome nerdtastic fun! Experienced GMs from at least four states will be on hand ready to provide YOU with a fantastic gaming experience.
Register for scenarios at Warhorn
Learn more about MOBICON here.
MOBICON will once again be held at the Ashbury Hotel & Suites. Check out their awesomely cheap con rates here.
Greetings from Mobile, AL, Egrant! I know it doesn't fit your ideal situation but there is plenty of Pathfinder Society gaming going on an hour to your east in Mobile. We are a very social group and are very welcoming to new players. It would be awesome if you guys came out to one of our events. You may just find that you like it! :-)
We will be playing this coming Saturday (30MAR) at Gamers N Geeks in Mobile.
We use Warhorn for game registration: http://www.warhorn.net/mobile-pfs/
Join the Mobile Area Pathfinder Society FB Group. All events are advertised in this group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/MobileAreaPFS/
If you have any questions or if there is anything I can do to help you out, just ask! :-)
Another "GMing on the Cheap" idea for maps is use Christmas wrapping paper. Many styles of wrapping paper have one inch squares on the back.
I like to print maps with my color laser printer. But, if I'm low on toner or if I know the map will not see any use outside of the one scenario I'm prepping, I'll draw the maps on wrapping paper.
Getting scenarios reported online is important. I had a new player just move to the area. In the move he lost some chronicle sheets. I was able to check online to validate his experience and then print some replacement chronicles. If those games had not been reported on paizo.com he would have been out of luck.
GMs and Organizers should treat event reporting seriously. IMHO, events should be reported on paizo.com within 24 hours of the event. I usually report my game day sessions when I get home that night so I don't forget. It only takes a few minutes.
Players, it's still your responsibility to check that your sessions have been reported. If days go by with no updates, contact the GM or organizer to see what's going on.
Zombiepocalypse, I can appreciate your desire to play goblins. I love the little buggers too. It's not that people don't want to be bothered with RP. It's that goblins don't generally fit in with the whole Pathfinder Society concept. I find it highly unlikely that a goblin would make it through the rigorous training to become an agent of the Pathfinder Society. Plus the whole "writing" thing. Pathfinder are supposed to be chronicling there discoveries ya know.
Also, while you may be able to RP a goblin in an awesome way and contribute positively to the game, many people (me!) wouldn't be able to resist the opportunity to burn everything and kill all the puppies! I've run We Be Goblins and I've seen what goblin PCs can do. ;-)
Seriously though, if you like goblins so much, consider running or getting someone to run, a goblin home campaign. That could be loads of fun. And, don't forget that We Be Goblins Too! is coming out soon. :-)
I'm another Gen Con first timer. Large doses of caffeine are readily available, right? :-)
Thursday, August 15
Friday, August 16
Saturday, August 17
Sunday, August 18
In a Facebook post to me, a local game store owner wrote:
Also, do you know how we could go about getting some Pathfinder signage or at least posters? Everyone else just sends tons of junk but I don't think we have ever received any pop from Pazio.
How does a game store acquire PFRPG/PFS promotional material? This particular FLGS has a beautiful store and a very nice Pathfinder selection. I've been running PFS there for two months and the owner is amazingly supportive.
How should I answer him?
In the Mobile, AL area we started organizing our PFS activities about 9 months ago. We started with Meetup.com and signup sheets at the game stores. Next came the Mobile Area Pathfinder Society Facebook group, and a few months ago, I introduced Warhorn for registrations. These days the Warhorn site is the "official" registration site. But, I still advertise all events on Meetup, our FB group, and the FB pages of the game stores. We sometimes post flyers at the local university and at the games stores.
EVERYTHING has a link to the Warhorn site and encourages players to register there. A statewide website is in the works and at some point in the future I want to try integrating a built in registration system similar to Warhorn into the that site.
Warhorn has been a godsend for organization. At this point, I'd say 90+% of our players use the registration system. It helps me to know how many players to expect so I can make sure we have enough GMs.
My policy is that players who register on Warhorn are seated first at the tables. After a few months of near constant reminders, most people are now registering. It really helps to know what kind of attendance to expect so I know when I might need to call in an extra GM for overflow. I'll ALWAYS find room for new players.
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Is it alot to ask if the coordinator of the PFS seesion could try to optimize table groups?
I mean this in the nicest way possible, but yes, I think it is a lot to ask. As a VC/Organizer/GM I am routinely doing the following when I first show up to a PFS event:
1. Making sure other GMs have sessions sheets, chronicle sheets, and anything else they need.
I don't get to relax until I finally sit down and start running my scenario. I'm not complaining...I love every minute of it. My point, though, is that I don't have time to optimize tables. Now, if the players want to do it then I'm 100% supportive of those efforts.
If you see opportunities to make the gaming experience for everyone involved better, then please work it out with the other players. I doubt many GMs wil mind one bit.
