Welcome to PrinceCon

PrinceCon is a 46-hour role-playing marathon held on the Princeton University campus every Spring (since 1976). The character you create on Friday afternoon stays with you throughout the weekend, growing more powerful and accumulating potent magical items as you adventure in a single world with many different talented GMs.

What’s the schedule?

The first runs depart Hireling Hall at 5 PM on Friday.  Additional runs go out as needed around the clock, with the climactic final runs ending by Sunday at 3 PM.  The GMs put their heads together and the awards ceremony and theme recap usually starts around 4 PM.

We know that you may be familiar with conventions with fixed time slots and seats, but PrinceCon doesn’t work that way.  When you show up, find some other players and a willing GM and we’ll send you out on a run.

Where exactly does PrinceCon take place?

“Hireling Hall” and the main desk are in the lobby of Campus Club on the Princeton University campus.  The game session take place in smaller rooms spread out around the building.

What does it mean to play at PrinceCon?

It means you need to save the world!  The particulars vary from year to year — the Tree of Life is dying, the First Citizen was assassinated under suspicious circumstances, a new world was just discovered and must be plundered explored, or whatever.  The page on this site for each year describes the theme for that year.

What does “the theme” mean?

All the Game Masters run scenarios in the same world, under the same unifying theme.  You may fight common enemies across multiple scenarios, you may discover information or items in one scenario critical to the success of another, you may just enjoy trying several different approaches to saving the world.  But the theme defines the initial challenges and ultimate goals that are common to every GM’s scenario.

How do characters work?

You’ll generate a character at the start of the convention.  Based on the runs you go out on and the scores you receive, your character will gain experience and levels over the course of the convention.  You may also accumulate magic items and other rewards.  You’ll take the same character (and their loot) into every run you go on during the weekend.  At the end of each run, the computer will print a fresh character sheet reflecting any new levels, abilities, etc.

What game system does PrinceCon use?

PrinceCon has historically used customized versions of D&D, or at least rules similar to D&D rules. Most of our historical rule books can be found on our Con Books page.

PrinceCon 32-41 used a custom version of the D&D 3.5 OGL rules.

PrinceCon 42 and beyond use D&D 5th edition, pretty much straight from the Player’s Handbook. We have a few ongoing convention customizations, such as ignoring gold pieces and encumbrance. Those will be detailed in this year’s much-smaller Con Book, along with the theme background, our Code of Conduct, and etc.

How do I eat during 46 hours of straight gaming?  Can I sleep if I want to?

Most players either order pizza to the game rooms or take short breaks to get food.  The campus center is very close and open during the day.  There are dozens of restaurants with take-out in the Princeton area, some open quite late.  There’s a 24-hour WaWa adjacent to campus if you really get desperate.

If you will need sleep, please don’t do it at the gaming table.  There are also numerous hotels in the Princeton area.  The ones a short distance away on Route 1 are typically a lot cheaper than the ones actually IN town.  You can probably find other players to split a room with if you like.

Why should I care?

The GMs at PrinceCon are incredible — just ask our players.  And where else can you game for 46 hours straight?  You’ll have a blast.