|Michael Brock Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator|
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Today is a special day for PFS. Today, we gain our first five star GM in all of Europe. There can be only one first and Jens Loesel (aka..Thod) has earned that honor. I had the pleasure to meet him last year at PaizoCon UK and look forward to playing at the table of the first five star GM of Europe this coming July. Congrats and well done sir!
From one of his VCs, Rob Silk:
"He works very hard to run Pathfinder games locally and at most
major conventions. He organises the GMs for Dragonmeet every year. He has
been brilliant at introducing young people to Pathfinder with his "Junior
League". I would personally endorse him as a tremendous asset to Pathfinder
in the UK."
Below are some comments collected from various players who have been at the table with Jens.
I always really enjoy Jens games and I am very grateful to him for running
Sunrise Lodge games, hosting Slot Zeros and for organising the Pathfinder
team at Dragonmeet. Jens has worked so hard get a "Junior League" running
for local young people. He teaches them the game and trains them up as our
future GMs. He is really great guy and a wonderful asset to Pathfinder in
I know that most comments will be about Jens as an excellent GM and player
so I will focus on other qualities.
For a 5 star GM, I believe they should be giving back to the PFS community
and encouraging its growth. Jens has ably done this by always being willing
to run PFS at conventions, organising his own games, encouraging new players
(particularly through use of his Dwarven Forge scenery and also encouraging
new, younger players) and also stepping up to organise Pathfinder Society
gaming at the Dragonmeet convention.
Jens is a great friend and a valued member of the PFS community in the UK
that he has had a major role in developing. I heartily recommend him being
award his 5th star and so becoming the first 5 star PFS GM in the UK.
-- Dave Harrison, Venture Captain
Jens is an enthusiastic GM with a lively appreciation for the Pathfinder
game. He is a great promoter of PFS through demo and participation games
using Dwarven Forge. Extremely good with children and beginners. Tough but
Great scenery. Well prepared game and run at a good pace. I enjoyed the
Very descriptive and fast with solving problems that aren't covered in the
rules. Totally enjoyable game and no time wasted flicking through the
Excellent game. Well paced, well presented and fair in interpretation of the
rules. Very good group as well, and Jens managed it really well.
It was an awesome game. Damn that unbreakable book!. Thanks.
|Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome|
|Christopher Rowe Contributor|
I would like to say a big Thank-You to the two VC's here in the UK
I feel humbled that I ended up ahead of them. The original plan to get enough games by end of Conception was done at my 4-star mini-con doing the first Cyphermage in the UK when Dave Harrison said he likely would get there at Conception as well. Alas - real live and work slowed him down on his approach.
And then there was Rob Silk. I wrote a recommendation for him 8 weeks ago assuming he would be well, well ahead of me - just to slam the door in his face. If you look out - he is there around the last bend - just 2 GM credits short - so I'm told. I'm sure there are some unreported events that would have seen him ahead of me. But he is a true gentleman and pushed me ahead organizing Conception instead of looking for glory himself.
It has been a very interesting journey. I will write something a little bit longer later today or tomorrow about that journey as most people from these boards know me only from my online activity and I always find it interesting to learn more about some of the GMs here.
|Chris Manning Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Thames Valley aka chris manning|
|Raul Moura da Silva Venture-Captain, Portugal—Porto aka Raul "Wulfgars" Moura da Silva|
|⦵ Matt Lewis Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz|
|⦵⦵⦵⦵⦵ Carol Tierney Venture-Captain, United Kingdom—England—Peterborough aka dmwcarol|
|Chris Rathunde Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Chicago aka thunderspirit|
|F. Wesley Schneider Editor-in-Chief|
|⦵ Chris Brockley-Blatt Venture-Captain, United Kingdom—England—Brighton aka Christine Brockley-Blatt|
Congratulations and welcome to the mountain!
Since you obviously run a lot of great games, what advice do you have for all the other GMs out there?
I should give you the doppleganger challenge - you aren't Chris Mortika in disguise.
Just buying some time here while writing it up.
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As GM look out for the weak player, the new player, the young one and ensure that they also have their moment to shine. They need special attention and nurturing - or you will lose them.
I have only joined organized play just over 3 years ago. As such I didn't knew everyone straight away - and I often ended up with the table of the starters, the stragglers, the newcomers - sometimes I was even deliberately not signing up as GM to sweep up anyone left without a table last minute - and yes - maybe sometimes also to ensure the rest of my family had a table to play on.
