rpg.pbem.online

Tabletop QOTD 2020-04-19

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

How do you feel about the idea of virtual conventions?

During this pandemic, we're having to figure out different ways to continue to the hobby. Not just in the keeping the regular sessions going, but in our other activities- like conventions. There have been a few so far: GaryCon went virtual. FnordCon is virtual going on right now on https://discord.gg/7sPjhRU. Cyclops Con (Goodman Games) is also online this weekend - https://tabletop.events/conventions/cyclops-con. Kobold Con is May 1-3, Tabletop's Con of Champions (raising money to support Tabletop.Events) is also coming in May.


I tried out FnordCon this weekend, and it was actually the first con I've gone to in a while. The great thing about this one was that there were no registration costs, so I could try it out risk free (as opposed to Cyclops Con, which is the reason I didn't choose that one).

It's definitely more accessible- no hotel costs, no food costs, no travel costs, and able to just jump on and off. There's definitely a loss in the sights and the non-hobbyists that you see there, and a certain energy is lost. There was a dealer room, and the dealers were not shy about saying how this was the best experience that they had at cons money wise, and the ability to engage with their customers without other concerns that you have on the con floor were very much appreciated. Also, being able to jump around between rooms without the travel time and the uncertainty of where an event was, and the press of people trying to get good seats was a definite plus. And even before the pandemic, I'd always get some sort of ConCrud that I'd carry home with me after the event- that's not a consideration here.

But I haven't been able to go because of monetary and/or scheduling issues in more than 10 years, so the pros for me definitely outweighed the cons.

#Tabletop #QOTD

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I'm not familiar with virtual conventions, how does it work? I guess people organize virtual gaming tables and talks/conferences? Or is there something more too?
@Patrick Marchiodi - the one I attended was hosted on a discord server, and the channels were used to create virtual con rooms.

There was a welcome area where you agreed to the rules and such, then a registration area where you tagged yourself with the games that you were interested in.

There was an area for finding games- I didn't really visit that part to find out how it worked.

The con-suite was just an area to hang around and chat.

The dealer's room was exactly this, with the list of dealers and their sites for their 'con tables' pinned to the top of the channel, and talk with the dealers on the main chat area.

There were two breakout rooms with a voice channel and a chat channel for each. They used a bot to queue questions to the panel, and everyone listened on the voice channel.

That was it in a nutshell.
I'll be participating in a virtual version of Penguicon this weekend, both as a panelist and as a participant. One of the struggles with these conventions is the "hallway track" and having to fill in the time while you're there with other things (food, other panels you might not engage in, talking to people). It's going to be interesting to see how these conferences and conventions work in the online space, but I'm excited that I might have the opportunity to explore them without sinking significant cost into other logistics.
I have yet to attend a virtual con, but the idea intrigues me. My workday involves a lot of teleworking and teleconferencing (i.e. I work from home a lot... not as much as I do right now, true, but not much less, either). Being able to drop in and out of panels is interesting, most of my game play now is online so this could serve as a central game hookup. I'll miss the dealer room, but between that and the logistic element I'll be able to not spend a lot of money.
My only real complaint are the people acting like it's a hot new thing that hasn't been around for well over 10 years. There have been some grognards out there claiming that Gary Con was the first ever online gaming convention and patting themselves on the back for their ingenuity.

I feel bad for all the organizers and people behind the existing online conventions that are now getting shoved out by all these new fly by night cons that, as I have seen so far aren't looking at what has been done in the past and are very poorly ogranized.
@Moe Tousignant - I guess they hadn't been well socialized or advertised? Because I'd not heard of them before this for gaming. There's been a few gaming jams, but nothing like this with panels and guests that I'd heard of before.
Didn't we used to have Nottacon or GenCan't or something on G+?
Yep, GenCan't is one of the big online ones that was started a number of years ago.
Virtual Conventions leave me cold. The world SF convention has switched to a virtual con and it is practically useless to me. Between time zone differences and not being removed from my usual routine I probably won't get to participate in anything.
Virtual conventions, like virtual gaming, for me is not a possibility while my wife is working from home. She is busy soaking up most of the bandwidth with work related teleconferences and the company VPN for the various accounting packages they use...
@check Dee see I find that odd, they have been all over my social media feeds going back to the G+ days. I would have sworn that the organizer of Aether Con contacted very gamer on G+ asking them to take part back when it first got started. I ended up having to block the guy because he wouldn't give up :D

Aethercon was big enough it got featured in Wired magazine in 2012

In addition to gaming, there were panels, meet and greets, publisher speed dating and even a online dealer hall. Everything that a normal con would have just in the virtual.
@Moe Tousignant - odd or not, it's my experience, and apparently the experience of others on this thread if the feedback is any inidcation. I've been involved heavily in gaming and at least took a look into everything offered, and was heavily on G+ (enough so my archives of G+ groups I was in is a couple of GB in size). Other than that, my heavy social media was RPGGeek. And in neither of those did I see this mentioned.