PaizoCon Online 2023 Invitation

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

We invite you to join us for PaizoCon Online 2023, next Memorial Day weekend, May 26–28. We’re excited to once again bring events to your screen with an amazing long weekend of Starfinder and Pathfinder online gaming, the launch of Year 6 of Starfinder Society, product previews, new product announcements, content creator AMAs, seminars, giveaways, an extra day of play on May 29th, and more. We’d love to have you join us!


PaizoCon Online 2023


Last year, after several years of online-only PaizoCons, we produced a hybrid convention with both in-person and online events. We learned a lot, and we’ve decided the time isn’t right to produce a physical show. Why? We’ve learned the best way to make the PaizoCon experience accessible and affordable for the most people is to keep it virtual. And yes, COVID and its variants continue, which makes in-person commitments unpredictable for us all. So, we’re planning now to help PaizoCon 2023 level-up!

Please tell us the pros and cons of the PaizoCons of the past—indeed, of all the online cons you’ve attended. Organized Play regularly plans games both online and at local retailers. Would you like to see Pop-up PaizoCon events at stores alongside PaizoCon Online? In the thread below, tell us what you’ve loved and can’t do without, what didn’t work, and what you would like to see added—now, while we have some time.

Look for further communication over the next few months as we finalize more details, including event registration dates. We look forward to seeing you at PaizoCon Online 2023!

-Your Gamer Friends at Paizo

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Tags: Community Conventions Paizo PaizoCon
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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:


Ashanderai, there is a form of online play that is very kind to people with dinosaur computers, and that is Play-by-Post. If you can write a forum post, I guarantee you can play PBP! We'd love to teach you how to play it. Even better, there were several PBP games last year that were officially part of the PaizoCon convention, so you can be a part of PaizoCon!

I'll see if I can summon of the PBP Venture Officers to talk to you.

Hmm

You rang? I'll take it to DM to start.

Wayfinders Contributor

Thanks Richard and Bigrin for helping out Ashanderai! It's part of the reason I love the online Orgplay VO team!

Hmm

Vigilant Seal

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

So, I've only attended Paizo Con Virtually. I think the main thing would be decide what SWAG type convention stuff that Paizo wants to create for this event - a virtual ticket plus a participation good.

The next question, is while I like the idea of tying in physical stores that want to participate, it still seems like the things like the Multi-Table Specials are still going to be at least partially virtual.

One thing that is absolutely critical, and this was my biggest complaint with Gen Con this year, is the ability to sort for games by Virtual Table Top Platform. I prefer to game in Foundry, and finding the single table per timeslot required clicking on every single scheduled event... So yeah, it was a PITA for the like 170 Games of PF2 Org Play that was run this year & I hope that the process of finding a preferred VTT is facilitated.

The only other thing is whether there will be an Art Auctions or virtual "Meet and get Signings" from the content creators? Could be a fun thing to have the opportunity to donate for a signed copy of something during a panel, though it's likely not something I'd avail myself of.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

*Sigh*. Well while this is not that surprising I am still disappointed. I have tried to do online play and frankly I would just rather not play. I play tabletop games to get away from screens and while I can appreciate how convenient it is for a lot of folks and now some even prefer it, it will never be for me.
I really do want to thank the folks at Paizo for being upfront about this early on so no plans were started for trips that will not happen. I can hope that one day in the future we can see another in person con. Maybe even a hybrid in person and virtual one, but sadly not this year.
I hope it is a lot of fun for those that participate. Hope to see some folks in 2024 (fingers crossed)


Since I live in Belgium, I applaud this! this give international players also a bit of access to this all. I understand most of it will be held in US time zone schedule. I do hope small things are setup for those at the other end of the world :)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Last year was my first in-person PaizoCon, and I had so much fun getting to chat with Paizo devs, and meeting a bunch of new friends that I never would've spoken with otherwise. I'll really miss getting those types of interactions this year.

