GM Rewards for Conventions vs. Game Days


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Silver Crusade 5/5

I'm setting up this thread so people can discuss the merits of GM'ing at conventions and regularly scheduled events. Additionally, this thread can serve as a platform to discuss possible incentives for regular GM'ing.

Sovereign Court 2/5

UndeadMitch wrote:
Additionally, this thread can serve as a platform to discuss possible incentives for regular GM'ing.

There are a lot of existing incentives to GM already:

- GMs with certain stars have access to exclusive scenarios
- Doubles the amount of available PC growth opportunities
- Credit for completion of the scenario with no risk to a PC, and still able to access anything on the chronicle sheet, and get the chronicle sheet boons for free
- Replays based on GM stars

I'm sure the list goes on. Some of the incentives above were added to the campaign to correct an issue where potential GMs were discouraged by the campaign rules to GM. Others were added to help encourage people to GM more.

I get that it's difficult to get people to GM sometimes (I know that I often don't have the energy to GM after work), but is the answer to add more incentives?

If there's someone that won't GM unless they have some reward for doing so, I can't help but wonder if that person is GMing for the right reason, and whether they would provide as good of an experience as someone who is in it to have a good time.

Rewards are more of a thanks for the time and effort a GM spends running the game.

I guess that's just my opinion. Maybe I'm missing the point of the post.

The Exchange 5/5

I was going to say the same thing Acedio, but I didn't want to kill the topic before it started ;)

4/5

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Acedio wrote:
If there's someone that won't GM unless they have some reward for doing so, I can't help but wonder if that person is GMing for the right reason, and whether they would provide as good of an experience as someone who is in it to have a good time.

I probably wouldn't GM if I couldn't get a chronicle sheet for it (though I have re-run scenarios for no credit). Do you think that means I provide a worse experience than someone who would?

1/5

It's been a long time since I needed to work for a game company to get my hotel room or badge paid for at a convention and tbh I cannot, for me now, imagine any reward worth spending 7 slots of GenCon as a GM. I just don't care what race my characters are that much.

Locally we always need more GM's. I don't know if more incentives would get more people to do it but something needs to happen. However I really don't think it would be wise to start handing out race boons or the like for simply running a single scenario.

Sovereign Court 2/5

redward wrote:
Acedio wrote:
If there's someone that won't GM unless they have some reward for doing so, I can't help but wonder if that person is GMing for the right reason, and whether they would provide as good of an experience as someone who is in it to have a good time.
I probably wouldn't GM if I couldn't get a chronicle sheet for it (though I have re-run scenarios for no credit). Do you think that means I provide a worse experience than someone who would?

No, I would call not getting a chronicle for the first run of a game a disincentive, because if you spend 4-5 hours running a game without getting campaign credit for participating, then it makes no sense to GM in society. I tried to address that in my post, but I think I articulated it poorly.

It's reasonable to expect that a GM gets certain rewards beyond that of a player to compensate for the time and effort spent running the game, because it takes a great deal more effort. I think the incentives we have right now accomplish that. My point is that beyond what would be obvious to provide to the GM as compensation for their time (a chronicle, recognition via stars, etc), is it really necessary to try to encourage people who will only GM if they get more things?

But to play the devil's advocate redward, what does the GM of a homebrew get?

Edit: Modified a lot to hopefully clarify intention, sorry for ninja edit.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 ****

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I think there is an activation energy to GM'ing, which is particularly high to GM games in person. It took me playing Pathfinder for a year pretty regularly until I felt comfortable enough with the rules to even consider GM'ing. At that point, I was only really willing to GM PFS scenarios that I had already played and could basically copy what I'd seen. After GM'ing more games and becoming comfortable with the rules and being willing to make calls on the fly, I've started GM'ing more scenarios that I haven't played before. This has been concurrent with a shift in me being more interested in GM'ing than in the process of actually coming up with characters and playing them. I still haven't GM'ed an in person game though despite closing in on my 4th star. I don't have the materials to do so, and it wouldn't be worth the investment, since there isn't really a large enough community interested in PFS where I'm willing to go to play.

To make a long story short, giving people boons and incentives will get some people who want to play to GM so they can get them and may convert some to GMs. The hurdles to getting someone to GM regularly are large enough though, that it involves some cooperation and willingness beyond what any incentive would actually provide.

4/5

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Acedio wrote:
redward wrote:
Acedio wrote:
If there's someone that won't GM unless they have some reward for doing so, I can't help but wonder if that person is GMing for the right reason, and whether they would provide as good of an experience as someone who is in it to have a good time.
I probably wouldn't GM if I couldn't get a chronicle sheet for it (though I have re-run scenarios for no credit). Do you think that means I provide a worse experience than someone who would?

No, I would call not getting a chronicle a disincentive. I tried to address that in my post, but I think I articulated it poorly.

It's reasonable to expect that a GM gets certain rewards beyond that of a player to compensate for the time and effort spent running the game, because it takes a great deal more effort. I think the incentives we have right now accomplish that.

