Fastaval is an annual gaming convention in Denmark with newly written/designed tabletop role-playing games, freeform games and larps. There is also a large selection of board games, miniature wargaming and collectible card games. It's been held every year since 1986 except 1988. It is currently located in Hobro, but has also taken place in Silkeborg and Aarhus.
Every extended Easter weekend 400-700 people of all ages gather to play all kinds of games and meet old friends. Since the first Fastaval in 1986, Fastaval has established itself as one of the most important cons for role-playing in Denmark, Scandinavia, even the world. It is a creative melting-pot for new ideas for games of any kind, as well as a place to enjoy more traditional gaming experiences.
Fastaval is famous for the Otto Award. This award is handed out in several categories to the best of the more than 30 scenarios created each year for Fastaval. Scenarios are vetted and selected for play at Fastaval. The games are read and judged for the Ottos by a group of experienced gamewrights of a variety of interests and backgrounds, as well as player participants during Fastaval.
In addition to role-playing games, boardgames, card games and workshops, there is also a nice cafe with espresso and special beers, a bar, an alcohol-free youth lounge, and much more.
Fastaval is a non-profit event exclusively run by volunteers and any leftover money goes into making the next year's event even better for the participants. Behind the event is the role-playing association ALEA, which was founded to run and develop the event. In the beginning Fastaval was organized by the local roleplaying association, Fasta. But since 2004 it has been run by Alea.
Because of Fastaval's size the scenarios started being written down so that the same scenarios could be played by multiple groups at the same time. By writing down the scenarios other game designers could easily learn from previous Fastaval games and with the help of a prize for the best written scenarios (the Otto) the Fastaval scenarios developed into a genre of roleplaying games in its own right.
What is Fastaval Freeform?
The Fastaval freeform scenarios are written-down roleplaying scenarios for around 4-6 players. Most often the scenarios have a Game Master (Danish: Spilleder), but that is not the case for all. The scenarios typically last 2–6 hours to play. The scenarios are designed to be played in a single room (in Fastaval it is most often a class room in a Danish public school) without costumes for the players and most often no other props than text on paper or the chairs and tables in the class room. The scenarios are stand alone games where no other information or rules are needed than the game itself. Some knowledge of the Fastaval or related traditions is needed though, for most games because some playing style knowledge is mostly assumed.
A typical Fastaval scenario has:
- Instructions for the Game master
- Character descriptions
- Setting material or background
- Little or no rpg mechanical systems (e.g. dice rolling, stats, abilities, etc.)
- A highly charged situation calling for high levels of proactive player involvement
Fastaval Freeform games are closely related to the Jeepform games and several Jeepform games have premiered at Fastaval.
List of Fastavals
|Fastaval 1986||-||Sankt Anna Gade Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 1987||-||Fronthuset, Århus|
|Fastaval 1989||-||Brobjergskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 1990||-||Brobjergskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 1991||-||Brobjergskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 1992||-||Brobjergskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 1993||-||Ellekærskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 1994||Spil på hjernen||Skjoldhøjskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 1995||the Victoria time||Tilst Skole og Langkjær Gymnasium, Århus|
|Fastaval 1996||Movies||Skjoldhøjskolen og Tilst Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 1997||Paranormal||Skjoldhøjskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 1998||Heaven and Hell||Søndervangskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 1999||Altantis||Søndervangskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 2000||Noir||Lystrup Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 2001||2001 nights||Skovvangskolen og Katrinebjergskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 2002||Science Fiction||Skovvangskolen og Katrinebjergskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 2003||The Roleplayer and Society||Skovvangskolen og Katrinebjergskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 2004||The dungeon version||Tilst Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 2005||Do-it-yourself||Jellebakkeskolen, Århus|
|Fastaval 2006||Super heroes||Tranbjerg Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 2007||007||Tranbjerg Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 2008||Once upon a time||Tranbjerg Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 2009||- no theme -||Skæring Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 2010||- no theme -||Skæring Skole, Århus|
|Fastaval 2011||Evolution||Silkeborg Seminarium og Langsøskolen, Silkeborg|
|Fastaval 2012||Otto is watching you||Mariagerfjord Gymnasium and VUC, Hobro|
|Fastaval 2013||Contagion||Mariagerfjord Gymnasium and VUC, Hobro|
|Fastaval 2014||A World of Otto||Mariagerfjord Gymnasium and VUC, Hobro|
Since 1992 awards have been given to individuals and scenarios in the form of gilded plaster penguins named Otto. The prizes are awarded on Sunday at the banquet which closes Fastaval. In 2012 ottos were given to the following: Best Scenario, Best Story, Best Effects, Best Characters, Best Presentation, Best Boardgame, Audience Award and Special Jury Award. An Honorary award 'is given to a person, an organisation or group of persons, who has made an extraordinary contribution to Danish roleplaying'.
Guests of Honor
The convention has over time included a couple of international well-known roleplaying designers:
- 1994: Mark Rein·Hagen (Vampire: The Masquerade)
- 1995: Michael Pondsmith (Castle Falkenstein)
- 1996: David Berkman (Theatrix) plus Gunilla Johnsson and Michael Petersén (Kult)
- 1997: Keith Herber - furthermore, David Berkman attended as a regular visitor
- 2000: Steve Jackson (Steve Jackson Games)
- 2005: Greg Costikyan (Paranoia, Toon)
- 2009: Emily Care Boss (Black & Green Games)
- 2010: Julia Ellingboe (Stone Baby Games)
- 2011: Luke Crane and Jared Sorensen
- 2012: Lizzie Stark
- 2013: Vincent Baker
- 2014: Mark Rein·Hagen (Vampire: The Masquerade)