DM no show or different system. What happens?
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Posted by not-going-to-gencon

What happens if you have a ticket to an RPG event and you arrive on time but the DM doesn't show?

Do you get your ticket refunded and that's it? You're just left with a big hole in your schedule?

What happens if the DM shows but the system is different from the one advertised? 

I may be in the situations above, so these aren't just speculative questions.

 

Posted by helenbb

This has happened to me. Yes, you go to a Gen Con rep and you get your ticket refunded. Then you're left to figure out how to fill the hole on your own.

Posted by stickmanindc

What happens if you have a ticket to an RPG event and you arrive on time but the DM doesn't show?

Go to the nearest Event HQ and explain the situation. There will be at least one in each hotel, one per Event Hall or section of rooms in the ICC, etc. They'll be shown on the maps and feature prominent signage. They will refund your ticket. Doesn't help you find something new for that timeslot, but if it makes you feel better, Gen Con keeps a record of no-shows and if a particular GM/group does it more than once or twice they can be barred from running future games at Gen Con.
What happens if the DM shows but the system is different from the one advertised?  

If there is any issue with a GM or with another player (Event is not as advertised, GM or another player is disruptive/abusive or otherwise not following the Code of Conduct, mask/no-mask dispute, etc) likewise report the issue to the nearest Event HQ and a Gen Con staffer will attempt to help resolve it. 

Posted by not-going-to-gencon helenbb

helenbb wrote:
This has happened to me. Yes, you go to a Gen Con rep and you get your ticket refunded. Then you're left to figure out how to fill the hole on your own.
Thank you, Helen. That's good to know.

It's not reassuring to think that while your ticket price is reimbursed - a relatively small amount - the huge opportunity cost is not. Sure, there's the trade hall (to which I have already allocated time) and maybe a drop-in board game, but that's not much consolation.

Posted by not-going-to-gencon stickmanindc

stickmanindc wrote:
What happens if you have a ticket to an RPG event and you arrive on time but the DM doesn't show?

Go to the nearest Event HQ and explain the situation. There will be at least one in each hotel, one per Event Hall or section of rooms in the ICC, etc. They'll be shown on the maps and feature prominent signage. They will refund your ticket. Doesn't help you find something new for that timeslot, but if it makes you feel better, Gen Con keeps a record of no-shows and if a particular GM/group does it more than once or twice they can be barred from running future games at Gen Con.

What happens if the DM shows but the system is different from the one advertised?  

If there is any issue with a GM or with another player (Event is not as advertised, GM or another player is disruptive/abusive or otherwise not following the Code of Conduct, mask/no-mask dispute, etc) likewise report the issue to the nearest Event HQ and a Gen Con staffer will attempt to help resolve it. 


Thank you, Stick Man in DC.

The fact that Gen Con will try to prevent a no-show DM from running a game again is good for the con and the hobby in general, but that doesn't help me. 

Gen Con should have a team of back-up DMs to run emergency games should the need arise. It may not be what was advertised, but at least the players wouldn't be left gameless. 

Posted by conspiracyofgamers

Very few events are actually run by Gen Con.  The great majority of events are run by individuals.  Even when a larger company is running events, the sheer number of game systems that would have to be covered makes having backups a near impossibility.

Posted by unsoundergnome not-going-to-gencon

not-going-to-gencon wrote:
stickmanindc wrote:
What happens if you have a ticket to an RPG event and you arrive on time but the DM doesn't show?

Go to the nearest Event HQ and explain the situation. There will be at least one in each hotel, one per Event Hall or section of rooms in the ICC, etc. They'll be shown on the maps and feature prominent signage. They will refund your ticket. Doesn't help you find something new for that timeslot, but if it makes you feel better, Gen Con keeps a record of no-shows and if a particular GM/group does it more than once or twice they can be barred from running future games at Gen Con.
What happens if the DM shows but the system is different from the one advertised?  

If there is any issue with a GM or with another player (Event is not as advertised, GM or another player is disruptive/abusive or otherwise not following the Code of Conduct, mask/no-mask dispute, etc) likewise report the issue to the nearest Event HQ and a Gen Con staffer will attempt to help resolve it. 

Thank you, Stick Man in DC.The fact that Gen Con will try to prevent a no-show DM from running a game again is good for the con and the hobby in general, but that doesn't help me. 
Gen Con should have a team of back-up DMs to run emergency games should the need arise. It may not be what was advertised, but at least the players wouldn't be left gameless. 

I have had this happen a few times, but the game was being done through a group.  Several times (different games/groups), they were on top of it and quickly got someone to fill in as GM.  Another time it happened, our table was split up to go play at other tables that were running the game at the same time.  I would imagine though that if you are signed up for a game just run by an individual and they are sick or missing, then yeah your only hope will be get a refund and go do something else to fill the time.  If it is being run by a group that runs games at conventions, they usually have some kind of contingency plan for this sort of thing, even if it is cramming you into another table.  I will say though, I have been doing 4 days at gencon since 2003 (with a few missed years), and in all that time this has only happened 3 times that I can remember.
 