I should also clarify. I have and will GM games without the promise of a chronicle (I did so last night to help a special go off). And I would likely GM even without receiving chronicle sheets, but only out of a sense of responsibility to put in my fair share. I'd probably be resentful of the cost in time and materials.

I see people question whether someone is GMing for the 'right reasons.' I don't know who the authority on such things is supposed to be.

When someone questions whether someone is playing for the right reasons, they're usually accused of shaming 'badwrongfun.' It seems GMs are held to a higher and rather arbitrary standard. I wonder if that's a disincentive to some.

Sovereign Court 2/5

redward wrote:

I should also clarify. I have and will GM games without the promise of a chronicle (I did so last night to help a special go off). And I would likely GM even without receiving chronicle sheets, but only out of a sense of responsibility to put in my fair share. I'd probably be resentful of the cost in time and materials.

I see people question whether someone is GMing for the 'right reasons.' I don't know who the authority on such things is supposed to be.

When someone questions whether someone is playing for the right reasons, they're usually accused of shaming 'badwrongfun.' It seems GMs are held to a higher and rather arbitrary standard. I wonder if that's a disincentive to some.

Thanks for clarifying, I hope you did not perceive my post to be a personal attack.

I don't think there's a hard and fast rule for what constitutes a "wrong reason" for GMing.

Though I think there are a couple of obvious ones. Such as rapid running The Confirmation to farm stars. Or sniping scenarios for more efficient table credit (unproven).

Silver Crusade 5/5

Acedio, I'm pretty ambivalent regarding this subject. I just wanted to try and get the people derailing another thread to take it somewhere else. So that's what this thread is.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

Jessex wrote:

It's been a long time since I needed to work for a game company to get my hotel room or badge paid for at a convention and tbh I cannot, for me now, imagine any reward worth spending 7 slots of GenCon as a GM. I just don't care what race my characters are that much.

Locally we always need more GM's. I don't know if more incentives would get more people to do it but something needs to happen. However I really don't think it would be wise to start handing out race boons or the like for simply running a single scenario.

If you don't have enough GM's in your area, start working on getting a star by your name.......

Why should you constantly expect the same people to not play their characters just so you can keep playing yours?

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle

I coordinated a store for eighteen months before passing it along due to burnout. in that time I earned four GM stars. I still don't consider myself a*great* GM but I do my best to give the players an enjoyable time.

there will never be enough GMs for PFS. some people don't want to run. others just shouldn't. there is a burden to be borne by those of us who do run, and we are compensated fairly well for our trouble. I haven't played a 1st level character outside of wounded wisp, confirmation or a replayable module in months. that alone is worth something. I get a +4 on my re-roll every session. I get access to some fun scenarios before other people do. mostly, it's just a means of giving back to the community. I've run numerous scenarios for no chronicle. some scenarios are worth running just because they're fun (my faves are frostfur captives, midnight mauler, and goblinblood dead). good stories and great NPCs can be all the reward you need to enjoy running.

would it be nice to see boons given to GMs who don't run and/or go to cons? sure. how do you do that? I have no idea. maybe set it up so if you hit a certain threshold, say ten or twenty tables in a year, you qualify for that coveted race boon?

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

melferburque wrote:
...would it be nice to see boons given to GMs who don't run and/or go to cons? sure. how do you do that? I have no idea. maybe set it up so if you hit a certain threshold, say ten or twenty tables in a year, you qualify for that coveted race boon?

Give a GM boon for 2,3,and 4 star? Not necessarily yearly, just when you hit those levels. Make the race more desirable at the higher stars.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle

Mulgar wrote:
melferburque wrote:
...would it be nice to see boons given to GMs who don't run and/or go to cons? sure. how do you do that? I have no idea. maybe set it up so if you hit a certain threshold, say ten or twenty tables in a year, you qualify for that coveted race boon?
Give a GM boon for 2,3,and 4 star? Not necessarily yearly, just when you hit those levels. Make the race more desirable at the higher stars.

there are boons you can use your GM stars for, the GM Star Reward chronicle sheets.

I'm thinking more along the lines of the coveted race boons. if they're only going to be given out at GenCon, there's no way I'll ever get my hands on one unless I trade. I don't know if they'll even be at GenCon however, it seems like Paizo has shifted away from race boons in the past couple of years.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

melferburque wrote:
Mulgar wrote:
melferburque wrote:
...would it be nice to see boons given to GMs who don't run and/or go to cons? sure. how do you do that? I have no idea. maybe set it up so if you hit a certain threshold, say ten or twenty tables in a year, you qualify for that coveted race boon?
Give a GM boon for 2,3,and 4 star? Not necessarily yearly, just when you hit those levels. Make the race more desirable at the higher stars.

there are boons you can use your GM stars for, the GM Star Reward chronicle sheets.

