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Running events

RMcKnightRMcKnight Registered User new member
I'd like to run a event at PAX Unplugged. How would I register this?

Posts

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    It depends on what you mean by "run an event."

    Unlike cons such as gencon or origins, PAX usually doesn't have GMs register to run things. They tend to leave it up to developers to supply GMs for their various games being shown at PAX, or people can set things up in the freeplay area on their own without any special support from PAX. We shall see whether or not this works well for a tabletop only PAX.

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  • PastymagePastymage Registered User new member
    Does "we shall see" mean it's being kicked around and discussed? Or it's definitely going to be hands-off, and only if it becomes a griefnado might that change for future PAX-U's? My wife and I have tickets, but the lack of info is unsettling - I'm very used to the event-reg format at gaming cons...trying to minimize social-anxiety with some guaranteed minimum of what I'm looking for (with the rest left open for boundary-pushing and serendipitous discovery).

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    No PAX has had event registration like a gencon or origins and since they said that this convention will be a whole show for the tabletop part of pax, I don't personally expect that to change.

    I don't currently have any more information than you do on the matter, other than my history of experience with PAX, so I can't say one way or another. "We shall see" means that I personally expect it to be without event registration, and through experience we will find out how well that works.

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    ltgrunt
  • erraticninjaerraticninja Registered User regular
    I feel like the new pax-unplugged feature site has enough info to verify that all of the areas will be run like other PAX's. http://unplugged.paxsite.com/features

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah, I would generally agree with that.

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  • klzklz Registered User regular
    With only a few casual oriented tournaments on the schedule, Pax is more along the lines of BGG.Con and industry cons like Essen. Event registration is common, but certainly not universal at gaming conventions I've seen, and I'm glad the ticketing system used by GenCon and Origins was not chosen when the passes went live.

    It should also be noted that the scheduled events done by the Enforcers have been sign ups on day of the event only, which has its own positives and negatives to the pre-registered sign ups at Gen Con and the exhibitor demos will also be similar to Gen Con's expo hall where it's first come, first served as long as you're willing to stand in line until it's your turn. It will be interesting to see if a move towards more scheduled events will happen, but don't expect any shifts like that until next year at the earliest, but likely 2-3 years after this year's events to actually show a preferential trend.

    LackeyGundabad
  • PastymagePastymage Registered User new member
    Yeah, I imagine the root of most of my confusion is that I've never been to a PAX and have no idea how things have been run at other ones. So reading the overview site, I'm like, "Ok, but what do I *do*?"

  • ltgruntltgrunt Registered User regular
    edited August 31
    Pastymage wrote: »
    Yeah, I imagine the root of most of my confusion is that I've never been to a PAX and have no idea how things have been run at other ones. So reading the overview site, I'm like, "Ok, but what do I *do*?"

    PAX shows have a single price for entry, but a very à la carte experience. What you do while you're at a PAX really depends on what you're interested in and how you want to engage it. We won't know specifics until they release the schedule a few weeks before the show date. There's a lot to do, and you're pretty free to focus on whatever interests you. In broad strokes, here's what you can expect based on what I've seen at East for the past four years:
    • Scheduled panels that usually feature developers, creators, streamers, etc., talking about a specific topic. Usually more than one panel going on in different rooms at the same time. If you're going for panels you might not get to see every one you want just because of scheduling. The panels run from around 10:00 AM until just before the show closes for the night at midnight on Friday and Saturday, and most of the show day Sunday as well.
    • The Expo/Exhibit Hall, where all of the developers and vendors set up booths to show off and/or sell their games and other products. The expo floor at East is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM each day of the show. There's a lot to see on the show floor - your first time will probably feel a little overwhelming, but by day 2 or 3 you'll get a feel for getting around and checking it out.
    • Tournaments are scheduled each day. They'll be listed by game on the schedule when it is released. Registration is typically on-site and first come first served.
    • East usually has a large Tabletop Free Play area with a small sea of tables and a library of games people can check out and play. I would be surprised if this this weren't the case at Unplugged.
    • East usually also has some organized play games like the D&D Adventurer's League setup where they provide DM's to run people through D&D games in 2-hour blocks throughout the weekend. Again, I would be surprised if this didn't show up at Unplugged.
    • Signing events are usually scheduled around late morning/early afternoon. If there's a particular person in the tabletop gaming world who you're a fan of they might have a scheduled time to sit and sign things for fans.
    • If you're into collecting Pinny Arcade pins, the show program will show on the map which exhibit hall vendors will be selling exclusive pins, and the schedule will list any official pin trading events (and as always, any time you're waiting in line is a good time to chat with someone who you see wearing some pins you want to trade for).
    • If you need a break there's usually one or two spaces set up to relax for a while. Take This (of takethis.org) usually runs an AFK Room with mental health professionals if you need someone to talk to during the show. The Diversity Lounge offers a place to sit down for a while and check out some inclusive developers and groups in a special showcase. This past March at East there was a Twitch Prime Lounge with free drinks, comfortable sofas and device charging stations.
    • At any point during the show if you have questions, ask one of the Enforcers, the volunteers who keep things running during the show. The theme color for Unplugged seems to be purple, so they'll almost certainly be wearing purple shirts that say Enforcer on them. They are there to help.

