Gen Con Suggestion for next year


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Grand Lodge

I have no flippin idea where to actually post something like that... so we'll start here and hope someone notices.

For next year's GenCon with, hopefully an even bigger room, would there be anyway to get some sound dampening curtains to line the walls to take a bit of an edge off the overwhelming noise factor?

My ears are literally still ringing from it, but boy howdy was it fun and worth it!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I do second this request, or some other way to lessen the noise. I will first say I am glad that the room size was increased from last year as that indicates PFS is doing very well. However, I did find it more difficult to actually hear my DM quite a few times due to the noise factor, and I do have good hearing.


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I suspect that "bigger room" is going to be the defining theme of this thread, and it would be great if Paizo can afford it, but beyond that I'm hard pressed to see where there is much room for improvement beyond some minor details.

Sound proofing would be nice, but I suspect that it would be to expensive to do, even if (or especially if) it was something the Convention Center had to do.

More pizazz in the booth perhaps? While it was in a prime location and there was a great selection of merchandise it wasn't as eye-catching as others (like Privateer Press' booth) and I had a hard time seeing it from other parts of the hall.

I would ask that Paizo ratchet back on the number of buttons given away, as I found it impossible to get to the booth soon enough every morning to get that days button.


Good idea to start a thread on this topic.
Having participated in PFS for 4 Gencons in a row now, I do have a few ideas/suggestions as well.

1) Room Size: I think interest this year certainly justifies a larger room.... if Paizo can secure one.
A larger room could help with my issue #2
The two separate rooms they had in 2009? was NOT a great option... I always found myself in the wrong room and had a hard time getting to my table (but then, perhaps a sign at the entrace to each room on which events were within could have helped). Separate rooms also makes coordination of the Gencon special problematic.

2) Table Separation: It would be nice to have enough room between tables to maneuver, and enough isolation to allow all players to hear the GM (especially those of us who can't filter background noise all that well, and those poor GMs whose voice is blown by Saturday).
Perhaps the 'PFS classic' and the new 3 intro mods (In Service to Lore, etc.) and the delve could be held in one area, which does not need to be contiguous w/ the other PFS events?
For the other PFS events, I second the idea of some kind of dividers... perhaps those big iconic pictures could be put on some kind of base and stand up in a row or something, to 'sub-divide' the hall. (the dividers could be removed for the special, where communication to all tables at once is important) We definitely need to do SOMETHING about the noise pollution in the PFS room.

3) Better Mustering: This is a significant concern for everyone who played PFS at Gencon this year. The new room location made the long line for pre-mustering possible (and convenient), but the actual ushering of the players into the room rewarded line cutters and cheaters.
I think the 'pre-mustering' and the 'sub-mustering' (at the iconics for actual table assignment) was a solid idea.
I just think that having people wait in line and follow orders... and have to wait and perhaps get a sub-optimal table balance while others just walk right in 'off the street' made the whole organization of the mustering a farce.
If we need to queue up (with tickets, with generic tickets w/ PFS character, with generic tickets w/ pre-gen), then we need to more closely shepherd those lines through the doors, and make late arrivals get in the back.

4) Buttons: It would be nice if Paizo dedicated a few boxes of buttons and offered them to people signed up for the 8AM PFS slots each day. If players didn't want them, that's OK, but for those of us that collect them, it's kinda unfair to have them run out while we are playing PFS (did they last past 1130AM any single day?). It encourages longer 'bathroom breaks' while players run down to the vendor hall to grab a button before they are all gone (yes, I am guilty).

I WOULD like to comment that I think the keys and the prize chest was an EXCELLENT idea. I know there is some grousing on Gencon exclusivity and all, but I didn't see anything very powerful in the way of boons, so I dont think there will a a destabilization of the play environment.
(I also think the Gencon PFS sheet everyone got w/ the exotic weapon was a great idea to help blend the campaign in the Ruby Phoenix direction).
Please keep up the special support for big cons like this. It really helps make the entire experience more exciting.

MSG

2/5

I think everyone would like larger room sizes, Paizo included, and I'm pretty sure that Paizo is trying for as much space as possible next year.

Table separation is probably not practical, imagine how painful mustering and just general navigation would be if each table had it's own room or curtains? What a nightmare.

The mustering on Thursday morning was pretty horrible (sorry), but by the end of the day it was awesome and smooth overall.