I'm thinking more along the lines of the coveted race boons. if they're only going to be given out at GenCon, there's no way I'll ever get my hands on one unless I trade. I don't know if they'll even be at GenCon however, it seems like Paizo has shifted away from race boons in the past couple of years.

I was suggesting race boons per GM star. Maybe have races that you can only get that way.....

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle

Mulgar wrote:


I was suggesting race boons per GM star. Maybe have races that you can only get that way.....

that would be one helluva incentive to GM more, but I doubt we'll see it happen.

Sczarni

I have GMed part 1 of a trilogy a 2nd time for table credit only in order to get a group together for all 3 parts so I could get the trilogy boon via gming. I generally do not actively gm due to financial costs of GMing regularly. Otherwise, I am cool with the rewards as is.

1/5

melferburque wrote:
Mulgar wrote:
melferburque wrote:
...would it be nice to see boons given to GMs who don't run and/or go to cons? sure. how do you do that? I have no idea. maybe set it up so if you hit a certain threshold, say ten or twenty tables in a year, you qualify for that coveted race boon?
Give a GM boon for 2,3,and 4 star? Not necessarily yearly, just when you hit those levels. Make the race more desirable at the higher stars.

there are boons you can use your GM stars for, the GM Star Reward chronicle sheets.

I was unaware of those. Campaign management needs to do a better job getting the word out about stuff like that.

4/5

I think there is a fundamental difference between GMing a regular game day and GMing a convention that necessitates additional GM incentives: conventions typically are a multi-day commitment and time spent GMing at a convention usually means you're not playing something new or exclusive.

The MN lodge is starting a new convention this year with 5 slots (it's a Fri/Sat/Sun affair). We have an understanding that some things that are available at Gen Con are not to be run until a local convention can "unveil" it to give incentives to players to show up. That means that those of us who are choosing to GM tables are missing out on playing some of the Cool New Things™ to give that opportunity to other players.

From an organizational standpoint, getting GM commitments can be tough, particularly on the scale of a convention. GM incentives help alleviate that pressure.

Silver Crusade 3/5

I'm the main GM for my home game. I joined PFSP to have a chance to play more. That's not how things turned out.

After getting my third GM star. I all but stopped GM most of the time. I hade earned more exp. for my characters as a GM then with playing. This dose not count scenarios that I have rerun multiple times. Now ill GM some times but there is no real incentive for me to GM. The boon for GM stars is a joke. It's ok but I really don't see that as a major reason. To spend all the time and money getting things ready for players that don't / won't GM. I have yet to see any thing as a GM that would make me wont to GM more. I'm to the point now I don't care if local tables don't make. We have hade a major drop off in PFSP in this area due to lack of GMs. Every week it's the same people running tables and the same players. We get a few new players but with the lack of a larger pool of GM we can't make tables happen. So there is no real room for growth in the area. Due to the lack of GMs.

This has been a problem on going in my area from the time I joined PFSP. The GM incentives for none convention play are there. None of them are worth the paper to print them out. They do give minor bonuses over other characters. However you could get similar boons just showing up at a convention to play. So again there are no real GM boons. Unless I'm missing so super secret GM boon. If PFSP is to grow out side of convention play something will need to change to draw more people to GM. Some kind of incentive to draw people in to GMing. Something with some substance to it would be nice for a change. Something that will encourage new people to GM for the first time, and get experienced GM to want to GM again.

Acedio wrote:
But to play the devil's advocate reward, what does the GM of a homebrew get?

I can and do GM for my close friends in a home game. The difference is there my friends we game to spend a few hours having fun. With no time limit on how long we can play or what we need to get done. We spend more time talking and BSing around then we do playing.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 ****

calagnar wrote:


Acedio wrote:
But to play the devil's advocate reward, what does the GM of a homebrew get?
I can and do GM for my close friends in a home game. The difference is there my friends we game to spend a few hours having fun. With no time limit on how long we can play or what we need to get done. We spend...

I think this is also where I found the right balance for the majority of my table credit. I've GMed PFS scenarios/modules for a couple of groups of regulars, rather than just volunteering at a store. In between, if I have time or there's a Con, I'll GM some extra games for the general public online.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Acedio, homebrew GM's get complete creative control over games they run. There is no run as written, they get to be as free or as restrictive as they like concerning what resources their PC's use. There's no rushing to keep scenarios from running over their slots and to get chronicles handed out. Freedom.

Calagnar, I can sympathize with your plight. It has been hard in our area sometimes to get people to GM. You seem to think extra boons will help get other players in your area to step up and GM, so I'd like to ask you something. If you were someone that didn't want to GM to begin with, would a boon change your mind? If so, what type of boon would it take to get you to GM? Additionally, I would like to disagree with you on your assertion that the GM Star Boon is worthless. With your three stars, you can give one of your characters a free wayfinder enhancement that acts as an Aegis of Recovery, a 1750 value.

