how does it work?


Organized Play


I'm hoping to attend PaizoCon for the first time with my boyfriend this year and neither of us has been before so we are wondering how it works/what its like there?

If we don't know anyone else, will we be assigned games to participate in or do we find our own? What is the procedure for this?

Also in terms of food and things, I know its at the hotel by the airport, are there restaurants/coffee shops etc in the hotel or nearby?

Any information you could provide would be very helpful!

Scarab Sages

Once the scedule is complete, you can see all the games offered, and sign up for them. Who your table mates will be will be random, but that is part of the fun.

There are several food options around the hotel (as close as crossing the street). They range from fast food, to rather pricey. There is a Taco Bell and a Dennies, and I love the Mango Thai. There is a starbucks inside the hotel.


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The Painted Oryx wrote:

I'm hoping to attend PaizoCon for the first time with my boyfriend this year and neither of us has been before so we are wondering how it works/what its like there?

If we don't know anyone else, will we be assigned games to participate in or do we find our own? What is the procedure for this?

Also in terms of food and things, I know its at the hotel by the airport, are there restaurants/coffee shops etc in the hotel or nearby?

Any information you could provide would be very helpful!

This will be my third consecutive PaizoCon. Here's my 2 coppers...

Scheduling Games (official)

2-3 weeks before the con, Paizo will launch its online preregistration service on the paizo.com website. You will be able to see descriptions of all events that will be running: Seminars, organized play events, and other games. The events will be arranged by time-slot.

The first part will be the lottery for limited-access games (i.e. sessions with a limited number of participants). Pick the games you want to play and rate them on a scale of how much you want to attend. (The default value is "not interested", so you don't need to submit a rating for games that don't grab you.)

Once the lottery is over, the second round will be for open table game assignment. These are mostly PFS/SFS/PFACG games.

I recommend that you apply for the lottery games you're interested in, wait until you have your assignments, and then fill in the rest with seminars or open-table games.

And finally, there are two rooms for unscheduled open gaming throughout the convention.

Unofficial Games

On the days before and after the con, there are a LOT of unofficial games being run. Many are Society play, but also a bunch of others. There's a game organization application called Warhorn that people tend to use to organize games outside the normal con times.

Hotel Amenities

The SeaTac Hilton DoubleTree is not quite a mile from the airport, and there is a sidewalk the whole way. There are no hills. If it's daylight, I find that it's easier to just walk there rather than wait for the complimentary shuttle, which runs every 30 minutes or so.

The hotel has a full sit-down restaurant/bar ("Seaports Grill"). The food is good, but, typical for hotel restaurants, is over-priced for what you get. The bar is well-stocked and drink prices are on the high side of reasonable. There is also a Starbucks kiosk that sells sandwiches. There is a separate breakfast area ("The Coffee Garden"), but it's not complimentary unless you have Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond status. The food is excellent but the prices are unreasonably high.

The hotel has a heated outdoor pool and fitness areas. DoubleTree's shtick is complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies at check-in. If you're a guest, you can ask for one at any time. You will also have access to the business center, including complimentary printing facilities. I find that very helpful at a gaming con.

The hotel has a little gift shop as well, but I'd recommend against buying anything there: Their prices are practically price-gouging. (Last year, I paid like $7 for a Speed Stick deodorant after I realized I forgot to pack mine.)

Know that your room will NOT have a minifridge, unless you pay extra (I think it was +$10/day or something like that). I usually bring a folding cooler and fill it with ice from the hotel ice machine. For that matter, you could buy one at a nearby store and just leave it behind for less money.

Nearby Amenities

There are number of restaurants within a 5-minute walk:

Fast Food:
* Jack-in-the-Box
* Subway
* Taco Bell
* L&L Hawaiian Barbeque
* True Burger

Sit-Down
* Denny's
* Mango Thai
* Sharp's Roadhouse

I really like the Thai place, the Hawaiian place, and Sharp's.

There are a few other restaurants within a mile of the hotel, including a taqueria, a Salvadorian place, an IHOP, a pizza place, and a Chinese bakery. I haven't tried any of them yet.

There is a Safeway grocery store about two miles up the road. I usually walk there to pick up supplies for the con and use my travel cooler to keep things cold. It's a very short Uber ride, or you could use one of those delivery services like InstaCart to have it delivered.

If you're getting to the con early or are staying a day after, know that there's a light rail station on the land-side of the airport, with regular service to/from downtown Seattle. It's a great way to play tourist while you're there.

What I do...

I'm arriving Wednesday evening before the con. I'm planning to grab dinner at one of the local fast food places after checking in. Thursday morning, I'm planning to have breakfast at Denny's and then walk to Safeway (weather permitting). I'll buy breakfast and sandwich fixings at Safeway to last me the rest of the con. I then usually have breakfast and lunch in my room (including making coffee via the in-room coffee maker). During the con, I usually try to get together for dinner at one of the nearby restaurants with people I know or have met at the con. Both Sharp's and the Thai place are great for that.

