Getting Ready for Friday Night Gaming

Got back from grocery shopping very late, and am feeling exhausted. The bitterly cold weather made me really glad that I bought myself that Wind River winter coat! Unpacked the groceries, drank a bottle of water, and sat back on the couch for 10 minutes or so. Legs and feet in a lot of pain.

Gaming this evening with the Friday gaming group is on, and I'm really pleased about this. I'll be continuing on with the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG campaign this evening, and am looking for it. Tonight's session will deal with bringing Peter's character into the mix, so that should be fun. The Friday night gamers are quite looking forward to playing the game tonight, as mentioned also in my last post on getting ready to get back to the Coriolis - The Third Horizon game.

In the meantime, I need to get upstairs and finish making supper.

Have a good evening, folks. :)

Repost: Coriolis - The Third Horizon Character Creation - Muhammed ibn Kefiris

Since I'm about to start running the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG published by Fria Ligan, and distributed by Modiphius Entertainment, once more, I thought I would re-post up here a detailed example of character creation for the Coriolis - The Third Horizon Roleplaying Game. Enjoy! :)


Please note that this post is extremely long, as I've gone into the game mechanics a bit in terms of character creation, and have provided background on the character and the choices. Hence the majority of this post is behind the cut. That said, there is some of the game mechanics and descriptions of game world elements that I've skimped on in this write-up, so if you want to know more, just drop me a line in the Comments.

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And there's the first character that I created for the Coriolis - The Third Horizon science fantasy roleplaying game. While the write-up on the character is quite long and may seem like a complicated process, it's really not. Muhammed took me about about 2-1/2 hours to create, and that includes the time that it took to read sections of the book on various aspects of the character, and he was my first character for the game system.

Anyway, that's it. Comments and feedback on the game, the mechanics, and the character are welcome. :)

Sunday Afternoon Gaming Cancelled

The regularly scheduled gaming session that was due to take place today has been cancelled.

Last night, Ottawa was faced with a massive amount of freezing rain that turned into snow, and as I type this just after the noon hour, it has just stopped dumping more snow with freezing drizzle off and on this morning. The temperature outside is warm for this time of year, but still... Anyway, I spoke to SteveR and he's decided not to come in today due to the conditions on the roads and all. I called Tammy and let her know, so gaming is off for today.

I was going to re-start the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG campaign with the Sunday gamers today, but such is not to be the case. This was going to be the first Sunday game session of 2020. Since Tammy will be working on-call next Sunday, gaming will not happen again until the 26th of January, weather permitting.

So, another Sunday off, so will take the day to just relax, stay warm and the like at this time of year. :)

Lest Hartnell Be Forgot

For those who are fans of the Doctor Who tv series, and those who were fans of the actor...

William Hartnell, the first actor to play the Doctor on the Doctor Who series, was born on this day in 1908.

For me, Hartnell will always be the definitive version of the Doctor in the series, as I grew up with him as a kid back in the early and mid-1960's. When I got older, I finally caught some of Hartnell's performances in other things he had done over the years, and came to truly appreciate his acting abilities.

William Hartnell was a superb actor, and he will never be forgotten by folks who loved and admired his acting abilities, and who came to know him as the *First* Doctor on the tv series that we have all come to know and love.

Friday Night Game Report - Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG, The Return

Last night, the Friday night gaming group began their gaming for 2020, and returned to "a new friend" (to quote Kathy). The gaming group returned to the Coriolis - The Third Horizon science fantasy with its Arabian influences from the Arabian Nights works and Arabic culture. Well, most of them returned to it. Peter has never played the game before, since he joined the gaming group after the death of our friend, DavidM, and we had switched to a different game system by then, so he and I had created his character a few weeks ago by phone.

Peter showed up a bit earlier than the rest of the players, and we were able to sit down and go through his character and he gave me his thoughts on the character's background. He's playing Omar Sachise, a merchant with a strong sense of right and wrong, who's going to be joining the player characters aboard the Ruby Flower as the story picks up from where it left off, so it'll be interesting to see how he finds his place among the characters and the change in dynamics. This session isn't a typical gaming session, so I'm presenting it as such.



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

Game Date TBA

Once the other players arrived, we chatted for a little bit and caught up on the last month of Real Life(tm) for about ten (10) minutes before getting down to the game. Since four of the five players hadn't played Coriolis - The Third Horizon in quite some time (at least a year or more) and Peter had never played the game before, I started the game session by going over the basics, literally. I started with a light introduction to the universe of the Third Horizon, followed this up with key concepts and some of the central terminology of the game, and then answered what questions the players had - and they had a few, even the four who'd played the game before. Using the questions the players asked, I gave them some more, detailed information about the game universe and its various worlds. (Well, the Third Horizon, anyway!) :) The players turned the floor over to Peter, so that he could ask any questions about the game background, and some interesting elements came up, one of which surprised the four Coriolis players. Peter had seen one of the supplements for the game at a local gaming store, and was curious about one of the big secrets of the game; I just smiled, and told him that they'd find out the answer to that in play. He also asked some good questions about how the mercantile system in the Third Horizon works, as well as a little question about the effects of going through the portals. Good stuff! Finished this part of the evening with going over the Third Horizon universe Glossary.

When everyone was satisfied with the "refresher" on the game universe, we turned our attention to the game mechanics. I went over the basics of how task resolution is handled in the game, the dice mechanics themselves, the function of Darkness Points and how they work, and followed this with some practical examples of how dice rolling and game situations work together. I followed this up with a couple of (relatively simple) samples of combat, three one-on-one samples pitting two players against each other and one player character group combat against a set of foes that were meant to teach the mechanics of actual, involved play.

Since I had another twenty minutes or so before we were going to wrap up, I wanted to give Peter something to get his feet wet so to speak, so I ran the players and their characters through a couple of short sequences. The first involved selling a piece of hot technology in the souk in Dabaran. Peter's character did remarkably well, and the other player characters got a bit of haggling in (if they want to call what happened that!) as well. The second involved an encounter with some artificial mechanical men in a series of ruins on an out-of-the-way planet. This could have gone either way, but ended up turning into a combat situation that gave Peter a good grasp of how deadly combat in Coriolis - The Third Horizon can be.

This session of Coriolis - The Third Horizon went pretty well, considering it was meant to be a refresher for the players to the game, and in Peter's case, introduce him to the game and its mechanics. The session went for just about 4-1/4 hours, and was a lot of fun, though I felt somewhat hoarse when it was over as I had done a lot of talking. The players are quite looking forward to getting back to the game, and Peter admitted that he's fascinated by some of the mysteries the game universe holds and seeing the various cultures to be found in the Third Horizon. I'll be (re-)starting the Coriolis - The Third Horizon Friday night campaign when they play their next session.

Looking forward to it! :)

Getting Ready for Friday Night Gaming

Have spent a tiring day trying to relax and take it easy, as the pain in my abdomen and back has been very bad today. Did manage to get in some more reading of gaming stuff for tonight, though, so that was a good thing.

Gaming this evening with the Friday gaming group is on, and this will be the first game session of 2020. First Friday night, first game session, good stuff! :) I'll be getting back to and running the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG this evening, and have to say I'm a bit nervous about it; it's been some time since I ran the game, to be honest. The Friday night gamers are quite looking forward to playing the game tonight, as they've been jonesing to get back to the Third Horizon for some time now. I'm looking forward to the game as well. Also going to start using my Coriolis - The Third Horizon dice that I purchased during the last Kickstarter. May the Icons bless my memory and my dice tonight! :)

In the meantime, I need to get upstairs and make something for supper. Not sure what, but it will involve a salad and some other, hot food.

Have a good evening, folks. :)

Books Read in December, 2019

Since it is the new month of January (and it's barely a couple of days old)... As is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my December, 2019 reads.

Books Read in December, 2019

October, 2019 Locus

Empire of Light by Gary Gibson

Mage's Bloodby David Hair

The Seer by Sonia Orin Lyris

November, 2019 Locus

The Banished of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler

December, 2019 Reader's Digest

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse

Hercules The Legendary Journeys & Xena Warrior Princess Roleplaying Game (Boxed Set) by George Strayton et. al. (RPG) (r)

The Weave by Nancy Jane Moore

The Andromeda Evolution by Michael Crichton and Daniel H. Wilson

And that was my reading for December, 2019 and a wrap for the year that was. This was a pretty dcent month of book reading for me, given how ill I've been the last two weeks with whatever's affecting my lower abdomen and back, and I'm quite content with how many books I managed to read this past month. There were no Legion of Super-Heroes re-reads of comics for the month, as I'm unable to access them until I get a few more boxes for them. It was a slightly abve average month of book reads for me, since I tend to read usually 4-6 books per month, in addition to the other stuff. Most of the books this month were pretty enjoyable, though nothing really stood out. Anyway, the books that I enjoyed the most were...

