Report on Ropecon 2012

From: Matti Järvinen <matti.jarvinen_at_MD0I3wEld9Jj5CzfHyHWwF6kgc7kL2x60H7_SJdajr_zi5ZpwYvOEhVEhAqp6>
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2012 23:34:42 +0300

Ropecon 2012 ( was held on 27th-29th of July in Espoo, Finland. It's the biggest RGP convention in Finland. This is my report on Ropecon.

On Friday, I arrived before Ropecon was officially started, as I needed to get ready a table for Kalikos - the Finnish Gloranthan Association. At the table, we had a lot of Gloranthan books that were browsed by our members and other visitors. Wyrms Footnotes # 15 was probably the most interesting thing at the table. Many Kalikos brochures was given to those who were interested in getting know more about Glorantha. We also had handouts about King of Dragon Pass, and they were given about a dozen.

We had planned the Contest of Glorantha Story Writing for Ropecon. There was a bag with a lot of names of Gloranthan gods and items. Each competitor took at least 3 words from the bag, and then he or she had to write a Glorantha story using those words. Only one story was returned at Ropecon, but I hope we will get more later.

I bought a new source book for the Finnish RPG named Noitahovi ('Witch Court'). Noitahovi is a narrative RPG set in a fantasy world much like ancient Finland with Russian influences. The game has many similarities with HeroQuest; Tuomas Kortelainen, the designer of Noitahovi, is an active Gloranthaphile. In Noitahovi, women are better than men, and men are always subordinate to women. There are also many different cultures: noble horsewomen, spirit-worshipping barbarians, kota people with their reindeers, and bestial trolls.

The first game I run was Murha Joninkylässä ('Murder in Jonstown'), a HeroQuest scenario for 5 players written by me. It was a classic detective story with five heroes who were initiates of Lhankor Mhy. They were chosen to find out who had killed Ragnar the Stone Expert, a Saga of the Temple. The case proved to be very complicated, but finally, they could solve the mystery. It was certainly one of the best games I have ever run at Ropecon.

I took part in a lecture named HeroQuestia suomeksi ('HeroQuest in Finnish'). Olli Kantola and Jyri Soppela spoke about the HeroQuest rules and why it's so fine. Markku Tuovinen, our translator, told the audience about translating HeroQuest into Finnish. The Finnish translation was almost ready: there was about 15 % of the text left. The translation will be published by Kalikos this year. In the end, I spoke some words about Kalikos.

On Saturday, we had a sauna meeting for the members of Kalikos. First, we was introduced a Gloranthan pack of Tarot cards that was created by one of our member and his friend. They were splendid! The cards could be used instead of d20: just take a card, and you can see the number. Of course, cards could be used in a more imaginative way: every card had a lot of symbolism, and in HeroQuest, the symbols of the card would give you the result of the contest. After that, we Finns had take a hot sauna bath. :)

One of our members took part in the panel discussion Fantasian olemus ('The Essence of Fantasy'), but unfortunately, I had no time to listen to that.

At the evening, I run Retki ruohoaavikolla ("Veldt Trek"), a RuneQuest scenario from Tales of the Reaching Moon # 11 set in Pamaltela. There were more players than ready-to-play characters, so we created one more at fly. He was a durulz officer with a full plate mail (in the jungle!) and a huge crossbow. We had two quite young players: they hadn't even been born when I was introduced to role-playing. Anyway, it was a quite amusing game, and I was really happy to run the game for those six players who had never played in Glorantha.

On Sunday, I run a great Maximum Game Fun scenario: Rune Metal Jacket by MOB. I used the Glorantha Tarot Cards instead of dices, and they worked very well. When a card was taken, everyone could know that number would be got again. The players had never played in Glorantha, and there was at least one person who had not even played tabletop RPGs. The game was very funny (as MGF scenarios usually are). The strangest character, a kind of human and wolf hybrid created by Delecti, was appointed as a new Drill Optio in the Lunar Army. :)

Finally, it was time for the Loot, a traditional event in Ropecon where every GM may choose an item from the table full of RPG books, miniatures, etc. I had run games for more than 15 hours so there weren't very many GMs before it was my turn. I took River of Cradles by Avalon Hill; there were also Dorastor: Land of Doom at the table. We also had a second round, and then I got Keys to the Supernatural Tarot for WoD.

At the end, I would like to tell you that the City Libraries of Helsinki (where I work at), Espoo and Vantaa also took part in Ropecon. We had 16 librarians who run dice and board games and talked with visitors about the library services and more. Even better, we had a library bus full of RGP books, speculative fiction, comics, movies, and video games. Everything could be borrowed with no cost if you only had a library card. Each librarian had a horned helmet (it's a wordplay: HelMet is our brand that comes from Helsinki Metropolitan Area), and we had done a kind of "character sheets" for ourselves. I was Sage of the Pasila Temple of Knowledge, and I had Craft-Librarian 75 % and a Divine Magic Spell Find the Right Book.

In all, Ropecon was again a great event. This was 10th time I was there. Now, I'm looking forward to Tracon (, a RPG convention held in Tampere, Finland. I'm going to run two Glorantha games there, even if Tracon is more like anime than RGP convention. Anyway, it's worth visiting: one of Guests of Honor will be Sandy Petersen himself!

Matti Järvinen
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