Signing up for games


Organized Play

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This is my first time attending PaizoCon and I am also new to the PFS.

How do we register for games? Is there a time when this is done?

I would like to schedule my time appropriately and pre-planning when I am going to play is helpful.

I am also traveling with a few other friends and we would like to try to share some tables if that is a possibility.

Is that a possibility? We are only 1st level right now, but plan on being 2nd by the time paizocon starts.

Grand Lodge

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Good morning Globetrotter,

As this will be my second year attending PaizoCon and I was in the same boat last year I wish to pass on advice I received.

There will be signups for games usually about a month or two before the Con; they will first open up the lottery. This is the select games that can be highly coveted like a chance to play a retired scenario ran by one of the amazing people of Paizo (Linda, John, Thusty, etc.) or games ran by other leaders of the industry or other new games that will be released/Just released. You will be notified of this usually by email as well as on the Paizo Blog.

The lottery is done by a simple weighting system you go through the list mark games from a 1st priority down to a 4th or I don't want to play. After, I think a week, the lottery is closed they pull names from the hat and then you find out your results I think 3 days later. The following week after the lottery is closed they will open up the open signup for games. Very, very rarely some of the special games held through lottery have an open seat.

You can signup for which ever games you wish, so long as there are seats available. Then another week or so goes by they close the open sign up and you will get your schedule.

You can 'buddy' up to play with one other person so you both will have the chance to play at the same table when they chose the lottery events, you do not need to worry about buddy-ing up for the open sign ups I recommend you all talk about some.of the scenarios coming up you all want to play in and when the open sign up is opened hop on and you all signup for the table you wish to play.

When you select who you want to buddy with you both have to buddy with each other (A><B). You cannot say buddy with A who Buddy's with B who Buddy's with C, etc (A>B>C>etc). This is done on your eTicket area.

Hope this info helps out.

Grand Lodge

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One should not blog before their first cup of coffee....

After my morning cup Globetrotter I realize the timeline I mentioned is a wee bit off.

Last year the schedule was posted about the end of April/beginning of May; The Lottery opened on about 05/05/2017, 20ish days before the first day of PaizoCon. Some of the events on the list included dozens of exclusive lottery games like "Out of Retirement" Pathfinder Society Scenarios, celebrity games, and informative panels.

The Lottery Closed on 05/10/2017, 5 days after the lottery opening, and the results were tabulated and I received a list of what spots I was lucky to "win" out of the lottery. One of which was an amazing game ran by Linda Zayas Palmer.

The Open event registration opened on 05/12/2017 around 10 AM PST. When they opened everyone had the chance, on a first come first serve, to sign up for Open Registration events (This also included the Collaborative Multi-Table event 8-99A Solstice Scar), empty seats from the Lottery events, and you could even trade your events with other PaizoCon attendees (In case you did not win a seat at a table you really wanted). Your group you're traveling up with will have a higher likelihood of being able to play all together if you sign up as soon as this option opens up.

The Open Registration closed 05/22/2017 and we all received our final schedule of events and games were wanted to attend.

I have a little tool that I modified from one that my VC had sent me to help figure out how to plan my first time and pick my lottery assignments. It was very confusing my first time around and I hope I can help.

Anyone interested can find it here

You have actually inspired me to do something about this, I have begun writing "Poblano's Beginners Guide to Paizocon" Stay tuned for more soon

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When open registration begins be prepared for the possibility of the website crashing a few times as you sign up for games.


Gary, this is truly a fantastic answer. Thank you.

I’m curious to draw more on your experience. It’s been a very long time since I’ve played sessions longer than 6 hours, and never more than one PFS session at a time. I usually only play twice a month on top of that.

Any thoughts on a successful Con? I was thinking about trying to schedule a morning session and an early evening session each day, but fear exhaustion.

How do you normally schedule your games and how often do you normally play?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Globetrotter wrote:

Gary, this is truly a fantastic answer. Thank you.

I’m curious to draw more on your experience. It’s been a very long time since I’ve played sessions longer than 6 hours, and never more than one PFS session at a time. I usually only play twice a month on top of that.

Any thoughts on a successful Con? I was thinking about trying to schedule a morning session and an early evening session each day, but fear exhaustion.

How do you normally schedule your games and how often do you normally play?

