May 17th, 2014
While I would say that I got a decent amount of sleep on Friday night, I was awoken at 4:00 am with bad cramps and diarrhea. I managed to get back to sleep, and woke close to 8 am with more bowel woes. I ate my usual breakfast for the day, and had more bowel problems. I spoke to my mother, and she suggested that I don't eat any vegetables for a few days and see if that helped the situation.
By the time I finished showering, it was somewhat later than I would have liked. spross was due to come over around 10:00 am or so, so I got around to packing up the last of the gaming stuff that I needed to get ready, and then went upstairs and managed to make another bagel with some lox (but no cream cheese) and packed some additional crackers and some Melba toast, as well as the peppermint tea and some water that I planned to take. spross arrived at the house, and we loaded up the car, and then drove to Tim Horton's. I picked up a ham and swiss sandwich on white with no veggies or sauces. Nuts! :( From there, we drove over to the Rideau Curling Club for the Saturday's events at CanGames.
The weather on Saturday was somewhat cool in the morning, though it warmed up through the afternoon, but there was no rain in sight. We arrived at the curling club close to 11:00 am, and spross dropped me off at the entry, and I took my personal tote bag with me and the cooler. In the curling club, I saw that knightbane had arrived with his gaming crew. We chatted a bit about the day before, and knightbane told me about what had happened on Friday and why they hadn't gotten in. Suffice to say he was a bit peeved about it. It also turns out that he's lost a good deal of weight the last year, through exercise and a bit of better eating, and is looking much better - down over 100+ lbs..
Tim's Gaming Crew (That's Tim on the left)
Once spross came in with the gaming stuff for the day, knightbane bought the copies of WitchCraft, 1st Edition and the a|state game off me at the agreed on prices. I chatted with Tim a bit more, and then spross and I wandered off to explore a bit, and see some of the stuff. We split up for a while, and I wandered around the gaming halls taking photos here and there, including Ray Dickson running the Primeval RPG. I saw that Roddy Turner was running another game of Hollow Earth Expedition again, and had some amazing terrain that he was using for it (see the photos).
First photo of Roddy Turner's HEX game
Second photo of Roddy Turner's HEX game. Notice the cliff face...
There were a lot of different games on offer on Saturday morning - Elder Sign, Brittania, OutPost, Hollow Earth Expedition, Tremulus, Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok, various incarnations of Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Metamorphosis Alpha, Doublecross, and Spark to name a few - and it was interesting to just see what was going on.
After wandering around for a bit and seeing some of the games, I headed to the Marketplace, spross having already headed in that direction. Including the CanGames Booth, there were eleven dealers this year. It was a good representation, but still somwhat small even for some of the regional conventions I've attended. I was checking out the Blue Gryphon booth (sorry, don't know the store's web address), and while I didn't see a lot that interested me, I was shocked when spross pulled a copy of Worlds Beyond, a 1989 or so roleplaying game that I've been trying to find again since the fire that struck my old place of residence back in 2002. And it was only $20!! I snatched it out of spross's hand, and that was pretty much it for me, buying-wise in the Marketplace (with one exception, that you can read about in Sunday's report!). I went over to the CanGames booth, and saw that I hadn't sold all that many of the games that I had brought in, but hoped that later in the day would bring in better sales. I went over to the Fool's Moon Entertainment booth, and chatted with both tashiro and shiftercat. There is a possibility that I might do some writing and/or editing for the company, but we agreed to talk about this more on Sunday.
The copy of Worlds Beyond RPG that I managed to track down. All mine! :)
Since it was getting close to 12:15 by this time, I headed back with spross to the area near the Command Centre. Ray Dickson had finished running his Primeval RPG scenario, so we talked about the game and the adventure for the next little while. Ray was kind enough to give me his bestiary and character notes for the game, on the agreement that I would help him fix things up and tighten them for another running of the game. Really nice of him.
By that point, it was time to eat lunch, which spross and I did. I saw that Douglas MacMillan, one of my old gamers, had come to CanGames for the weekend. We chatted while I ate, and he told me some of what's been going on in his life. After we ate, spross went down to the lockers, and grabbed both of our gaming stuff for the afternoon sessions. Meanwhile, the gamers looking for games to play in at 2:00 pm swarmed around the table with the sign-up sheets. Lots and lots of people, and lots of noise. I already knew that my Yggdrasill game for the afternoon was full, but I had added a sixth player slot to the game, as it can accommodate one more. When the players started to arrive for the game, I was somewhat surprised to see that Douglas had filled the final spot for the game! Sadly, spross didn't do any active recruiting for his Thousand Suns game, so he only got one player - not enough gamers to play. I don't know what he did for most of the 2:00-6:00 pm time slot, but perhaps he'll comment here in the blog or write an entry on his own blog. (Note that the photos of my Yggdrasill game were all taken by spross.)
In any event, I sat at the game table waiting for all the players to arrive, and checked over the adventure one more time and quickly went over the player characters for the event. Without going into any real detail about the plot, the Yggdrasill scenario, "Mist Over Storforshei", takes place in a community in the north of Norway, in which the long thought dead Jarl of the town of Storforshei returns, and what seems a simple quest to find out what happened to the rest of his missing expedition turns into a tale of revenge, retribution, and the possibility of seeing Storforshei destroyed by two age-old enemies. The player characters for the adventure are Audun Leiptrsson, the son of the missing jarl and the current Jarl; Bera Domarsdottir, a young, impetuous and willful Danish skald; Egil, a former slave given his freedom by Audun, who now serves him as a hirdman and counselor; Gunnvor Styrsdottir, the 45-year-old volva, with ties to the presumed dead jarl; Kjallak Ingolfsson, the berserker; and a sixth character that I shaln't discuss here. I was quite pleased to have a full table of six players for the game, including the surprise inclusion of Douglas McMillan, whom I didn't expect to play in any game that I was running at the convention. I handed out the player character sheets for the players to pick and choose from, and then went on to talk to them about the game world, the game mechanics, and their chosen characters.
