So I visited Ropecon in Finland. It is a brief flight from Denmark, but none the less it is my first visit to Finland. One of the pleasent suprises, when arriving in Helsinki was that most signs are both in Swedish and Finnish, which made the otherwise intelligle signs readable.
Awesome International Guest: Mentzer
Since the international guests weren’t the reason for my visit to Ropecon, I was pleasently surprised by discovering the awesome guests, they had coming. To me it was mainly Frank Mentzer, but my introduction to roleplaying back in ’87 was the red box, so getting to meet the designer was fascinating. He is a nice guy, he ran some D&D-sessions, participated in some panels, and at the closing ceremony he gave Ropecon a copy of Chainmail, the original D&D and first Greyhawk-supplement. This was rather generous, and it was touching to see the representative receiving the books, he was absolutely overwhelmed, and this gift was due to the friendly atmosphere and nice hosts – and Ropecon is absolutely a friendly place. Go visit them next year.
There were other international guests like Eric Mona, but since I don’t play their games, I was not that familiar with them or their products.
A convention unlike the ones at home
This is the first convention, that I have attended, where they do not go by the “one group, one room”-approach, but instead had multiple groups in each room often sitting next to each other, and no scenario was run more than once, unless the GM runs his own scenario twice. Being used to have several different GMs run the same scenario at the same time in each of their own rooms, this was quite difficult and I ended up playing not a single scenario, while attending Ropecon.
Another difference was that Ropecon is hugely larger than Danish conventions, it is rich in cosplayers, and it takes place at a conference center, where we lend public schools during weekends and holidays.
My reason for going to Ropecon was the publication of Unelma Keltaisesta kuninkaasta ja muita tanskalaisia roolipelejä – in other words a Finnish publication with 12 Danish scenarios. My contribution to the book is Memoratorio – as the Finnish title goes – that I cowrote with Monica Traxl a few years back, and it is fun to see this translation into a language, that I cannot read, and hardly recognize any words in.
It was fun
The Fins are nice people, and they all speak English and some Swedish, so we had no problems communicating. The convention was nice, the weather was wonderful, and there was plenty of roleplaying at both the table and live, besides panels and board games … and beers in the cantina, at the beach or in the park. And it had Frank Mentzer!