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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Liberty's Edge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
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.

Those two points make a case for making PaizoCon permanently virtual. Neither of those facts are going to change. Online will always be more affordable than in-person, and COVID is never going away completely.

Silver Crusade

27 people marked this as a favorite.

The fact that an online Paizocon makes it so much more affordable and inclusive is quite welcome.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I’m grateful for the online option! Looking forward to lots of gaming that weekend.


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Following up on what Michael and Sebastian said, before PaizoCon was online, I never had a chance to attend at all. I'd have to cross half the country, which means flying (I can, at least, drive to GenCon), pay for a hotel, pack food (diabetic kosher food can be hard to find in a place you don't know), and probably pay for travel between the hotel and where the convention is. Altogether, it makes for an expensive trip. While I enjoy being part of premieres, I'm not that inclined to spend that much on it.

That aside, playing online has given me a chance to play with people across the world. I've even developed something of a fascination with other accents.

COVID is something of an afterthought at this point, but it's still a thought. I hate wearing facemasks; I never feel like I'm getting enough oxygen (though I know this is untrue). I probably won't attend a face-to-face convention until I don't have to wear one. I don't know if that'll be next year or next decade.

Horizon Hunters

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel the same as Keldin. More people, more time (extra day) for gaming and less time for travelling. Irrespective of the pandemic, the biggest deterrent I feel is cost. Hotel and flights (or gas) combined just make it prohibitive for most not on the West Coast. Nevermind those outside of the USA.

(Taking/getting that time off work is another challenge too - even Stateside, some still have to work that weekend.)

Since specifics were asked, one big downside last year was specials. Hybrid/in-sync schedules with the in-person locations meant international players were squeezed out of them (unless they were bold enough to play at 2am), and I remember all those complaints on various discord servers. I think this is going to be crucial for SFS tables as its player base is smaller than PF2 so it's important to run that special in a timeslot that can capture the most people.

Being able to (hopefully) go 24/7 allows everyone across the globe or those of us with irregular/graveyard schedules to get in on the action.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with this decision.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Outside of the explosive PCO 2020, I haven't got the "con" feeling from an online con. PCO 2021 was a distant second place, but still far ahead of every other online convention for me.

Things that help PCO be better, for me, than other online conventions
a) the various AMA threads
b) a solid slate of panels

Things that are missing in general:
ad-hoc chances to actually chat with people. Last year at PC Seattle, getting a chance to chat with Alex, Ivis, logsig, Mike K, and Linda. Chatting with the neighboring GMs between sessions in the ballroom. All that adds a lot to the con experience for me. and a #general or #gencon-cafe/#gencon-bar doesn't really fill the same itch. Perhaps discord threads being a more common/pervasive option will help generate the possibility of "ad hoc break out" rooms.

I always say I'll attend more panels, but never do. A bit too much self-imposed guilt to GM more. But it has felt like most panels that I watched after the fact felt more like presentations than discussion, and would like to see more audience interaction/involvement.

Liberty's Edge

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

Notes: This is good, I like all of this.

Horizon Hunters

3 people marked this as a favorite.

As a non-USian, this is very cool to hear. Paizocon International!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One huge request, please try to have at least some portion of the panel schedule known/advertised before the call for GMs goes out. I know you can probably never have the compete schedule set that far in advance, but at least letting us know some times to keep open if there's things we really want to attend.

Wayfinders Contributor

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I love that going online made PaizoCon more inclusive, but oh! I will miss in person PaizoCons! It's lovely just seeing people and having conversations in the hallway.

Hmm

Sczarni

5 people marked this as a favorite.

> Would you like to see Pop-up PaizoCon events at stores alongside PaizoCon Online?

Oh yes! I think it's undeniable that the online format works better, and is more inclusive and accessible for stuff like panels and Q&A and even organized play! In that respect, I think this is absolutely the right move - Hybrid felt a little too much like it was trying to be all things and not quite succeeding at most of them as a result.

That said, what the online format _does_ lose is the social, spontaneous elements of convention attendance. Seeing old friends, making new ones, and all of the general chaos that comes with meatspace. I think tapping into the organized play/FLGS network to establish many ad-hoc mini-PaizoCons on a regional basis, including a few society tables, some live-watch of panels, and maybe even dare I say it a party or two, would go a long way to bridging that gap.


