[game pieces]

Council of Five Nations - Adventure Gaming Convention - General Information Overview - Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga, NY

Council of Five Nations XXXVIII

October 9-11, 2015

General Information Overview

Last Update: Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Council of Five Nations is the SWA's annual gaming convention, held every year on Columbus Day Weekend in October. It is one of the longest-running adventure gaming conventions in the world. We'll be sponsoring our 38th Council on October 9-11, 2015.

Please use the links below to get the most up-to-date info on the status of the convention.

If you have specific questions or requests, please email us at council /at/ swa-gaming.org

(please replace the "/at/" with the standard "@".  We apologize for this necessary anti-spam measure).

What's the latest news?

Council is in about seven months.  The preparation machinery is slowly starting up.

We are actively looking for Game Masters to run games.

No game convention can exist without folks like you volunteering to run games, and we're no exception.  We'll probably have somewhere around 200 events this year, and it'll take a lot of GMs to make that happen.  Maybe you?

We offer some sweet incentives:  Free entry to the con and a special GMs-only T-shirt.

If you're interested in running a game for us, you can find all the details here:


The Council of Five Nations Philosophy

Council strives toward the goal of "quality over quantity". We're a medium-sized con, but we try to have top-notch events. We predict an attendance of about 400 this year. As with all the Councils over the years, our goal is a nice balance between role-play games, miniatures, board games and other stuff.

Signature Event: Pathfinder Society RPGPathfinder Society RPG at Council of Five Nations

Join the New York Capital Region Pathfinder Lodge as we embark on our 6th year at Council.  We plan on making it the biggest, most exciting, one yet.

The Pathfinder Society (PFS) is an organization of explorers, vagabonds, sages, and treasure hunters determined to plumb the depths of the darkest tombs, and collect relics and lore from bygone ages. Pathfinder Society Organized Play is a constantly evolving mega-campaign played by thousands of players from around the world. PFS, uses the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system, which is an evolution of the 3.5 rules set of the world's oldest fantasy roleplaying game.

Learn all about the NY Capital Region Pathfinder Lodge on our Facebook page:


Signature Event: Star Fleet Battles and other Star Fleet Universe gamesStar Fleet Battles at Council of Five Nations

Council of Five Nations is proud to host the largest, best Face-to-Face Star Fleet Battles tournament in the whole world.  We've been one of the Top Five largest since 2002, and we became the largest about five years ago.  Players from all over the country, and even internationally, travel to Council every year to play against the best.

With ADB announcing they will no longer attend Origins, we are making a special effort to welcome all Star Fleet Universe gamers.  We want to expand our appeal beyond tournament SFB.  If you are a fan of the following games, we would love to see you at Council this year and many years into the future:
  • Federation & Empire
  • Star Fleet Miniatures
  • Federation Commander
  • A Call to Arms: Star Fleet
  • Star Fleet Role-Play
  • Non-tournament Star Fleet Battles
  • Any and all Star Fleet Universe games!

We're always willing to teach SFU games to new people. There will be a coupon in your registration packet good for a free game of Star Fleet Battles. Guaranteed to be redeemable any time before 1:00pm on Saturday, and we can probably find someone to train you later in the weekend too.

We have a special page dedicated to our Star Fleet Battles Tournament at Council of Five Nations.  Please click the link to check it out.  We will be updating this page often as more people commit to attending.

RPGA D&D at Council of Five Nations Adventure Gaming Tournament

Signature Event:  RPGA Dungeons & Dragons 

This year we’re excited to offer lots of the new 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons at Council of Five Nations this year.  We will also be debuting the new Wizards D&D Adventurer's League. Watch this space for more details as we fill out the schedule.

Signature Event:  Battleground: Fantasy & Historical WarfareBattleground Fantasy Warfare at Council of Five Nations Adventure Gaming Tournament

Council hosts one of the largest gatherings of BFW players in the country each year.  We will continue that tradition in 2015 with a weekend campaign that will span all of Saturday and Sunday: "Conquest of the Badlands".  All players will represent either the Order Hegemony or the Chaos Convergence.  You will play in both smaller individual skirmishes and fight in the huge multi-player Giant Rumble.

You can get more details and follow/participate in the online discussion at the Your Move Games Forums.


We expanded the vendor area to 1500 square feet last year, and we think that went over very well.  Here is the roster of vendors that we expect to attend once again this year (with maybe one or two more squeezed in).

