How do non-PFS games work?


PaizoCon General Discussion


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I just finished running the Dwarven Forge Dungeon of Doom module, and if I can figure out the logistics of bringing that much terrain to the Con am considering trying to run it. But how do all the various non-PFS games get organized/accepted/etc.

And if I can figure out the logistics, are long dungeon crawls even popular? Best practices for breaking long dungeon crawls into multiple sessions with "magically" replacing cast of characters? The full thing would probably be about 4 or 5 con sessions.


It depends on the convention.

Let's take Cangames (a small convention in my hometown). Usually there's a call for GM in late winter. As a GM we indicate:
- What type of game (boardgames, RPG or miniatures);
- What system;
- What scenario or module (I do homebrewed but some go published modules);
- If we wish to repeat or if we wish to run multiple games.

A game session is 4 hours long, so pacing is very important, as a GM, I think it is important that you need to have your pregenerated character ready and know what they can do, and you need to know the scenario well enough to adapt on the fly.

I would personally steer away from long, multi sessions dungeon crawl and I would have maybe 1 session which is a big dungeon crawl at the most (they can be fun if well done) as overland/ mixed terrain session are also great. I usually have 3 acts, involving a mix of city/overland/dungeon terrain and find it's a good way to get everyone involved and give them the type of role play they enjoy.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Eventually Sara Marie will tell us that third party event registration is now open. You will need to supply a few bits of info such as game system, difficulty level (beginner, expert, etc.), how many times you want to run your game, age limit, materials needed, characters needed/pregens provided, and a small description of your game

For what you describe (I am unfamiliar with Dwarven Forge Dungeon of Doom), I would suggest selecting a portion you think you can finish in a four hour time frame and then determining how often you want to run that same section over the course of the con.

I agree in avoiding attempting to schedule a multi-session dungeon crawl.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

It was my goal to have event submissions open before Dec 31. I got Paizo employee event submissions open, but not the rest. I might try to get the submission survey active before then but I'm not sure when I'll be able to put up a blog announcement.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

If you have questions related specifically to the logistics of an event before you decide if you want to commit to running it, you can email me at paizocon at paizo.com, please cc sara.marie at paizo.com.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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If it helps, here is part of what I wrote for employees when I sent out the links for their event submission survey (we have grown significantly over the past couple years so I've been working on creating more information like the following):

What is PaizoCon?
PaizoCon is an annual convention run by Paizo Inc, where the Paizo community comes to play, learn, and connect with each other. The Paizo community includes fans and players, Paizo employees, authors, artists, RPG media (podcasts & reviewers, etc), RPG industry publishers, and business partners. PaizoCon is dedicated to our fans and friends and we hope that no matter why someone is choosing to attend PaizoCon, they feel welcomed and part of our community. While many games or events will relate directly to Paizo published content (Pathfinder, Starfinder, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, etc), we encourage those running events to be creative with what content they choose to use for games, seminars, or workshops. This is an opportunity for us to share what gets us excited about gaming, explore game mechanics or content outside of established materials and most of all, have a great weekend together.


I'm just a con goer so take my advice for that.

It's best to talk a bit about how the convention is scheduled so you'll know the general flow. Organized play goes on morning(8am!) and evening with conferences and talks scheduled in the afternoon and throughout the day. PaizoCon tries to give con-goers a break somewhat amusingly stating you can't game 24-7. It's a gaming sandwich with a meaty to creamy conference filling. Yes - there be hard core gamers to people trying to maximize their vacation. A break is a good thing, Seattle is a nice place to visit.
A hotel sets the rules as to when rooms are open and generally likes locking the rooms at night as that's sensible.

PaizoCon has open tables in two areas;
2nd floor area rooms: 2-3 open gaming rooms with 3-4 large round tables per room, or open(no event going on) conference rooms with narrow(banquet) tables or tables arranged into one big table area, a few have banquet tables at the front with many chairs (lecture room). The open gaming rooms are generally open on a first come first serve basis. I have seen a proxy camp out at a table to reserve it for a later game. The conference rooms (when free) can be reserved in advanced via the PaizoCon game postings. The open slots are generally random and the afternoon slots are in high demand as that's when Org Play isn't going on and scheduled talks and conferences are. Talks and conferences go on throughout the day along with paizo employee hosted games that you get through the mystical rumbling game lottery (people swear imps, goblins, and off-work fairy godmothers are involved).

Org Play (Main Banquet hall) with many round tables in one BIG room that can be divided into 2-3 parts as needed by PaizoCon schedule. Some will be reserveable when open(not being used), some are open gaming(set aside or people just use them). Usually they are full but as with all things some games don't make and some tables are overflow where Org Play fills them 10-30min after the start time. The schedule and known availability will be very late in the planning cycle (two weeks before the con).
The convention has the dinner(banquet) and interactive game events that fill the banquet hall most evenings.

There's also midnight gaming where a few games are scheduled in the banquet hall. Those will be on a schedule and reserved via PaizoCon a bit earlier as the room availability is known.

lastly - there are about 7 or so tables in areas throughout the hotel. These are open and unmonitored as they are in common use areas and the tables tend to be at a low height(coffee table). The hotel rooms are large and you could host in your room though large tables and 6-8 chairs are the issue. It'll be like college dorm days.

alrighty!

