PaizoCon 2018, Achievement Unlocked!

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PaizoCon 2018 Featured Image

This past Memorial Day weekend PaizoCon 2018 was logged into the Pathfinder Society Journals. Like past PaizoCons, the pages were filled with countless tales of adventure and discovery, punctuated with character death and loss. PaizoCon is an four-day gaming convention in Seattle, Washington, celebrating everything Paizo: Pathfinder, Starfinder, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and much, much more. In addition to playing all these great games, con-goers get to meet all the wonderful people from the community–players, volunteers, and staff alike. If you want four days of gaming euphoria, then PaizoCon is a must!

tl;dr, here’s a Flickr photo album of the event.

I’ve been going to PaizoCon for the last seven of its 11-year run–with my son for the past six years, since he was just 10 years old. There’s plenty for kids that like gaming to do, including kid specific gaming tracks and short RPG experiences called Delves, but I’ve always just included my son in the games I played. He’s always played the full Pathfinder Society Sessions (PFS) as well as any of the special games run by staff and industry guests. My older son has always been willing to sit through the five-hour sessions, something my younger son, now 13 has never been willing to do. You’d want to consider your child’s willingness to contribute to a game for these long sessions when making your event decisions.

It’s easy to pre-sign up for the PFS sessions and large seminars with people you’re attending the con with, but the special games are in limited supply and are distributed through a lottery system. Paizo allows you to sign up for events with one “buddy” which ensures you are assigned to the same lottery wins, so I’ve always been able to ensure I’m at the same table with my son–convention-going support I probably am in more need of than him!

In addition to the various ‘Finder related games, the con is a great place to discover new games. Many of the lottery events consist of Paizo staffers running their favorite boardgames, or running another RPG. Always a blast, and we usually leave with knowledge of a new game to play.

I love the intimacy of PaizoCon. At less than a thousand attendees, it’s small enough that you can actually meet and talk with whatever staff and guests you want, you see many of the same attendees year after year, often playing with the same people even through random table selection, and you can at least sample most events at the con. Some conventions are just so large that they’re overwhelming. PaizoCon is large enough to have a ton of excellent events going on, while being easy to take it all in.

PaizoCon Swag Bag, minis, pawns, ACG cards and more!
The PaizoCon swag bag is one of the best convention swag bags I’ve ever received. Besides convention standards like event tickets and a badge, this year’s bag contained two ‘Pathfinder Battles’ booster packs, a ‘Pathfinder Pawns’ box, a special ‘Adventure Card Game’; card, an ‘ACG’ character pack, a con-special single ‘Pathfinder Battles’ mini, and a Reaper paint. Photo by Ryan Hiller. Loot by Paizo and Reaper.

Kicking off PaizoCon

We get to the con at the Doubletree by Hilton SEATAC Airport hotel the night before so we can rise early, register, and attend our first PFS gaming session for the morning. Registration is a snap, with the line seeming long, but actually cycling through pretty quickly.

The awesomeness of PaizoCon starts right out the gate as the swag bag is always spectacular. I always provide a shot of the swag bag contents (above), because it’s really one of the best I’ve received from any con. In addition to the program, a $10 PaizoCon gift certificate, and other conning necessities, attendees got two Pathfinder Battles booster packs, a Pathfinder Pawns box, a special Pathfinder Adventure Card Game card, an ACG character deck, a con-special single Pathfinder Battles mini, and a Reaper paint. The value of the swag bag easily covers the cost of attendance even before enjoying four days of gaming! My miniatures always make for a great gift for my younger son who chooses not attend the con.

Miniatures from booster packs
Here are the minis from my two booster packs. I always bring them back for my younger son who chooses not to come to PaizoCon.  Photo by Ryan Hiller.

Pathfinder Society

One of the main things going on and what my son and I typically put most of our time into is organized play. While my son and I focus on the Pathfinder RPG, organized play includes Pathfinder Society, Starfinder Society, and the Adventure Card Guild. Organized play uses slightly constrained sets of the Pathfinder or Starfinder rules to generate and level characters who are members of the in-game Pathfinder Society. While each year there’s an overarching story, Society scenarios are designed to be self contained adventures that will take the typical party around 4-5 hours to play. You can easily hop into any scenario, with an appropriate level character and play. My son and I spend our gaming time throughout the year playing regular non-society home games. While I do quite a bit of play-by-post Society play, our face-to-face Society play is limited to once a year for the four days at PaizoCon. (I’d love to play more Pathfinder and Starfinder Society, but, hey, life!)

