PaizoCon 2017: Tickets on Sale. Come Slay Some Beasts in Seattle!

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PaizoCon 2017 Image of DelveThere’s still time to be the hero at PaizoCon 2017! Tickets are on sale on the Paizo site for this four-day gaming convention in Seattle, Washington. Taking place over Memorial Day weekend, May 26–29, 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!”

Event lottery sign up begins today, Friday May 5th, and closes May 10th. If you want to get into the best events, now is the time to register for PaizoCon 2017! The full schedule is available for viewing on the Paizo site.

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 ($10 discount with pass). There’s also a $40 four-day kid’s pass for kids under 10, which gets your youngling in for a “kids track” of gaming. I’ve always signed my son up for a regular pass and selected games to play that I knew would be age appropriate for him. Can’t commit to all four days? There are daily passes for $25 available at the door each day. Even if you have not pre-registered for games, you’re more than likely to get into a game, or find something excellent to do!

PaizoCon focuses primarily on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game through hundreds of games of Pathfinder Society organized play, as well as the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, but there’s so much more to do as well. Many other role-playing games, and board games, are represented, as well as panels on the industry, writing, hands-on miniatures painting, drawing live models in cosplay, and more. Read our prior posts on PaizoCon for a taste of GeekDad’s PaizoCon experience.

While this year I’m flying solo because my son has a school trip, I’ve been enjoying PaizoCon with him for the past five years, since he was nine. We’ve always played plenty of Pathfinder Society sessions, as well as sampled other games in lotteried events. The biggest issue I have run into is managing getting my son enough sleep while still getting in the games he’s excited for.

GeekDad’s Will James has also attended PaizoCon in the past. Will is typically focused on the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, even volunteering to run games at past cons. My focus is the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, with my son and I running our Pathfinder Society characters through as many adventures as we can throughout the weekend. Here’s some of what I’m looking forward to in PaizoCon 2017.

Playing the Adventure Card Game.
There are many sessions of the Adventure Card Game Guild to play as well as demo sessions if you have not yet had a chance to try it out. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

Again, my son, now 14, is on a school trip this PaizoCon, so sadly I’m flying solo. Being solo does, however, make getting into some games easier. In addition to hundreds of Pathfinder Society games which are not difficult to get into, Paizo staffers and others lead single tables of games that interest them; other role playing games, games set in the Pathfinder universe, gladiatorial type combat competitions pitting monster-vs-monster, board games, and much, much more are all offered via a lottery system. Signing up for games with my son as a pair makes getting into the lotteried games more difficult as there needs to be at least two seats available when they attempt to assign me to a selection. If you’re interested in how the lottery system works with regard to getting you into these highly sought-after games, check out this thread on the Paizo forums. Again, other than some of these one-off game tables, Pathfinder Society, Adventure Card Guild games, and most panels do not require this lottery process to get into. These are easy to sign up for after the lottery is over. Again, to see the whole schedule, check out the Paizo site.

I plan on doing some of my regular activities. Pathfinder Society sessions are always a blast, but I’ll probably do less of this without my son; there’s just something special about our characters adventuring together. There’s so many great stories we still tell, and sending in my gnome paladin without his half-elf druid adventuring companion just seems sad. I will likely try to do the Pathfinder Society special on Sunday night though. Always a great time, the PFS special, running 7pm until midnight, often involves every table in the room playing in one large scenario and working together to achieve a shared goal.

I will also attend the Saturday evening banquet, where I’ll enjoy good food, sitting at a table with Paizo staff and other convention-goers, while hearing all the announcements for the coming year. Last year’s surprise announced at the banquet was the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, which will definitely be something I get as much of as I can at PaizoCon 2017.

Starfinder Featured

The Starfinder Roleplaying Game is Paizo’s new science-fantasy roleplaying game, set in the same solar system as Pathfinder, but in the far future. Magic, technology, and gods all exist side-by-side. We’ve been teased with starship combat, and other game details, and I’m pleased to see that the schedule sports quite a few Starfinder Roleplaying Game opportunities. It’s not due to be released until GenCon, so any taste they give us will be a treat.

I’ll also peruse the store, where you can find most of Paizo’s products, as well as third party materials, and artists selling their wares and doing commissions. I will play some delves, short 20-minute sessions where Paizo staffers pit the worst they have versus a group of four playing pre-generated characters.

Players participating in a delve.
Delves are 20-minute sessions where Paizo staff pits the worst they can muster versus our unfortunate souls playing ‘Pathfinder’ pre-generated characters. These sessions can be squeezed in any time you have an opening in your schedule, and there is rarely more than a twenty minute wait to get a chance to play. Photo by Ryan Hiller.
Image of the store at PaizoCo
The store has many of Paizo’s products, a few tables of third-party publisher materials, a couple of artists, and usually a Reaper Paint and Take area. Photo by Ryan Hiller.
PFS Special 2015
There’s so much roleplaying to be done! This ‘Pathfinder Society’ special consisted of around 250 people participating in an evening session where the success or failure at one table affects all the tables. Photo by Ryan Hiller.
Painting at the Reaper Paint and Take
At the Reaper Paint and Take you get a Reaper Bones miniature, access to paint materials, and have time to paint your miniature. Reaper professionals are available for advice. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

Again, the selecting lotteried events starts today. That means that if you want to get a chance at the highly-sought-after events, you should get your ticket in time to scour the schedule before lottery selection ends, Wednesday the 10th. The PaizoCon room block is sold out, but at the time of this writing there appears to still be rooms available in the hotel, the DoubleTree, and there are still tickets available for the banquet.

PaizoCon is focused on playing tabletop games, and on panels about these games. If you want to peruse rows and rows of vendor booths sampling their wares and purchasing memorabilia, or ogling all the cosplay, then PaizoCon is probably not for you. PaizoCon is for interacting with the Pathfinder community and actively playing games both Pathfinder and non-Pathfinder. At around 1,000 attendees, PaizoCon is big enough to offer plenty of superb gaming, while small enough to feel like you’re still getting in on the ground floor of something that just gets better every year. If that’s what you’re looking for then PaizoCon is four days of unbridled awesome.

Pathfinder Society main room.
The main ballroom is mostly dedicated to ‘Pathfinder Society’ and ‘Adventure Card Guild’ play. This is also where the banquet, and specials happen. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

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