In the past, I have been involved in organizing and running various smaller gaming conventions, both locally and online. I know how hard it is to make these things happen. The countless hours organizers spend to line up game masters, to arrange prize support, negotiating with hotels and conference centers, doing layouts, mediating, etc. Hosting a convention, no matter how small and modest is a lot of work!
I was considering attending a new convention, MegaMooseCon, that is scheduled to happen in late July in my local region. The organizers seem to have located a nice place to hold the event with ample gaming space, but it seems their game schedule is woefully lacking. Hotels seem abundant, but none appear to be on site or within walking distance (crossing a major highway doesn’t sound fun to me). Driving distance is about .5 miles or so. Not a big deal, just a minor inconvenience.
I know organizers are at the mercy of an all-volunteer cadre of game masters and event organizers, but when your RPG lineup is little more than Pathfinder Society (PFS) [50 sessions of that!] and a few Shadow Run Missions, you’re not offering much in the way of diversity! In fact, the Southeast Regional PFS coordinator will be on hand to run PFS sessions and a cadre of his own convention’s staff will be there too. Is this a conflict of interest? Anyways, that debate is for another time!
I asked the chief organizer about the RPG lineup and he claims to have gotten little interest for GMs outside of PFS and Shadowrun. Namely from the D&D 5e and Savage Worlds communities on Facebook. As someone who has been down this road before, I would surmise that he or his staff lack the knowledge of where else to search for GMs and industry connections to draw in other GMs for a wide variety of other RPGs. I would also surmise that he is not primarily a Roleplayer himself. Organizers/staff members tend to focus on attracting those types of games that really appeal to them. Which is the primary reason to have a diverse organizational staff whom can organize many different genres of games. The boardgaming schedule is much more diverse and robust than the RPG schedule, but unfortunately for me, none of the scheduled games are of interest to me.
With this being their first year, there are certain expectations they may have that may or may not come to fruition. There will be many growing pains the organizers will experience. Hopefully, these are all things they can and will learn from so as to make year two much better and more attractive to more people. I do wish them all the best and hope they have a successful convention, but I won’t be there.
There are several reasons I am not going. The first of which I would be returning the day before the convention from a work conference and don’t want to do back-to-back trips. Second, the game schedule is absolutely unappealing to me and I do not want to take my chance with open gaming; only to end up bored and pissed that I spent too much to attend to not play anything worthwhile. Third, the cost for the two-day convention is more expensive or at least on par with larger three-day conventions in the region–$40 for two days.