Friday, September 02, 2011

The Road to WPN (Part 17)

[This is part 17 in a series, and assumes that you've already read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 14.5, Part 15, and Part 16]

August 29, 2011: Today I learned, much to my embarrassment, that the non-foil basic land cards in the booster packs are supposed to be removed (along with the Token or Rules Tip card), and the players only draft from the remaining 14 cards. When I ran my first two draft events, I had had the players leave them in. Whoops! I'll get it right the next time!

September 1, 2011:  I just noticed today that the logo promotional kits from WPN for Innistrad are already available (not sure when they got put up - if there was an announcement shared with TOs I missed it). That's MUCH better than the Magic 2012 ones that went up after the Launch party and so were mostly superfluous. I was VERY happy to see those up already!

Getting excited and nervous about tomorrow night's FNM. Really it shouldn't be so daunting. I've already run several M12 Sealed Deck events - so why should this one be any different?

September 2, 2011: Got word from Patrick today - Novel Places has FINALLY received their Magic 2012 Rulebooks. I had contacted Brian (my WPN rep) earlier in the week, and he assured me they would arrive on Friday, and they did (shipped 2-day mail - I'm afraid SOMEONE may have gotten in trouble over this). But I'm very pleased we got our shipment. We have several players who are new or returning, and these rulebooks have been great giveaways to those who are a little rusty and unclear on the rules. I split the one shipment we got at Beyond Comics between the two stores, but that left both stores with a short supply.

Tonight was my first ever Friday Night Magic as a TO. I've attended several in the past, but this was our first opportunity since making Core Level to run an event. I picked Magic 2012 Sealed Deck as the format, as it's a simple one to run, and I've done it at least three times before.

We had 4 folks preregistered (although one of those didn't end up attending) and had 5 just show up, so that gave us exactly 8 in the event, which is a nice number. Three rounds of Swiss style pairings were played.

Bomb of the evening (money-card wise at least) was a foil Jace, Memory Adept (around a $65 card at the moment). That player can easily make back his $25 entry fee! Also seen were a Grave Titan and a Gideon Jura.

Quote of the night was: "The rest of my pool was crap, but at least I got the rare token." (Referring to the Wurm creature token created by Garruk, Primal Hunter - the rarest token creature card in M12). Said player ended up with 4 match points (1 win, 1 loss, 1 draw) so his pool couldn't have been THAT bad.

The ideal distribution of match points would have had a single person at 9 points, 3 at 6 points, 3 at 3 points, and 1 at 0. I therefore planned on distributing 5 prize booster packs for first place, and 3 packs for those with 6 match points, which would leave 2 left over in the prize pool (2 packs per player = 16 pack prize pool) to be randomly assigned among those who got below 6 match points.

Because of a draw in Round 1, however, the ideal did not get met, and we ended up with only 2 players at 6 points, meaning only 11 packs were used up in the regular assignment. That left me with 5 packs still in the pool, and five players with under 6 match points. PERFECT! So everybody left with at least 1 prize pack. The top two players got the FNM promo (Teetering Peaks is the FNM promo for September) and two other players were randomly selected to each get another (one of whom didn't even know there WERE such a thing as FNM promos - so it was even more special for him!).

Three of the players were brand new to WPN events, and had to fill out DCI cards (one of whom went on to be the second place promo winner!). That means we're only 2 events in to our first year of Core, and already have 5 of the 6 new-to-WPN players we need to maintain our Core Level status. Awesome! Several of the players indicated this will not be their last FNM, and many of them are also planning to come out for the Magic Celebration event on September 10.

One of the new players found us because he subscribes to the store's email newsletter. The other 2 we can thank the Wizards Event Locator for. This is an amazing free service that WPN provides whereby a player can enter their location (city/state or postal code) and select the type of WPN event they are interested in. It generates a map of nearby locations for said events. I've had several people tell me that this is how they found us, so I'm very grateful that it exists!

During rounds I discussed some plans with the store manager, John. We decided to go ahead and open up preregistrations (with prepayment) for the Innistrad prerelease. I quickly signed myself up for the morning event (Sealed Deck) as I try to always go to one prerelease per set - why not attend my own this time?

One outstanding question that I have emailed to Brain (who has not yet had a chance to respond) is what happens if the FNM ends up with under 8 participants. FNMs are sanctioned events, and sanctioned events need at least 8 players. If there's under 8 I know I can cancel the sanctioned event and schedule a casual one, and run that. The question is: am I allowed to assign the FNM promos if it isn't an official sanctioned FNM? Realistically I know there's no way the WPN could ever find out if I did so (unless some one ratted me out, or I happened to mention it in this blog), but I'd like to know what the official policy is. I do know that if there are any leftover FNM promos, we are allowed to use them as additional prizes at FNMs as long as they are no longer the current FNM promos. Maybe this is how you could end up with leftovers (since it seems they send you only 4 per event you signed up for).

Anyway, I will leave you withe the current WPN report card. It's looking like we will have no problem maintaining the Core Level status at Beyond Comics at this rate. I still look forward to getting Novel Places up there as well. I hope the Magic Celebration event gets us out final 9 unique players!
The red X. It tasks me!


Anonymous said...

The FNM went great - had fun :)

Alex said...

Hey, Mark Rosewater linked to your series in his Tumblr. It's a great read, and inspirational. A friend tried to get the university Games Club to Core Level once, and while it never happened, we had some fun tournaments and got promo cards, so it was all good. Get both stores up to Core: it's bugging me that the quest is still uncompleted :)

Keiya said...

This is really interesting, even though I don't have any intention of taking on the TO role myself. And you're absolutely right about the event locator - it's great as a player too!

Anonymous said...

If there's 7 people turn up, just create a dummy player who drops straight away

Anonymous said...

^ That could very easily be considered fraud and your ability to run events could be taken away and all your hard work will have been for nothing. Don't do it.

Don said...

@Alex: Don't worry - I fully intend to get Novel Places up to Core ASAP. We have events there this Saturday (Sep 10) and next (Sep 17). Hopefully between the two we will get at least 9 new players to that location!

@Keiya: Thanks for reading! Glad to hear it's not only interesting for other budding TOs (I secretly hoped it would even appeal to players who just had never thought about what all goes on "behind the scenes" as it were).

@Anonymouses: I agree with Anonymous #3 - that would DEFINITELY be fraudulent, and especially as I'm rather in the spotlight (what with this blog and all) it would be VERY unwise.

Unknown said...

I was linked here from Mark Rosewater's Tumblr. Great Read and I want to be able to do this myself in the near future.

Anonymous said...

great blog. I didn't know there was a free MTG Celebration event. I'll definitely try to go to my nearest store.

Don said...

@Unknown: I wish you the best of luck if you do indeed decide to travel this Road as well :-)

@Anonymous#4 - Magic Celebration has its own check box in the Wizards Event Locator - so you can use it to find the one(s) nearest to you!