A Call to Vol—How to Volunteer for Organized Play at Gen Con 50!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hard to believe the year passed so fast, but it's time again to invite people to help out with Pathfinder Society activities at Gen Con. As in prior years, Paizo is once again a co-sponsor with our booth on the Exhibit Floor, seminars galore, and activities in the Sagamore Ballroom. But we have a few changes in store as well. So grab some coffee, get comfortable, and see what Organized Play has up its sleeve for the "Best Four Days in Gaming!"

Several weeks ago, I put out a call for volunteers to fill Department Head and Lead positions at Gen Con 50. It pleases me greatly to introduce this year's team. They and the PFS team will work closely to make Gen Con 50 the smoothest and most awesome event to date!

Leads

Jon Cary, Bob Jonquet, Todd Morgan, and Lucas Servideo

Department Heads

Kelly Brummond, Seth Brummond, Kevin Hanley, Tina Saunders, Walter Sheppard, Mark Stratton, and Dominick Trascritti.

What plans we have for this year! Adventure Card Guild (ACG) returns with play from all published Seasons, including Season of Plundered Tombs and Season of the Goblin. Back as well is the ever-popular Gen Con Open, bigger and badder than ever. On the Roleplaying Guild (RPG) side, we're offering a variety of scenarios from the current Year of the Stolen Storm, as well as some retro events from past Seasons. Season 9 takes off as well, though you'll have to wait until PaizoCon to hear the devious diabolical awesome plots concocted by John and the PFS team.

Following in the footsteps of last year's interactive, 8-00: The Cosmic Captive, Friday night's interactive will include both ACG and RPG components. Saturday evening will have a large event for RPG and Sunday sees the finals of the ACG Gen Con Open! The team has a few surprises up our sleeves, but the time is not yet ripe to share them. Once the schedule is finalized, we will share with our players via blog and Gen Con's event page!

Back again is Pathfinder Society Academy (PSA) returns, bigger than ever. This year, we reserved 15 tables for youth-friendly games. The schedule includes lessons—Beginner, Advanced, and Transitions—similar to prior years, as well as full scenarios from the Pathfinder Society catalog. Having a dedicated area for our youth and their families gives us the opportunity to offer positive experiences in a youth-friendly format.

At this time, we are still in discussions about what to do with our demo space. Until those are concluded, I don't want to make any announcements. Once we decide, we will reach out to the volunteer pool to fill the slots.

The past few years saw the HQ volunteers and the GM volunteers on vastly different schedules. While this helped with some of the logistics and people moving, the HQ slots were long and mixed groups couldn't match up their schedules. This year, we are trying a different approach. HQ schedules are shorter, but start an hour before the slot starts. We've adjusted the session requirements per Tier accordingly and returned the store credit to $10/slot for all volunteers.

The biggest change, besides HQ volunteer scheduling, is the addition of Midnight Madness. Well, midnight is a bit of a misnomer, since the slot starts at 2:00 AM. So I'll call it the "overnight" slot. We are keeping it small as we test the waters and see how many people are up and wanting to game. So our games this year run around the clock - (8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM, 2:00 AM to 7:00 AM), with the exception of Sunday (9:00 AM to 2:00 PM). I also need a few volunteers to help set up Wednesday Morning and teardown Sunday Afternoon. If you are interested in either of these slots, which don't count towards your Tier requirements but do earn store credit and pizza, please indicate your interest in the Notes section of the Volunteer Questionnaire.

Volunteer Slot Schedule

SlotGMsHQ
Wednesday Afternoon
Thursday Morning7:30 AM to 1:00 PM7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Thursday Afternoon1:30 PM to 7:00 PM1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Thursday Evening7:30 PM to 1:00 AM7:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Thursday Overnight1:30 AM to 7:00 AM1:00 AM to 7:00 AM
Friday Morning7:30 AM to 1:00 PM7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Friday Afternoon1:30 PM to 7:00 PM1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Friday Evening7:30 PM to 1:00 AM7:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Friday Overnight1:30 AM to 7:00 AM1:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Saturday Morning7:30 AM to 1:00 PM7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Saturday Afternoon1:30 PM to 7:00 PM1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Saturday Evening7:30 PM to 1:00 AM7:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Saturday Overnight1:30 AM to 7:00 AM1:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday Morning8:30 AM to 2:00 PM8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Sunday Afternoon

Volunteers may sign up for a number of shifts during the convention, which translates into Tier status. No volunteer should plan on volunteering for more than 8 slots. We want you to see the convention too! When filling out the Volunteer Questionnaire, please use the following chart to determine your Tier status.

