How does this all work?
Interested in Big Bad Con and have questions? Here's the place to get answers. Of note, we also have a lot of resources at the bottom of the page in the FAQ section, and if you ever have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us with the contact form that is down there as well. Now, onto the information!
Who can attend Big Bad Con?
Big Bad Con is focused on creating a welcoming space for players of all stripes with a huge variety of events including traditional roleplaying games, indie story games, freeform live-action roleplaying (LARP), panels, workshops, and board games. We invite all gamers ages 13 and up to attend. For more information about our age requirement and for great cons for younger gamers, see our Age Policy.
What are your Community Standards?
We want you to have the best time you possibly can at Big Bad Con. However, if having that fun comes at the cost of someone else’s safety, happiness, or comfort, you must stop. Period. If something comes up and you need to report an incident email firstname.lastname@example.org, call or text (510) 646-0073, or speak to any staff member. For more, see our Community Standards page.
How do I sign up to attend Big Bad Con?
Two steps, with a few options in the middle:
- Create an account (Click "register"over on the right and enter your username and email address, you'll be emailed a link to set your password)
- You can get a badge to attend by either purchasing one on the Attend page or by volunteering to Run Events, GM in Games on Demand, or Join the Rangers. Generally speaking we're looking for 8 hours of your time split across two shifts.
How do I get into games and events?
For scheduled events, all of our signups are done online. It's important to note that we don't use a shuffler or lottery system, so make sure to watch for the announcements (we send them via email to all badge holders and over social media) on when game registration is going to start. Here's our roster of Events.
Once you have a badge (see above), you can sign up for events once registration goes live. We use a quota system to meter out the number of games anyone can sign up for at a given time, in order to reduce the rush to the computer and make the process more flexible for everyone. For more information on the sign up process and the quotas, see How Do Game Signups Work?
Once you arrive at the con, game signups will still be online and can be done from your mobile device, but we'll also have a few kiosk computers you can use as well. You can also stop by a game as it's starting to see if any spots have opened up. Especially on Sunday mornings, some folks opt to sleep in, which might mean an open spot for you!
Games on Demand offers games all con long that don't require (or even allow) advance signups. You can just show up and play. First, check out the Games on Demand schedule for when games start. Then, stop by at least 10 minutes before the games start to see whats on offer and get a boarding pass from the host. On the hour the host will call up the boarding pass groups. When they call yours, head up and select from the menus of available games, and start playing!
Panels, workshops, special events, and open gaming are also running all con long. For most of these events, while you can sign up in advance, there is typically room for whoever is interested, so just come by and drop in!
What should I bring to Big Bad Con?
Big Bad Con collects food for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County as part of our community outreach. The FBCCS provides food to over 190,000 people per month. You can support them by bringing out non-perishable food (especially items on this shopping list) to the con. We'll have collection barrels at the registration desk. For more information on our community outreach see our Charity Information Page.
Beyond that we ask that every attendee come with an open mind and an eagerness to try new things. We have a huge array of games ranging from very traditional to brand-new experiments being playtested. We encourage you to try them all.
Notably you will not need to bring any specific gaming paraphernalia or prior knowledge of games. Or GMs will make sure you have everything you need to play!
How do I get to the con?
Big Bad Con is hosted in the Walnut Creek Marriott. Depending on where you're coming from, we there are several ways to get to us.
- Driving: The hotel is right off Interstate 680. Get driving directions here. Note that parking is normally $23/day, but the convention rate is $10/day. Not all of the valets may be aware of the rate reduction but the hotel staff will make sure you're billed the discounted rate.
- Flying: You can fly in to either Oakland International Airport (OAK) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO), whichever had better rates. Both airports have BART (subway) stations attached to them, so you can hop on a train and go to the hotel!
- Public Transportation: If at all possible we recommend taking BART to get to the Hotel. The Walnut Creek Station is a 12 minute walk, or you can call the shuttle service (925-934-2000) for a pickup.
For more information about getting to the hotel and to book a room, check out the Hotel page.
I've arrived. Now what?
Once you get to the hotel, head down via elevator or the stairs to level B1, where the Big Bad Con registration desk is. We'll have signs up and greeters in the lobby as well in case you get lost.
At registration they'll give you your badge, a program, and offer you to play in Big Bad World as well as add a pronoun ribbon to your badge. The friendly folks at reg will also answer any questions you have about the con and help you sign up for games or find your way around. You can always spot a staff member by their yellow handkerchief!
What should I do while I'm here?
Our options are plentiful. If you haven't already signed up for events, or if you have some time open in your schedule, here's just a small list of possibilities.
- Look for open RPGs, larps, and board games. Click "Book Now" at the bottom of any event listing and you're in!
- Stop by the Panel room and drop into a panel, workshop, or special event.
- Go to the Dealer's room and find out the wares our dealers have to offer.
- If you're chatty, stop by the Tell Me About Your Character booth, and for a $5 donation that goes to Doctors Without Borders, we'll enthusiastically listen to the backstory of your favorite character for five minutes. Or for $15, one of our artists will spend up to 15 minutes drafting an image of your character.
- Stop by Games on Demand and see what's on offer in the upcoming slot. If you're interested, get a boarding pass from the host and when they call you up, hop in a game!
- Come to the Board Games room and play one of our 70+ Play-To-Win titles. The rules couldn't be easier: Play a game, write the names down of everyone who played on the slip of paper in the game box, and at the end of the con, we'll raffle them off. You must be present to win!
I'm in a game or event. How do I get there?
We'll have maps up on the wall and in the program, but it never hurts to get familiar with the layout in advance.
The large board rooms host large larps, panels, the dealers room, special events, and board games. The private game rooms (highlighted in yellow) host RPGs and some small larps!
My stomach is rumbling. Where do we eat?
Starting in 2017 the hotel is offering special concessions to our guests. Nothing fancy here, but we're trying to keep options close by and affordable. There's also plenty of great food within walking distance of the hotel, and even more available if using the free hotel shuttle service (925-934-2000)! Here's a map full of Big Bad Eats!
I've got issue or concern, how do I report it?
Let us know as soon as it is safe to do so. Email email@example.com, call or text (510) 646-0073, or speak to any staff member.
Surviving at the Con
Don't forget to the necessities! In the excitement of gaming it is easy to forget some of the basics. The 3-2-1 con rule is a good one. Every day you need at least 3 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower.
Up for little exercise? The Wolf Run 2019 is open to all who can stumble out of bed by 7AM. It’s our opportunity to not only get in some exercise, but also bring a little aid to the Ella Baker Cnter, via the Crowdrise fundraiser!