Rising Phoenix GameCon

Panels, Speakers & Discussion Groups 2024

To Be Announced

Come for the games, stay for the panels

We are working to present to you a wide range of panels and discussion opportunities about a variety of gaming topics. 

RPG 101 and 201 - Introduction to Role Playing Games, Etiquette, and Expectations

We introduce Role Playing Games to those that have no idea what they are or have never played. For those that have a hard time understanding why, how, and what they are all about, this class is required. We will also look at how to get along, even when the player characters don’t, and review common rules for getting along in a group. 

Led by John Rolfe

Everything I learned about education I learned form playing D&D

Being an educator is a difficult career and many of us turn to games like Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, or Super Smash Brothers Ultimate to unwind or escape. Leigh Candalino, a math teacher from New York, has used gaming strategies to help students change their mindset and improve their study habits. She has worked with students from all different backgrounds in varying types of schools – from a NYC juvenile detention center to one of the top public high schools in the country. She will be discussing the overlapping strategies and techniques between learning and playing with specific examples that have been successful in her classroom. She is open to questions from the audience as well. 

Led by Leigh Candalino

Workshop: Building Unique and interesting NPCs without writing a novel!

In this workshop, you will walk away with a set of NPCs you can use in almost any situation and a framework for building an NPC quickly that is memorable and grabs your PCs attention. Led by Alex Jackl

Workshop and Round Robin Game - A Cooperative GMing Experience

In this workshop, we will play a game where each person gets to GM part of the story and play for part of the story. We will be exploring hands-on the nature of the relationship of the GM AND the player to the story and to give GMs and players freedom to swing out and be creative in a wholly new way! It will be FUN and INFORMATIVE. Led by Alex Jackl

GM 201 - Campaign/Plot Creation

This class looks at how to create an overarching campaign for your RPG. We also look at the elements that make up a campaign. Led by John Rolfe

Maintaining Motivation in Writing

It’s very easy to start writing something, be it a short story, role playing adventure, or a novel. Finishing that project is an entirely different matter. Interest in projects fade, new inspirations arise to distract us, or authors can become bogged down in re-writes or stranded by writer’s block. Many projects are started, but much fewer are ever finished. Oscar Rios, President of Golden Goblin Press and the author of more than a hundred scenarios for Call of Cthulhu, is known for being a very prolific RPG author. He’ll be discussing his personal rules and tips to follow for maintaining motivation while writing. Questions will be taken from the audience.
Led by Oscar Rios and includes Sydney Ashcraft, Ian Eller, and NE Horror writers Trisha Wooldridge

Workshop: Building Scenarios That Use Skills that Your Players Don't Have

Ever tried to build as mystery and your players are not good at being detectives? Have you or one of your players ever tried top play a brilliant strategist and you have not mastered the Art of War? Ever had a player try to be smooth and diplomatic and they… aren’t? Then this workshop is for you! We will be discussing how to use skills, narrative techniques and communication to leave people with a satisfied experience – regardless of their personal skills! 

Led by Alex Jackl

Diversity Forum

Diversity and Inclusion in Gaming. What does it mean for a gaming space to feel safe and welcoming? What role can games or gaming play in promoting inclusivity and tolerance? Our panel will explore these questions from a variety of life experiences. 

Led by Elizabeth Murphy

GM 101 and 301- Appreciation of GM’ing and Higher Standards of Conduct

An introduction to GM’ing for those that have played but are interested in hosting a game and then delve into the fact that no one plays in a vacuum, and we will look at how to cultivate empathy for our fellow players. 

Led by John Rolfe

GM 210 - Executing a Session.

John Rolfe will speak on how to smoothly run an evening of a role-playing game.

GM 215 and 301 - Beware the Pitfalls AND Creating Your Own RPG

This class takes a somewhat humorous look at mistakes that can happen to pull a game ‘off-track’ and what you can do to prevent or repair them and then we look at We will be looking at different elements that make up a role playing game and discussing how to make one. 

Led by John Rolfe

Building Worlds that are New and Interesting

Alex Jackl and Colleen Nachtrieb will discuss what it takes to make a world that is new and interesting. It may surprise you: it can be in any universe and even use common tropes. We will talk about world design and scenario design in those worlds.

