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Added a Tales From the Loop Session to CanGames, 2017 April 27, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg.
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Just thought I should mention here, and in a couple of other places, that I’ve added a fourth game slot at CanGames 2017, to be held at the Rideau Curling Club the long Victoria Day weekend here in Ottawa (May 19th to the 21st).


Here’s the listing of the additional game I’ll be running. This is the full listing for the game.

Summer Break and Killer Birds
Game: Tales From the Loop RPG
Time: Saturday,7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Number of Players: 4
Description: Summertime in Sweden. Boredom and bliss in equal measure. But something’s wrong. It all starts with a talking bird, and soon you’re involved in a nefarious plot. Can you solve the Mystery before it’s too late? Tales From the Loop is a game of roleplaying in the ‘80s that never was, based on artist Simon Stalenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts. You play teenagers solving Mysteries connected to the Loop.

The listing for the game will not be found in the physical convention booklet since I didn’t add it to the schedule in time for that, but will appear (hopefully soon) in the on-line schedule at the CanGames website. You can pre-register for the game on-line, and there will be a sign-up sheet for the game at the convention, made available 1/2 an hour before the game is due to start.

I’m looking forward to running this terrific RPG at the convention, and hope that some of you will sign up to play Tales From the Loop with me at the convention. Hope to see you there! 🙂

Wednesday Night’s Game Session – Playtesting for CanGames, 2017, Part One April 27, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, personal, primeval rpg, rpg hut.
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As mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, the Wednesday night gamers had agreed to forego their regular gaming session in favour of playtesting one of the scenarios that I’ll be running at CanGames 2017.

The players arrived at my place around 7:00 pm, and we chatted for about 10 minutes about how things have been and the week’s events. Once I was ready to game, we talked about which of the three systems they wanted to playtest – Coriolis – The Third Horizon, <Primeval, or Tales From the Loop – and I was completely unsurprised when the group chose to playtest the Primeval scenario that I’ll be running at the convention.


I won’t discuss any of the details of the playtest session here, other than to say that the scenario, “The Dixmude Affair”, played out pretty well, and the events of the scenario fit nicely into the time slot for the convention (roughly), with just a hiccup or two here and there. The scenario has a little bit of everything in it, and the players made a few suggestions here and there where stuff could be tightened up, but overall the game session went really well and was quite enjoyable.

Not sure what we’ll doing gaming-wise in two weeks time, but I’m hoping the group will playtest another of the game systems and scenarios I’ll be running at CanGames the week or so after that session.

Getting Ready for Wednesday Night Gaming April 26, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, food hut, gaming hut, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut.
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Been a long, somewhat tiring day today. Various reasons, nothing I’m going into here, other than to say I had tests done at the hospital this afternoon.

Came home, took a nap, and woke up feeling pretty good. Spoke to the players of the Wednesday night group, and they’ve decided they’re not only up for gaming, but they’ve agreed to playtest one of the CanGames (2017) scenarios tonight.

This means the Wednesday night crew won’t be continuing the Coriolis – The Third Horizon game campaign this evening.

In the meantime, I need to get to the kitchen and put something on for supper.

Have a good evening, folks. 🙂

Happy Birthday, Peter Jurasik! April 26, 2017

Posted by jkahane in babylon 5, birthday, tv hut.
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Today is actor Peter Jurasik’s birthday.

Peter Jurasik is an American actor who is known for his role as Sid the Snitch on the 1980s series Hill Street Blues and its short-lived spinoff Beverly Hills Buntz, but is best known and loved for his role as Londo Mollari in the science fiction hit series, Babylon 5 (or this site).

The actor, who turns 67 today, is one of my favourite actors for his distinctive looks (in whatever role he plays) and his sheer character-driven performances. While Peter Jurasik has a good resumé in the field, his performance as Londo Mollari on Babylon 5 was a joy to watch, and I have very pronounced, strong memories of his role in the series.

