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

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, getting a lot of questions about scenarios/materials. As far as PFs scenarios, they will be dropped into your accounts later in the process. I believe the current schedule is sometime in July. Late season 8 and new season 9 materials will drop roughly two weeks prior to Gen Con plus/minus depending on last minute changes by the development team so we can have the best quality product.

Starfinder is of course a brand-new product. As such, the release schedule is mostly unknown. Hopefully, it'll follow the same basic process as PFS has, but remember, Paizo does not want their new shiny game being spoiled before the official release Thursday at the con. For those running Starfinder, I'm sure we will receive materials suitable to run those events whether that be the complete rules (core book) or something like a Beginner Box set of rules with enough advanced notice as to provide a good experience to the players.

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

Thank you Bob!

Getting very excited!

Any insight you can give about what the book reward is to be?

The Exchange 4/5

Thanks Bob, for all your hard work!!!!

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

Gary Bush wrote:
Any insight you can give about what the book reward is to be?

Not at this time. It is still being decided.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jeff Morse wrote:
Thanks Bob, for all your hard work!!!!

+1 -- thanks, Bob!

4/5 Venture-Agent, New Hampshire—Bow aka Tirion Jörðhár

Thank you for getting everything cleared up. Looks like I got the new/old selection. Silent Tide, Season 1 Scenario 1, and two from Season 9. Should be interesting.

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

Wish I could play Silent Tides but doing SFS all content will not allow.

Maybe it will be run at Scotty.

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

I'm sure someone would be happy to run that. It is a well-liked scenario after all. But, if not I'd be happy to make that happen for you if we could start early in the morning. I can afford to be away from the Sag for a few hours

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

Thanks Bob!

Will have see how everything owns out!

3/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Volunteer badges are still being processed so it might be a couple more days before they drop in your Gen Con account. Be on the lookout for them. At this time, we expect them to be in there in enough time for your to build your wish lists and be ready to submit when open registration launches on Sunday at noon.

Still no badge. On a positive note, there are some people still working at Paizo since the seminars are now listed on the GenCon site.

Is there still hope for the badges?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

I got mine this morning, so at least some have been getting dropped.

2/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Indy Rook

Still no badge for me. Working on my wish list with the wife. Time to call it. I'm not getting a badge in time from Paizo.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Same here, this is extremely concerning on my part as this is an issue I've never encountered before.

3/5

GenCon Refund Policy wrote:
All badge refunds are subject to a $10 administrative fee. There are no exceptions.

Still no badge. Seems like Paizo has really dropped the ball.

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

My badge dropped at 2:47am Saturday according to the GenCon website.

To check, you can go look at "My Packets" to see what you have. It could have dropped and the email from GenCon might have gotten lost.

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

Swiftbrook wrote:
GenCon Refund Policy wrote:
All badge refunds are subject to a $10 administrative fee. There are no exceptions.
Still no badge. Seems like Paizo has really dropped the ball.

Swiftbrook,

Last your, my refund was not subject to the $10 fee. In fact, per the email from GenCon, the badge will be automatically refunded.

3/5

Gary Bush wrote:
Swiftbrook wrote:
GenCon Refund Policy wrote:
All badge refunds are subject to a $10 administrative fee. There are no exceptions.
Still no badge. Seems like Paizo has really dropped the ball.

Swiftbrook,

Last your, my refund was not subject to the $10 fee. In fact, per the email from GenCon, the badge will be automatically refunded.

Thanks.

Badge purchased. Wish List created. 1 hour, 16 minutes, 20 seconds until event registration goes live.


That moment when you are on your third cup of coffee in 2 hours, there's 16 minutes until event registration goes live, and you can't stop bouncing up and down with glee :)

Grand Lodge 3/5

No badge yet, l5r sold out which was why i was going in the first place. Should have just bought a badge

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

Purchased my badge to secure my one ticket for play. Hopefully I get my comped badge dropped soon and get those funds back.


Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Purchased my badge to secure my one ticket for play. Hopefully I get my comped badge dropped soon and get those funds back.

I did the same thing. I had 3 events I wanted to play (all Pathfinder/Starfinder). I am hoping that $99 comes back home soon :)

Grand Lodge 3/5

If i buy a badge, is there a way to not get it refunded when my paizo badge does come?


caex wrote:
If i buy a badge, is there a way to not get it refunded when my paizo badge does come?

