Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game


Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Congratulations to two new Five Star GMs

Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

Grand Lodge *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I am happy to announce that we were able to add two new five star GMs to the ranks of Pathfinder Society.

Please join me in congratulating the outstanding efforts of John Compton and Chris Mortika as the newest five star GMs.

Great work guys.

Shadow Lodge *****

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Congratulations!! That's awesome.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Chicago aka thunderspirit

Congrats to Chris and to John (both of whom I've met once, LOL)! You guys have reached the cream of the crop -- Kyle Baird's five stars notwithstanding, of course ;-). Well done!

The Exchange ***


Well done, Yahirma/JC.

And someday we will play/meet, Mortika! Congrats.


Silver Crusade *****

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Congrads John and Chris

Liberty's Edge ****

Grats guys!!!

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Double Kudos!

Liberty's Edge *****

Georgia PFS strikes again... providing Pathfinder Society with it's Coordinator, a 5 star GM, several 4 star GM's, and the infamous Joe Caubo!

Congrats John Compton!

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—North Shore aka LackofFocus



Grats both of you.

The Exchange ****

Congrats John!!!

The Exchange

Congrats guys!

I haven't had the opportunity to play at one of John's tables yet, but was fortunate enough to have Chris drove up to run a table for us in the Twin Cities, and he definitely runs the table like I would envision a 5 star GM would run.

Thank you guys for what you have done for the community thus far :)

Scarab Sages **** Venture-Captain, Oregon—Portland aka Gornil

Congrats Chris and John! I've been lucky enough to play with Chris, and I hope to have him as a GM someday.


Max grats! All the grats!

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber



Congrats to a pair of talented and dedicated friends!

Grand Lodge **** Regional Venture-Coordinator, South aka Thorkull

Congratulations, guys! You're GMing machines!

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus


And also congrats to all GMs for a great weekend - just as an observer and late-night GM, I pretty much saw only smiles around the Pathfinder Society rooms.

The Exchange **


Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Congrats! John ran the second special for us on Saturday and killed the whole party and I still think he's one of the best GM's I've had the privilege to play with.


Congratulations on an impressive achievement!

Silver Crusade *****

Congrats to you both!

Liberty's Edge ****

Congratulations, John and Chris!! Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of Pathfinder Society!

Silver Crusade **

Congrats and well done! Thanks for being awesome GM's, now get yourselves out to a Con on the West Coast!

Silver Crusade ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree with AD above. A prerequisite to remain a 5-star GM is to play in the Bay Area Convention.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Congrats Chris, I enjoyed playing under you recently at Village Games, look forward to seeing you at the table soon.

Silver Crusade **

Lady Ophelia wrote:
I agree with AD above. A prerequisite to remain a 5-star GM is to play in the Bay Area Convention.

Oh my heavens. Bay Area Con. BACon.

This must happen.



The Exchange *****

Congratulations to the both of you!

Welcome to 5-Star Mountain. A concierge will see to your baggage. Due to the increased number of resident GMs, we regret that we must insist that all food coming up the mountain be transported in airtight containers. The yeti population has exploded due to the increased supply of prey (delivery persons) and the beasts have developed a particular craving for pizza. Personally I blame Todd for the whole mess.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Captain, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

Wow despite the rumors Doug ISN'T Dead...


Liberty's Edge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Grats you two!

Scarab Sages *** Venture-Captain aka Nuit


Lantern Lodge ***

Well Deserved!


Congrats, guys! Keep up the good work.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Congratulations to both. This is a great achievement. Any star is worthwhile to celebrate - but the fifth star especially.

I'm now waiting for the first 5 star in Europe. A mountain top still not conquered. I guess I know the likely candidates and just need to sneak on their table.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Qstor wrote:

Wow despite the rumors Doug ISN'T Dead...


Yeah, he pops in every now and then... Kinda like a bad penny if you ask me... ;D

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Congrats, guys!

Scarab Sages ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Veranize! Congrats Fellas!

Sczarni *****

Pathfinder wins!

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, when board threads congratulate other people on their new star-status, I'll often pop in and ask the celebrant for any advice he or she might have for other GMs. Following that policy, I'll indulge my arrogance and assume that the following advice might be of use to somebody else. So, here's my personal, quirky, GM 101 counsel.

Preamble: At the end of Gen-Con 2011, I was a 1-star GM who decided to take a year and serve the PFS community as best I could. Along the way, I've traveled to twenty conventions in the upper Midwest, met people and improved. My Big Three Suggestions: Be aware of why you're making decisions, learn from as many people as you can, and don't be afraid to be spectacular.

1) I've developed a certain habit / style. I try to engage the PCs in dialog during the VC briefing. I try to tailor some NPCs or encounters specifically to mesh with the storylines and careers of the PCs, giving them a chance to shine. I use poker chips to indicate damage done to NPCs. These are just some examples.

More importantly, I try to keep in mind the reasons I make decisions at a table. Why do I stay this far in character as this particular NPC, why do I add or change some fluff, why do I present information in this manner or another? (I write this, because there are some other GMs who make "good decisions" for bad reasons, who seem to be doing funny voices just for their own amusement, or altering details and tactics so as to continually adjust the difficulty of a scenario.)

I try to make decisions in light of three questions: "Does this action help the players immerse themselves in their characters during the adventure?" "Does this action make for a memorable adventure for these players?" and "Does this action advance the health of the PFS community?"

2) I need to play as many sessions of Pathfinder Society as I judge, under a lot of different GMs. As a player, I need to pay attention to the things they do -- Kyle Baird has great hand-outs, Bob Jonquet is very patient with his players, Ryan Bouldan is organized -- and also to the reactions of the other players at the table. I endeavor to steal the good things, while avoiding the things that don't work well.

In the last four months, I've been pushing to reach 150 tables by GenCon, so I've distorted that ratio. I'm looking forward to getting back into the habit of bringing a few PCs to conventions and learning what I can from your styles.

3) I shouldn't be afraid to be spectacular. If the playrs find a small chest with gold coins in it, can I find a prop for that? If an NPC painfully transforms into a were-ant, is there any way to convey that through my physicality? Can I show players a picture of the place they're going, or play quiet gypsy music in the background as they meet with a Sczarni caravan?

Central to this is preparation. I can't do anything cool if I'm just treading water and trying to survive a session. If 4 to 6 people are willing to sit at my table and let me guide them through a story about their precious PCs, then I need to treat that privilege with the respect of preparing the adventure as best I can.

Consonant with that is (a) attention to the GM threads about a scenario and a willingness to discuss the details with other GMs, and (b) a strong preference to re-run the same adventures repeatedly. The first time I run a scenario, it's always a little rocky. After the fifth time, I'm much more confident.

Magician Al Goshman famously said "A professional is someone who's always performing the same act for new people. An amateur is somebody who's always performing new material for the same people."

Thanks, all for your kind words. Here's to the next 150. Maybe not all of them between now and next GenCon.

John, what's your advice?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

@Chris: Posts like that make me want to be a better GM. Thank you.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / General Discussion / Congratulations to two new Five Star GMs All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2016 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.