PaizoCon 2018 Scheduling Thoughts


PaizoCon General Discussion


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Crazy idea: get adequate sleep at PaizoCon.

Since we've done away with the afternoon PFS slots, why not shift the morning and evening inwards? Morning slots from 9am-2pm, Evening from 6pm-11pm.

I was surprised how positive the response to this idea was when I floated it at the Con. I'm sure there will be some who are adamant about having more afternoon space, but I really feel this would improve the Con overall. It makes socializing after games much more doable.

Thoughts/improvements?


Majuba wrote:

Crazy idea: get adequate sleep at PaizoCon.

Since we've done away with the afternoon PFS slots, why not shift the morning and evening inwards? Morning slots from 9am-2pm, Evening from 6pm-11pm.

I was surprised how positive the response to this idea was when I floated it at the Con. I'm sure there will be some who are adamant about having more afternoon space, but I really feel this would improve the Con overall. It makes socializing after games much more doable.

Thoughts/improvements?

currently the schedule runs;

0800-1300 (5hrs) PaizoCon games
1300-1330 (0.5 hr) lunch, most start gaming.
1300-1830 (5hrs) pick up games and panels or sleep
1830-1900 (0.5hr) dinner
1900-2400 (5hrs) game or banquet
0000-0800 (8hrs) sleep (presumed)

I would plan on a 10min break in a 5hr slot. Meal breaks are 30 or more minutes.


As of this year, I've started submitting my games as 4-hour events rather than 5. This worked out REALLY well for me this year, as my earliest games were 9:00-1:00, and then my afternoon games were 2:00-6:00. I know this won't work for every game and every table, but if you have a really tight adventure, you may want to consider it. The only downside to this was actually caused by a combination of the unexpected late start + one of my games being left off of the posted schedule outside the Cascade rooms; as it wasn't listed, a group of people quite reasonably assumed the table was vacant and open for pickup games, so my players and I all showed up at 2:00 with no table. This was really more a combination of things, though, and not just the weird start time by itself.

I'd try to avoid changing the maximum slot lengths such that they begin to overlap with each other, though. It was a kind of a huge bummer that I couldn't even try to get into Todd Stewart's game this year, especially because on one day our events only overlapped by 2 hours (he had an 11:00-4:00, and I was running a 2:00-6:00).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I had a great time at PaizoCon this year. Last year we had PFS ACG games in the afternoon, but this year we did not get one in. We had from 1pm to 7 pm open everyday and I had planned on playing the ACG during those times and that is all my group had planned on doing, but there was not any available. That was a HUGE disappointment for us.

We had planned on playing a few games of it each day during that time frame and there was not any PFS ACG available. I'm fine with crunching the hours like you suggested, but it would be great if they would have the PFS ACG available in between those two slots.

Please add some PFS ACG to the afternoon.

Edited FPS to PFS

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber

The problem with the 9-2 and 6-11 PFS slots is that those who play PFS (or even more, GM PFS, as it always takes time to clean up afterwards) are going to be seriously crunched if they have an afternoon game. There will be 0 time between the end of one game and the beginning of the next.

PFS games really do need 5-hour slots. Some of the scenarios just run too long, and I've found that 4-hour slots for PFS games very frequently lead to stressfully rushed games.

I would hate to have to (effectively) give up the possibility of gaming on all afternoon slots, which is more or less what would happen to a Tier 1 GM.


I think it's important to remember that open gaming tables are just that, open. Paizo arranges with the hotel for the rooms to be there and people cannot reserve a table or post their schedule in the room and assume a table will be reserved. You need a warm body AT the table for first come first serve situations, preferably 4 warm bodes.
I'm sure some rules will be posted if common courtesy cannot be maintained.

I counted 7 tables in the open gaming areas.
Other rooms were paid for by vendors and while they seemed open they were not.

Some of the evergreens had open slots but games were going on when I checked. I wouldn't count on that next year if scheduling is more efficient.

Like many others I thought that the part of the banquet hall would be open but it was not, thus the table/room crunch.

I'd also like to mention that Paizo hosts panels and events in the afternoon slot and probably wants people to go to those rather than do private games. There was a comment that the con was not to cram as many games in as possible.

on scheduling/sign-up

while warhorn is good, there needs to be a more accessible peer to peer tool where privileges are not needed to post a game. Registration on warhorn can be set to automatically approve users.

That site needs to be posted near the players/users, evergreen and cascade rooms.

I would assume games would take place in the GM/hosts hotel room or pre-arranged available area. There are open areas in the hotel.

The hotel limits access wifi gateways in areas. There's a crazy expensive charge to gain wifi access in meeting rooms. Someone needs to host a gateway for the registration application in the area. It's a networking job to limit accessible urls.


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Another point I'd like to bring up is: please have enough level 10-11 tables planned for the Special. This is a con that attracts the most dedicated Pathfinder fans in the world, and PFS is in it's 9th season. It is not a rare thing anymore for people to have level 10-11 characters. And those that have them are often looking for every opportunity to play them.


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Just to be clear, I was pretty much suggesting making afternoon pfs out of the question, not suggesting 4-hour slots for it.

