I know you’re all at home busily prepping your Burning Con scenario, so I put together a list of best practices and advice. I hope you find it useful.
Here’s list of basic things you need:
- An idea of the scenario or situation.
- Characters. GMs for all games should provide characters*
- Provide all game materials. Be sure you have the right amount of dice, cards and anything else you’ll need.
- At least one twist—something new that changes the starting dynamic—but not more than three. Frex: You find a magic sword and must decide who gets it…and then you have to find your way out of the dungeon.
- Notes, sketches and rough stat blocks for your villains, opposition and monsters
- Attitude: Be bold, be confident. Players are sitting at your table because they’re interested in your vision. Impress them.
You need a strong idea for a scenario to keep everyone on track during play. Provide characters so you can get right to playing. A scenario that only answers one question can be boring. Be ready to throw in a new element that ratchets up the tension even further (but is, of course, still tied to the characters Beliefs/Goals/purpose etc). Lastly, your scenario will run more smoothly if you have a rough list of obstacles, stat blocks, problems and potential opposition. It won’t all come into play, but it’s useful to have.
What not to do:
- Don’t sit back and expect the players to do all the work. As the scenario runner, it’s your role to mix up the action and provide unexpected turns.
- Don’t overprepare. Don’t plan such a detailed scenario that you’ll never hope to finish it in one sitting
- DO NOT setting dump. If I catch anyone saying more than one minute of world or setting info, I’ll be very angry.
- DO NOT explain the rules. Demonstrate the rules in small chunks as the game progresses.
Running RPG scenarios is easy. I’m excited because we have so many great players and scenarios. See you all next Friday for the party!
Any questions? Email me at email@example.com
*Except for In a Wicked Age. Don’t get your mocassins in a knot.
Burning Con 12 is less that two weeks away. We had a last minute surge of registration. That means if you haven’t submitted a game, I need it ASAP. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll refund your registration.
In happier news, I’ve reorganized the priority system to be clearer than last year’s version. I’m assigning you your priorities now.
In a few days you’ll receive an email that contains your priority, a provisional schedule and the address of the Friday night party. If you don’t receive that, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thanks for your patience! More updates soon!
We are three weeks out from Burning Con!
Here’s what’s going on behind the scenes: Shervyn and I will assemble a preliminary schedule in the next few days. If I don’t have your event description, I’ll make one more attempt to contact you. If I don’t hear back from you immediately, I’ll refund your admission.
Friday night: There will be a party Friday night from 8 to midnight. I will email you with the address for the party. It is a private residence. If you are registered and don’t hear from me, email me at email@example.com.
Saturday: Events begin promptly at 10 AM and run until 11 Pm. There are no official afterhours events on Saturday. Like last year, lunch (and/or dinner) will be short, but we will have (free) snacks on site.
Sunday: Events begin promptly at 10 AM and run until 7.
Afterparty will be at Bar 82 (8th street and 2nd Ave).
Behold the schedule of a desperate man!
My schedule for PAX Dev:
Wed 1:15 PM Grand III: Creative Destruction with Jared Sorensen.
Wed 230 PM Grand II: Academia vs Reality with Jared, Rym and some other nerds.
Wed 4:30 PM 5th Ave Room: Something from Nothing with James Ernest and Paul Petersen (and that guy Jared).
Thurs 2:00 PM 5th Ave Room: Something from Nothing PART 2 with James, Paul and Jared.
My Schedule for PAX Prime:
Friday: Blessedly free! Come visit our Burning Wheel, Night Sky Games and Memento Mori supercombo booth on the 6th floor.
Saturday 6 PM Tabletop Theater: RPGs Are Awesome with Jared.
Sunday 10:30 AM Raven Theater: The D&D You Never Knew. The big time! Just me for a whole hour!
Sunday 2:00 PM Tabletop Theater: I am Startup and So Can You, America: Designing and Publishing on a Ramen Budget. with Wolfgang Bauer (!) and those guys publishing 13th Age.
Sunday 7:00 PM Tran Bros Vietnamese: I mutely spoon Phô into my raw, cracked throat with Jared Sorensen and ensemble.
See you next week!
Save the dates: Burning Con is October 26-28 in NYC. Vincent Baker returns as special guest. And we have another secret special guest to announce! See you in October.
I’ll be at Connecticon tomorrow, July 14th, delivering two presentations: The D&D You Never Knew and Burning Wheel Is Complicated but I Love It.
The fun starts at 1 PM in panel room 5 and continues at 2:30.
See you there.
The BWHQ store is closed from now until 5/24. Cave Troll and the Burning Accountant are both away on vacation. Check out your FLGS for all of your needs. For example, the Compleat Strat has all BW products in stock (even some that are out of print). Call for orders 212 685 3380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is out of date.
PAX was a blast, and we’re finally recovered. So I thought you might like an update as to what’s going on with Burning Wheel and BWHQ.
Burning Wheel Turns 10
November 1st, 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of Burning Wheel. We’re going to celebrate!
Burning Con 2012
Burning Con is happening! We’ll celebrate our 10th birthday there. We’re hoping to book dates at the end of October. I’ll post more about that as soon as I know it.
Also, we learned a lot about running our own con last year and we’re excited to apply those lessons this year. Expect to hear more about running hacks at Burning Con, GMing tutorials, and a beginner’s track!
Other 2012 Cons
At the moment, I’m planning on attending PAX Prime in Seattle in August and Connecticon in Hartford in July. We will not be attending Origins or Gen Con this year.
We’re working on three games at BWHQ. Unfortunately, none look likely to be ready for publication this summer. We’re dedicated to producing quality games, as best as we’re able. Sometimes that means you can’t rush the playtesting and writing process. As soon as we think the games are ready, we’ll get them out to you!
Other Fun Stuff
Since we’re not publishing, we thought we could do some other fun stuff in the meantime: t-shirts, custom dice and laminates (finally!). If you have any other suggestions, let me know!
Thanks for your continued support. We couldn’t and wouldn’t do this without you.
From April 6-8, we’ll be in Boston, Mass for the fabulous PAX East show.
We have a booth and demo space in the tabletop area (next to the Strat and Vincent and Joshua).
Friday at 12 noon, I’m giving an introduction to Burning Wheel.
Saturday at 12:30, I’m on the Campaign Doctors panel with Joshua (Shock, Mechaton) and Jack Graham (Eclipse Phase).
Saturday at 6 PM, I’m giving a talk called The D&D You Never Knew. It’s about D&D from the early 80s. It’s going to blow your mind.
Hope to see you all there!
You can see the schedule here
We’re puttering away behind the scenes here. Meanwhile, check out these cool Burning Wheel related things:
Michael Prescott made a cool little chart for adding thematic details to your game.
and Totally Guy recorded himself reading the hub and spokes!