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Household Name

Counting The Days

by Mike Pohjola
Jul 29,2003


Counting The Days

In one week my first book will be published. It's also my first roleplaying game. It's being published as a soft-cover book by a publishing house that's formerly done mostly fiction and biographical stuff, and such. A big leap for them, a huge leap for myself.

The game is called Myrskyn aika, which would translate to The Age of Storm, or the Time of Tempest, or something like that. The book contains a couple of hundred pages of descriptions of the fantasy world Valenor. The other hundred and fifty pages contain guidelines, rules mechanics, characters and adventures for running and playing roleplaying games in the setting, both as table-top roleplaying, and as live-action.

The seven days

The book has been in the printers for a couple of weeks now, and there's so much to do before it gets off. I'm writing this on July 25th, and the book's going to be on sale starting Friday, August 1st. The actual publishing event with the press will be on Sunday, 3rd, in a big science fiction convention in my home town.

Before Myrskyn aika is published, it needs to have a web page running. We've got the site, we've got the photos we want to use, we have most of the code, but we still haven't designed and written the entire thing. We know how we want to do it. We just haven't done it yet. I've been too busy writing the book itself, and the designer and the coder have had other projects to do.

There will probably be a meeting with the publisher about how to do the press conference, and the press releases, and all that.

I'm also doing a presentation in two major book stores in the capital Helsinki, and in my home town of Turku. I should somehow capture the very essence of the book, and of roleplaying, and make it appealing to the general public. In twenty minutes. I've got a vague idea, but it's something I've got to work in order to not make a complete ass of myself when I'm on the stage between all those famous writers.

To promote the book and to get a free entrance, I've agreed to run a LARP in Ropecon, the biggest roleplaying convention around these parts. Again, it's something that needs really nothing more than hard work. I've got a pretty good basic concept for it, but I haven't actually written anything.

Most importantly, I need to find out what I'll be wearing at the press conference. And I must do something about the hair before that. Avid roleplaying fans will probably buy the book anyway, but if I want to get new people interested, I better not look like I spent the last six months in front of my computer writing a book...

Finland has it all

Myrskyn aika is pretty experimental in a number of ways. The biggest of these might be that it's designed to be played both as a LARP, and as a table-top game. Both are equal. Another is that the publisher is not a gaming house, but a book house. This creates problems, but it also opens up new doors. For one, the game's not only available in gaming stores, but in book stores, as well.

What you might find interesting is also the fact that it's being published in Finland, and furthermore, in Finnish. The Nordic roleplaying scene is pretty different from that in the States, or anywhere else, really. A couple of years ago there was a very popular drama mini-series on television focusing on the relationships of four teenaged larpers. That's how big the phenomena is over here.

Throughout this series of columns I'll be reporting on how exactly these things are done over here. It might give you a better idea of the scene in Finland, and on the life of a roleplaying book. And if you're a Finnish reader, well, buy the book!

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