Yeah there are several posts about it. I am not 100% on the process but GenCon's website is very user friendly.

Grand Lodge 3/5

GuruGoblin wrote:
caex wrote:
If i buy a badge, is there a way to not get it refunded when my paizo badge does come?
Yeah there are several posts about it. I am not 100% on the process but GenCon's website is very user friendly.

Most of the posts I saw were people wanting a refund, i dont want one since i will just be buying this one for a friend and to get event tickets, so when i get the badge from paizo i dont want this one being taken away for a refund

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

I do not believe the refund process is automatic. You have to do something up to and including contacting Gen Con customer service to get the refund.

I also believe that Gen Con has a specific process for buying badges/event tickets for other people. You cannot simply buy a badge and assume it will be for someone else because the badge is attached to your account and will contain your information. You need to be sure to indicate (however) the badge is for someone else. Since I do not believe you can do this without having a badge of your own, the badge you bought now is likely yours. When the Paizo-provided badge drops, you will probably have to contact customer service to have the existing badge converted to another owner.

Grand Lodge 3/5

Ok, thank you for the information. Only my second time going so still not sure on how everthing works yet

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Does this mean that, if I purchased a badge already, when the Paizo badge drops, I'll have two listed in my packet?

Grand Lodge 3/5

Also,i signed up for tier 4 but is it possible to be raised to tier 3? Would like to get whatever book is offered, and one more slot wouldnt hurt

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

Direct all Gen Con volunteer questions to the genconleads@gmail.com address. Thx

4/5 Venture-Agent, New Hampshire—Bow aka Tirion Jörðhár

Still no badge dropped for me. I am GMing Tier 2, so I will only have 2-3 sessions to sign up for. Right now Friday morning has a lot available, but Saturday night is filling up fast. Will have to play Tier 1-2, 3-4 or 10-11. Will probably go with my high level character just for the heck of it.

Any idea how long it will take for the remaining badges to drop?

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

Disciple of the Void wrote:
Does this mean that, if I purchased a badge already, when the Paizo badge drops, I'll have two listed in my packet?

Yes

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

No badge here yet either. Not worried yet though. wasn't planning on playing.

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

I suggest sending Bob an email at the address above. You likely want to include the email and used it you use on gencon. Also I believe you need a gencon account.

4/5 Venture-Agent, New Hampshire—Bow aka Tirion Jörðhár

You had to set up a GenCon account to apply to volunteer. I emailed the Paizo GenCon organisers on Saturday and got a response on Sunday which said they should be dropping. However, now it is two days later and I am just worried as I do not have many open slots to play since I am GMing 7 sessions and do not want to miss out on good sessions on the two free slots I have.

Sovereign Court 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Missouri—St. Louis aka bluesman95

Willis Sloat wrote:
You had to set up a GenCon account to apply to volunteer. I emailed the Paizo GenCon organisers on Saturday and got a response on Sunday which said they should be dropping. However, now it is two days later and I am just worried as I do not have many open slots to play since I am GMing 7 sessions and do not want to miss out on good sessions on the two free slots I have.

Yes there are a few of us in the same situation. I sent a email off and the reply was they are not sure when the next round of badges will be dropped. It's unfortunate but it's what it is all we can do is be patient.

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

Bob Jonquet wrote:
I'm sure someone would be happy to run that. It is a well-liked scenario after all. But, if not I'd be happy to make that happen for you if we could start early in the morning. I can afford to be away from the Sag for a few hours

I may very well take you up on that!

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

Quick question, I am considering coming in on Tuesday but don't have place.

Any Suggestions?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

Gary Bush wrote:

Quick question, I am considering coming in on Tuesday but don't have place.

Any Suggestions?

AirBnB

Silver Crusade

Gary Bush wrote:

Quick question, I am considering coming in on Tuesday but don't have place.

Any Suggestions?

Paizo volunteer hotel rooms only start on Wednesday? I thought they padded it with an extra day on either end, just so people like you can come in early and/or leave late.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fromper wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:

Quick question, I am considering coming in on Tuesday but don't have place.

