Copernicon where the dice were rolling

This year, Copernicon was an experiment for me. Although I like RPGs I usually tend to avoid them during the “standard” conventions as I don’t want to miss other things that are happening at the con. I usually play Tabletop Role Playing Games at the dedicated conventions instead, like my favourite one – Lajconik. Yet this year I had to make an experiment. It is all Seji’s fault! He is the editor of the Spotkania Losowe (Random Encounters) fanzine.

Troll attacks at Copernicon

Yes, Troll arrived at the con and it is Seji’s fault, too! Fortunately, this time it was not a monster, but a tournament – Troll: The tournament of moss-covered dungeons’ and labyrinths’ reconnaissance. And this was an old style RPG tournament where we played the 1st edition of Tunnels and Trolls (Polish edition was released a few years ago by K6 Trolli publishing house).

I wanted to take part in this tournament myself and so I did. It consisted of two phases, so all in all I spent a large part of the convention playing Tunnels and Trolls. There were only two teams, so we all managed to participate both in the eliminations and in the final round. The first session took place on Friday evening and lasted till ~1 AM. The second one was at Saturday early afternoon. The results were announced on Sunday.

Two man sitting at the table. One to the left wears shirt. Second wears orange t-shirt. Two of the members of my team.

And now, I have a confession to make. It seems that I am not a good dungeon explorer. The team I was a member of – unfortunately lost the tournament. We got fewer points in each of the stages. Still, I do believe that we did quite a good job in the finals (although we were not as good as the other team). Everything would be better if we only had decided to hunt down some rats on Friday night…

I had a really good time and even despite the fact that I lost, I am thinking about giving it a try one more time. I am not sure whether I will do it, as it really takes a large part of the con away. Still, the whole thing is a lot of fun so maybe it is worth it. Apart from the joy of playing, we all received a special tournament edition of Tunnels and Trolls. It is a unique artefact that I am really grateful for. I will definitely treasure it!.

There are four people sitting around the table in the back of the room. The winners ready for the final stage.

Convention in the heart of the city

There is something very unique about Copernicon and it is its location. The convention takes place in Toruń, one of the most bewitching cities in Poland. I really love the architecture and the unique atmosphere in all those old streets… But let’s get back to Copernicon. It is quite big and needs more than one venue. I am not sure how exactly it happened, but currently the events are spread throughout a large part of the old town.

A few convention member meets in the middle of the street. Some of them wear cosplay. Convention members in the street.

It is a great opportunity – when going from one programme building to the other one, you can enjoy the city. Also, you can find any kind of shop, restaurant, bar and accommodation within walking distance from any convention building. This is all awesome, but there is a certain price to it.

To get from Dealer’s Hall (it was a tent on a New City square) to the building where the literary programme was held, you had to walk ~1.2 kilometres. The weather was rather nice so it was a nice walk (and as a Pokemon Go player I enjoyed opportunity to hatch some eggs), but for people with access needs this must be difficult. Also, this means that each programme item needs to end relatively earlier compared to the situation where they would all take place in the same building (the programme was held in four buildings with the furthest one being almost 900 meters away in straight line).

Picture shows a big hall in an historic building. There are tables with laptops on them and a few people standing. Registration was in the old building of local university.

There is one more thing resulting from having those multiple venues. The whole city centre is covered with convention members. A lot of them are cosplayers and it makes the city more lively. It also shows how cool our hobby is. Yet for me this also spoils the atmosphere of the con a bit. It makes it more difficult to approach and meet people whom I don’t yet know. Maybe it happens only for me, but it seems I can feel the atmosphere better when the convention is located in only one venue.

Reasons to visit Copernicon

There were two main reasons why I decided to travel to Copernicon this year. The first one was the Troll tournament. I was really curious how it would look like. The second one was a concert. I really like filk very much. Unfortunately, it is not very popular in Poland. We have just a few filkers here (and a few more people who are actually filking but they don’t know what filk is).

When it was announced that one of the Polish filkers will have a concert at Copernicon, I was ready to go. And on Saturday evening, there was Radowit’s concert, too. He played his songs way before he learned what filk is. I believe that most of his songs are related to RPGs and they are all based on existing music. I had the chance to listen to him at one convention before and I really enjoyed it.

Three men on a stage. The one to the left plays keyboard, the other two play guitars. Man in the middle is in the spotlight. The evening concert.

The concert at Copernicon started later than planned but it was worth waiting for. It lasted for around one hour. Radowit played and sang most of the songs solo, but for a few he had a small band (namely, two people – one played an electric guitar and the other one –synthesizer). I really enjoyed that evening. The music was cool and the atmosphere was very friendly. Also, the pub where it was held, was really nice. It is called “Hipisówka” and it was quite cosy and nicely decorated. I hope that I will be able to go there again during my next visit to Toruń.

All in all, I really enjoyed the weekend I spent at Copernicon. I was quite tired afterwards, but this is normal after any convention. Maybe next year I’ll manage to visit Toruń again.

You can find more pictures in my FB gallery.

My next post will be about Polcon but it won’t be a convention report. Expect it around 11th October.

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