Tier Status Chart

TierGMsHQ
Tier 18 Slots7 Slots
Tier 27 Slots6 Slots
Tier 36 Slots5 Slots
Tier 45 Slots4 Slots
Tier 54 Slots3 Slots
Tier 63 Slots2 Slots
Tier 72 Slots1 Slot
Tier 81 SlotN/A

Rewards are very similar to last year. Based on their tier, volunteers receive a variety of perks, including a free 4-Day Gen Con 2017 badge, 1/4 of a room at the Westin in downtown Indianapolis, a hardcover book, paizo.com store credit, and an exclusive tier-based boon (RPG) or reward (ACG). At this time, we are not sure which of the great books we are offering—too many great things coming off the presses. Once that is decided, I will let the volunteers know. Also, volunteers are given shirts every other year, based on the number of days they volunteer.

Volunteer Perk Chart

TierBadgeHotelBookT-ShirtsStore CreditBoon/Reward
1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Tier 4
Tier 5
Tier 6
Tier 7
Tier 8

We are putting the call out with the intent that we can let all prospective volunteers know their status before the Gen Con housing lottery goes live on February 12th, since housing in downtown Indianapolis is at a premium. As a side note, you need to have a badge to register for the housing. So if you volunteer as a Tier 3-4 volunteer and want housing downtown, you must purchase a GM badge from Gen Con and proceed to register for the lottery. When I receive our GM badge allocation, I will add a GM badge to your account and you may request a refund of the badge you purchased. This is the only way to access the housing lottery! For Tier 1-2 volunteers, I will send your housing information when our block is assigned in June.

Related to housing is roommate preference. To save my sanity when doing room assignments, volunteers may request either one roommate (to fill a bed) or three (to fill a room). It is imperative that roomies put each other on their questionnaire—so Bob lists Jon and Jon lists Bob and I put them in a room together. If you list someone that doesn't list you back, then I do not guarantee you will wind up in the same room. There is also a choice for "no preference". When assigning rooms, I tend to group like together. There is a Notes section of the questionnaire to supply more information. If there is anything I should take into consideration when placing you in a room, please add it here!

Summary (TL;DR)

  • Decide to volunteer—choose Tier based on charts above.
  • Ensure you have a Gen Con account (create at Gen Con Website)
  • Complete the Volunteer Questionnaire
  • Check your email for a letter confirming your volunteer status.

If you have any questions, send them via email to genconpfsvolunteer@paizo.com

For those looking to volunteer at PaizoCon, I'll be putting that call out in February.

Thank you to all our volunteers and players who make the Pathfinder Society so fantastic! The team and look forward to seeing you at Gen Con 50! Let's roll some dice!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Gen Con Gen Con 2017 Pathfinder Society
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Dark Archive

Anyone looking for in-block housing, there's the Sheraton at Keystone Crossing available from Wed-Sun. Still about 12 miles out....

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

I did a search and the Indiana State Fair is going on at the same time but they are not all that close to downtown.

4/5 Venture-Captain, North Dakota—Fargo aka CosmicCubicle

Curious when the next batch of confirmations will go out if there is an update or anything

Dark Archive

Bob Jonquet wrote:
I've heard that sometimes there are other events in the area at the same time. A car show (or was it a bike rally?) a couple of years back is one. Apparently, because hotels were at a premium, those participants found it economical to buy a Gen Con badge despite not intending to attend just to gain access to the hotel block. Dunno if that is still happening

correct i saw it online also..

there is the state fair ( also in Indianapolis)

a few music concerts and couple of other smaller events..
but on facebook someone posted about some of the other groups are buying a single badge ( so that a group of 4) could get hotel rooms in the gen con lottery

3/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Were about due for a Colts NFL game Saturday night. I think last time the opposing team had rooms in Chicago.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Northern

Gary Bush wrote:
I did a search and the Indiana State Fair is going on at the same time but they are not all that close to downtown.

