Rewarding local organizers


Pathfinder Society

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

3 people marked this as a favorite.

While discussing various Paizo incentives I realized that there are rewards for GMing a lot, for GMing at cons, and even for simply going to cons, but there are no rewards for local organizers. Now I realize part of this is because local organizers are divided into 3 groups: Store Owners, VOs and Other. Store owners theoretically get rewarded by increased sales and I am sure Paizo has a system for rewarding VOs. But what about the organizers that fit into neither of those two?

So I am wondering how common are people who aren't VOs or store owners who still take the time to organize and report local events. If there are a lot of people like that, should they be rewarded by Paizo, or should their rewards for GMing be sufficient?

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

For the sake of statistics, I (with a lot of help) liaison with the store and organize games, and (on nights I am there) wrangle tables to make sure everyone has a seat.

While I certainly would appreciate rewards and support, (Especially since spending time making tables means that I *don't* have time to go to cons, even local ones) I also knew this was a thankless* job when I signed up for it.

*thankless from paizo. I get plenty of thanks from my local players and VOs and thats why I do this.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

I've been my local FLGS PFS coordinator for 4 years now. It would be really nice to receive some kind of reward for the time (and money) spent doing it. Maybe a module, softcover accessory, or even a few minis every few months would be cool.

Silver Crusade *****

Favorited. Though I'd prefer a way to reward the GMs who make the location I organize a success.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

If I were going to receive anything for it, what would help, more than anything boons, minis, et al, is a mailing list / forum / communication with dependency information and information for organizers about upcoming modules.

For example I know that success in:

Spoiler:
Assault on the world wound

depends on how the players characters did in certain other season 5 scenarios. That said, I don't actually know which ones. I would like to make sure people get lots of chances to play those before I schedule runs of the spoilered scenario, but mostly I am just guessing.

I have a lot of novice GMs. It would be really nice to get a "heads up, this scenario is great for novices." or "Hey guys, this one is really, really twisted and complex, make sure you have someone with experience GMing it."

Right now, the only way I can really get that info is to mine all the reviews and hope the info is there, or read the GM thread and spoiler the scenario for myself. (And neither of these help when I am setting up the schedule a month or two before the scenario is even published...)

Alternately, I buy a fair number of modules for other people to run, a discount would be nice, maybe something like a 15% subscription pack that would buy each module as it came out.

That said, I never say no to boons.

****

I think rewarding organizers is a great idea. The first hurdle I see though is how do we determine the organizers who should get the rewards. I mean we have a star system for GM's but there is no system in place to count reported gameday's.

Trying to get us VO's to distribute would be problematic because it would leave out organizers who aren't located close enough to VO's.

And should the system treat GM's who organize a weekly PFS gameday with the same friends and family without ever bringing in outside players, the same as a person who organizes a local gameday that runs four tables a month with roating players?

And what are the benchmark's we should use to determine how to reward the coordinators?

These are questions I haven't been able to figure out fair solutions to myself. And I've been thinking about this since before I became a V-C.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Oh, I just remembered what I really need.

A way to access chronicle sheets for modules I don't own. I have lost track of the number of times a GM has told me they have the module, but no way to print it, and can I please print a set of chronicles for tonights game.

So far, we have always managed to arrange something, sometimes because I wanted to own that scenario anyway, and bought it so I can print out the chronicle sheets.

Grand Lodge ***

I don't know how you could accurately and fairly track organizers other than by who does the reporting. I frequently report for the other GMs with whom I co-organize two tables every week. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't get credit for helping to organize. Sadly, organizing is not always quantifiable.

Grand Lodge *

Edit: I posted this in the wrong thread so has been moved to the race boon thread, I'll try and link it once I get to my computer.

Essentially I'm suggesting a system where we as a community nominate people who put a lot of effort into PFS locally rather than relying on games reported or anything like that.

Silver Crusade *****

I'd like to see some form of reward for store coordinators. Over the long term a coordinator does a lot of work, an amount probably comparable to a VL and definitely more than a Paizocon or Gencon GM.

Asking for product (even some free scenarios) is probably too much. But maybe an occasional boon or the like.

But I see no way of differentiating people coordinating stores and people running home games.

And I see no way of differentiating people doing a good, active job and people more or less going through the motions.

Take myself as an example. On the one hand I took over an existing store when the previous coordinator left PFS (always easier than starting from scratch) and I get a great deal of benefit from the existing local infrastructure (thanks Jeff :-)). And I am NOT being particularly active in promoting play.

On the other hand I do spend a minimum of a couple of hours a week, I miss something like 2 games a year, I try very hard to make the game welcoming, and I play significantly less than I'd like to because I see it as my responsibility to be the GM of last resort.