Also, the people doing the mustering were great as well (Mark and the VCs at each spot). I also want to thank Mark for getting me a table that was above and beyond what he had to do. Thanks.

I'm not sure what Goatlord was talking about with people cheating to get in. Since I was a ticket holder at 8 out of 10 events, I know for fact that before generics were let in, everyones ticket was checked and if you didn't have a ticket, they booted you from the table.

Yes, ticket holders (if they were late), just rushed in past the generic line, but that's one of the perks of having a ticket right?

And I agree, the treasure chest was great.

My only suggestions for next year would be:
1) Concering the special, which deserves it's own post
2) Larger room but it's already been mentioned to death
3) Not letting GMs run more than 8 slots, to limit GM burnout. And having them GM less scenarios, 1 scenario per 3 slots.


What I meant by 'cheating' was this:

- There is a line with 100+ people in it.
- All have specific tickets to events in that room, at that time.
- Officials open the doors, start announcing sub-mustering points (i.e. "Ghenett Manor Gauntlet, Frostfur Captives go to A").
- Other people (who have specific tickets but are NOT in the line) come in from the left hand side of the doors and waltz in... leaving people who have been waiting in the line waiting... and waiting for their turn to slowly wind their way into the room.
- Tables are collected for each scenario in a 'first come, first served' manner for level grouping. Those who arrive last, get what they can.

It just doesn't make sense to punish people for following the rules.

MSG

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Goatlord wrote:

What I meant by 'cheating' was this:

- There is a line with 100+ people in it.
- All have specific tickets to events in that room, at that time.
- Officials open the doors, start announcing sub-mustering points (i.e. "Ghenett Manor Gauntlet, Frostfur Captives go to A").
- Other people (who have specific tickets but are NOT in the line) come in from the left hand side of the doors and waltz in... leaving people who have been waiting in the line waiting... and waiting for their turn to slowly wind their way into the room.
- Tables are collected for each scenario in a 'first come, first served' manner for level grouping. Those who arrive last, get what they can.

It just doesn't make sense to punish people for following the rules.

MSG

I think you might have a minor misunderstanding of how mustering worked this year. Tables were not assigned until we had a majority of players present. So while everybody was charging in to get to their mustering station, order of arrival at the mustering station had little to do with the actual process of deciding where people went. The biggest problem was in fact that it was nearly impossible to set up balanced tables, something that had nothing to do with actual line placement. From my own experience I had people come back angry that their level 5 was set at a table of 1's and 2's, but what they didn't understand is that ALL of the other players were 1's and 2's and that they were the only 5 present. If anything, what I have learned is that a line was not needed this year, and was a bit of a hindrance since not everybody could hear the table assignments.

Sure, line butting can be considered rude, but I do not think it wasn't nearly as much of a determent to the table mustering process as you may believe. Mustering this year was quite literally 200% better than it ever has been in the past. Can the process still use refinement? Of course it can, but calling it out as one of the areas which needs the most improvement is a bit insulting to the sheer amount of effort that went into the better mustering process this year.

Grand Lodge

Trust me when we say that the Venture Captains and Paizo have discussed how the muster worked and we came up with a couple of suggestions that will vastly improve the muster. We did pretty good this year, we will do better next year.

ANd because I don't want people to game the system, I will say no more.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Suggestion for Gen Con players for next year, this is something I tell every players that sits at every table of mine.

Bring PFS legal 1st or 2nd level characters!

Every year I am amazed on how many players just don't do that. I can understand new players not doing so but regular or semi-regular players really should know better.

There is a very good chance in a Con situation you will not get a table with players at your level and you will have to play down which is never a preferable situation, much better to play your very own Level 1 PC then to have to play down or grab a PreGen.

There is not much you can do if you are playing a 5-9 or 7-11 game if you have a level 8-9 or 10-11, but you could instead of playing down request to be moved to a lower level game with your level 1 or 2 instead of playing down.

There where a lot of Pregens players this year, about 1/4 of them I witness, where people who signed up for a Higher level game then characters they had, I don't know how to fix that other then Emphasize the levels more, I know before I go to a con I make sure I know the level I am playing and if I can. 1 time Someone was upset he could not play his level 2 in a 3-7 game but he was willing to pick up a pregen. Once when I mustered I sat a table of 7-11 with 6 Pregens!

Suggestion to mark. Less High level games more Classic games, a huge chunk of the players did not have the levels to play in the games they picked.

