Convention GMing: Your Blurb

All the conventions I’ve been to allow players to join games that were not filled during the event scheduling. It’s nice, as a game master, to show up at your game knowing that you will have a full table of gamers to play with. I have had to admit defeat when a game of mine didn’t get any interest. It happens. You have a limited opportunity to entice players to schedule your game at a convention. One of those is your “blurb.”

When submitting an event to a convention you will be required to give a description of the adventure. This is typically very short. There will be a lot of games and if the convention is still producing paper convention schedules, they have limited space. You will be asked to give a brief description of the adventure and its up to you what to put there. Typically there is a word or character count limit to your description. Table Top Events, one of the better scheduling systems also allows you to put up a URL so players can click through to your own website or blog if you have more information about the event. That’s a nice addition in the age of bits and bytes instead of ink and paper.

All conventions have some sort of approval process. They may not be able to accomodate your preferred time, number of players or facility requirements if you’re playing something that needs a lot of table space. If your event doesn’t meet some sort of criteria for the convention, you may be asked to revise your event. Again, the description you give will be the primary way the convention staff will determine whether or not to approve your event submission.

Here’s how I do it. I describe who the characters are, what their current situation is, an inciting incident and the characters objective. Here’s the description for the game I’m running at Gary Con next month.

You are a disgraced noble. By your own deeds, you have been shunned by your family and caste. For years you have heaped dishonor on your family name. One night as you sit drinking and dicing away the coin you have made as a mercenary, a famous warrior who once served the crown approaches you. He offers redemption. Join him on a mission to assassinate the sadistic and murderous crown prince.

You are a disgraced noble. A famous warrior offers you a job. You have to assassinate a prince. Player Characters >In A Situation >Making Decisions

A few other suggestions.

-Be clear and concise. Your opportunity is limited.

-Have a hook. Your game needs to be interesting, unusual and unique.

-Describe what the players are going to be doing. Explore? Fight? Investigate? Assassinate?

-Offer an objective. Rescue the princess. Kill the prince. Slay the dragon…

You may need to work on this a little bit. Convention goers want to get the most out of their event. They may be picking purely based on the description you provide in your description. A poorly written event description can mean nobody signs up for your session.

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