How much reward does that "deserve"?

Shadow Lodge *

One thing I've noticed is that the job of store coordinator varies.

For example, in my city all three major stores run 8 to 16 games a month (and there are two stores that do pf in some fashion).

On the other hand, I've visited major cities were there isn't that many games a month and being a store coordinator means organising 1 to 2 games a month.

Only fair way to reward the work is to report games per store and then rewarding in ways that can be easily distributed.

And trust that a coordinator who hogs the credit unfairly will be poorly regarded.

Shadow Lodge **

I thought the reward was that you always got to play what you want and didn't have to worry about getting a seat at the table.


Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
I thought the reward was that you always got to play what you want and didn't have to worry about getting a seat at the table.

In my experience (not an organiser, just from watching them) this is very much not true. I have seen organisers coralling players (see; herding cats) for games, making sure everyone has what they need etc and then actually missing out on sitting in for a game themselves.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

CathalFM wrote:
Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
I thought the reward was that you always got to play what you want and didn't have to worry about getting a seat at the table.
In my experience (not an organiser, just from watching them) this is very much not true. I have seen organisers coralling players (see; herding cats) for games, making sure everyone has what they need etc and then actually missing out on sitting in for a game themselves.

Ditto. They may get to choose what gets run at the game day but that doesn't always mean they get to play what they want. They frequently give up seats to newbs or GMs they feel are deserving of it or table jump to make sure tables make. And they may also choose games to run based on what's best for the community rather than what they actually want to play.

Now there are some rewards that these coordinators do get, such as player thank you's and store bennies from thankful store owners, but these are usually very inconsistent. The focus of this thread is to bring attention to whether or not Paizo should reward them and how they might go about doing it.

The Exchange *****

Alex McGuire wrote:
Favorited. Though I'd prefer a way to reward the GMs who make the location I organize a success.

I like this idea also. When a local organizer has reported as many sessions as a major convention generates, it would be nice to have a way to thank the GMs who make the organizer's life easier (and entice them to continue volunteering).

****

For me, being able to do something nice for my players would be reward enough. Maybe send coordinators a boon chronicle for every 15 or 30 tables they report. Some of us will give it to a "Player of the Month" or as a reward for "The Coolest Thing I've Seen This Quarter" or "Thanks for GMing Consistently," others will keep it as a reward for themselves. However it gets handed out, it's bound to provide good PR and make someone happy at (presumably) very little ongoing cost to Paizo.

(Don't know what it would take to set up to identify that kind of reporting, though.)

I also like the FLite's idea of giving coordinators extra information to make better scheduling decisions, and the availability to print chronicle sheets for scenarios they don't own.

Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
I thought the reward was that you always got to play what you want and didn't have to worry about getting a seat at the table.

Out of all the scenarios that I've scheduled that I really wanted to either play or GM, only once have I actually ended up with a chance to do so. Either someone offers to GM the scenario I wanted to run by name, or I've had to GM or fill out another table when I wanted to play a scenario.

So, while I do have control over what is scheduled (which isn't true for all store coordinators: I know in the Twin Cities they try to coordinate scenarios between stores so you don't always get to schedule what you want,) but I have less control over which of those I actually play or GM than my average player.

Sczarni **** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Chesterfield aka MrDNA

Just to throw my 2 cents in, I am a coordinator that falls into the other category. I have been doing this for less than a year now. This may not apply to everyone in my position but, I don't really need any rewards. I think most of us do this for the love of the game. After all the only thing better than an awesome hobby is getting to share that awesome hobby with more people.

I do admit having extra info to help with scheduling and the ability to access all chronicles for printing would be nice tools to have.

I'm also not sure how badly we need organizer rewards. In my experience the word organizer can easily be exchanged with words primary GM.

As for an idea for a reward, why not just put the title organizer on our pfs card. A small gesture like that can say a lot to people.

Silver Crusade ****

MrDNA wrote:
I'm also not sure how badly we need organizer rewards. In my experience the word organizer can easily be exchanged with words primary GM.

Yeah, I was actually wondering if there are really very many organizers who don't GM regularly. The GM star system has built in rewards (though see my complaint in another thread about how Paizo plays favorites with convention goers over everyone else). While it would be nice to acknowledge organizers once in a while with something more, I think most of them already get at least that.

