Big Bad Con 2024

Big Bad Con 2024

A tabletop gaming convention focused on indie and small press games. Big Bad Con is built on the community standards of respect, support, and kindness.
Edit
$62,615 🎉
of $15,000 (USD) goal
397
backers

Get a Backer Train Started Start a Backer Train

Share Back the project to start a Backer Train

Ends on .
Share

Share

Twitter

Facebook

Copy Link

Edit
Welcome to Big Bad Con


We welcome you to join us on October 24-27 for Big Bad Con 2024, featuring four days of TTRPGs, LARPs, board and card games, panels, workshops, and more.

Big Bad Con is a tabletop gaming convention focused on supporting gamers from marginalized backgrounds. We do our best to nurture a space that grows the gaming community by hosting a convention that is as physically, socially, and financially accessible as possible. We are a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization composed of volunteers, staff, GMs, and players.

We're running this campaign to support both the con and our scholarship program. Below you'll find:

Edit
When and Where

Big Bad Con 2024 is happening October 24-27 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel. We have a discounted room rate so attendees can book rooms for $149/night.


Once you arrive, your first destination will be the vaccination check station in the lobby. From there, explore the con with this hotel map!
Edit

We're running this crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of hosting the event, including renting the hotel convention space, providing rooms for our staff, and all the big and small things needed to put on a con (like badges, signs, and cool Big Bad Con KN95 masks).

In addition to our operation costs, our crowdfunding supports our scholarship fund, which helps attendees from marginalized identities attend the con. This year we hope to offer over 100 awards, a new record for Big Bad Con!

Depiction of Big Bad Con Participants


Your support of the campaign, especially contributions to the scholarship fund, goes a huge way towards ensuring that we have the best Big Bad Con possible. And once we exceed our initial funding goal, our stretch goals include bringing out amazing game designers and community leaders to attend and run events!

It's all possible because of you! 
Edit
Games and Events

Our community standards are to treat each other with respect, support, and kindness. Here are some of the many ways you can connect and play games with wonderful folks at the con:

  • Tabletop RPGs and LARPs: We focus on small press and indie games and even have designers running playtests of their new work. Are you interested in running something yourself? Submissions are open
  • Panels and Workshops: Our panel track grew so much last year that we had to add a second (and third!) panel room. Join us for discussions about gaming, community, best practice, industry challenges, and more. We also host smaller hands-on workshops where attendees share their skills and knowledge.
  • Games on Demand: We offer players a roster of games to jump into without having to schedule ahead, and GMs the opportunity to run their favorite RPGs, from the classics to brand new systems! 
  • Special Events: Thursday Night is an evening of getting to know each other and playing silly games. After our opening ceremonies, we'll have an evening full of knitting circles, Big Bad Con squares, and maybe even another fashion show! And this year we've expanded our offerings: during the con we'll be hosting other special events in the Poolside Pavilion.

Playing games at Big Bad Con!
Edit

What's New This Year


POC Lounge

This year we're adding a POC Lounge as a space available to all POC attendees throughout the con to connect, relax, and socialize. We are hosting this space in place of the POC Dinner, an event that we deeply valued but which, due to the presence of food, placed an undue burden of risk on our POC attendees. In accordance with our Public Health Policy, the POC Lounge will be a masking-required space, like all Big Bad Con spaces and events this year.

Outdoor Lunch Room: Extended Hours

Last year our Outdoor Lunch room was a hit! This year we're extending the hours to offer that space for dinner, as well! 

Expanded Special Events

This year the Poolside Pavilion will be available for Special Events throughout the con. All the fun we've had Thursday evenings during the Fashion Show, Intergalactic Wicket Gala, and knitting circles? Prepare to have that kind of fun all con long!

Office Hours

This year we're adding a new way for creators and companies to connect. Based on the incredible success of our Virtual Office Hours during Big Bad Online, we’re adding in-person Office Hours at the con. From Friday to Sunday we'll host dedicated conference room spaces to give industry professionals more opportunities to meet with attendees at the con, offer career advice, and discuss new ventures together!