Here’s wishing Peter Jurasik a very Happy Birthday today!

And he still *does* look stunning in purple! 🙂

Friday Night Tales from the Loop Character Creation and Session 1 April 25, 2017

Posted by jkahane in character creation, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg.
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I was going to post this as a retroactive post, but have decided not to. Anyway, as mentioned on Friday (April 21st) in this post, 3/5s of the Friday night group was heading to the Ottawa Senators-Boston Bruins NHL playoff game (which Ottawa lost, by the way), but both Kathy and Ellie wanted to play games. I had told them there was the possibility that we might do some characters up for the new Free League game, Tales From the Loop, and they were pretty excited about this (especially Ellie).

As it turned out my package of the Kickstarter backed materials, that was supposed to arrive by “end of business day” on Friday didn’t. I figured that we’d do some board games instead, but…

Once Kathy and Ellie showed up at my place around 7:00 pm or so last night, we chatted for around 10 minutes or so and caught up on the weekend. Afterwards, I explained that the Tales From the Loop game material hadn’t shown up, and that we would be board gaming that night. However, Ellie said that she knew I had the PDFs of the game and all, and begged me to have her and Kathy create characters. And when your goddaughter pleads with you like that, what can you say? So we sat down and started creating player characters. I started off the night by giving the players a very brief overview of the game world of Tales From the Loop. The game is based on artist Simon Stalenhag‘s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts. Players play teenagers solving mysteries connected to the Loop (ask me about what it is in the Comments, please!), and the game uses a simpler set of rules based on those found in the Mutant: Year Zero game. I started by going over the basics of the world of the Loop, and Kathy was very intrigued by the concepts found therein. We talked about the basic rules of the mechanics, and then got into a couple of the sub-systems they were intrigued with. Since they were familiar with the game mechanics of Coriolis – The Third Horizon>, we discussed the basics of character creation, I answered a few questions about that, and then we got down to it.

The players decided they wanted to have their game set in the Swedish setting, and I was cool with that. The two player characters that Kathy and Ellie created are both interesting, and will make for a good variety and some sub-plot material as well.

KathyB – She wasn’t sure what she wanted, but Kathy settled on Sara Stahlberg, one of the popular kids at school who has an interest in ornithology and wants to find a cute guy for herself (as she’s still never been kissed).

Ellie – She, on the other hand, knew exactly what she wanted. Ellie created Linnea Sundstrom, a troublemaker with a knack for skateboarding and an alcoholic father.

Character generation took less than an hour and a half, even with going over the game world stuff and mechanics, and both Kathy and Ellie wanted to *play* the game somewhat given that we still had a good 2-1/2 hours of time left for the session. So I started a scenario…


Sara Stahlberg (KathyB) – Popular Kid
Linnea Sundstrom (Ellie) – Troublemaker

Date TBD

It’s late spring, and the kids from the school that both Linnea Sundstrom and Sara Stahlbert attend are on a field trip with two of their teachers, Sven Lundgren and Anita Malmstern, in the Agni Woods, some 15 kilometres outside of the town. Sara has been sticking with her clique, but is a bit ashamed as they tease one of the poorer kids at the school, Halbert. Halbert goes off, crying, into the woods. While her friends continue their petty attitude towards boys (and girls) of “Halbert’s status”, Sara feels guilty about what they did, and worries about Halbert. She goes after him, sneaking away, though one of her friends, Leena, spots her but says nothing.

Linnea has been very “attentive” where a group of students are being taught about trees, but becomes bored somewhat early on, and decides to go skateboarding for a bit. There are several trails in Agni Woods, and she takes off down the nearest trail. Something of a loner, and a total outsider, her departure isn’t noticed at all. She has an excellent, if somewhat, dangerous time, skateboarding through the forest, the paths not completely clear of debris. She almost falls of the skateboard as she rounds a small copse of trees and sees the rusting corpse of a humanoid robot of some sort in the foliage near the path. She stops, and goes over to examine the remains, but doesn’t find them all that interesting, though she does take a couple of strange objects that look like vacuum tubes.

Meanwhile, a despondent Sara decides that she’s gotten lost in the woods, and curses herself for not following one of the trails. She catches sight of a piece of cloth stuck to a leafy branch very low to the ground, and realises that it’s part of Halbert’s jacket. She heads in the direction of the branch in question, not really worrying how she’s going to get out of the woods again, and sees Halbert’s footprints in the mud. She follows the trail he’s left, and eventually she finds the boy, sobbing away, leaning against a rocky outcrop. She hears a sound that is suspiciously like a “quack”, and turns in that direction…

Elsewhere in the woods, Linnea examines the vacuum tube-like items, but can’t make head or tails of them. She shrugs, figuring she’ll trade them for something valuable later, and pockets them. Once back on her skateboard, she continues to follow the trail and realises that it’s angling back towards another part of Agni Woods. She’s a little bit afraid, but follows the route and spots a couple of other kids from the school field trip. She recognises the popular girl, Sara, but not the boy that she’s been comforting. She hears a “quack”-like sound from nearby.

Sara sees what appear to be a group of ducks and ducklings waddling through the woods towards her and Halbert. But something about them seems odd – and she quickly realises they’re robotic ducks! One of ones closest to her sees her, and makes an odd, quack/spitting sound, and something goes “thock!” into the tree next to her. She looks at it, and realises it’s a small dart of some kind. She grabs Halbert, and shouts at him to run back towards the area where the rest of the students are, but then realises that she might be putting them all in danger. Another of the robotic ducks is now close enough to her, and she looks up in horror…

…and then is astounded when a young girl from the school whom she recognises as a troublemaker swings her skateboard at the duck with all her strength. The head comes smashing off the duck’s body, sparks flying everywhere. Thinking quickly, she shouts a warning to the girl as another of the ducks starts to aim at her – she remembers her name is Linnea – and does the only thing she can think of. She sprays the duck’s head with her hairspray (that she always carries with her, ’cause you never know!). Thinking quickly, Linnea grabs her lighter, and ignites the hairspray (nearly getting caught in the backlash herself), and crying out with delight, the two girls attack another of the robotic ducks, destroying it in a frenzy of sparks and small explosions.

Sara and Linnea are suprised when the rest of the robotic ducks come to an abrupt halt, and then turn and move off deeper into Agni Woods. The two come together in a hug of congratulatory backslaps, but Linnea says, “I don’t like you much”, to which Sara says, “Feeling’s mutual”. Once the adrenaline wears off, Linnea grudgingly admits that they worked pretty well together, but Sara is more concerned about the robotic ducks, where they came from and who controlled them. Linnea shrugs, and says it was probably just a mad scientist or something to do with the Loop, but Sara’s not so sure.

The two girls quickly decide to head back and re-join the school field trip group, Linnea helping Sara get out of the woods and back to a trail. When they reach the field trip students and teachers, a worried but angry Sven Lundgren asks where they’ve been, and why they’re so messy. Not listening to either one, he says that they’re both getting detention the next day. Both Sara and Linnea groan at the thought (“There goes my perfect school record,” says Sara), but only Ms. Malmstern and Leena see the smile that passes between the two.

The session of character creation and a short scenario of the Tales From the Loop went pretty well, I thought, given that I was running it from the PDF of the game on the laptop and that I put together the basic scenario that I ran (see above) in about 15 minutes or so while Kathy and Ellie were just putting their character game stats on character sheets. Both players told me they really enjoyed themselves (though Kathy did mention she had to remember what it was like to be a tween/teenager!), and they loved the sheer simplicity of the game mechanics, even easier than those in Coriolis as Kathy said. They were curious about where the antagonists in this one came from, but I wasn’t about to give away that secret. 🙂 Ellie mentioned that she was suspicious about Miss Malmstern, but she couldn’t put her finger on why.

So, a very enjoyable Friday night impromptu game session of the Tales From the Loop RPG, and I’m looking forward to getting a chance to run this again. Especially now that I’ve received my actual books and maps from the KS. Much easier than having to read material off the computer to run the game. 🙂

If Thou Didst Live, ‘Twould be Thy Birthday April 23, 2017

Posted by jkahane in birthday, Uncategorized.
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Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!

Yes, today is the birthday of the Bard. Well, sort of, since he is, of course, dead. Which makes today moot from the point of view of it being William Shakespeare‘s birthday.

In any event, folks, to celebrate today’s being the Bard’s birthday, go and read something by Shakespeare. I am reading “Romeo and Juliet” today in appreciation of the Bard. Wonderful play. A Passion Play, you might say (and if you know the reference to that one, give yourself 25 bonus points).

Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2017

Posted by jkahane in holiday, Uncategorized.
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no title

Happy Earth Day, everyone! 🙂

Today is the day when we celebrate Gaia, Mother Nature, and all that goes along with that. While it’s fine to celebrate today and all that, please remember to treat the planet right. It’s the only one we’ve got.

Friday Night Gaming is On, Sort Of April 21, 2017

Posted by jkahane in coriolis rpg, gaming hut, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg.
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The subject line says it all.

Three of my five players are heading off to see the Ottawa Senators-Boston Bruins NHL playoff game tonight, but Kathy and Ellie will be coming by my place in order to game. Without the full gaming group, Kathy has decided we won’t be playing any Coriolis – The Third Horizon this evening, so it’s possible that we’ll be playing some board games this evening. However, I received notice in e-mail that my copy of the Tales From the Loop will be delivered today through the DHL courier service by end of business today, so I’ve told Kathy that’s what we’ll play if the game shipment arrives by the time they get to my place for gaming.

Should be an interesting evening of gaming, if nothing else. 🙂

Friday Night Game Report – Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG Session 6 April 20, 2017

Posted by jkahane in coriolis rpg, roleplaying games, rpg hut.
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As mentioned in a post earlier this week, Kathy accidentally took my notes about last Friday night’s game session of the Coriolis – The Third Horizon campaign, so I’ve not been able to post up said blog report. Well, Kathy dropped off the notes for me on her way home from work yesterday (Wednesday), so I’ve got them. The Friday night group continued on with their campaign of the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG of Arabian Nights in space last week (April 14th). You can read about the previous game session by following the link. This post is somewhat long, so I’ve put it behind a cut for those who don’t want to read about my roleplaying game campaigns.



Naima Saab (KathyB) – Trailblazer (Scout)
Hafisa darRouash (Angela) – Pilot (Freighter Pilot)
Zouma Abid-Arif (Ellie) – Stowaway/Ship Worker (Engineer)
Moustafa Harouz (DavidM) – Negotiator (Peddler)
Tafik Sharoun (Mark) – Scientist (Archaeologist)

First Triad, Dancer Segment, Day 11, CC 58

Naima Saab regards Blake Harold and asks him what he thinks of the person who’s been following them. He tells her that he can’t get a good look at the figure; whoever it is is adept at clandestine activities, and is using the crowds to good advantage. Hafisa darRouash says that they’re either working for the people behind what happened to Tafik (Sharoun)’s colleague, or perhaps just some locals keeping an eye on the characters. Naima snorts with mirth at this, but doesn’t say more. The characters and Blake go to the house of Sumala Fadros, and after talking to her daughter, Halima, are permitted to visit her. Naima can see that the woman is still in bad shape after the attack, and they approach her with gentleness, explaining they’re friends of Professor Sharoun. Halima stays in the small room as Sumala tells them what happened, to the best of her recollection. She was returning home from the souk after making some food purchases when a man with a hooded caftan (so she couldn’t see his face) approached her, and threatened her family if she didn’t stop working for Professor ibn Salumar. Naima interrupts to ask if she got a look at his face at any point, and she says that she did; she couldn’t make out a lot of detail, but he had the tattoo of the Messenger on his left cheek. He didn’t threaten her at all physically, but did say that if she didn’t heed his warning, “she would be next”. She didn’t know what that meant until after she learned that the Professor was missing; she believes him to be dead. Te next thing she knew all Darkness broke loose as the gunfight erupted and the last thing she remembers was two bad stings and then the pain before she blacked out. When Naima and Hafisa both comment that she was caught in the crossfire of an attack by two rival faction gangs in the city’s slums, not as she describes it, Sumala says that she has no idea what they’re talking about. They try to talk to her about the discrepancies in her story, but Sumala is obviously not healthy enough for them to press her, and Halima asks them to leave. They do so, reluctantly, and once outside the Fadros home, discuss the matter and realise that something very wrong and odd is going on here, with all sorts of possible reasons for what Sumala Fadros told them, including the fact that she’s lying to them.

Moustafa Harouz and Zouma Abid-Arif reach Bastak’s, and find that it lives up to its reputation, in all respects. The two note that they still have their tail, and Moustafa comments that he wonders how long it will be before the tail takes action. Bastik the Giant is a fair merchant, and offers the characters some decent trinkets and the like; in addition to the purchase of the trinkets, Moustafa also purchases some 2,000 birr worth of spare parts for the Ruby Flower. Bastak agrees to have the spare parts and the trinkets transported over to the Ruby Flower, for a modest fee, and because he likes them offers the characters a bit of advice: He’s heard rumours that someone is buying up all kinds of tools and equipment for an expedition down to Mira’s surface. Rumour has it that whoever it is has connections to the Colonial Agency. Zouma recalls that the Colonial Agency has a facility down on Mira; she tells Moustafa the information. The two bid farewell to Bastak, and step out back into the somewhat boisterous market area.

In Darisa Marakis’s office, Tafik Sharoun looks over the information that is available about matters on Mira pertaining to Professor Darfal ibn Salumar. He learns the professor was exploring and working in a new supposed Portal Builder set of ruins recently uncovered on the relatively unexplored southern continent. Early indications are that the ruins were subterranean, but Professor ibn Salumar was quite secretive about matters (understandably, from Tafik’s perspective), and very little information has gotten out. Tafik is able to determine that the professor’s expedition sponsors were the Foundation, something that grates on Tafik given that he is Firstcome. He wonders whether his personal nemesis, Rostami Haroum, might be involved, but doubts it; Rostami has now reason to be here, now. For more information on the expedition, he learns that the Foundation representative, Sariha Milmasine, should be contacted. He checks on her location, and is surprised to learn that she works out of the Foundation’s office on Mira. He decides a visit to M. Milmasine may be appropriate, but wants to talk to Darisa Marakis again, to see what light she can shed on the Foundation’s presence on Mira.

Outside the Fadros home, Naima and Hafisa decide what to do, while a somewhat bemused Blake waits for some answers. As they talk to Blake, Naima casually mentions that their follower is still watching them. Trying to get a closer glimpse at him or her, Naima spots that he’s got the tattoo of the Messenger on the left side of his face [she rolled 5 successes, including spending a Darkness Point!]. The characters realise this is the same man that threatened Sumala Fadros! The two women decide they want to chat with this man, and both of them race off in the direction of the fellow. The man sees the two women running towards him, and draws an accelerator pistol. When they see him aiming it at them, Naima and Hafisa shout a warning to other passersby in the neighbourhood, and split up as they seek cover. What follows is a mad dash and chase through the residential area, the man firing several shots at them (to no effect, fortunately). As they reach the market area, the man is able to disappear into the crowds and then narrow alleyways of the souk before they can catch him. Both women are panting, and Naima says to Hafisa, “Remind me to do so physical training and exercise, ’cause I’m out of shape for sure!” Hafisa just remarks that it seems they both are. Blake comes up to them with two Miran security guards, and says that he wants to talk to them about the complaints that have just been registered against them. Hafisa and Naima regard one another, and burst out giggling.

