Judging at Con of the North
The one thing that makes a quality games convention are the events, and Con of the North has had a wide variety of great events of all kinds over the years thanks to our Judges and Referees. Without you, we'd have no convention. Thank you very much!
GMs must be registered before their games will be scheduled. GMs have two registration choices, Judge or Referee.
Registering as a Judge costs the same as a Player registration and gives the attendee the ability to participate in other events at the convention. In addition, Judges who are fully paid and have their games submitted before the event submission deadline are eligible for a Judge's Premium: either a discount on their registration price or a free convention t-shirt.
Registering as a Referee is free, but the only thing a Referee can do is run their own events. Referees cannot participate in other convention events, nor do they receive any of the premiums that Judges receive.
Events will not be scheduled until after the GM is registered.
To be included in the Events Book, games must be submitted by the event submission deadline and all Judges/Referees for the games must be fully registered by that time as well. If an Event Proposal is a little late, every reasonable effort will be made to include it in the book. However, due to the workload needed to produce the Events Book, it is not possible to guarantee that any events received after the deadline will be able to be processed and included in the book.
Both Judges and Referees must agree to follow the Guidelines for GMs.
The deadline for getting events into the Events Book is September 5, 2015. All judges who submit their events before the deadline are eligible for either $5 off their convention registration or a t-shirt!
If you haven't run events before, we recommend reading through the full Judge's Packet, which includes news, guidelines, a graphical version of the time slot system, and more information about running events at Con of the North 2016.
Questions? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
Online Event Submission
Mail-in Event Submission
- Download the Event Proposal Form.
- Fill it out and print a copy for each event you wish to run.
- If any of your events has a Sponsoring Organization, download the Sponsor Form, fill it out, and print a copy for each Sponsor.
- Send the printed forms along with your registration payment to:
Con of the North
PO Box 20092
Bloomington, MN 55420
Pickup Events/Open Gaming
Even if the deadline has passed, you can always run an event or play a game onsite! To run a pickup event, stop by the convention registration desk and ask for a table in the desired timeslot. We have a whiteboard where you can write information about your event.
Guidelines for GMs
As a Judge or Referee at Con of the North, you agree to abide by these guidelines:
- Prepare for your event before the convention.
- Begin and end your game on time.
- Be courteous and polite to all attendees.
- Make sure all players in your game have registered for Con of the North. (They must be wearing a Con of the North 2016 Player, Judge, or Vendor badge to play in your game. A Guide to Badges should be included in your registration packet.)
- Do not charge any more for your event. If you would like to charge extra for an event (a sealed-deck CCG tournament, for example) then include that information in the Special Requests section of your Event Proposal.
- Avoid unnecessary profanity, descriptions of violence, or other conduct which may offend attendees.
- Avoid excessive noise or other activities that may disrupt other games.
- Most importantly, have fun!
Event Proposal Help
What do all of the categories, checkboxes, and dropdowns on the Event Proposal form mean? Keep reading to find out!
- Board - Games that are played with some type of game board or boards. Ticket to Ride is a Board game.
- Card - Games that are played with just cards, both collectible and non-collectible. Magic the Gathering is a Collectible Card game, while Munchkin is a Non-collectible Card game.
- Computer - Games that are played on a computer or video game console. Starcraft is a Computer game.
- LARP - Live Action Role-Playing games. Usually most of the action is between the players where everyone is up and moving around, rather than between the players and a number of non-player characters controlled by a GM where everyone is sitting around a table. Many LARPs use simple or homebrew systems.
- Miniatures - Games that are played on a battlefield using painted figures. Warhammer 40K is a Miniatures game.
- RPG - Role-Playing games. Generally each player controls a character in a story with other characters. Typically the action is between the characters and various non-player characters controlled by a GM with everyone seated at a table. Dungeons and Dragons is an RPG.
- Seminar - One or more individuals presenting information about a topic. Sometimes there is a question/answer component. Often called Panels.
Describes how well the players should know the rules, setting, and conventions of the game.
- None - You do not need any previous knowledge of the game or the rules to play this game. Any/all rules will be taught during play.
- Some - You should be familiar with the rules of this game or a very similar game. This means that you have played this game or a very similar game before once or twice. Some rules can be taught during play, but in general this is not for brand-new players.
- Advanced - You should be very familiar with the rules of this game. Very few, if any rules will be taught during play.
Describes the content of your event. This lets players pick
- Family - This game will not have any profanity, little or no sexual innuendo, and violence will be brief, limited and not depicted in a graphic manner. Think of the standard G/PG animated movie.
- General - The game may have mild profanity and some violence. Intense themes may be present, but they will not be the focus of the game. GMs will ensure that the game is adjusted to accommodate any children present, but parents and children should realize that they will be playing in a game that may not be suitable for them. Games of this type may not be suitable for young players only because of the complexity of the rules. Think of this as a standard PG-13 action movie.
- Mature - The game will have themes of an adult nature that are unsuitable for younger players. GMs will still ensure their game's content remains such that it can be played in any convention space without causing problems. Think of this as a mainstream/Hollywood R-rated action or horror movie.
Describes what, if anything, players need to bring to your event. For events that require materials, we recommend listing/summarizing what is needed in the event description, if possible.
- None - All materials needed to play the game are provided. The player does not need anything, including dice. Most Board and Non-collectible Card games fit this category, as do many of the LARPs run at CotN.
- General - Players need their own generic materials like pencils, dice, and such. These items may be available if others at the table are kind. The GM will provide specific materials such as characters, minis, etc. Most RPGs fit this category.
