Gen Con 2015 News and Official Call for Volunteers!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I was advised last year that we needed to plan to make Gen Con 2014 the biggest and best yet. And it certainly was! We scheduled 1,500 tables of Pathfinder Society during the convention. We showed the world our Kid's Beginner & Advanced Tracks, as well as the Pathfinder Beginner Box Introductions, Parts 1 and 2. We debuted the Silverhex Chronicles Quests. We hosted more than 20 seminars. And we launched the Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild! Gen Con was definitely a success and Paizo's biggest showing in history. But we can make it bigger and better this year!

Paizo will once again be a cosponsor at this year's show. What does that mean for Pathfinder Society? It means we return to the Sagamore Ballroom and we get the entire room! We increase our playspace size, scheduling 180 tables per slot. We are moving the Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild into the Sagamore Ballroom and assigning 20 tables that will be utilized just for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game play. At Gen Con 2015, we're also debuting the Adventure Card Guild Open, a tournament play option using tables of four players and pre-set scenarios with no randomized elements; Tanis will share more about this even in an upcoming blog. In addition, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game demos will be run during every hour that the dealer hall is open.

Additionally, we have one of the 7 rooms that were used for Pathfinder Society in 2013. It will be used exclusively for more than 20 Paizo seminars.

We are planning to schedule 17 different scenarios, four Gen Con Specials, 2 modules, We Be Goblins! and We Be Goblins Too!, and six new quests that utilize the new Occult Adventures hardcover throughout the course of the convention.

Specific Scenarios at Gen Con 2015

Tier 1-2

Tier 1-5

Tier 3-7

Tier 5-9

Tier 7-11

All Tiers and Specials

  • A Tier 1-11 multi-table interactive Special "Siege of Serpents" on Thursday night
  • A second Tier 1-11 multi-table interactive Special in which the Society reassembles and activates the Sky Key (Friday night)
  • A bonus Special "True Dragons of Absalom," in which the players portray unlikely allies of the Pathfinder Society using unique pregenerated kobold characters (Saturday night)
  • The "Serpents Rise" Special in which the PCs are agents of the Aspis Consortium bent on sabotaging the Pathfinder Society. Special pregenerated characters are provided for this event on Sunday morning.

Note: After Gen Con, the "Serpents Rise" pregenerated event will become available to all 4-and 5-Star GMs to run as exclusives in their local areas. Additionally, the "True Dragons of Absalom" special will become available to all 5-Star GMs to run as exclusive events in their local areas.

Beginner Box and Kid's Track

We have two different Beginner Box Introductions offerings again this year. During 7 slots at Gen Con, we are setting aside 5 tables for these Beginner Box Introduction events. Both parts are scheduled with new players in mind. Beginner Box Introductions, Part 1 allows for the first 45—60 minutes to be an exploration of the contents of the Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box, explaining the rules, and reviewing the pregenerated characters. The final hours of each slot involve playing through the 4 one-hour adventures. In Beginner Box Introductions, Part 2, the GM will assist players in advancing their character to third level. The Beginner Box Transitions, Player Pack, and GM Kit will be reviewed. Once those 3 free documents have been briefly covered, we will be offering up five, one-hour adventures as time permits. Much like the 4 adventures in part one, these utilize only the Beginner Box rules.

For the Pathfinder's Kids' Track, we will be setting aside 5 tables at 7 slots during the convention. We are focusing on players aged 6—12 and will use the Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box for this as well. The Kids' Track is divided into 2 parts: the Beginner Track and the Advanced Track. Each Kid's Beginner Track slot will be 2 hours long, and each player will receive a check-off card. The first hour of each of the 7 Kids' Beginner Track sessions teaches roleplay and rules, and reviews the pregenerated characters found in the Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box. During the second hour, one of the 4 one-hour adventures used during the Beginner Box Bash will be played.

For the Kids' Advanced Track, we are focusing on children who participated in last year's Kids' Beginner Track, at a local Kids' Beginner Track session near their home, or for older children that have prior experience with Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The GM at each of the two-hour slots will help the children level their chosen character to third level. After leveling is complete, the GM will run one of 5 new adventures designed using the Beginner Box rules.

