To begin with, a big huge massive thank you to the 50 fine peoples to take part in BRPS' Great Survey 2018! By my count we're within 18% of being totally confident that we have 99% of the will of the people so I'm counting this as a statistically accurate representation.
Secondly, apologies for the tardiness of the results; to egregiously misquote, life, uh, finds a way of getting in the way.
Here are the highlights (TL;DR):
- Everyone wants to play more often
- Folk want help hooking up for home games
- Public one shots are in demand
- Self-organised social events are on the cards
- Exploring the possibility of a local convention
- GM Workshops to continue
- Clubhouse with a yearly subscriptions
- Forming a committee
For those numerically inclined, here's the survey report and also a summary spreadsheet of the free-form comments. No personally identifiable data has been shared!
Right, settle down with a nice tea and let's get into this...
Everyone (generally) wants to play more often
Of those answering the 'How often do you/do you want to game?' questions, nearly everyone wanted to play more often (including 40% of those gaming once a week) with "weekly" coming out as the most popular choice.
Digging into the suggestion box we also see comments around regular weekend games, a regular local club house, and a pop-up gaming cafe.
Folk want help hooking up for home games
Based on this survey, the greatest imperative for the group is to hook up players with other players for home games - this is good as that's what our aim is currently.
That said, I'm happy to admit MeetUp isn't the greatest in terms of fluidity and seeing who is up for a game. One suggestion was for a page to list players looking to game - certainly an option though we don't get that many people venturing past the home page to get to the boards so it might prove tricky.
The new discussions functionality on the home page might be the best place but I don't see much in the way of movement on there either.
Public one shots are in demand
Second on the list of wants from the group are one shots - we've bumped those up to two a month now (subject to availability) since we've got a free and friendly venue in The Rising Sun pub and a seemingly growing list of willing GMs.
If you want to get involved and have a hand at GM'ing a session, drop your name on this volunteer GM form here. https://goo.gl/forms/xS7S1YY0jf7v4VML2
Self-organised social events are on the cards
Not only did social events score quite highly, there were also a couple of comments about wanting to be more social and one on an apparent lack of activity in the group.
At the one shots we've already discussed changing the Drunkards & Flagons evening to a board game night instead which we'll try and get running in November... Boardgames & Taverns?
But that aside, this one's going to need your input - if you want to organise something through the group then you're very welcome to go for it. Just drop me an email saying what you'd like to put on, I'll grant you the appropriate privileges, and then you can take it from there.
Since I'm one person and have limited available time I think this is probably the best approach for now, at least until the group has more organisers.
After short campaigns (again, see below), a local convention was the fifth most popular interest so I can look into options around that.
My current thought is hire a hall somewhere nearby, potentially at Viables, and have a series of one shots on throughout the day, possibly with a board game corner for anyone with downtime and see if any local business want to rock up with a stall.
With everyone bringing some sort of cake/foodstuff/rations to share and tickets at around £8 each then we should cover hire costs (for example, if 40 persons turn up we can hire out the smaller hall at Viables).
GM Workshops to continue
Just below local convention came the GM workshops. For those of you who haven't attended them, they're basically a self-help discussion group for GMs that focus around one or two topics each evening. Think: online forum but IRL.
A lot of the GMs for the one shots have come from there and aims to help new GMs figure out how they're supposed to GM.
If you want to discuss a topic there's now a Google form for suggestions https://goo.gl/forms/f3seb1AY6o6bzl3l2 and a poll to decide on the next discussion topic is in the group's poll section.
Clubhouse and a yearly subscriptions
There was an overly-specific (and it turns out, mildly inaccurate) question about paying £8 a year to provide a weekly venue...
I threw this question in as I'd come across RP Haven at UK Games Expo - they're a non-profit organisation that try to help get more people gaming, specifically in three month campaigns which would hit our 'short campaign' needs.
They seemed genuine and friendly peoples and my interest was piqued so I thought I'd throw the question out to the group.
Unfortunately I misread their information leaflet which actually said to join their organisation member pay £8 a year PLUS £2.50 for each attended session.
Currently we're probably forking more than that out over the bar at The Rising Sun and have the low reverberation of background pub noise to contend with so I still don't feel it's that bad a deal (depending on your tipple of choice).
Other benefits include "a wide range of discounts from retailers for all things role play and even board games" and "allows your members to register for an account on our website, so they can reserve a seat on their game" and an approved budget for things like dice. Exact details can be found on RP Haven's site.
To join, we'd need to form a committee (see below), have a minimum of 30 members, and be happy with how they organise things. Presumably they'd also need to be happy with our letting people organise their own home games and GM workshops and the like. So nothing set stone yet, it's just a consideration.
Forming a committee
Currently it's myself officially running this MeetUp group with a number of event organisers who use the group to advertise slots at their home games and a number of regulars who help out.
Besides the point above about RP Haven, I'd like to do this anyway in order to:
- Take some of the organisational load from me to enable us to run a greater number of activities
- Make sure that the group can eventually support itself without my involvement
- Help decide on the future of the group as it continues to grow
I think the RP Haven set up is sensible to the committee would consist of three or four people covering:
- Group Organiser
- Game Coordinator
- Member Representative
- Treasurer (if required)
I''m keen to get this committee together though so if you would like to get involved then please get in touch! Will work out how we go about deciding on how we go about organising from there.
A number of suggestions/comments were not touched upon above in some shape or form so I thought I'd cover them off here:
- Weekend games - no immediate plans but will see what occurs in the future.
- A list of players wanting to game and set up groups - MeetUp isn't great at this and I still believe the Event Organiser route is the safest way to go in terms of meeting people from the internet. That said, the message boards (https://www.meetup.com/basingstoke-rpg/messages/boards/) do get some traffic so if anyone wants to start a thread feel free.
- More women-friendly/women at events - the group is at about 4:1 male to female gamers which is what we tend to see at our events but message me if you want to organise something and we'll sort something out.
- Closer ties to other RPG groups - I occasionally contact other groups but have not really pushed it since there's been little need.
- Unresponsive GMs - I had a small cull of GMs/event organisers late last year but this does still happen. If you don't hear back after to a message then let me know and I'll chase up.
For those interested in stats, each month we have roughly:
- 20 new members join the group
- 35 members attending events
- 60 members visit the site
- Age ranges of site visitors are about 25 - 34 (47%), 18-24 ( 20%), 35-44 ( 20%), and 45-54 ( 13%)
I'll be emailing out to those who left their name asking for a message in the next week to discuss whatever it is you would like to discuss.
Okay, that's all for now.
Message me if you feel the need.