How do I run a game?

Due to the size of Be-Con and it’s very limited not-for-profit budget, the efforts of GMs are purely voluntary.  GMs will be able to obtain their registration early, though the cost will be the same.   We encourage all participants to consider proposing a game or volunteering in some other way to help make Be-Con happen.

Propose a game

If you would like to run a game at Be-Con, we have a convenient form to submit your proposal.  Please read the information below as well as at that link, and contact our GM Liaison if you have any questions.  Game proposals are due April 25, 2018 in order to have a game listed on the initial schedule and be eligible for early registration.  Proposing your game earlier may increase the likelihood of your game being accepted. We’re particularly looking for one-shot, theater style LARPs.

Early Be-Con Registration

If your proposed game is accepted, you will get one or more early registrations for Be-Con.  A game with 10 or fewer players will get one early registration.  A game with 11 to 16 players will get two, and a game with 17 to 30 players will get three.   As Be-Con needs to be limited to 60 attendees, it is expected that it will fill to capacity.  These early registrations will give you advance access to sign up for Be-Con before general signup.  GMs will still need to pay for their convention registration.  This early access is to register for the convention, not for game signup.  Game signup will be handled equally for all participants.

Games in search of a GM

We know there are a lot of energetic larpers who would like to run a game, but have not written one, and are happy to support your bringing one to Be-Con.  There are a wide variety of games available online which you could run. We’ve listed a couple resources below for this, but feel free to contact the staff if you cannot find one.  While these are examples of larps available on the internet, the staff has not played most of these and cannot vouch for their quality or appropriateness for Be-Con.  If you would like help finding a game from these lists, please contact Susan at people@beconlarp.com

The archive of Stockholm scenario festival  https://scenariofestival.se/

NEIL larp library http://library.interactiveliterature.org/

Golden Cobra archive http://www.goldencobra.org/

Peaky published games http://uk-freeforms.wikidot.com/peaky

New Zealand larp scenarios https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11jvAAH6iDdBGkzU79B-eDp1cullX-yrx55U4kQeglOk/edit#gid=0

Game Scheduling

The general Be-Con schedule supports games from 3 to 6 hours on Friday evening, 1 to 2 hours on Saturday morning, 4 hours on Saturday afternoon, 4 to 5 hours on Saturday evening, and 2 to 3 hours on Sunday morning.  The schedule is constructed to ensure our members have sufficient time to eat and sleep between games, but also so that you have sufficient time to setup your game.  When you propose a game, you will have the opportunity to indicate your scheduling preferences.  We we have a variety of factors to consider in scheduling, we ask that GMs be as flexible as they can when indicating preferences.  

The below schedule shows the hours that games can run.

Blue indicates the standard/expected game hours.  Yellow indicates possible extra hours for longer games.

Friday Saturday Sunday
10:00 AM
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
1:00 PM
2:00 PM
3:00 PM
4:00 PM
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
7:00 PM
8:00 PM
9:00 PM
10:00 PM
11:00 PM
12:00 AM
1:00 AM

We welcome all games up to about 25 or 30 players(see game spaces below), but expect most of the games we accept will be less than 15.  As we have limited space, and need to ensure that there are enough games for people to play, games below 6 players will need to be in a space you arrange for, such as a guest room that you pay for.  We are happy to include smaller games on the schedule and include them in signup, as small games have great value as well.

Game Spaces Available

Studio Room

This room is 485 square feet, and we expect it to hold games in the 6-10 player range. It is available all weekend. This room has a main suite area with a bed off to the side. The standard variety of guest room furniture will remain in the space. Game/GM  provided food is allowed in this room.

Download the Studio Room Layout

2 Bedroom Suite

This room is 740 square feet, and we expect it to hold games in the 12-15 player range. It is available all weekend. This room has a main suite area, and two separate bedrooms. The standard variety of guest room furniture will remain in the space. Game/GM  provided food is allowed in this room.

