A Call to Vol II—Gen Con 2018!

Wednesday, January 17, 2017

I just finished attending MarsCon in Williamsburg, Virginia, and am making my way back to Seattle. An unexpected snowstorm kept me in Atlanta a bit longer than I planned, but piloting skill and no ice meant the plane flew today and I made it safely to Seattle this afternoon.

This weekend, badges for Gen Con went on sale. We sent the message out that our volunteer call would go live on Wednesday. So here it is! As the program continues to grow and evolve, we make changes from year to year to streamline processes and help the convention run smoothly. With over 300 volunteers and around 1700 tables of organized play games running, Gen Con is easily our largest event. This means even more attention on processes and efficiency. The changes below are the same adjustments we made to PaizoCon and are aimed at bringing all the large conventions into the same logistical umbrella.

First, we changed the nomenclature from session or slot to block. Each block is 5 hours. This unifies the terminology from the event support form used by our event organizers and keeps things consistent across the board.

Second, we ditched using the Tier system to describe how many volunteers. It is a RPGA holdover that caused confusion, as the lower number the tier, the more slots a person volunteered. Also, we have tiers for our scenarios, so having tiers for volunteers caused some confusion in our data. This year, you register for the number of 5-hour blocks you wish to volunteer.

Third, we are setting an 9-block maximum for volunteering, with the goal that no volunteer will do more than 8 blocks and that no one will be scheduled for more than 3 in a row. A full day is hard (been there, done that) and we want people to take breaks to sleep, eat, bathe, and see what the convention has to offer. This is really, really important, no matter how much of a GM/HQ machine you want to be!

Fourth, it is my understanding that the hotel lottery and badge refunds changed this year. I submitted our badge request and should be able to drop them into volunteer accounts as soon as we send out the acceptance letter and have an acknowledging email in reply. This should allow volunteers signing up for less than 8-blocks to submit their names for the hotel lottery, which occurs in February.

Fifth, we are looking at ways to streamline our processes and reduce the number of HQ personnel. In the interest of efficiency, we also are looking for volunteers willing to commit to 7 and 8 blocks. Anyone may volunteer for a HQ position, but I want to be forthright about the limitations of the position from the beginning.

Finally, we are looking to schedule tables bottom up, instead of top down. By starting off with a few tables of each scenario, then increasing based on ticket sales; we should be better poised to respond to player demand. Hopefully, this means that we will have fewer tables fail to make and fewer GMs released. Volunteers will have their block schedules before event registration opens, but may not have scenario list until late June/early July. We are still committed to getting scenarios into GMs hands at least 2 weeks before Gen Con starts. While this split schedule means more emails and paperwork, it should mean fewer changes at the last minute. Hopefully, a more streamlined system all around and more efficient use of our GM pool.

Block times:

BlockRPG/ACG GMsHQ
Thursday Morning7:30 AM to 1:00 PM7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Thursday Afternoon1:30 PM to 7:00 PM1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Thursday Evening7:30 PM to 1:00 AM7:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Friday Overnight1:00 AM to 7:00 AM1:00 AM to 7:00 AM
Friday Morning7:30 AM to 1:00 PM7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Friday Afternoon1:30 PM to 7:00 PM1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Friday Evening7:30 PM to 1:00 AM7:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Saturday Overnight1:30 AM to 7:00 AM1:00 AM to 7:00 AM
Saturday Morning7:30 AM to 1:00 PM7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Saturday Afternoon1:30 PM to 7:00 PM1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Saturday Evening7:30 PM to 1:00 AM7:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Sunday Overnight1:30 AM to 7:00 AM1:00 AM to 7:00 AM
Sunday Morning8:30 AM to 2:00 PM8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

We base benefits on how many blocks a volunteer commits to working. The chart below illustrates the breakdown:

Block CommitmentHotelPrint ProductBadgeT-ShirtsBoon/RewardStore Credit
8 BlocksChoice of 3
7 BlocksChoice of 3
6 BlocksChoice of 2
5 BlocksChoice of 1
4 BlocksChoice of 1
3 BlocksChoice of 1
2 Blocks
1 Block

The details of each benefit are as follows:

  • Room—One-quarter of a double room. Volunteers may indicate their roommates preferences when completing the questionnaire.
  • Badge—A free 4-Day Gen Con 2018 badge
  • Print Product—A FREE copy of one Paizo print product. Offerings are TBD, but will include at least one Starfinder and one Pathfinder title.
  • T-Shirts—Limited release t-shirts (purple for GMs and orange for support staff) given every other year.
  • Store Credit—Paizo.com store credit at $10 per slot
  • Boon/Reward—A Gen Con exclusive boon/reward for Starfinder (RPG), Pathfinder (RPG), or Pathfinder (ACG).

