GenCon Registration Closes June 28th

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OK, I think we all get the gag order situation with WOTC right now. It's an important rule if you have ever been part of a large company dealing with internal issues.

I think it’s safe to assume that the RPGA and WOTC wants to be at GenCon 2008. It's also a very safe assumption that several RPGA members are coming to GenCon 2008 for the premier of their new campaign... hence the heavy attention on the subject. No one can deny the importance of this subject to its members.

The truth remains though, how long should the RPGA wait to tell its members that they are or are coming or not? Many people go to GenCon to play all of the other events and some still go to play 1st Edition D&D. I suspect the people here on the RPGA LFR boards are going to GenCon for LFR, 4th edition and mostly just for that.

My point here is, the registration deadline is June 28th unless GenCon moves it back, a decision in the next month will come with little to no penalty to the members of the RPGA. With this deadline in mind, I think it would be fair to the RPGA members to let us know at least by June 21st. Like everyone else on these boards, I have a hotel booked, but I was smart and did not pay for registration yet. Most hotels will charge you a cancellation fee if you cancel days in advance; however, you stand to negotiate no fees if you have more notice. This is why the RPGA members need some notice opposed to none.

To cancel or to announce the RPGA’s presence at whatever time, is clearly a business decision. Giving its members fair notice, that does not preclude them for registering or costing them hotel cancellation fees, is a responsible business decision. These are tough times, but at some point the RPGA need to weigh the desire to attend GenCon vs. doing the responsible thing for your members. Fair notice is what I am looking for and I think that’s a reasonable expectation of any professional organization.
OK, I think we all get the gag order situation with WOTC right now. It's an important rule if you have ever been part of a large company dealing with internal issues.

I think it’s safe to assume that the RPGA and WOTC wants to be at GenCon 2008. It's also a very safe assumption that several RPGA members are coming to GenCon 2008 for the premier of their new campaign... hence the heavy attention on the subject. No one can deny the importance of this subject to its members.

The truth remains though, how long should the RPGA wait to tell its members that they are or are coming or not? Many people go to GenCon to play all of the other events and some still go to play 1st Edition D&D. I suspect the people here on the RPGA LFR boards are going to GenCon for LFR, 4th edition and mostly just for that.

My point here is, the registration deadline is June 28th unless GenCon moves it back, a decision in the next month will come with little to no penalty to the members of the RPGA. With this deadline in mind, I think it would be fair to the RPGA members to let us know at least by June 21st. Like everyone else on these boards, I have a hotel booked, but I was smart and did not pay for registration yet. Most hotels will charge you a cancellation fee if you cancel days in advance; however, you stand to negotiate no fees if you have more notice. This is why the RPGA members need some notice opposed to none.

To cancel or to announce the RPGA’s presence at whatever time, is clearly a business decision. Giving its members fair notice, that does not preclude them for registering or costing them hotel cancellation fees, is a responsible business decision. These are tough times, but at some point the RPGA need to weigh the desire to attend GenCon vs. doing the responsible thing for your members. Fair notice is what I am looking for and I think that’s a reasonable expectation of any professional organization.

Well put and well said, Uthgardt.

That's all I think many of us are looking for...the understanding that IF things change, we will be able to receive fair notification and communication.
The truth remains though, how long should the RPGA wait to tell its members that they are or are coming or not?

I'm with you, up until this point. You are asking for answers and communication from the RPGA for issues that the RPGA has absolutely no control over. As I've said in other threads, you are on the Living Forgotten Realms board. I can answer questions about LFR. I'm not sure if there are other places you can get in touch with people who can help you, but I know for sure it isn't here. And if you do get answers, please let ME know. :D
And if you do get answers, please let ME know. :D

That's really sad, that even the Global Administrators have no freaking clue if LFR is going to be at Gencon or not.
Well, WotC itself likely doesn't know if it'll be at GenCon or not. This is far, far above the RPGA. Right now the company is worrying that they might be missing a chance to follow-up on their 4e launch, sell the product and show what's coming. The Core books will have been well-hyped and likely sold prior but GenCon is a great chance to plug the next set of books and show what's being released over the next year.
I wouldn't be surprised if LFR is way down on their list of concerns.