In the marketplace of the station, Moustafa and Zouma decide that they can still undertake some supplies (and a bit of cargo) acquisition. Zouma says they also need to make arrangements in the spaceport for some of the ship repairs to be made, and they need some of those replacement parts as well. Moustafa says that their tail is still watching them, and Zouma cheekily waves at him; the man vanishes among the crowded stalls. About an hour later, the two emerge from Chapitra’s, one of the better retailer of starship parts, pleased with their deal for 8,000 birr for engine parts that will be delivered to the Ruby Flower within the hour. As the two head back towards the docks, they are attacked in one of the quieter sections by a pair of ruffians wearing simple station clothes, and using dura knives. Moustafa, armed with a mercurium dagger, and Zouma, armed with a dura knife, take on the pair of thugs, who are obviously out for a quick birr, and manage to dispatch them [although they use 5 Darkness Points!]. The station guards arrive on the scene, and after the events are quickly determined (after the testimony of two witnesses), Zouma and Moustafa are let go, while the two thugs are taken into custody. Arriving at the docks finally, it is with sighs of relief that both characters spot the Ruby Flower at its berth.

Last Friday night’s game session of the Coriolis – The Third Horizon campaign was an interesting one for me, as well as being quite enjoyable. There were a couple of physical combats that went pretty quickly (for combat sessions in rpgs) as well as some good roleplaying amongst the player characters and between them and several of the NPCs in the adventure, and this had me quite happy during the evening. The players seemed to enjoy themselves quite a lot, and rather liked some of the events that went on, Angela admitting to me that she’s baffled where the plot’s going and who those “shadowy pursuers” are. Excellent! ::rubbing of hands together::

Overall, a good session of Coriolis – The Third Horizon last Friday night, and I’m rather looking forward to tomorrow night’s game session.

CanGames is One Month Away! April 19, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, personal, primeval rpg.
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It’s April 19th, and do you know what that means?

If you’re in the Ottawa area, and planning to attend the game convention, CanGames 2017 is exactly one month away!

Eeek! 🙂

So I thought I’d re-post up a listing of the game sessions I’ll be running at CanGames this year.

The Statuette of Zhar Bagra
Game: Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG
Time: Friday, 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Number of Players: 5
Description: While on Coriolis Station, your player characters are asked by a scholar to help him retrieve an artefact that needs to be returned to the planet Kua, below. Why do so many people want the artefact, and what sort of intrigue have you got yourselves into this time? Try out this new, unique science fiction rpg that is basically “Arabian Nights in space”. Crew a starship and explore the ancient mysteries of The Third Horizon!

The Dixmude Affair
Game: Primeval RPG
Time: Saturday, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Number of Players: 6
Description: After returning to the present through an Anomaly to find the timeline terribly wrong, you and the other player characters learn that history changed in 1923 with the fate of the airship Dixmude being altered. Can you fix the timeline, or is it too late?

Dark Flowers
Game: Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG
Time: Sunday, 2:00 pm – 6 pm
Number of Players: 5
Description: While passing through the Dabaran system on a routine trade mission, your characters are contacted by The Foundation, and asked to proceed to a set of coordinates and investigate the disappearance of a missing ship carrying one of its researchers, a professor Siyab Dahiljaba. What will you find? Try out this new, unique science fiction rpg that is basically “Arabian Nights in space”. Crew a starship and explore the ancient mysteries of The Third Horizon!

There are still plenty of spots for folks to play in both the Friday evening and Sunday afternoon sessions of Coriolis – The Third Horizon, and the Saturday afternoon session of Primeval, so I hope to see some of you at the convention and playing in these games. And even if you’re not playing in my games, come and see me and say “Hi!” at this year’s CanGames.

Like I said, one month away! Hooray! 🙂