Why so many scenarios with unusual Max Attendees?


Organized Play


Many slots have 4 or 10, or 20 or 32 max attendees, instead of multiple's of 6. While I enjoy less-filled out tables, this seems pretty odd.


Majuba wrote:
Many slots have 4 or 10, or 20 or 32 max attendees, instead of multiple's of 6. While I enjoy less-filled out tables, this seems pretty odd.

My guess was that there were some privileged invites for certain individuals (contest winners? Paizo employees?) and those slots were considered full already, so a table might start with only 4-5 available openings after a couple "auto fill" seats.

Other events are pregenerated character-only, so they would be limited to however many pregenerated characters those scenarios account for.

Just my guesses.

Contributor

I think Majuba is referring to the general Society games, rather than the lottery games. I was actually wondering about the same thing. Is it maybe higher level tables are being capped at four players? Or maybe some seats are being reserved for walk-ins?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I believe Tonya had previously announced that they are reserving some seats for signups at the event as there were issues last year with people buying tickets, then having difficulty finding seats at games.

Contributor

Gotcha, that makes sense!

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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We have a number of people who completely miss that there are online event sign ups (understandably so given what a rushed process it always is) as well as people who buy tickets at the door and feel like there are not games they can get into. We've set aside a few seats from various tables to help address the concerns folks who have found themselves in those situations have mentioned.


I'm rather concerned this will result in empty seats and even failed high-tier tables (especially Sunday/Monday mornings), if only 4 are signed up and 1 or 2 fail to show, and walk-ins don't feel like playing in a 10-11 tier.

But I suppose we'll see how it goes - innovation takes risk.

Liberty's Edge

So, if we can't sign up for a table with only 4 max attendees we just show up and hope to be seated? I usually sign up for everything and am unsure how the process works if you do not have a ticket specifically for the event.

Grand Lodge

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Can I play a Tier 10 even though all I have is a Level 1 or 2 character?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Not a fan of this capping thing.

4 of us coming from Louisiana together and so far 3 of us haven't gotten games together. Haven't heard from the 4th guy.

Will there be trading on gamedays or something?

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

How are those of us that are looking to play certain scenarios at certain times or wanting to play with friends supposed to get into our games. How many people weren't able to get games? Is it really that many that you have to leave out 2 seats PER TABLE for them? I was planning to play the 10-11 soldier tier for the special with a friend but now I can't even sign up cause it's capped at 24 slots (6 tables I assume). Seems like you're alienating a good portion of your ticket base by capping the tables at 4. My buddy happened to get in and sign up as soon as it went live and I can't join him at ANY of the games he's in because they are all capped at 4 and there was only one table at the time slot. Why punish those of us who already bought tickets and want to plan ahead? This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

This goes against every PFS coordination that I've ever seen. Anywhere I have played there is always some sort of system in place that you have to sign up for games. If you don't sign up you're not guaranteed a spot, period. Everyone should know this by now and if you don't then you don't play PFS very often. Why are people who essentially aren't signing up for games being given a pass or being coddled to at the expense of those of us who are trying to sign up? You aren't going to please everyone but you could at least please the majority that know they have to sign up to guarantee a spot. Especially since this is how it was always done at every Paizocon I have been to and I've never heard of an exorbitant amount of people not being able to get into something as a walkin. I'm sorry, but you shouldn't be able to pick and choose to the extent that you are making it if you fail to sign up and just walk in to play.


Zagig wrote:
Can I play a Tier 10 even though all I have is a Level 1 or 2 character?

You could play a Tier 7-11 table playing in sub-tier 10-11, with a L.7 pregen. Not usually the most positive experience for anyone at the table honestly.

Grand Lodge

I think part of the issue is that those people who buy a one-day pass are not allowed to sign up for sessions in advance (or at least, that's how it's been in previous years). They'd come to the con and find everything full. I don't know that this is the right solution (seems simpler to just let those people sign up for sessions in advance, but I'm guessing not simple from a technical perspective).

Dark Archive

I'm surprised that there are so many 7-11 tables like this. I would think that someone who has played enough to want to play a high table would know to check the Paizo site and sign up. It makes perfect sense to reserve 1-5 and 3-7 tables like this. I understand that late sign ups need something more than evergreen scenarios, but the 7-11?

How can we get some of these tickets, if we could not log in right at the mid-day time the event signups went live?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
waltero wrote:

Not a fan of this capping thing.

4 of us coming from Louisiana together and so far 3 of us haven't gotten games together. Haven't heard from the 4th guy.

Will there be trading on gamedays or something?

I'm guessing it will be a land rush style after all ticketed players are sat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
waltero wrote:

Not a fan of this capping thing.

