February 2014 newsletter

Happy Febrrrruary Pathfinders,

It’s been a little chilly here in the Upstate New York region. I don’t expect that a simple newsletter can warm the cockles of your heart (what are cockles anyway), but for your reading pleasure, I present the February 2014 newsletter. Enjoy and I hope to see you around the gaming table. Keep warm :)

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January Newsletter

Happy New Year Pathfinders,

I am hoping that this post works and that you will be able to view the first issue of the Upstate New York Pathfinder Society Lodge monthly newsletter.  If this doesn’t work, never fear, I will try again tomorrow after consultation with the experts. In the meantime, you can also check out the newsletter on our Facebook site.  Happy reading.

Jan PFS newsletter

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Post-Convention Report

A heartfelt thank you to everyone that managed to attend the Council of Five Nations this year, even if you only made it for a single game. We had a total of 38 tables reported this year, up from the 27 that ran in 2011 – and that doesn’t even include the “early bird” tables that were ran Friday before the official start of the convention. While we don’t have an accurate head-count just yet, I can say for certain that we handed out no less than a dozen new PFS numbers. We’ve been receiving lots of positive feedback about the event and are taking note of your suggestions on how to improve for next year.

Now that the reporting is complete, I’d ask that everyone go to their Paizo accounts and verify that the information reported for them is correct. Although your physical chronicle sheets are the official documentation of play, it’s always nice to have an accurate record of things online as well. Should you find something amidst, just shoot your local Venture Officers an email with the error. We’ll do our best to set the record straight as quickly as possible.

Although Evan and I are already looking forward to doing it again next year, there’s plenty of other PFS events to prepare for between now and then. First up is Carnage Noir, November 2-4 at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee VT. Evan and I will be making the trip out of state to help support the Pathfinder scene at this annual convention and would encourage our players to do so as well. If you missed out on Council, or looking to get another weekend-long Pathfinder fix, here’s your chance. More locally, however, is next month’s Game-A-Thon on November 11th. The schedule is up on Warhorn, so you can  sign up now for whatever new season 4 scenario you want (or the level 1-2 module that we’ve scheduled). Also starting in November, PFS for beginners will be held the first Monday night of each month. Whether they’re new to role-playing, to Pathfinder, or just organized play, bring your friends down to the store to introduce them to all the fun you’re already having.

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T-minus Two Days…

That’s right, there are only two days left before the annual Council of Five Nations. Pre-registration closes today so, if you haven’t done so already, register now and save yourself some cash. Another reason to register early is that our Pathfinder tables are filling up. We’ve already had to add a couple extra tables to accommodate some of the more popular scenarios being offered. Unfortunately, resources are limited this year, so we can’t guarantee we’ll have the tables and/or GMs available to spontaneously provide another table at game-time.

Furthermore, we’ll be enforcing a policy of seating preference in situations where there are more players than available seats. The order of preference is as follows:

  • Pathfinder event ticket and signed up on Warhorn
  • Pathfinder event ticket
  • General event ticket and signed up on Warhorn
  • General event ticket
  • Everyone else

On a more positive note, we’re also running a number of contests and drawings for a chance to win some sweet Pathfinder products! Each day we’ll be raffling off a copy of the Pathfinder Society Field Guide. Just prior to the Saturday night’s battle interactive, we’ll be giving away a copy of the Advanced Player’s Guide and the big winner at the end of the convention will receive a copy of the Inner Sea World Guide! Also, back from our Game-A-Con over the summer is the Hottest Dice contest, where the person who rolls the most natural 20s each slot will win a set of dice provided by Foam Brain Games. And, finally, we’ve got copied of the Pathfinder Tales novel, “The Worldwound Gambit,” to give away as well.

This is guaranteed to be the biggest Council of Five Nations for the Capital Region Pathfinder Lodge yet. Just to give you an idea of how much bigger we’re talking about, we had approximately 50 people play across 27 tables last year. Not only have we scheduled twice as many tables this year, but we already have close to 50 people registered on Warhorn! Don’t miss out!

