Are we dismissing the problems of small lodges?


Pathfinder Society

101 to 150 of 212 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

Serisan wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:


Some schools will let individual students reserve space without being part of an organization but that won't get you in the formal club listing where others might see.

There's the rather large issue of bringing weird people in from off campus to use the facilities, which is probably against the university policy.

we did this a time or two at our local college but 1) we had a professor in the group and 2) I'm not sure we weren't just a psychology experiment..

If you're holding an activity at college/university, you have to restrict your audience to the student population, unless you're using a specified public venue. Most classrooms are not. Most areas at a school are not open to general public access.
This could also vary by college/uni. Back when I ran the Juggling Assembly, we had the largest indoor open space that wasn't the sports complex on Monday nights and people came from ~60 miles away to hang out each week.

Yes it can. At Rutgers the only events that we could set up to invite the general public in were events held at the Student Center or via sponsorship with dorm hall government. Clubs that were reserving classrooms for extracurricular activity had to limit attendance to the school population.

1/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


Yes it can. At Rutgers the only events that we could set up to invite the general public in were events held at the Student Center or via sponsorship with dorm hall government. Clubs that were reserving classrooms for extracurricular activity had to limit attendance to the school population.

At the College of Dupage, in the western suburbs of Chicago, there is a SciFi/Fantasy club that shepherds various local conventions as well as runs one to three of their own at the college under their aegis.

Their 'admission' policy to attend one of the conventions they are supporting is a nominal fee for administrative upkeep and space rental, but attendees can be from pretty much anywhere as long as they aren't violating the law somehow.

I'm speaking in generalities here, I don't know the specifics but I've attended the conventions they support and the big one they run for over a decade...

3/5 5/5

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:


Some schools will let individual students reserve space without being part of an organization but that won't get you in the formal club listing where others might see.

There's the rather large issue of bringing weird people in from off campus to use the facilities, which is probably against the university policy.

we did this a time or two at our local college but 1) we had a professor in the group and 2) I'm not sure we weren't just a psychology experiment..

If you're holding an activity at college/university, you have to restrict your audience to the student population, unless you're using a specified public venue. Most classrooms are not. Most areas at a school are not open to general public access.

At the larger colleges in Texas, the student centers are open to general public access, and that's where the gaming clubs play. The gaming clubs can even reserve enough free space to hold full-fledged conventions, which are also open to the public. There are even a few gaming cons held at high schools (on the weekend, when school is not in session).

5/5 Venture-Captain, Australia—ACT—Canberra aka powell01

Ok, commenting from the other side of the world but I would consider us a small lodge compared to the average us locations. We have five venues, 3 stores, a university club and a local library conference room. One of the stores is exclusively card game, another is card and RPG. The last is RPG only. We have ups and downs within the Uni year obviously, but we have noticed that if one person starts travelling the forty minute drive from one RPG location to another, a few weeks later more will come along. We run different nights in every location as not everyone can make any given weeknight. The Uni club and library run once a month, the stores 2-3 times a month depending in demand.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Steve Coling wrote:
Ok, commenting from the other side of the world but I would consider us a small lodge compared to the average us locations.

My small lodge is 1 or two tables, 1 is set up in the trades section of a comic book store and the other is set up in the back kitty corner to the pathfinder books. Anything else is 60 miles away (but you can almost pick a direction drive 60 miles and hit the next place...)

5/5 5/55/55/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

My lodge is so small that...

Sovereign Court

I think if people have the ability to utilize college/university campuses, they should try to pursue it.

At Cornell they had a very active gaming club and the vast majority of members were not attending the university. They would meet on Saturdays and because they were an established club with the university, they were able to have rooms reserved for the school year starting at the beginning of the semester. As far as I know, the requirements were some paperwork and having student leadership (ie the president, vice president, etc). They did not do PFS or even Pathfinder regularly (we basically ran home games), but the point is they had tons of reliable space, consistent members, and because the university was club friendly, they were able to advertise and participate in club fairs.

IMO, it is worth checking out local universities if people have the opportunity!

Sovereign Court 4/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


Yes it can. At Rutgers the only events that we could set up to invite the general public in were events held at the Student Center or via sponsorship with dorm hall government. Clubs that were reserving classrooms for extracurricular activity had to limit attendance to the school population.

At the College of Dupage, in the western suburbs of Chicago, there is a SciFi/Fantasy club that shepherds various local conventions as well as runs one to three of their own at the college under their aegis.

Their 'admission' policy to attend one of the conventions they are supporting is a nominal fee for administrative upkeep and space rental, but attendees can be from pretty much anywhere as long as they aren't violating the law somehow.

I'm speaking in generalities here, I don't know the specifics but I've attended the conventions they support and the big one they run for over a decade...

Slippery Rock, the University of Dayton, and the Ohio State University we had no restrictions on outside members coming in, it was actually encouraged to get people involved in the community.

