Origins and Gen Con Convention Offerings!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Over the past few months, we announced the launch of the new season of Starfinder Society at Origins Game Faire and previewed some of the PaizoCon 2018 organized play offerings, including our newest scenarios. Tickets for events at Origins and Gen Con went live this past week, so this week's blog focuses on offerings at those conventions.

Origins Game Faire

In prior years, Pathfinder Society at Origins focused on a mix of older season favorites with a sprinkling of the current season. This year, we've extended that idea across Starfinder Society as well. Given that Starfinder Society doesn't have the depth of scenarios, given that we are not even a full year into the campaign, this means we scheduled the entire Starfinder Society catalog. So if you haven't explored Absalom Station, sailed through the Drift, or met celebrity maven Zo!, now is your chance.

As Starfinder Society developer Thurston Hillman discussed in the Starfinder Launch blog, the limited release meant we hadn't finished the story of the Scoured Stars. So instead of launching a new season with a new theme, we are extending the Year of the Scoured Stars for another 12 months and pivoting the storyline with the release of interactive specialStarfinder Society Scenario #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasionby veteran Society writer Mikko Kallio. Thurston finished up development on this adventure this week and from his reactions, players are in for a treat! Besides #1-99, we have two new scenarios debuting at Origins—Starfinder Society Scenario #1-16: Dreaming of the Future is a 4-part quest pack for character levels 1-4 (replayable with 1st level characters) and Starfinder Society Scenario #1-17: Reclaiming the Time-Lost Tear, a continuation of the season metaplot involving the First Seeker [elect] Luwazi Elsebo's mission to return to the Scoured Stars.

Pathfinder Society players have the opportunity to experience the next installment of the modular interactive special Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-99C: The Solstice Scar, version C on Friday night. Besides a selection of offerings from Seasons 0-8, Season 9 scenarios highlighting the Liberty's Edge, Concordance, and Dark Archive Factions are scheduled. In addition, each block a Paizo staff member is running a table of Pathfinder Society Playtest Scenario #1: Rose Street Revenge. That's so secret, there isn't even a product page made for it yet. If you aren't able to get tickets to one of the Rose Street tables, consider trying out a 2-hour Pathfinder Playtest Demo.

Origins attendees need to purchase a badge and then purchase tickets for each event they wish to participate in. Visit the Origins website for more information on attending the convention.

Gen Con 2018

The schedule at Gen Con is choc-a-bloc with offerings. The latter half of Pathfinder Society Year of Faction's Favor makes a showing, as well as the first three scenarios in the not-yet-announced Season Ten storyline. Thursday sees an encore run of the modular interactive special Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-99C: The Solstice Scar, version C. The interactive special Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-00: The Hao-Jin Cataclysm makes its debut on Friday night.

On the Starfinder front, Saturday night is the interactive special Starfinder Society Scenario #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion. Year of Scoured Stars is well represented, including the debut of Starfinder Society Scenario #1-20: Duskmire Accord 9 and Starfinder Society Scenario #1-21: Yesteryear's Sorrow.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild offerings include the PACG Open Tournament, the interactive special Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-00: The Hao-Jin Cataclysm on Friday night, and the launch of the newest Season (name to be announced at PaizoCon). Plus tables of prior season play!

Prior years saw Paizo staff participating in a wide range of panels and seminars in room 212 and this year is no different. While we haven't posted the schedule yet (something about a Playtest taking up quite a bit of time and attention) we are hoping to do so in the very near future.

In looking at ticket sales, we have sold out some events, including specific tiers in each of the interactive specials. I'm working with the Gen Con events team to reallocate our GMs from less sold events to sold out events and more tickets to sold out items should release shortly.

We still have a need for Starfinder Society and Pathfinder Society GMs! Volunteers receive benefits based on how many blocks they contribute. Rewards include 4-day badges, 1/4 hotel rooms in the downtown Westin, credit to paizo.com, a copy of a Paizo print product Interested? Check here for more information and to complete a volunteer questionnaire.

As with Origins, attendees at Gen Con must purchase a badge and then buy tickets for each game they wish to participate in. We will take generic tickets on a space available basis, so I encourage anyone to sign up for the games they really want. For more info, check the Gen Con 2018 website.