Edit
Pledge Levels

By pledging you'll help us put on Big Bad Con... in addition to receiving these wonderful rewards (Please, note that all physical rewards require a pledge level that includes a badge, so you can pick up your rewards at the con. Unfortunately, we don't have the capacity to ship physical rewards.):

Three images of attendees playing games and celebrating being at Big Bad Con>

$20 Support the Scholarship - Funds collected from this pledge will go towards providing free badges and subsidizing travel expenses for attendees who would otherwise not be able to attend. This is a tax-deductible donation. Additionally your name, organization, or cause will appear on the Big Bad Con Hall of Heroes as one of our supporters. You can pledge any amount to our scholarship in the form of add-ons.

Image of our Little Red mascot and a Big Bad Con badge

$75 Big Bad Badge - Get a 4-day badge to attend Big Bad Con and a special BackerKit-exclusive pin! Additionally your name, organization, or cause will appear on the Big Bad Con Hall of Heroes as one of our supporters. You'll also be commemorated on the website and in our program.  Badges can also be added to pledges as add-ons.

Included Items
  • Big Bad Con 4-Day Badge
  • Hall of Heroes Entry
  • BackerKit Backer Pin
images of a game room, a gamer pulling a block from a Jenga tower, and a mock door sign with "Your Name Here"


$100 Sponsor a Room - We'll name one of the private gaming rooms after you or a cause you support. Everyone who plays a game in that room will have you to thank! This pledge does not include a badge, but one can be added as an add-on! This is a tax-deductible donation. Sponsored rooms can also be added to pledges as add-ons.

Included Items
  • Hall of Heroes Entry
  • Private Room Dedication
  • Tax-deductible charity receipt

Title: Con Drop Recovery Kit. Images of a Badge, Mug, Coffee, Tea, and The Wolf Mascott


$150 Con-Drop Recovery Kit - Get a 4-day badge to attend Big Bad Con, a sampling of Hyacinth coffee roasted by Denny Peseau OR tea from Friday Afternoon Tea in Seattle, a game by Nathan Black printed on your very own Big Bad Mug, and a special BackerKit-exclusive pin! Your name, organization, or cause will appear on the Big Bad Con Hall of Heroes as one of our supporters. You'll also be commemorated on the website and in our program. Mugs, coffee, and tea can all be added to any pledge containing a badge as add-ons.

Included Items
  • Big Bad Con 4-Day Badge
  • Hall of Heroes Entry
  • BackerKit Backer Pin
  • Big Bad Mug (featuring a game by Nathan Black!) 
  • Hyacinth Coffee OR Friday Afternoon Tea

Title: Little Red's Satchel. Images of a Badge, Mug, Coffee, Tea, Dice, and a Tote

$210 Little Red's Satchel - Get a 4-day badge to attend Big Bad Con; a Big Bad Tote designed by Eden Parkinson filled with Little Red and Wolf dice by Wood Tactics, the Big Bad Mug game by Nathan BlackHyacinth coffee, AND Friday Afternoon Tea; as well as a special BackerKit-exclusive pin! This one's for all the marbles!

Your name, organization, or cause will appear on the Big Bad Con Hall of Heroes as one of our supporters. You'll also be commemorated on the website and in our program. Totes, mugs, coffee, and tea can all be added to any pledge containing a badge as add-ons.

Included Items
  • Big Bad Con 4-Day Badge
  • Hall of Heroes Entry
  • BackerKit Backer Pin
  • Big Bad Tote
  • Little Red and Wolf dice by Wood Tactics
  • Big Bad Mug (game by Nathan Black!)
  • Hyacinth coffee
  • Friday Afternoon Tea

Images of Little Red in front of pictures of attendees and the hotel having a great time at Big Bad Con


$500 Convention Sponsorship - Become one of our our official convention sponsors. Your name, logo of a company or cause will be featured at the registration desk, in the program, and on our site as as official sponsors of the con. Your contribution will be split between supporting the general funds and our scholarship program. Every attendee at the con will know they have you to thank for making Big Bad Con happen! This is a tax-deductible donation. Convention sponsorships can be added to pledges as add-ons.

This pledge does not include a badge, but one can be added as an add on.