- All - Players must supply their own equipment to play this game: decks, armies, characters, and similar, along with the things listed under General. The GM will provide only the most basic materials needed for play, like the game board. Many Miniatures and Collectible Card games, some RPGs.
There will be two tracks this year that GMs can choose to list their games in, assuming they belong there. Descriptions of the tracks will be listed in the front of the book, but the individual games will not. Lists of the games in these tracks will be compiled and made available on the website as well as the registration desk onsite. Events can be in both tracks.
- Intro/Learn to Play Track - This is for games that are targeted specifically at someone who has never played before. The rules will be taught before and during the game. This means turns may take a lot longer than normal and there may be a lot of questions from players. Experienced players need to be aware of this and be willing to assist new players if they choose to play in these games.
- Kid-Friendly Track - This is for games where children are the preferred players.
Con of the North uses a Time Slot system to schedule events. Each event slot is 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours long and starts on an even-numbered hour. The names are a combination of the day and the start and end times for the slot in 24-hour/military time.
GMs should plan to end their events 10-15 minutes before the end of their chosen time slot to allow time to pack up everyone's things, clean up the table, and for everyone to get to their next event while the next GM at the table gets set up.
We also recommend that GMs running events over 10 PM on Friday and Saturday ask their players if they need to pick up event tickets for the next day and plan for a break at 10 PM to allow them to do so.
All Convention events (marked as "ALL-CON") are ones where you can join in at any time or at many times but not necessarily fitting the time slot system. Past All-Con events include the main computer room, Speed Painting, CotN Cards, and the Lost City of Barakus. If you would like to run something like this, note it in your Special Requirements box or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting your proposal.
A Sponsoring Organization is a club, store, publisher, or other organization that sponsors an event or events. Any sort of group can be a sponsor, no matter how informal.
A Sponsor Form needs to be completed for each Sponsoring Organization before they can be listed as the sponsor of an event. Only one form needs to be filled out per organization, no matter how many events they're sponsoring. We will ask the Sponsoring Organization to verify the list of events to make sure the list is correct.
All Sponsors will be listed in the Event Book along with the events they're sponsoring and the description and website provided on the form.
Dedicated Space Requests
There are two ways a GM or group of GMs are able to reserve a dedicated space for their events for the whole convention. A space consists of one or more tables. If more than one table is requested the following policies apply to each table separately.
The following are requirements of either option:
- The GM must contact the convention prior to submitting anything.
- For requests that will have multiple GMs, one GM must be designated as the primary contact for the group and will be responsible for all communications and submissions for the request.
- After consultation with Programming, the GM must submit a space proposal form that lists all of the events/GMs that will use the space.
- The game proposal forms for each event must all be submitted at the same time as the space proposal together in a single packet by the game submission deadline. Programming will work with the contact GM to determine the best method for submitting the events together.
- All GMs must be registered with the convention as either a Judge or Referee. Ideally all GMs will be registered by the event submission deadline. However if there are groups that need to organize volunteers, alternate timelines can be worked out with Programming. The contact GM must be registered by the event submission deadline regardless and should work to ensure that their other GMs are registered as soon as possible.
The first option is the non-pay option. It has the following requirements:
- The space must have games scheduled for at least 85% of the convention. Any type or combination of types of games may be used to fulfill the hour requirement.
- For spaces that have ticketed events, all events must follow the convention's schedule/ticket policies and must be listed in the events book.
- For spaces that have non-ticketed events (like most All-Con events) the GM must submit a description of the event(s) taking place in the space along with a schedule of when the event will be running and the name of the GM(s) running it. These non-ticketed events must also be scheduled for at least 85% of the con.
- Other events may be scheduled in the space when it is not being used by the group, based on the needs of the convention.
The second option is the pay option. It has the following requirements:
- The GM pays the convention to reserve the space for the entire convention.
- This also allows the GM to use the space however they want.
- Games do not have to be scheduled/ticketed, but are still only open to paid con attendees. (Those wearing a Player, Judge, or Vendor badge.)
- The GM may submit game proposals for any scheduled games they would like to have in the space. These games must follow the same procedures and deadlines as any other event to be included in the Events Book.
- They get a short blurb in the book to promote the space.
- The fee paid for this space is based on the number of tables used. For larger spaces, the number of tables used is defined as the number of tables the convention would normally place in that area, not the number of tables the group will use. The per table price is a starting point and may be increased by the convention if the group has special requests and/or if there are additional costs charged by the hotel for their setup.
- The per table fee for CotN 2016 is $150.
What Happened to Theme Rooms?
In 2014, the convention moved to a larger hotel with a very different configuration of space. It has several small rooms that are part of the normal convention space, but they are meeting rooms rather than hotel rooms and almost all have enough space for multiple tables.
In an effort to allow as many people as possible an opportunity to run their events in these smaller rooms, we introduced new options for GMs like Tracks and Dedicated Space. Groups that have run Theme Rooms in the past should be able to achieve a similar experience using the Non-Pay Dedicated Space option, but now GMs who run other types of events can get the same benefits.
As always, the convention is willing to try to schedule all of a GM's events on the same tables, even if you do not meet the time requirements for a Dedicated Space. If your group would like to have your games on the same table, please contact the convention before submitting any events.
Have an idea for an event that you think should be put on by the convention? Email us at email@example.com so we can discuss your idea.
- Event Proposal Form - Without the instructions, letter, and reference pages. This Acrobat Form is all ready for you to type in your info!
- Judge Packet - Includes instructions for filling out the various forms, Timeslot system, CotN 2016 reference sheet, new space requests, and new sponsor pages. This is exactly as mailed, which means it's not an Acrobat form.
- Sponsor Form - If your event has a Sponsoring Organization, you need this form!