I’m going to do my report a bit differently this year. Instead of going through each day at a time, I’m going to go through these scenarios first, then the RPG sessions I took part in and finally all the rest.
RopeCon had a scenario writing contest again this year. This year I didn’t do very well, but that’s ok. Didn’t really expect to, although apparently plenty of other people did.
Any how, its a pretty good addition to the whole experience. Since most stuff you are going to do want really fill your schedule, or there’s sometimes going to be hours of free time, these are a good way to waste some of your precious time on this planet. They only take 45 minutes…
All or most of the scenarios will be published on RopeCon’s official page at some point, so look for them there in the near future.
You are on a ship piloted by a competent ‘sisunaut’ (‘sisu’ being a Finnish word for a sort of stubborn persistance, sometimes bordering on stupid), but commanded by a committee of well-known Finnish politicians, who are regarded more or less as jokes by right thinking people.
You can’t really script funny this much. Funny is surprising. Sure, this is transgressive, which is also funny, but you can see pretty much everything that’s going to happen once you hear the names of the characters. The players and the GM did the best they could with weak material, but there’s just so much you can get away with.
And yet, this won the competition. The system has failed us. I felt it was easily the poorest thought-out of the five I played. Sure, I haven’t seen the text, so perhaps there’s some virtue there, but its hard to imagine. I’m guessing this got more points based on what it could have been than from what it actually is.
Literally Child of Man in English and very much inspired by the movie Children of Men. There’s a young woman who has given birth, the first one in 18 years. There’s a scientist who wants the baby for his own (humnanist) purposes, a rebel who wants to save the baby from the world, and a mercenary hired by the scientist to help find the baby.
I think this too fell short. The conflict felt too polarized. There didn’t seem to be much to motivate a resolution to the conflict. I just helped the woman flee while I stabbed the scientist. Also, I felt the woman didn’t have much to do. She wasn’t there during the first scene and what happened after that was just a continuation of the first scene and she was more of a McGuffin than anything else.
… and it got the second place.
At least I got to kill Lauri’s character and vomit blood all over him.
Or Shipwrecked. We were a group of convicted criminals on our way to a new location, when our ship went down in a storm and we were stranded on a beach somewhere. There was five of us with convictions for various crimes. My character was an alcoholic bureaucrat, who had murdered someone. I never quite figured out who he had killed and why, but my motivation was tradition, so I decided it was a part of some age old vendetta.
Here part of the poor experience was the poor motivation of the GM. The players did what we could, but there wasn’t much to work with. It was okay, but nothing really interesting.
This one is Lauri’s, but since the voting had already been done at this point, there wasn’t a chance of me trying to help my guildmate out (or sabotage him) I felt it was fine to take part.
We were three supernatural beings in a steampunk world on a first voyage of zeppelin (Neitsytmatka is literally virginal journey in English). I was a vampire, who was also a priest and a detective, who was looking for his vampiric lover. The story didn’t really live up to the epic premise, but one of the players was interested enough to ask where she could get the game.
Lauri didn’t like this, but it was my favorite of these five.
We were dogs in a pack owned by an English gentleman and we were used for fox hunting. However, this wasn’t actually central to the story. Its a fairytale and to me it worked well. It advanced in stages where we first came up with the hunter and his sordid past, then we stumbled into a situation where a magical fox let us transform into other being and judge the hunter. We decided to make him a fox until he had learned his lesson, after which we decided to become a musical theatre troupe dedicated to rights of foxes.
There was a teenager in the group who wasn’t very keen on the whole thing, but the rest of us found it good. As I said, a fairytale and pretty well executed at that. After playing this, I was pretty certain it’d win.
All in All
I’m just a curmudgeon and you shouldn’t let my take on this affect you too much, but I’m pretty sure the wrong scenario won. Still, as I said, these are a very nice way to spend those extra hours between longer game sessions, tournaments, lectures or whatever you’re doing. They might be a bit haphazard, but there definitely are gems here… somewhere. They might not be fully grown out yet and they might be hard to find, but they are there.