I would like to submit a feature request for the website. This is mainly to support organizers and players of PFS.
While I realize the effort required to implement and maintain this is non-trivial, I believe that providing the below tools and features on the website would put Paizo on a special level of community support. As the organized play campaign expands I believe that the level of excellence in tools to bring together local players should expand as well.
Today every local PFS group needs to solve the same basic problems of organizing, communicating across the group, scheduling scenarios, etc.
What I am thinking of is a way to create local PFS lodges within Paizo.com or some new domain. Each would provide a number of features accessible to members of that lodge.
- Each lodge would consist of a mini-site with basic features to create a cohesive community of local PFS gamers.
- Summary description for the lodge.
- Set a location for the lodge with the ability for general users to search for lodges by location. This allows folks who move, are traveling, or just getting interested in Pathfinder to find the lodge(s) near them.
- Ability for players to join one or more lodges.
- A message board that is not restricted to members of that lodge, but is separate from others to allow focused discussions within a local group.
- Better support for recurring events (referred to as REs below) with at least the ability to distinguish one particular meeting (physical get together) of that group from another while still tying them together. This may simply be some sort of meta-event that acts as an optional parent to existing events. Trying to reuse one event in the existing system means that eventually the event will no longer show up on the events page when it gets too old (I have seen this bug myself), and it also complicates trying to go back and correct any reporting issues since there would be a great many sessions all logged under that one event. The clone function is very nice, but I think this goes that one extra step towards awesome.
- Ability for players to opt-in to specific REs. This would not be signing up for specific scenarios on specific days, but for being a member of that group of players.
- A calendar view of all public events associated with that lodge, both recurring events and one off events.
- Tools for organizers of REs
o Ability to set one or many individuals as the organizer for an event (RE or one-time, such as a convention).
o Ability for all of an event's organizers to report sessions for that event rather than restricting reporting to only the individual who created the event.
o Ability for a RE's organizers to see what scenarios are available for a given set of users - either all those who have signed up for that RE or a subset selected on the fly. This is the best and most important feature for me personally because it gives organizers the tools to ensure that they consistently offer up scenarios that will meet the needs of their players.
- Warhorn-like features that would allow players to sign up for specific scenarios at specific events, along with the event management tools to go with this. To me this is a nice to have feature that should be there at some point, but is not strictly necessary for the rest to be of great value.
I think one thing that will set this apart from facebook groups, warhorn sites, meetup groups, etc. is the low barrier to entry and the ability to drive new players to their local lodges. Every player is expected to register their PFS number on the website. Anyone logging in with a registered PFS number can be directed to their local lodge site by virtue of the fact that the events they play can be associated with that lodge (if there is one). This means you don't even have to search around or even be otherwise informed about its existence. The power of data ties it together. Yay data.