Included Items
  • Convention Sponsorship ($250)
  • Scholarship Contribution ($250)
  • Tax-deductible charity receipt
Edit
Add ons


After you select a pledge level, you can also add on these amazing rewards (Note that all physical rewards require a pledge level that includes a badge, so you can pick up your rewards at the con. Unfortunately, we don't have the capacity to ship physical rewards.):

Our Wolf mascot and three images of attendees playing games and celebrating being at Big Bad Con>


$20 Scholarship Contribution - Funds collected from this pledge will go towards providing free badges and subsidizing travel expenses for attendees who would otherwise not be able to attend. This is a tax-deductible donation.
Image of Hyacinth Coffe by Denny Peseau

$25 Hyacinth Coffee - Fresh from Hyacinth Coffee in Seattle, we're bringing you a special blend roasted by Denny just for Big Bad Con!


Image of Friday holding a mug of Friday Afternoon Tea


$25 Friday Afternoon Tea - A Big Bad brew custom mixed by Friday Afternoon Tea just for Big Bad Con attendees.
The Wolf holding the Big Bad Mug, a coffee mug with a game from Nathan Black

 

$25 Big Bad Mug - Play a game by Nathan Black to help you remember the amazing time you had this year while you sip your morning (or afternoon--we won't judge) wake-up drink with this Big Bad Mug!

Wolf holding dice that on the "6" side have Wolf and Red logos


$25 Wolf and Little Red Dice - Make your games bigger and badder this year with Wolf and Little Red Dice! You'll get two wooden dice by Wood Tactics, each with a special face (one Wolf and one Little Red).

Big Bad Tote with WIP artwork of the Wolf


$40 Big Bad Tote - A Big Bad Tote designed by Eden Parkinson will keep your vendor hall haul safe on all your travels.

Image of our Little Red mascot and a Big Bad Con badge


$75 Big Bad Badge - Add a 4-day badge to attend Big Bad Con!

Our Little red mascot and a mock door sign with "Your Name Here"


$100 Sponsor a Room - We'll name one of the private gaming rooms after you or a cause you support. Everyone who plays a game in that room will have you to thank! This is a tax-deductible donation.

Little red plus images of a plane and hotel.


$100 Mega Scholarship - This is just like a scholarship contribution, but bigger! Funds collected from this pledge will go towards providing free badges and subsidizing travel expenses for attendees who would otherwise not be able to attend. This is a tax-deductible donation.

Images of Little Red in front of pictures of attendees and the hotel having a great time at Big Bad Con


$500 Convention Sponsorship - Become one of our our official convention sponsors. Your name, logo of a company or cause will be featured at the registration desk, in the program, and on our site as as official sponsors of the con. Your contribution will be split between supporting the general funds and our scholarship program. Every attendee at the con will know they have you to thank for making Big Bad Con happen! This is a tax-deductible donation. 
Edit
Public Heath Policy


Our highest priority in returning for 2024 is putting on a convention that is as safe as possible for our whole community. We have the following policies in place for Big Bad Con 2024:

  • Masks that provide KN95 or better protection are required in all convention spaces. We’ll be giving out free Big Bad Con KN95 masks to all attendees!
  • All attendees must show proof of COVID vaccination before entering the con. Make sure to pack that vaccination card, update your app, or take a pic before you head out.
  • We request that all attendees take COVID tests and confirm they are negative before the con. We’ll have free rapid tests available upon request.
  • As part of our community standards of respect, support, and kindness, we ask before giving hugs or making other physical contact.

Image of big bad con attendees all wearing KN95 masks


Keeping ourselves and each other safe is part of our community standards of respect, support, and kindness. We know that risk tolerances are different for everyone, so what might seem like overkill to one person might still not be enough for others. We’re looking out for our most vulnerable attendees. Together, we believe we can host a wonderful event.

For more information about our policies, check out the links below:


Edit


This year, we have united the powerhouses of our POC Programming Track and our Big Bad Con Scholarship program! Bringing these two scholarship programs together will allow us to continue our work to support people of color at Big Bad Con through financial aid, an industry meet and greet event, and the opportunity to spend a weekend with an international community.

