JP On Gaming

Thursday, September 15, 2011

JP sits down with Mike Brock [New PFS Campaign Director]

Last night I drove up to Denver to meet with Mike Brock, the new Pathfinder Society Campaign Director for a talk about the Society, the future, how to build the local community, problems I had, what were my plans to expand locally, things I would like to see (and not see).

We were scheduled to meet at PF Chang's at 7:30. So I got there early, with Colorado under such the rain fall of the year, I got there slowly and safely on I-25. I will tell you that those who wisely stayed home did a good thing. I-25 was quite slick with a lot of standing water. I did not know Mike was also coming up the same interstate (he left from somewhere in Texas IIRC (Mike can correct me)).

I had a number things I wanted to talk about, in addition to the email I already sent to him. Something I read yesterday really got me going and I was fuming. I got there at 6:45. I realized I left my laptop at home. So I had nothing to do... Yes, I am one of the *those* people who do not have or own a cell/ blackberry/ iphone. Don't have one, don't want to have one.

Lucky for me, PF Chang is in the same location as a mall. Walking it is. I have to say that walking through the mall - something I dislike to do - allowed me to get out of the rain and changed my unhappy thoughts to level-headed ones. After 30 or so minutes, I got back to the car. Head to PF Chang's, get a table. It was about half-past the hour. That walk did wonders. I was upbeat, ready to tackle my new boss with a positive outlook, excited to see what he would say and what he wanted to bring to PFS.

I sat down, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

8 o'clock.

I finally ordered some food (blood sugar getting low), guessing that something happened and that he was not coming. I was eating my orange peel chicken looking sad and morose... Something must've happened. Saddened (by the fact that I could've had some pot roast with the kids), I ate slowly.

Suddenly, OH JOY! Mike and his Father-in-law!

I cannot say most of what we talked about. [NDA]. However, I can say the following things. Mike has a LOT of good ideas. It shows that - unlike his predecessors - he came up from the ranks. That he saw the campaign from the trenches, as a player, as a GM, as a Venture Captain. No disrespect to Hyrum or Josh, but having experienced the campaign like "most of us" has given him a point of view that is different and new.

I told Mike things I wanted to see. How I wanted Paizo to work more through the Venture Captains, for writing projects, for non-mission critical things. And the topic I've been calling for for a long time now: local interactives. With the mixed reviews Blood under Absalom received locally, possible locally-written events would definitely be huge draw at larger conventions. It might even spark the local cons we saw during LG that were "All-LG events" like "Brookfest" and "Weekend in the County". Those local mini-cons were truly part of the local gaming scene and that generated some "Gaming Tourism" outside the major cons. I would like to see people from other places travel again. Another topic we discussed was getting kids and family into the game. Having three young ones myself, the topic hits close to my heart. We discussed and exchanged a few ideas.

Now don't let that fool you, I was not the only one who presented ideas and debated them. Mike has a lot of ideas on what he wants to do, how he wants it done, and a plate more than full already waiting for him. Be prepared for changes to the campaign.

Normally, I would be rather wary of so many changes. But my talk with Mike has not dismissed my natural cynicism. It smashed, crushed and destroyed any doubt in my mind. The nomination of Mike will change things in the campaign, I'm sure. It will shake some trees no one thought of shaking for a very long while. Changes that REALLY have me excited. I do not believe that he will get to implement ALL of his ideas, at least not immediately. But Mike struck me as the sort of guy who will push his ideas and vision through, and not give up halfway.

Good times ahead. I drink the Mike-flavored Cool-aid. (HEUH! That sounds wrong no matter how I put it.)

Paizo has done a good move, no doubt. Thanks Paizo for choosing a great guy!


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