|Robert Hetherington Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob|
|21 people marked this as a favorite.|
I been closing in on 1000xp earned in Pathfinder Society for a bit now and have been feeling reflective.
So here's my long rambling story about my personal history with Pathfinder Society. I've tried to break it up into spoiled chunks to help with readability.
Warning: I'm sure there are some spoilers littered about, shouldn't be anything too bad.
I helped judge Monte Cook's Plotus/Arcana Evolved Crossover Tournament at GenCon, but had never played Living Greyhawk, like many of the people I was meeting in the early days of Pathfinder Society.
Back when I started in April of 2010 I was going to community college, having recently quit my job as a game store manager. Since then I've gotten a bachelor's degree, started a new job, started my own business, gotten married, had a kid, moved across the country to Iowa and eventually back to the SF Bay Area.
Somewhere along the line I went from new kid to old salt.
My first session of PFS was all the way back in April of 2010, part way through season 1. During season 0 I had played Living Forgotten Realms, vaguely curious about 3.75 having played a decade of 3rd edition.
I had realized though that I didn't mind playing with other people who were replaying as long as I had played it before, but I hated playing an adventure that I hadn't played before with somebody who had. They always ruined the excitment, the sense of wonder of the unknown, so I doubled down on getting to whatever local venue was hosting any given scenario first.
Then it was finals time for my AA degree, and my father was ill with Cancer, so I missed several months of LFR releases. And I realized I had missed my chance to play those first. Every time afterwards they'd be filled with replayers and I'd never see the magic again.
I think I only played LFR once after that, a special interactive release at a Convention.
I played PFS with friends at their houses, I played PFS at two local venues, Endgame and Black Diamond Games. For awhile I was frequently playing/GMing 2-4 games a week. Back then you got xp/gp for GMing but no boon access and could play and receive credit for a scenario once per faction.
I still remember my first game... 0-11 The Third Riddle (A now retired Clinton Boomer scenario)
Towards the end of Season 2 I was so hooked that when I heard PaizoCon was going to be hosting an exclusive Grand Convocation scenario I had to go.
That was a cool location, there was a nice 2 story pedestrian mall nearby. A farmer's market in the parking lot.
I had a really good time, the convocation was super special and had awesome plot implications...
Check out below for pictures (I think if you change pages you get to pictures from my unrelated China trip)
Pictures! (Scroll down)
Highlights include: Project Swallowtail Playtest (Adventure Card Game)
Thursty as Nigel Aldain
pbp legend GM Lamplighter in the flesh.
After that I got engaged and moved to Iowa with my then fiance.
Over the course of the year in Iowa I realized there were a lot of small midwestern cons I could visit and get my PFS fix that way. Sure it took 3 hours to drive to one, but I was in the middle of Iowa, it took 3 hours to drive anywhere.
I remember being worried about finding roommates at far away cons where I didn't know anybody, then I found out the con hotel rate was $34.95 a night, and just "splurged" and got myself a room.
I think I GMed Siege of the Diamond City 5 times that first year... It was a blast every time, although I've still never run the middle tier.
I went to PaizoCon again at the end of next season and had one of my most memorable experiences playing Waking Rune on hard mode.
I attended Paizo con for one more year before it was moved to Memorial Day weekend, conflicting with our local flagship convention KublaCon.
After starting my own tax business and having an awesome daughter I needed to step down from my position and missed out on lots of seasons 7 & 8
As I started getting back into things, mostly finding times to play pbps I unexpected received a campaign coin. A true honor and perhaps my possession I am most proud of.
I've gotten back into things in the last couple years although there's still a few adventures I'm missing from recent years. I got a second job as a Game Guru at a board game cafe (I recommend and teach boardgames)
I've made great new friends, both locally and online and even made it to PaizoCon somewhat recently.
Just this weekend at DundraCon came the big 1000th XP for me in PFS, and I got to have a memorable experience with it.
Greg Vaughan GMing the module he wrote 'The Witchwar Legacy.'
He wasn't going to give anything away. He didn't hint an inch, making us figure out every bit of Baba Yaga's treacherous plan on our own, no matter how long it took, and long it took. (9am to 2am)
I got to play Farak, the Most Powerful Mage in *All* Absalom. A character who's largely defined by what they aren't. (An arcane caster)
Farak's like an old school rogue but without any sneak attack/backstab. He's full of weird powers, magic items and consumables to get him and his allies out of unexpected trouble, all while declaring himself to be something else entirely. He's been one of the characters I've most enjoyed playing in PFS, even or perhaps especially since he's largely useless when compared to the power of other high level characters.
That brings me to today. I'm anxious about the future with with upcoming changes but am looking forward to making new friends, playing with old ones and shenanigans, lots of shenanigans.
So here's to the friends we meet along the and the indelible memories forged upon my soul by the ever wondrous PFS community.
|2 people marked this as a favorite.|
Thanks, Rob, for one of the most inspiring things I’ve read in a while. I remember PaizoCon 2012 well - a quest for the Grand Convocation was my first freelance assignment ever. I ever appear in your pics as “Golden Serpent GM”, getting to run that complex scenario cold for your table when my prepped game didn’t fire. (No pressure!)
Thanks for refocusing the conversation on the non-mechanical benefits of this crazy ol’ Campaign. I needed the reminder.
|Chris Rathunde Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Chicago aka thunderspirit|
|Steven Schopmeyer Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero|
|Tineke Bolleman Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran|
|Xathos of Varisia|
|Zach Davis Venture-Agent|
|Hilary Moon Murphy Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm|
|Kate Baker Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East|
|3 people marked this as a favorite.|
Thank you so much for sharing your stories, Rob. You have been a huge part of my own Society experience, from making me feel safe and comfortable early on, to getting to play with you on a weekly basis now. Your kindness, humor, and thorough system mastery make any game I play with you, regardless of who’s on which side of the screen, an absolute joy.
I won’t pretend to know exactly what PFS2 has in store for us, but coming out of an amazing DundraCon, I know that our community will continue to be awesome.
|James Anderson Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown|
|Harold Ervin Venture-Agent, Tennessee—Chattanooga aka ZenithTN|
|Walter Sheppard RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM|
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
|Andrew Torgerud Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Twin Cities Metro South|