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TOPIC: Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con

Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 5 days ago #1

After too many miles of traveling I am finally home back in my comfortable chair where a mass of paperwork to be caught up on and tokens need to be sorted.

I say thank you to all my fellow volunteers from this con including the impressive initiative and work ethic shown by new folks who stepped up and helped out (Tim, Denni, Dave, Brad and Beau especially and others i'm missing names on).

We somehow got coaching going despite being more than half new folks. Shows the quality of our staff, especially when Harlax and I had to run an impromptu/unplanned Vol training session before con started.

Thank you players who for the most part where not tabletop oriented and had to have what we consider core concepts explained (i was refining my training room pitch all con to get better with this crowd and it was a awesome but different playerbase at this con). Thank you players for buying tickets and letting me have fun.

Apologies to the last runs on the last/best day of con where the sleep deprivation was real, you players with far more energy and still got hyped up to run the dungeon despite a staff starting to stumble a bit. The energy was real and really helped keep us volunteers going.

To Mike Naglee who finally observed how i run a training room and realized why my voice is always shot at the end of con. I may have spooked an assistant coach/player or two as i'm of the belief this is not a game for sitting down and being quiet.

So grateful for the time spent with my TD family, whether it was just hanging around and catching up or our impromptu post con meal where 15 of us gathered to swap stories of cons and volunteers past. We have our own set of lore and of folks no longer with us. Stories new and old got told and may they live on.

To my roommate who finally got his 1st volunteer shirt despite this being his 5th con volunteering...

Volunteer runs will always have shenanigans, intended or not, sorry to night shift DM's on our vol run as it was all in jest. Thank you Trent for being the to this point only Barbarian to survive the dungeon with the lowest recorded stats and I as a druid who lost the bet.

Time will tell if we veterans have set good example or not, but i'm grateful for the experience to be able to set the example.

PAX West 2019 in the books finally.

-Matt Humpolick
We're all the kind of people who enjoy the game on a "meta" level. We like talking about the game year-round. We buy tokens. We enjoy crafting. We get together during the off-season if we can. We are a very skewed demographic that way. -Raven

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Last edit: by Matt.

Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 4 days ago #2

  • Trent
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Matt wrote: Thank you Trent for being the to this point only Barbarian to survive the dungeon with the lowest recorded stats and I as a druid who lost the bet.


Yeah, SOMEBODY put all zeros for ALL of my stats...not sure who that was LOL!
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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 4 days ago #3

  • Harlax
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Yes, the volunteer run was quite meta.

That’s what you get from a party with 3 combat DMs, 2 Coaches, 1 Trainer, a demo DM and 2 customer service folk.

You can’t say we weren’t memorable.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Last edit: by Harlax.

Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 4 days ago #4

Trent wrote:

Matt wrote: Thank you Trent for being the to this point only Barbarian to survive the dungeon with the lowest recorded stats and I as a druid who lost the bet.


Yeah, SOMEBODY put all zeros for ALL of my stats...not sure who that was LOL!


...I would NEVER do such a thing!



Alternatively, my boss made me do it!

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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 4 days ago #5

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Andrew Knoll wrote:

Trent wrote:

Matt wrote: Thank you Trent for being the to this point only Barbarian to survive the dungeon with the lowest recorded stats and I as a druid who lost the bet.


Yeah, SOMEBODY put all zeros for ALL of my stats...not sure who that was LOL!


...I would NEVER do such a thing!



Alternatively, my boss made me do it!


HAHA, I know...may he forever rot in H E double hockey sticks! :)
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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 4 days ago #6

  • Yancey
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I am very happy to hear this. As PAX West was the first convention I haven’t been to since I started volunteering, I feel like I am going through withdrawals. Glad it was such a good Con, and I can’t wait to see everyone at Gamehole.
The Leisure Liaison
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Founder of True Coaches United Local 959

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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 4 days ago #7

Yancey wrote: I am very happy to hear this. As PAX West was the first convention I haven’t been to since I started volunteering, I feel like I am going through withdrawals. Glad it was such a good Con, and I can’t wait to see everyone at Gamehole.

GHC cant get here quick enough
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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 3 days ago #8

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It was great. Lots of excitement from new players. A surprising number made large token purchases. Including one person who only ran the demo, but bought a $250 pack.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 3 days ago #9

Of the 30 runs I DM'd Friday, there were 9 players who had played before --10 in the 30 runs on Saturday -- almost 20 in the 30 runs on Sunday, and about 15 in the 20 runs on Monday. Trent was about a quarter of those I counted as veterans and volunteers were about half of the rest.

Almost all runs were full. I remember a group of 9 and a group of 6. So less than 50 of the 1,000+ I saw had played before.

When there was time I asked the groups if they got the 2 puzzles before my room and only 2 groups admitted to having failed one. Every group I asked said they were enjoying the dungeon.

The most common question I got was how many HP's does the monster have. I expect that is from video gamers expecting to have that knowledge (health bar above the monster's head), while the D&D players know they wouldn't know that.

It was a lot of fun DMing, but also a challenge with so many new players. Many casters thought they had to have a token to cast a spell or thought for reason they could only cast the 0-level spells. I'm not sure where that came from but I heard it over and over. Many casters also thought they had to slide an empty puck after casting a skill-check spell. I know we had good trainers and coaches, so maybe new players need something more than the 12 minutes of training? Maybe a warm-up room after training?

