**Official** Gen Con 50 Feedback Thread


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Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Concerns have been raised about 'token hoarding'. I raised a concern about community building and campaign relations at the meeting, but just had a sudden burst of insight on the matter and bringing it forward here as a possible suggestion for resolving the concern.

Would it be easier to simply have a log of PFS numbers of people coming up, and then once they hit a given limit, they are 'cut off', as it is logically impossible to gain coins beyond a given point?

If someone DID try to 'game' the system, it'd be really easy to tell.

Example: GenCon had 10 slots.

At initial costs, based on that number one could theoretically have played enough to get five rolls at the boon table. After five rolls on the boon table, that's it for that PFS number for that person in a given year?

Drawback: Doesn't completely eliminate hoards in place, and folks could cash in from previous years/local conventions.

Benefit: With such a limiter in place, there would be less motivation to bring piles of tokens, as the maximum would shut that down.

I took my entire Tier 1 for the con, and Tersha's Tier 1 for the con while she was still counting tickets, as one batch. At the Sunday turnin rate, that was 14 rolls.

So, your caps notion is not that great *and* adds a tracking system requirement to the already bottlenecky Boon Station..... To a benefit that I frankly don't see.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Tallow wrote:
What? Expect people to not read event information and then complain there wasn't any info? Or expect the policy for Gen Con to change and allow level 7 pregens in a 9 to 11?
Well, considering we took pregen 7s both last year and this year that were seated at 10-11 tables, regardless of what was printed in the catalog, it wouldn't be considered a change. The breakdown is in the communication. Until we are prepared to turn away players from vacant seats because they will be playing a level 7 at 10-11, the practice will continue. I'm not saying this practice is necessarily the best for everyone involved, but denying a player a seat at a table that is legal for them to play at may not be the best answer either.

So when I permanently TPK because of that next year, I'll send them your way. I nearly TPKd, my table on the easy track and they didn't have the 7.

When the OPC declares it isn't legal and the tickets say otherwise, then the practice of seating people as such is wrong.

Dark Archive

Gents, when I first ordered the tickets they didnt show, this could be me being wrong. Its not entirely impossible. It just seemed so out of place.
Just my feedback. It just seems silly that a 4 player group with three elevens cant have someone play a pregen with them.
However I've also argued the other shoe with no pregens for Bonekeep.

Also, Thea, it wasnt me doing the draining. The GM was using a wight and doing slam damage as energy drain levels. What is concerning is that he wasnt the only GM that ruled it that way as well.

Its ok because we explained it out and got it taken care of.

Bob, Id be happy to volunteer a slot to volunteer for a GM workshop. Maybe a 1 or 2 hour event on Wednesday nught or Sunday evening. I think itd be most excellent.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Tallow wrote:
So when I permanently TPK because of that next year, I'll send them your way. I nearly TPKd, my table on the easy track and they didn't have the 7.

If as a GM your are incapable of recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of the party at the table and unwilling or unable to adjust for that, then perhaps you shouldn't GM. The same thing can happen at a table without a pregen 7 at a 10-11. It can happen with under-built, non-optimized PCs as well. I know of a 10-11 table this year, playing in appropriate sub-tier, that had numerous PC deaths because they did not plan for inevitable things like dropping to negative Con Hp, Feeblemind, and other save-or-suck effects. The rules in the Guide allow for a level 7 to play up to 10-11 or down to 5-6. I am not going to argue as to the "fairness" of the rule. I am merely going to allow players to play within the rules. Now, if Paizo wants to instruct the HQ team to turn away viable players, we will do that. Until such time, we won't. Pretty simple really.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Sin of Asmodeus wrote:
Bob, Id be happy to volunteer a slot to volunteer for a GM workshop. Maybe a 1 or 2 hour event on Wednesday nught or Sunday evening. I think itd be most excellent.

I will add this to the feedback for consideration. A Wednesday evening GM workshop might be a good idea...or it might be a disaster. Hard to say since in order to use the space, we may have to charge for it like we do for a normal table of gaming. If so, I dunno how many GMs would sign up.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Tallow wrote:
So when I permanently TPK because of that next year, I'll send them your way. I nearly TPKd, my table on the easy track and they didn't have the 7.
If as a GM your are incapable of recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of the party at the table and unwilling or unable to adjust for that, then perhaps you shouldn't GM. The same thing can happen at a table without a pregen 7 at a 10-11. It can happen with under-built, non-optimized PCs as well. I know of a 10-11 table this year, playing in appropriate sub-tier, that had numerous PC deaths because they did not plan for inevitable things like dropping to negative Con Hp, Feeblemind, and other save-or-suck effects. The rules in the Guide allow for a level 7 to play up to 10-11 or down to 5-6. I am not going to argue as to the "fairness" of the rule. I am merely going to allow players to play within the rules. Now, if Paizo wants to instruct the HQ team to turn away viable players, we will do that. Until such time, we won't. Pretty simple really.

Really? That's your response to probably one of the least lethal 5 star GMs whose had several public displays of affection for my GM style?

I pushed the group to the easy track because of the make up of the group and the APL. I pulled punches, and still almost TPKd them. A 7 would have virtually assured it unless I blatantly changed numbers or written tactics.

But you want to insult my skill, go for it.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Northern

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Tallow wrote:


Really? That's your response to probably one of the least lethal 5 star GMs whose had several public displays of affection for my GM style?

