Top Three PM Convention Tips

Hello Miscreants.

Well, we’re all back, but not at complete fighting fitness just yet. Some of us are sick and alas we’re down Killerkitten and Dev Puppet this week due to crunch time on a dissertation. Good health and good luck to those who need it, Puppet or not!

…but we’re doing Baylors Blades this week, have Friday Night SPICED (Poached Egg Edition 2) on Friday (to cover the loss of two of our players), have Reunicon Convention this weekend AND World of Kaelstos comes back Sunday morning.

Sick or not, we’re still here! Next week, we should be back to normal with website updates and articles and the such like.

Prepping for a Convention

Since convention is on the brain this week, I guess some advice for first time PM-ers. These are the top 3, equally important tips for PM-ing. I mean don’t get me wrong, there are TONS of things you might want to consider, but these are my top three.

Tip 1. Relax

Really, just relax. It can be intimidating trying to run a game anyway, let alone with up to 8 people you’ve never met. It’s ok to be nervous but I can tell you – give it 20 minutes and you’ll forget as you, and they, get absorbed into the game. You’re going to be fine. 

Tip 2. Preperation

Pre-Gen characters. even in a system that’s quick to generate, pre-gen. Since a game is only short and usually cannot run over, cut time consuming tasks like this. this includes any equipment, but leave names, personalities and histories to the players.

Abilities, weapons, spells. From personal experience, I’ve turned up to a game where there are spells and class abilities, but no explanation of what they do. Indeed I had fireball, grease and witty retort (it was a re-roll) but no idea what the meta was. Print anything relevant and attach it to the relevant character sheet.

During con games, due to the nature of the beast, you only have a small amount of time and you’re unlikely to play again with this group, with this particular setup. Keep the pace going, reduce shopping sprees and giving the illusion of choice (a subtle form of railroading – left and right turns are the same) are ok tactics to employ. Just don’t be too freaking obvious about it. Prep your games with a limited time period and self contained story in mind.

Tip 3. Players

Now I’ve never had a game with a toolbag, but if you come across one, ask nicely to cease being a tool, and if they continue then ask them to leave. No one has time for trolls.

Most people do not want to see you fail, and they’re at an RPG convention because they WANT to be there, they’ve choose your game because they WANT to play. Remember that. In my experience, and from what other people have told me, pretty much all convention goers are rad folks.

Learn from your new players: usually we’re quite insular playing with the same people each week – as a PM this is a great chance to learn about other play styles and there will always be off the cuff, crazy ideas that get thrown at you that you haven’t prepared for because these are new people with a different dynamic. Roll with it.

Reet, that’s it I think. Good luck y’all! 

Time at the bar bitches – it’s blood who’s thirsty for booze this week.
– Blood, I will hurt you like treading on a lego piece.

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