Event submission began on February 3rd and in
almost 2 weeks we’ve already received more than 1300 events. It looks like our
new cyclical event review and placement schedule has really worked at getting
people to submit events earlier this year. I don’t have the numbers on hand,
but I’m almost positive that it took us more than 6 weeks to get to this point
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Confused by “cyclical
event review and placement cycles”? Wondering why so many other people
submitted their events early? You might want to take a closer look at the Event Host
Policy (and this
forum post explaining the submission process).
I’ve spent the past week reviewing almost all of those
events. In fact, I spent all day yesterday reading events while listening to 101 different
cover versions of “Stairway to Heaven.” It made for quite the surreal experience.
A lot of events have come in already but I wanted to take a
quick moment to go over some common mistakes and give some quick tips.
Changes to item… & Returned for Correction
First off it should be understood that I have to make minor
(or not so minor) tweaks to a fairly large number of events. When I go through
and review events, I’m basically checking three things:
Is everything filled out properly?
Are all right fields filled in the right way? Is round 1 of a tournament an
entry round and is the final round advancement-only? Did you fill out your name
and mailing address if you asked for special pricing? Stuff like that.
- Is everything clear and is there any
Do you say the same thing or duplicate information across multiple fields? Is
the description clear enough to understand?
- Is everything spelled correctly and is the
This is pretty straight-forward.
If I can make quick, simple changes to fix any apparently
problem I find, I do so and you’ll get an automatic notification about what I
tweaked. If it’s more complicated, affects a large number of events, or I’m
really not sure what you originally meant I’ll send it back to you for
The important thing to remember is that I’m not always right. Sometimes I didn’t quite
understand what you were trying to say or I don’t know the game well enough or
I wasn’t clear enough in my explanation to you about what was wrong. Just
because I changed something in your event doesn’t mean it’s set in stone or how
you did it “isn’t allowed.” Make sure you’ve read the EHP
submission form instructions to see if any rules have been broken but if
you don’t like a change I’ve made or are confused about a comment, don’t
hesitate to email or call me to find out what’s up.
Maybe I changed the game system to something I thought was clearer and I was wrong or
I removed some duplicate information from your description that you really
wanted there because lots of people miss it.
Sometimes I’ll also see something that seems like a problem
but I won’t change it, I’ll just send you a note about it. Usually this happens
on something I’m unsure about or isn’t a big deal, but could be clearer.
Again, just remember that the event submission process is
basically a dialogue between me and you (the event organizer). Feel free to
Alright, let’s move on to common problem fields.
If you have a sponsor or part of a gaming group, put their
name here. If you don’t – just leave it blank.
It’s not a required field, so you don’t need to put in your own name, Indie,
or None if you don’t have a group or sponsor.
If you’re running an RPG or LARP (or anything similar) do not put the name of the game in the title.
If you’re running “Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil,” then
that is your title – not “Dungeons
& Dragons: Return to Temple of Elemental Evil.” Similarly, “Werewolf: the
Forsaken – Let’s Go Kick Some Vampire A$$” is not acceptable.
Don’t put the GM or scenario author name here either. This is
the title of the game session – and that’s all that should be in it.
Don’t list the game system here either – that’s what the
Game System field is for (more on that below). Aside from spelling and grammar
problems (double-check that before you submit your event!) the biggest problem
with event descriptions tends to be duplicate information.
Don’t include your gaming group or sponsor, or your GMs. Don’t
include the game system or rules edition. Don’t list age or experience
requirements. Don’t say “materials provided.” Don’t say “advancement only.” Etc.
Basically, don’t duplicate information that another field
specifically exists for.
There can be
exceptions to my “don’t duplicate!” rule, but they’re relatively rare.
Sometimes you do need to really
re-iterate something that you’ve had problems with in the past. I usually just
remove as much duplication as I can, though. If I cut something you really,
really want there, email me and we’ll figure it out.
Game System & Rules Edition
These can be the two trickiest fields. First off, if you’re
running a game, they are required. Just because you’re running a board or card game
and the title of the session is just the name of the game doesn’t mean “N/A”
will be accepted. Where this can get complicated is with Rules Edition and RPGs/LARPs (or any custom game).
As a general rule of thumb, try to use official form as much
as possible and think of those two fields are reading “_____, ______ edition”
(with Game System being the first
blank and Rules Edition being the second).
Game System is
pretty straightforward except with RPGs or a game where you use a rule system
from one game to play the setting of another. Things can get a bit wonky then. I
recommend that you use Game System for the actual system: Dungeons & Dragons, d20, Vampire:
The Requiem, Nobilis, etc. If you are running a specific setting, like Planescape
or Forgotten Realms then include that information in the description.
That’s a guideline, however. Game System is a common field people use to search for and sort
events, so put what you think your players are most likely to look for you event
under. If I change the system in your event and you’re concerned, just let me
You don’t need to include “edition” in the Rules Edition field and I very much prefer absolute and official edition
numbers: 1st or 5th or 3.5 instead of “current” or “old.”
Relative edition terms (like “new”) aren’t as clear and can potentially confuse
a player who isn’t following the game’s releases – and with D&D this can
cause a lot of confusion. If you
submit a D&D game with “current” as the edition people will register for it
before Indy – but by then a new edition will be out. Be as exact as possible.
If your game has only ever had one edition, just list 1st.
It is the first edition, after all.
Sometimes a number just won’t work, though, like with Vampire: The Masquerade,
Revised edition. Sometimes you’ll want to list rules variants or options added
on, like a GURPS supplement you’re using or a Hero System version. Maybe you’re
running the d20 edition.
Just try to use the official spelling/terminology whenever
possible and remember to read the two fields to yourself – “(game system), (rules edition) edition” – to make sure it sounds right and you
should be fine.
Tournaments: Round Type
This is the most common mistake when submitting tournaments,
so make sure to double-check this field.
If you want people to be able to register and buy a ticket
to this round, choose “Entry Round.” An entry round should also be designated
as round 1 in Round Number for this
If they need to have completely a previous round before they
can play, choose “Advancement Round” (and the round number should not be 1 unless this is a special
invitation-only event). This will automatically set the price to $0 and prevent
anyone from registering for it.
Biggest piece of advice: Double-check everything!
Man, that got long. Hope you’re all still awake.
The last thing I want to say is: double-check your event and
if you have a question, ask. Gen Con isn’t a faceless corporation whittling your
round event to fit in a square peg – it’s just me thinking something doesn’t
seem quite right and tweaking as best I can.