The Andromeda Evolution by Michael Crichton and Daniel H. Wilson - Like many readers, I had read The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton when it was first published fifty (!!) years ago. |I had read some of his other books in the intervening years, such as the Jurassic Park stuff among others, and recalled liking pretty much all of them. In this sequel to that original story, we learn that in the decades since, the Andromeda Strain has evolved, mutated, and is replicating. It took a while for me to become engaged in this story. The basic plot is that a structure deep in the Amazon jungle has been detected and appears to be growing in size. A mutated form of the Andromeda Strain seems to be spreading from this anomaly and killing isolated indigenous people and animals in its path. Project Wildfire was set up to test and study the two known types of the strain known at the time. AS-1 caused death by inhalation and then evolved into AS-2 which destroyed plastics. Project Wildfire became Project Eternal Vigilance. Their mission was to monitor new outbreaks and any future mutations. The project was readying to shut down when new alarms were caused by what was occurring in Brazil. A five-person team with members of various backgrounds and ethnicities, and with expertise in specialized fields of science and technology have been selected to go to the Amazon to study the phenomena and shut it down. Failing their mission, the military would take steps to destroy the anomaly which might result in devastating much of the world. Too be honest, I wasn't sure what to make of this novel at the beginning. Written by author Daniel Wilson, I wasn't sure that he'd be able to capture the feel and style of Michael Crichton to a large extent, but I'm happy to report that he did just nicely here. The characters are stereotypes, but that's what made them interesting to me and how they evolve as the novel goes on. The early part of the book is full of techno-babble and multiple acronyms that I struggled a bit with, as it diluted the tension and suspense somewhat for me, but there's no doubt in my mind that the theories and future predictions of technology were well researched. As the novel continued and the number of characters got cut down due to various calamities and the like, the story became more compelling. Additionally, the action was amazing and thrilling for the most part, and kept me rapt. I recommend the book for fans of the original, and to see how the new author handled the Andromeda Strain's evolution in this story.

The Seer by Sonia Orin Lyris - This book has been sitting in my reading queue (which is quite large, by the way!) since 2016, and I finally decided to get around to reading it as the cover still intrigued me every time I saw it in the queue. What can I say about the book? Well, Amarta can see the future, but nothing is certain, everything changes, and a man made powerful by her own talent will stop at nothing to have her power for his own - or for none at all. Innel is a man raised in the King’s Cohort, raised to fight, raised to command, raised for one to become the Royal Consort to the princess. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, he juggles plots and pulls strings to achieve what no one else could... But he has a secret, one that can not be known. In the empire of Arunkel, which is held together by an iron fist - an iron fist made up of many fingers, each with their own goals — Innel must step wary, lest all that he has fought for comes to naught. And in the midst of being crushed by it all, Arunkel is falling into deep and terrible war. While I won't say that it's a masterpiece of epic fantasy storytelling, The Seer is a tale in the vein of the first book of the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin, with terrific characters, superb pacing, and lovely, tight prose. Amarta is a fascinating character, and watching her develop her abilities was a lot of fun, even as she was sliding away from understand, being pummeled and crushed under the complexity and enormity of her power(s). And that doesn't even cover the presence of the assassin or the mage... This is a big book, a complex book, with four main characters, multiple prominent additional characters and lots of moving pieces. Because of the number of characters, the connection to the characters of the Houses wasn't all that close for me, but the other characters more than made up for that. There is plenty of attention to detail and research that went into this novel, with the detailed, extensive history of the land, that is full of conflict, and lots of greatness. Mysteries abound by the end of the story, though the author does wrap up the novel and the various strands with grace. Hopefully, there will be more stories set in this world that she has created. Very much recommended.

