The State of the Lodge

(Audio of this post is available on YouTube.)

Hi, everybody!  Thanks for tuning in.  This is Metro Boston Organized Play.  We’re a group of fans who enjoy tabletop role playing games—especially Pathfinder and Starfinder.  The events we organize are open to the public. For more information, visit us on the web at bostonorganizedplay.org.

The fact that you’re consuming something as esoteric as a report on the state of a local gaming group means that you really care about our community.  In that spirit, you have our heartfelt appreciation. Our shared hobby would not be possible without the veritable army of fans and volunteers who make up our community.  Thank you, one and all.

Our core belief is that play is a healthy part of a balanced life. Guided by this principle we promote cooperative games and community-building.  This report will review what our Lodge has been up to and preview our goals for the future.


2018 in Review

One way to measure the success of our mission is with some statistics.

In 2015, we ran 297 events for 1,394 (non-unique) gamers. In 2016, we ran 508 events for 2,574 gamers. In 2017, we ran 513 events for 2,664 gamers. In 2018, we ran 501 events for 2,406 gamers.

In this context we used the term “event” as equivalent to what Paizo calls a “block.”  One block is roughly equivalent to one 4-hour scenario. One 8-hour sanctioned module is 2 blocks.  Etc.

Though our membership overlaps with other Lodges in Western MA, the North Shore, Rhode Island, NH, and elsewhere; these statistics only cover the Metro Boston Lodge.  Players were counted even if they were not reported in the online record. (E.G.: If a new player didn’t want a chronicle sheet but played at one of our events just to try the game.). We have intentionally omitted data from Pathfinder Academy games that were run for kids ages 6-16.  Many of our members also participate in Organized Play Online; those games were not included in our counts.

In 2018, we ran 9 special events.  This is down from 2017. There were 3 Ladies’ Nights, 2 LGBTQA+ Game Days, 2 Sensory Friendly Game Days, and 2 Charity Game Days.

In 2018, we were the primary facilitators of Pathfinder and Starfinder at 3 conventions: Arisia in Boston in January, Total Confusion (or TotalCon) in Marlborough in February, and the End-of-Summer Sizzler also in Marlborough in September.

For our “regular” games, we organized events at several retail venues: Barnes & Noble, Comicazi, Compleat Strategist, Knight Moves Cafe, Omar’s World of Comics, and Pandemonium Books and Games.

We lost one venue when Compleat Strategist closed in the middle of the year.  We gained one venue when Omar’s World of Comics joined our extended family in March of 2018.

Our Lodge’s organizational team is an all volunteer group collectively called Venture-Officers.  We had some changes in this team in 2018. One Venture-Agent resigned in June. One new Venture-Agent joined the team, coincidentally also in June–though, this individual organized events starting in March, 2018.  We had one Venture-Agent and one Venture-Lieutenant resign in November to spend more time with their newborn son. As of January 2019, our Venture-Officer team has seven members to manage Organized Play at seven venues, five types of special events, and three local game conventions.

When a group of this many people interact with each other in frequent events, inevitably personal conflict occurs.  Fortunately, these conflicts are a rare exception in our Lodge. However, we did encounter two conflicts in 2018 that were serious enough to warrant consultation with the Regional Venture-Coordinator to find resolution.  Out of respect for the privacy, dignity, and safety of those involved, we’ve chosen to leave out any further details of these incidents. We want to acknowledge, however, that no one is perfect; conflict happens. It’s part of life, and hopefully all parties involved can find a sensible compromise whenever it comes up.

Moving on to happier topics, one of our Venture-Officers, Natalie, became a published freelance author penning one of the quests in the Starfinder adventure “Dreaming of the Future” and authoring the Starfinder scenario “Return to Sender.”  Keep an eye out for more published content from Natalie in 2019.

We survived the “Great Paizo Website Outage” of the summer.  It was a dark time for fans. But, it helped that Paizo acknowledged the challenges created by the extended outage and offered a discount code good for 10% off orders placed at the end of August.  The code was good through September 30.

In September 2018, we started producing a series of videos covering a variety of game-related topics such as inclusivity, creating and editing adventures, organizing events, GM tips, and player thoughts.  These are available on our YouTube channel.

We participated in two playtests.  We played a lot of Pathfinder Playtest games (previewing the next version of Pathfinder roleplaying game) and a handful of Starfinder Playtest games (previewing the Biohacker, Vanguard, and Witchwarper classes from the upcoming Character Operations Manual).


2019 in Preview

One of our goals for 2019 is to help the Lodge feel more like a community.  We want everyone who joins us to feel welcome, respected, and safe. Whether a member is more of a casual player or a hardcore hobbyist, we feel that there’s space for all levels of fandom.  Not only that, but all members should expect and demand to be heard with courtesy and treated with dignity.

Another of our goals is transparency.  Our team of organizers are volunteers. Though there are titles like Agent, Lieutenant, and Captain, that evoke a hierarchy, we’re all just enthusiastic gamers.  None of our work is done for profit. We organize events for the love of gaming and for the love of our communities. For you! In that spirit, we want members of the community to be able to interact with us and to know what we’re up to.  So, in addition to the tools we already use, we’ve created a Slack Workspace.  Anyone can join and chat with us in real time.

We hope to see a bit of expansion.  We’ve been chatting with the folks over at Adventure Pub in Arlington.  Our Lodge and Adventure Pub have compatible missions and serve similar communities.  We need to iron out some logistics, and we hope for a long and fruitful partnership.

We have also started talking with the Woburn Public Library. Once their renovations are complete, they’ll have a wonderful space for games. Here too, we need to iron out some logistics, but we’re hopeful for the future.

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, for the Lodge, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  Once again, you can find out more information about us at bostonorganizedplay.org.

Thank you.


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