I was at a finnish roleplaying game convention called Ropecon. I would sum the experience with a following roleplaying game book analogy: I went there, looking for a newer Dungeon Master Guide or a rules supplement to get better ideas for game mechanics. Instead, the convention was a setting guide, full of descriptive text. There was very little concrete to learn from the lectures and all for me. Most of the stuff was either aids for playing one’s character, or game releases that concentrated on the writers’ settings, both of which were only tangentially useful for me.
Ropecon wasn’t a complete waste of time, however. I learned a few new tricks, saw one example of a game pitch gone wrong and got new perspectives. I also got a new, though quite limited and one-trick-pony-type roleplaying game idea and remembered an old amusing thing which propelled Champions of Ilea forwards.
And yesterday I spent recuperating from the trip, which apparently meant playing Twilight Imperium. We played the expansion’s scenario again, and it finally showed it’s true face: Merciless politicking. The person who is closest to completing his objective usually makes an alliance with the best person who can assist him in the task. As the balance of power changes, other people will start to look like better allies, so the coalitions change. It’s wonderfully chaotic and back-stabby. In normal Twilight Imperium only one person can win, so it will probably feel like a very, very boring game.