Kulturnatten 2023

Kulturnatten is a major event in Sweden, during which any and all activities conceivably identified as Kultur throw open their doors or set up stalls and bandstands, and everyone roams around checking out whatever they want.

I participated last year both at Spelens Hus and at the game design event at the city library, as I described in Role-playing culture and presentation. I planned to do essentially the same – until the organizers of the library event, who have also put together a games program for all the local community libraries, asked me to showcase and basically “be” the role-playing content there. Instead of just one table, I’d have a big room and scope for presenting a variety of activities.

I’d already conceived of 2023 as my year for developing content sequentially, via Gothcon, Lincon, Närcon, and Augustifesten, to culminate at this event, and now I was granted a remarkable chance to amplify it. So I put some work into this. Given several tables, I organized it with a casual station for the first encounter, a sort of headquarters for me, a display for a bunch of games, and play tables in the center (shared with a card games group who had an adjoining side). One of the organizers also had a room nearby for play with younger kids, so I served as a router for them.

The main thing, though, was to have amazing support from many people I play with here, including a week or two training with the games I’d decided were most effective. I even managed a schedule for participation, which isn’t one of my strong points. It was an actual working staff with a shared, known goal.

I used essentially the same general pamphlet as at Augustifesten, including a simple introduction to The Pool. Its only flaw is that it doesn’t explain GMing, so it doesn’t fulfill my hope that people could take it home and play some more. I’ll work on that for future events.

We used three games for general sit-down play-with-us, or rather, by “we” I mean the “staff” at a given moment, as I was busy greeting & chatting most of the time.

1. Fantasy for Real, which saw a great deal of play and development during the previous few weeks. For this event, we trained with and used this material.

2. Mörk Borg, which by this point had seen some play at Spelens Hus. These characters are beefed up from beginners, as if they had been through three or four adventures. After this, too, I’ve reworked it for a later application by adding a twist that their own souls were animating the ghouls, and I’ll use that content for later events of this sort too.

3. Cold Soldier, including the brief play that Johan discusses in First impressions (burr, so cold). I’ve been continually touching-up the file for clarity through the events I listed above, landing at this to date:

The time allotted was six hours, and we used all of it. This was a very important event for me: it opened up to the community even more, leading to many people discovering and joining Spelens Hus play, and it established some surprising connections to other programs and media.

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