I pushed the group to the easy track because of the make up of the group and the APL. I pulled punches, and still almost TPKd them. A 7 would have virtually assured it unless I blatantly changed numbers or written tactics.

But you want to insult my skill, go for it.

Was this at Gen Con 49 or Gen Con 50, because I thought this was the Gen Con 50 Feedback thread and, as I recall, you didn't attend Gen Con 50. ;)

Scarab Sages 5/5

Mark Stratton wrote:
Tallow wrote:


Really? That's your response to probably one of the least lethal 5 star GMs whose had several public displays of affection for my GM style?

I pushed the group to the easy track because of the make up of the group and the APL. I pulled punches, and still almost TPKd them. A 7 would have virtually assured it unless I blatantly changed numbers or written tactics.

But you want to insult my skill, go for it.

Was this at Gen Con 49 or Gen Con 50, because I thought this was the Gen Con 50 Feedback thread and, as I recall, you didn't attend Gen Con 50. ;)

Fair enough, I've overstayed my helpfulness. I'm out.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

Likes:

  • Two of my three tables said they had such wonderful GMs (me included) at every table and they were having an awesome time (paraphrase).
  • As a player I had a blast.
  • Paper clip/sticker with tickets
  • Color coded table/numbers
  • Ran smoothly overall
  • Liked Midnight Madness, but I wouldn't likely play or GM them.
  • Liked the color coded note cards for communication.

Dislikes:

  • I had different tables every slot, but maybe due to my low number of slots GMed.
  • Being sent 7 players for a 5-6 tier of special with only 2 players with level 5 or 6 characters. I ran them split between 4th and 7th level pregens.
  • Last year a GM booted a player from a 10-11 table I was at for having a level 7 pregen. In this thread someone said they booted a level 7 from a 10-11 table. Which seems against inclusiveness policy.
  • Water delivery and boon token delivery was erratic and didn't seem to be close to the start.
  • 4 boon tokens per roll is too many. Needed for quests doing 1 token? If so, use a different type of token for quests to require 4 of them so 1 of normal is possible.
  • Changing to 2 boon tokens per roll on Sunday is a whole lot of feel bad to anyone turning in earlier.
  • The screen for special was hard to read and used symbols instead of (or in addition to) words for the GM conditions.
  • Signage was good but most didn't read it or use it and instead asked the marshal. Maybe having the signs inside also with big "Find your Marshal" in bold?
  • My GM for Starfinder didn't know most of the starfinder rules, the module, or how things worked. It's lucky we had two players having read the rules to correct all the rules issues.
  • Email overload, Too many messages. Makes it more likely they won't be read and difficult to find important things like your schedule.
  • Don't use Syrinscape or any other mood music in a 1,200 person room. There is enough background noise as is.
  • Due to some error on my side, I was unable to obtain another batch of volunteer shirts. So I had to FedEx my two shirts I own from home for $36 plus $10 handling fee from the hotel FedEx office. It was my error, but every time I told that story many other GM said they had 8 shirts or got them every year when I only have two.

Wed night tickets must be free (may not be charged).

Grand Lodge 5/5

GM Wageslave wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:


3.) Quiet Room: This is a bit pie-in-the-sky, but I noticed there were some Green Rooms behind the Sagamore. It might be nice to have a GM "quiet room" where we can crash between slots and get away from the noise/visibility to recuperate. I know a lot of people thrive on the "always on" nature of GMing back-to-back-to-back slots but I could use 20 minutes to just center myself without a ton of noise and people around and I don't think I am alone.

3: Even a designated hotel room or something close where *Volunteers* AND GMs could go would be exceptionally handy.

Problem I kept running into was I'd try to go to break/lunch and then realize "Oh, crap, there's a thing that needs doing and I don't think anyone else knows about it gotta head back before I forget!"

Having a dedicated spot somewhere close where no phones/text/whatnot were allowed, a purely quiet area to regain focus and recharge (not sleep the entire convention away) would be ginormous.

Actually, GenCon, at least the last couple years, has had a dedicated quiet room and it's rather near the Sagamore (near the esclators that go down to Hall D and the little food stand there). I've popped in for a spell on my HQ breaks. Only downside is they close the room at 7, but they have a dedicated "quiet zone" right outside it.

Shadow Lodge

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James Risner wrote:
Don't use Syrinscape or any other mood music in a 1,200 person room. There is enough background noise as is.

Ah, that reminds me of another Slop I missed.

Please don't use Syrinscape in the future, or if you must, hold them to some kind of standard. When their effects weren't distracting, they were just silly. I know my players and I got a good chuckle out of the "12-year-old-with-a-voice-modulator" Venture Captains, and the fact Nigel's voice suddenly dropped two octaves in the middle of a sentence caused another fit of laughter.

This is a big event, and Paizo is a AAA company. We shouldn't be laughing at the big dramatic moments because of needless sound effects.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

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Bob Jonquet wrote:


Experience tells us that some players just will not read the event listings and focus on what they want it to say. Is there a change that can improve?

Even if you stapled the notice to their forehead they would not read it.

Not to mention the logistics of doing that is prohibitive.

1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tim Statler wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:


Experience tells us that some players just will not read the event listings and focus on what they want it to say. Is there a change that can improve?

Even if you stapled the notice to their forehead they would not read it.

Not to mention the logistics of doing that is prohibitive.

It'd be kind of hard to read if it were stapled to a forehead.

It'd be like a prosthetic forehead on their real head.