The track includes the following:

  • POC Scholarship. In addition to the scholarship funds we raise through this campaign, we're working with individual and industry donors to raise $75,000+ to aid people of color in attending the con by paying for travel, boarding, admission, and related expenses.
  • POC Meet & Greet. We're hosting a meet and greet for POC writers, artists, editors, and creators with their fellow peers and industry contacts. Non-POC industry attendees will also be invited with the specific goal to offer mentorship, publishing, or employment opportunities to the attendees of color.
  • POC Lounge. This year we're adding a POC lounge as a place for attendees of color to connect with each other, play, and relax throughout the con.
Edit
Stretch Goal Guests

One we've reached our initial funding level, additional funds will help us bring out amazing game designers and community leaders to the con. 

Completed Stretch Goals

17,500. Caro Asercion is an interdisciplinary artist who works at the intersection of tabletop, theatre, and visual design. Their published games include i’m sorry did you say street magic, Exquisite Biome, The Long Shift, and Last Train to Bremen. Caro has worked as a contributing designer on a number of projects including Spindlewheel, ARC, Wickedness, Venture & Dungeon, Interstitial, The Prince of Nothing Good, and the Strange Beast Tarot anthology. Their practice centers on building small, intentional worlds through collaboration. They will run: I'm Sorry Did You Say Street Magic?, Exquisite Biome


20,000. Erin Roberts is a game writer and designer who enjoys bringing imagined worlds to life. She has helped to create adventures and build settings for Darrington Press, Ghostfire Gaming, Kobold Press, Paizo, Wizards of the Coast, and many others on projects large and small. She was recognized for this work in 2023 as one of the winners of the Diana Jones Emerging Game Designer program. Outside of her TTRPG life, Erin is a published author of science fiction and fantasy short stories, teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin, and appears weekly on the Writing Excuses podcast. Events: Jukebox the Musical TTRPG (game), We Built This City: Urban Worldbuilding for TTRPGs (panel or possibly workshop), and You Got The Gig! Now What? Secrets of TTRPG Freelancing (definitely a panel)
25,000. Kienna Shaw (she/they) is a TTRPG writer and designer, and one of the co-curators of the TTRPG Safety Toolkit. Their work can be found in DIE RPG, Candlekeep Mysteries, Lost Omens: Tian Xia, and Starforged. She can be found self-publishing games and being on the internet everywhere as KiennaS. Lauren Bryant-Monk (she/her) is dedicated to making the Tabletop Industry safer, more diverse, and full of smooches. She is a game designer, safety consultant, and a co-curator of the TTRPG Safety Toolkit. Events: A Workshop on integrating safety tools in your games and creating your own tools A Panel on researching and preserving information in the TTRPG space when online spaces are disappearing A post game decompression/ hangout space on the Saturday or Sunday


27,500. Nala J. Wu is a proud disabled neurodivergent QTPOC Art Director (Hunters Entertainment, Metal Weave Games, Evil Hat Productions) and Award-winning Illustrator (Coyote & Crow, Apocalypse Keys, Uncaged Goddesses) who works full-time in TTRPGs. Besides art, Nala does voice acting, diversity & cultural consultations, and professional TTRPG AP stream performances— most notable is Itaewon by Night, an award-winning Actual Play featuring the first and only all-Asian cast to play Vampire the Masquerade on stream! In their free time, Nala loves experimenting with makeup, eating ungodly amounts of pasta, and Committing To The Bit (whatever the bit may be).. Nala will be running Learn & Play Mahjong, Jackbox Game Night (18+)

30,000. Takuma Okada is a game designer creating tabletop games and music under the name No Road Home. They like it design games about strange and magical places, the everyday moments that occur there, and the sublime. Takuma's will run soon to be announced events


32,500. Liam Stevens is an ENnie Award winning Game Designer, Podcaster and Cultural Consultant. Based in Otautahi, Aotearoa, he has Whakapapa to Ngai Tamaterangi, Ngāti Ruapani Ki Waikeremoana and Ngāti Hika, all within the Ngāti Kahungunu Rohe. He has worked folks such as Evil hat, Anodyne Printware, Tomkin Press and Darrington Press and is currently hard at work on Tomb Raider Shadows of Truth RPG. He is passionate about indigenous and anti colonial design and bringing more indigenous voices into the industry. Liam will run Deathmatch Island and TBD panels


