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A Call to Vol—How to Volunteer for Organized Play at Gen Con 50!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hard to believe the year passed so fast, but it's time again to invite people to help out with Pathfinder Society activities at Gen Con. As in prior years, Paizo is once again a co-sponsor with our booth on the Exhibit Floor, seminars galore, and activities in the Sagamore Ballroom. But we have a few changes in store as well. So grab some coffee, get comfortable, and see what Organized Play has up its sleeve for the "Best Four Days in Gaming!"

Several weeks ago, I put out a call for volunteers to fill Department Head and Lead positions at Gen Con 50. It pleases me greatly to introduce this year's team. They and the PFS team will work closely to make Gen Con 50 the smoothest and most awesome event to date!

Leads

Jon Cary, Bob Jonquet, Todd Morgan, and Lucas Servideo

Department Heads

Kelly Brummond, Seth Brummond, Kevin Hanley, Tina Saunders, Walter Sheppard, Mark Stratton, and Dominick Trascritti.

What plans we have for this year! Adventure Card Guild (ACG) returns with play from all published Seasons, including Season of Plundered Tombs and Season of the Goblin. Back as well is the ever-popular Gen Con Open, bigger and badder than ever. On the Roleplaying Guild (RPG) side, we're offering a variety of scenarios from the current Year of the Stolen Storm, as well as some retro events from past Seasons. Season 9 takes off as well, though you'll have to wait until PaizoCon to hear the devious diabolical awesome plots concocted by John and the PFS team.

Following in the footsteps of last year's interactive, 8-00: The Cosmic Captive, Friday night's interactive will include both ACG and RPG components. Saturday evening will have a large event for RPG and Sunday sees the finals of the ACG Gen Con Open! The team has a few surprises up our sleeves, but the time is not yet ripe to share them. Once the schedule is finalized, we will share with our players via blog and Gen Con's event page!

Back again is Pathfinder Society Academy (PSA) returns, bigger than ever. This year, we reserved 15 tables for youth-friendly games. The schedule includes lessons—Beginner, Advanced, and Transitions—similar to prior years, as well as full scenarios from the Pathfinder Society catalog. Having a dedicated area for our youth and their families gives us the opportunity to offer positive experiences in a youth-friendly format.

At this time, we are still in discussions about what to do with our demo space. Until those are concluded, I don't want to make any announcements. Once we decide, we will reach out to the volunteer pool to fill the slots.

The past few years saw the HQ volunteers and the GM volunteers on vastly different schedules. While this helped with some of the logistics and people moving, the HQ slots were long and mixed groups couldn't match up their schedules. This year, we are trying a different approach. HQ schedules are shorter, but start an hour before the slot starts. We've adjusted the session requirements per Tier accordingly and returned the store credit to $10/slot for all volunteers.

The biggest change, besides HQ volunteer scheduling, is the addition of Midnight Madness. Well, midnight is a bit of a misnomer, since the slot starts at 2:00 AM. So I'll call it the "overnight" slot. We are keeping it small as we test the waters and see how many people are up and wanting to game. So our games this year run around the clock - (8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM, 2:00 AM to 7:00 AM), with the exception of Sunday (9:00 AM to 2:00 PM). I also need a few volunteers to help set up Wednesday Morning and teardown Sunday Afternoon. If you are interested in either of these slots, which don't count towards your Tier requirements but do earn store credit and pizza, please indicate your interest in the Notes section of the Volunteer Questionnaire.

Volunteer Slot Schedule

SlotGMsHQ
Wednesday Afternoon
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
Thursday Overnight1:30 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
Friday Overnight1:30 AM to 7:00 AM1:00 AM to 7:00 PM
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
Saturday Overnight1:30 AM to 7:00 AM1:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday Morning8:30 AM to 2:00 PM8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Sunday Afternoon

Volunteers may sign up for a number of shifts during the convention, which translates into Tier status. No volunteer should plan on volunteering for more than 8 slots. We want you to see the convention too! When filling out the Volunteer Questionnaire, please use the following chart to determine your Tier status.

Tier Status Chart

TierGMsHQ
Tier 18 Slots7 Slots
Tier 27 Slots6 Slots
Tier 36 Slots5 Slots
Tier 45 Slots4 Slots
Tier 54 Slots3 Slots
Tier 63 Slots2 Slots
Tier 72 Slots1 Slot
Tier 81 SlotN/A

Rewards are very similar to last year. Based on their tier, volunteers receive a variety of perks, including a free 4-Day Gen Con 2017 badge, 1/4 of a room at the Westin in downtown Indianapolis, a hardcover book, paizo.com store credit, and an exclusive tier-based boon (RPG) or reward (ACG). At this time, we are not sure which of the great books we are offering—too many great things coming off the presses. Once that is decided, I will let the volunteers know. Also, volunteers are given shirts every other year, based on the number of days they volunteer.

