As a child I couldn’t watch movies where dogs died. I watched First Blood, I watched Omen II, I watched Robocop (heavily cut); I did feel sympathy for those in pain, but nothing terrified me more than the thought of a dog dying.
To begin with – the roleplaying games are (once again) quite well hidden in the time table of the Con. And once again the gaming system is not given (unless it is written in the description of the game). You can find (hopefully) the full list HERE.
Past two years we have the games that seemed to be most interesting and here we are again! There are a lot of games running this year and this is not a definitive list. These are our recommendations and in no way represent any actual ranking system. Also – this year there are no stickers.
Since there is no registration in advance for the games (which might lead into total chaos – according to the theme) you might consider these games to be the ones where you could spend your “queue-jump card”.
Any time a description says the game uses a modified version of known system, it’s not automatically out, but almost. As before we 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 outweigh the opportunity cost presented by losing prior understanding of the system by players. (I don’t agree with this paragraph. Or any other paragraphs for that matter. -Ville)
Also, if we know the system, and the description of the game is somehow contrary to the system, we 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 games. Right tool for the right job.
This year’s annual scenario competition has had some changes from previous two. I read from somewhere that the time limit of 45-60min can be lifted if the group is ok with that. I’m a bit reserved about this change since it can affect scheduling your other games and might affect the whole experience. Nevertheless the Guild still recommends to try out as many of these new minigames as possible! (I failed to find them from the official time table but they are most likely ran at Experience Point/Kokemuspiste.)
Games by the Guild
Through the Breach, Henchman, Penny Dreadful
Fri 16:00 – 18:00 & 18:00 – 20:00, Sali 307
None of us who’ve participated in this page have played in a game by this Tero, but the Guild is a good place to learn, so we’d trust him to be a good GM. Also ran at Sat 11:00 – 13:00, Sali 203a
Also, if you keep your eyes open, you might be able to test out a prototype version of a board game by a guildmember, Teemu Vilen. No-one knows when or where, but again, keep your eyes open. Its been over two years, so the current state of the game is unknown to us, but here’s a preview from back then.
These are all the games I would attend, if I could:
Dread – Under silicon fist
Fri 20:00 – 0:00, Sali 307
Dread has yet to fail me as a Ropecon game. If you haven’t tried it yet this might be your chance. It’s a story game of horror that uses Jenga as a gaming system. Ran also at Sali 307, Sun 10:00 – 14:00
Sat 10:00 – 12:00, Sali 203a
I really hope this is THE Warren. I really like Bully Pulpit Games and have no doubt that this game about rabbits is going to kick ass if it runs smoothly. It’s REALLY early on Saturday so I hope this goes a little under the radar and I get to participate. Ran also at Sali 203b, Sat 12:00 – 15:00
Dread: Gansterien kaupunki
Sat 20:00 – 0:00, Sali 301
As stated above, Dread seems to work very well in Con environment. This is also a game about gangsters so you can finally live up to your wiseguy dreams.
Teini-ikäiset mutanttininjakilpikonnat: Vaaralliset viemärit
Sun 11:00 – 15:00, Sali 214
Savage Worlds really isn’t my choice of gaming systems – but this time it is used in a game of teenage mutant ninja turtles so fast and furious action is almost guaranteed! Bujakaza!
Cthonian Highways: Matka Lahteen
Sun 12:00 – 16:00, Sali 203b
Cthonian Highways is an upcoming rpg from Finnish Iron Spine (Heimot, Astraterra). It’s still in development but trying out new games is always fun. Or at least educational and different. Quite likely an excellent chance to wrap up this years Ropecon.
Gladly Lauri went with the Dread game, so I don’t have to use my slots for that. Not that we have slots, but I wanted to limit this a little. I found plenty of interesting stuff, but recommendations don’t work if there’s too many of them. Anyhow, here’s what I’d try to get into first, if I was going (sadly, I can’t this year).
I Say a Little Prayer
Fri 16:00 – 21:00, Sali 307 & Sat 10:00 – 15:00, Sali 301
Five gay men in a single apartment, when AIDS comes along. This is one of those things you’re probably hesitent about, but you’d feel good about attending afterwords.
Sat 10:00 – 14:00, Sali 212 (two concurrent games, so take your pick of two different GMs)
I still haven’t had a chance to test Mouse Guard, but what I’ve read and heard about it is definitely encouraging to say the least.
Sat 10:00 – 14:00, Sali 301 & Sun 10:00 – 14:00, Sali 301
“Semilive”. So, basically it’s a good chance to mess with the players in the other tables in the same room, because they can’t stop watching what you are doing. The line where it says that you need to have a sense of humor, but its not striving for comedy is the one that sold me.
Lauri and Aki picked out cool stuff already — Mouse Guard is about as good as roleplaying design gets — but here are some others. I’m not choosing I Say a Little Prayer again, since I’ve already played it and enjoyed it. My first impression was that there’s little interesting this year, but looking more closely, it’s just the opposite: tons of interesting stuff on offer, and no chance of participating in them all! I’m also writing a bit about most of the games I found interesting and why, since I’ve no authority to recommend anything.
But please, GMs: learn to pitch your games. Know what they’re about, what you can offer, and give it straight. I don’t want to read a novel about the milieu, I want to know why and how your game stands out and is worth playing.
If you want to be absolutely sure about having a fun time, pick a game of Fiasco or Dread. Here, however, are some others.
Kult: Divinity Lost
Fri 18:00 – 22:00, Sali 203aThe old Swedish ultragrim horror RPG had horrible rules. The new one is based on Apocalypse World. I’m not sure how good a fit it is, but I’m tempted to try it out. Besides, horror tends to work well in cons.
I’m really intrigued by the concept of Sotakarjut, a science fiction wargame inspired by Philip K. Dick. It’s got genetically modified war pigs (cue Black Sabbath ear worm in 3… 2…) whose programming starts to fail. I’m somewhat wary about it being combat-heavy — war in RPGs works best when you can focus on questions of power, hierarchy, psychology and all that jazz — but I’m curious!
I’ve been wanting to play Fate. This has pregens. Still, the six hours’ playing time reaching deep into the night might be too much for moi.
The GM really knows his stuff. He’s passionate and smart and can think on his feet.