Whew! So many options, I'm glad I don't have to choose which to play! I'm looking forward to a bustling convention season and hope to see many of you at a convention soon!

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge


Organized Play Manager

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Tags: Conventions Organized Play Paizo
Jon Brazer Enterprises

I'll be there in a 2 Hour Playtest Demo at Origins on Wednesday. Anyone else have tickets for that day?

The Exchange * ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent aka Shaudius

"Starfinder Society Scenario #1-16: Dreaming of the Future is a 4-part quest pack for character levels 1-4 (replayable with 1st level characters)"

So this is a break from how Starfinder Society has been handling repeatables, but is how Pathfinder handles evergreens, is this intentional?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The Hao Jin Cataclysm? That sounds deeply intriguing...

Starfinder Society Developer

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Shaudius wrote:

"Starfinder Society Scenario #1-16: Dreaming of the Future is a 4-part quest pack for character levels 1-4 (replayable with 1st level characters)"

So this is a break from how Starfinder Society has been handling repeatables, but is how Pathfinder handles evergreens, is this intentional?

As a clarification, the replay rules for this quest pack follow the standard Starfinder Society replay rules, and do not apply to just 1st-level characters. Tonya might have gotten her PFS-wires crossed! :)

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Kalindlara wrote:
The Hao Jin Cataclysm? That sounds deeply intriguing...

I'm looking forward to explosions!

GenCon Event Page wrote:
A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–11. Centuries ago, the sorceress Hao Jin crafted a museum demiplane, ripping locations from across Golarion to add to her personal collection. The Pathfinder Society gained access to this realm seven years ago and its agents began exploring the demiplane’s wonders. When Hao Jin vanished, the demiplane fell into disrepair. Pathfinder Aram Zey recently discovered the deterioration reached a critical stage and without intervention, the entire demiplane will rip apart violently, ejecting its contents into the Astral Plane and killing everyone inside. Yet repair isn’t as simple as sewing the demiplane back together with some metaphysical thread and the impending apocalypse has thrown the tapestry’s civilizations into turmoil. This adventure has a Pathfinder Adventure Card Game component. Written by Mike Kimmel.

Grand Lodge

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I'm one of those people who would enjoy lending a hand as GM, given that they seem to be needed at big events like Gen Con. But I feel totally inadequate to the task. I play Starfinder (and Pathfinder, which I have also GM'd a bit) and have read through the CRB. But there seem to be so many people (GM's and otherwise) who know so many details about these games, from the rules to the history to the detailed minutia. I mostly know about the races/classes of characters I've actually played. :)

Any advice as to how to know when you know enough to rise to the occasion and take on some GM-ing at the Con level?

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Manager

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Shaudius wrote:

"Starfinder Society Scenario #1-16: Dreaming of the Future is a 4-part quest pack for character levels 1-4 (replayable with 1st level characters)"

So this is a break from how Starfinder Society has been handling repeatables, but is how Pathfinder handles evergreens, is this intentional?

As a clarification, the replay rules for this quest pack follow the standard Starfinder Society replay rules, and do not apply to just 1st-level characters. Tonya might have gotten her PFS-wires crossed! :)

Teach me to type things while distracted. As Thursty said, it is following Starfinder Society rules.

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

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Sterling Jade-Marble wrote:

I'm one of those people who would enjoy lending a hand as GM, given that they seem to be needed at big events like Gen Con. But I feel totally inadequate to the task. I play Starfinder (and Pathfinder, which I have also GM'd a bit) and have read through the CRB. But there seem to be so many people (GM's and otherwise) who know so many details about these games, from the rules to the history to the detailed minutia. I mostly know about the races/classes of characters I've actually played. :)

Any advice as to how to know when you know enough to rise to the occasion and take on some GM-ing at the Con level?

If you’re asking that question, you’re ready now.

GenCon needs you. They don’t just need experienced GMs. They need beginner GMs too. If you have GMed, and if you have played both Starfinder and Pathfinder, that’s awesome! We need you.

Here’s my advice. Sign up to GM. Sign up for an amount of time that is comfortable to you. If you feel only comfortable in low level scenarios, be honest. If you already have housing, you may decide to do only three slots at GenCon.

If you don’t have housing set up already, you may decide to go Tier One for the hotel.

