Support for Conventions


Pathfinder Society

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 *

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I'm pulling this into its own thread as I've heard this more than a few times over time.

That GMs will volunteer for the smaller conventions, but they end up out of resources to support their GMs. Most commonly people are promised the GM Boon for the Convention, and they run out passing them out.

I understand some of this is how well the Convention Staff preps for this ahead of time, I've had some conventions that come across very well prepared and this is never an issue. Most of the time I've personally run into this is where I'm at a general gaming con with a PFS presence and I've been 'recruited' into being a GM because they have a need (commonly people didn't show up, or more tables that were planned and people wanting to try out PFS).

It's been suggested that there was possibly an idea of having an online boon, that would be assigned at a later date if people would give their information like username or PFS Number. Would this be a valid idea that if people can't print off enough for a convention, that you could grant these to people post-con?

The Exchange 5/5

As a convention organizer myself, being organized and making sure you have the right amount of materials printed or ready is a very big thing for me. Printing extra boons ahead of time, or having a printer on site can alleviate this issue vs adding something additional to Paizo's workload to make up for someone else's lack of organization.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

E-mail the PFS coordinator of the convention and explain the situation, giving your email address and postal address. I would hope that most would make sure that their GMs got the rewards they were due.

4/5

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The person printing the GM Boons should be able to print them after the convention to get them to the people they missed. The problem with the idea of an online boon is that it would be easier to reproduce and harder to verify if it was an actually earned boon.

Personally if I ever ran out of GM boon at a convention I would do everything I could to keep a record of who was missed and make sure they get the boon. So I personally feel that the issue needs to be solved by the convention staff and they need to figure out a solution that works for them because not treating their GM's fairly, especially unintentionally is bad for PFS.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 *

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Paz wrote:
E-mail the PFS coordinator of the convention and explain the situation, giving your email address and postal address. I would hope that most would make sure that their GMs got the rewards they were due.

Actually most just say I'm sorry there's nothing that we can do. Thus why this comes up on occasion.

The Exchange 5/5

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Incendiaeternus wrote:
Paz wrote:
E-mail the PFS coordinator of the convention and explain the situation, giving your email address and postal address. I would hope that most would make sure that their GMs got the rewards they were due.
Actually most just say I'm sorry there's nothing that we can do. Thus why this comes up on occasion.

Sorry, but that's asinine. The PFS coordinator should be able to provide you with the GM reward. They are sent the boons in a pdf format and can easily print one out for you.

Is this a VO coordinator or a private convention coordinator?

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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I am quite surprised that this happened to your several times Incendiaeternus, in any case (and as others have mentioned) running out of printed copies of a GM boon is no reason, to deny them to GMs.

This is the 21th century, if we can't manage to distribute signed paper, something has gone very wrong.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

What I would like to see is clear guidance from Tonya of "If you (the organizer) run out of boons, here is what you do to get GM / Player boons to the people who need them."

It could be as simple as "Write down the person's name and PFS number, and ask them to give or mail you a stamped self addressed envelope. When you receive the envelop, print out a boon, sign it, back date it, and send it back."

This should not be a common problem.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Incendiaeternus wrote:
Paz wrote:
E-mail the PFS coordinator of the convention and explain the situation, giving your email address and postal address. I would hope that most would make sure that their GMs got the rewards they were due.
Actually most just say I'm sorry there's nothing that we can do. Thus why this comes up on occasion.

My suggestion:

Don't ever volunteer for that organizer again. Seriously.

If they are unwilling to give a boon, that is specifically given to them digitally for GM's who help them out, and you fall into the category that they have indicated they will give a GM boon to, then shame on them.

Being told that they've run out of physical copies is NOT AN EXCUSE. Its poor organization, poor leadership, and should never, ever, ever happen.

As a convention organizer, I would go out of my way to make sure my GMs all had a boon. I'd make a special trip over to Fedex/Kinkos and pay money if I had to, to print out extras should I have been unprepared or there were unforeseen circumstances that left me short of physical copies.

The fact that people, who are volunteering their time, on short notice and tweaking their own already planned schedules to do so, are being told this really irritates me.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

FLite wrote:

What I would like to see is clear guidance from Tonya of "If you (the organizer) run out of boons, here is what you do to get GM / Player boons to the people who need them."

It could be as simple as "Write down the person's name and PFS number, and ask them to give or mail you a stamped self addressed envelope. When you receive the envelop, print out a boon, sign it, back date it, and send it back."

This should not be a common problem.

Sorry, but this is also asinine.

Venture Officers KNOW what they can do and can't do. And they know that GM's get a GM boon. And if they are given a GM boon, and they choose not to distribute it, then they better have a very, very good reason.

Perhaps they advertised they were only giving out boons to those who volunteered for a certain number of slots. I don't know.