Any Suggestions?

Paizo volunteer hotel rooms only start on Wednesday? I thought they padded it with an extra day on either end, just so people like you can come in early and/or leave late.

Gen Con is Thu-Sun, the hotel is Wed-Mon. At least, that's how it worked in the past.

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

Fromper wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:

Quick question, I am considering coming in on Tuesday but don't have place.

Any Suggestions?

Paizo volunteer hotel rooms only start on Wednesday? I thought they padded it with an extra day on either end, just so people like you can come in early and/or leave late.

It was confirmed earlier, by a question I asked, that check-in date is Wednesday.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:

Quick question, I am considering coming in on Tuesday but don't have place.

Any Suggestions?

PM sent.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Houston South aka Lord Valstaff

Gary Bush wrote:

Quick question, I am considering coming in on Tuesday but don't have place.

Any Suggestions?

Last year I got a la Quinta room Tuesday night for $80 near airport. Then carpooled to pub and then to the hotel. Worked out pretty well.

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

Just some additional insight into the volunteer process at this time and moving forward. New applications are being processed in a week or less. If you submit one and do not hear from us after two weeks, it is likely something happened to your app in ether-space. Please send an email to genconleads@gmail.com and inquire about your status.

Also, as we fill more needs and the availability of remaining slots dwindle, timely communication becomes more important. If we send out an invitation to join our team and you have not replied within one week, we will send a followup email reminding you to reply ASAP. After two weeks, we will assume you changed your mind and move your registration into our cancellation list. You can certainly petition to be reconsidered at a later time, but your timestamp priority position in the process will get bumped behind those who came in after your initial offer.

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

If you are an approved volunteer, between now and Gen Con we will be sending out a weekly newsletter on Sunday updating ongoing processes, answering FAQ, and providing logistical instructions. Please watch for and read them thoroughly as most questions you may have will be answered in those communications. You can submit any questions/comments/concerns to genconleads@gmail.com

Grand Lodge 5/5

Jordan Agudelo wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:

Quick question, I am considering coming in on Tuesday but don't have place.

Any Suggestions?

Last year I got a la Quinta room Tuesday night for $80 near airport. Then carpooled to pub and then to the hotel. Worked out pretty well.

Frequently there are folks coming in Tuesday that will look for roomates at airport hotels.

This does remind me though, the last couple years I've hosted an airport ride share finder spreadsheet for the VO corps that I'm thinking of expanding to all volunteers.

Scarab Sages 4/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—St. Paul aka Neal B

I still have not had a badge dropped into my account. Who should I reach out to?

4/5 Venture-Agent, New Hampshire—Bow aka Tirion Jörðhár

Neal B wrote:
I still have not had a badge dropped into my account. Who should I reach out to?

l

Likewise, still waiting on my badge to drop as well.

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

In the first email to volunteers, Jon had the following:

Quote:
First, is the issue of Gen Con badges. Some of you may have received yours already, though many of you have not. The fulfillment of badges is something that must be handled by Paizo staff. The leadership team does not possess the access needed to drop the badges. To complicate matters, Gen Con open registration fell on the same weekend as PaizoCon this year, followed immediately after by UK Games Expo, Origins, as well as a few other events that require the staff to travel great distances. Unfortunately, this has delayed badge release. For that we apologize. It was not something we anticipated and understand if it has complicated your registrations. Rest assured that Paizo is working diligently to get those badges dropped as soon as possible within their available free time while traveling. Keep an eye on your Gen Con account and watch your email as the convention registration system is supposed to send you an automatic notice when a badge drops into your account.

From this, it appears a limited number of management people can send in information to GenCon. This is likely why it is taking longer than expected to get out badges. I know, not ideal if you are unable to pre-purchase a badge so you can get events. I know from personal experience that if you do pay for badge, it will be refunded and pretty quickly. In about 5 days in my case. I have heard of others that it took 2 or 3 days.

As for who to contact, it is the email address give up a little bit: genconleads@gmail.com.

Scarab Sages 4/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—St. Paul aka Neal B

I also got that email. But it has been almost three weeks since badges started dropping, figured I would check.

And definitely can't afford the badge myself. Just trying to get my ducks in a row.

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