Grand Lodge 5/5

For people proposing some type of temporary sound barriers between tables, does anyone have any photos or websites with something like this? I think I know what you are talking about but don't want to assume.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Agent, Virginia—Hampton Roads aka Darius Silverbolt

Stars are aligned as I agree with Dragonmoon here.

I had MANY pregens at my mid/high level tables. I had one table with 6 level 7 pregens and two other tables play 4 of 6 pregens. (All on a tier 5-9 module)

I ask about this and got some good feedback from players.

1. This was what was available to sign up for as thing sold out quick.

2. Level 7 Pregen split the difference on a tier 5-9 game and was easy to play up on this which was deadly for play as the pregens are not all that optimized which caused some heartache on The Ghenett Manor Gauntlet scenario tier 8-9.

The best answer for issue one is MORE lower tier tables. (Level 1-5 preferably) as GM only have to worry about two tiers and will cover more new and low level players. I guess we need to have for GM's for this and I bet this is a limit on how many GM's Paizo can afford at the CON. Possibly more tier 2 GM's but #'s games for that is a Paizo internal issue as they foot the bill ;-)

I like the fact we have higher level of play cause it is the few times I can use my PC's as it is hard to run a tier 10-11 game at my FLGS as most level 10+ players are my GM's.

Issue #2 is more dicey as I understand the logic of having level 1,4,7 pregens and optimizing them better or making multiple builds is time consuming plus the GENCON sign up process is what it is.

At the FLGS where I run things I have made several variations core rulebook PC's at level 1. (Like 3 fighter builds 1 sword & board, 1 2-Handed weapon guy, and a two weapon fighter type.) but players who use these builds know if they use them that is their NEW PC and have to assign a PFS # on them. The Paizo pregens are used as well but are the standard pregens and the only ones for level 4 or 7 play.

Overall I must say this was a damn good GENCON for Paizo management and kudos to the VC's and staff who ran it.


Dragnmoon wrote:
There where a lot of Pregens players this year, about 1/4 of them I witness, where people who signed up for a Higher level game then characters they had, I don't know how to fix that other then Emphasize the levels more

There ARE people who sign up to play in high-level games because they want to play "high-level" Pathfinder. To me, the best way to "fix" this is to offer level 9 pregens. As much as I hate playing with pregens when I sit down with a level 10 or 11, at Gen Con concessions must be made.


Alas I didn't go to Gencon.
However the common call for a bigger room might actually contribute to the cacaphonous sound level. I have experienced this effect at conferences and seminars. Heck, at my weekly session at my flgs my players have a hard time hearing me and we only have five tables.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Regarding pre-fab characters and efficiency.

It doesn't matter how well-designed and optimized the character is, a pre-generated 4th or 7th-level character is very, very hard to play well.

1) The player has 4 or 7 levels of development dropped in her lap. It's like being a GM and playing a bunch of NPCs. You know that if you'd had a chance to practice running the character in a couple of fights, you'd be better at playing to its strengths.

2) There's a choice to be made at the table: does the player want to burn the character brightly, perhaps to perish? Or does she want to make sure that the pre-gen survives the scenario. I can tell you, from running events outside organized play at Gen Con, where the GM hands you the character, it's easy to choose a glorious death over a straw-bed retirement.

Of course, if Kyra dies gloriously in Act 3, then the party is that much weaker in Acts 4 and onward.

Grand Lodge

Chris Mortika wrote:
Of course, if Ezren dies gloriously in Act 3, then the party is that much weaker in Acts 4 and onward.

<cut to dead Ezren at the bottom of the gorge.>


Hmmm....while my accoustics are fuzzy, I don't think Paizo needs to use dividers between the tables to make a noticable difference. Hanging up some thick curtains along the walls should dampen some of the noise bouncing off of them, which should reduce some of the ambient sound levels a bit.

How much, I'm not certain, nor am I certain just how cost-effective it's going to be, but something to think about.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Hanging anything on the walls is expressly forbidden by the convention center, so anything we'd be hanging would have to be hung from the ceiling. And that gets really, really expensive really, really fast. Not ruling anything out, of course, but there are extensive costs associated with hanging just about anything we can't support ourselves from the floor.

Shadow Lodge

I recommend Balloon animal hats for the best Roleplayer at each table. These hats would be worn with pride from session to session. The animals could match the boons that were given out. A Tiefling balloon hat would be awesome.


