PaizoCon 2016 tickets just hit the street and are available for this four day gaming convention in Seattle Washington. PaizoCon is put on by Paizo the makers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. In their words, PaizoCon is “an annual celebration of Paizo, Pathfinder, and the folks who play it!”
PaizoCon is in the same location as last year, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels in Seattle Washington, Memorial Day weekend, May 27-30. PaizoCon rooms are available now at the DoubleTree. Get them now while discounted rooms are still available.
GeekDad reviewed PaizoCon 2015 both from an experienced PaizoCon-goer’s experience as well as from a PaizoCon newbie’s experience. These posts both cover the convention and what is available to do in detail.
Pathfinder the role-playing game was born of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 when Wizards of the Coast moved on to D&D 4th Edition and has grown in popularity since that time. PaizoCon focuses heavily on the role playing game, but the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is becoming a much bigger component of the convention. Other role playing games are also played as well as many table top games. In prior years, in addition to Pathfinder there were tables of AD&D, D&D, Mythender, Call of Cthulhu, 13th Age, Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, Sails of Glory, Swords and Wizardry, Nuns on the Run, Citadels, and more. Sessions are offered on such topics as Game Mastering, terrain making, monster design, drawing with live models in cosplay, and hilarious live games with Paizo personalities just to name a few offerings.
In addition to longer games and sessions, there is the on-site Paizo store where you can buy merchandise, meet artists, authors, third party publishers, and in prior years participate in a Reaper Miniatures Paint N’ Take where you can paint a miniature with help from Reaper professionals, and take the miniature when you’re done.
Also featured are demos of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, mini role-playing delves where you are pitted against Paizo staff in deadly twenty minute adventures, and last year Syrinscape was demoing their amazing music and sound effects game aid.
The four day convention costs $75. There’s a Saturday night banquet where you can eat good food with Paizo staff and celebrity guests, while hearing about up-coming plans for Paizo’s many products. The banquet is $35 but if you get both the four-day pass and the banquet at the same time there is a $10 discount.
Also available, is a $40 four-day kids 10 and under ticket with a “kid’s track” for gaming as well as kid appropriate programming. New this year are single day passes at $25 a day for adults and $15 for kids 10 and under. Single day passes are only available on-site. In the past you had to have a four day pass to buy banquet tickets, but now you can buy just the banquet tickets ahead of time and purchase a daily ticket to get in the day of the banquet.
Pathfinder Society is Pathfinder‘s organized play. Characters are created under slightly limited and more restrictive rules to keep characters more balanced. This balancing allows complete strangers to sit down at a table to all work towards achieving the goals of a five hour session. Last year, each day had dozens of tables of 4-7 players of Pathfinder Society each morning. PaizoCon also offered non PFS games and sessions each morning and afternoon.
In 2015, Friday and Sunday offered “specials,” Pathfinder Society events where on Friday you played your regular Pathfinder Society characters fighting off their sworn enemies from the Aspis Consortium, and Sunday night we were able to play the same events from the Aspis point of view. Both of these sessions, running in the evening until midnight were a blast, and getting to play evil Aspis characters in a one-off session was novel and fun.
Saturday night is reserved for the banquet and a post-banquet trivia game focusing on Pathfinder and Paizo’s campaign setting, the world of Golarian. The banquet is always nice, and one of my son’s favorite events. He’s now 13 and has been going since he was ten. Each banquet table has at least one Paizo staff member or Paizo industry guest and you can sit with who you wish on a first-come-first-seated basis. I have had the pleasure of sitting with many interesting Paizo folk, including the CEO Lisa Stevens.
While I go with an intent to play a great deal of Pathfinder, one thing both my son and I are always excited about is trying out some previously unknown thing. We always try to put at least one game on our schedule that we’ve never played as well as trying out activities we’ve never done before. In prior years we’ve discovered great new board games such as Sails of Glory and last year even tried a session drawing live models in Pathfinder appropriate cosplay. As an extremely amateur artist I was at first rather intimidated, but the session was a great break from gaming and a wonderful drawing experience for both my son and I.
At around 1000 guests, PaizoCon has a much more intimate feel to it than larger cons I’ve been to. Given the fact that the convention is focused on Paizo and is run primarily by Paizo staff, there’s an energy and genuine love from all of the convention organizers for the games we’re all there to play. The community feel is simply astounding.
If you’re interested, but unsure, check out our prior PaizoCon posts. Some of the prime gaming sessions with highly sought after Paizo personalities running them are distributed by a lottery system. So if you think you might want to do some of those, be sure to register soon so that you can participate in the lottery. While you may only get a couple of your lottery choices, the more you pick the more likely you are to receive something you want. There’s also plenty still to do and fill your schedule with even if you have no lottery events, and you’re highly likely to get seated at something even if you show up that day with nothing on your schedule. We talk more about the lottery, and the con in general in our posts from last year.
Now, I’m going to repeat this from my prior post, not every convention is for everyone. If you want to peruse rows and rows of vendor booths sampling their wares and purchasing memorabilia, then PaizoCon is probably not for you. There’s some great stuff in the store, but it’s mostly Paizo merchandise and Pathfinder-related third party merchandise. Similarly, if you go to conventions to experience the crowd and the cosplayers, then PaizoCon is also not for you. There were fantastic cosplay costumes focusing on well known Pathfinder iconic characters, but just a few. PaizoCon focuses on tabletop gaming. Aside from the Pathfinder Online MMO, and Obsidian Entertainment’s demo of the tablet version of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, there is no video game presence.
PaizoCon is for interacting with the Pathfinder community and actively playing games both Pathfinder and non-Pathfinder. If that’s what you’re looking for then PaizoCon is four days of unbridled awesome.
Buy your tickets now and get yourself a discounted room at the DoubleTree so you can spending your Memorial Day weekend packed full of gaming at PaizoCon 2016, May 27-30. PaizoCon is always one of my gaming highlights of the year.