***

Hopping in as a voice for the above mentioned “Other” category – I'm a store liaison who …

1. schedules around the scenarios I know my regs have played (generally scheduled for the next 15 games out)
2. looks at the schedules for other stores to try to make sure my regs aren’t signed up elsewhere for scenarios that are in the works (and PM’s the ones who have signed up for things they’ve already played in)
3. tries to make sure my regular GMs (some of whom are VO’s) are able to run the games they would like as many are trying to “build up stars”, which means …
4. rarely GMs for PFS (and most of my PFS GM credit is for other areas where I’ve gone to help out, not my own store)
5. coordinates for a store which has a perpetual derth of Paizo product, but who loves having PFS players there (even though they carry so little product we’re only able to purchase snacks) – and who can and has handled 4+ tables running simultaneously.

... so there’s another example of the “Other” :)

I don’t feel bad about not GMing more as I think that encouraging and scheduling a crop of additional GMs who can both play and run at the store I coordinate for and then go and run at other stores or at conventions is far more valuable to the campaign as sitting down and saying “I want to GM this”.

That said, access to some way of verification for what players have played or GM’d what would be much easier than maintaining a spreadsheet of regular players & tick marks next to the names of scenarios & modules played/ GM'd. :)

-TimD

Sczarni **** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Chesterfield aka MrDNA

TimD wrote:

Hopping in as a voice for the above mentioned “Other” category – I'm a store liaison who …

1. schedules around the scenarios I know my regs have played (generally scheduled for the next 15 games out)
2. looks at the schedules for other stores to try to make sure my regs aren’t signed up elsewhere for scenarios that are in the works (and PM’s the ones who have signed up for things they’ve already played in)
3. tries to make sure my regular GMs (some of whom are VO’s) are able to run the games they would like as many are trying to “build up stars”, which means …
4. rarely GMs for PFS (and most of my PFS GM credit is for other areas where I’ve gone to help out, not my own store)
5. coordinates for a store which has a perpetual derth of Paizo product, but who loves having PFS players there (even though they carry so little product we’re only able to purchase snacks) – and who can and has handled 4+ tables running simultaneously.

... so there’s another example of the “Other” :)

I don’t feel bad about not GMing more as I think that encouraging and scheduling a crop of additional GMs who can both play and run at the store I coordinate for and then go and run at other stores or at conventions is far more valuable to the campaign as sitting down and saying “I want to GM this”.

That said, access to some way of verification for what players have played or GM’d what would be much easier than maintaining a spreadsheet of regular players & tick marks next to the names of scenarios & modules played/ GM'd. :)

-TimD

I envy your large stable of GMs. We tend to run a deficit in this area, although it has been getting better lately. And you do have a good point there. I would also like to be able to check for what people have played. I'm beginning to feel that most of us don't want rewards just more tools to do what we do :)

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

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MrDNA wrote:
I'm beginning to feel that most of us don't want rewards just more tools to do what we do :)

I am beginning to sense us organizers are a masochistic lot. :-)

Shadow Lodge **

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TimD wrote:


That said, access to some way of verification for what players have played or GM’d what would be much easier than maintaining a spreadsheet of regular players & tick marks next to the names of scenarios & modules played/ GM'd. :)

-TimD

^SO MUCH OF THIS^

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Well, the advantage of the tools is that it negates the need to figure out who is an organizer. If you are not an organizer, the tools we are talking about won't be much use to you. If you are an organizer, the tools will save you time, which is a good enough reward for me.

Grand Lodge

I've recently taken over as Organizer at the store I play at, and while I'm not hopping for rewards, I already GM consistently for those, it would be a nice gesture. I put a lot into PFS to make it grow outside of when I'm GMing, and it would be cool to see that rewarded. Being able to see player's play history easily and the aforementioned chronicle access would both be huge boons. I would also like something to show that I am different than a VO in a legitimate capacity, as I have been mistaken as such before, and they are very different responsibilities. The addition of Coordinator to our cards would be really cool.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

While it might be convenient for an event organiser, I'm not sure the players would see it the same way.

I've got some tools I use myself to keep track of what I've played or GMed, which character the credit went to, etc. That's useful when my wife and I are looking at what's coming up at local game stores; we can see what we haven't played, and which of our characters are within tier.

I'm working on converting this to a system working with a real database, not just the spreadsheet I currently use. I've thought about eventually offering it to local event coordinators, together with tools to import data from Warhorn signups, help with mustering signups into tables, and what I can manage to automate reporting the event to Paizo.

I'd really like to have it all working off a central site, so that information from a game day is available to a convention schedule planner (and vice versa). But I know some players who would refuse to use such a system (and I suspect European privacy laws might have something to say on the matter, too).

***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

John Francis wrote:
But I know some players who would refuse to use such a system (and I suspect European privacy laws might have something to say on the matter, too).

If you have consent, then it shouldn't be a problem with privacy legislation anywhere.

The problem will be getting the consent from everyone.

*****

I fit the description in the OP - not particularly looking for rewards.


