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Rikon 2013 review


Return to Rikon after last year was nice - this year everything seemed more busy and alive, with visibly more people attending than last year. Rikon grew visibly in both visitor number and content.

It also ended up being probably the most larpy convention I've been on (apart from PoRtaL, but that one was different because it was a specialized larp convention). There was truly loads of larp content (which I mentioned in the announcement). All of it means that Rikon was - for me at least - quite a busy convention, so I didn't see much beyond the larp content.

In a way, that gives me pause. Looking at the programming schedule, there was an almost full track of larp programming throughout the event, which was truly remarkable. First presentation was an introduction to larp and what larp can be by Siro (M. Wranka) - but I missed it since I was still on the road at that time.

Dru five-man group

I arrived just in time to run Dru. Dru is a Norwegian freeform scenario by Anders Nygaard - described in the link above - which can be played with pretty much various forms of live involvement. It has a collaborative role-playing style - where players are responsible for co-creating the setting - which was something new to the players, but they adapted quickly.
Dru three-man group



There were two groups playing in a parallel, one three-man and one five-man. They ended up quite different - interpreting the larp differently - which is quite alright regarding how Dru is designed. Both stories they played were unique, and it's quite possible that they spread the style - it's easily explainable and spreadable: I ran it two times in Zagreb previously, and players picked it up and spread it to other cities (Bjelovar) and even other countries (Hungary).

Ball of yarn assisting in character creation

Immediately after, it was time for Death of the Japanese Emperor. Being in a hurry from home, I realized I forgot to take rope for the Ball of yarn method, but luckily they had some on the info center. It's the fifth time I ran it, but the first time a full group of eight played it, and it worked well. Full report of all the runs of Death of the Japanese Emperor is available here, but in short it worked great, and players had a good time playing it.

Players imprisoned in Death of the Japanese Emperor

After that it was time to go to sleep. We stayed at friend's, who kindly provided us with some crash space and we enjoyed some really good hospitality. Saturday was the second and the last day of Rikon - unlike most conventions, nothing happens on Sunday. Other conventions commonly have programming on Sunday, but with lower attendance.

We went around the city of Rijeka on Saturday morning, navigating its curvy roads, met some family, went shopping, and then went back to prepare for our return to Rikon. We came there around 3 PM, convention hall still largely empty at the time. I played a short game of Pathfinder which was very nice but it lasted longer than I expected, so I ended up missing some content - like Siro's "how to create a larp character" workshop, and since I grabbed some food also the first half of the Marko's Elder Scrolls presentation - missing Poker for ladies and gentlemen which was happening at the same time (but my wife was there). It's a sweet torture when you have to choose one thing you'd want to do among several which are available at the same time. Marko's presentation was packed by interested people, and many people seemed interested in playing.

At 9 o' clock it was time for my presentations. I had an one-hour block for three larps I'm running - here are the presentations if you're interested:

  • Terra Nova - this presentation was actually made by Ivana Delač for this year's Liburnicon, but was not shown due to technical difficulties, so it was reused here (download it, as online display mangles it since this one is in powerpoint - other presentations are in Google Drive so they work best online)
  • Camarilla Agram - the Zagreb Vampire: the Masquerade chronicle
  • Izgon 2 - the upcoming pervasive larp which I'm writing about pretty much all the time anyway...
Posing with my wife. Our makeup was done by
Luisa, who's our makeup artist on Camarilla
Agram and upcoming Rise of Rashalan

After the presentation block, there was a short break - and then we had a panel about organizing larps. Siro, Marko and me were speaking on it, and we covered a great deal about philosophy, goals, methods etc. - and the people were quite interested about it, we managed to get a good discussion going, and by the end of it most people already had an idea about what sort of larp would they like to run.

This was the last larp programming of the day, so I spent the rest of my time chilling. I entered the best genre T-shirt contest, but the scoring committee obviously never heard of the Three Wolf Moon shirt I wore (check out the reviews on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk). Afterwards, it was party time, with Rikon's previously serious atmosphere melting into "do stupid stuff for free drinks" contests, which are typically quite popular on more party-atmosphere sci-fi conventions such as Istrakon and Liburnicon, and it went on for some time until the convention was finally closed.

We slept over one more night, and returned to Zagreb safely yesterday around noon - looking forward to returning to the convention next year...

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