We will be running each of the 9 different, Beginner Box adventures multiple times throughout the convention to allow flexible scheduling for children and parents. We will be restricting tables to four children players and are requiring a parent or guardian be present with their child (or multiple children if they have two or more interested in participating) for the entire 2 hours. The parent or guardian will assist the child when needed. But, we want to make this a good and memorable experience for the kids that attend Gen Con, who often find little they can participate in, especially with others their own age. We will be scheduling 20, two-hour tables per day on Thursday through Saturday, and 10, two-hour tables on Sunday, for the Kids' Track, divided between the Beginner and Advanced Tracks.

If a child plays all 4 different adventures in the Beginner's Track, he will be able to present his check-off card to the prize table and receive a special certificate that celebrates his accomplishments. If a child plays all 5 different adventures in the Advanced Track, she will be able to present her check-off card to the prize table and receive a second, different special certificate. Both certificates can be used for the child's new Pathfinder Society character to advance from the Beginner Box to the full Core Rulebook rules and participate in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. We may also have other give-aways or special prizes, such as dice and miniatures, similar to last year. I will be very picky when choosing volunteer GMs for the Kids' Track. I prefer to have school teachers and other professionals with experience dealing with children. I will consider GMs who are parents even if they do not deal with children regularly in their profession. If you are volunteering to GM the Kids' Track, please make sure to include all of your credentials. Also, since these are scheduled as two-hour blocks, a GM will be required to run 2 Kids' Track slots back to back in a five-hour block to count as 1 slot of credit toward GM rewards.

We will also be running a new set of Pathfinder Quests, based around the upcoming Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures hardcover, inside the Sagamore Ballroom, and I do have a few volunteer spots of five-hour blocks for any GM interested in running those for players as they show up and fill the quests tables.

Volunteering for Gen Con 2015

Now, let's talk about the GMs and volunteers we need to pull all of the above off and make it the biggest and best Gen Con ever.

I need a minimum of 375 volunteer GMs for Pathfinder Society games, Beginner Box Introductions, Kids' Track events, Pathfinder Quests, Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild scenarios, and Adventure Card Game demos. I'll continue taking volunteer GMs until the slots are filled, at which point I will create a waiting list in the event that a scheduled GM has to cancel their Gen Con trip for whatever reason.

I also need a few HQ Volunteer Assistants for each slot of the show. These folks will not GM during their volunteer slots, but will instead help the HQ Lead Volunteers and I run Pathfinder Society HQ, including marshalling, collecting tickets, distributing GM packs, entering tracking sheets into the database, and will be our go-to guys and gals for all things Pathfinder Society. Keep in mind these are very limited and likely to fill up in the first hour after the blog goes live.

Finally, I need volunteers who have experience with the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, to run demos in the Dealer Hall next to Paizo's booth, as well as assist Card Game OP tables in the Sagamore Ballroom, from 8:00 AM until midnight Thursday through Saturday, and from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM on Sunday. You can volunteer to work 1 or 2 five-hour blocks each day from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Sunday ends at 4:00 PM) in the Dealer Hall. Volunteering for any demo time will count toward your GM reward credit below, but you still must have a minimum of 7 five-hour sessions to qualify for a hotel room as a Tier 2 volunteer.

Below you will find the reward structure for volunteering at Gen Con 2015. Keep in mind that you're volunteering for slots, not a specific event. Those that are able to spice up their event by adding 3-D terrain, props that stand out and the like, will be given first consideration for specific events. I will let you know the slots and scenarios you have been assigned as soon as possible. You may designate what tier scenarios you wish to GM but this is not guaranteed to be filled. I will do the best I can to accommodate your requests. My target date to have all GMs their assigned schedules is April 3. This should allow you plenty of time to plan a schedule, before the May event registration, with your friends and family who are also attending Gen Con 2015. Please let me know via email which days you will be at the convention and how many slots you are volunteering for at Gen Con 2015.