I also usually hang out at the bar after the last scheduled events for a little while and socialize with other con attendees, but I try not to stay up past midnight.

It's really important to get a good night's sleep every night. I would recommend against playing in the midnight-to-6AM slot. So far, I've managed to avoid coming down with con-crud. I attribute that to always getting enough sleep and by WASHING MY HANDS AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

Scarab Sages

I've never done it, but I understood from others that amazon will deliver to the hotel as well if you need items.


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Great write up Haladir!

One small bit of expectation management I like to tell people about the lottery -- you should only assume you're going to get 1 event from the lottery. If you're counting on filling most of your schedule with lottery events, you'll end up disappointed.

Dark Archive

Woran wrote:
I've never done it, but I understood from others that amazon will deliver to the hotel as well if you need items.

Yes. Amazon will deliver to the hotel. How do you think the cans of Olympia and "80oz of Man-go-rita" made it to yer table 150 "experience"?

Spoiler:
Still the best chronicle I have ever received. "I HATE YOU ALL."

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Woran wrote:
I've never done it, but I understood from others that amazon will deliver to the hotel as well if you need items.

Yes. Amazon will deliver to the hotel. How do you think the cans of Olympia and "80oz of Man-go-rita" made it to yer table 150 "experience"?

** spoiler omitted **

The Man-go-rita was some of the vilest brew Ive ever tasted


Wow thanks for that comprehensive description Haladir!

Looking forward to it!

Dark Archive

Woran wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Woran wrote:
I've never done it, but I understood from others that amazon will deliver to the hotel as well if you need items.

Yes. Amazon will deliver to the hotel. How do you think the cans of Olympia and "80oz of Man-go-rita" made it to yer table 150 "experience"?

** spoiler omitted **

The Man-go-rita was some of the vilest brew Ive ever tasted

Worse than the Olympia? Whoa.

Scarab Sages

Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Woran wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Woran wrote:
I've never done it, but I understood from others that amazon will deliver to the hotel as well if you need items.

Yes. Amazon will deliver to the hotel. How do you think the cans of Olympia and "80oz of Man-go-rita" made it to yer table 150 "experience"?

** spoiler omitted **

The Man-go-rita was some of the vilest brew Ive ever tasted
Worse than the Olympia? Whoa.

I hate mango

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
NielsenE wrote:

Great write up Haladir!

One small bit of expectation management I like to tell people about the lottery -- you should only assume you're going to get 1 event from the lottery. If you're counting on filling most of your schedule with lottery events, you'll end up disappointed.

This really depends on how many lottery events you're willing/wanting to attend. If you're open to lots of different things and sign up for many, then you can get more... I usually get about one or two a day...

The lottery picker cycles through each attendee randomly and assigns them to their highest rated lottery selection that still has room.

If everyone signed up for something for each day, on average say 400 people would get their selections before you for each day... if you select that you would go to enough different sessions that when all added up equaled more than 400 seats, then you'd, on average, get into one lottery a day.

for every day, I mark my really important ones highest on priority, I usually have one or two marked highest (4 I think)
Then 3 or 4 sessions marked as 3's
Then more 2's
Then a bunch of 1's

I'm pretty flexible in the lottery events... I try to select staffers I've never met or played with before... games I've never played, things that just sound interesting etc...

After I see my scheduled lottery events, I fill the rest with society play, pick some seminars that sound cool, and leave space for breaks, store, delves, paint and take, getting a commission from the artists, etc.

SO much to do. Just purposefully be flexible and seek out new and different things.


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You've been lucky, then. I've listed 5-10 3/4s for each day and end up with one for the weekend, both years I've gone.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
NielsenE wrote:
You've been lucky, then. I've listed 5-10 3/4s for each day and end up with one for the weekend, both years I've gone.

5-10 sessions, assuming it's 6 seat games is at mach 60 potential seats... if you are picked on average at spot 400 then you're likely going to miss most of them.

I pick one or two game prioritized as 4's for the day, three or four 3's for the day and then probably 5-10 or more 1's and 2's PER session of the day... There are three sessions a day so say I'm doing just 10 per session, that's 30 I pick per day, so at least up to 180 seats minimum have to get filled before it gets to me for me to not get anything. I do get days without... but I usually get a good number of sessions.

Pick more potential games.

Careful not to mark everything a 4, mark your top thing as a 4... you aren't less likely to get something if you mark it a 1... when it's your turn, you get your highest ranked thing that still has seats. If you have five marked at 4, you get a random one of the five picks. So, mark just one or two games as a 4... sprinkle in the 1's and 2's liberally.


Anecdotes aren't data, but the years I ran events were the years I got into far more lottery games.

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