Conventional Wisdom

By on 26 August 2014

“A convention, in the sense of a meeting, is a gathering of individuals who meet at an arranged place and time in order to discuss or engage in some common interest.” Wikipedia

Gaming conventions are brilliant. They combine the best of social hobbies, in a place where you are surrounded by like-minded people, with all the buzz and excitement of a festival. Yet, they can also be intimidating to the newbie. If you don’t know what’s going on, or who’s who, you might think all the fun was happening elsewhere. Even if you’ve been to Cons before, you might be nervous about stepping up to run games, or volunteering to help with the organisation. This guide is for everyone who wants to get an even better Con experience. It’s written with the UK community in mind, but the etiquette of Cons is pretty universal, and travels well!

Cons are about much more than table-top roleplaying games of course. They often include LARP (or Freeform) games, perhaps card and board games, auctions, art displays and who knows what else. The advice hereafter is mainly aimed at the RPGer, but it’s got plenty of value if you’re into other ways to play ‘let’s pretend’.

The first section, ‘Rules to Live By’ is for everyone, but especially if you’re new to Cons. The second section ‘Mastering Games’, is for those who want to run games at Cons, or just run even better Con games. Even if you don’t think that’s for you, it’s well worth a read. Running good Con games is easier than you think, and incredibly rewarding.

Finally, there’s some handy links and further reading for you.

Thanks for picking this up, I hope to see you at a Con soon.

Baz Stevens
August 2014

About Baz King

Baz was introduced to RPGs in 1979, due to a misunderstanding on his part of what Wargaming actually meant. More than 30 years on, and he’s coming round to the idea that he might well have been right first time after all. Baz has been GMing for almost all that time, and has never tired of telling people that they are facing 6 goblins, scattered around a 30′ chamber. Not afraid to move with the times, he has been known to not use a screen on occasion. Baz looks forward to levelling up so he can get that next feat and spend it on the rest of his name. Until then, lets face it, it’s great being king. Baz lives the high life in darkest Essex, surrounded by things he doesn’t really need and couldn’t really afford. Still, game on eh? He blogs at

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