IF you do that... the key to making it through the weekend is preparation. My suggestions: prep your scenarios as far in advance as possible. The more you prep, the better. If you need help prepping, be sure to check out the PFS Prep site and GM forum here, and see how others have prepped the scenario!

Prepare to pack lunches, maximize sleep, figure out what you need for maps and minis. (Starbursts are an ever popular mini choice because they are cheap and flexible and a big bag will cover you for the weekend.) I also love using foldable paper minis because they are cute and light and easy to use. Keep your load light so that you can carry your maps and minis easily.

Pack a big bag of cough drops so that you can maintain your voice, and having a bottle of hand sanitizer to prevent con crud are great choices too.

Remember that you are not in this alone. You are part of a team. Just be enthusiastic. Enjoy yourself and chances are your players will have a fantastic time too. Don’t worry about being new. Don’t worry about being perfect. Just do the best you can, and make sure to pace yourself!

However much you decide to volunteer, thanks for offering to volunteer and help out! Volunteers like you rock our world, and make GenCon possible.

Hugs,
Hmm

Sovereign Court **** ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

if I could figure out how to get to gencon...

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Where do you live, Ferret?

Hmm

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

rometorio.com or see if there's a geek coming in from your general direction.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Just a clarification, in order to qualify for more than four slots at Gen Con a potential GM must have at least one star/nova (10 reported events as a GM) and one year of PFS/SFS experience. If you have less than that, you will be limited to four slots or fewer. However, if you consult with your local Venture-Captain and they can send us a letter of recommendation on your behalf, we will consider waiving the minimum requirements.

The number one complaint at Gen Con year after year is the quality of GMs and their lack of preparedness. In the vast majority of cases we investigate, the GM is inexperienced either with the Pathfinder game mechanics or the nuances of organized play (or both). In an effort to reduce the burden on newer GMs having to prep so much material for such a condensed event, we have instituted the above qualifications. Gen Con is a great experience, but its not really the place to learn how to be a GM. The setting is fast-paces and at times chaotic and players are spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars to attend. They deserve the best possible experience and that requires competent, experienced GMs.

Sovereign Court **** ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Ok all. Major Gencon attendance issue hurdled. Permission from wife obtained.

Now on to the minor things, like hotel, time off, badge, etc.

Form Submitted

Liberty's Edge ** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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I am looking forward to the Starfinder interactive! Will be the first time I will GM a special.

Dark Archive *

Sterling Jade-Marble wrote:

I'm one of those people who would enjoy lending a hand as GM, given that they seem to be needed at big events like Gen Con. But I feel totally inadequate to the task. I play Starfinder (and Pathfinder, which I have also GM'd a bit) and have read through the CRB. But there seem to be so many people (GM's and otherwise) who know so many details about these games, from the rules to the history to the detailed minutia. I mostly know about the races/classes of characters I've actually played. :)

Any advice as to how to know when you know enough to rise to the occasion and take on some GM-ing at the Con level?

Look for a local con that is asking for volunteers. Once you have a local con under your belt, it will be time to assess how you felt about doing it. I took the step at ECCC this year, and I enjoyed it. I'll probably be aiming to be in a position to volunteer for PaizoCon this next year (reporting issues have kept me from having my first star, and I could easily be 2 star and 1 or 2 nova by this time next year).

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

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I stand corrected. I’m glad that GenCon is looking for more experience for those looking to do four or more slots this year. I’m further glad though that you allow letters of recommendation from local VCs and such, as some new GMs are fantastic.

I do agree that local conventions are a great place to get some experience, but just GMing regularly for your local PFS and SFS groups can get you lots of experience too!

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I stand corrected. I’m glad that GenCon is looking for more experience for those looking to do four or more slots this year. I’m further glad though that you allow letters of recommendation from local VCs and such, as some new GMs are fantastic.

I do agree that local conventions are a great place to get some experience, but just GMing regularly for your local PFS and SFS groups can get you lots of experience too!

^ This. All of this.

One of the things I will (...if asked) tell people about every day (and more on the weekends :P) is that no matter how great a Gen Con is for Paizo Organized Play in a given year, the teams that make it happen are always looking for ways to make it better and better! I wouldn't volunteer for Gen Con every year if I wasn't confident that the folks who run the show have all of our best interests - GMs and players alike - at heart!

