Archive for the ‘Tabletop’ Category

Blogging is one of the best ways to avoid doing anything that’s needed to do, so here we go. Sami Koponen from Roolipelitiedotus, a Finnish roleplaying information sharing web page / blog challenged Finnish roleplayiing bloggers to blog with the themes Why do you roleplay? and What do you get from roleplaying? Last year he collected blog posts about state of Finnish roleplaying scene, and I participated also then, so here we go again.

For me roleplaying and larping both are hobbies that let me create stories together with friends, be part of fiction that gives me great experiences and chances to be someone else even for a day or two. I started with larping and of course there I was  fascinated about the overall experience one gets when really doing things that a character might do. Also Finnish culture of pre-written characters in larps made it easier for me to examine different kinds of worldviews and personality traits.

I’ve never been a good larp campaign player as I really suck in writing debriefs, that’s why the character development has never been something I have experienced a lot. Also due work issues, it has been hard to get weekends free, so to balance that I’ve started again playing table top roleplaying games.

I used to play also table top when I was in high school, but I saw those games were more about killing orcs than anything about character relations. When I moved to Turku ten years ago, I accidentally run into Jiituomas who I knew Ropeconwise, on local store, and after short conversation started playing in his table top campaigns. First we played Polaris, then Stalker. Then there was a break of a couple of years, but when we both had moved to Helsinki area, he game mastered one campaign of WoD, and next we’re going to start a Vihan Lapset campaign this fall. What works for me in table top roleplaying games is the development of characters in long campaigns and how it’s easier to have those on ones calendar, than larp campaigns that take whole weekend. What maybe doesn’t work that well is that as character’s character is usually developed by player herself, all characters tend to be more like me and also in longer campaigns I grow attached to character, so doing potentially deadly stuff for bigger drama is usually out of question.

I started larping 1999, and table top roleplaying games later the same year, and first of Jiituomas’ tabletop campaigns started in 2006 or 2007,  so it occasionally amazes me still how much I get from the hobby. How cool it STILL is to run on a forest with your wand on one hand and treasure on the other, or how upset one might be after a table top session even though it was just your character that almost got killed, not really you.

When thinking about why I larp and play rolepalying games, I’ve also thought potential reasons why other people play that really don’t apply to me. One thing that came to my mind when (over)thinking about this, was that I found it notable that I don’t play spontaneous romances. Even though I’ve larped a lot in scene, where romance, attraction and sexual tension has been themes of larps, or just stuff that happens spontaneously there, I’ve never felt on a larp or on a table top game that I should somehow “fill” the lack of romance in my real life with fictional romances. Playing romances or romantic/sexual feelings that have have not been given beforehand from the game master just have felt wrong, even somewhat dirty in the bad way. Even though I want to try new things and experience things that are very strange for me, I’ve never seen fictional romances as something I’d go for. And yes, of course there’re other reasons also for playing spontaneous romances than personal need for such, but I figured that if I’d ever were to play that way, it might have been a logical time for it when I felt alone.

Also larping gives some kind of experience of success. Not only the times when you’re part of saving the world, but also on organizing side. We voluntarily put together without profit over 100 player larps or 4000 person conventions, rent hotels, do PR web pages, give interviews, book mansions, make food and design plans for large scale events. Those events have been great practice and even if I don’t know what I’ll do for living for the  rest of my life, I believe many of the skills that I have gotten in organizing those things will make it easier to work on different kinds of positions. Also the bad organizing memories, fights, losing friends, extra bills, almost-burnout and other neagtive stiff have thought something, and I’m happy I learned those lessons already at roleplaying event organizing, not at a future workplace. As now I feel that I can avoid some extra drama but also I have guts to talk about things if something bothers me.

Considering I’ve done customer service for 15 years and 12 of those as a manager, last 4 so that I’ve also been general manager over shift managers, the ability to change role quickly has been a skill that I’m really happy I have. I can be convincing, very friendly, energetic, uncompromising or what ever is needed in a couple of seconds. Probably I also perform better at work as I don’t really take stuff personally that’s said (or yelled) to most of my work roles.

So that’s my piece on this. Also my first answer that came into my mind was “Because it’s fun!”, but as I have a lot to say about having fun or heading just to having fun, I will probably make another post about it in a near future.

Also: Advertisement to my Finnish speaking audience: Pauli Hulkkonen is doing his thesis about organization needs of roleplayers and boardgamers. Please fill the survey if you have time!



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