First photo of my Yggdrasill game. That's me behind the (French) GM Screen
For the purposes of this game, I thought the players did a really good job of things. Jean-Yves played Leiptr Hulvidsson and really did a marvellous job as the old jarl come back from the dead. He took over from his son pretty quickly, which surprised me somewhat, but the fellow playing Audun actually played well off this (see below). The lone female player, Alexandra, played Gunnvor, and did a good job with the volva, both from a magical point of view as well as providing the spiritual leadership of the party. She was also surprisingly effective with her war bow, knowing when to try to use magic and when to use physical force. Noah, whom I thought of as a slightly younger player, played Audun, the current jarl, and while he did a good job with the character, was very hesitant and didn't really play the leader of the group the way he should have. After he saw his returned father kill the troll, he gave his father back his power and seat, and deferred to him throughout the session. Still, he proved to be an effective character. Douglas took on the role of Kjallak, the berserker, and played him as rather frenetic with a modicum of control, but roleplayed the character rather well. Grant (one of the players from the previous night's sessions of Atlantis: The Second Age) played Egil, and did a very good job of acting the part of the diplomat and counsellor between the old and new jarls, and was equally adept with his bow. Paul, who played the skald, Bera Domarsdottir (the second female character), during the game had problems with the character. He was somewhat deafened by the other games around him, and he didn't hear much of the actions going on from me and the other players, feeling that he didn't have a lot to contribute during the game. I'm really sorry for that and the fact that he felt out of it, but it became obvious from what he said to me at the end of the session that he obviously hadn't understood the role of the skald as established in the character background. Still, when he did act as Bera, he was quite effective.
Second photo of my Yggdrasill game. Players seem to be serious
As most folks who remember my experience running the scenario at Hammercon back in November may recall, the session of Yggdrasill didn't go well there at all due to some problems with changing personnel and argumentative players. I wasn't concerned with that, and in fact, this running of "Mist Over Storforshei" went extremely well, the player characters having a wonderful time of it dealing with the situations they found themselves in and getting into the roles of Norsemen with little problem. I had to remind them of subtle differences between Norsemen and Vikings from time to time, but otherwise the players had an excellent time of it, and actually managed to complete the scenario. They all pretty much loved the saga-like feel to the ending of the adventure (which I'm not going to spoil for future players here!), and I was pretty satisfied and pleased with the running of the adventure. The scenario went as well as I could have expected it to go, and the players delivered a pretty good set of performances, and seemed to get the Norse concepts down pretty well, though had to be reminded from time to time of the differences between Norse and Vikings. The players did a good job expending Furor Points throughout the game, and used them wisely, the climax of the adventure seeing the most use of the points (as was right for this purpose). Alexandra told me afterwards that she really enjoyed the game, and liked the setting and the background, though she got confused a couple of times about the dice rolling mechanics, as they weren't something she was accustomed to.
Third photo of my Yggdrasill game. Varied group of players
Some of the highlights of the game included: Leiptr killed the troll that attacked the village by climbing up on its knee, leaping high into the air to get to its head, and killing the creature (beheading it) in one action using the Helmsplitter combat feat. Later, he used the same tactic on one of the dokkalfar, but of course, it wasn't as impressive. :) During the fight in the snowstorm, Gunnvor used her war bow (and a well-timed Furor Point) to kill one of the dokkalfar at a distance, despite being barely able to see it. My surprise when I realised that Audun was giving up his place as Jarl to his returned father, and the reaction of the rest of the player characters to it. The players' horror and surprise at realising they were no longer on Midgard, but in Svartalfheim, and then hearing footsteps coming through the darkness before them right before I took the 5-minute game break. <evil g> The players' consternation when they realised that the dokkalfar were not the typical dark elves of most fantasy games.
Once the players finished the adventure in such a satisfactory manner that they were actually clapping at the way things turned out, I chatted with several of them about the game system, about the world of Yggdrasill, and some stuff about the characters they had all played. When the players had all left, I started to pack up the gaming stuff. I assumed that spross had found a game to play, which he had (I later found out, something with miniatures), and that's when I had my accident. I won't go into details, but it involved not being able to find a toilet quite in time and me soiling myself somewhat. I was extremely embarrassed by the whole business, but luckily I'd brought a spare set of underwear and a roll of toilet paper with me. Still not a fond memory of CanGames 2014 though one I'll unfortunately remember. It was fortunate that there had not been any other games that I had really wanted to play, other than a game about cats, though I would have liked to have stuck around the CanGames venue for the evening and possibly play a board game or some such. By the time I'd made my way back to the table where I'd been gaming, spross was at the table packing up the rest of the gaming stuff for me. After collecting a pair of garbage bags from the curling club bar (and I'm not telling you what I needed them for except...), we left the Rideau Curling Club as quickly as possible, and with me sitting on a garbage bag, got home with no other incident around 7:30 pm or so.
To be honest, I was still pretty embarrassed about things, and was entertaining doubts as to whether I'd go to the convention and the Sunday gaming stuff or not. I managed to spend a relatively quiet evening after doing some washing of clothing items, and after putting stuff in the dryer, I got to bed relatively early, around 10:45 pm or so, browsing the CanGames booklet before I fell asleep.
And that's the wrap-up of Saturday at CanGames 2014. As you can see this entry was a long one, and a good number of photos for the enjoyment of those reading the blog entry. Hope folks enjoyed this journal entry, and if so, please comment with any thoughts you might have on the entry. All I know is I'm just tired from typing this up! :)