If you are heading to PaizoCon chances are you are getting your bags of holding (if only) ready to go. Maybe you are just considering a trip with your gaming group for some Destination Gaming. What should go with you to ensure an optimal Con or Mobile experience? Well that can be an interesting question…
Packing for Mobile Gaming & Cons
Firstly, a lot of packing needs depends on how you are traveling to a Convention. Are you Flying? Bussing? Road-Tripping? Commuting? We are going to assume the “worst” and work with he confines of an airplane or bus. So we are looking at more than likely a small bag (carry on) and a checked bag (luggage).
This is your “porta-a-brain” and probably your entertainment bag for the travel but will probably be converting into your gaming back once you are at the con. Things we recommend here:
- Portable Devices – See Day 7 about this.
- Essential Rulebooks – Organized Play requires some options to present a book or purchased PDF version of a relevant rulebook to be present.
- Paper, Pen & Pencils – PFS requires Pen on Chronicles and Pencils for tracking temporary resources and HP are a must–Take Both.
- Character Sheets & Cards – Sheets for Organized Play characters or approved events. Blank Sheets for emergency character creation. Index cards for character name tags and other prompts.
- Laptop – If you are taking one, it isn’t a terrible idea to have it for a flight. Do consider when transitioning to a gaming bag that not all GMs are excited to see a laptop take up table real estate.
- Business Cards – Even if you AREN’T a gaming industry professional, networking can be an anywhere thing and most gamers would rather support a gamer than a non-gamer.
- Water Bottle (Optional at PaizoCon) – Most rooms will have pitchers of water and this CAN be skipped, but playing in a large space you will be surprised how often the tables get tight and halfway across the room just doesn’t feel worth it.
- Proteins & Other Snacks – Proteins tend to take longer to break down for most folks and can give a long feeling of satiation. Nuts are great but make sure you have resealable bags. Of course your mileage may very.
- Badge Holder & Lanyard
This is your “port-a-house” and probably contains your living, hygiene and larger items (more likely if you are GMing an event). Things we recommend here:
- Clothes: Enough for Days travel and at Con + 1. The emergency set of clothes is ALWAYS a good idea to have. Goblin blood, buffet fallout and *ahem* beverages of impairment have been known to take a whole set of gear out. Plan accordingly.
- Pharma: Obviously, don’t forget any Rx you need. It is possible to fix if forgotten but can be a huge pain in the ass. Again, we recommend days at con and traveling + 1 as a minimum. ALSO, take other stuff you might need. Painkillers and antihistamines are highly recommended.
- Hygienics: Combs, razors, deodorants, toothbrushes and paste. Soap and Shampoo if you are uninterested in the hotel supplied stuff. Everyone will thank you here, especially on Monday morning.
- Trading Card Games: Yup these go in your checked bag. Magic the Gathering, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and other card games often get flagged by TSA (believe it or not) as explosives. Something about the way the cards look in scanners. Also, do not be surprised if a bag containing trading cards gets searched in check.
- First Aid: While this is likely to be available in the hotel, small cuts from paper or scrapes from furniture (some of us are THAT clumsy) make band-aids and antibiotic gels or oils a no brainer.
- Printed Copies of Event Sign-Ups, Confirmation Numbers, and Reservations (Optional): Sometimes tech fails and having barcodes, game schedules and reservations already printed can save time. Not required by any means but worth considering.
- Food (Optional): Depending on space constraints packing in a little food can cut costs and ensure you have favorites on hand. That said, PaizoCon is very near a ton of food establishments and stores like Costco. This is probably a lowest priority.
Convention games checklists also make a good prep-checklist for Destination Gaming if your group is just heading out for a change of venue. Making sure you have the essentials is going to make your experience much smoother but remember that between nearby amenities and pre-generated characters, you can recover from nearly any loss.
Once More For Emphasis: Check you Rx and Password your devices.
Got your essentials all in line or staying home for a more permissive game? No problem, check out some of the unique offerings in our products available on d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.