Historically the ballroom has dozens of tables of Society play every morning and afternoon of the con. This year they also added a midnight to six in the morning slot! While crazy, this new slot got great attendance! In addition you can get into pre-con, post-con, and pick-up games to your heart’s content.

I love the nature of convention-style Pathfinder Society play. You can certainly sign up for tables with people you know, but as a pair, we’re faced with sitting down with five strangers, four other players and a gamemaster. Sometimes they’re people we’ve played with before, but it’s so interesting to be thrown into a situation where the players, and the characters, are meeting for the first time. Given the clear and shared objective in and out of game, teamwork and cooperation instantly flows.

Ballroom full of people playing Pathfinder Society.
The ballroom full of ‘Pathfinder,’ ‘Starfinder’, and ‘Adventure Card Game’ organized play. Photo By Ryan Hiller.
PFS Table in play
Sitting down to play with a few strangers (both for the players and in-world characters) is always interesting. I learn so much from the other players in terms of builds, rules, and lore. Our gamemaster for this session flew in from France! Photo By Ryan Hiller.
Pathfinder Minis in heated battle
I’m pretty sure my son’s elf druid died here. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

Sunday night from seven to midnight is the Pathfinder Society Special. Around 300 Pathfinder Society players get together for one big event where every group at every table in the room is working together towards the same goal. Usually it’s a scenario wrapping up the prior season’s storyline and/or opening up the next season’s story.

My son and I both attended this extremely deadly event. I’m not sure how much of the deadliness was the scenario, and how much was the GM, Chris, using player tactics to focus on one threat at a time, but by her hand we had four character deaths and one animal companion death by the time it was all said and done. Starting with a death three rounds into the game, my paladin blew through Ultimate Mercy and two uses of Breath of Life to keep three people in the game. The Specials are always a blast–tons of energy in the room, even in the wee hours as it is.

The PaizoCon 2018 Pathfinder Society Special
We had a blast at the PaizoCon Pathfinder Society Special. Three hundred people playing within a single adventure from 7-midnight on Sunday night. My son’s druid died… again. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

Next year I hear we have The Grinder to look forward to for the Pathfinder Society Special–designed to burn through characters. I anticipate with the new edition of Pathfinder releasing at the end of the next season of PFS play that the story will be something similar to the Starfinder Society Scoured Stars incident. To explain why in the next season there’s suddenly a deluge of 1st level Pathfinder Society members (to satisfy the introduction of second edition) a similar event could happen in Pathfinder Society. The Grinder may be the event that explains why all these high level characters that we’ve been playing are suddenly gone.

Starfinder Society

While I play and GM Starfinder via play-by-post, neither my son or I have ever played a face-to-face game of Starfinder, so we had signed up for a Starfinder Society session. We were looking forward to it, and we’d heard great things about Live Exploration Extreme!, a reality-TV-show-esque scenario where the characters must achieve their mission while dealing with the, “mandatory presence of an unliving camera crew—not to mention the interference of the live studio audience in orbit!”

Alas there’s just so much going on and to do at PaizoCon, we had to find time to sleep! We had the banquet on the prior night until 10pm and after that I wrote my news from PaizoCon post until late until the evening. On the following day we were scheduled with Starfinder from 7am-1pm, Pathfinder Playtest from 2pm-6pm, and the Pathfinder Society Special from 7pm-12pm. The Playtest and the special were both a must, and I hoped to do other things throughout the day, like talk to the artists, maybe hit up the delves, hitch up with the Glass Cannon Podcast team, and so much more, so we forewent our one shot at Starfinder for a much needed sleep-in and a morning of other activities on a less tight time-frame.

It’s a good problem to have. There really is more to do than one person could possibly do at PaizoCon! If Starfinder is your thing though, you could have played Starfinder all weekend long.

Artists

The guest artist for PaizoCon 2018 was the extremely talented Taylor Fischer (Twitter, Tumblr). Primarily working on AAA video games on such titles as Elder Scrolls Online, Civilization, Xcom she’s also created the art in many Pathfinder and Starfinder products, such as Pathfinder’s Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover and Occult Adventures. Here’s a sample of her fabulous art that graced the welcome billboard, program, convention badges, and more at PaizoCon.

PaizoCon Illustration, three characters
This art was used for posters, the program, convention badges and more. She says on Twitter @TFischConcept, “I’m really happy with the way this turned out. I tackled a few fears with this one!” Apparently the Paizo golem has been joined by two young PaizoCon mascots, Corrin and Kiku. Illustration by Taylor Fischer.