Aside from which, that'd probably be violent and damaging and not recommended.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just as a player here, and as I said elsewhere, I had a good time this year. No problems getting a game, the people handling seating were completely on the ball. I thought the noise level was a bit lower this year as I had less trouble hearing the GM at all my games.

The GM's were really on the ball this year as well, as all of them seemed to know the scenarios they were running. There was never a time when I had a GM who had just been handed a scenario they'd never seen 5 minute before.

I liked the one special I got into, though I think I'm not doing another unless I have a room within walking distance. Getting back to my hotel at two only to have to get out of bed at sixish in order to make an 8:00am game isn't working for me anymore. :P

Beyond that the room was a bit chilly, though not so much that I needed a jacket - and the braut stand was greatly missed.

Still, all in all this was the smoothest Paizo experience I've yet had at Gen-Con. Major kudos to all involved.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, please don't make the brat/coffee/water/salad/whatever stand go away next year!

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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They can sell reign of winter blankets if you're too cold

They won't let me grandmaster torch cosplay to cool off.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How long should we wait to notify Paizo if some of the scenarios we played are still not listed on the website?

Sovereign Court 3/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:


Quote:
Prize Support

IMO, the problem with prize is not the crit range, but players hording tokens. We have an extremely low return rate on Thursday. Prize distribution at Gen Con and other large events depends on volume of redemptions in order to make the data follow the predicted distribution models. The smaller the data pool, the more impactful the outliers become. Thus it looks like people are not "winning" enough when its really more a function of low volume.

Some of that is our fault in that we expand the value of the tokens or increase the range late in the con every year encouraging players to hold them for more value later on. We will be working on this issue in the "off season."

I'm one that got caught on Sunday when you suddenly announced that only two tokens would be required for a roll - when I had just returned from rolling at 4 per roll. It leads to being disgruntled.

Since the tokens don't come in as much on Thursday, what if only 1 RPG table of play was worth a roll on Thursday and Friday before 10am, the full 2 tables of play was needed after 10am on Friday and all day on Saturday, then determine from there what would work for Sunday.

Just a thought.

Sovereign Court 3/5

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BlackOuroboros wrote:


2.) How-to Videos: Since it seems pretty apparent at this point that some of our GMs do not like receiving information via text, no matter how small of a bite you make it, it might be better to include relevant information is a short video/podcast message. In all fairness, this is my preferred method of receiving information.

3.) Quiet Room: This is a bit pie-in-the-sky, but I noticed there were some Green Rooms behind the Sagamore. It might be nice to have a GM "quiet room" where we can crash between slots and get away from the noise/visibility to recuperate. I know a lot of people thrive on the "always on" nature of GMing back-to-back-to-back slots but I could use 20 minutes to just center myself without a ton of noise and people around and I don't think I am alone.

While you may prefer a video or podcast with info, some of us go the other way. I HATE tutorial videos. I can read it twice as quickly as someone else can read it to me. When I need to re-read it, I can jump to just the part I need to re-read, plus make notes in the margin of the hard-copy I print.

Additionally, videos take a lot longer to make, since editing is always required. That takes a lot more time to create than a text based communication. Besides, a person who won't read the text communication won't watch a video or listen to a podcast either. Trust me, I know this first hand!

As for a quiet room, try leaving the Sagamore. Leaving the convention center and seeing the day-star is healthy - much more healthy than staying in that area.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

They can sell reign of winter blankets if you're too cold

They won't let me grandmaster torch cosplay to cool off.

*Schemes to get an inflatable kiddie pool into the Sag for the wolf.*

1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Adri Nahlyn wrote:


As for a quiet room, try leaving the Sagamore. Leaving the convention center and seeing the day-star is healthy - much more healthy than staying in that area.

Some of us did indeed try to leave the Sagamore, and due to clothing we were wearing were stopped repeatedly while 'on break' with questions.

Outside this year was hotter and far louder this year than the previous year, plus the 'death fog' right by the door from all the nicotine addicts did not help in the least bit. Nor did the folks that were attempting to leverage their gamerfunk levels of hygiene into currency at the intersections.

Staying inside the cooler building in a nice dark quiet room would be awesome for some folks who may or may not be prone to heat/stress triggered migraine (vascular) headaches.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

They can sell reign of winter blankets if you're too cold

They won't let me grandmaster torch cosplay to cool off.

*Schemes to get an inflatable kiddie pool into the Sag for the wolf.*

I might need to do some wacky fog-breathing Starfinder cosplay to GM in whether I'm GMing PFS or Starfinder, so I can have a "concentrator" prop with a safe carrying system for frozen CO2 in it for personal cooling....

Silver Crusade 5/5

Hendelbolaf wrote:
How long should we wait to notify Paizo if some of the scenarios we played are still not listed on the website?

They've mentioned that not everything has been reported yet, I'd recommend waiting a week or two and seeing if it pops up. If it doesn't by then I'd hit up one of the leads. I'm in the same boat as you, my two specials haven't shown up, which is mildly inconvenient while trying to get my five-star table set up.

Silver Crusade 2/5

From a player perspective, hope that's okay... Having the "which scenarios muster under which banner" easels in the hallway is great. But each time I figured out under which banner to muster, I had to wander almost halfway into the ballroom in order to see the names on the banners. I suggested to an orange shirt that the banners ALSO have the iconic name on the bottom of the back side. That would be visible, in most cases, immediately when walking through the doors. Voila!- no more bumping into and/or interrupting tables while trying to find my banner!

