First time gencon, Brass tacks.


GM Discussion

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The Exchange 4/5

Im a tosser, so i try to bring an air mattress. Pretty sure you wont get anything from the hotel, because it is a double bed room. They will give them to single bed rooms first.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Fromper wrote:
Occasionally visited by celebrities (I saw Wil Wheaton there once).

If you mean you saw Wil Wheaton there and it was during Gencon, its cause he goes to Gencon. But apparently he considers it a pretty crass if you come up and gush at him while he's there. He is just attending the con like any other gamer and doesn't want to be treated special just cause he's him.

I walked by him in the dealer hall a couple years ago and almost made the mistake of being like 'Hey dude, Tabletop is awesome.', but remembered at the last second. :P

Grand Lodge 5/5

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
I thought we were in the Weston?
We are, which is probably why he didn't see fridges listed. ;)

For the last 3 years in the Marriott my room had a fridge in it each time. An empty one to store stuff.

Also, for those wondering about food, if nothing else there is a vendor for the convention center literally right outside the Sagamore. If you walk out of the straight straight forward from the stage (or where it has been and I assume will continue to be) it'll be on your left in the hallway.

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Captain, Illinois—Central Illinois

Thea Peters wrote:
JERRY WAYNE 333 wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:
JERRY WAYNE 333 wrote:
So how does the four-volunteer-GMs-to-a-room at the Westin work? Do they roll in a couple of sleeping cots or do you have to cozy up in one of the double beds with one of your just-met-five-minutes-ago roommates? Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?

You share a bed.

Cuddling optional.

I've been doing this for years and never had a problem with a roommate hogging too much of the bed. Of course for me it's usually walk in, brush teeth, and *whoomph* straight to sleep from exhaustion.

I don't know how my wife is going to feel about me farting in bed with another while alseep, I think that was even in our wedding vows.

If you're wierded out at the thought of sharing; then bring a sleeping bag or air mattress. One can request a cot; but with the number of people they may or may not have enough to accommodate everyone and you may be left in the lurch if you don't plan ahead.

In general though; by the time everyone gets to the room to crash for the night -- doing anything funny isn't even a thought as you are exhausted and just want to get your 3 hours of sleep before you get up to hit it for another day

Yeah, it's more about courtesy for whoever else may be in the bed than worried for myself.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 * Venture-Captain, Michigan—Mt. Pleasant

Thankfully my wife is volunteering again this year so I know I have someone I don't have to worry about snuggling with. ;D

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Thankfully my wife is volunteering again this year so I know I have someone I don't have to worry about snuggling with. ;D

Ditto!

...I mean with my wife, not yours... ;)

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

trollbill wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
JERRY WAYNE 333 wrote:
So how does the four-volunteer-GMs-to-a-room at the Westin work? Do they roll in a couple of sleeping cots or do you have to cozy up in one of the double beds with one of your just-met-five-minutes-ago roommates? Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?

I'm requesting a cot or, in a pinch, 2 dog beds.

hmmm.. apparently walmart has hotplates starting at 10 bucks. 2 cans of spighetios and it would pay for itself.

We usually raid the CVS the first day we get there and load up on food and drinks. At least last year our room at the Westin had a fridge.

If you are in a time pinch and need food, there is always a sandwich/pizza stand just outside the Sagamore Ballroom.

There is an actual grocery store within walking distance. We've loaded up on foodstuffs there the last two years.

Marsh Supermarket
West Michigan between Senate and Capital

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
jon dehning wrote:
trollbill wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
JERRY WAYNE 333 wrote:
So how does the four-volunteer-GMs-to-a-room at the Westin work? Do they roll in a couple of sleeping cots or do you have to cozy up in one of the double beds with one of your just-met-five-minutes-ago roommates? Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?

I'm requesting a cot or, in a pinch, 2 dog beds.

hmmm.. apparently walmart has hotplates starting at 10 bucks. 2 cans of spighetios and it would pay for itself.

We usually raid the CVS the first day we get there and load up on food and drinks. At least last year our room at the Westin had a fridge.

If you are in a time pinch and need food, there is always a sandwich/pizza stand just outside the Sagamore Ballroom.