4 of us coming from Louisiana together and so far 3 of us haven't gotten games together. Haven't heard from the 4th guy.

Will there be trading on gamedays or something?

I'm guessing it will be a land rush style after all ticketed players are sat.

I'll have to remember to pack my covered wagon.... j/k

Silver Crusade

Rayleign Ribbit wrote:

I'm surprised that there are so many 7-11 tables like this. I would think that someone who has played enough to want to play a high table would know to check the Paizo site and sign up. It makes perfect sense to reserve 1-5 and 3-7 tables like this. I understand that late sign ups need something more than evergreen scenarios, but the 7-11?

How can we get some of these tickets, if we could not log in right at the mid-day time the event signups went live?

This is a really good point. High tables are going to be an absolute crap shoot if you plan on playing high tier. Having walk ins who are using a level 7 pregen is going to cause serious issues at some tables.


I still don't understand why they couldn't set aside tables for walk-in players, rather than so many slots at multiple tables. This is the approach taken at many cons I have been to. I've just tried to sign up for games, with my son and a friend, and found almost everything to be full already. The fact that many of the scenarios are being run at only a single table in a given slot and are limited to four players made it almost impossible to find games where three of us could all play together.

Out of eight slots I was looking to fill, I was unable to find sufficient seats for four of them. That is an indicator of a flawed system, methinks.

The Exchange

Like a lot of people I'm concerned this might end up being a perverse incentive.

I signed up for a lot of Tier 7-11 PFS scenarios. All of which were capped at 4 total players (so only one table). In nearly a decade of cons I have met many, many, people who say "I sign up for everything I think I might want to do but probably only go to half of them, especially the morning slots." Heck, I had a ticket last year for a scenario with two tables (12 total players) which was sold out. 4 players total showed up.

I'm wondering how many more people saw the reduced number of seats and said "I'd definitely better grab seats, just in case. Probably won't be awake/will be at a panel/am going to the bar, but it's better to have a ticket and not use it than want a ticket and not have one."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It’s a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation. Either you upset people who sign up well in advance or you upset people who walk in looking to get a table. I witnessed the latter last year where a father could not find a table for himself and his two kids because the only available tables were ones they had already played or only had one or two seats available. I’m pretty sure I can go find the thread complaining about it after the fact for you even.

Edit: Link.


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But dammit, TOZ, I'm a father complaining about something completely different! That complaint is so last year.

That said, I'm sure you're right, they have difficult choices to make. I just struggle with the outcome of some of the choices they've made this year.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sara Marie wrote:
We have a number of people who completely miss that there are online event sign ups (understandably so given what a rushed process it always is) as well as people who buy tickets at the door and feel like there are not games they can get into. We've set aside a few seats from various tables to help address the concerns folks who have found themselves in those situations have mentioned.

Sara, Will there be a method to sign up for the the open seats at the convention or will they be given out first come first serve during the event time slot mustering?

Grand Lodge

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
It’s a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation. Either you upset people who sign up well in advance or you upset people who walk in looking to get a table.

Certainly true, but doesn't it make more sense to accommodate the people who are following expectations and planning a head? The more information an organizer has in advance, the better they can plan. Leaving upwards of one-third of your seats in an unknown status seems short-sighted. Which is the greater group, the one where people surprise you and walk-in or those who plan a head? I would be interested to see how often someone attends an event like PaizoCon on a whim. Wouldn't it be more effective to have a table or two offering replayable content but not be on the schedule to accommodate the handful of people who might arrive without tickets? Holding seats back is also going to either promote longer, slow moving lines at registration if those seats are opened up on site, or if they are held up until the actual slot it will generate a line at the marshaling station probably well in advance in hopes of getting one of the restricted seating. Just seems like a lot of unnecessary angst. YMMV.

EDIT--I guess the important question at this point is, when will those seats be available for players? Will they all open up on Friday when registration opens or will they remain closed and players will have to line up at the mustering station as if they had generic tickets in hopes of getting one of the restricted seats? Or something else?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Can you cite these expectations? Does PaizoCon policy state that pre-registration is preferred?

Grand Lodge

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Can you cite these expectations? Does PaizoCon policy state that pre-registration is preferred?

No, but let's be honest. People who attend conventions know how this works. If you attend conventions intentionally not planning your events in advance you cannot reasonably blame the organizers when the events are full when you arrive on site. At some point players have to take responsibility for their actions (or inaction). And as I said, if you are worried about accommodating a handful of impulse attendees, then hold a couple of tables back from the catalog so they have somewhere to sit. Smart selection of replayable material at those tables should cover your needs. Restricting seating for a major portion of the event seems unnecessarily problematic.

