A Very Bad Thing at Gen Con


Pathfinder Society

Dark Archive

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My first time at Gen Con and I wish I had never come. My belongings were stolen this morning right under the noses of my fellow volunteers and PFS staff. All my gaming gear including over $200 of brand new 2E stuff. Six years of PFS chronicle sheets and all of the Con boons I had been collecting over the years. And most importantly my laptop, my most important possession. All taken in under three minutes when I walked away to ask a question. I was told this is the first such incident in all the years that PFS has been ran at Gen Con. I am devastated.

Why do I bring this up on a public forum, to perfect strangers? Because I want to commend the PFS organizers and staff for the compassion they have shown me today. Everyone was incredibly kind and understanding, and they did everything they could to help me. While my laptop is likely gone for good, with tons of irreplaceable photographs of loved ones and all of my characters (I kept them on Hero Lab), these kind souls replaced all of my Paizo products for free, allowing me to at least distract myself from my sorrows with some fantastic gaming. I am unfortunately horrible with names and so I am afraid I cannot really call out anyone specifically, but I just want to give thanks from the bottom of my heart to all of the organizers, volunteers, and other staff members of Gen Con PFS who treated me so kindly and helped me to make the best of a truly devastating situation.

And to the thief, if you happen to be a fellow player and so might see this: I hope you get what you deserve. I hope everyone finds out what kind of person you are, the kind of person who would steal from a poor, chronically ill (both physically and mentally) man who thought it was the luckiest thing in the world that events happened to conspire to allow him to attend Gen Con.

To everyone else, assuming anyone bothered to read this far: thank you for taking the time to read my rant. I needed to vent my frustration, and express my thanks, or I would have burst. May your gaming be happier than mine.

5/5

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That is devastating to hear.

I recall back when I started, one of the Venture-Officers, I forget who, had his brand-new iPad stolen at the first game he brought it to. The other VOs got together and replaced it through contributions. That's the sort of people most of the Paizo community is, as you saw with the staff response.

Please set up a GoFundMe or provide your PayPal email address and I will contribute what I can. I know it won't replace the images or chronicles, although there is some chance the paperwork might be found.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

I am so sorry that happened to you.
It's hard to believe it happened in the PFS room. Hopefully the ass that stole your stuff gets what they deserve.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

I am so sorry. I hope they catch whoever did it.

Dark Archive

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MY STUFF WAS FOUND! It seems to all be here! It wasn't there last night when the room was swept, but this afternoon someone found in in the Sagamore Ballroom not twenty feet from where it was taken! I don't know if the thief felt remorseful or simply decided there was too many people on the lookout for it now, but somehow it is back and I cannot thank you all enough. To everyone who expressed sympathy, spread the word, generously offered me new gaming gear, or offered advice: Thank you. From the bottom of my heart and brimming with love for you all, I wish to express my enduring gratitude. Paizo, Know Direction, the Organized Play Foundation, and the entire community of fellow Pathfinders has humbled me and convinced me that there is more good in the world than I had previously believed. I hope to be able to return to Gen Con some year so that I can play with you all again. Good evening, and Happy Gaming!

The Exchange

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Wonderful news!

Sovereign Court 2/5

Good news and good to hear that Paizo really has a heart. This is why we're here, people.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is the best thing on the internet today. I'll be driving down for GenCon tomorrow.

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

I am so happy that you got your stuff back!

Hmm

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

That is Awesome news! Hooray!

3/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Ohio—Dayton aka Athos710

Great news!

5/5

That. Is. Amazing. This made my weekend.

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

HUZZAH!

Liberty's Edge ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Fairview Heights aka Freedom Snake

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@AsmodeusUltima I am sorry this happened in the first place, but I am glad that your items are recovered and also that through your misfortune, you have had the experience of the amazing caliber of people in this community. Between the Paizo staff, Know Direction and everyone else who supported you through this, you seem to have been touched by a genuine community of people who love this game and care for the people who play it.

I'm thrilled that Paizo was able to replace your (Paizo product) stuff and even more thrilled that you were able to recover all of your original stuff. Congratulations and good gaming. I envy your ability to be there.


Events such as this both subtract and benefit our opinion of humanity. Think of this in gaming-terms: A Rogue pilfered your belongings but your party, the Paizo community, made sure their fellow adventurer was re-equipped. That simply good gaming. Good Hunting and Keep The Faith.

Silver Crusade

Glad you got your stuff back! I honestly enjoyed playing with the 2e rules, but PFS wasn't for me. Our DM seemed disinterested and mostly tried to hurry us through the module I played. It's a con so I understand, but just wasn't my cup of tea.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Item recovery, 5 PP

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Danubus wrote:
Glad you got your stuff back! I honestly enjoyed playing with the 2e rules, but PFS wasn't for me. Our DM seemed disinterested and mostly tried to hurry us through the module I played. It's a con so I understand, but just wasn't my cup of tea.

Don't be afraid to give it another shot. Like any other role playing game PFS is absurdly DM dependent and there isn't any way to crank out uniform DMs. (the cloning vats keep leaking...)

Dark Archive 4/5

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I'll back that comment up from BigNorse. The worst PFS GM I ever had was at Gencon, it's certainly possible public play isn't your thing but its worth trying a few sessions particularly in your local scene to see if it clicks better.

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

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Danubus wrote:
Our DM...

I hope you took the time to complete a feedback card about your experience. Maybe the GM was just having an “off” slot, but if it is indicative of how they run normally, we cannot follow up, effect improvement or eliminate the problem if we don’t know about it.