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Online is definitely better and more inclusive in my opinion, I couldn't go otherwise. But if they ever get back to in person, I'd love for conventions like this to have VR support (like a person that walks around broadcasting it for everyone with a headset), but alas I'm just a nerd with a dream. :)

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is unfortunate. As mentioned above, the conditions now are likely the conditions going forward. I thought the hybrid con was great, since it opened it up to so many more people.

But online-only indefinitely? Personally, I am burnt out on online play. I loved getting to return this year, even if it was toned down from prior years. 2023 may be the first PaizoCon I miss in 9 or 10 years.

Shadow Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

So I was really looking forward to attending PaizoCon again this year. Now that it is online only, I will not be attending at all.

Online events kick up my social anxiety to a *tremendous* extent. The biggest panic attacks I have ever had revolved around trying to play Pathfinder online. There are ways I can make it work, but it is not possible in a con setting.

I mention this primarily as a data point -- online only is a perfectly reasonable decision that I don't begrudge. But accessibility issues do work both ways, and y'all should be aware of that.

Grand Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

First and most important: if you want to bring PaizoCon Online to everyone, really start the planning with 24 hours of gaming a day in mind. Have timeslots that are overnight for US, but just the great, regular gaming time for all the other communities you have.
I know about the discussion to have a need for a Paizo employee needing to be online for the night-shift then, but I think with enough long-hand planning this is solvable - maybe even bringing in ressources like freelancers all over the world or even volunteers that already have a sort of contract with Paizo.
Also with enough planning and perhaps with the VO community advertising PaizoCon Online a bit, you might get more GMs from around the world offering games for PaizoCon. And there might be some nice opportunities for the communities that are mainly online when US sleeps to mix with the neighboring regions and get to know each other.

Additionally, I feel it would be a great opportunity to have small pop-up PaizoCons all over the world, not only in US.
I might know one or two stores and a (board and rpg) game society that might be interested to host something, depending on the details.

Advocates

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*agrees in Non-USAian, with little money and also health issues that make travel a pain in the butt like hot temperatures affecting joints and mobility*

Online events really enable participation.

It keeps down risk of Covid (and all the different "flavours" of spicy cough).

It lets people in far flung parts of the world participate (like having all your friends teleport in from Garund, Tian Xia, Arcadia and even elusive Sarusan to help you out on missions). It's really good to be able to participate in non-local events, even if it's just filling in for someone who had to drop a GMing slot.

Opening it up online does allow GMs from all over the world, and I think that's good for player and GM base.

I know I ran for an online con sometime in the last year using RL pics of places for scene change cues, and a few very skilled GMs picked that up. I know I also run for lodges far from me (cause the timezones align in fun but weird ways), and a few very much skilled GMs have picked up a few of my tricks (like Loot handouts in Roll20 that you can update). And that's really flattering that these people, some of whom have been GMing TTRPGs longer than I've been alive, are finding things I started doing to counter my disability based memory issues useful to them.

But, I also have some requests:

-Specials time do lock international players out of specials. I often get up for specials, but specials are normally on at 4am my local time. That means often getting up at 3am to be completely ready, with gathered food and drinks. If we could look at possibility of aligning more time zones for start times, we could catch more players and I could possibly think more clearly and remember the plots of each better (the last few years are very hazy in patches).

-Additional to first point, maybe look at more gaming slots "overnight". There are a bunch of night owl US players and GMs in time zones that would be happy to run at 2am Eastern US time. I know Paizo like to have staff around for all slots, but it could be worth having a "pick up" slot on schedule around for GMs to offer to run games through the con. I find the prospect of thinking about hunting for pick up players a bit overwhelming, so it'd be nice to have a place to offer.

-Having a list of stand by GMs (and times they could be available) and what they run may help reduce organiser stress if GMs need to drop for any reason.


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In adding to the list of "people who were happy for virtual PaizoCon" means I can attend. It also means that I'm not trying to jam both Starfinder AND Pathfinder in at GenCon, and missing on all the PF1 seeker tier play.

I also agree that more needs to be done for the international people. I know a few folks who have a hard time just getting slots in for the afternoon spots, since that's way to early for them.

