I woke up bright and early, after another bad night of acid reflux. To be honest, I felt like crap and worried that I'd be spending much of the day and night on the loo. The weather forecast called for a relatively warm day with high humidity, and a chance of rain overnight, so that augured somewhat for the conditions at the convention for the day. My mother had arranged for the painter to come and caulk, then paint, the windows of the house so he arrived around 8:00 am and my whole morning routine went out the window. As the morning moved on, I grew more stressed and frustrated, and had a couple of bad panic attacks.
After eating breakfast and performing the morning ablutions, I started taking care of the packing of stuff that needed to be done - my diabetes stuff (including the insulin therapy materials), the gaming stuff for the night's session of the River of Heaven RPG, extra underwear and socks (you never know), a roll of toilet paper (for the same reasons), mug and some tea and a couple of packets of Crystal Light, and a book that I figured I would read on and off during the course of the weekend. Needless to say, when spross arrived, I wasn't quite ready to go. He told me he had left home in a hurry and had forgotten his cooler. :( In any event, we finished packing stuff up and then headed for the car.
As we were driving along, I realised that I had forgotten my writing paper and extra pens and pencils for the players, as well as some other stuff, so I was hoping that nothing I'd forgotten would screw me over for the night's gaming. Oh well, at least I'd remembered to take my diabetes supplies and my Cheerios with me. Yay me. We stopped off at one of the Subway outlets, up on Bronson Avenue, and he and I picked up food for lunch. I grabbed a turkey sub on whole wheat with a bottle of water, and then we headed for the Rideau Curling Club and the convention.
We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club close to 1:00 pm, and spross was able to park the car in easy walking distance of the venue, so we were able to haul all the stuff out of the car and into the curling club with relative ease, including the pair of boxes of gaming stuff that we were selling at the convention. There were a lot of folks already there, of course, many of whom I knew and/or recognised. I put my stuff down on one of the chairs in the central area, and went over to the Registration area of the Command Centre and picked up my registration package. We went down to the basement, and I put all of my gear other than my Basilisk Dreams Books tote bag with the diabetes stuff and other basics in one of the curling club lockers. After putting our badges on, I went back upstairs with spross, and we took the boxes of games that we wanted to sell out to the Marketplace area out at the far end of the curling sheet area. I gave them to one of the folks handling the CanGames booth, after taping and elasticising where necessary, and then Steve and I returned to the main floor to relax a bit and have some lunch. There was no sign of knightbane or any of his friends and family, though I saw lots of friends and acquaintances - Ray and Shannon Dickson, Anita Hebert, Chris Evans, Eric Paquette, Norm and Tony Newton, Noral Rebin, Alexandra Belaire, and other committee members, and tashiro. I went over and said "Hello" to many of the folks I knew, and tashiro paid me for the copy of the Yggdrasill game that he'd agreed to take off me.
After lunch, I went over to the Tournament Desk to see how many gamers I had for the various stuff I was running at this year's convention. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had 2 signed up for the night's running of River of Heaven, and a good number of players signed up for the other three games that I would run at the convention, including the Chill 3rd Edition game on Saturday night that wasn't in the convention booklet due to the fact that I submitted a day after the book went to the printers. I added a sixth player slot to each of the games other than Chill 3rd Edition, and was pretty pleased with matters overall.
I wandered around for the early part of the afternoon after 2:00 pm, checking out games and talking to friends, old and new alike, while spross got into Joshua Kitz's Simple Superheroes game, "Saving Innocence". I admit that wherever I went, I hyped up the Chill 3rd Edition game for Saturday night (since the game wasn't in the convention booklet, I figured it needed all the help that it could get). However, the heat and humidity of the day and the curling club venue started to get to me, and my allergies (since the pollen count for the day was high) and some of the diabetes symptoms contributed to my feeling unwell, so I sat back. I fell asleep for a bit, around 35 minutes, and got woken up by one of the convention staff asking if I was all right. I walked around a bit, drank some water, and then sat back and read some of Nick Hornsby's Funny Girl Scout, the book that I had brought with me for the weekend.
