TLDR: I love being an 18hrs+ Gary Con GM and will continue to love it until they bury me with my 1E AD&D DMG on my chest and my DM screen over my eyes.
However, apropos of the recent server difficulties, Gary Con could take some pressure off the servers by letting GMs who run 18hrs+ worth of games register along with the gold badge attendees, or just after but before the silver badge attendees. We don't take many tickets, because we're working so many hours, and it's harder to find games to fit our schedule. This is in part due to our schedule being mostly set long before event registration, which means we can't swap around time slots as easily as someone building a full con schedule from the ground up once the events are revealed. You can imagine how often I've seen the event schedule and realized there is one particular game or another each year in a slot I've already committed to GM something.
Still, I'd imagine there must be enough of us to make some difference on the server. How many 18hrs+ GMs are there? I guess it's been the same as the number of GM t-shirts for the last few years. Maybe gold level registration could be a 24hrs+ GM perk?
Personally, I stopped vying for VIP games a long time ago, to leave those seats for newer attendees. There aren't many top dogs and/or former TSR folks around who I haven't gamed with at some point over the years, so I have felt it best, as a general policy since GC II or III, to let some others enjoy that experience. I'm sure for many it is a large part of why they attend Gary Con. So, too, I play all sorts of games (wargames, RPGs, boardgames, card games, etc), so it is likely less touble than for some others. I'd bet there are some Gary Con GMs who mainly RPG or who come to Gary Con strictly for the wargaming, which is what I primarily like to do as there tends to be less of this year round for me with each passing year. For those folks it can be much tougher to find games in which to play and recharge the batteries before getting back to those GMing duties.
(Cue Yon Yonson and a couple of others pointing out they GM 40hrs+!)
Don't get me wrong, the free admission at silver badge level, the free GM t-shirt, and other perks are super nice and very generous. I love them all! And make no mistake, I love GMing and those of us who do it for 18hrs+ do it mainly because it is what we love to do. We do it most of our gaming life and we'd likely do it at Gary Con for even fewer rewards, though I am loathe to admit it and probably risking the wrath of my fellow 18hrs+ GMs by mentioning this. I also know that this post will come off as largely self-serving. But being able to be a bit more selective registering for events in the slots we have available as 18hrs+ GMs would be a treasure worth its weight in triple experience points! Thank you for indulging me by taking the time to read this post.
(I snagged the GM t-shirt artwork example from the Intrawebs)
Sunday, February 23, 2020
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