LFR and Conventions

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With the ability to play modules from any region in your region, what incentive is there for people to travel to conventions to play?

I know that LG had a lot of conventions that people traveled to. So this ability to play mods from any region within your region worries me that the conventions will become a thing of the past.
Since game conventions existed before LG (perhaps different ones), and some Events ran during the life of LG (which featured only globally accessable campaigns, like LD and LF as examples), perhaps the situation is not as dire as you depict. Actually, I am more concerned about the rising cost of gasoline becoming a barrier.

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
Well I know that there was a lot of travel between my area and the region just to our south. And they were all LG only 3 day events. My local group help 2 conventions a year and there were at least 3 to 5 in Oklahoma each year as well that were LG only conventions.

Its this type of convention that I am talking about. Not every one can have the huge multi-genre conventions like DDXP etc.
Maybe judges eat less mods if they travel to conventions where they can play them first? If you don't live near folks interested in playing D&D, it provides a weekend where you can play. Assuming that there are still interactives, where else would they be run?
I was thinking about it over dinner. I would expect 6 to 8 modules per region per year (betting on 6). Would it be possible to have something similar to an access interactive as one of those mods that is playable only somewhere within that region? Maybe have 2 of them one mid year and one end of year. That might draw people to come for a day or 2 of gaming to get the interactive and play the other mods from that region so they could run them in their area. But without some big help from the powers that be the medium sized (20 to 40 people) Living campaign only conventions will be a thing of the past.
My assumption is that lower TU costs in-region and unique interactives might help maintain some of the draw. While there won't be the the reason to cross regional borders other than lowering the TUs spent (if we still even have TUs), conventions will have basically the entire LFR catalog to pick their offerings from.

The ability to play 4-10 mods in a weekend with other avid campaign members is still a draw to me. I might be less likely to cross borders but, I will certainly go to my local cons because they'll now offer out of region stuff and hopefully some sort of exclusive interactive.

This will likely mean fewer hotel rooms rented which can impact con pricing but, how many fewer is unknown.
My assumption is that lower TU costs in-region and unique interactives might help maintain some of the draw. While there won't be the the reason to cross regional borders other than lowering the TUs spent (if we still even have TUs), conventions will have basically the entire LFR catalog to pick their offerings from.

.

Chris said at Gencon last summer that LFR will not have TUs
At DDXP it was discussed that there would be convention only adventures. Those adventures will be the draw of conventions for LFR players. I expect (hope) these will resemble "Interactives" from the LG world. You should know though that these "convention only" events are not going to be one shot deals. The word round the campfire was that any convention in a region could order them within a specified time frame. So if you have a con in Colorado in June, and a con in Utah in July, odds are good the convention only adventure will be the same at both of them.
Chris said at Gencon last summer that LFR will not have TUs

Wow, first I have heard on that and I have been keeping an eye on the topic. Was that in one of the releases or podcasts or something? The people I know involved in LFR have told me it's up in the air as recently as December.
I was thinking about it over dinner. I would expect 6 to 8 modules per region per year (betting on 6). Would it be possible to have something similar to an access interactive as one of those mods that is playable only somewhere within that region? Maybe have 2 of them one mid year and one end of year. That might draw people to come for a day or 2 of gaming to get the interactive and play the other mods from that region so they could run them in their area. But without some big help from the powers that be the medium sized (20 to 40 people) Living campaign only conventions will be a thing of the past.

Apparently it was said at DDXP that there would be 4 to 5 modules per region each year. The 5th module is a reward to getting the other 4 out on time.
I was thinking about it over dinner. I would expect 6 to 8 modules per region per year (betting on 6). Would it be possible to have something similar to an access interactive as one of those mods that is playable only somewhere within that region? Maybe have 2 of them one mid year and one end of year. That might draw people to come for a day or 2 of gaming to get the interactive and play the other mods from that region so they could run them in their area. But without some big help from the powers that be the medium sized (20 to 40 people) Living campaign only conventions will be a thing of the past.

...and here I was thinking that people went to conventions just to meet new friends and have a good time! :P

It has been confirmed that each region will be releasing four regional adventures per year, with a fifth dependant on deadlines being met. I cannot remember a time when Perrenland did not release the optional ninth regional adventure each year in Living Greyhawk, and I hope all LFR regions will be the same way. That's a bucketload of play opportunities even before you consider 'core' content and adaptables.