There is an actual grocery store within walking distance. We've loaded up on foodstuffs there the last two years.

Marsh Supermarket
West Michigan between Senate and Capital

*hoping to go shopping Tuesday if he gets in early enough.*

5/5 5/55/55/5

jon dehning wrote:


There is an actual grocery store within walking distance. We've loaded up on foodstuffs there the last two years.

Marsh Supermarket
West Michigan between Senate and Capital

is that walk as flat as it looks on google maps? Because thats JUST in walking range if i bring the stick.

Silver Crusade 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


There is an actual grocery store within walking distance. We've loaded up on foodstuffs there the last two years.

Marsh Supermarket
West Michigan between Senate and Capital

is that walk as flat as it looks on google maps? Because thats JUST in walking range if i bring the stick.

For the most part the area around the Con Center is pretty flat. I can't think of any inclines to speak of.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There MIGHT be a slight incline at the intersections for ADA compliance?

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


There is an actual grocery store within walking distance. We've loaded up on foodstuffs there the last two years.

Marsh Supermarket
West Michigan between Senate and Capital

is that walk as flat as it looks on google maps? Because thats JUST in walking range if i bring the stick.

Yes it is. One draw back is the lack of trees, or, sweet mercy does Indy like concrete! On a hot sunny day one can work up a lather.

There are no inclines at all.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pray for 70-80 degree weather. Wear loose clothing. Take your time.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Pray for 70-80 degree weather. Wear loose clothing. Take your time.

I don't have any other kinds of clothes or any other speed.

If you see someone and you're not sure if its their street clothes or they're cosplaying moses sitting on the sidewalk taking a break with a gallon of milk and some cookies, say hi.


Despite living in Indiana, this might be my first time ever going to GenCon. If I don't plan on playing any tables, do I need to buy Generic Tickets for anything? Anyone have suggestions on what I should check out? I thought about checking out the new game playtest thing, probably some miniatures painting, walk around looking at stuff, hopefully meet EZG and other people running retailer booths.

Silver Crusade 2/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Regarding the walk to the Marsh Supermarket:
1) did it this past weekend -- it's flat
2) Indy has Uber -- if you are worried about the walk, it might be a good option

4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mitch Mutrux wrote:
For the most part the area around the Con Center Indiana is pretty flat. I can't think of any inclines to speak of.

Ahem.

Software Developer

Wraithguard wrote:
Despite living in Indiana, this might be my first time ever going to GenCon. If I don't plan on playing any tables, do I need to buy Generic Tickets for anything? Anyone have suggestions on what I should check out? I thought about checking out the new game playtest thing, probably some miniatures painting, walk around looking at stuff, hopefully meet EZG and other people running retailer booths.

If you're not planning on doing any tables // events, you shouldn't need generics. That being said, if you plan on doing the new game playtest hall, I'd highly recommend picking up the free ticket for whatever timeslot you're planning on being there (they take walk-ups in order, but there have been several sessions where they've run out of seats. Plus, you have priority on picking a game if you have a ticket.)

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GinoA wrote:


Mitch Mutrux wrote:
For the most part the area around the Con Center Indiana is pretty flat. I can't think of any inclines to speak of.
Ahem.

The area about a half hour to an hour northwest of Indy is exceptionally varied terrain. Went canoeing there ages ago, so I *know* Indiana is not 'flat'.

'Mostly flat' could also be applied to Illinois, which has variation as well.

4/5

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<Currently sitting about a mile from Lake Erie and about 100' above water-level>
Suuurrrreeeee.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Thea Peters wrote:
JERRY WAYNE 333 wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:
JERRY WAYNE 333 wrote:
So how does the four-volunteer-GMs-to-a-room at the Westin work? Do they roll in a couple of sleeping cots or do you have to cozy up in one of the double beds with one of your just-met-five-minutes-ago roommates? Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?

You share a bed.

Cuddling optional.

I've been doing this for years and never had a problem with a roommate hogging too much of the bed. Of course for me it's usually walk in, brush teeth, and *whoomph* straight to sleep from exhaustion.

