Getting Ready for Ropecon 2014

Tomorrow I will get into a car full of nerds and drive from Tampere to Helsinki for Ropecon 2014 (click here for English). Luckily this time we will have air conditioning. Though in my mind Ropecon is the biggest roleplaying convention in Finland there actually is a lot of other stuff going on there too. Panels, dancing, workshops and various other kinds of games fill up the weekend quite nicely.

This is the third time we are participating and the seconded time we are going in as media. Or actually this year we get the marvellous chance to pay for telling people how awesome Ropecon is. No media passes for the Redemund’s Guild this year does not mean that we are pissed (well, actually it does) and it will not influence our reporting (at least hopefully it will not).

Aki will be running some games (Hillfolk and tremulus) and I will be running from a game to game with my camera. So you can expect photos as well as blogging – hopefully at least some from the premises.

I actually even started a new Instagram account for our Guild. You can follow it HERE to see what is going on. Galleries will follow as soon as I get them edited. So I you have met me during the event I have handed you a calling card directing you here – the pictures will come sooner or later.

As a disclaimer I will add that if you see a picture of yourself and you do not wish it to be visible please contact me and I’ll remove it immediately. I will ask permission for posting the pictures in person but sometimes there can be a mixup. If you want a picture in larger quality for yourself, feel free to ask me for it.

Hopefully everyone will have good time at Ropecon!

Note: If you are coming to Ropecon drop us a comment and we will glad to introduce you to the event and help you in (mostly) any way.

Burn! Creating characters in Burning Wheel

I’m about to fulfil a longtime dream and run a few session of Burning Wheel—more, if it fits the group. We created two characters (one players couldn’t make it to the session, but knew the rudiments of world I’d suggested so everyone was okay with it), which was fun, but quite daunting to me as the GM. Luckily, the game is wonderfully helpful for both the players and the GM. Continue reading

A Wayward Son: The Dramatic Arc of One Player Character

I don’t normally like to write about my characters, because its hard to know what will be interesting to other people, because I clearly have a strong bias. I asked for subjects to write about in this blog, and Lauri suggested talking about this character. He too, as the GM, has a bias, but I’m guessing his bias is not nearly as strong as mine, so I’m assuming there’s something about this character that’s interesting to others.

Whatever the reasons, I’ll try to use this as a case study of sorts.

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Very Basics of Deckbuilding

There’s plenty of daily strategy content on the Mothership, Star City Games, Channel Fireball, and other places. However, those are targeted at people, who are generally not that interested in deckbuilding, and who are fairly familiar with the game. Here I’m going for the beginner audience.

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[Dungeon World] Creating Fronts

use-with-dw-OnLightAs Tonpa asked it we deliver it. This time I’m going to discuss about creating fronts for Dungeon World (and at the same time tackle a bit the question about building on the first session). I may need to add that while I have been running AWengine games for a year I have not ran Dungeon World as a campaign previously. So what follows is strictly my personal feelings and experiences of how it can be done. I think I must also add that while I talk about our current campaign I make only vague references to actual game play as we have had only three sessions thus far. And I know that at least Aki might be reading this and I really do not want to give him any hard pointers.

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Building for Mobile Frame Zero

Even though I have not even a planed game in a horizon I have been building mechas for Mobile Frame Zero like a crazy.

From the beginning I decided to build the frames from the rulebook that I could with the pieces I had. I haven’t been building this kind of Legos so I needed to get myself familiar with how the joint work and how to reach the suitable scale.

I also visited my father’s house a couple of days ago and looted the old boxes full of my Legos as well as my brothers. I spend something like a couple of hours going through the vast quantities of old pieces picking everything that seemed interesting and new I would need.

At home I decided to go a bit further. As a miniature player and painter I had something called bits boxes. Boxes full of various bits to use for converting the miniatures. Now I decided to adapt the same system here. I separated brick by colour, function, size and interest. It was a tremendous help.

Searching bricks amongst litters and litters of Legos is an insane task. Especially since most needed parts are small. So even if you would be hoarding Legos from someone else I whole heartedly encourage you to do some organising.

While building the mechas I quickly noticed that my customs were a bit too tall in comparison to those built according to the instructions. While this is in no way a problem it was a bit annoying. Another thing I noticed was that while getting the hang of building mechas was actually quite easy the guns proved to be a bit more difficult. Most mechas have a limited space for getting a grip of the gun so you need to be really aware of the dimension. Even more than with the frame itself.

Now I have a mixed group of mechas ready for some action. Hopefully we’ll get into the playing at some point. I would like to test the rules as they seem simple and flexible enough to interest me. And naturally I would like to now if I should order more pieces online…

Battle for New Jersey Preview

Note: This is a preview. The game is not yet published, so much of what I say might change, and I was asked to not divulge anything too specific about the system.

Note 2: The designer of the game (Teemu Vilen) is a member of the guild and thus there might be some bias. I’d like to think there isn’t much, but you never know. Also, I let Teemu read this before publishing.

Battle for New Jersey is a game set in near future, where colonizing aliens have landed on earth in order to strip the planet of its resources. I guess they could be characterized as evil, but that would be shortsighted. But not to worry, a small group of humans have banded together to use their disparate skillsets to take back their neighborhood.

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Building Legos or How I Stopped Worrying And Ordered Pieces Online

This spaceship started the madness.

This spaceship started the madness.

“Hey son, lets play with Legos! Or to be precise keep doing whatever you are doing and let me build small shit that can’t even be used by minifigs.”

That might have been a conversion I could have went through yesterday with my four years old son. Luckily it wasn’t. Like a great dad I masked my obsessive building under the guise of playing with my son… Thanks internet for that too. Continue reading

Using Games to Assess Future Employees

Last year our company (small software venture) underwent some changes and we needed to hire more people. How does one go about that? We had hired people before, but people we knew. This time there weren’t any apparent candidates we could cherrypick from. So, we put out a notice and waited for people to answer.

As a small company and with little reach for our notice, we didn’t get many applications, but some. We chose two to be interviewed. How does one assess people based on an interview? After all, we’re a small company and can’t really afford any dead weight.

My proposal was to test them through games.

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