July 28th, 2012

Plans for the Saturday

Woke up this morning feeling somewhat tired, and groggy, after getting to bed relatively late last night. I was able to finish the playtest of the Primeval RPG scenario last night around 11:40 pm, so was able to haul myself off to be shortly after midnight. Managed to get a good seven hours of sleep last night, though I think I tossed and turned a bit (based on the state of the sheets when I woke up this morning).

As for the rest of the day... I'm planning to take it relatively easy today, as it promises to be another warm day (high in the upper 20s Celsius, with a humidex in the low 30s (as if the humidex really has any meaning at times). I'll be blogging about yesterday evening's game later this morning, but I need to spend some time reading the Primeval RPG scenario for Sunday's playtest, which is one that I've not run given that it's brand new, and then plan to watch the London Olympics Opening Ceremonies during the course of this evening.

I may go out this afternoon to pick up a few basic groceries, and may even try to eat some actual food at some point today that is more complex than a piece of toast and some chicken/vegetable/beef broth. We'll see how "breakfast" settles in.

A Primeval RPG Scenario Playtest I

Gaming last night was...interesting.

The Friday night gaming group came out last night to help playtest the first of the two Primeval RPG scenarios that I'll be running at GenCon 2012, "Peril Beneath the Streets". Next week, Goddess willing, I'll be playtesting the second scenario, "The Infection Factor", with them.

To start with, the session last night was more of a re-familiarising myself with the "Peril Beneath the Streets" scenario rather than a strict playtest, as I've run this several times at conventions before. However, given my current health (which while not great, isn't totally dire at the moment), it was a challenge to run the game, simply because I'm not feeling 100%. And the players in my Friday gaming group have actually playtested this adventure before, back when I first wrote it up and ran it, so they have a degree of familiarity with the scenario as well.

While I'm not going to go into details about the adventure for obvious reasons, I will talk a bit about what occurred last night. Once the players showed up, I started with an introduction to the basics of the game, the game mechanics, and gave the players some time to familiarise themselves with their characters. The Primeval RPG game mechanics are really easy to get into, and the players gave me a couple of helpful suggestions on things that I might want to mention to the convention players that I hadn't thought of, and then we got down to the scenario itself.

The scenario itself went pretty well, with the main plot going down as it usually does. One of the characters ended up running down a tunnel with small dinosaurs biting at him from all angles, and screaming for help from the rest of the team; this is a scene that I'm very proud of in this adventure, as it works remarkably well every time I run this adventure, though which character is involved sometimes changes, as in this case, where I was somewhat surprised. As the players commented to me, this scenario has something for each of the characters to do, and that's important in a convention game adventure, for obvious reasons.

Overall, the run through of "Peril Beneath the Streets" went pretty well, offering one or two surprises, and I thought I handled the GMing duties well, despite my current condition. I found running the combat sequences a bit taxing, to be honest, as my head is a bit fuzzy, though both Nick and Joanne commented that they went well, even if the descriptive bits I was offering were lacking somewhat.

Looking forward to running the second scenario, "The Infection Factor", on the Sunday group tomorrow, and then reversing the two games next weekend. Should be interesting, to be sure. And I'm also glad that I'm getting a bit of a chance to run the Primeval RPG before actually going to GenCon.

Now, if the illness would just go away, and my head would be a bit clearer, I'd be very happy.

Lunch Thoughts for a Saturday

Had a late lunch, and just hope it wasn't a mistake.

I had three spoons of homemade tuna casserole, followed by a piece of toast with canned salmon (in water, not oil) on it. The casserole was one of the ones that I had made and then frozen the leftover portions, so I added a bit of milk to it before heating it up.

We'll see how it goes down, I guess, but in the meantime, I have a nice little lump in the side of my neck, about 2 to 3 inches below my ear from the chewing. Bad salivary gland. :(

And for the record, if I never have to eat another drop of chicken, vegetable, or beef broth again, I will be quite content. Horrible stuff on its own, and either totally salty (if it's regular broth) or no taste at all (if it's the reduced salt version).

A Little Outing

Came back from a little outing just after 5:00 pm.

Since I'm not able to drive at the moment, as I'm on the narcotic medication for the diarrhea stuff, spross was gracious enough to give me a lift over to Billings Bridge plaza so that I could pick up a birthday card for someone that I shouldn't mention here (not that she'll be reading this). Took my CD of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells III with me, so we could listen to some of that.

We dropped into the Coles bookstore that's also in the BB mall, and checked out a few books. I wanted to see if I could find a couple of books, but in my (somewhat addled) state of mind, I couldn't remember their titles. There are a couple of books coming out that I'll want to pick up, but for the moment there's enough in the reading queue.

Even though it was hot outside, it was good to get out of the house and go to the mall. Just glad that I didn't drive, since I was a bit shaky and that wouldn't do on the road at all.

Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies, Late to the Show

I know that most folks have already watched the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, either live or the various re-showings of them the last day or so, but I've finally managed to catch up with them and check them out on one of TSN's re-broadcasts of the events.

My first thoughts at the end of watching the Opening Ceremonies: Bravo to Danny Boyle for putting on such a good show! It really had a bit of something for everyone, and the effects and all were brilliant! Even if was somewhat too long.

Some other thoughts on the Opening Ceremonies...

One of my favourite bits of the whole business was the opening sequence for the BBC coverage with Benedict Cumberbatch. For those who haven't seen it, here's what you missed:

Kenneth Branagh was terrific in his bit, and I love the steampunk elements that were introduced in the whole business. There were a couple of bits where I heard parts of the Doctor Who theme, and expected one of the Doctors (either Matt Smith or David Tennant) to make an appearance in the TARDIS, but that never happened.

Musically, I loved the homage and tribute to the music of London and the UK over the years, with bits and sequences featuring the music of different time periods. The Rap wasn't too my taste, nor was the heavy/thrash metal parts, but they were right to include that given what they were trying to accomplish here.

Mike Oldfield playing bass guitar? What the heck was up with that? That man should have been on lead guitar!

Her Majesty the Queen: That entrance was very, very...weird. English sensibility to some extent, but still... Goodness me, accompanied by Daniel Craig's James Bond, and the whole helicopter business. That last bit was just...tacky. And just as a couple of observations on this stuff... the Queen looked displeased at times by the whole proceedings, Daniel Craig didn't look all that amused either, and I thought that the corgis (which I don't believe are actually hers) looked too fat. That said, the ceremonies were so long that while the Queen looked all right in the early part of them, she really looked tired and down-in-the-face as the festivities went on.

It made me smile to see David Beckham, who looked positively delighted at being allowed to speed up the Thames in defiance of the Port of London's (at least I think it's that, right?) regulations.

The Parade of Nations was as usual, long. This just served to make the whole Opening Ceremonies way tooooo long. I did notice that the tempo of the music was faster than in previous years, possibly to move the Parade along a bit faster?, but it didn't seem to matter that much. The athletes out there were obviously having fun and enjoying the whole thing, but Goddess, was that long! :( That said, the fashion statements of the various countries in the Parade of Nations was interesting to watch, though I do think that some of those nations that came on with 2-5 athletes were just strange to see when compared to some of the really big groups that came on for the major Olympic powers.

There is also one other comment I want to make about the coverage of the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Isn't it ironic that McDonalds is the official food of the Olympic Games? Here in Canada, various places including schools and the like are trying to cut down on the junk food consumed by people, and yet here we saw adverts for McDonalds in support of the games. Crazy stuff.

In any event, to sum up: Somewhat enjoyable, definitely a few highlights, but Goddess, was that way too long!