Game on!

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—Champlin

I missed the feedback meeting on Sunday, so some of these might be redundant:

Liked:

  • The color coding of the tables--makes it really easy to find your table.
  • The colored cards for reporting successes during the Specials--much better than hand signals. I suggest laminating them and writing the words on them in wet erase marker in the future so they can be easily reused.
  • The runners/reporters for the Specials were awesome. I've GM'd several cons where 1/2 way through the Special, I stand up to report a success and I can't find ANYONE to report that to.
  • Things were pretty well organized, given that we had at least 1300 people in that room at any one time.
  • When I turned in my reporting sheets, the HQ folks were on top of it and checked over everything to make sure it was readable.
  • The auction being 'closed envelope' was a nice move.
  • Breaks during the Special really helped. Could use a 1 or 2 minute warning so folks get their butts back to their tables, though.
  • I liked the Midnight Madness slots. I didn't take part in any, but I was tempted 'cuz I'm a night owl. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Disliked/Room for Improvement:

  • The signs listing where to find the marshal for a particular scenario weren't put out on Thursday morning until well after it was mad chaos in the room. Once those were out, things went a LOT better. Getting those out early is critical.
  • It was never clear what the policy is on seating generics. I had a bunch of generic tickets because I only got 1 SFS event during preregistration. Sometimes the Marshals would start seating us about 10 minutes after the start of the slot. Sometimes they would be unsure what to do. The worst was Friday afternoon. We stood in line until at least 2:25 before someone finally came over and told us there were no spots left. At that point, it was too late for any of us to join a PFS scenario instead. Many of us would have gladly played PFS if we'd been told sooner that all the SFS spots were full. Some of the Marshals in this situation didn't seem to understand this. There was one young lady that went out of her way to find a few of us an open seat at a PFS table. (never got her name, but she really tried to help!)
  • When there are folks with generic tickets waiting in line, it really helps if the marshal communicates with them as to when they can be seated or what the status is. I know, it's not always easy to do when a lot is going on, but a good strategy to avoiding conflict is to set expectations.
  • I didn't see in the event listings when mustering would start for the events. I think putting in there a note that mustering/seating for it starts 15 or 30 minutes before (or whatever it is) will help get people to show up a little early. It's especially important for the Specials. If someone hasn't learned that the hard way, then they'll expect they can show up right at 8pm and not cause issues. When I went to my first PaizoCon, I and one other player showed up right at the start time for the Special and were surprised when we were told that we should have been there 15 minutes early. They seated us at a table, but we ended up displacing John Compton and another Paizo employee from getting to play the Special. I learned my lesson, but maybe it would help to list those seating times in the events.
  • For the SFS Quests that were being run as a single event, our GM didn't know what the card that listed out each quest and could be initialed was for. I ended up walking to every corner of the room before I found someone who could explain that it really was meant for the Demos because you would run each quest separately as a little event and then get back in line and get a different GM for the next one. Not sure whether this should be explained in the Quest PDF itself or what. I assume this comes up with other Quests. This is the only time I've done any of the Quests.
  • Everything projected onto the screens in the Sagamore was hard to see. All the lights being on in the room washes out the colors so much that it kills the value of that. Turning off some of the lights is probably not a valid option, so I would suggest making them a dark background with white text/images where possible.
  • I love Syrinscape and have been a subscriber for years, but I agree that it added a lot of unnecessary background noise during the Specials. Having the overseer text done by it works well, though. Like someone else mentioned, some of those voices WERE horrible. Was Valsin secretly turned into an ogre or something?
  • I was lucky during the Specials that I was assigned to GM in the center of the room, but there were other times when I was playing at tables near the sides where none of us could understand what was being said over the speakers by the HQ staff. Not sure if that's because of our location or the person at HQ wasn't close enough to the mic or what.
  • Regarding the changes to token values and not allowing them to be used from a previous year--I had a leftover token from a past PaizoCon, but that did me little to no good 'cuz you need 4 to turn in. Thankfully, another GM gave me an extra of his on Sunday so I could make use of the 3 I had. It's a fairly common occurrence to have an extra 1 or 2 from a previous year. Most just figure they'll save it and use it the next year. To now hear that they can't use them in 2018 doesn't seem very fair. Some folks can't afford to get to GenCon each year, so they might not have had a chance to use their extras up this year.

Sovereign Court 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Count Countula

Not in any particular order:

1. Please limit announcements during specials. It's breaking what little immersion there is and leads to rushed encounters later.

2. Way less of the Syrinscape in the background.

3. Personally a little annoyed at the way the auction was run. I bid every year and I finally win one to find that another person paid 1/10 what I did to get the same boon.

4. Ask that if a GM is feeling cranky due to lack of sleep, personal issues, etc, they back out of the slot. No reason to take it out on your players.

5. There seemed to be major confusion around pre-marshalling i.e. a group of players claiming a specific judge for a slot/scenario. Whatever the actual rules are need to be clearer or more widely disseminated.

