Ropecon 2011 Heroes And More

Submitted by Jeff on Mon, 01/08/2011 – 14:36

Just got back from Ropecon 2011, Finland’s mightiest RPG convention, and thought I’d give a short con report while the fun is still fresh.

Pete Nash and I were the Moon Design guests at Ropecon, and were shown around Helsinki by Johan Lindholm and Mikko Tormala. Helsinki is a beautiful city, with a remarkable amount of Art Deco and Neo-Classical architecture, surrounded by water, forests, and lots of huge granite boulders. Mikko took us all to the Suomenlinna, and – WOW! that place rocks! A series of small islands with 18th and 19th century fortifications all over the place.

From Suomenlinna, Pete and I were boated to Dipoli were the convention was held. First impression – Ropecon was HUGE! I was told over 3000 people attended (with a significant portion wearing costumes). Second impression – these people were having fun! Despite its size, the convention was not a trade show, but a gaming convention.

I ran three HQ Glorantha games – all set in Pavis and based on new material in the forthcoming Pavis book:

  • I watched in fascination as a band of petty criminals tried to thread between the Scylla and Charybdis of the Pavis underworld and managed to get the best of some pretty famed Pavisite criminals.
  • I watched in amazement as a small group of adventurers launched what they all knew was a suicide mission to clean out a Zorak Zoran cult center in the Troll Stronglands – and somehow survive!
  • And I watched in shock and horror as a group of involuntary heroquesters found new and disturbing mythic truths about the Orlanthi gods.

In addition to running games, I was on three panels:

  • Heroes in Glorantha – with Pete Nash. Two hours of quality Glorantha discussion with a lot of Finnish Gloranthaphiles, followed by four hours of sauna, whiskey tasting, and good conversations with the Kalikos society.
  • Fantasy Roleplaying Now and Then – with Frank Mentzer (of D&D fame), Erik Mona (of Paizo), and James Raggi (Lamentations of the Flame Princess). A fun, fast-paced panel where games like RuneQuest, Cthulhu, and HQ got a lot of respect from some very old school guys (and vice versa).
  • Definition of a Hero – with Pete Nash, Frank Mentzer, Erik Mona, and Mike Pohjola (the Company P). An absolutely great panel, especially given how tired all the panel members were. Frank and I waxed eloquently about how the hero occupies the threshold between the divine and the rest of us mortals. A great free ranging discussion with topics including Joseph Campbell, Finnish military history, the Iliad and the Odyssey,  Kalevala, Yojimbo, the history of the Western genre, heroism in a post-religious age, and lots lots more. A high point of an already superb con.

Anyways, an absolutely wonderful con! I plan to add Ropecon to the annual Moon Design con schedule – and hope to have more good news about that soon!


Submitted by Fistro (not verified) on Tue, 02/08/2011 – 23:49.Sound about right! 🙂 Can’t wait.
I like it that Garhound clan is there! I love that Feroda is there in a treasure race! I just had planned to run a scenario exactly like that! My PCs have that mysterious floating globe full of strange symbols they found ages ago in a cave in the river (in Troubled Waters) and it is about time they learn how to use it. Of course, their main antagonists, the Lunar Provincial Survey Team, are going to be there too.
Exploring the Pavis underground was just a must, in my opinion, as there are plenty of opportunities with that. Finally, the heroquest sounds awesome. So I’m glad. What about the scenarios in the “Pavis Companion”? 😉


Submitted by Jeff Richard (not verified) on Tue, 02/08/2011 – 16:12.
Yes! One involves doing a favor for the Garhound clan and roughing up the Zebra Riders. Another involves going down the River of Cradles to Feroda to get a magical artifact before the Lunars do (that one is as epic in scope as the River of Cradles scenario from the old RoC RQ3 book). Another involves charting your way through the rival factions of the New Pavis underworld. And the fourth puts your players as involuntary participants in a Lunar heroquest, with potentially great impact on your local community. Sound about right?


Submitted by Fistro (not verified) on Mon, 01/08/2011 – 21:34.
The Pavis Book content that one can glean from the scenarios you run there seems promising. I hope we do not have to wait much longer! 😀 Are the scenarios as epic as the ones in the Sartar Book?


Submitted by Matthew Cole (not verified) on Mon, 01/08/2011 – 16:40.
Hi Jeff, Were there any recordings made of the seminars/panels?

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