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On Friday night (the 9th), the gaming group met up for the once every two weeks gaming session. This despite the snowy, windy night. The Friday evening gaming group started their campaign of the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked roleplaying game campaign in the world of the Arabian Nights, Argonauts and Adventure. You can read the post about the characters the players created by following this link. This post is somewhat long, so I've put it behind a cut for those who don't want to read about my roleplaying game campaigns.


In which the player characters (the Dragon-Marked) arrive in the desert village of HalifahCollapse )

The first session of the Friday night Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG campaign went very well. The large part of the session was the introduction of the group to the game rules and mechanics, as well as several sample combats; once those were done, the players proceeded to the first scenario, its start in the small village of Halifah. The players had a terrific time of it, but struggled early on with the concept of the Result/Magnitude aspect of the Skill rolls and the like. Once we started actual play, after the sample combats, they found it more easy to accustom to and work with. All the players had a good time, and both Kathy and Peter admitted that they enjoyed themselves much more than they thought they would.

Overall, a good session of the game, and I'm looking forward to the next session in a couple of weeks, winter weather willing.

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day.

On this particular Remembrance Day, it seems doubly important to remember and give witness after some of the events here in Canada and abroad recently.

I just want to say *THANK YOU* to those who serve. And I want to thank those who served and died for our country and for the cause of peace all these years.


'Nuff said.

Getting Ready for Friday Night Gaming

The weather outside is pretty wintery, with snow coming down (though it's supposed to change to rain later on tonight), and it's pretty blowy out there. I spoke to the Friday night players, through KathyB, about ten minutes ago, and they've decided that we're going to be gaming this evening.

KathyB mentioned that they're all pretty much looking forward to this evening's game session. The Friday night gamers will be starting their Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG campaign of Arabian Nights, Argonauts and Adventure this evening. The Friday players created their characters a couple of weeks ago (see this post for the details), and they're quite excited to get going with the campaign.

I'm rather looking forward to running the game this evening but have to say... Should be interesting playing a game set in the hot desert of Jazirat when it's snowing and freezing cold outside.

In the meantime, I need to carefully go upstairs and make something relatively filling for supper. Think I'll start with some soup...

Have a good evening, folks. :)

Broken Ribs Hospital Report

Just got home from the hospital.

I had my latest follow-up appointment about my broken ribs, and the news is only so-so.

The doctor was pleased to see from today's x-ray that the ribs have finally started to heal properly, about 1/4 healed as of today. He accounts for this by the fact that the calcium injections that I've been having are doing the job, and I had another couple of injections this afternoon as well.

He told me that I have to avoid doing any heavy lifting or motions that make the ribs "extend", as that will hinder the healing and is causing significant pain. He renewed the prescription for Tylenol codeine once more, and told me to use it sparingly if possible. (Believe me, I've only been taking it as a last resort, as it makes me sick to my stomach and bowels and leaves me feeling very dehydrated and woozy. Not my idea of fun.)

Oh, well... at least there's some progress. :)

Books Read in October, 2018

As is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my October, 2018 reads.

Books Read in October, 2018

Time Travel: A History by James Gleick

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer

The Untold Tale by J.M. Frey

A Thousand and One Nights: A Game of Enticing Stories by Meguey Baker (RPG)

The Dinosaur Princess by Victor Milan

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

September, 2018 Locus

Starless Sky edited by Kevin MacGregor (TDE anthology)

October, 2018 Reader’s Digest

Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall

Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller

And those were my reads in the month of October. I was somewhat surprised to see that I had read this much material during the month, given that my two broken ribs have really hindered my ability to hold books and the like. No re-reads this month, which was an even more pleasant surprise, and I also managed to read a non-fiction book again, so that was good too.

The books I enjoyed the most were:

Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall - An absolutely amazing book. The author (actually two Australian sisters) tells the story and follows the two lead characters, Nika Rik Terri and Josune Arriola. Nika is a body modder, who uses specialized machine pods to change peoples' bodies and appearance, and she's damned good at what she does. So good, in fact, that she invents a machine that does something extraordinary. After a nasty criminal confronts her in her studio, she is suddenly on the run for her life. Josune, on the other hand, is an explorer with a crew on a space ship called The Road, and a chance encounter with Nika and The Road's captain, Hammond Roystan, brings Nika and Josune together for an action-packed adventure! The tale told was very clever and extremely entertaining, and there were some smart twists with very good writing. The real strengths of the book, however, were the characters and the technology. Each of the main characters is hiding something, and the dialogue in the book is clever, at times funny, but always witty. My two favourite characters were Roystan and Nika, but all of the main characters (including some of the villains) are well-written and given personalities that make them stand out. I've not read the author's (or should that be authors'?) Linesman series, but will definitely seek them out. In the meantime, highly recommended.

Time Travel: A History by James Gleick - As a huge science fiction fan and a lover of time travel material, this is a very interesting book that had a nice mix of science and pop culture combined in a melange that was very readable. A cultural, scientific, and literary history of time travel, this book is expansive, almost always engaging, and almost endlessly fascinating. Tracing the origins of time travel (from conception to pop culture plot point), the author enthusiastically chronicles all things time travel-related (including physics, technology, paradox, literature, film, philosophy, culture, futurism, and much more). The book also muses on the nature of time and our very human relationship to it, and also explores the hyper-connected age that is our 21st century reality. I thought the book could have used a few more practical examples, since each chapter focused on one aspect of time travel. When that is based on a movie or a book, it felt a bit long at times. More diverse sources might have alleviated this, but overall an engaging and fascinating read. Recommended.

Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer - The first book in the Titan's Forest series, this is a book with a sense of wonder that I don't know how to explain it without spoiling the novel for other readers. The truly amazing thing about this book is the fact that the superb, wondrous setting - a magical, polytheistic society living in a physical hierarchy of layers of a rainforest - isn't even the best thing about the book. As creative as the world building is here, and it is certainly some of the best I've ever seen in my time as a fantasy and sf reader, it's overshadowed by the characters! Unar, the protagonist, is entitled, selfish and jealous - and she is truly glorious. Naturally, her conflicts with the secondary characters drive a great deal of the story. Without saying anything else about the book... Highly recommended.

Overall, I managed to read 9 novels, 1 RPGs and RPG product, 2 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels in October. This brings the year total in 2018 to a set of numbers that look like this: 76 books, 36 RPGs and RPG products, 19 magazines, 0 comics, and 3 graphic novels.

Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)
Seeing as it's a new month, I thought I'd start this month off with a video from one of my favourite Canadian artists, Loreena McKennitt:

Enjoy! :)

November Is a New Month

It is a new month. November.

Or Movember, as it's also known, since a lot of men grow moustaches for the month as a means of supporting prostate cancer research and the like. (Since I have a moustache already, I guess I can just let it grow a bit longer, right? :) )

So far, I don't have a lot of medical appointments for November so far ::knock on wood:: but that could change as the month goes on. I still have to get both the flu shot and the pneumonia shot this year, but need to wait until the weekend, as I'm finally feeling somewhat better from the bout of bronchitis I've had since the end of September. The bad news is that the broken ribs are healing slowly, and I'm still not very mobile and able to do too much stuff.

I'm also hoping that Old Man Winter decides to hold off somewhat in regards to the white stuff. I'd really appreciate that.

Happy Halloween! :)


Kids running up and down the streets, shouting "Trick or treat!" at the top of their lungs, obedient parents in tow. People dressing up in various costumes, some good some bad. All sorts of Halloween candies, toffee, and caramel apples, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, and so forth. Hollowed out pumpkins in windows lit by a single candle within. Witches, ghoulies, and goblins, oh my.

I just want to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!

Be safe, treat the kids right tonight, and watch out for all those Donald Trump look-alikes! :)

Getting Ready for Sunday Gaming

Getting myself together for this afternoon's game session with Tammy and spross. The two still broken ribs are making life hellish for me this morning, and my left shoulder is very bad and my feet are hurting terribly because of the cold and humidity that makes up Ottawa's weather today. Still, I'm looking forward to the gaming distraction for the day. We'll see how functional I am, since I'll need to take a dose of pain medications before I eat lunch.

SteveR is going to continue the Star Trek Adventures game that he started running back on September 8th, since Tammy is able to game for the next two weeks again. As mentioned in a previous post, I hope that he runs a campaign of the game, though to be honest I'm looking forward to starting the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked campaign with the Sunday players when he's ready to get back to my running stuff again.

For now, I'm looking forward to gaming this afternoon, but need to shower and then get upstairs and make some lunch before gaming.
As noted in yesterday's blog entry, the Friday night gamers had wrapped up their Torg Eternity campaign for the moment, and wanted to get into the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG. I had meant to post this blog entry this morning, but things got away from me and I was too tired when I got home right after grocery shopping and errands. Ah, well, better in the day than not at all, right? :)


The Friday night gamers have started to play the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked fantasy RPG of Arabian Nights, Argonauts and Adventure, published by Mindjammer Press and distributed by Modiphius Entertainment. Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is a fantasy roleplaying game set in a world of Arabian Nights, Argonauts, and Crusaders. Inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights, the myths of ancient Greece, and the legends of the Crusades, it’s where history meets myth, and legends are born.

Once the Friday night gamers showed up at my place for the evening, around 7:10 pm or so, I started off by showing them the maps of the Known World and the continent of Jazirat, talked with them about the game world and answered their questions to the best of my ability for about an hour. This covered everything from basic game mechanics, the use of the dice, lighting up constellations, the various cultures of the Known World, and a couple of other things that they asked about (including the cosmology aspects of the game world). From that starting point, we moved on to character generation.

Character generation in the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked game is a relatively straightforward process, made easier if you have an idea of what you want to play, but it does require some tought. (You can get an idea of how character generation for the game system works with the detailed example, Ibraman Ibn Yussef Abd-Al-Salif, that I posted up to the blog a couple of months ago.) That said, half the fun of the character generation system for Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is some of these choices, as well as the Legend dice rolled choices that one has. The eight basic Archetypes for Skills - Adventurer, Labourer, Poet, Prince, Rogue, Sage, Sorcerer and Warrior - are a good guideline to use for creating character concepts as well, since these are the typical archetypes for characters, both protagonists and villains, in the genre in question.

The characters that the Friday night players created for the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG turned out quite interesting and had some interesting basics to their backgrounds. Here's what the Friday night players created.

KathyB - She pretty much knew what she wanted to play, and decided on the Rogue, specifically a thief. Chanda Bint Aziz Abd-Al-Salif (Chanda the Dark-Haired) is a Saabi thief with a penchant for pretty things and a bit of a dark past.

Angela - She looked over the Archetypes and decided that she wanted to play an adventurer, specifically a storyteller. Derori Bat Natanyu is a Shiradi storyteller who loves travelling the world and learning new stories, and sometimes hears the Muses.

Ellie - She looked over the various character Archetypes, but wasn't sure what she wanted to play at first. She finally settled on Meheka Bint Yazid Abd-Al-Tarek, a Saabi sage and a bit of a sorcerer who is searching for something that will explain what happens to her at times.

Mark - Looking over the Archetypes, Mark was enamoured with one and is playing Menachim Bar Vidal, a Shiradi physician with a strong sense of right and wrong, and a bit of a price on his head.

Peter - He was quite looking forward to playing the game, and looking over the Archetypes, he decided he wanted to play a mercenary type. He took on the role of Edrick Olafsson, a mercenary from Occidentia (Orkadia), who travels the length and breadth of Jazirat, looking for adventure.

All in all, an interesting group of characters with a lot of potential, and the players had a good deal of fun with the process and really did a good job of coming up with ideas on how their characters would meet, though not necessarily know each other (other than the commonality of the Dragon Mark). The players didn't really struggle with character generation, finding things relatively simple, and Ellie was fond of the lighting up a constellation game mechanic. From start to finish, character generation went from 7:20 pm or so until about 9:40 pm (about 2-1/2 hours), and that included going through the game world stuff.

After we finished character creation, I went through the game mechanics with the players (who had a bit of a problem digesting the nature of Magnitude dice) and then ran a very quick, one-on-one combat between Meheka and Edrick that surprised everyone with its outcome. Overall, the players quite liked the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG, and are now looking forward to starting their game on Friday in two weeks (my health and the weather willing).

For that matter, so am I! :)


John Kahane

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