Mistwalker wrote:
John Francis wrote:
But I know some players who would refuse to use such a system (and I suspect European privacy laws might have something to say on the matter, too).

If you have consent, then it shouldn't be a problem with privacy legislation anywhere.

The problem will be getting the consent from everyone.

Not even really that hard, just whenever you are organising games send around a sheet with the sign in sheet asking people if they want to opt in to the service and if so provide signature.

***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

CathalFM wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:
John Francis wrote:
But I know some players who would refuse to use such a system (and I suspect European privacy laws might have something to say on the matter, too).

If you have consent, then it shouldn't be a problem with privacy legislation anywhere.

The problem will be getting the consent from everyone.

Not even really that hard, just whenever you are organising games send around a sheet with the sign in sheet asking people if they want to opt in to the service and if so provide signature.

For court purposes, the consent needs to be fairly robust. And how large is the consent (that is, does it cover all of PFS, or simply that one shop area?)? Who manages the database with the consents (as you will need to keep copies of those forms)? How is consent of minors dealt with? How do folks withdraw their consent? If the form is for local only, how does the coordinator get access to the appropriate files from PAIZO (i.e. will PAIZO also need to keep copies, and how will PAIZO vet the coordinators)?

I can come up with a few more questions and concerns if need be, but I don't think that obtaining consent is as easy as most people think it can be/is.

Sovereign Court ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Consent is simple and can come with signing up. WotC has long done exactly this, and has zero problems with having this kind of information for a worldwide program that is massive in scale and scope.

Paizo could handle it by making it a box you check the next time you log in, much like how Apple or Adobe does whenever you update your device.

Future consent can be given when a number is given by Paizo to an individual when they are new.

PS - This kind of system is responsible for Magic's incredible growth the last few years. Not sure why we WOULDN'T want it for PFS.

Regarding the OP - rewards are unnecessary, as organizers are rewarded by what they do already (if they weren't somwhow rewarded by that experience they wouldn't do it). Not saying a boon or something wouldn't be nice, though. (-;

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Heh...I love this!

The response is almost a universal: "We do this without additional rewards and will continue to do so...but it would be nice if Paizo gave us a little nod of appreciation."

This is not a response I am completely surprised by.


-- Begin threadjack --

Hey Trollbill,

Where's your glossary?

I thought about 10 years ago I read some really beneficial stuff from someone with your handle, about a different game, on another message board system, from another company.

-- End threadjack --

Sovereign Court ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

I guess what I'm saying is that I DO get additional rewards. They come in sales dollars. Lots of them.

Others get to play the games they want to play, or actually be able to simply sit down and play, period. Still others simply get to see the joy that playing brings to people they know.

Thinking about it, I actually get ALL of that.

Thanking about it further, I don't know that I WOULD be okay with additional rewards, like boons. That would have the potential of making the organizer's position a position no longer driven by a sense of community. Much like charity. If people are paid to give their time and effort to charity, then it no longer is charity and instead becomes another way to exploit a system for personal gain.

So, actually, I retract what I said and instead say this: Leave the organizer system a charitable system that rewards itself.

Do, however, make the changes that allow for tracking. The DCI (Magic) has proven it is simple, effective, and does not have any legal pitfalls. PFS can benefit from it just as much.

*

The best reward I've gotten as an organizer is the understanding of players in our area when my wife and I DO NOT want to or simply can't organize for awhile. That, and other people in our area stepping up to run things in their own events.

We both GM, we both play and we try to stay active as our busy schedules permit but what I really appreciate most is that folks in our area aren't judgmental or dismissive when we simply need to take time off to take care of career/life stuff.

Everyone around here in SoCal is great about stepping up and taking their share of the less-than-fun elements of the hobby...whether that's organizing, coordinating, planning, GMing when you're busy and/or stressed, playing a different PC you didn't want to in order to fill out a legal group for new players, etc. etc. etc.

It makes me really proud of my hobby and my gaming community when I see so many folks doing any and all of the above...and with a bit of time, that makes me want to step back up and organize again.

As for a more tangible reward...nah, I'm good. I get to share Pathfinder with rad people usually a couple times a month. That's good enough for me.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Benjamin Milarch wrote:

-- Begin threadjack --

Hey Trollbill,

Where's your glossary?

I thought about 10 years ago I read some really beneficial stuff from someone with your handle, about a different game, on another message board system, from another company.

-- End threadjack --

Well, this is completely OT, but you can still find "TROLLBILL’S UNOFFICIAL DICTIONARY OF COMMON D&D MESSAGE BOARD TERMINOLOGY" with a google search. But it is dated and it's need has mostly been eliminated by all of the various online Urban Dictionaries.

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