|Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber||
I attended PaizoCon 2013 and it was my second time attending! I have to say that it was fun seeing all of the Paizo fans and the staff again and we had some fun times that were memorable.
Since this is a feedback thread, I would like to offer a couple of sustains for the next year (although likely I won't attend) and a couple of improves to make next year better.
1. The invitation of the Herolab stations for character creation. This is an awesome function of a big Pathfinder supporting company and it really helps people keep track of their PFS characters. If anything I would suggest perhaps a 4th workstation to speed through queues when the events are over. I also liked the showcase of the Realmworks and the showcase of the GoblinWorks Pre-Alpha to give a visual on how that game is going to progress. The delve was also a really fun thing to do in-between games, and really challenging. For the delve, I would allow the round that the players are on to cycle through the initiative at the timer rather than cutting it short mid-round. Other than that, tons of fun!
2. Bill Webb. He ran the best two nights of gaming in my opinion and I think that his games made this Con the best out of the two I've attended. We just had a lot of fun, and it is nice to see Paizo support another system that goes a little more "old school" which is fun sometimes. Overall, having staff from all over the industry was a big bonus, and the convention is small enough it makes approaching them very easy to do. You have some great Venture Captains and Lieutenants and I give some props to the Sunday Morning VL who got everyone into a game even though many of the tables were full and some GM's were having to take 7 people. My Hat is off to you Tier 1 Sunday Morning VL!
3. The Paizo Store. There was a lot of stuff on display which made it handy and there was a good selection of flip mats which I needed to purchase for a session of "Reign of Winter" I was running as a pick up game. I would definitely support an expansion of the store with even more Paizo and 3rd party projects on hand. It was nice that there was cash this year as well, I seem to remember it being all cards last year which was a little inconvenient. Keep in mind that some of the newer stuff may sell better than say the APG, so it's good to have double the space, or a center display dedicated to some of the new stuff. Perhaps put the Reign of Winter AP, the Ultimate Campaign, and the Shattered Star Minis on a display headlining the store. I liked it and am glad that the store was on display again this year. I did want to pick up "Dungeon Crawl Classics" and was somewhat sad it wasn't on display that I could see this year. The Pint Glasses rocked. My wife has about as much interest in my Role Playing hobby as I do in her slippers knitting, but even she liked the glasses!
1. Location. I can't stress this enough, but Seatac Airport and environs is really the arm-pit of Western Washington. I would rather go to Graham or Enumclaw for a Con than the Seatac Airport. Sure it's close to the hotel for ingress and egress, but everything else about that location is sub par. When a google search highlights "Airport Parking" as the top 15 businesses within a mile of the hotel, you know you have a problem. The hotel itself has miniscule rooms, too few double rooms, and the convention facilities are sub-par. Emerald Queen Casino would be a better venue in my opinion. Or go back to Redmond or Bellevue; at least they have SOME stuff to do surrounding the hotel other than park your car. That's enough of a venue rant, but really, we want to bring people to Seattle and show them SeaTac?!
2. Convention Rooms - Too loud. End of story. Either use more rooms for gaming and parse out the seminars to smaller venues, or find someplace to offer better convention spaces. No one could hear anything and all of the GM's voices were gone by Sunday session. We need to drastically reduce the amount of tables-per-room and spread them out a little to make it more manageable. Valley-Con in Fargo North Dakota had the best layout at the Holiday Inn IMO, where the noise was a low din, rather than a constant roar, They are about PaizoCon size; I would investigate that a little for a small to mid-size Con. 4 banquet rooms instead of 1 would make all of the difference. I wasn't too put off by the banquet time, it didn't bother me at all that we had to end a little early.
3. Overall Execution - It seemed to me, that last year's Con just ran smoother. I think I had more fun at this con, but the organization from the Musters, to the venue changes, to the banquet planning, to the room block reservations were not as slick as last year. This year felt much more like chaotic organization as compared to last years managed organized chaos. Again that might be attributed to the layout of the venue, but it just wasn't as well executed IMO. Others have mentioned getting kicked from ticketed events, multiple venue changes for the card game, seminars etc., Muster-(expletive deleted), and events that were GM no-show/cancelled. I would really rearrange some things next year to make the flow and execution smoother.
All in all I had a fun time at the Con, although part of me is relieved that I won't have to attend at the Seattle Airport Marriott next year. Thinking about going there again gives me some anxiety, so I hope that 2015 I can make it back to the States and to Seattle at a new location.
Thanks again Paizo for another great time, and keep churning out that awesome stuff!