Those interested in volunteering, please complete the Gen Con 2018 volunteer questionnaire. The leads and I will consider everyone who completes the form, but reserve the right to select volunteers who have worked at Gen Con in prior years. When you complete the form, please read all the question descriptions, as they give details for what information we need to place volunteers where they are best suited.

If you have questions, please put them in the comments section of the questionnaire or email them to GenConLeads@gmail.com. Also, if you are willing to help with cleanup Sunday afternoon after the GM meeting (usually 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM), please indicate your availability in the comments section of the questionnaire. Volunteers assisting with cleanup will receive pizza for dinner, one additional block of store credit, and potentially other goodies.

Huge thanks to everyone who gives of their time and resources to help make us the largest organized play program in the world. We couldn’t do it without you!!! You are simply the best volunteer team out there and it is my greatest pleasure to work with all of you!

Until our next blog—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge

Organized Play Manager

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Tags: Adventure Card Guild Conventions Gen Con 2018 Organized Play Pathfinder Society Starfinder Society
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Liberty's Edge **

Kevin Willis wrote:
I can’t find the reference right now but Q-rooms has said that’s they’re actually locked to an account, not a badge. In other words, if you buy a badge and get a room, then a Paizo drops a second badge into that account, you can get a refund on the first badge and still have your room since it’s tied to the account (which still has a badge).

And this process, the past, has caused a lot of volunteers a lot stress because they were unable to see their reservation and was greatly concerned that the room they had was now lost.

But it was determined that the room as still there because it was tied to the account and not badge.

I think Wei Ji can confirm this. :)

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes.

:>

*** Venture-Captain, North Dakota—Fargo aka CosmicCubicle

Just checking back to see if we have more updates on acceptance emails yet.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

soon(tm)

*

...fingers crossed...

*** Venture-Captain, North Dakota—Fargo aka CosmicCubicle

Bob Jonquet wrote:
soon(tm)

Thanks Bob we appreciate the work the team does!

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

3 people marked this as a favorite.

We will begin sending out volunteer invitation emails tonight. it will take a few days to send them all (nearly 200). If you have not yet completed the online questionnaire and want to know your status before the hotel lottery (Sunday 2/11), I encourage you to complete the app ASAP. The last batch of emails will be going out Friday morning, so if you have not completed the app by Thursday night, the next batch will be towards the end of February, or early March.

*

*fingers crossed*

*** Venture-Captain, North Dakota—Fargo aka CosmicCubicle

Come on big money!!!!!!

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wonders if the nerves of waiting for notification are worse than waiting to be picked for a kickball team, or for opening presents on Christmas morning...

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Don't be nervous. The VAST majority of volunteer applications are accepted. For the most part, if there is a "problem" with your app, we have already reached out to you by email to discuss the issue. Usually that is either an error in your app (like not providing enough availability to meet your desired block level) or you asked for something for which you are not qualified, such as little to no experience with the campaign and asking for 8-blocks as a GM.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

Jack Brown wrote:
Another year volunteered for, another Gen Con to look forward to!

Yar, and moi aussi. Look forward to seeing you again, Jack!

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

Walter Sheppard wrote:
GenCon? Hah! My appendix was removed last year--I'm immune to my previous weakness! Expect nothing to keep me from attending all 4 days in style.

Yea, you better be there! How else am I going to have context for great underwater and/or french fry stories if you're not? :D

*

I realize that estimates are not promises, but if I didn't recieve an e-mail yesterday, should I be concerned that I screwed up submitting my application?

EDIT: Nevermind. I've been working nights. It is only Friday just now.

Liberty's Edge ** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Paducah aka axian

GM Blake wrote:

I realize that estimates are not promises, but if I didn't recieve an e-mail yesterday, should I be concerned that I screwed up submitting my application?