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Council of Five Nations 2012

Well, Pathfinders, I hope you’re sharpening your blades, polishing your steel, and filling those flasks of oil. We’re just three weeks away from the 35th annual Council of Five Nations! This will be the third consecutive year that Pathfinder Society Organized Play will be offered and it’s going to be our biggest and best year yet. Right now we have over fifty – yes, 50 – tables of PFS scheduled; and that’s despite the space limitations imposed upon us!

The offerings this year include the new Season Four scenarios, including the battle interactive, “Race for the Runecarved Key”; a Kid’s Track of adventures geared for our future generation of Pathfinders; the chance to win special convention-only Chronicle sheets and plenty of other Pathfinder products as well. In addition to our own Venture-Captain Evan Whitefield, we’re honored to have the support and assistance of Venture-Captains Don Walker (Boston, MA) and Art Lobdel (New York City, NY) who will be coming from their own Lodges to help us GM for the weekend.

Pre-registration is up and available at the SWA website, so make sure you head on over there and sign up early. Also, don’t forget to sign up for your Pathfinder scenarios of choice at our Council of Five Nations Pathfinder warhorn page too. Even if you already have an account with our regular Capital Region Pathfinder Warhorn page, you’ll need to create a new account for the Council page – but don’t forget to register for the convention with SWA as well.

IMPORTANT: Due to space limitations, priority seating will be given to those who have both purchased a Pathfinder convention ticket and signed up on Warhorn. We want to accommodate as many players as possible, but only have so many resources with which to work with.

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Wanted: GMs for Council of Five Nations

With GenCon finally behind us, Evan and I are now turning out attention to our local Council of Five Nations convention. We are scheduling all seven slots with Pathfinder Society play to compliment the rest of the  role-playing, miniature wargaming, and boardgames that are being offered this Columbus Day weekend. With the explosive growth we’ve experienced in the last year, we are hoping to double the number of sessions run. This means offering scenarios that range in tier from 1 to 12, three different sanctioned modules, the season four battle interactive “Race for the Rune Carved Key,” a kid’s table, and prizes!

However, we won’t be able to offer anything with the generous help of our game masters. We’re putting a call out to anyone that is interested and willing to help run Pathfinder tables. For volunteering your time you’ll receive:

…free admission to the convention
…a free Council of Five Nations t-shirt
…a free copy of whatever scenarios you run
…a GM-exclusive Chronicle sheet granting a special character boon
…the gratitude of your Venture-Officers

Contact us if you want to volunteer, or just want more information. As always, the more people we get to run tables, the less tables you’ll actually have to run. More information about the Council of Five Nations can be found at the Schenectady Wargamers Association’s web page.

EDIT: We need all interested volunteers to commit to GMing by the end of this week in order to ensure that you receive a free copy of any scenarios. Volunteers will still be welcomed after this date, but aren’t guaranteed a copy of the scenario. Please send us your name, PFS number, and the email address you use in conjunction with your Paizo.com account (if you don’t have an account, you will need to create one in order to receive your scenarios).

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Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Version 4.2

Not only is GenCon “the best four days of gaming”, but it also marks the beginning of a new season for the Pathfinder Society Organized play. To herald in the new season four, Paizo has just released the updated Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play. There are a bunch of changes to the campaign, so everyone is going to want download and check it out.

Here’s just a few of the highlights of what’s new going forward in Season 4:

  • Three new races are available to play.
  • Five archetypes are now banned from play. Rules for rebuilding affected characters can be found in today’s blog.
  • New books are now part of the Core Assumption for GMs.

These new rules don’t go into effect until the next season, which officially begins on August 16, 2012.

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Is there any love for Warhorn?

So, one of the ongoing struggles we, as organizers, face is ensuring we have enough tables and GMs available for the number of players that are planning to attend a PFS event. While we can never be 100% sure of the exact number that will show up, the closer we can guestimate, the better we are able to prepare for an event properly and muster tables more quickly. To help us, we utilize the Warhorn website, which allows players to sign up for a scenario ahead of time. We almost always have more players show up than are signed up; sometimes only one or two players more, other times a whole table’s worth.  While we don’t expect brand new players to be aware our Warhorn site, most attendees are regular players that – by now – should be aware of the site’s existence. Thus far, we’ve managed to accommodate everybody and I don’t think we’ve had to turn anyone away – even if the process and final results of organizing who played at which table weren’t pretty.

