It’s my pleasure to announce West Virginia’s first 5 star GM. This time it was for Andrew Shumate who is know on the forums as Netopalis. I had the pleasure of GMing his first RPG table ever at Charcon in October 2012. He has since become a stalwart part of the Pathfinder Society community and one of the pillars that keep the West Virginia lodge standing. He has run more than 250 tables in that time. He was in this year’s top 32 in RPG superstar. Andrew as become a master GM whose skill has far surpassed my own. He pays attention to the game’s pacing and ensures there is time for combat and role-play for each player, yet still ends on time. He has great rules mastery, not only handling obscure combinations with little effort, but also using the flexibility built into them to provide a fun and balanced game for the unique characters that come to the table.
I could go on for awhile, but I also have some comments from others who have played with Andrew.
“I had the privilege of being a part of Andrew’s fifth-star table, though I have at least twenty other sessions over the course of the past two years, with Andrew at the helm, to draw my opinions from. Andrew’s rules mastery is outstanding, and his preparedness at the table, even during game days he is not scheduled to run, is reflected by the high-caliber sessions he performs for his players. Andrew relishes the opportunities for role-play in scenarios, gives combat-minded players ample opportunity to shine, and is able to balance the two so expertly that it is rare that his slots go over the suggested duration. Away from the table, Andrew makes himself open to questions and constructive criticisms, and is always requesting from his players ways to improve. Andrew’s “capstone” session, Encounter at the Drowning Stones, is a scenario I have run before, and proved to be another quality session that I have come to expect and enjoy from his tables.”
“I have played at Andrew Shumate’s table and he does an excellent job running the Pathfinder Society scenarios. His knowledge of the rules is at a very high level and this provides for a very smooth flow to the game. He doesn’t stray from the parameters set fourth by the scenario. However, when the G.M. is given the chance to use his discretion, he handled things in a very creative, fair, and fun manner. Even when the scenario is challenging, it is a great experience. He is an excellent G.M. and deserves his fifth star.”
It’s an honor to make this announcement, and to have Andrew as a friend. Congratulations!