Guest Author - Jay Shaffstall
It happens at the best of conventions, no matter how well you plan.
Maybe the game you were signed up to play in that time slot was canceled. Or maybe you got to the table too late, and they'd given your character away to someone with generic tickets. Or maybe you were so excited to get to the convention that you're way too early for your first game.
What do you do at an RPG convention when you're not gaming?
Dealers rooms at conventions are full of people who are only too happy to talk to you, and sell you things. Many times they'll even play their game with you, in the hopes that you'll buy it. Dealers rooms are great places to see what new games are being released, or what old favorites are hot again.
And, seriously, dealers are all very nice people who are anxious to have someone come to their booth.
Conventions are not the best place to stay on a healthy diet. But you have to eat, and eat regularly to keep your strength up. It's hard enough on your body staying up until the wee hours gaming, if you're doing it after skipping a meal.
When you find yourself at loose ends for a bit, take advantage of the chance to get some food and drink in you. Your body will thank you!
Game With Random Strangers
I always take a portable game with me, something quick and easy to play. Fluxx is my favorite, since it fits anywhere and most people have played it. Those that haven't, have heard of it. Find people who look like they're trying to figure out what to do when they're not gaming, and ask them to play. You might get a few quick games in before your respective schedules take you in different directions again.
Find Another Game
Some conventions have staggered schedules, so there are always games starting. You might be able to find a shorter game that will fit into your schedule and keep you on track.
Get Some Sun
Take advantage of your unexpected break to get outside. Gaming 24 hours a day at a convention is a terrific experience, but it's also usually dim and dark. Let your body soak up some sun for a bit, and enjoy the outdoors (even if it's just a view of the street outside the convention center).
I always take a book with me to conventions. If all else fails, I head somewhere out of the way and read for a while.
So if the worst happens, and your carefully laid schedule leaves you with some non-gaming time, give these suggestions a try. You just might survive until your next game.