So are you planning on attending Gen Con this summer to enjoy the 50th anniversary of ‘The Best Four Days in Gaming’? What should you do while there? Why enjoy the worlds greatest roleplaying game that started it all of course. The Herald’s Guild is going to Gen Con this summer to help run D&D games as part of our fundraising efforts. We will be helping Baldman Games with our awesome DM’s make D&D at the show as great as we can. Not only spreading the love of our hobby to a new generation, but running seminars on DM training and empowerment, and earning funds to continue to support our mission statement and other guild activities.
Gen Con 2017 DM Sign-up
Welcome! Thanks in advance for your interest in volunteering at Gen Con 2017 for the Herald’s Guild. Without DMs and helpers like you, shows like this would not exist. I’ve always said that even when you’re DMing you’re gaming, and that is never a bad way to spend the day. We’ve worked with Baldman Games to drum up some of the best benefits we can to entice you to swap over to the dark side of the DM’s screen.
We use a lot of jargon that a lot of us take for granted. This year I am going to try to take a step back and come at this from the point of view of a person completely new to volunteering. If you find anything here confusing at all, please do not hesitate to contact me through the Forums or Website contact form and I will clear it up quickly.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your hobby, and we have some really great rewards that make helping out even easier – and it’s a great way to attend the show and save some serious $$. You can earn a free badge to the show, a free spot in one of our hotel rooms next to the convention center (a huge perk this year), and cool show swag on top of that (free books, show promos, etc.) It is also a great way to make new friends and immerse yourself in the show community, more than a casual attendee ever could. The Herald’s Guild organizes events the Wednesday before the show to help build camaraderie and let everyone ask questions before the show starts. Our judge retention rate is extremely high, so fair warning: Once you work for us, you’ll probably come back and do it again next year.
Now for some show terminoglogy:
- Badge Level: If you volunteer at Badge Level, you’ve worked enough to earn a free badge to the show. This badge is paid for by the Baldman Games staff. You need to have created an account in the Gen Con registration system before registering with us. You will then provide us your email address attached to that account, and we take care of the rest. You’ll receive an email from Gen Con when the free badge has been attached to your account.
- Room Level: If you volunteer at Room Level, you’ve worked enough to earn a spot in one of our hotel rooms. These rooms are for four nights (Wed Night to Sat night), and we have four people in a room. We cannot reimburse you for a room you’ve booked on your own or let you choose what hotel you are in. We do our best, though, to put you in a room with the roommates you prefer whenever possible. So if you are unsure about staying with strangers your first time, then get a couple buddies to volunteer with you, and we’ll put all of you in a room together. We all win!!
- Slot: This one confuses a lot of people and is a very old term from the RPGA days. A slot is the same as saying a shift. In the case of Gen Con 2017, a slot is four hours long. Every event and day is put together using slots so events line-up nicely, start and end at the same time in relation to each other, and help you put together a schedule that fits your needs easy as possible. The slots are numbered so the first slot on Thursday at 8am is called Slot One. The last slot that runs from noon to 4pm on Sunday is Slot 14.
- Slot Zero: So if the first slot is called Slot One then what the heck is Slot Zero? Slot Zero is any game that runs before the show itself, allowing our volunteer DMs to see a game they will run later from the player’s perspective. Usually these are done so DMs can prepare to run a better game. Seeing things from a player’s perspective then preparing it is a huge help for some. Sometimes these are also special DM-only events done as rewards for them helping out. Regardless of whether you get to play an event before the show or not, you are always expected to be prepared when the show starts and it is game time.
- Judges: “Judge” is just a fancy word for “DM.” It is a remnant from a bygone era, but we are so used to saying it that sometimes it slips through. If we say “judge,” we mean “DM or other type of volunteer.”
Now on to some event specifics:
- The D&D eXPerience @ Gen Con: This is our premiere experience event at Gen Con. Players in this event get a set DM, table, and show exclusive content. This event is run by our established, best-of-the-best DMs. In order to be considered for this, you must be a Level 3 or higher DM in the Herald’s Guild program. If you are new, this is the event you want to be running one day in the future. The top of the D&D DM mountain. Do 2-3 shows for us and knock our socks off, and you to can be part of this awesome group.
- D&D Adventure League Event: This is our standard four-hour event at the show. Perfect for new and experienced DMs. It is set to run in about 3 1/2 hours so you have a little time at the end to gather up your stuff, hit the bathroom or food court really quick, and get back for your next slot (or if your last slot for the day run to the Dealer’s Hall).