Volunteer Perk Chart

TierBadgeHotelBookT-ShirtsStore CreditBoon/Reward
1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Tier 4
Tier 5
Tier 6
Tier 7
Tier 8

We are putting the call out with the intent that we can let all prospective volunteers know their status before the Gen Con housing lottery goes live on February 12th, since housing in downtown Indianapolis is at a premium. As a side note, you need to have a badge to register for the housing. So if you volunteer as a Tier 3-4 volunteer and want housing downtown, you must purchase a GM badge from Gen Con and proceed to register for the lottery. When I receive our GM badge allocation, I will add a GM badge to your account and you may request a refund of the badge you purchased. This is the only way to access the housing lottery! For Tier 1-2 volunteers, I will send your housing information when our block is assigned in June.

Related to housing is roommate preference. To save my sanity when doing room assignments, volunteers may request either one roommate (to fill a bed) or three (to fill a room). It is imperative that roomies put each other on their questionnaire—so Bob lists Jon and Jon lists Bob and I put them in a room together. If you list someone that doesn't list you back, then I do not guarantee you will wind up in the same room. There is also a choice for "no preference". When assigning rooms, I tend to group like together. There is a Notes section of the questionnaire to supply more information. If there is anything I should take into consideration when placing you in a room, please add it here!

Summary (TL;DR)

  • Decide to volunteer—choose Tier based on charts above.
  • Ensure you have a Gen Con account (create at Gen Con Website)
  • Complete the Volunteer Questionnaire
  • Check your email for a letter confirming your volunteer status.

If you have any questions, send them via email to genconpfsvolunteer@paizo.com

For those looking to volunteer at PaizoCon, I'll be putting that call out in February.

Thank you to all our volunteers and players who make the Pathfinder Society so fantastic! The team and look forward to seeing you at Gen Con 50! Let's roll some dice!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Gen Con Gen Con 2017 Pathfinder Society
1 to 50 of 339 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Huzzah!

**

Yay!!!

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Agent, Missouri—St. Louis aka bluesman95

Signed up

Sovereign Court ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, PFS RPG Subscriber

Hoorai! I'll have to wait till tomorrow to sign up, as have to check with the boss (wife).

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

Signed up!

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Agent, Missouri—St. Louis aka bluesman95

Can August get here already

Dark Archive **

Pathfinder Companion, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What's going to happen with Starfinder at GenCon? Even if it's not an organized play thing, it seems the sort of thing that should be part of the Paizo presence - I know I'm looking to spend some time playing however I can.

***

I have to say I'm very disappointed with the lack of details. For me I try to balance play and volunteering, cost and benefit. I have volunteered for several years and always fluctuate between Tier 2 and Tier 4 based on the details. I guess I should sign up for Tier 2 now and roll it back if the details need me too. (But I don't like that either)

Sovereign Court *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Signed up! I'll see you all on the ACG tables!

Dark Archive **** Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—St. Louis

It's finally time. I hope we see plenty of ACG volunteers!

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Coordinator

CigarPete, Swiftbrook, et al.

I've got several other blogs planned regarding Gen Con events. But Gen Con doesn't require events to be input into their system until late Feb/early March (if you want them in the program book, which we do). So the team has a few weeks to make decisions as to what is on offer. With the housing lottery launching on the 12th, I have to put the call for vols out now, without our schedule being finalized, or risk people not getting housing.

If you are unsure of what tier to volunteer for, choose the lower one. It is easier to add slots (and rewards) than it is to plan on a volunteer, have you take one of the higher slots, then cut slots and/or back out. While it may not seem much from your end, if all 400+ volunteers did that, we would have serious issues.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

If I had more than 1 day free to enjoy Gen Con, I would probably volunteer for a slot or two. Oh well, maybe next year or a few from now.

** Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Submitted. Going for second year in a row! Hoping no more Delta flight computer glitches.

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder PFS RPG Subscriber

Dipping my toe in the volunteer pool for the first time. Were I 20 years younger I'd plow through an overnight or two but I like my sleep. :D

Liberty's Edge

Submitted. *fingers crossed*

Grand Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, Colorado—Northern Colorado aka treidenb

The HQ overnight end times appears wrong. I believe it should be AM and not PM.