But at least now we have an loose date. Just under a month and a half.
If we don't hear by then, then we can assume the LFR launch is canceled. And the RPGA can launch into back-up plans with a couple months to prepare.

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The LFR continues to work on our initial schedule toward an August launch.
While RPGA might not be able to know if WotC will be attending, I would imagine it also has the ability to move in a separate direction from WotC because of the specialized needs of organized play. Organized play requires scheduling in advance, and if the suit timeline dictates that that's not able to happen, I think RPGA needs to go ahead and pull the plug regardless of if WotC is still hanging on the edge.

I really don't get the furor about GenCon anyhow. GenCon, IMO, gains much more from WotC's presence than WotC does from showing up to GenCon. At GenCon, WotC is selling 4e (and LFR) to a saturated and pre-educated audience... I cannot imagine that very many people at -all- attending GenCon do not know about 4e's release and have already either made a decision to purchase or a decision to uncategorically stay away.

Now, if we're talking about Dragon*Con two weeks later in Atlanta, that's a different story. It's only in small part a gaming convention but it has the existing infrastructure to absorb (and probably quite quickly) an expanded WotC presence... and WotC could actually *sell* 4e to some people and expand the core audience, rather than preach to the choir. Same goes for LFR.

And, as a side benefit, WotC's absence would possibly throw GenCon into enough financial turmoil that it comes up on the selling block ... so a corp or individual can come in and right a ship that's listing awkwardly to port.

-Sutro
I really don't get the furor about GenCon anyhow. GenCon, IMO, gains much more from WotC's presence than WotC does from showing up to GenCon. At GenCon, WotC is selling 4e (and LFR) to a saturated and pre-educated audience... I cannot imagine that very many people at -all- attending GenCon do not know about 4e's release and have already either made a decision to purchase or a decision to uncategorically stay away.

1) GenCon has traditionally been the RPGA's biggest convention, and where the RPGA premieres new things (though, in recent years, the RPGA has been moving some of that focus to DDXP, which it owns).

2) With the expectation that LFR would premiere at GenCon, quite a few people (though, certainly a minority of the total GenCon attendance base) had made plans to attend GenCon primarily because of LFR. So, you have people who've bought badges, made hotel and flight reservations...and who now face uncertainty as to whether the thing that they were going for, will even be there. And that's why you're seeing the furor.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
The LFR continues to work on our initial schedule toward an August launch.

I do admire the optimism.
And I don't think anyone would be happy if the possible GenCon debacle was used as an excuse to extend deadlines or something.

But I worry that assuming everything is going to work out with GenCon and not having a back-up plan could lead to disappointment.

But two months or does give lots of time to shuffle plans and there's still a solid month and a half before we start to hit deadlines.

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This is not optimism. This is a fact. We work toward an August launch, and nothing that happens will be used as an excuse to extend deadlines.

I never said there weren't multiple plans. I never said there were. But I don't plan to disappoint players with anything that is in my control, and I know everyone else on the LFR staff has the same goal. Players may or may not be disappointed by things that happen in LFR over the life of the campaign, because that is inevitable. In some cases the very act of making one segment of the player base happy inevitably disappoints another segment. Such is the nature of the beast.

With so much up in the air, there is going to be speculation. Some worry and speculation is certainly warranted, and of course there are going to be those who take it one step too far. All I can do is promise to answer the questions I have the information and the ability to answer.

Shawn
This is not optimism. This is a fact. We work toward an August launch, and nothing that happens will be used as an excuse to extend deadlines.

I never said there weren't multiple plans. I never said there were. But I don't plan to disappoint players with anything that is in my control, and I know everyone else on the LFR staff has the same goal. Players may or may not be disappointed by things that happen in LFR over the life of the campaign, because that is inevitable. In some cases the very act of making one segment of the player base happy inevitably disappoints another segment. Such is the nature of the beast.