I've run LARPs in the middle of classrooms and conference halls, had people from multiple different states dropping in at various times and we never had any issues with it -- that was even in full costumes on a regular basis and some of them were not subtle (think full up cosplay).

This is a check with your local groups.

Dark Archive

I'm trying to start a lodge at the community college I am attending for a year or two. They have a nice game lounge that is rather big and comfortable. No need to set up a club, just had to make sure I ran the flyers through the Student office.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
My lodge is so small that...

...it's a lo.

5/5 5/55/5

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
I don't think we're dismissing the problems that small lodges face, but outside of convincing people to move, it's really up to them to deal with the problems. They may need to step up their efforts to promote themselves. Or consider other venues such as online gaming via Roll20.

I take on board your point...

I run games locally, I run a shedload of tables on PbP, I also now run multi-table specials.

Unfortunately there is no collective recognition to turn this into a 'Lodge' - each of these formats is only considered independently and there is no real method where virtual and physical tables are considered as one construct.

Its either virtual, or it's physical - even if the same people are involved.

5/5 5/55/55/5

6 people marked this as a favorite.

This is my wishlist.

1) A gamefinder that works and is geographically based, not arbitrarily listed by state.

I cannot find the game that i put on on paizo's gamefinder. Even sorting it four different ways the list always caps out somewhere around georgia.

Warhorn's is no better. The only reason i found NEW paltz was because i looked for NEW burgh. I also got gamedays in NEW zealand.

What's this got to do with being a smaller lodge?

Someone asking around for pathfinder in new york city is going to find the golden compass lodge. Someone in my state could ask in newburgh, middletown, poughkeepsie, kingston and saugerties without knowing that the closest games are in new paltz (in fact, that exact example HAS happened) or quite possibly danburry Connecticut.

2) Give me something to incentivize DMing.

In a small lodge DMing 10 times to get 1 star gets you 1 replay. Ever.

Recharginig gets you another replay but the same lodges that are small are away from large population centers, this makes getting to conventions to run much harder.

Getting full credit for the scenario overlooks the opportunity cost of not playing: unless your DM is TPKing parties left and right you get almost the same rewards as playing or running.

Since the scenarios cost money in a smaller lodge, you're spending 40 (now 50) dollars for that. (my store is a paizo authorized retailer, but they're having trouble accessing the scenarios, and them printing it isn't any cheaper than me buying it and running off the kindle)

Most importantly, 10 games is like 5 months worth of gaming out here. Its one thing to dm 5 times when you get to play 15 or 20 times in the same amount of time but wracking up stars is a LONG process when you have 2-3 games a month.

3) I need a bus exception for replays.

I don't know how you could word this to make it not abusable, but I need some way to let the old hands play with the new guys when our tables collapse besides schedueling a new low tier scenario every time. They're not being produced that quickly and we're kind of burning through the backlogs. I need some way to replay when people that have played the low table are supposed to play at the high one and the high one doesn't go off.

Just some way to replay (even for no credit) if your only other option is to take the bus home. Its one thing if you walked to the store and miss your 4th game out of 5 this week, its quite another if you drove half an hour to get somewhere and the next game is in 2 weeks.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

This is my wishlist.

1) A gamefinder that works and is geographically based, not arbitrarily listed by state.

I cannot find the game that i put on on paizo's gamefinder. Even sorting it four different ways the list always caps out somewhere around georgia.

Warhorn's is no better. The only reason i found NEW paltz was because i looked for NEW burgh. I also got gamedays in NEW zealand.

What's this got to do with being a smaller lodge?

Someone asking around for pathfinder in new york city is going to find the golden compass lodge. Someone in my state could ask in newburgh, middletown, poughkeepsie, kingston and saugerties without knowing that the closest games are in new paltz (in fact, that exact example HAS happened) or quite possibly danburry Connecticut.

2) Give me something to incentivize DMing.

In a small lodge DMing 10 times to get 1 star gets you 1 replay. Ever.

Recharginig gets you another replay but the same lodges that are small are away from large population centers, this makes getting to conventions to run much harder.

Getting full credit for the scenario overlooks the opportunity cost of not playing: unless your DM is TPKing parties left and right you get almost the same rewards as playing or running.

Since the scenarios cost money in a smaller lodge, you're spending 40 (now 50) dollars for that. (my store is a paizo authorized retailer, but they're having trouble accessing the scenarios, and them printing it isn't any cheaper than me buying it and running off the kindle)

Most importantly, 10 games is like 5 months worth of gaming out here. Its one thing to dm 5 times when you get to play 15 or 20 times in the same amount of time but wracking up stars is a LONG process when you have 2-3 games a month.

3) I need a bus exception for replays.

I don't know how you could word this to make it not abusable, but I need some way to let the old hands play with the new guys when our tables collapse besides schedueling a new low tier scenario every time. They're...

The problem with warhorn is not that it's a bad system, the issue is frequently participation, the best gamefinder on the planet won't do squat if it's a, not paid for in some way, and b. the people who post games don't sign up due to lack of interest or lack of knowledge.