But we don't need some official statement that tells a Venture Officer that they can do what they already know they can do.

They are given a digital copy of a boon, with the intention to print out as many copies as they need to hand out to their GMs. If they run out of physical copies, and you meet the criteria they had advertised beforehand, and are unwilling to work with you to find a way to get you a signed physical copy, then they are just being a dick.

We don't need an official statement. Because Venture Officers know what to do.

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

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Why do we need Tonya to say "if you don't have enough GM boons for your GMs, you can print more."

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

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Honestly, if nothing else, when you get down to one boon, hand someone you trust who has an open slot the blank boon, a $20 and send them to kinkos.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Mark Stratton wrote:
Why do we need Tonya to say "if you don't have enough GM boons for your GMs, you can print more."

Exactly.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

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Mark Stratton wrote:
Why do we need Tonya to say "if you don't have enough GM boons for your GMs, you can print more."

We shouldn't need to.

But apparently there are organizers out there who are taking the position of either "If you don't get that day we can't help you" or "I am not sure how to help you, so I cant."

There are two solutions to this. Elevate it to your VO/VC (or more likely the con areas VO/VC) and waste everyones time.

Or get Tonya to make a one time statement, and save everyone headaches

Liberty's Edge 5/5

FLite wrote:
Mark Stratton wrote:
Why do we need Tonya to say "if you don't have enough GM boons for your GMs, you can print more."

We shouldn't need to.

But apparently there are organizers out there who are taking the position of either "If you don't get that day we can't help you" or "I am not sure how to help you, so I cant."

There are two solutions to this. Elevate it to your VO/VC (or more likely the con areas VO/VC) and waste everyones time.

Or get Tonya to make a one time statement, and save everyone headaches

The problem with an "official statement" like this, is its just grounds for potential guy who didn't actually earn a boon based on the pre-advertised way to get one for that convention, to say, "hey, look, Tonya said right here <> that you need to get me a boon!"

I want to avoid as much of that kind of adversarial encounters as possible.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

Andrew Christian wrote:
FLite wrote:
Mark Stratton wrote:
Why do we need Tonya to say "if you don't have enough GM boons for your GMs, you can print more."

We shouldn't need to.

But apparently there are organizers out there who are taking the position of either "If you don't get that day we can't help you" or "I am not sure how to help you, so I cant."

There are two solutions to this. Elevate it to your VO/VC (or more likely the con areas VO/VC) and waste everyones time.

Or get Tonya to make a one time statement, and save everyone headaches

The problem with an "official statement" like this, is its just grounds for potential guy who didn't actually earn a boon based on the pre-advertised way to get one for that convention, to say, "hey, look, Tonya said right here <> that you need to get me a boon!"

I want to avoid as much of that kind of adversarial encounters as possible.

That's why I wanted her statement to target the organizer for action, and give them a procedure. (Preferably involving taking the persons name at the time.) I want the person who has to make the decision to be the person with the most information available.

That way they can just say "oh, are you on my list? Sorry, your name isn't on my list so you didn't follow the procedure and thus that does not apply." (Hopefully, in the case where the name is not on the list through legitimate error, the organizer will be reasonable.)

Liberty's Edge 5/5

FLite wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
FLite wrote:
Mark Stratton wrote:
Why do we need Tonya to say "if you don't have enough GM boons for your GMs, you can print more."

We shouldn't need to.

But apparently there are organizers out there who are taking the position of either "If you don't get that day we can't help you" or "I am not sure how to help you, so I cant."

There are two solutions to this. Elevate it to your VO/VC (or more likely the con areas VO/VC) and waste everyones time.

Or get Tonya to make a one time statement, and save everyone headaches

The problem with an "official statement" like this, is its just grounds for potential guy who didn't actually earn a boon based on the pre-advertised way to get one for that convention, to say, "hey, look, Tonya said right here <> that you need to get me a boon!"

I want to avoid as much of that kind of adversarial encounters as possible.

That's why I wanted her statement to target the organizer for action, and give them a procedure. (Preferably involving taking the persons name at the time.) I want the person who has to make the decision to be the person with the most information available.

That way they can just say "oh, are you on my list? Sorry, your name isn't on my list so you didn't follow the procedure and thus that does not apply." (Hopefully, in the case where the name is not on the list through legitimate error, the organizer will be reasonable.)

If the organizer is not a VO, then escalating this to the VO is a fine procedure. That is part of our job. To handle these sorts of disputes.

But frankly, not sure how many conventions are actually run by non-VO's, or at least by someone a VO trusts to do so. That is the PFS administrative part of the convention. Because the Person organizing PFS at any convention, can't actually get the digital boons without a VO sponsoring that convention and asking for convention support.

We don't need some official statement that basically tells people to use common sense. yeah, I know common sense isn't always the same for every person.

