Join ConTessa at Gen Con 50 August 17-20 with our newly expanded mission, and a great big schedule! This year, Gen Con is setting up a 20-table dedicated gaming space just for us on the field in Lucas Oil Stadium, allowing us to run an estimated 200+ games over the course of the convention weekend. We've split them up into themed blocks, taking our convention-within-a-convention format to the next level. In addition to the games, we'll also be running LARPs, panels, seminars, and workshops in other parts of the convention.

To accomplish this massive goal, we'll need about 3-4 times the number of GMs and volunteers we normally look for! As a reminder, ConTessa leadership positions (GM, Moderator, Facilitator, etc...) are now open to women, people of color, and anyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. With the exception of the Women's Game Night, ConTessans of Color Game Night, and the QueerTessa Pride Night, all events are open to application by any marginalized people. 

Help us spread the word to your gaming circles! We need to make this opportunity as big a success as possible so we can continue running events this size at Gen Con! If we completely fill all our games, our convention-within-a-convention will outsize some small conventions! It's time to come together and represent, especially now. 

Run a Game at Our Game Space - Run a LARP, Panel, Workshop, or Seminar - Qualify for a GM Badge - Help With Fundraising


ConTessa will be occupying 20 tables on Lucas Oil Field for the duration of the convention, where we will be stacking up the schedule with a ton of gaming! All GMs get one of our coveted ConTessa thank-you gift bags, support from our friendly and helpful staff and volunteers, and a comfortable, safer environment to run their games in. We take care of all the details, all you have to do is come and run your favorite game!

To apply as a GM, check out the list of blocks below, choose which block (or blocks) you'd like to apply for, then head to our application form. We'll need some basic information about your game, then we'll take care of all the details!


Thursday, August 17th

 

10A - 12P

Bite-Size Games (11 Spots Available)

This block showcases games that are quick to learn, and quick to play, as it's only a two-hour block. 

Game types accepted: Board and card games that can be taught in a couple of minutes, and RPGs with tight scenarios that can be completed within 2 hours, have pregens, and have an easy-to-teach system.

 
 

12P-4P

Dungeons & Derivatives (13 Spots Available)

Dungeon crawls were one of the first presentations of roleplaying, and the mother of them all, Dungeons & Dragons, is still going strong. This block is for any game with a dungeon crawl involved. Anything from the oldest OSR games right through to modern games - anything you like so long as it's a dungeon crawl!

Game types accepted: Tabletop roleplaying games only - anything that involves a dungeon crawl. Some examples: Dungeons & Dragons (any version), D&D Retroclones (any version), Dungeon World, Pathfinder, etc... 

 
 

4P - 6P

GM Welcome Meet 'n Greet

This is a private event for all our volunteers/event runners. Come by and pick up your official ConTessa gift bag, meet some of your fellow ConTessans, check out our space, and get an opportunity to chat with the staff. 

 
 

6P - 12A

Women's Game Night (ConTessa Women) (10 Spots Available)

For the third year in a row, we'll be having our Women's Game Night, where all games are run by women! This year, we're extending the duration of the event by two hours, to facilitate even more games. Games during this block are allowed in 2, 3, 4, or 6 hours. All types of tabletop roleplaying games allowed. 

Game type accepted: Tabletop roleplaying games only - any system, any version.

 
 

Friday, August 18th

 

10A - 12P

Board Game Bonanza (16 Spots Available)

Board games are a hot commodity these days. Bring your favorite and share a couple hours of gaming in the morning with some others. This gives players a chance to learn and play some new games. 

Game types accepted: Board games and card games, all types. 

 
 

12P - 4P

Playtestalooza (13 Spots Available)

This block is all about playtesting games - your own, or someone else's. It goes hand-in-hand with a panel we'll be running at 10AM on how to playtest games. Head to the panel, get some good tips, then come on in and run your game!

Game types accepted: Tabletop RPGs, board games, and card games that are in playtest. Panel attendance is optional.

 
 

4P - 8P

ConTessans of Color Game Night (18 Spots Available)

Similar to our Women's Game Night, the ConTessans of Color Game Night features tabletop roleplaying games exclusively run by people of color. 

Game types accepted: Tabletop roleplaying games, any system, any edition. 

 
 

Saturday, August 19th

 

10A - 2P

Saturday Morning Cartoons (15 Spots Available)

Last year, we ran this idea as a game day for kids, and got a bunch of feedback from adults at how they wanted in on cartoon-based gaming as well, so this year we're running it as an all-ages event. Games must loosely be themed around the idea of cartoons, and must absolutely be G-Rated and playable by all ages. 

Game types accepted: Tabletop roleplaying games only, any system, any edition, with an adventure themed around cartoons. All games must be G-rated, suitable both for adults and children. 

 
 

2P - 6P

Tabletop RPGs 101 (15 Spots Available)

This block goes perfectly with our 12P - 1P panel of the same name, meant to introduce new gamers to tabletop roleplaying. Learn table etiquette, how to form a group, how to deal with problem players and the like at our panel, grab lunch, the come and learn a brand new RPG. GMs submitting games for this block should have a scenario suitable for beginners, and a willingness to teach!