I don't know how my wife is going to feel about me farting in bed with another while alseep, I think that was even in our wedding vows.

If you're wierded out at the thought of sharing; then bring a sleeping bag or air mattress. One can request a cot; but with the number of people they may or may not have enough to accommodate everyone and you may be left in the lurch if you don't plan ahead.

In general though; by the time everyone gets to the room to crash for the night -- doing anything funny isn't even a thought as you are exhausted and just want to get your 3 hours of sleep before you get up to hit it for another day

Camping Cots are your friend. They are small enough to throw into the back of your car, or as your second check in baggage if you are flying. But it might not be worth the extra baggage fee if you are flying ($25 each way).

you can use the pillow in the room, but bring your own blanket if you want to ensure getting one.

Dataphiles 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Agent, Virginia—Hampton Roads

Ear plugs...

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Extra clothes. Especially if it's hot.


Thanks for the heads-up William.

Paizo Employee 3/5 * Organized Play Coordinator

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PFS HQ is open Wednesday from 4-6 for packet pickup. All Paizo provided badges are available in the Sag - do not spend time in the Will Call lines. If you purchase tickets, you will need to stand in the lines. Get there early, or go at 3 am in the morning. Not kidding!

Note there is an hour break between each session this year. This is DIFFERENT from prior years. So if you can run a 4-4.5 hr game, you should have an hour for meals before needing to be back.

There will be a GM meeting Friday night at 7:30 to go over the interactive.

Others seem to have covered the rest of the questions.

See you soon!

-T

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

Sounds like I need to hit the Will Call line as soon as I get into town for my Serpent's Rise ticket.

Silver Crusade 4/5

The Will Call line is huge and intimidating, but it moves surprisingly fast. When I got in last year, it was around dinner time Wednesday, and my group decided to get on the line and get it over with before eating. It only took maybe 20-30 minutes, despite the hundreds of people in line ahead of us. The convention staff really know what they're doing. The DMV could learn a thing or two from them.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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The DMV has no use for learning.

5/5 *****

The last time we went we arrived at about 10pm on the Wednesday and the line snaked throughout the whole convention centre. It still only took us about 30 minutes to get to the front. It moves really fast.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Bumping this up with only a week left before the fun begins.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I do have a question about the Hotels. Would I be correct in assuming that each person for the room goes to the service desk to get their room key?

First time going through this process.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

Dennis Gregg wrote:

I do have a question about the Hotels. Would I be correct in assuming that each person for the room goes to the service desk to get their room key?

First time going through this process.

Yes.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 ** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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Sorry about not getting to this sooner. As a veteran of 3 GenCons now, I'd like to offer the following:

1) Bring a water bottle. Paizo is gracious enough to supply a bottle of water with each slot GMmed, but that's really not enough to get by on entirely. Hydration is key with as much as you'll be speaking.

2) Be early to your slots. There's nothing worse than having to set up while players are headed to your table.

3) Have maps pre-drawn or printed if possible. Drawing maps will slow you down, and we are dealing with fairly tight slots.

4) If you are worried about time, don't be afraid to call some combats early, especially if they're just mooks.

5) Have a plan for an organized initiative system going into the con. Being able to run initiative quickly and intuitively will mean your tables go much more smoothly.

6) Make your GM bag as light as possible. You're going to have to haul it around when you're not GMming.

7) Look at your schedule and plan your food accordingly. You may, unfortunately, need to buy one of the overpriced sandwiches sold right outside of Sagamore. If you have more time, the food trucks take about 45 minutes round trip. Noodles and Company is about 30 minutes round trip.

8) Don't miss the GM meeting prior to the multi-table specials. There's often important information at these meetings that aren't general knowledge.

9) PREP! PREP! PREP! I can't stress this enough. Showing up to a table unprepared is simply unconscionable. Your players are each paying $6 per head, plus the cost of admission for your adventure. This is, by and large, their one shot at playing the scenario. Make sure it's a great experience.

10) Bring something to provide yourself with light entertainment between slots. You'll need to recharge.