The facility: Proctor's Theatre & Conference Center

Council will once again be held at at the Proctor's Theatre and Conference Center, in the heart of downtown Schenectady, New York. You can learn more about Proctor's, a classic Vaudeville theatre, at their web site (please click here).

Schenectady, New York is:
  • About 3 hours north of New York City
  • About 4 hours south of Montreal, Quebec
  • About 4 hours east of Buffalo, New York
  • About 3 hours west of Boston, Massachusetts.
We had a good experience at Proctor's for several years now.  We've also learned a lot since our first year there in 2007, so things get a little better every year.  The Registration Area is on the main floor, very easy to find.  We have games on three levels (all serviced by two elevators): first floor, second floor, and basement.

Group and Student Discounts

As we all know, the economy has been limping along for a few years now.  We're doing a few things to help make it easier for you to attend a Council of Five Nations weekend getaway:
  1. We are keeping our policy of a $5 discount to everyone who pre-registers in a group of three or more.  Details will be in the pre-registration packet.  So start talking to your friends now!  Carpool to save on gas, and pre-register together to save even more.
  2. We are keeping our discounted entry fee for full-time students.  Kids age 9 or younger still get in free.  All other full-time students get in at half-price.  All students still pay for individual event tickets (most are only $2 each).
  3. We are keeping our very generous GM policy - run an event and get your whole weekend registration fee waived.  GMs only pay for individual event tickets.  If you are interested in volunteering to be a Council Game Master, please click the link for more information.


If you want to get a jump-start on your planning, or if you just want to look around...


We have a convention web page dedicated to the hotel options we think are best for Council attendees.  There is a good variety of price points and commute distances; something for everyone. Some choices are literally next door to the Council facility, and others are within a 15 minute drive.  Please check them out here:

Council of Five Nations Hotels

The Council Discount Auction

The Discount Game Auction is one of our most popular events, and a long-time Council tradition.  It will be happening again this year during the long lunch break on Council Sunday, from 2:00-3:00 PM. We'll have over a hundred games and other gaming-related merchandise available.  This is an open, competitive bidding auction. If you've got some games you'd like to sell, this is your chance to do so.  If you've got a few bucks left in your pocket at the end of Council weekend, this is also an opportunity for you to pick up some bargains. If you'd like to sell merchandise at our auction (any Council attendee is welcome to do so), please click here to download the Council Auction Seller's materials in PDF format  (350 Kb). The Auction packet is now updated with newer and better PDF technology.  It's easier then ever to prepare your goods for sale.

Why do you call it Council of Five Nations?

Council of Five Nations Iroquois Warrior Logo
The Native American Iroquois tribes called the Upstate New York area their home. Each autumn, there would be a great gathering of the five (later six) tribes, or nations.  You can click here for the Wikipedia page that gives a lot more information, and related links. 

We call our annual convention The Council of Five Nations in homage to the Iroquois autumn gatherings from long before most of us had ancestors here. This is also the source of the official Council logo, the Iroquois warrior.

Planning way ahead

If you'd like to mark your calendar now, here are the dates for Councils beyond 2015:
  • October 7-9, 2016
  • October 6-8, 2017
  • October 5-7, 2018
  • October 11-13, 2019
  • October 9-11, 2020
  • October 8-10, 2021
  • October 7-9, 2022
  • October 6-8, 2023
Here's an easy way to remember: Council of Five Nations is always Columbus Day weekend.  When you see that national holiday on your calendar, block it off and make sure you're here with us, sharing in our gaming goodness.

Questions or Comments?

You can contact us directly at council /at/ swa-gaming.org
(please replace the "/at/" with the standard "@".  We apologize for this necessary anti-spam measure).

You can also call Dave at (518) 464-1977, any day until about 11pm Eastern time.

Council of Five Nations Iroquois Warrior Logo

Curious about the kind of events we've had in the past?

You can click on these links to see the full event listings for the past several years of Council of Five Nations.

When you're browsing, it might help to know the following... 

Councils 20-28 were all held at the Studio of Bridge and Games / Price Chopper Community Room.  Space there was limited, we had fewer time slots, and we averaged around 100 attendees over those years. 

In 2006 (Council 29), we made the jump to a hotel.  We doubled the number of events offered.  It was a great success, and our attendance jumped to over 200.  Councils 30-35 in 2007-2013 were at our current location, the Proctors Conference Center.  Our attendance has climbed to the 300 range in recent years, and we expect in the 400s in 2014, especially with our recent 50% expansion of space and tables.