Mark Moreland wrote:
Hanging anything on the walls is expressly forbidden by the convention center, so anything we'd be hanging would have to be hung from the ceiling. And that gets really, really expensive really, really fast. Not ruling anything out, of course, but there are extensive costs associated with hanging just about anything we can't support ourselves from the floor.

Maybe talk to the TrueDungeon people? I know they had to solve similar problems (keeping sound from traveling through the room without hanging things right off the walls) but by last year they seemed to have it pretty much licked.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Mark Garringer wrote:
<cut to dead Ezren at the bottom of the gorge.>

This just in: Ezren is still dead.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:

Trust me when we say that the Venture Captains and Paizo have discussed how the muster worked and we came up with a couple of suggestions that will vastly improve the muster. We did pretty good this year, we will do better next year.

ANd because I don't want people to game the system, I will say no more.

On Mustering:

I mustered plenty of slots (8 in total)this year since I was mostly just playing. I think it worked better this year than in previous years in general. It was much easier to seat balanced tables with subtiers that worked together when you were only dealing with small groups at a time. That being said, I do have a suggestion that could help next year:

I think it would be useful to have some extra gms in the "spare/delve" slot that could serve as "Super-musterers" in the first hour. After all of the ticketed players have been seating at tables, the remaining musterers could turn over their filled out forms (showing how many at each table have been seated and at what sub-tier) to the Super-Musterer on their side of the room. The Super-Musterers could then take those forms up front to assist the organizer in seating the generics at appropriate tables.

This would help for a few reasons in my opinion:

1. GMs who are mustering or playing could be seated much quicker this way and would be able to get themselves organized or start if they had a full table.

2. Less people will be standing around at the front to no purpose and there will be less confusion surrounding the organizer.

3. Once the Super-musterers are done with seating the generics they could take care of all the tables tokens and collecting tickets.

4. This would give an extra buffer of a couple of GMs that could step in to run scenarios in an emergency.

5. If they were not needed to run delves right away they could always deliver water, flip mats or look after any other needs of the GMs at the tables. Especially for GMs at the back of the room it can be very hard to get time to make your way to the front to get water etc.

Just an idea that might help make things easier for the GMs who had to muster one or two slots. I know that some of these things would have been looked after by the staff or volunteers at hq, but the reality is that they have plenty to do on their own without looking after the needs of the GMs in the room.

My two cents,

Glen Shackleton

Sovereign Court 5/5

Oh yes and I forgot one suggestion. Paizo should hire a container just to transport Liz's cookies directly to the con. I only got one cookie this con! Only one I say! The humanity.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
TheShadowShackleton wrote:
Oh yes and I forgot one suggestion. Paizo should hire a container just to transport Liz's cookies directly to the con. I only got one cookie this con! Only one I say! The humanity.

I have GMed now at three conventions for Paizo and have yet to get any of Liz's cookies. *cry*

Grand Lodge

TheShadowShackleton wrote:
Oh yes and I forgot one suggestion. Paizo should hire a container just to transport Liz's cookies directly to the con. I only got one cookie this con! Only one I say! The humanity.

One more than me :(

I always knew she liked you best :(

Grand Lodge

Oh you Shackleton boys!

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Agent, Virginia—Hampton Roads aka Darius Silverbolt

TheShadowShackleton wrote:
Oh yes and I forgot one suggestion. Paizo should hire a container just to transport Liz's cookies directly to the con. I only got one cookie this con! Only one I say! The humanity.

\

Do what I do. Beg the mighty Lilith for a single cookie and tell her thank you! Repeat year after year!

I must find something of equal exchange. If I cook something and bring it to the con I will be banned from GENCON and I am somewhat sure the CDC would fine me.

I don't think beer would work.....

I must ponder.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
TheShadowShackleton wrote:
Oh yes and I forgot one suggestion. Paizo should hire a container just to transport Liz's cookies directly to the con. I only got one cookie this con! Only one I say! The humanity.

That's ok. I ated several for you...

Sovereign Court 5/5

Darius Silverbolt wrote:
TheShadowShackleton wrote:
Oh yes and I forgot one suggestion. Paizo should hire a container just to transport Liz's cookies directly to the con. I only got one cookie this con! Only one I say! The humanity.

