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CanGames 2019 Final Thoughts

After the conclusion of the CanGames convention, I usually write a "Final Thoughts" post about the convention. I wasn't going to do so this year, for a variety of reasons, but in the end the words seemed to come to me.


Normally, I would spend as much time as I could walking around the convention, watching various games or playing a demo here and there of a board game, and chatting with people (friends, acquaintances, and people I've never met before), but this year that was almost impossible for me. The problems I’ve been having with my feet and lower legs (partially diabetes, but also due to poorly fitting orthotics in my shoes) made it difficult to walk around a lot for long periods of time, and the antibiotic I’m taking for a hanging around case of bronchitis left my stomach and bowels in a fine old state. When coupled with the pain in my left shoulder and neck, well... While I didn’t feel out of sorts for the most part, I felt somewhat out of touch with most of the convention. Needless to say, I only made it up to the upper floor of the convention once, and that was when we arrived at the convention on Friday afternoon. When it comes down to it, I just didn’t get to see a lot of the convention this year, once again. :(

I do, however, want to say that without the assistance and help of spross, I don't think I could have done half of what I did manage to do at the convention this year, and had actually considered not going to the convention at all up until the Wednesday before the convention. Between the various things going on with me health-wise, I could not have managed at the convention without his help. So I'm just grateful that SteveR was willing and able to give me a hand with everything he did for me at the convention. Thanks, mate. :)

I also want to thank the CanGames 2019 convention committee and staff for all their hard work and dedication in bringing us this installment of Ottawa's gaming convention. These folks work hard every year to make sure that the convention runs as smoothly as possible, and while there may have been a few glitches here and there (there always are at conventions, it's inevitable), this year's convention seemed to go pretty smoothly. (From what I saw of it.) Add to that the fact that there was some new blood on the committee, and I have to say that I was quite pleased.

This year, I went to the convention despite how I was feeling to run the four games that I was committed to running. Once I commit to running games at a convention such as CanGames, I do my best to honour said commitment. People have paid up front in some cases to play in the games that I'm supposed to run, but what it comes down to for me is the commitment business. I keep promising myself that I will not run four games at the convention every year, saying that I’ll just run two or three, but I seem to somehow end up running four games every year. It’s really starting to take a toll on me, to be honest, ‘cause I’m not as young as I used to be, but... I will say that I had a lovely time of it running the four games that I did at CanGames this year. Friday night's “Trouble in Paradise” for the Blue Planet Recontact (v3, forthcoming) game went really well. The players had a good time of it, found the new mechanics to be really easy to learn, and got to experience a slice of daily life on the water world that is Poseidon. Saturday afternoon's John Carter of Mars Roleplaying Game session, “Tayla of Mars” (formerly “The Talara Gambit”) was a terrific scenario that had a great table of gamers who really got into the setting and loved the mechanics. And Barsoom, of course. :) Saturday night's Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked scenario, “The Assassin Within”, was an adventure that I was nervous about running, but didn’t need to be. The adventure was one that challenged the player and their Dragon-Marked characters to figure out who the assassin was and where they were striking from. Lovely scenario, even if a couple of player characters suffered the ultimate fate during the course of the adventure. Sunday afternoon’s CanGames.

Other than the usual food gripe that I have about CanGames 2019 and the Rideau Curling Club's offerings for food, which I'm not going to write about here, the notion the Manager had of selling hot dogs from the bar area through the convention was really smart. I didn’t eat any hotdogs that way for meals, but did have them for snack. Other than some major glitches with the CanGames Booth auction this year, I didn't really notice anything too problematic about the convention this year. (State of health and business with games likely had something to do with that.)

I did notice that the attendance was up quite a bit, but as someone at the convention explained to me it’s a five-year cycle that had come around, but it was good to see the place so crowded at times and so many new faces (at least to me). I had a pretty good weekend at CanGames 2019 this year, mainly because of the joy I got running the four game sessions that I did. I did see a few friends and acquaintances at CanGames, and hope I made a few new friends (and people who will continue to game in the stuff that I run at the convention). I didn't talk to as many people as I would have liked, and didn't have any long chats with folks, other than during the four games that I ran.

That said, I'm already looking forward to CanGames 2019! :) And I hope that some of the folks reading this journal are already planning for the convention, and I'll see you there in about a year! :)


And that's it. The final post about this year's CanGames gaming convention in Ottawa. Hope everyone enjoyed these four journal entries about the convention, and please remember that comments are welcome. :)

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jkahane
John Kahane

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