Pop-Up Gen Con at GoB July 17 2019

Games of Berkeley is an Official Host of this year's inaugural "Pop-Up Gen Con", taking place Thursday through Sunday, August 1st-4th, at the same time as GEN CON, the massive annual tabletop gaming event in Indianapolis!

(Updated 7/28/19)
OFFICIAL PARTICIPATION -- with Gen Con swag, previews of upcoming games from major publishers, and other coordinated fun -- takes place Sat Aug 3rd, and is limited to 50 participants. Tickets for this one function are sold out.
But there's plenty more to do during all 4 days! GoB wants everyone to get a taste of "The Best Four Days in Gaming", so we've planned additional fun Thursday-Sunday -- some free, some with a small fee. The schedule thus far:
  • CardHella for Charity - 11AM-9PM - $5 (Register On-site)
  • Miniature Paint & Take - 12PM-7PM - $5 (Register On-site)
  • Locally Grown Games - (11AM-5PM, designers TBD) - Free (No registration required)
  • Kill Team Skirmishes - 5PM-9PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Dungeons & Dragons 10th Level - 6PM-9PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Goblin City RPG - 6PM-9PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Miniature Speed Painting Contest - 7PM-8PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Locally Grown Games - (11AM-5PM, designers TBD) - Free (No registration required)
  • Dungeons & Dragons "Low" Level - 3PM-5:30PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Kill Team Skirmishes - 5PM-9PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • DM Training - 6PM-8PM - Free (Register On-site)
  • AEG Big Game Night - 5PM-7:30PM - Free (Register On-site)
  • Overlight RPG - 6PM-9PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Nerd Rage Live Podcast - 8PM-9PM - Free/Tips Encouraged (Register On-site)
  • Official Game Demos/Preorders - 10AM-4PM - Official Ticketholders Only - SOLD OUT
  • Pathfinder 2E Demo #1 - 10AM-1PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Pathfinder 2E Demo #2 - 2PM-5PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Game Developer Panel - 4:30PM-5:30PM - Free (Register On-site)
  • Komedio Comedy - 6PM-7PM - Free/Tips Encouraged (Register On-site)
  • Pathfinder 2E Demo #3 - 6PM-9PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Costume Contest - 7PM-8:30PMish - Free (Register On-site)
  • All The Dice Ever! (No registration required)
  • CardHella for Charity - 10AM-7PM - $5 (Register On-site)
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Level - 10AM-12:30PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • DM Training - 10AM-12PM - Free (Register On-site)
  • Starfinder RPG - 12PM-3PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Hollow Earth Expedition RPG - 12:30PM-3:30PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Miniature Paint & Take - 2PM-6PM - $5 (Register On-site)
  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st Level - 3:30PM-6:30PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Aetherholme RPG - 4PM-7PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Miniature Speed Painting Contest - 6PM-7PM - $5 (Register HERE)
  • Bottle&CanHammer - 7PM-10PM (after hours, 21+ only) - $5 (Register HERE)
  • All The Dice Ever! (No registration required)
  • Pre-Event "Globs at GoB" Painting Contest Voting (No registration required)
  • "Buy One Get One" Red Tag Sale (No registration required)

Descriptions of each function may be found by scrolling down through this webpage. RSVP to our Facebook event to catch regular updates and announcements.

BY THE WAY: Every event attendee will receive a Punch Card that indicates the event functions you've paid for (free functions will also get punched). If your Punch Card has 4 or more punches on it, you'll get to choose from a selection of free Mystery Items we're setting aside for the event!

Those Mystery Items will be a mixture of games, toys, novelties, promos, etc., but you won't know what you've gotten until you unwrap it.


Cardhalla is a charity event held at Gen Con since 1999. During the con, a city is constructed out of donated TCG cards. Near the end of the con attendees are invited to throw coins at the city to destroy it. The thrown coins are collected and donated to charity. The motto is: "Build. Donate. Destroy."
(Thanks, Wikipedia!)

We're doing our own smaller scale version, CARDHELLA (nodding to our East Bay roots), here in our Airlock game room on Thursday and Sunday of Pop-Up Gen Con. You'll pay $5 (or more if you want -- hey, it's for charity!) and can then build whatever you like from the 50,000 TCG and LCG cards we'll have on hand. Fold them, cut them, stack them, Instagram them, and then knock them down or leave them for someone else to contribute to your art!