Silver Crusade 3/5

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UndeadMitch wrote:
Calagnar, I can sympathize with your plight. It has been hard in our area sometimes to get people to GM. You seem to think extra boons will help get other players in your area to step up and GM, so I'd like to ask you something. If you were someone that didn't want to GM to begin with, would a boon change your mind? If so, what type of boon would it take to get you to GM? Additionally, I would like to disagree with you on your assertion that the GM Star Boon is worthless. With your three stars, you can give one of your characters a free wayfinder enhancement that acts as an Aegis of Recovery, a 1750 value.

That's not really my call. I would make it a selection of boons. You get a Star pick a boon. The first start lets you pick from 2 to 3 good boons. Second Star lets you pick from 2-4 good boons. Third star lets you pick from 2-4 good boons. Fourth star lets you pick from 2-4 really good boons. Fifth star lets you pick from 2-4 unique boons. Their needs to be a variety of boons due to how different each character can be.

My big problem with the GM star boon sheet. First star is ok at best. Second star is still ok. Third star is a free enchantment to your way finder that might save you from death. It is nice but not something that will last very long. Because its the first time you get knocked out after level 5 then it's gone. The forth star boon is ok to not that good. You get to buy a wand, or buy a item as your fame was 5 points higher. Both are ok the wand being the better of the two choices. You can't make one boon that will useful for most characters. That's what they did the first, third, and forth boon is copy and past. The second, and fifth are unique. And it as a hole is stuck to one character. With the diversity of character building in pathfinder some characters will not have a use for most or some of the boons on the one sheet. I chose the master of scrolls however it was the best choice of bad choices. The first boon you can not be proficient to use. The second boon you must be proficient to use. Third, and forth are ok but nothing special for a none caster. Fifth is nice but that requires way to much time and money to get to make it remotely worth spending the effort on getting the boon.

Just looking at it from a pure finical point of view. I can say that a 1 star GM spends around 50+ hours preparing scenarios and 20- 50 dollars mini on scenarios on supply's. That is a big discouragement for starting GMing. So yes the GM boon sheets should reflect the cost of GMing. If not we will have a problem getting people to GM. Small boons for GM are not enough to get people to spend the money. The cost tapers off after you get people started in GMing. However its a real cost in dollars and time.


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My (main) problem with the GM star boon chronicle is that I can only give it to one character; either by the time I earn enough stars for the good stuff, the character I've given it to is retired, or I simply don't use it until waaaaaay down the line (by that I mean years), when I have the stars to really make use of it.

Basically, the rewards I can get out of it are just too minor for me to bother with selecting one of my many characters to give it to, and even if I did, the character can only be played so many times before they have to retire, at which point I won't get any more use out of it until I've run at least 200 tables (so I can give it to another character).

So, yeah... a boon so minor that I would get so little use out of is not really a meaningful reward for running games week in and week out.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Acedio wrote:
UndeadMitch wrote:
Additionally, this thread can serve as a platform to discuss possible incentives for regular GM'ing.
- GMs with certain stars have access to exclusive scenarios

One or two. And I think they skipped doing this for a year or two? If someone is dming that much anyway, its too late. A 5 star has a de facto convention requirement anyway.

DM stars are meh.

- Doubles the amount of available PC growth opportunities

Also cuts down on the time you actually get to play your characters. It is good for getting through levels 1 and 6 though.

- Credit for completion of the scenario with no risk to a PC, and still able to access anything on the chronicle sheet, and get the chronicle sheet boons for free

Come on, how risky is it really? And chronicle sheet loot only matters in core. Otherwise you'll have the fame before you have the cash.

- Replays based on GM stars

Quote:
I'm sure the list goes on.

It might, but you're opening yourself up to the question of why, if its so great, do conventions

Quote:
I get that it's difficult to get people to GM sometimes (I know that I often don't have the energy to GM after work), but is the answer to add more incentives?

Getting the monsters in the scenario was a very big (and very welcome) first step.

Quote:
If there's someone that won't GM unless they have some reward for doing so, I can't help but wonder if that person is GMing for the right reason, and whether they would provide as good of an experience as someone who is in it to have a good time.

-If this is a concern wouldn't you be worried about this happening at conventions?

If thats the ONLY reason they're DMing probably. If they're considering it anyway and it pushes them over the edge probably not.

Quote:
I guess that's just my opinion. Maybe I'm missing the point of the post.

Kind of. I don't see a lot addressing the disparity between con and game day dming, just dming in general.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

Jessex wrote:
I was unaware of those. Campaign management needs to do a better job getting the word out about stuff like that.

They did a blog posting about this.

Check it out!