But someone who defines common sense as not printing out more GM boons for those who've earned GM boons, is not actually using common sense.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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FLite wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:


I want to avoid as much of that kind of adversarial encounters as possible.
Keep in mind, the intent of my solution is to spare you (the VC) as many encounters as possible, since the status quo is "go complain to your VC"

I'll take the complaint over an official statement. I'd much rather it work that way.

A large part of Venture-Captains getting, and keeping, their jobs, is their ability to use common sense. Past campaign coordinators hired V-C's and entrusted them to use good leadership and common sense to spread PFS in their region. V-C's have a lot of leeway to make determinations on the fly without needing a ton of "official" protocol.

And the more "official" protocol we end up getting telling us how to do our jobs, is going to invariably create issues with regions where that protocol just doesn't work. I'm not saying that will be the case here.

But I'm going to make a "snowball" effect argument. You start asking for and getting "official" protocol statements like this one, where does it end? I'd rather Tonya not have to micro manage the Venture Officer corps, and let us do the jobs we were hired to do.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

Andrew Christian wrote:


But frankly, not sure how many conventions are actually run by non-VO's, or at least by someone a VO trusts to do so. That is the PFS administrative part of the convention. Because the Person organizing PFS at any convention, can't actually get the digital boons without a VO sponsoring that convention and asking for convention support.

We don't need some official statement that...

That's a good point.

It occurs to me that I know of one con that happened during a somewhat rocky transition, where it is entirely possible that the people physically at the con may not have had the pdf, only the printouts supplied by the people they were taking over for, and may not have understood that they had the authority to make more. (Or, since the boons were printed on parchment, may have been worried that people would think the copied boons were fakes.)

That one should have been cleared up, but given how rocky the transition was, may not have been, and if someone contacted the outgoing team, not the incoming team, there may have been confusion about who could do what.

But that sort of thing should be incredibly rare.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

FLite wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:


But frankly, not sure how many conventions are actually run by non-VO's, or at least by someone a VO trusts to do so. That is the PFS administrative part of the convention. Because the Person organizing PFS at any convention, can't actually get the digital boons without a VO sponsoring that convention and asking for convention support.

We don't need some official statement that...

That's a good point.

It occurs to me that I know of one con that happened during a somewhat rocky transition, where it is entirely possible that the people physically at the con may not have had the pdf, only the printouts supplied by the people they were taking over for, and may not have understood that they had the authority to make more. (Or, since the boons were printed on parchment, may have been worried that people would think the copied boons were fakes.)

That one should have been cleared up, but given how rocky the transition was, may not have been, and if someone contacted the outgoing team, not the incoming team, there may have been confusion about who could do what.

But that sort of thing should be incredibly rare.

Indeed it should. But there are some posters who are making it seem like this is happening regularly in their region (or at least a few times to them specifically.)

If this is happening regularly, then whoever is saying, "Sorry, out of physical copies," and they actually have access to the digital copy, should really be ashamed of themselves for not rewarding GM's who have earned that reward. That's why VOs are given convention support and boons.

Now its entirely a different story if the GM in question didn't actually earn their boon, for whatever reason, and the organizer used the "sorry out of boons" as an excuse rather than just telling the person, "sorry, you didn't earn it." That's an entirely different problem though.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 *

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


Indeed it should. But there are some posters who are making it seem like this is happening regularly in their region (or at least a few times to them specifically.)

If this is happening regularly, then whoever is saying, "Sorry, out of physical copies," and they actually have access to the digital copy, should really be ashamed of themselves for not rewarding GM's who have earned that reward. That's why VOs are given convention support and boons.

Now its entirely a different story if the GM in question didn't actually earn their boon, for whatever reason, and the organizer used the "sorry out of boons" as an excuse rather than just telling the person, "sorry, you didn't earn it." That's an entirely different problem though.

It's over a couple of years period and with a similar group running the convention. I pulled this out of a completely unrelated thread that this got brought up in to see if it can be addressed instead of being lost.

Due to its the same general area then it may be a regional thing who knows - but the impression has been that however many paper copies were that was it. Including some people who had GMed almost the whole con but wasn't right there when they were handed out (and there were multiple business centers around so we didn't think it was a lack of copier issue but an issue with only being given permission for so many).

This seems to come to the consensus that whoever has gotten this over the years has been highly misinformed on the procedure. It seems like perhaps making sure that information is clear when they are handed out then should best resolve this.

