As promised, we looked through the program at RopeCon 2014 and picked some of our favorites, including our own contribution.
Full list of games can be found here. I’m not copying game information from there, I’m just telling you my opinions and what I’ve based my recommendations on.
Any time a description says the game uses a modified version of known system, its not automatically out, but almost. I don’t see how any changes could make the experience better, when you are sacrificing possible previous knowledge of the system for possible small advances with the system, you are shooting yourself in the foot. You might have very good reasons for your changes, but those will almost never outweight the opportunity cost presented by losing prior understanding of the system by players.
Also, if I know the system, and the description of the game is somehow contrary to the system, I can’t recommend it. For example, Savage Worlds is clearly designed for fast-paced, tactical combat. If you are using it for something else, you really should expand your knowledge of game. Sure, you can do anything with any game, but that’s not a good reasoning. Sure, I can split a board in two with a hammer, but its much neater to use a saw. Right tool for the right job.
My Own Games
In the name of full disclosure, I can’t really put these under recommendations, but I can still advertise them. I’m going to run them in Finnish.
Fri 20-00 Palaver: tremulus / The Primrose Path
tremulus is an AW-hack with a horror approach. The Primrose Path is its introductory framework, that revolves around the life of a man, who has just turned 100. Its pretty well designed, and should afford a lot of different approaches, as long as players are invested enough in the narrative.
Sat 16-20 Room 24: HillFolk / The Moscow Station
Spying from a more psychological perspective has interested me for quite a while now. Now James Bond types here. Only people living and working in a very dangerous environment, that will grate on their nervers every day.
These are basically the games I would attend, if there were no other limitations.
Fri 16 – 20, Room 22: Xanathonin kirous, osa 1
This is played with the old school D&D Expert Rules. Normally I wouldn’t recommend this, but I happen to know the GM a little. We were both players in an excellent game last year, so I have some trust in him as a roleplayer, although I wished he would choose a better system.
Also, parts two, which starts right after the first one.
Fri 19 – 01, Palaver: Punainen kuu nousee
I’m a fan of Glorantha, and of the HeroQuest system. I also know Pavis and the area around it are pretty interesting, so there’s at least potential here.
Fri 20 – 00, Sat 16 – 20, Sun 10 – 14, Luolamies: Dungeon World: Dead to Rights
Partly my fandom speaking again here, but I do love the *W hacks. Not only that, but I met the GM last year in the same game I met the GM from two games ago. So, yeah, a good combination all around. I’ll definitely take part if I have the opportunity. (I probably won’t, but maybe, just maybe on Sunday.)
Fri 20 – 00, Sun 10 – 14: The Cube
Not sure about this one. Inside source (Ville) told me that the GM is a psychologist, so that might help here. He’s also done this a bunch of times before. Maybe he has a handle on this. Making good puzzles like this is very, very hard, so take that into account.
Fri 20 – 01, Sat 20 – 01: Oakley Courtin kauhu
Trails of Cthulhu. I’ve been wanting to play, or run it for a while now, so its probably the number one choice for me on the Saturday Evening.
Fri 20 – 00, Sat 16 – 20: Monster of the Week
Again, the *W system rules. That gets enough points to warrant a recommendation.
Plenty to see here too.
Fri 16 – 18, Klondyke: Pelon valta
Seems interesting, but not necessarily from a gameplaying point of view. More like a general media awareness thing, which we should all be interested in.
Fri 18 – 20, Klondyke: Tykit, taudit ja iltapäivätee – katsaus brittien imperiumiin
There’s an excellent book called Guns, Germs, and Steel, which I suppose this presentation is more or less based on. If this is the case, I’d suggest taking part here. The book is mostly about the intrinsic benefits Europeans have had just based on our geography and weather, and how that translated into this very minor continent becoming as dominant as it did.
Sat 11 – 13, Auditorio: Luke Crane: How to write one to two books a year and not die
I wouldn’t go to listen to the man talk about himself. Not that what he has to say isn’t going to be interesting, but its just that don’t use this weekend to do stuff you can do at the comfort of your own home. There must be plenty of interviews around the net. Here’s one. However, here the man has probably has the chance to talk about something more, and maybe this is worth it.
Sat 13 – 15, Auditorio: World Building
I don’t know of any interesting Soles-interviews off-hand, but there must be some, so basically the same as the last one.
Sat 20 – 21, Sali 25: Luolamestarista tarinankertojaksi – pelinjohtajan erilaiset roolit
Not being a fan of the old style more or less benevolent dictator, I’d suggest this. GMing is so much better for everyone when you are not trying to control everything.
Sun 14 – 16, Sali 26: Ninjat: faktaa ja fiktiota
Although real life ninjas weren’t necessarily as “cool” as their fictional counterparts, they were actually much more interesting.