As a concept artist and illustrator, she’s perfect for the Concepting Monsters and Concepting Aliens sessions at PaizoCon. In each of these sessions, through discussions between Paizo game developers, the audience, and Taylor, a horrific beast is created. In a session that follows, developers work with the audience to stat the beast. I love the art and design of these games, so I try to pop into at least one of these sessions. I caught the Concepting Monsters for Pathfinder session and got to see some horrendous ideas unfold.

Freelance Artist Taylor Fischer
Concept artist and illustrator Taylor Fischer works with Paizo developers, and the ‘Concepting Monsters’ session audience to create a horrific beast. The conversation led to some pretty extreme ideas… creature concepts that would make any sane character (and maybe some players) crap their pants. Photo by Ryan Hiller.
Monster Concepts by Taylor Fischer
Here are some of the sketches we saw during the session. The final beast is also shown on the right—this was done after the session. Someone commented that the creature on the bottom was especially creepy because it spent time making its hair-bun nice. The discussion that led to the spider creature with egg sacks was the concept that hitting the beast made it worse as more and more creatures swarmed out when you burst a gooey egg-sack. You can also see that when you sever the head, the actual beast is finally released and the battle continues. After the session I asked what she was using to draw. I think she said she was just “trying out” someone’s loaner iPad, my understanding is that she wasn’t even familiar with the tool for the sketches above! Illustrations by Taylor Fischer.

After a few years of attending this and other cons, I’ve started to get over my introverted self and have been hitting up the artists for commissions. I have a new tradition of commissioning the guest artist to draw me as something. With the release of Starfinder last year I had the guest artist draw me as a Starfinder-esque hacker. So I asked Taylor to draw me as a roguish guy. I didn’t give her a lot to go on, we discussed Starfinder, she snapped a reference shot of me, and I was wearing my Maxpedition camera bag which made it into the sketch. The next day I popped in after my PFS session to pick up this superb piece art!

An art piece or two is a great way to remember the con, get a superb representation of your character, meet an artist, and get an original one-of-a-kind image from them. Check Taylor out on Twitter; in addition to being an awesome artist, she’s building a beautiful Tiny House. Want to follow her work, and get some tutorials and  digital tools, support her on Patreon. Want to just see her cool art, here’s her Tumblr–some fabulous stuff here!

Illustration by Taylor Fischer of Ryan as a rogue
Me as a ‘Starfinder’-style rogue-type character. I love how much cooler I look when drawn. Taylor Fischer had multiple levels of commissions available, head shots, rough-full body, and detailed illustrations. I went with a mid-range, and am happy with the results! Illustration by Taylor Fischer.

Liz Courts (Twitter, Web Site), another freelance artist, was also on-site so I commissioned her to do a character portrait. I described my character and showed her the mini I used for him. She whipped up an excellent illustration of my character–Ahn, the gnome paladin mentioned earlier that brought three characters back to life during the Pathfinder Society Special.

Darkmoon Gallery Commission
Ahn, and gnome oridin (Life Oracle/Warrior of Holy Light Paladin) focused on in-battle healing and bringing dead back to life in-battle. Illustration by Liz Courts of Darkmoon Gallery.

Both artists were also selling prints and original works. Definitely, when you’re at any convention, if you get a chance to see the artists or get some of their work, do it. The games we enjoy so much would not be the same without all the fabulous art to pique our imaginations and set the mood.

Lottery Events and Sessions

In addition to the organized play sessions, there are lottery events. These are high-demand events with limited seating–a six-person game with Paizo staff, or larger sessions that are expected to attract large numbers of people. Prior to the con you can select and prioritize as many of the sessions as you want, and then through a fair and random mechanic you win an event or two. The selection process yielded one lottery event for my son and I but we were able to get into one more larger lottery session as I caught spots opening up.

Once the lottery is done, everyone then can fill up the rest of their schedule slots by picking any remaining open sessions including sessions not included in the lottery. This is also when you select organized play tables. Just as a note for those trying to sign up with a buddy, this process no longer uses the buddy system, so I get two computers side-by-side and sign my son and I up as closely to the same time as possible.