Grand Lodge 5/5

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To give some frame of reference to what I'm going to say. Let me start out with this, I'm extremely lucky to be part a a very active lodge. We run 2 game days a week, generally with a total of 4 tables. In our lodge we have accumulated nearly 50 gm stars across about 100 players (though not all 100 generally active at one time due to a large University population, more like 20-30 very active at any given time). In that I think we will have 4 GMs who will average 1 table credit/week in the past year. 3 of those GMs run mostly scenarios at the local gameday, with some additional modules and AP's, the 4th (I would say) runs mostly modules/APs with the occasional gameday scenario. We also generally host 2 local (15-25 table) cons a year. From May 1 - October 1 (5 months) I have or will GM at 6 conventions (2 local which I'm also helping organize and 4 in Indianapolis, WhosYerCon, InConJunction, GenCon, and Scotty's (which is technically separate)) and will likely get my 3 GM star on the way. Out of my 60 tables of credit, give or take 15 will be from conventions, 8 from running Dragon's Demand, another 10 or so pick-up games, and about 30 game day credits.

Convention GMing is harder. The noise level is higher, the spaces are usually somewhat uncomfortable with bad acoustics, and a ton of gamers trying to get things done. You often don't know anyone at a table (or at least relatively few people), what their characters do, anything their lodge/group does/assumes. You are generally hauling more stuff around (food and drinks, minis and maps for multiple games, scenarios, characters, etc.) with little to no room to stash any of it. Table mustering is sometimes different for every single con, (on the fly with generic tickets, warhorn, eventzilla, breaking and reforming tables to make legal tables, etc.) They are all day/all weekend events, do you need to take time off, transportation, parking, food, housing, not to mention do you need a babysitter/dogsitter/house-sitter for your house. Does your SO (if applicable) mind you leaving town to go play games with other people, does it interfere with other plans?

At a local gameday (at least after a little while) you generally know most of the players if not their characters (what they like to do, what they don't, what rules they mess up or make use of). Every lodge seems to favor different kinds of builds and tricks, you've probably seen a lot of them that your group uses. Does the lodge use any shortcuts to make things easier, for example grouping Initiatives so that people can hold/ready faster, or assuming people are taking 10 on perception unless otherwise noted. Less stuff to haul generally, and you make it home at night.

For all the extra headache (and yes it's fun too) convention GM's get an extra reward. The extra race boons (which by the way for smaller cons at least) are the exact same as they were last year. The elemental/djinni-kin on a seasonal rotation. None of them are what I would call great races, they can be good/cool, but none are even as good as an Aasimar (which was freely available when I started GMing for PFS, and GMed my first Con) in RP (race points, the highest is Undine at 7, unless you combine 4 boons to make a Suli, Aasimar is 15 for comparison) or options (FCB, alternate racial traits, traits, sub-races, archetypes).

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 * Venture-Captain, Netherlands

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BigNorseWolf wrote:


Acedio wrote:


If there's someone that won't GM unless they have some reward for doing so, I can't help but wonder if that person is GMing for the right reason, and whether they would provide as good of an experience as someone who is in it to have a good time.

-If this is a concern wouldn't you be worried about this happening at conventions?

If thats the ONLY reason they're DMing probably. If they're considering it anyway and it pushes them over the edge probably not.

That's the thing. Someone can sign up for all slots at GENCON. Spend the whole con GMing. Get a rare race boon, which then can then use the whole year playing, and not GM again untill the next GENCON.

While someone that puts in two evenings every week, and every other saturday for a whole year gets nothing.

Both get chronicles, both get stars. But the latter spends way more time and effort for the community. Its nice that Cons draw in the new players. But without a good local community there would be much play otherwise.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Baltic

Woran wrote:

That's the thing. Someone can sign up for all slots at GENCON. Spend the whole con GMing. Get a rare race boon, which then can then use the whole year playing, and not GM again untill the next GENCON.

While someone that puts in two evenings every week, and every other saturday for a whole year gets nothing.

Both get chronicles, both get stars. But the latter spends way more time and effort for the community. Its nice that Cons draw in the new players. But without a good local community there would be much play otherwise.

Yeah, but VOs and multi star GMs do get preference when the Tier I and II are assigned. So the number of "GenCon only" Tier I & II GMs is quite limited.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 * Venture-Captain, Netherlands

Auke Teeninga wrote:
Woran wrote:

That's the thing. Someone can sign up for all slots at GENCON. Spend the whole con GMing. Get a rare race boon, which then can then use the whole year playing, and not GM again untill the next GENCON.

While someone that puts in two evenings every week, and every other saturday for a whole year gets nothing.

Both get chronicles, both get stars. But the latter spends way more time and effort for the community. Its nice that Cons draw in the new players. But without a good local community there would be much play otherwise.

Yeah, but VOs and multi star GMs do get preference when the Tier I and II are assigned. So the number of "GenCon only" Tier I & II GMs is quite limited.

Ah, I didnt know that. I've read the blogs where they ask for GMs out of curiosity, and it looked like upper tiers were free for everyone to volunteer for.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 * Venture-Captain, Netherlands

calagnar wrote:


Acedio wrote:
But to play the devil's advocate reward, what does the GM of a homebrew get?
I can and do GM for my close friends in a home game. The difference is there my friends we game to spend a few hours having fun. With no time limit on how long we can play or what we need to get done. We spend...

