Winter Fantasy 2017 DM Sign-up
Welcome! Thanks in advance for your interest in volunteering at Winter Fantasy 2017 for the Herald’s Guild. Without DMs and helpers like you, organizations 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.
Please Note: This show’s schedule is different than last year. Please read things completely before completing your volunteer application.
We use a lot of jargon that a lot of us (myself included) takes 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 volunteering. If you find anything here confusing at all, please do not hesitate to contact me through the Forums or Website contact form and I will clear it up quickly.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your hobby, raise money for the Herald’s Guild, and we have some really great rewards that make helping out even easier – and it’s a great way to attend the show and save some serious $$. You can earn a free badge to the show, a free spot in one of our hotel rooms next to the convention center (a huge perk this year), 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 volunteer pool 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 volunteer at Badge Level, you’ve worked enough to earn a free badge to the show. This badge is paid for by the Baldman Games and given to the Herald’s Guild for our member uses onsite. Have some fun and save some money to spend on cool stuff from the Vendors.
- Room Level: If you volunteer at Room Level, you’ve worked enough to earn a spot in one of our hotel rooms. These rooms are for four nights (Wed Night to Sat night), and we have three-four people in a room. We cannot reimburse you for a room you’ve booked on your own. We do our best, though, to put you in a room with the roommates you prefer whenever possible. So if you are unsure about staying with strangers your first time, then get a couple buddies to volunteer with you, and we’ll put all of you in a room together. We all win!!
- 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 WF, a slot is four hours long (on Wed and Sunday) and five hours long (Thur-Sat). 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 Wednesday at 6pm is called Slot One. The last slot that runs from noon to 4pm on Sunday is Slot 12.
- Slot Zero: So if the first slot is called Slot One then what the heck is Slot Zero? Slot Zero is any game that runs before the show itself, allowing our volunteer DMs to see a game they will later from the player’s perspective. Usually these are done so DMs can prepare to run a better game. Seeing things from a player’s perspective then preparing it is a huge help for some. Sometimes these are also special DM-only events done as rewards for them helping out. Regardless of whether you get to play an event before the show or not, you are always expected to be prepared when the show starts and it is game time.
- 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:
- The D&D Experience @ Winter Fantasy: This is our premiere experience event at the show. Players in this event get a set DM, table, and exclusive content. This event is run by our established, best-of-the-best DMs. In order to be considered for this, you must be a Level 3 or higher DM in the Herald’s Guild program (see www.heraldsguild.com for more details). If you are new, this is the event you want to be running. The top of the D&D DM mountain. Do 2-3 shows for us and knock our socks off, and you to can be part of this awesome group. This year they are 4 slot blocks and each one (Mid and High) run twice so you can reach 8 slot room level while only preparing one trilogy and special and running it twice.
- D&D Adventure League Event: This is our standard four-hour event at the show (the Level 11-16 & 17-20 adventure is an eight-hour event). Perfect for new and experienced DMs. It is set to run in about 3 1/2 (7 1/2) hours so you have a little time at the end to gather up your stuff, hit the bathroom or food court really quick, and get back for your next slot (or if your last slot for the day run to the Dealer’s Hall).
- Living Arcanis: Standard length (and we have most of our DM’s for this already – just using this tool to gather the details from them).
- Shadow of the Demon Lord: An advance, if you survive, tournament and first of its kind for this exciting new game. So more DM’s needed upfront and less on the backside as the weak are culled from the herd.
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 2017 everything at the show (outside of HQ staff) works on shifts. This means the show has 12 slots from start to finish as listed below.
|Slot 2: 8am-Noon||Slot 5: 8am-Noon||Slot 8: 8am-Noon||Slot 11: 8am-Noon|
|Slot 3: 1pm-5pm||Slot 6: 1pm-5pm||Slot 9: 1pm-5pm||Slot 12: Noon-4pm|
|Slot 1: 6pm-10pm||Slot 4: 7pm-11pm||Slot 7: 7pm-11pm||Slot 10: 7pm-11pm|
D&D Epic: The Epics have been broken down into smaller groups (10-12 tables). So you will get a blast of a time, they will be more personable and fun, and you can fit them in your schedule easier and play them more then once if you want.
Room Level: DM 8+ slots of 4-hour events and we’ll cover your room for 4 nights (Wed night to Saturday night) at the show. We cannot flex the nights covered or guarantee any earlier or late checkouts. I just don’t have any pull with the hotel in this case.
Badge Level: DM 4+ slots of 4-hour 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 or so people some fun that they wouldn’t otherwise have.