GCP Playtest

As a playtest of the recently announced Pathfinder Second Edition, the Glass Cannon Podcast has been playing through the Crypt of the Everflame with Lead Designer Jason Bulmahn and Publisher Eric Mona. Prior to the con they released the audio of their first session, released around when Pathfinder Second Edition was announced. At PaizoCon the adventure continued with a packed room full of energy and excitement as the GCP did their thing.

Gamemastered by lead designer Jason Bulmahn, using the great story of the Crypt of the Everflame (also written by Bulmahn), and an extra level of GCP antics, the session was extremely entertaining as well as a great window into the inner workings of second edition.

One of the rules highlights was when the characters were faced with plague zombies and became sickened, a progressively worsening condition that requires spending an action retching to remove one level of sickness. We were graced with many GCP players actually going through the motions of retching for their players! While making for hilarious fun, it’s an example of a simplification of the rules–a simple condition, with an interesting an appropriate action economy effect to remove that condition. Sickened 1 basically means you take a -1 to most d20 rolls. If the condition worsens, or the event that caused it was a crit, you’ll hit Sickened 2 and take a -2 to your rolls, and the condition can continue. No more wondering what sickened or nauseated does, different levels of the same effect, but with different definitions. Sickened is now one simple mechanic with clear indications of how to remove it. For more on the playtest, read my prior Playtest post, more on the Paizo blog, I discuss it some later in this post, and I’ll be writing more when I get my eager hands on it!

Joe rolls big in the GCP Everflame Playtest.
Joe is rolling well, totally out of character. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

The session ran until 11pm much to the other non-gamer-hotel-goers’ confusion, “Honey, why are all those people cheering when that man says he retches?” If you are interested in some of the inner workings of the Pathfinder Playtest, check out the podcast. This PaizoCon session will also be released at some point; it’s well worth a listen. Also, if you don’t already, check out the Glass Cannon Podcast as well as their other podcasts. They really are some of the best actual play podcasting out there.

The Glass Cannon Podcast also had their own room at the Con with a few tables of GCP Nation gaming! Various members of the Glass Cannon Podcast ran and played games for lucky attendees. There’s a couple members of the Glass Cannon Podcast in this pic–play a little Where’s Waldo; you may have to look behind a beer glass to find Troy!

GCP Nation room, full of people playing,
The GCP Nation room was often full of people hanging out and playing games. On the Cannon Fodder podcast, Eric Mona attributes PaizoCon having the highest number of attendees ever, at over 800, to all the new GCP Nation attendees! Photo by Ryan Hiller.

Pathfinder Playtest with Amanda Hamon Kunz

The session my son and I won in the initial lottery was a Pathfinder Playtest session with Paizo’s Managing Developer Amanda Hamon Kunz. Getting in on a playtest was a must for me so I could see as much of the internals of the Pathfinder Playtest as I could in preparation of playing and reviewing the new edition.

Pathfinder Playtest with Amanda Hamon Kunz
‘Pathfinder Playtest’ with Amanda Hamon Kunz. Entertaining and talented gamemaster and a great introduction to the ‘Pathfinder Playtest.’ Photo by Ryan Hiller.

We teamed up with three other lottery winners, including a freelancer, a Lonewolf Development staffer, and another civilian like my son and I. The adventure was a converted from first edition Gallows of Madness where we took level one playtest versions of Kyra the cleric, Valeros the fighter, Seelah the paladin, Merisiel the rogue, and Ezren the wizard for a little test drive. We could also play a goblin alchemist–his character sheet was in someone’s hands at one point, but when play started, he’d been left behind!

Play consisted of some investigation, traveling with an encounter, and then a dungeon/structure crawl. Even with new rules, as many have said, it definitely felt like we were playing Pathfinder.

Here I go off on some Pathfinder Playtest minutia, click through to the spoiler if you dare, or if you’re happy to wait to get your hands on the playtest materials in August, you can happily skip this section.

Pathfinder Playtest Details

Up until this session, I had not heard anything concrete about the Hero Point system that Amanda introduced us to. Much like the optional rule in the current edition, you can never have more than three Hero Points at a time and you can spend from 1-3 points at a single time for different effects. Spend one Hero Point to automatically stabilize when dying, two Points to get a reroll on a d20, and spend three Points to get an extra action for four total actions in a turn. I asked if this was an optional system like in first edition, and was told that while a home-game could easily exclude Hero Points, it would be used in Pathfinder Society which makes it pretty core.