What do I get? I get Shamus the cursed one eyed Pirate Yak... ...its a long story.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

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Woran wrote:
While someone that puts in two evenings every week, and every other saturday for a whole year gets nothing.

4 and 5 star GMs get access to certain scenarios that only they can run - there are some that even a VO cannot run if he or she doesn't have 4 or 5 stars. And, VOs 4 and 5 star GMs this year got a year's subscription to Syrinscape and their sounds packs (And to give you an idea of the value, each pack for each book of the Rise of the Runelord Adventure Path is like 14 or 15 bucks, and we got access to a LOT more than that).

I don't want to be combative, so if it comes across that way, I'm sorry, but I just don't, and cannot, accept your premise that "someone that puts in two evenings every week, and every other saturday for a whole year gets nothing."

If they get to 4 or 5 stars, there will be things that they can get, and right now, that doesn't include race boons, unless they run at the various cons.

People can GM online for an online con and get a boon (which several others have mentioned); people can organize their own local cons. Here in Indy, on the Wednesday before Gen Con, the Indianapolis Lodge hosts free PFS at a local restaurant. We have like 21 tables over the course of that one day, and because we meet the minimum requirement, we can get Con support (which includes boons, which GMs get and players have a chance to get.) So, some might see this event as a game day, but it more than meets the minimum number of tables required to get that support from Paizo.

It takes a great deal of effort to organize an event like that, to say nothing of our local 3 day cons. Regular game days, in my own experience, sort of run on their own - they get schedule, you get players and GMs, and away they go. But a GM who runs for a Con has a different investment - typically more time in preparation (many GMs at cons bring elaborate terrain and props, and I'm aware some local gms do that for game days), more cost in travel/lodging/food/expenses, more prep often required in prepping multiple scenarios, etc. It's just a different, and generally greater, investment to GM for a con than a game day (and again, I'm only speaking from my perspective.)

In the Indianapolis area, we have a game day every Friday and every Saturday (except for the 5th Saturday in any month where there is such a day, like this month.) I can't imagine all the race boons that would go to those GMs who would, under the idea proposed here, run at all those game days. To me, that would flood the market worse than the deluge of Aasimar/Tiefling babies at the end of season 5.

Anyway, my advice is what you paid for it. :)

5/5 5/55/55/5

Mark Stratton wrote:
It takes a great deal of effort to organize an event like that, to say nothing of our local 3 day cons. Regular game days, in my own experience, sort of run on their own - they get schedule, you get players and GMs, and away they go

This would be an argument if the organizers were the one getting the boons. But there's little difference between organizing to DM for a con vs DMing for a game day.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Mark Stratton wrote:
It takes a great deal of effort to organize an event like that, to say nothing of our local 3 day cons. Regular game days, in my own experience, sort of run on their own - they get schedule, you get players and GMs, and away they go

This would be an argument if the organizers were the one getting the boons. But there's little difference between organizing to DM for a con vs DMing for a game day.

Having GM'ed for game days and cons both, I can tell you there is often a great difference. While it is true that someone who GMs at game days has more frequent prep work, the con GM, particularly in the case of a large or national con, has far more investment in that single event.

GM online. Organize your own local cons. People here have given several suggestions on how to get those boons without flooding the market with even more of them. I don't know why those options don't work for you.

4/5 *

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I wonder if everyone realizes just how easy it is to get Mike to send you some race boons?

First example: We started running our first PFS at a local sci-fi convention, since there wasn't (at the time) a gaming con in our city. We had been running a few game days before that, but this was in early 2011 and we were brand new. Showed up the first year, showed the flag, ran four tables. Met a bunch of new players, some of whom joined the Lodge. Next year, scheduled 15 tables, got prize support (including boons for players as prizes, and GM boons, and some books to give away!) from Mike, along with a huge amount of encouragement and support on how to make it go. I think only 11 or so tables went off, but Mike didn't come and tear up our boons afterwards - again, nothing but support and encouragement.

Second example: A few years later, we decided to run our own Con in September, to run the GenCon special since most of us can't go, and we didn't want to wait until our first con in November to "start" the new season. Ran the special, a GM101, and a few other games. 15 tables, GM boons, prize support. And now an annual event.

Third example: to qualify for prize support, you literally only need a minimum of 16 people who play 3.75 games each over a weekend. That is how small 15 tables is.

EDIT: I know some people will say, "16 people! Luxury!" And yes, if you live somewhere with a really small gaming community, it can be hard. IN this case, online may be your best bet.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Mark Stratton wrote:


Having GM'ed for game days and cons both, I can tell you there is often a great difference. While it is true that someone who GMs at game days has more frequent prep work, the con GM, particularly in the case of a large or national con, has far more investment in that single event.

Your previous argument went into the organization for the event, which is not done by individual dms. That makes it a completely different argument which does not address the issue.

How much prep any individual DM Puts into a game can vary greatly. The significant variable there is likely the DM, not the venue.

