Pathfinder Society Overview for Gen Con

Monday, July 9, 2012

This year's Gen Con will be the most ambitious for Pathfinder Society yet. With Gen Con being the largest gaming convention in North America, I thought of how I could make Pathfinder Society bigger and better than it has ever been, while improving the quality for our players. So, I wanted to give an overview of what to expect from Pathfinder Society if you are attending Gen Con this year.

Last year, we ran 50 tables of Pathfinder Society scenarios per slot. We sold out almost all tickets within the first week of ticket sales going live, so I knew I wanted to expand our play opportunities. In 2011, we had four rooms attached with the walls open to create one large Pathfinder Society gaming hall. It was fairly crowded with so many tables in that one area, so we requested and received seven rooms this year. Having almost doubled the size of the gaming hall, I wanted to expand the number of tables but also increase the amount of room between tables, as I know this was a suggestion from last year made by numerous players and GMs. So, I only added 50 percent more tables this year, expanding the Pathfinder Society gaming hall to 75 tables per slot.

Another piece of good feedback we received was that with the Pathfinder Society HQ set up against one wall, the people on the other end of the gaming hall had a difficult time interacting with HQ. With this year's hall having almost double the size, I wanted to change things up a bit to make it easier for both GMs and players to interact with HQ. Therefore, we are making a larger Pathfinder Society HQ and placing it in the center of the gaming hall. In addition, I have assigned 8–10 volunteers per gaming slot to work solely in Pathfinder Society HQ to help facilitate administrative tasks more quickly, including getting data entry of tracking sheets completed while at the con. This will also help us to correct any errors that come up on site as opposed to weeks later after the show. The volunteers will also serve to muster GMs and players to tables, facilitate the prize table, and various other tasks.

We will also be introducing Season 4 of the Pathfinder Society to all of you. The new Pathfinder Society Guide to Organized Play (which will be the focus of a blog post in a few weeks) will go live, and I think many of you will appreciate the new rules changes and tweaks. We will still have some favorite scenarios from Season 3, as well as the final four Season 3 scenarios that were launched at PaizoCon. But we will also be debuting the Year of the Risen Rune with four brand-new scenarios to help kick off Season 4. In total, we will have 18 different scenarios for players to choose from.

In addition, we will have the largest Gen Con Special to date, seating 450 players to complete the adventure as a group, similar to the Year of the Shadow Lodge and Blood Under Absalom from the last two Gen Cons. This year, we have added to the Special and created a competitive, exclusive second round of play that will only be available at Gen Con 2012. The top three tables from each tier will advance to the second round by utilizing a secret scoring system. I have hand selected only four- and five-star GMs to judge these tables, with many of them being current or former Venture-Captains. We may also have a celebrity GM or two to add to the mix. Every table that advances to the second round will receive a better Chronicle sheet than that which was received in the first round and awarded to all players. The top table from each tier in the second round will receive a unique Chronicle sheet awarding a very special, one-of-a-kind prize that will only be available at Gen Con.

Don't worry if you miss out on those two Chronicles. We will also have 18 new Pathfinder Society convention Chronicles available to win. This year, for every two events you play in, you will win something, whether it be a special Pathfinder Society boon or a Pathfinder product.

In addition to all of the above, we are launching three new events this year for Gen Con 2012. We are adding the Kid's Track, the Beginner Box Introductions, and the GM 101 workshops.

For the Kid's Track, we have set aside two tables for the morning and afternoon slots that are for children attending Gen Con, offering them a chance to play the Beginner Box Intro adventures with other children their age. These slots are 2 hours each and will be run four times each day at each of the two tables. A different adventure will be run each day of Gen Con, and any child who completes all four will receive a special certificate denoting his or her achievements. In addition, we will be providing pregenerated characters, as well as the corresponding miniature from the Beginner Box Heroes miniature pack, for the child to keep. If the child plays all four adventures with a different pregen, she can walk away with the full set. We will also be providing parents a coupon for 10% off the purchase of the Beginner Box while at the show. Finally, we will be providing each child a set of dice to keep.

For the Beginner Box Introductions, I decided to make this a 5-hour, paid slot this year. The first hour will have the GM explaining the basic rules of the game, reviewing the pregenerated characters, and answering any questions. The final 4 hours of the slot will allow the players to play through all four of the Beginner Box Intro adventures that were used for the Beginner Box Bash last October.