This resulted in me noticing at conventions that quite a few of the veterans tended to cluster together. They had strong characters, they liked to play tough, possibly to play up. And they liked to play with other players whom they had met and enjoyed before.
This can scare away players who don't know anyone, don't know yet the rules that well. They often have characters that (at least how they play them) are weaker as the often derided pre-gens. Sometimes stronger players dislike to have them at the table (or at least give the impression) - so the weaker ones cluster together as well.
This causes a problem as it opens up a gap. These players are more likely to die, make bad decisions leveling up, rather play down as up. If you don't look out for that, then this becomes self reinforcing and the gap gets bigger and bigger - putting up a higher and higher barrier for newcomers.
PFS is great and very welcoming - so please don't read into this that all is bad. But still - is it worthwhile watching out for any signs of elitism - and try to fight against it at the earliest possible stage as this is best for the long term health of the society.
The weaker players might cost you resources and money as player, they prevent you from playing up and for a GM they make the play slower. But sometimes they also add and reward in surprising ways.
GM a table of kids and astonishingly often you have to ask yourself - why have I never seen this solution at an adult table.
Oh yes - they also get it wrong - often. But kids and new players aren't yet afraid to get it wrong. They still learn what works and what is foolish.
An old veteran and GM himself told my 8 year old daugther in a very asseretive manner on her first game that it was a bad, very bad idea to removed the gem stones from the pyramid.
"I've experience with this - this is a trap and nothing good comes from it."
Too bad that the removal of the gem stones was key how you destroyed the Penumbral Accord.
A group of noobs came up with the best idea I have seen so far to fight the idols.
[b]"I scoop the idol up and put it into a sack."[b]
I think there CMD is 4 or something similar ridiciolous. I had GMed this scenario 7 or 8 times before and none of the experienced players came up with this solution. It even makes role play sense - this is how they got there from the Mwangi.
And as society we need them to grow.
One more advice for anyone new
When you choose your first avatar - look for one that looks friendly. I love my mephit and I feel it's too late for my own redemption - but I don't know how often people see his face and in a discussion already start reading the thread in a much more hostile way compared to someone writing the same with a more friendly avatar.
|⦵⦵⦵⦵ Mike Bramnik Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus|
|⦵ Zrinka Znidarcic|
|William Ronald Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond|
|William Boyle Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic|
|⦵ Steven Lau Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon|
|Shawn Comiskey Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Gloucester aka Findas|
For anyone wanting to play at my table
If you are in the UK - expect me at most of the UK conventions. So far I've been at:
Conception - three years running - will be back
UK Expo - gave it a miss last year but plan to be back this year if possible
PaizoCon - this is A MUST
Rocket Con - tiny CON that I visited last year as it isn't far. I owe them to be back as I inflicted a TPK on the players there
Dragonmeet - organizing it now for 4 years - can't see how to get out of this one
Contraption the beta version - my wife just booked us in - this might be semi-public
Crispy Con - someone wrecking my car on the way didn't stop us last year - so can't see what stops us this year
Unknown to many - I do 1-2 table weekend cons at our house. These are invitation only - but if you know me - contact me and I might put you on my list.
Sunrise Lodge UK - this meets every Wednesday evening (well - I try to get enough players together which can be hard from time to time) and we tend to always have free spaces (or make one)
The above can also be an option for travellers from the Continent. We live close to Dover and contact me ahead of time for a game / stop-over in case you travel via ferry (just 15 minute drive).
Germany - I did try to play there in the past as my parents live close to Frankfurt. I even organized two tables during Spiel Essen at private homes after the show 2 (3?) years ago. But I don't know the German scene gave up. Well - with numerous German VCs and VLs I will let you know the next time I travel.
Other places in Europe - the closer to Calais the more likely it is. Drop me a message with info for a convention and a date.
|David Harrison Regional Venture-Coordinator, Western Eurasia-Middle East aka Wintergreen|
You missed out Oddcon in that list Thod :)
That could have been my unconsciousness. Indeed I've been to OddCon as well the last two years. It tends to clash with Spielertage in Essen, Germany and I might go back to Germany this year if I can get some German VC to organise something close by.
Nothing fixed yet though.
|⦵ Preston Hudson Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane|