I spent the con playing games, again – Copernicon 2019

The Copernicon I attended last year was mainly a gaming event to me – the same happened this year. The difference is that Copernicon 2019 felt much too short to me. I had a great time anyway and Toruń remains one of my favourite cities in Poland.

There and back again

I booked a train together with my friends and we decided to take quite comfortable connection – relatively quick and direct. The bad thing is that we arrived late afternoon on Friday and we had the train back just after noon on Sunday. This left us with only one full day of the Copernicon 2019 plus one evening and one morning only. This made me feel like the con was much too short. On the other hand, over five hours of train ride each way was a great occasion for multiple fannish (and not only) discussions.

Picture shows interior of the big tent with stalls and people inside it. It functioned as delaer's hall at Copernicon 2019.Dealer’s tent during Copernicon 2019

The city and the atmosphere

It was my third Copernicon and for the third time the convention was spread around the city. The old city center in Toruń is one of the most beautiful in Poland and walking between the convention buildings was simply pleasant. And doing it at night was truly magical. The bad thing was that the distance between the furthest parts of convention was over one kilometre, making this a long walk. I don’t mind it but for people who are not really comfortable with walking it may pose an issue.

An old building at night.Artus Court in Toruń – one of the buildings where part of the programme was held.

The good thing is that majority of buildings is located within the strict city centre and it means tons of excellent food places. Whether one was looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner the choice was wide. The same applies to pubs/bars for the evening parties… Similarly to last year, there were a few restaurants that were advertised at the convention. If you ate at each of them you were entitled to receive a convention mug (I didn’t – four restaurants and one food truck in less than three days is too much for me). What I enjoyed is the fact that the confirmation of visiting a restaurant was a stamp for your badge. The design of those stamps was really nice (I collected two – a fairy and a Sphinx).

Trolls invade Copernicon for the second time

Similarly to last year, there was a TROLL RPG tournament organized. The acronym stands for Turniej Rekonesansu Omszałych Lochów i Labiryntów what translates to The Tournament of Moss-covered Dungeons’ and Labyrinths’ Reconnaissance. This year we played another old school RPG game – D&D Basic. The selected dungeon was In Search of the Unknown written by Mike Carr and published in 1979.

Three men standing behind a table. One of them is speaking. There is a fourth man standing to the left of the picture.Beginning of the TROLL tournament

Unlike last year, the TROLL at Copernicon 2019 consisted of only one round of gaming. This way we participated in the tournament only during one afternoon (instead of two afternoons, like one year ago). I am not sure whether this was the reason for increased number of players, but we formed four teams (compared to two teams last year). Players were randomly assigned to teams and we had 3.5 hours to explore the dungeon and collect as many XP and treasure as we can.

My team lost :(. We took the third place, but I was told the differences in final scores were not too big… yet we didn’t win. The good part is that I had a great time. Old school games and this way of playing is interesting and although I would rather prefer not to spend few months playing D&D Basic week over week, it is great to do it from time to time. So here I want to thank Aviko and Wolf (our game masters) and Seji (who is the spiritius movens behind the TROLL).

Three people sitting behind a table - one of them is smiling. There are water bottles, dice and a map on the table.Part of my team just before entering the dungeon.

Programme and evenings

I barely did anything apart from attending TROLL and talking with friends. I managed to visit only three programme items (one about ageing of SF that lasted for two hours and the two others were related to RPG). On top of that I also had one programme item myself. Around a week before the con, the organizers learned that one of the programme participants would not be able to attend and I offered my help. I made a presentation called Around the World in Eighty Conventions. This is a talk about joining the love of fandom and travelling. I also briefly described differences in fandoms between the countries I visited (which is way less than eighty).

Six people sitting behind a desk in a university class where Copernicon 2019 was held.The panel of how well (or bad) SF is aging.

The first evening I spent alone by just walking around the city and enjoying it. I would not say it is the best way to enjoy the con but it is a great way to enjoy Toruń ;). On the second evening I wanted to spend the time with fellow fans and I joined the team in one of the pubs. I am not sure how many of us were there but we filled in one small room. It was mainly the group involved in RPG (including both fans and professionals). Most of the game masters involved in TROLL were there, so we had the possibility to discuss the tournament.

Multiple people sitting around a long table.Second evening of Copernicon 2019

Always coming home

As always, just after the convention closed, I had to get home from Copernicon 2019. It was sad as I felt that I hadn’t spent enough time at the convention. Still, thanks to my friends, the journey itself was quite pleasant. Despite the fact I didn’t have enough time at the convention, I am quite happy I attended it. I love the city and I like how the convention is handled. I know that I will try to attend it also next year (and I hope that next TROLL would take place again).

You can find more pictures in my FB gallery.

The next post will be published at 18th Octoberand will treat about Plansowki gaming convention.

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