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How does a local game shop set up a new society gaming venue?


Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Topic says it all.

Thanks,
Brian

****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Someone at the shop (staff or asociate) must register with the PFS. When that is done that person, the event coordinator, must register the event at the PFS site.

From then on its just playing.
The cooerdinator then makes sure to report all games under the event code asociated with the stores event.

Qadira *****

13 people marked this as a favorite.

Brian, can you be more specific regarding your needs?

I am going to assume you represent a store that sells Paizo product and you want to promote the product through offering organized play events in your venue. I'm going to assume you haven't played the Pathfinder Society campaign before, and maybe not even Living Campaigns or other types of organized play. And I'm going to assume that you don't know anyone in your area who is capable or motivated to get the ball rolling.

1.) Register with the Society. Top left corner of the screen. Get a Pathfinder Society membership number.

2.) Download the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Print it off. Read through it if you have the time. Have it available on your gameday so players can refer to it if neccessary.

3.) Download some Scenarios. Back to the Pathfinder Society link above. There are nearly 60 scenarios available for download, but not all of them are for new PCs. Read through the blurbs and find some that cover Tier 1-5 or 1-7. Read reviews to find the better ones. Pick one for your event.

4.) Build an Event. Prospective PFS players can search the event page for games in their area. That's only part of promoting the game, but it also links up with session reporting (we'll talk about that later). If you build the event, give it enough time for players to come across it. Don't set it up next week. Float it out there a month or so away, and let the word spread. Josh wrote some pretty specific instructions on how to build events. If you have trouble, come back here and we'll sort you out.

5.) Find a GM. Running an event takes four hours on average. You'll need a dedicated GM who knows the Pathfinder rules. He/she can't be hopping up to tend the counter or answer the phone. The game has to maintain a fast pace to keep the players' interest. I hope you're that person. If not, find someone who knows the 3.5 D&D rules and bribe them to take the job. Give them a copy of the scenario so they'll have enough time to prep.

6.) Promote the Event. What, When, Where. Hopefully there's a store website that local players use. Post a flier on the bulletin board. Use Yahoo Groups. Facebook. Tweet. If there are open gaming tables at your store, leave the Pathfinder stuff out on them like there is a game going on. Put a flipmap and some minis out on the table along with a Core Rulebook, the Advanced Player's Guide and the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play. If customers notice the game stuff and ask about it, give them a *brief* rundown and mention the event you'll be running.
If you need to, ask your friends to just come to the store and make characters for the event. This is like honey to flies. Other gamers here character creation being discussed and they'll get interested and wander over.

7.) Plan the next event a week or two later. When you run it, anticipate the players will want to know when they can play again. Be ready for success.

8.) Print a bunch of Stuff. Character sheets. Pre-generated characters for Lazy People. Blank membership cards (you can find the link at the bottom of the PFS Event page *after* you build the event. Adventure record sheets (at the back of the scenario, we call them "Chronicles"). Player handouts ("Faction Missions"). The session tracking sheet (event page again). Your GM may need a copy of the scenario, or he/she may run it from a laptop.

9.) The Big Day. You'll need a big table and seven chairs. Have spare minis for the walk-up players. And pencils. And dice. Make sure that players have a PFS Membership#, or give them a card. Make sure the session tracking sheet gets filled out. Ask for their contact info so you can remind them about the next event when it nears. Then turn them loose.

10.) Aftermath. Report the event on the PFS Event page. Have a cold beer and feel a weird sense of accomplishment.

Qadira *****

Did I forget anything?

Andoran **** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Cape Girardeau aka Arnim Thayer

Throw on that list map-making supplies (Gaming Paper, Flip-Map, assorted wipe-off markers) for mapping the scenario as it happens. Or pre-draw the map as part of the preparation.

Other than that, Doug Doug says it all!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Doug Doug wrote:
Did I forget anything?

Um... "Have fun?"

Seriously, that was very well done. I'm gonna draw it to Josh's attention for potential stickying.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Doug Doug wrote:
Did I forget anything?

I didn't read your rundown...you include round card girls/guys for each round of combat?

Edit: ok went back and read Doug-doug's rundown. I remember from another thread that you're a regional coordinator :) You got a 'well done' from Vic, maybe he'll elbow Josh in the ribs for some acclaim also :)


Doug Doug wrote:
Did I forget anything?

Thanks Doug Doug, you assumed correctly. No one that I could find locally and the sop owner is willing so off we go!

Cheliax *

Brian Babcock wrote:
Doug Doug wrote:
Did I forget anything?
Thanks Doug Doug, you assumed correctly. No one that I could find locally and the sop owner is willing so off we go!