GM 310 and 320 - Advanced Plot Creation and the Psychology Behind the Screen

This class takes a deeper look at creating a nuanced plot (a continuation of GM 201 from Friday night). We will also look at the deeper mentality behind GM’ing and hosting for our players. 

Led by John Rolfe

Critical Chats

Casual Conversations Over Coffee

Care & Feeding of Your Campaign with Oscar Rios

Don’t toil overwriting pages of notes with long-term plans, or force your players into a path of your choosing. Life doesn’t follow a pre-set course and neither should your campaign. Learn how to channel the chaos your players bring to the campaign into something truly magical. Oscar Rios, president of Golden Goblin Press, shares his tips and techniques for growing meaningful, organic campaigns from a series of seemingly unrelated adventures. Age Range (+18)
Friday from 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm Critical Chat 1 in Que’chen

Publish My Adventure? Really? Edwin Nagy

Do you dream of writing game material for publication? Join Frog God Games’ published Game Designer Edwin Nagy as he discusses the similarities and differences between writing a game for your home group versus writing for mass Publication. Light snacks will be served. Age Range (+18)
Friday from 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm Critical Chat 2 in Que’chen

Writing & Worldbuilding with Trisha Wooldridge

Join published author Trisha Wooldridge and discuss Writing and Worldbuilding, the similarities, the differences and the pitfalls! Light snacks and coffee will be served for this personal, candid discussion. Age Range (+18)
Saturday from 12:00 pm to 12:50 pm Critical Chat 1 in Que’chen

There’s How Many? with Allen Hammack

Join guest Allen Hammack as he discusses how to adjust Challenge Ratings on the Fly and other advice from the legendary game designer in a relaxed candid conversation over light snacks and coffee. Age Range (+18)
Saturday from 12:00 pm to 12:50 pm Critical Chat 3 in Que’chen

The Best Player you can be! with Lara Moritz

There is so much info about how to be a great GM, but what about being the best player you can. Join Lara Moritz for a casual discussion on how to be a great player. Light snacks and coffee will be available. Age Range (13+)
Saturday from 12:00 pm to 12:50 pm Critical Chat 2 in Que’chen

LOCATION everybody! with Scott Legault

Scott Legault, Con Chair of Rising Phoenix and Owner of Dark Phoenix Events talks about how he writes games that build immersion for his players before they even sit down. A frank conversation and discussion of why real-life locations and events can add volumes of realism to your games. Light snacks and coffee will be served. Age Range (+18)
Saturday from 12:00 pm to 12:50 pm Critical Chat 4 in Que’chen

10lbs of game in a 2lb box with Ian Eller

Critical Chat with Game Designer and Published Author Ian Eller, How to get the most out of short campaigns. For years, Ian has been running this type of game at Cons across New England with great success, Join him over light snacks and coffee to have a frank, in-depth conversation about his game style. Age Range (+18)
Saturday from 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm Critical Chat 2 in Que’chen

Identity Crisis! with Jesse Gorton

Join Jesse Gorton, RPG Director of Necronomicon Providence and as she opens up about what happens when you are a historical re-enactor, LARPer, Gamer, and entertainer trying to find yourself and end up becoming a better, stronger person through playing the roles of others. An open discussion where light snacks and coffee will be served. Age Range (+18)
Saturday from 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm Critical Chat 3 in Que’chen

Let’s Write a Scenario...with Oscar Rios

Learn how to stop overthinking, toss away the stress and self-doubt to just roll up your sleeves, and create a scenario for Call of Cthulhu. Participants will select the story elements then guest Oscar Rios, author of more than a hundred scenarios for Call of Cthulhu, will demonstrate how they can be quickly tied together to create a playable adventure in less than one hour! Age Range (+18)
Saturday from 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm Critical Chat 1 in Que’chen

So There I Was... with Oscar Rios

Join guest Oscar Rios, president of Golden Goblin Press, for a discussion of some of the most memorable moments from actual games he’s run over the past thirty-five years! Stories of tragic deaths, unexpected victories, horror, humor, and daring do. At the end participants will share their own best story, with the winner (judged by Mr. Rios) receiving a free fiction book from the Golden Goblin Press catalog.
Sunday from 12:00 pm to 12:50 pm Critical Chat 1 in Que’chen