With so much up in the air, there is going to be speculation. Some worry and speculation is certainly warranted, and of course there are going to be those who take it one step too far. All I can do is promise to answer the questions I have the information and the ability to answer.

Shawn

Well...I know I have been more than a little outspoken over the lack of information available from WotC regarding the GenCon status. However, I would at least like to say thanks Shawn for taking time to answer what you can. I know this is not a picnic for the people who write and coordinate this, and I do appreciate the work you guys have done in the past. I HOPE to be able to play this game at GenCon...if not, I will do what I can to arrange some dates for people in Indiana to get access to the material as well.

Thanks, and good luck.
OK, I've been lurking the GenCon/RPGA threads for awhile - hoping for some word of SW Saga at GenCon.

Finally something positive! Christopher Perkins, in his blog last Friday, states that WoTC is going to GenCon!

I didn't see anything about RPGA, LFR or SW Saga, but perhaps the ice is breaking and finally we will get some news.

Check out his staff blog on gleemax for confirmation.

The GenCon message boards are where I saw the news about Christopher Perkins blog, still no word there about games being added to the GenCon registration system.

MTFBWY-A
I believe its too late to get them in for pre-reg. From my experience from past Gencon's they will be in the printed book for regular Registration. Unfortunatly that means long lines on Wed / Thurs till all the events all fill up.

GL

Apis
I am hopeful that as long as WoTC can get the info to GenCon before on-line registration closes - the events will be available for registration.

They have modified/addded events already (Upper Deck was given as an example of a company that didn't meet the deadline), so I think a group as important to GenCon as WoTC/RPGA will get some preference.
Given yesterday's announcement, how soon before we can expect to see the schedule up?


Uthgardt
That will be up to GenCon now. From the press release:

"Events will be viewable in the coming days. Specific details regarding events will sent via email this week."
That will be up to GenCon now. From the press release:

"Events will be viewable in the coming days. Specific details regarding events will sent via email this week."

Does this mean you all have your GenCon ducks in a row and that information is in GenCon's hands pending inclusion in the online pre-reg system?

Cause, seriously, I'm intrigued by LFR, but I refuse to stand in yet another eternal line to fight and haggle for one of the 2 remaining tickets only to get stuck playing while my wife and friends have to sit out.
Does this mean you all have your GenCon ducks in a row and that information is in GenCon's hands pending inclusion in the online pre-reg system?

Cause, seriously, I'm intrigued by LFR, but I refuse to stand in yet another eternal line to fight and haggle for one of the 2 remaining tickets only to get stuck playing while my wife and friends have to sit out.

I'm not sure how the RPGA or GenCon can help you out with your second point, aerion. Derek Guder has stated that he expects the RPGA events to be showing up in the system by the end of the week, and then go "live" soon after that. So, it sounds like "all the duck are in the proverbial row".

However, you can still only buy 2 tickets/event per registered user through the registration system. The only event I know of that this rule is amended for is True Dungeon, which does allow you to buy a whole event, 8 tickets.
That means as it stands now, you can only guarantee 2 players per user ID in the system...so be sure to coordinate which events you are interested in closely with your friends.

Does anyone know if this will be different this year with RPGA events?
On the upside, now that the "main rush" of registration is over - with people fighting for tickets for every single event, the RPGA event registration should go a lot smoother.

The registration system isn't going to see as much stress, and while tickets will go fast, I doubt they're going to dissapear in the first 2-3 hours like they do with general registration.

This might end up being a good thing.
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Does this mean you all have your GenCon ducks in a row

I have had my "GenCon ducks in a row" for several weeks now.

and that information is in GenCon's hands pending inclusion in the online pre-reg system?

I believe that your question is best answered on the GenCon site.

Shawn
I believe that your question is best answered on the GenCon site.

Shawn

According to Derek Guder on a post about this very subject on the GC boards.. (20 May 08)


"There will be an official email blast and announcement later this week that will explain it all and give the full run-down on when events will go up, when you can register for them, etc."
I'm not sure how the RPGA or GenCon can help you out with your second point, aerion. Derek Guder has stated that he expects the RPGA events to be showing up in the system by the end of the week, and then go "live" soon after that. So, it sounds like "all the duck are in the proverbial row".

