Gen Con 2014 Judge Sign-up
Welcome! Thanks in advance for your interest in volunteering at Gen Con 2014 for Baldman Games. Without judges and helpers like you, shows like this would just exist. I've always said that even when you're judging you're gaming, and that is never a bad way to spend the day. We've drummed up some of the best benefits we can to entice you to swap over to the dark side of the DM's screen.
Please Note: This show's schedule is different than last year. Please read things completely before completing in your judge application.
We use a lot of jargon that a lot of us (myself included) takes for granted that most people know. Of course that is not true so this year I am going to try and take a step back and come at this from a completely new person to volunteering point of view. If you find anything here confusing at all please do not hesitate to contact me through the Forums or Website contact form and I will clear it up quickly.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your hobby and we have some really great rewards that make helping out even easier and a great way to attend the show and save some serious $$. You can earn a free badge to the show, a free spot in one of our hotel rooms next to the convention center (a huge perk this year), and cool show swag on top of that (free books, show promos, etc.) It is also a great way to make new friends and immerse yourself in the show community more then just a casual attendee ever could. Our volunteer pool organizes events most nights of the show to help build commraderie and let everyone blow off some steam after a long day of work. Our judge retention rate is extremely high so warning ahead of time. Once you work for us you'll probably come back and do it again next year.
Now for some show terminoglogy:
- Badge Level: You've worked enough to earn a free badge to the show. This badge is taken care of by the Baldman Game's staff. You need to have created an account in the Gen Con registration system before registering with us. You will then provide us your email attached to that account and we take care of the rest. You'll receive an email from Gen Con when the badge has been attached to your account.
- Room Level: You've worked enough to earn a spot in one of our hotel rooms. These rooms are for four nights (Wed Night to Sat night) and we have on average three people in a room. We cannot reimburse you for a room you've booked on your own or let you choose what hotel you are in. We do our best though to put you in the room with the roommates you prefer whenever possible. So if you are unsure about staying with strangers your first time then get a couple buddies to judge with you and we'll put all three of you in a room together. We all win!!
- Slot: This one confuses a lot of people and is a very old term from the RPGA days. A slot is the same as saying a shift. In the case of Gen Con 2014 a slot is four hours long. Every event and day is put together using slots so events line-up nicely, start and end at the same time in relation to each other, and make you putting together a schedule that fits your needs easy as possible. The slots are numbered so the first slot on Thursday at 8am is called Slot One. The last slot that runs from noon to 4pm on Sunday is Slot 14.
- Slot Zero:So if the first slot is called Slot One then what the heck is Slot Zero? Slot Zero is any game that runs before the show itself for judges. Usually these are done so judges can prepare to run a better game. Seeing things from a players perspective then preparing it from a judges is a huge help for some. Sometimes these are also special judge only events done as rewards for them helping out. Regardless of whether you get to play an event before the show or not you are always expected to be prepared when the show starts and it is game time.
Now on to some event specifics:
- D&D All Access Adventure Pass: This is our premiere experience program at Gen Con. You get a set judge, table, and exclusive swag. This is for our established best of the best judges. If you are new this is the program you want to be part of. The top of the D&D judge mountain. Do 2-3 shows for us and knock our socks off and you to can be part of this awesome group.
- D&D Normal Event: This is our standard four-hour event at the show. Perfect for new and experienced judges. It is set to run in about 3 1/2 hours so you have a little time at the end to gather up your stuff, hit the bathroom or food court really quick, and get back for your next slot (or if your last slot for the day run to the dealers hall).
- D&D Delve Event: This is our one hour fast play event. It is still a four-hour shift of work but in that you will run three one-hour adventures with an one hour break. It is fast-paced and a lot of fun. It is often interactive. Which means several tables around you could be working along side your table towards some kind of group goal. It makes for a fun time and is very popular at the show. It is great for newer judges as preparing a one hour mini-event is a lot easier then a four hour one. We give a break as the one-hour games run back to back. So literally a table stands up when finished and there will be six more players waiting to sit down.
