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My GenCon Haul (Sort of) and New Dice August 28, 2018

Posted by jkahane in board games, conventions, gaming hut, gencon, personal, photos, rpg hut.
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Thought I should mention that my haul of GenCon 2018 arrived in snail mail a couple of days ago. My friend, T.R. Knight, picked the stuff up for me at the convention, and I owe him my thanks for that. (He’s already been paid for the goods, and the shipping to Canada (the latter was absolutely vicious and ridiculous, but that’s the way shipping to Canada is these days).)

There are a couple of extra sets of Torg Eternity dice in that haul, and the copy of Capharnaüm – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is signed by Sarah Newton. 🙂

In addition, today a set of ten 20-sided dice arrived in the snail mail as well.

While I have plenty of old, standard d20s lying around in my various bags and margarine containers of dice, I realised that if I’m going to run and play some of the Modiphius 2d20 Momentum game systems, I wanted a separate batch of those dice (since you need up to 5 d20s). So this was a good buy for a few bucks.


To Those Going to GenCon July 30, 2018

Posted by jkahane in board games, conventions, gaming hut, gencon, personal, rpg hut.
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Since I know that a lot of my gaming friends and peeps are going to this year’s GenCon 2018, and will be heading out sooner rather than later, I want to wish all of you a very happy GenCon.

Be safe, be healthy, be happy, have good gaming experiences, don’t go too crazy in the dealer’s room, have more good gaming experiences, and don’t forget to blog and post pics and all that good stuff. Oh, and remember not to come home with con crud! 🙂

While I am totally envious of you guys and gals, I’m not sorry that I’m not going this year. No hassles with gaming schedules, air flights, hotel accommodation, the poor Canadian dollar, and various other aspects that I would have stressed over… But yes, I am still envious! 🙂

Important Subject If You’re Going to GenCon July 28, 2018

Posted by jkahane in board games, conventions, gaming hut, gencon, health hut, music hut, rpg hut, videos.
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I’ve been giving some thought to all things GenCon Indy at the moment, given that the convention is just about a week away. Thought that I would pass along a simple piece of advice: Remember the 5/3, 2, 1 Rule of GenCon. This means that in every 24 hours, get at least 5 (or 3) hours of sleep a night, 2 meals per day (at least one of them should be hot), and take 1 shower per day. And these are minimums, folks, bare minimums (at least for some people).

Following this basic guideline will keep you alive through the convention, maximise your time for gaming, and allow for the comfort of those with whom you are gaming. Please, please, please take a shower and use deodorant, folks. Oh, and no matter what you think, cologne/perfume cannot and does not make up for the lack of showering.

And here, to put the whole showering thing into perspective, is Savage Gypsy:

A Week Until GenCon Indy Starts! July 26, 2018

Posted by jkahane in board games, conventions, gaming hut, gencon, rpg hut.
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Looking at the calendar, I see that today is the 26th of July.

This means that GenCon Indy starts exactly a week today.

Dear Goddess, where has the time gone?

I have to say that I’m not going to Indy for the convention this year due to some health issues but primarily due to a lack of finances for it. The convention has just gotten so expensive and so much more expensive to attend every year, and the killing the Canadian dollar is suffering under isn’t helping at the moment. And to be honest, I’m having nightmares about the blistering that my feet took at GenCon last year. So, no, not going this year.

That said, I do hope that all my friends, both those I know personally and those I know virtually, who are going have a safe trip, a good convention, and don’t spend *too* much money. 🙂

ENnie Awards Nominees for 2018 July 4, 2018

Posted by jkahane in awards, conventions, gaming hut, gencon, rpg hut, torg eternity rpg.
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Since GenCon 2018 is just around the bend, so to speak, the ENnie Awards have announced the nominees for this year.

ENnie Award Nominees for 2018

I was very pleased to see that Torg Eternity is up as a nominee in the Best Rules category. It’s up against some tough opposition to be sure, but I really hope that it will win the award. I was sad to see that it wasn’t nominated in a couple of other categories, but such are the ENnies and the voters.

Anyway, best of luck to Torg Eternity in the Best Rules category!

‘Tis the 1st of June June 1, 2018

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, health hut, personal, rpg hut.
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June 1st. The start of a new month.

And I am so happy to see the end of May.

While last month was pretty good during the early part of it, the second half of May was pretty rough. With the exception of CanGames, I’ve spent the last part of the month pretty ill. Between the leg diabetic lesion and then the con crud after the convention, it was a pretty rough last part of May.

On the down side with June, this is the day that truly heralds the coming of summer for me, and the hot weather that I really dislike. (Yes, even though I was born in summer, on an exceedingly hot day in the year of my birth, I really *hate* the heat and summer.)

Anyway, June isn’t off to a good start, though I am going to be gaming this weekend, and I just hope things don’t get worse.

In the meantime, “One day at a time in June” is my motto.

CanGames 2018 Final Thoughts May 25, 2018

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, gaming hut, personal, rpg hut.
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After the conclusion of the CanGames convention, I usually write a “Final Thoughts” post about the convention. I wasn’t going to do so this year, for a variety of reasons, but in the end the words seemed to come to me.

