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Tucson - The first ever Gamemaster's Conference


New member
Correct me if I am wrong but nobody has ever done a conference strictly about GMing. There have been "GM tracks" and panels at various conventions, but never something specifically focused around developing and training yourself and your peers as a good gamemaster....UNTIL NOW.

Coming July 25, it's the Southern Arizona Gamemaster's Conference.

The Southern Arizona Gamers' Association welcomes all gamemasters, new and old, to the first-ever Gamemaster's Conference. Whether you are just getting started or are highly experienced, whether you prefer your game loaded with story and cinema or challenges and tactics, you have something to share and still have things to learn. This is your chance to learn from the best and contribute to them too!

Admission is absolutely free - lunch is not provided, so eat before you come.

Our special guest is John Wick, award-winning designer of Legend of the Five Rings, Seventh Sea and Houses of the Blooded, among many others. He also is the author of Play Dirty, one of the best "play technique" books out there. You can find many of his current works, including Play Dirty and Houses of the Blooded at The Wicked Dead Brewing Company on Indie Press Revolution.


11:30 - noon - Registration.
11:55 or so - Introductory Remarks - Jason Corley

12:00-12:25 - Berin Kinsman (of unclebear.com) - Worldbuilding 101
12:25-12:50 - Dave Martin (of the Wrecking Crew White Wolf demo team) - Compelling NPC Design
12:50 - 1:00 - Break

1:00-1:50 - John Wick (megacelebrity and hero to the masses) - Play Dirty
1:50-2:00 - Break

2:00-2:15 - Jim Myers (SAGA Board, Tucson By Night Shared Campaign) - The 3 Cs of Player Rewards
2:15-2:30 - Don Dehm (pulpgamer.com) - Pacing and Player Engagement
2:30-2:45 - Derek Rex (pulpgamer.com) - Topic TBA
2:50-3:00 Break

3:00-3:25 - Jason Corley (best GM in Tucson) - Pressures On The Party - A Campaign Design Technique
3:25-3:50 - Boyan Radokovich (SAGA Board, High School Drama!) - Intro to Cinematic Gaming
3:50-4:00 Break

4:00-4:20 - Ron Blessing (The Game's The Thing) - Topic TBA
4:20-4:45 - Directed Discussion - Topics: What challenges do GMs face in Southern Arizona's gaming community? What could you share with the GM community? What topics would you like to see covered in greater detail?
4:45 - The end! Volunteers can stay to help clean up.

We welcome out-of-town attendees! Please RSVP at the meetup group:


I also urge anyone who hasn't to start thinking about ways to help develop "best practices" for GMs in your own community!


New member
Ron Blessing and Derek Rex have announced their topics:

Ron will talk about Player-Centric Games
Derek will talk about Modifying Modules

And it will be great.

You should come.


New member
Hey Bryant...we were thinking of recording it, but right now the technical difficulties in doing that are a bit much on top of the organizational ones. We might work it out, or we might save it for the next conference.


Validated User
Hey Bryant...we were thinking of recording it, but right now the technical difficulties in doing that are a bit much on top of the organizational ones. We might work it out, or we might save it for the next conference.
Fair enough! I'll try and come next year -- this looks like an awesome thing.


New member
It was a grand success. And we had so many inquiries about recording it that Ron Blessing of The Game's The Thing said, ya know what, let's just throw a mike down and see what it picks up. So right now we're processing it. There were certain very dynamic speakers (Don Dehm) who I'm thinking the mike didn't really grab, and certain awesome discussions that the mike probably didn't pick up (Berin's discussion segment) but you'll get something out of it! I'll post when we have something up on the intertubes.

And in fact, things were so successful that I don't even know that we can wait until springtime to do another one! Watch this space.

Our next scheduled event is going to be a gamemaster's seminar at RinCon, which registration just opened for:



New member
The next standalone Gamemaster's Conference will be in late February. Date and place to be announced.

We will do what we can to accomodate out of town attendees. So far we have confirmed presentations on management skills for RPG groups, and "threats and promises: why is wish usually lame?"
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