However, you can still only buy 2 tickets/event per registered user through the registration system. The only event I know of that this rule is amended for is True Dungeon, which does allow you to buy a whole event, 8 tickets.
That means as it stands now, you can only guarantee 2 players per user ID in the system...so be sure to coordinate which events you are interested in closely with your friends.

Does anyone know if this will be different this year with RPGA events?

Okay...BIG round of applause to the RPGA folks and GenCon for making THIS happen...

"I checked with the RPGA coordinators and we'll be upping the number of tickets a single person can buy per slot up to 6.

So you'll be able to buy up a whole table to get your group to go with you. Just do me a favor and don't buy more tickets than you actually need so that someone else is locked out of the game"


That was an "official" post from Derek Guder on the GenCon forums board, so you can now buy up to 6 tickets/RPGA event per regsitered user.

That rocks!!
Last night was my first full night of sleep since last Friday. So trust me schedules are done and people have been working non-stop to get all the ducks in a row for Gencon pre-reg to go live as soon as Derek can make it happen (he has everything from our end so I expect we'll see an official schedule from him last this week).
Thanks for the updates, everyone!

Shawn
Okay...BIG round of applause to the RPGA folks and GenCon for making THIS happen...

"I checked with the RPGA coordinators and we'll be upping the number of tickets a single person can buy per slot up to 6.

So you'll be able to buy up a whole table to get your group to go with you. Just do me a favor and don't buy more tickets than you actually need so that someone else is locked out of the game"


That was an "official" post from Derek Guder on the GenCon forums board, so you can now buy up to 6 tickets/RPGA event per regsitered user.

That rocks!!

I authorized that change earlier today after having a discussion with interested parties in Organized Play here at Wizards. We'll see how well it goes this year; as long as people aren't abusing it (and we should be able to track that), I see no reason why we can't let folks buy a whole table's worth of tickets at one time.

Chris Tulach

D&D Program Manager

Wizards of the Coast  

Chris on Twitter

 

I may be a minority, but I'm not looking forward to seeing this change.

Currently, it's already difficult to buy tickets for events with the popularity of some programs. Allowing each person to buy up a whole table when there may only be 2 tables in a slot is not a good solution in my opinion. Even if the abuse is detected, it does nothing for the people who won't be able to sign up because people are buying 6 tickets. The abuse likely won't be captured in time to reissue those tickets for the public again. Maybe I'm pessimistic about human nature, but I have a feeling more people than not will buy extra tickets 'in hopes' of filling the table rather than having 5 other people already set for the event.

I think a limit of 2-3 tickets per person should be sufficient for almost everyone. I don't think one person should need to purchase a whole table for the group.
I think we are missing the big issue. The Issue really is that there are never enough tables of RPGA events. The tickets always sell out near instantly and the chances of getting in on generics is slim to none. The solution is to add more tables. And yes I do realize it is difficult to add more tables. Yes I have heard the rumors every year that the problem is a lack of judges volunteering. However if you want to promote a new product you should make it easy for people to access the games. The people who are going to Gencon every year and buying all the RPGA tickets are likely already going to be buying 4th ed stuff. To get new players the games need to should accessible. I think this is a solvable problem.

As far as buying multiple tickets goes, I always need three tickets for each event so I am glad they made this change. On the down side people are going to buy whole tables for no reason and hope to fill them later since they know they will be able to sell the tickets. This happens with true dungeon and those tickets are almost 40$ each. I have no solution to this problem.

Good luck making everyone happy on this front Chris, and thanks for all the hard work you guys do.
I think we are missing the big issue. The Issue really is that there are never enough tables of RPGA events. The tickets always sell out near instantly and the chances of getting in on generics is slim to none. The solution is to add more tables. And yes I do realize it is difficult to add more tables. Yes I have heard the rumors every year that the problem is a lack of judges volunteering. However if you want to promote a new product you should make it easy for people to access the games. The people who are going to Gencon every year and buying all the RPGA tickets are likely already going to be buying 4th ed stuff. To get new players the games need to should accessible. I think this is a solvable problem.