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Harrisburg

Submitted

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Tennessee—Knoxville aka tchrman35

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I would like very much if Gencon would schedule themselves about 2 weeks earlier. It falls during the first week of school again. I did that this year, but I can't justify missing during the first week every year.

I'm coming to paizocon, though. (Which is earlier, and whose gm bell has yet to be rung?) Or perhaps I missed it.

Paizo Employee ***** Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Stephen Wight wrote:

I would like very much if Gencon would schedule themselves about 2 weeks earlier. It falls during the first week of school again. I did that this year, but I can't justify missing during the first week every year.

I'm coming to paizocon, though. (Which is earlier, and whose gm bell has yet to be rung?) Or perhaps I missed it.

Blog wrote:
For those looking to volunteer at PaizoCon, I'll be putting that call out in February.

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Coordinator

Todd Reidenbach wrote:
The HQ overnight end times appears wrong. I believe it should be AM and not PM.

Good catch! Yes, the overnight slot ends at 7 AM. Will see about getting it corrected :)

***

Stephen Wight wrote:

I would like very much if Gencon would schedule themselves about 2 weeks earlier. It falls during the first week of school again. I did that this year, but I can't justify missing during the first week every year.

I'm coming to paizocon, though. (Which is earlier, and whose gm bell has yet to be rung?) Or perhaps I missed it.

You and me both Stephen. I'm having the same issue. I just can't take off too much time at the beginning at the year.

Grand Lodge **

Signed up to gm, hope I can do both that and whatever release tournament Fantasy Flight does for L5R

Liberty's Edge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, if Starfinder Society is announced, I'll happily volunteer at that point. =)

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

Ah, good old con envy rears its head...

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Tennessee—Knoxville aka tchrman35

John Compton wrote:
Stephen Wight wrote:

I would like very much if Gencon would schedule themselves about 2 weeks earlier. It falls during the first week of school again. I did that this year, but I can't justify missing during the first week every year.

I'm coming to paizocon, though. (Which is earlier, and whose gm bell has yet to be rung?) Or perhaps I missed it.

Blog wrote:
For those looking to volunteer at PaizoCon, I'll be putting that call out in February.

Touché! I didn't actually read the article, since I was very aware it wasn't applicable to me.

I'll be looking for that February post!

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent aka Upaynao

They say go big or go home. So here I am, volunteering for Tier 1. God help us all.

Liberty's Edge *

Move over Gregory, taking the same plunge..

Signed up for Tier 1. This is my second year.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again!

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent aka Upaynao

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gary Bush wrote:

Move over Gregory, taking the same plunge..

Signed up for Tier 1. This is my second year.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again!

You're not a terrible GM though. I am. So much so my VC keeps firing me.

Love you David! (Please don't fire me again).

Liberty's Edge *

Gregory Rebelo wrote:


You're not a terrible GM though. I am. So much so my VC keeps firing me.

Love you David! (Please don't fire me again).

Can't be too terrible... You have 4 stars!! I have only 1!!

(I know, I know, the number of stars don't measure how good a GM a person is...)
:)

** Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

Gary Bush wrote:
Gregory Rebelo wrote:


You're not a terrible GM though. I am. So much so my VC keeps firing me.

Love you David! (Please don't fire me again).

Can't be too terrible... You have 4 stars!! I have only 1!!

(I know, I know, the number of stars don't measure how good a GM a person is...)
:)

It's not the number of stars behind the GM that matters but the size of the stars in the GMs heart.

Sovereign Court **** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

My stars caused a partial blockage. My doctor says I have to cut back on GMing or it's going to cause an aneurysm.

Dark Archive *****

I wouldnt mind running a bunch of goblins attack sandpoint slots..( tier 1)

I can even setup a 3d model of sandpoint ...

Dark Archive *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can't make it this year. See everyone in 2018.

Grand Lodge *

I doubt we will be signing up for any specials this year. The biggest factor being the schedule. 1 a.m. is too late especially with getting to bad after that and trying to get back to the con the following morning.

Another big factor being roughly 1/2 of the GMs I've had were not prepared or just simply weren't good. It's too big of a deal to waste my one shot at playing what should be an epic ordeal only to have it ruined by GMs either interjecting and telling us what to do every step of the way or simply being unprepared and reading for 10 mins in a 12 min block before we get whisked away to the next step of the special.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I will be going to my first ever GenCon... and I am trying for Tier 1. This is a huge leap for me. I so look forward to meeting everyone.

Expect many, many hugs.