Game types accepted: Tabletop roleplaying games only, any system, any edition. The GM must be willing to teach the game, and the scenario should be suitable for beginners. Panel attendance is optional.

 
 

6P - 10P

QueerTessa Pride Night (13 Spots Available)

To round out the trio of special nights, we'll have our QueerTessa Pride Night, featuring all games run by people anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. 

Game types accepted: Tabletop roleplaying games only, any system, any edition.

 
 

Sunday, August 20th

 

10A - 2P

Kid's Day Pajama Party (19 Spots Available)

We had a lot of fun for our kid's day last year, and wanted to take another stab at it this year on family day! All games should be run for children, though their parents will also be invited to play along with. We'll also have a pajama contest!

Game types accepted: Tabletop roleplaying games only, any system, any edition so long as it's suitable for children 5+. We'll be inviting parents to play along so they can observe someone GMing for kids. 

 
 
 

2P - 4P

 

 

 

Bite-Size Games (17 Spots Available)

This block showcases games that are quick to learn, and quick to play, as it's only a two-hour block. 

Game types accepted: Board and card games that can be taught in a couple of minutes, and RPGs with tight scenarios that can be completed within 2 hours, have pregens, and have an easy-to-teach system.

 

In addition to the games running at our Lucas Oil Field space, we'll also be running LARPs, workshops, panels, and seminars in other parts of the convention. We've got a number of staff-run panels in the works, but by and large we let our event runners set the stage and run what they want!

In 2017, the Women's Only System Design Workshop will return, but at a lower price to make it more viable. We're also working on a similar workshop for designing LARPs (and a companion panel on the subject) as well as panels on introducing tabletop RPGs, running effective playtests, picking up new creative ideas from creators in the industry, diverse horror, and... whatever else our volunteers add! 

We'll be happy to help you setup your own panel, workshop, or seminar on whatever topic you'd like to talk about! We'll add your panel to our schedule, promote it prior to the convention, and bring along a staff member or volunteer to set up signs, take tickets, and record the panel. We'll take panels on virtually any topic, and if we can, we'll even help you find guests! 


With so many more events, we'll have many more GM badges available! To qualify for a free GM Badge, we ask for 4 hours volunteering at the HQ desk at our Lucas Oil Stadium space or supporting ancillary events (LARPs, panels, etc...), and 6 hours running games, LARPs, panels, workshops, or seminars. No experience required, we'll give you some quick training when we get started at Gen Con on how we organize things. Volunteers will be responsible for checking in GMs who come to run their games, answering questions, keeping the space clean, collecting tickets, moving around signs, giving away swag, and helping out wherever needed. 

If you'd like to volunteer, first put in six hours worth of other events through our Event Registration Form, then head over and fill out our Volunteer Signup Form. If you'd like to volunteer, but don't need a badge, skip the first step and head right to our Volunteer Signup Form.



The biggest challenge in running an event like this is in the amount of money it takes to run the event professionally. We are entirely run by volunteers, and do our best to put all of the fundraising we do back into creating more convention excitement. Travel and housing are part of the expense, but we also put effort into making professional signage, printed programs, lanyards, badge ribbons, T-shirts for volunteers, equipment for getting reliable audio and video from our panels, and of course things like prize support. 

We'll be running several fundraisers over the course of the year to raise the funds necessary. At present, we're planning to continue the tradition we began last year of running T-Shirt campaigns, and we're currently looking into running a Kickstarter for plush versions of a couple of our mascots. Stay tuned to our blog and social media for updates!

Ways that you can help if you can't donate money: 

  • Spread the word! When you see us share our fundraising initiatives on social media, be sure to reshare them so we reach as many people as possible! Our audience has grown year over year, but we could still use help getting the word out at crucial moments. 
  • Donate a T-Shirt Design: If you're an artist with an eye for T-Shirt designs, we'd love to see your take on a ConTessa T-Shirt! We'll use your design in one of our campaigns and/or on our RedBubble site. For dimensions and any other information on how to do this, contact stacy@contessa.rocks
  • Donate a Prize: Anywhere from 1-5 books, board games, card games, and/or gaming accessories. This is something we haven't been able to do much of due to the hectic nature of our past events. With a space all our own, we can give away a couple things here and there as random draws. If you have something you'd like to donate, send the specifics to stacy@contessa.rocks, and we'll work it out! 
  • Add to our Gift Bag: Add a small product, leaflet, or business card to our gift bag (we'll likely have around 100-150 this year) for a $50 donation. These bags go to our event runners, so you'll be targeting GMs who can influence their home groups. Work out the details with Stacy at stacy@contessa.rocks if you'd like to participate.

If you can donate funds, smack the 'Donate To ConTessa' button below! Anything we generate past what we need to run Gen Con will go towards going to other conventions! 

Donate to ConTessa