Best times to run games.
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Posted by belgath

This will be my first time running games at Gen Con. I was wondering when the best times in the day are to run a typical RPG game? I tentatively have time set for 2pm to 6pm but was wundering If latter In the evening would be more advantageous for players.

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Posted by tdb

Speaking as a player, that's actually a decent time slot.  I've seen the most no-shows in games that start at 8am or 9am (probably people oversleeping), and again for 6pm or 7pm (just after dinner).  Of course that's just my experience.  I'm not sure if Derek has statistics on no-shows or not.

But really, the best time is whatever time works best for you. What time doesn't interfere with a game you're keen to play?  What time of day will you be sure to be fresh, awake, and energetic so you can do your game justice? There are 60,000+ people there, so your time slot and game choice only has to work for 1/10,000 of them to fill the table.

tdb

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Posted by mrshiny

I agree that early rounds and dinner time have the most no shows. The only exception are early Thursday morning.  Those tend to be well attended I think because players are ready to go right at the start of the con. 

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Posted by belgath

Ok thanks for the input I feal much better about the 2pm time slot. Excited about running the RunQuest games.

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Posted by tdb

RuneQuest!?!?  I'll be looking for that!  Which edition?

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Posted by belgath

RuneQuest 6, was frustrated last year at the few games that where available filled up right away. So decided the GM some of my own. Planing on runing the new Classic Fantasy supplement. Been playing Runquest since 1980 when Graig Stafford gave me my first copy.

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Posted by belgath

But I own every addition and just about every suplament out there. Drives my wife crazy.

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Posted by tdb

Cool!  I'm most familiar with 2nd, but I've played Mongoose and 6th as well, and owned the AH version for a while.

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Posted by belgath

There all good and if you're familiar with one the rest are easy to under stand. I still use all my old AH adventures as they port over almost seamlessly. 

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Posted by belgath

RuneQuest should be pretty big this year with 2500 copies selling during the kick starter.

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Posted by derekguder

Aside from Sunday, there is surprisingly little variance in the overall rate of no-shows or overall attendance across typical covnention hours. So for most games, the difference between the afternoon and the evening are very minimal.

Scheduling differences like that also really only have a significant impact when you get to really large events where you need to attract a large number of players. Those kinds of events are also, ironically, the ones that can usually handle some no-shows a bit more easily. For a typical RPG, for example, you're looking for 6 players and unless the game is very obscure you should be able to find enough people at almost any time. And if your game is super-obscure, then you're not going to be able to easily coordinate the possible schedules for your 6 random Gen Con attendees.

All that adds to: plan your schedule based on both your needs & available space first. Certainly keep some conflicts in mind, but most of the time you're better off scheduling what is convenient for you and when tables are avaialble. You'll be happier running the event and space will be more likely to be available if you pick off-peak times.

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Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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