Monday, February 06, 2012

GM Mentoring: Want Some Advice On Running Convention Games?

Good Afternoon, All:

This past weekend, I attend a great regional gaming convention called Owl Con. Hosted by a gaming club at Rice University in Houston, TX, Owl Con is one of my favorite conventions. With very few exceptions, I have always had a great time roleplaying in the scenarios I've encountered there. This time around, I had one session being run by a GM who viewed the session as no different that what he'd run for his gaming group on their usual game night, and because of that, we didn't get much accomplished. I found it frustrating, as I walked away from the experience almost wishing I'd played something else instead. This is a pretty rare occurrence, as I'd mentioned before. I could tell he was a good GM, possibly even a great one. However, since he didn't plan for the time constraints and rigid structure inherent in a convention gaming session, I didn't get to see his abilities showcased as I would have liked.

I've been running convention games now for almost a decade, and have a fairly decent reputation for providing a satisfying gaming experience whether I'm running Traveller, Savage Worlds or D20. I'd like to think it is because I'm good at running games, but honestly, I'm sure a lot of my success in this endeavor is due to my decision to research how to run a successful convention game before I designed my first adventure for that environment.

Should I consider a short series of posts on how to design and run Convention scenarios? What do you think?

With Regards,


Mel said...


Digital Orc said...

Yes, please.

Robert Fisher said...

I’m particularly interested in how much material one should prepare. You want to have enough that you don’t end the session too early, you want to be able to get to a satisfying stopping point before running out of time, and enough wiggle room to adjust on the fly to meet those goals. Are there any benchmarks (i.e. number of encounters) for making sure you have enough but not too much?

S N Wright said...

A lot of adults who have limited gaming availability use Cons to get their game on, so there is certainly an audience for this sort of practical advice.

Sniderman said...

I found a great resource last year when prepping for Gen Con. How much to present given the time, best way to organize a start, middle, and end, lots of good advice. May be a good place to review and improve upon!

Louis Porter Jr. said...

Good idea!