I would like to add one thing to Doug Doug's list of forums if I may; Meetup Groups. There is a nominal fee to maintain the site but if your game store is willing to sponsor the site it is well worth it. I will repeat "Meetup Groups". Check it out.

**

Stickied.

Well done, Doug. :-)

I'll add that the instructions for setting up an event can be found here (also a sticky in the General Pathfinder Society forums).

Thanks!

****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Very thorough, Doug!


Who is the regional coordinator for North San Diego County?

**

None of the regional coordinators have been announced yet. Look for the first announcement in mid-September.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well done Doug! You never cease to amaze me!

Spoiler:
EXPLOSIVE RUNES!


When I first read this, I thought that it meant "You must be sponsored by the shop" as in WotC where you have to be a certified DM. But as far as I can see, all you really need to do is say "Yup! I'm DMmming!" and it runs on the honour system.

Andoran **** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Cape Girardeau aka Arnim Thayer

Paul Murray wrote:
When I first read this, I thought that it meant "You must be sponsored by the shop" as in WotC where you have to be a certified DM. But as far as I can see, all you really need to do is say "Yup! I'm DMmming!" and it runs on the honour system.

All true! There is no "GM test" required to run a scenario. I freely admit that I am nowhere near the rules expert some of my players are... but the key is to have fun. As a GM, I don't get hampered down looking for a specific rule if I don't know it; I make a decision and move on with the story. That being said, if a player can show me how I was wrong (especially in a non-confrontational manner!), I will adjust how I arbitrate that ruling for future scenarios, even announcing to players who ask afterwords, "Yes, that IS what I said before... I was mistaken. This is how it is REALLY supposed to work."

I find more often than not, my players know the DCs for a task or particulars of a spell or ruling better than me off the top of their heads. I let them "shine" with their knowledge... it makes them happy to be "in the know" and lets them leave feeling special and privileged. The cost to me is nothing!

Qadira

Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Doug Miles wrote:
o...

Doug, That was really well written. thank you for taking the time to list it all out like that!

Wade -out.

Grand Lodge ****

Is there a generally accepted place to announce new game days on the Paizo messageboards?

Qadira ***** Venture-Lieutenant, New Jersey—West Berlin aka Drizzt1080

sveden wrote:
Is there a generally accepted place to announce new game days on the Paizo messageboards?

Any public event you create automatically appears on the PFS Event Calendar. There is a small box to check/uncheck to set the event as Public/Private on the Event Creation Page. I believe the default setting is for a private event. You can also post PFS event information in the Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge Forum.

Lantern Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One other suggestion:

To accommodate players that are entirely new to Pathfinder, download and print out the first level pregens that you can find in the Pathfinder Society section.

Printing out the higher level ones might not be a bad option either.

Shadow Lodge *

Any suggestions on which scenarios would be best for starting up PFS at a gaming convention where no one has run it before?

Lantern Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, South Dakota—Rapid City aka Black Powder Chocobo

The Season 3 First Steps scenarios are made just for new players. It gives the players an introduction to the Pathfinder Society in-world leaders and are free for download! There are 3 of them so that'll get a group to level 2, which you can then supplement with other scenarios or modules you purchase.

Lantern Lodge ***

Black Powder Chocobo wrote:
The Season 3 First Steps scenarios are made just for new players. It gives the players an introduction to the Pathfinder Society in-world leaders and are free for download! There are 3 of them so that'll get a group to level 2, which you can then supplement with other scenarios or modules you purchase.

This. Its what I started a few of my new converts out with and from then on they were hooked.

**

I second the motion for the first steps trilogy. I've run it completely once, and I'm about to do it again. It's a great way to intro your players to PFS play, the factions and Galarion. Just be aware that there are a few minor pitfalls

Part III Question:
(How many skill checks and saves did you all run in the swamp of part III? I wanna say like 20 some for my group. Yesh! They were all diseased by the end!)

**

Doug, with your permission, I would like to copy and paste your post, verbatum, on my new site. I would be happy to give you any credit, linkback, etc that you most assuredly deserve.

Phil // Venture-Captain Utah Region

Qadira *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

You don't need my permission. The guidance I gave (that post is 2 year old, ya know) has been adopted into a campaign one sheet by the original campaign manager. You and every other organizer are welcome to use/enhance (and hopefully grammar-check) those ideas.

Venture-Lieutenant, Portugal—Lisboa aka Edeldhur

The Grandfather wrote:

Someone at the shop (staff or asociate) must register with the PFS. When that is done that person, the event coordinator, must register the event at the PFS site.

From then on its just playing.
The cooerdinator then makes sure to report all games under the event code asociated with the stores event.