There are a lot of venues out there to list a game, warhorn, Facebook, and Meetup, there is no one venue that every group uses.

5/5 5/55/5

Drahliana - yeah I use Facebook exclusively.

4/5 Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Asheville

I just finished up running a scenario in a comic book store and I was thinking about this thread while driving home. The Appalachian Pathfinder Lodge (APL) used to be just one store as recently as two years ago. Then we had some of the GMs branch out to another FLGS about 45 min away. Then we started running weekly games at two comic book stores within 5 miles of the "main" store. It seemed to happen just by fits and starts, almost as if we just had to be patient and wait for the right time to line up with the right people in order to get something sustainable going.

So now we have three to five weekly tables, with a "Grand Lodge" of about 6 to 8 tables every other Saturday (in a city with about 85K people). But there were a lot of false starts and abandoned efforts on the way to where it stands today (I used to drive an hour away to help run games at a MTG store that finally just closed up and did all their card-trading on-line, thus ending the experiment in Pathfinder in that particular town).

I have a lot of sympathy for the table-top gamers out there that want to play so bad they can hardly stand it, but can't find four other people willing to actually show up and play the game. They seem to be surrounded by people who still pour all their free time into computer games, card games or just watching TV or videos on their cellphone. I was in that situation for a couple of decades, but finally moved to a place that had a few other like-minded individuals that loved gaming enough to make it a regular part of their weekly and monthly schedule. It can be hard, damned hard, to find those people, you just have to be patient and not just throw up your hands in frustration.....

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I got into PFS by word of mouth. A friend was playing, and said to me, 'hey, you like RPGs, you playing these days?' and since I wasnt, this was an excellent opportunity to get back into the hobby.

What I've noticed, location is key. We used to have a beautiful goverment sponsored location. The FLGS payed a deposit, but because we all signed a form at the door, they could get that back (it was part of a goverment program to encourage gaming to bring people together).
It worked insanely good. The location was in the middle of the city center, a short walk from the train station. And with a loooooot of food options close by.
We quickly went up to three tables a week, and the rest of the room was jam packed with boargamers. This gave us a very visible presence and made spreading our presence by word of mouth that much easier.

Sadly, the sponsorship ended, and without it, the FLGS could no longer afford to rent the space.
We tried some other venues, before ending where we are now, at a community space.
We are a lot less visible, and we have to pay rent (altough that does give us free use of the kitchen at the location).
We are not a lot less visible, and are now back down to two tables a week. Still a respectable number.

We now need to work a lot harder to get ourselves advertised. We luckily play at this location with the D&D encounters group and every other week the X-wing tournament is held at our location. So we do have a bit of cross pollination.

Visibility is such an important part. Being able to casually observe a group makes a difference for a lot of people. See what the dynamic is, to see if you could fit, without taking a proverbial risk.

The PFS format in itself does work very well for the core group we have now. Most of us have a full time job. Home games are hard to maintain (especially if you have young children), and PFS fills a good niche for us.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In California we have the Bay Area Pathfinder Society website, which acts as a directory to all the different venues in the region. Of which there are many. In the East Bay alone, we have 6 and a half in a 17 mile radius, most going on different nights. But only 1 of those venues has more than 1 table (the one has 3 or 4, plus ACG). We get some people who will hit up 2 venues a week.

In some ways, I'd like to consolidate the lodges, as each one has the problems of a small lodge but together they could be an easy-to-use big lodge. But I also like how each one has its own flavor and allows for schedules on different days of the week.

The store I work with the most is about a block from UC Berkeley (two others are within a mile as well). But sadly, we have no players who attend, so we don't have any shoe in to do campaigning on campus. And the store itself is mostly for magic cards and computer rentals. They let us use the tables, but don't support us much more than that.

The second store that I frequent used to have 3 or 4 tables and had a lot of support from the store. Due to graduations, personal drama, and the store deciding to promote 5th Ed instead of staying with pathfinder, we've been at 1 table for a while now. This store is in a more remote part of the bay so it's harder to recruit for, but we're installing a VA that will hopefully help.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

3 people marked this as a favorite.

An interesting opportunity is opening up in Tampere: a board game cafe is opening in town on the last of the month. I'll likely contact them about the possibility of hosting a monthly game there separate from the gameday (maybe staggered from it so that we have a regular gameday every two weeks). The issue with it will be table reservation fees, but maybe that toll bridge can be crossed somehow.

Alternatively, I'm pretty sure the basement of the 3D printing cafe would be happy to see us, but their air conditioning is pants and I'm prone to lack-of-fresh-air headaches.