Normally, I would spend some time walking around the convention (quite a bit, usually), watching various games or playing a demo here and there of a board game, and chatting with people (friends, acquaintances, and people I’ve never met before), but this year that was impossible for me. The diabetic lesion on my left leg made it difficult to stand, let alone walk, for long periods of time, and the antibiotic I’m taking for it had my stomach and bowels in a fine old state. Add to that the pain in my left shoulder, arm and back, and well… In some ways, I felt completely out of sorts for most of the convention. Needless to say, I only made it up to the top floor of the convention once, and that was when we arrived at the convention on Friday afternoon. When it comes down to it, I just didn’t get to see a lot of the convention this year, once again. 😦

I do, however, want to say that without the assistance and help of SteveR, I don’t think I could have done half of what I did manage to do at the convention this year, and am not sure that I would have gone to the convention at all. Between the various things going on with me health-wise, I could not have managed at the convention without his help. So I’m just grateful that SteveR was willing and able to give me a hand with everything he did for me at the convention. Thanks, mate. 🙂

I also want to thank the CanGames 2018 convention committee and staff for all their hard work and dedication in bringing us this installment of Ottawa’s gaming convention. These folks work hard every year to make sure that the convention runs as smoothly as possible, and while there may have been a few glitches here and there (there always are at conventions, it’s inevitable), this year’s convention seemed to go pretty smoothly. (From what I saw of it.)

This year, I went to the convention despite how I was feeling to run the four games that I was committed to running. Once I commit to running games at a convention such as CanGames, I do my best to honour said commitment. People have paid upfront in some cases to play in the games that I’m supposed to run, but what it comes down to for me is the commitment business. I will say that I had a lovely time of it running the four games that I did at CanGames. Friday night’s “Day 1: The Living Land” for the Torg Eternity game went very well. The players had an excellent time of it, and loved the game system and mechanics, especially the Drama, Destiny, and Cosm cards. (That was pretty much a theme at both Torg Eternity games this year.) I was really pleased with it. Saturday afternoon’s John Carter of Mars – The Roleplaying Game session, “The Diplomats of Mars”, went exceedingly well, and I had a good mix of players both knowledgeable and not-so-much for the game that lent it a wonderful feel. Folks discovering Barsoom is so neat! The players really liked the game system and mechanics, for the most part, and loved the feel of the game. Saturday night’s Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked scenario, “The Tears of Ampharool”, was a lot of fun to run, if not one of the more challenging games I’ve run in some time (but I also chalk that up to being somewhat tired by the time 7:00 pm rolled around). The players felt the game had some great fantasy elements, and captured the feel of the Arabian Nights stories so well. It was a lovely time, indeed. Finally, Sunday afternoon’s Torg Eternity scenario, “The Burden of Glory”, was the one that put the most pressure on me to get it right, given the importance of that adventure to the Infiniverse, but it was a lot of fun to run and had some challenges as well. The players all had an excellent time; I guess the fact that several players planned to pick the game up is an indication of how good the game was! 🙂 I don’t know what I’ll be running at CanGames 2019 yet, though I do have some initial thoughts on that. We’ll see what we shall see. After all, it’s still another year or thereabouts until the next incarnation of CanGames.

Other than the usual food gripe that I have about CanGames 2018 and the Rideau Curling Club‘s offerings for food, which I’m not going to write about here – though I will say that the naan pizza that was on their menu, which SteveR and I ate on Saturday night, was…disgusting – I didn’t really notice anything too problematic about the convention this year. (State of health and business with games likely had something to do with that.)

I did notice that the attendance seemed to be down, and I also noticed that the folks who normally do the Pathfinder Society stuff were not at the convention, so that may have something to do with it. I was very surprised at how many people pre-registered for the four games that I ran, but perhaps that had to do with the fact the Pathfinder folks weren’t there so people were looking for games to play in. I had a pretty good weekend at CanGames 2018 this year, mainly because of the joy I got running the four game sessions that I did. I did see a few friends and acquaintances at CanGames, and hope I made a few new friends (and people who will continue to game in the stuff that I run at the convention). I didn’t talk to as many people as I would have liked, and didn’t have any long chats with folks, other than during the four games that I ran.

That said, I’m already looking forward to CanGames 2019! 🙂 And I hope that some of the folks reading this journal are already planning for the convention, and I’ll see you there in about a year! 🙂

And that’s it. The final post about this year’s CanGames gaming convention in Ottawa. Hope everyone enjoyed these four journal entries about the convention, and please remember that comments are welcome. 🙂

CanGames 2018 Day 3 Report May 24, 2018

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut, torg eternity rpg.
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Here’s the post about the third and final day of CanGames, 2018. You can read the post on CanGames 2018 Day 2 by following the link. This convention day report is somewhat long, and has several photos. Enjoy! 🙂

May 20th, 2018

After a long night in bed, I finally fell asleep around 3:00 am, and woke up several times thereafter, finally sleeping for about three hours after 6:00 am. My shoulder was hurting quite badly and my left leg ached something fierce. Got out of bed after 9:00 am and took care of the morning ablutions. Had a decent breakfast of an omelette with mushrooms, onions, and cheese, and then went downstairs to do a bit of the packing for the day’s game, Torg Eternity. This game promised to be a real challenge, as I was running the scenario from GenCon that was also an Infiniverse adventure that would affect the game world with its outcome. No pressure, right? 🙂 I repacked the personal tote bag, since I wasn’t going to need to take the insulin with me, as I hoped to be home before the shot this evening, and then went upstairs and got some of the food snacks for the afternoon prepped and ready. I then headed into the shower, and the hot water and steam seemed to help me somewhat.