Volunteer Reward Tiers

Tier 1 Volunteers
Tier 1 GM volunteers are invaluable to making the show a success. Tier 1 GMs must select and volunteer for a MINIMUM of 8 slots. Please do not volunteer for Tier 1 if you have any doubts that you won't be able to attend the show. Tier 1 GMs receive:

  • A FREE 4-Day Gen Con 2015 Badge
  • A FREE 1/4 of a hotel room in the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel
  • A $10 per slot voucher for paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • A FREE copy of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures to be picked up at the convention
  • 4 FREE limited edition purple goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirts (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

Tier 2 Volunteers
Tier 2 GMs must volunteer for a MINIMUM of 7 slots. Tier 2 GMs receive:

  • A FREE 4-Day Gen Con 2015 Badge
  • A FREE 1/4 of a hotel room in the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel
  • A $10 per slot voucher for Paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • A FREE copy of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures to be picked up at the convention
  • 4 FREE limited edition purple goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirts (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

Tier 3 Volunteers
While the rewards for volunteering for this tier are smaller, the majority of my volunteers will likely come from Tier 3. Tier 3 GMs must volunteer for a MINIMUM of 6 slots. Tier 3 GMs receive:

  • A FREE 4-Day Gen Con 2015 Badge
  • A $10 per slot voucher for Paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • A FREE copy of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures to be picked up at the convention
  • 4 FREE limited edition purple goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirts (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

Tier 4 Volunteers
Tier 4 GMs must volunteer for a MINIMUM of 5 slots. Tier 4 GMs receive:

  • A FREE 4-Day Gen Con 2015 Badge
  • A $10 per slot voucher for Paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • 4 FREE limited edition purple goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirts (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

Tier 5 GM Volunteers
This is the minimum volunteer level to receive t-shirts. Tier 5 GMs must volunteer for a MINIMUM of 4 slots. Tier 5 GMs receive:

  • A $10 per slot voucher for Paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • 4 FREE limited edition purple goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirts (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

Volunteering for 3 Slots or Less

  • A $10 per slot voucher for Paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • 1 FREE limited edition purple goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirt (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

When Volunteering...

Again, please be specific about what days and how many slots you are volunteering for. I will assign folks to slots and scenarios on an as-needed basis. I will update this blog as spots fill up.

The time slots are as follows:

Slot 1: Thursday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Slot 2: Thursday 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Slot 3: Thursday 7:00 PM to Midnight (Gen Con Special "Siege of Serpents") Slot 4: Friday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Slot 5: Friday 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Slot 6: Friday 7:00 PM to Midnight (Gen Con Special #7–00) Slot 7: Saturday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Slot 8: Saturday 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Slot 9: Saturday 7:00 PM to Midnight (Gen Con Special "True Dragons of Absalom") Slot 10: Sunday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Gen Con Special "Serpents Rise" and assorted tables of various scenarios).

HQ Volunteers

HQ Volunteers are involved in the management and coordination of Pathfinder Society events at Gen Con. As a team, they're responsible for getting all the players and GMs seated, answering questions for new players, handing out prizes, and all the minutiae in getting 180 tables worth of GMs and players per slot seated and enjoying their games. HQ slots are longer than GM slots, and there are only 2 per day (except Sunday, when we only have 1) of the convention. Morning slots start half an hour before the games start, and the evening slot ends half an hour after the last player leaves the room. With few exceptions, every HQ Volunteer needs to be familiar with Pathfinder Society and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, much as a GM is. The reward structure is similar to that of GMs, with the Tiers tied to rewards for similar amounts of time volunteered.