Come play PFS with us at CoastCon in Biloxi(March 15-17).
If you don't mind driving an hour to the east, you are more than welcome to come play PFS in Mobile.
Mobile Area PFS FG Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/321934674639/
Also, as the nearest VC to your area I'd love help get some public PFS events started on the MS Gulf Coast. Get in touch with me if there is anything I can do for you or if you have any questions.
Please welcome Brian Hatch as the newest member of the Venture Officer team! Some of you may know him on the forums as Jodokai.
Brian is active member of the PFS community in both Pensacola and Mobile, AL. He is going to be a great asset in helping to grow Pathfinder Society along the central Gulf Coast. I plan to work him like a mule until he drops! ;-)
Congrats, Brian, you deserve the appointment and I'm happy to have you on the team!
A Venture Officer, organizer, or GM needs to have a serious conversation with this player. Cheating should not be tolerated under any circumstances. It's not fair to the other players and compromises the integrity of the game.
If this were one of my players, I would take him aside for a private conversation. It would probably go something like this: "Player, it's been brought to my attention that you are fudging dice rolls. Other players have complained on multiple occasions and it is ruining their PFS experience. While I am glad that you are part of our gaming community I must insist that you stop this behavior immediately. If the fudging continues I'm going to be forced to ask you to not participate in any more of our public events. I hope you can appreciate that we are working hard to build a strong gaming community around PFS and cheating just can't be tolerated. Thank you for understanding." <handshake>
The player may deny the charges or try to argue. Don't let the conversation degrade into an argument. In the event of denial just say something like "Moving forward, just make all of your dice rolls out in the open and in view off the GM and players. That way there can be no confusion about the outcome and no one can accuse you of fudging rolls."
Under no circumstances would I let this behavior continue. Just treat the player with respect and compassion but let him know that cheating will not be tolerated.
Just a few random thoughts for keeping play within time limits:
1. Pre draw/print maps. Drawing and erasing maps takes precious time away from gaming when you are on a time limit.
2. I use initiative cards and place them visibly on the table so every player can see where they are in the order. Like others have stated, if they take too long to decide, I give them a quiet 5 second countdown then make them delay.
3. Roll attack and damage dice at the same time. Encourage players to do the same.
4–01: Rise of the Goblin Guild is a lot of fun. I've run it twice.
Ekkie is so much fun to RP. I try to form an emotional bond between her and some of the PCs. It's a blast seeing the party go from wanting to kill her in the beginning to treating her with affection before the scenario is over.
I've GMed for or played with a handful of players in the 10-13 yr range. Each one of them had difficulty staying focused for 4-5 hours, but their distractions to the table were minimal. Whenever they start to get disruptive, I use my Dad Voice to ask them to quiet down. That usually does the trick for a while. If needed, I will quickly explain a plot point or faction mission to them. If they want to wander around the store for a bit and miss some combat rounds, so be it.
We have to remember that these young kids are going to grow up one day. That 8 yr old disruptive kid might turn into a 5-star GM in ten years. It's up to us, the community as a whole, to teach and encourage them if we want our hobby/passion to thrive.
If it were me, I would focus on how to minimize the kid's disruption to the table, not how to remove him. Talk to Dad and try to work out a solution everyone is happy with.
Also, the suggestions for kids games and breaking up scenarios are great ideas.
The best way to handle this sort of situation is to confront the person in private and be honest about the issue. State the problem, the proposed solution, and the consequences should the issue not be resolved. He might get his feelings hurt but if you show respect when talking with him he will get over it.
I've had to have hygiene conversations with soldiers in the Army and employees at a civilian company. It is surprising how many people are so self-unaware when it comes to personal hygiene.
Anthony, folks above have listed some good choices. I would also say to run something you are very interested in. The more you like it, the better you are likely to run it. Another good idea is to run something you have already played. It will make prepping your first scenario(s) much easier since you already know the story.
Have you tried talking to Michael Dalrymple, your local Venture-Captain? He might have some insight into your local scene and some advice on getting started as a PFS GM.
Good luck. GMing can be very rewarding and fun. It's a lot of work, but definitely worth it!
If you're looking to print out maps from the pdf - I would highly recommend PosteRazor. I've used it for a couple maps now and it does really good work as long as you're willing to be patient and use a lot of scotch tape.
I discovered this app a few weeks ago and have used it to print a few custom maps for one scenario. I love how it provides overlap on each piece so the poster is easier to "assemble".
I print in cardstock. I use bits of painters tape to hold the map pieces together in place. Then, I flip it over with the underside up. I use clear packing tape to seal the seams. Afterwards, since it's only taped on one side, I can fold the map along the tape seams for easier storage.
I prefer to use flip-maps/map packs but if the scenario uses custom maps, PosteRazor is the way to go.