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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 3 days ago #10

Beertram wrote: ....

The most common question I got was how many HP's does the monster have. I expect that is from video gamers expecting to have that knowledge (health bar above the monster's head), while the D&D players know they wouldn't know that.

It was a lot of fun DMing, but also a challenge with so many new players. Many casters thought they had to have a token to cast a spell or thought for reason they could only cast the 0-level spells. I'm not sure where that came from but I heard it over and over. Many casters also thought they had to slide an empty puck after casting a skill-check spell. I know we had good trainers and coaches, so maybe new players need something more than the 12 minutes of training? Maybe a warm-up room after training?


Never had I felt like I was cutting it close on time before like this con. I agree that i finally chalked it up to a different mentality of players. Ie mostly video gamers who are used to stat bars and being guided down a predetermined path in a marketing demo vs TD where one more or less controls their own fate and much more hands on. A concept I've never had to really cover is to remind players that yes these tokens are yours to keep, we seriously mean that. Several times word got back to us about players trying to turn in tokens at Epilogue.

For this crowd i'd suggest moving/putting a tv covering class mechanics a little more in the coaching rooms vs training. Need to think a little better as the video need to be well lit and quick worded and more simple for when i can hit play on say a caster/combat/general play video to get someone up to speed while i'm working with others.

I loved the crowd at this con but it was definitely different compared to GHC/Origins/Gen Con.
We're all the kind of people who enjoy the game on a "meta" level. We like talking about the game year-round. We buy tokens. We enjoy crafting. We get together during the off-season if we can. We are a very skewed demographic that way. -Raven

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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 3 days ago #11

Matt wrote:

Beertram wrote: ....

The most common question I got was how many HP's does the monster have. I expect that is from video gamers expecting to have that knowledge (health bar above the monster's head), while the D&D players know they wouldn't know that.

It was a lot of fun DMing, but also a challenge with so many new players. Many casters thought they had to have a token to cast a spell or thought for reason they could only cast the 0-level spells. I'm not sure where that came from but I heard it over and over. Many casters also thought they had to slide an empty puck after casting a skill-check spell. I know we had good trainers and coaches, so maybe new players need something more than the 12 minutes of training? Maybe a warm-up room after training?


Never had I felt like I was cutting it close on time before like this con. I agree that i finally chalked it up to a different mentality of players. Ie mostly video gamers who are used to stat bars and being guided down a predetermined path in a marketing demo vs TD where one more or less controls their own fate and much more hands on. A concept I've never had to really cover is to remind players that yes these tokens are yours to keep, we seriously mean that. Several times word got back to us about players trying to turn in tokens at Epilogue.

For this crowd i'd suggest moving/putting a tv covering class mechanics a little more in the coaching rooms vs training. Need to think a little better as the video need to be well lit and quick worded and more simple for when i can hit play on say a caster/combat/general play video to get someone up to speed while i'm working with others.

I loved the crowd at this con but it was definitely different compared to GHC/Origins/Gen Con.


There is always the issue that the brand new players don’t know to be in coaching room before their start time. As a coach that gives me a lot of extra time to help them out and get them situated around the character classes also wondered if the lack of character description on The backside of the card made a difference.
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Thank you to players to and fellow volunteers for a great con 3 months 3 days ago #12

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Matt wrote:

Beertram wrote: ....

The most common question I got was how many HP's does the monster have. I expect that is from video gamers expecting to have that knowledge (health bar above the monster's head), while the D&D players know they wouldn't know that.

It was a lot of fun DMing, but also a challenge with so many new players. Many casters thought they had to have a token to cast a spell or thought for reason they could only cast the 0-level spells. I'm not sure where that came from but I heard it over and over. Many casters also thought they had to slide an empty puck after casting a skill-check spell. I know we had good trainers and coaches, so maybe new players need something more than the 12 minutes of training? Maybe a warm-up room after training?


Never had I felt like I was cutting it close on time before like this con. I agree that i finally chalked it up to a different mentality of players. Ie mostly video gamers who are used to stat bars and being guided down a predetermined path in a marketing demo vs TD where one more or less controls their own fate and much more hands on. A concept I've never had to really cover is to remind players that yes these tokens are yours to keep, we seriously mean that. Several times word got back to us about players trying to turn in tokens at Epilogue.

For this crowd i'd suggest moving/putting a tv covering class mechanics a little more in the coaching rooms vs training. Need to think a little better as the video need to be well lit and quick worded and more simple for when i can hit play on say a caster/combat/general play video to get someone up to speed while i'm working with others.

I loved the crowd at this con but it was definitely different compared to GHC/Origins/Gen Con.


The PAX conventionists are a different breed in general. My dude and I went to the first PAX East in Boston and got a chance to BS with a group of Enforcers the last day of the Con. There were many discussions, but the one that sticks out most to me was the “lost and found” guy. He told us that he works a lot of conventions and was blown away by the PAX crowd. You see, the thing that shocked him, was that he had a 100% return rate. So, 100% of the people that came up to him and asked “did someone find a phone/gameboy/laptop/etc.?”, he told “why yes, it’s right here”.

100%

I’m still in awe.
The Leisure Liaison
Organizer of Sovereignty Gaming Group
Founder of True Coaches United Local 959

"I coach, because I care."
"The hardest thing about being me is remembering that none of you are..."

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