A Record Year for Organized Play

Monday, August 10, 2015

A week ago we flew back to Seattle from another great Gen Con experience. By day we managed the Paizo booth, and after the exhibit hall closed, we ascended to the Sagamore Ballroom for a special event every night. On Thursday night we presented Pathfinder Society Special #6-97: Siege of Serpents, which debuted at PaizoCon 2015 but easily shattered past attendance records in the Sagamore. This was also an opportunity to thank Mike Brock for his service to the organized play campaign, announce 11 new Campaign Service Award recipients, and recognize the many GMs who have received their fifth star in the past year.

Mike Brock announcing Campaign Service Awards and 5th stars.
Photo courtesy of Chris and Amanda Hays

On Friday night we seated even more players, reaching 1,350 participants (not even counting our admirable orange-shirt HQ volunteers who relayed tables' successes). The Pathfinders at long last activated the Sky Key during Pathfinder Society Special #7-00: The Sky Key Solution, during which they had a unique opportunity to explore a never before seen corner of Golarion lore. Partway through, publisher Erik Mona and many of our senior editorial staff stopped in on their way from the ENnies to address the room and pass out promotional miniatures.

During the event, editor-in-chief F. Wesley Schneider snapped this panoramic shot of the room.

On Saturday morning, I approached Thurston Hillman and cajoled him into running a bunch of us through Pathfinder Society Special #6-99: True Dragons of Absalom, the adventure he wrote to debut at Gen Con. That night, after Mike Brock announced four more Campaign Service Award recipients, five Paizo employees, and Tonya Woldridge (one of the lead HQ volunteers) got to play kobolds while Thurston fought back by inserting extra Easter eggs that never would have survived development. One highlight of the evening included the GM running around the table like an airplane, pretending to be a much more ferocious flying creature that demanded our obedience. Fortunately for Thurston, the only documentation of that moment is too blurry to post. Mike Brock also joined a game that involved some of the best 3D terrain we've seen!

Judy Bauer, John Compton, and Linda Zayas-Palmer scheme while Thurston Hillman (right) plans how to end their miserable kobold lives—and poaches another GM's 3D terrain.
Photo courtesy of Tonya Woldridge

There was even a special event on Sunday morning, when players got to portray conniving Aspis Consortium agents attacking a key Pathfinder Lodge in Pathfinder Society Special #6-98: Serpents Rise. Both this and True Dragons of Absalom are now available for the campaign's most devoted GMs (4- and 5-star respectively) to run, and we're adding these to those GMs' downloads soon.

A fraction of the Sagamore's many tables in action and the immense banners of our iconic characters—including all of the new iconics from Occult Adventures.
Photo courtesy of Erik Mona

Several other changes to the Sagamore Ballroom stood out this year in addition to the larger space and the greater number of special events. You may have seen that HQ operated several information desks near the ballroom's main entrances, helping to direct new players, explain what Pathfinder Society is all about, and distribute important handouts like pregenerated characters and Faction Journal Cards. Right in front of the elevated HQ platform, Miniature Building Authority generously set up a large 3D village, and we ran short demo adventures in which players portrayed goblins raiding Sandpoint and performing a variety of zany missions. I think I'll let Erik Mona's picture show you how beautiful a scene this set for goblin carnage. Finally, as in previous years, we also debuted six new quests called Phantom Phenomena, written by three great authors we learned about through the Pathfinder Society Open Call.

Thank you to everyone who made it to Indianapolis and helped make the weekend so fun!

The Pathfinder Society Team

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Tags: Community Conventions Gen Con Pathfinder Society
Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

This was by far the best GenCon ever. Playing in a room with over 1000 other Pathfinders was awe inspiring.

I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to our convention HQ staff for making the entire thing run so smoothly. I'd also like to thank the HQ leads, who really made this GenCon an amazing event for PFS players.

In particular, a huge special thank you for Mike Brock for leading the campaign to where it is today. We could not have gotten this far without his outstanding leadership.

Energized, I expeditious advance into the next Season of PFS gaming ready to: Explore, Report, and Cooperate!

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

This was a totally amazing year at Gen Con! I had a blast in each and every slot, even if my voice didn't survive Thursday night (which surprised EVERYONE I know!). Thanks you everyone who worked so hard to make this so awe inspiring!

What I'm still wondering is... how many unique players did we get, and how many NEW players did we get?


Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd also like to mention that Lucas Servideo and his crew put forth a HUGE effort to really boost the Kid's Track this year. He was able to get custom art from several contributors donated to create and print 500 coloring books for the kids, had all new Beginner Box style pregens for the kids to try out and all new adventures for them to play.

His enormous effort really helped to foster a new generation of Pathfinders by including the entire family on the gaming experience. Lucas, I am humbled by your outstanding initiative.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You can actually see my wife's wonderful hair color in that panoramic shot. :)

Grand Lodge

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
You can actually see my wife's wonderful hair color in that panoramic shot. :)

And Bob glaring at the camera in the bottom right. :P

9 people marked this as a favorite.

I was in Sagamore for the first time, for the Adventure Card Game. I was so amazed and impressed by the whole thing that I've bought a half dozen books and played in my first PFS game this weekend. I can't wait until next year to take part in Society events at GenCon myself!

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob


Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Gen Con was a Sober Buzz, what did I do again? ;) I remember lot's of knee pain.

Scarab Sages 5/5

An awesome time, so glad I made it across the pond for this :) Huge thanks has to go to all the volunteers and paizo staff that made it happen.

Dark Archive

There are always some amazing desserts at HQ, just saying.

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