Overall, I managed to read 7 novels, 1 RPG and RPG product, 3 magazine, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels in December. This brings the 2019 year end totals up to the following: 77 books, 14 RPGs and RPG products, 22 magazines, 186 comics, and 3 graphic novels. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't manage to get to 100 books (not including RPGs and other stuff) this year, but part of the reason for that was a couple of truly dismal months of reading. But it wasn't a shabby year's total, to be honest, so that's a good thing.

That said, I'm looking forward to what 2020 brings in my books (and comics) reading!

The Year That Was

A new year. A time for reflection. A time for memories.

Up until a few years ago, I always did a Year in Review entry about things in a lot of detail. Five years ago, I changed it up and didn't do that, only something along the lines of a year's perspective. I've come to realise that the year is done. Life has wound its course for 2019, and there's no point dwelling on it too much. That's not to say that I won't remember 2019. I am, I do, and I will. But I can't live in the past, though I can certainly learn from what happened last year. At least I hope so.

For me personally, the year was epitomized for the most part by the situation on the world stage, thus the mess in Canadian politics that resulted in Justin Trudeau's Liberal government going from a solid majority to an iffy minority leadership; the mess in U.S. politics and the continuing decline in the political situation in the United States (aka Donald Trump, President); the way Canada-U.S. relations continued to go downhill, though it had its up moments, and how Canada and China went to hell in a handbasket; the situation in Britain with Brexit and politics over there; the extent to which terrorism ruled the headlines; the way in which Mother Earth fought back against what we've done to the planet and climate change, and how environmentalism/climate change became key issues for people around the world because of one young girl's bringing the matter into the spotlight; and the various deaths in both the entertainment, music and science industries, notably of individuals my own age or younger.

While my health was relatively stable at the beginning of 2019, it has declined over the course of the year, even though my blood sugar is better controlled. There have been various health issues that arose for me this past year, stuff that I (and the doctors) haven't been able to get a handle on, culminating in some serious stuff the last two months of 2019. The issue of pain in my left shoulder, has now been eclipsed by abdominal and back pain, as well as some internal stuff that has me worried. Definitely going to have to deal with things this year, but for now one day at a time. As they say, we'll see what we shall see.

Gaming-wise, 2019 was a year that was somewhat mixed in my feelings about it. I did run (only) five (5) game systems over the course of the year, the most fun coming at the end of the year with Mermaid Adventures, which was fun; I really needed that light, humourous gaming, to be honest, as November was a miserable month health-wise. That said, I also enjoyed running the John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game as well, but that suffered from a lack of flow due to various breaks and a bad experience with a new player (who left the group pretty quickly after joining us). Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked was also pretty enjoyable during the first third of 2019, and I'm looking forward to getting back to that game in 2020 as well. Aside from the new Zorro: The Roleplaying Game (which has been delayed a bit, for understandable reasons), I'm looking forward to getting back to the Third Horizon and the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG in 2020 as well.

And now, there's also CanGames 2020 to think about...

I can't honestly say there were a lot of 2019 highlights and lowlights that I'll look back on with any real fondness or annoyance, but there were a few of both during the course of the year. I like to think that I'm a bit of a better person for what happened in 2019, but there's (a lot of) room for improvement, and I hope to be a better person yet again in 2020.

That's really all I have to say about 2019.

Now? It's time to look forward. And all the good/great stuff that's going to happen this year.

A Thought for the New Year

January 1st, 2020. A new year. The start of a new decade. Also a time for contemplation, a time for New Year's resolutions and thoughts, and a time when we discard the destructive, old habits for healthy, new ones. Supposedly. Back when, a good friend of mine, Janet Wilson, suggested that I journal today the New Year's resolutions that she makes every year, based on her time in Alcoholics Anonymous. She got this list from the column that Dear Abby wrote way back when. So here's some thoughts for folks to think about as we get ready to head into a New Year...

Just for today: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once.

Just for today: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

Just for today: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct, and accept those I cannot.

Just for today: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

Just for today: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

Just for today: I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

Just for today: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully - if only just for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block.

Just for today: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I would like to wish each and every one of my LiveJournal and WordPress friends, and all my friends in other media who might be reading this, a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year. May the Goddess bless you with health, prosperity, safety, and good cheer for the coming year.

And may 2020 be a heck of a better year than 2019.

Happy New Year, one and all! :)