May 19th, 2019
I had a long, somewhat sleepless night, falling asleep around 2:30 am, finally managing about 5-1/2 hours of sleep before I figured I should get up. I nearly fell out of the bed from nausea and dizziness. When I righted myself and managed to take my blood sugar, it was 2.5!! I scarfed down a couple of glucose tablets, and lay back for another 20 minutes. Felt much better when I got up again, around 8:25 am. The low blood sugar was due to not having eaten enough food on Saturday and forgetting to take one batch of pills. I vowed that I wouldn’t make that mistake again on the Sunday. I got out of bed, took care of the morning ablutions and showered, and then went back upstairs and had a decent breakfast of an omelette with mushrooms, onions, and cheese. Felt more like myself, but was still somewhat shaky. I went downstairs and finished off the packing of the gaming stuff for the afternoon’s session of Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG. This game promised to be relatively easy, since I had run it at the convention back in 2018, so was looking forward to it. I repacked the personal tote bag, since I needed to start a new cartridge of insulin that night, and then went upstairs and got some of the food snacks for the afternoon prepped and ready. I was pleased to discover that I hadn’t lost my voice at all, though I was a bit phlegm-filled for the most part.
spross arrived around 12:00 pm, and after sorting out the food in the cooler and adding a couple of fresh snack items, he helped me take the gaming stuff for the day out to the car. With the car packed, SteveR and I headed downtown to the convention venue. We stopped off at Subway and picked up 6-inch subs for lunch, me with my usual turkey sub. We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club around 12:45 pm, and the Goddess favoured us once again as we were able to find a parking space directly across from the convention venue.
Once inside the Rideau Curling Club, we took stuff down to the lockers and then headed back upstairs so I could check and see how many folks were registered for the afternoon game of Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were six (6) players registered, but I could only accommodate five, so it came back to bite me that I’d added the sixth player entry on Friday when we’d arrived at the convention. I got the folks at the Tournament Desk to cut it down to five, and was saddened when one of the guys near the desk dropped out of the game, since he had to leave early for a medical emergency. That allowed the sixth player to sign up to get into the game, so everything resolved itself relatively easily with just a bit of panic in my head. I went over to the Cash Desk, and Eric (Paquette) told me that I could cash out for the stuff I’d sold at the CanGames booth on the weekend. (Due to a snafu with FlashConsign, they decided to only sell stuff at the booth this year on Saturday.) I discovered I had made about $36 from the stuff I’d tried to sell, and was disappointed, but every little bit helps. Walked around a bit to see what was happening, and I saw that Roddy was running his Hollow Earth Expedition scenario for the year, and it looked like the players were having a blast. With permission, I took some photos of the game.
We didn’t talk at all, but I gave him the thumbs up. Headed back to the table near the Registration Desk where I was going to run the game for the afternoon, and sat down and ate lunch. Chatted with Daniel Poulin at the next table, who asked me how the John Carter of Mars game had gone on Saturday, and he got a kick out of that, but lamented again that he hadn’t been able to play in the game. Once I finished eating lunch, I had about 15 minutes to get ready for the game of Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked for the afternoon, much better timing than I’d had Saturday night for the game. Started setting up for the running of the game, and when I finished I took a couple of photos.
Took a quick break for some water and a bit of cheese (I was still feeling a bit peckish) and then gathered up the sign-up sheet for the afternoon’s game. The rest of the players started arriving for the game, so it was time to get down to business. Another of my friends from the convention, Bruce (McDiarmid) came by the table to see if he could get into the game, as the game he was supposed to play in had been cancelled and he really wanted to get into the game with me. I was loathe to turn Bruce away, since never let it be said that I can’t figure out a way to bring an unexpected player in, and told him that he could play but explained the circumstances of this: I didn’t have a blank character sheet for him, and he was going to play a character who was amnesiac to start. Bruce said he was good with this, and so he joined the table. I went and gathered up the sign-up sheet, and had Bruce fill in the required information on that, and then was good to go.