35,000. Aaron Lim is a tabletop gamemaker, occasional games educator, and community organizer based in Malaysia. He's made storygames like An Altogether Different River and Spectres of Brocken, several roleplaying games, board games and card games, is an avid proponent of the art of the shitpost game, and runs the fortnightly playtesting meetup Playtest Zero.
40,00. Inside of games, Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalıoğlu are the co-founders of Thorny Games, a game studio out of Washington D.C. Their work often deals with the intimate and epic stories behind the language we speak. They’ve won awards for their games like Dialect (Silver Ennie Game of the Year, Tabletop Game of the Year—Indiecade Europe) and Sign (Indiecade Finalist, Indie RPG award-winner). Newly released is Xenolanguage, a soulful sci-fi game about alien language, and upcoming this year is the Games to Bind Us Play Anthology. They regularly speak about games, language and technology at places like SXSW and GDC. They also partner with universities, museums and non-profits to make games as a form of research by design.

42,500. Jenna Moran. Having finally defeated the kung-fu ghost of Rene Magritte, I'd like to settle down and live in a house made out of macaroni for a while.
45,000. Lara Paige Turner has been a professional RPG creator for about a decade now, and has been making games about being trans and autistic since before she realized she was either. When she's not doing that, she lives near Seattle, and spends her days putting books on shelves at her local library.

50,000. Meguey Baker has been creating and publishing independent role-playing games since 2006, including 1001 Nights, PsiRun, Playing Nature's Year, and the brand-new Under Hollow Hills! With Vincent Baker, she co-created Apocalypse World and kicked off the Powered by the Apocalypse boom in ttrpgs. In her other life, Meg is a museum curator and consultant focused on amplifying non-dominant voices in local history. Meg loves rocks, tea, toast, and socks, and will pet a bee if given the chance.  Vincent Baker has been creating and publishing independent role-playing games since 2001. With Meguey Baker, he co-created Apocalypse World and kicked off the Powered by the Apocalypse boom in ttrpgs. The games he's worked on subsequently include Murderous Ghosts, Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands, The Wizard's Grimoire, and Under Hollow Hills." Meguey and Vincent Baker will host the following events: Morning Conversation With The Bakers, Under Hollow Hills, The King Is Dead, Mending workshop, and a cancer survivors support meeting

52,500. Jonathan Connor Self (Connor, he/him) is The Healer DM, gaming creative and charity leader. He is a mental health professional at a Title I public school and served in his state counseling association. Connor created over 40 products for D&D and other games, and he is a top-rated proDM on Start Playing Games. Connor is the Vice President of Product Development for The Word Refinery, an organization uplifting marginalized voices in gaming,  as well as the President of D8 Summit Charities. This 501c3 has raised tens of thousands for local causes such as food banks, homeless shelters, and mental health providers, as well as produced expert seminars to give back to the gaming community. Connor has numerous interviews available online on the intersectionality between gaming, mental health, education, charity work, and diversity. Connor lives in rural Illinois with his dog Roscoe and parrot Petra.

57,500. Our volunteer Rangers are what make Big Bad Con magical: working tirelessly at the Reg Desk, as Greeters, as Panel Room Hosts, Game on Demand Hosts, and much, much more!   This stretch goal will dedicate funds towards covering room costs for our Ranger Captains and Coordinators, making our convention more accessible to our staff. As we reach further goals, we’ll be able to increase our financial support!



Upcoming Goals


60,000. Dr. Emily Friedman (Associate Professor at Auburn University and Polygon contributor), and Dr. Evan Torner (Associate Professor and Director, U Cincinnati Game Lab, Senior Editor, Analog Game Studies Journal) are bringing together an exciting group of thinkers to pilot a new academic track of panels bringing cutting-edge research to Big Bad Con. This stretch goal will help fund early career researchers from Dr. Friedman's cohort attend the con, bringing them together with game designers, critics, and creators for exciting community conversations on Big Ideas in tabletop.