4/5 Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Asheville

"The store I work with the most is about a block from UC Berkeley (two others are within a mile as well). But sadly, we have no players who attend, so we don't have any shoe in to do campaigning on campus. And the store itself is mostly for magic cards and computer rentals"

That sounds a lot like the situation with UNC-Asheville. We have a college campus less than a mile away from the main FLGS, but we have zero players (as far as I know) that actually attend, it completely baffles me. We have plenty of college-AGE players and GMs, but very few genu-wine college people (and none from the university next door). The few I know are all community college students.

Is this a common phenomenon? Or are UC-Berkley and UNC-Asheville the outliers when it comes to PFS?

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

James Anderson wrote:

In California we have the Bay Area Pathfinder Society website, which acts as a directory to all the different venues in the region. Of which there are many. In the East Bay alone, we have 6 and a half in a 17 mile radius, most going on different nights. But only 1 of those venues has more than 1 table (the one has 3 or 4, plus ACG). We get some people who will hit up 2 venues a week.

In some ways, I'd like to consolidate the lodges, as each one has the problems of a small lodge but together they could be an easy-to-use big lodge. But I also like how each one has its own flavor and allows for schedules on different days of the week.

There is a way for the Bay Area to consolidate the lodges, and maintain the flavor, locations and schedules of each. Use Meetup. For an urban area with as many geek-oriented Meetups already up and active... The Bay Area is prime for all the cross-pollination Meetup could bring you. It's not free, but it provides you a single calendar that everyone can reserve from. It sends out reminder emails, and it relentlessly drives new members to you.

So long as you have tons of regular events spread across the week, with enough for each one to sport 1-2 tables... That's enough to drive in new members who are looking for gaming on Meetup. They'll constantly see new Meetups from you, and they'll join.

Full disclosure -- I'm a former Meetup Employee. I haven't worked there for years, but I am clearly a biased person who likes the product.

Downsides of the software -- Meetup vs Warhorn:

1) Members will RSVP for an event, but not a specific table. You'll need to use your Meetup RSVP Question to ask them: "What game do you want to play? What level and class of character are you bringing?" Not everyone will tell you. You'll want to use the event comments to hash it out. You can see how we used comments in yesterday's event to play Geek Sudoku in the days before the event.

2) Meetup is pricey. You can hit up members for donations and ask them to chip in, but it's probably best to do that AFTER you see the results.

3) Members get a lot more emails than they did before. This is also an upside. Read on.

___

Upsides of Meetup vs Warhorn:

1) Cross-Fertilization between Mini-Lodges. With Warhorn, your mini-Lodges are each separate identities, with players that likely only look at the 1-2 Warhorns near them. With Meetup, your mini-lodges will see each others events all the time, with upcoming events featured on the main page, and a calendar that shows all your events. They may be dedicated to Location A, but they will see that Location B is running that trilogy, Shades of Ice. "Hey my Ulfen character will have a blast there! I'll try it out."

Our Meetup Home Page -- Upcoming Events Highlighted

Calendar View

2) Cross-Fertilization with other Meetup Groups. Board gamers will see your group. Tech Meetup members will see your group. Dog owners and Singles will see your group. Meetup will announce your group when it first launches to everyone locally who has ever expressed an interest in gaming. You'll get a horde of new members overnight, and if you have events already listed, they'll RSVP to them.

3) A Visible Presence on Search Engines. You'll be much easier to find.

4) Emailed Events. Members are more likely to see an event if it comes straight to their mailbox.

5) A One-Stop Shop. Meetup has things like event comments, and the ability to email members, and the ability to do some social media things that are feel-good like telling other members it was good to see you.

6) Automatic statistics on attendance over time. You'll be able to track which months are busy, and which (like Minnesota in April) are ones that just don't get a lot of signups because it's spring. Everyone wants out in the beautiful weather.

I think that it would make a huge difference to the Bay Area. You're the ideal set up for a Meetup group, honestly.

Hmm

Sovereign Court 4/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It is starting to sound like we perhaps need something here locally (paizo/pfs sole site), that is much improved and possibly allow for table set ups, and if it's integrated into the current site - you could then use a drop down and put in character's from your account that would be able to participate in the scenario.

I'm not wanting to suggest more on top of the IT department that has at times been overwhelmed (humble bundle comes to mind..) -- if someone would be willing to work on something like this and make it happen -- would the powers-that-be... be interested in implementing it if completed?

Which then raises the question for someone who may be interested in doing something like this...what would be ideal for this to incorporate?

3/5 5/55/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

As a player but not an organizer in the Bay Area, I can see where Meetup would be advantageous for learning about other events, but losing the ability to sign up for specific games sounds so much more complicated for the store running 4-6 tables a week. Right now, I can see what I'm planning to play and GM for the next three months. Maybe there's more going on behind the scenes, but the geek sodoku feels pretty minimal to me and games generally start right at 7.

For me personally, I'm not looking for another weeknight game (one night weekly of PFS and three home campaigns of varying regularity make for a busy gamer). I do try to attend Saturday game days when possible (I've played at three other stores this way), and I usually find out about them through the Oakland and SF Facebook group or the BAPS yahoo mailing list.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Hmm. I'll look into it and talk to my VC's about it.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Kate ---

You still can sign people up for those games, and you can still ask them what games they want to sign up for with the store running 4-6 tables a week. They don't place themselves at those tables. They say where they want to be, and the Organizer of the event places them there.

