May 17th, 2015
I woke up on Sunday morning after a somewhat rough night. Got woken by the blood sugar levels at 3 a.m. (and no, I'm not telling you folks how low it went!), and took four sugar tabs and tried to get back to sleep without a heck of a lot of success. On waking again, I took care of some of the morning stuff that needed to be done, and called Kathy. I learned that Ellie was doing somewhat better, and was resting nicely. Definitely need to go and see them on Monday. After showering, I unpacked the gaming stuff from Saturday's games and loaded up the River of Heaven adventure for the afternoon session, and then took care of some other stuff.
spross showed up around the usual time, 10:45 a.m. or so, but I was somewhat late with stuff as the bowel problems from the stress of the night before was really getting to me. Fortunately, it eased off somewhat with the help of the heat of the shower maybe. I packed up the rest of the gaming stuff, cut some celery up along with some Gouda cheese cubes, and got ready headed out for the last day of CanGames. It was supposed to be a somewhat warm day again, so I took only a light jacket, figuring that I would need it for the evening hours.
We stopped off at Subway, and picked up lunch as usual - turkey subs on whole wheat with some veggies, and a chocolate chip cookie. We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club and the convention site to find it relatively quiet, and not a lot of folks were around. Or so it seemed. The convention is always like this on Sunday mornings, though it does pick up a bit for the afternoon, but not that much. I stowed the gaming stuff and my jacket in one of the curling club lockers, and wandered around a bit to see what was going on in the late morning at the convention. I managed to talk to most of the folks who played in the Chill 3rd Edition RPG game the night before, with the exception of Amelia (who wasn't at the convention for the Sunday, it seems), and apologised to them for the player who spoiled their enjoyment of the game. They all seemed to feel that an apology wasn't necessary, and with no exceptions, told me that they had all enjoyed the game for the most part, even with Mark's presence, and that I had run the game very nicely. They loved the basic premise, enjoyed the scenario, really liked the game mechanics (especially the light/dark Token system), and thought that I had GMed the game really well. It made me feel somewhat better about the game the night before, though I still felt guilty about Mark's disruptive influence. Several of the players even asked me if I was going to be running Chill next year, as they would definitely want to play in it again. Always a good feeling when that happens.
From there, if was over to the Marketplace and I checked it out again. I saw that most of my stuff had not sold at the CanGames booth. Not surprising, given where RPGs were placed originally, although this morning they'd obviously been moved to an actual batch of tables scattered at the CanGames booth. I went over to the Sweet Ingenuity booth, and Emily (Griggs) and I talked about the Chill 3rd Edition game from the night before, and I told her some of what had happened with the plot and how I'd changed it. She commented on the disruptive player, and thought that I handled him well enough while she was watching, and we talked a bit more about a couple of other things. I also picked up some of Emily's wares at the booth to give Ellie as presents at the hospital (since I'd heard from Kathy that my goddaughter had been re-admitted to the hospital for tests) sometime later.
The Sweet Ingenuity booth at CanGames 2015
I left the Marketplace and wandered around somewhat, watching a few games here and there, and checked out the board games action on the upper floor. There was some fun stuff happening up there, including some Iron Dragon and Talisman, so I watched some of that action for a bit. It was getting late and closing in on the afternoon gaming slot, so Steve and I went down to the main floor, and he grabbed the River of Heaven stuff and his own 2300 AD gaming stuff from the lockers, and then we settled down at my gaming table on the ground floor near the Registration area for the afternoon to eat our lunch.
The Doctor Who miniatures game. Courtesy of spross
The afternoon game session of my River of Heaven game was already filled up, so I was feeling confident. When the sign-up sheets were put out, I didn't have anything to worry about, at least I thought I didn't. I had a full table of six players for the afternoon game of River of Heaven - Dan (who had played in the game Friday night), Daniel, Jean-Yves, Roderick Turner (one of my favourite players and an excellent GM), and Justin - but one fellow who'd pre-registered for the game didn't show up. However, I was able to recruit another player in his place, Marc-Andre, just as I was starting the game.
A shot of the table for River of Heaven. Courtesy of spross
The Sunday afternoon scenario for River of Heaven was called "The Last Witness", and involved a group of player characters being sent out to salvage the ship that the Solar Witnesses sent out to Altair some 100 years ago, which had just returned. Needless to say, nothing aboard the ship was what it appeared to be. The six player characters for the game were Saul Kendricks, the pilot (and elected captain by the other player characters); Clara Franks, a pilot/tech; Dietr Zeldman, the datahawk; Jan Zhukov, the medic; Harry Brix, a soldier; and Vonda Kessler, also a soldier. The game session was absolutely fantastic. The players struggled at times, as had the Friday night group, with some of the near Transhuman aspects of the game, as well as the outside-human-experience technology that one usually finds only in hard, pre-Singularity science fiction, but held their own. Two of the players, Daniel and Rod, seemed to have sussed out some of the plot quite early, about 2 to 2-1/2 hours in, but didn't appear to have all of the evidence or all of it figured out. The scenario had some good moments too, the players getting into their roles, notably Dan, Jean-Yves, Daniel, and Rod. There were some nice humourous moments, notably with the spiderbot and some hassles negotiating the transit tubes and some EVA activity. The players did get into the seriousness of the plot and what was going on, and only Daniel, Rod, and Dan escaped, the rest perishing as the starship they were on plunged into the Alpha Centauri B sun. When we were done, the players said they'd had a great time, two of them commenting that it was "mind-blowing, freaking awesome". Rod paid me the ultimate compliment about the system, adventure, and my GMing, and that put a totally positive note on a great game session and took some of the sting out of the previous night's Chill session.
After packing up the gaming stuff, Steve took pretty much everything (other than my BDB tote bag and jacket) out to the car, and then we waited for the CanGames closing ceremony to end so that we could collect the monies from the stuff that we'd hopefully sold at the CanGames booth. I was quite disappointed to find that I had sold very little of the games I had wanted to, so I donated the rest of what hadn't sold, other than City of Clocks and the Other Worlds RPG, to the convention. That said, I did better than spross who didn't sell any of his stuff and also had his copy of the Army of Darkness RPG seemingly absconded with. By that time, both spross and I were pretty hungry, and we had agreed that we were going to go out to Kelsey's and eat supper.
I said my goodbyes to various friends and acquaintances, and then spross and I bid farewell to CanGames for 2015, before gathering up the last of the stuff in the locker and headed out. I had a good meal, the best of the weekend truth be told, for supper - a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette, feta bruschetta, and steak with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. We talked about various things, about his Sunday game of 2300 AD, about some of the Real Life(tm) stuff that was going on while we were at the convention, and about the possible stuff to game at next year's convention, the 40th Anniversary of CanGames with a theme of "Now and Then".
From the restaurant, spross drove me back to my place. Once there, he helped me unload the car with the gaming stuff, and then he headed for home. I sat back, relaxed, and had a bit of yoghurt and a cup of peppermint tea. Overall, I didn't feel that badly, though I was pretty tired and my left leg and ankle were in some serious pain. Stayed up until I had to take my insulin injection for the night, and only had half a bowl of Cheerios before crawling into bed and reading for about half an hour. Then, blessed sleep.
And there you have it - my three-post report on CanGames 2015, and the rpgs I ran at the convention. Overall, it was a pretty good convention, with some serious low points (the business with my goddaughter and the disruptive player on Saturday night) and was tiring as per usual, but not as bad in the health respect as the 2011 or 2012 conventions had been. (I may write an impressions of the con post as well, but we'll see). I think I had a decent time at the convention, regardless.
Hope folks enjoyed these reports of the convention. :) Comments, thoughts, and questions would be welcome. :)