We’ve seen this in the GCP playtest materials and blog, but perception is no longer a skill; it’s just a stat that everyone has, and while it’s the default bonus rolled for initiative, depending on what a character is doing they may use the bonus from an appropriate skill instead. A rogue whom is being stealthy will roll initiative using their stealth as an obvious example and one that came up in our game a couple of times, but someone at a party, mingling and gathering information with diplomacy may get to use their diplomacy modifier for initiative! That may get you out of a specific blood bath I’ve read about in a recent AP. In addition, if players tie for initiative they pick who goes first, but monsters always get to go first on a tie.

I had the pleasure of getting to experience the death and dying rules thanks to taking some solid hits in the boss battle of our Gallows of Madness session. A hit that is equal to or greater than your current hit points takes you to zero HP (there is no negative) and you gain the Dying 1 condition. Each round you save versus death or progress to the next level, Dying 2, Dying 3–there is no Dying 4; that’s dead. If the hit that took you down was a crit, then you jump right two Dying 2 (and if the mean-ol’ monster hits you with another crit while you’re down, then you drop two more steps and die!). If you fumble your save (roll a 1 or roll 10 less than your target) then you drop two steps.

Some observations on this new dying system–this eliminates one common cause of sudden character death, but makes bleeding out much more likely. A common occurrence in first edition, especially at high levels is a character that is near zero can very likely take a blow that will take them well below dead (negative constitution). However, for bleeding out, in first edition given a negative value less than their constitution amount, it usually takes a few rounds to bleed out, thus giving the character a chance to stabilize, or others to do some healing. In second edition, barring crits and fumbles you’ve got four rolls, or rounds, before you’re dead. In my session we were told, I believe, and I could be wrong, that the DC for stabilizing was a roll versus the amount of damage I took when I went down! For a hit that was massive damage, you’re not going to save, and in four rounds you’re dead.

Something I defiantly like about the new dying rules is that getting healed or stabilized and back up to 1 HP does not mean you can suddenly hop up and start bashing monsters with 100% effectiveness. Once you hit positive HP you’re still unconscious until you save again. The new system does still allow a character to fight at 100% strength all the way down to 1 HP–an oddity of this abstract system.

Still, my favorite aspect of second edition, something I want to start doing right now in my games, and likely will when I’m back in the GM seat of our home games, is that a turn simply consists of three actions. It’s simple, easy to explain, and makes for a more dynamic and interesting combat. In my session, and in the GCP Playtest, people are moving more, raising shields, and performing other actions that you would rarely see done in Pathfinder First Edition. Further, there are many actions that can be enhanced through spending more actions. A healing action can be used to heal an ally with one action, or the character can spend all three actions of their turn to heal all allies while damaging all enemies within range! In our Gallows of Madness session Ezren was able to spend an extra action to add a meta-magic feat to his burning hands to increase the area of the flame. This mechanic will definitely result in more use of meta-magic feats.

I love options–I love options when creating a character (it’s why I love Pathfinder) and I create characters that give me options and choices every round. This use of action economy to heighten effects, is just another way to add cool and interesting options to play that are easy to understand and perform. Again, reducing system complexity, while keeping solid depth to the play. Love it!

Getting some inside experience with the Pathfinder Playtest was a high point of the weekend, and the story was entertaining. Again, this felt like playing Pathfinder, just with some cleaner and more interesting rules. I have high confidence in Pathfinder Second Edition and am excited to get involved in the upcoming Pathfinder Playtest. Amanda Hamon Kunz was an animated, talented, and interesting gamemaster. I’d highly recommend any sessions she runs at future conventions.

Pathfinder Playtest
We were told we could not photograph the character sheets. Shortly after this photo I was swarmed by a horde of blue-shirts. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

Paizo Store

The convention is mainly about gaming, so there aren’t a ton of booths like at larger, less focused conventions, but in addition to housing the artists, the large room with the store does have a ton of Paizo product, as well materials from third party producers. I got some dice from q-Workshop, and there are minis and more. It’s a good place to pop in and peruse, participate in the Reaper Paint-n-Take, meet the artists, and you’ll see most Paizo staffers in here at one point or another.

