Improvements Anyone?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by OGRE MAGE, Oct 8, 2018.


    OGRE MAGE Level 0 Character

    Since the last attempt at this topic quickly morphed into an AL bash, I would like to try this again if I may......

    I hope we can limit this to relevant improvement ideas, pertinent to Garycon, and forgo the unnecessary arguments and zealot-like defense this time around.

    I’d like to address a few concerns that I’ve seen with this convention over the last 5 or 6 years, not necessarily for my own benefit, but in hopes of making it better for everyone to enjoy for years to come. I’m not worried about the bad food, lack of service, etc. I want to discuss issues that the convention itself has control over. I don’t hold Garycon responsible for things like slow bar service or a wilting salad.

    I’d like to post these concerns individually in hopes of encouraging good discussion while also giving staff a chance to respond to each of them if they so choose. I will start with my number one concern from years past: table assignment.

    Since I started attending this convention, I have listened to numerous horror stories about tables being double booked or times overlapping. Two years ago I actually had a special guest tell me that their game had to be canceled because there was no table designated for it. If a special guest is susceptible to this kind of treatment, what chance did a little nobody like me have? Hearing stories like that has kept me from running a game at GC for many years.

    Last year I finally broke down and decided to run something for the con, thinking, how bad could it really be? Wow, was I disappointed. I realize that there are a lot of games to assign, and a lot of tables, but I still cant figure out how something like this could happen.

    There were several RPG tables positioned on one end of the smaller Forums room. Now, I don’t care about the whole AL vs. Old-schoolers argument on where the games should be scheduled. I played in several games in the big Forum rooms and they went over well. However, my game was scheduled in the smaller room, the one that I later found out was going to be used by the LARP crew.

    Whoever thought it would be a good idea to schedule RPG’s in the LARP room might be better suited to handle the food isssues or something. Seriously, have you ever tried to run a role playing game with 50 excited LARPers about 10 feet away from your table? Shouting, singing, cheering, laughing, fighting all out battles with banging swords, clashing shields, shooting arrows against the wall, overturning tables, etc...... I realize that the weapons and fighting are fake and all, but I can wholeheartedly assure you that the noise they make is very, very real.

    I should mention that I don’t have anything against LARP, and believe everyone should be allowed to do their thing. They probably didn’t want RPG’s scheduled in their room, either. But if the person in charge of table placement thinks that a game master should be required to project over that din, they obviously have never run a game at a convention before, because that was totally ridiculous.

    Needless to say, that game crashed and burned pretty hard since we couldn’t hear each other and couldn’t concentrate with all the chaos going on throughout the room. I talked with a couple of the other DM’s who were running games in there at that time and they all felt the same way. Inexcusable! (and we thought it was loud at the Ridge?)

    I guess my point to these 26 paragraphs (sorry bout that) is, how can I be assured that something like this won’t happen again in the future? I know GC wants more people to register games, but it kinda sucks putting a bunch of work into running a game, only to have it ruined because of a scheduling blunder.

    Can we expect any improvement in that area in the near future?
  2. fmillard

    fmillard Level 0 Character

    I was in the same vicinity last year when the LARPing group begin to emerge from the shadows. For the first couple of hours it wasn't so bad as they were LARP-foraging or something and were gone for quite some time, but shortly before the game I was running was close to coming to an end they began to grow rather LARPbunctious and it did become quite distracting. We were able to finish our game, but I felt bad for others who were just starting up that day. Perhaps this year it will be a beautiful spring day and the LARPers will be able to LARP where the gods can see them better ... outdoors in the wilderness!? All in all, a good time was had by all, but I do believe that the Ogre Mage has a good point - that being that LARPers and Table Toppers should have a much more defined space between their assigned activities. Good luck to all!
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  3. EOTB

    EOTB Level 0 Character

    I would echo (pardon the pun) on the mixed-group noise levels.

    I understand that not all RPGs are quiet, either. I've had some tabletop games near me that were loud. It is likely that all of us will still feel the din around us even if it's all TTRPG.

    But drums. RPGers don't normally bring drums.
    fmillard likes this.
  4. mwisconsin

    mwisconsin Administrator Staff Member

    Gamehole once (at my urging, because I thought it was cool) thought to bring in a heavy metal band (Madison's own Lords of the Trident) for the lobby. They started tuning up, and admin wisely paid them and told them to stop.

    I imagine playing right next to LARPers would engender the same sort of disruption. It's too bad they don't really have a venue, as it's March in Wisconsin, and not enough of them were wearing Barbarian Furs.
    fmillard likes this.
  5. Scott308

    Scott308 Chevalier

    Memo to self- bring a drum to Gary Con. Especially if I get into a game Rob is running. :p
    Poindexter likes this.
  6. sir jon

    sir jon Troubadour

    I think I'll stage an all-Keith Moon Cosplay LARP for a late night event that roams the hallways.
    Scott308 likes this.
  7. gmbarry

    gmbarry Level 0 Character

    I was approaching my game time in the Forums when the noise was ramping up... I was seriously concerned about the noise leaching into the other forum.... getting all sorts of anxiety (ok, more like ticked off) and as I entered the forums in the back... it was amazingly normal con noise... because I think that was Saturday... most of the tables had games

    I was very happy where we were but understand it it always is not possible.. I had a whole basically ruined by the unscheduled Werewolf game that decided to sit next to my game because there were open tables
  8. DTaylor

    DTaylor Level 0 Character

    I wholeheartedly concur. I was a player in a large table playing in a Call of Cthulhu game (I think there were 7-8 players) and we were in not that large of a room, with exuberant LARPers that yelled, pounded on drums, shot arrows, and the like. It was beyond distracting and disruptive, and did not reflect well on the scheduling people of Gary Con that they put these two (and many other) dissimilar games in the same area.

    I hope Ogre Mage's suggestions will be taken to heart. It's not encouraging that he posted this over two months ago and there doesn't appear to be any official response at all. :(

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