There are three slots per day. The morning (8-13) and evening (18 or 19-24) are usually populated with 4-5 hour game sessions. The afternoon (13-17) is totes freeform; you will see the one hour panel discussions and the occasional four hour game scheduled here. New this year are over night slots (zero dark -6).

With all of that behind us, once the lotto happens and you know what events to which you won entry, it will be much easier to finalize yer schedule. The PFS schedule will be available to peruse and the mighty lotto ticket trading will commence.

If you haven't, I do recommend getting a ticket for the banquet. It is usually the only thing going on Saturday night.

If you wanted to, you could play PFS three time a day, every day. I do not recommend this (but if you want to marathon the con by all means go ahead!). PaizoCon is unique in that everyone from Paizo is around and generally happy to talk with you. It is a biggish con, but still feels small in a lot of ways. So, take advantage of that. There are always plenty of nerds sitting around the bar area or environs near by; us folks from Minnesota are usually pretty easy to spot so roll up and say "Hello!"

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

While I'm usually all about cramming as much PFS as possible into a given day I would second the suggestion to take a relaxed approach to the Con, meet more of the community/Paizo team, and enjoy the other cool features of the con.

Scarab Sages

Also consider some of the non-PFS games. I thoroughly enjoyed the Legendary Planet and Aethera sessions I got to take part in last year.


I did a ton of panels and found them a blast. I think I only played one "ticketed" game (was going to be two but my flight got delayed by a day so I missed the first one), and then a few random other games as circumstances permitted.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

*Dotted for first time Con-iness

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The best ticketed event of the ones I attended was a panel on Monday morning discussing Golarion and story elements of it. We went over something like half an hour, because we were all very fired up about the topic (in a good way) and a lot of insight on the story development/direction process of Pathfinder was gained.

Do not discount panels if might seem the least bit interesting, and also visit the dealer hall -- even if you don't think you're going to buy something, there may be things which catch your eye.

The Dealer Hall team was amazing and responsive and weren't afraid to chat if they weren't busy.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Globetrotter wrote:
Any thoughts on a successful Con? I was thinking about trying to schedule a morning session and an early evening session each day, but fear exhaustion.

There is also a board for posting tickets you aren't going to use. I've used it in the past when I overestimated how much I could fit in. If you do end up feeling exhausted, you can always give up your ticket.

Two games every day might be exhausting. Last year, for games I scheduled 1/2+banquet/2/1. The year before, 1/1+banquet/2/1 but filled in a lot of panels.

Shadow Lodge

dotting because I'm another first-timer

Silver Crusade

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Any word on lottery sign ups or a schedule of events?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sowhereaminow wrote:
Any word on lottery sign ups or a schedule of events?

shake shake shake

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I'm buying more than one ticket, one for me and one for my lady. Since this Con is pretty much all my idea (Lady is a huge Pathfinder and Starfinder fan but doesnt have an organizational bone in her body) I have to sign us both up. Is there a specific way to sign more than one person up?

SO EXCITED ITS MY FIRST PAIZO CON!!


IIRC, there was a way to sign up as a pair, but someone with more experience (this will be just my second PaizoCon) might be able to answer with more certainty.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You can register for the lottery with a buddy, but both buddies need to rank game preferences. The system will only assign a lottery event that both buddies have ranked.

It's also important to realize if you sign up with a buddy that the system won't give you a spot in a game if there isn't room for your buddy too, so it has to be really important to you that you play with your buddy. (So, your number comes up, there's a coveted spot in a PF2 preview game, but only one spot, so the system moves on to another event with two spots in it.)

Your partner will have to do her own registration either way, so it might just be best for you to do the legwork on games and then let her know what to rank for the lottery, and then let her know what to sign up for during open registration.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

My girlfriend and I tried the buddy system the first year and ended up with almost no games. It really seems intended for people who have a need to play together, like minor children, rather than just friends/spouses trying to get into the same games.

We now have much better luck doing the lottery independently and then trying to trade into games together once trading opens.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

This will be my first PaizoCon, after reading this thread about the lottery I'm a bit concerned.

My primary interest is playing SFS games since I generally GM locally, I've only had a few opportunities to play - especially play spoiler-free (before GMing the same scenario). Reading this thread leaves me with a strong impression there's far more people who want to play than there's seats available, especially the last post.

