As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc upon the live convention schedules, some cons have moved online. The folks who organize Gen Con have migrated the gaming part of the con online to help fill the void. GM sign ups have already begun and many of the sessions are already arranged. Player sign ups will begin through the Gen Con website on July 13th. You will need one of the free Gen Con badges to sign up, so do that now. There is a $2 cost per table to play at Gen Con. This is less than the live price and will help Gen Con offset the costs of cancelling Gen Con 2020.
Both Pathfinder Society and Starfinder Society will be featuring the newest specials at Gen Con Online. Starfinder Society has kicked off Season 3 officially. Due to Origins being cancelled at the last minute, they had to delay the special until Gen Con Online. The first Season 3 scenarios dropped to VOs on June 24th and are being ran online as I type this. There are 70 tables listed for the SFS 3-00 special, The Last Bite. It will be set up in tiers 1-8. Players can play this special three times with a different character used for each tier.
Not to be outdone, PFS2 will have its first special at Gen Con Online, 2-00 The King in Thorns. It will be set up like the SFS special with tiers 1-8 and players able to play it three times with different characters used in each tier. There is another special, but it was built with physically interactive components for PaizoCon and is being held for live cons at this time. There are 70 tables scheduled for this special too.
We ran over 1300 sessions online for PaizoCon in May and about 400 more for ConCurrent which replaced Origins and Origins Online once those events were cancelled. Both events went off with next to no problems. Our online HQ staff were on the ball taking care of new players and it went smoother than an online con according to some staffers. Games were ran on Roll20, Astra, Fantasy Grounds, D20Pro, and I think a new VTT came out for use, but I cannot remember its name. I ran eight scenarios and a quest on Roll20 for PaizoCon and three scenarios for ConCurrent. I had no issues at all with any games.
I really want to take the time to plug Syrinscape for all GMs. I got tired of Roll20AM jukebox constantly breaking and getting messed up when I transmogrified the sounds between tables. So I explored Syrinscape again. They have added a new online player feature which works great. I picked up the full subscription which works out wonderfully plus it includes the audio sounds for all the Pathfinder specials and the Fall of Plaguestone plus the Pathfinder APs. The full subscription also includes Starfinder sounds as well. I use it on my laptop for the command center while I run Roll20 and the Syrinscape Online Player on my PC. I’ve ran four or five sessions now with this and the players are enthusiastic about the sounds coming through to them via their online player. It is really increasing the immersion factor. Finally, this can also be used for live games, so my live players can expect to start experiencing sound whenever we can get back together.
Finally, I’ll wrap this up with some developments. I spoke with Quincy Hobby Center yesterday. As the store is able to open up to more people, they want to begin hosting games toward the end of July or early August. It might be too soon to start holding our monthly Conclave yet but let’s see how the virus counts develop over the next month and start to plan from there. I think Illinois did a better job than Missouri did in opening their state, so we might be able to run games by August in Quincy.
Right now, we cannot hold games at Valhalla’s Gate in Columbia as the authorities in Boone County have not allowed the store to do so. Boone County’s virus count is down as a result of their restrictions compared to the rest of the state which is seeing the counts rise by significant numbers.
The coffee shop in Maryville has opened for beverage service, but not gaming. Once they are able to open it up, we will see about getting PFS2 started there.
I am going to experiment a bit with Zoom and see about running a session online using it so the players can see one another while running the game itself via Roll20. I want to see how much lag if any there is before expanding this. Discord has a feature for this as well, but I have not used it yet. I am hoping more of you will be more open to playing online if we are able to see and interact with each other through video play. I’m not trying to outdo Glass Cannon any time soon, but we can still have some fun playing around.
That’s all I have for now! I hope everyone stays safe and is doing well. I wish we could be playing together live, but that’s out of our hands for now. I feel that the worst case scenario has us finally getting back together in March 2021. If that is what happens, at least we’ll have a lot of content to work with. Gotta look at the silver lining in the storm!