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GenCon 2017, Day 4 Report September 3, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, the dark eye rpg, torg eternity rpg.
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Here is the report of the sixth day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the fifth day can be found in this journal entry. Note that this blog entry is quite long and has some photos in it, so be warned. 🙂

August 20th, 2017

I woke up this morning in the bed at the Westin Indianapolis hotel feeling groggy and somewhat tired. I didn’t sleep well the night before, and my right foot felt very bad. Both my feet were swollen but not as badly as they had been the day/night before. SteveR and I went through the morning ablutions and I showered and all, after which SteveR replaced the dressing on my right foot. He told me that it looked a bit better than it had the night before, so I was relatively optimistic, but Goddess did it hurt like heck. We ended up having a late breakfast at Shula’s, due to the medical attention that I needed first and then the wheelchair trip to the hotel restaurant.

I told SteveR that I wanted to go to the Exhibit Hall, if possible, for a last look around at stuff, and because I wanted to say goodbye to several people there. Then the afternoon and evening would be spent back at the hotel hobbling around and packing for the flight home to Ottawa on Monday. The trip from the Westin to the ICC was interesting and different because we had to take elevators rather than escalators, but we managed to get to the Exhibit Hall in good time. The ICC hallways were still relatively busy, though not to the degree they’d been the previous three days, but there was still good traffic.


ICC hallway traffic on Sunday

There was still a good amount of business going on in the Exhibit Hall, even though it was Sunday, and lots of vendours were selling some stuff at discounted prices. Stopped near the Cheapass Games booth as I loved the sign, and took the photo seen here.


Booth business at Cheapass Games on Sunday

It was rather awkward getting around with SteveR pushing me in the manual wheelchair, as the various convention folks just didn’t really want to get out of the way. SteveR and I wandered the Exhibit Hall for a bit, and stopped at the Ulisses Spiele NA booth to say goodbye to folks. Everyone there wanted to know what had happened, and I told them briefly about Saturday’s “incident”. SteveR and I headed for the R. Talsorian Games booth so he could say goodbye to some folks as well, and that was kind of nice to see. We paid a visit to the Modiphius Entertainment booth after that, and I was pleased to learn that they had sold out of the copies of Tales From the Loop that they’d brought in, but also that they’d sold several copies of Coriolis – The Third Horizon based on the two games of such that I’d run at the convention.

From there, we wandered around a bit, and came to the author’s section once more. I had heard about Doug Bedwell’s novel, Robot Captain, and decided to stop by the booth and pick up a copy of the book for myself. Chatted with the author a bit, too.


Doug Bedwell and his novel, Robot Captain

We then headed over to the Paizo booth to say goodbye to the rest of the Ulisses Spiele NA gang and the folks behind The Dark Eye RPG, and that was somewhat bittersweet. Fond farewells. Made the mistake of going past the OffWorld Designs booth, and I am ashamed to say that I picked up three more t-shirts. *sigh* From there, SteveR and I visited the Pelgrane Press booth to say some goodbyes. Finally got to say hello and goodbye to Gar Hanrahan. We talked a bit about our lives and the gaming we were doing at the moment (both work and play). He’s a lovely fellow, and I’m sorry I’d only got to see him on the last day of the convention.

By this time, both SteveR and I were a bit tired, and my feet were just too painful to keep going, even in the wheelchair, so we headed out of the ICC and headed for the Circle Center mall and the food court. We grabbed a couple of hot dogs and a bottle of water each at the A&W there. A decent hot dog there, of course, but I found it a little bit greasy for my taste. We headed back for the ICC and the Westin, but on the way saw the display of costumes called the Dragon’s Hoard once more and had to take a photo of them. Just sorry that I forgot to take one of the side area where they had the Firefly costumes worn by Inara Serra (played by Morena Baccarin). *sigh*


The Dragon’s Hoard of costumes

SteveR and I headed back to the Westin from the mall, and stopped off at Capital Grounds to pick up a chocolate chip muffin. We then got back to the hotel room, and when I got out of the wheelchair my feet were swollen and both were hurting badly, as well as my thigh muscles from sitting in the wheelchair. I sat for a while with my feet elevated and that helped, as did the water and the muffin. SteveR relaxed somewhat as well, and he clearly needed it as he looked a bit pale. I called down to the Westin lobby and learned that I could take care of checking out of the hotel the next morning from the hotel room. That was something of a relief, as the wheelchair limited my mobility and I didn’t really want to get caught in a line-up for check-out the next morning. After a bit, we both got up off the beds and started in on the packing of the suitcases and the like until we were ready for supper.

We decided to go back to High Velocity in the J.W. Marriott for supper, but at the last minute remembered there was a decent place in the Marriott Downtown, though neither of us could remember the name. We made our way to the Marriott Downtown and found the place – the Circle City Brew and Grub – where we had our final supper in Indy. We ordered our food, and when it came I couldn’t believe the size of the Emerald Garden (salad) and the huge Troll’s Delight (turkey leg)! Here’s the visual proof.


Emerald Garden (salad)


The Troll’s Delight (turkey)

While the turkey was delicious, as it had an interesting smoking method applied to it as part of the cooking process (and thus its reddish pink colour), that was just too much food for this Canadian boy with Type 2 diabetes. I did it justice, I thought, eating about half of one side of the bird leg and enjoyed the meal for the most part.

SteveR and I returned to the Westin hotel, and continued to try and finish off most of the packing for the trip home. The trick was to distribute the Coriolis – The Third Horizon, the old TORG RPG supplements, and the Terraforming Mars materials between us so the check-in suitcases wouldn’t be too heavy. Once we got that sorted out, the rest of the packing for the night was relatively easy. After finishing off the packing, I took my second insulin shot of the day, had some Cheerios with a bit of apple, and then relaxed for the next 30 minutes or so just re-checking some of the packing and keeping my feet elevated. And at least I was out of the damned wheelchair. We crashed around 12:35 am, though I couldn’t fall asleep until around 1:15 am. Foot pain.

In any event, the next post will be about the trip home to Ottawa, and then I’ll be writing just one more post about this year’s GenCon 2017, a retrospective of sorts, some thoughts on the convention, and some photos of my loot from the convention. As always, thoughts and comments are much appreciated.

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GenCon 2017, Day 3 Report September 2, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, health hut, personal, photos, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, the dark eye rpg, torg eternity rpg.
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Here is the report of the fifth day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the fourth day can be found in this journal entry. I should warn you that this post is very long and there are quite a few photos in it. 🙂

August 19th, 2017

I woke up this morning feeling relatively all right, but somewhat tired. My stomach and bowels had stabilised overnight, it seemed, and I felt ready to face the day. It was going to be a long, difficult Saturday what with having to walk to Union Station for a seminar and then running a game from 8 pm until midnight. On the other hand, I was looking forward to running the game as it was the Coriolis – The Third Horizon scenario “The Dying Ship”. I was a bit more confident about that adventure now that I had run it once already. SteveR and I went through our morning ablutions routine, and the shower made me feel a bit better and took away a bit of the left shoulder aches and pains that I was feeling and I was ready to start the day.

We went down to the Westin Indianapolis restaurant, Shula’s, and had breakfast. I ate my usual 2-egg omelette with mushrooms, ham and mozzarella cheese with some toast and decaf coffee on the side, but SteveR switched things up this morning and had some steel cut oats. They had been cooked to the consistency of gruel, and I was glad I’d not tried them. I spent part of breakfast catching up on my Twitter feed, and saw that SteveR had sent me a couple of costume pics from the night before, a Wonder Woman and the two central characters from Moana. Very nice.


Wonder Woman at GenCon 2017


Two ladies as Moana and Maui

I also saw on the Twitter feed that the Coriolis – The Third Horizon had won another award at the ENnies the night before, but also that Tales From the Loop had picked up a couple of awards as well. It was going to look strange and silly if the Modiphius booth didn’t have copies of the Loop when the Exhibit Hall opened today. Here is a pic of those awards.