\

Do what I do. Beg the mighty Lilith for a single cookie and tell her thank you! Repeat year after year!

Oh it's not because I wasn't grateful for my cookie. After all, it's one more than Neil got (sucker)!

It's that the cookies ran out! Can't you see the depth of the tragedy man?

Clearly this should be higher priority for Paizo than wall curtains or leg room!

Liberty's Edge 5/5

TheShadowShackleton wrote:
Darius Silverbolt wrote:
TheShadowShackleton wrote:
Oh yes and I forgot one suggestion. Paizo should hire a container just to transport Liz's cookies directly to the con. I only got one cookie this con! Only one I say! The humanity.

\

Do what I do. Beg the mighty Lilith for a single cookie and tell her thank you! Repeat year after year!

Oh it's not because I wasn't grateful for my cookie. After all, it's one more than Neil got (sucker)!

It's that the cookies ran out! Can't you see the depth of the tragedy man?

Clearly this should be higher priority for Paizo than wall curtains or leg room!

There were cookies left Sunday afternoon. I was in the final line to open the chest, and Liz was handing out the last of her cookies. I happened to get one of them.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Andrew Christian wrote:


There were cookies left Sunday afternoon. I was in the final line to open the chest, and Liz was handing out the last of her cookies. I happened to get one of them.

Come on man don't try to ruin my made up controversy! I wanted those cookies dammit!

Oh, well. C is for cookie and that's good enough for me.

I love how my long post about mustering protocol drew no response but the cookie controversy has sparked plenty of discussion. ;-)

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Something I would like to stress is for the GMs to be prepared.

90% of the GMs were and kudos to you.

But, for the second year in a row, we got sat with a GM who had not prepared the special. Last year, there really was no excuse. This year, our GM was a last minute volunteer who did a VERY good job considering the time he was given to prep and the wacky table he had to run.

I'm the first to admit that as a GM I can always be more prepared. But when it comes to the big special event, it really is vital that you are. This will only get better as Paizo gets less surprised by their overwhelming popularity as time goes on.

Not that we could have competed with Team Kyle Baird for the win :P

Liberty's Edge 5/5

cblome59 wrote:

Something I would like to stress is for the GMs to be prepared.

90% of the GMs were and kudos to you.

But, for the second year in a row, we got sat with a GM who had not prepared the special. Last year, there really was no excuse. This year, our GM was a last minute volunteer who did a VERY good job considering the time he was given to prep and the wacky table he had to run.

I'm the first to admit that as a GM I can always be more prepared. But when it comes to the big special event, it really is vital that you are. This will only get better as Paizo gets less surprised by their overwhelming popularity as time goes on.

Not that we could have competed with Team Kyle Baird for the win :P

I agree. And unfortunately I was one of those lesser prepared GM’s for the special. I’d never run a special before, so I had no idea how intense the time limits were going to be. I prepped the special the same as I would prep any other scenario. Big mistake. Next year should I be running the special, I will have pre-made maps and make sure I am extra aware of any special circumstances (like the flag waving thing) and exactly what triggers them, etc.

One problem about having pre-made maps, is I literally had almost no time to do so. I didn’t even get the module until the Saturday before Gen Con, and would have had to sacrifice Monday and Sunday night with my girlfriend (she would not have been happy) as we left very very early Tuesday to get to Gen Con.

Give me a week to prep, and I could have done so winningly. Give me 2 days, not so much.

Dark Archive 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Plains

cblome59 wrote:


Not that we could have competed with Team Kyle Baird for the win :P

As the GM at that table, it is my solemn duty to correct you. The name of the table was "Team Kyle Baird Sucks". And they only did well because they 'juiced' themselves up pretty well during the Con.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Todd Morgan wrote:
cblome59 wrote:


Not that we could have competed with Team Kyle Baird for the win :P

As the GM at that table, it is my solemn duty to correct you. The name of the table was "Team Kyle Baird Sucks". And they only did well because they 'juiced' themselves up pretty well during the Con.

LOL

Grand Lodge Venture-Agent, Texas—Mansfield aka sieylianna

Andrew Christian wrote:
I didn’t even get the module until the Saturday before Gen Con, and would have had to sacrifice Monday and Sunday night with my girlfriend (she would not have been happy) as we left very very early Tuesday to get to Gen Con.