Download the 2 Bedroom Room Layout

Midway Room

This typical convention and meeting room is 900 square feet, and we expect it to hold games in the 20-30 player range. It is available Saturday only. It is a large open space with configurable banquet chairs and tables, and includes a whiteboard and pull down projection screen. Game/GM  provided food is not allowed in this room. Players may bring food/beverages for themselves.

Download the Midway Room Layout

O’Hare Room

This typical convention and meeting room is 1000 square feet, and we expect it to hold games in the 20-30 player range. It is available Friday and Saturday. It is a large open space with configurable banquet chairs and tables, and includes a whiteboard and pull down projection screen. Game/GM  provided food is not allowed in this room. Players may bring food/beverages for themselves.

Download the O’Hare Room Layout

Contact rules during larps

In a larp event, participants portray a variety of characters and situations which may include physical contact with other players.  The default rules for all larps at Be-Con is that no physical contact is allowed unless the participant has given explicit verbal permission for that contact.  This permission can happen before a larp begins, or during a pause in play.  A larp GM can override this default for their game as long as their guidelines are listed in the public description of their larp before game signup

Safety mechanics during larps

Be-Con considers safety mechanics to be important in larps.  Below are the default mechanics for this community.  A larp GM can override this default for their game by clearly communicating with their players what is being used for that larp.  Any of the Be-Con safety team or staff can explain or demonstrate these mechanics.

OK check in

The OK check in mechanic is used to actively confirm with another player that they are ok.  To do this, a person holds up on “OK” sign with their thumb and index finger to show another person.  The other person can respond with a thumbs up indicating they are ok and play can continue in the direction it is going.  They can also respond with a thumbs down, indicating that they are not ok, and play should be paused so that they can leave the situation, or indicate what needs to stop.  Finally, they can respond with a wavering level hand, which means that play should be paused so they can leave the situation or indicate what needs to be adjusted.

Look down

The look down mechanic is used to remove yourself from a scene or specific game content without being pursued.  If you as a player need to remove yourself, hold one hand clearly up front of your eyes, leaving enough space between your hand and your eyes  so that you can easily see down in order to safely walk.  When you do this, turn and walk away from the scene.  If someone does this, do not follow them, or bring up that content with them later.  Other players can generally continue play without the person who has left.

Larp content warnings

All GMs running a game at Be-Con are expected to list sensitive content on the game description prior to signup.  While sensitive content in games is welcome at Be-Con, it is important to the safety of all participants that they can make their own informed decisions about a game.  Example of sensitive content include, but are not limited to violence, racism, sexual content, homophobia, sexual violence, abuse, self harm, suicide, incest, death or dying.  If you have a concern about content in a larp, you can speak with a GM, or if you would prefer to remain anonymous, contact our staff member responsible for working with GMs, Susan at people@beconlarp.com

Gender and Be-Con

For the game proposals, the website provides four groupings to describe the characters in your game: Player Defined, Female, Male, and Other. 

Player Defined includes characters which have no defined gender, may be played as any gender, do not have gender-relevant plots or characteristics, and/or characters which can be adjusted to match the gender the player would like to play.  

Female, Male, and Other assume that the game has defined the gender of the character in some way.  Other means characters which have explicitly defined genders that are not male or female, such as non-binary genders and genderless characters.  You will probably wish to explain in your description what other gender means in the context of your larp if you include those options. 

When players enter preferences for signup, they will indicate which gender options they are interested in signing up for.  If you include gendered characters in your game, you are encouraged to ask players in your questionnaire what gender(s) they would like to play in the same manner as any other casting question, and to take those preferences into account when casting your game.

GM Support

In advance of the convention, the Be-Con GM and volunteer coordinator will do their best to answer questions, make changes to game listings or help out as best we can.  You can reach Susan at people@beconlarp.com

Sometimes last minute things come up, and we are here to help!  The Ops desk may be able to help you with a missing player, finding a player to fill in for a drop, extra supplies, or an issue with your game space. Additionally, the hotel provides each guest room with up to 25 pages of printing per day free for last minute updates.