Speaking of the convention center, I believe it was designed by an New Englander who had delved too deep into the forbidden texts at Miskatonic University. Surely it only makes sense when viewed as the first step for a summoning ritual for Hastur or perhaps great Cthulu himself. There isn't (as far as I can tell) a single straight hallway or room with 90 degree angles anywhere in the building. I'm embarrassed to say that I managed to get lost on the first floor even if it was only for half a minute.
The convention began with opening ceremonies and the general sense was one of excitement. I've noticed a significant difference between RopeCon and the other conventions that I have been too: no advertising. Most conventions are commercial endeavors with commercial partner, backers, and supporters, but RopeCon is purely a fan-based convention and the walls are bare of the traditional "Buy My Stuff!" posters seen at other conventions. It makes for a significantly different feel. It really is run by fans for fans. I think I may like it better than the traditional style for large conventions in the US. I understand that it takes a lot of effort and organization to remain essentially advertisement-free and appreciate the effort spent by the organziers to maintain the feel that they believe is essential to the RopeCon experience. One you accept sponsorships it's easy to begin compromising for funding and I think the organizers want the convention to continue with the same spirit that started the convention many years ago.
Once the opening was finished we grabbed a quick bite in the cantina and Suzi ran off to do one of her seminars and I hung out drinking a beer with Petri and Annti . Some of Petri's friends joined us and soon I was involved in a long and hilarious discussion of their most recent Larp. These guys are running a Larp wherein they pretend to be Trolls - musician Trolls. The idea is that the Trolls are starting to reveal themselves to modern-day Hesinkians and the fun and havoc that could come of such a thing. The hilarious part is that of the 4 members of the Troll Band, only two could play instruments, but quickly the other two caught up and then one of the guys was writing songs that were actually good. Before they knew it they were a real pretend band. They actually played/gamed at the cantina while we were there and they have booked their first real gig in a nightclub. It's the most hilarious thing I've heard all week and the whole table started cracking up when they said that they were considering trying to get into the Finnish national music contest on TV. The only thing I can think of is Spinal Tap composed of Trolls.
Suzi's seminar ran well, getting a full 25 minutes of questions from the usually reticent Finns. :)
Today we'll have fun trying out games and I may be able to sign up for an old-school game with James Raggi, but we'll have to see how that turns out - schedules have a way of shifting about when you're with a Guest of Honor so I'm staying flexible.