I usually slot people in as they RSVP (Meetup sends me emails when they RSVP, but you can change that setting if you don't like it) and everyone can see what tables are full as they are filling. However, it does require the store organizer to do that extra step. You can also see waiting lists, and request other GMs to open up tables.

I just mention this because it's a difference from how Warhorn does things, and would be a change for both organizers and members.

Hmm

Grand Lodge 2/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Colorado—Northern Colorado aka treidenb

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For events that have two or more scenarios, we'll post a Meetup for each scenario. That works out pretty well to define the table assignments between the different scenarios, but then we'll have to determine the sub-tier on-site. We set the RSVP limits based upon the number of GMs we have, so 7 (1 GM and 6 players) or 14 (2 GMs and 12 players). Meetup recently changed waitlists, so anyone can signup when an event is full and be automatically added when an RSVPed player drops.

One way you can avoid the e-mail blasts is to create filters in your e-mail client. Personally, in Gmail, I create a label (or folder) for Meetup. Then I set everything sent from Meetup to use that label and skip the inbox. That avoids getting message alerts on your smartphone.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Meetup = Organizer controls
Warhorn = Player controls

Lantern Lodge 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

If you have multiple locations running tables, and are using WarHorn, make each location use the same 'event.' Every public PFS table in Omaha, regardless of location, can be found by searching 'Omaha Pathfinder Society'- -it's not a separate page for each location.

An extra suggestion: If there's another group within driving distance, cross-advertise on your Warhorns. Lincoln, NE is 65 miles away from Omaha, so we each offer a link to the other's WarHorn on our front page.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

I like that suggestion, Jeff.

Hmm

4/5 Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Asheville

Jeff Hazuka wrote:

If you have multiple locations running tables, and are using WarHorn, make each location use the same 'event.' Every public PFS table in Omaha, regardless of location, can be found by searching 'Omaha Pathfinder Society'- -it's not a separate page for each location.

An extra suggestion: If there's another group within driving distance, cross-advertise on your Warhorns. Lincoln, NE is 65 miles away from Omaha, so we each offer a link to the other's WarHorn on our front page.

We do the same thing in Western NC, we list everything under "APL" so that everyone can see all the games for the next two or three weeks covering multiple locations. Makes it really easy for people to check out what is being offered at the different venues....

5/5 5/55/5

If you aren't as keen on Meetup, then other platforms like Eventbrite work well (and it's free if you aren't charging people)

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

We use Warhorn exclusively in Indianapolis and Central Indiana. All of the stores in the region for which I am the VC are all on that one Warhorn. Northeast Indiana, Northwest Indiana, and South Central Indiana are all separate lodges, and they all have their own separate warhorns (though the idea to add links to theirs directly from our Warhorn is brilliant and I am going to do that!)

We are probably a medium-sized lodge. Warhorn works great for us - you just try out whatever tools you want and then use the one that works best.

Good luck!

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Jeff Hazuka wrote:

If you have multiple locations running tables, and are using WarHorn, make each location use the same 'event.' Every public PFS table in Omaha, regardless of location, can be found by searching 'Omaha Pathfinder Society'- -it's not a separate page for each location.

An extra suggestion: If there's another group within driving distance, cross-advertise on your Warhorns. Lincoln, NE is 65 miles away from Omaha, so we each offer a link to the other's WarHorn on our front page.

We did this for the whole of the Netherlands, and it works very well, people can see where all the games are, and decide accordingly.

Incendiaeternus wrote:

It is starting to sound like we perhaps need something here locally (paizo/pfs sole site), that is much improved and possibly allow for table set ups, and if it's integrated into the current site - you could then use a drop down and put in character's from your account that would be able to participate in the scenario.

I'm not wanting to suggest more on top of the IT department that has at times been overwhelmed (humble bundle comes to mind..) -- if someone would be willing to work on something like this and make it happen -- would the powers-that-be... be interested in implementing it if completed?

Which then raises the question for someone who may be interested in doing something like this...what would be ideal for this to incorporate?

We made our own, simple, separate site so we can easily link to relative info. pfsnl.nl

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nohwear wrote:
Does anyone have suggestions on how to draw people to the hobby, especially in areas where rpgs are not really accepted? This does not apply to myself, but I feel that the current direction of the conversation assumes that there are players looking for a group. What if you pretty much have all of the local players? How do you bring more people into the fold? Does anyone know of any good resources for dealing with the stigma that some communities have created about the hobby?

