This year’s theme for Ropecon is “journey” and as I’ll travel from Tampere to Helsinki for this event I thought I could come up with some things to pass the time during that journey. Actually this idea came while reading at Ropecon’s front page that they are encouraging con-goers to organise their own pre-cons at Thursday (since it is a national holiday).
The only restriction for this kind of activity is that the drive takes only a couple of hours (maybe some extra if we make a couple of stops) so we need to have activities that do not take too much time and/or can be put on hold while someone takes a bathroom break etc.
Other things that need consideration involve possible gaming supplies. Can we roll the dice in a car? What tools we can use to track necessary things while driving? What could possibly be something that we could all enjoy (ie. not just repeating old and boring driving games invented by our parents to keep us from getting too uneasy on long trips).
The first thing that came to mind was Out of Dodge by Bully Pulpit Games. And since Jason Morningstar is also coming to Ropecon this seems like a obvious/mandatory choice. We haven’t actually played this one yet though Ville has brought it up on several occasions. It is a “game about desperate criminals on a car ride to nowhere”. Sounds like fun so I think we’ll give it a shot.
Another possible option could easily be Ribbon Drive by Buried Without Ceremony. Avery Mcdaldno wrote the Monsterhearts hack for Apocalypse World so my hopes for this one could actually be quite high. It’s a game about road trip that does not use dice but handles the mechanics by changing CDs and track (I think we could as well use Spotify even though it might give that hands-on feeling).
(Just googled a bit and apparently there is also Norwegian game called Archipelago II that seemed like it could be fun too!)
On the other hand these both could easily take the whole drive. It is not going to be as hot as in July but I have a feeling that being backed in a small car for hours with other gamers might strain our concentration. Maybe something more simple could also be fun?
We have had some fun with “the name game”. You know this from Inglorious Basterds. But usually this has involved some drinking and even though sharing a few cold ones at the end of a long Ropecon day is always fun I wouldn’t want to start the day like that.
On the other hand we will have at least my oversized electronics collection so we could as easily play something on iPad. My personal favourite from “board games turned to tablet games” has to be Hey, That’s My Fish. It mixes simple strategy with a my personal favourite of messing other peoples games up and getting horribly annoyed when I loose. Yes, I’m aware that I can be quite horrible gaming friend.
The problem with these kind of games is naturally that they leave out the driver. He can’t really think of moves or actually get into the game while driving.
Last thing that comes into mind are the Fighting Fantasy books. Since they were actually relatively big thing while I was getting to know the rpg-genre I could suspect that other passengers in my car also have fond memories of them. This would require a physical copy of the book (check), someone willing to be the reader and either a dice app for a smart phone or just regular dice (with something like ten extra) and a dice tray.
All the examples above are just something I thought of while writing this post. What we have actually done while driving to or from Ropecon is much simpler. Sweated a lot. The closest thing we have come to actually playing in the car was a simple Would You Rather kind of game where “evil henchmen had kidnapped your loved ones”. From that I can only say that after three days of gaming a car full of tired guys can come up with some seriously twisted stuff…