    I saw Jerry describe the PAX experience as "lines punctuated by fun" once and that's been true for me. Be prepared to wait in some lines - the security line to get in in the morning, the queue line before the expo floor opens, lines for panels, lines for game demos, lines for food, etc. But it's still fun. Lines are a great time to get to meet people. Everybody is there to share in the same cool stuff you came for, so it's remarkably easy to just start talking to the person next to you. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone at East pull out a quick group game like Coup or Werewolf and start playing with a group of strangers while waiting to see a panel.

    Also, if you have some time watch the Welcome to PAX series on the Penny Arcade YouTube channel.

    ltgrunt on
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    PastymageklzBeker
  • pgh_gamerpgh_gamer Registered User new member
    Pastymage wrote: »
    My wife and I have tickets, but the lack of info is unsettling - I'm very used to the event-reg format at gaming cons...trying to minimize social-anxiety with some guaranteed minimum of what I'm looking for (with the rest left open for boundary-pushing and serendipitous discovery).

    Pastymage, it sounds as though you're like me in that you prefer to plan ahead and schedule your games/events. A Game Scheduler Geeklist has been set up on boardgamegeek.com (https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/225219/pax-unplugged-2017-organized-play-post-your-bigger) for PAX Unplugged. You can add games you're interested in playing, typically longer and/or heavier ones, in the comments at the bottom or add a new item for each game you'd like to bring and run/teach. It's a pretty effective system; I've done this at a few cons. I prefer having my con booked up in advance.

  • Grand DMGrand DM Registered User regular
    edited September 15
    I think this is the single most confusing thing for anyone new to PAX. Many players involved with RPGs were expecting some sort of official event submission/sign-up.

    Grand DM on
    DM of three decades, tabletop game enthusiast, creativity aficionado, writer, zinester, proprietor of the #Gametavern, Plus Ultra.
  • QuarexQuarex Registered User new member
    Yeah I mean, I had heard that PAX was a lot more about standing in lines before, but I guess I kind of assumed it was a joke. But here I am, reading about how cool and fun it is to stand in lines at PAX, hahaha.

    I will grant it is certainly a different system than the one I am used to at uh... every other convention I have ever attended. And I am always glad to try new things at least once :) Plus as long as I can go hang out in the exhibit hall while contemplating whether I am up for standing in another line, I think it will work out.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    At the other pax conventions, the standing in lines is mostly in relation to panels and the exhibit hall where the new AAA games are being shown. the freeplay area lines are generally only if you need to check out a game or if a console area is particularly busy at a given moment and you are waiting for an xbox to free up.

    I am guessing they will likely increase the throughput of the boardgame library area by adding more checkout stations, which should help that part a lot.

    The wait-and-see will be more around whatever WotC does for their scheduled D&D events and similar.

    For attendee-generated content, the difficulty will be in organizing a group to play a thing, which hopefully the bgg thing will help with some.

    I personally really dislike the "register for a game" setup of other conventions, but I know it's the norm for tabletop specific shows. I don't think I expect any insane lines to wait in at Unplugged, but my guess is that if there are, and there's enough feedback about it after the show, there might be an opportunity to change things. One really big advantage of a show like Unplugged is that the feedback from it after the show can be more targeted to a specific type of experience, since the show won't have giant AAA videogame devs and huge rooms full of PCs and Consoles to think about too.