Anyway, as noted in yesterday’s blog entry about the game, the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is a fantasy roleplaying game set in an Arabia-like land, that borrows very much from the One Thousand and One Nights of course, but also draws on Semitic myths and legends and other mediaeval epics. I was running the QuickStart scenario, “The Tears of Ampharool”, in which a caravan trip across the Desert of Fire turns into something completely different after encountering ghostly spirit warriors during a sandstorm. The player characters for the scenario are Assabi the Trader, a merchant with magical abilities; Eloim the Physician, a medical man of the Arabic world who isn’t what he appears to be; Carmen de la Mancha, an adventurer of Spanish-like origins, who is extremely loyal to her friends and allies; Princess Karima, a lady of thiefly means who is traveling to Carrassine to marry a man she barely knows; and Wafik the Protector, a mercenary hired by Karima’s husband-to-be to bring her to Carrassine for the wedding. To that mix I added Hamoud the Warrior, an amnesiac who knows a good deal about magic and tends to hunt relics on behalf of his Salifah family of merchants. An interesting set of characters. The players took a look through the various characters, and made their choices. The youngest at the table, Chloe, played Assabi, Sheagh took the role of Eloim, Christine played Carmen, Jean-Yves played Princess Karima, Dan took on the role of Wafik, and Bruce played Hamoud of course. I started off by going through the mechanics of the game, and while Christine had some questions about stuff pertaining to them later on, the players got them pretty quickly and didn’t have too much trouble with them as play went on. I’m not going into details of the plot here (because I’d like to run the scenario again in the future!), but suffice it to say that the group of players was a really good one and did a terrific job of roleplaying. The players had no trouble at all getting a handle on the game mechanics and the personalities of their characters, with Chloe taking on Assabi’s leadership role very nicely and holding a firm set of leashes while letting the other Dragon-Marked characters do what they do best. Bruce did a superb job playing Hamoud, and dealt really nicely with his amnesia, while proving his mettle both in magical knowledge and swordsmanship. Sheagh did a great job with Eloim, the healer with some darker abilities and a personality to match, and used her healer abilities whenever she could (and she needed to several times). Christine was perfectly suited to playing Carmen, using a Spanish accent throughout, making use of her weapons, and being the butt of the whip-wielding jokes (though this came back to haunt them near the end of the adventure). Dan and Jean-Yves did decent jobs of playing Wafik and Karima respectively, but the other players always referred to Karima as “Princess” throughout, and I’m not sure they understood her real role and nature.
Some highlights of the game for me were the fight with the ghostly spirits in the sandstorm. Hamoud, Carmen and Wafik slaughtering their attackers by the dozen (they were merely Babouche-Draggers after all!). Wafik making sure to protect Karima during the action. The players’ surprised reaction at the appearance of the glittering palace after the sandstorm, and not even waiting to go there before I told them that their Dragon Marks were nudging them in that direction. The roleplaying and trickery that Jean-Yves’s Karima used to steal some items from the people fleeing the disaster. Assabi’s astute manner in getting the characters past the guards left on duty at the palace and getting in. The realization that it was the [redacted] that [redacted] was using to gain total control of the [redacted], which Assabi, Eloim and Karima realized at the same time! The effective manner in which the characters destroyed the [redacted], thus bringing the situation to a satisfying resolution. The look of fear on the faces of the characters when [redacted] suffered no damage from a spear attack on the part of Wafik, when the spear impaled in [redacted]’s body pushed itself out again with no blood loss. Finally, the realization at the end of what the title of the scenario meant, and lots of pleasure on the players’ faces when the game was over for the day.
Overall, the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked game session for Sunday went very well, and the players told me afterwards that they had enjoyed themselves. Bruce told me he was so glad that I’d allowed him to join the game, and that he really liked the game mechanics and the game feel. All of the players, notably Christine, mentioned that they really loved the Arabian Nights feel the game had, and wanted to know if I was planning to run Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked again at the next CanGames!
After the gamers left, SteveR took the gaming materials out to the car while I sat and had some more water and bought another hot dog to eat (and one for SteveR). I filled in the sign-up sheet with the top three player rankings, and took that to the Tournament Desk. SteveR returned and we sat around and waited for the CanGames closing ceremony to begin and end, sitting with Daniel Poulin and some of his friends. When it was over, I was pretty tired (and suspect that SteveR was too) so it was time to bid CanGames 2019 adieu.
SteveR and I left the convention around 6:55 pm, and we were pretty hungry. I walked around for about 5 minutes saying goodbye to certain people that I knew, but it was a done deal for the year. SteveR and I headed over to my favourite Chinese restaurant for supper, Brother Wu. We took the most direct route that we could and got there right around 7:15 pm. The meal at Brother Wu's was excellent, as we had some Mustard Greens with Pork soup, Pot Sticker Dumplings, Moo-She Chicken with Pancakes, and a couple of dishes I’ve forgotten about, with a small bowl of rice between us. A truly nice meal, washed down throughout with Chinese tea. Lots and lots of Chinese tea. We talked a little over the food, since I was feeling peckish, though he did tell me how he’d spent his Sunday afternoon while I was running Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked.
From the restaurant, SteveR drove me back to my place. Once there, he helped me unload the car with the gaming stuff, and then we sat and relaxed for about 20 minutes before he headed for home. It was around 10:15 pm or so, I think, and I sat back, relaxed, and had some yogurt and a cup of peppermint tea, which helped so much. I was feeling pretty tired, achy all over, but didn’t feel all that bad other than that considering. I stayed up for a bit longer, partially unpacking the gaming stuff and putting left-over snacks in the fridge, then had another cup of tea and a slice of toast before crawling into bed and reading for a quarter of an hour. Then, blessed sleep.
And there you have it - my three-post report on CanGames 2019, and the rpgs I ran at the convention. Overall, I had a really good convention, and had a blast running the games I did at the convention. I was only hampered by my left shoulder and arm as well as my feet all weekend. More exhausting for me than usual, though. (I may write an impressions of the con post as well, but we'll see, since I didn't really see all that much of the convention.)
Hope folks enjoyed these reports on the convention. :) Comments, thoughts, and questions are welcome. :)