- HQ: You will get to know this gang well as the show goes on. These are my minions whose job it is to take care of all the little things going on around you at the show so you don't have to. Thier job is to make sure you have everything you need so all you need to do is focus on your game and giving your players a fantastic time. They are long time judges and staff members, most of whom have beening doing this 10+ years and some closer to 30. We usually have a few open spots each year for data entry and reception here. Which is great for example if you want to help judge and get a free room but your significant other doesn't judge. We can put them to work earning a room in another fashion and you can still share a room together. We have many couples who do this.
Well hopefully that was helpful in getting you up to speed on what we are about and how you can help us help you. Now on to the nitty gritty details that hopefully will now make more sense to you.
For 2014 everything at the show outside of HQ works on 4-hour shifts. This means the show has 14 slots from start to finish as listed below.
|Slot One: 8am-noon||Slot Five: 8am-noon||Slot Nine: 8am-noon||Slot Thirteen: 8am-noon|
|Slot Two: Noon-4pm||Slot Six: Noon-4pm||Slot Ten: Noon-4pm||Slot Fourteen: Noon-4pm|
|Slot Three: 4pm-8pm||Slot Seven: 4pm-8pm||Slot Eleven: break|
|Slot Four: 8pm-Mid||Slot Eight: 8pm-Mid||Slot Twelve: 6pm-10pm|
Yes that is right. Slot Eleven is a break from 4pm to 6pm. Some judges may be doing some work doing that slot but I will contact those judges before the show to let them know. This is to prepare for Slot Twelve which is an all hands on deck slot. If you are working for a free badge or more (4+ slots) then you will be judging this slot. No exceptions. More on this below.
D&D Next All Access: This year we are expanding our All Access Adventure Pass program from 15 judges to 40 (and shrinking it's length from 28 hours down to 16). It was that big of a success last year and with this expansion I fully expect to sellout almsot instantly again this year. If you were one of the 15 judges last year you are automatically invited back. I have also given an auto-invite to all of those who ran the DDC last year (since we will not be running it this year). I figure that gives me room to add about 15 new judges to this program in 2014. If interested make sure you note as much on your judge applicaiton and let me know why I should pick you.
The other 80+% of judges will be doing either the Delve or D&D Next 4 hour events.
D&D Next 4 Hour Events: This runs 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm Thur-Fri, 8am and noon on Fri, and 8am and noon on Sunday. That's 12 total slots to pick from. You CANNOT pick 4 slots in the same day. Not going to happen. There are no breaks between these slots. You will finish up about 15 minutes before the end and you'll have another table waiting for you. Take a quick bathroom break, grab a drink, and then back at it.
D&D Next Delve: This event is really going to be a lot of fun. We have shrunk it down to a one-hour event this year to make it more exciting and fast paced (as well as to get the massive number of people we are expecting through it). Your four hour shift will consist of running this event 3 times with a one hour break. That could mean running once, twice, or three times in a row before your break. So use the bathroom first. This event opens at 8am each day and closes at midnight on Thur/Fri, 4pm on Saturday, and 4pm on Sunday.
D&D Next Saturday Special: Cannot go into details right now other than saying you'll be judging this. Yes you. That guy with a pulse and some dice. You yup. If you are doing 4+ slots to earn a badge or better you are required to work this shift. If you are doing less than 4 slots you of course can still work it but it is not required.
Room Level: Judge 8+ slots of 4-hour events and we'll cover your room for 4 nights (Wed night to Saturday night) at the show. These rooms are provided to us graciously by WotC and are 3 to a room (couples will be two couples per room sometimes to make 4). We cannot flex the nights covered or guarantee any earlier or late checkouts. I just don't have any pull with the hotel in this case. If you select this level you are required to work the Saturday 6pm-10pm slot.
Badge Level: Judge 4+ slots of 4-hour events and we'll cover your badge for the show. Save a few bucks for drinks or vendors and get warm fuzzies for helping out at the show. If you select this level you are required to work the Saturday 6pm-10pm slot.
Handshake Level: Judge 1+ slots and get a hearty handshake (available at HQ anytime I happen to be standing there). Not everyone can devote chunks of time to judging, but everything helps and everything is appreciated. Even judging one slot gives 6 or so people some fun that they wouldn't otherwise have.
Books and Swag: We reward our judges for their hard work. On Saturday we will start handing out show swag (most likely in the 4pm-6pm break). Gencon exclusive dice, exclusive product, and stacks of normal product valued in the 10's of thousands of dollars. The more you judge the more you get.