# Tag Info

15

Conventions are tricky beasts. Ask anyone who has demonstrated a system (new or old) or run a tournament they will tell you to live by the saying "your best laid plans will never survive engagement with the enemy". The best rule-of-thumb I use for conventions is KISS (Keep It Simple Sammy). Remember in any presentation what your are trying to do. You have ...

14

I will give you advice in terms of my 2009 visit to Gencon. Is this a large convention? You will want a good pair of shoes with a fair amount of tread on them. You may want to consider getting some new insoles if a lot of walking will be involved for more than a day. Invest in a backpack that allows you to insert a water reservoir or get a good water ...

13

I went to Gen Con five times, and here's what I got out of it from a tabletop perspective. The opportunity to play games that I didn't otherwise have. I like and collect a lot of games, but getting players to play anything other than D&D and the other majors is tough. The opportunity to play games run by the games' creators. You can often get a ...

11

It almost seems too on-the-nose, but I'd say that you should keep it very simple and charge money when players want to make investigative spends. Since investigative spends are never (theoretically) required to advance a Gumshoe plot, you're not disadvantaging players who choose not to fork over cash. This idea has the additional advantage that "Spend for ...

9

If you've already done convention DMing (specifically LFR) and want to start running a home game..the skills involved aren't that different, but be prepared for a few things. The number one thing I find it's helpful to remember is that the campaign is about the player characters. It's their story. The adventures and details should reflect that. Living ...

9

I'd start out waaaaay before the actual content of your adventure. To whit: Be prepared, whatever that means (for me it means a full water bottle and a good night's sleep). Show up a little early. Make sure everybody knows everybody. Shake hands. Be clean and friendly. Project excitement. Assume people will need a pencil, paper and dice Tell people what you ...

9

My answer is, very strongly, "a bit of both." It's very important to provide clear histories in order to ground the characters. In a con game your players won't know the characters, probably won't know the world, and may not even know or like the entire genre you're in. You have to provide enough information to let a total stranger understand how this ...

8

If at all possible I would go with a system that you are familiar with. Running something like this is stressful enough on its own, and introducing a set of rules you don't know well will slow things down and add extra complications. I would get rid of the idea of using XP individually, and level up all characters at the same time. You could also have ...

7

To your question about what to avoid, here are a few of my pet peeves as a player. They can be minor annoyances in a campaign but can sink a convention session. "I have brought you all here today..." It can be tempting to dump a bunch of exposition on the players at the very beginning. Avoid this temptation. The introduction is your opportunity to grab ...

7

The best resource is the HighProgrammer web site. They have an interface that's easy to use and search, and you can copy events to your personal calendar. Once you've found the events you want, you can use the official registration site to sign up for events. (There's a search engine there, too, but it requires membership and isn't as responsive.)

6

There was a very good session prep workbook from GenCon 2008, which you can view here. This does have broader areas however, I would mainly look into utilising "The 5 Room/Scene Adventure" from here, though it is given a wider outlook (beyond a dungeon crawl) in the workbook. The basic premise is to have a formula, which can be mixed, which should hopefully ...

6

That is correct. THE KRAKEN is a biannual event because it takes a lot of preparation and time. Mostly for the attendees to take time off work. The next KRAKEN is in the making: THE KRAKEN A Gaming Vacation August 29 - September 3, 2012! Schloss Neuhausen, Germany www.the-kraken.de www.facebook.com/theKraken.de twitter.com/_THE_KRAKEN_ We are always ...

6

If you get 30,000 gamers all in one place, something cool is going to happen. Big cons like GenCon offer a couple things that are special: Awards There are at least three RPG awards ceremonies held at GenCon. The ENnies, of course, are a big deal. Lesser known are the Diana Jones Award (attended by industry insiders) and the Indie RPG Awards (usually an ...

6

I'd add "bring some cash." Many vendors aren't set up for credit/debit cards and are reluctant to accept checks from someone who may live 1,000 miles away. There will be things you want to buy. I don't buy much in the way of gaming product, and there are always things I want to buy.