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

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AsmodeusUltima wrote:
stuff

We are so happy your materials were returned and sorry you had to experience such a terrible event. We are incredibly appreciative that you were able to soldier through the remainder of the con and help facilitate an outstanding experience for players who had already purchased tickets for your tables and may have been turned away had you decided not to continue. We would have certainly understood had that been the case, but by going forward you demonstrated the highest quality of character. We would be honored to have you on the volunteer team again in the future.

Lantern Lodge

Perhaps someone grabbed your bag by mistake and then returned it the next day after they embarrassedly realized that it want theirs :)

Dark Archive 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Colorado—Denver aka masterslate

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cameronst wrote:
Perhaps someone grabbed your bag by mistake and then returned it the next day after they embarrassedly realized that it want theirs :)

This is what I'm choosing to believe :)

Dark Archive 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Colorado—Denver aka masterslate

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AsmodeusUltima wrote:
While my laptop is likely gone for good, with tons of irreplaceable photographs of loved ones and all of my characters (I kept them on Hero Lab)

Glad you got everything back! Hopefully having had this "near death experience," you might consider using some sort of off-site backup solution. Be it a cloud-based provider or just a hard drive you keep at home and regularly use, I highly recommend getting it now. Nothing to stimulate the necessity of it than this experience. Same goes for everyone on here! If you would miss the files, back them up somewhere.

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

Unfortunately, since this was but one of two significant occurrences of theft this year, something we have never had to deal with in past years, I think it will force us to reconsider our procedures regarding leaving unsecured materials at the table.

3/5

I am happy you got your items back.

2/5

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

A few quick thoughts:

1) Very glad to hear about Paizo's response and later recovery of AsmodeusUltima's belongings

2) Some sort of hat check system for GMs would be very nice. This was my first GenCon and having to continually carry or watch over all my scenario maps, prep, etc. was a bit of work.

3) In terms of "hurrying" players, I ran 10-23 twice at GenCon. The first time, I had to call it shortly after beginning the last encounter. As a result, I tried to run my second game as a fair clip, and we finished with half an hour to spare. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it can be tricky (at least for me) finding the right pace for high level games at a con.

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

pjrogers wrote:
Some sort of hat check system for GMs would be very nice. This was my first GenCon and having to continually carry or watch over all my scenario maps, prep, etc. was a bit of work

Most of us in HQ are GMs too so we feel your pain. It is an extra burden. However, we have neither the space, nor the staff to secure GM materials. Besides, given the brazen nature of the OP’s event, unless we literally had the materials under lock an key, the person who took them could have done it just as easy had it been store at HQ. In any case, the materials at the table are the property of the GM and each of us has to weigh the risk vs convenience of leaving our stuff unattended at the table. It only takes a minute for someone to walk by and take what they want. That we have to be cognizant of this now really burns my a$$, but I suppose in a community as large as ours, it was inevitable this would happen.

The Exchange 4/5

I always ask someone to watch as i run to the restroom, your fellow GMs are nice in that. Also having had mine stolen at another location, got dropbox to save my stuff on.

Dark Archive 5/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Columbus aka Cirithiel

I’m sad to hear that this happened to multiple people this year.

I do similar to Jeff. Ask another player/GM to watch my things for a few moments while I do the needful.

But, unless it’s someone I personally know, I also take the valuable stuff with me (ie phone and tablet).

The Exchange 1/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

We use to call it gear watch in the military. Helps when you bring your own gear guards (children) like I do!


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OP ran my Saturday morning game, which must have concluded only just before his stuff was returned. So relieved to read this update!

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

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I wish Paizo could post a pic of the Mosquito Witch doll you had with you, it was amazing.

Glad you got your stuff back.


Hillis Mallory III wrote:

I wish Paizo could post a pic of the Mosquito Witch doll you had with you, it was amazing.

Glad you got your stuff back.

I am sorry, just came across this, did OP have a doll for the Mosquito witch doll? is it based on the cover art?

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

It was made of yarn... very well done.

Yes, like the cover art.

Sovereign Court 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Missouri—St. Louis aka bluesman95

Glad to hear you got your stuff back.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Hillis Mallory III wrote:

It was made of yarn... very well done.

Yes, like the cover art.

That is amazeballs!


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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Unfortunately, since this was but one of two significant occurrences of theft this year, something we have never had to deal with in past years, I think it will force us to reconsider our procedures regarding leaving unsecured materials at the table.

I hope you consider the secondary impacts of any changes.

Theft is bad for everyone, but so is the false security of thinking there is a magical or technological solution. For instance, a coat check room sounds good, but aside from creating an enormous amount of work, it centralizes everyone's valuables so if a thief manages to breach security, he/she scores an incredible find. The thieves will sneak by or bribe the minimum wage employee who singlehandedly protects everything and instead of two $1,000 thefts a year, you have a $50,000 theft every 10 years.

A solution that has a high efficacy to effort ratio is to foster a culture of vigilence. If someone walks by a scoops up your neighbor's backpack, hopefully you (a) recognize it's gone, (b) recognize it wasn't your neighbor, and (c) point it out before the thief gets too far. The worst is when someone comes back, announces their stuff is gone, and everyone's like "oh yeah i guess some guy came by 10 minutes ago but nobody knew who he was so nobody said anything."

One of my other hobbies is poker, and I note that people leave hundreds and thousands of dollars on the table when they get up. There are technological solutions on top of vigilance (lockboxes and stuff), but they're a hassle and poking your head into a poker room will confirm that they're rarely used. People tend to recognize the value of other peoples' stuff, recognize their neighbors, and although theft is non-zero, it's way less that first time players assume.

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