I would consider having a hybrid model again, but with a bit more roundness overall. They hybrid setup, having people in the meat space and online was kind of neat.

Finally, more ducks. Why? I don't know, just more ducks.

Grand Lodge

Dock El'lis wrote:
I think tapping into the organized play/FLGS network to establish many ad-hoc mini-PaizoCons on a regional basis, including a few society tables, some live-watch of panels, and maybe even dare I say it a party or two, would go a long way to bridging that gap.

Wholeheartedly second this. Some sort of con support for regional VCs so they can organize some local gaming space one or more days of the weekend would be awesome. Maybe even let officially-registered VC-organized mini-cons participate in the Specials?


My only personal downside, in person or online, is the fact it's on Memorial Day weekend when I have other commitments. I really enjoyed attending online in 2020, and would love to be there again.

I would also love to play or even run a game or two at my friendly local gaming store as part of a distributed PaizoCon. But I think Memorial Day weekend would be a bad weekend to try that, even if my personal schedule allowed, with all the other events competing for people's attention right then.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Considering that Paizo's footprint at GenCon2022 was much smaller this doesn't surprise me. I do not see this as a decision that a healthy company makes.


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Soluzar wrote:
Considering that Paizo's footprint at GenCon2022 was much smaller this doesn't surprise me. I do not see this as a decision that a healthy company makes.

Why is being pragmatic over Covid less plausible than that?


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An online con is infinitely more convenient for me and cheaper for y'all. Happy to hear it!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Fully behind this decision for right now. Bring back the physical Con when a Banquet isn't a dangerous idea.

Suggestion: Make PFS1 tables tier/campaign specific {7-11 Standard, 1-5 Core}, instead of scenario specific. If the signups are done early enough, GM & table can decide on the scenario with plenty of time to prep.

Suggestion: Since Discord voice channels now get their own text channels, add a few more random hangout channels (ala cafe and bar). The best part of PaizoCon that you can't replicate online easily is bumping into random folks and striking up amazing conversations.


I would love it if Paizo could partner with local gaming stores to hold some simultaneous events that could somehow be shared through video link ups.

Especially if they could offer incentives to local gaming stores that don't already support PFS on a regular basis. True story: a new gaming store opened this year that does not carry any Paizo products, yet touts itself as "inclusive".

Perhaps partner with local gaming Con organizers to do some specific PFS outreach? Or even local libraries?


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I missed the sponsored badge last year that you'd had in previous years, i was only able to attend last year due to the capricious generosity of someone! if you want to make it truly accessible, that incl to those who can't even afford online only badges!


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I do worry that there is a segment of the gaming population that is burnt out on online play. I know I am far less interested in logging onto a game with strangers than I was a couple years ago at the height of the pandemic. That said, being a Midwesterner, I was never going to travel to the West coast for this anyway (though I do regularly attend GenCon).

Dark Archive

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For what it's worth, I doubt I'll participate in an online only convention. The opportunities to meet people, make serendipitous connections, and do anything that's not on the schedule don't really play out well in an online only format. Playing society games with total strangers is dramatically improved by eye contact and physical proximity not to mention the ability to have side conversations that's possible in person but difficult online. While I know there were some out of game chat channels the last few years, those are pale imitations of the social interactions that you can have in a bar or sitting poolside. Having more than seven or eight people involved in a conversation in a voice chat is pure chaos, and discord doesn't really support the ability to break off and have a side conversation like a bar does.

It seems like lots of folks are pleased by the idea of having an online only convention, so clearly this move serves them well. But for me, an extrovert who goes to conventions to make new friends and meet up with old ones, well, this diminishes what conventions can be. Take my 2 cents for what they're worth.


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As someone who has only recently gotten to a few PAX Unplugged conventions (great tabletop con in Philly), I can see the appeal of the face-to-face. I’m a long time f-2-f player who has dabbled in online, but not taken to it.

I’d say 2 things as feedback:

1. Online anything, but especially cons, can be havoc for anyone who is not an expert. I was an IT professional for many years and still found all the links and signups confusing for another RPG con I attended (not Paizo). The experienced online players tend to just burn away and do their thing (they’d be doing anyway), and it doesn’t make for including new people. If this is going to be your primary delivery, invest some effort into a newbie track to pull in people who aren’t experts in online play and don’t know how to compete for time slots, etc.