There is almost no reason to Tier1 at PaizoCon, there is an overabundance of GMs, great GMs, and everyone should get to play.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

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Anetra wrote:
The only downside to this was actually caused by a combination of the unexpected late start + one of my games being left off of the posted schedule outside the Cascade rooms; as it wasn't listed, a group of people quite reasonably assumed the table was vacant and open for pickup games, so my players and I all showed up at 2:00 with no table.

Potential approach that might help: "reserved" signs for tables with event times listed on them. *adds to feedback list*

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
Majuba wrote:

Just to be clear, I was pretty much suggesting making afternoon pfs out of the question, not suggesting 4-hour slots for it.

There is almost no reason to Tier1 at PaizoCon, there is an overabundance of GMs, great GMs, and everyone should get to play.

Yeah, I wasn't talking about afternoon PFS; I was talking about afternoon anything else. If you GM either PFS in the morning or evening, you're going to find yourself with 0 time to make one of the two transitions. If you end up doing both on a day, then you can't do anything in the afternoon.

Myself, when I go to a con like this, I like to do lots of gaming. I will sometimes attend seminars, but only if I've decided to take an afternoon off, or if a game doesn't "make". A four-hour slot including two transitions starts to be very crunched.

While this is worse for GMs, it applies for players as well. If your slot fills the full 5 hours in the morning, you're rushing with no time for lunch to the afternoon slot. Your afternoon slot has to end early if you want to make it to your evening PFS slot before HQ gives it away to somebody unticketed.

And, there is a reason to be at least Tier 2: $75....

It might be workable to have the three slots be 8:30-1:30, 2-5, and 5:30-11:30. If games end up fully filling spots, that still makes it very difficult to actually eat, but at least you have more than 0 time if you have all three slots scheduled.


New Players at PaizoCon:
I was at 5 tables of Tier 1-5 playing Level 1-2. I'd guesstimate 2 to 3 of 6 players were brand new to PFS. New growth is happening and for those people PaizoCon is just a convention.
I'd agree that mid to high tier play is more likely at PaizoCon... part of that would be to see how fast the high tier slots filled.

Table Reservation:
It's up to Paizo to allow a reserved table arrangement at their convention. As Judy suggested above it's something for them to think about for next year.

Room space:
Personally I think the logistics of the grand ballroom with events leaves it off limits to open gaming. Pulling room dividers has to be arranged with the hotel during event negotiations otherwise you get a large bill (if you do it or they do it) and nobody wants that. Con staff would have to clear the tables, then hotel pull the dividers, then later hotel staff retract the dividers, set up the room, con staff replace table markers... you can see the logistics problems.

It's more practical to use the unused evergreen rooms marking the blanks as "open gaming" with a red bar 10min before an event to clear the room.
Still, main usage of those rooms is during the afternoon for Paizo staff sponsored games and some panels.
It would be nice if a RVC/VC could slot a game in the evergreen rooms during open times so that they'd show on the schedule.

The Olympic rooms were chocked full of panels during the afternoon hours. The diversity panels could use a bigger room!

I'd like to see an exercise session in the gyms rooms slotted... we could do the golarion elliptical dash!

On a humorous note next year we'll try an underwater adventure in the pool, character sheets will have to be laminated. lol...

Scarab Sages

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With the wifi being crummy and people gaving no clear way to communicate, would a few whitevoards in places be an idea? That way you can advertise in what room your pickup game will be. A bord in front of cascade and evegreen next ti the scedule would do wonders.


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There was an LFG board near the delves.

I like the idea of earlier/later slots for PFS, however it runs afoul of non-PFS events. (Please don't take this the wrong way, but there is more to PaizoCon than PFS. :)

For those PFS GMs hoping to work-in a game, that is two hours less for the afternoon slot. For those hoping to catch a seminar that is two seminars less they can choose from. For those hoping to get a lunch, the crowds get condensed by two hours. For Monday the later start might be a increased venue cost.

Personally I wish PFS still had an afternoon slot (using fewer tables per session to give GMs some time away.)

Grand Lodge

This was my first PaizoCon, but I also attended Norwescon at this same hotel in April. PFS is a very small part of that con, so we were relegated to the open hallway intersection area at the far end of the long hallway on the first floor. There's also an identical common area on the floor above that. Yes, players can be a bit loud out there by the rooms, but that didn't stop hotel staff from assigning us to those areas for that con. We had 3 to 4 tables for each slot, and only used about half the space on that floor.

In addition, there's a large area with several rooms on the very upper floors. In fact, per the Norwescon web site:

"The three accessible games tables in Maxi’s Ballroom may be used for walk-up games, however, if you use these tables you may be asked to move to make space for members with accessibility needs. DMs may also be asked to move their game to an accessible table."

There's actually a conference room up there plus a room about the size of one of the Evergreen rooms (tho my eyes aren't calibrated exactly), plus the large Maxi's room.

So there's clearly more available gaming space that isn't currently being utilized.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Curaigh wrote:

There was an LFG board near the delves.

Nat 1 on my perception check?


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Woran wrote:
Curaigh wrote:

There was an LFG board near the delves.

Nat 1 on my perception check?

Aid for +2 on the next one ;)

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