Grand Lodge

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Paizo apparently disagrees.


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TwilightKnight wrote:
And as I said, if you are worried about accommodating a handful of impulse attendees, then hold a couple of tables back from the catalog so they have somewhere to sit. Smart selection of replayable material at those tables should cover your needs. Restricting seating for a major portion of the event seems unnecessarily problematic.

You sound like you have more experience organizing PaizoCon than Paizo does. Are you really certain that Paizo staff don't know what they are doing?

Grand Lodge

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Please don't put words in Bob's mouth.


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Perhaps I should have said "Are you really certain that Paizo staff are making their lives unnecessarily problematic "

Grand Lodge

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Thank you.

Grand Lodge

Perhaps the more important question is are they making the lives of the attendees unnecessarily problematic?

Dark Archive

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CrystalSeas wrote:


You sound like you have more experience organizing PaizoCon than Paizo does. Are you really certain that Paizo staff don't know what they are doing?

I... I think Bob does have quite a bit of experience planning cons, yes, you're right.

Contributor

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They definitely had complaints last year about the lack of seats available for same day registration. It’s possible that they reserved too many for that this year, and I’m sure that they’ll be watching how that affects people.

My own opinion is that they should probably only reserve seats for scenarios that have more than one table running in a given slot, to help enable groups to play together both who sign up in advance and those who register on-site.

I do think it’s important to point out that different conventions run things in very different ways. It might be easy for us who go to this every year to think it’s obvious that you should register several weeks in advance, but some first-time PaizoCon attendees may have only been to conventions where all games are on-site sign-ups.


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To show how different Paizocon is to other conventions around the world, I know of one person from Australia who bought his ticket and was travelling around the US with limited internet connectivity for a few weeks beforehand a few years ago. He did not even know that you had to sign up for particular slots/lottery etc. as a result he attended the convention and somehow managed to get into nothing. I was there and did not see him, if I had, I would gladly have given him a few of my slots, so it does happen.

Silver Crusade

It's an odd waying of dealing with walk ins, for certain. But thinking back on prior Paizocons, they do seem to have an inordinate amount of people who don't schedule ahead and simply try to get a table last minute. Something I'm not used to seeing at cons I've attended or organized. Must be a local thing. Every gaming community has their quaint traditions.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's not a quaint tradition if people are new, hear of the convention word of mouth at last minute and then discover they may have some free time to attend.

Organization is good. Trying to reach for more players is, too. Reaching the Zen of a good balance takes a long time.

Silver Crusade

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

It's not a quaint tradition if people are new, hear of the convention word of mouth at last minute and then discover they may have some free time to attend.

Organization is good. Trying to reach for more players is, too. Reaching the Zen of a good balance takes a long time.

Which is why you usually keep a few GMs on standby to run tables in case of walk ins. Holding slots open at tables is an odd way of planning for walk ins. Unless there's a GM shortage. Which I wonder if is the case here.


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We should also remember that PaizoCon (like many now enormous conventions) started out as an informal get-together that didn't need the degree of organization that it apparently does now. I trust that they are making appropriate adjustments as they continue to grow.

Grand Lodge

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anthonydido wrote:

How are those of us that are looking to play certain scenarios at certain times or wanting to play with friends supposed to get into our games. How many people weren't able to get games? Is it really that many that you have to leave out 2 seats PER TABLE for them? I was planning to play the 10-11 soldier tier for the special with a friend but now I can't even sign up cause it's capped at 24 slots (6 tables I assume). Seems like you're alienating a good portion of your ticket base by capping the tables at 4. My buddy happened to get in and sign up as soon as it went live and I can't join him at ANY of the games he's in because they are all capped at 4 and there was only one table at the time slot. Why punish those of us who already bought tickets and want to plan ahead? This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

This goes against every PFS coordination that I've ever seen. Anywhere I have played there is always some sort of system in place that you have to sign up for games. If you don't sign up you're not guaranteed a spot, period. Everyone should know this by now and if you don't then you don't play PFS very often. Why are people who essentially aren't signing up for games being given a pass or being coddled to at the expense of those of us who are trying to sign up? You aren't going to please everyone but you could at least please the majority that know they have to sign up to guarantee a spot. Especially since this is how it was always done at every Paizocon I have been to and I've never heard of an exorbitant amount of people not being able to get into something as a walkin. I'm sorry, but you shouldn't be able to pick and choose to the extent that you are making it if you fail to sign up and just walk in to play.

Somehow I managed to easily have my buddy in every event we wanted to do.. I applaud them for holding spots. It would completely ruin the convention to never get in with a friend. (Which means if your friend didn’t get into a game with you, show up early if there is a low player count at the table and get them assigned).

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