SteveR arrived around 11:45 am, and after sorting out the food in the cooler from yesterday and adding a couple of fresh snack items, he helped me finish packing what I needed for the Torg Eternity game. He had a vested interest in it, since he was going to play in it today! I made sure I had my stubs for the CanGames booth stuff that I (hoped) was selling. SteveR and I packed the car up, and headed downtown to the convention venue. We didn’t stop for lunch today, as we planned to have some “proper” pizza for lunch at the convention. We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club around 12:15 pm, and the Goddess favoured us once again as we were able to find a parking space directly across from the convention venue.

Once inside the Rideau Curling Club, SteveR dropped his stuff and some of mine down in the lockers, and then headed over to the pizzeria that Jean-Yves had recommended the night before, while I settled down for a sit and a bit of a wait. I went to see if I could cash in from the stuff I’d sold at the CanGames booth, and was told I’d have to go to the booth itself in the Marketplace to handle this and speak with Jeff Black. It took me several tries to find him there, as he was wandering the Marketplace, and I was in for a shock. It turned out that I’d only sold one item of all the items I’d brought in, the copy of Hillfolk and its two supplements as well as the cards and crystal tokens that went along with it. To say I was a bit pissed off is an understatement, but I took it with good grace. I donated all the items that were left to CanGames, except the Flashing Blades materials that I reclaimed. Headed out of the curling sheet area, and got a text message from SteveR saying that the place we’d been favouring didn’t open until 4:00 pm, so he was going to get us the food at Pizza Pizza instead. This was already close to 1:15 pm, and I started to panic about the game and whether I’d have time to eat and set things up at the table. SteveR returned about 1:20 pm with the food, a couple of mushroom, green pepper and pepperoni small pizzas, and we sat down to eat at the table next to mine. I finished eating and polished off a bottle of water and a yogurt, and then started setting up the game table in earnest.

When I checked the sign-up sheet for the game, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Charlotte (the girl from Friday night’s game of Torg Eternity) had signed up to play in this one as well. I had a full table of six for this important game of the system. I finished setting up the table with the various cards and chips, and took out the player characters for the players. By this time, everyone had arrived for the game, so we got started. I first told them about the change in scenario, that it was one that could have a profound influence on the Infiniverse, and that there were some conditions imposed by the company, including photos of the players at play and their full names for inclusion as playtesters in the book(let). The players all agreed to this, and so we moved on. The adventure that I ran on Sunday afternoon is called “The Burden of Glory” and concerns a group of Storm Knights who are sent to destroy a stela but find themselves wrestling with the question of what might be more important than destroying one. Instead of four or five pre-generated characters, I handed out to the players the group of 16 characters, two from each Cosm that came with the GM Screen, and told them to pick the characters that they wanted. While they did that, I went and retrieved the sign-up sheet and took roll call. The six players at the table included Bruce, Daniel, Paul-Andre (who has played in quite a few of my games the last couple of years), Roddy Turner, SteveR, and Charlotte. Once they had gone through the characters, Bruce chose to play the Cyberwitch (Cyberpapacy), Daniel chose the Monster Hunter (Orrorsh), Paul-Andre played the Masked Crusader (Nile Empire), Roddy snatched up the Relic Raider (Orrorsh), SteveR took the Resistance Fighter with psionics (Tharkold) and Charlotte played the Edeinos Optant (Living Land). It was an interesting and colourful mix of player characters, and promised a good afternoon’s worth of play.

I started off the game session by explaining the rules to the players, including the Drama Deck, Destiny Deck, and Cosm Deck mechanics and how the cards were played, as well as the use of Possibilities. SteveR and Charlotte were the only players with Torg Eternity game experience, but the others picked up the gist of things very quickly, though the use of the Bonus Chart in determining task success took them about 20 minutes of actual play to begin with to get used to. The players had a really good afternoon of gaming with the scenario, and the cards and possibilities flowed like wine all afternoon. Daniel did a good job playing the Monster Hunter (I know the players gave their characters names, but I don’t seem to have written them down and can’t remember them for the life of me), and loved his character’s unique abilities. Paul-Andre played up the Nile Empire elements of his character, the Masked Crusader, and Charlotte got into her role as the Edeinos Optant, and rather enjoyed the miracles that her character possessed, making good use of them several times. SteveR did a good job with the Tharkoldu Resistance Fighter, and he used his psionics to great effect twice, the first time helping to move a felled tree so as to act as a bridge over a raging river and the second time to save the life of the Edeinos Optant when she chose a reckless, but perfectly in character, means of crossing the same river. Bruce played the Cyberwitch very well, but didn’t really have a chance to use his magic, though the cyberweapons of the character proved useful. Roddy did his good job as usual with the Relic Raider, and really shone in the second half of the adventure.

The players handled the game situations that came up in this scenario, and did a good job finding solutions to the various circumstances that came up. The business with crossing the raging river (which was mentioned earlier) is a good example of this, as was the bit where they rescued a trapped edeinos from a tar pit. The revelations for the Infiniverse that occurred during the adventure had SteveR gasping with surprise, and the others came to appreciate what happened by the end of the adventure.

When we wrapped up the adventure, the players told me that they had a great time with the game system, and three of them said they were going to buy Torg Eternity so as to have it for themselves and run a game or three of it. They all liked the mechanics, especially the three decks of cards, loving the Cosm cards for their giving a great feel to the experience of being in the relevant Cosm’s World Laws and Axioms. (Btw, only one character, the Cyberwitch, disconnected during the game, when she was using her GodMeeter in the Living Land, but she was able to re-connect relatively quickly.) After the game ended, I chatted with several of the players while starting to pack the gaming stuff up with the able assistance of SteveR. We talked about various aspects of the game system and mechanics, and a bit more about several of the Cosms that intrigued the players.

After the gamers left, SteveR took the gaming materials out to the car while I sat back with some cheese, a bottle of yogurt and some bottled water. Then I filled in the sign-up sheet with the top three player rankings, and took that to the Game Registration desk. SteveR returned and we sat around and waited for the CanGames closing ceremony to begin and end, and while I didn’t doze off or anything like that, I was seriously annoyed because of the loud conversation going on at the next table, and couldn’t hear most of what was said. It was relativly short, no more than twenty (20) minutes long. SteveR and I were pretty tired and hungry, so it was time to bid CanGames 2018 adieu.

By this time it was well after 7:20 pm and SteveR and I were pretty hungry, so decided it was time to bid the convention adieu for this year. I walked around for about 10 minutes saying goodbye to certain people that I knew, but it was a done deal for the year. Steve and I headed over to my favourite Chinese restaurant for supper, Brother Wu. We took the rather long route for various reasons (notably that I had to wait 2 hours to take the antibiotic after the yogurt) and got there a bit later than I expected to. The meal at Brother Wu‘s was excellent, as we had some Mustard Greens with Pork soup, Hunan Dumplings, Moo-She Chicken with Pancakes, and Sizzling Beef with a small bowl of rice between us. A truly nice meal, washed down throughout with Chinese tea. We talked very little over the food, since I was feeling peckish, though he did tell me how the Star Trek Adventures scenario had gone.

From the restaurant, SteveR drove me back to my place. Once there, he helped me unload the car with the gaming stuff, and then he headed for home. It was around 10:00 pm or so, I think, and I sat back, relaxed, and had some yogurt and a cup of peppermint tea, which helped so much. I was feeling pretty tired, achy all over and thought I was developing a sore throat (though I attributed that to the speaking so much during the day). Turns out, I was just starting out with con crud. 😦 I stayed up until I had to take my insulin injection for the night, and just had a cup of hot chocolate before crawling into bed and reading for about half an hour. Then, blessed sleep.

And there you have it – my three-post report on CanGames 2018, and the rpgs I ran at the convention. Overall, I had a really good convention, and had a blast running the games I did at the convention. I was only hampered by my left shoulder and arm all weekend and by the diabetic lesion on my leg. More exhausting for me than usual, though. (I may write an impressions of the con post as well, but we’ll see, since I didn’t really see all that much of the convention.)

Hope folks enjoyed these reports on the convention. 🙂 Comments, thoughts, and questions are welcome. 🙂

CanGames 2018 Day 2 Report May 23, 2018

Posted by jkahane in cangames, capharnaum rpg, conventions, gaming hut, health hut, john carter of mars rpg, personal, rpg hut.
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Here’s my report and write-up on the second day of CanGames 2018. You can read the report on CanGames 2018 Day 1 by following the link. This report on the second day of CanGames 2018 is quite long since I ran two games on this day, but there are pretty much no photos of the games or the Saturday at the convention.

May 19th, 2018

I woke up on Saturday morning around 5:00 am feeling…sick to my stomach. I didn’t eat enough food on Friday night and the lack of a balanced diet probably didn’t help, but I suspect it was due more to the massive dose of antibiotics I’m taking. When I got out of bed again around 9:00 am, I was also a bit shaky and still quite tired. Not enough sleep. My voice sounded good when I tested it out. I was pretty nervous about the day, since I was going to be running two games at CanGames this day. After breakfast, I felt somewhat better, the hot food and coffee making me have nasal drip.

I went back downstairs, and continued packing the rest of the gaming stuff up for the day, as well as started on the personal bag. I finished most of the packing, and then took my morning shower. The heat of the water was good on my aching muscles, legs, and back after the standing running the Torg Eternity game on Friday night so I luxuriated in the water. I was nervous about the two games today, but my spirits were raised somewhat. After dressing, I started in on some of the snack food, cutting up some cheese cubes and made two more cucumber sandwiches. I added a couple of extra teabags to my tote bag for personal belongings.

SteveR arrived at my place around 11:45 am, and I was feeling rather good at that point and starting to look forward to the afternoon and evening games I was running. We packed the car with the gaming stuff and took the food in the decent size cooler that he had recently bought, and then headed out. About half-way up Conroy road, I realized I didn’t have my mobile phone, so SteveR turned the car around and we went to collect it. (*sigh* Last year it was the diabetes meds, this year it was the phone.) Once at Tim Horton’s, I picked up a turkey bacon ranch wrap again with a bottle of water, and then it was off to the convention. We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club somewhat later than planned, close to 12:45 pm. I know I was surprised when SteveR was able to find a parking space right across the street from the Rideau Curling Club entrance! The Goddess was obviously smiling on us that afternoon. 🙂

I headed into the Rideau Curling Club, taking one of the game bags (which were lighter for various reasons) and my personal tote bag, while SteveR unloaded the rest of the stuff from the car (since he was running Star Trek Adventures that afternoon. He’d remembered his lock this day, so we went and put everything in the lockers downstairs. I went and grabbed a bottle of water, and then headed over to the Game Registration desk to check on the two games I was running this day. I still couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that both the John Carter of Mars – The Role-playing Game and the Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked games were both full! I learned at the Service Desk that my friend Tim had picked up his Registration kit, so was at the convention. I sat down for a couple of minutes, and then wandered out onto the curling sheet for a bit. Saw something that intrigued me, and I watched a demo of a game called Drop It for a few minutes, and snapped a couple of photos.

Headed back to the main area near Registration, as it was getting close to the time for set-up of the afternoon game of John Carter of Mars – The Role-playing Game and saw that SteveR had brought up the bags that we both needed for the afternoon. Tim had just come around the corner and saw me. He came over and picked up the Atlantis: The Second Age book and supplements that I had for him, and money exchanged hands. We chatted for only a few minutes, and then he and his crew were off to do other things while I got ready for John Carter. It was going to be an interesting game afternoon because the game was scheduled out on the curling sheet, right near the windows that look out there from the main Registration area, near the far wall opposite that of the Marketplace vendors. SteveR hauled the two bags of gaming stuff for me out to the table, and then headed for the upper level of the Curling Club to run his own game for the afternoon.

I worked on finishing the set-up for the game, and then at 1:30 pm I went to check on the sign-in sheet. I saw that the same fellow who hadn’t showed up for the Torg Eternity game on Friday night hadn’t checked in for the game. I gambled, and recruited a new player, Keith, for the game. This worked like a charm, as the pre-registered player didn’t show up so Keith was able to get into the game. One surprise I did have at the table was how nice and quiet it was for the Saturday afternoon. I headed back to the table and saw that all the other players were there. Talked to the players there for a few minutes and then collected the sign-up sheet and went back to start the game.

The John Carter of Mars – The Role-playing Game adventure that I ran on Saturday afternoon was the QuickStart adventure for the game, but I called it “The Diplomats of Mars” for a variety of reasons that became apparent during the adventure itself. The adventure revolves around five of the central characters of the Barsoom books on a diplomatic mission when they find some ruins of interest and are set up for an ambush by the Zodangans. I’m not going into any details here about the world of Barsoom or the character backgrounds, instead referring the interested reader to the JCoM webpage. The player characters for the adventure were John Carter, the incomparable Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas, Kantos Kan, and Sola. Jean-Yves decided to play Sola, John D took the role of John Carter, Keith settled on playing Kantos Kan, Paul played Dejah Thoris and SteveG took the role of Tars Tarkas. I was a bit disappointed there were no female players in this group of players, but such was life. John D was the only player in the group who had read the books, though most of the others had some familiarity with the Barsoom material through the movie.

I thought the players had a really good time of it (or else they sure fooled me!) with the adventure, though I was surprised at the lack of knowledge of the John Carter material (other than the movie and the one player). Other than the one player, the rest of the players really had little grasp of how to play the characters at all. To that end, I gave them some basic background knowledge about Barsoom and the characters’ personalities and relationships. This was augmented by John D with his adding in additional stuff as it was needed (though I corrected him a couple of times). John D and the others did a pretty good job of portraying the characters, to be honest. The players took a bit of time getting used to the 2d20 Momentum game system, the lack of skills and the narrative style of play, but by the second hour of the game, they were having a blast and getting into the style/feel and mood of things Barsoomian. Highlights of the game for me included Carter’s player making prodigious leaps and plunging a sword into the eye of Giant White Ape!, the passionate relationship between John Carter and Dejah Thoris (despite being played by two males) that had Kantos Kan and Tars Tarkas more than grumbling about the Barsoom “lovebirds”. Funny stuff. And there was John Carter’s player convincing the other PCs and their Zodangan enemies to rally and take out the two White Apes. He made a rousing speech. He didn’t convince the Kantos Kan player, but Keith said that he had to go with them since he’d never forgive himself if Carter or the Princess died and he wasn’t there! My other favourite bit was the Tars Tarkas player always calling John Carter “Virginia” like he did in the first book. Fun stuff.

I ended the game session on a cliffhanger (and I’m not going to mention what it was here!), and then wrapped up the scenario in a neat and tidy fashion per sé. I had a really fun time with the game, and was pretty tired when it was over, though my voice was pretty good still. It’s a taxing system to run in some ways, especially off a QuickStart document, and took me about 1/2 an hour to get the “hang” of once again. I spoke to several of the players afterwards, and Keith told me that while he liked the game overall, he wasn’t fond of the Luck, Momentum and Threat aspects since he found it too much to keep track of. A couple of the other players disagreed with him, but they told me they all had had a good time and actually quite liked the game system’s simplicity and how well it suited the Barsoomian atmosphere. By the time I wrapped up, SteveR had come by and watched some of the game, afterwards helping me pack up the game material and then he deposited that stuff down in my locker and brought up the bag with the Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked materials for me to check over. His own game of Star Trek Adventures, a scenario called “Adrift,” had ended pretty early in the time slot.

SteveR went to the bar, where they’d set up the small area near the back for the ordering of food from the cafeteria. He bought two naan pizza with mushrooms, green pepper and pepperoni, along with a side salad for us to share. I wasn’t too happy with the pizza when SteveR brought dinner down for us. There were a couple of slices of processed Kraft cheddar cheese covering the pizza toppings, which were all right, that reminded me of eating plastic. The side salad was pretty decent though, but I worried about how that food was going to affect my stomach and bowels, given how irritated they were already. We ate supper at the game table where I was going to run the evening game, and were joined by a couple of the players for the game as well. I finished eating supper, and then set up the table to run Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked.

At 6:30 pm or so I went to check out the sign-up sheet for the Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked game session and discovered that one player had crossed their name off the list, so I didn’t have a full complement of players. I wasn’t able to convince anyone else to fill the slot for the game, so headed back to the table where the other four players were waiting, and got on with the game. Where to start? Well, Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is a fantasy roleplaying game set in an Arabia-like land. It borrows very much from the One Thousand and One Nights of course, but also draws on Semitic myths and legends and other mediaeval epics. I was running the QuickStart scenario, “The Tears of Ampharool”, in which a caravan trip across the Desert of Fire turns into something completely different after encountering ghostly spirit warriors during a sandstorm. The player characters for the scenario are Assabi the Trader, a merchant with magical abilities; Eloim the Physician, a medical man of the Arabic world who isn’t what he appears to be; Carmen de la Mancha, an adventurer of Spanish-like origins, who is extremely loyal to her friends and allies; Princess Karima, a lady of thiefly means who is travelling to Carrassine to marry a man she barely knows; and Wafik the Protector, a mercenary hired by Karima’s husband-to-be to bring her to Carrassine for the wedding. An interesting set of characters. With just four players, including a ten-year old girl, Nevaeh, and her two years older sister, Emily, it promised to be an interesting game for sure. The players included Emily, Neveah, Liam, and my friend, Roddy Turner, and they made for an interesting mix. Emily took on the role of Carmen, her sister, Neveah, decided to play Karima, Liam played Wafik, and Roddy played Assabi.

The players had a terrific time of it during the game, and another friend of mine, Greg, came in at the start of the 3rd hour (after the 5 minute break) to play Eloim. He’s the father of Emily and Neveah, and knows the parents of Liam as well. I’m not going into detail about the plot here (because others might run the adventure down the line, and I’d like to run the scenario again sometime!), but will say that the adventure played out really well, and the players seemed to have a fun time of it. I had a really good time running the game, even though I was worried about the complexity of it when it came to Emily, Neveah, and Liam, but I was concerned for nothing. They grasped the rules of the game very easily and did a good job getting into the mood of the Arabian Nights. Roddy did a good job as Assabi, taking command of the group by virtue of his being the caravan master, and Liam and Neveah did a nice job playing Wafik and Karima, respectively. Due to their age, the three younger players at the table got easily distracted, but Roddy and I did our very best to keep them focused; part of what helped with that was the Arabian Nights faerie tale that I was spinning for them, but still, distraction was always there for them. After Greg joined the game, Emily, Neveah and Liam were much more well-behaved and more focused as well, so that helped. The group got into the spirit of the game early, as I described things in an Arabian Nights fashion, and were eager to defend the caravan during the initial attack. When the ruined palace appeared, almost as a mirage, the characters decided to go due to the spirit of adventure (and the fact that their Dragon Marks compelled them to do so!). I loved the fact that Liam’s Wafik defended Neveah’s Karina every time danger threatened, and Roddy’s Assabi took command when he had to. Emily kept chafing at the bit to use her whip skills, and when she did it was highly impressive. The players learned the meaning of the scenario title when we finished the game, and they got… well, never mind what they got. [evil g]

Once the game ended, I chatted with the players for a bit as they plied me with questions about the game world and the game system and mechanics. It was an enjoyable ten minutes, and Roddy told me that he loved the game and how it played and that it was the best “Arabian Nights”-feel game he’s ever played. I started packing while talking to Roddy, who stuck around for a bit, and then SteveR showed up to help me finish. I took my blood glucose, then took my insulin shot, and had half a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich and a yogurt. SteveR took all the game bags, including the stuff from the locker to the car while I finished up inside and submitted the sign-up sheet with the rankings I’d given the players.

I chatted with SteveR on the drive back to my place, and it was around 12:00 midnight when I got in. After SteveR helped me bring the gaming stuff and sundries into the house, he headed for home, and I had another yogurt with a cup of hot chocolate before I went downstairs. I emptied out the game bags from the day, and started to put the Torg Eternity materials for Sunday’s game in, but was too tired to finish that. I washed myself a bit before bed, and then crawled in…but I was feeling too “stuff in my head” to sleep, plus my shoulder was hurting something fierce, and didn’t get to sleep until sometime after 3:00 am.

And that’s the wrap-up of Saturday at CanGames 2018. As you can see this entry was a long one, and had a only a couple of photos for the enjoyment of those reading the blog entry. Hope folks enjoyed this journal entry, and if so, please comment with any thoughts you might have on the entry. All I know is I’m just tired from typing this up! 🙂

CanGames 2018 Day 1 Report May 22, 2018

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut, torg eternity rpg.
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Since the convention is already one day day over (as I write this blog entry), I figured that I should start posting up the reports on the weekend that was at CanGames 2018 today, while I have the chance. I don’t really know how long and detailed these reports will be, given how ailing I was, the fact that I didn’t see all that much of the convention this year, and I didn’t take all that many notes about the convention events as I usually do. This stuff is pretty much from memory and the notes that I jotted down on my mobile phone. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of photos included with these blog entries (though Friday’s and Saturday’s reports are exceptions), as I didn’t take all that many pics at the convention, sadly enough. Other things on my mind. So this is a very small slice of perspective about the convention, if nothing else. This post, and the rest covering the events of each day at CanGames 2018 is quite long.

May 18th, 2018

I had a very poor night’s sleep, primarily due to my shoulder pain but also to the soreness of my leg because of the diabetic lesion on it, but I did wake up a bit later than is my usual wake-up time, around 8:45 am. I felt somewhat sore in the usual places, and had to run for the toilet with the you-know-what that was affecting me due to the massive dose of antibiotic I was taking, but I didn’t feel all that bad. My mom came over to see me off, and after I was up and about after breakfast, I started to take care of the packing of my personal belongings bag and stuff that I would need, and made some foodstuffs ready for when SteveR would arrive at my place around 11:35 am or so. Forgot to check the weather, but didn’t worry about that at the time.

SteveR and I left my house around 10 past noon, and I realised that the one bag with the Torg Eternity rulebook and GM Screen was somewhat heavier than I had expected. Given my left shoulder problem, I didn’t think I’d be able to carry that bag, but SteveR was kind enough to tote that one for me. We stopped at the local Tim Horton’s for lunch, as I wanted to relax in the restaurant and eat, but didn’t want to go to Subway as we usually did. I had a grilled chicken, bacon and ranch wrap with a bottle of water for lunch, and was quite satisfied. From there, we headed downtown for the Rideau Curling Club and the gaming venue.

We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club close to 1:30 pm, and as it is usually difficult to find a parking spot near the venue, today was no exception. This was typical for CanGames, as there’s just not enough parking near the curling club for a convention of the size that it is. Something they seriously need to work on, methinks. SteveR dropped me off at the front of the Rideau Curling Club, and while I took my personal bag in, he went to find a parking space for the afternoon and evening. Since he had brought a dolly to take the two boxes of games I had brought to sell at the convention, SteveR was able to place all the gaming bags on the dolly as well, except for my personal bag (which also had my diabetic supplies/insulin in it).

On entering the Rideau Curling Club, I saw that it was already somewhat busy, with folks involved in set-up, and gamers lounging about here and there. There was a good 75 to 100 people present, so it wasn’t too bad, and it was somewhat cool on the main floor. I was glad I’d brought my light jacket with me. I went and collected my registration package at the Service Desk, and then went to check out my four games and their attendance totals. I was surprised to find I had four players pre-registered for the evening’s Torg Eternity game as well as the one on Sunday, but was shocked to see that both the <a href="https://www.modiphius.com/john-carter.htmlJohn Carter of Mars RPG session on Saturday afternoon and the Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG session for Saturday night was also full! Was also surprised and pleased to see that Roddy Turner had signed up for *two* of my games, the one Saturday night and the one Sunday afternoon. Once SteveR came with the dolly and the like, we went downstairs to find lockers to store stuff for a while. He had forgotten to bring a lock, so took a chance and placed his stuff, unlocked, in the locker next to the one I used. I found the basement area of the Curling Club to be a bit warm, something that was unusual, but took no notice of it. Once back upstairs, I took the gaming stuff I had to sell on the dolly and headed for the CanGames booth at the back of the Marketplace area where various people were setting up booths. Once more, the Marketplace was no longer at the back of the curling sheet, instead being along the length of the right hand wall (as one comes onto the curling sheet). I still rather like this change, as it makes the booths more accessible and gives folks a bigger area to spread out across, but it also makes the area somewhat noisier. Jeff Black was in charge of the CanGames booth as usual, and he made the process relatively easy and efficient, despite the hiccup in the on-line process that I’d encountered on Thursday night, the whole thing taking about half an hour. Once SteveR and I finished up there, we headed back to the main area of the ground floor, but stopped for a few minutes to chat with Emily Griggs while she was setting up her Sweet Ingenuity booth area, one of the few dealers who was at that point. The Sweet Ingenuity booth was going to have some good stuff again this year, and I hope that Emily continues to attend the convention. We chatted for just a bit, and then SteveR and I headed back to the main area on the ground floor.

Once there, I stopped to take a photo of the Registration area as a whole.

Then I went to the Game Registration area in order to make a change to the game on Sunday. Instead of running “Day 1: The Living Land” I was going to run “The Burden of Glory”, a scenario that will affect the Infiniverse in some interesting and unique ways. The folks at Registration were more than willing to make the change, and altered the sign-up sheet (which had four players pre-registered) appropriately, also adding the blurb about “Burden” that I handed them. I said “Hello” to some of the folks I knew at the convention and it was nice to greet old friends and new acquaintances.

SteveR and I went to one of the empty tables, and deposited the stuff we had with us (me my personal bag, and SteveR the cooler), and then decided to wander around a bit and see what was going on. Checked out a few of the roleplaying games going on on the main floor near Registration, and I saw Daniel Poulin was running Cosmic Patrol. Decided to take a couple of snaps of the game.

Chatted with a few more folks, and then headed out onto the curling sheet area to look at some of the miniature gaming going on (but there were only four tables playing stuff at the time). Looked at a couple of other booths in the Marketplace, and had a chance to check out Dan the Dice Guy’s wares. His presence at the convention was good, since he was selling strictly dice (something you would think would be an obvious booth choice at a gaming convention!), and his was the first I’d seen at CanGames, to be honest.

Checked out the Open Gaming area on the way out of the curling sheet section, and they had some great board games so there was going to be no lack of (good) games for folks to play. From there, we went back to the main area, and then made my one foray up to the second floor where the board gaming events take place and where the Curling Club cafeteria is. Once again the menu for the convention wasn’t all that healthy, but SteveR and I weren’t planning to eat any lunches or suppers at the convention. I looked around at the board games being played, and saw a game of Napoleonic Wars going on. Snapped a photo of that.

Around 4:30 pm or so, Shannon and Raymond Dickson arrived at the venue, and we talked a little bit about the fact that she wasn’t running any games at the convention this year, having decided that she was just going to play in games for the weekend. It’s something that I’ve been considering for several years, but just doesn’t seem “right” to me at this time. We chatted for a bit longer, and then I went and sat down at a table to rest my leg, and drink an amount of water and have some yogurt. Given the upstairs cafeteria’s poor menu (and I use that term sarcastically), full of hamburgers and fries, though there was a garden salad as well a naan pizza – but the prices! Oy vey! – SteveR and I decided to order out. Around 4:45 pm, SteveR called out for some supper – we decided to have Swiss Chalet for the evening meal. Supper showed up around a quarter to six, so SteveR and I dug into the food. We both had the chicken teriyaki stir fry with rice, and split a side salad. Good food, though I couldn’t eat the whole portion.