6. The GMs I had for SFS appeared familiar with the rules so kudos to them for that extra prep. Similarly didn't have any issues with PFS GMs rules/scenario knowledge (crankypants aside). Thanks for all the hard work. :-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Krolak wrote:


  • I didn't see in the event listings when mustering would start for the events. I think putting in there a note that mustering/seating for it starts 15 or 30 minutes before (or whatever it is) will help get people to show up a little early. It's especially important for the Specials. If someone hasn't learned that the hard way, then they'll expect they can show up right at 8pm and not cause issues. When I went to my first PaizoCon, I and one other player showed up right at the start time for the Special and were surprised when we were told that we should have been there 15 minutes early. They seated us at a table, but we ended up displacing John Compton and another Paizo employee from getting to play the Special. I learned my lesson, but maybe it would help to list those seating times in the events. [/list]
  • I 100% agree with this. We arrived at 8:00 AM on Thursday with four players for our scenario only to be told that the already seated two tables of four and that we would have to split up to play. For one of our four that was his first game of Pathfinder ever and we wanted to be there to aid and guide him. It turns out that the others at the table did not know each other and could have easily moved, but I felt it was not my place to ask. The Paizo staff should be authorized to ask that of them. If they refuse, fine, if not, great.

    The following day there was an issue with the tier of the game that we were supposed to play. The problem is that they were sequential scenarios and we did not want to play them out of sequence, so we were left with a dilemma and had to play a different game that we we were scheduled to play later at the Con. That was very frustrating!

    We were rescued by a wonderful lady in an orange Paizo shirt who seemed to be in charge (short, blonde hair who stayed at the center of the Sagamore Ballroom during muster and was always at the HQ table other times) as she made sure that we were able to play the balance of our scheduled games in different slots on Saturday. She was excellent at problem solving and never seemed to lose her cool even when others around her might.

    Some of the marshals were, however, not as friendly as she was.

    I also agree with some of the opinions stated about the group games. I felt rushed. The music and sound effects were too much, too loud. I want to be able to finish ALL my encounters, not skip the end of an epic fight because other tables already completed it. The Friday and Saturday night games were disappointing in that respect.

    1/5

    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    James Hines wrote:

    Not in any particular order:

    3. Personally a little annoyed at the way the auction was run. I bid every year and I finally win one to find that another person paid 1/10 what I did to get the same boon.

    So if a person paid $1 less would one be still annoyed? $2 dollars less? For a charity function? Or is it a competition for some, and if there is no absolute financial victory, then it is a loss?

    James Hines wrote:


    4. Ask that if a GM is feeling cranky due to lack of sleep, personal issues, etc, they back out of the slot. No reason to take it out on your players.

    Volunteers bring the best they can. If the best we've got isn't all that great, then perhaps one should put on one's own GM hat and step up to the plate in future events to improve the play experience of others?

    James Hines wrote:
    5. There seemed to be major confusion around pre-marshalling i.e. a group of players claiming a specific judge for a slot/scenario. Whatever the actual rules are need to be clearer or more widely disseminated.

    GMs were notified at least a month before the event what the pre-muster procedure would be, as were marshals. Marshals were keenly aware of pre-mustered tables that were set properly in advance, as it made everyone's lives easier. Non-pre-mustered tables that suddenly were, on the other hand, made everyone's lives more difficult.

    James Hines wrote:


    6. The GMs I had for SFS appeared familiar with the rules so kudos to them for that extra prep. Similarly didn't have any issues with PFS GMs rules/scenario knowledge (crankypants aside). Thanks for all the hard work. :-)

    Perhaps it was not so much a 'crankypants' issue as a personality conflict issue? One of the players at a table I played at was also 'crankypants' and really destroyed my enjoyment of a given scenario, should we prevent them from playing, as well?

    Thank you for attending the convention and making the work worthwhile.


    Marshaling: this has been steadily improving, I still think that positioning them based on the banners, which cannot be seen as you enter the Sag, is a less than ideal system, but they did seem to have a bit more command of the crowds this year.

    Specials: I started another thread on this already. I have yet to make it to the end of a special. I think the timing Ned's to be a bit more rigorous. I would start marshaling at 730, GM's must be at their table no later than 755. At 8 Tonya grabs the mic for no more than 6-10 minutes of announcements, and then there are no other non-scenario related announcements until the scenario ends. Also, while the breaks seem to be a good idea, there were GM's who kept going, which puts the other tables at a disadvantage towards finishing. If the plan is for all tables to stop, all tables should stop. I also have a question, were the GM's supposed to transition to a new encounter when the conditions were met, or have the players finish what they are doing? And how did it always seem within seconds of an area opening that the success bar would jump 20%?

    Liberty's Edge 5/5

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    Starfinder Superscriber
    Adri Nahlyn wrote:


    While you may prefer a video or podcast with info, some of us go the other way. I HATE tutorial videos. I can read it twice as quickly as someone else can read it to me. When I need to re-read it, I can jump to just the part I need to re-read, plus make notes in the margin of the hard-copy I print.

    I want to echo this. It makes me sad that so many things have gone from simple instructions to video tutorials. In some cases, video tutorials are good and useful. Almost always, though, I find it far better to have decently-written text interspersed with appropriate photos where visual aids are needed.

    I know some people prefer video tutorials, and that's fine. Like Adri, i find them incredibly inefficient.

    Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

    That's why I think it should be video and email... I prefer the email version, but it's nice to reach different learning styles.

    Hmm

    1/5

    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    medtec28 wrote:

    Marshaling: this has been steadily improving, I still think that positioning them based on the banners, which cannot be seen as you enter the Sag, is a less than ideal system, but they did seem to have a bit more command of the crowds this year.