- D&D Fast Play/Intro Event: This is our two-hour (90 minutes of play) fast-play event. It is still a four-hour shift of work, but in that you will run it twice. It is fast-paced and a lot of fun. It is sometimes interactive. Which means several tables around you could be working alongside your table towards some kind of group goal. It makes for a fun time and is very popular at the show. It is great for newer DMs as preparing a one hour mini-event is a lot easier than a four hour one.
- Shadow of the Demonlord: This game is from Schwalb Entertainment and is a fantasy based game in a world on the brink of madness and destruction. This does not use the D&D ruleset so you will need to already familiar with this game to DM it.
- Star Wars: We will be adding some Star Wars games to our schedule this year as something new. We will be using the new Fantasy Flight ruleset for these games and more details will follow.
- HQ: You will get to know this gang well as the show goes on. These are my minions whose job it is to take care of all the little things going on around you at the show so you don’t have to. Their job is to make sure you have everything you need, so all you need to do is focus on your game and give your players a fantastic time. They are long-time DMs and staff members, most of whom have been doing this 10+ years – and some closer to 30. We usually have a few open spots each year for data entry and reception here. This is great for example if you want to help DM and get a free room but your significant other doesn’t DM. We can put them to work earning a room in another fashion, and you can still share a room together. We have many couples who do this.
Well, hopefully that was helpful in getting you up to speed on what we are about and how you can help us help you. Now on to the nitty-gritty details that hopefully will now make more sense to you.
For 2017 everything at the show (outside of HQ staff) works on 4-hour shifts. This means the show has 14 slots from start to finish as listed below.
|Slot 1: 8am-noon||Slot 5: 8am-noon||Slot 9: 8am-noon||Slot 13: 8am-noon|
|Slot 2: Noon-4pm||Slot 6: Noon-4pm||Slot 10: Noon-4pm||Slot 14: Noon-4pm|
|Slot 3: 5pm-9pm||Slot 7: 5pm-9pm||Slot 11: 5pm-9pm|
|Slot 4: 9pm-1am||Slot 8: 9pm-1am||Slot 12: 9pm-1am|
The D&D eXPerience @ Gen Con: This year we are expanding the program into four tracks of 10-20 DM’s each (Two – Tier one and Two – Tier Three). In order to be an All-Access DM, you need to be a Level 3 or higher Herald’s Guild DM. So if you DMed Gen Con last year, you should join the Herald’s Guild because you might be level 3 and not know it. Email me off-list for details. You can run two tracks of this program to hit 8 for a free room.
D&D Adventurers League 4-Hour Events: These run 8am, noon, 5pm, and 9pm on Thur, Fri, and Sat, and 8am and noon on Sunday. That’s 14 total slots to pick from. There are no breaks between the first two and last two slots each day. You cannot request off all nights or mornings. You will work at least 1 or 2 of each depending on how many slots you are doing total. There is a one hour gap to breath in the middle. You will finish up about 15 minutes before the end and you’ll have another table waiting for you. Take a quick bathroom break, grab a drink, and then back at it.
D&D Adventurers League 2-hour Events and Intro to D&D: These run every two hours all day long (8am, 10am, noon, etc.) and are 90 minutes of play time. You will run it twice during a normal 4 hour slot.
Room Level: DM 8+ slots of 4-hour events (one slot over half your show time) and we’ll cover your room for 4 nights (Wed night to Saturday night) at the show. These rooms are paid for by Baldman Games (please be nice to them) and are 4 to a room (couples will be two couples per room to make 4). We cannot flex the nights covered or guarantee any earlier or late checkouts. I just don’t have any pull with the hotel in this case.
- Our gaming space and hotel rooms this year are all in the JW Marriott. So getting to your table is as easy as taking the elevator down to the 2nd floor and taking a few steps.
Badge Level: DM 4+ slots of 4-hour events and we’ll cover your badge for the show. Save many bucks for drinks or vendors and get warm fuzzies for helping out at the show.
Handshake Level: DM 1+ slots and get a hearty handshake (available at HQ anytime I happen to be standing there). Not everyone can devote chunks of time to DMing, but everything helps and everything is appreciated. Even DMing one slot gives 6 or so people some fun that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Gen Con 2017 DM Registration
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