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PAX West

Is it bad that in my brain I still call it PAX Prime?


After a few years in quasi-limbo (where a lot of great volunteers stepped up to make some great D&D happen), D&D is officially returning to PAX West with Baldman Games and Wizards of the Coast. We hope this year is the first of the next 20+ years of us growing sustainable D&D at PAX West for everybody to enjoy.

We have space in the new Summit expansion on the 3rd floor. Beautiful space at the convention center (and it’s on a hill – I know – shocker!!!!)

We do not have a hotel block this year with it being the first year back to the show and on really short notice. We have plenty of badges to the show, cool swag from WotC, and handshakes and camaraderie to go around.

Welcome! Thanks in advance for your interest in helping out at PAX West 2023 for Baldman Games. Without DMs and helpers like you, shows like this would not exist. I’ve always said that even when you’re DMing you’re gaming, and that is never a bad way to spend the day. We’ve drummed up some of the best benefits we can to entice you to swap over to the dark side of the DM’s screen.

We use a lot of jargon that a lot of us (myself included) take for granted. This year I am going to try to take a step back and come at this from the point of view of a person completely new to helping out. If you find anything here confusing at all, please do not hesitate to contact me through the show Discord or website contact form and I will clear it up quickly.

DMing is a great way to give back to your hobby and we have some really great rewards that make helping out even easier – it’s a great way to attend the show and save some serious $$. You can earn a free badge to the show and cool show swag on top of that (free books, show promos, etc.) It is also a great way to make new friends and immerse yourself in the show community, more than a casual attendee ever could. Our teams organizes events most nights of the show to help build camaraderie and let everyone blow off some steam after a long day of gaming. Our judge retention rate is extremely high, so fair warning: once you work for us, you’ll probably come back and do it again next year.

Now for some show terminology:

  • Badge Level: If you work at Badge Level, you’ve worked enough to earn a free badge to the show. This badge is paid for by the Baldman Games staff. We’ll have a badge pickup point on Thursday or you can get it as your arrive at the show.
  • Slot: This one confuses a lot of people and is a very old term from the RPGA days. A slot is the same as saying a shift. In the case of PAX West 2023, a slot is four hours long. Every event and day is put together using slots so events line-up nicely, start and end at the same time in relation to each other, and help you put together a schedule that fits your needs easy as possible. The slots are numbered so the first slot on Friday at 10am is called Slot 1. The next to last slot runs from 10am-2pm on Monday is Slot 10.
  • Judges: “Judge” is just a fancy word for “DM.” It is a remnant from a bygone era, but we are so used to saying it that sometimes it slips through. If we say “judge,” we mean “DM or other type of volunteer.”

Now on to some event specifics:

  • D&D Demo: This is a quick 15-20 minute taste of D&D. We’re not explaining any rules – just letting them roll some dice, do some cool heroic thing, and then shuffling them onto a full 2-hour game or on to their next thing at the show. You’ll run these pretty much continuously during your 4-hour slot with a quick pause to reset and hit the bathroom between each group.
  • D&D Learn to Play: This is a full 90-100 minute D&D experience. Two encounters, learn the basics of how D&D works, and once again do some fun things and hopefully succeed. Afterwards they can move on to more games as a 2nd-level character if they want. You’ll be running two of these in a single 4-hour slot.
  • D&D Dreams of the Red Wizards (2-hour play): Just what it says. A 2-hour game using one the DRW Red Seeds intro adventures. We have 4 different ones so if they are a D&D junkie they can fill-up most of their day with D&D if they want. You’ll be running two of these in a single 4-hour slot.
  • HQ: You will get to know this gang well as the show goes on. These are my minions whose job it is to take care of all the little things going on around you at the show so you don’t have to. Their job is to make sure you have everything you need, so all you need to do is focus on your game and give your players a fantastic time. They are long-time DMs and staff members, most of whom have been doing this 10+ years – and some closer to 30. We usually have a few open spots each year for data entry and reception here. This is great for example if you want to help DM, but your significant other doesn’t DM. We can put them to work helping out in another fashion and you can still share time together. We have many couples who do this.

Well, hopefully that was helpful in getting you up to speed on what we are about and how you can help us help you. Now on to the nitty-gritty details that hopefully will now make more sense to you.

For 2023 everything at the show (outside of HQ staff, which has longer blocks) works on 4-hour shifts. This means the show has 11 slots from start to finish as listed below.

Friday – September 1stSaturday – September 2ndSunday -September 3rdMonday – September 4th
Slot 1: 10:00-2:00Slot 4: 10:00-2:00Slot 7: 10:00-2:00Slot 10: 10:00-2:00
Slot 2: 2:00-6:00Slot 5: 2:00-6:00Slot 8: 2:00-6:00Slot 11: 2:00-6:00
Slot 3: 6:00-10:00Slot 6: 6:00-10:00Slot 9: 6:00-10:00 


Badge Level: DM 4+ slots of events and we’ll cover your badge for the show. Save many bucks for drinks or vendors and get warm fuzzies for helping out at the show.

Handshake Level: DM 1+ slots and get a hearty handshake (available at HQ anytime I happen to be standing there). Not everyone can devote chunks of time to DMing, but everything helps and everything is appreciated. Even DMing one slot gives 6-12 or so people some fun that they wouldn’t otherwise have.

DM Registration for PAX West is OPEN!!!!!

PAX West runs September 1st to 4th, 2023

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