JP On Gaming

Monday, January 27, 2014

Advice to start an organized play group where you live

A few things I personally did with LG, LFR, PFS and NeoExodus. Many of those are NOT what the PFS establishment will want you to do. But they work.

1- Under NO circumstances should you EVER cancel an event. EVER.
2- Show up ahead of time and talk to people in the store. Don't assume the store owner sells the product for you.
3- Be inclusive, sell your game to everyone you meet. EVERYONE
4- Don't get discouraged.
5- Never, EVER cancel an event (unless attending would be dangerous (and even then))
6- Work with the store owner, keep him in the loop of what's coming, when you plan to run more event. And ask them whether people have been asking about PF/RPGs, if he has other things running so you don't clash. NEVER leave these guys in the dark. The more they know, the more they will help you. The more they see you run events, the more they will pimp you and your game out.
7- You will have kids, noobs, morons, "old gooks who never played an RPG since 1991", the "guy who plays only obscure indy games in his basement" or the "guy with the same group since 1977". But you will gradually see more people and many of those people will be great players, and often some people you don't like initially turn out great (and vice versa).
8- Run in public, and make it seem awesome! So that people seeing you play will to play WANT to join you.
9- Talk to people who stop to look. Take a minute to give them a quick run down. Introduce the game, selling the high points. Always invite them personally to the next session, no pressure, but make them understand that if they miss it, they miss out on something really awesome.
10- While new players are important, make sure you talk with the old ones and keep them interested and engaged. Get the local "well-known GM" on your side.
11- One thing that always worked well for me: use a single point of reference. Don't direct people to a website AND a facebook AND a google group AND a meetup AND on-site AND on your phone. One place, one source of information, and direct the traffic there. This has a number of advantages for them but also for you: you don't have to scan or post updates to different places for people. Allows YOU more time.
12- Network, network, network, talk to people, email, skype, facebook (and direct all traffic to #11).
13- Rather than selling "PFS" focus on selling "RPGs". "Learn to Play" events (where you teach PFS) are often successful, expect kids and new.
14- Encourage players to buy at the store, never encourage purchases from illegal sources or online. This will really encourage the community and the store.
15- You're in charge, don't let any loudmouths talk over you or be over bearing to noobs.
16- Consider any money you put into this lost. (Includes meetup costs, advertisement, gas, meals, and the occasional purchase).
17- Never, EVER cancel an event unless attending would be dangerous (I mean snow storms)
18- Remember that the adventures are irrelevant, change whatever you want and need, focus on providing a quality, fun, entertaining game experience. People will remember how your orc limped, but not that he has 8 or 10 hit points.

Oh! And outside the gaming world, people don't know what Pathfinder is.

That's a collection of thoughts and ideas.



  1. Awesome and inspiring! Thanks JP!

  2. "Pathfinder ? Isn't it a Japanese car ?" 8)

    Interesting read as always, JP.