11) When seating yourself as a GM, seat yourself facing the opposite direction from where you expect there to be a lot of noise. That means that if you're near the edge of the room, sit with your back to the edge of the room. If you're near a passage between groups of tables, sit with your back to the passage. Why? It's easier for your players to differentiate from the sounds you are making and the sound of the crowd if they are coming from opposing directions.

12) Don't let analysis paralysis ruin your table. If a player repeatedly can't decide what to do and takes more than 2 minutes on each turn, put them on delay until they decide what they're doing.

13) Backup batteries are key if you're using electronic devices. I always carry at least 15,000 MAH of backup power for my devices. That's probably overkill, but there's absolutely nothing more embarrassing than running out of power during an adventure.

14) Occasionally, there will be rules disputes. Don't go to HQ over them, just make a ruling. Pull aside a VC and ask their opinion if you need a quick ruling. VCs can be identified by their red polos.

15) Sometimes tables go south. Don't take it personally. It's probably not your fault. Even if it is, letting it drag down your next table won't help.

16) Some players at GenCon are not reuglar Society players and are mildly hostile to the bookkeeping requirements. They enjoy playing Society about once a year, but they don't want to maintain a character and hate the idea that you have to give them a new number just to play the one adventure. If you get into an argument with one of these people and they're playing a pregen, just grab an unused character number from the desk and assign the scenario to that number's -01.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Hello me from the past. Its me from the FUTURE.

See? Eyepatch. Torn clothes. Flying car.

Quote:
How far is the walk between the sagamore ballroom and the DM rooms?

It's a four minute walk, but its also a 4 minute wait for the elevator. The elevator is S L O W . Find the stairs, at least for the way down.

Quote:
There's apparently half an hour in between slots. I can bring a sandwich for lunch but dinner's probably going to be another matter. Is there somewhere close enough to get the food in that time and then eat it during the game or do I send someone that wants to live to get food? Or maybe kill off the party early...

If you take your walking stick to the game, you can hobble to the local food hub in a lunch break. Walk out the main doors. Go right. Take the elevator down. Walk out the doors. Walk ahead a block or two, food places are on the right a block or two. Go to the panera, get a loaf of bread and a block a cheese. and you're set.

Quote:
Is there a ticket system or is it the badge covers everything?

The badge is in the sagamore. Tickets take an absurdly long line to get on. The line crosses enormous hallways, and starts outside. Don't try to stand in line at the end of a hall because you think it's the end, you'll get yelled at and scare the poor guy when you turn around.

Quote:
I just registered to attend gencon but haven't bought a badge.Does the badge show up in advance or do you get it when you check in?

Its in the sagamore, which you'll want to see anyway when you can ooo ahh and turn around to take it all in without stepping on anyone.

Quote:
If I want to play Saturday/Sunday or in the unlikely event i actually wake up Saturday morning how does that work? Is there a warhorn? Spontaneous muster? Red rover tournament of death?

Its a muster by volunteers on the spot. There are cards with the scenario name, and the iconic under who's banner you need to stand to get sorted. To see the banners you need to walk into the room a bit and turn around.

Some things that are handy to know:

You are 4 geeks to a room. The beds are kind of small. for fire regulations they cannot get a cot in there. Bring a floormat if you're not prepared to get a little bit closer to some fellow paizonians.

There isn't a whole lot of space. Cooking with the hot plate is out. There's no microwave

The convention center food is bad, expensive, and not even remotely close. The mall food is a 15 minute walk despite the arrows saying "mall right here" Restaurants are as stated above. The heathens have not yet discovered the glory of "pizza by the slice" so if you want a pizza call ahead pick up the pie and bring it back to your table.

The coffee machines in the room take their own specialty packets. So either bring your own coffee maker or just ask the front desk for a bunch of packets. Be careful, one of the packets is decaff.

If you're used to a more laid back convention, the "Start" of the time slot is functionally half an hour before the listed start time. Most cons you "start" by sorting people and selecting characters at the start time, here it's "welcome pathfinders..." as soon as you have a table.

Each floor has an ice maker. Fill up a water jug with ice, water, and a bit of drink mix ((bring at least 2 different drink mixes) along with whatever "special ingredients" you may want to add. Bring enough special ingredient for the class.

