Dave & Matthew in Gamla Stan
I’m lucky enough to know Sweden a little bit (my wife is Swedish): so I know how to say “one beer please”; I know the song “nu tar vi den” and experienced the nubbe (aka schnapps) that goes with it; I know what “fyra secunda” means…. (sorry, bit of a Swedish in-joke…). But this was my first (but defo not my last) visit to Stockholm.
So I’m here, writing this in a lovely cafe in the old town, Gamla Stan, with my mate and podcast co-host Matthew, having just had a great 24 hours meeting and chatting with some of the brains behind two of the driving forces in the neo-traditional surge in Swedish gaming, Fria Ligan and Järnringen.
To say we were interviewing these guys would be right, but to call it that feels wrong: yes, we did have things we wanted to talk about, and yes we were recording for the podcast, but we were made so welcome and the atmosphere with these guys was so relaxed and fun, it felt more like we were visiting old friends!
So the biggest thanks to Nils, Kosta and Rickard, and Mattias (L) and Martin, for your generosity, for making us feel so welcome and for talking to us so openly and candidly, like fellow RPGers! And to the other Mattias (J) who was instrumental in arranging the Järnringen meeting but sadly couldn’t be with us himself.
We have lots to discuss and put out on The Coriolis Effect podcast, and we will be putting this material out as quickly as we can, the first in the next day or so. I won’t even try to cover it here. But I wanted to give a personal feel for what was a great couple of days for both Matthew and me, and shout out to you all to keep your eyes open for the podcasts!
So what did I learn?
– Stockholm is a lovely place, but the travel times listed in hotel comparison sites are off by about 500%… We had a lovely long walk through Stockholm to find our hotel, but then learned to love it’s underground (although it wasn’t really that far!);
– I learned the full story of Coriolis, from its inception and creation by Järnringen, to Fria Ligan freelancing and then taking the game on, to today and beyond;
– And it was brilliant to get first hand insights into the philosophy and foundations of the game from its genesis through to its evolution into its current form (it doesn’t get more first hand than this!);
-We found Fria Ligan’s board room, where all the key decisions are taken (sorry guys if this was a secret!). Here it is – possibly the best boardroom in the world…;
-I need to really get on and learn Swedish (having dabbled over the years with the encouragement of my lovely wife) so I can translate the fabulous supplements the guys gave us – supplements Fria Ligan produced for the original Coriolis as free-lancers to Järnringen (I’m especially excited by the Gränsrymden & Djachroum supplement as Djachroum will be a key element of my current Spectral Corsair campaign);
-Stockholm has one of the best game and book stores I’ve ever had the pleasure to browse through – the Science Fiction Bokhandeln on Västerlånggatan in Gamla Stan – any gamers who find themselves in Stockholm would be frankly mad if they didn’t visit! But I was sold on this place as soon as I looked in the window and saw this…;
-And that if you want to photo-document your trip you have to take more than just a tiny handful of photos (who knew, eh?).
A brilliant trip all round, and we can’t wait to find the opoortunity to go back!