Evan, myself, and our store liaisons have been [strongly] encouraging players to use Warhorn, but many people continue not to do so. So, rather than continue to harp on everybody to use Warhorn – although we will – I thought it might be a good idea to try to get to the root of the reason for the low Warhorn participation (when compared to actual event turn outs). Please take a moment to answer the simple poll below and give us an idea of your Warhorn habits. It’s as simple as two clicks of the mouse.

P.S. There is less than a week until the Game-A-Con. If you plan on attending, why not head on over to our Warhorn site after  you’ve voted and sign up for a scenario or two? The link is right HERE.

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Game-A-Con 2012

The Capital Region Pathfinders Lodge has come a long way in the not-quite two years that its been organizing PFS events for this area. We started out with a couple of tables at the SWA’s monthly Game-A-Thons. Now, we’re easily running three to four tables and are offering additional games at three local retail stores! We’ve seen quite the explosion in new Pathfinders these last couple months alone.  To say thank you for your continued participation and support in the Pathfinder Society, your esteemed Venture-Captain and I are preparing to run an extra-special PFS event at the next Game-A-Thon!

When you go to sign up on Warhorn, you’ll notice we’re scheduling some extra tables this month. Not only do we have eight different scenarios planned for the day, but two full-length modules as well! Higher level characters are sure to want to take part in the two-part Wonders in the Weaver series (tiers 5-9) that were designed [but not required] to be played back-to-back. Recently we’ve starting scheduling a sanctioned Pathfinder module at our Game-A-Thons. These are all-day adventures that can earn characters even more experience and rewards than the normal 4-hour scenario. It’s been a huge hit and every month the table fills up, so in July we’re offering the Crypt of the Everflame, for 1st and 2nd level characters, as well as From Shore to Sea, for levels 5-7, run by our very own local freelance designer, Ben McFarland.

But wait – there’s more. Because we’re offering so many PFS tables, we’ve been able to obtain support directly from Paizo itself! Everyone who participates in at least one slot will have the chance to win one or more prizes. At the end of the day, we’ll be raffling off a copy of the hardcover book, The Inner Sea World Guide. The player with the hottest dice will also earn him or herself a copy of the Pathfinder Society Field Guide. Game masters will have their own chance to add a Game Mastery map pack to their arsenal of gaming supplies. Perhaps best of all, for every slot that a player or game master participates in, they will have the opportunity to roll the dice for a chance to earn a unique character boon!

Normally, these sorts of prizes are only given away at full-blown conventions, but because of the success of our monthly Game-A-Thons, we’re able to offer them at this smaller venue. And if we continue to grow and have the success we’re seeing today, you can be sure that we’ll be offering these sorts of things again in the future.

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One Site to Rule Them All

Glyph of the Open RoadWelcome to the new face of the Capital Region Pathfinders Lodge! This site has been created to be the one-stop-shop for all of your Pathfinder Society needs in the New York capital region. Since the lodge’s inception, we’ve conducted our business via Facebook and Warhorn. Although these sites won’t be going away, our new home provides us with some more options in a easier-to-use format for connecting with our local Pathfinders while allowing us to continue to utilize our previous sites.

So, take a look around and make yourself at home. Along the top you’ll find a number of tabs that will take  you to some of our pages of interest. All of our regular PFS events can be found under the Events tab, along with a link to the event’s Warhorn page so that you can sign up for games in advance. The Resources & Links tab contains a library of shortcuts to useful PFS information, including Paizo’s official Pathfinder Society FAQ and the all important Guide to Pathfinder Organized Play. We also have a Downloads page for unofficial documents and files designed to enhance your role-playing experience. Over the next few months, we’ll be adding profiles of some of the more prominent players, game masters, and volunteers that are helping make PFS such a success in our area.

And don’t forget to check back frequently – or subscribe to our RSS feed – as we’ll be posting all of your capital region Pathfinder news here, including official announcements from Paizo; plans for upcoming special events; and much more!

This site is, of course, a continually evolving entity and is only as successful as the community that it is intended to support. Whether you are a player, a game master, or just someone interested about the Pathfinder Society, your feedback and suggestions are both welcomed and encouraged.

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