The rest of the afternoon went by uneventfully, and I had a light snack of gouda cheese, with celery and some melba toast. And another bottle of water, with some Crystal Light in it. I went out onto the curling sheet surface, and got to play a 30-minute game of Pandemic, which was a lot of fun. I took a few photos of stuff going on, met up with friends again, and chatted a bit, and had a good time talking with Ray and Shannon Dickson. I was disappointed that Ray wasn't going to run Primeval this year, as I would have tried to play in it, but I was going to see a lot of him - he was playing in the night's game of River of Heaven and Saturday afternoon's Primeval RPG session! Since spross was still playing and it was getting close to 6:00 pm, Shannon was going out to pick up some Vietnamese Pho for supper, and she kindly offered to pick me up a Pho chicken dish with veggies, and some rice. It was very nice, but I couldn't have any of the sauces that came with it, so it was a bit dry and could have been tastier. But it was filling, and served the need for supper admirably, compared to the menu that CanGames was offering from the Curling Club's cafeteria.
Close to 6:15 pm, while eating, I tried to read up on some of the scenario aspects for the night's River of Heaven adventure, but kept getting interrupted by friends and others who wanted to talk. I still managed to read some of what I needed to before the game started, but not all of it. When the sign-up sheet was put out at 6:30 pm, I was pleased to see that a third person had signed up for the game, and that spross had also signed up to play. I had a full complement of six players for the game when 7:00 pm rolled around, so it was time to start. The gamers at the table were an interesting mix of players that I know and players that I didn't - Dan, Ray, Steve, JohnB, Amelia, and JohnE (whom I convinced at the last minute to join us).
I was pretty nervous but excited about running River of Heaven at the convention, as it was my first time running the game at a convention, but I needn't have worried too much. The adventure was called "Reunion", and revolved around the player characters waking up from Vitrification aboard their vessel to find things have hit the fan (so to speak). The player characters for the adventure are Ajay Gajendra, a pilot; Eva Zhukov, a medic; Severin McCabe, a soldier; Malee Yao Yun, a datahawk; Agatha Mok, a tech; and Nathan Franks, a diplomat. I'm not going into detail about the plot here, but suffice to say that the adventure went very well, though I changed the plot slightly and had the Machine Civilisation as the threat (rather than the menace that the scenario was written with). I also managed to connect the scenario somewhat with the one that I would run on Sunday afternoon.
Overall, the players had a good time of it, though their minds boggled somewhat at the hard sf, pre-Singularity concepts and technology and having to think in terms of some of the heady sf concepts involved in the game. The players were pretty disoriented by the opening bit of the game, with the characters waking from cryosleep, and having to get their bearings, but from that point on, they seemed to work together well, and handled most of what I threw at them with solid cooperation as they tried to find the Stepdaughter of the ship and deal with some of the things going on aboard their vessel. There was a lot of good roleplaying between the players, and the character backgrounds while simple, shone through for the most part. JohnB's Agatha and Steve's Severin moved fast, making good use of their Augmentations, and complemented each other well, taking out through EMP a group of swarmbots. Amelia used Malee effectively, using the datahawk to gain and access ship information at various (and crucial) times, though she was somewhat influenced by corrupted forces at work. Finally, Ray's Nathan did a good job negotiating with some of the alien entities aboard, while Dan's Eva did a great job playing the medic in a competent and enjoyable fashion.
I had a great time with the River of Heaven scenario and loved running it, and found it pretty easy going, even with the making of alterations to the plot. The players' roleplaying off each other carried much of the play, and made my job that much easier. When we were done, all of the players told me that they'd really enjoyed the game, but found that some of the concepts caused their brains to melt! One of the players, Dan, told me that he was glad he'd pre-registered for Sunday's game of same, "The Last Witness". I chatted a bit more with Dan and a couple of other players about the game system and
the universe, and it was a pleasant evening to say the least.
The game finished a bit later than I had expected, so after Steve helped me pack up stuff for the night, I went downstairs and had my bowl of Cheerios a bit later than planned (Steve had bought some milk when he went out to get his Pho meal for supper). That said, when I took my insulin injection during one of the game breaks about 10:35 pm, it was so warm in the Curling Club (partially because of the exterior humidity, and a good turn out for the evening) that my body temperature, combined with the cooler temperature of the insulin, resulted in the shot burning and hurting me for about ten minutes after the shot, but the game had to go on and so I did in some discomfort for the first little bit. Once spross and I packed up the gaming stuff, we headed for home after saying goodnight to a couple of folks and some friends. He dropped me off at my place close to 11:45 pm, and then he headed for home himself. I didn't have the energy to pack the gaming stuff for the next day, and so I crashed to bed around 12:45 am, but I didn't sleep well.
And there you have the write-up for the Friday of CanGames 2015. I hope it wasn't too long for folks, and those who've read this day's write-up enjoyed it. The write-up for Saturday at CanGames will have several photos as well, trust me. :)