Cheers,

Joe Fitzgerald
Event Manager
Dragon Coast
Joe Fitzgerald | joerpga[at]yahoo[dot]com[dot]au LFR Global Administrator
...and here I was thinking that people went to conventions just to meet new friends and have a good time! :P

It has been confirmed that each region will be releasing four regional adventures per year, with a fifth dependant on deadlines being met. I cannot remember a time when Perrenland did not release the optional ninth regional adventure each year in Living Greyhawk, and I hope all LFR regions will be the same way. That's a bucketload of play opportunities even before you consider 'core' content and adaptables.

Cheers,

Joe Fitzgerald
Event Manager
Dragon Coast

Thanks for the answ. But it still does not answer the crucial question of what incentive is there for peope to drop $100 to $200 bucks to go for a 3 day convention out of town to play mods they can play at home or the local gameshop.
Thanks for the answ. But it still does not answer the crucial question of what incentive is there for peope to drop $100 to $200 bucks to go for a 3 day convention out of town to play mods they can play at home or the local gameshop.

Alot of folks play their local region mods at cons even though they could play them at home or a gameshop. I suppose fewer people are likely to cross in to another region to play in the future but, some folks just like going to cons to get away and just be immersed in gaming. Cons are also good for being able get in 4 mods a day at your level which can be hard to arrange anywhere else.
Thanks for the answ. But it still does not answer the crucial question of what incentive is there for peope to drop $100 to $200 bucks to go for a 3 day convention out of town to play mods they can play at home or the local gameshop.

Hah, based upon the answers I got in my thread...it's the only way to get the 'special' reward cards or certs. If it's a big con that is.

Other than that? I couldn't say other than the usual: networking, a vacation/trip to a new place, meet new people, etc.
Wow, first I have heard on that and I have been keeping an eye on the topic. Was that in one of the releases or podcasts or something? The people I know involved in LFR have told me it's up in the air as recently as December.

I am trying to remember exactly when Chris said this. I think it was during a conversation with a group of players after one of the announcements. As I remember he said the reasoning was that they( wizards) wanted to remove artificial limits on play opportunities. This was during the same conversation where he hinted that LG would be getting rid of TU's for the rest of it's run. Sorry I can't point to anything official. It may be that this was only Chris's opinion and not a statement of policy.
The biggest reasons that I go to local cons is for the interactive and specials. If a local con doesn't have an interactive or special I will still go if it is close enough that I don't have to get a hotel and is on a weekend where I don't have any plans. If it has an interactive I am going for sure even if it costs an arm and a leg and we have to reschedule Gramma's funeral.

As far as going to meet people, socialize, ect the social aspect of the cons is a big part of what makes them fun but the con only exclusive games are the way that I convince myself that the con is worth all the time and money.
For me and my play group, cons are an opportunity for all of us to play at the same table without needing one of us to judge. Not only is it nice to not worry about judging for the whole weekend, it keeps any of us from having to eat any mods.
I am trying to remember exactly when Chris said this. I think it was during a conversation with a group of players after one of the announcements. As I remember he said the reasoning was that they (wizards) wanted to remove artificial limits on play opportunities. This was during the same conversation where he hinted that LG would be getting rid of TU's for the rest of it's run. Sorry I can't point to anything official. It may be that this was only Chris's opinion and not a statement of policy.

As of right now there hasn't been any final decision announced on Time Units (TUs) for LFR. Chris was asked about TUs at GenCon, and Chris' response was that he did not like TUs. Decisions are still being made regarding this and dozens of other issues concerning LFR. I will say, however, that every attempt is being made to open up the Living campaign with as few external rules as possible. The rules that should matter are the 4e D&D rules. Other rules placed on the campaign should only be there if they are deemed completely necessary. That is my opinion, and I think that will be the direction of the new campaign.

Shawn
As of right now there hasn't been any final decision announced on Time Units (TUs) for LFR. Chris was asked about TUs at GenCon, and Chris' response was that he did not like TUs. Decisions are still being made regarding this and dozens of other issues concerning LFR. I will say, however, that every attempt is being made to open up the Living campaign with as few external rules as possible. The rules that should matter are the 4e D&D rules. Other rules placed on the campaign should only be there if they are deemed completely necessary. That is my opinion, and I think that will be the direction of the new campaign.

Shawn

Thanks for bringing some clarity to the issue.

If my vote matters count me in the pro-TU camp. I like its effect on promoting local region play and populating lower levels with alts.
With the ability to play modules from any region in your region, what incentive is there for people to travel to conventions to play?