The GM 101 workshops were launched at PaizoCon for their final test run and will be making their official debut at Gen Con. The workshops were developed by the Georgia regional coordinators, and then over the past 6 months, with the help of several awesome Venture-Captains across North America, we tested various ideas for GM 101 classes in their regions. We took those ideas, formulated the best ones into a grouping, and drafted up solid guidelines for what we are calling the GM 101 workshops. As they are 5 hours long, and knowing your time is valuable at Gen Con, we broke the program into two parts. The first part, which will run for 2 hours, is titled Pathfinder GM Basics. This introductory program focuses on improving GMing skills, handling challenges, and giving a great table experience. Part 1 includes four breakout sessions covering Roleplaying and Lore, Combat and Rules, Running the Game, and Advanced Topics. Part 2 is titled Practice Makes Perfect. Part 2 of this program introduces the Deck of Many Situations, a tool to help GMs focus on improving their improvisational technique while applying the lessons learned in Part 1. Participants draw cards that detail difficult GMing situations, and have a brief period to resolve their respective situations before time is called. Our experienced GMs offer advice and techniques based on observation of your GMing style tailored to help you sharpen your skills and improve your expertise.

Finally, for those not familiar with Pathfinder Society, we will be hosting two Pathfinder Society Q&A sessions on Thursday and Saturday morning. We hope that any player who has wanted to try out Pathfinder Society but hasn't for whatever reason, will come to one of these seminars, ask any questions he or she might have, and then try out Pathfinder Society sometime during the course of the convention.

With just over a month away, I am excited about my first Gen Con as Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator. I have tried to put together the best possible programming for all of you and hope to make this your best Pathfinder Society experience to date. There are still tickets available for most scenarios, but those numbers will continue to rapidly decrease the closer we get to the show. If you haven't purchased your event tickets yet, head over to the Gen Con event registration site to do so. You don't want to miss out on all the new and exciting things we have planned for Pathfinder Society at Gen Con 2012.

See you in August!

Mike Brock
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Gen Con PaizoCon Pathfinder Society
1 to 50 of 55 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

Question posed by my player base for the Beginner Box Sessions: Can someone who is not a beginner benefit from them? For example some know of the Free Rez that was granted in the original run of it. Is there a reward (beyond the coin) for finishing them this time?

Personal question: Do I get GM credit for running them? Not a big deal if I don't. Just mostly curious.

4/5

This helps me get over my sadness of not being able to attend PaizoCon! Now I'm even more excited for GenCon.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

Now just to confirm, the GM 101 sessions(once completed) do they count towards getting a boon or product in the ruling of every 2 scenarios?

Shadow Lodge

Mike, are you going to be handling Dragonflight and PAX in a similar fashion? I'd heard that there were going to be beginner box games, and I'm considering volunteering as a GM and getting a day pass for my 10 year old son for Dragonflight so he can beginner box his brains out.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Daniel Luckett wrote:

Question posed by my player base for the Beginner Box Sessions: Can someone who is not a beginner benefit from them? For example some know of the Free Rez that was granted in the original run of it. Is there a reward (beyond the coin) for finishing them this time?

Personal question: Do I get GM credit for running them? Not a big deal if I don't. Just mostly curious.

There is no reward outside of the wooden token and the enjoyment of playing Pathfinder for 5 hours.

Yes, I am working on getting GMs who run Beginner Box Intros and Kid's Track, GM credit toward their star rating.

Grand Lodge 5/5

the Haunted Jester wrote:
Now just to confirm, the GM 101 sessions(once completed) do they count towards getting a boon or product in the ruling of every 2 scenarios?

Yes! You receive a wooden token when you attend a GM 101 workshop.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Rebis Ouroboros wrote:
Mike, are you going to be handling Dragonflight and PAX in a similar fashion? I'd heard that there were going to be beginner box games, and I'm considering volunteering as a GM and getting a day pass for my 10 year old son for Dragonflight so he can beginner box his brains out.

I will not be at either of those conventions. I believe I will be in Indianapolis preparing for Gen Con when Dragon Flight is happening. I will be in Atlanta for Dragon Con the same weekend as Pax.

Sovereign Court 4/5

So for the Beginner Box Introductions are we not doing Black Fang's Dungeon then? Just the other 4?