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    ltgrunt
  • ltgruntltgrunt Registered User regular
    We didn't spend a huge amount of time in tabletop at East this year, but I do remember the line to play D&D at the Adventurer's League area got longer than anticipated on Saturday night. They ended up pulling in a few volunteer DMs because so many people lined up.

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  • Grand DMGrand DM Registered User regular
    I found it a bit disheartening that to join the Enforcers you must volunteer all three days. Especially when one of the questions on the application specifically asks if you have Game Mastering experience. That will be excluding a lot of great GMs in the Philadelphia area that must work on Friday.

    DM of three decades, tabletop game enthusiast, creativity aficionado, writer, zinester, proprietor of the #Gametavern, Plus Ultra.
  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    The standard shift times are 9-2, 2-7 and 7-midnight. If work Friday is an issue, you could request the late shift. I know it won't work for everyone, but it is an option.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • Grand DMGrand DM Registered User regular
    whypick1 wrote: »
    The standard shift times are 9-2, 2-7 and 7-midnight. If work Friday is an issue, you could request the late shift. I know it won't work for everyone, but it is an option.

    Thank you for the follow-up, but unfortunately Friday is out for me. I was hoping to run a session during the convention, beyond just using the open gaming area, hence my initial interest.

    DM of three decades, tabletop game enthusiast, creativity aficionado, writer, zinester, proprietor of the #Gametavern, Plus Ultra.
  • LackeyLackey [E] PAX Tabletop Tournaments Registered User regular
    Grand DM wrote: »
    whypick1 wrote: »
    The standard shift times are 9-2, 2-7 and 7-midnight. If work Friday is an issue, you could request the late shift. I know it won't work for everyone, but it is an option.

    Thank you for the follow-up, but unfortunately Friday is out for me. I was hoping to run a session during the convention, beyond just using the open gaming area, hence my initial interest.

    For specifically D&D, a third-party (non-Enforcer) group will be running the Adventurer's League sessions at Unplugged. When they put out a request for DMs, we will relay that information here. Their requirements may be different than Enforcers, and may have need of DMs that do not include Friday.

    I'm making a note to provide that info here, once I have it.

  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    This is true as enforcers generally are not running games. It may be different for unplugged but I am guessing the role of enforcers will be similar to other shows.

  • MoS TrixMoS Trix Registered User new member
    edited September 21
    D&D AL is being run by The Role Initiative.
    Check out TRI's twitter feed, (at)_RoleInitiative, for more information on D&D at PAX Unplugged.

    They put out a call for GMs in July and their volunteer form has been closed. The volunteer form was cross posted to at least 2 different AL Facebook groups that I follow (Philadelphia Area and Eastern PA), probably to many others as well.

    I can tell you the D&D Adventurers League season 7 Epic is scheduled for Saturday from 1 to 5pm.

    Beyond the epic they are running AL games from 11 am to midnight on Fri & Sat, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.

    mod edit: removed kickstarter

    MoS Trix on
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited September 28
    It's definitely... kind of disheartening as a fan on non-D&D RPGs that the vibe I'm getting from PAX is "you're on your own."

    I guess it is what it is, and maybe I'm misreading the vibe based on an outsiders' read of the materials they've put out so far, but...

    Dex Dynamo on
  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    Games on Demand has already announced in a few places that they will be there in force, running your choice of indie RPGs... on demand! More announcements to come once show content starts to be officially rolled out. Stay tuned!

  • BekerBeker Child's Play Guy and PAX VR Freeplay Manager SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    Dex Dynamo wrote: »
    It's definitely... kind of disheartening as a fan on non-D&D RPGs that the vibe I'm getting from PAX is "you're on your own."
    I'm sorry you feel this way. If there was a non-D&D company that wanted to front the cost of space for a freeplay area designated for their game, we would certainly be interested in talking to them (for 2018 at this point though). But otherwise we will have a large free play space and some systems in place for people to be able to find like minded souls to play with. You are also more then welcome to use this forum, or some other, to organize your own games of whatever you want to play. That will not guarantee you a table, but historically at PAX, if a table is your first thing in the morning priority, there are plenty to go around.

