New GM: Go solo or join a gaming group?
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Posted by drnsain

Hi everybody!

Gen Con 50 will be my second time visiting, and I would really like to GM. However, I only want to GM one 4-hour D&D 5E game - I'm OK with not meeting GM requirements for badge or lodging and would be coming as mainly an attendee. I would like to dip my feet in the GM waters, so to speak. I do have experience GMing, but not at Gen Con (or any con, for that matter). 

So my question is: what can I expect as new, independent GM in regards to finding space for my single event? Can I do that somewhat easily on my own, or is it highly recommended (read, almost mandatory) to join a gaming group until I decide I will run enough games to qualify for GM badge/lodging?

I have very definite ideas of what and how I want to run the first game I GM (already have the adventure planned out), so I really hope that whatever options I have, I can run the game.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Posted by marimaccadmin

Hi there,

If you mean, just finding table space at which your event will run, Gen Con handles that for you, you don't generally need to worry about that. You'll submit an event online with your vital information, such as preferred times, number of players, any other unusual needs, and Gen Con will assign you a table, generally at the time you prefer, or close to it.

I don't think it's ever a bad idea to be part of a gaming group; it provides you some support should you need it, and some more experienced GMs to ask advice from, and some groups have some dedicated space, but by no means must you join a group to be a GM.  We've got plenty of independent GMs, and plenty of people that just run an event or two, and that's totally fine.

Marian McBrine
Event Coordinator 
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by drnsain marimaccadmin

marimaccadmin wrote:
Hi there,
If you mean, just finding table space at which your event will run, Gen Con handles that for you, you don't generally need to worry about that. You'll submit an event online with your vital information, such as preferred times, number of players, any other unusual needs, and Gen Con will assign you a table, generally at the time you prefer, or close to it.
I don't think it's ever a bad idea to be part of a gaming group; it provides you some support should you need it, and some more experienced GMs to ask advice from, and some groups have some dedicated space, but by no means must you join a group to be a GM.  We've got plenty of independent GMs, and plenty of people that just run an event or two, and that's totally fine.
Marian McBrine
Event Coordinator 
Gen Con LLC

Thanks Marian! That was exactly the information I was looking for - I was concerned I'd have to look for table space and I'm in Canada!

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Posted by marimaccadmin

Nope, no worries, Gen Con assigns all table space. :)

Marian McBrine
Event Coordinator
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by dblade

Welcome to GenCon GMing! I started slow as well my first time. 1 or 2 games for a few years. Once you get the hang of it, expand! Maybe even run the same adventure twice at different times. Same amount of prep time but twice as much playing time. Plus it is fun to see how two different groups handle the same situations.

Now I am at running 4 games minimum and getting the badge reimbursement. I would do it even if I wasn't but it is a nice perk once you build up to it.

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Posted by yanamari

Awesome! I had the exact same questions! I have been tossing around many ideas for games. I've run a few at small cons, but nothing the size of GenCon. Thank you so much for the info and tips. :)

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Posted by thehurds2751@gmail.com

Any person can sign up to run an event as a solo gaming group. You don't have to be part of anything larger. Just make up a gaming group name in the application form and you're on your way. That is something I struggled with at first too. I thought I had to be part of something larger but it's not the case.

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Posted by mrshiny thehurds2751@gmail.com

thehurds2751@gmail.com wrote:
Any person can sign up to run an event as a solo gaming group. You don't have to be part of anything larger. Just make up a gaming group name in the application form and you're on your way. That is something I struggled with at first too. I thought I had to be part of something larger but it's not the case.

It is to your benefit to do this too.  

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Posted by bluemax

The Fight in the Skies society is always looking for new GM's. Please feel free to PM me for more info

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