Convention season in the Southeast begins shortly after the new year starts and I have been looking over all the local and regional conventions to fill out my calendar with great convention experiences. So far, I have found several (see the top of the page) that are on my “to go” list, but there are several regional conventions (they shall remain nameless) that are not on my list for good reason. The regional uptick in Pathfinder Society (PFS) games is getting ridiculous!
Before you flame me, I have played Pathfinder and PFS and it’s not a horrible game, but I have issues with the PFS presence at conventions. See here for a previous blog I wrote.
Ok, now onto my newest observations. Several regional conventions are overly bloating their RPG schedules with PFS games. While a large-ish presence of any game is typically a good thing, but when you are advertising 200+ PFS games and offering little else, in terms of RPGs, for those of us who do not like or play Pathfinder. There are other regional conventions that have the same problem as the one referenced above. The domineering presence of PFS is very disconcerting to me and many I know who love diversity in our gaming.
I go to conventions, big and small, to play games I enjoy and to try new games I have yet to play. So, a convention that is bloated on PFS or any other game for that matter to the point it limits what other RPGs they can or will offer to con-goers is an issue for me. I have no issue with organized play programs, but when one casts a long shadow over the gaming hall and pushes other games and gamers away, it’s not something I want to be apart of or support. That is why I do not go to these conventions.
I have yet to see or experience anything else similar to the way PFS dominates many conventions in the Southeast. While I have seen some sizable offerings of D&D in all its many flavors, they pale in comparision to the PFS problem. Now if I were to go to North Texas RPG Con or GaryCon I would expect predominately OSR and D&D games, but these conventions cater to that. As does PaizoCon each year.
So, my hunt continues for more conventions to visit that offer diversity is all their game offerings and has a great atmosphere. Those are two key elements for me.