PGH Con is a new tabletop game convention in the Greater Pittsburgh metro area. We were planning for our inaugural event this summer, but a global pandemic changed that! Still, we thought this was a great opportunity to use this momentum to shift online for our first gathering.
While Pittsburgh has several game conventions (all great) in the surrounding counties, it’s been a few years since there was a dedicate tabletop convention closer to the city itself. Pittsburgh is a sizable city with a really passionate gaming community! This made me wonder for a few years about when we’d eventually get a new convention. And I wondered. And wondered. I eventually I asked, “Why don’t I give it a try?”
I’ve been to a number of tabletop conventions over the years, big and small, regional and national. I’ve helped organize events for work in the past. I’m connected to a number of gaming groups within the city. I thought I’d try to combine all of these elements to start with something small and see where it goes. I recruited two friends with different skill sets to help out behind the scenes.
Our original plan was to dedicate the (physical) con to split evenly between open board gaming and scheduled RPG events. The shift to online has made this a fun challenge. One thing I’m especially excited about is how the virtual nature of the convention opens up possibilities, since some physical limitations are gone—so, no worrying about flying in from Singapore (for instance), or rushing to finish a game because the venue is shutting down.
Right now, we’re hoping folks will step in to submit tabletop game events they’d like to run. We’re looking specifically for board games and role-playing games, both organized play and not. I’m a big supporter of the Adventurers League organized play program for Dungeons & Dragons, so expect to see some AL tables.
If you’re hesitant or unsure of how to host a game online, there are so many ways to do it. For board games, there are lots of programs or websites like Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator, or Yucata.de that let you play a huge variety of popular (and lesser known) games. For role-playing games, Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, and even Zoom are great ways to get a game running.
PGH Con Online (as we’re calling it) is going to be free to everyone involved, but we are asking that participants consider making a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
If anyone has any questions about PGH Con Online, they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org