Practice explaining what an RPG group is to the layman, I often do it like this:

I start by refering to it, not as an acronym (RPG) nor by the game name (pathfinder), but as a social event that I'm attending. If they inquire further, I slowly get into it. It's a social gathering, typically aimed at those with natural social awkwardness. Now, while everyone being socially awkward seems like a bad thing, it actually results in a much more accepting crowd, which is a quite pleasent experience. The game aspect, is more a pretense, as it allows a bunch of people that would be awkward normally, to all work together as a team towards a common goal. The Role Playing isn't really anything unique anymore, as every game has some degree of roleplaying.

As for the stigma, Pathfinder is a horrible game to introduce to heavy christian communities. The mentioned devils in pathfinder are ACTUAL devils ripped off of wikipedia and other resources. They do have genuine religious signifigance. Assuming one can summon devils, it is very plausible that a player or GM roleplaying an evil cleric could accidentally do so within the pathfinder scenarios. I personally wish pathfinder had made their own deities up, rather than using actual evil deities.

Locally, the best thing I'm seen for altering the stigma of roleplaying, is our local PFS group is held in a gaming store that serves alcohol. Serving the alcohol is wonderful in that it prevents minors from attending, and makes the whole thing seem much more reasonable non-gamers to rationalise why a bunch of grown people are playing games. I, personally, never buy alcohol for the events, and it isn't too common (maybe 1/5 players orders beer), but I strongly think the option to buy it helps greatly with local stigma.

3/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
The Role Playing isn't really anything unique anymore, as every game has some degree of roleplaying.

You say that, but the last time I role-played the dog when playing monopoly I was asked to stop. I looked to the shoe for commiseration, but for some reason they didn't say anything...

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
As for the stigma, Pathfinder is a horrible game to introduce to heavy christian communities.
Full stop. Not sure the mods really want this topic to start again, just so they can delete / moderate. Not all members of all faiths have identically nuanced beliefs and this is a hot-button topic that's going to go nowhere good fast.
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Locally, the best thing I'm seen for altering the stigma of roleplaying, is our local PFS group is held in a gaming store that serves alcohol.

Now THAT is what my Bacchus-loving heart likes to hear! Some of our local venues are just bars, but having source material and booze is definitely a better win.

5/5 5/55/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Over half our cons are held in bars and taverns...!

Welcome to Australia.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Murdock Mudeater wrote:


>>>>>Serious Snippage<<<<<

Locally, the best thing I'm seen for altering the stigma of roleplaying, is our local PFS group is held in a gaming store that serves alcohol. Serving the alcohol is wonderful in that it prevents minors from attending, and makes the whole thing seem much more reasonable...

In the 'snipped' area, it bears mentioning that while we weren't a huge area for roleplaying games in the '80's, gaming was very much the black goat in the woods with a thousand young, and individuals of all inclinations and backgrounds sought out folks who had 'fallen prey to such a thing'.

While we should remember the lessons of the past, we should be mindful of all communities that Pathfinder is played in, and respect the beliefs of said communities. None of us want to see that dark time happen again, as far as I know.

Which leads to the the last part.

At the sake of sounding like a curmudgeonly old fart, excluding a significant portion of a youthful base for a campaign is a recipe for long-term disaster.

Sure, the novelty of being able to grab a beer or a mixed drink is awesome.

But the cost to the Society community may not be worth the venue in the short term.

Game responsibly, folks.

4/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
...wonderful in that it prevents minors from attending...

If one's lodge only organizes public games in such venues, that could prove problematic. Minors will be the future of the hobby. Most, if not all, of us probably began playing as minors. I'm not singling out Murdock or Murdock's lodge, but addressing anyone and any lodge who holds public events in venues that restrict attendance. Anyone with a desire to play should have access. That's not to say some events couldn't be held in such venues; I'd just caution against all events being held there.

4/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

... or what Wei Ji the Fast Typer said...

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

2 people marked this as a favorite.
GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
Most, if not all, of us probably began playing as minors.

Oh, definitely not all. I was 26 when I first came across this nice little white box from a company calling themselves TSR...

While I'm usually the oldest guy at the table, that's not always the case. In fact a few years ago at a convention I had the pleasure of playing at a table with someone who was at least five, and probably ten, years my senior. Not only that - this was his first ever experience of any kind of RPG!


GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
...wonderful in that it prevents minors from attending...
If one's lodge only organizes public games in such venues, that could prove problematic. Minors will be the future of the hobby. Most, if not all, of us probably began playing as minors. I'm not singling out Murdock or Murdock's lodge, but addressing anyone and any lodge who holds public events in venues that restrict attendance. Anyone with a desire to play should have access. That's not to say some events couldn't be held in such venues; I'd just caution against all events being held there.

This hobby might not have a future. Or to be less blunt, not have a future in the form that we are comfortable with. It certainly doesn't if we don't get the adults on board so that they might teach their children. But children generally rebel against what they consider the old-fashioned hobbies of their parents... because...it's what Mom and Dad play.

