Archive for March, 2014

I got a blogging challenge from Sami Koponen, one of the men behind roolipelitiedotus, Finnish roleplaying info web site, that gives basic information about roleplaying and stuff that’s happening in Finnish roleplaying scene right now. It also collects list of roleplaying blogs wrote by Finns and as they seek to serve roleplaying in all its forms, also this blog is on their blogosphere.

“How do you view Finnish roleplaying scene 2014 and where would you like our roleplaying culture to evolve?” was the question. As my blog is described there as not only a larper’s blog, but also as an convention organizers blog, so I try to put those aspects on this post also.

When thinking about 2014 afterwards, I’m hoping that for Finnish larping scene the most remarkable thing will be the new larp calendar. As our old pages went down last December, and we’re now working with substitute format, the new larp calendar should see daylight somewhere next summer. I have high hopes on Laura S who is making it. We’ve discussed what is needed, what is nice and what won’t work, and she’s doing it as part of her IT-studies at Aalto University. I’m hoping it to encourage people to use calendar more for their games. That would make it easier for new soon-to-be-larpers to find larps, and also document the scene better.

This year Ropecon is also again giving small grant to projects that improve Finnish roleplaying scene. It’s of course said with longer words what does it (or we) support, and what not, but the basic idea is, that it’s possible to get money to fund ones interesting roleplaying thing or card, board or miniature game project. I’m hoping people would more use it to different kinds of projects. Many larps apply for money to make something special happen. Ropecon has funded special effects, authentic props, documentation and so on for larps, and addition to those I’d like to see for instance character writing workshop, course for roleplaying organisation treasurers and so on.

Larps don’t really have big themes anymore. It’s impossible to say anymore that “Most common genre in larps is fantasy, but also Vampire is big thing in southern Finland and big cyber games are happening in the middle of Finland while people in Turku still larp on their closets every Thursday”. And it’s great! People use their imagination more than to create just another fantasy world.
As projects vary more, pure genre games grow fewer. Production values have risen, but still too many games fail to see the big picture: More special effects won’t make a game better if contacting characters to each other sucks. More and better food is a good addition, if characters have also other stuff to do than eating, etc. Many times when talking about production values, the very basic core of good larp, like plot and characters are forgotten as time game masters have, is invested to that special thing that is supposed to put larp on new level. But failures are great learning possibilities, so as this generation has started investigating what they can do with larp, there will probably be plenty of great experiences still ahead.

Also what makes me glad is that terminology from Nordic Larpdom has at last found it’s way to Finnish mainstream larp. Many people have now an idea about bleed, Ars amandi is known by name and many people are willing to try it or have used it on their games. That’s great. What I would like to hear next, is more talk about player safety, when it comes to psychological side of games. There has been new wave of different kinds of horror games that play with players mind and those games have been praised a lot. I’d like to see more edgy games that try to create strong and surprising feelings to players, but also make gamemasters knowledge the fact that debrief is an important part of any game that touches players feelings deeply, and it’s not just about everyone telling what their character did. And also get players to understand, that feeling totally cracked days after game isn’t a desirable condition, but maybe a hint that either game was badly planned, or not really for you.

That’s my two cents. Most of the blog posts around this theme will probably be table top oriented and/or in Finnish, but when they’re gathered, I try to remember to put link here.


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