Right after gencon there was a clean up type thing for the tier 1 DMs. Go tier 1 and go to it.

If the tables collapse, go up to the front and see if anyone wants to make another table.

Bring BAGS of lossanges, not a handful. BagS. Plural. Towards the end of game 7 you pretty much need to pop them constantly.

Check to see if the games require large monsters. Paizo bases are great for that , or bring toys. The standard box o mini's doesn't really do it justice when everything is at larger sizes.

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

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
The mall food is a 15 minute walk despite the arrows saying "mall right here"

Absolutely untrue. The mall is one block east of the convention center. Walk out the Sagamore main entrance, go right, and either stay on that level and take the skywalks, or go to the street level and walk one block east.

15 minutes? Not even close, UNLESS you walk slowly, get caught in a big slow-moving crowd, or take the street and get caught in the crosswalks.

It's like 5-7 minutes normally.

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

For those of you used to the Marsh Supermarket a few blocks north of the hotel/convention center: it is now out of business. It was bought by another company, but they are going to remodel it and that's expected to take months. I highly doubt it will be re-opened in time for Gen Con.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Mark Stratton wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
The mall food is a 15 minute walk despite the arrows saying "mall right here"

Absolutely untrue. The mall is one block east of the convention center. Walk out the Sagamore main entrance, go right, and either stay on that level and take the skywalks, or go to the street level and walk one block east.

15 minutes? Not even close, UNLESS you walk slowly, get caught in a big slow-moving crowd, or take the street and get caught in the crosswalks.

It's like 5-7 minutes normally.

The mall is. But the Food court is on the far side of the mall. (or will be if you follow the arrows from the hotel room) If the foot traffic normally moves faster up and down the series of steps, it didn't either time i made the trip.

You did see the note above about needing a walking stick to hobble around town right?

5/5 5/55/55/5

There is a fridge. A half gallon of milk (so you don't take up all of everyone's space) and a box of cereal (or two for variety) are definitely worth it. Bring bowlS and spoonS.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

Mark Stratton wrote:
For those of you used to the Marsh Supermarket a few blocks north of the hotel/convention center: it is now out of business. It was bought by another company, but they are going to remodel it and that's expected to take months. I highly doubt it will be re-opened in time for Gen Con.

Well, that sucks.

Mark, do you know if Amazon Prime Now is available for the Westin? Or is there another good choice of a supermarket we can make it to?

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Stratton wrote:
For those of you used to the Marsh Supermarket a few blocks north of the hotel/convention center: it is now out of business. It was bought by another company, but they are going to remodel it and that's expected to take months. I highly doubt it will be re-opened in time for Gen Con.

Oh, nuts. There goes my food plan for Gen Con.

:(

I am also curious about Amazon Prime and the Westin.

Hmm


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Check out the Meijer stores. (a family owned regional chain).

They have one-hour delivery, online ordering using Shipt.

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

I don't know if Amazon Prime will deliver to the Westin.

There Is another grocery store downtown - it is walkable, but it's probably 15-20 minutes by foot, maybe?

EDIT: It's located at:
320 N. New Jersey
Indianapolis, IN. 46204

Now, all of Marsh went out of business, but I am told this one is still open, but being run by another company.

Silver Crusade 2/5

Mark Stratton wrote:
For those of you used to the Marsh Supermarket a few blocks north of the hotel/convention center: it is now out of business. It was bought by another company, but they are going to remodel it and that's expected to take months. I highly doubt it will be re-opened in time for Gen Con.

Mark, was that the store on NY or NJ St/Rd/Ave, a few blocks east of Illinois? Thanks!

[EDIT] - That will teach me to initially read only PART of a thread! Mark answered the question in the post directly above mine, but somehow I failed to see it.

Game on!

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

Mark Stratton wrote:
For those of you used to the Marsh Supermarket a few blocks north of the hotel/convention center: it is now out of business. It was bought by another company, but they are going to remodel it and that's expected to take months. I highly doubt it will be re-opened in time for Gen Con.

It was open last week unless it just closed the one on jersey I think as I had to pick up a cheesecake there.

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