    Specials: I started another thread on this already. I have yet to make it to the end of a special. I think the timing Ned's to be a bit more rigorous. I would start marshaling at 730, GM's must be at their table no later than 755. At 8 Tonya grabs the mic for no more than 6-10 minutes of announcements, and then there are no other non-scenario related announcements until the scenario ends. Also, while the breaks seem to be a good idea, there were GM's who kept going, which puts the other tables at a disadvantage towards finishing. If the plan is for all tables to stop, all tables should stop. I also have a question, were the GM's supposed to transition to a new encounter when the conditions were met, or have the players finish what they are doing? And how did it always seem within seconds of an area opening that the success bar would jump 20%?

    Marshals were at their positions (or should have been) by no later than 730.

    GMs are required to be at their tables at 730, HOWEVER, they then get pulled into a signals meeting for the Special which takes 15-20 minutes and there's no good fix for that based on personal experience on both sides of the equation.

    How do you know if the other table GMs were 'pushing ahead' or simply 'catching up'? I know that at least some tables were using the 'break time' to tie up loose ends of the previous encounter.

    Perhaps the Specials I was signalling for were on a different plane of existence, but 20% didn't get reached in most cases until about ten to twenty minutes into a given section, with perhaps one or two outliers.

    The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

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    Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
    due to clothing we were wearing were stopped repeatedly while 'on break' with questions.

    At Magic the Gathering events, the judges are required to remove their judge shirts while on break. It something that should be done for GMing, as it cuts down on questions and it also doesn't let customers see us "goofing off" when we should be "working". In other words, it looks like you are wasting Paizo time when getting food, or chatting with friends.

    5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    And how did it always seem within seconds of an area opening that the success bar would jump 20%?

    Initiative

    McGunslinger you're up. Roll any 1s'?

    No

    Hold up success card.

    Shadow Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville aka mogmismo

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    James Risner wrote:
    At Magic the Gathering events, the judges are required to remove their judge shirts while on break. It something that should be done for GMing, as it cuts down on questions and it also doesn't let customers see us "goofing off" when we should be "working". In other words, it looks like you are wasting Paizo time when getting food, or chatting with friends.

    GMs would then need to make a required trip to their room before and after running, with no stops chatting or "goofing off". Someone who has to get food between two slots would have to go to their room, change shirts, go out and get food, then go back to their room and put the shirt back on before their next game. I don't see that working at all.

    They may be able to change quickly in a bathroom stall, but then we have a mad dash between slots to the bathroom stalls creating queues. Some people may also not feel comfortable changing anywhere besides their rooms, as well and we should respect that.

    Leave it like it is, please.

    Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I would have just buttoned up my +1 flannel shirt of energy resist (cold).

    1/5

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
    I would have just buttoned up my +1 flannel shirt of energy resist (cold).

    I had the 'tropical shirt (+5 competence to Disguise)' option, however some folks saw even the barest hint of workshirt and assumed I was able to be asked questions.

    In the efforts of good customer relations, questions were answered.

    Grand Lodge 2/5

    There weren't enough starfinder slots. Being extremely unlucky with Gen Con's queuing system this year, I got none of the events I actually wanted. There was mention of getting more slots filled in, but I was never able to find any more that were posted. There were the odd tables here and there that had some availability pop up, but for those without downtown hotels, those games were basically non-options.

    Nobody knew what was going on with the Stafinder quests the night of the PFS special. There were people lining in the hall for "the gms to get back from dinner" but they found out that there were no tables available, this is after being told by the volunteer HQ that they would still be running the quests.

    5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    More concrete suggestion:

    Have the vid screens make a notification when generics become acceptable, so you don't have to bother asking the marshals when running from your room soaking wet and you made much better time than you thought.

    Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    So, a couple of pieces of feedback.

    1) The stickers were fine, though I honestly missed the information on them inside of the ticket paragraph. Only time it was an issue was my first slot, where I had a table moved to mine due to a missing GM, and the HQ person grabbed the wrong sticker. After that, I figured it out and it was fine.

    2) Breaks during the specials... unless the special sets aside time for it (like Assault did), it is fine. However, if they don't (Scar) it eats up time we didn't have. The last 40 minutes of Scar was rushed because we ate into too much time getting set up in the beginning, and the breaks. It should be enough for GMs to allow their tables breaks when needed.

    3) Syrenscape during specials. I know that there is a good working relationship between the two companies, but I think that it is just too much noise added to an already very loud room for noise.

    4) Personal PAs -- please, please do not use these, GMs. I had several times when I needed to ask a GM to turn the volume down, as their PAs were distracting my table. I try very hard to keep my voice as quiet as possible while still being heard in order to last the Con... and it becomes much, much harder if others are adding unneeded volume to the din. This is an arms race we do not want, people. Instead, if you need to save your voice, enlist your players to read some of the box text when you can.

    5) Mustering seemed to go far better than it ever has in the past! Thank you!

    6) For tiering in the specials... level 9 is a unique problem. Which way do they go, and what does a GM do when they get a table (at 7-8) of 8,8,9,9,9,9? I mean, you pretty much have to grin and bear it, but... My hope is that next year we'll see sub-tiers of 9-10 and 11-12!!!

    Lantern Lodge 4/5

    Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
    James Hines wrote:


    4. Ask that if a GM is feeling cranky due to lack of sleep, personal issues, etc, they back out of the slot. No reason to take it out on your players.

    ...

