I just got an email from the persons in charge of the roleplaying games at everyones favorite convention in Denmark, Fastaval, that my next game is accepted into the programe.The game will be a short story called “Mødregruppen” or “The Mothers’ group”. The game is based on true stories from real mothers’ groups. Its a horror-story, but in a new way – ‘nu horror’ as I have coined it (well, actually it was johs). Nu horror is about real people with real and recognisable emotions in the real word. By lowering the threshold of what constitutes horror, even the slightest movement in an unpleasant direction, will invoke ‘that horror feeling’.Well, we’ll see if it works
As previously mentioned I played Lady and Otto at Ropecon. This was the second time the game was played (by me), and it made me reflect on some of the issues raised by that game.
For newcomers, Lady and Otto is a game for 4 players, where 2 players play Otto and 2 players play Lady. They are divided into pairs that plays out a short scene. A scene could be: “Otto is in the bathroom. The lock has jammed” or “Lady and Otto is in the Eiffel Tower. The view is amazing”. The scenes are announced by the gamemaster, who reads the title out aloud and starts the scene. The players are then to play out that scene. If they make an error (introducing conflict), the scene will start all over again. If they ‘complete’ the scene, another scene will follow or (more likely) the same scene wille start again. There is no real end.
One of the key elements of the game is the ‘no conflict’ element of the game. It sets out try the limits of what is drama/story/a scene. One the definitions on drama is conflict – something must go from ‘plus’ to ‘minus’ or visa versa – that is war to peace, safety to peril, life to death. It is a very structuralist way of seeing drama, and in a way, that was the assumption I tried to work with.
The players of cause, got very frustrated by playing the same scenes over and over again. But this was really the interesting part. Every time they tried to introduce conflict or drama, I would stop them, forcing them to play the game I wanted. The repetition made the players either look for a way out (‘going to the next level’) or explore the boundaries of the game. There were no ways in nor out.
When I played the game at Fastaval (the debut), players got increasingly annoyed, and at the end, decided to quit playing. In a sense the gamewright won – it was not possible to play a game without conflict or drama. What I later realised, was that there was conflict; conflict between me and the players – a metaconflict.
At Ropecon they did not stop. They continued playing, despite my efforts to frustrate them. They eventually found a way of playing that did not contain conflict. In the end, it resulted in some very beautiful scenes, filled with love and acceptance.
Click image to download.
After having been back in the rat-race for at couple of days, I suppose it would be proper with an account of the events that transpired at Ropecon. Ropecon is not that different from a danish convention like Fastaval, except perhaps 3000+ more people.
Ropecon was … huge. There were magic-players, board gamers, miniature pushers and roleplayers. But what I noticed the most were all the larpers. I saw ninjas, the compulsory goths, hobbits, an amazing cthulu and lots and lots of latex swords and black T-shirts.
The first speech was with Olle and Tobias explaining the Jeepform style and playing the hosts in a game of “The Upgrade!”. The rest of the Jeep posse and guest star Satu Heliö, played the constestants of the game in front of a live audience; 114 finnish roleplayers, playing their own parents, which pretty much made it the largest freeform roleplaying event ever.
I played Mauno and my potential partner, Pirrko, was played brilliantly by Luisa Carbonelli. We opened the game with a ‘walk on the beach surprised by a (giant) turtle’, which was a very fun starter of the show.
Later things got a bit crazy, as Mike Pohjola of Star Wreck fame, switched identeties with Tobias and continued the presentation as Tobias. Per was voted off the show, and replaced by Markus Montola, who won the show by marrying Anders. The ceremony was performed by a seacaptain. Mauno was of cause not satisfied.
The game ended, and we went to the bar.
The next day we demoed a lot of our games, and I got to play Lady & Otto with great succes for 2 hours with a small audience. They loved it. I will talk more about this at a later time.
Later, Tobias and I were asked to participate in the Speculative Games session together with a finnish larper Laura Kalli and Guest of Honor, Ken Hite. We were all given a title and had to come up with a game that fit.
Tobias raved about the old jeep days and how they had to give up on using rubber dice when playing, and how their disposal inspired the Sony commercial with all the colored rubber balls jumping down the streets of San Francisco.
Ken delivered an epic description of a some roleplaying game, that involved Some ammunition, Fanmail and lots of champagne. Wonderful. I need to hang out more with that man.
I, on the other hand went all-out with the automatic succes system (ASS) and a lot of other crazies.
Unfortunately Line and I had to leave sunday, so we missed the monday afterparty.
Oh, Cthulu and the two hobbits won the prizes for bedst costumes. It was great, as was ropecon.
Until next year, thx.
[UPDATED: Added links]
… er kæmpestor. 3.500 rollespillere samlet på et sted. Crazy. Det er større end alle danske kongresser til sammen. Og undertegnede internationale jeg tager der op i morgen tidlig. Check det ud.
Med mig i kufferten har jeg scenariet Lady og Otto og blødende fingre efter at have leget Jørgen Clevin hele aftenen i aften. Det scenarie er simpelthen for meget fedteri med pap, klisterpapir og farveprint – især når ens magicolor viser sig fra dens allerværste side. Well, det findes nu i en oversat engelsk version ved Jeepens mellemkomst; tak til dem for den fine oversættelse.
Samtidig har jeg layoutet Tobias Wrigstads helt igennem fantastiske scenarie The Upgrade!, som man havde chancen for at prøve på forrige års Fastaval. Det er nu blevet trykt og venter nu kun på det finske publikums reaktion – jeg er sikker på at det bliver taget godt imod.
See ya on the flipside.
Måske ikke helt, men indtil videre er nbh 2.0 på sommerferie, indtil vi får en ny hosting op at køre – og helt ærligt, kommer I virkelig til at savne Jonas råbe “Skal du stjæle min sildekasse”?
Det betyder desværre også naturalbornholmers.dk adresser ikke vil være stabile før det hele er oppe igen. Brug istedet vores alternative adresser.
Ses on the flipside.