Gamemasters are crucial to the success of U-Con. The games and events you bring are why people show up. Gamemasters are the creative force behind U-Con. We appreciate your willingness to contribute your time, and we wish to make your convention experience enjoyable!
This page provides information for individual and small-group gamemasters. Other places to look for information include:
- Pathfinder, RPGA, and others Judges at U-Con, please see Judges
- Game manufacturers and other groups please contact us regarding organized play.
- Event sponsors please contact the event coordinator.
- Please direct all other questions to the event coordinator or other department.
To join us as a gamemaster, we need to know a few things about you and the games you want to run. We have an online event submission form which takes a few minutes to fill out. If you have multiple events, you may follow the prompts to add them before you complete your submission. Children 12 and under please have a parent or guardian fill out the form. We ask for:
- Your name and contact information
- Description of the event(s)
- Scheduling preferences, including how much time to reserve for your event(s)
You can use our contact form to request a status update regarding your event(s) or a copy of your schedule at any time. Please also send your event corrections by the contact form. In case of errors or an incomplete submission, we will contact you. If we can’t reach you, we might not be able to accept your event, so it is important you provide us a valid email address. We will do our best to accommodate your requests regarding the schedule. Gamemasters who are running in many slots can provide us a schedule.
We will accept events before the final deadline as long as we have space. Event submission deadlines are listed on the home page of our web site.
Convention related materials can be picked up on site (as described below). We do not mail anything in advance. The gamemaster is responsible for other materials necessary to run the event (e.g. a board game or rpg characters). Any exceptions to this rule of thumb should be mentioned in your event description (e.g. “please bring 4th level characters”).
U-Con provides our gamemasters with a Gamemaster badge. This badge allows access to the convention all weekend. Tickets for individual events may be purchased on site or during preregistration.
We ask each gamemaster to send us a $10 deposit (by check or PayPal). The purpose of the deposit is to create a commitment for the gamemaster to come to the convention as promised. While the GM contributes his or her creativity to the convention, we must commit some of the space we rent for each event. Additionally, paying attendees might want to play in the event and they come with the expectation that they will be able to, and are disappointed when they cannot. Therefore, gamemasters who fail to appear for their games forfeit their deposit. Contacting registration in advance of the convention is the best way to avoid this scenario.
Instructions for deposits are sent to you by email when we receive your event submission. After the opening of preregistration, deposits can also be made by registering for a gamemaster badge.
Gamemasters groups may submit their events to us under a group name. We will provide gamemaster badges for your GMs to your event organizer who submitted the events. We suggest you set your own schedule for your events and we will provide the space. Individuals within the group should coordinate with your organizer to receive your badges at the convention. Please contact the event coordinator if you need additional help or have any questions.
When the convention date nears, please see the venue section website for information on driving directions and parking. Please check the website event listings ahead of time to determine the final schedule of your events, and contact us if there is a problem. An easy way to find your schedule is to type your last name into the event search page.
When you arrive at the convention please report to registration for GM checkin. We will have signs to direct you to registration when you arrive. Checkin is approximately as follows:
- Identify yourself as a gamemaster. Present your picture ID.
- Staff member will indicate if there is an outstanding balance or refund (other than the GM refund) for preregistration materials and proceed from there.
- Staff member will present you with your “event envelopes” and your preregistration envelope containing your badge and other preregistration materials.
- Sign the registration card indicating that you have picked up your materials.
- Check your preregistration envelope to make sure everything expected is present. (It is important that you do this before you walk away from the table!)
For groups, the organizer will pick up all the materials for the group and distribute them to individual gamemasters.
Checkout Procedure and Refund
Your GM deposit will be refunded once all your events are completed.
- Present all of your event envelopes to staff in Registration if you have not already done so.
- Indicate that you’d like to receive your refund.
- Staff member will find your signature card for you to acknowledge that you have received your refund.
- Staff member will provide a cash refund.
We hesitate to take action against GMs, but we will do so if we believe that a gamemaster has not fulfilled their responsibilities. Punitive actions depend on the circumstances and may include the forfeiture of the GM deposit and/or the rejection of events submitted in the future. These measures are extremely rare, but we reserve these rights in order to ensure that everyone contributes to U-Con’s success.
We graciously appreciate all donations of deposits. All the proceeds go toward running future U-Cons.
Running an Event
For every event, we create “event envelopes.” Each envelope describes the event number and title and lists the names on all tickets purchased at preregistration. Additionally, each envelope lists the correct number of generic tickets that may be used in place of a ticket for the specific event. When an event is about to begin, please collect the tickets for the players and place them in the appropriate event envelope.
Tickets and Priority
If more players show up than the event has room for, please accept players with specific event tickets first. If space remains, please accept players with generic ticket on a first-come-first-served basis. Please be careful to make sure that each player provides the correct number of generic tickets which is listed on the event envelope.
Additionally, players may purchase a “play games all weekend” ribbon which grants access to most events. We will talk to you directly if this case does not apply to your event. Please treat these players as if they have a generic ticket, meaning players with actual tickets to your event should be giving first priority in case there are too many players.
If there are not enough players for the event please wait for 15 minutes to see if enough players show up. If there are still not enough players, please indicate to any ticketed players that they may come to Registration to receive their refund. Please also come immediately to operations to return your event envelope. Complaints by players about a no-show GM will be investigated and can result in punitive action.
Completing the event
Following the event (or at some convenient time), please bring the event envelope to operations. Please write down the total number of players in the box on the outside of the envelope. If the event is eligible for prize support then please bring the event winner to operations to receive his or her prize. We cannot award prizes without the event envelope in order to ensure only one prize is given per event. Please note that prizes are dependent upon donations and we do not guarantee their availability.
Please contact Registration regarding any issues with the rooms. Some common requests include:
- Open a room which may be locked (e.g. for the first game of the day)
- Empty the trash
- Refill water cooler refill (not available in all rooms)
Eligibility for Event Prize
- Demos and other free events do not qualify.
- Events with non-standard costs are not eligible, often because prizes are calculated into the cost)
- Event must be scheduled for 4 hours or more with at least 3 paying players or event must be scheduled for 2 hours or more with at least 4 paying players
- Unless special arrangements are made, events run by groups or companies do not qualify for prize support
- One prize per game
The people who attend U-Con do not come to see the staff; they come for the games. They are contributing financially to the convention in order to participate in the events that you bring. U-Con would cease to exist without the talent you bring. Thank you very much for your contribution!