EDIT: Nevermind. I've been working nights. It is only Friday just now.

I am also anxiously waiting for the e-mail and concerned that I did something wrong on the application... I guess I will find out today if I did or not.

*

Haven't seen anything yet.

Hope I'm not either under-qualified or over-qualified for the job.

Morning wake-up coffee insight: I'm not in the 'need a hotel room' bracket yet so application may be lower priority than someone who is...

** ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I just got mine! Demos again, woo!

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Grats!

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just got mine and replied!

No specific assignment beyond PFS, but good to go.

*is a bit giddy and excited here*

Spoiler:
...yes, I know there's a lot of work involved yet.

* RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Looks like I'll be running a table or two.* This will be my first GenCon. I'm excited to meet my fellow volunteers!

*or eight...

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

At this time all applicants who submitted a questionnaire prior to midnight (cst) last night have been contacted. If you did not receive an email, check your spam folder. In fact it might be a good idea to add genconleads@gmail.com to your contact list so future communication is not mis-filed by your spam filter.

If you submitted a questionnaire and did not receive a response, send an email to the address above and we will look into it. You may be required to re-submit the form, but don't do that until instructed as we don't want you listed twice in our records.

The next round of volunteer applicants will be processed sometime before the end of February. There are plenty of spots available for volunteers including hotel rooms. However, at this time the HQ staff is filled. Please select another program. In addition to that, if you want to be considered for HQ, simply add that as a note in the last field. If we experience cancellations between now and Gen Con you may be asked to switch from your primary program to HQ.

For those testing their fate with the hotel lottery on Sunday, Good Luck!

The Exchange ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just a little clarification, I am signed up for 8 slots of SFS, the volunteer e-mail indicates that GMs should prep the PFS evergreen "intros" and as well as one of the evergreen advanced scenarios. While I am more than happy to do this, just wanted to clarify that this is still a guidance for SFS exclusive GMs. Should I instead prep the SFS intro (Into the Unknown, I believe a Second Quest will also be out by then) as well as the 2 SFS scenarios that are repeatable (1-01 The Commencement and 1-12: Ashes of Discovery).

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

We will consider this issue. It may be that SFS exclusive volunteers will have an SFS alternative instead of PFS. HQ has complete boxes of materials for the PFS scenarios that a GM can check out if their scheduled table cancels. We would need to do the same for any scenarios we would ask SFS GMs to know. We will follow up once we have any answer to this question

Dark Archive *** Venture-Agent, Ohio—Cincinnati aka Northern Dreamer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kate Baker wrote:
I just got mine! Demos again, woo!

Same here! Looking forward to August!

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kate Baker wrote:
I just got mine! Demos again, woo!

I just hope we get some time to hang out when (hahahaha...hahaha) we're both not busy!

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Pasadena aka ra9662

This is my 8th Gen Con in a row Volunteering to GM Friday Night. The first 2 years I played. Back when I started Gming at GEN CON I was a 2 star GM. Last Year I became a VA got my 5th Star and ran Starfinder. SO I look forward every year to run at GEN CON and play a little. I would like to say THank you to all who Volunteer there Time and effort in all the games run at GENCON and relax have fun.

*

I only saw the boxes briefly for the PFS evergreens when HQ volunteering last year, it was six months ago and my memory is garbage.

What is typically in an Evergreen Go Now Box?

Trying to plan out what I'd need to bring for supplemental material for scenario prep. I realize it's a bit in advance, but I like to be thorough.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

I have no idea what is in the evergreen go now boxes. The one time my table fell through, I had prepped Confirmation and had everything ready. Then, I went up to HQ to find out that they needed someone to run.... Confirmation. After an initial head-scratching moment, I took a table of newbies back to my table that was already set up.

Sometimes, GenCon is weird.

I love the idea of SFS GMs prepping Commencement or Into the Unknown.

Hmm

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Or Ashes of Discovery?

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Or Ashes of Discovery?

I am looking forward to that one!

Hmm

Grand Lodge ***

>_>

Time to get my bag of CVS yelling candies for the muster... I'll be seeing all you crazy people in August!

