GenCon Survival Guide - Running your own event
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Posted by daxhammond

My friend Rich and I are doing a series of podcast episodes talking about different aspects of gencon.  Here's our second part, talking all about running events at the show:  Pt. 2 Gencon Survival - Running my own event

This rewarding experience can be done by more people.  It's fun but has some pitfalls, we discuss those and how to navigate them in this latest entry to the survival guide. 

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Posted by mstabosz

I've only been to 3 of the 50 GenCons, but is it really that common for attendees to die?  That seems like a bit of a liability problem for GenCon LLC.

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Posted by daxhammond

Many Dungeon Masters have perished after running games for 4 days straight!

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Posted by roundtop

Many DMs died to bring you that pod cast. /monmothma

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Posted by suburbaknght

Quite common; make sure your party has stocked up on resurrection scrolls.

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Posted by raidkillsbugsded mstabosz

mstabosz wrote:
I've only been to 3 of the 50 GenCons, but is it really that common for attendees to die?  That seems like a bit of a liability problem for GenCon LLC.

Not to be too grim, but in a discussion with my wife on the way back from GC a few years ago, the question came up "Do you think anyone's actually died at Gen Con?"

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Posted by garhkal raidkillsbugsded

raidkillsbugsded wrote:
mstabosz wrote:
I've only been to 3 of the 50 GenCons, but is it really that common for attendees to die?  That seems like a bit of a liability problem for GenCon LLC.

Not to be too grim, but in a discussion with my wife on the way back from GC a few years ago, the question came up "Do you think anyone's actually died at Gen Con?"

Not gencon, but i heard of someone dying at a con in Europe..  Dude had a heart attack irc..

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Posted by mstabosz raidkillsbugsded

raidkillsbugsded wrote:
mstabosz wrote:
I've only been to 3 of the 50 GenCons, but is it really that common for attendees to die?  That seems like a bit of a liability problem for GenCon LLC.

Not to be too grim, but in a discussion with my wife on the way back from GC a few years ago, the question came up "Do you think anyone's actually died at Gen Con?"
I hear gamer funk can get pretty strong.  I was in the bathroom at work an hour ago and someone had made a smell so terrible I thought I was about to die from it.

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Posted by frozen.fallout

Very cool thanks, just getting into podcasting and also done a few years running at Gen Con but always good to hear the tips and tricks as you are prepping.

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Posted by watchdog

1. Re: Player experience. Yes, Gen Con has a place on the event submission form describing how experienced players should be. But GMs should be prepared to handle novices even if the event description asked for experienced players. Some people don’t look st the experience tags, while others have subjective interpretations of what constitutes “some” experience. 

2. Every GM should familiarize themselves with the Event Host Policy. It answers a lot of questions GMs may have, including the ones you had about event start times. http://files.gencon.com/genconeventhostpolicy.pdf

3. I was surprised that there was no mention of playtesting your event in the section on prepping in the months before the convention. It helps a GM avoid potential difficulties: Are there any obvious plot holes? Are the PCs and their opposition properly balanced? Can they finish the event in the alloted time?

if you’re part of a gaming group at home, you’re not taking advantage of a great resource if you don’t ask them to playtest your game. If you’re not part of a gaming group, go to your local gaming store and ask if you can run the event there? Feedback and constructive criticism can salvage make a mediocre event good and a good event great.

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Posted by daxhammond

Thanks for the excellent feedback watchdog!  Completely agreed on all three points.  Seriously, we've no idea how to get better without this kind of feedback. 

EOs have the unenviable task of being both quite flexible to players and have a firm grasp of the rules for not only their event but also for the con itself. 

I thought Rich had mentioned he play tested his stuff but I probably cut that part out.  We'll definitely make sure that's expanded upon in future eps. 

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Posted by garhkal watchdog

watchdog wrote:
1. Re: Player experience. Yes, Gen Con has a place on the event submission form describing how experienced players should be. But GMs should be prepared to handle novices even if the event description asked for experienced players. Some people don’t look st the experience tags, while others have subjective interpretations of what constitutes “some” experience.

Heck, some conventions our group (sparks force 7) runs events we call seminars and interactives, where to 'play' them you HAVE to have a pre-established character in our campaign.  No showing up and making a pc for it.  Or events that are an A-B-C continuation like system, where to play B you need to have done A, and to play C you need to have done B.  We've had those things clearly marked in the 'event description' lines.  BUT still have had people show up, without even having READ it..

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Posted by daxhammond garhkal

garhkal wrote:
... BUT still have had people show up, without even having READ it..

Oh man, and if your event was full you KNOW someone who probably was prepped and set couldn't get a seat at that table.  Does make watchdog's point even more applicable though... people are going to show up having not read anything about the event, have some kind of answer ready.

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Posted by garhkal

We do.. "sorry guy, but the event specified {must have an established character to play}..

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