Calling for Volunteers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Organized Play Foundation (OPF) is putting the final touches on their call for volunteers for Paizo organized play programs. Paizo requested volunteers for Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild, Pathfinder Society Academy, Starfinder Society, and Pathfinder Society version 2 at PaizoCon, Origins, Gen Con, UK Games Expo and PAX Unplugged. Registration launches on Friday, January 18, 2019 at 6:00 AM Pacific time. To register, visit OPF Convention Volunteer Page and complete questionnaires for the events you wish to attend. Due to how requests are processed by convention organizing committees, you will need to complete a different questionnaire for every event you wish to volunteer for. Registering early on will ensure maximum choice of program and level of volunteerism, though cancellations mean volunteers are often accepted up to the week before the event.

Each convention will offer a volunteer incentive package based on the number of blocks an individual volunteer. While volunteer incentives vary between each convention, potential offerings include rooms, badges, printed Paizo products, credit for use at Paizo.com, t-shirts, free scenarios, and in-game rewards. The listings on the Organized Play Foundation will outline each conventions incentive package.

Check back next week as the organized play developers preview this month's scenarios for Starfinder Society and Pathfinder Society!

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge

Organized Play Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Organized Play Pathfinder Society Starfinder Society
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****

I did. While I have invested financially in Starfinder, I haven't really invested in it intellectually yet, nor the playtest. So, I might as well do what I'm good at before it becomes an obsolete skill.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was hoping for some PFS 1e, But I am happy with 7 SFS slots.

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Paizocon 2019
Hotel booked - Check
Volunteer Application - Submitted when opened, awaiting schedule
Time Off from Work - Secured and Approved

Really looking forward to this year’s “Family Reunion”

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

Glen Parnell wrote:
I was hoping for some PFS 1e, But I am happy with 7 SFS slots.

I think your 4 novas might have had something to do with that.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Duval wrote:
First year volunteering and it looks like I'm gm'ing every evening special. Jumping right in the deep end :)

I'm going to have to set a reminder for myself to find you at GenCon and personally tell you how awesome Salvation of the Sages was.

**** RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 aka Matt Duval

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Joe Bouchard wrote:

I'm going to have to set a reminder for myself to find you at GenCon and personally tell you how awesome Salvation of the Sages was.

Thanks so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I'll look forward to seeing you there. :-)

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.

We haven't forgotten the volunteers for PaizoCon, Origins, or UKGE. Just not as on top of it as Bob!

Shadow Lodge *****

5 people marked this as a favorite.

But really, who can be?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Rhode Island—Lincoln aka Upaynao

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:

Reminder. For those listing hotel room mates, please contact those mates and make sure they are actually going to attend Gen Con and that they want to room with you. We are receiving a lot of requests for people who have not volunteered or are not attending Gen Con this year. Don't assume that someone is attending because you roomed with them in the past.

Additionally, be sure to confirm they are also requesting you as a room mate. We are receiving a lot of mismatch lists. If you request someone and they request someone else, someone is not going to get what they requested.

So if someone, or some people, put three other people down and of those only two are attending and have you on your list, does that invalidate the entire list? How does one go about fixing that? Asking for a friend.

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

Jack Brown wrote:

5x PFS2, PFS1 Special. SFS Special.

Looks like fun!

I've got the same deal. And all my afternoons are free!

Sovereign Court ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

5x SFS, 1 PFS2e and 1 PFS 1e Special! I'm satisfied. Hopefully I'll be able to run something bonkers for SFS!

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

If we can piece together room mates based on those who are attending we will put them together, less the person/s who have not applied, but the room will be filled in at our discretion. So if you submitted a full room and any of them are not attending and you want to select a replacement, please send an email as soon as possible.

We do have a submission deadline (though it is likely at least a month away) for submitting our hotel roster. After that deadline, we can add names or remove them, but cannot move someone from one room to another.

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

FYI, at this time the HQ staff is full so that option has been removed from the questionnaire.

We have also had an over-abundance of GM volunteers who are only providing 1E as a program options. Unfortunately, moving forward we have to ask that anyone who selects the 1E program, also has to select either 2E or SFS in addition so we have the flexibility to meet whatever the demand for tickets may be. This does not affect those who have already received scheduling assignments, but if there are an unusual number of cancellations between now and Gen Con, we may ask some of you to help pick up another game system.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

So, just Gen Con volunteer schedules have been released?

is it too late to add SFS to my availablity to run run at PaizoCon?

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Manager

Selvaxri wrote:

So, just Gen Con volunteer schedules have been released?

is it too late to add SFS to my availablity to run run at PaizoCon?

Nope. Send an email to PaizoConLeads@gmail.com

The Exchange ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mimo Tomblebur wrote:

I'm doing 7 tables for the first time, all 1E.

