Hi, my name is James and welcome to Code/Switch. Today I’ll be talking a bit about size and scale in references to numbers. Numbers of people, that is. This Thursday (August 17th, totally dating this) Gen Con 50 starts at 9am sharp. 9am for me anyway because I have games to run, but I digress. Gen Con 50 is notable not only for it being the 50th anniversary of the convention, but that tickets for it sold record numbers. Beyond record numbers, they sold them all. The Gen Con organizers haven’t given the number of badges sold, but last year in 2016 Gen Con attracted over 60,000 people. This years convention is larger than that if they sold out of 4 day badges. Heck, this Indystar article mentions that single day badges are in short supply and its from over a month ago. I hope everyone’s ready to lap up because we’re going to get awful close.
60,000 people is a lot. Not like in a cosmic sense, but in an absolute kinda way. I have a hard time remembering the names of more than a few dozen people, to try and remember a towns worth of names would be daunting. Funnily enough, in researching this a bit I learned Pennsylvania has only one “town”, with most settlements being folded into townships, boroughs, or cities. In the United States, a town is typically a place where 1,000-20,000 live, in Golarion that 1-20k covers designations from small town to metropolis. By Golarion standards, Gen Con is this entertainment based metropolis that sprouts up inside of another functioning metropolis.
Gen Con 50 itself will be larger than the iconic Golarion settlements of Augustana, New Stetven, Kintargo, Highhelm, Isarn, Mechitar, Whitethrone, Okeno, Vigil, Alkenstar, Senghor, Bloodcove, Quantium, Pangolais, Tamran, Starfall, Daggermark, Eleder, Port Peril, Cassomir, Caliphas, Kaer Maga, Janderhoff, Korvosa, Magnimar, Riddleport, and Nerosyan. To top it off, this migratory metropolis will be gone over a long weekend. Remember this sense of scale when your GM tells you it takes 1D4 hours to use diplomacy to gather information, they’re being totally reasonable.