Is every organized play table part of this lottery, how many slots do people generally "win" through the lottery, and roughly what % of organized play seats get assigned this way? Or is the lottery primarily only for "VIP GM" tables, like games run by members of the organized play team?

I was also hoping SFS #1-14 and #1-15 might be offered a few days early for PaizoCon games giving us the chance to play it before running it locally, though I've not seen anything about this happening in previous years.


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The majority of organized play games are usually not a part of the lottery, but rather part of the open enrollment. One possible exception could be scenarios run by their authors or other notable “celebrities.” Given what you want to play, you should have little reason for concern. However, given that this is the first year SFS scenarios willl be offered, I have no idea how many may be offered nor the demand for them. I can say, though, that I have never had an issue getting a spot at any scenario I hoped to play. I can’t speak to any scenario being offered early, unfortunately.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Seconding Eazy-Earl, you should be fine for regular SFS games. The lottery games are special events, but there are tons of regular Organized Play tables open after the lottery closes.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kate Baker wrote:
Seconding Eazy-Earl, you should be fine for regular SFS games. The lottery games are special events, but there are tons of regular Organized Play tables open after the lottery closes.

So Just to confirm, the sign ups drop usually a month before hand (So Around end of April 2018 in this case?)

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

So what about early scenario access? Have we ever had scenarios drop a few days early for PaizoCon before? Or other unique playable content?

Silver Crusade

Still nothing? Lottery and game sign ups probably need to happen pretty soon. Time running short..

Scarab Sages

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Gilver wrote:
So Just to confirm, the sign ups drop usually a month before hand (So Around end of April 2018 in this case?)

It's usually early May. I believe event selections opened on May 4 last year. We'll have 5 to 7 days to make selections, they'll run the lottery, and we usually see the results a couple days after the selection period ends.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I went last year to PaizoCon (first time) and used the buddy system. It worked out well as I and a new to RPG friend were placed in Jason Bulmahn's slowly developing campaign scenario. It was interesting and fun for my friend and Jason got to roll his non-symmetric meteoric iron d20.

That being said, I would not link more than two people as "buddies" in the lottery system as the odds may turn on you...

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The list of Scenarios for PaizoCon 2018 has been announced, no date on sign ups or lottery.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Here is the tentative schedule for that.

Schedule Live: Friday April 27th (may not include Org Play being entered for a bit)
Preferences can be set for events from Monday April 30th at 2pm PST
Email Monday April 30th afternoon announcing schedule is up and explaining how to mark preferences.
Email on Friday May 4th reminding folks to mark preferences by May 8th.
Preferences close Tuesday May 8th at 2pm PST.
Publish lottery events and open up event trading and general registration Wednesday May 9th 10am PST
Send out email on Wednesday May 9th that lottery results are live and general registration is ready.
Close all event registration on May 21 at 2pm PST so that tickets can be printed.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

Ok, so the schedule is live. I filtered for Starfinder games and there's a list of games in 8 time slots. But no information on who's GMing them or anything that I'd normally worry about being in "high demand" beyond a shortage of tables generally.

Based on forum posts I assumed the schedule would include things like games GM'd by the scenario's author. Even Kate Baker's offer to GM #1-08 isn't on the schedule and I was really looking forward to a chance to play that one.

So if I'm really only interested in Starfinder, I'd basically put a "4" rank for my top preference for that slot, a "3" for my 2nd preference in that slot, etc?

Does the system account for not being able to play most scenarios twice? Say, I mark Starfinder Society Scenario #1–14: Star Sugar Heartlove!!! (For Levels 3–6) as a preference both Friday morning and evening (I'm assuming it'll be in high-demand), is the lottery smart enough to avoid giving me both slots?

Grand Lodge

Arc Riley wrote:
Ok, so the schedule is live. I filtered for Starfinder games and there's a list of games in 8 time slots. But no information on who's GMing them or anything that I'd normally worry about being in "high demand" beyond a shortage of tables generally

Not sure the schedule is completely up. There is only one event listed as a lottery event. This list is mostly PFS/SFS and PFS-ACG games. I suspect there will be at least one more update on or before Monday.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
Grim Ranger wrote:
Not sure the schedule is completely up. There is only one event listed as a lottery event. This list is mostly PFS/SFS and PFS-ACG games. I suspect there will be at least one more update on or before Monday.