    6. The GMs I had for SFS appeared familiar with the rules so kudos to them for that extra prep. Similarly didn't have any issues with PFS GMs rules/scenario knowledge (crankypants aside). Thanks for all the hard work. :-)

    Volunteers bring the best they can. If the best we've got isn't all that great, then perhaps one should put on one's own GM hat and step up to the plate in future events to improve the play experience of others?

    ...

    Perhaps it was not so much a 'crankypants' issue as a personality conflict issue? One of the players at a table I played at was also 'crankypants' and really destroyed my enjoyment of a given scenario, should we prevent them from playing, as well?

    I was at James' table with the 'crankypants' GM - he started out that way, before we even got to character introductions. Sadly, his mood didn't change much during the game (due to various issues). Redirecting James' suggestions with, "...why don't you GM at future cons," and, "...maybe the problem was just your two personalities," doesn't address the issues of the original troubles (other than giving you a bigger GM pool next year). This was a case of a bitter GM who was not in a good mood at the start. Yes, sometimes there are personality conflicts - but what James suggests is that giving judges an avenue to step back and save some sanity might be helpful.

    I admit, though...that's tough to do with GMs prepping for specific scenarios, and it's not easy to just 'back out' of a slot without someone to fill the void...particularly when you're expected to run X numbers of games. <shrug>

    1/5

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    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    evilaustintom wrote:


    I was at James' table with the 'crankypants' GM - he started out that way, before we even got to character introductions. Sadly, his mood didn't change much during the game (due to various issues). Redirecting James' suggestions with, "...why don't you GM at future cons," and, "...maybe the problem was just your two personalities," doesn't address the issues of the original troubles (other than giving you a bigger GM pool next year). This was a case of a bitter GM who was not in a good mood at the start. Yes, sometimes there are personality conflicts - but what James suggests is that giving judges an avenue to step back and save some sanity might be helpful.

    I admit, though...that's tough to do with GMs prepping for specific scenarios, and it's not easy to just 'back out' of a slot without someone to fill the void...particularly when you're expected to run X numbers of games. <shrug>

    Without this sort of confirmation, it's hard to get a 'feel' on things.

    The only reason the mention of GMing was brought up was due to a 'feel' on my part that James wasn't GMing at all during the weekend, and had no idea of what goes on for the GM side of the process, or what it takes to get someone to volunteer their time.

    That being said, if GMs just went 'Nah, not feeling it' at the start of every slot, then there'd be blessed few GMs.

    Did the GM in question at least say "Hey, I'm having a rough morning/afternoon/evening/night, please bear with me if I'm a little bit snappy and bring it to my attention?"

    Heavens know I've mentioned it to my players a few times when a scenario/situation was difficult, or if I'd only gotten an hour of sleep the night before, and asked for their patience and understanding.

    If so, then did the table do that?

    If the GM in question did not, then that's an issue, imo?


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
    medtec28 wrote:

    Marshaling: this has been steadily improving, I still think that positioning them based on the banners, which cannot be seen as you enter the Sag, is a less than ideal system, but they did seem to have a bit more command of the crowds this year.

    Specials: I started another thread on this already. I have yet to make it to the end of a special. I think the timing Ned's to be a bit more rigorous. I would start marshaling at 730, GM's must be at their table no later than 755. At 8 Tonya grabs the mic for no more than 6-10 minutes of announcements, and then there are no other non-scenario related announcements until the scenario ends. Also, while the breaks seem to be a good idea, there were GM's who kept going, which puts the other tables at a disadvantage towards finishing. If the plan is for all tables to stop, all tables should stop. I also have a question, were the GM's supposed to transition to a new encounter when the conditions were met, or have the players finish what they are doing? And how did it always seem within seconds of an area opening that the success bar would jump 20%?

    Marshals were at their positions (or should have been) by no later than 730.

    GMs are required to be at their tables at 730, HOWEVER, they then get pulled into a signals meeting for the Special which takes 15-20 minutes and there's no good fix for that based on personal experience on both sides of the equation.

    How do you know if the other table GMs were 'pushing ahead' or simply 'catching up'? I know that at least some tables were using the 'break time' to tie up loose ends of the previous encounter.

    Perhaps the Specials I was signalling for were on a different plane of existence, but 20% didn't get reached in most cases until about ten to twenty minutes into a given section, with perhaps one or two outliers.

    Announcement: The ******* condition is now in effect, please moveto the required encounter area for XXXXXX

    Look up at the board
    Then my table GM wonders alloud "How are they already reporting success for XXXXX.

    This happened 3 times during assault.

    So maybe you were on another plane of existance, but I wasn't alone on mine.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    I've been going to GenCon for almost forty years. I've gamed with PFS and RPGA before them and even with the big names of the very early TSR days, so I've seen a lot of variations on this theme. The only thing I'd like to say is that although there is always room for improvement, no one in my experience handles bringing order out of chaos with the success, professionalism and (almost always) good humor with which the Pathfinder Society manages it year after year.

    Moving that many people that well without simultaneously coming across as jerks? That's hard to do and you guys make it look almost almost effortless. I know that's because it's a labor of love for you. I've had issues here and there to be sure, but they are the rare exception that proves the rule. On the whole I give your process a very enthusiastic and well-earned thumbs-up!

    Dark Archive 5/5

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Jack Brown wrote:


    4) Personal PAs -- please, please do not use these, GMs. I had several times when I needed to ask a GM to turn the volume down, as their PAs were distracting my table. I try very hard to keep my voice as quiet as possible while still being heard in order to last the Con... and it becomes much, much harder if others are adding unneeded volume to the din. This is an arms race we do not want, people. Instead, if you need to save your voice, enlist your players to read some of the box text when you can.