2. I’m a longtime tabletop player who buys a lot of product from several companies. Paizo is one of my favs! Even after all these years, I’ve never been able to figure organized play out. I live in an area without a game store, is it now possible online? I can’t seem to talk my buddies into Pathfinder because it all seems so complex to them. Think about using this online con as a way to present organized play online (if that exists!?) to a large portion of your players that might not have ready access to game stores.

Also love the idea of this being more international. Maybe that’s a way Paizo can grow!

Advocates

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pH unbalanced wrote:

So I was really looking forward to attending PaizoCon again this year. Now that it is online only, I will not be attending at all.

Online events kick up my social anxiety to a *tremendous* extent. The biggest panic attacks I have ever had revolved around trying to play Pathfinder online. There are ways I can make it work, but it is not possible in a con setting.

I mention this primarily as a data point -- online only is a perfectly reasonable decision that I don't begrudge. But accessibility issues do work both ways, and y'all should be aware of that.

That's an interesting data point; I'm the opposite.

I do get the joy of in person, as an extrovert, but my overthinking with social anxiety and trying not to annoy other with neurodivergence symptoms that annoy people is hard. Accessibility definitely has competing issues that the con can try to organise for.

Maybe it could be worth trying to organise a group in conjunction to play through at a local? Maybe an AP? I think there was a suggestion further up for adding a few RL tables for specials. I reckon that's doable with a special reporter connected to a PC or laptop and communicating with online special HQ.

PaizoCon Orgs, you lovely people you, is hybridising to a degree the special/s a possibility? Having a designated reporter to main HQ per site that is not playing to "move" boons around, report numbers etc? Maybe organising a few sites with local game stores to promote stuff through them and give "con" space?


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

I love the idea of PaizoCon Online, especially for the seminars where we can learn about new and upcoming products, setting secrets, see new art, and most of all have discussions where we can ask the panelists questions. In the past, I only ever had the opportunity to attend one PaizoCon in person. Also, I definitely prefer to play in person. I like the idea of getting the FLGSs in on this event. But, I worry about the scheduled game sessions running simultaneous or too close to the time for seeing a popular seminar online (need time to travel to the store/home after/before a seminar/game session).

However, I cannot do online play. I have yet to participate in that, even though I desperately would like to. After all this time, I have yet to play online. I, like others have mentioned above , cannot comprehend how to play online as it is very unclear to me how to go about doing it and it is very intimidating to even make the attempt (everyone just tells me it is easy, but never provides details - Yes, I am a dinosaur); especially with the ancient, dying computer I have and cannot afford to replace or put new programs on it without risking its demise. I can never find any easy to comprehend instructions on how to go about playing in an online game, anyway. If it weren't for these things and the fact that any games I have found in the schedule are never available when I would have time to play them that does not interfere with a seminar that I would rather attend (or my job or community events on Memorial Day weekend), I would try harder to play or even GM, if I knew how to do it online and had a better computer.

As far as seminars go, I would suggest giving them a little extra time. The popular ones like the new product panels, secrets, and FAQ Panels always seem to go over or end too soon. Maybe an extra half hour or so for those would be in order? Also, there are always the same questions that end up getting asked frequently for new product seminars when new classes and/or ancestries are revealed (for example, ancestry ability boons/flaws, heritage names, class key ability scores, subclass names, hit points, number of archetypes in the book, etc.). Can we just get the answers to some of those always-asked questions out of the way by putting the answers on a slide ahead of time (assuming it is okay to answer them)? That way no time or energy gets wasted asking and answering these questions, which gives the presenters and audience more time to focus on new and the unexpectedly cool stuff that the presenters would probably rather talk about, anyway.

I do like the associated Discord discussions after the panels, too. But, sometimes they have been difficult to find (last year was easy, though).

Horizon Hunters

I'm happy to hear Online will be happening again. Even though I'm local, I wasn't planning on going in person due to family members being at higher risk of Covid. All online means more focus from the organizing side and more chances to game with my Pathfinder/Starfinder friends who would have been in person (and thus not in any online games). Also, with Foundry taking off so much, making virtual games is getting better all the time.