65,000. Our volunteer Rangers are what make Big Bad Con magical: working tirelessly at the Reg Desk, as Greeters, as Panel Room Hosts, Game on Demand Hosts, and much, much more!   This stretch goal will dedicate more funds towards covering room costs for our Ranger Captains and Coordinators, making our convention more accessible to our staff. As we reach further goals, we’ll be able to increase our financial support!



...and more to be announced!
Edit
Other Ways You Can Help

Besides pledging for rewards, there are several ways you can help out:

  • Promote Big Bad Con. Talk about the con, especially if you've attended before and can share your personal experiences. Not only does it make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, it's also the best way for folks in your community to learn about it.
  • Run an Event. Would you like to GM a game? Host a panel? Run games in Games on Demand? Yes! Fantastic! Head over here to Run an Event.
  • Join the Rangers. Big Bad Con is a volunteer led and run convention. We're always looking for friendly folks to join us at the reg desk, welcome folks as greeters, and host Games on Demand. Head over here to Join the Rangers.
  • Sponsor the con. Individuals and companies who pledge at the $500 or higher level are eligible to be listed as sponsors of the event. We'll list you as Sponsors ($500 and up) or Epic Sponsors ($1000 and up) on our website in our program.  Contributions made for sponsorship are tax-deductible.
Edit

What People are Saying


Big Bad Con was, in a word, transformative for me. I had no idea where I belonged in the TTRPG space and this convention truly helped me to realize just that, as well as grow in the direction that was best for my goals. I learned so much from my peers on the trials and tribulations of producing a TTRPG Actual Play series - as well as the successes of brands that have found incredible success in the space. Meeting with other content creators and learning from them about what does and does not work for their communities and their audiences was super validating and made me feel as if I had finally found a community of peers who truly understood me, understood my goals, and understood the struggles I have faced pursuing those goals. Not only did I find my peers, but I also met a ton of industry leaders, including game makers, publishers, and 3rd party accessory/digital utility product makers. Having access to so many industry leaders was an incredible experience, and one that I have carried with me into every project I’ve done since BBC. - Ambrose


Big Bad Con is my favorite convention of the year. It’s the crossroads where casual fun and serious playtesting, oldheads and newcomers meet. I especially recommend Big Bad Con if you’re nervous about the games, design, or streaming communities and you want to discover them in a safe, supportive environment which welcomes all experience levels and all styles. Even when things go wrong, the organization and administration teams have your back and commit to helping you have a better time. I can’t wait to see you there. - James Mendez Hodes


Big Bad Con is such an important convention for those working in the tabletop gaming industry. I am proud to have been an attendee, guest, and scholar recipient over my last 3 years being involved with Big Bad Con, and every year I learn about new games and industry up and comers, foster new friendships, and reconnect with colleagues in the space. For anyone on the industry side of tabletop gaming, this convention has something for everyone. -Michelle Nguyen Bradley


Big Bad Con 2019 was my first foray into actually playing table top role playing games and I always credit it as the jumping off point for getting more involved in the ttrpg industry. I am so glad that my first experiences of playing ttrpgs happened at an event that put in so much effort to be inclusive, accessible and considerate of safety at the table. Returning to Big Bad Con in 2023 was so wonderful and a completely different experience since I had been in the industry for a few years. It was an opportunity to meet folks who I had only known online, in person, along with meeting new people that I wouldn't have run into otherwise. I, also, greatly appreciate the care and vigilance put in to continue covid conscious practices allowing the space to be safe for everyone. -Charu Chandni Patel


I’ve been to more cons than I can count. Some are better than others. But Big Bad Con is in its own league. It’s not bigger than the others. It doesn’t have more games. But what it does have is amazing humans from all walks of life bringing their unique perspectives to a warm, inviting convention that feels like it’s wrapping you in a giant blanket of friendship. I’ve never been to a show that felt less like a capitalist production and more like a meeting of friends you never knew you needed. Big Bad Con is on a short list of conventions that are truly doing something different, something important, and something I love. Frankly, more conventions should be modeling themselves after Big Bad Con. -Connor Alexander, Owner, Coyote & Crow Games

If you believe that this project is not in compliance with BackerKit’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, you can file a report by sending a message via this link: Report this project