You need to get your priorities straight. If it happens again next year, you concentrate on preparing to run Pathfinder and I'll take care of your girlfriend. :)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

A recommendation on events and tickets per slot - as attractive as having every (or nearly every) module offered every slot of the convention, perhaps schedule a third or half the offering per slot of the number of events offered? It may alleviate some of the issues with mustering and table composition, along with getting tickets for tables during prereg. We had several people who could not get tickets to certain events a few minutes after others they planned on playing with had, and thus choose other activities other than PFS. Some slots offered as little as 12 tickets for a game, which also in turn meant some slots there were only a portion of the tickets sold available at muster due to no-shows; 3 players at 1 and 3 players at a higher level make table balancing difficult, especially if those players are slanted towards one type of role (melee without caster, vice versa).

I'll add the already massive suggestion about reducing the noise level, and having prepared judges. I felt the modules were all enjoyable, and had more good judging experiences than bad. Overall, a good time.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

cblome59 wrote:

Something I would like to stress is for the GMs to be prepared.

90% of the GMs were and kudos to you.

But, for the second year in a row, we got sat with a GM who had not prepared the special. Last year, there really was no excuse. This year, our GM was a last minute volunteer who did a VERY good job considering the time he was given to prep and the wacky table he had to run.

I'm the first to admit that as a GM I can always be more prepared. But when it comes to the big special event, it really is vital that you are. This will only get better as Paizo gets less surprised by their overwhelming popularity as time goes on.

Not that we could have competed with Team Kyle Baird for the win :P

For Scheduled Scenarios I agree, they should be prepared for what they are going to run, but there where many cases, especially the Special when the GM was picked last moment with out knowing before hand, you can't prepare for that, other then using stuff from your other scenarios you where going to run if you even have that with you at the time.. There where at least 7 Gms for the Speical that did not know before hand they where going to run it, so they had no means to prepare.

Also the Classic is an issue for GMs also, You can only do basic preparation *Generic Minis, blank dry/Wet erase mats* beyond that you can not prepare for them because you don't know what you are going to run before hand.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Bit of Advice for Mark and for ever the new person they Higher.

Don't give a GM 6 Scenarios to Prep for!!! ;)

I had to prep for

The Frostfur Captives
Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins
Pathfinder Society Classic *Generic Minis, blank mat/index cards*
Gen Con Special: Blood Under Absalom
First Steps, Part III--A Vision of Betrayal
Sewer Dragons of Absalom

You know how many Minis that was! I Printed up about 500+ Index cards!

I had a whole huge Suitcase just dedicated to those games, that used up precious space for bought products! ;)

Not all GMs are as lucky as me and get 3 Suitcases up to 70 lbs free, for other GMs that could have cost them a lot!

I had to go a different route this year, went all digital, did not bring 1 book with me to save up on space. Actually worked out well.


Having been to a lot of cons, I'd like to say that the mustering was top notch.

And yes, a bigger room would be great. Any chance of the north side of the convention center opening up? There's room to be had...


And of course, a crowded room slows mustering and makes the noise level go up, so it's all connected.

You're also losing the ability to deal with walk-ins, a potentially lucrative source of new players.

And yes, curtains can work well. The last year Gen Con was in Milwaukee, we had dividers in the RPG area, and it was glorious. They hung from poles, like the poles you use for felt ropes at the bank, just taller and with a crossbar.

Sovereign Court

Organizing a convention as large as Gencon is a HUGE undertaking. All in all I think things went remarkably well.

The boons were a huge hit, the interactive was better than previous years. However, the ending of all persons rolling a 20 turned sour in many people’s eyes. There were many tables that were rocking the event and accomplished way more than others but that is not recognized with a random winner ending. *note that my table was not rocking the event so I was never concerned for us winning* It would have been nice if there had been a winning table per tier, but no answer will please everyone.

One of the greatest difficulties was actually trying to play with friends who all attempted to get tickets for the same events. But were unable to because there were only 12-18 tickets per event. In order to correct that I would suggest a slight variation on how you schedule events for next year.

I would highly suggest Running an alternating schedule format. So instead of running 10-12 different events in every slot each with 3 tables. Run 5-6 events with 6 tables each. This will foster a lot easier mustering and allow friends to more readily be able to get tickets to the same events. Also this will minimize the complexity of judge arrangements and likely ensure more often having appropriate apl tables. Also this will allow you to send One game to each marker in the room instead of two or three games to one Iconic marker.