But the fact of the matter is... everything has it's time in the sun. You don't see kids on the street playing hula hoops any more. No one plays H.G. Wells' wargames any more either. And hardly anyone under 40 is watching the shows on MeTV. I find it hard to play Mage The Awakening anymore because it's paradigm is so tied to the 80's. Someday people will even stop watching Star Trek.

The point that I'm making is that concentrate on the problems your groups face today, and tomorrow will take care of itself. I really would not rule out playing in adult spaces because it might close off your ten year old... who'd probably be rather playing with kids his own age, then spend the night with a group of aging gamers.

4/5 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
The point that I'm making is that concentrate on the problems your groups face today, and tomorrow will take care of itself. I really would not rule out playing in adult spaces because it might close off your ten year old... who'd probably be rather playing with kids his own age, then spend the night with a group of aging gamers.

My daughter's high school has two sponsored RPG gaming groups. If the only local venues offering organized play restrict participation to those 21 and older, these high school gamers may never get exposed to PFS. Sure, they could organize and run their own PFS tables. But without exposure to established PFS games, would they even know how to do that? I tend to believe most people learn through participation and by cutting off access to that participation, I wonder if these high school gamers would even find Pathfinder or PFS... or if they'd gravitate toward the game with the more recognizable name. It seems to me a smaller lodge would be better served by trying to attract these gamers rather than playing somewhere out of their reach.

I'm not saying don't play in adult spaces; I'm saying don't play exclusively in adult spaces.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
...wonderful in that it prevents minors from attending...
If one's lodge only organizes public games in such venues, that could prove problematic. Minors will be the future of the hobby. Most, if not all, of us probably began playing as minors. I'm not singling out Murdock or Murdock's lodge, but addressing anyone and any lodge who holds public events in venues that restrict attendance. Anyone with a desire to play should have access. That's not to say some events couldn't be held in such venues; I'd just caution against all events being held there.

This hobby might not have a future. Or to be less blunt, not have a future in the form that we are comfortable with. It certainly doesn't if we don't get the adults on board so that they might teach their children. But children generally rebel against what they consider the old-fashioned hobbies of their parents... because...it's what Mom and Dad play.

But the fact of the matter is... everything has it's time in the sun. You don't see kids on the street playing hula hoops any more. No one plays H.G. Wells' wargames any more either. And hardly anyone under 40 is watching the shows on MeTV. I find it hard to play Mage The Awakening anymore because it's paradigm is so tied to the 80's. Someday people will even stop watching Star Trek.

The point that I'm making is that concentrate on the problems your groups face today, and tomorrow will take care of itself. I really would not rule out playing in adult spaces because it might close off your ten year old... who'd probably be rather playing with kids his own age, then spend the night with a group of aging gamers.

I can't agree with any of that. Kids are playing with thier parents constantly, and are excited to do so. Indeed they bring thier friends to play instead of leaving the game to play with thier friends.

The game has lasted since the 70's in some form, and so there is no reason to believe some form won't exist 40+ years from now. Organized play has existed in some form since the early 90's. No reason to believe some form wont exist 25+ years from now.

Your opinion on children and this game is not actually born out in practical application.

4/5 5/5

Andrew Christian wrote:
Kids are playing with thier parents constantly, and are excited to do so. Indeed they bring thier friends to play instead of leaving the game to play with thier friends.

Maybe our local area is an anomaly, but I must agree with Andy.

At local game days, I'm constantly seeing parents playing with their children.

At a local convention last year, a parent dropped by with their child. The child observed a game, got to sit at the table and participate, and is now an active member of our lodge.

My own son started playing with me and my friends when he was not yet in his teens. He's in his mid-twenties now, still plays, attends game days and conventions. Last year, he brought three of his friends to their first convention. He's even started his own home group and is currently running Rise of the Runelords.

I know from experience that mentoring and welcoming young players will expand your player base and one way to help solve the problems of a small lodge is to grow it into a large one.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
And hardly anyone under 40 is watching the shows on MeTV.

That age range skews far younger than you think for reasons that involve it being that it used to be it was the only thing you could watch at certain times as a kid in the 90s.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

I've never heard of MeTV.

People still watch TV, though. They by and large aren't watching shows broadcast on one of the three networks that was ALL we watched on TV before the current millenium. (Only a rare few had cable, and cable did almost no original programming.) They may be streaming Netflix shows. But it's recognizably the same sort of thing as the TV shows that people have been watching for many deacdes.

Reading books remains popular. Sharing of stories has been a thing since before current recorded history.

Acting in plays remains a popular hobby; there are community theaters all over the place. Acting in plays has been a thing since Ancient Greek times, at least.