This is also proof-positive that your/our feedback does get heard! That in and of itself is a big step above other organized play programs I've been a member of in the past!

Grand Lodge ****

If we submitted the form to GM an 8 block of games for GenCon, was there an auto response or something to indicate receipt of it? I submitted the form a week or two ago, but didn't get a response back which I thought was odd.

I just want to double check to make sure it was received and didn't get lost along the way through an electronic error. Then again, it's been maybe 10 days since I submitted it, so there is that too.

I've got 2 Stars and will have the third one before GenCon easily. Doing the block of 8 games is about the only way I can possibly get to GenCon. If it is full, then that's fine. I will try next year and get my form in earlier. I kind of dismissed it out of mind as too many things had happened this year financially, but when I saw the note a couple weeks ago that GMs were needed I evaluated the calendar and realized that I could make GenCon.

**

Look forward to Origins and also looking forward to the sneak peek with Origins and the 2 hour demo!

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Xathos of Varisia wrote:
...was there an auto response or something to indicate receipt of it?

With respect to Gen Con...

The first question on the form (your email address) is actually not part of the questionnaire. It is intended for the google system itself and not part of the data we use to process the applicant. It prompts the google system to send you an email with a copy of the form you completed. If you did not receive that auto-response, chances are its in your spam folder, the form was completed incorrectly, or a technical glitch interrupted the submission. In any case, I would recommend you complete the form again and resubmit.

As stated in the other thread, we generally review new questionnaires weekly, but it could take up to two weeks to hear from us.

Grand Lodge ****

Okay, thanks. I think I will resubmit it just in case. I checked my Gmail and there's nothing in the spam folder. I will double check it just to make sure and then resubmit.

**Resubmitted it and this time I did get a confirmation e-mail straight to my box.**

Thanks!

Grand Lodge

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Quote:
If you’re asking that question, you’re ready now.

I love the Zen of this response. :)

Quote:
GenCon needs you. They don’t just need experienced GMs. They need beginner GMs too. If you have GMed, and if you have played both Starfinder and Pathfinder, that’s awesome! We need you.

Thanks so much for the encouragement and for all of the practical tips you've offered. I appreciate both very much! I can see why you are a Venture Captain, Hmm

I also appreciate the advice others have offered re: GMing at a con. My goal in this would be purely to help out, to fill a need for a couple of slots when I have available time. I'm not looking for credit or rewards but, rather, just to lend a hand to Paizo. I love what they do and I have had a great time with their games and at their events.

I take the points folks have made re: the importance of players having a good experience at the table. I have been lucky enough to have some great GM's at Gen Con numerous times and, once or twice, had poor experiences. The difference, to me, was all about the attitude of the GM. Those who were prepared and engaged made it a fun time, whereas the rare bad apples were the ones who seemed bored and uninterested. The rules knowledge of either was not a factor in my enjoyment so much as personality.

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

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Well, if you’d like to help out for 1-3 tables that’s great! I hope to see you at the convention — though I’m going to be in the Demo Hall instead of the Sagamore so meeting others will be harder this year.

Fill out the application, be honest about your experience. We’ll love the help! Thanks for your kindness and enthusiasm too!

Hmm

**** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Southcoast aka JDDyslexia

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I'm looking forward to just meeting all the GMs/players I see post on the forums all the time. This is my first time going to GenCon, and I'm crazy and doing the 8 table schedule. I know it's going to be hard work, but I'll be ready for it!

Another miniatures idea that's popular around here: washers! Especially for size Large creatures, you can buy larger washers that fit the 2" x 2" square space, then number them in permanent marker so you can track them accordingly with your notes.

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

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Joe, this will be a crazy ride for you then. My advice: get contact information for the folks you want to meet. I don’t care if you never normally text — I almost never do — but getting phone numbers and texting is the way to catch up and connect to meet with folks during those precious few free moments you’re going to have.

