DMs for GenCon Needed… Badly

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on July 17, 2013

Dave Christ (a.k.a. The Baldman from Baldman Games), the guy who spearheads and coordinates all of the D&D events at GenCon, needs your help. With less than a month until GenCon it seems that they’re in desperate need for more DMs to run the D&D Next delve.

If you’ve going to GenCon and have any blocks of free time in your schedule please consider being a DM for even just one slot. DMs are rewarded with free swag and if you’re willing to run multiple slots you can earn a free convention badge and even a free room. For every one person who volunteers to DM, six players get a chance to play at the con.

If you’re interested in being a DM you can sign up by visiting the Baldman Games website and completing the online sign up form.

Below is the email Dave Christ has been circulating to all current and past volunteer DMs.

Hello to my massive pool of awesome judges (which is different than my awesome pool of massive judges),

GenCon is looming on the horizon in 5 weeks, and we need help: A LOT of it. Tickets for our Wizards of the Coast and Baldman Games events evaporated instantly when pre-reg went live, and we’ve been trying to catch up ever since. The demand for DND Next at the show is HUGE! I know demand will be greater than I can meet, and I’ve accepted this. At this point I’m just trying to cover the tickets that have been sold to players and hopefully get to the point of covering a little of the overflow.

What do I need from you guys? Quite simply, I need you to DM. I need people to DM enough for a room, a badge, or at this point, even running one slot just to help out would be huge. I need DMs in the worst way. I know a lot of you take this show off because there are so many fun things to do. I understand that. However, so many of you are taking time off that we are really struggling to even come close to covering the basics at the show.

I know some of you are upset there is no LFR at the show. I 100% get why you feel that way, and I know that not DMing feels like a good form of protest, but I still can really use your help DMing.

We all know DND Next is coming down the pike at some point. We can also expect that a big new Organized Play product will come with it. The bits and pieces of plans for new OP offerings I’ve heard through the grapevine have me pretty excited about it right now. Fans of previous campaigns will be excited, and there will be opportunities for people interested in creating and administering the campaign. Where are the people who are going to run this going to come from? This judge group. Where are the initial writers and organizers going to come from? This judge group. Where are the writers who are going to do the website articles and contribute going to come from? This judge group.

If you look at the history of our Organized Play campaigns for the past twenty years, a lot of people working at WotC and many of the names attached to all those cool books and web articles started as RPGA judges. Being involved in our judge community is your #1 conduit to being more involved in our hobby as a whole. Although it is never fun to see something you care about come to an end, there will be stuff to be excited about in the future, and you might want to be involved then. Being involved now is your best move to make that happen.

When Wizards starts making decisions on people they want to use in campaign management or freelance projects, they bounce names off me all the time for feedback. If I can say, ‘Yeah they judged at GenCon and did a really great job,’ that goes a lot farther than ‘that name sounds familiar but haven’t seen them in years.’

What can we provide you?

Free Hotel Room – We are in the Marriott near our play space. Rooms right now are mostly 2 per room with just a few at 3 (usually because 3 people requested to room together). Nobody else at this show will put you in anything less than 4 per room. At $200 a night for rooms and Indy’s insane hotel tax rate, this alone will save you a ton of cash. Bringing your significant other? I can probably find something for them to do for a room as well. I can make it work.

Free Badges – Saves you $80. Nice chunk of change. Even if you have already paid for your badge I can make a judge badge show-up and start the refund process to put cash back in your pocket.

Swag – Books, gift certificates to the PDF store, custom GenCon only dice and bags (bags only go to judges and VIP’s), judge shirts (fingers crossed), and the special Ghost of Dragonspear Castle GenCon special book. So even doing a couple of slots gets your something. This year we’ll also have the Special Guest signing area in our actual play space. So I will being doing my best to get those books signed by WotC R&D folks, Ed Greenwood, and whoever else I can bribe/threaten/blackmail.

In closing we need your help. We need your friends to DM. We need your dog, cat, goldfish, and non-poisonous vermin to DM. Please consider throwing a bit of your time at the show our way. Even one slot could make a big difference for the future of D&D Organized Play efforts.


Dave C
Baldman Games

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1 frothsof July 17, 2013 at 11:24 am

I was considering trying to take advantage some of this stuff this year, but then I realized it was all 5e stuff. I dont really have any experience running 5e, and every time I have playtested it, the rules have been completely overhauled, especially class-related stuff. I wouldnt really have fun running something I dont feel comfortable with all day at a convention.

It looks like from this email they must have really ticked off some LFR people. It almost reads a little “blackmaily” to get them back. Probably should make sure you have enough DMs to cover events before you have people sign up.

See if you can get an answer about the 4e CB!

2 LordOcampo July 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Seems like 5E is not as popular among DMs as WotC wants people to believe.

3 Shawn July 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

It has nothing to do with Next’s popularity. It is about trying to get 5000 players sitting at a table with a DM. Baldman Games never had enough DMs to cover everything when it was 3rd Edition or 4th Edition either. It is all about the number of players.

4 Hush July 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I need to look into air fare since I live in Portland, OR but if i can swing it id be thrilled to dm for as many slots as possible. Looks like over $ 400 for a round trip though lol. Hopefully my budget can swing it. Thanks for posting to let us know about this 🙂

5 Vobekhan July 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I wish I had air fare as I would volunteer straight-away – loved doing it back in the 90’s for European GenCon. Have been running our Encounters group running Next so far this season and they’re having a blast.

6 dan July 18, 2013 at 3:09 am

While I would love to help out and DM, I would be unable to due to the cost of travel.
Also, is it safe to assume that DMS would be provided with adventures to run, along with pre-gens?

7 ladybam July 18, 2013 at 9:12 am

Everything you need to run, is provided for you. The adventure is emailed to you ahead of time. You would need to bring your own maps and mini but Next really don’t need that. I know that my time at Gencon is the best time I have gaming. I love it so much that I have done it now for 5 years. It is so worth it.

8 Tim July 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Question. Are the limitations still strict for the number of events based on whether you get hotel covered or not. I would be willing to run dnd next, but would not be able to run 8 sessions to get a free room.

9 Lauren Bilanko July 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Every week we have been running Encounters with Next rules at our store. I head 6 other DMs running 5-6 player tables every week. I have found D&D Next extremely easy for new DMs to run and it provides a ton of flexibility for experienced DMs. Pre-gens have the spellbooks typed up and I have made a rules crib sheet that I am happy to share with all of you.

10 Spykes July 18, 2013 at 11:15 pm

I have applied to DM seven slots, but I didn’t get any kind of confirmation or anything when I submitted the application. I don’t want to book airfare until I know I’m accepted. Does anyone know how soon I should expect to hear back from them?

11 Shawn July 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

@Tim: The rewards for DMing is based on what event you run, but they are set. So in general it is 4 slots to get your free badge, 7 slots to get badge + hotel room.

@Spykes: Dave Christ (The Baldman in charge of wrangling games for WotC) general processes them in batches when he gets time from his job and family obligations. If you don’t hear anything over the next 3 or 4 days, post here again and I will poke him on your behalf.

12 Spykes July 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Thanks Shawn. All registered and set to go. Woot!

13 Shawn July 20, 2013 at 9:03 am

Excellent! See you there!

14 Sky August 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

Wish i could but living in utah… is not so close… i would love to though… kinda sad i have been unable to dm and stuck as a player/cleric for d&d next…

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