Many people prefer to play at cons rather than home play or game days. The experience to play with a variety of players is fun. People like to get away for a weekend. a couple of days of continuous gaming is fun. Cons can have themes, such as the mods from a different region.
Some cons support a variety of gaming systems, drawing a varied crowd, and introduce new players to the campaign.

Tom Bollis
The reason I go to cons out of my immediate area (1 hour drive or so) is to play new content I can't get locally. Knowing that there are unique campaign things like character creation cards, land grants or other roleplaying opportunities not available elsewhere would probably also entice me to travel (as long as they're advertised ahead of time!).

Meeting new people and hanging out with gaming acquaintances is a side benefit. Unless you plan tables with old friends though, you won't really see them except for meals or outside of the convention, so that isn't a primary goal.

I'll go to any con within an hour's drive of my house though regardless of content, though I usually end up judging.

So considering the following are true:
1) No regional limits for playing mods
2) Convention only regionals are available
3) Special rewards available at DDXP, Origins, Gencon

I expect my LFR habits to be:
1) go to local conventions to play new mods
2) play most mods at homegames or regular store game nights
3) only travel to out-of-town WotC sponsored special cons with special access (DDXP, Origins, Gencon).
4) stop going to other out-of-town conventions

LG play has also dropped significantly in my local area. The last few conventions had about two-thirds their normal numbers. That probably means I'll no longer organize RGPA-only conventions unless game play picks up(though I might coordinate stuff in existing non-RPGA cons).
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Meh.

I already fly to one convention a year in my own region because I like to go to conventions. Of course, it helps to have a region where you have to fly to the next town (even after they split it in half) lol.

I'd imagine I will continue to fly out there once a year.

Mike
Since game conventions existed before LG (perhaps different ones), and some Events ran during the life of LG (which featured only globally accessable campaigns, like LD and LF as examples), perhaps the situation is not as dire as you depict. Actually, I am more concerned about the rising cost of gasoline becoming a barrier.

Keith

I would say things were different then, since there was a lot less play at home. I think in the 90s, you couldn't officially run closed home games of RPGA events. The four month lead time on events also made game days more difficult. (That's not to say it didn't happen, like with those players in my part of the country that always were up to date on LC play without attending the conventions and game days I did.)

In the 90s, RPGA-only conventions were still done, but represented a rare opportunity to play, later joined by RPGA-only game days. Today, it is a lot easier to arrange a game, and I fear for any conventions being able to break even in the future.
I would say things were different then, since there was a lot less play at home. I think in the 90s, you couldn't officially run closed home games of RPGA events. The four month lead time on events also made game days more difficult. (That's not to say it didn't happen, like with those players in my part of the country that always were up to date on LC play without attending the conventions and game days I did.)

In the 90s, RPGA-only conventions were still done, but represented a rare opportunity to play, later joined by RPGA-only game days. Today, it is a lot easier to arrange a game, and I fear for any conventions being able to break even in the future.

The sad thing is that once you take cons out of the picture, living campaigns don't make a ton of sense. Yes, you have a portable character but, how often are you going to find a home campaign other than the one your in to carry it over to without meeting folks through cons. yes, you can meet up online but, the whole effort is likely to remain more cellular. I always felt like interacting at cons as my character with other players was alot of the payoff for bothering with the paperwork and additional campaign restrictions.
If we are just going to play at home, just play an unsanctioned character/campaign.
I don't have a group in the area, so conventions are the only place I can play RPGA. Plus, I have kids, and am a single mom, so the time I used to have to devote to /finding/ a group is considerably more limited now.

In fact, I'm only just now getting back into TT gaming. Girls are old enough not to need constant monitoring. Hopefully with 4.0 and Living Forgotten Realms, maybe I can even start up something in my area. But even so, conventions are quite fun. I'd go even if there /was/ no RPGA there at all. It's just much more fun if there is.
Cons and game days offer a social activity where someone else (the Event Organizer) takes care of the site and orchestrating GMs for the adventures. For gamers who might not have a regular home gaming group, or who just want a break from the group, or want more gaming than the rest of the group wants, these public events are great opportunities. For gamers new to an area, or wanting to sample a new game system or campaign, they are great. For people who just like to meet new people, they are great.

Living campaigns do offer content for the home groups if the home GM does not have the time or energy to routinely create his or her own adventures. And they are cheaper than commercially sold adventures. For our mobile society, even in home groups, if a gamer moves, their PC and their involvement in the campaign is transportable, not ended, with the player's physical move.

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
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