It seemed like an appropriate way to say goodbye to the old system. (Though I'm sure we will be keeping it alive locally for years to come.)

YEARRRSSSSSSS, IT SHALL NEVER DIE!!!!

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

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Unfortunately, moving forward we have to ask that anyone who selects the 1E program, also has to select either 2E or SFS in addition so we have the flexibility to meet whatever the demand for tickets may be. This does not affect those who have already received scheduling assignments, but if there are an unusual number of cancellations between now and Gen Con, we may ask some of you to help pick up another game system.

I sent an e-mail asking to get some 1E tables (as all I got was 2e), but at the least, I'd very much like to GM the 1E final. I was told right now the schedule can't be moved around (which I understand entirely).

Will you note my desire to GM the 1E special with my application, or should I ask again at a certain point in time?

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Please send all requests to the committee email address for visibility and so they can be properly processed and archived. As to your question, yes we have noted the request to add the 1E special to your schedule should that option become available.

The Concordance ***

Bob Jonquet wrote:
We have also had an over-abundance of GM volunteers who are only providing 1E as a program options. Unfortunately, moving forward we have to ask that anyone who selects the 1E program, also has to select either 2E or SFS in addition so we have the flexibility to meet whatever the demand for tickets may be.

That would explain the distribution of my slots, lol. Not that I'm unhappy with doing ACG and 2E, just a little surprised.

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I would have loved more 2E slots and fewer SFS. (3 SFS slots, plus all 1e/2e/sfs specials). But there wasn't an ability in the survey to say "I'll GM any of the RPGs, but rank them 2e > 1e > SFS" However my schedule looks like its setup to respect my request for "fewer scenarios is better than more". From talking to other local folks, it sounds like they did a great job of matching survey requests to schedules.

It just means in the future I'll probably refrain from listing SFS as at all, since its a 3rd place choice for me.

**

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For future reference, there is a final free text box for "Comments" where they ask for any other information that you would like the organizing committee to consider.

That's where you say things like that.

I believe that I actually wrote in my application, "I would like more 2E than SFS," and I got exactly that. (Thank you, by the way, Organizing Team)

The Exchange *

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm very happy with my schedule as well it was what I asked for in the final box.

I got 2 SFS(1 is the special), 2 2nd Ed games, and the 1E special!

Can't wait to be with everyone in the Sag again!

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

I am a little surprised getting all 2E expect for SFS specail.

Not unhappy at, just a little surprised.

At least I will be well on my way to my first glyph (that's what it is right?)!

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Why are so many people surprised by their schedule? Some say surprised with SFS, some surprised with 2E. I don’t understand why there would be surprise at any aspect of the schedule if it follows what you listed as an option on the questionnaire.

I’m surprised at the number of people who asked for ten blocks.

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

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Why are so many people surprised by their schedule? Some say surprised with SFS, some surprised with 2E. I don’t understand why there would be surprise at any aspect of the schedule if it follows what you listed as an option on the questionnaire.

I think what surprised me the most was the complete lack of 1e. I did select both 2e and 1e on my survey, but only got 2e. I understand the tendency to only give people one system to make their schedules easier, but I think some people are expecting to get a mix (especially of people picked all three). I was hoping to at least get the 1e finale and didn't even get that.

To add to my surprise, here are the comments that I left on my form:

Volunteer Form Comments wrote:

I definitely want a blend of PFS1 and PFS2. I don't want my only PFS1 table to be 10-99. I do have my 4 shirts from last year, so I may not need new shirts if the design isn't changing.

I am also trying to plan my VC review table for my 5th star while at GenCon, but I'm definitely not relying on this table taking place as part of the schedule in the Sagamore.

So, from my perspective, my comments were not honored. And I understand the difficulty and nature of scheduling the con, so I understand that by leaving these comments I'm not "guaranteed" to get what I want. However, if people go back to their submission forms and find their additional comments for requested systems/tables not honored, then maybe that's a point worth discussing.

The Concordance ***

Bob Jonquet wrote:

Why are so many people surprised by their schedule? Some say surprised with SFS, some surprised with 2E. I don’t understand why there would be surprise at any aspect of the schedule if it follows what you listed as an option on the questionnaire.

I’m surprised at the number of people who asked for ten blocks.

For me it was the perception of where the demand for both versions' GMs would be. I speculated that there would be equal or more demand for 2E GM slots compared to 1E. So when I got my email and saw I didn't have 1E that clashed with my expectations until you provided the context that most applicants were exclusively requesting 1E slots.

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Bob Jonquet wrote:

Why are so many people surprised by their schedule? Some say surprised with SFS, some surprised with 2E. I don’t understand why there would be surprise at any aspect of the schedule if it follows what you listed as an option on the questionnaire.