Dave's in charge of recruiting DMs for the show, and I can assure you that he'll attempt to fill the room to capacity. We are limited by the number of volunteers that will help - we give them product, a room, and a free badge to compensate them (and the rewards will be better this year as well), but sometimes that's not enough to convince a person to help. We are also limited simply by budget - if I promised every volunteer a flight to the show and an iPod, we'd probably get some more volunteers, but the cost to do so would be astronomical. And lastly, we are limited by space - while we have a relatively large space to work with, it has been close to capacity before. We only have so much real estate to run the games.

We'll always attempt to make as much room as we can for the popular events. We know they sell out, but there's always a decent shot at getting in a game with generics during the non-peak slots (usually Thursday and Sunday). We also have plenty of play opportunities for Living Forgotten Realms this year (9 rounds of games, instead of the usual 4). As a final point, there's nothing playing at Gen Con Indy that cannot be experienced later at a different location (most of them, except the special, will be playable at home), so even if you miss out on an adventure or two that you wanted at the show, you'll be able to catch it soon enough.

Chris Tulach

D&D Program Manager

Wizards of the Coast  

Chris on Twitter

 

Allowing each person to buy up a whole table when there may only be 2 tables in a slot is not a good solution in my opinion.

The maximums at registration time for each slot of an adventure will be much higher than 2 tables (12 players). We always make adjustments when we can if we see something selling out.

Dempster also pointed out the comparisons with True Dungeon's ticket sell-out situation and ours, but keep in mind that our LFR adventures are not exclusive to Gen Con Indy.

Chris Tulach

D&D Program Manager

Wizards of the Coast  

Chris on Twitter

 

the following official email was just received by me on the Gencon email list:

Wizards of the Coast’s Events
Wizards of the Coast has submitted over 400 events this year. To give everyone plenty of opportunity to plan your schedule, the full event listing will be online and available to review on Thursday, May 22nd. Registration for these events will open up at Sunday, June 1st at noon (PST). *

It’s a big year for Dungeons & Dragons with the launch of the new 4th edition. At Gen Con, the RPGA will be launching Living Forgotten Realms, a brand-new organized play program in conjunction with the new edition. You can get a taste of the new game by running through a quick Dungeon Delve or you can dive head-first into the new campaign, getting in on the ground floor!

With almost 200 different tournaments and events for Magic the Gathering, you can get your card game fix on as well. Wizards of the Coast is also offering a slew of events for the Star Wars Role Playing Game, D&D Minis, Star Wars Minis, Heroscape, Three Dragon Ante, Dreamblade, Axis & Allies, Inn Fighting and MapleStory.

* Dropping Events to Register for Something New
Remember, you cannot register for a new event if it conflicts with something you have already signed up for. You must drop existing events BEFORE you register for new ones.

To drop an event, send an email to [email]customerservice@gencon.com[/email]. Please be very specific in your email request in order to ensure a timely refund. Here is what you need to include:

Your account ID (this appears at the top left of the screen next to your name after you sign into your account (Ex: John Doe (ID: 01234))
The Game ID of the event you want to drop (EX: SEM12345).
Whether you would want a refund (back to the original credit card you used to purchase the ticket) OR if you would prefer a system credit in which you can use to purchase other events.


Hope this helps.

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
To drop an event, send an email to [email]customerservice@gencon.com[/email]. Please be very specific in your email request in order to ensure a timely refund. Here is what you need to include:

Your account ID (this appears at the top left of the screen next to your name after you sign into your account (Ex: John Doe (ID: 01234))
The Game ID of the event you want to drop (EX: SEM12345).
Whether you would want a refund (back to the original credit card you used to purchase the ticket) OR if you would prefer a system credit in which you can use to purchase other events.


Hope this helps.

Keith

Quoted for importance.
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