Ah-ha! I selected the Starfinder filter so fast I completely missed the Lottery filter, I assumed this was the schedule that'd open for the Lottery on Monday.


Yeah, the schedule is not really up, despite the list of dates saying that it would be up on 4/27 - and that it might not include organized play, which is really all it includes at this point.

The general PFS and SFS listings won't tell you who is GMing a given table, and you won't know who your GM is for those until you have shown up at the big gaming room, been assigned a table and sat down at it.

Games run by scenario authors will surely be lottery events, as will games run by Paizo staff (generally custom ones they've dreamed up, rather than PFS scenarios) and some other varieties. Whether there will be an update before Monday is anyone's guess. They're probably aiming to get the schedule up before Monday at 2:00, so lottery selection can begin then but, in the past, Paizo has often missed the deadlines they've established for themselves in this sign-up process.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When someone spoke about night-time games, I thought they were joking. Wow! (1 am-6 am slots exist.) I'll avoid those...

Will seminars be on the schedule?


DM Khel wrote:
Paizo has often missed the deadlines they've established for themselves in this sign-up process.

And, in the past, goblins (or skittermanders now, I guess?) have usually brought the site down just as the lottery signup is supposed to open. Don’t panic, though; it will open with plenty of time to make selections and as long as your lottery choices are made before the lottery closes and is run, you’ll be fine. Same goes for when the goblins play havoc on the open signup. There should be enough seats at the organized play tables that you’ll get most of what you want (games and times) without needing to be the first one to register.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

No, not goblins. Just an accidental distributed denial of service attack caused by hundreds of people trying to load the site at once.

The website is already barely hanging together with duct tape, it can't handle traffic spikes. Thankfully Paizo doesn't normally invite the wrathe of 4chan readers who think their ddos botnets are a great way to bring down websites, the site could be down for days or even weeks.

Shadow Lodge

Well, I see A lottery game, run by Erik (Erik who?). And lottery goes live in... 4 hours 20 minutes?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Less than that, now. And I still don't see things...


There are now eight lottery events on the schedule! I'm guessing more are coming, or it's going to be a pretty limited list of winners. I'm not thinking the lottery selection will begin in 30 minutes as planned, though.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

Lottery is open, though unsure if everything's posted yet.

I don't see Kate Baker's #1-08 Sanctuary of Drowned Delight (Author Edition) yet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Given that I submitted it after event submission closed, I don’t actually know if it will make it to the schedule!

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

That sucks, that was going to be my #2 choice under Thurston's custom scenario. Since I haven't played it yet, I wouldn't even have to use a nova replay boon!

Any chance you'll put it on the board anyway?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can run a pre or post con pickup game if it can’t be on the schedule!

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber

Thursday afternoon/night would be great! Your earlier offer had a few people pretty interested, I'm sure you'd have a full table.

https://warhorn.net/events/paizocon-early doesn't have any Starfinder games posted yet, either.


Khelreddin wrote:
There are now eight lottery events on the schedule! I'm guessing more are coming, or it's going to be a pretty limited list of winners. I'm not thinking the lottery selection will begin in 30 minutes as planned, though.

I don't know exactly when the lottery selection opened but - shows what I know, eh?


Arc Riley wrote:

Thursday afternoon/night would be great! Your earlier offer had a few people pretty interested, I'm sure you'd have a full table.

https://warhorn.net/events/paizocon-early doesn't have any Starfinder games posted yet, either.

or even an LFG like they are using for pathfinder

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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It appears that over the weekend games that were not organized play were not visible unless you were staff. It took us a bit to realize that but those non-organized play events should be visible now.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Sara Marie —

I’m one of the Gms for 10,000 Lakes Friday Afternoon Gaming. If I am GMing in that slot, I should not select the item that I am GMing as a lottery item — Correct? Those seats are players only, right?

Hmm

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Correct, if you are a GM or event leader you should not select an event or rank events that occur at the time you are running an event.


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Those 10,000 Lakes Games in the Friday afternoon slot still aren’t visible to me. I’ve tried two different browsers on three different devices. I’ve tried scrolling through every page of events. I’ve tried various ways of filtering the content. I just don’t see them nor do I see 10,000 Lakes Gaming as an organizer choice for filtering. Makes me wonder what other events may not be visible to me.

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