Tier 1 HQ: 5 Slots
Tier 2 HQ: N/A
Tier 3 HQ: 4 Slots
Tier 4 HQ: 3 Slots

HQ slots are 7:30 AM through 3:45 PM for the morning and 3:45 PM through 12:30 AM for the evening. If volunteering for an HQ position, please list your skill and strengths in the area you want to volunteer for so we can match up a volunteer to the job that best fits his or her talents. Rewards are much the same as the GM rewards, as follows:

HQ Volunteer Tier Rewards

Tier 1 HQ Volunteers
Tier 1 HQ volunteers are the backbone to making the show a success. Volunteers will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, though I reserve the right to select volunteers who have previously worked for Paizo over new volunteers. Most of my HQ volunteers fall into this group. Please do not volunteer for Tier 1 if you have any doubts about being able to attend the show. Tier 1 GMs receive:

  • A FREE 4-Day Gen Con 2015 Badge
  • A FREE 1/4 of a hotel room in the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel
  • A $15 per slot voucher for paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • A FREE copy of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures to be picked up at the convention
  • 4 FREE limited edition orange goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirts (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

Tier 3 HQ Volunteers
While the rewards for volunteering for Tier 3 are smaller, this gives you a chance to experience the organizational side of the largest PFS event in the world while still leaving a good chunk of your weekend free. Tier 3 GMs receive:

  • A FREE 4-Day Gen Con 2015 Badge
  • A $15 per slot voucher for paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • A FREE copy of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures to be picked up at the convention
  • 4 FREE limited edition orange goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirts (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

Tier 4 HQ Volunteers

  • A FREE 4-Day Gen Con 2015 Badge
  • A $15 per slot voucher for paizo.com credit, useable at the show or anytime after
  • 4 FREE limited edition orange goblin Pathfinder Society Volunteer T-Shirts (if not previously received)
  • A special Pathfinder Society boon useable for either the Adventure Card Guild or Roleplaying Guild

How to Volunteer

If you're interested in volunteering at Gen Con 2015, email me at mike.brock@paizo.com with the subject "Gen Con Volunteer" and include the following:

  1. The days you will be attending Gen Con
  2. The number of slots you'd like to volunteer for, kind of slot (RPG Scenarios, Adventure Card Game, or HQ), and preferred tier(s) (if applicable)
  3. The email tied to your Gen Con account
  4. The email tied to your paizo.com account and messageboard username
  5. If you have the purple/orange goblin Pathfinder Society volunteer shirts already. If not, what size shirt you need.

Thanks in advance for volunteering, good luck, and have a great spring and summer convention season!

Mike Brock
Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Tags: Conventions Gen Con Pathfinder Society
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Silver Crusade 5/5

Is there any word on the hotel situation for Tier 1/2 volunteers?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hotel Confirmations are being processed and should be distributed soon

Silver Crusade 5/5

Cool. Thanks for the response!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
UndeadMitch wrote:
Is there any word on the hotel situation for Tier 1/2 volunteers?

Hotel is at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, across the street from the ICC. Gen Con has all of your names. As soon as they send the confirmation numbers in emails, I will forward those to tier 1/2 volunteers straight away.

Dark Archive 4/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Upper Midwest aka Silbeg

That is great to hear, Mike. Didn't expect that it was any other way, but confirmation is always good.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Thanks, I just get nervous about the details. I figured everything was good, but was just checking. Thanks again for responding!

Shadow Lodge 4/5

UndeadMitch wrote:
Thanks, I just get nervous about the details. I figured everything was good, but was just checking. Thanks again for responding!

Me too. And I'm thrilled to hear that the process is being worked now. Thanks Mike and co. for your patience with us. :)

Scarab Sages 3/5

Hey, new GM this year at GenCon and I have a quick question about maps. I am planning on drawing up a bunch, but I was wondering if we will be getting maps and minis provided for specials or do we print/bring our own?

3/5

HenryDane wrote:
Hey, new GM this year at GenCon and I have a quick question about maps. I am planning on drawing up a bunch, but I was wondering if we will be getting maps and minis provided for specials or do we print/bring our own?

You are responsible for providing the maps and minis (or pawns) for any scenario you are running. Some Flip-Mats and Map Packs can be purchased on site at the Paizo booth, but for the past two years the lines to get into the booth have been seriously long (one or more hours long). Plan accordingly. At two of the specials, Paizo will be giving our a promotional mini. This has generally happened about half way through the slot.

