Fate Corps Features: The Buffalo Fate Corps

Buffalo Fate CorpsHave you ever thought about how awesome it would be to have an organization full of fellow Fate gamers at your fingertips? Interested in starting a group at your FLGS but not quite sure how to get started? Curious to know how other Fate Corps folks work their magic? We sat down with Glenn Seiler of the Buffalo Fate Corps to get his advice on how he developed the independent gaming group and how it runs to this day.

How did you get into RPGs and Fate in particular?

Glenn: I first started playing RPGs when I was in high school.  I stumbled on a copy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG in a hobby shop, and it went on from there into many, many other RPGs that I played in a local comic store.  I’ve been playing off and on ever since, either in home games, game shops, at conventions, or recently through online virtual tabletops.

As for Fate, most of my familiarity started with the Fate Core Kickstarter.  I had heard of it, but never had the chance to play. It looked like it was up my alley based on the previews that were available, and I had heard good things about the Dresden Files RPG, so I backed it right away. I soon found that its focus on character & story driven play that wasn’t as heavy into the “crunchier” side of things was a good fit for me, so I’ve been playing it as much as I could ever since.

Where did the idea for the Buffalo Fate Corps come from? How did you get started?

Glenn: Buffalo Fate Corps started with an idea that I had to run a “Fate Day” (since renamed Day of Fate) at a local game shop.  We have a large gaming community here in Buffalo with a lot of diverse interests, but I found that Fate and other similar games weren’t specifically represented.  Organized play groups have a large presence here, but the majority of other RPGs have semi-regular pickup games or one-shots.  I thought that having a group that met regularly at the same location, much as organized play does, would give some visibility to the Fate Days and help them grow.

I talked to a few friends so that I’d have some additional support, set up a Facebook event, and it slowly but steadily grew from being a game day to a community group. Anyone playing or running Fate can use it promote their own games, and local conventions have used it to share info as well.

What does Dragon Snack Games do to support the group?

Glenn: Simply put, Dragon Snack Games provides a great space for us to play free of charge.  There are plenty of tables for multiple games, my game day is promoted on the in-store calendar, and the store is in a good location.  Additionally, the owner keeps a full line of Fate products and dice in stock.  In return, I encourage players to support the store in kind if they’re able.  I have a “buy anything in the store, get a Fate point” policy on game day.

How often do you meet?

Glenn: Currently, we have a Day of Fate event every month.  I do and have run additional games here and there, but as of yet they aren’t on a regular basis.  We are looking to grow, however, especially now that the summer is coming to a close.

Do you run ongoing campaigns? One-shots? Some combination thereof?

Glenn: We mostly run one-shots.  We found that the campaign format is challenging in an open environment, particularly when you want to make the games accessible to new players.  One-shots also afford us the advantage of running a wide variety of games, so we can feature a lot of Fate’s different capabilities.

What advice do you have on finding and retaining members?

Glenn: As for finding people, be accessible online and on social media in particular.  Facebook is likely the most popular, but make sure you’re on other outlets as well.  If you’re averse to social media (and many others are as well), have an email address to give out or set up your own website.  Check with your FLGS and see if they’d be willing to help you promote your game as well.  Spread the word at conventions or other social gatherings.  Finally, be creative!  Make up a business card and leave it at a local coffee shop if they have a community board.  If you’re there, chances are another gamer will be too.

Retaining people can be trickier, especially due to “real world” concerns such as scheduling, obligations, and such, so I don’t really think in those terms.  The way I approach events and running the group in general is to be respectful of others (be they players, GMs, store owners, or just people watching us play), make sure everyone is having fun to the best of my ability, be welcoming to any and everyone that is interested, and make sure that I’m having fun as well.  If all that means that I retain people, great!  I do have a solid group of regulars and I’m grateful that they keep coming.  I run the group for anyone who’s interested, though, and I hope that it shows.

Glenn, thanks so much for sharing your advice with us!

Glenn: Thanks to Evil Hat for the great games, support, and for the interview.

If you’re interested in starting your own group but have further questions about how to make it work, Glenn has graciously offered to serve as a resource. Email him at witsmith75@gmail.com with questions. And don’t forget to check out the Buffalo Fate Corps, especially if you’re in the area.

Do you have a successful Fate group? Willing to give advice to others who might want to start one? Drop us a line at carrie@evilhat.com, and your group might be the subject of our next feature!