Personally, I do want to go back to an in person Con eventually, but I'd rather Online become the focus for a while. Then when a hybrid PaizoCon happens again, the online stuff will be smoother and in person can be more relaxed. Maybe if the online half is spread out for a full week and in person is just the weekend? I don't know, but whatever the solution is, I hope Online continues with strength.


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Caveat here is I've never been to any kind of convention, so that is the point of view I'm expressing:

What is an online convention? Is it just watching panels? My (not complete picture but not entirely incorrect I'm sure) impression is I'd be paying to watch presentations on upcoming projects. Is that not advertising?

I live in the vicinity of paizo hq (within 6 hour drive) and I'd look into and possibly go to an in person, but for online only I'll maybe check out a YouTube highlights reel.

Dark Archive

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I've done a quick inquiry in my region (Taiwan) and pop-up events at local stores is definitely a "Yes, please!" from several people.


Sheesh, and people kvetch that Paizo never listens to its European fanbase. They do! PaizoCon Worldwide! Now if there were some events happening in time zones other than the ones wayward colonials live in...

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have really enjoyed the PaizoCon online experience with the exception of missing the Glass Cannon Podcast Room. After reading the comments and thinking of my experience, I would like to see the weekend before PaizoCon be a Free RPG Day type experience for the FLGS and try to build the excitement by offering free passes for the Memorial Day event and teaching the systems. I would like to see technology sessions or quests/bounties in the week before PaizoCon and an ongoing Discord Channel on how to use technology. I will say most GMs have been very good at getting over the technology barrier when possible, but perhaps a #help channel may improve the experience.

I would like to see a non-primetime special slot, not only for international attendees, but also for domestic attendees that do family activities prior to gaming for the convention.

The after party channels are great, but if there was a moderator that offered a call for introductions from time to time it may be less intimidating to people wanting to say 'hi' and introduce themselves but not stop the conversation flow.


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I met some really wonderful people by just walking into a room and asking what they were playing and if they could teach me. That's the biggest interaction that's missing with virtual only cons, especially when I don't have friends that play locally.

I'd love to see popups at stores, though, with product loadouts similar to what was offered in the PaizoCon store. The shopping was a close second to the people that I met.

However, I absolutely love the accessibility of an online event. It levels the playing field a bit, and is somewhat more inclusive in some ways.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As an extremely shy person, this is the only kind of con I would ever attend, regardless of cost. I hope they never go back to in person cons.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sereph wrote:

Caveat here is I've never been to any kind of convention, so that is the point of view I'm expressing:

What is an online convention? Is it just watching panels? My (not complete picture but not entirely incorrect I'm sure) impression is I'd be paying to watch presentations on upcoming projects. Is that not advertising?

I live in the vicinity of paizo hq (within 6 hour drive) and I'd look into and possibly go to an in person, but for online only I'll maybe check out a YouTube highlights reel.

PaizoCon Online is normally a very large number of Organized Play tables, a modest number of random other gaming events, some marketing panels, some round table discussion panels (build a monster as a group, how to design a dungeon, etc), some streams/live plays, sometimes some 3p kickstarter launch/funding parties, etc. A puzzle hunt is often included too.

(Other online cons usually have a lot less of all the non-Organized Play things, PaizoCon tries harder than other online cons to have more than just OP tables.)

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, back to Kublacon then.


Matt_lvl1 wrote:
Even after all these years, I’ve never been able to figure organized play out. I live in an area without a game store, is it now possible online?

There was a thriving online organized play community even before the pandemic. If you have a Discord account, just point your browser at pfschat.com and that will take you to the main Discord server for online PFS and SFS, where there are plenty of people willing to answer your questions about how it all works.

Most games are listed on Warhorn, which has a handy checkbox for filtering results to just online games.

There are a variety of virtual tabletop systems out there for playing the actual games and getting into the ins and outs of them is probably too much for this one post. Just know that if you have to sign up for an account somewhere to access the virtual tabletop, individual player accounts are generally free. (If you want to GM on a virtual tabletop, that's where paid accounts generally come in.)


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I went to last years PaizoCon and was disappointed in the lack of in person seminars and work shops. There is a comradery when a group of people who share the same interests get together that is missing when events are online. The energy and side conversations add so much to the experience.