All proceeds from this function will benefit YEAH! (Youth Engagement Advocacy Housing). A program of Covenant House California, YEAH! provides services and shelter for homeless young people right here in Berkeley. We'll also have a drop box available for donations you may wish to make of any new, unused items listed here: DONATE ITEMS.

Komedio​ Comedy is a network/guild/justice league of nerdy comics from the Bay Area. This rag tag group has been touring the country convention by convention cracking jokes about every fandom. Normally they perform at Gen Con​ itself, but this time around they're joining us right here at home!

Their Saturday performance will have free admission, but if you enjoy the show, please feel free to show your appreciation when they pass the hat afterward.


On Friday evening, Komedio will turn on their recording equipment for Nerd Rage: The Great Debates, a no-holds-barred podcast debate of the hottest topics in all of geekdom. Bring your topics. All will be settled -- are you ready to rage?

Again, admission will be free, but donations/tips are encouraged.


GoB regulars are familiar with the Locally Grown Games section, and many have enjoyed our past events where local designers show off their creations -- often in early, playtesting stages of development. When you come join us for Pop-Up Gen Con, take a look, try something new, and support your fellow community members' endeavors.

We hope to have a few local designers hanging out throughout the event.

Our Paint & Take function was so popular during International Tabletop Day/39th Anniversary weekend *and* Free RPG Day/GoB Con, that we're bringing it back for Pop-Up Gen Con! Pay your entry, choose a figure from our Big Box o' Minis, and we provide the paints and brush. Then you take the mini home with you!

Registration for this function takes place on-site.

Thursday and Sunday of Pop-Up Gen Con, you'll have a chance to take part in our Miniature Speed Painting Contest! Details:
  • Time limit is 1 hour
  • Miniature will be provided at random
  • Must bring your own brush(es)
  • 3 random paints will be provided and MUST be used. You may bring additional paints if you like
  • Registration takes place in advance or on-site, and closes 10 mins prior to the start of the event
  • Each person may participate in only one Speed Painting session
A single winner will be chosen for each session. That person will receive $15 in store credit and a Games of Berkeley t-shirt. All participants will get to take their miniatures home! Check the event schedule above for registration links.

Our "Globs at GoB" Long Form Painting Contest takes place in the days leading up to Pop-Up Gen Con, and then voted on during the event. How's it going to work?

  • Build and paint a gaming miniature of your choice (limit 1 miniature), from any company, system, genre, whatever.
  • The miniature MUST be built/assembled, painted, and based by the person who is entering. (if not, auto disqualification and possible ban from future events)
  • You may not enter a miniature that has won any previous awards.
  • Miniature may not be NSFW-themed.
  • Entry must be brought to the store for registration prior to the deadline of 9:00PM WEDNESDAY, JULY 31ST.

Miniatures will be on display from August 1-4, during Pop-Up Gen Con. Store patrons and employees will vote for their favorites, and winners will be announced on Monday or Tuesday following the event.

Each of the top 3 winners will receive a Games of Berkeley t-shirt, and store credit in the following amounts:

  • 1st - $30
  • 2nd - $20
  • 3rd - $10

Entrants are more than welcome to seek advice or hang out while prepping their minis during our weekly Paint Night sessions!

Our costume contest is a celebration of the fandoms we enjoy, whether your costume is tabletop game-related or not. Cosplay is for everyone, so no matter the level of your sewing and fabrication expertise, no matter your gender, body type, ethnicity, mobility, etc., we just want to see you having fun! All that said …


  • No nudity. No costume is no costume.
  • No profanity allowed on stage. That includes messages on signs or clothing.
  • No political or religious statements during the catwalk. 
  • No flash pots, explosive devices, or similar special effects are to be used.
  • All prop weapons must be non-working and peace bonded. No functioning projectile weapons – including water pistols, silly-string guns, ping-pong pistols, etc. Bladed weapons must be cased or sheathed at all times. 
  • Costumes must be self-contained.
  • Each contestant may only enter one costume into competition.
  • Large elaborate costumes must be handled by the contestant and/or assistants the contestant brings to help. Games of Berkeley will not be able to provide assistants.
  • Wholly purchased costumes are prohibited. Costumes should be at least 50% “hand-made.”
  • Entrants under 16 years of age will require a guardian to be present.