Remember, you need to bring your A game to the table. People are paying A LOT of money to attend Gen Con and it's the biggest show of the year. To me that means ...


  • Prep the scenarios you're running - don't try it cold.
  • Bring minis or pawns if you have them. A mini of a large giant in place of a purple worm is better than a Starburst or d6.
  • Bring prepared maps (pre-drawn, printed or purchased). It takes a long time to draw out good maps at the table. Players don't want to spend their gaming time watching you draw out a map (or worse, read the scenario for the first time). You don't need to be a professional artist. Many of the maps you can quickly resize to 1 square = 1" and print.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Swiftbrook wrote:
HenryDane wrote:
Hey, new GM this year at GenCon and I have a quick question about maps. I am planning on drawing up a bunch, but I was wondering if we will be getting maps and minis provided for specials or do we print/bring our own?

You are responsible for providing the maps and minis (or pawns) for any scenario you are running. Some Flip-Mats and Map Packs can be purchased on site at the Paizo booth, but for the past two years the lines to get into the booth have been seriously long (one or more hours long). Plan accordingly. At two of the specials, Paizo will be giving our a promotional mini. This has generally happened about half way through the slot.

Remember, you need to bring your A game to the table. People are paying A LOT of money to attend Gen Con and it's the biggest show of the year. To me that means ...


  • Prep the scenarios you're running - don't try it cold.
  • Bring minis or pawns if you have them. A mini of a large giant in place of a purple worm is better than a Starburst or d6.
  • Bring prepared maps (pre-drawn, printed or purchased). It takes a long time to draw out good maps at the table. Players don't want to spend their gaming time watching you draw out a map (or worse, read the scenario for the first time). You don't need to be a professional artist. Many of the maps you can quickly resize to 1 square = 1" and print.

I'd agree with you on all but the minis. Depending on how many scenarios he's running, minis can be unfeasible. I'm only bringing minis for the scenario I'm running four times (mainly because it doesn't use too many different minis) and some of the especially noteworthy minis for the special.

When prepping for two tiers for two specials where there isn't a tremendous amount of overlap in encounters, and three more scenarios to boot the number of pawns/minis needed can quickly spiral into unmanagability. Granted, I'm still going to try and get as many minis for stuff as I can, but it's certainly not imperative to do so.

Edit: Just figured Swift's point of prepping your scenarios for Gencon beared repeating. Don't run scenarios cold. Just don't. We've been given plenty of time to read and prep scenarios (more than the usual for Gencon), there aren't many good reasons to not be prepared.

3/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
UndeadMitch wrote:

I'd agree with you on all but the minis. Depending on how many scenarios he's running, minis can be unfeasible. I'm only bringing minis for the scenario I'm running four times (mainly because it doesn't use too many different minis) and some of the especially noteworthy minis for the special.

When prepping for two tiers for two specials where there isn't a tremendous amount of overlap in encounters, and three more scenarios to boot the number of pawns/minis needed can quickly spiral into unmanagability. Granted, I'm still going to try and get as many minis for stuff as I can, but it's...

I toss the minis for a scenario into a saved lunch meat container. One per scenario. I only talk the minis for that day's scenarios, and a few iconics to loan out. I have the minis and have saved the containers to do this. If you can't, you can't and I understand that.

The advantage to pawns is that they're flat and easier to transport. The disadvantage is I already have minis and I can't afford all the pawns as well.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Will there be an update to Siege of Serpents?

Silver Crusade 5/5

Usual Suspect wrote:
Will there be an update to Siege of Serpents?

Pretty sure the answer is no. They already put up an updated version after Paizocon, I don't believe we'll get another.


Very interested in volunteering but confused how to sign up

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Baltic

Morthosxeex wrote:
Very interested in volunteering but confused how to sign up

Probably best to go to the 2016 thread and fill in the questionaire.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

First off, Mortosxeex, you'll need the GenCon 2016 Sign up thread! This is for last year's GenCon. Go here and click on the link at the bottom of the post to sign up!

See you there!

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