Quote:
GM online. Organize your own local cons. People here have given several suggestions on how to get those boons without flooding the market with even more of them. I don't know why those options don't work for you.

First, you're missing half the point. Its not just how one person can get a boon. Its how we can encourage our own local communities. Me dming at a con isn't going to fix that. Secondly the suggestions assume that the entire country is the same as where they're sitting, usually in a big metropolis. They simply don't work everywhere.

Organize your own local cons-

You have to realize that not every location is the same as yours. You can roll out of bed and land in the mecca of gaming. Less populated areas simply do not have the population or gamer population to do this.
Its a 40 minute drive for me to an area with enough gamers for a game day which hits 2 tables on a good week.

Getting that many geeks together for that long is simply not a possibility everywhere.

GM online

Not everyone likes dming online. The preferred tabletop for this is rolld20, which has given me enough frustration to avoid it where possible.

In short your suggestions, particularly the first one, do not work for everyone. Giving them repeatedly doesn't change that.

Quote:
without flooding the market with even more of them

This is, I think, the real issue. Some people have them and don't want to see them "devalued" by more people having access to them.

Grand Lodge 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:


You have to realize that not every location is the same as yours. You can roll out of bed and land in the mecca of gaming. Less populated areas simply do not have the population or gamer population to do this.
Its a 40 minute drive for me to an area with enough gamers for a game day which hits 2 tables on a good week.

Getting that many geeks together for that long is simply not a possibility everywhere.

This is exactly part of the reason cons get support. Because GM's (and players who generally have a chance at boons if not race boons) will travel so far to go to one. Our last local con saw players from 2.5-3 hours away. For a local con, I've seen a GM get off work, drive two hours GM a couple tables in a row and then go home (he worked 3rd shift )

Mind you if there was a decision to give something extra to gameday gms somehow, I'm all for it, though I think it should be a separate boon/prize from Cons.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Joe Ducey wrote:


Mind you if there was a decision to give something extra to gameday gms somehow, I'm all for it, though I think it should be a separate boon/prize from Cons.

Making it last years model for the race boon would be a good compromise.

Quote:
This is exactly part of the reason cons get support. Because GM's (and players who generally have a chance at boons if not race boons) will travel so far to go to one. Our last local con saw players from 2.5-3 hours away

Ok, but how many games did they get in? Likely 6 or 7. So thats ~1 game per hour traveled. If you live in the sticks you can wrack up something close to that if not higher getting to game days. (and thats driving. Don't get me started on the National Lampoonesque adventures in public transport..)

The comparison keeps getting made between 1 game day and 1 con. There's no way that's a rational comparison. ]

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
Woran wrote:


That's the thing. Someone can sign up for all slots at GENCON. Spend the whole con GMing. Get a rare race boon, which then can then use the whole year playing, and not GM again untill the next GENCON.

While someone that puts in two evenings every week, and every other saturday for a whole year gets nothing.

Both get chronicles, both get stars. But the latter spends way more time and effort for the community. Its nice that Cons draw in the new players. But without a good local community there would be much play otherwise.

Your math is off.

To compare the GMing at GenCon to two evenings a week plus every other Saturday, you have to do it for two weeks, not for an entire year. That's when the number of sessions, and the number of credits towards a star, compare.

It really isn't way more time and effort. I do agree that it is time and effort, it's just not way more.

Just having come back from a major Con as a Tier 1 GM, I can assure you that there are additional stresses that come from being a Con GM that do not come from being a regular online or local gameday GM. And, to put this in context, I have to drive an hour each way for my "local" gamedays, which happen (for me) roughly once a month, sometimes a bit more often. I don't GM at all of them, but I'm GMing at more and more of them.

To get to the Con, there's probably a lot more travel involved. Even adding up the one hour each way (which will not be true for most GMs gaming locally), the travel is longer, and far more disruptive for the Con... not to mention way more expensive. (WAY. Tier 1 GMs get their hotel paid for at GenCon, if they're willing to squish into an overfilled hotel room, but GMs at PaizoCon do not.) You come back completely exhausted, and are used up for pretty much anything else in life a day or two after. Local gamedays are not like this.

Somebody above has noted that at the big Cons, the PFS room is really really loud. This is even true at the smaller Cons. This does detract from the experience somewhat. I would disagree that you don't get to know the table at all. You do somewhat, and I had excellent groups at every table this year at PaizoCon.

Finally, the PaizoCon GM boon is nice, but really not all that big a deal. You get to add an extra trait from the Giant Slayer's Handbook to one character. It's not a race boon. It certainly does not justify all of the expense and travel. (I'd have rather had a Sylph race boon or some such personally, just because I think the elemental races are cool from a flavor point of view.)

So, yes, I agree that it's nice to have incentives for GMs who run local gamedays. There is an asymmetry between GMs who get credit at cons and GMs who get credit at local gamedays but aren't ever able to go to cons. But, that asymmetry is really not all that big. What's more, there's an asymmetry the other way -- there are added stresses, and sometimes (extreme) expenses to con GMing that are not present for local gamedays.