Violations of any of the above rules may result in disqualification and/or ejection from the store. We don't want to have to do that, so please respect our requirements and each other, and let's see whatcha got!

Click the following text for our online entry form: COSPLAY IS FOR EVERYONE! Please submit your entry prior to Saturday, August 3rd. Paper forms will be available for same-day entries.

Each of the top 3 winners will receive a Games of Berkeley t-shirt, and store credit in the following amounts:

  • 1st - $30
  • 2nd - $20
  • 3rd - $10


Warhammer 40K enthusiasts 21 years or older are welcome to join us 7PM-10PM Sunday of Pop-Up Gen Con for our very first after-hours BOTTLE&CANHAMMER event!

GoB will be closed to the general public, and ID will be checked at the door. Register as a COMBATANT or as a SPECTATOR.

The rules are simple: play regular games of Warhammer 40k/Age of Sigmar, of which we recommend lower point games, or multiplayer, or just go full on Apocalypse (insert burp here). However there will only be 2 additional rules; "BY THE WILL OF THE CAN-GODS", which will be an overarching rule, and all factions will have access to this Stratagem "CANS FOR THE CANS GODS, BOTTLES FOR THE BOTTLES THRONE!" These rules will be present for all gaming sessions that are taking place during this event.

BY THE WILL OF THE CAN-GODS: If at anytime from the start of the first Battle Round onward any player has finished consuming any bottled or canned item, of which consumption began by at least the Deployment portion of the game, that player may place that (cleaned) item onto the gaming table as a new piece of impassable terrain. This new impassable terrain will have the same dimensions and footprint as-is, however line of sight cannot be drawn through it. There are no limitations as to the amount that may be placed at any one time by this rule.

"CANS FOR THE CANS GODS, BOTTLES FOR THE BOTTLES THRONE!": 1CP - Used during force mustering, after opponents were found. Save up to 3 previously used Bottle and/or Cans that were consumed during the event that can be used for the rule "BY THE WILL OF THE CAN-GODS". CAN ONLY BE USED ONCE PER GAME.


ROLE-PLAYING GAMES: Their rise during the '70s & '80s was arguably the genesis of modern tabletop gaming's popularity. So of course we'll have a variety of RPG sessions -- some published, some not -- that you can play in! Check the event schedule above for registration links.
  • Aetherholme - Locally designed urban fantasy setting from Fox And Badger Studios
  • Dungeons & Dragons - What need be said?
  • Goblin City - Locally designed fantasy setting where everyone's a goblin!
  • Hollow Earth Expedition - Pulp fiction system published by Exile Game Studio
  • Overlight - Alternate Earth fantasy setting published by Renegade Game Studios
  • Pathfinder 2E - Fantasy setting published by Paizo Publishing
  • Starfinder - Science-fiction setting published by Paizo Publishing

Games Workshop's KILL TEAM is a scaled-down version of the futuristic miniature game Warhammer 40,000. We're running small skirmishes on Thursday and Friday of the event, and you're invited to bring your grim, dark team into the fray! (We may even be able to get a demo of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: WARCRY on display.)

Check the event schedule above for registration links. For the glory of the Emperor, don't miss out!

Occasionally, awesome items we stock just don't sell well for one reason or another. Some are donated to fundraising efforts, but many go to our SIDE ROOM SAVINGS area, where you usually find them for at least 40% off our regular price.

During Pop-Up Gen Con​, you'll be able to save even more during our Buy One Get One Clearance Sale, taking place over all 4 days of the event. Details are in the image above, so come check it out!

Wondering what to eat during the event? The Telegraph District has more than 90 eateries within walking distance of GoB, most with take-out options -- 17 on our block alone!

There are plenty of other things to do while you're in the neighborhood as well, and transit and parking options are plentiful. Check it out: telegraphberkeley.org



Have an idea for next year's 1:1000 scale Gen Con? Interested in being a participant or demoing your game in 2020? Want to partner with us in some way on this kooky venture? Contact us via: