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In Memorium

A sad day in history.

Remember the 14

Geneviève Bergeron (b. 1968), civil engineering student.
Hélène Colgan (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Nathalie Croteau (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Barbara Daigneault (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Anne-Marie Edward (b. 1968), chemical engineering student.
Maud Haviernick (b. 1960), materials engineering student.
Maryse Laganière (b. 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department.
Maryse Leclair (b. 1966), materials engineering student.
Anne-Marie Lemay (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Sonia Pelletier (b. 1961), mechanical engineering student.
Michèle Richard (b. 1968), materials engineering student.
Annie St-Arneault (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte (b. 1969), materials engineering student.
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (b. 1958), nursing student.

'Nuff said.
Yesterday afternoon, the Sunday gaming group met up for their (semi-regular) game session at my place.

spross is currently running the Thousand Suns RPG of Imperial science fiction, and I was really looking forward to getting into the game. You can read the report on the events of the last session here by following the link.

SteveR and Tammy showed up at my place a bit early, but I was still eating lunch due to another couple of bouts of sitting on the toilet. So gaming was delayed a little bit, and we chatted about the week's happenings and stuff. When I finished eating, SteveR called us to order, and the gaming session started.

In which I travel to Savuul with an undergraduate, come upon a crime, and learn about my next expedition for Encyclopaedia GalacticaCollapse )

The game session of Thousand Suns was certainly entertaining, although it moved in spurts as SteveR struggled to run the game at times. He didn't seem to be prepared for the session, struggling with how to get us involved (since it seems to be a bit more combat-oriented at the beginning of the adventure), though he did adapt as well as he could to the situation. It was also a bit obvious to me (don't know about Tammy) that he hadn't read the adventure in a bit, but for the most part it was a decent afternoon of gaming. There was no rolling of dice during the afternoon, except for one roll that I made and didn't succeed at, and that kind of threw me; too much of the information that Tammy's and my character learned was too easy to get, and there was a lot of infodumping going on (though it's not reflected in the above write-up (or perhaps it is)). It made me feel that Marko was all-knowing to some degree, and I didn't really have to work at anything, per sé. Dice rolling is an essential part of most roleplaying games, because there are always activities that one may not succeed at fully; the session didn't reflect that for me. The most difficult part for me (and I suspect for Tammy as well) was that we didn't get an opening scene of some sort to roleplay a bit and "establish" the characters we were playing. When the action started, I was kind of hesitant as I didn't really know how my character would react, and it showed in how I played it; not happy about that in terms of my play.

That said, SteveR has an interesting plot going here and I'm looking forward to seeing how it shapes up and comes together as we continue to play. I was fortunate in that my stomach and bowels calmed down for the afternoon, and I was able to sit and play at the table without having to spend any time in the loo. As for SteveR, there's stuff I think that he knows he needs to improve on. The real difficulty, I think, for him running Thousand Suns is that the game is somewhat of a sandbox. As such, the person running the game needs to create a lot of background stuff, either on the fly or in advance. 'Nuff said.

Overall, while there are some problems with the game, I'm looking forward to the next session of SteveR's Thousand Suns RPG campaign.

A Gaming Thought

After having gotten to play in DavidM's game on Friday nights and SteveR's game on Sunday afternoon a little bit now, I wish to offer these two thoughts.

1. My writing speed has slowed down somewhat.

2. When I try to write notes fast, my writing becomes messy and at times illegible. Even to me.
Getting ready for gaming on this Sunday afternoon.

spross is supposed to run us through the first session of the Thousand Suns RPG today, although what he plans for us is unknown to me. A good thing, as I'll be playing in the game. All I know is that I'm looking forward to the game today.

Meanwhile, I need to hustle upstairs and make some lunch.

Have a good afternoon, folks.

Sunday Morning Blahs

It's Sunday morning.

Relatively cold out there, or so it looks, but the sun is shining out from behind the clouds for the moment.

I'm gaming this afternoon with spross, and am looking forward to that, but have had a miserable morning. I don't know what I ate, but something has made me sick to the stomach, and I've been running to the bathroom all morning so far.

Really hope this eases off before lunchtime, as I do need to manage to eat some food before gaming today. Just hope I don't spend the afternoon on the toilet. Ughh!
Last night's gaming session with the Friday night group was a pretty good one. DavidM continued on with his Sixcess Core fantasy game, and it was a lot of fun. You can read the report on the third session by following the link.

The players and DavidM showed up at my place around 7:10 pm, and after we chatted for a bit while everyone was getting set up for the evening, DavidM called us to order, and the evening's gaming session began.


Herna of Morspell (Kathy) - Swordswoman
Safira Markas (Angela) - Sorceress
Adara Theniss (Ellie) - Thief
Barak Thar (Mark) - Caravan guard
Haven Randar (JohnK) - Forester

Day 28, Month 4, Year 3512

Sometime around a week or so later, while I was recovering at one of the local inns, The Fife of Fireven, Herna of Morspell and Safira Markas came to visit me. After the pleasantries were out of the way, they asked how I was doing. Truth of the matter was I was getting a bit of wanderlust, and I was feeling fine though the ribs were still somewhat sore. The two women asked if I was ready to leave Karakoram, and I told them that I was...for a variety of reasons. They told me that Barak Thar had left the service of the caravan, and that Adara also wanted to travel a bit, and they figured that perhaps I might like to join them; they were thinking of heading for The Pasran Woods, some 100 miles west of Karakoram. I had heard rumours about the place - some of them quite nasty - but had been wanting to see what the truth of that place was. So I quickly said yes.

The next morning, the five of us met near the west gates of the city. I was looking forward to walking, as the exercise would do me good, and the others were in a fine mood (though Safira held herself somewhat aloof). With fresh supplies, I set out with the others, Barak leading the way as he had been in this direction a couple of times during his years guarding caravans. We passed through several small villages, where meals at local inns were available in exchange for news and information. Both Safira and Barak did a fine job bartering us meals and the like, but eventually we left the last town behind, and entered the wilderness. The scrub and meadows gave way to plains and small copses of trees, and eventually we camped for the night.

The evening went by uneventfully, and as morning broke, it started to rain. I donned my waterproof cloak, as it wouldn't do for my still present wounds to get newly infected. Barak suggested that Herna and I scout ahead, and I was not averse to this. She and I headed west, and a little to the north, and we talked and I learned a bit about her. She was from the north, as was I, but her people in Morspell were more frightened of magic than mine were, though we both shared a love for forests. We came upon a series of ruins, and I spotted tracks in the overgrown area, that of goblins I discerened, as well as the remains of several very recent campfires. Herna and I adopted a stealthy tactic, but to no avail. We were attacked by a pair of goblins, and the swordswoman and I were able to defeat them relatively easily, and this despite my injuries. I cleaned off my sword, and we searched the bodies, but they had nothing but their weapons and armour about them. Herna said that she thought they were from one of the northern tribes, but couldn't be sure despite their markings and the type of weapons they carried. We felt it important to return to the others and tell them what we had found.

Returning to the others, we found them somewhat in disarray, and learned they had been attacked by goblins. A pack of six. Barak and Safira were both wounded, but Adara Theniss was looking after their wounds; I checked her handiwork, and it seemed sound. Herna told the others of our scouting foray, and the attack by the goblins. The others grew concerned, given the two attacks by the creatures, and we decided that we would play things safe, and set up camp near a copse of woods further along. Herna and I talked with Barak as we continued our travels, and the swordswoman compared notes with the caravan guard about the goblins, and they concluded that they were from the northern tribe that she had mentioned to me earlier. This did not bode well if the goblins had sent scouting parties into the area.

The rest of the afternoon passed uneventfully, and we eventually upon a copse of woods as the sun was starting to go down in the sky. Barak and I went to check it out, and the copse was deserted. I spied what appeared to be a deer, and was able to bring it down cleanly with an arrow - Barak thanked me, as he was getting tired of travel rations. We returned to the others with the deer, set up camp near the edge of the copse of woods, and I proceeded to skin the deer, and prepare the meat for cooking. After a quiet, and restful, meal, we set our watches, and prepared for bed.

I took my turn at watch over two hours past midnight, and all was quiet, until I detected movement at the edge of our camp. In the firelight, I could see several sets of eyes regarding us. I knew they were hyenas. Loading my bow, I woke Barak and told him we had company. He quietly woke the others. I judged there to be ten or so of the creatures, and told the others. I took a flaming brand, and threw it at the creatures in an attempt to warn them off. The flames revealed they were somewhat mangy - that meant hungry animals. Barak came to the same conclusion, and so we gathered around the fire, warily watching the beasts as they came closer. I fired an arrow, striking what I hoped was the lead animal. While it went down, it didn't deter the others. But it served as a signal for the pack, and with their laughing barks, the remaining hyenas charged the campsite.

Overall, it was an entertaining game session, that had some good roleplaying among our characters, and that also had a couple of good, tense combat situations. The goblins weren't as easy to defeat as I expected them to be, but I am quite looking forward to seeing what DavidM's got in store for us at the Pasran Woods.

Getting Ready for Friday Night Gaming

I'm getting ready for an evening of gaming with the Friday night group. It's the start of the last gaming month of the year, and well...

DavidM will continue his Sixcess Core fantasy gaming campaign this evening, and I'm rather looking forward to this. Hopefully, I'll get to be a bit more involved with my (hopefully) recovered character, but that remains to be seen.

Anyway, time to head upstairs and make myself something for supper. Something hot (temperature-wise, not spice-related) for supper, methinks.

Have a good night, folks.

Books Read in November, 2016

It's another month, and relatively early in the month. Thus, as is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my November, 2016 reads.

Books Read in November, 2016

The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes

Sword-Born by Jennifer Roberson (r)

November, 2016 Reader's Digest

The Mapmaker's War by Ronlyn Domingue

Thrones & Bones 1: Frostborn by Lou Anders

Oshenerth by Alan Dean Foster

The Only Pirate at the Party by Lindsey Stirling and Brooke S. Passey

The Muse by Jessie Burton

The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin (r)

There Will Be Time by Poul Anderson

November, 2016 Locus

Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG Beta by Free League Publishing (RPG) (PDF)

November was a pretty good month of reading for me, not only because of the sheer number of books I read for the month, but also because of the quality of most of them as well. My favourite books for the month include:

The Muse by Jessie Burton - Much to recommend in this novel. Not only is this a tale of love, danger, betrayal and revolution in 1936 Spain that is riveting for the impact on the characters, but it offers a time-and-place look at a nation on the verge of darkness, a harbinger of horrors to come. A human drama meets historical madness. Burton's second novel (I read The Miniaturist last month) is no sophomore jinx.

The Mapmaker's War by Ronlyn Domingue - This book, the first in a trilogy, reads like a blend of William Morris, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Jeanette Winterson, that mixes social allegory and utopian yearnings with keen-edged, descriptive prose. That said, it's written in ways that some might find unacceptable: second person narrator, unconventional dialogue tags, and no chapters. Don't turned off by this, as it's a fascinating read, quite refreshing in its own way.

Thrones & Bones 1: Frostborn by Lou Anders - This book has a lot going for it, and lots to love in it. The book is middle grade fantasy (for ages 8-12), but even adults are going to like this one. This is a smart adventure story for fans of dragons, frost giants, dwarves, sword fights and strategy games. There is a fair amount of humour in the book, a good example coming from two-headed trolls that our young hero, Karn, must outsmart to survive. The author does a good job combining the light-hearted feel of this genre's fantasy adventure with high stakes conflict. A really good, quick read.

Overall, I managed to read 9 novels, 1 RPG and RPG product, 2 magazines, 0 comics, and 1 graphic novel in November. This brings the year total in 2016 to a set of numbers that look like this: 104 books, 21 RPGs and RPG products, 22 magazines, 140 comics, and 1 graphic novel.

Thoughts and comments are always welcome.
Last night, the Wednesday night gaming group met up for their regularly scheduled game session. They started their campaign of the Continuum: Roleplaying in the Yet RPG. Here are the game session notes. You can read about the session of character creation by following the link. This blog entry is relatively short, but I've decided to put it behind a cut so that folks who don't want to read any detailed rpg posts don't have to.


The player characters encounter a strange young woman, and discover something of their YetCollapse )

The Wednesday night players had a simply marvellous time playing the Continuum: Roleplaying in the Yet last night, with all four players commenting that it really is a remarkably simple game system and that the mechanics are quite neat. DavidM and Kendall really liked the mechanics for handling Span and Yet, though both added they felt that it would take them some time to handle certain aspects of the two cards devoted to those elements. Donna, Kendall, and Crystal are now curious as to how they got fragged by the spanning about of Donna's character, but that will be revealed in the next session of game play.

Overall, a lovely night of Continuum: Roleplaying in the Yet play, and I look forward to another session next week (and I write that down in my Yet!) :)

Start of December

It's December 1st. A new month.

To be honest, I'm glad that November is over, though I am dreading the true coming of winter this month, but given how last month went, just happy December has arrived.

Being Jewish and a singleton, December tends to be a depressing month for me, though I do have some family and a few friends that will try to lighten the mood. That said, there's all kinds of other stuff that December brings, so we'll see how the month goes.

Medically, the month will be a quiet one, with just my Footcare appointment to deal with, but I've got some other stuff going on at the moment, so we'll see how that shapes up and all. As for the rest of December, I'm hoping it passes quietly, there's not a lot of snow ::knock on wood::, and that someone buys me a Christmas present of some sort! :)

The real trick for me in December (well, most of the winter, really) is to manage to keep warm. The arthritis that I have is one thing, but the neuropathy damage from the diabetes that I do have makes winter tough on my keeping the extremities warm.


John Kahane

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