February 2019 Play Profile: Kevin Baumann

Kevin Baumann

Let’s start with the basics: who are you, and what’s your role within the organized play community?

I’m Kevin, an avid dice collector and gamer. I’ve been playing RPGs since 1981 and I am a Venture-Lieutenant in the Boston – North Shore Lodge. I mostly run PFS at the Hobby Bunker location in Malden, but I show up to other locations from time to time.

You oversaw demos at Gen Con last year (2018) – this was just after the Pathfinder Playtest was released. What are demos, and how do they differ from regular Organized Play at Gen Con?

Last year I was the department head for the quests and demos at Gen Con and it was a blast. Demos are very different than the normal Organized Play sessions in several ways.

First, they are geared so that anyone can just sit down and play. There is no need to know the rules, have a character, or anything like that. Players just sit down, grab a pre-generated character, and play – no ticket needed.

Second, demos often get brand new players, players who have no experience with Organized Play. It’s often not a regular PFS player comes to the demo tables. PFS players already know rules, character generation, and they will play the scenarios or quests that are offered during the convention and can usually be found playing regular Organized Play in the Sagamore Ballroom. The GMs that are chosen to run demos need to be good at explaining everything from “What is a role playing game?” to the rules of how everything works because people will ask.

Third, the demos (but not quests) are located in the Vendor/Expo Hall instead of the Sagamore Ballroom. It’s easily two football fields wide and ten fields long – it’s probably bigger, but that’s how I see it. They have about 10,000 people that go in there daily. The rush when the doors open is something to be seen for sure.

Speaking of Pathfinder Second Edition, what are you most looking forward to about it?

Getting in at the beginning. Like most, I have some concerns, but I am excited to see how the new edition plays out. Who doesn’t like the new action economy – three actions, easy!

How is the Boston North Shore Lodge going to support 2e when it’s released? What about players who want to continue playing 1st edition?

We will be running Second Edition as the scenarios come out and we will fully support 1st Edition, both in regular play and core. We will pretty much run what the players want. We are looking into running sanctioned Adventure Paths (APs) and modules as well.

What are you looking forward to for 2019 for both your lodge and organized play in general?

For the North Shore Lodge, I’d like to have more total games run and more locations. The tougher part for us is, other than Hobby Bunker, it’s not as easy to get to some of the locations via public transportation, and that can be an issue for getting some of the more transit-reliant players to our venues.

For Organized Play overall, more players! There is a huge player base in the Boston area, and I hope everyone continues to play both 1st and 2nd Edition Pathfinder as well as Starfinder.

 

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January 2019 Player Profile: Carol Pandolph

carol

What’s something interesting that people probably don’t know about you?

That I’m kind of a real-life bard. I play the flute for and am an alto in a church choir (St. Mary’s in Winchester).

What are your top three favorite characters you’ve played and why?

Top three? That’s like choosing your three favorite children!

The first, is my Rise of the Runelords rogue, Aleya Shadowsong, otherwise known as the Blue Shadow, a rogue who got her start as a cat burglar with a taste for the finer thing in other rich people’s lives and would leave a calling card of a piece of sheer dark blue fabric. Then one day, she broke in to the house of a government official in Magnamar and found he was a member of the Skinsaw cult. She decided to head to Sandpoint for the time being (her get away wasn’t totally clean).

The second, was a ranger I played years ago in a home-brew D&D campaign who I am bringing into PFS, Brennia D’Villeir. That adventure was crazy with far more role playing and running for our lives than actual fighting.

Finally, the third is my very long-time bard character, Taryn Emanteril Leafblade. I’ve been playing her on and off since college…. over 25 years and have enough material to fill a trilogy, which I have been writing.

One honorable mention….Tessa Heartsong, my -01 PFS bard character. How can you not love a character that blew up the ghosts in the Wardens of Sulfur Gulch with just a wand of cure moderate wounds and ends up with Jala Spirit-Eye as a prize at the end among other interesting adventures?

You’re known for painting minis – were you always this artistic or was it something you learned as an adult?

When I was about four years old, I told my mother that I was going to be an artist when I grew up. I went to college and got my degree in art education but with a focus in graphic design for my electives. When I graduated, graphic design ended up being my chosen profession and still is today. As for minis, I fell into the hobby around fifteen years ago when I was bored on a Saturday afternoon, so I pulled out a mini I had and some cheap hobby paints and painted it up. I knew nothing about painting minis, although I did have a background in ceramics, which has several techniques which overlap. I realized I enjoyed the hobby and started going to painting events and learning more about how to actually do it, including things like priming (my first one was metal and not primed and has somehow survived intact).

What inspires the characters you paint?

These days I do so much painting of characters that I or someone else is playing, so the character dictates the color scheme. However, there are times where I will look at the mini and the color scheme comes to mind immediately, sometimes it develops over time as I work on it. Of course, the internet is a fantastic resource for color schemes, and I have resorted to going there, especially if I want to paint up a monster so it looks like something out of the Monster Manual.

The most interesting times are when the painted mini inspires a character before I’ve created one. The Blue Shadow was one of these characters.

What is the favorite mini you’ve painted and why is it your favorite?