Scarab Sages 4/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I have seen lots of successful gamedays build a culture of rewarding GMs in various tangible and intangible ways (across multiple organized play campaigns). The rewards are not always obvious, and generally do not originate from the campaign itself.

Here are some reasons to GM, and some things you can do (as players, organizers, and GMs) to make GMs feel rewarded, and thus hopefully encourage others to GM more, or at least give GMng a try:

- Thank your GM after every game. It's nice to have that extra work (of prepping and running) acknowledged.
- Do nice things for your GM. Help with the game (set up tables, clean up)
- Offer your GM a snack. Buy him or her a soda, offer one of your twix bars.
- Some game stores offer store credit. That's how I got my Technology Guide and my last batch of Iconic miniatures
- If you're the organizer, find out what Scenario your GMs really want to play (maybe they missed one). This has been a huge boon to me - as there are random season 3-4-5 scenarios I have missed, and only by the grace of the organizer are they getting put on the agenda.
- Organize a "thank you" game for your regular GMs. Modules are hard to organize, but an invitation only event for your regular GMs shows they are appreciated.

Here I get into the intangibles:
- This may sound elitist, but I've found that gaming with other GMs and experienced players can be more rewarding. I have been invited to many home games, private play sessions, etc. over the years primarily because of my GMng. GMng a table of 4-7 people gives you an opportunity to really display your RPG capability for others that are looking to recruit another player.
- Sometimes this gets you invited to a well put together table for Bone Keep, or Eyes of the Ten, or some other special event.

I appreciate that smaller or more spread out communities cannot all take advantage of this (as BNW suggested) - but I hope that some of these suggestions are viable for all of your gaming opportunities.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Washington—West Seattle

calagnar wrote:


Acedio wrote:
But to play the devil's advocate reward, what does the GM of a homebrew get?
I can and do GM for my close friends in a home game. The difference is there my friends we game to spend a few hours having fun. With no time limit on how long we can play or what we need to get done. We spend...

to say nothing of GM bribes. I will gladly give my players a re-roll or some other bonus if they bring beer or a pizza at a home game. I can't do that in PFS.

5/5 5/55/55/5

melferburque wrote:
calagnar wrote:


Acedio wrote:
But to play the devil's advocate reward, what does the GM of a homebrew get?
I can and do GM for my close friends in a home game. The difference is there my friends we game to spend a few hours having fun. With no time limit on how long we can play or what we need to get done. We spend...
to say nothing of GM bribes. I will gladly give my players a re-roll or some other bonus if they bring beer or a pizza at a home game. I can't do that in PFS.

Sure you can. just "rent" them a folio... :)

Grand Lodge 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Joe Ducey wrote:


Mind you if there was a decision to give something extra to gameday gms somehow, I'm all for it, though I think it should be a separate boon/prize from Cons.

Making it last years model for the race boon would be a good compromise.

At least as of now, last year's model for race boons is this year's model (with a different rotation but same races), unless you are speaking of the GenCon race boons, which are a different model, but tend to trickle down. That is to say (in the past) the previous year's tier one race became available for tier 2, tier 2 to tier 3, etc. If you mean the numbered boons (like Prosperity and Custom Order) those are available throughout the year but which ones get handed out rotate when the race rotates, and change every year (with some recycling).

5/5 5/55/55/5

rknop wrote:

Your math is off.

To get to the Con, there's probably a lot more travel involved. Even adding up the one hour each way (which will not be true for most GMs gaming locally), the travel is longer, and far more disruptive for the Con...

Do the math again, but on a per session basis. You keep comparing -the con- to -a game day- but no one is suggesting this is a fair comparison.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
rknop wrote:

Your math is off.

To get to the Con, there's probably a lot more travel involved. Even adding up the one hour each way (which will not be true for most GMs gaming locally), the travel is longer, and far more disruptive for the Con...

Do the math again, but on a per session basis. You keep comparing -the con- to -a game day- but no one is suggesting this is a fair comparison.

In fact, the post I was replying compared going to GenCon once a year to GMing game days for the entire year. This is just as, if not a more, off-base comparison than comparing the con to a game day.

Also, I was not comparing to a game day, at all. The post I was responding to was talking about somebody who games three times a week. I said that two weeks of that is what one should compare to being a Tier 1 GM at a big con, as that's six tables worth.

You misrepresent entirely what I'm talking about. (Although, to be fair, I misrepresented what I was talking about a bit. The person was noting that a year's worth of gameday gaming is way more work than a single con, and if you do it weekly, then, yes, I agree with that.)

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

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I think we got off track here. To me at least this is not an argument about con GM's being more valuable or that they work more, or less or whatever.

The point is that many very good GM's are unable due to location, job, finances, family situation, or whatever to make it to cons.

The point is that GM's are scarce in many locations for game days, and a more enticing reward could help that situation.

I'm not suggesting what the reward should be but it should be better than it is.....

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