The Path Forward for Organized Play and the League of Aroden

Greetings Pathfinders and Starfinders! We are closing in on a full year without any Organized Play activities for the League of Aroden which is just saddening. I understand why many do not want to play online and I am fine with that. It is not for everyone. I myself am sick and tired of online only gaming and online cons. I am ready to start running some live games! Unfortunately, this pandemic is not over. There is an old saying, “It is always darkest before the dawn.” In looking back at the Spanish Flu’s history, the third wave was the deadliest for many areas while not as deadly as the second wave overall.

However, dawn is on the horizon. The vaccination program is now underway and will be ramping up in speed. We have the technology and the science to get everyone vaccinated by the end of summer. Most of us have the will (the anti-vaxxers are a whole different story and I’m not going to get into that), so I think we will see a return to live play over the summer. Exactly when, I do not know. With what specifications like masks and social distancing, I do not know. I can tell you I fully expect everyone that does not have a medical reason for not getting the vaccination to get it before they do engage in live play. We are going to resume gaming, but we have to do it intelligently. So, let’s do our part and beat this thing!

With all that said, let me explain my current and very flexible, ready to adjust as needed, and almost certain to be changed plan of action for resuming live play in the League of Aroden area. First up, we just do not know how the vaccination program is going to play out. We know they’re ramping up production very rapidly far beyond any vaccination program in history. Just how fast they get that done is a big unknown. Until they do, we are going to be wearing masks and social distancing. Not a lot of fun for gaming though. As a result, I want to see how things work before setting an exact date for our first live sessions. I am going to be super-optimistic and say sometime in the May-June window of opportunity. April would probably be on the order of a divine miracle, but if it is possible, I am all for it.

I am curious as to how the summer will be for game play. While it would be great to play live games, we are going to have a lot of other activities competing for our time that we were not able to do last summer, like actually going somewhere like a baseball game (Go Royals!) or a concert or outdoor anything. Therefore, I plan to have our events monthly, but with the perfectly fine expectations that people are active doing other things as well. Just getting back to the places we have our games at is going to be fun and enjoyable!

Now, Gen Con is traditionally the start of a new Pathfinder season. It will be again this year whether Gen Con is live or not (odds are it is not). Pathfinder Second Edition will end Season 2 and begin Season 3 then. When the pandemic forced us to shut down, we had offered 11 of the Season 1 scenarios and one adventure, Fall of Plaguestone. If we do a Grand Restart in September (fingers crossed we all have been vaccinated by then), we can offer three different paths for game play at events and maybe even four. We will have two full season metaplots with a third one developing over the current season. Many players will want to get reacquainted with their characters or even build new ones. Since most of our events feature two time slots, I think we may work on a rotation where we can run different seasons in different slots. We also want to work on getting characters to levels 3 and then 5 for additional scenarios. Plus, our events can be big enough for us to hold the multi-table specials.

As we get closer to the restart, I will work with our GMs and develop some more plans. We also will want to run some GM training sessions for new GMs, some Beginner Box sessions for new players, and just have some fun as we move towards the Grand Restart (find me a better name for it!). In the case of our Maryville lodge, it will be a Grand Opening. While we are at it, some things are happening which may result in the creation of a new Kirksville lodge as well. The future is bright for the League!

Okay, this is getting long as always. I will have another post with some more information in it for some upcoming online events, news about new products which have increased the number of classes and ancestries, and some communication developments created by our Venture-Agent for Maryville, Nicole. For now, stay safe and vigilant. I want to see all of you over the summer and at the Grand Restarts. For those of you who do not know, my wife fell ill with Covid-19 in December and spent a month in the hospital. She barely survived. She is still building her strength back up from the ordeal. This pandemic is deadly and I really do not wish it on anyone. I hope and pray all of you and your family and friends are doing well. I am not going to start live gaming if it means endangering you or anyone else. We are too close to the end of it to do something stupid and get someone killed. If it means waiting a month, then we will wait a month.

Be safe!

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