Now for multi-round modules that is not always best but for the ones that are single round events it works fine. So it is not by any means a solve all your problems kind of approach. However, in my experience as a con coordinator, and judge at previous conventions and gen cons it makes things a tad less complex and much easier to manage. I think it will save your players and mostly your Muster Captains a lot of work. It will also give a greater chance for groups of friends to buy tickets for the same event each slot.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Doctor Smite wrote:
I would highly suggest Running an alternating schedule format. So instead of running 10-12 different events in every slot each with 3 tables. Run 5-6 events with 6 tables each.

That's actually something I discussed with Mark and Liz at one point during the 'con, I think during the last slot on Sunday. I know it falls under the "picking up the ball and running with it" part of their duties for Gen Con this year. I expect things will look different in terms of DM module prep and module slotting next year.

Sovereign Court 4/5

Todd Morgan wrote:
cblome59 wrote:


Not that we could have competed with Team Kyle Baird for the win :P

As the GM at that table, it is my solemn duty to correct you. The name of the table was "Team Kyle Baird Sucks". And they only did well because they 'juiced' themselves up pretty well during the Con.

We definitely had some Morale Bonuses going :-)

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

Bit of Advice for Mark and for ever the new person they Higher.

Don't give a GM 6 Scenarios to Prep for!!! ;)

I had to prep for

The Frostfur Captives
Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins
Pathfinder Society Classic *Generic Minis, blank mat/index cards*
Gen Con Special: Blood Under Absalom
First Steps, Part III--A Vision of Betrayal
Sewer Dragons of Absalom

You know how many Minis that was! I Printed up about 500+ Index cards!

I had a whole huge Suitcase just dedicated to those games, that used up precious space for bought products! ;)

Not all GMs are as lucky as me and get 3 Suitcases up to 70 lbs free, for other GMs that could have cost them a lot!

I had to go a different route this year, went all digital, did not bring 1 book with me to save up on space. Actually worked out well.

Have you posted a picture of this year's haul?

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

cblome59 wrote:
Have you posted a picture of this year's haul?

I posted it in another thread, but here are my pics from gen Con this year. The haul was less, was less out I wanted to buy.


Todd Morgan wrote:
cblome59 wrote:


Not that we could have competed with Team Kyle Baird for the win :P

As the GM at that table, it is my solemn duty to correct you. The name of the table was "Team Kyle Baird Sucks". And they only did well because they 'juiced' themselves up pretty well during the Con.

My wife smuggled not one, not two, but THREE growlers full of the Ram's fines brew into the event. Add that to the scotch our Calistran Cleric brought and it was a great time to be had!

3/5

My 2 cp in support of these suggestions:

1) Increase the room size by 50%
2) Increase the number of tables by 25%
3) 1 + 2 = more space and hopefully less noise
4) Provide 8am slot GMs with the 4 days of Paizo buttons (or that day's swag)
5) Offer fewer scenarios per slot which means more tables per scenario per slot. I saw many bad mix matched tables by class and level just to get people to play their slots. I GMed one table at APL 7 (or a tier 5-6 or 8-9 scenario). I had two or three 5th level, a 7th pregen, and two 9th level PCs.
6) Keep the water coming. Thank You!
7) Get the scenarios to the GM at least one week earlier. This should greatly improve the gaming experience by almost all.
8) Give Mark and Liz the week after Gen Con off. They've earned it.
9) Update the pregens.
10) Keep up the great work!

-Swiftbrook

Liberty's Edge Contributor

I had such an awesome time this year!! Thanks to all the Paizonians, especially Mark and Liz who did an incredible job with HQ. Very smooth for such a big room!!

One thing a lot of folks (myself included) have issues with is hearing.

There has got to be a way to control or at least conquer acoustics issue in a convention room.

+100 for Paizo for having a PA there this year!!!! (I still had a voice after Gen Con... which is a first for me).

But really, convention rooms are super hard on the GM's voice.

For next year, I've been thinking about a really weird, lo-tech system of speaking tubes built out of PVP.
I mean, I could go all electronic with a closed circuit of mics and headphones, but power sources are going to be an issue. Plus PVC is cheap and doesn't fall prey to technical difficulties once erected. I also dig the whole "weird apparatus" thing.

Likely, I'm being ridiculously foolish with my aspirations, but it'd be neat if someone would tell me otherwise... (such as Thurston!)

Yar!

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