The process last year was a two step affair for private games. 1)submit your game info, game name, number of players, time slot, etc to PaizoCon about 2-4 weeks before the con. Your game shows up for all con goers to select until your game is full. Then later 2) ask for an available room which happened about 2 weeks before the con. This year it looks like that process starts earlier.

IF you get a reserved room have a note to put on the table a few minutes before your slot starts and a post-it note for the door(no tape). Be prompt. Be professional. Clean up when you leave and leave on time.
It's likely that if you are in Org Play you'll have to excuse yourself from the table 10min before your slot starts in your reserved room.
Sometimes popular talks run a bit over their time slot so be courteous and let them clear out as we are guests at the convention.

I'd check the PaizoCon schedule if you are running what's already being offered. Volunteering to GM at OrgPlay within that system for your scenario is better than doing it yourself and you get con swag and boons. It's not a big deal to run under Org Play rules unless you want Campaign Mode or need to change up a scenario.

Sara Marie is super helpful.

If you are offering a game outside of PaizoCon hours, there's a separate site on warhorn for that. Rooms & Tables will be common open areas or your room.


Azothath wrote:
The process last year was a two step affair for private games. 1)submit your game info, game name, number of players, time slot, etc to PaizoCon about 2-4 weeks before the con. Your game shows up for all con goers to select until your game is full. Then later 2) ask for an available room which happened about 2 weeks before the con. This year it looks like that process starts earlier.

Planning on attending this year for the first time. I've been to GenCon a few times and a couple other gaming conventions as well. I live in Seattle, so not sure why I haven't come to PaizoCon yet - planning on fixing that.

Anyway, I like PathFinder and plan on playing in some games. But, I also really love Call of Cthulhu RPG (both running and playing) and am thinking of running a game or two. I have two questions...

1. The forums seem to indicate that non-Paizo games can be run/played at the con. But, is there appetite for non-Paizo games (do people that come actually want to play anything else)?

2. What Azothath says up there seems really strange to me. Submit your game and then you need to request a room later. Is that right? Seems like you'd just get a room+table assigned with the event acceptance, like every other con I'm familiar with...

Thanks all!

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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SeattleEgg wrote:


1. The forums seem to indicate that non-Paizo games can be run/played at the con. But, is there appetite for non-Paizo games (do people that come actually want to play anything else)?

2. What Azothath says up there seems really strange to me. Submit your game and then you need to request a room later. Is that right? Seems like you'd just get a room+table assigned with the event acceptance, like every other con I'm familiar with...

Thanks all!

1. Yes! There are a number of games run by both Paizo employees and others which are not from content or rules published by Paizo. Submitting an event gets the game on the schedule and allows folks to preregister for it and get it on their convention schedule. Your game may or may not fill completely up, and any extra seats will go onto a ticket exchange table. There's almost always someone looking for something to do.

2. Games that are submitted and I am able to schedule will have a table or location reserved for them. If you decided to run a pick up game or set something up outside of the schedule, there are sign up sheets in gaming areas where you can say "I'm going to be using this table at this time." Often there will be open tables available somewhere, but it can be helpful when conjuring up a group on site for a pick up game to let them know a location and time where you know you'll have a table ready.

If you pre-plan something via a method other than the official schedule, I will not reserve a convention space for it. It will be up to you when you arrive at the convention to find a space or reserve something on the table's sign up sheet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

And I just submitted two non-Pathfinder/Starfinder games for the con!


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Once I get my volunteer pfs block schedule, I'll submit a few games (if my schedule permits and block schedule is known before the submission deadline.)

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

If its a matter of not wanting to run too many games and overbook yourself, I understand completely.

If its just a matter of scheduling, you can go ahead and submit events whenever you're ready. I work with Tonya to ensure I don't double book people who are volunteering with the Organized Play Foundation. Just mark in the notes of the survey that you're expecting to be an OPF volunteer and I'll watch out for conflicts.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Ooh, thanks, you're awesome! I'll get something figured out soon then.


Thanks for the feedback, Sara. Just need to make sure I'm clear to attend, then I'll submit one or two Call of Cthulhu games.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

The games I submitted were for the RPGs Spirit of '77 (a "Powered by the Apocalypse" game about 1970s pop culture), and Swords of the Serpentine (a new swords & sorcery RPG based on the GUMSHOE system).

I may submit a Pathfinder-adjacent game that I'm still noodling over: a Dungeon World game set in Golarion, using DW conversions of the PF Iconics as the PCs.

Grand Lodge

Haladir wrote:
The games I submitted were for the RPGs Spirit of '77 (a "Powered by the Apocalypse" game about 1970s pop culture), and Swords of the Serpentine (a new swords & sorcery RPG based on the GUMSHOE system).

I'm going to keep an eye out for the Swords of the Serpentine game. I read about the playtest recently and it looks really interesting (and I've never played the GUMSHOE system before).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I'm arriving on Wednesday and leaving Tuesday, and am open to pre- and post-con gaming... and there's always the possibility that I'll have some gaps in my schedule.

I am very much open to running some other TTRPGs, whether that's another session of Swords of the Serpentine, an on-the-fly conversion of a short Pathfinder/D&D/OSR module to Dungeon World, a session of Fiasco, or even an improvised game in whatever setting people would be interested in playing using Fate Accelerated.

Let me know if anyone is interested in some non-PFRPG gaming!

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