The state fairgraounds are maybe 4 miles north of downtown, give or take. I make that drive every day, and it's about, 15 minutes, more or less, depending on traffic.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Northern

Randy Saxon wrote:
Anyone looking for in-block housing, there's the Sheraton at Keystone Crossing available from Wed-Sun. Still about 12 miles out....

It may be 12 miles out, more or less, but the drive downtown is pretty easy. From there, it's about 20-25 minutes, give or take, depending on traffic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Applied on the 12th, hope I wasn't too late! Had a blast GMing last year, and this year I'll even have a star. Very excited!

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Well just booked my flight on Southwest. Will be arriving at the airport on Wednesday around 10:30 am. Anyone else arriving then want to share a ride to the hotel?

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'll be down on Tuesday (hopefully) to have a night of decompress before wandering over to see what help is needed with set-up on Wednesday.

No idea on time-frame for that, though.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Gary Bush wrote:

Well just booked my flight on Southwest. Will be arriving at the airport on Wednesday around 10:30 am. Anyone else arriving then want to share a ride to the hotel?

Coming in around then.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Michael Meunier wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:

Well just booked my flight on Southwest. Will be arriving at the airport on Wednesday around 10:30 am. Anyone else arriving then want to share a ride to the hotel?

Coming in around then.

Great. 1 or 2 more and can save on the cab fare. Will be in touch as the date gets closer.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Flight is booked, locked in and ready. :)

4/5 Venture-Captain, North Dakota—Fargo aka CosmicCubicle

Any word when we will see the next round of confirmed GMs? I submitted at start of the month.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

CosmicCubicle wrote:
Any word when we will see the next round of confirmed GMs? I submitted at start of the month.

The open call for volunteers for PaizoCon went live on Monday so we'll need to give Tonya some time to process the influx of those volunteers before returning to Gen Con preparations. Give her/us a couple of weeks and I'm sure you'll be hearing back on your app.

Dark Archive

Is there a need for volunteers for anything Starfinder?

Also count me in for Wednesday help if you need in the afternoon.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

I hope to be able to help as well but also looking at experiencing Scotty's as well.


baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Is there a need for volunteers for anything Starfinder?

Also count me in for Wednesday help if you need in the afternoon.

squees ... tackles Baron and sits on him licking his face

Dark Archive

I need my powdered chocolate makeup intact my darling.


baron arem heshvaun wrote:
I need my powdered chocolate makeup intact my darling.

chortles and pats Baron on the nose

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
I need my powdered chocolate makeup intact my darling.
chortles and pats Baron on the nose

"Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty..."

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Registration: Resolved
Lodging: Resolved
Transportation: Pending
Volunteer Schedule: Pending
Finances: On schedule

...despite some awesome help from someone in the community, still have jitters..

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Hmm hugs Wei Ji. Glad to hear it, my friend.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

TOZ and Wei Ji rock another GenCon!

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

We will have to find a way to get a table together when I'm not doing Tier 1 PSA.

Hmm

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

We will have to find a way to get a table together when I'm not doing Tier 1 PSA.

Hmm

We WILL figure something out.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is always Sunday night.

Sovereign Court 5/5 ⦵⦵

The real question is, will Bollywood be joining Thorval and Lucky on another mission? The last one they did together was a riot!

Al Riggs, I am looking at you!

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Registration: Resolved
Lodging: Resolved
Transportation: Pending
Volunteer Schedule: Pending
Finances: On schedule

...despite some awesome help from someone in the community, still have jitters..

Why the jitters? It is awesome fun!

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:
Why the jitters? It is awesome fun!

I've been going to GenCon since 1994 (when it was in Milwaukee).

NOT having any jitters and being completely and utterly calm has led to travel shenanigans a couple of times that have bordered on the edge of legality.

Would rather avoid that sort of... adventure, if one catches the drift?

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

I'm driving in from NE Atlanta. I may have a tourist in tow this year. I find the Costco in KY has the cheapest liquor prices... I also get gas there.