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Inland Empire

Another suggestion is to start a conversation with a nearby VO. Regional coordinators aren't sovereigns in that we don't have to ask permission before entering another VO's region. We regularly play in each other's games and are even asked to help expand PFS in another's jurisdiction from time to time. We frequently converse--especially at conventions. That being said, if something like this is going on, go lookup a VO in a nearby area and start a conversation with him/her. In most cases, there will be several VOs within a 20/30/50 mile radius. The next time the two VOs meet, they'll talk it out. A lot of this stuff is about education and not malice (though it could be as Andy pointed out). And please don't take this as free reign to play both ends against the middle. I'm restricting my advice here for when one VO is doing something that is clearly not ok.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Baltic

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You are not giving enough information.

There have been people that gave away their own GenCon boons at smaller local conventions that were not eligable for boons themselves. When these run out, they can't just print more.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Incendiaeternus wrote:


It's over a couple of years period and with a similar group running the convention. I pulled this out of a completely unrelated thread that this got brought up in to see if it can be addressed instead of being lost.

Due to its the same general area then it may be a regional thing who knows - but the impression has been that however many paper copies were that was it. Including some people who had GMed almost the whole con but wasn't right there when they were handed out (and there were multiple business centers around so we didn't think it was a lack of copier issue but an issue with only being given permission for so many).

This seems to come to the consensus that whoever has gotten this over the years has been highly misinformed on the procedure. It seems like perhaps making sure that information is clear when they are handed out then should best resolve this.

My experience organizing a couple of cons and GMing a bunch more has been that boons have been split into two categories.

1) GM boons - you GM you generally get one, some cons have pre-reqs (see certain number of tables, but more often that is for free con entry)
2) Player boons/prizes - these are generally more limited and on a once they're gone, they're gone limit. I don't think I've experienced a Con running out, to my memory. (Based on a % of total players winning something)

It wouldn't be impossible to have mixed up the thought that there is a guideline including the GM boons, but to my knowledge if a GM earned a boon they should get that boon no reason to not print or run off another copy.

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

At any con or event that I run which gets con support, EVERY GM gets a GM boon. EVERY SINGLE ONE. If we run out, I print more. A few years back, I never got my GM boon for GEN CON. I wrote Mike, it never got mailed, and then I got an email with the boon attached - he told me to just sign his name and add the number to it (and that boon, and email, are both included with the character.) I don't make minimum requirements for GMs to get boons - you GM at least 1 table, you get a boon.

Now, if a GM meets certain minimums, he or she might get other stuff - free convention registration, free products like flip mats, etc.

Grand Lodge 2/5

What are the requirements for a convention to get boons?

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

claudekennilol wrote:
What are the requirements for a convention to get boons?

Generally, at least 15 tables.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

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If only to echo my support on this thread, I will repeat that there is absolutely no excuse for a convention organizer to not provide a GM boon as promised for a volunteer. I keep a portable printer on hand for issues just like the one presented in this thread.

The "I'm sorry there is nothing we can do" excuse is, as stated previously, is absolutely ridiculous and lazy of the organizers and would not blame you if you did not volunteer for them again. As Jon stated, if this EVER happens again, please escalate this to your closest Venture-Officer or Tonya and send me you information and I will print you the boon myself. There is no excuse for this kind of action.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

Incendiaeternus wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:


Indeed it should. But there are some posters who are making it seem like this is happening regularly in their region (or at least a few times to them specifically.)

If this is happening regularly, then whoever is saying, "Sorry, out of physical copies," and they actually have access to the digital copy, should really be ashamed of themselves for not rewarding GM's who have earned that reward. That's why VOs are given convention support and boons.

Now its entirely a different story if the GM in question didn't actually earn their boon, for whatever reason, and the organizer used the "sorry out of boons" as an excuse rather than just telling the person, "sorry, you didn't earn it." That's an entirely different problem though.

It's over a couple of years period and with a similar group running the convention. I pulled this out of a completely unrelated thread that this got brought up in to see if it can be addressed instead of being lost.

Due to its the same general area then it may be a regional thing who knows - but the impression has been that however many paper copies were that was it. Including some people who had GMed almost the whole con but wasn't right there when they were handed out (and there were multiple business centers around so we didn't think it was a lack of copier issue but an issue with only being given permission for so many).

This seems to come to the consensus that whoever has gotten this over the years has been highly misinformed on the procedure. It seems like perhaps making sure that information is clear when they are handed out then should best resolve this.

Contact your local VC. They should know better and should be able to straighten out this misunderstanding on the part of the organizer(s). If the problem is the local VC then you should contact Tonya.

Sovereign Court 4/5 * Organized Play Coordinator

As others posted, all issues should be directed to the local Venture-Officer. The list of current officers is posted online here.

4/5 Venture-Captain, Virginia—Norfolk

As a convention organizer, I put together a packet for all the GMs running games for me at the con. I include their GM boon and enough custom sign-in sheets for the number of tables they are running. When they arrive at the convention, I hand them their packet. I also keep a few extra copies of the GM boons and sign-in sheets in case another GM shows up to run an extra slot.

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