Now to wait for slots, so I can decide as who to bring, bwahahahahaha.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
I have no idea what is in the evergreen go now boxes

Everything you need to run the scenario. A copy of the printed scenario, flip mats, map packs, pawns, chronicle sheets, and a reporting sheet. We can even provide a writing utensil if you don’t have one. Just bring your dice. As long as you are familiar with the story, you can run an effective table with the contents of the box.

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Agent, Ohio—Columbus aka Cirithiel

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
I have no idea what is in the evergreen go now boxes
Everything you need to run the scenario. A copy of the printed scenario, flip mats, map packs, pawns, chronicle sheets, and a reporting sheet. We can even provide a writing utensil if you don’t have one. Just bring your dice. As long as you are familiar with the story, you can run an effective table with the contents of the box.

You might want to make sure all your mustering people know where these are and how GMs can get a set. Last year, when my assigned scenario did not have enough players, I ended up running Wounded Wisp using Starfinder maps because the person in charge of reassigning us told me that they were the only blank maps available.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.

UPDATE...
We have filled 60% of our needs for Gen Con. We still have plenty of opportunities for anyone interested in volunteering including complimentary badges, hotel rooms, and all the rest of the rewards for those who qualify. If you are interested in joining our volunteer team, submit your application today. We'll see ya there!

Explore! Report! Cooperate!

***

Hwy Bob, Thanks for everything you are doing. I sent an email to GenConLeads but haven't received a response, and haven't received a confirmation email about my application (even saying it was received). I saw an earlier post about another round of acceptance emails going in the end of February. Are we reaching that time? I would just hate to miss an opportunity.

Thanks!

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

New rounds of emails will be roughly once a month (plus/minus). It’s the 23rd of the month so yes, I would say we are approaching that time.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

My apologizes to those who have submitted and not received an email yet, but some pressing issues both personal and OP needed my attention. I am behind on the next round of notifications, but working towards that as we speak. I expect them to be distributed by Sunday so watch your inbox. Thanks for your patience.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

At this time, everyone who has submitted a questionnaire has been contacted by email either with an invitation to join the volunteer team or with a request for more information. If you have not seen an email yet, check your spam folder. If you have received an invitation email and have not yet replied with confirmation, please do so ASAP. Thanks

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd sign up but having 8 hours of sleep each night is important to me. The year the schedule allows for this I will sign up.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

The schedule allows for that every year depending on how many slots you want to volunteer for

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I should clarify - enough for a hotel room.

Dark Archive ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bob, can we sign up to run PF 2.0 Playtest tables?

*****

I find the schedule too rough as well.

Grand Lodge ***

I checked my Spam Folder and did not see a reply. Thanks

Dark Archive ***

I have not received a response yet. Checked my spam folder and couldn't find anything there either. However, my situation has changed since I signed up and I won't be able to take the time off to attend GenCon this year. So, I'm not sure what to do.

Liberty's Edge **

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Send them an email at the address Bob mentioned earlier.

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CigarPete wrote:
Bob, can we sign up to run PF 2.0 Playtest tables?

Yes please! Sign up and add a comment regarding PF2. You can also send an email to the address listed at the end of the form to make sure they know of your PF2 interest.

Liberty's Edge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Copy and pasting into this forum from a suggestion.

Are any of the boons from 1st edition going to have any effect in 2nd? Talking race boons or any others be it hellbound, haunted, or mounted tradition. On the same note will the Gencon boon for this year have any effect in 2nd edition? I know it sounds selfish, but I would rather not gm for a boon that I'm not going to use.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Unfortunately that is a question for the playtest forums. We do not have answers to those questions. From what I've seen in those forums, exactly how boons from PFS1 will impact PFS2 has not been decided, so Tonya cannot answer that question definitely.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Tonya Woldridge wrote:
CigarPete wrote:
Bob, can we sign up to run PF 2.0 Playtest tables?
Yes please! Sign up and add a comment regarding PF2. You can also send an email to the address listed at the end of the form to make sure they know of your PF2 interest.

If you have already completed a questionnaire, please DO NOT fill out another one. If you are interested in GMing PFS2/PF2E playtest material at Gen Con 2018, please just send us an email. If you use the original email chain (from your confirmation) it will reduce the chances of error in updating your status.

If you have not yet completed a questionnaire and plan to do so, please just add a note in the last comment field that you are interested in GMing the playtest materials.

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