My most memorable experience was at the 2019 PaizoCon on board the research submarine vessel The Wallaby in a game called Depths of Despair hosted by Brian Burman and Erik Keith. This 8 person game was played in a dimly lite room with flash lights to see and read by. When two of the crew went out in the mini sub they were taken into the next room and we could only communicate with them by 2 way radio. Feeding off of the other players actions and emotions added a great deal to this experience that I don't believe can be duplicated in an online environment. I have been looking forward to the next adventure planned by these to GM's.

Other games I have played that were better because of the in person PaizoCon were Cosmo's 145th Annual Tournament of Railroads and the Starfinder based Grimmerspace: Abattoir 8.

Once this sickness is under control I hope there will be in person Paizo Cons with a full schedule of in person games, seminars and work shops. Oh and I really enjoyed painting miniatures at the back of the Paizo store.


As a South African having PaizoCon online makes it accessible, barring that everything occurs at time slots 10 hours different to where I live.

It also makes it feel like its a world event for all Paizo fans and not just for people who live in the US. I can imagine due to the size of the US there is difficulties attending physically even for many there.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I super support this being 100% online, but I wish it wasn't on a holiday weekend. Not only does the staff get to miss out on the holiday, but anyone who has Memorial Day plans now has to choose between that and the con. Especially since there's no travel involved, it could be any old weekend, right?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would add another complication to the online play of this tabletop game. Which virtual table top do we use, and would they have their own servers or create one on the DM's computer like the sponsored one for Pathfinder? Which character sheet to use for the specific table, and can it be made from the infomation from Herolab or the new character thingy that I forget the name of at this moment?

Sorry, but except for the Roll20 games here locally when I can't come in person, I am skipping the online play and the Online Cons. Hopefully, Gen Con will be in person, so I can GM some games and see everyone again.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I love the idea of an online PaizoCon. One concern that thaX points out is making sure the games are accessible on multiple virtual platforms. I think this can be done with concerted planning and coordination, especially with as grand a GM pool as Pathfinder & Starfinder have. It may mean having the same game on different platforms running simultaneously.

Grand Lodge

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As with all things, there's good and bad. I'm glad that those unable to travel will continue to get to participate, but I don't get the same experience from online cons as I do at in-person ones.

Online cons are just a chance to play several games in a single weekend and do the Specials, nothing more. In person, there's meeting new people and old friends, socializing in the hallways, getting together for dinner or chatting in the muster line.

I travel full time, hence my moniker. I live in hotels all over the world 365 days a year. Obviously, I don't have any issue attending cons in person. I'll miss meeting up with everyone in Seattle, so I'll just have to start looking for other cons in other places.

Will there still be an in-person PaizoCon UK in June?

Wayfinders Contributor

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Ashanderai wrote:
However, I cannot do online play. I have yet to participate in that, even though I desperately would like to. After all this time, I have yet to play online. I, like others have mentioned above , cannot comprehend how to play online as it is very unclear to me how to go about doing it and it is very intimidating to even make the attempt (everyone just tells me it is easy, but never provides details - Yes, I am a dinosaur); especially with the ancient, dying computer I have and cannot afford to replace or put new programs on it without risking its demise. I can never find any easy to comprehend instructions on how to go about playing in an online game, anyway. If it weren't for these things and the fact that any games I have found in the schedule are never available when I would have time to play them that does not interfere with a seminar that I would rather attend (or my job or community events on Memorial Day weekend), I would try harder to play or even GM, if I knew how to do it online and had a better computer.

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

Wayfinders Contributor

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Sereph wrote:

Caveat here is I've never been to any kind of convention, so that is the point of view I'm expressing:

What is an online convention? Is it just watching panels? My (not complete picture but not entirely incorrect I'm sure) impression is I'd be paying to watch presentations on upcoming projects. Is that not advertising?

I live in the vicinity of paizo hq (within 6 hour drive) and I'd look into and possibly go to an in person, but for online only I'll maybe check out a YouTube highlights reel.

What's in an Online PaizoCon? We're so glad you asked!

GAMES

An online convention includes games (mostly from Paizo's Organized Play) and panels on a variety of subjects. The games are fun, and a chance to connect with other convention goers. I enjoy them.

PANELS

The panels usually broadcast on Twitch, and the live audience there can ask questions of the panelists. What are the panels about?