Posted by not-going-to-gencon conspiracyofgamers

conspiracyofgamers wrote:
Very few events are actually run by Gen Con.  The great majority of events are run by individuals.  Even when a larger company is running events, the sheer number of game systems that would have to be covered makes having backups a near impossibility.
The fact that games aren't being run by Gen Con is neither here nor there. From a legal point of view, my relationship is with Gen Con, not the individual or organisation the con has subcontracted. It is to Gen Con to whom I paid the fee. More importantly, Gen Con has a moral obligation. It is putting on the convention and claiming to offer 'the best four games in gaming'. 

As for the game systems, I already alluded to the fact that it may not be the desired system, but at least the player wouldn't be left gameless. If Gen Con wanted to maximise the likelihood of running a replacement system that will satisfy, the best would be 5e D&D. Judging by the number of games in each system, that is both the system most likely to have a DM no-show and the one that most players would like. I realise that not everyone likes 5e D&D, but that would be the optimum choice.  

Posted by not-going-to-gencon unsoundergnome

unsoundergnome wrote:
not-going-to-gencon wrote:
stickmanindc wrote:
What happens if you have a ticket to an RPG event and you arrive on time but the DM doesn't show?

Go to the nearest Event HQ and explain the situation. There will be at least one in each hotel, one per Event Hall or section of rooms in the ICC, etc. They'll be shown on the maps and feature prominent signage. They will refund your ticket. Doesn't help you find something new for that timeslot, but if it makes you feel better, Gen Con keeps a record of no-shows and if a particular GM/group does it more than once or twice they can be barred from running future games at Gen Con.

What happens if the DM shows but the system is different from the one advertised?  

If there is any issue with a GM or with another player (Event is not as advertised, GM or another player is disruptive/abusive or otherwise not following the Code of Conduct, mask/no-mask dispute, etc) likewise report the issue to the nearest Event HQ and a Gen Con staffer will attempt to help resolve it. 


Thank you, Stick Man in DC.The fact that Gen Con will try to prevent a no-show DM from running a game again is good for the con and the hobby in general, but that doesn't help me. 
Gen Con should have a team of back-up DMs to run emergency games should the need arise. It may not be what was advertised, but at least the players wouldn't be left gameless. 

I have had this happen a few times, but the game was being done through a group.  Several times (different games/groups), they were on top of it and quickly got someone to fill in as GM.  Another time it happened, our table was split up to go play at other tables that were running the game at the same time.  I would imagine though that if you are signed up for a game just run by an individual and they are sick or missing, then yeah your only hope will be get a refund and go do something else to fill the time.  If it is being run by a group that runs games at conventions, they usually have some kind of contingency plan for this sort of thing, even if it is cramming you into another table.  I will say though, I have been doing 4 days at gencon since 2003 (with a few missed years), and in all that time this has only happened 3 times that I can remember.
 
Unfortunately, the two games I am most concerned about are being run by what appears to be a one-person organisation. 

Posted by derekguder

Just to put an end to this thread:


  • There is no moral imperative for anyone to fill your schedule.
  • Gen Con will never create a team of emergency GMs on-call ready to go, and we were to do so it would not simply default to D&D.

If you are that concerned about the legitimacy of events you are considering signing up for, sign up for something else. There are plenty of other games and activities at the convention to keep you busy through the whole convention.

-
Derek Guder
Director of Events at Gen Con
Gen Con LLC

Posted by quarex

Starting to understand why you are not-going-to-Gen-Con

Posted by mikeboozer

1. Too many games systems and types of games to "default" to one system. Many people simply don't want or won't play X system (I'm looking at you 4th Edition)
2. Many events are not even D&D ones. Or roleplaying ones for that matter.
3. Many games are designed for a specific scenario or hook or series which will cause players to take a refund and find something else to do (There is lots) or another event that starts soon to fill the spot.
4. Running said event with the left over players (As soon as they know the GM is not showing) may not be possible or even fun. So more unhappy attendees.
5. The best GM's in the country, world, and perhaps Betelgeuse system are already at Gen Con running events and or the convention. That leaves my nephew to be your GM...and nobody wants that.

It is a far better thing to refund your money and have you find something you will enjoy to fill your schedule. There are over 20,000 Events (Also leagues under the sea) and other places to visit.

Mike Boozer
Customer Service Manager
Gen Con LLC

 

Posted by not-going-to-gencon quarex

quarex wrote:
Starting to understand why you are not-going-to-Gen-Con
Actually, I am going... I think. But there have been occasions when I have given serious consideration to pulling the plug on my Gen Con trip. It's become doubtful that the amount of fun I could have during four days of gaming could make up for the stress of planning for and attending the convention. 