That said, I get the decision. I don't know how open Paizo would be willing to be on this, but I'd be curious to know if any part of this comes from experiencing a lot of headache with the hybrid model last year? Either way, I get it, and for any future cons with an in-person component, I will happily stand with other people and support an online component as well so that as many people as possible can participate, especially since travel costs have only gotten worse in many cases.

I will also say, your transparent contact-tracing last year was so good! Between the discord channel, the blog post, etc, it was great. To the point where I pointed to it as a model to use for a friend I have who helps with another convention.

All that said, since the decision has been made, I hope it only helps the health and sanity of all those involved.

As for including more international fans that are 8+ hours away, admittedly I don't envy trying to come up with solutions for that for this event. There is at least a PaizoCon Europe, right?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I attended last year's PaizoCon in-person partially due to the fact I had a rolled-over ticket from 2020.

It was the most amazing travel experience I lucked out on non-stop First Class tickets that were cheaper than budget airlines and supportive hotel staff.

However, it was ALSO a very stressful experience when folks who were not affiliated with the convention and making many illness sounds were in shared spaces like the bar, hallways, and the like unmasked.

I get that some folks do not like the safeguards, and others would wish to go to unmasked, non-vaccinated, come-as-you-are conventions.

And that's fine for folks who want to do that -- but I wouldn't attend such a venue and was a MAJOR consideration for not attending GenCon this past year (the first one I missed in virtual or physical form since 1994).

From the start of the health crisis to the middle of October of this year at least, we had customers at my workplace that were in full denial that there was even a health issue, along with co-workers who tried to force everyone to 'remove their masks because it's all safe and okay now'. Those who were the loudest about it were ALSO the ones that went out for weeks at a time due to illness.

From a financial perspective, an online convention for Paizo makes a great deal of sense -- it reduces the hours needed for convention set-up/take-down, it minimizes risk/liability, and it promotes greater accessibility to a larger audience.

I think the idea of 'pop-up' venues with in-person interaction is good, and I would also recommend some time *before* the convention to give folks some orientation on differing virtual platforms.

One thing I would strongly request, though, is to stick to Discord.

I do not and have not had Zoom on my computers due to concerns about the program, and Skype is right out.

If it *is* going to be a truly international event, as has been mentioned, there kinda needs to be 'overnight' blocks (in WA) for Afro-European/Asian/AUS/NZ time zones.

With that, though, there should *also* be a recognition that a GM should not be running 15-20 hours straight. With no hotel room and probably a less-expensive/free badge, there's less impetus for folks to do the 'death march'.

A recommendation would be to explore 'leaning in' to the network of the Organized Play Foundation -- it might be possible to 're-task' local events and put them under the Convention banner -- both in terms of ACP/Boons as well as prize support during the convention.

If it was done carefully, it could help support other conventions as well, building community.

Thank you for your time in advance!

Grand Lodge

The best virtual conventions I’ve been to post-covid have had virtual social spaces alongside the actual convention. This would be in addition to discord — a virtual convention space where attendees can wander around and interact with others in virtual spaces. For good examples of this, see both the Roguelike Celebration (http://roguelike.club), which had a text-only custom crafted event space with all kinds of hidden puzzles and fun things, or even http://gather.town, which is a product producing virtual spaces geared towards events or workplaces.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


A recommendation would be to explore 'leaning in' to the network of the Organized Play Foundation -- it might be possible to 're-task' local events and put them under the Convention banner -- both in terms of ACP/Boons as well as prize support during the convention.

In one of the conference circuits (Python, a programming language) I ran in pre-Covid, they basically did this. The local user groups would submit to be the crew on the ground for two years, while the main organization duties would still be with the main Python org.

Now, I won't lie: This is a LOT of work. The city changes every two years, which means it's hard to build long term relationships with conference centers (though we tend to use the same line of hotels, so that stays stable). But switching the city can help more people attend (we tend to go East / Mid / West), and being a local volunteer can help people who want to dive into the community get a strong foothold. Also, the local volunteers can pitch in hard without getting burnt out, since they can go back to being regular attendees fairly soon.