Sure, rolepaying games from past decades may no longer resonate... but roleplaying games as a whole continue. I wouldn't expect any individual game to be played by a lot of people for more than a decade or (at most) two. (Doubtless you can find exceptions; you could argue that Pathfinder as an extension of 3e is an exception.) But RPGs in general? I don't expect them to go away any time soon. They may evolve to the point that all of them become computer/VR assisted within the next decade or two (cf: Dream Park by Larry Niven and Stephen Barnes), but they'll still be recognizably part of the same heritage. Hula-hoops were a fad. RPGs have had ups and downs, but show a lot more staying power.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Over here the D&D encounters is a huge hit with the high school crowd. They are organising three tables a week and are looking at adding a third. The short format works wonders for them. They can eat at home wiyh their parents and still be back home on time, even on a school night.

Of course we hope to draw some of them to pathfinder. But the RPG scene is very much alive with the youner generation here. Our upcoming special will even have a kids table.

Sovereign Court 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
The point that I'm making is that concentrate on the problems your groups face today, and tomorrow will take care of itself. I really would not rule out playing in adult spaces because it might close off your ten year old... who'd probably be rather playing with kids his own age, then spend the night with a group of aging gamers.

I would like to not rule out playing in adult spaces for a different reason. It can also be recruitment for the players of today. This mindset and what happened has applied to 20-30 somethings, we're not that old.

This has happened to me in a few different groups and at conventions. Where someone sits their kid down at a game of PFS and then is somewhere else and not seen until the end of the game. Having a game in an adult space means I'm not having to babysit someones kid without being asked.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have kids at game, or that you can't do that if you have a well behaved child who knows the game and wants to enjoy it. Having to sit there and help someone else with their character the whole game (who's class I may not ever played!), deal with twitchy cannot stay seated must be running around the room children is also not my idea of an enjoyable time.

Re: MtA... it's not all just 80s paradigm, I've had a few very good games using modern day paradigm... sometimes its just the over abundance of drama that drive people away.

Sovereign Court

The Raleigh-Durham area is a great example of what was once a large lodge that collapsed into a vast desert of PFS. There are no less than four game stores in the area, and all but one of them struggles to have more than one table on a consistent basis. And that store has become something of a fly trap for players that ran off players from other stores. The store in Raleigh where MANY people came into PFS hasn't had a reliable PFS presence in years, and whose efforts to reestablish a presence consisted of, "we've tried nothing and we're all out of ideas." The reasons are multifaceted, ranging from individuals ruining tables so that no one wants to play with them, a diminishing pool of overworked GMs, active and passive efforts by the various stores that discouraged PFS groups, campaign leadership with a complete hands off approach leading to an organization having no organization, and the general frustration of all of the above which has resulted in a slew of home games, and desertion to other games from what's left of the disintegrated player base.

It's an area with numerous universities, multiple successful game stores, and strong talent, which should be a recipe for a thriving PFS community, but has all but died. So, it's not just the small lodges that have problems.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TimD wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
The Role Playing isn't really anything unique anymore, as every game has some degree of roleplaying.

You say that, but the last time I role-played the dog when playing monopoly I was asked to stop. I looked to the shoe for commiseration, but for some reason they didn't say anything...

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
As for the stigma, Pathfinder is a horrible game to introduce to heavy christian communities.

Full stop. Not sure the mods really want this topic to start again, just so they can delete / moderate. Not all members of all faiths have identically nuanced beliefs and this is a hot-button topic that's going to go nowhere good fast.

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Locally, the best thing I'm seen for altering the stigma of roleplaying, is our local PFS group is held in a gaming store that serves alcohol.

Now THAT is what my Bacchus-loving heart likes to hear! Some of our local venues are just bars, but having source material and booze is definitely a better win.

The topic I was responding to was stigma related to role playing, and changing that stigma. Allowing alcohol (and indirectly banning minors) is one such way to change how people view the game. I'm not really interested in a religious discussion, but that is a major point of stigma acredited to both this game and D&D. As for roleplaying in the manner you describe, that really isn't what I was addressing. That does sound annoying and something you'd reasonably be asked to stop.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
RoshVagari wrote:
Snip:...active and passive efforts by the various stores that discouraged PFS groups, campaign leadership with a complete hands off approach leading to an organization having no organization...

I've played in 3 areas now. One just like you describe, and two that are stable/growing with multiple weekly tables. While I know this is anecdotal in the extreme, I've noticed that while the leadership is instrumental in driving growth, it is the stores that prevent decay.

A leader who ensures that games are posted early, that everything is reported, and that GMs don't get problematic can make it far easier for new players to get involved.

However, a store that visibly and clearly appreciates keeps them there. I've seen two stores that do free printing for PFS materials (chronicles, printing sheets, handouts, maps) and even buy scenarios for us. One of them gives $5 in store credit to anyone who GMs a table (which can add up quick, and frankly is nicer than my stars:). Being willing to open the store early, late, or even arrange for free wifi makes a big difference long term. The bad area had store that planned magic tournaments on the day when PFS usually played; they kept our table available, but filled the other 8 tables with magic players. We we changed days but the relatively early close time caused problems - they wouldn't stay open past 8 on weekdays, which made it very hard on us.

101 to 150 of 212 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Are we dismissing the problems of small lodges? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.