Take advantage of Wednesday: help with set up in the Sagamore, meet some of your fellow volunteers, eat lunch with them or dinner. Take care of yourself throughout your schedule, but take time to connect and meet with other GMs and volunteers. Then afterwards, on Sunday, participate in that most sacred of GenCon traditions. It’s Sunday Afternoon by then you’re exhausted and sick of gaming. So what do you do? Go off and game with other volunteers in one last post-Gen Con game. You’ll all be exhausted, slap-happy and silly... But it’ll be a great game with great people and it’ll end your GenCon right.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm trying to sign up to help out at Gen Con but I got an email today saying I did not send in email reply. I did but something is getting lost in the process.
Who do I contact at Paizo to sign up to help out at Gen Con.

The Exchange

Why is there a repeat of 8-99, and no 9-99?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Because 8-99 has been effectively two specials?

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

grifter7 wrote:

I'm trying to sign up to help out at Gen Con but I got an email today saying I did not send in email reply. I did but something is getting lost in the process.

Who do I contact at Paizo to sign up to help out at Gen Con.

Genconpfslead@gmail.co

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Correction...genconleads@gmail.com

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Correction...genconleads@gmail.com

Thank you. I'm trying to get things clear up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I saw there were going to be PACG demos at paizo con. Are there any plans for that at GenCon or will it primarily focus on E2 playtest? Either way really excited.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

There will be a table in the SAG designated for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game demos.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Just over three weeks until Origins and with PaizoCon taking the attention of the entire staff this week, when can we expect to see the 2E Playtest materials? The target for "normal" prep is two weeks, but with the added expectation of learning a new game system, seems like we should get a bit more lead time.


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

You definitely won't have 2 weeks to prepare for running the Playtest rules at GenCon, as the playtest rules have a preorder date of August and GenCon runs August 2-5.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

The playtest documents will be done in digital well in advance in order to fulfill the print orders.

The Exchange *

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

We SHOULD get the playtest rules well in advance of GENCON, as they will be getting them out to others at Origins.
Should be much earlier than Starfinder last year, I hope!


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

In that case, I guess getting the playtest rules in advance will probably require some sort of special status and signing of an NDA. I am sure that most of us won't be able to do it.

Liberty's Edge ** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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That is how they handled it for starfinder last year.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Since volunteers are running 2E Playtest materials at UKGamesExpo, Origins, and a handfull of other major (Paizo sponsored?) events between now and Gen Con, we will certainly have the materials available well in advance of Gen Con. When they are provided is another issue. We know the pdf for the printed playtest hardcover has been submitted to the printers according to Jason's Facebook page. Now, its just a matter of getting that material and the associated scenario/quests into the hands of the volunteer GMs. Rumor has it UKGE GMs received the materials, so it should be pending for Origins GMs.

* RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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I am excited to finally be able to talk about The Hao Jin Cataclysm! Well, at the very least, I can say the phrase "Hao Jin Cataclysm" in public.

*

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Mike Kimmel wrote:
I am excited to finally be able to talk about The Hao Jin Cataclysm! Well, at the very least, I can say the phrase "Hao Jin Cataclysm" in public.

Mike - great to get to play with you in the PaizoCon special this past weekend! (I played Vahnt, the investigator with the noodly arms.) I may make it to my first GenCon this year and will be so excited to play Hao Jin Cataclysm knowing the author.


Bob Jonquet wrote:
Just over three weeks until Origins and with PaizoCon taking the attention of the entire staff this week, when can we expect to see the 2E Playtest materials? The target for "normal" prep is two weeks, but with the added expectation of learning a new game system, seems like we should get a bit more lead time.

Origins is now just two weeks away. I'm not running the 2E Playtest (thank goodness) but I haven't gotten my scenarios dropped yet either.

Two Weeks! I'm getting excited! In-between grading school work, that is.

The Exchange * ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent aka Shaudius

I've been told the hope is end of the week for Origins scenarios.

* RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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Khelreddin wrote:
Mike Kimmel wrote:
I am excited to finally be able to talk about The Hao Jin Cataclysm! Well, at the very least, I can say the phrase "Hao Jin Cataclysm" in public.
Mike - great to get to play with you in the PaizoCon special this past weekend! (I played Vahnt, the investigator with the noodly arms.) I may make it to my first GenCon this year and will be so excited to play Hao Jin Cataclysm knowing the author.

Yeah, that was tons of fun! I'm running eight PFS/2E slots at GenCon, but I asked for time off during the special so that I could hang out with HQ and tour the tables. Hope to see you there. It will also be my first GenCon!

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