Liberty's Edge

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I would like to see more diversity in time slots instead of the traditional west coast friendly times. moving slots back even 1 hour would make evening slots a lot more palatable for the east coast crowd.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I hope they try to work in the delves... it was fun playing quick/crazy encounters with various Paizo employees. Great way to meet staff and play. Maybe using one of the 3D table tops. I don't know... but I'll miss the delves.

How have guests artists been incorporated into prior online events? I'd love to see sessions with the artists, live drawing... and commissions. One of my favorite things from prior PaizoCons was coming back with custom art pieces.

I also loved the many cool opportunities via lottery to play more extensive (and different) games with paizo staff. I always made a point of trying to meet new staff each con.

Dark Archive

Just to check, I haven't missed any registering or signing up for this yet?


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If it's online only, my group and I will be skipping it this year. Cons are about the in person experience. We tried the online play thing during the pandemic but it just wasn't enjoyable.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'll have to check with the kids whether we'll participate. We started playing PFS as something the whole family could do at Cons instead of just looking at the cosplayers and going to panels. Once we did that, it was a no brainer to come to PaizoCon. I think it was maybe six years ago.

It was awesome! Every gamemaster had five stars or a campaign coin or was a RVC. Scheduling was difficult. Getting a family of four at all the same tables playing the games we wanted took a lot of coordination, but it was worth it.

I believe our last in person PaizoCon marked the end of first edition. The special was brutal; I swear they wanted to kill all our characters. Our family had been playing the same characters at every Con which brought us to ninth level (the kids and I also had alts but not my wife). There's no ninth level games so we played up at 10-11. We sat at our table and waited. Always before at PaizoCon, we would pull up with our characters that we enjoyed playing and maybe weren't the most powerful and the other two players would be very experienced players with tricked out characters that generally kept us from dying. Not this time; we were on our own, or so it seemed.

We got through the first combat with all our expendables and spells blown and honestly didn't know what to do. That's when the room found out our little family of four was about to get clobbered. There was some sort of way of sending power from one table to another in the form of slips of paper. All of a sudden we couldn't use them fast enough as every single one came to our table over and over again. It really felt like community, so many people helping us, something intangible. For the last combat, the GM just gave up and we just role played with him.

So, physical is important. A bunch of people above said they could never get to PaizoCon but "at least I can drive to GenCon." Hmmph. It would take an Act of Congress to get me to GenCon but at least I used to be able to drive to PaizoCon.

I'm sure last year's Con stressed Paizo out. Organizers have obligations to hotels that may or may not have been waived last year because of the pandemic. SteamCon in Bellevue died because the Con didn't meet the food/bev requirement and couldn't pay the penalty. I would propose, however, that last year could have been organized better. Because of the rollover tickets, I wasn't able to go. Actually, I could have but there was no guarantee that I could get tickets so I made other plans. Without the rollovers, I would say attendance would be higher.

It's probably too late for this year but I hope in person PaicoCon comes back.


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I understand the decision the decision to go online.

I will probably participate and enjoy whatever is offered.

I do mourn the loss of the in-person con though. I introduced my wife and both of my sons to ttrpgs by driving down from Vancouver for Paizocon weekend.

In-person Paizocon became a family tradition that we all looked forward to...

My oldest son learned how to paint minis from Sean K. Reynolds at Paizocon. He learned how to play a goofy game in Cosmos' Railroad, and we played our first goblins together in We B4 Goblins! He won his first and only Green Blood on a Black Rock after a d20 roll-off after 3 hours of combats when he and his finals opponent realized it would take longer than 24 hours to finish their 1v1 combat.

My younger son played his first delve at a table with Eric Mona GM'ing, and he created his first draconic ancestry character to participate in future Pathfinder Society games at Paizocon.

For me this post is part elegy for what we've lost. But I'd also like to thank all of the Paizo staff, all of the volunteers, and all of the GMs who donated so much time and effort into giving us that tradition and those memories in the first place.

We will miss you.


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Well, I hate this. I finally move to seattle and the show is canceled two years in a row. Theres nothing less satisfying than a discord call style event...

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