Wide-shot of Paizo Store
The store has most anything you could need for gaming at the con, as well as houses the guest artists, Reaper Paint-n-Take, and the computer game demos. Photo by Ryan Hiller.
Attendees painting at the Reaper Paint-n-Take
A table full of con-goers taking a break from gaming to paint minis. Photo by Ryan Hiller.
Attendee playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker
An attendee checking out Pathfinder:Kingmaker. Picture by Ryan Hiller.
Starfinder pre-painted minis.
Soon-to-be shipped prepainted ‘Starfinder’ Miniatures displayed in the store. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

News from the PaizoCon Banquet

Every year Paizo puts on a banquet with buffet-style food, an available bar, and each table has at least one Paizo staff member, or industry professional to mingle with the guests. Con attendees can grill the staffers while enjoying good food and hearing all the upcoming Paizo news. This year I enjoyed the company of Paizo Art Director Sonja Morris, Creative Director Sarah Robinson, guest of honor freelance artist Taylor Fischer, as well as my son and other con-goers. I wrote about the banquet and its news in more depth in my earlier news from PaizoCon post.

PaizoCon banquet crew, art team and other guests.
Paizo Art Director Sonja Morris, Creative Director Sarah Robinson, guest of honor freelance artist Taylor Fischer, and other con-goers. Photo by Paizo staff.

Monday Gaming with Paizo Staff

Paizo tried something new on Monday. Paizo staff set up in the various conference rooms, one room with a video game console, and other rooms with table-top games of the staffers’ choice. My son and I forwent our last PFS session to try out a new game and meet some more staff. We ended up playing a round of Channel A, The Animal Pitch Party Game. One player is the “producer” and plays a couple of cards that act as a theme for a show. From six cards the other players each have in hand, each player must come up with an anime style show title and then pitch the show to the producer. After everyone has pitched, everyone votes on the best show title. The game was a blast, generating such titles as Lingerie Blood Rain and Eternal Symphonic Dream Drive. While the titles were great, the pitches from the creative talent of Paizo were hilarious!

Channel A: The Anime Pitch Game
Channel A, The Anime Pitch Party Game. Photo by Ryan Hiller.
Paizo Staff and Attendees playing Channel A
My son and I enjoyed a table full of Paizo staff for Channel A. As other con-goers showed up, and our game ended, the blue shirts headed off for other games. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

So Much Missed

There were so many more sessions I wanted to attend. Roll For Combat was there in force, playing games, running sessions, putting on live podcasts from the event, and even doing an intriguing Starfinder/Pathfinder mash-up with Order of the Amber DieKnow Direction Podcast also attended with many of their members, Perram for the first time at a PaizoCon. They did live shows, and seminars, including Ryan Costello’s session on how to incorporate board games as mini-games within your tabletop roleplaying games. They always record most of the seminars and are currently posting a couple per day on the Know Direction site. Another session I have loved in the past and did not make this year was Crayons of Vecna, a session which provides attendees with the opportunity to draw live models in cosplay.

My son and I usually play some delves, short 20ish-minute scenarios where you play pre-rolled iconic Pathfinder or Starfinder characters and the brutal game master throws everything they’ve got at you. This year they had a table running a Starfinder delve, and two tables utilizing the Pathfinder Playtest rules.

People playing a delve
Jason Bulmahn running a ‘Pathfinder Playtest’ Delve… and is that Tim Nightengale, co-founder of PaizoCon? Why, yes, yes it is! Usually the delves use Dwarven Forge tiles that make the session look as cool as they are. The ‘Starfinder’ Delve was using the terrain. I imagine the Playtest Tables were to focusing the play on Playtest rules. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

Syrinscape, provider of awesome audio ambiance, was, once again, recording attendees for possible inclusion in future sound sets, and Lone Wolf Development was providing access to their Hero Lab character management software for both Pathfinder and Starfinder. It was announced at the banquet that Hero Lab will be providing support for the Pathfinder Playtest, a welcome surprise.

In the store I did not sample Pathfinder: Kingmaker, which releases in August (yay!), or Pathfinder Online, but the terminals always had players checking them out.

Reaper was also on-site with their customary Paint-n-Take. You get a free Bones miniature and on your own or with the guidance of talented painters, paint your mini.

Next Year

Okay–I need to quit writing. I’m at over 5000 words and am going to freak some editor out. This post and my experience really just scratch the surface of what there is to do at PaizoCon, and that’s just the organized events. If you just want to meet great fellow gamers, there’s so much opportunity for that too, hang-outs at the bar, pick-up games, and even a GCP bowling event, there’s a ton of meet-n-greet going on.

The next PaizoCon will again be on Memorial Day weekend, May 24th-27th, 2019. Be there!

Flickr photo album of PaizoCon2018

Disclosure: Paizo provided me a 4-day pass. I paid for my son’s pass, the banquet tickets, and all purchases. All opinions are my own.

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