Posted by not-going-to-gencon mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
1. Too many games systems and types of games to "default" to one system. Many people simply don't want or won't play X system (I'm looking at you 4th Edition)
2. Many events are not even D&D ones. Or roleplaying ones for that matter.
3. Many games are designed for a specific scenario or hook or series which will cause players to take a refund and find something else to do (There is lots) or another event that starts soon to fill the spot.
4. Running said event with the left over players (As soon as they know the GM is not showing) may not be possible or even fun. So more unhappy attendees.
5. The best GM's in the country, world, and perhaps Betelgeuse system are already at Gen Con running events and or the convention. That leaves my nephew to be your GM...and nobody wants that.
It is a far better thing to refund your money and have you find something you will enjoy to fill your schedule. There are over 20,000 Events (Also leagues under the sea) and other places to visit.
Mike Boozer
Customer Service Manager
Gen Con LLC
 
Responses interspersed below:

1. Too many games systems and types of games to "default" to one system. Many people simply don't want or won't play X system (I'm looking at you 4th Edition)
Target the most popular systems (e.g. 5e D&D) and those that suffer the highest DM no-show rates based on previous Gen Cons. Then give players a choice to join the substitute game or accept a refund. If at least three players (plus the DM) accept to play, the game is on and the non-participating players get refunds.

2. Many events are not even D&D ones. Or roleplaying ones for that matter.
Pick the most popular by type. So 5e D&D and maybe one other system for RPGs, the top two most popular board games etc. It's not perfect, but it is optimum.

3. Many games are designed for a specific scenario or hook or series which will cause players to take a refund and find something else to do (There is lots) or another event that starts soon to fill the spot.
Then at least give players the option of joining another game without casting them adrift and letting them work out another game for themselves. Help in those circumstances in not too much to ask.

4. Running said event with the left over players (As soon as they know the GM is not showing) may not be possible or even fun. So more unhappy attendees.
Give players a choice to join the substitute game or accept a refund. If at least three players (plus the DM) accept to play, the game is on and the non-participating players get refunds.

5. The best GM's in the country, world, and perhaps Betelgeuse system are already at Gen Con running events and or the convention. That leaves my nephew to be your GM...and nobody wants that.
I won't cast aspersions about your nephew's DMing talents. Maybe he's a great DM. But to your point, there are probably huge numbers of talented DMs who attend Gen Con but normally only go as players. Also, it's conceited to imagine there aren't vast numbers of excellent DMs who won't be at Gen Con. For starters, there are those who live a long way away. Do you have any clue how expensive it is to attend Gen Con if, like me, you're travelling from another continent? Do you know what a nightmare Gen Con's organisers make attending for those coming from overseas? My guess is you have no idea. I have played D&D and other RPGs with a very large number of excellent DMs none of whom will be at the con. 

 
  

online
Posted by jigreene

You are really overthinking this.  Look, I get it; it stinks if a game you were really looking forward to gets cancelled.  It has happened to me before.  But you just roll with it.  Find a different game, shop in the exhibit hall or consignment store, try a new game in one of the sponsors' game rooms, go watch a performance, find a bar,...

It makes no sense for Gen Con to maintain standby GMs.  If they had extra GMs (which they don't), then those GMs would be better utilized by putting more games on the schedule to begin with, not keeping them in reserve just in case a long list of conditions are all met.

Posted by drakemertz
#16

[This post has been removed]

Posted by aldctjoc

Ugh... spam link right at the end, after the period in drakemertz's post. 

I wish these spammers would stop using our forum as their SEO playground. that's abusive on their part. 

Edit: Oh good, the mods got to it by the time I posted. Well done!

Posted by mikeboozer aldctjoc

aldctjoc wrote:
Ugh... spam link right at the end, after the period in drakemertz's post. 
I wish these spammers would stop using our forum as their SEO playground. that's abusive on their part. 
Edit: Oh good, the mods got to it by the time I posted. Well done!

Yeah, I got it!

Nothing more to add here accept #5 was more tongue in cheek and I'm sorry if it missed the funny mark lol. We are well aware of the costs of attending Gen Con.

I will let you all discuss the merits of this. 

Gen Con has made it's position clear.

Mike

Posted by streif

I find this puzzling.  What makes you so concerned the GM won't show up or that it won't be the right game?  Is the game not scheduled for release until close to con time?  Does the GM have a reputation for flakiness?

Either you want to play these particular games enough that you are willing to risk it, or you should sign up for games run through a company (in which case the absence of a single GM will likely mean employees/gamers are shuffled around but everyone still gets to play).

If your biggest concern is ending up with a hole in your schedule, you could monitor other games with availability during the timeslot(s) for a last minute switch (make sure to have enough generic tickets), or sign up for the games library (which allows 8-9 hours of gaming in the time slot and doesn't block out the time).

 

Posted by ladye not-going-to-gencon

not-going-to-gencon wrote:
 

Thank you, Stick Man in DC.The fact that Gen Con will try to prevent a no-show DM from running a game again is good for the con and the hobby in general, but that doesn't help me. 
Gen Con should have a team of back-up DMs to run emergency games should the need arise. It may not be what was advertised, but at least the players wouldn't be left gameless. 

The proviso to that is GMS who fall ill and cancel through the official GenCon channels. That gets refunded, and if you, like me, don't check emails during the convention, won't find out until you show up for the game. Which happened to me with the game canceled 30 minutes prior. Fun times, but better no game than catching ConCrud.
 

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