Since I had such a good time running a Living Forgotten Realms game at my local store this past weekend, I decided to answer the call when the organizer of LFR games for a local convention, TactiCon, asked the group of LFR players and DMs from my store if anyone was interested in running an LFR game or two (or ten) at the convention over Labor Day weekend.I’ve never been to a gaming convention before, and information about TactiCon is surprisingly difficult to find online. However, I was lucky to find a hard-copy brochure for the convention at my friendly local game store. It looks like a fun way to spend a weekend, frankly. There will be tons of D&D games, as well as other RPGs like Pathfinder. There are also lots of board games, which I happen to love, too. I’m guessing this might be a place where I could get some minis – even though I’ll be using my homemade tokens for bad guys when I run games, I’d like to have my own minis for use when I’m a player rather than a DM.
The particular LFR game I signed up to run is CORM 1-1. I picked it because of the time it’s scheduled (Saturday morning) and the fact that it’s a low-level adventure (I’m not sure I want to dive into higher-level stuff at a convention). As it turns out, CORM 1-1 is “The Black Knight of Arabel,” which is the first LFR game I had ever played! I’ve only played in three LFR games, and now I will have run two of those same games. What are the odds?
In any case, I’m looking for advice from my blog audience. How does a convention game compare to a game in your local store? Are there particular things I should look out for? And as a first-time convention-goer (even though it’s a small convention), what things should I especially be looking to do when I’m there?
Well, I can’t speak to DMing a Living FR game, but I’ve done a lot of convention games, especially in recent years. They don’t seem all that different to me, frankly, with the possible exception that the players are a little more goal-oriented, as they are keenly aware that they have a limited amount of time to complete the game. For the DM, that means keeping a tighter rein on the game; fewer clever asides, squashing side conversations about the latest “Avengers” news, etc.
As far as conventions in general go, I’ve been doing them for about 30 years. Don’t try to overload yourself with events; leave time to just wander around, check out the dealer’s room, etc. And find time to sleep.
As a corollary to that, make sure you’re not playing Munchkin till 4 AM, and then the next day find yourself scheduled to run your own game at 8 AM…
Joseph – Thank you for the advice! It sounds like the convention experience should be similar to the in-store LFR experience, which is good to hear. And I also appreciate the general convention advice. I’m taking some time off work so that my wife and I can explore the convention and play whatever games look interesting. I hope to play at least one session of a non-D&D 4e RPG if possible, just because I’ve never tried one before.