The One Direction concert during GenCon 2 yrs ago was awesomely cool! All the signs with glitter and spangles... *sigh* I'm too innocent for it all now...

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

For cheap hotels I'd suggest WoodSprings Suites out on 8045 Rockville Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46214. It is a straight shot into town on Rockville road to Washington which goes right by the convention center, 15min drive. Many stores just 5 min west on Rockville from the hotel.


Gary Bush wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
I need my powdered chocolate makeup intact my darling.
chortles and pats Baron on the nose
"Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty..."

fluffy bunny ears

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

With the announcement of Starfinder Society yesterday, where should we expect information on how to let you know we'd like the chance to run it for some/all our slots.
Also, is it still possible to change Tiers upwards to include some/extra to run Starfinder?

Grand Lodge 5/5

This might be an early question, but will there be a cutback in the number of PFS teams in the Sag to account for SFS?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Coordinator

@Reckless - the Gen Con lead team and I are working on announcements, but we will post here, in the Starfinder Society sub-board, and send an email out to all volunteers.

@Michael - we are converting some tables from PFS to SFS, so yes, the number of PFS vols will be down but not the total overall.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

A question to those in the know:

Does the Westin have an airport shuttle?

I am thinking not because of how far away the hotel is from the airport but wanted to make sure.

Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha aka downerbeautiful

Gary Bush wrote:

A question to those in the know:

Does the Westin have an airport shuttle?

I am thinking not because of how far away the hotel is from the airport but wanted to make sure.

No. You will need to make your own travel arrangements.

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka Michael_Hopkins

Gary Bush wrote:

A question to those in the know:

Does the Westin have an airport shuttle?

I am thinking not because of how far away the hotel is from the airport but wanted to make sure.

There isn't, but there is a bus that runs from the airport to a stop by the hotel that is 10 bucks, from what I remember.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Dayton aka The Usual Suspect

When do badge, schedule, and room assignments normally come down? I think it was right after Paizo Con last year, but I don't remember now. I have slept since then, you know.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

About two weeks before Gencon Event Registration. With Gencon event registration on 5/28, that would put it about 5/14 or 5/15.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Tonya distributed the next wave of volunteer approval emails, but many of them bounced due to server capacity limitations. While she is working out those details, check the PFS Blog tomorrow afternoon for updates regarding Gen Con 50.

I am working on the daunting task of assigning the volunteer schedules. I hope to have them emailed out by Monday the 21st, giving a week to review them before open registration begins on the 28th. Its a little later than I had hoped, but the technical problems experienced at Paizo put us behind our ideal schedule.

We still have plenty of volunteer opportunities for all Tier levels, so if you have not completed the volunteer Questionnaire (see the blog above) I encourage you to submit it ASAP.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Thanks for the update Bob.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Dayton aka The Usual Suspect

Thanks Boss.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

If you are a volunteer for Gen Con 50, you should have received an email from Tonya with a link to a supplemental google form to update your interest in Starfinder. Please complete that online form ASAP as volunteer scheduling is in full swing and we want you to receive the best possible schedule. If you did not receive that email, please send us an email to address genconleads@gmail.com

Also, there was some confusion with the original app in that we asked volunteers to let us know which slots they DID NOT want to work. Many people incorrectly completed that with the slots they did want to work. If you are one of those people and have not yet done so, please send us an email ASAP with your corrected availability. If your information is incorrect, there may not be enough time to correct your schedule before open registration begins which could make it more difficult to coordinate your free time with your volunteer schedule.

Any/all correspondence regarding Gen Con 50 should use the email listed above and below for maximum visibility by the leadership team.

genconleads@gmail.com

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If we signed up for staff/usher instead of GM, should we also be expecting this email?

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

John,

Would you have contacted us if it looked like we filled out the availability incorrectly?

I believe I did the right way but don't have a record of what I actually sent.

Thank you!

3/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Bob,

Thanks for the update.

Email sent.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Anderson wrote:
If we signed up for staff/usher instead of GM, should we also be expecting this email?

I dunno what a staff/user is, but if you mean HQ, then no, I do not believe she sent the email to you because we do not mix HQ and GM volunteers.

4/5

I also have sent an email. And yes, I did check my email filter first this time.

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