Signing up for games


Organized Play


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

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

shake shake shake


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

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

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.


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

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

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

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