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

Mike Brock wrote:
For the Kid's Track, we have set aside two tables for the morning and afternoon slots that are for children attending Gen Con, offering them a chance to play the Beginner Box Intro adventures with other children their age. These slots are 2 hours each and will be run four times each day at each of the two tables. A different adventure will be run each day of Gen Con, and any child who completes all four will receive a special certificate denoting his or her achievements. In addition, we will be providing pregenerated characters, as well as the corresponding miniature from the Beginner Box Heroes miniature pack, for the child to keep.

That's a really great thing to do. When we had a walk-in player at our FLGS recently we seated him at our table with a pregen. One of the things he got quite excited about was when I loaned him the miniature that matched the illustration on his character sheet. I was planning to mention this to Painlord (once he's unwound a little from PaizoCon) in case it gave him ideas for Pacificon.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Mike,

This all sounds terrific. It's a textbook example of keeping things that work well, while looking for ways to change up aspects that could use improvement.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Mike I don't say this enough, I am glad you became the Campaign Coordinator, you are doing great stuff for PFS!

Quick question, will The GM 101 workshops be avaiable for local coordinators in some form in the future? Would love to be able to provide this for Local GMs and upcoming GMs.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
JohnF wrote:
Mike Brock wrote:
For the Kid's Track, we have set aside two tables for the morning and afternoon slots that are for children attending Gen Con, offering them a chance to play the Beginner Box Intro adventures with other children their age. These slots are 2 hours each and will be run four times each day at each of the two tables. A different adventure will be run each day of Gen Con, and any child who completes all four will receive a special certificate denoting his or her achievements. In addition, we will be providing pregenerated characters, as well as the corresponding miniature from the Beginner Box Heroes miniature pack, for the child to keep.

That's a really great thing to do. When we had a walk-in player at our FLGS recently we seated him at our table with a pregen. One of the things he got quite excited about was when I loaned him the miniature that matched the illustration on his character sheet. I was planning to mention this to Painlord (once he's unwound a little from PaizoCon) in case it gave him ideas for Pacificon.

Agreed. Thanks for doing something special for the kids. They're sometimes overlooked, and we have to remember to treat the next generation of gamers with respect. I wish there was something like this when I was growing up and new to the original D&D red boxed set.


Mike it was a pleasure to meet you, and thank for all the great inspiration.

Silver Crusade

I sure hope I get to go GenCon this year. It sounds like PFS is going to be awesome this year at GenCon.

Silver Crusade

I really want to be able to hit up those GM workshops. I strive to constantly improve my GM'ing, and those sound like just the ticket. I know a large part of such workshops are the personages there, but will we be seeing them be expanded to smaller conventions as well?

Sczarni 5/5

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
I really want to be able to hit up those GM workshops. I strive to constantly improve my GM'ing, and those sound like just the ticket. I know a large part of such workshops are the personages there, but will we be seeing them be expanded to smaller conventions as well?

I think you may want to look at this thread Pacificon 2012

Silver Crusade

Kyshkumen wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:
I really want to be able to hit up those GM workshops. I strive to constantly improve my GM'ing, and those sound like just the ticket. I know a large part of such workshops are the personages there, but will we be seeing them be expanded to smaller conventions as well?
I think you may want to look at this thread Pacificon 2012

How in the name of Abadar's holy beard did I miss that? SWEET!

The Exchange

During GenCon, at the Pathfinder booth in the hall, there is a daily promo button usually depicting a character or creature from PathFinder that is much coveted by many of your PathFinder Society gamers. Is there any chance that those promo buttons could be distributed to those fans of PathFinder who are unable to make it to the booth since we are busy playing this fabulous RPG during the time the booth opens and runs out of them? I know I have missed out on some of them for this reason and I don't always have someone I know free during that time to get to the booth to get an extra one for me.

Grand Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I will have some buttons set aside for all of the GMs and volunteers each morning. Players will need to arrange with GMs to take a bio break so they can go down to the booth and get their buttons.

Sovereign Court

Mike - these all sound like great changes. Thanks for listening to the feedback on last years GenCon and being so proactive.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pete Apple wrote:
Mike - these all sound like great changes. Thanks for listening to the feedback on last years GenCon and being so proactive.