After eating supper, SteveR went downstairs to grab the pair of gaming bags (one of them quite heavy, remember?) with the Torg Eternity stuff for me, while I cleaned up the gaming table somewhat. I also started setting up for the game as well, since it was about a 15-minute process. Once the sign-up sheets were put out for potential players to find games to play in at 6:30 pm, I went over to the sign-up table and was able to convince a couple of folks to join the game, so was expecting a full table of players. Then it was back to join the players at the table, and completing the set-up process for the evening.

The adventure I ran on Friday night is called “Day 1: The Living Land”, and revolves around a group of Core Earth characters in New York who are transformed into Storm Knights when the Maelstrom bridge crashes down at Citi Field. The adventure is part of the Day One adventures book for the game. The player characters are: Officer Isobel Reyes, an NYPD officer enjoying some time off work; Professor Darnell Moore, a noted paleo-botanist doing some sightseeing before giving a speech at the museum the next day; Father Alejandro Reyes, a Catholic Priest taking a few hours off to enjoy the weather; Colleen Bridges, a single mother with a distant son, who’s stressed by her job as an interpreter; Wade Bridges, Colleen’s son, whose mother is making him spend the day with her for family time; and Vanessa “Doc” Dimasangalang, a former combat medic now working as an EMT, who’s on her first day off in months. I’m not going into detail about the plot here (because others might run the adventure down the line, and I’d like to run the scenario again sometime!), but suffice to say that the adventure went very well, though I did alter a couple of the plot’s aspects to make it fit within the time limits and their backgrounds somewhat.

It turned out that one of the pre-registered players didn’t show up for the game at all, so by 7:10 pm I was fortunate to recruit another player, Frank, to the game whom I’d talked to at lunch about the game. There were two female players out of the six players for the game, so that was also a good start. Jeff played Officer Reyes, Jarya played Professor Moore, Luc played Father Alejandro, Charlotte played Colleen, SteveP played Wade Bridges, and Frank played “Doc” Dimsamalang.

Overall, the players really enjoyed themselves, and I managed to keep my voice intact by the end of the night, and it was a fun game session of Torg Eternity. They had some doubts after I explained the rules and talked to them about how to use the Drama Deck, the Destiny Deck and the Cosm Deck, as well as Possibilities, but ten minutes into play and the players were already playing their cards and using Possibilities like old Torg pros. And they grokked the basic game mechanics relatively quickly. Heroic deeds were abundant and they really started to “live” the card play. One of the highlights of the Torg Eternity game was watching players playing Possibilities and using Destiny cards to support each other. For the most part. The cards and Possibilities just flew around the table. There were also two separate plays of the Law of Decay Cosm card. The second time the card was played, it cost Officer Reyes an M-16. The players managed to get their “Moment of Crisis” (thus becoming Storm Knights) relatively quickly with some heroic actions. SteveP was the last to do so, though there were some opportunities that he didn’t take advantage of to do so.

The fight on the ferry with the Carcharodon (instead of the Mosasaur) had some great moments, including when Jeff had Officer Reyes punch (!!) the creature as they were trying to rescue two of the ferry crew who’d gone overboard. I skipped one full act, and altered a critical scene at the hospital the characters went to, but they managed to get to the final scene of the scenario and escape New York with the Core Earth refugees group that joined them early on, and grew some more at the hospital. They dealt with the final sequence of events with aplomb, and rather enjoyed the Dramatic Skill Resolution in the race to freedom. After finishing up the scenario around 10:50 pm, several of the players and I talked and I mentioned to them the change of scenario for Sunday’s game. (See the link for more on that.) Everyone one of the players told me they really liked the game system and its mechanics, and liked the card decks and how they were used quite a lot. One player even mentioned that he was going to buy the game to run it himself.

Once the players had departed, SteveR helped me pack up the game materials for the night. He took the gaming stuff to the car while I went downstairs to gather up the stuff I’d left in the locker. I checked my blood glucose (around 10.9) and then took my insulin shot, and had a yogurt for a snack. I assigned the winners of the Trophy and the Certificates for the game I’d just run, and handed that in at the Game Registration desk and collected my $5 CanGames reward token. Once that was accomplished, I headed for the car with SteveR for the drive home. It was a long walk for me seemingly, as I was hurting in both legs from standing for the extended period of time running the game and was somewhat mentally shaky.

I don’t remember most of the trip back to my place, and I was pretty quiet in the car for the most point. SteveR helped me unpack and it was close to midnight by that time. After SteveR left, I had a bit of water to re-hydrate, and had some hot chocolate and another yogurt. Around 12:35 am I went downstairs and unpacked the day’s gaming material and the personal tote bag and then did the basic packing for the two games that I was running on Saturday. I had some more water, but I was on my last legs for the night. It was close to 1:00 am when I hit the pillows, and I don’t remember falling asleep, it was so quick.

And there you have the write-up for the Friday of CanGames 2018. I hope it wasn’t too long for folks, and those who’ve read this day’s write-up enjoyed it. The write-up for Saturday at CanGames will get posted as soon as I have a chance to do so.