I’m surprised at the number of people who asked for ten blocks.

To give context in my case:

I volunteer because I enjoy GMing. I fully understand how complicated the organizers job is and I try to keep my surveys as broad/flexible as possible. I personally hate using free text fields to provide extra details, since it sounds like I'm asking for special treatment. If there was a question explicitly asking about preferences, then it seems like its data the organizers want, rather than me complicated things.

I'm not _surprised_ by my schedule, I am a little disappointed (but fully acknowledge my schedule is consistent with my survey) and just means I'll need to be more restrictive in the future or more 'selfish' in terms of using free-text fields.

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I guess another aspect, at least for me, is a feeling of "I've failed if the organizers need to contact me personally about my application" -- last year as an experienced GM with little OP experience, I volunteered for more slots than a 'newcomer' should and had y'all ask me to scale back. I felt horrible that I made extra work for someone doing that vetting/email -- I had missed a paragraph in the volunteer instructions.

This year I requested a few more than last year, but less than I wanted, and I still got a personal follow up email. "You volunteered for X, you know that Y is a useful tier" basically.

I said "well I was trying to head off the concern from last year about too many slots, I would happily do two more" response "oh, we'll leave you at the requested level then". Again felt like I created more work for people, for no better outcome.

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

Something to keep in mind.

The schedules are not set in stone. I think it is safe to say that the expectation is PF2 will be in high demand. But no one can be sure until the initial ticket sales have come in.

Once that has happen, I would not be surprised if demend was stronger for PF1 than we would see adjustments shifting tables to meet demand.

And all of us are full capable of running a table under PF1.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:
And all of us are full capable of running a table under PF1.

That is not true. I'm personally not comfortable running PF1 (I'm mostly a 5e DM with some experience GMing SF, but I'm volunteering to run 2e because it looks cool), and I suspect I'm not the only one in that position.

Grand Lodge ****

I am thrilled to have all PF2 tables. I think I'm going to volunteer for one more just so I can be in the first slot to run PF2.

I just wish I could run a demo version of PF2 at Quin Con in July!

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

We had virtually every volunteer ask for 1E, many of them, only 1E. There simply ins't enough 1E events to go around unless of course we suspend our target of trying to minimize the number of different scenarios each GM has to prep which would result in many GMs having to prep 5, 6, 7 or more different scenarios.

As a volunteer, what would surprise me was if I received nothing I asked for, but I would not be surprised if I didn't receive everything I asked for. We are dealing with 200+ volunteers and trying to accommodate as many request as possible from which slots to assign, to which programs to assign, to matching schedules with a significant other, to specific special requests, etc. It is impossible that everyone is going to get everything they want. That is why I am surprised so many people seem to be surprised. Its reasonable for someone to be disappointed that they didn't get everything they wants, but surprised? That's the part I don't understand. Maybe its just a strange/convenient word choice, I dunno.

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

NielsenE wrote:
I personally hate using free text fields to provide extra details, since it sounds like I'm asking for special treatment. If there was a question explicitly asking about preferences, then it seems like its data the organizers want, rather than me complicated things.

We cannot have a specific question for every possible preference a volunteer may have. That is why we have the custom field at the end. I would recommend that if something is particularly important to you, let us know and we will try to accommodate it. Communication of information is the most important part of the process.

*

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Without changing your number of questions, you could change the system question 'please rate each system on your preference' 1-4,Not Interested (similar to say PaizoCon's lottery. (Don't remember which survey it was out of Paizo, GenCon, or Origins, but the permutations for (1e, 2e, 1e+2e, sfs, any rpg, acg, any organized play), on at least one of the surveys got very cumbersome.

Being able to say:
2e: First Choice
1e: Second Choice
SFS: Third Choice
ACG: Not Interested

would have been a simpler form and provide more data, w/o needing an additional question.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I love how I was scheduled, and look forward to the fun that is a new experience at Gen Con.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Please understand that I am definitely not unhappy with my schedule. Far from it. Just a little surprised after last year getting a full schedule of Starfinder and no playtest, and this year going all in on 2E.

It's all good!

Dark Archive ****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

So, I am in for gen con! Hubby is making me do it...

7 Slots... 2e and SFS

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DragonflyBlue wrote:

So, I am in for gen con! Hubby is making me do it...

7 Slots... 2e and SFS

What a good husband!

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Agent, Ohio—Columbus aka Cirithiel

2 people marked this as a favorite.
DragonflyBlue wrote:

So, I am in for gen con! Hubby is making me do it...

7 Slots... 2e and SFS

The horror! Being made to go have a fun gaming week.