    A very special part of PAX in many people's mind is that a huge portion of the space is dedicated to free play, Table Top, Console, Handheld, PC, VR, etc. And also that (with a few exceptions) once you buy your ticket for the day, you are free to go and play anything in the building, on a first come first served basis of course. That allows those who are willing to put in the time on a thing, to get to experience it. In addition to the community submitted panel system, this allows the community of the show to have a lot of input and control over what happens at the show. Sure it means that sometimes you might not know about an opportunity to play a game, or be able to schedule the show out as you might like, and as a person who likes schedules I appreciate that. But a lot of great things have been built by people who are "on their own" and and I am excited to see what kind of systems we all develop to play games.

    Unplugged is not going to come out of the egg fully formed in a perfect format. We know a lot about PAX, but this is a little bit of a different take, and is bringing in a lot of people like yourselves who are used to a different kind of show. We have some ideas on how to do things, we have been thinking about it a lot and checking out how others do it. We think its going to be a great show. I hope you leave your expectations behind and experience this new thing we are building, and then at the end, please do let us know what you think. There will be a thread in these forums for feedback, and an email sent out to ticket buyers as well, we will read them all, and then tweak things to make them even better for the second round of PAX Unplugged in 2018.

    tldr: don't think of "you're on your own" as a glass half empty kind of thing, think of it more as "You can make PAX what you want it to be"

    -Beker/Erick
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    ltgruntiltanevermore13
  • Grand DMGrand DM Registered User regular
    Beker wrote: »

    Unplugged is not going to come out of the egg fully formed in a perfect format. We know a lot about PAX, but this is a little bit of a different take, and is bringing in a lot of people like yourselves who are used to a different kind of show. We have some ideas on how to do things, we have been thinking about it a lot and checking out how others do it. We think its going to be a great show. I hope you leave your expectations behind and experience this new thing we are building, and then at the end, please do let us know what you think. There will be a thread in these forums for feedback, and an email sent out to ticket buyers as well, we will read them all, and then tweak things to make them even better for the second round of PAX Unplugged in 2018.

    tldr: don't think of "you're on your own" as a glass half empty kind of thing, think of it more as "You can make PAX what you want it to be"

    I think expecting the tabletop community to organize and schedule their own RPG sessions, without any scheduling support from PAX will never happen. The free play area seems like it may work for board games, but not so well for role-playing games, which have a bigger commitment.

    DM of three decades, tabletop game enthusiast, creativity aficionado, writer, zinester, proprietor of the #Gametavern, Plus Ultra.
    isaacvanduynDex Dynamo
  • isaacvanduynisaacvanduyn Registered User new member
    Totally agree. I'm feeling kinda bummed that there doesn't seem to be much support for this kind of thing. We'll see how it goes, but I don't have a lot of hope for PAX supporting my usual favorite thing to do at conventions, which is play RPG one-shots for systems I don't normally get a chance to try.

    The schedule came out today and it seems like many games only have a few scheduled sessions available, and that you have to, I assume, stand in line to get a chance to play in them.

  • JScottGaribayJScottGaribay Dedicated Gamemaster Brookhaven, PARegistered User new member
    I am running a non-DnD game on Friday. Just click on my name to see my thread. Thank you.

  • MelSnyMelSny New JerseyRegistered User regular
    Perhaps a future thought might be to have a small area where a GM can reserve a table for a 3 hour time slot to run a game. The GMs could then use the forums on their own to fill their slots or fill them the day of. This could be as small as 5 tables or of course bigger. I know space is always an issue at PAX events.

    This could be accomplished the same way they get panel requests. Announce it to the public and accept submissions. Or they could do it similar to how restaurants take reservations. All PAX would have to do is set up the reservations system and have an Enforcer on hand to keep people on time.

    This would assist GMs in planning their adventures and filling seats. It can be difficult to say, "I'll be running this event, who wants in?" but not have a date or time they know they will be able to do it. I know they could utilize the Free Play area but that does not always ensure a table will be open when they try to plan.

    I have been to PAX East since 2011 and I love the style of PAX. PAX is what you make of it, but I do understand that RPG is a HUGE part of tabletops and take more planning then a pre-set board game. Maybe a reservation only type space specifically for this would help people experience new adventures!

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    "You want to kill me? You couldn't even kill my boredom" - Roronoa Zoro (One Piece).

    Attending PAX East since 2011.
    hailtothekaleDex Dynamo
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