*I have also posted this over on the Bay Area Pathfinder Society Yahoo Group*
Lately, there has been little to no attendance by GMs at GK, in Santa Clara (as well as players).
I am aware of a number of factors that likely do contribute to this occurrence. Things such as noise-level issues, unpredictable/late running times for scenarios, and various factors in personal lives are my prime suspects in this case of missing PFS members.
I might also (heartbreakingly) consider that maybe people might not be showing up due to interpersonal dislike of one or more of the regulars at this venue. I hope this is not the case but, anything seems possible at this rate.
I have also observed that we really don’t have many new GMs volunteering to run games; as well as fewer new players.
If anyone has some ideas or suggestions that I might pass on to our current store coordinator, feel free to do so.
I'd suggest the store coordinator asks all the regular GMs why they're not coming out any more. If their answers are similar, then that's what you need to address, even if it's unpleasant.
While PFS strives to be as open as possible, on a local level sometimes you just can't make it work if there's a person who is poisoning the community.
Other things to do are to invite new players to GM games personally. Don't just say, "we need people to sign up!" Print an intro scenario, gather the maps and minis, and give them to the player you think would be a decent GM, and give them say three week's notice before they GM. Tell them you picked them specially because you know they will do a good job. Support them, answer their questions, and then play at their table for their first game. Personal support and the confidence of the person in charge goes a long way to easing new folks into the GM's chair.
|Jared Thaler Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite|
How many new stores have opened up in that area? Two? Or is it three now? That probably has more to do with lower attendance then anything. More stores means the local player base is divided up among the new locations.
This runs counter to everything that I've seen in years of Meetup organizing, and that I've discovered while helping folks organize PFS locally here in Minnesota.
So long as each store has PFS on a different day (and make efforts to not all run the same scenarios in the same week) the presence of different stores offering PFS will only grow your local player base rather than decrease it.
Because some people like to game more than once a week. If you've got PFS going multiple days a week, people will visit different stores when it fits their schedule. In turn, folks who were gaming at one store will hear from happy regulars about the great GMs at another store and might visit. All the venues cross-pollinate.
Meanwhile, each store is a new opportunity for newcomers to hear about PFS. Someone from the southside who could not make Thursdays will try out one store, while someone from the northside who could not make Wednesdays will try out another. If they get a rare shift in their work schedule, they'll try out one of the other stores on a lark.
Build it, and they will come. Meanwhile, for your store, advertise and try to bring in new people. Envision the gaming culture you want, and be an embodiment of that. Greet new people warmly. Ask people when they might like to GM, and create an environment that encourages new GMs.