You are quite welcome. My pleasure trying to make PFS the highlight of Gen Con.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, New Hampshire—Merrimack

PFS is WHY I go to GenCon. My whole schedule is built around the 5 sessions I play. Though it sounds like I need to squeeze a 6th....


Chris Marsh wrote:
PFS is WHY I go to GenCon. My whole schedule is built around the 5 sessions I play. Though it sounds like I need to squeeze a 6th....

6? There are 10 slots available at Gen Con. Why stop at 5 or 6?

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Cause the Dealer's Room is awesome? :P


Clint Blome wrote:
Cause the Dealer's Room is awesome? :P

Which is what the 3 hours after Sunday's slot is for! 10 slots of PFS. I expect nothing less from all of you!

I will say, however, if it's your first Gen Con, plan on ~6 hours for the dealer hall.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Heh, I'm running 8 slots of PFS and 2 of Heroes of Rokugan. This is going to be a very long Con for me.


*sniff sniff* I'm missing out on the chessex table this year :( I needs me some new dice!!!!!!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, New Hampshire—Merrimack

Kyle Baird wrote:
Clint Blome wrote:
Cause the Dealer's Room is awesome? :P

Which is what the 3 hours after Sunday's slot is for! 10 slots of PFS. I expect nothing less from all of you!

I will say, however, if it's your first Gen Con, plan on ~6 hours for the dealer hall.

...I'm coming with 2 first timers. I try to get 5-6 session of PFS every year, lots of vendor hall stuff, 2-3 Paizo seminars, and a few random asundry things. Since I'm showing some friends around for the first time, we need to squeeze things in like Hickman's Killer Breakfast, etc.

The funny thing is that we're signed up for some Tier 7-11 games and one of them has only a level 4. I'm straining the domestic tranquility by playing PFS here twice per week without giving my Serpent Skull campaign a break.

</derail>

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Chris, I'd recommend that the player in question download the 7th-level pre-gens, pick one, and study up. He'll be able to play the pre-gen character and apply the credit pre-actively to his 4th-level PC. (That is to say, the Chronicle sheet will be waiting for him, once his PC earns 18 XP.)

But that studying is important. Your friend doesn't want to be looking over 7th-level Kyra in the middle of a fight, trying to figure out what her spells do. He doesn't want to be looking up the mounted combat rules when the GM asks his pre-gen samauri to roll initiative.

3/5

Hey Mike,

Can you run a GM 101 workshop at Scotty's on Wednesday? Some of us can't make it because all 10 slots are full of PFS (5 GM & 5 playing). I'm squeezing the dealer room in between slots. Good thing Paizo's booth is right by the door.

(from wife: "You see, GenCon does take a lot of your time" :-) she's right!)

-Swiftbrook
Just My Thoughts

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

The special is filled up and no more tickets can be bought. Just thought people would like to know.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, New Hampshire—Merrimack

Chris Mortika wrote:

Chris, I'd recommend that the player in question download the 7th-level pre-gens, pick one, and study up. He'll be able to play the pre-gen character and apply the credit pre-actively to his 4th-level PC. (That is to say, the Chronicle sheet will be waiting for him, once his PC earns 18 XP.)

But that studying is important. Your friend doesn't want to be looking over 7th-level Kyra in the middle of a fight, trying to figure out what her spells do. He doesn't want to be looking up the mounted combat rules when the GM asks his pre-gen samauri to roll initiative.

You speak true, but I'm loving the extra play time too. It's hard to knock the extra 6 sessions of the home game ;-)

5/5

Swiftbrook wrote:

Hey Mike,

Can you run a GM 101 workshop at Scotty's on Wednesday? Some of us can't make it because all 10 slots are full of PFS (5 GM & 5 playing). I'm squeezing the dealer room in between slots. Good thing Paizo's booth is right by the door.

Hmmm...this is something we could consider...

3/5

John Compton wrote:
Swiftbrook wrote:

Hey Mike,

Can you run a GM 101 workshop at Scotty's on Wednesday? Some of us can't make it because all 10 slots are full of PFS (5 GM & 5 playing). I'm squeezing the dealer room in between slots. Good thing Paizo's booth is right by the door.

Hmmm...this is something we could consider...

Mike, one thing I forgot ... we'll by you food and drink!