Hmm

PS Question: If you arrive on Wednesday, do you have to pay for that night's lodging? I was thinking of coming in early and leaving late so that I can get some downtime to meet people and help with set-up and take-down.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

2 people marked this as a favorite.
claudekennilol wrote:

I doubt we will be signing up for any specials this year. The biggest factor being the schedule. 1 a.m. is too late especially with getting to bad after that and trying to get back to the con the following morning.

Another big factor being roughly 1/2 of the GMs I've had were not prepared or just simply weren't good. It's too big of a deal to waste my one shot at playing what should be an epic ordeal only to have it ruined by GMs either interjecting and telling us what to do every step of the way or simply being unprepared and reading for 10 mins in a 12 min block before we get whisked away to the next step of the special.

Claude --

It may not be the fault of the GMs, here. This tends to be a problem because in the past specials were released only a few days before the convention. They were a little better with releasing Cosmic Captive early, but that was such a beast to prep that just about every GM I talked to (including 5 Star Veterans) felt overwhelmed.

__

John, Tonya, and Linda --

Is there any chance that this year you can go with a "Less is More" approach to specials? Having so much to prep in such a short time can make for a less than stellar experience, whether as a player or a GM.

The three tracks were fun, but horrible to prep. If you go with multiple tracks again, I sincerely hope that you muster by route to give GMs a more sane prep experience.

Sincerely yours,

Hmm

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
PS Question: If you arrive on Wednesday, do you have to pay for that night's lodging? I was thinking of coming in early and leaving late so that I can get some downtime to meet people and help with set-up and take-down.

Yes, as I recall. The official roomblock was Thursday night through Sunday night, so if you are staying Wednesday night or earlier or Monday night or later, you will need to book a room somewhere.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent aka Upaynao

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
I will be going to my first ever GenCon... and I am trying for Tier 1. This is a huge leap for me. I so look forward to meeting everyone.

ANOTHER FRESHMAN! I AM NOT ALONE!!!! *sobs*

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Am I a sophomore this year then?

Sovereign Court **

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
PS Question: If you arrive on Wednesday, do you have to pay for that night's lodging? I was thinking of coming in early and leaving late so that I can get some downtime to meet people and help with set-up and take-down.
Yes, as I recall. The official roomblock was Thursday night through Sunday night, so if you are staying Wednesday night or earlier or Monday night or later, you will need to book a room somewhere.

Every year that I have volunteered for Paizo at GenCon has included the Wednesday night as part of the GM Tier package of rooms. I would count on that still being the same.

Angus

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
PS Question: If you arrive on Wednesday, do you have to pay for that night's lodging? I was thinking of coming in early and leaving late so that I can get some downtime to meet people and help with set-up and take-down.
Yes, as I recall. The official roomblock was Thursday night through Sunday night, so if you are staying Wednesday night or earlier or Monday night or later, you will need to book a room somewhere.

In previous years I've arrived on Wednesday, checked in to my Tier 1 room w/room mates, and swung by the Sagamore to do GM check in.

I haven't investigated whether that has changed this year or not.

Liberty's Edge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
Stephen Wight wrote:

I would like very much if Gencon would schedule themselves about 2 weeks earlier. It falls during the first week of school again. I did that this year, but I can't justify missing during the first week every year.

I'm coming to paizocon, though. (Which is earlier, and whose gm bell has yet to be rung?) Or perhaps I missed it.

Blog wrote:
For those looking to volunteer at PaizoCon, I'll be putting that call out in February.

I might make the trip out to PaizoCon instead of GenCon. I hear PaizoCon is pretty fun too.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

For some reason I was remembering being in a different room Wednesday night. I must be thinking of PaizoCon last year, I showed up early to that one. So Wednesday to Sunday night then.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

What time is set up at the Sagamore? Trying to figure out when I need to book the flight.

Hmm

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There are people in the Sag from Noon on, IIRC.
We usually get there by 2 and then get to the Sag around 3.


Gregory Rebelo wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
I will be going to my first ever GenCon... and I am trying for Tier 1. This is a huge leap for me. I so look forward to meeting everyone.
ANOTHER FRESHMAN! I AM NOT ALONE!!!! *sobs*

I'm another who will be doing Gen Con for the first time this year. (I also am trying for tier 1, although in HQ.)

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka UndeadMitch

1 person marked this as a favorite.

To reiterate what others have said, check-in for hotel is on Wednesday, check-out is on Monday morning.

Lone Shark Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you haven't checked out The Cosmic Captive yet, you should do so. It's really cool.

Mike


I'm always happy when the call is put out, hope to see everyone at the HQ again this year.

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