5

Some things you might not have considered. Now that you're hosting games in a private venue, things change a little: There's more expectation of role-play. In the organized play I've encountered at game stores, role-playing is the exception. People in private-house games expect a certain level of "acting." You don't have to talk in funny voices, but ...

5

I would suggest playing an old version of D&D (AD&D 1 or earlier) or some retroclone. Several of the problems you outline are nonissues when playing D&D in the old school way. As mentioned, old D&D. It is simple, people can create their characters with little prior information (just roll 3d6 in order and select character class; either let ...

4

They aren't that different, but you may need to force yourself to grow beyond the tightly circumscribed four hour LFR experience. (This is coming from someone who loves LFR; I play and run it a lot.) You're going to want plots that don't fit into one session. I'd take a look at the Embers of Dawn mini campaign for some inspiration -- not only is there an ...

4

Create a packing checklist well in advance of the con. Add to it as needed. Otherwise, you WILL forget stuff. Before you go, do some websearching to figure out where you can eat near the con. Don't leave this till you get there. You might not have internet or whatever. Print a local street map. You might also want to know where the local FedEx or other copy ...

3

I used to bring a lot of gaming books, but I found that — most of the time — all it did was add weight to my bag. If the game you're playing is complex, or you have a character of your own that you're taking and you know you'll need detailed rules, bring those books. Otherwise, bring dice and pencils and rely on the pre-gen character sheet and the DM to help ...

3

The main advantage that I see Gen Con having over smaller, local cons is that it's one of the few big, national conventions out there specifically focused on roleplaying games. The gaming isn't necessarily better than a local con, but the national draw makes it a better environment for meeting people -- and perfect for meeting up with people you know in the ...

3

In addition to other good answers here... The Auction. It's the best-kept secret at GenCon, and it's been there every year since GenCon 2. The best part, for me, is that I can buy almost any game or accessory ever made dirt cheap (except for newly-released stuff). And there's a fixed-price thing too, so you don't even have to sit and wait until something ...

3

I think it's best to have some background, but to overall keep it sparse. You want people to be able to read over the character in 30 seconds and have a good idea what it's about, so they can make a quick decision about whom they want to play. Probably the best kind of background to include is how the characters are related to each other - it keeps team work ...

2

Big D&D events take place at GenCon year after year- Living Forgotten Realms always has a "special" adventure, and often a linked series called a 'mini-campaign'- last year's Mini took place in Returned Abeir in the Windrise ports. This years had 3 parts and took place in Raven's Bluff. One big draw of Organized Play is that characters are consistent: ...

2

It's also important because of its provenance. I can't speak for how it compares in a contemporary context to other gaming conventions such as PAX, but I don't think that anybody is going to try and argue that any other convention is nearly as historically significant as GenCon. It's probably fair to say that RPGs wouldn't exist as we know them today without ...

2

There is not (or at least should not be) a single answer to this. It depends entirely on the type of con game you are running. Pregen characters are there specifically to feed the scenario and to communicate things that are important about that game. Character If it's a roleplaying heavy scenario, like a Cthulhu Masters Tournament, especially where the ...

2

It's just been announced by Fabian: Save up your holidays and plan ahead for THE KRAKEN in Summer 2012 at Schloss Neuhausen, Germany! Registration will start August 2011! So The Kraken is now the successor convention series to Tentacles, not a one-off as I had originally thought. And it looks like it is every two years, not the annual event that ...

2

The fundamentals of GMing remain the same: describe, leave room for players to impact the story, every encounter needs a way to succeed or fail. What differs most is player continuity. Players in a "home" game are far more likely to be the same core players every session, playing the same character throughout. The other key differences are not terribly ...

2

LFR games at conventions need to fit within the X hour time block (usually four) Moreso they are setup to challenge players within a specific level range. While mechanics are the same home games are completely different because they are extended campaigns. You could run them in short session block just like you do in a LFR module but you will missing out on ...

1

Another mechanic you could add is to escalate the cost for the rerolls as the game progresses. For example, the first reroll of the game is $5 and it goes up by$1 every time anyone pays for one. As you get close to the climax the rerolls will become more important as they become more expensive. In addition, let anyone (even observers!) buy a reroll (but ...

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