Dark Archive

Swiftbrook wrote:

Hey Mike,

Can you run a GM 101 workshop at Scotty's on Wednesday? Some of us can't make it because all 10 slots are full of PFS (5 GM & 5 playing). I'm squeezing the dealer room in between slots. Good thing Paizo's booth is right by the door.

(from wife: "You see, GenCon does take a lot of your time" :-) she's right!)

-Swiftbrook
Just My Thoughts

If this happens please count me in, although I arrive a little later in the day Wednesday.

I want to see how this can be implemented in here In NY.

Dark Archive

Swiftbrook wrote:
Mike, one thing I forgot ... we'll by you food and drink!

Multiple drinks!

Dark Archive

Michael Brock wrote:
I will have some buttons set aside for all of the GMs and volunteers each morning. Players will need to arrange with GMs to take a bio break so they can go down to the booth and get their buttons.

Thanks Mike, I would normally have to wrangle a few extras for the many hard working GMs when HQ run out, and HQ ALWAYS run out.

Silver Crusade

CalebTGordan wrote:
The special is filled up and no more tickets can be bought. Just thought people would like to know.

:( Do we know if they will be accepting anyone with Generics? I didn't register because I volunteer for the convention and wasn't sure I would be able to play.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't think they have yet turned anyone away from the special, so there's hope for the generics. And there's always people looking for someone to fill thier 5-man party.


I have it on pretty good authority that there will not be any 7-player tables for Race for the Runecarved Key at Gen Con. That said, there are always people who've purchased tickets that do not show up. If you have generics and want to play in the special, show up early and get in line. Space will be limited, but there will be room for some generics.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Kyle Baird wrote:
I have it on pretty good authority that there will not be any 7-player tables for Race for the Runecarved Key at Gen Con. That said, there are always people who've purchased tickets that do not show up. If you have generics and want to play in the special, show up early and get in line. Space will be limited, but there will be room for some generics.

I figured you would allow the 7 player tables only to go around and kill those with generics. [/sarcasm]

I'm defiantly looking forward to the special. I would love to make one of the Wednesday games, but I don't know when my group will be arriving in Indy. My first time back in 6 years and I'm not signed up to judge once. Previously I judged everything I could (LG) in order to make it as cheap as possible, but this time I'm playing all 10 slots (hopefully).

Dark Archive 5/5

Do you still need GM volunteers? Specifically for the Beginner Box events?

I have run the beginner box for my kids using the pregens and the beginner box bash scenarios. I will be at GENCON for all 4 days of the event.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Email me and we can discuss.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Michael Brock wrote:
Daniel Luckett wrote:

Question posed by my player base for the Beginner Box Sessions: Can someone who is not a beginner benefit from them? For example some know of the Free Rez that was granted in the original run of it. Is there a reward (beyond the coin) for finishing them this time?

Personal question: Do I get GM credit for running them? Not a big deal if I don't. Just mostly curious.

There is no reward outside of the wooden token and the enjoyment of playing Pathfinder for 5 hours.

Yes, I am working on getting GMs who run Beginner Box Intros and Kid's Track, GM credit toward their star rating.

It had been mentioned that a copy of the Beginner Box will be provided for those of us running it. Any chance that the map packs will be available for those scenarios as well? Right now I'm assuming not, and we'll have to provide our own maps, but I just figured I'd check. Thanks.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

bump

Silver Crusade

Eric,
You can use mine when I'm not using them or I can get you an extra set. Either way, I can cover you.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

That's cool. :) I mean I don't mind drawing them, considering I'm running it 4 times. I just figured I'd check. :) And of course only the ruins are on the 10th anniversary sale.

Silver Crusade

I have them on PDF. I print them out in color and tape them together. If you prefer to draw them, then by all means, go for it. :P

Grand Lodge 5/5

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:


It had been mentioned that a copy of the Beginner Box will be provided for those of us running it. Any chance that the map packs will be available for those scenarios as well? Right now I'm assuming not, and we'll have to provide our own maps, but I just figured I'd check. Thanks.

The BB will be provided. The maps will not.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, New Hampshire—Merrimack

Any word on when, and if, the Guide to Organized Play, will see its next rev before the Con? I'd like to be up to date and printed out before I fly to Indy.

1 to 50 of 55 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Paizo Blog: Pathfinder Society Overview for Gen Con All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.