Tales From the Loop awards

While eating breakfast in Shula’s, started chatting with new friends at the adjoining tables. It’s fun meeting new folks at the convention who also share your interests – gaming, people! – and had a good conversation with them. The three gamers I was talking to all had little roleplaying game experience, but were very into board games and some live action stuff. Nice to see the variety at the convention in terms of the gamers and their interests, but one of them, Annie, said that she had recently been curious about roleplaying games. We talked for a bit about the basics of said games, and breakfast passed rather amicably. As we finished off breakfast, I realised that it was already the third day of GenCon 2017. Where had the time gone?

SteveR and I went back up to the hotel room, finished the morning ablutions off and grabbed what we needed for the morning before heading over to the ICC and the Exhibit Hall. Before going to the Exhibit Hall, I went over to GM HQ to drop off the tickets from the game of Coriolis the night before, and complained to the folks there about the other fellow with his 12 players and the amount of noise they’d made. The head honcho in the GM HQ told me that there were only supposed to be two tables in the room, not three, and that the game was only supposed to have six players, so I gave him all the information I could remember about the game, and he promised me there would be disciplinary action taken. (Whether there was or not I have no idea.)

SteveR and I then made our way to the Exhibit Hall. Being Saturday, it was even busier in the Exhibit Hall than at any other time of the convention, and I walked the hall with SteveR for a bit until he decided he wanted to buy a couple of things and headed off on his own. I kept on walking around and seeing what was there. Don’t remember where I was when I saw this game being played, but snapped a photo of it.


Game of Quartermaster General being played

I made my way to the Modiphius Entertainment booth, and there was a massive crowd there. The folks were waiting on the copies of the Tales From the Loop game. Chris Birch told me that T.R. and a couple of other folks had gone to the Fort Wayne warehouse to pick them up, and should be back soon. They were only going to have a hundred or more copies of the game. Sure enough, T.R. and the others came in with the boxes, and started putting the copies out for sale. They were snatched up at a frenetic pace. I was rather pleased for the game, which had won several ENnies the night before.

I bought a few more things that I probably should have skipped on, but what the heck. It was only money at this point. Wandered around a bit more, I came across Phil Foglio‘s booth and couldn’t resist picking up the Myth Adventures graphic novel and the first volume of Girl Genius. And a free tote bag! Phil’s a really nice guy, and it was a pleasure meeting him.


Phil Foglio at his GenCon booth

Wandered out of the main hall, and into the ICC hallways, and came across some neat characters.


A great costume, even if I don’t know who/what it is

Came across a magnificent John Hammond and his marvellous cane. Had to take photos of him, and the cane. The fellow was very kind and also talked to me about the construction of the cane.


A terrific John Hammond


John Hammond’s marvellous cane

Also saw an interesting group of characters posing for photos, and managed to snap a picture of them.


Interesting mix of characters

Another couple of characters that you might recognise.


You might recognise these two characters

Went back in to the Exhibit Hall and caught up with SteveR. We headed over to the Stronghold Games booth, as I wanted to drop off a business card there and see whether I could myself a writing or editing gig for them. While that remains open still, I did pick up a copy of the Terraforming Mars board game as well as the Hellas & Elysium expansion for the game. Looks really good, and I definitely want to play this when I get back to Ottawa. As to the writing or editing gig, that remains to be seen.

It was getting late in the morning, and SteveR and I still had plans to walk over to the Ulisses Spiele NA seminar that was to be held over in Union Station so we left the Exhibit Hall. Stopped off and caught a bit of the Water Street Bridge performance in one of the hallways of the ICC. I took a photo of the band performing, and bought three of their CDs. Good music.


Water Street Bridge performing in the ICC

By this time it was close to 11:45 am, so SteveR and I dropped out purchases at the room in the Westin, and then made the arduous, seriously long treak from the Westin to Union Station for the Ulisses Spiele NA seminar on future products the company was going to be working on. My legs were aching by the time we got to the seminar, about 5 minutes late, and the room was pretty much full though we managed to find seats. I considered tweeting something about the seminar, but it was being recorded. We learned about stuff in the pipeline for their games, including Torg Eternity and The Dark Eye RPG.


The Ulisses Spiele NA seminar

From the seminar, SteveR and I made our way back to the Westin, stopping off for some food – a slice of bad pizza, to be honest – at the Cross Roads Bistro. I wasn’t happy about the pizza or perhaps it was the way my feet were feeling, but I had a feeling something was wrong, other than my stomach.


The Cross Roads Bistro sign

We got back to the Westin hotel and made our way back up to our hotel room. And that’s when my life at the convention changed for the rest of the weekend (and for the weeks after we returned from the convention). The moment I took my right shoe off, I knew something was wrong – the entire right side of my sock was covered in blood and what looked like a greenish liquid. I thought that it was my hammertoe that had burst, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I had a very bad blister on the bottom of my right foot, about the size of a large Canadian toonie. Lots of blood. This was not good. (And no, despite taking some photos you won’t see them here at all.) In addition, I had two developing blisters on the left foot. Suffice it to say, I’m not going into more details here other than to say that I considered catching the next flight home to Ottawa, though I didn’t as I wanted to stick out the convention as best I could. The Westin staff proved very helpful, and by the time 5:00 pm rolled around, the wounds were antibiotic-ed and bandaged, and I had a wheelchair. A manual wheelchair that I couldn’t move due to the left shoulder problem. I’ll just say at this point that SteveR was a goddesssend for the rest of the convention. I spent a bit of time that I had with SteveR occupied elsewhere catching up some more on the Twitter feed, and saw that Modiphius was down to just a few copies of Tales From the Loop left.


The last of the TFtL game at Modiphius booth

SteveR returned to the hotel, and I talked to him about supper. Since he was off to another event that evening, he wouldn’t be joining me. He did agree to help me get up to Shula’s restaurant for supper, since I needed to eat early before the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG session that night, but he wouldn’t stay. For those who read my tweets once I got up to supper, yes, I was feeling quite sorry for myself. The meal at Shula’s was overly expensive, and not something I’m going to post photos of here (though I took a couple), suffice it to say spending all that money on supper didn’t improve my mood. I had hoped to go to Loughmiller’s Pub again for the evening meal, but there was no way to wheel my chair there, and they probably couldn’t accommodate me given the narrowness of the aisles around the tables and sheer crowdedness of the place during the convention. *sigh*

Around 7:30 pm, SteveR returned and helped wheel me over to the Hyatt for the evening game of Coriolis – The Third Horizon, helping me carry all the gaming books and the scenario that I’d need for the evening game. We got to the Hyatt and went into the Directors 1 room for the game, and I was pleased to see that there was no other game in the room that evening. A complete difference compared to the previous night’s game, to be sure, though the sound in the room would echo a bit as I discovered when we started playing.

The Coriolis – The Third Horizon scenario that I was running on this Friday afternoon was the newest adventure published by the folks at Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing called “The Dying Ship”, and had just gone on sale at the convention the day before. The scenario features the same characters from the “Dark Flowers” Quickstart adventure – Dr. Armita Wana, Zebaraimas “Zebo” Hutul, Samioh Amin, Rouya Ghallab and Nima Dol-Soufi – as the characters investigate what’s going on aboard a freighter that has gone silent, and discover a deadly secret. One that may all not live to tell the tale about. While I’m not going to go into detail about the scenario for the obvious reasons, since I plan to run it at other conventions in the future, I’ll only discuss some of the elements of the game here. Bear in mind there are SPOILER WARNINGS here, so be warned.

As mentioned, the Saturday night Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG session of “The Dying Ship” was completely different from the Friday night game. The quietness in the room that had a bit of an echoing quality to it when speaking lent an interesting eerieness that perfectly fit the Coriolis RPG scenario feel. Out of the five players that pre-registered for game, four of the players actually showed up so one of the two fellows who had Generic tickets (the fellow whom I’d spoken with about the game at the Modiphius booth on Friday) got into the game. The real neat aspect of this was that none of the players had played Coriolis, but were eager to do so based on the hype surrounding the game being the “Arabian Nights in space”. The five players, all guys, got into the game really early, having a good grasp of the game rules once I went through the spiel about them, and loved the premise of the game.

As for the game itself, Saturday night’s session of “The Dying Ship” was highly enjoyable. The players loved the magical and very faerie tale-like beginning with the old woman, and got right into the spirit of things when they received the potential job offer and request to meet at Wahib’s. They handled the encounter at Wahib’s with aplomb, and the player playing Samioh Amin did a good job of intimidating the opposition leader, and thus avoiding combat in the cantina. They were suspicious of their client from the get-go, but still were taken by surprise when they reached the Orun II and started learning the truth of their mission. The fellow playing Dr. Armita Wana played her loose, not exercising total control as the Captain might have, but was still an effective leader. Zebo was played with proper religious deference, and the player really liked the nature of the Icons and their influence in the everyday life of the people of the Horizon. The guy who played Samioh definitely played the sensor ops guy, but I liked the relationship between him and the fellow playing Zebo. Rouya came across very military the way the fellow was playing her, but did what she had to to keep the other characters safe, though she paid the ultimate sacrificeprice in the scenario. Finally, the fellow playing Nima had a good relationship with the Rouya character, and was devastated at her sacrifice. His Data Djinn skills were invaluable to the others, when it came down to it, and the player gave Nima a somewhat humourous aspect to him.


Coriolis RPG Saturday Game 1

I can’t mention any game highlights here without spoiling the scenario, so I won’t. All the players loved the basic game mechanics, and found them very easy to work with and understand. They told me they’d had a great time playing “The Dying Ship”, and thought the adventure was wonderfully “dark & twisty” (their words). Two of the players, fans of the Arabian Nights material, said the adventure and the game really had the feel to it, and they would definitely buy copies of the game the next day, while the fellow that I’d spoken to at the Modiphius booth told me he was glad he’d bought the game on the Friday, as it was well worth the price from the game session he’d just played. “It lived up to your hype of the game,” he told me. 🙂 Like I said, it was a good game session and let me forget my foot woes for several hours.


Coriolis RPG Saturday Game 2

By the time midnight had rolled around, I was feeling exhausted and drained from running the game of Coriolis – The Third Horizon, but had had a good time of it. SteveR came by around 10 to midnight, and watched the final moments of the scenario unfold. He helped me pack the gaming material while I also chatted with a couple of players afterwards, and then we got ready to head back to the Westin, SteveR helping me wheel(chair) back to the Westin.

We got back to the Westin hotel room, and SteveR helped me change the foot dressing and then we had a light snack (I can’t remember what we had for it, to be honest). After that we crashed. It was around 1:00 am or so, and I remember thinking that I was so very tired and so hurting in the foot before I fell asleep. But also how great the night’s Coriolis scenario had been.

That’s the wrap-up on the fifth day of the trip to Indy, and the third official day of GenCon 2017. Hope folks enjoyed the blog entry. The Sunday report on events will follow as soon as I get a chance.

GenCon 2017, Day 2 Report September 1, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, torg eternity rpg.
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Here is the report of the fourth day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the third day can be found in this journal entry. Note that this post is quite long, and has quite a few photos in it.

August 18th, 2017

I woke up this morning feeling somewhat rested, though not refreshed. I was surprised since I’d had bowel problems during the night (the price I’d paid once more for not eating for a stretch of the afternoon *sigh*). It promised to be a busy day at GenCon on the Friday, not least because I was running the first of two sessions of “The Dying Ship” scenario for the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG in the afternoon. I got up and took care of the morning ablutions, my left shoulder feeling very sore but somewhat relieved when I came out of the shower. While got showered and dressed, I checked the Twitter feed for the morning and was glad that I’ve been tweeting regularly about the trip to Indy and GenCon 2017, as those tweets would serve as part of my memories for the blog entries I’m currently writing. I promised myself that I’d take a bit more time to read over the scenario for Coriolis, as I’m new to it other than doing the editing on it, but I was looking forward to running it in the afternoon. Forgot to mention that before bed on Thursday night, SteveR told me he’d found the two Directors rooms in the Hyatt that I’d be running the game at – they were concealed at one end of the Hyatt Ballroom on the second floor. Nice to know.

SteveR and I went to Shula’s in the hotel (the Westin Indianapolis) for breakfast, and I was surprised that we had about a 10-minute wait for a table. Shouldn’t have been surprised, I guess, since with the hotel full of GenCon attendees, eating at restaurants was bound to be at a premium. We were early enough that we’d successfully make it to the dealers’ hall for the morning. I had my 2-egg omelette, but had mushrooms, ham (instead of spinach) and mozzarella cheese with it, and toast; still had the same attitude about the coffee. 🙂 From there, it was back up to the hotel room, the last of the ablutions, and then headed for the ICC and the convention proper.

We got down to the ICC with about 5 minutes to spare before it opened for the day. Just as crowded as it had been the day before, from what I heard, but the crowd was pretty intense and a bit crazy. I did manage to get a decent photo though.


Crowd outside the GenCon Exhibit Hall, waiting

I headed in with SteveR when the doors opened, and said a prayer for my safety. The Exhibit Hall was just as large and intimidating as it had been on Thursday, but there was a manic infectiousness about it that I loved, even with my mild claustrophobia at work. SteveR and I headed over right off the bat to the Ulisses Spiele NA booth, where Darrell Hayhurst was once more, and I managed to buy a set of Torg Eternity RPG dice while SteveR picked up a set for himself and one for Tammy. Love the dice, they’re quite beautiful! (I took a photo of the dice right then and there.)


The Torg Eternity dice set

Darrell and I talked some more about various things pertaining to Torg Eternity, and he also told me the basics about the Delphi Council game from the night before (you had to pledge $1,000 in the Kickstarter to play in this game), and based on some of the secrets he told me about that game, I really wish I’d been able to get into the game, but I just didn’t have the funds for that at the time. Here’s a photo of the USNA booth that early Friday morning. I’m in the pic (so find me). 🙂


The USNA booth (see me?)

From the USNA booth, I headed over to the Modiphius Entertainment booth once more. Here’s a pic that I took at the booth.


Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing stuff at the Modiphius booth

What’s interesting is there are no copies of the Tales From the Loop RPG there, and the game was going to be up for an ENnie Award or two that night. The shipment had been delayed, but the folks at the Modiphius booth said they hoped that the books would be in some time on Saturday (hopefully the morning). I was walking way from the Modiphius booth, and came across another booth (but for the life of me, can’t remember what the booth was called) selling t-shirts, and I caved in and picked up three more t-shirts.

Also caught sight of this cute dude/dudette at the booth, sitting there. (SteveR took the photo. I apologise for the blurriness.)


A cute whatsit

Walking around a bit after that, stumbled on the Days of Wonder booth and the various tables where Ticket to Ride was being played. Stayed there for a bit, and watched a bit of the game. Took the photo, of course.


Ticket to Ride game in progress

Continued to wander around, and paid a visit to the Pelgrane Press booth. Chatted with some old friends and took a look at the new merchandise that they had, but wasn’t feeling like buying anything new there.


The Pelgrane Press booth

Here’s a photo of one of the old friends I mentioned. (Robin D. Laws.) He lives in the Toronto area and I live in the Ottawa area, so naturally I had to travel to Indianapolis to see and chat with him. Had a good talk with Robin, and learned what he was up to gaming-wise (and no, I’m not allowed to say).


One of the old friends at Pelgrane (Robin D. Laws)

Walked over to the Paizo booth where some of the other half of the Ulisses Spiele NA folks were selling stuff, and lo and behold the new Torg Eternity t-shirts had come in a day early. Guess who bought one? Moi! 🙂 (Again, you’ll have to wait for the GenCon Loot post to see photos of the new t-shirt, but it’s absolutely gorgeous and colourful.) Had a good discussion with Dean Gilbert (aka TorgHacker) again about various things Torg Eternity related, and he swore me to secrecy about some of the stuff in the [redacted by the Delphi Council] book. Good chat.

SteveR and I decided that it was time to head out of the Exhibit Hall and grab some lunch, since I also had to run the first of two Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG game sessions at 2:00 pm, so started heading for the nearest exit from the massive hall. While on the way out, we wandered near the Chimera Hobby Shop booth, more a second-hand game shoppe than anything else, and guess what I spotted? Old TORG RPG supplements! I couldn’t resist, and bought a whole slew of the TORG RPG books, although I was sad he didn’t have any of the old boxed sets. *sigh* Still, it was a good haul. Rather pleased with myself. 🙂

We dropped off the stuff we’d picked up for the day back at the hotel room in the Westin, and I promised myself that I wasn’t going to buy any more stuff at the convention, maybe just a couple of more t-shirts and maybe some more dice. SteveR and I then headed for Shula’s for lunch in the Westin Indianapolis (one of the best kept lunch restaurant secrets at GenCon), and ate a club sandwich with a bottle of water. Absolutely yummy. After lunch, we went back up to the hotel room and collected all the stuff that I’d need to run the game of Coriolis that afternoon, and then headed over to the Hyatt and Directors 2, Table 2. I was looking forward to running the game, and meeting the players there.

We got to the Hyatt and went over to the Directors 2 room, and found that there some 10 gamers playing a game at two tables of the three in the room. There were five people pre-registered for the game (out of five asked for), so I figured that there would be a full table for the game. I started setting up for the game, and several of the players showed up and came over to the table and sat down, all ready to play. By the time 2:00 pm rolled around, I realised one of the players wasn’t going to show up, and there were no potential players with Generic tickets, so I put a couple of calls out for players on Twitter (though I got no response). I wasn’t too worried about this, as the adventure would play well with four players, and I could have them play the fifth character as an NPC.

The Coriolis – The Third Horizon scenario that I was running on this Friday afternoon was the newest adventure published by the folks at Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing called “The Dying Ship”, and had just gone on sale at the convention the day before. The scenario features the same characters from the “Dark Flowers” Quickstart adventure – Dr. Armita Wana, Zebaraimas “Zebo” Hutul, Samioh Amin, Rouya Ghallab and Nima Dol-Soufi – in which the characters investigate what’s going on aboard a freighter that has gone silent, and discover a deadly secret. One that may all not live to tell the tale about. While I’m not going to go into detail about the scenario for the obvious reasons, since I plan to run it at other conventions in the future, I’ll only discuss some of the elements of the game here. Bear in mind there are SPOILER WARNINGS here, so be warned.

The Coriolis RPG game went pretty well given the circumstances. As mentioned, four of the five players showed up for the game, one woman, and three fellows. Two of the players were from Hawaii and had never roleplayed before. One had played in the “Dark Flowers” game the night before, but the GM had used modified rules, and the fourth player was a newbie to the game system but not to roleplaying. The players took on the role of four of the characters, with Rouya Ghallab (the combat oriented character) to be played by agreement by the group as a whole. The game went really well for the first hour and 1/2, but noise from the tables of 12 (!!) players in the room drove the fourth player out of the game and the room, this despite attempts to get them to quiet down. I was pretty annoyed, and thought the game would end then and there, but the other three players decided to continue on, splitting the two now NPCs between themselves. (More on the disruptive tables of players to come in the Saturday report.)


Running Coriolis on Friday 1

The scenario went really well, with the prologue encounter with the old woman setting the stage, and the players becoming nervous about the mystical elements that were seemingly occurring. I had an urchin run up to the characters looking for Dr. Wana, and then handing her the first hand-out, and that got the players set for the meeting at Wahib’s cantina. They took me by surprise by sending one of their own, the artist/courtesan Samioh Amin, to check out Wahib’s and see what they could learn. The players were surprised by what occurred there, and took matters into their own hands to prevent their losing a potential client. From there, the scenario went very well, and the players got creeped out as they travelled to the gone silent freighter, and were creeped out by the atmosphere that I gave the scenario. They did a good job getting aboard the Orun II, and then things got more mystical, even more creepy, and the players loved it! They were barely able to win out in the situation they found themselves in, and had a moral dilemma on their hands at the end that they agonised about before taking what action they had to so as to prevent an even great catastrophe.


Running Coriolis on Friday 2

There was some terrific roleplaying on the part of the three players in the game, with the Hawaiian lady who played Dr. Wana taking firm command of the party of characters, but allowing them to give her feedback. For their part, they allowed her to make the final decisions, but the fellow playing Samioh Amin was rather headstrong and clashed with her at times. He played the character rather sneaky and shifty, and did a great job playing the social chameleon and it was his sensor ops rolls that allowed them to learn some useful information before they attempted to board the Orun II. Lastly, the fellow playing Zebo did a great job playing the true believer in the Icons, and the others responded to that, facing their own attitudes towards the Icons and how religion played itself out in the characters’ lives and in the course of the adventure. The players had a terrific time playing in the “Arabian Nights in space” setting, and really loved the atmosphere of the scenario and the at times creepiness of the adventure.

When we were finished, SteveR had returned and while I was packing up the gaming materials, the players told me they were really fond of the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG system and game rules, and loved the simplicity and intuitiveness of the game. They also admitted to adoring, but being terrified of, the Darkness Points and that set of mechanics. The fellow who had played in the “Dark Flowers” scenario the night before mentioned that he really preferred the rules “as written”, as he had feared that this scenario would make him and the others feel that they couldn’t succeed at dice rolls the way he and the other players felt the night before.

Anyway, SteveR helped me finish packing up the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG game materials, and then we made the trek back to the Westin to drop things off at the hotel room. Those Coriolis rulebooks are very heavy. SteveR had somewhere else that he needed to be that evening, so after he left the hotel room I sat back and rested for a bit. Once I decided to go and eat supper, I figured that perhaps a good choice would be Loughmiller’s Pub. While getting ready to go outside, I got a text message from my friend Andrew Davis, whom I hadn’t seen since 2015 (but whom I was in touch with through texts and e-mails) asking if I wanted to go to supper with him and his sister, Izzy. We agreed to meet up at Loughmiller’s, and had a good meal there and good conversation. I had a really good plate of fish ‘n chips (c’mon, it’s a pub…what do you expect?) and had a beer with that meal, too, and the mood was relaxed and festive. After dinner, we had some tea and then went back to the Westin lobby to chat for a bit more. After Andrew and Izzy took off for the night, I sat back in the Westin lobby and watched some of the “>ENnies and the award winners being announced. There was a nice surprise in there. 🙂


Coriolis – The Third Horizonwins an ENnie Award

I also had a nice little bonus. MarkJ, whom I’d met in the lobby during one of my other sit-downs there, remembered seeing me at the Ulisses Spiele NA booth, and asked if I’d like (to learn) to play some Aventuria with him. I was very pleased to do so, and managed to win two duels out of the five we played. Easy to learn game and probably some beginner’s luck involved. Fun game. I was having so much fun with the game, I forgot to snap a picture or two. Ah, well.

SteveR sent me a photo of a terrific costume that he’d seen at the convention, a really cute, somewhat hot Agent Carter.


Agent Carter is at GenCon

I sat around in the Westin lobby for a bit more time, tweeting a bit, and talking to several of the gamers at various tables. I also watched about 20 minutes of a game of Terraforming Mars (which influenced me on Saturday) before SteveR returned from his not total disaster evening (see his own blog posts about this when he writes them up). We walked over to Capital Grounds in the Westin hotel and picked up a chocolate chip muffin before heading upstairs to the hotel room.

Up in the hotel room, SteveR and I snacked on the chocolate chip muffin and I had my Cheerios after taking my insulin shot for the night (my sugar was very low to begin with), and then I crawled onto the bed and went over the day in my mind. While the Friday had started off badly, things got better after that. I had a good breakfast to start the day, and didn’t allow my blood sugar to run helter skelter. Not to mention eating a decent set of meals and snacks for the day helped my tummy tremendously.
I then re-read some of “The Dying Ship” material before bed. I hit the pillows and fell asleep relatively quickly (for me). I think my body knew that it was going to be a long Saturday.

That’s the wrap-up on the fourth day of the trip to Indy, and the second official day of GenCon 2017. Hope folks enjoyed the blog entry. The Saturday report on events will follow as soon as I get a chance.

RPGaDay in August – August 22nd: Easiest RPGs to Run August 25, 2017

Posted by jkahane in coriolis rpg, gaming hut, personal, primeval rpg, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, torg eternity rpg.
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We continue on with #RPGaDAY in August.

RPGaDay_2017_questions.jpg

#RPGaDAY

Day 22 – Which RPGs are the easiest to run for you?

I’m actually not sure what this question means in terms of context, but I will say that the easiest rpgs for me to run are those that have a) an interesting world that I can understand intuitively; and b) a set of game mechanics that are relatively easy to work with and don’t require heavy lifting and loading.

In recent years, this would include the Primeval RPG and the current Coriolis – The Third Horizon and Tales From the Loop RPGs, as well as the forthcoming Torg Eternity RPG.

CanGames 2017 Day 2 Report May 25, 2017

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, gaming hut, health hut, personal, primeval rpg, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg.
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Here’s my report and write-up on the second day of CanGames 2017. You can read the report on CanGames 2017 Day 1 by following the link. This report on the second day of CanGames 2017 is quite long, since I ran two games on this day, but there are no photos of the games or the Saturday at the convention. Naturally, it’s behind the cut for those who aren’t interested.

May 20th, 2017

I woke up on Saturday morning around 8:00 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. Not to mention the phlegm from my allergies dripping down my throat. When I got out of bed, I was also a bit shaky and still quite tired. Not enough sleep. I tested out my voice, and realized that I was absolutely hoarse and almost at a whispering level. This didn’t augur well for the day, given that I was supposed to run two games at CanGames this day. After breakfast, I felt somewhat better, though I was coughing a bit, the hot food and coffee making me have nasal drip, but the coffee definitely soothed the throat somewhat.

I went downstairs, and continued packing the rest of the gaming stuff up for the day, as well as started on the personal bag, and made a decision for the day: If I couldn’t get the folks at Game Registration to move the Primeval and Tales From the Loop games that I was supposed to run from the main area near Registration (F2) and the kids’ section on the curling sheet (C3) down to the basement level (S1 or S2), where it was relatively quiet, I was going to cancel both games for the day. After finishing most of the packing, I had my shower, luxuriating in the hot water, and that made me feel a bit better, though the allergies/asthma were still very bad. At least my spirits were somewhat better as well. After dressing, I started in on some of the snack food, cutting up some cheese cubes, restocking some of the crackers, and made sure that 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, though my voice was ragged, and was looking forward to the games of the day. We packed the car with the gaming stuff and took the food in the decent size cooler that I had recently bought, and then headed over to Subway. About 10 minutes into the drive, I realized I’d forgotten my diabetes pills that I had put in the little pill box that I use, and we went back to the house so I could grab that. Once at Subway, I picked up a turkey sub as per usual with a bottle of water, then it was off to the convention. We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club somewhat later than planned, close to 1 pm. We were both surprised when SteveR was able to find a parking space right across the street from the Rideau Curling Club entrance. The Gods were obviously cracking a smile on us this afternoon! 🙂

SteveR and I unpacked the car, took everything into the Rideau Curling Club venue, and put all the food and gaming stuff into one of the storage lockers on the lower level of the club. While SteveR went to the loo, I went upstairs and checked on the number of gamers for the two games I was running this day. There were no surprises – I still had only two players for the Primeval game in the afternoon, but a second player had signed up for the Tales From the Loop game that I was running that evening. I spoke (such as I could, among all the noise) to the Gaming Registration folks, and was able to change the table assignments for the last three games (I also had Coriolis – The Third Horizon to run on Sunday) from the main floor and curling sheet down to one of the rooms in the basement (nicknamed “The Dungeon”). I saw Tim, and he came over to talk for a couple of minutes, but after I told him that I had lost/was losing my voice, we cut the conversation short.

Since it was now a quarter past one, and I was supposed to run my game of Primeval at 2:00 pm, we sat down on the main level at one of the tables and ate our Subway lunches. I made sure to hydrate myself adequately this time. SteveR helped me get the gaming stuff out of the locker downstairs, and prop it against the wall, since the room I was gaming in (S1) was the Ladies Room (see the previous entry) where the lockers were!! I did a bit of basic set-up for the game, and then headed up at around 1:35 pm to see if I had any more players on the sign-up sheet that the CanGames folks had put out. SteveR also needed to find himself a game to play in. I managed to talk a couple of other folks into playing the game, using the fact that the scenario has the nickname “Dinos On a Zeppelin” as the hook. Worked like a charm, but by close to 2:00 pm, I coudn’t get a sixth player to join in. I was a bit annoyed, but nothing to do but soldier on. I found all the players, and told them that the game had been moved down to the basement level from the assigned table due to my voice.

I descended back down to “The Dungeon”, and most of the players were already there and waiting. The room was pretty small, what with the lockers, but relatively comfortable, though it didn’t have a lot of ventilation and was somewhat dusty. The heat and the dust had me coughing more as phlegm dripped down my throat, and the dry air didn’t help that much, either. This was to plague me for the rest of the convention running the games in the room, but it *was* quiet (though there was some noise always from the game(s) in S2, so that more than made up for things. As I started the Primeval game, it was very warm, but as the evening went on, it became like an oven (at least it felt like that to me).

The Primeval adventure I ran on Saturday afternoon is called “The Dixmude Affair” (though it has a nickname, which is “Dinos On a Zeppelin”), and revolves around the player characters returning from the past through an Anomaly to an altered timeline that seems to hinge on something that occurred in 1923 with the airship Dixmude. The player characters for this scenario are a somewhat slightly altered mix of characters from the early part of the second series of the UK series – Professor Nick Cutter, palaeontologist; Stephen Hart, survival expert and guide; Abby Maitland, animal specialist (herpetologist); Connor Temple, technology geek; Claudia Brown, civil servant; and Captain Tom Ryan, Home Office/SAS man. This scenario is a homegrown one; I’m not going into detail about the plot here (because I’d like to run the adventure at a few other conventions and the like). I will say that the adventure went very well, though I modified a couple of the encounters to better meet the time requirements that I had. Since there were only five players at the table, one of the characters didn’t get played. That was Abby Maitland, which hindered the roleplaying on the part of the Connor Temple player, though I did make sure he got to interact with her several times by mobile phone (and in the final sequence).

Overall, the players had a good time with the adventure, though I was surprised that none of them had seen the Primeval UK tv series, so they really had little grasp of how to play the characters from the show. That worked out all right, since with the write-ups I provided them on the characters, it gave them a bit of leeway in how they played their characters. The fellow playing Nick did a nice job of playing the team leader, and he clashed a couple of times with the “kill the creatures” attitude of the Captain Ryan character, whose player did a great job interacting with the other players and their characters. The fellow playing Connor did his best with the technology aspects of the scenario, and managed to get a few good laughs at times with some of his more humourous comments. The fellow playing Claudia hadn’t seen the series, but he understood her role in the group very well, and kept telling them not to make too much of a mess of the situation they were in. Gary, a friend of mine from past CanGames, played Stephen Hart, and did a good job with him, using his tracking skills, mocking Nick’s approach to dealing with the creatures and the public knowledge of them, and used his combat skills effectively (more so than the fellow playing Captain Ryan). Highlights of the game session included: The look on the faces of the players when they realized the time period of the (standard style of Primeval UK series) Prologue. When the player characters returned to the ARC and were attacked by neo-Nazis with advanced technology. Chasing them saw them encounter the same characters, but French revolutionaries in appearance. My favourite lines of the night were, “I thought she was a neo-Nazi, not a French revolutionary.” – Tom Ryan “That was in the *other* timeline.” – Nick Cutter. The attack by the *censored!* at the *censored!* museum was a lot of fun, and the players experienced Threat markers for the first time. ::evil grin:: The player characters’ encounter with an alternate Helen Cutter, and the Nick player’s reaction to that was priceless. The fight on the airship with the *censored! dinosaurs* that saw a pitched battle on the catwalks and pylons and beams in the upper part of the airship near the rear gasbags was a blast (pun intended!), and just marvellous.

For the most part, I had a good time running the adventure, but felt drained by the end of the session. My voice was whispery and soft by the time we finished up, even with the cups of hot tea and bottles of water I drank. I was out of gas and out of breath at the end. The characters racked up 8 Temporal Damage and 5 Exposure points when it was all done, but that didn’t matter due to the nature of the outcome of the scenario (and no, I’m not explaining what I mean by that!). The players felt very accomplished at the end of the session, and told me that they had really enjoyed the adventure, even if they were confused by some of the plot twists and turns, not to mention the alternate reality elements, but the confusion was good! 🙂 The players told me that they could hear me relatively well, as the room we were in was pretty quiet, so the change in room/table assignments was a good one on my part. The heat and dryness, however, was another matter. I chatted with only a couple of the players after we finished, while I was packing up the game and materials, despite how I was barely talking. One of the players asked me about the Threat rules, and I gave him the basics on those, while Gary talked to me about the time travel elements of the plot, and got the skinny on a couple of the issues pertaining to that.

By the time I finished packing up and all, it was just before 6:00 pm, and SteveR had returned with our supper, a Chinese beef with veggies (actually all bok choy) and (egg) noodles dish. He’d actually finished running his game, “The Chabuli Conspiracy” for the Thousand Suns RPG just before 5:00 pm!!, and had then headed out to get the food for us after relaxing for a few minutes. (You can read about his running of the game from one of the players’ perspectives by reading ‘s blog entry.) I packed the Primeval stuff in the locker in the room and took the stuff out for the game of Tales From the Loop that I would be running that evening. I needed to get out of the hot and dry S1 room for a while, and since I needed to go upstairs and hand in the Primeval game sign-in sheet with the winners of the trophies/certificates anyway, suggested to SteveR that we go upstairs and eat supper at the table where I would have originally run the Tales From the Loop game. He was agreeable, so off and upstairs we went.

The cool air of the upstairs (though also somewhat dry) felt good after being down in “The Dungeon”, and we sat and relaxed over supper which was quite good. But SteveR and I could have split one of those dishes between us, and there would have been a batch of it left over! I managed to scarf down my diabetes meds with some water during supper, and actually drank a whole bottle of water with the meal, just taking the noisy atmosphere of the upstairs area in. I did my best to preserve my voice for the evening session (the food helped a bit with that), but was feeling like a bit of social outcast since I couldn’t really talk casually with my friends and acquaintances during the con, and Saturday at supper was no exception. We finished eating around 6:30 pm or so, and while SteveR took the excess food out to the car, I checked how the sign-up sheet for the game looked and was pleased that I had managed to fill all but one of the five spots for the game. I went back downstairs and started setting up the table for the evening’s game, and once that was done, went back upstairs. I still only had four players for the Tales From the Loop game, but was able to convince a young lady, Heather, to play after I showed her the game blurb (since this game wasn’t in the convention booklet).

Heading back down to “The Dungeon”, I saw that all of the players had arrived for the Tales From the Loop game, and Heather arrived shortly thereafter. I finished the set-up I needed to do, waited until 7:00 pm, and then got the game underway. As for the scenario, well… First off, Tales From the Loop is a roleplaying game based on the artwork of Simon Stalenhag of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts that have arisen because of the Loop. The player characters are Kids aged 9-15 who investigate and solve Mysteries that are connected to the Loop. The game uses the same ruleset as those found in Mutant Year Zero and Coriolis – The Third Horizon, but that are simpler in style and feel. The scenario that I ran for the game, “Summer Break and Killer Birds”, is the first of the adventures found in the main rulebook for the game, and concerns a boring Swedish summer in which a talking bird (or three) leads the Kids into a mystery of sorts and a nefarious plot. The player characters for this adventure include Olof “Olle” Svensson, a sports jock; Anita “Ani” Carlgren, the serious popular girl; Dennis “Turtle” Dahlstrom, a shy computer nerd; Sara Dahlstrom, Turtle’s younger sister and a curious weirdo; and a fifth character of my own creation, Lars “Muscles” Herkusson, a lonely hick. 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.

Overall, I did a pretty good job with the adventure despite my voice problems and the fact that I had to dash out of the gaming room at one point because the heat and dust made me feel like I was going to retch. The players commented that they could hear me fine, due to the nice and relatively peaceful quiet despite the game going on in the next room over. The players commented they loved the game setting, the simplicity of the Tales From the Loop game rules and mechanics (“even a child could learn these rules!” as one player put it), and had a good time with the intriguing plot. The players each did a great job playing their Kid characters, Heather doing a superb job with “Muscles” Herkusson, and focusing on his wisdom and knowledge of the outdoors. Gary, again, did a great job with the sports jock, “Olle” Svensson, and got to use his cricket bat at one point during the final sequence. The other players were equally inspired, “Turtle” Dahlstrom’s player playing the computer nerd/geek to a “T” and the player playing his sister, Sara, played her as a 9-year-old for all he was worth. Finally, the fellow playing “Ani” Carlgren was terrific as the popular kid vying for the attention of one of the other characters, while also seeking popularity and doing what it took to get that. Highlights of the adventure were many, but some of the stand-outs included: The Kids tried to track down the *censored*(s), but couldn’t do so. They got distracted by some of the ruins of intriguing items and creations, including a rusted robot head. Facing the mad ornithologist, Mats Tingblad, the characters all took the Scared Condition when they first encountered him chasing birds with an axe. From that point on, they called him “Mad Mats”. Searching the home of another scientist, they encountered his niece, and the debate started by the famous line, “Brother, what does “making whoopie” mean?” felt almost like a whole Abbott and Costello routine. Lots of fun. The final showdown with *censored!* that gave the players a “winner takes all” vibe, and that they ran with, using Luck Points like crazy to accomplish their goals.

By the time we wrapped up for the night, I was feeling down to my last ounce of strength, and to be honest, almost voiceless. While SteveR, who had played in a game during the evening, helped me pack up the gaming materials and foodstuffs for the evening, I answered a few questions from a couple of the players about the Tales From the Loop game. They had enjoyed the game, but were curious about a couple of aspects of the game and some of the artwork intrigued them as well. After the players had all departed, I went about assigning the rankings on the sign-up sheet, which I took up to the Game Registration Desk, and collected my second $5 GM reward token of the convention. I took my blood glucose reading, and it was around 12.9 (again, a sure sign that I had an infection), and I took my insulin shot and then once more had a small, plastic bowl of Cheerios. Packed up and ready to go, SteveR and I took all the bags and the cooler out to the car.

I got back to the house around 11:45 pm, and SteveR helped me bring in the stuff from the gaming day, and then swapped some of the snack food that was left from my new cooler back into his. The adrenalin for the day was gone by this time, and I just had nothing left to give for the night. I made a cup of tea, unpacked one of the three game bags, and then headed for bed. My voice was definitely gone, and I was feeling somewhat sick and thought that I might have gotten the con crud that I was seeing at the convention in my weakened condition. After the tea, I went to bed, but was up for a while with some coughing fits and bad allergy symptoms. I think I fell asleep around 3:00 am or so.

And that’s the wrap-up of Saturday at CanGames 2017. As you can see this entry was a long one, and had a only a couple of photos (and those from the convention program booklet) 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 2017 Begins Today May 19, 2017

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, health hut, personal, primeval rpg, roleplaying games, rpg hut, sell, tales from the loop rpg.
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Well, today is the start of CanGames, the local gaming convention here in Ottawa. I’m not working today, thank Goddess, so will be spending part of the morning putting together some of the stuff that I’ll need for the con, among other things.

Once more, for those who are going to the convention or who might be interested, here’s the listing of the games that I’m running with times and descriptions included…

*****
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?

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.

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!
*****

I’ve also got a bunch of stuff that I’ll be selling at the convention this year (you can see the list of games for sale in this blog entry), and hopefully I can sell this stuff for some reasonable sums, as I could use a bit of money for later in the year.

Health-wise, I have a couple of problems that I’ve gone into in other posts, so won’t dwell on here. Since I do have walking problems because of the diabetes, don’t be surprised if I take off my shoes at times during the course of the convention. The weekend should be interesting, to say the least.

I won’t be posting any blog entries during the weekend, so folks will have to wait for when I’ve got time at the start of next week and into the week itself for reports and the like (not to mention any photos I do take) about CanGames 2017. I may tweet from the convention on my mobile phone over the weekend, and will hopefully take a few photos as well of stuff for posting here and elsewhere.

In any event, I hope I’ll see some of you at the convention. Since you’ve seen the photo of me here on my blog, you’ll know who to look for. The hair’s a bit more gray, and there’s a bit less of it, that’s all. 🙂

CanGames Begins Tomorrow May 18, 2017

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, personal, primeval rpg, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg.
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It is just one more sleep until CanGames 2017 here in Ottawa.

I’m really looking forward to going to this convention, even though I’m also going to GenCon 50 in August. It’s a chance to meet old friends and acquaintances, chat with new folks and the like, and doing the gaming thing, of course. I’m looking forward to running the two Coriolis – The Third Horizon, one Primeval, and one Tales From the Loop games, naturally, though I do really hope that I actually get some players for the four games.

Once more, please note that the Tales From the Loop game won’t be on Saturday night’s schedule for various reasons (notably that I submitted it too late). Here’s the write-up on the Tales From the Loop RPG scenario that I’ll be running at the convention:

*****
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.
*****

My only real concern about the convention isn’t so much about walking this year, so much as it is about carrying. The doctor diagnosed me as having a bad case of frozen shoulder in my left arm, and it’s making carrying and lifting stuff with that arm extremely painful (among other things). And of course I’ve got to watch my blood sugars carefully and take my insulin dose at night during the convention, so that bears some more forethought as well. We’ll see how things go.

Seven Days to CanGames 2017 – Come and Play! :) May 12, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, personal, primeval rpg, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg.
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Geez, it’s the Friday before CanGames already.

This means that the 2017 edition of CanGames, the local Ottawa gaming convention being held at the Rideau Curling Club, is merely seven (7) (!!) days away, as it begins on Friday (the 19th of May). Hope to see folks from Ottawa and the surroundings, as well as folks from farther away, attending the convention.

And here’s just a reminder of what I’ll be running this year at CanGames.

*****
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?

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.

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!
*****

Hope to see some of my LJ, WordPress, and Twitter friends and others (of course) at some of the games I’ll be running next weekend. 🙂

Sunday Afternoon Tales from the Loop Character Creation and Session May 8, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg.
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Yesterday afternoon, the Sunday gaming group agreed to play a game of the Tales From the Loop RPG of 10- to 15-year-olds investigating Mysteries in a 1980s that never was. They had already decided that this would be just a game session to help me familiarise myself with the game rules and get used to running the game before CanGames in just under two weeks.

Once SRoss and Tammy showed up at my place just before 1:00 pm, we chatted for around 5 minutes or so and caught up on the week. Once I was ready to get going with the two of them, I started off 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. We went over the basic Principles of the game, and then both SteveR and Tammy created player characters while I scribbled a few notes about the two NPCs I’d given them to round out their group.

Once the two players had their characters in place, we got down to the game session.

Tales_From_the_Loop_RPG-cover.jpg

CHARACTERS

Nils Backstrom (SteveR) – Bookworm
Ida Hangluven (Tammy) – Weirdo
Tomas Dahlstrom (NPC) – Jock
Linnea Marquist (NPC) – Popular Kid

Date TBD

The place: Stenhamra, Sweden. A small town. The time: Late Spring, 1983. The world of the Loop is the world that we know in the 1980s, but for children in their late single digits, tweens, and early teen years, it’s a place full of rules, everyday life, and wonders. And there are Mysteries to be solved about the strange things that occur within the sphere of influence of the Loop. Hopefully, you can solve a few of them, and get to some of the deeper, perhaps darker, secrets…

It’s a late spring day, and unseasonably warm, the rain having stopped about three hours ago. At their local kiosk, Nils Backstrom, Ida Hangluven, Tomas Dahlstrom and Linnea Marquist are hanging out, bored out of their minds. Ida kneels down, to see if she can find any lost change that folks might have dropped in the area. She finds three Kroner, and pockets them, thinking she can use them to buy something at the kiosk. A crumpled newspaper draws her attention, and she picks it up, feeling something heavy in it. The pages of the newspaper have a slimy feel where they are stuck together, and peeling apart the section with the clear slimy substance, she finds a small case, made of silver. She wants to opens it, and see what’s inside, but wisely pockets that as well. The grumpy kiosk owner, Mr. Halmquist, catches her and tells her to hand over the coins that she found. She stubbornly resists, saying that she didn’t find any but his authoritative adult nature gets the better of her, and she hands over two of the Kroner, and much to her surprise, he rewards her with a small bag of jujubes [some 20 in the bag]. He tells the Kids to get out of the area, and the four player Kids scamper off down the street.

Laughing at her own slyness, Ida and the other three Kids find themselves near a narrows, somewhat dark, side street. As they prepare to go down it to check out their loot, Nils checks out the side street, and sees there are older kids there, kids he recognises. Their leader, Jonas, say, “Well, well, if it isn’t the brats”, and makes an obvious threatening move. Tomas, who knows Jonas (and thinks of him as a friend), tries to calm the situation down, but Jonas’s friend, Frans, who is wielding a “Louisville” baseball bat, tries to aggravate the situation. Tomas, with the help of Linnea and Ida, is able to defuse the situation, and Frans says that he’ll see them all “later”. The big kids move off down the side street, and Ida says they should move on, too.

They stop near the alleyway opposite the pizzeria, and examine their goodies. Ida shows them the jujubes, and they split them, Ida taking the red ones, Tomas taking the orange ones and Linnea taking the green ones, leaving the yellows for Nils. He’s not happy about this. They examine the silver case that Ida found in the newspaper, and find that it contains a peach smelling tobacco. They think of lighting up, but Tomas says that it would be bad for his sports life, and Ida points out they don’t have any paper to roll cigarettes. One of the Kids suggests the newspaper, but Linnea vetoes that (with Ida agreeing with her), as the paper is dirty and there’s that slimy stuff on it. Ida casually looks at the paper, and is shocked at the date: Tuesday, March 29th, 1983!! Just under two weeks later. The Kids are puzzled, and can’t figure out what’s going on, but Ida notes that the back page has a story on how there’s been no progress investigating the disappearances of several Kids that occurred over two weeks ago. Tomas is surprised she hasn’t heard about the disappearances, as his friend Greta disappeared two days ago, and Nils’ friend Hans disappeared the day before that.

Tomas tells them that Greta disappeared while out in Olmholst Field, the meadow to the northeast of the town, that hosts all manner of strange equipment and devices (no doubt due to the strange happenings caused by the Loop). He says that Nils’ friend also disappeared in the meadow, but doesn’t know if the two other children that disappeared vanished in that area. Ida, Linnea and Nils all say that perhaps they should spend the rest of the afternoon checking out the field and seeing if they can find any clues. Linnea says it sounds like a good idea, as she’s pretty bored. The group heads off towards Olmholst Field.

As they arrive at the edge of the meadow, the player Kids can make out the shadows and looming figures of some of the strange equipment, devices, and ruins that lie in the meadowy area. Linnea says that any direction is as good as any other, but Tomas says he knows the rough area where Greta disappeared. Ida ponders the names Hans and Greta, and makes several allusions to the Hansel and Gretel faerie tales that her mother read her as a child. They discuss gingerbread houses and evil witches, but the player Kids all laugh about it. As they trudge through the slightly wooded area, passing several ruined machines and the like as they go, Nils hears the sound of snarling, and Ida hears the sound of barking. Since Olmholst is known for several packs of wild dogs, the kids panic, especially when Ida and Tomas see yellowish eyes peering at them through the meadow grass. Tomas shouts that they need to run for the nearest patch of trees, where they can climb to safety, and the Kids take off in a mad dash, as they hear the sounds of the pursuing dogs. The Kids arrive at the copse of trees, breathing hard, and frantically climb up into the trees, Tomas helping both Ida and Linnea into the trees, the dogs snapping at their heels. The Kids discuss what they should do, but Tomas and Ida say that all that’s left to them is to wait until the dogs get bored and go away. Ida watches the dogs, and spots the fact that they have a white racing stripe-like strip down their left flanks. She wonders what that means.

The player Kids are suprised when a woman shows up and asks them if they’re all right. The dogs immediately calm down, and Nils realises that this is his friendly acquaintance, Dr. Lena Thelin, who was recently fired from the Loop. As she leashes the dogs, she tells the Kids that they are hers, that the dogs won’t hurt them, and they were out for their usual afternoon walk. She likes Olmholst, as it tends to be quiet. Ida notices that one of the dogs has artificial eyes, and she asks Lena about this and the stripe on the dogs. Lena says that the dog had an “accident” and lost the two eyes, so she used her scientific knowedge to give it artificial eyes, and explains that it can see into the infrared spectrum (“heat signatures”). Lena asks them what they are doing out here, and Ida hesitantly tells her about what they’re doing out there, despite Tomas’s non-verbal warning not to do so. Lena says she might be able to help them, and says that the dogs could smell any traces left by Greta and Hans. For some reason, Ida is once more reminded of the Hansel and Gretel tale…, but the Kids agree to head deeper into the meadow with Lena and the dogs.

The trail appears to be leading the Kids and Lena towards one of the Echo Spheres, mysterious objects that are like large balls with missing spaces in their walls, that can be found dotted all over the Loop area; some of them could accommodate several Kids inside them. As they get closer to the Echo Sphere, which is rusted and appears to be in shabby condition, Nils spots what seems to be a piece of torn clothing, perhaps from some jeans, hanging at the edge of the Echo Sphere. The Kids discuss matters, while Nils goes to inspect the material, and they realise that this is where Hans (and possibly Greta as well) disappeared. Lena says she’s sorry the Kids figured things out, so she’s got no choice now. She draws a weapon that looks like an old style Star Trek phaser, and tells the Kids to get into the Echo Sphere. By this time, the Sphere is humming and there’s a bit of an electrical discharge. Lena tells them that she’ll kill them if they don’t get in the Echo Sphere, and despite efforts from Ida and Linnea in their own way, can’t dissuade her, although Lena says that she could erase their memories instead, using her Forget-Me-Not device. Realising that Lena is serious about killing them, the Kids agree to go into the device. Nils is the first one who climbs in, and after seeing what might be a ghost or afterimage of a young girl [Greta], he vanishes in the device. Tomas helps Ida and Linnea into the Sphere, where they see Nils’s afterimage or ghost. After Linnea tells Lena that she vows that they will get back at her if it’s the last thing that they do, the three player Kids disappear…

…to find themselves re-appearing in another Echo Sphere that seems relatively new and intact. The air is hot, there’s a dusty, desert feel to it, and the weather is hot. Nils is there, outside the device, and helps the girls out of the Echo Sphere. He says they’re in some sort of desert, and points out some nearby, almost faded tracks that appear to be children’s shoe tracks. As the characters look around, they see a few other pieces of wreckage associated with the Loop they are familiar with, and a large sign standing on a pole. The letters are stark white, covered with a bit of sand, on a background of green. They read, “BOULDER CITY 5”.

Sunday’s game session of <a href="Tales From the Loop was a lot of fun, and was a good learning experience for me on how to run the game and engage in that childish sensa wonda that we all had when we were that age (though some of us can’t really remember our early teen years). I got a better handle on some of the game mechanics, and came up with an interesting plot that the players rather enjoyed. I couldn’t remember what the teleporting devices were in the game, so faked it and used the Echo Spheres, and it worked out well in that regard. SteveR and Tammy created their characters relatively quickly, and so we got to play a good 2-1/2 hours worth of a short adventure that I ran on a wing and a prayer. Worked well, I thought, and both players actually enjoyed themselves. Tammy said that she enjoyed herself a lot more than she expected to, and I was glad of that.

Might get in one more session of <a href="Tales From the Loop at some point before <a href="http://www.cangames.ca, but we’ll see how that goes.

A Saturday Rundown May 6, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, food hut, gaming hut, health hut, life, nhl hockey, nhl playoffs, ottawa, ottawa senators, personal, primeval rpg, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, weather.
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It has been a long day.

Woke up this morning feeling somewhat tired and ill, and my right hand and arm were bothering me somewhat. The left shoulder was still agonizing and not comfortable, and I’m still limited in mobility with that arm. The weather was horrible outside, pounding rain, and somewhat cold. Probably didn’t help with my body aching all over. I got up, managed the morning rituals, and then had breakfast (egg scramble with some toast, a bit of jam, and some yogurt followed by coffee).

After breakfast, I did a bit of reading and wrote some notes down about my current scenario idea for the Primeval RPG, and then showered. The hot water seemed to help with my shoulder somewhat, but the muscles were still tense when I finished bathing. I checked some e-mail on the computer, and then perused a couple of on-line sites for stuff that I’m currently interested in.

After lunch, SteveR dropped by, and we went out in the rain. The first stop was the Freedom Mobile store, where I (finally) picked a case for my Samsung Galaxy A5 mobile phone, a travel charger, and a protective layer cover for the screen. Cost me over $70, but I was expecting that, I guess. From there, it was over to Staples, as I needed to do the photocopying of various sheets (player character sheets, mostly) for the four games I’ll be running at CanGames 2017 in just a day short of two weeks. Needed to do copying of material for two Coriolis – The Third Horizon games, a Primeval game, and a Tales From the Loop game, so that ran me a bit of money (but I had budgeted for that).

Picked up a couple of croissant for tomorrow morning’s breakfast, and then stopped off at a Tim Horton’s to check out the new latte that they’re offering, but it doesn’t come in a decaf format (should have known this, given that it’s espresso coffee), so I guess I won’t be having any of that any time soon. Oh, well.

SteveR dropped me off at the house with the various stuff, and after a quick rest for about 5 minutes, he headed for home, and I am watching the Ottawa Senators-New York Rangers NHL playoff game (the Sens are currently leading 3-2 near the end of the 2nd period of play).