    Wait. Wut?

    This was a thing?

    Spoiler:
    I would be too tempted to serenade the Sagamore the golden pipes. "Crazy train!"

    1/5

    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Jack Brown wrote:


    4) Personal PAs -- please, please do not use these, GMs. I had several times when I needed to ask a GM to turn the volume down, as their PAs were distracting my table. I try very hard to keep my voice as quiet as possible while still being heard in order to last the Con... and it becomes much, much harder if others are adding unneeded volume to the din. This is an arms race we do not want, people. Instead, if you need to save your voice, enlist your players to read some of the box text when you can.

    I can attest to this because Jack was in my signalling area and I missed a couple of the times he was calling out to me for a signal due to the increased ambient noise level during the special Saturday night.

    We got it taken care of, but it was slower as a result.

    Speaking of slower/missing signals:

    GMs and players: Please, for the love of whatever you do or don't revere, if you need to stand up please be situationally aware. There were at least three or four tables trying to signal me on Saturday and a half dozen on Friday that I could not see because someone was being more of a wall than a door.

    I get you need to stretch, or you need a better perspective, or that it's a GM style... I use it myself. But when we're trying to get signals through visual aids unfortunately (or perhaps fortuantely?) we don't have X-ray vision.

    The Exchange

    Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
    Jack Brown wrote:


    4) Personal PAs -- please, please do not use these, GMs. I had several times when I needed to ask a GM to turn the volume down, as their PAs were distracting my table. I try very hard to keep my voice as quiet as possible while still being heard in order to last the Con... and it becomes much, much harder if others are adding unneeded volume to the din. This is an arms race we do not want, people. Instead, if you need to save your voice, enlist your players to read some of the box text when you can.

    I can attest to this because Jack was in my signalling area and I missed a couple of the times he was calling out to me for a signal due to the increased ambient noise level during the special Saturday night.

    We got it taken care of, but it was slower as a result.

    Speaking of slower/missing signals:

    GMs and players: Please, for the love of whatever you do or don't revere, if you need to stand up please be situationally aware. There were at least three or four tables trying to signal me on Saturday and a half dozen on Friday that I could not see because someone was being more of a wall than a door.

    I get you need to stretch, or you need a better perspective, or that it's a GM style... I use it myself. But when we're trying to get signals through visual aids unfortunately (or perhaps fortuantely?) we don't have X-ray vision.

    This is the reason I kill my knees and back every year climbing on a chair ..

    I'm short, I know I'm short and most gamers are taller than me. So therefore if I'm going to be able to scan half a room and watch for people flagging me down then I need to be able to see. **I was the one in the middle on the prize table side of the room for the Saturday night special (swapping off with another guy for breaks)

    It's the same reason Sunday morning I was on a chair over in the starfinder muster area hollering for people .. they could see me .. my voice would reach over them and I could project better to be heard (cause I'm also not that loud on the last day of the con).

    Liberty's Edge 5/5

    Starfinder Superscriber

    So that's what those GMs with a mic in front of their mouth were doing. I saw those, and wondered what the heck it was; I thought it was an odd time to talk on the telephone or over Discord or what-not.

    I totally get the desire to do it. I was hoarse by Sunday, and there were still three games including a special to run.

    Dark Archive

    Adri Nahlyn wrote:

    While you may prefer a video or podcast with info, some of us go the other way. I HATE tutorial videos. I can read it twice as quickly as someone else can read it to me. When I need to re-read it, I can jump to just the part I need to re-read, plus make notes in the margin of the hard-copy I print.

    That's fine, I wasn't saying make it in exclusion of written content, but rather in addition to in.

    Adri Nahlyn wrote:
    Besides, a person who won't read the text communication won't watch a video or listen to a podcast either. Trust me, I know this first hand!

    And I will meet your anecdotal evidence with mine. I'm dyslexic, and while I have done a pretty good job over overcoming this issue I still retain information a lot better when it comes verbally and with additional visual elements. I don't see this being an either/or situation.

    Adri Nahlyn wrote:
    As for a quiet room, try leaving the Sagamore. Leaving the convention center and seeing the day-star is healthy - much more healthy than staying in that area.

    Uh... you are aware that everything within a 5 block radius of GenCon is a zoo, right?

    Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Agent, South Carolina—Anderson aka XPathfinder

    Tarondor wrote:

    I've been going to GenCon for almost forty years. I've gamed with PFS and RPGA before them and even with the big names of the very early TSR days, so I've seen a lot of variations on this theme. The only thing I'd like to say is that although there is always room for improvement, no one in my experience handles bringing order out of chaos with the success, professionalism and (almost always) good humor with which the Pathfinder Society manages it year after year.

    Moving that many people that well without simultaneously coming across as jerks? That's hard to do and you guys make it look almost almost effortless. I know that's because it's a labor of love for you. I've had issues here and there to be sure, but they are the rare exception that proves the rule. On the whole I give your process a very enthusiastic and well-earned thumbs-up!

    I agree!

    I GMed 3 (of a potential 5) slots and played once. This was my third Gen Con. I'm grateful that all the tables went pretty well.

    Anything I saw to improve has already been mentioned.

    Kudos to Tonya, John Compton and the HQ staff for another one in the books!

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