Picking a favorite mini is like picking a favorite character…. that said, I have three. The first comes from Reaper’s anniversary line from last year, the Grim Reaper. I love this one because of the deep red color scheme, and it has my favorite base I have ever created for a mini. In the large division, I love my large Reaper Cthulhu because of its sea-based color scheme which was inspired by iridescent fish. Finally, the Reaper Nativity set I had just completed due to just how happy I am with the quality of the painting of it.

How can people see your art?

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Facebook: The Muse’s Touch Miniature Painting

Twitter: @Muses_Touch

Instagram: muses_touch

 

 

Five Tips for Brand New Players

Are you a novice with Pathfinder, Starfinder, or another roleplaying/tabletop game?  Perhaps you’ve seen us at a venue where we play, and you were unsure how to join?  Do you wish you knew more about what we’re doing?  We’ve got you covered with these simple tips to secure your seat at our next game.


Ask Questions

From our point of view, it’s never awkward or inconvenient for you to ask questions.  We’re all there because we love to play!  We can’t think of any fan who isn’t eager to take a moment to explain what is going on.  If you really don’t want to interrupt the game, you can always ask someone at the venue.  We typically play in game stores and cafes; so whoever is behind the counter will be able to answer your questions or point you to someone who can.  We also have a number of designated organizers–we call them Venture-Officers–who are meant to be resources for you.  If you don’t know who your local Venture-Officer is, contact us.  We’ll help you get started.


Relax

It’s common for new players to be anxious about the number of rules and options available in roleplaying games.  For example, Pathfinder has forty-something hardcover rule books published for it, Starfinder has four–and both have many more in queue on the release schedule.  However, it’s widely acknowledged among players that nobody can know all the rules.  No player should ever look down on another for not knowing a rule or being unaware of something.  (And if you encounter this, let us know!  We’re not keen on that kind of behavior.)  The more you play, the more facile you’ll become with the system.  In no time at all, you’ll be the one helping out novice gamers.


Observe

We have a few hundred gamers who frequent Organized Play events in and around the area.  Check us out!  Decide what you like about us and what aspects of gameplay suit you.  Ultimately, it’s your time; make sure it’s spent doing something you enjoy!

Each game table also has a different personality to it.  You’re welcome to pick and choose games based on any number of factors that appeal to your sensibilities and level of comfort.  We have boisterous gamers.  We have quieter venues.  We have adventures that range the gamut of sci-fi and fantasy.  Some play out more like a dinner party while others closely resemble Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.  If you’re not sure which is for you, try a few.  If you want more information about a particular group, venue, or adventure, you can always ask.


Be Creative

One of the coolest aspects of roleplaying games is the myriad available options.  These games are meant to excite your imagination.  If you want to go on adventures as a gallant Robin-Hood-style hero, the Dread Pirate Roberts, or Barf from the movie Spaceballs, chances are you can do it–or come up with a pretty close approximation.


Have fun!

You don’t have to be the best or smartest or strongest player at the table to have fun.  Find what you enjoy, and do it.


Have you discovered some tips or strategies that work for you?  Share them with us!  We love to hear from you.

Player Profile – Terry Bruno

Just the facts:

  • Lives in Bedford with her husband Allan and dogs Josie and Chip
  • Frequents Comicazi, GamingEtc, and Knight Moves (Somerville)
  • Played DnD from 1978-1981 and started PFS/SFS in 2016

Q: You played D&D back in the 70s, right? Tell us about that.

It was at the University of Illinois. Some graduate Astronomy students pulled together a game and Allan and I played. We hadn’t heard of iD&D and didn’t know anything about it – but I had a blast. We played AD&D – I had one slim book with the rules for players. We rolled up our characters with dice and things were a lot simpler. We didn’t use maps or minis and there were no skills, feats or other characteristics of characters, just the six abilities. I had two characters, an elf rogue named Ram and a human cleric named Nasea. When I started playing again I tried to find my old book and character sheets, but no luck!


Q: How did you get into organized play here in Boston?

After I retired I was thinking of fun things I had time to do now. My daughter, my nephew and my downstairs tenants all were playing RPGs so I knew they were popular again and I had enjoyed it a lot way back when so I tried to find a way to get back into it. One of my downstairs tenants suggested Pathfinder and I saw a meetup listing at Comicazi, a comics store very near my apartment, so I went there one Thursday night with nothing but some dice.

Lisa Neilson was GMing and I ended up playing the pre-gen wizard, Ezren. There were some very nice folks at my table who helped me figure out what was going on. I learned about player signups on Warhorn and started going to games in my area (Somerville/Cambridge).


Q: You’re known as somewhat of a baker around the lodge. I know I’ve eaten my fair share of those ginger cookies. What’s your favorite thing to make?

Chocolate Pound Cake.


Q: Alright, time for a hard question: Starfinder or Pathfinder?

Pathfinder right now, just because I know it better at this point and have more characters. In general, I prefer the science fiction setting and I may end up preferring SFS in the long run.


Q: Who is your favorite character you’ve created and why?

This is almost like asking who your favorite child is, no way to pick, but I will mention my top three.

  1. Viv, arrogant Elven archer-first RPG character
  2. Martha, painfully shy, stuttering librarian-she kicks ass!
  3. Atticus, cowardly chemistry grad student-everyone “gets” him.

Q: What’s something interesting that people probably don’t know about you?

I was a competitive carriage driver and horse show judge.