  • Upcoming Products - Yes, this is the advertising you were talking about, but it's only one type of panel, and it allows the audience to ask questions about the stuff the developers are previewing.

  • Q & A Panels about Gaming Topics: Starfinder, Pathfinder, Lore, Organized Play, whatever.

  • 'How-to' Panels, devoted to 'How to do Something'

  • 'History of' Panels, talking about how things have grown and shifted in various games or Paizo itself.

  • 'Secrets of' Panels, discussing little-known lore.

  • Humor Panels devoted to Ridiculous Lore, Trivia, etc.

    There's probably others that I cannot think of right now. What differentiates them from advertisements in my mind is the ability to go on Twitch and ask questions.

    PUZZLES

    Joe Pasini and Jason Keeley are fiendish puzzle creators.

    AMA THREADS

    These are "Ask Me Anything" chat threads on Discord where you can ask your favorite Paizo Staffer Questions. It's a great way to get to know staff better!

    PAIZOCON CHARITY AUCTION

    There are usually fun boons (and sometimes physical items) to bid on here.

    PAIZOCON BAR or COFFEE SHOP VOICE CHANNELS

    Some hilarious stories get told here, especially when Thurston Hillman holds court.

    Hmm

  • Dark Archive

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    Ashanderai wrote:


    However, I cannot do online play. I have yet to participate in that, even though I desperately would like to. After all this time, I have yet to play online. I, like others have mentioned above , cannot comprehend how to play online as it is very unclear to me how to go about doing it and it is very intimidating to even make the attempt (everyone just tells me it is easy, but never provides details - Yes, I am a dinosaur)

    Greetings Ashanderai!

    Whilst online gaming can definitely look like it requires a ton of knowledge from the outside I promise it really isn't that tough! You don't even need to download anything to use most of the options! For most cons and 'live play' games people typically use voice chat over Discord, this is a chat and voice program that you can launch directly from your browser (choose the 'Open Discord in Browser' option on the right side!), it's free to sign up and use so you should be able to easily create an account there.

    Once you're set up there you just need a game to jump into, Warhorn.net is a great, free resource for finding those, you can even sort by system to find exactly what you want. For example this link will take you to their site and show you all online Pathfinder 2 games (you can choose from the menu of the left which campaign you want if it's different, such as Pathfinder 1 or Starfinder). It only takes a moment to create an account there and then you can click on any scenario you're interested in and click the Join button to sign up (do pay attention to the time and language though, games from many countries are listed there as well the evil of timezones!).

    Once you're ready with a game it's as simple as clicking the link the GM will send you to get to the table and play! Most common virtual tabletops (VTTs) all use a browser for play (Roll20 and Foundry are likely the two most common). They'll open in a browser window and whilst you can fill out character sheets on them you really don't need to, so long as you have an easily readable sheet the GM can see (be it a pdf you can send them, a clear picture that you can post and they can read, or a link to a website with character sheets) then it's all good! All you really need to roll for most VTTs is to type "/roll 1d20+5" or something similar, the vast majority of GMs are always happen to welcome and help new players learn, those can be some of the most fun games as we introduce someone to how easy it can be to play online!

    I'd strongly recommend giving PaizoCon Online a shot, if you want more help or advice or even just to hang out, the Online region has a discord lodge you can join at http://pfschat.com/, just open discord in a browser or on the their app and click that link to find us! There's almost always someone around who can help out :)

    (You can also always click my profile for a bunch of links that might be useful to online play!)


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    Really disappointed that PaizoCon will not be in person. 70% of our communication is non-verbal and you miss out on most of that on-line. I do on-line PF play several times a week, but a Con should be special with in-person exchanges and meeting new people. Here are a couple of suggestions:

    Have a Zoom Happy Hour where people can just chat about the Paizo games with a couple of the Paizo celebrities, like Erik Mona, Jason Bulmahn or Maryssa.

    Mandate a ten-minute session before play begins as a sort of "Session Zero" for all the players to get to know a little personal knowledge about each other - and not just their characters!

    A virtual sales booth (maybe more than one) where an employee is stationed (Maryssa looking at you) to explain questions about a product to whomever shows up on Zoom. This allows the personal experience that many people crave at a Con - and I would think leads to increased sales.

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