The Exchange *

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am a proud Papa! My oldest is not only starting his own home brew campaign but he also signed up to GM for the first time at GENCON!
Three slots! Plus,if the planets align I may have all five of my children with me a GENCON for the first time this year! Very excited!!!

Oh and I got everything I asked for as well,
2 slots of 2E
Starfinder Special and a random SFS
1E special

HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!

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

How old is your oldest?

Sounds like great fun will be had by all.

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

8 people marked this as a favorite.

When I did PSA, one of the best GMs in our group was an 11 year old named Henry. He exuded confidence, had beautiful prep, and began every session by shaking people's hands and saying, "Hello, I'm Henry and I'm going to be your GM. I know we're going to have tons of fun together. I'll be telling the story, and you guys will be the heroes to save the day. Tell me who you're playing and we'll get started. This will be great!"

He had the best patter. I took notes.

Hmm

The Exchange *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gary Bush wrote:

How old is your oldest?

Sounds like great fun will be had by all.

He is 23 he has been playing since 13 when I started them all at home, I have five so instant adventuring party! He has never GMed before but he is starting to GM a home campaign the end of the month!

The Concordance

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just volunteered to GM at GenCon for the first time. I have years of experience GMing, but have only done Organized play for he last couple years and haven't quite earned any Stars/Novas. If I volunteer for 8 slots, is that going to be a deal-breaker on GMing that many?

Shadow Lodge ***** RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

1 person marked this as a favorite.
robert Goode wrote:
I just volunteered to GM at GenCon for the first time. I have years of experience GMing, but have only done Organized play for he last couple years and haven't quite earned any Stars/Novas. If I volunteer for 8 slots, is that going to be a deal-breaker on GMing that many?

That's going to be a lot of GMing, which means more time spent running games than exploring GenCon. It is certainly doable--there are dozens of folks that run that many slots--but it does make your convention experience all about Organized Play.

Also keep in mind Con GMing is different from any other experience. Running one convention table =/= running a table anywhere else. Expect lots of yelling due to noise, repeating yourself due to noise/distractions, completely varied players (30 years RPG experience, this is my first time and I brought my two 10 year olds), and tons of different personality types to balance over the course of four short days. You might also find yourself pressured for time if your games tend to run long.

So again, 8 slots is a lot of time to spend GMing. It is doable, but it's work.

*

Do yourself a favour, though, and try your level best to get as few scenarios to prep as possible. Most of the newer ones will not be available until weeks before the convention...

The Concordance

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Walter Sheppard wrote:
robert Goode wrote:
I just volunteered to GM at GenCon for the first time. I have years of experience GMing, but have only done Organized play for he last couple years and haven't quite earned any Stars/Novas. If I volunteer for 8 slots, is that going to be a deal-breaker on GMing that many?

That's going to be a lot of GMing, which means more time spent running games than exploring GenCon. It is certainly doable--there are dozens of folks that run that many slots--but it does make your convention experience all about Organized Play.

Also keep in mind Con GMing is different from any other experience. Running one convention table =/= running a table anywhere else. Expect lots of yelling due to noise, repeating yourself due to noise/distractions, completely varied players (30 years RPG experience, this is my first time and I brought my two 10 year olds), and tons of different personality types to balance over the course of four short days. You might also find yourself pressured for time if your games tend to run long.

So again, 8 slots is a lot of time to spend GMing. It is doable, but it's work.

I definitely appreciate the reply. I have played Society at GenCon several times so I understand the environment and I’d be completely comfortable running that many slots (I have 25+ years of gaming experience and love GMing) so I’m not worried about that.

My main thought was that the survey doesn’t really cover anything more than # of Stars/Novas.

Still, good info to have in general.

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

robert Goode wrote:
My main thought was that the survey doesn’t really cover anything more than # of Stars/Novas

What exactly were you looking for? If you want to provide more information regarding yourself the free-form comment field at the end of the questionnaire allows for that. If you’re wondering more about what to expect as a GM, we provide information by email and we have Slack channels set up where our volunteers can ask questions and discuss expectations and best practices. We provide the link to those conversations in the emails sent out by the organizing committee.

The Exchange ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am very excited to hear back from Origins!

No offense to Bob (who does amazing work) but Origins just feels like home.

The Concordance

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bob Jonquet wrote:
robert Goode wrote:
My main thought was that the survey doesn’t really cover anything more than # of Stars/Novas
What exactly were you looking for? If you want to provide more information regarding yourself the free-form comment field at the end of the questionnaire allows for that. If you’re wondering more about what to expect as a GM, we provide information by email and we have Slack channels set up where our volunteers can ask questions and discuss expectations and best practices. We provide the link to those conversations in the emails sent out by the organizing committee.

Honestly that mostly answers the question. I wasn't entirely clear on the process or how GM Volunteers are approved.

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