Hello all,

I hope I am not intruding on a thread that I shouldn't - please redirect me to the appropriate spot if I am.

I was wondering regarding the above - what if you actually live in a place far, far away (Portugal in this case) which has nothing that vaguely resembles a Coordinator or Venture Captain?

Since I am registered with PFS, can I coordinate and register the event, or does it need to be double-checked by someone "above" me?

I would be extremely interested in expanding Pathfinder Society organized play in my area, but it seems a tad harsh since there are no actual structures already in place that you can support yourself on.

Any suggestions or advices would be more than welcome.

Thank you.

Osirion **** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Sierra Vista aka Spaarky

IF you organize and event and run it then you are a Coordinator. So, to answer your question, yes you can organize and run your own events. In fact Mike is looking for a VC in Portugal per this / You might think about applying for the position and see what happens.

Venture-Lieutenant, Portugal—Lisboa aka Edeldhur

Chris Mullican wrote:
IF you organize and event and run it then you are a Coordinator. So, to answer your question, yes you can organize and run your own events. In fact Mike is looking for a VC in Portugal per this / You might think about applying for the position and see what happens.

Wow... Actually, being a VC is a notion I have been entertaining for some time now - I have the fear that I may not possess enough experience running Pathfinder Society Games, which in any case in Portugal is not very dramatic since these would be the first serious steps of Pathfinder implementation - that just makes it all the more fun and challenging in my opinion.

You know what, I may do just that and apply

Osirion **** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Sierra Vista aka Spaarky

When I started out there was no PFS play in my area at all. No VL, my VC is 4 hrs away from me. I did some research online on what it was all about and how to setup a gameday. I talked with my local FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store) and the owner was all for it so we set a date, notified people and ran an event. Originally we planned on doing it 2x a month. After our first week of 6 people showing up and our next week of nearly 10 we decided to move to every week and it has grown to 2 events each week with 2 tables at one and 3 at the other. After about a month of running I emailed the VC in my state, thinking that was what I was supposed to do, and he responded back overjoyed that we had just started running and he talked to me about the VL position and if I wanted to do it. Not knowing exactly what I was getting myself in to I volunteered and the rest is history.

So far it has been quite the ride and I am really enjoying growing the game where I live. We have a great community both here on the boards, in my region and in my local area. We are even talking about organizing a local con next year.

Venture-Lieutenant, Portugal—Lisboa aka Edeldhur

Ok... now you got me going - I have a lot of questions so I guess I better create a new thread :D

One last point: I am starting this from scratch so, in your more experienced opinion do you believe I should start with a stand alone for the game promotion, or you find no issue in just starting off with PFS modules?

I guess the whole point of being a VC is to build on "organized" play right? So I guess blasting off with PFS would be the best way to launch?

Thank you for any input on this last one - I will take it from here to decide where to create my new thread about Pathfinding in Portugal ;)

Osirion **** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Sierra Vista aka Spaarky

I started with PFS Scenarios. You might look at running Intro Steps. They are free, can be run with every single character you ever make and are a good intro to PFS play. If you want to pm me that is fine, or you can make a public thread and we can all discuss it here.

VO are tasked with growing the organized game in their regions, among other things.

Venture-Lieutenant, Portugal—Lisboa aka Edeldhur

Chris Mullican wrote:

I started with PFS Scenarios. You might look at running Intro Steps. They are free, can be run with every single character you ever make and are a good intro to PFS play. If you want to pm me that is fine, or you can make a public thread and we can all discuss it here.

VO are tasked with growing the organized game in their regions, among other things.

Thank you very much for all the feedback so far - I will open a new thread with all my doubts, questions, etc.

I am really expecting this to be the beginning of something new :D

Sczarni ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Trickery and Guile
At my local FLGS, there were not many PF players to begin with and the few available had either had bad experiences with prior organized play campaigns in the local area or were unsure of wanting to try organized play.

So I tricked them. I began by convincing them to play a campaign set in Absalom on Golarion. I gathered all the Absalom scenarios that were published at that time and began running slightly re-skinned versions. Each player worked for a mysterious benefactor that they earned reputation with, by completing secret missions while adventuring with a registered guild.

After a few months, I revealed they had been running PFS scenarios the whole time. Since then, we have grown from 3 regular players to 15+ people showing up weekly. For a while I was the only GM, until I lucked upon Josh, who has taken over organizing the weekly games for me (I'm moving). The monthly organized mini-con, run by Bill, consisting of three 4E tables has slowly changed into three (very full) tables of PFS. We have our own VL, Samantha, who organized SPACECon last October.

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